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The Thin Blue Lie

by Refuse & Resist! Saturday, Oct. 14, 2000 at 6:07 PM
randrla@aol.com 323-962-8084 6362 Hollywood Bd, Ste 319, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Statement condemning LAPD actions during the DNC that is being circulated for endorsements.

The following statement, "The Thin Blue Lie: A Condemnation of LAPD Actions During the DNC," is being circulated with the aim of getting it published in newspapers, including the selected editions of the Los Angeles Times, the legal newspaper, The Daily Journal and L.A. Weekly. This could be in the form of an ad(s), op-ed pieces and/or letters to the editor. To get printed as an ad in selected editions of the L.A. Times would cost about ,000. So funds are needed for this effort - to make a powerful statement of condemnation of the LAPD actions during the DNC.


* * * * *

A Condemnation of LAPD Actions During the DNC

THE THIN BLUE LIE

We condemn the LAPD's brutal attacks on demonstrators, journalists and legal observers at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). This violent repression was the culmination of a police?state atmosphere created for months leading up to the Convention. The purpose of the demonstrations was deliberately distorted to justify police surveillance and infiltration of activist organizations, and raids on their organizing center. This led to 5 days where the LAPD was allowed to carry on an occupation of downtown LA and enforce "a state of emergency" against political protests.

Now, in the wake of the DNC, the LA Police Commission, the City Council and the major media all congratulate the LAPD for a job well done! There is a very serious danger that new levels of repression against political opponents of the status quo will be legitimized and sanctioned by those in authority. We join with all who say the police actions against the DNC protests must be condemned, not celebrated.

During the Convention, downtown LA looked liked a Third World country under martial law: thousands of police in full riot gear, with batons and automatic weapons; freeway ramps blocked by the Highway Patrol; and 3000 National Guardsmen ready to intervene. Still, people bravely took to the streets and refused to be intimidated. They marched to stop the execution of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, to abolish the death penalty, to oppose police brutality and to support the rights of indigenous people, immigrants and workers around the world threatened by globalization.

Monday night, August 14th, the concert by Rage Against the Machine and Ozomatli capped a march of over 10,000 around the theme of "Human Need Not Corporate Greed." Protesters mixed with thousands of Rage fans, creating a wonderful and diverse festival of resistance. Suddenly the music stopped. The LAPD declared an "unlawful assembly." Without giving people time to leave and with entrances blocked, hundreds of LAPD cops fired on the crowd with their arsenal of "non-lethal" weapons. Hundreds of people were drenched with pepper spray, trampled by horses, clubbed by police and shot in the back with rubber bullets and bean bags. Legal observers and news media were singled out and targeted: one legal observer was hit between the eyes by rubber bullets. Several reporters were clubbed, shot and in some cases had their film stolen by police.



To their credit, the demonstrators continued throughout the Convention - and so did the violent police clampdown. On Tuesday, in the largest mass arrest of the week, bicycle riders protesting the destruction of the environment were surrounded, arrested, and held in jail for 36 hours - and later had all charges dropped. On Wednesday afternoon thousands of youth courageously marched to Staples Center to protest police brutality and the criminalization of their generation. Their determination in the face of this heightened repression led to a confrontation with the LAPD, in which the LAPD eventually had to back down. However, after the Convention was over, the police sought revenge. On Thursday night, protesters who marched to the Twin Towers jail were pulled off the subway as they were leaving and brutally beaten. The very act of protesting had become a crime.

We will not remain silent while city officials and the major media celebrate the LAPD for turning LA into a virtual police state.

We say No! - the youth and their new political movements are NOT legitimate targets for police spying and infiltration.

We say No! - mass pre-emptive arrests of political protesters on trumped-up charges are NOT justified in the name of preventing "disruption."

We say No! - it is NOT acceptable for the LAPD to shoot indiscriminately into crowds of thousands of people who have committed no crime, as a form of collective punishment for even daring to attend a political demonstration or music concert;

We say No! - in a city where 30 years ago reporter Reuben Salazar was shot to death by an LA sheriff, we will not allow the police to target media and legal observers trying to bring police crimes to the eyes of the world, and to justice.

Our congratulations go to the brave protesters who brought their political issues and ideals into the streets in spite of the police threats and violence. We agree with them: "Whose streets? Our streets!"

Initial Signatories (in alphabetical order)

Gwen Brewer, Cal State Northridge*Kay BrownVern L. Bullough, University of Southern California*

Jennifer Carrig, Independent Media Center*

Betty ChanFlo ChotinerDiana Davies, non-violent activist, parentJames, Katherine, William & Christopher Knox Davies, ages 10-15, veterans of August 14thNicole Drake, So. Cal. Fair Trade Network, Occidental College*Warren Felt & Dolly Around, ACLU, Alliance for Democracy*

David R. Fertig, Attorney; Member KPFK local advisory board*

Judith & John Glass

Matt Horton, NPS, Occidental College*

Katya Komisaruk, Midnight Special Law Collective*James Lafferty, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild*Thomas Lash, Tree HuggerRoger Lowenstein, Attorney/WriterVictor Narro, Director, Workers Rights Project of CHIRLA*Michael Novick, P.A.R.T.October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression & the Criminalization of a GenerationSheldon C. Plotkin, Death Penalty Focus, Southern Cal. Federation of Scientists*Refuse & Resist!, Los Angeles Chapter Ramona Ripston, Executive Director, ACLU of Southern California Steve Rohde, President, ACLU of Southern California Paul Rosenberg, Independent Media Center*Marta Russell, AuthorRetu SinglaCarol Sobel, attorneyGaby StuartMichele & Sid Turkish

* For identification purposes only



If you agree with this statement, please add your name to the list of signatories and share this statement with others. Print it and send it, fax it, e-mail it to others!

Fill out the following information and send it, along with your financial contribution (necessary in order to print it) to:

Refuse & Resist! (make checks out to Refuse & Resist!, earmark it for Anewspaper ad@) 6362 Hollywood Boulevard, #319 Los Angeles, CA 90028 Phone: (323) 962?8084email: RandRLA@aol.com

We will need some large donations to make this possible. Even if you yourself are not able to donate much, think about who you know who would want to see this statement published in LA Times. Please contact us if you would like to assist in the efforts to get this statement to others for signatures, to get it published and to do fundraising.

Signature:

Name (please print):

Address:

Phone No.:

Email:

Affiliation/Organization:

Check if for identification purposes only ______

Amount Enclosed:

How You Want to Be Identified in the Ad:

$____________ is enclosed towards publication of this statement.

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