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Re: [Fwd: FW: Info about the FTAA protest in Miami ( 3 messages)]
by Tim Jones
03 December 2003 04:05 UTC
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I received the earlier post through the list, posted it widely and was thanked for it.

Thank you, Trichur Ganesh.

Often we are not recognized with a reply for an informative and important message.
From time to time though someone out there lets me know we're getting through.
I very much appreciated the first hand report.

BTW check out http://groundtruthinvestigations.com/Politics/thumb_Antiwarpepper.html


Tim Jones

At 6:05 PM -0500 12/2/03, Trichur Ganesh wrote:
I am forwarding news on the FTAA that I had sent to WSN but I do not think it got posted. MS.

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: FW: Info about the FTAA protest in Miami ( 3 messages) Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 14:29:01 -0600 From: Alejandro de Acosta <mailto:deacosta@sbcglobal.net><deacosta@sbcglobal.net> To: <mailto:deacosta@southwestern.edu>deacosta@southwestern.edu

FW: Info about the FTAA protest in Miami ( 3 messages)

3 messages
1. Subject: [riseup] Very i
I am sending this out to everyone that I know....

Things here in Miami are very bad. For those of
you that do not know, I
have been in Miami for the last two weeks
organizing for the Free Trade
Area of the Americas (FTAA) meetings. I have been
working at the
welcome center for all the anti-FTAA activists,
and the police here have
been excruciatingly brutal. I myself was beaten
and suffered a head injury
on Thursday without reason, but others are much

There are many people in jail that have been
beaten and pepper sprayed at
close range. The people of color from our
mobilization have been
specifically targeted and attacked. The people of
color have been put in
cells without bathroom facilities and had their
shoes and other clothes
that would keep them warm taken away, and they
are hosed down with cold
water every two hours with high powered water
hoses. During the night one
Hispanic male and an African American male were
taken from the group and
the Hispanic was beaten and pepper sprayed
withing inches of his face for
two hours then returned to the cell. He was
beaten so badly that his skin
split open. Another person of color had a head
injury from the police
before being taken to jail and was refused care
and they beat him again
and he is hemorrhaging from the brain and in
intensive care now. This is
only a slight case of what is going on with the
police and the jails here
in Miami.

Two trans-gendered people have been sexually
assaulted in jail, as well as
reports of one woman being forced to give oral
sex to an officer. Female
protesters were separated and held by four
officers who then cut off their
clothes when taken to jail. Again this is only a
slight bit of what is
going on here. For more information on what has
been going on check out

I am appealing to ALL OF YOU to call Miami, call
your representatives,
send money for bail and anything else that you
can think of doing to help
out. Check out the <http://www.StopFTAA.org>www.StopFTAA.org website for
where to send money and
who to contact. The police state here in Miami is
terrible and I am on the
brink of breaking down. PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD
about what is going on here
in Miami. This is TYPICAL of the police and jail
here. We need help and
support. I am sending this out because I do not
know what else to do. The
message is not getting out in the corporate
press, so please write letters
to your local papers and other news agencies to
DEMAND coverage and
accountablity. I am not in jail so I am going to
be working here until my
flight back home on Monday, but if anyone has the
means to get here, help
and reinforcements would be greatly appreciated.

This is not supposed to happen in this country,
and if I was not
already ashamed to be american, this would make
me so. Please help out in
the name of humanity...


"Fascism should more appropriately be called
Corporatism because it is a
merger of State and corporate power." -- Benito

2. Please Post Widely

Urgent Call to Action: FTAA Protesters Brutalized
in Miami!

This week thousands of protestors came to Miami
to oppose the FTAA. The
Free Trade Agreement of the Americas is an
international trade agreement
that aims to extend corporate control throughout
the Western Hemisphere.

Prior to the mass action there was a calculated
campaign on the part of the
police to intimidate and harass protestors. One
officer characterized this
campaign by saying "You can beat the rap, but not
the ride".

