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Monday, Dec. 24, 2001 at 11:56 AM
Peaceful Anti-War Demo in Long Beach Raided by Police State.
About 45 activists showed up at the Anti-War demo in Long Beach.
The demonstration started as a rally at the park with speakers and music. We then decided to march over to the outside shopping center to hand out leaflets to people. During this time we were followed by police in a Monella jeep, along with a white car. Everything seemed to be going smoothly without any trouble.
Police then decided that they were going to arrest two demonstrators, one a lawyer, and another doing media coverage. They police didn't say why these two individuals were being arrested, except that they were "on private property". The small crowed of demonstrators gathered peacefully around the police as the two individuals were being take away. At this point, a helicopter arrived at the scene circling overhead. Then countless police cars began to flood the area. Like an armada, I must have counted at least 18 police cars in the first few minutes. Crowds of onlookers gathered around as demonstrators chanted, "this is what democracy looks like! this is what democracy looks like!". One officers took out his baton and started threatening demonstrators. He warned us that if we didn't move back, he was going to "use his baton", and/or arrest us. He repeatedly pushed his baton into me and threatened to arrest me. At this point we were gathered around the police car as the two individuals were being taken away. We repeatedly asked for the officers badge number (the one whirling his baton), but he refused to give it to us.
The car then left the scene, taking the demonstrators to the station. At this point, floods of police cars were still arriving at the scene. This peaceful demonstration had come under siege by the Long Beach police state.
We then decided to walk back to the park, as it probibly wasn't the best idea to stick around as loads of police cars kept flooding into the scene. As we were marching back, we noticed even more police cars STILL arriving to the scene. This was seriously a complete overkill. Once we got back to the park, we gathered to talk about the events. Police drove their SUV squad car up onto the grass, and had extra cops surrounding us. They also continued to video tape us. We decided not to stick around as the police would probably "scoop us up", so we decided to leave. As I was leaving with another person, the police tried to follow us in my car. I also noticed that the residential streets behind the park were flooded with police cars.
And all this because a small group of people sought to exercise the so-called "freedom of speech" in this country.
A demonstrator asked, "For once can we go out and demonstrate with police harassing us!?".
We are living in a police state. This is one of the many tools engendered by the capitalist system. And it's only going to get worse if we don't do something about it.
It seems that countless law suits have no effect on the issue. They still continue to manifest their militarization and repression over our communities. They still harass, discriminate, beat down, rape, and kill people. It seems after every law suit, they only get more repressive. They only get worse.
Is the legal approach really working?
Perhaps we need to rethink a new route of direct action.
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