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Val Susa: A summary of the struggle and an update on the imprisoned comrades (Italy)

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 A summary of the events in Val Susa

Various Italian governments have been trying to carry out the TAV (high speed railway) project for more than twenty years. In particular, what politicians and economic lobbies want to achieve is the construction of a high speed railway track linking Turin to Lyon, which will imply the ruin of one of the most beautiful mountain areas of the country, the Susa valley (Piedmont, northern Italy).

Since the early nineties, the people of the Val Susa valley have been opposing this project with all possible means. In fact, not only will the TAV destroy the natural beauty of the valley, its water sources and fauna but it will also imply the transformation of the area into an open construction yard for years on end, with further devastating consequences for the environment. While the propaganda of the regime has always stressed that the TAV is of paramount importance for economic development and therefore for the quality of people’s lives, the inhabitants of the Susa valley know very well that the new high speed trains are totally useless to their lives or to the ‘development’ of the valley. Among other things, to travel on such trains will be so expensive that only the very rich will be able to afford the cost. It is therefore pretty obvious that the TAV project will only benefit the interests of capital, increasing the speed of deadly businesses and enhancing only the development of a ‘civilization’ based on profits and exploitation.

The people of the valley and a great number of comrades all over the country have always showed their firm determination to stop this nth capitalist plan of devastation.

Countless of actions of sabotage against the machinery of the TAV have been carried out throughout all these years, small and big effective actions which have caused real disruption on the capitalist way of functioning and which needed no grandiose words of claim. Not to mention the numerous demos, blockages, occupation of yards that have characterized this relentless and tenacious struggle.

However, the economic and political interests at stake in the TAV are far too important for power. It’s not just the construction of a railway line that will speed up businesses. It’s also yet another way to impose conditions of exploitation and slavery, i.e. the very basis on which capital is founded and reproduces itself to the detriment of freedom, the environment and all that we care most.

This is why in 1998 a judiciary frame-up was orchestrated against anarchist comrades Edoardo Baleno, Soledad Rosas and Silvano Pellissero, all accused of belonging to a non existent subversive organization, which according to the judiciary was responsible for a great number of attacks on the TAV. Power needed a scapegoat to justify the existence of so many acts of sabotage whose authors couldn’t be identified.

Edoardo and Sole died while in detention. The official version of the events says that they committed suicide but we know even too well that these two comrades were murdered by the judges who accused them, the jailers who kept them locked up and the infamous and disgusting press campaign unleashed against them since the first day of their arrest.

It would be impossible to list here all the episodes of the struggle against the TAV.
For the moment we just mention the latest events such as the days of resistance against the occupation troops of the government in Val Susa (June and July 2011), the mass arrest of those who took part to those days of resistance (January 2012) and the attempt by the forces of order to murder Luca, a comrade who had climbed a pylon in Baita Clarea trying to block the ongoing military operation that also resulted in the expropriation of the comrade’s land (February 2012). Luca is still recovering in hospital.

As happened with Sole, Baleno and Silvano, solidarity with Luca and all those hit by repression while struggling against the TAV has expressed itself with force all over Italy and beyond. In this case too, it would be impossible to mention all the actions, demos, disruptions, etc that are still taking place in solidarity with Luca, the arrested comrades and the Val Susa struggle.

So we conclude this brief summary with the last update on the arrests of 26th January 2012.

Of the six comrades still detained in jail, Luca and Giorgio were released (May 2012) and are now under house arrest.
The comrades who are still being held in prison are:

Juan Antonio Sorroche Fernandez – Via Beccaria 13 – Spini di Gardolo – 38014 Trento – Italy.

Alessio Del Sordo – Lorusso Cotugno – Via Pianezza 300 – 10151 – Torino – Italy.

Maurizio FerrariMarcelo Damian Jara Marin – San Vittore – Piazza Filangeri 2 – 20123 – Milano – Italy.

THE VAL SUSA STRUGGLE CONTINUES
FREEDOM FOR
ALL

Filed under News Italy Anarchy Anarchism Arrest

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Chicago, IL: 2 more anarchists charged in separate explosives cases; also a bit info on the 2 informants “Moe” & “Gloves”

War On Society

Two Chicago men are in custody Sunday evening, charged in separate bomb-making schemes. Press investigators have been digging into their backgrounds. Prosecutors said the two men charged Sunday are involved in separate cases, not connected to each other, and not connected to the three men charged Saturday with building Molotov cocktails. They also said both men talked big about creating chaos, but in the end never actually built a bomb.