As we feared, our protests were met by a massive
show of state repression,
backed by $8.5 million in US Government funding. Miami Police Commissioner
John Timoney oversaw a massive, paramilitary
assault on our constitutional
and human rights

Protestors were attacked by police wielding
batons, tear gas, pepper spray,
rubber, wooden, and plastic bullets and other
chemical agents. Over 100
protestors were treated for injuries; 12 were
hospitalized. Police
dispersed large groups of peaceful protestors
with tear gas, pepper spray
and open fire. Small groups leaving the protests
were harassed, arrested
and beaten. This campaign of fear and
intimidation culminated in the closure
and militarization of downtown Miami. There were
confirmed reports of
military tanks patrolling the streets after dark
on Thursday night.

Our legal team estimates more than 250 arrests. People have become
political prisoners and are being held in jail. More than 50 of them were
arrested while holding a peaceful vigil outside
the jail in solidarity with
those inside. They were surrounded by riot
police and ordered to disperse. As they did, police opened fire and blocked the
streets preventing many from

We are now receiving reports from people being
released or calling from jail
that there is excessive brutality, sexual assault
and torture going on
inside. People of color, Queer and transgender
prisoners are particularly
being targeted. There is a confirmed report of
one Latino man arrested
along with 62 others outside Miami-Dade County
Jail Friday, who is currently
hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit for an
injury he received after
being beaten in the head with night stick by an
arresting officer.

People have also been denied access to attorneys,
visitation rights,
vegetarian or vegan food, and access to essential
medication and medical

We call on people from around the globe to take
action immediately to
support our sisters and brothers who are being
unfairly arrested and
brutalized. We are calling for three immediate

1) Call, fax, email elected officials with the
demands listed below. Contact information below.

2) Money is urgently needed to get people out of
jail. They are making
everyone post between $100 - $5000 I in bail. We
are working with bail
bondsmen, but this is not enough. Send money to
cover legal and
jail-support expenses including: bail, getting
people rides back home and
other legal costs. Please send money to: United
for Peace and Justice. Online donations are possible at
<http://www.unitedforpeace.org/ftaadonate%C2%A0>www.unitedforpeace.org/ftaadonate You can
also mail a check or money order to: United for
Peace and Justice/FTAA Fund
P.O. Box 607, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108. Please specify
Legal Fund in the memo field:

3) Global Day of Action on Monday at any time and
any appropriate location. This could be US Embassies, Departments of
Justice or FBI offices

Drop all charges.
Release all political prisoners.
Meet basic human needs: no more brutality,
provide appropriate food, access
to medicine and medical attention, warm clothing.
Provide access to attorneys and visitation rights.
Provide equitable treatment to all prisoners.
Do not share information collected with the INS.
Fire Chief Timoney
Many thanks for your support. It is urgently

In solidarity,
Direct Action Contingency, Miami

To send a free fax:


MANUEL A. DIAZ, Mayor, City of Miami
<mailto:mayor@miamidade.gov>mayor@miamidade.gov OR <mailto:mannydiaz@ci.miami.fl.us>mannydiaz@ci.miami.fl.us

ALEX PENELAS, Mayor, Miami-Dade County
305.829.9336 home
305.375.5071 office
Chief of Staff: Francois Illas <mailto:Fillas@ci.miami.fl.us>Fillas@ci.miami.fl.us

State Attorney

Chief of Police


Local media has been grossly biased in their
coverage. While this is
somewhat to be expected, the following are
numbers that people can call
to voice frustration.

