The Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) summit has started in Miami, Florida, US. Huge protests will try to interrupt the negotiations, which involve the leaders of all 34 countries of the American continents.
The FTAA, if signed, will allow corporations to sue local or national governments in special courts for enacting any regulation that can be seen as a "barrier to trade" - labour, environmental, or health regulations, for example.
FTAA talks end early-
The Free Trade Area of the Americas summit came to a premature close this evening, after ministers from 34 countries apparently accepted a watered-down proposal for creating a hemispheric economic community. For more background information, read the article "FTAA Negotiations Close to Failing in Miami" on Venezuelanalysis, and rabbles article Victory in Miami- Strategies Going Forward in the Anti-FTAA Campaign. More feedback in the article "FTAA crippled,but not a clean kill".
Huge amounts of protesters came to Miami to protest against the FTAA. They were met with extended police brutality- mainly on the streets but also in jail. Already in the run up to the summit, dissent was criminalized with support of the mainstream media. For more information, read the whole article.
The legal team estimates more than 250 arrests in total, with more than 50 arrested at a jail solidarity protest on Friday. Reports of arrestées being brutalized in jail. Independent journalists, including a producer of Democracy Now! arrested, and a nyc indymedia volunteer was held in solidary confinement and a $10000 bail is set for him.
Apart from the huge amount of repression, activists took the opportunity to feed the homeless and to show school kids the independant media centre.
Photos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30
Videos: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | Imc compilation
Audio: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16
Summary: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Solidarity Protests around the world: 1 | 2
Breaking News for latest updates and timeline please visit: FTAA Imc | FRAA Resistance Radio | Global IMC: [ 1 | 2 ] | StopFTAA | Infoshop FTAA background information | Infoshop coverage
FTAA Indymedia was reporting from the streets in Miami, broadcasting live web radio streams. For users in Britain, please use following stream location: http://j12.org:8000/ftaa.mp3 or this for another mix of reports from Free Radio of Americas http://j12.org:8000/fraa.mp3 (copy and paste in to audio player)
The local mainstream media takes a biased view against the protesters. The Miami Herald has already taken up an offer of the new police initiative to "embed journalists" in the police riot squads. On Friday 21st of november, a protest took place in front of the Miami Herald against their biased reporting, with main focus on the frontpage article "Anarchists vs Police" with no mentioning of the FTAA, being the reason why a wide variety of protesters, such like trade union members, take to the streets.
Thursday Nov 20
22:50 Protest at Channel 7 news - People are protesting Channel 7's distortion of today's events.
Extensive police brutality: Riot police fired rubber bullets, pellet bags, extensive use of pepper spray, tear gas and batons, concussion grenades and stun guns, as well as using tasers and pointing guns at people.
Downtown closed. Multiple check points, which search people and their bags. 185 buses "detained" and kept from joining the rally. ID-checks. Undercover cops. Agents provocateurs. (IMC has video footage proof). Protesters close to fence, but got attacked by police when trying to move further. Barricades. 100-150 confirmed arrests. Many injured protesters. picture summary by Portland Imc. November 20, morning:
11:22 am: Steelworkers Union members are turning up and gathering at amphitheatre. Concussion grenades and pepper spray are being fired by police.
11:18 am: Steelworkers declare solidarity with Direct Action, while the direct action folks are still being held by police, the workers have been allowed to peacefully assemble. Steelworker organizers have declared their solidarity with those involved in direct actions.
10.30 am: First protesters tried to attack fence, police attacked, protests declared illegal, downtown closed, buses blocked off,rubber bullets used, multiple reports of teargas and pepper spray, protesters attacked by bycycle police, protest circa about a 1000 protester, first arrests, lots of reports of police violence.Medics report tear gas fired and rubber bullets fired at E. Flagler. Cops are banging on their shields at Biscayne.
10:15 am: Police Brutality at 14 th and 2nd Ct. Police ran over a cyclist, and people have been tazed. People are blockaded in there. There has also been use of pepper spray and about 5 people are down right now.
10:12 am: All downtown routes to downtown blocked off(many union buses can not reach the assembly point for their legal rally and march at 12:30, police may be trying to revoke their permit, afl-cio is negotiating with the police over these issues and perhaps the continous police brutality towards direct action participants.
09:58 am: Police violence against demonstrators, despite Channel 7 false reporting. The police attack peaceful demonstrators.
Before the summit:
In the run-up of the summit in Miami, repression of protests and intimidation of protesters by criminalizing dissent has been happening, including a 4hours siege on the Information centre which is volunteered in cooperation with members of the Florida Fair Trade Coalition.