rn:support for R2K protesters


Jan Slakov

NOTE: Support rally/event in Philadelphia TODAY! (See below)

From: "Carolyn Ballard" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw: Press release:  GOP Convention Protesters on Hunger Strike
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 14:35:52 -0400

----- Original Message ----- 
From: David Levy <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2000 1:50 PM
Subject: Press release: GOP Convention Protesters on Hunger Strike

> Activists Engage in Nationwide Hunger Strike
> Solidarity with unjustly imprisoned Republican National Convention
> Protesters
> Contact: 215-222-4711, mailbox # 8 (voice mail is checked every hour)
> Dozens of activists across the nation will be mobilizing a hunger strike
> in solidarity with those who remain imprisoned after the Republican
> National Convention protests. 
> Prisoners have been hunger striking since their arrest, and now their
> supporters, relatives, and people of the community plan to perform
> solidarity hunger strikes at city halls across the United States. 
> -- The US government has declared war on activists. Since Aug 2, 2000
> over 400 activists have been detained in Philadelphia on incredibly
> exaggerated and completely false charges.  Bails have been set at
> unprecedented levels ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 dollars.  Many
> activists were tortured with excessive brutality.  Inside the jails, the
> Philadelphia police continued their attempts to dehumanize activists by
> hog tying, dragging, and beating them. In one case a male activist was
> dragged naked by his genitalia to an isolation unit. The legal team is
> still documenting a myriad of cases of physical abuse.
> -- Over 50 reports of people being profiled and picked up off the street
> since Aug. 2cd have surfaced. Furthermore, there is evidence of federal
> government involvement in such operations. Activists singled out as
> "organizers" have been put into isolation units and interrogated for
> hours.
> It is crucial that we show our solidarity for those brave men and women
> who are still being subjected to inhumane treatment because they didn't
> compromise their integrity in the face of unthinkable brutality.
> -- We demand that Lynn Abrahams open negotiations with the R2K legal team
> and agree to their terms.
> -- We demand that congressional hearings be opened to investigate federal
> involvement in the mistreatment of activists nationwide
> This is a plea to those who support the struggle for justice in America. 
> Show your solidarity with these political prisoners and your anger over
> the unreasonable treatment by the Philadelphia and federal governments. 
> What you can do:
> JOIN THE HUNGER STRIKE: Organize citizens in your locale to hunger strike
> at your city hall.  Please contact the numbers above for information and
> to express your commitment.
> MARCH: Plan marches, rallies, vigils, and civil disobedience in your home
> town and/or state capital. 
> TEACH: Organize teach-ins, workshops, sit-ins and press committees in
> your area to disseminate information regarding our friends in jail. 
> PRESS: Because of the corporate media's irresponsibility our friends are
> suffering in jail.  We must apply pressure to force media coverage.  Set
> up teams to call and inform corporate and independent media outlets.
> RAISE MONEY: To help bail out prisoners with unreasonable bail.  Please
> make out your tax-deductible check to ISMCH (The Institute of Social
> Medicine and Community Health, our fiscal sponsor).  Write "legal fund"
> in the memo line.  Send checks to PDAG/PO Box 40683/ Philly, PA, 19107.
> PHONE ZAP AND WRITE LETTERS: To the Philadelphia officials listed below
> illustrating your disapproval of their actions. 
> Phone Numbers:
> Chief of Police, John Timoney: 215-686-3364
> Stephanie Stuber (Mayor's Chief of Staff): 215-686-7508
> Captain Fisher, Civil Affairs: 215-685-3684
> Ken Trujillo, City Solicitor: 215-683-5003
> Chief Maxwell, Head of Detectives and Criminal Investigation:
> 215-686-3362
> Dept. Comm. Mitchell: 215-686-3364
> Councilman Nutter: 215-686-3416
NOTE from Jan: I just made some calls:
Deputy Police Commissioner Mitchell (215) 686-3364 the woman who answered
said she couldn't answer my questions (about treatment of prisoners) and
gave me 2 numbers (of jails) to call: the CFCS (215) 685-7843 (The woman who
answered said she could give no info and eventually hung up on me.)
the PICC (Philadelphia Industrial Correctional Centre 685-7100 (The woman
who answered was more polite but also said she could not answer my questions.)