CBS4: 305-639-4551, 305-639-4601, 305-639-4426
WPLG channel 10: 305-576-6397
WSUN Fox: 954-524-0388 (Rosh Lowe)

Miami Jail Information: To track people in the
system try:


Miami-Dade Jail (felonies)
Facility Supervisor: Captain E. Cambridge
Address: 1320 NW 13 Street Miami, FL. 33125
Facility Phone: (786) 263-4100

Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center
Facility Supervisor: Captain M. Fernandez
Address: 7000 NW 41 Street Miami, Fl. 33166
Facility Phone:(305) 470-7600

Carlos Alvarez,
Director of Metropolitan Sheriff Department
Miami-Dade Police Department
9105 Northwest 25th Street
Miami, FL 33172-1500 USA
Telephone: +1-305-471-2100
Fax: +1-305-471-2163


City Attorney

JOHNNY WINTON, Miami City Commissioner
305.858.7344 home
305.250.5333 office
Commissioner Johnny L. Winton
E-mail: <mailto:jwinton@ci.miami.fl.us>jwinton@ci.miami.fl.us

KATY SORENSON, Miami Dade County Commissioner

Commissioner Angel Gonzalez
E-mail: <mailto:agonzalez@ci.miami.fl.us>agonzalez@ci.miami.fl.us
Telephone: (305)250-5430

Commissioner Joe M. Sanchez
District 3
E-mail: <mailto:jsanchez@ci.miami.fl.us>jsanchez@ci.miami.fl.us
Telephone: (305)250-5380

Commissioner Tomas P. Regalado
District 4
E-mail: <mailto:tr@ci.miami.fl.us>tr@ci.miami.fl.us
Telephone: (305)250-5420
Commissioner Arthur Teele, Jr.
District 5
E-mail: <mailto:artteele@ci.miami.fl.us>artteele@ci.miami.fl.us
Telephone: (305)250-5390

City Manager Joe Arriola E-mail:
Telephone: (305)250-5400

City Attorney Alejandro Vilarello
E-mail: <mailto:law@ci.miami.fl.us>law@ci.miami.fl.us
Telephone: (305)416-1800
City Attorney's Office
444 SW 2nd Avenue, Suite 945
Miami, Florida 33130

hey, friends of the Green Bloc, I believe they
are all okay. Abby was
released, charges dropped and is heading home, so
don't panic but do read,
call and help, thanks, Starhawk

URGENT: Today there were mass arrests at the
jail vigil, and ongoing police
harrassment and brutality. Protestors at the
vigil were told by police to
stand on the sidewalk and they would be safe,
then surrounded, knocked down,
beaten and arrested. We desperately need
political pressure on the city of
Miami. We are witnessing a true police state
here, and we need your help to
call and write:

Mayor Manny Diaz
mayor's website:

Alex Penelas Mayor of the County of Miami

Police Chief Timoney

Demand an end to police brutality, dropping the
charges and releasing the
prisoners, and demand that Timoney be fired for
gross abuse of power.
Tonight he said on the news that until the last
protestor is gone from
Miami, he will continue to 'pick them off.? This
all is being done to
people who have simply been exercising our right
to speak out, and who in
many cases were simply walking on the sidewalk.

Below is a full update from Thursday®¢Friday?s
will have to wait as it is now
past 3 AM, Starhawk

Previous updates are posted on <http://www.starhawk.org>www.starhawk.org
and <http://www.utne.com>www.utne.com.

Miami Update 11/20 Praise the Wind

I wake up instantly at five AM when I hear
others in the house moving
around. The calm of the day before is gone, and
my stomach is one big knot
of tension. Quickly we eat, dress, grab our
stuff for the day, and head to
our other Pagan house to connect up with the
others. We do a quick Tarot
reading: Judgment reversed is the significator,
the card of the dead
reawakening. Lots of positive influences, but
reversed, blunted.

The affinity group that is supposed to drive
us does not show up, so we
quickly rearrange our plans, fill the cars, and
head out. We?re full of
that pre-action tension. A drawbridge over one
of the canals goes up, Oh
shit, oh shit, we?ll never get there?they are
keeping us out of downtown?but
it goes down again, and we get dropped off
successfully near Government
Center, the meeting place for the action.

