Date: Tue, 14 Dec 1999 11:54:18 -0800 (PST) From: Aaron Koleszar <•••@••.•••> Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE REALEASE - Canadian WTO Protester Featured on the Cover of Time FOR IMMEDIATE REALEASE - December 13, 1999 Canadian WTO Protester Featured on the Cover of Time Magazine; wants to tell the story of what really happened in Seattle. SEATTLE - Aaron Koleszar, of Prince Edward Island, is shown on the cover of Time magazine (Canadian December 13 issue) being handcuffed for engaging in non-violent protest. At the time of the photo, Koleszar was being arrested for exercising his constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. What preceded and what followed was the removal of many other rights which we take for granted. While in custody, Koleszar and others were pepper sprayed multiple times at close range, dragged by the hair, and had their handcuffs tightened until circulation was cut off. Prisoners were also denied access to an attorney, arraignment, telephone, food and water. Koleszar's treatment was similar to what other non-violent protesters experienced in custody, but less extreme than some. Others had their eyes held open while being pepper sprayed, had bones broken, were strapped down, and were threatened with rape. One woman was stripped naked, handcuffed, and left lying in a cold concrete cell for hours. Even on November 30, the day before the arrests, police made it very clear that they would react to non-violence with extreme and indiscriminate violence. They pepper sprayed, beat, fired rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and tear gas (as well as some unknown neurotoxin) against non-violent protesters and Seattle residents, against children and the elderly alike. Thousands upon thousands of people in Seattle were assaulted for no justifiable reason. One elderly woman is now blind in one eye thanks to a rubber bullet. Others had bones broken. Two women, non-protesting residents of Seattle had miscarriages from the tear gas (or other gas). This is just the tip of the iceberg. Meanwhile police stood by as windows were being broken and stores were being looted by a very small number of people. This created their justification for a state of emergency, despite the fact that nothing was done about vandals. Police mischaracterized protesters as violent in order to target them. Koleszar will appear in court for arraignment on Wednesday, December 15. Amnesty International, National Lawyers Guild, and the American Civil Liberties Union are all investigating the illegal actions of the police and other officials involved, and numerous civil suits are planned. Aaron Koleszar reflects on the week "This is not about me being arrested or citizens being assaulted, it is about the WTO and corporate exploitation. We won this battle, and we're ready for many more. Everything they throw at us only makes us stronger and more determined to work together to wrest control from undemocratic entities like the WTO and transnational corporations, and place it where it belongs - in the hands of the people!" -30- To arrange an interview with Aaron Koleszar please call: 425.814.8032 (Dec. 14 and the morning of Dec. 15) 206.568.6191 (Dec. 15 and the morning of Dec. 16) 902.659.2570 (Dec. 16 and after) or email <•••@••.•••> ************************************************************** Jan Slakov, Weymouth, NS, Canada B0W 3T0 --- CDR (Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance) home page -> http://cyberjournal.org ~================================================~ To subscribe to the cyberjournal simply send an empty message to: <•••@••.•••> ~================================================~ To keep posted on the democratic renaissance send an empty message to: <•••@••.•••>.