Beauty and fear mark Day 3 in Sacramento
At least 11 protesters were arrested Tuesday -- including one subdued with a stun gun -- as an international agriculture conference in Sacramento, Calif., focused on genetically modified foods entered its second day. About 70 people have been arrested in demonstrations against the conference since Sunday, but protesters have been mostly peaceful.
Beauty and fear mark Day 3 in Sacramento
Day 3 of the WTO Mobilization in Sacramento was a day filled with beauty and fear, marked by high energy, resistance, and police brutality and intimidation. Activists released from jail that morning from direct action the night before told their stories and a call went out for solidarity with those still jailed. Cops were everywhere.
[from Sacto Ministerial]
This is a chilling update on the repressive, heavy-handed tactics of the police in Sacramento. Much of this gear - and tank-like military vehicles -are paid for by Sacramento residents. It's an outrage and should spur a recall effort of Mayor Fargo and the City Council members who O.K.'d this misuse of taxpayer's dollars. (For more info, hit the Indymedia link on www.sacmobilization.org).
The jail protest-what happened!
Countzero, 24.06.2003 03:14
What went down at a protest today and how it may be the future of police tactics....
The jail protest itself was not incredibly notable even though the number of police present completly defied description. There were literaly several hundred police of every denomination and carrying every weapon imaginable.
The protest consisted of us sitting on the sidewalk outside of the jail and keeping our spirts up through food and music.
Many people seemed to be getting to visit REd REd (one of the jailed protesters on felony charges) and near the end of the protest we recieved the news that all of her charges were dropped.
There was a large amount of time spent at the jail and the number of participants seemed encouraging but unfortanutly the real focus of the time was the police who out did all expectations by bringing I would guess around 500-700 police on horses, in an armored personal carrier, on motercycles and on bikes and foot. Many of the police were dressed for a riot and when I asked what one of the many guns shot all they answered was "rubber things".
Many of the riot police had tape over name and badge number and I had trouble getting any to answer questions of any sort.
This should have been a sign for the next hours but we stupidly marched away from the protest expecting that all was normal....
All was far from normal and our first sign of trouble should have been the fact that the police completly coralled us in and directed our direction of departure. This has happened many times before and we all seemed to expect to be allowed to leave a few blocks away.
A few block turned into a dozen and the "organizers" suggested that people should move to the back of the forced march and try to disperse slowly. We soon passed a large parking lot and several people tried to put the theory into action and disperse peacfully. We had been guarded by motercycles, bikes, standing riot cops and horses and now a bunch of the motercycles chased after the people trying to leave and they were pushed back with lights flashing.
This is when we knew that we were not in control of where we were going. Outrage grew and soon people began vocaly questioning what was going on and calling lawyers and the media. The corporate media seemed decidedly absent and the cops seemed eager to make up for it with many still and video cameras that seemed strangly drawn to those in black or sporting masks....
At one point we thought that we were being driven into a dead end and we freaked out thinking that we were all going to be arrested. Some rushed back and discovered that there was no back at least in the police's view.
These people were quickly driven back and those that tried to leave found that every driveway, yard and road was guarded; often even if it meant that fully armed police were in private yards and driveways. A sign ironicly declared that this was a gun/drug free zone.
There was much fear present and I think that few did not at one time or another think that we were doomed to mass arrest.
In the end we reached the welcome center and all was ok with the police finally leaving-everything was OK on the surface but I was deeply disturbed and now wonder if we will ever be able to protest again without being controlled in our movements and ability to voice oposition to the evils of the world....