Masses of people are gathering®¢not tens of
thousand but probably a
thousand, and we form up our cluster and review
our flags. We have one flag
for the high risk sector of the cluster, one for
the mid-level support and
one for those who want to be in the safest place
possible, and we have an
experienced person for each of the flags.

We are waiting for the puppets, who are
supposed to be marching down from
the Convergence Center with most of the black
bloc®¢those who will march
masked and dressed in black. They are late®¢and
finally the puppets arrive in
a truck. I am mostly thinking about how and
where to pee, which is the
ongoing, underlying challenge in every action. There is no good spot, but
we gather a small circle on the grass, huddle
around each other and take
turns squatting in the middle.

And the march heads off. We?re drumming and
dancing®¢the puppets are
beautiful®¢great birds of liberation with giant,
floating wings. I am
thinking about our friends who are marching in
London against Bush, and in
Brazil and Argentina in solidarity with us, and
feeling the web of

We get within a block or two of the fence, and
find lines of riot cops
blocking the way. The high energy begins to
dissipate as we discuss what to
do. Some people want to continue marching in one
large group, others want
to hold different intersections or try in smaller
groups to find a way to
the sections of fence that some people will try
to dismantle. The problem
is, most of the serious dismantlers are trapped
by the police blocks away
from here with the contingent that left from the
convergence center.

Then suddenly the way opens up to the section
of fence that fronts on
Biscayne Avenue, where the street is wide and
open. It?s also the section
we?ve promised the AFL-CIO would remain
relatively low-conflict all day. We
march in and fill the space.

The fence is made of steel, in vertical
sections mounted on a wide
horizontal base so they cannot be easily tipped. Behind the fence, cherry
pickers make elevated gun towers where?s armed
police stand waiting to shoot
at anyone who attempts to climb.

I am looking for a spot where the cluster can
hold some space and do a
spiral dance, and I am so tired from days and
days of little sleep that I am
half in trance. So I?m in a kind of duel
consciousness, part of me alert
and aware and scanning for danger and part of me
watching the whole scene
from somewhere deep below, seeing the energies
and the spirits beneath the
surface. We?re right in the spot where two days
ago I felt huge energies
gathering, and now I feel nothing. It?s as if
the whole section is
energetically dead, a blank spot in the
universe. Of all the things that
are to happen this day, this is probably the most
frightening, because it is
completely out of my experience®¢as if the area
were being bombarded with
some kind of energy-dispersing ray, a field of
gray cast by the dementors, a
pall of apathy and hopelessness and dull despair.

Nevertheless, we form up a circle and begin
singing and chanting. Some
energy builds. I am drumming and Nix pulls out
her finger cymbals and
begins to dance. She?s in her sixties, with
bright red hair and a pointed,
feathered hat and she?s like a spot of brightness
and good humor in the
midst of the gray, the metallic sound of her
cymbals cutting through the
haze. A corps of young drummers is nearby and I
get Geneva to run and
recruit them and bring them into the center of
the circle, and Ruby leads
the spiral as we sing, "No army can hold back a
thought, no fence can chain
the sea. The earth cannot be sold or bought, all
life can be free."

