2600 Staff Member Among Philadelphia Prisoners

From Stefan Wray <swray@io.com>
Date Mon, 07 Aug 2000 00:16:52 -0500

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Source: http://www.phillyimc.org

Sunday August 06, @12:32AM

2600 Staff Member Among Philadelphia Prisoners
By 2600 Magazine 
Nearly 400 people have been arrested in Philadelphia as part of the
protests surrounding the Republican National Convention. But what's
especially unusual and extremely frightening is the fact that mere
organizers of demonstrations are being held and treated as if they were
terrorists. It brings back memories of the Bernie S. case when simple
everyday items were cited as tools which could be used for evil purposes.
In this case, material that was being used to make puppets was enough to
necessitate a raid on a building and the arrests of many harmless people. 

Witnesses describe the targeting of certain individuals, specifically those
riding bicycles, anyone dressed in black, or people talking on radios or
Nextel phones. One of those people was an activist who goes by the name
ShapeShifter who led a panel discussion on H2K about the RNC and DNC
conventions, and who does layout for 2600. The police apparently knew who
he was, as he was arrested while walking down a street talking on a phone.
Reports are conflicting as to whether he's being held on a million dollars
bail or $500,000. He's being charged with a misdemeanor, according to the
Philadelphia Police web site. 

We find this to be an outrageous abuse of authority. The groups that are
being targeted are widely known for their nonviolence and use of puppets
and other art forms to get their message out. Protestors have blocked
streets since protests first began and such things are signs of a healthy
society. When arrests have to be made, the charges are never very serious.
This kind of reaction is completely out of line with reality and looks a
whole lot like retribution by the authorities for embarrassing them during
the convention. Does this ever sound familiar. 

Naturally, the mainstream media has been very quiet about this. We've seen
it all before. And we know that depending on them to report the story
accurately, whether it's about what hackers are doing or how the
authorities are abusing people, is a largely futile effort. Reports have
been filtering out of the prisons about inhumane conditions, physical
abuse, and treatment bordering on torture. 

This is another example of the parallels between the hacker world and the
real world. And in this case, more than a few people are involved with
both. We ask that you not forget them, help us spread the word, and keep
your eyes open for such abuses in the future. 


IMC Web site   http://www.indymedia.org
Philly IMC     http://www.phillyimc.org
LA IMC         http://la.indymedia.org

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