The press discovered one of the men was involved in a local chapter of an anarchist group, and has a past defending anarchists, communists and Black Bloc tactics.

Prosecutors said 24-year-old Sebastian Senakiewicz – who goes by the name “Sabi” – bragged he had a vehicle filled with explosives and was hiding other explosives in holed-out books, including a Harry Potter volume.

Police said none of the bombs actually exist.

“Sabi has stated that he’s an anarchist who is upset with the lack of chaos in Chicago,” prosecutor Jack Blakey said.

David Griffiths owns the home where Sabi was staying on the northwest side.

“Would I believe that he was walking around telling people that?” Griffiths asked. “That kid would tell you anything.”

Griffiths said he was just doing a favor for a friend – taking in their homeless, jobless son. On Thursday, Chicago police – armed with a warrant – literally knocked in the door of Griffiths’ northwest side home and hauled Sabi off to jail.

Among the personal effects Sabi left behind were buttons mocking Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Griffiths said Sabi wasn’t a big reader, and isn’t too bright.

“If he had two brain cells that were working good that day,” Griffiths said, “one of them was probably drunk.”

Mark Neiweem, 28, goes by “Migs.” He’s charged with soliciting explosives.

Prosecutors said he tried to get someone to buy him the parts to make a pipe bomb.

At Neiweem’s southwest side apartment building, the press found a circled “A” on his mailbox – the sign for anarchist.

“Migs also stated he needed PVC pipe, two PVC caps, PVC glue and several rocket engines in order to construct a pipe bomb,” Blakey said.

While the two cases are not related, defense attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild said both seem like setups by police.

“These two men were targeted without a doubt for their political beliefs,” National Lawyers Guild’s Sarah Gelsomino said.

“These are really serious problems that we all need to be addressing,” Steve Saltzman said, also with the guild. “Chicago shouldn’t be functioning like this.”

The press found websites indicating Neiweem was involved in a group called Anarchist Black Cross.

The website shows he was scheduled to deliver a speech called “Why This Isn’t Scary – Anarchy, Communism, Socialism and the Black Bloc” during a protest on April 7.

“It’s not illegal in this country to hold any political belief, even anarchy,” Gelsomino said.

While prosecutors said these cases are unrelated, defense attorneys say they believe they are linked by the police informants used to – in their words – set the men up.

Lawyers said the three charged with making Molotov cocktails after the Bridgeport raid, along with the two men charged Sunday, all had encounters with a man and woman.

They call themselves “Moe” and “Gloves,” self-described anarchist cousins who suddenly popped up in Chicago in early May.

Then made fast friends with all of the people charged over the past couple days.

“Moe and Gloves disappeared. And have not yet been seen,” Gelsomino said. “Through our own investigation talking to other people about what they remembered happening, we believe that those are the two who have been working for the police.”

Sabi was charged with falsely making a terrorist threat and is being held on a $750,000 bond.

Neiweem’s bond is $500,000. He was already on probation for punching a Chicago police officer in 2010.

Filed under News Anarchy Anarchism NATO Chicago Protest Arrest

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Portland, OR: Brief update on Pax, the comrade arrested Thursday

UPDATE 5/5 from freepax on facebook:

“We’ve paid Pax’s $4k bond! He’ll be out either very late tonight or very early tomorrow morning. More updates when we know more. (Bail was originally set at $360k, but reduced when 64 of the charges were abandoned.)”

SOURCE

On the morning of May 3rd over a dozen members of the Portland Police Department stormed a North Portland house and tore it apart on a warrant to indict our friend Bryan Michael Wiedeman (widely known as Pax) on 72 felony charges for “conspiracy to commit criminal mischief” and “criminal mischief” as apparently part of a two year grand jury investigation. The preposterousness of these charges (64 were dropped within a couple days), is clearly intended to terrorize and silence radical communities throughout the pacific northwest. But we’re going to show them how strong our solidarity is.

Pax had his first day in court Friday May 4th at 2pm, he was assigned a public defendant and the judge claimed there was probable cause for the 72 felony charges (despite the fact that 64 were dropped later that night). As of Saturday night following the reduction to only eight felony charges he’s been bailed out by supporters for $4000. His next court date will be Monday May 14th at 9am in the Portland Justice Center. Further updates, public announcement listserv, resources, calender and a direct donations jar to follow shortly. We have tshirts for preorder. Updates can also be found on his facebook support page.