I have called Captain Fisher twice now, the first time a few days ago & the
man who I assume was him said that almost all (maybe he even said all) the
prisoners had been released. This time he said very few were left, only
those who refuse to give their name. 

Also called Stephanie Stuber's office. The woman who answered said she
didn't know about the condition of the prisoners. She said that yes, she
does relay the fact that people who are concerned are calling. I asked if
she knows if S. Stuber intends to do anything to help the prisoners and she
said she didn't know.

I'd be interested to know if anyone has ideas about how to make our phone
calls as effective as possible. For now, I think it is important to call and
yet I also have the feeling that the people with authority to do anything
are probably quite insulated from our concerns... Probably the most
important thing to do is to get the best possible media coverage of our
concerns. (Letters to the editor, etc.) also, of course, financial and other
support for the protesters.
From: "Carolyn Ballard" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fw: Press Advisory: Jewish Community Leaders Support RNC Protesters
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 2000 15:23:47 -0400

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Julie Davids 
Sent: Wednesday, August 09, 2000 2:16 PM
Subject: Press Advisory: Jewish Community Leaders Support RNC Protesters

Sara Marcus, R2K Legal Collective: 215-545-4844 
Laurie Zimmerman, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College student: 215-713-0395


Religious Leaders Issue Statement Decrying City's Treatment of Protesters; 
Urges Society to Heed Demonstrators' "Prophetic Voices." 
Rabbis urge city: "Do not persecute them for speaking out."

WHEN: Thursday, August 10th, 2:30 PM 

WHERE: National Museum of American Jewish History, 55 North 5th Street,
Independence Mall 

WHAT: Presentation of a statement signed by local rabbis and other leaders
of the Jewish community. Thursday is the Jewish fast day Tisha B'Av, which
marks the destruction of the First and Second Temples thousands of years
ago. The statement --written in part by prominent writer and spiritual
leader Arthur Waskow--draws connections between the fast day and the city's
treatment of protesters, warning that "a society that will not heed its
prophetic voices. has already shattered its own deepest holy places."

Short statements from endorsers of the statement. May include: 
oRabbi Elyse Wechterman, MidAtlantic Regional Director, Jewish
Reconstructionist Federation 
oRabbi Brian Walt, Mishkan Shalom congregation 
oRabbi Mordechai Liebling, The Shefa Fund and the Jewish Reconstructionist
oLaurie Zimmerman, rabbinical student, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College

MORE INFO: (For regular updates, check www.phillyimc.org)
More than 300 protesters remain behind bars in Philadelphia after they were
arrested last week protesting the Republican National Convention. The
largest protest, on August 1, focused on the racist and unjust criminal and
penal system. Videographers have documented widespread violence against the
protesters by the police during the arrests. Documentation of the protests
and arrests is available online at www.phillyimc.org.

Many of the protesters have suffered beatings, psychological abuse, denial
of necessary medication and have been held for days without being arraigned,
formally charged or having access to legal counsel. Detainees include 80
people pre-emptively arrested in a Philadelphia warehouse where they were
constructing artistic puppets and signs for the August 1st protest. They
have been charged with conspiracy. Philadelphia Police Commissioner John
Timoney has called for a federal criminal investigation of the non-violent
activist networks that organized the week of protests.

Bail for the protesters has run from $15,000 to as high as $1 millionthe
highest bails set in the history of non-violent protest in the United
States. The two groups whose members were saddled with $1 million bail,
Ruckus Society and ACT UP Philadelphia explicitly advocate non-violence, and
forswear all forms of violence including the destruction of property.

Prisoners and legal observers inside the jail report widespread abuses of
prisoners, including direct physical assault of bound prisoners; dragging of
prisoners through troughs of urine and garbage; sexual assault by police
officers and jail staff; denial of access to essential medications for
diabetes, HIV and other conditions; prisoners held in solitary confinement;
denial of access to attorneys. The protesters' attorney, Ron McGuire, has
described the situation as "a civil rights catastrophe of the first order."

######  Julie Davids            ######
######  ACT UP Philadelphia     ######
######  •••@••.•••    ######

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Lives must become more valuable than drug company profits
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