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Police Attack Organized Labor at Staples Rally; Leaders Demand Apology

by Michael Everett, D2K Labor Organizing Committ Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 12:04 PM
ia728@primenet.com 310-394-2596

Monday night's Staples Center rally was an officially sanctioned labor event. Labor has been and will remain an essential component of the Seattle coalition regardless of the wishful thinking of some. When the LAPD attacked those attending the Staples Center rally, they were also attacking organized labor. We demand an apology. An injury to one is an injury to all!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
D2K Labor Organizing Committee
Contact: Michael Everett, 310-394-2596, 310-480-2871
Jim Lauderdale, 213-482-6660, ext. 231

August 15, 2000

LAPD Attacks Organized Labor at Staples Center Rally; Leaders Demand Apology

LOS ANGELES - Last night, August 14 at 8:30pm, the Los Angeles Police Department used clubs, horses, rubber bullets, and chemical weapons to attack up to a thousand union members as they attempted to peacefully disperse from the Staples Center rally site.

The D2KLA rally was cosponsored by a wide range of labor unions and was in fact an officially sponsored labor event. Some of the unions endorsing the event included the AFL-CIO San Francisco Labor Council, International Longshore & Warehouse Union, California Nurses Association, Film & Television Action Committee (representing members
of IATSE, SAG, AFTRA, Teamsters, WGA, DGA), Laborers Local 724, AFSCME Local 1108, and P.A.C.E. Local 8-675. The unprovoked attack on labor by the LAPD was unprecedented in recent history and was the bloodiest labor conflict in Los Angeles since the 1940's.

Organized labor has sponsored a series of events for the week of the Democratic convention in reaction to a Democratic platform, which embraces fast track and rejected amendments for fair trade, a living wage, and universal health care.

Following a speech by Farm Workers leaders Dolores Huerta, union members and their families, along with thousands of other protesters had been enjoying a concert by Ozomotli when at approximately 8pm the music abruptly stopped and the stage lights went out. An LAPD police commander announced from the stage that he was declaring the event an illegal assembly and ordered the crowd of up to 10,000 to disperse and giving them 15 minutes to do so. Many of the crowd were
able to exit the area before the police attacked, but thousands were still struggling to negotiate the narrow exit area and the three foot concrete barriers obstructing it when waves of police on horseback and on foot moved into the crowd and began firing indiscriminately on the fleeing protesters. Scores of protesters were injured, most shot in
the back, as they attempted to comply with police orders to disperse.

Labor activist Michael Everett, one of the organizers of the event said, "Labor is a key component of the Seattle Coalition - when the police attack any on of us, they attack all of us. Make no mistake about it, last night's attack was an attack on the labor movement and the working families we represent. It marks an ominous new direction
for relations between the LAPD and organized labor, and we call for an official apology from the city and from the LAPD. We ask the Democratic Party to publicly renounce and disassociate themselves from this sort of unprovoked and violent attack on labor."

The D2K Labor Organizing Committee has called for a mass labor turnout at this Thursday's global sweatshop and immigrants rights march through the Garment district. The march will be led by Justice for Janitors and will begin at 8th & Santee at 4pm. It will proceed to the Staples Center to join a final mass rally and protest to take place during Al Gore's acceptance speech. Regardless of police provocations, organizers pledge to maintain their adherence to the principles of non-violence and remind both the LAPD and the Democratic Party that the whole world will be watching.

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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 10 posted about this article.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Solidarity Conan Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 3:02 PM
LAPD Behavior Diana Davies Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 4:59 PM
The New Left shall rise again Tim Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 5:44 PM
Media, cops, protesters, etc. Amy Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 8:16 PM
Unprovoked Violence by Police More Common Azel Beckner Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 5:16 AM
The Revolution is under way Martin Chalfont Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 7:04 AM
Police on the wrong side Doug Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 7:59 AM
Media gets a beating, too glenn Friday, Aug. 18, 2000 at 8:31 AM
the police are not your friends. (a rant) Sofie Esperanza Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2000 at 7:51 AM
how is buring a police car violent??? -------- Sunday, Sep. 03, 2000 at 9:22 AM
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