Filed under News Anarchist Anarchism Arrest Portland Oregon

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now comes the hard part! – ANARCHISTS MARGINALIZED AS TERRORISTS

standing beside the comrades duped into an fbi bomb conspiracy

SOURCE

as if the job of marginalizing the anarchist movement in the u.s. was not already being championed by cowards within the occupy movement,  five bold, wreckless comrades have found themselves victims of a fraudulent bombing plot which the fbi engineered.

it is imperative not to let these brave, foolish comrades become isolated. more than anything else we must remember:

ATTACKS ON THE FASCIST/CORPORATE INFRASTRUCTURE ARE LEGITIMATE AND NECESSARY!

“There will be a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today!

if there is to be shit-talking and back-stabbing over this, let it be over our own cowardice that makes such an arrest an isolated incident. why are the prisons and jails not overflowing with captured comrades? why is our rebellion so weak that the government is not forced to release us as soon as they process us into their jails, for lack of space? naturally, we must all strive in our efforts to avoid being captured, but that should never stop us from doing that which we know must be done. circumstances are changing, and the government’s well-known explicit, and fully documented policy of pre-emptive strikes ensures that we cannot allow the militarized police forces to always push the attack. if not now, then when? even today may be too late.

IF THE INNOCENT DESERVE SUPPORT, THE GUILTY MUST NEVER BE IN DOUBT OF IT!

Demonization of Anarchism

In addition to a continuation of undercover informants and FBI-manufactured plots, this case also reflects on an-going focus on demonizing anarchists.

The government’s press release proclaims that the defendants are “self-proclaimed anarchists.” The affidavit notes that they attended anarchist protests and carried anarchist flags.

The affidavit also says that the defendants talked about anarchists “rioting and destroying each city” that holds May Day protests, and that it will be “off the hook.”

Demonizing anarchists has gone one for over a century, of course, but in recent years the rhetoric has dovetailed with “War on Terrorism” hysteria.

For example, in Scott Demuth’s case, the government argued that: “Defendant’s writings, literature, and conduct suggest that he is an anarchist and associated with the ALF movement. Therefore, he is a domestic terrorist.”

In another case, the government sought a high cash bond against environmentalist Hugh Farrell because “the defendant has been observed advocating literature and materials which advocate anarchy.”

It should come as no surprise, then, that the announcement of these arrests was carefully unveiled yesterday, so that the top news story this May Day would not be about howanarchists are preventing home foreclosures, starting community gardens, teaching collective organizing skills, and re-framing class consciousness, but about how they were part of an FBI-guided “terrorist plot.”

FBI Supplied the Anarchist “Terrorists” Arrested in May Day Plot

from green is the new red

the federal government will move to crush dissent at some point. do you know the story of may day?

Commemorating the Fight
for the Eight-Hour Workday
The fight for the eight-hour workday began in earnest in the United States, over a century ago, when the Knights of Labor adopted an historic resolution asserting that “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1st, 1886.” Up until that time, working people were routinely required to work 10 to 16 hours a day, 6 days a week!In the months prior to May 1st, 1886, American workers in the hundreds of thousands were drawn into the struggle for the shorter day. Skilled and unskilled, black and white, men and women, native-born and immigrant – all became involved.In Chicago alone 400,000 were out on strike for the shorter workday. A newspaper of that city reported that “…no smoke curled up from the tall chimneys of the factories and mills, and things had assumed a Sabbath-like appearance.” On May 3, 1886, peaceful public demonstrations by the strikers precipitated violent police retaliation, resulting in the death of at least one striker, and serious injury to many more.The next day in Haymarket Square a public meeting was held to protest the brutal assaults on the demonstrating strikers. The crowd was orderly, and Chicago mayor Carter Harrison advised the police captain to send home the large contingent of police reservists who were waiting at the stationhouse in case they were needed for crowd control.By ten o’clock that rainy evening the meeting was winding down and only about 200 of the demonstrators remained in the Square. Suddenly, a police column of 180 men, led by the police captain, moved in and ordered the people to disperse immediately. At that moment, the peaceful assembly became violent – a bomb was thrown into the police ranks, killing one policeman outright, fatally wounding six more, and seriously injuring about seventy. The police opened fire into the crowd; the number of wounded and killed has never been ascertained.

