August 18, 2000
On August 15, ACT UP Philadelphia announced that all of its members who were arrested two weeks ago during the Republican convention in Philadelphia are now out of jail. All of them face criminal charges. All or almost all of the demonstrators (not only those from ACT UP Philadelphia) are now out of jail.
Many of those arrested were not intending to be, and were not breaking any law; they were held on preposterous charges such as blocking traffic when they were arrested indoors. Others did block traffic, and were charged with much more serious offenses than usual for such protests.
Also on August 15, seven medics for the protesters sued Philadelphia for civil-rights violations, claiming that police systematically stopped and harassed them during the protests. They said that they were not demonstrating or helping to plan or coordinate actions. Many more lawsuits are likely.
To contribute to legal defense for members of ACT UP Philadelphia, checks can be made out to Philadelphia Defense Fund and sent to:
Philadelphia Defense Fund
c/o Ann Northrop
465 West 23rd St. #17B
New York, NY 10011-2120
Ann Northrop is co-treasurer of ACT UP New York, and is helping ACT UP Philadelphia's legal defense fund. This contribution is not tax deductible.
For news coverage, see the Independent Media Center, http://www.phillyimc.org. Also, the generally well regarded Philadelphia Inquirer has started to cover the protesters, as well as the views of the national law-enforcement anti-protest campaign, which appears to have developed in reaction to the events during the meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle.
ISSN # 1052-4207
Copyright 2000 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.
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