Urgent Call to Action: FTAA Protesters Brutalized
Urgent Call to Action: FTAA Protesters Brutalized in Miami!
Bail Money and Political Support Needed NOW!!
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 leaving.
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 attention.
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 actions:
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 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
THESE ARE OUR DEMANDS:
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 needed.
Direct Action Contingency, Miami
send a free fax:
PLEASE CALL AND WRITE:
MANUEL A. DIAZ, Mayor, City of
firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
PENELAS, Mayor, Miami-Dade County
Chief of Staff: Francois Illas Fillas@ci.miami.fl.us
KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE, State Attorney
JOHN TIMONEY, Chief of Police