The Guardian August 16, 2000


Police violence and brutality

While the Republican Convention hoop-la circus was taking place inside 
the hall, demonstrations erupted outside. Demonstrators called for an end 
to the death penalty, for the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal and other 
political prisoners and for an end to police brutality.

In a show of unrestrained police violence over 430 were arrested. For two 
of the demonstrators a preposterous $1 million bail has been demanded.

Guards, police and administrators continued to attack protesters in jail. 
Released prisoners have given accounts of widespread abuse that can only be 
described as torture.

Those arrested have been isolated, verbally abused, punched, kicked, thrown 
against walls, bloodied and dragged naked across floors.

In one instance a demonstrator was dragged face down through a trough 
containing refuse, spittle and urine. Sexual assault by a female officer 
has been reported. Seven witnesses saw one woman dragged naked and 
bleeding. Those needing medications have been denied them.

Civil rights catastrophe

"I consider this a civil rights catastrophe of the first order", said Ron 
McGuire a Legal Committee counsel.

"This is an attack on due process and reasonable bail. This is a systematic 
political effort to undermine and destroy the momentum of a growing 
movement for social and environmental justice."

A statement for the demonstrators says that "In Seattle we shut down the 
WTO. In New York we rose up against police terror in communities of colour. 
In Washington we stood up to the IMF and the World Bank. In California we 
fought the mass incarceration of our youth. While the US-dominated 
institutions like the WTO, the IMF and World Bank wage war on the global 
poor, a parallel war is waged daily on the poor and people of colour in the 
US by a criminal justice system that enforces racial and economic 
injustice.

"It is time for the different currents in this movement to stand together 
against this system of criminal injustice and for real democracy."

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