A reign of terror swept over Chicago. The press and the pulpit called for revenge, insisting the bomb was the work of socialists and anarchists. Meeting halls, union offices, printing works, and private homes were raided, and known socialists and anarchists were rounded up. Even many individuals who had no connections at all to the socialists or anarchists were arrested and tortured. “Make the raids first and look up the law afterwards,” was the public statement of Julius Grinnell, the state’s attorney.

from THE EIGHT-HOUR WORKDAY
i just noticed that the article reposted above gave credit for the chicago general strike to the afl, which did not exist at the time. the afl is the weakest, most business-friendly union on earth, outside fascist countries, which generally have a state-run labor union. if it were no for the knights of labor and the iww, i doubt we’d have won the right to the eight-hour workday in the u.s. 

Filed under News Anarchy Anarchism Arrest Terrorism

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You Can’t Occupy This

The government says the anti-protest bill was just a small tweak of the existing law. Don’t believe it.

By Dahlia Lithwick and Raymond Vasvari

In post-Occupy America, it’s often hard to know whether new citizen protest laws signal the end of free speech or a mere tweak of the machine. That looks to be the case with the new anti-protest bill that passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly two weeks ago and was signed into law by the president soon thereafter. On its face, the new legislation doesn’t change a whole lot. Yet the Occupy protesters are in an uproar that the bill both targets them and also signals a radical shift in free speech law. Almost nobody else seems to have noticed it at all. Who’s right?

That all depends on what you want to protest and where.

H.R. 347, benignly titled the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act, passed the House 399-3. Such a lopsided vote suggests that nobody in Congress is bothered by this, on either side of the aisle. When President Obama signed it on March 8,  almost nobody seems to have cared.

Simply put, the way the bill will “improve” public grounds is by moving all those unsightly protesters elsewhere. The law purports to update an old law, Section 1752 of Title 18 of the United States Code, that restricted areas around the president, vice president, or any others under the protection of the Secret Service. The original law was enacted in 1971 and amended in 2006. At first blush, the big change here is that while the old law made it a federal offense to “willfully and knowingly” enter a restricted space, now prosecutors need only show that you did it “knowingly”—that you knew the area was restricted, even if you didn’t know it was illegal to enter the space. This has been characterized in some quarters as a small technical change that hardly warrants an arched eyebrow, much less a protest.

But it’s important to understand what has changed since the original law was enacted in 1971, because it shows how much a tiny tweak to the intent requirement in a statute can impact the free speech of everyone.

For one thing, the law makes it easier for the government to criminalize protest. Period. It is a federal offense, punishable by  up to 10 years in prison to protest anywhere the Secret Service might be guarding someone. For another, it’s almost impossible to predict what constitutes disorderly or disruptive conduct or what sorts of conduct authorities deem to “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of Government business or official functions.”

The types of events and individuals warranting Secret Service protection have grown exponentially since the law was enacted in 1971. Today, any occasion that is officially defined as a National Special Security Event calls for Secret Service protection. NSSE’s can include basketball championships, concerts, and the Winter Olympics, which have nothing whatsoever to do with government business, official functions, or improving public grounds. Every Super Bowl since 9/11 has been declared an NSSE.

And that brings us to the real problem with the change to the old protest law.  Instead of turning on a designated place, the protest ban turns on what persons and spaces are deemed to warrant Secret Service protection. It’s a perfect circle: The people who believe they are important enough to warrant protest can now shield themselves from protestors.  No wonder the Occupy supporters are worried.  In the spirit of “free speech zones,” this law creates another space in which protesters are free to be nowhere near the people they are protesting.

Consider that more than 6,700 people have been arrested at Occupy events since last September.  Thus, while these changes to the law are not the death of free speech, they aren’t as trivial as the administration would have you believe.  Rather, they are part of an incremental and persistent effort by the government to keep demonstrators away from events involving those at the top of the political food chain.  

Read more …

Filed under News Commentary Occupy Free Speech OWS arrest

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Palestinian intellectual Salameh Kaileh arrested in Syria: lawyer

SOURCE

Prominent Palestinian activist and writer Salameh Kaileh was arrested overnight at his home in Damascus by Syrian authorities, human rights lawyer Anwar Bunni said on Tuesday.

