ACTION NEEDED! WTO Protesters Denied Civil and Human Rights
WTO PROTESTERS HAVE THEIR CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATED! PROTESTERS BRUTALIZED, DENIED MEDICAL ATTENTION, DENIED ACCESS TO FOOD, WATER AND LEGAL COUNSEL.
DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF THE APPROXIMATELY 600 PEACEFUL PROTESTERS ILLEGALLY ARRESTED BY SEATTLE POLICE IN ANTI-WTO DEMONSTRATIONS! DEMAND ALL CHARGES BE DROPPED!
CALL AND EMAIL SEATTLE MAYOR PAUL SCHELL 206-684-4000 firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL AND EMAIL SEATTLE POLICE CHIEF NORM STAMPER 206-684-5577 email@example.com
CALL AND EMAIL WASHINGTON STATE GOVERNOR GARY LOCKE 360-753-6780 firstname.lastname@example.org
TELL THEM THAT WTO OR NOT - THE U.S. CONSTITUTION STILL APPLIES!
The world has watched as tens of thousands of non-violent protesters have filled the streets of Seattle in a historic confrontation between civil society and the corporate rule of the World Trade Organization. Resistance to the anti-democratic rules of the WTO has unified activists from many movements and from around the world to galvanize a new movement to challenge corporate domination of the planet.
Tuesday November 30th, the first day of the WTO ministerial meeting, Seattle was faced with one of the most effective mass direct actions in recent history. Thousands of people organized themselves into blockades and shut down every entrance to the meeting site, forcing the cancellation of the WTO's opening ceremonies.
The police were completely overwhelmed by this mass citizen's uprising and despite its peaceful character responded with raw brutality. Thousands of non-violent protesters were teargassed, pepper sprayed, bombarded with concussion grenades and shot with plastic bullets. Despite the shocking amount of force used by the police, demonstrators held the streets throughout the duration of the day.
That night Seattle Mayor Paul Schell and Washington State Governor Gary declared a 7 pm curfew and mobilized the National Guard. On Wednesday December 1 the city of Seattle awoke to discover their constitutional rights had been cancelled overnight. The center of Seattle around the WTO meeting had been declared a "no-protest zone" where anyone who exercised their right to free speech or peaceful assembly was subject to immediate arrest.
Undaunted by the "state of emergency" (aka martial law) demonstrators traveled to early morning assembly points but were met by police check points where signs, banners, cell phones and communications equipment was illegally confiscated. Still demonstrators refused to give in and marched into the "no-protest zone" where hundreds were arrested, many after being pepper sprayed or teargassed numerous times.
Many of these courageous activists are still being held. Their civil and human rights have been blatantly violated. Many were kept on police buses overnight, denied access to medical attention, denied food and water and denied legal counsel for over 24 hours. They need our help. The officials behind these monstrous actions must be held accountable. Call and email them and demand that the protesters be immediately released and that all charges be dropped.
DEFEND DEMOCRACY BY DENOUNCING POLICE BRUTALITY AND MARTIAL LAW!
SAMPLE EMAIL (cut and paste into new message) - or express your outrage in your own words!
Dear Mayor Schell/Governor Locke/Police Chief Stamperg
I am shocked and outraged to see the atrocious way your administration has treated the tens of thousands of non-violent anti-WTO protesters. It is simply unacceptable in a democratic and free society to use tear gas, pepper spray and plastic bullets against peaceful protesters who are exercising their constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. The fact that the Seattle police force continues to violate the basic civil and human rights of the hundreds of protesters still in custody is equally distasteful. By leaving protestors on buses overnight and denying them access to food, water, medical attention and legal consul your police force has violated some of the most basic traditions upon which are legal system is based.
I demand that you immediately release all of the protesters and drop all of the charges against them. I also demand that you resign from your office to show your acknowledgement that your repressive treatment of non-violent protesters is an embarrassment to all Americans and the democratic principles on which this country was founded.
Source: Rainforest Action Network 12/4/99