If I still lived in Virginia, I would so vote for this guy, Brad Blanton. He wrote a book called Radical Honesty that a lot of people say good things about. I am really suprised to see someone from my old home state that isn’t a tobacco farmer, lobbyist, corporate whore, televangelist or some other occuptation that puts them far right of reality. There is hope for Virgina yet. Check out Blanton’s ‘uncampaign’ video.
Hey Bay Area freaks! The No George Bush Tribe decided to hold a fundraiser party for IndyVoter.org. It’s April 10th at Lit (formerly Pow), located at 101 6th Street @ Mission in San Francisco. Speakers from 8-10pm, bands and Bush mashups after! Also, How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office books will be available. Come on down and find out what the League of Pissed-off Voters and IndyVoter is all about.
UPDATE 1/15/14: After almost 10 years, the lawsuits that arose from this event are finally settled. A sort of hollow victory, as the NYPD admits no liability, even though that’s quite obviously complete bullshit. Thanks to the NYCLU for doing the hard work of seeing this through.
Thanks for the amazing outpouring of support. I was released Thursday, September 2nd at around noon after being detained for 40 hours. I was one of 1200 people arrested in a 4-hour period on Tuesday night during RNC week in New York City. I, along with many others were not actively engaging in civil disobedience or otherwise doing anything other than walking down a sidewalk taking pictures. The police penned in a whole block near Union Square and arrested everyone within. We were all taken to Pier 57, now infamously being called Guantanamo on the Hudson due to it’s chain link fencing and razor wire. Most of us were held there for at least 12 hours under filthy and crowded conditions. The place had been a former city bus garage. The cement floor has accumulated years of motor oil, diesel fuel, antifreeze and who knows what other chemicals. During my stay, there were few benches in the smaller cages and none at all in the larger cage. People were forced to lie down on the bare toxic concrete to try and sleep away the hours. After some processing, we were taken by prison bus to Central Booking aka The Tombs. The next 28 hours were an endless series of shuffling from cell to cell, multiple searches, subhuman food, mind control and frustration. It wasn’t until 20 hours into the process that I was allowed a phone call and not until the end of my 40 order hour ordeal was I able to see a lawyer and soon thereafter, a judge. I was charged with 2 counts of Disorderly Conduct and one count of Parading Without a Permit as were many others. These charges are violations and normally warrant an on the spot Desk Appearance Ticket. It was quite obvious to me that the intent of holding us so long was to keep us off the street as long as possible. A New York State Supreme Court justice ruled the city is in contempt for holding us so long and may be fining the city $1000 per head ($500k) for doing so. I walked away with an ACD, Adjournment of Contemplation for Dismissal, which means no conviction, no fines and the record is sealed as long as I don’t get arrested for the same offense within the next 6 months.
There is talk of class action suits to address the toxic conditions at Pier 57 and the ridiculous & illegal amount of time we were held. Everyone is encouraged to document their experiences as soon as possible while it is still fresh. The more documentation we have, the easier it will be to backup any claims that arise.
If you have any questions or comments regarding what happened to me, feel free to drop me a line and I will do my best to address them. If you were also locked up during this time, please contact me and say hi. I’m trying to maintain connections with as many people as possible that has gone through this.
Click below to read the long story. It’s a detailed account of my 40 hour experience.
Read More “Political Prisoner in NYC”
photo by Edgar Mata
Nice piece in the New York Times today about the city’s arrest and detainment tactics. A couple of things worth commenting on.
Led by a vigorous defense from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, city officials say they did their best under a sudden and extraordinary flood of arrests, acknowledging that bystanders may have been swept up. Lawyers for a number of protesters say what the city did amounted to illegal preventive detention, a calculated effort to limit the chances of confrontation and possible embarrassment.
No maybes about it! I along with at least 100+ people from my arrest location fit this description. The police made no effort to discern protesters from people just standing on the sidewalk waltching. This was common all over the city on August 31. Had they made this effort, arrest numbers would no doubt be smaller.
What is clear now – from interviews, a review of newly released city and state records, and a decision from a previously undisclosed court hearing – is that the city’s new system for speedy processing of mass arrests failed its first major test that week.
If this is a new system, you New Yorkers are fucked. Their “system” was archaic and designed to be as slow as humanly possible. Everything in Pier 57 was done manually, repetetively and with seemingly no coherent order or process. Not even the arresting officers had much of a clue as to what was next.
At least one of the city’s major justifications for delays in releasing protesters is not supported by state records. In addition, the city chose not to abide by a state judge’s direct order to grant lawyers immediate access to their clients. When another judge gave deadlines for the release of certain prisoners who had been held at length, top city officials repeatedly came back to court to report that they could not track the prisoners down in time. There were 1,781 arrests in all.
Not surprising at all. It wasn’t until several hours into the process that I was officially “logged” into the system. I had friends calling the central booking number for well over 24 hours who couldn’t find out if I was being held.
Mr. Bloomberg has said that the office of Robert M. Morgenthau, the Manhattan district attorney, had declined to prosecute only three of the arrests. The district attorney “obviously thinks we behaved correctly and arrested the right people,” Mr. Bloomberg said.
Complete and utter bullshit! Tell that to the 15 year old kid walking out of Macy’s, tell that to young woman walking down Broadway meeting her parents for dinner, tell that to the foreign tourists who were as clueless as the cops about what was happening. New Yorkers should fire Bloomberg. He is so out of touch with reality.
Mr. Bloomberg said that the city wanted to move faster in getting people out of jail, but that the police were stymied by an extraordinarily high number of arrests, including hundreds made within several hours on the Tuesday of convention week.
Yo Mike! Make an effort to arrest people BREAKING THE LAW next time and maybe you won’t be so STYMIED.
Deputy Chief John J. Colgan, who oversaw the operations of the mass arrest facility at the West Side pier, said each prisoner went through an intricate, careful process.
Yes, we went through a careful process of waiting, milling around, sleeping on motor oil, waiting some more, being shuffled from cage to cage, again waiting, being searched four times as well as carefully watching hundreds of officers sitting at picnic tables hand copying their triplicate carbon arrest forms.
Anyway, read the whole thing for yourself. I’m glad to see the Times actually following up on this. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens during the contempt hearings and ensuing class actions.
The activist resource social network known as Indyvoter.org has achieved flaccid soft launch. Hard launch is expected soon. Just a few more long intimate nights of coding by the dev team. Check it out. Create an account, explore people, communities, events, and voter guides. Gimme feedback. Seriously, we need it. And yeah, we know it’s slow. Do you know how to optimize a MySQL RDF object store? Yeah? We NEED you, and you don’t know it yet but you need US. And you’ll soon be eating Zante’s for free for as long as you like. If you’ve got the skillz, we gotta connect!