The energy inside our circle starts to feel
good, and to build power. I
am thinking we are going to have an easy day,
that the strategy of the
police will be to let us have this space but keep
us away from other
sections of the fence, and the big challenge will
be keeping the group from
simply getting bored and wandering off. So I
decide to keep the spiral
energy going instead of building it into a peak,
and nod at Ruby to keep
dancing in and out. I am drumming in the center
to help keep the drum corps
and the chanting in synch, and the energy of the
group bathes me. I decide
to use it to investigate the weird deadness of
the area, and drop down into
trance. (This is a kids-don?t-try-this-at-home
technique®¢meaning I wouldn?t
recommend it for someone who isn?t experienced in
both deep trance and
street actions, because it requires being able to
make a major shift in
consciousness instantly without getting the
psychic equivalent of the
bends.) What I see when I drop down are images
of corpses, gray, bloated
corpses, and a sense of an utter, soulless,
hopeless lack of life. And I?m
thinking about the Judgement card. Maybe our
task is somehow to wake the
dead. But there?s a sickening feel to this
energy. I start to cough and
almost vomit, wondering if perhaps they are using
some new neurotoxin on us
or bombarding us with some sci-fi ray, but I feel
more like I?m simply
nauseated by contact with this energy. But I
keep breathing it through, and
releasing it, and calling on life energies to
come in and cleanse it.
There?s an emptiness here so deep, like an
energetic black hole, that I
don?t know what can fill it. I start invoking
Oya, orisha of wind and fire,
the sudden storm, and suddenly I feel power
flooding through me and the
energy of the drums and the chant begins to build
and grow.

Next to us a small group of about six kids,
masked and dressed in black,
runs up and tosses grappling hooks tied to ropes
at the fence. The hooks
don?t catch too well, the ropes are too thin to
pull the fence over and too
short to allow the pullers to stay out of firing
range, and there is a
cherry picker filled with cops right next to
them, who immediately begin
firing indiscriminately at the entire crowd.

We hear loud explosions and the air is filled
with smoke and an acrid,
burning gas. Rubber bullets are flying and
people start to run but a whole
lot of us call out, "Walk, walk," and form up a
line and move back slowly in
a disciplined way. We fall back a ways, and a
line of riot cops in full
gear comes out and blocks our way back to the
fence. Andy has been hit in
the shoulder by a rubber bullet. I recognize
that the noise is from sound
bombs and suspect they are firing the new pepper
spray pellets as my face
and nose sting. We regroup the cluster, wait
warily until we see, across
the street, the line of cops trying to push back
the crowd and some kind of
altercation. Andy and I, Lisa and Charles, run
over. The cops have someone
down on the ground and they are beating on him
and Andy and I and others
jump in front and face them, trying to calm the
situation, doing all the
classic, nonviolent things, staying calm
ourselves, looking them in the eye,
talking in a soothing voice. Behind us the crowd
is angry and we are trying
to calm the more hotheaded before they make
themselves vulnerable to the
cops. Meanwhile the crowd pulls back the
protestor whose been beaten. The
cops are now shoving us with their nightsticks,
yelling, "Get back, get
back". I am now right next to Ryan and Sara, in
a front line of black clad
anarchists who are slowing the cops and trying to
de-escalate them, giving
the crowd behind us time to move away, keeping
control of our retreat so
that it does not become a panicked flight. I
talking to the cop in front of
me, who is snarling back. The cop behind him is
the one who has been out of
control and beating people, and the crowd begins
chanting his badge number.
One of the cops has a small, mean looking gun
with a long snout and he aims
it at me and shoots me directly in the eye with a
stream of pepper spray.

The stuff covers my face and hair and streams
down my arm. I still have
my contact lenses in and my hands are now soaked
in pepper spray so I can?t
pull them out myself. We all fall back, move
away from the cops who are
shooting rubber bullets at us all. Lisa gets
shot in the hip. The cops
also stop, and I ask Andy to take my lens out but
he doesn?t know how. The
stuff burns but half of all pain is panic and I?m
not panicked, just
concerned because lenses can trap the oil and
cause permanent damage. Lisa
comes over and pulls the lens out for me and I am
washing my eyes with water
and then they get the medics to wash them out
with the liquid antacid
solution we?ve found most effective. Elizabeth
has been badly sprayed as
well and I tell her, 'Fifteen minutes®¢just
remember it?s going to hurt for
fifteen minutes and then it will be all right."

We get led back to the cluster and move to a
position in the shade near
the intersection where we will not be trapped if
the police sweep through.
We try to decide what to do, and share some
food. I am a bit shaken but am
really okay, and after a few minutes the burning
does diminish.