“The security services entered Kaileh’s home in the suburb of Barzeh at 2:00 am (2300 GMT Monday) and arrested him without explanation,” said Bunni.

He said Kaileh’s detention was clearly intended to “muzzle freedom of expression.” 

The 57-year-old author, born in Birzeit in the West Bank, is a well-known leftist who has authored a number of books on subjects ranging from Marxism to Arab nationalism.

He was imprisoned by the Syrian government in the 1990s for eight years.

Bunni, who heads the Syrian Centre for Legal Studies and Research, called for Kaileh’s immediate release.

He accused the regime of also targeting doctors known to be providing aid to those wounded in the government crackdown against a 13-month revolt that has left more than 9,000 people dead according to the United Nations.

“The Syrian authorities are not content to violate human rights on all levels, or to pursue and arrest those who denounce their violations, they also are working to stop all who treat the victims of those violations,” the lawyer said.

Filed under News Palestine Activism Arrest Israel West Bank Syria

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Drone Protesters Preemptively Arrested Before Reaching Hancock Air Force Base

By: Kevin Gosztola

Twenty-eight protesters were preemptively arrested in DeWitt, New York as they tried to reach Hancock Air Force Base for a demonstration outside the gates against the use of drones. The protesters were charged with “failing to obtain a town permit,” according to the Post-Standard.

Concerned citizens from Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Binghamton, Syracuse, Rome and Albany had planned a “Peace Walk” to the base, where Reaper drones are present. They planned to protest “murderous use” of drones, which violates international law, just as they did last year. But the group reached an intersection near a commercial strip mall and about ten sheriff’s cars pulled out to block the road.

In the parking lot was a Greyhound bus for arrestees. The police began grabbing people and saying everyone was under arrest. Debra Sweet, director of the World Can’t Wait, reported the police in the town of DeWitt were issuing all sorts of orders. It was confusing. They were saying you could put down your signs and go back to where you came and avoid arrest. They also were saying anyone walking away would be charged with resisting arrest.

Sandy Kessler, who is from Rochester, said anyone walking on the road with a sign would be arrested.

I said, what if I put my sign back? He said no you will get arrested. I said why? He said there can be no individual protests, no group protests. You don’t have a permit. Well, nobody really ever gets a permit. Last year, with the big one where thirty-eight people got arrested, yes, we got a permit. But we just decided we really didn’t need a permit. This is America.

Everyone there to demonstrate got together and forced the head sheriff to explain what was going on. Sweet said the sheriff explained in DeWitt “you are not allowed to have any sort of gatherings for any reason with signs and to parade in the street without permit.” After about five to ten minutes of negotiations, he backed off.

“It is apparent that many of you didn’t know a permit was required, he told the demonstrators. And, if you make the choice to leave you will not be arrested. But, at least ten people found this all completely unacceptable. They challenged the police and kept on heading toward the base and were arrested.

The police were not in riot gear. All of the people there were videotaped. Everyone who parked where they customarily park for vigil protests received parking citations, according to Sweet.

Kessler said this has “been going on for years since we found out there have been drones flying out of there.” She told Upstate Drone Action she saw police and military high-fiving.

These were arrests “based on prior knowledge of our plans and on the content of our message,” contended Sweet. She added I am sure if we had held a support rally for the Air Force or for drones they would not have treated us like this at all.

Reportedly three people who were arrested had their phones confiscated. Two people had their video cameras confiscated. A person had their phone and video camera confiscated. They were given receipts but their property was not returned, even though they were released with a citation. The citation read, “No permit.”

Read more …

Filed under News Protest Arrest Drones UAV Air Force New York militarism

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New repression wave – Four anarchists detained and investigated for solidarity actions – ‘Memori Senja’ shut down (Indonesia)

Side Note: Sorry for the sudden influx of posts; I’ve been reading this stuff through out the past two days and finally had time to share them here on Tumblr.
_____________________________________________________________________

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On the night of Friday, April 20, 2012, four people were arrested by police when comrades are doing acts of vandalism as a form of solidarity against a variety of asymmetric struggle against the state, capital and society and solidarity to the imprisoned revolutionary combatants (Billy & Eat, Tukijo and Hidayat). The four comrades were detained and underwent a long interrogation for 17 hours without stopping before then released while still in the surveillance and investigation of the police.

During interrogation, the police force four comrades to mention Facebook address each of the accused as a “communication tool” of internal “group of troublemakers and bullies the social order”.

