We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Some of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

ACLU spokesperson denies mistreatment is occuring in Philadelphia jails.

by Ken Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 3:37 PM

Mr. Presser of the PA ACLU has stated to the media that protesters held in Philadelphia jails are complaining of abuse. Earlier he went on TV to say the police had not engaged in brutality. Who does Presser really work for? Why does he ignroe reports by the national ACLU and by independent media?

August 5, 2000, Saturday National Desk

Convention Demonstrators Are Held on Very High Bail


With bail being set as high as million for protesters accused of blocking streets during the Republican National Convention, defense and civil liberties lawyers today questioned whether the city court action was a punitive measure intended to discourage the next round of civil disobedience, planned for the Democrats' convention in Los Angeles.

The bail of million was set for John Sellers, identified as a 33-year-old leader of the Ruckus Society of California, which says it trains demonstrators in nonviolent civil disobedience. Larry Frankel, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, said the amount seemed extraordinary since Mr. Sellers had been charged only with eight misdemeanors.

Bail for three other defendants whom the police considered ringleaders of the street protests was set at 0,000 to 0,000, with only one of them, 20-year-old Darby Landy, accused of a felony. The charge came after a street fracas with biker police officers led by Commissioner John P. Timoney.

Mr. Frankel questioned whether the city's intention was to keep protest leaders ''in detention until their date of trial'' sometime after the Democratic National Convention's opening on Aug. 14, rather than serving bail's basic purpose of guaranteeing a defendant's appearance for trial. Other defense lawyers noted that defendants charged with misdemeanors typically were released on their own recognizance and that bail as high as million was unprecedented for misdemeanors.

In arguing for the high bail, Assistant District Attorney Cindy Martelli contended on Thursday that Mr. Sellers was one of the key leaders of the illegal street demonstrations Tuesday in which more than 200 protesters were arrested.

''He facilitates the more radical elements to accomplish their objective of violence and mayhem,'' Ms. Martelli said.

There were few reports of major property damage or serious personal injury in the demonstrations.

In the bail argument, prosecutors referred repeatedly to the coming Democratic convention and to street protests earlier in Washington and Seattle. Defense lawyers said the simple misdemeanor charges at issue were being inflated into ominous-sounding national conspiracies to draw the high bail.

''This is Philadelphia, Ala.,'' said Lawrence S. Krasner, Mr. Sellers's defense lawyer, who contended that the city was using bail as a tool of preventive detention and punishment.

''Bail of million for a misdemeanor is absolutely ludicrous,'' Mr. Krasner said, adding that he would appeal it on Monday.

After 371 arrests made during the convention week, most on misdemeanor charges, only about a third of the defendants were free as of this morning, by unofficial count. The police and demonstrators accused each other of deliberately slowing the arraignment process. Civil liberties lawyers said a number of protesters were refusing to cooperate and withholding their identities.

''I'm getting parents calling us up asking if we know what happened to their kids,'' Mr. Frankel said, emphasizing that he was urging cooperation and proper identification.

Mr. Sellers was arrested as he engaged in a cell phone conversation on the street. Amy Kwasnicki, organizer for the protest group Philadelphia Direct Action, accused the police of pre-emptively arresting people they considered protest leaders even though she said Mr. Sellers had only trained others in methods of nonviolent civil disobedience.

Seventy of the defendants were arrested on Tuesday in a puppet-making factory that the police raided with a search warrant, contending they would uncover hard evidence of criminal plans to disrupt the city during the convention. Demonstrators said the factory contained only street-theater puppets and agitprop paraphernalia intended for nonviolent civil disobedience.

As defense lawyers awaited details of the evidence that the police considered likely to be found, a judge ordered the warrant's contents sealed at the request of city prosecutors. ''Highly suspicious,'' said Stefan Presser, legal director for the A.C.L.U.

The police denied accusations that the factory raid was a pre-emptive strike.

''We think we can prove they've engaged in criminal activity,'' Commissioner Timoney said on Thursday.

He raised the question of whether there should be a federal investigation into the activities of protest groups moving lately from one city to another to stage street demonstrations during major, media-heavy conferences. ''Somebody's got to look into these groups,'' Mr. Timoney said.

The police were widely praised by Philadelphians for restraint in dealing with the demonstrations. But leaders of the protest groups said defendants were being abused in jail. The police denied this, and Mr. Presser of the A.C.L.U. said legal monitors inside the detention area had received no complaints of the alleged brutality.

Copyright 2000 The New York Times Company

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
Stefan Presser is a scum bag Yoni Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 4:02 PM
Stefan Presser is a scum bag Yoni Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 4:05 PM
Pa. ACLU = oxymoron Edward Trout Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 4:10 PM
ACLU press release (vs. Presser) Mike Niendorff Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 4:57 PM
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy