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Philly: Dallas activist con't to relate abuses and unjust treatment

by Cliff Pearson Friday, Aug. 11, 2000 at 9:34 AM

The question is not "are they processing them fast enough?" The alleged abuses have nothing to do with being in jail too long. The police are implying that if the jailed prisoners would give their names that everything would go smoother. But this is not the issue. The abuses are happening, according to numerous eyewitnesses.

Tuesday August 08, @04:02AM

Dallas activist continues to relate abuses and unjust treatment By Cliff Pearson

From Elliot, a member of the R2K Network Legal Support Team:

"I was one of the legal observers on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I was also a member of the R2K Network Legal Support Team and had the job of debriefing those released and documenting police/corrections officer abuses. I have been involved in protests and the Movement for over a decade and I must say I have never witnessed such torture of nonviolent protesters.

"People were reportedly hung crucifix-style from bars in flexi-cuffs, some claim to have been left hog tied (with flexi-cuffs) for 18 or more hours, others had broken limbs including one broken arm and one girl had three broken fingers. I photographed a number of bruises, cuts, etc. on released protesters. My legal observer partner, Jimmy Graham, was beaten so much while doing his job of taking down badge numbers that he was hospitalized. One young man

claims he had his penis and testicles twisted, another woman had severe lacerations on her head that needed stitches. A 62-year-old Quaker man says he was left hog tied and was kicked no less than six times (by three different guards) while hog tied. Others reported

psychological torture of bizarre and sadistic types.

"Detainees were denied food and water for up to 32 hours and many also insist they were denied essential medication. I also reported a number of abuses on the streets including people being beaten, handcuffed folks being pepper sprayed, one young woman being beaten with police bicycles by 16 cops, and the list goes on and on. And those are only for those that complied and gave names and fingerprints

. . . I shudder to think about the other prisoners in jail."

All the arrested Dallas activists are out. Scott Haws wants me to tell all activists to call, call,call the Philadelphia authorities and demand justice. Scott says, if you want to help him and the others, this is the way to do it.

Don't let up and don't let them tell you everything's fine! Scott says that Ann got out because he paid a ,500 bail bond (10 percent of the actual bail, which is standard) to get her out. She did not break jail solidarity. Scott wants me to be clear on this point.

The story of Milo's release is like a Movie of the Week. Milo, Scott's son, is only 16-years-old. Scott found out that Milo had been, or was about to be, transferred from jail to prison + adult prison + with many others. This alarmed Scott, who decided not to wait for the attorney.

Scott went to the District Attorney's office, but they were rude and uncooperative. Despite the fact that Scott had Milo's birth certificate and high school photo identification card, the District Attorney was not willing to release Milo to Scott, or at least transfer Milo to juvenile, without "further proof" that Milo was

not a minor.

Scott says he then went to the County Commissioner's Court where they managed to get an emergency judge for him. The judge ruled against the District Attorney and ordered Milo to be handled as a juvenile case, and released to Scott on his own recognizance. After all this mess, the District Attorney decided to drop Milo's charges completely, and he was released to Scott. The good news is, says Scott, this brave young man never broke jail solidarity. Scott says

that, when calling to demand justice and the release of the remaining imprisoned people, remember to call District Attorney Lynn Abraham at (215) 686-5777. He urges us to let her know that this abuse of a teenaged boy by legal bullying will not be tolerated.

Scott says that Kendall and Milo are on their way back to Dallas. They are traveling with the two young men from the Green Party in San Antonio. (One of them had a car in Philadelphia.)

Scott is still in Philadelphia trying to get his van back. The police are refusing to release it to him saying that it is "evidence." But according to Scott's attorney, local laws require that he receive a "property receipt" from the police if they confiscate his van. (This is an example of the missing paperwork that Leslie Cagan of the R2K Network was referring to in earlier messages.)

The other two San Antonio Greens, both young women, are still in jail, each with felony charges.

Here's a real mystery of Philadelphia justice + they have charges identical to those of Ann and Scott, yet their offenses are being called felonies and their bail is ,000 each. (It was just reduced from 0,000). Scott, Ann, Milo, and the four San Antonio Greens

all did the same things. But Scott and Ann had ,000 bail and their charges are called misdemeanors. (Could the fact that these young women are brown-skinned Hispanics have something to do with their unequally high bail? Hmmm.)

What are the charges? It's a laundry list. For the extremely heinous crime of planning (not accomplishing) to stand in a street and block a bus in an effort to prevent it from carrying delegates to the Republican National Convention, they all were charged with:

possession of the implements of crime (blockade devices covered with anti-death penalty slogans), reckless endangerment of a person (who? no one knows), conspiracy to commit reckless endangerment of a person (thought crime?), conspiracy to commit criminal mischief,

obstruction of justice (for exercising their Fifth Amendment right to remain silent), conspiracy to obstruct justice (deciding not to self-incriminate), disorderly conduct, conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct, obstruction of a highway, and conspiracy to obstruct a


Scott says that John Sellers of The Ruckus Society had his bail reduced from ,000,000 to 0,000 the morning of August 7. Apparently his attorney convinced the judge that he is not a flight risk. The other person with a million dollar bail, Kate Sorenson of the Philadelphia Direct Action Group, still faces her excessively high bail and seven felony charges.

There are still 250 people in jail. There are still two San Antonio Greens in jail. One arrested activist's mother was arrested outside the jail at a protest for being disorderly." In other words, she was mad as Hell.

Can anyone imagine that someone's mother wouldn't be extremely upset at reports that her child might be getting abused in jail? My mother would have been hysterical and probably been the first to get busted.

The police are trying to say that the protesters are alleging abuse because they were in jail so long. The police say they have been detained a long time because they won't give their names. But this is communicative misdirection. (I majored in communications, I know

all sorts of big words.) The police are not speaking to the issue.

The question is not "are they processing them fast enough?" The alleged abuses have nothing to do with being in jail too long. The police are implying that if the jailed prisoners would give their names that everything would go smoother. But this is not the issue.

The abuses are happening, according to numerous eyewitnesses.

Continue to demand that the media and the arrested activists' legal counsel be allowed to go into the jails and check out the abuse stories.

Cliff Pearson reporting, Dallas Progressive Action League, Dallas, Texas.

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