The street calms down. The AFL rally is
beginning to assemble, and I am
enjoying watching the contingents come in
carrying their flags and banners.
We are told that if we go into the rally we won?t
be able to get out, so we
decide instead to go to lunch. I go sit in a
café with Lisa, so tired that
I can?t even eat although I think I should. I
drink some hot tea, and relax
for a moment. In walks Oscar Olivera, one of the
leaders of the uprising in
Bolivia when they kicked out the water
privatizers and took back control of
their own water system. I greet him, remind him
that he has been in my
house in San Francisco, and we talk. I ask him
how he likes the new
Bolivian president, and he shrugs, making that
universal hand gesture for
'some good, some bad.?

Then we go out and join some of our friends
who are sitting at sidewalk
tables. Our friends from the Sweetwater affinity
group have joined us,
bringing the Living River which we will carry in
the march. Nix and some of
the others are drumming and dancing in the
street, and I eat someone?s
leftover quesadilla and feel some more energy. Suddenly I want to dance,
too, and I jump up and begin whirling around,
invoking Oya and praising the
wind. I get my drum, and soon we have a street
party, with passersby
joining in the dance. In spite of the huge,
fearmongering campaign waged by
the cops, who have told people we will shoot them
with squirt guns full of
urine and feces and invented other charming lies,
we?ve had almost nothing
but positive support from the actual people of
Miami who sare always smiling
and waving and giving us a thumbs-up.

The march, it turns out, is coming by us. We
unfurl our Living River,
panels of blue gauze that billow in the wind and
look beautiful unfurling
behind us. We have banners and flags so we watch
the contingents go by,
steelworkers with their own river of blue flags,
the Root Cause folks, the
puppets. When the giant, inflatable earth comes
by, we join in. The march
is beautiful and spirited, moving out into the
neighborhoods and circling
back again. We?re chanting, "F..T..A..A..we say
no! Don?t privatize the
water let the river flow!"

But the cops have held back some of the union
busses. Something like
2000 people are prevented from getting to the
rally or the march. And they
don?t allow the march to come near the fence, in
spite of the permit and the
agreement they?ve made with the unions.

We get back to the entrance to the rally, near
the fence, and go sit down
on the grass to relax. Another group leads a
march back to the fence, and
several hundred people follow. Andy and I go
over to see what?s going on.
Something is happening on one side of the crowd,
but so many media are
clustered there we can?t see what. We are
standing between the crowd and
the police, very close.
"Why are we doing this?" we ask each
other. "Either we intuitively feel
that there?s something useful we can do," I
say, "or we?re just stupid."
Actually I?m asking myself the questions I do ask
before placing myself in a
dangerous situation: "Am I truly called to do
this?" "Is there anything
effective I can do?" "Am I the one who can do
something here?"

A reporter comes up to me. "Why are you
here?" he asks, pointing to our
close proximity to the cops. I?m not sure what
to tell him. I say that if
there?s violence, sometimes I can deescalate it,
then realize I should have
been clearer, said, 'police violence? which is
the only kind I?ve
experienced today. "Isn?t this provocative?" he
asks, motioning to his
cameraman to film how close we are. "Where we
really want to be is over
there, at the conference," I say. "So this is a

A cop comes out with a bullhorn and
announces, "This demonstration will
be allowed as long as its peaceful, but if
there?s any violence, it will be
stopped." He says this twice. I am
surprised®¢I?ve never before seen them
announce that a rally is legal, only illegal. And then, just down the line
where the media are gathered, the cops attack. They start pushing and
shoving into people with their batons.

Andy and I stand next to each other. We?re
part of a line that is
holding back the cops, trying to give others a
chance to move away. We?re
falling back, but slowly. The cop in front of me
starts shoving me with his
baton, jabbing it into my chest. "You don?t
need to do that," I?m telling
him. "We?re moving back." He is truly
snarling. Andy has turned around
and the cop starts beating him on the back and
shoulders. "Why are you
doing that?" I?m asking. "You really don?t need
to do that." He shoves the
baton in my face, then drops it again. We hear a
shot and our eyes start to
sting. Tear gas. The line of cops stop and we
move away, back up to the
grass to find the rest of the cluster.

