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"Guantanamo on the Hudson" - police repression in New York

Thomas Allan | 02.09.2004 16:03 | Repression | Social Struggles

Unofficial Protests by various groups over the last two days to protest the Republican National Congress in New York have been met with outrageous treatment by the police force. Protesters and bystanders have been trapped en masse, and around 1800 arrests have been made. Detainees have been kept in makeshift warehouse facilities, called Pier 57, packed into rooms divided up by chicken wire. There are reports of chemical burns from asbestos and other waste in these facilities. Nearly one thousand remain locked up without charge despite the ruling of a local judge that this was illegal.

Under US law they should not be held for more than 12 hours unless a state of emergency has been declared. News of the conditions emerged only after a mobile-phone was smiuggled into the camp, and was passed around, since detainees have been denied phone calls. They complained of the cold, the chemicals, and had no idea how long they would be held.The prison has already been nicknamed "Guantanamo on the Hudson." New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the use of the of the pier garage saying "It's not supposed to be Club Med."

There have also been reports on Democracy Now! that some thirty people requiring medical treatment after a little TLC from the police have been left untreated. One bystander, who was not involved in the march, said that her explanations were met with "ridicule." Protesters are being handcuffed if they ask questions or complain about the roundups. There have also been reports by New York IMC of police catching protesters with nets. Arrests in New York are ironically at noraml levels, however, since cops have been pulled from all other parts of the city to stifle free speech in its centre.

At the same time, Democrat turncoat Zell Miller, who gave a speech endorsing Bush for re-election, made a disgusting speech from another planet that was met with wild applause from inside the Republican convention...

"Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don't just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home.

For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.

It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.

No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn't believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.

But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution."

This peverse praise of militarism is not an extreme or ridiculous posture, but one that may well be Bush's best bet for re-election. With the economy dipping this summer, all the emphasis is on terrorism and patriotism. Other ingredients in the GM Republican pie include Schwarzeneger for the immigrant card, the Bush twins' cringe-worthy double act for women and family (they announced that their parents nickname for each other is "Bushy") and comparisons by his plastic faced wife between the War on Terror and WW2.

Whats really scary is its working.

Check out:

Democracy Now -

Zell Miller speech -

New York IMC - they've really got their shit together...

Thomas Allan
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