Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The cops from U.N.C.L.E.

In response to Jim Dwyer's aforementioned piece on the NYPD's widespread spying on people who planned to protest the 2004 Republican National Convention, the New York Times has run some elucidating letters to the editor. To wit:

To the Editor:

I was struck by the dry statement that “many of the 1,806 people arrested during the convention were held for up to two days on minor offenses normally handled with a summons.”

My daughter was among those arrested. She and the people she was with asked each police officer they passed whether he had any objection to their peacefully walking down the street and were reassured that there was no problem. They were herded into a trap surrounded by police officers (some embarrassed and apologetic).

They were taken to a warehouse. The only water was one toilet and one water fountain. They were left chained together in groups overnight, sleeping without pads or blankets.

Many developed rashes and other allergic reactions. Those whose medications had been confiscated started to become ill. The next day, they were taken to another holding pen, where they again spent the night heaped on a jail floor. They were held for three days and released only when the convention was ending, told that they could cause no more trouble.

It appears that this reaction was meant to convey that you will be risking your life the next time you attend a peaceful demonstration. Civil rights lawyers sued the city, and most of the original cases were thrown out on technicalities.

Leslie English
High Falls, N.Y., March 25, 2007
Your blogstress is most fascinated by this story since, as a blogger covering that convention, she saw exactly zero protests. That was because the cordons and checkpoints formed so wide a perimeter around Madison Square Garden that the Times Square hotel at which your Webwench squatted (and the Times Square church at which she prayed for her nation's deliverance) were apparently within the hot zone.

TO READ JIM DWYER'S LATEST ON THE NYPD SPY CASE, CLICK HERE.

TO READ THE
NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL ON THE COPS FROM U.N.C.L.E., CLICK HERE.

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