rn: WTO prisoner solidarity


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,

I agree with the idea in the second message below, that now is a very
important time to write letters-to-the-ed on the WTO. If any of you write
one, please send me a copy. ... I will try to write one myself and send it
to you before too long.

all the best, Jan

From: Bob Olsen <•••@••.•••>

From: Sid Shniad <•••@••.•••>
Subject: URGENT - release Seattle jailed (fwd)
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 16:21:54 -0800 (PST)

 Date: Fri, 3 Dec 1999 17:17:21 -0500 (EST)
 From: Denise Nadeau <•••@••.•••>
 Subject: URGENT - release Seattle jailed
 There is an urgent action to phone the Seattle mayor and demand that all
 arrested be released without charges. The arrestees are holding as a block
 and refusing to give names as part of the DAN strategy. I was on a blockade
 with many of these people for hours and they are a committed non-violent and
 courageous group of people - many young.  Seattle has been a horror show of
 police brutality and indiscriminate arrests. We need to get them released.
 Please phone the mayor's office at 206-684-4000.
 Denise Nadeau

Date: Sat, 04 Dec 1999 18:55:49 -0600
From: Gary Morton <•••@••.•••>
Organization: CitizensontheWeb.com

organise wto prisoner solidarity action - Sat, 4 Dec 99 
* Some new stuff came in including this letter that 
I am posting at

Forward as far as possible

From:        Stephanie Sersli, •••@••.•••


I've been helping out with the Direct Action Network
Legal Team, who are providing legal support for those
arrested during WTO protests in Seattle this week.

At this point there are something like 600 (we don't
know exact numbers) people who have been arrested and
are being held.  I have been answering the phones
today and have heard a number of disturbing reports
from the prisoners:

1. women and men being held in solitary confinement
because they refuse to identify themselves

2. men and women subjected to police torture (ie being
pepper sprayed, beaten).  One woman was beaten bloody
this morning, another woman was stripped to her
underwear, hogtied and dragged.  Police were overheard
threatening that they would use whatever force was
necessary to get protesters to identify themselves.

3. no vegetarian meals provided unless the person
provides two affidavits that they have been a
vegetarian for at least one year

4. people being denied medication

5. people's eyeglasses being taken from them (some are
legally blind) until they give their names

6. men being kneed in the groin if they use resistance
tactics (ie going limp)

Yes, there are a fair number of Canadians who are
being held by Seattle police, some of whom already
have prior arrests (which means they can be identified
a lot more readily). 

Yes the police know we are using jail solidarity as a
tactic and are trying to bust this up.

BUT there is AMAZING jail solidarity happening in
those cells - very few people have given their names -
and they need your support!!  Activists in Seattle
have been organising daily marches.  Please organise
in Vancouver and take part in a worldwide solidarity

From: "Helen Forsey" <•••@••.•••>
Date: Sat, 4 Dec 1999 23:00:57 -0500
-----Original Message-----
From: •••@••.••• <•••@••.•••>
Date: Friday, December 03, 1999 4:31 PM
Subject: Re: Bravo - re Seattle

>Hi Helen,
>Seattle was certainly an experience... being tear gassed and shot at with
>rubber bullets (luckily i wasn't hit, but many around me were).  The media
>is telling the world that the protests were violent and that police actions
>were justified... but this is all spin.
>Even before the small group of anarchists began breaking windows, the
>police began tear gassing and shooting protesters with rubber bullets in an
>attempt to push them back.  The protestors (including myself) would not
>budge, and therefore despite the police action we stood strong.
>There were a handful of kids dressed all in black that called themselves
>anarchists (though I doubt they really know what anarchism is) that began
>breaking windows and spraypainting grafitti.  They were of course only
>targetting the multinationals in downtown Seattle (Starbucks, Nike, the
>GAP, the US Bank etc..)  Bill Clinton that night said "I condemn this
>property damage to small businesses"!!  If they're small, I can't imagine
>what's big - perhaps the new Exxon-Mobil giant.
>Once windows were being broken, the police went crazy, attacking just about
>anybody.  There were thirty or so rowdy kids and about 50,000 peaceful
>demonstators.  Stun gernades, pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets,
>armoured vehicles.  Everyone was running like mad.  They say it was
>The police violence went on for two more days.  The images I saw on TV here
>(after I returned) were horrifying.  Non confrontational people being
>kicked in the groin, people stumbling away with blood streaming down their
>faces, police firing random volleys of rubber bullets, an old woman
>collapsed on the street gasping for air... when two people attempted to
>help her they were pepper sprayed.
>The police set up a no protest zone around the conference centre.  Peaceful
>protests began popping up outside this zone, and police still attacked
>them.  Five hundred were arrested in civil disobedience.  The police were
>not interested in their zone, they were interested in chasing after and
>attacking the protesters.  At one point the police were on Broadway, some
>ten blocks from the no protest zone.  It was a residential neighbourhood
>and the police were attacking residents!  One poor man ran from his house
>pleading with the police to stop their violence... they responded by
>spraying pepper spray in his face.
>For the two days following Tuesday's rally, the police checked people's
>bags as they entered downtown Seattle.  They removed from their person all
>radios (walkie talkies for communication), all gas masks and all protest
>material (signs, buttons, literature etc..)  The people were told they
>could not protest.
>The media, of course, turns around and blames the violent protestors and
>that the police action was justified.
>Two kinds of letters need to be written right now (letters to editors).
>One is in defence of the peaceful protestors and condemning police violence
>and the fact that our civil liberties were infringed upon.  The other set
>of letters is just an explanation of why we came to protest.  The WTO is a
>hot news topic right now and its a good time to get the message out.
>That's all I have to report at this time... we'll keep in touch.