They also were asked about their relationship with the combatants in the jail (Billy & Eat, Tukijo and Hidayat- just released from the prison now), then how do they communicate with our comrades in prison (whether via phone, email or other medium), name of group or network in which they are involved and how these groups communicate, and other silly things related activities each captured comrades.

Equipment used for this action were seized as evidence such as spray paint, solidarity poster for Billy & Eat, Tukijo and Hidayat, poster for local anti-mine resistance at Tambak Bayan. Another posters who follow the seizure is reads “POLICE KILLER”, “DESTROY MINE”, “FUCK SOCIETY”.

The police then connect these acts of vandalism by an anarchist webblog calledMemori Senja (http://memorisenja.blogspot.com/) and trying to find out who is the admin of the web. Web Memori Senja now no longer accessible online.

Later on Monday, April 23, 2012, the four comrades must face another interrogation again.

For each of us in NEGASI, this is a continuation of the repression against the rise of a new generation of anarchists in Indonesia. Although each of us vowed never retreat, but we still expect solidarity from the other comrades every where in every forms.

Long live the rebels!
Long live anarchy!

Filed under News Anarchy indonesia Arrest resistance Anarchism Facebook 420

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Peace activists in failed bid to swarm NATO HQ

SOURCE

Police arrest some of 500 peace activists from more than 10 European countries

Hundreds of peace activists on Sunday tried in vain to break into the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels, with 483 of them arrested by police.

The demonstration, organised by the Belgian association Action for Peace two months before a NATO summit in Chicago, was called to protest the alliance’s intervention in Afghanistan and Libya, and nuclear arming.

"No demonstrator was able to enter NATO headquarters," spokesman for Brussels police, Christian De Coninck, told AFP. “We detained 483 people for questioning and all of them should be free in the evening.”

De Coninck said no one was hurt and no damage was reported.

Demonstrators crossed fields and sought to climb over fences leading to the NATO compound, but were stopped by a large police presence, some on horseback, according to an AFP reporter at the scene.

"We neither want the anti-missile shield, nor intervention by NATO in Libya or Afghanistan, nor nuclear bombs that are illegal in our country," said Benoit Calvi, a spokesman for Action for Peace.

Demonstrators shouted “No more NATO”, “We want peace now” and “NATO Game Over”.

"A military alliance that intervenes all over the world and has nuclear weapons is a threat to world peace," said Action for Peace.

Some “500 to 600 policemen” were deployed to counter the demonstration, a policeman said.

Demonstrators, most of them in their twenties, were from Belgium but also arrived from Britain, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey.

Those stopped by the police were made to sit in lines with their hands tied behind their back.

In March 2008, about 1,000 peace activists had mounted a similar operation to mark the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. At the time police detained 450 people.

A year later, another attempt to storm NATO headquarters on the 60th anniversary of the military alliance ended with the arrest of 442 people.

Filed under News Chicago NATO Summit Arrests Protest Activism Occupy Police State Free Speech War Arrest Belgium Britain Finland France Germany Spain Sweden Turkey OTAN

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Supreme Court Ruling Allows Strip-Searches for Any Arrest

Via NYT

 The Supreme Court on Monday ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense, however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, joined by the court’s conservative wing, wrote that courts are in no position to second-guess the judgments of correctional officials who must consider not only the possibility of smuggled weapons and drugs, but also public health and information about gang affiliations.

“Every detainee who will be admitted to the general population may be required to undergo a close visual inspection while undressed,” Justice Kennedy wrote, adding that about 13 million people are admitted each year to the nation’s jails.

The procedures endorsed by the majority are forbidden by statute in at least 10 states and are at odds with the policies of federal authorities. According to a supporting brief filed by the American Bar Association, international human rights treaties also ban the procedures.

The federal appeals courts had been split on the question, though most of them prohibited strip-searches unless they were based on a reasonable suspicion that contraband was present. The Supreme Court did not say that strip-searches of every new arrestee were required; it ruled, rather, that the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches did not forbid them.

Daron Hall, the president of the American Correctional Association and sheriff of Davidson County, Tenn., said the association welcomed the flexibility offered by the decision. The association’s current standards discourage blanket strip-search policies.

Read more …

Filed under News Supreme Court Police State Jail Prison Arrest Human Rights Totalitarianism intimidation strip search naked nude law

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