rn: press release from Aaron Koleszar


Jan Slakov

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


To arrange an interview with Aaron Koleszar please
425.814.8032       (Dec. 14 and the morning of Dec.
206.568.6191       (Dec. 15 and the morning of Dec.
902.659.2570          (Dec. 16 and after) 

or email <•••@••.•••>

Jan Slakov, Weymouth, NS, Canada B0W 3T0 
 CDR (Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance) home page ->


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