Lisa moves us across the street, so we?ll be
by an escape route if the
cops attack. Which they do, surging forward and
driving the crowd ahead.
People start to panic and run, but others
yell "Walk, Walk," and the crowd
slows and walks. We head off Biscayne down
third. Behind us tear gas
canisters are landing and young men are throwing
them back at the cops.
Some begin throwing rocks. We keep the cluster
together, singing, "Hold on,
hold on, hold the vision that?s being born." More tear gas®¢and then out of
nowhere there comes a burst, an absolute roar of
wind like the breath of Oya
herself blowing it straight back. We all stop
for a moment, stunned by the
pure magic of it®¢in the midst of the brutal
onslaught the elements
themselves are declaring solidarity and coming to
our aid. We echo Oya?s
roar with an astonished cry of our own, raising
our hands high to feel the
power. Praise the wind!

The cops push us back up to North Miami. A
group starts building a
barricade behind us. Now the cops have the fight
they?ve been trying to
provoke all day. The crowd splits, some heading
up toward the convergence
center, others staying on third. We stay because
our cars are nearby, and
end up walking through the ghetto, where we have
not wanted to be for fear
of bringing the heat into the community. Nevertheless everyone we pass is
friendly, giving us a thumbs up or a smile. Some
people shuttle back to our
houses in cars, and some of us walk, in the
glorious sunset.

Just as we arrive at the house, Lisa gets a
call. The police are raiding
the convergence center. Without saying a word,
Charles, Juniper and I turn
around and the four of us head back up there. When we arrive, the police
are gone. They haven?t raided it, just menaced it
and arrested people coming
and going. This action has truly seen some of
the most blatant abuses of
police power I?ve encountered in a long time. People are holding a panicked
meeting at the convergence center to decide on a
plan for a raid.
Spokescouncil has been moved to the Unitarian
Church which is unfortunately
far away. I suggest we move it back, now that
the cops don?t appear to be
attacking us, that if they control our interior
space through fear it is
worse than what they do to us in the body. People agree. Lisa, Charles and
I head back to the Pagan house for a short rest. On the way, I get a call
from Holly, who has been shot in the breast with
a rubber bullet. She?s
being released from the hospital, and Tom
volunteers to go pick her up

We have a good meeting, make plans for the next
day. I am numb and shell
shocked, too tired when we get back to write
anything more than a short note
to let everyone know we are all right. But we?re
not all right. We?ve been
pepper sprayed, tear gassed, hit by rubber
bullets. Eileen of the Green
Bloc has been beaten by the cops, Steven was
clubbed to the ground. I don?t
find out until later that Abby, of the sweet,
sweet face and gentle brown
eyes and wild dreadlocks, the lovely young
gardener and permaculture
teacher, has been jumped on by cops on her way
back to her hotel, thrown to
the ground and badly beaten. We?ve seen peaceful
crowds repeatedly attacked
by police.

Why am I here? Perhaps because there is a
strange intimacy, standing face
to face with a snarling man who is angry and
armed and who has the backing
of all the state?s power should he wish to hurt
you. Sometimes, many times,
those eyes will soften, even just slightly, and
become human. Sometimes
they remain glazed and hard. And maybe I?m here
because I feel drawn to
stare deeply into that souless hell, to know what
we are facing even if I
can?t deflect it All day I?ve been in the zone
of deadly calm, the place
you go beyond fear or rage or grief, where you
just deal with what?s
happening and don?t try to comprehend why a
brutal man would beat a lovely
young woman to the ground. But underneath,
simmering just below the
surface, is a rage that dwarfs the whirlwind.


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