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Unrestrained Stories: False Police Claims of Protestor Violence

by Tim Ream Saturday, Aug. 12, 2000 at 12:10 AM

A disturbing trend is developing regarding police pre-emptive response to mass protest. In numerous situations since WTO protests in Seattle in late 1999, police have issued misinformation claiming unsubstantiated evidence of violent plans by protestors gathering for mass actions.



Unrestrained Stories:

False Police Claims of Protestor Violence

Tim Ream - 8/10/00

Summary

A disturbing trend is developing regarding police pre-emptive response to mass protest. In numerous situations since WTO protests in Seattle in late 1999, police have issued misinformation claiming unsubstantiated evidence of violent plans by protestors gathering for mass actions. The false information is then used as a pretext for unwarranted police actions. The misinformation concerning protestor plans have ranged from chemical weapons to bomb-making. None of the numerous claims of violent plans have been substantiated. Nonetheless, many media outlets appear to have been predisposed to repeat information provided by police without fact-checking or seeking responses from the organizations accused. The damage to free speech and the mass protest movement has been extensive.

Introduction

Mass protest of government policies on this continent is at least as old as the property destruction that characterized the Boston Tea Party, involving hundreds of activists in 1773. Since the anti-war protest of the 1960
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
superb analysis and research Law-Abiding Cop Saturday, Aug. 12, 2000 at 5:11 AM
EXCELLENT article! Edison Carter Saturday, Aug. 12, 2000 at 8:07 AM
Yes, THIS is Indymedia at its best Noel Saturday, Aug. 12, 2000 at 11:13 AM
Excellent! Baalam's Ass Saturday, Aug. 12, 2000 at 1:30 PM
Another incident sarin Saturday, Aug. 12, 2000 at 1:48 PM
this happened in my town jenny alice Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at 12:06 AM
Concerned in Seattle John Kohlsaat Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at 4:56 PM
Media: ignorant or sensationalist dupes? Harold Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at 7:46 PM
Don't Give Up The Ship Fred Jakobcic Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2000 at 8:28 PM
Lawsuits Pending Gish Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 1:12 PM
Unveil The Media Anthony Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 2:38 AM
All Power To The People! Huey P Newton Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 12:37 PM
Nifty Riot Gear - Make A Fashion Statement! Johnny Versace Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 12:40 PM
Unrestained Stories / false accusations of vi Mary Titus Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 2:43 PM
Cotton Banners Paul Atlanta Thursday, Aug. 17, 2000 at 9:00 PM
.just the facts cathy Monday, Aug. 21, 2000 at 12:34 AM
the cops' False Reports should make page 1 Red Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2000 at 4:02 PM
Chicago 1996 Tommy the Terrorist Saturday, Aug. 26, 2000 at 10:18 PM
Peacefull Protest is an oxymoron at this time David Weber Saturday, Apr. 21, 2001 at 5:23 AM
This is just the beginning Andrew Friday, Jul. 27, 2001 at 1:29 AM

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