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Police Account of Demonstrations Not Based in Reality

by Peter Miller Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 9:23 PM
greenpete@wildmail.com 415.566.6255 2228 Lawton SF CA 94122

Police did not live up to the terms of their dispersal order at the Human Needs Not Corporate Greed, March for Our Lives festival at the DNC and violently attacked demonstrators who were dispersing from the area (audio, listen in, 26:00).

RealAudio: stream with RealPlayer     or download RM file ()

Commander Brennan of the Los Angeles Police Department declared the Human Needs Not Corporate Greed, March For Our Lives, March and Festival of Resistance at the Democratic National Convention an unlawful assembly and ordered demonstrators to disperse at a little after 8:00 even though the rally was permitted to continue until later. The vast majority of demonstrators were peaceful and nonviolent although there are unconfirmed reports that a few members of the "Black Bloc," representing the vast minority of people attending the demonstration and concert where Rage Against The Machine was playing, were hanging from a concrete, cable, and chain link fence, and throwing plastic water bottles over it. Commander Brennan said demonstrators would be given "fifteen minutes to disperse," and later added that demonstrators would be given "ample time to do so." The order was given in English and then repeated in Spanish. In reality, demonstrators were given less time than they were told before the cops entered the demonstration area on horseback and explosions were heard, presumably either concussion grenades or smoke bombs. The police entered the demonstration area fourteen minutes after the order was given in English and twelve and a half minutes after the order was given in Spanish. At the time police began their action, demonstratos were dispersing in an orderly, peaceful and nonviolent manner. At a press conference later, Commander Kaylish of the LAPD claimed that demonstrators were given more than fifteen minutes. As I was "dispersed" West up Olympic Boulevard, I witnessed the police charge a group of demonstrators with their motorcycles, hitting one woman and knocking her down to the ground. I also encountered three demonstrators who said they were shot with rubber bullets. Check out the audio footage of this event which clearly shows that the police are lieing, and the first few blocks of the dispersal West along Olympic Boulevard, with interviews of bystanders and demonstrators in the area.

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