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Announcement :: DNC
Harassment of DNC Protesters Escalates
09 Jul 2004
** Emergency Press Release From Boston ** Please Forward Everywhere.

Despite the Boston Police Department's stated commitment to protect people's First Amendment rights during the DNC, the BPD has, in conjunction with other law enforcement officers in New York City, started a campaign of preemptive action that could chill protest participants' lawful speech activities during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) .
exclaim.jpg
** Press Release **

Friday, July 9, 2004

Contact: Boston Anarchist Black Cross Tania Vamont 617-492-0966 ABCboston-DNC04 (at) baamboston.org

Despite the Boston Police Department's stated commitment to protect people's First Amendment rights during the DNC, the BPD has, in conjunction with other law enforcement officers in New York City, started a campaign of preemptive action that could chill protest participants' lawful speech activities during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) .

The NYPD/FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force started an intimidation campaign against New York activists to prevent them from speaking out against the DNC. On Thursday, July 8, two officers visited the home of a New York City activist (referred to as "Tim" hereafter). They said that they acquired his name from the Boston Police Department, which has compiled a list of "troublemakers" who are coming to Boston. The officers said they plan to visit the homes of all so-called "troublemakers." (One of officers left his contact information, which is available upon request.)

At 7 p.m. the officers arrived at Tim's parents' house, where Tim resides during the summer. Tim was not home, but his parents talked to the officers. The officers had already done extensive surveillance on Tim, which included examining his medical and academic records, in addition to Tim's previous history with the police. The officers said they are expecting a large band of organized anarchists to come to Boston and destroy it, and proceeded to tell Tim's father that it was inadvisable for Tim to:

- engage in political activity in Boston - work with a named, "known anarchist organizer" in Boston - work with the Bl(A)ck Tea Society (The BTS is a non-violent group that has been organizing for the DNC for the past year. Planned events include those of protest and celebration, including a free outdoor festival with music, games and entertainment. For more information about the Bl(A)ck Tea Society, go to http://www.blackteasociety.org). - come to Boston to observe the DNC or get arrested during the DNC.

This type of intimidation and targeting of activists is illegal, unacceptable, and unfounded. Local organizers have seen a surge in efforts by police to create fear in the public and in organizers, demonizing political activists, creating an us-them dynamic and preemptively harassing activists so as to have a chilling effect on First Amendment rights. Both the Boston ABC and the National Lawyers Guild are appalled by the Boston Police Department's lack of commitment to its claims of protecting free speech.

About the Boston Anarchist Black Cross (ABC): The Boston Anarchist Black Cross is a prison abolition/prisoner support group affiliated with the Anarchist Black Cross Network ( http://www.anarchistblackcross.org ). We support those on the inside as well as working on issues of community defense. Boston ABC is helping support protesters arrested during the DNC. For more information, go to http://www.baamboston.org/abc/.
See also:
http://blackteasociety.org/
http://baamboston.org/

This work is in the public domain

Comments

Re: Harassment of DNC Protesters Escalates
09 Jul 2004
Thanks for this timely press release about major bullshit. I know that Fridays are often bad days to get coverage, so if it doesn't get picked up by media outlets, you may want to re-release it Monday morning.

While it certainly doesn't go as far as it should, I hope that folks will support the new Boston City Council resolution against police harassment and repression around the DNC. Sponsored by City Councilor Felix Arroyo, the resolution will be voted on this Wednesday, July 14. If it passes, it will help to shine a spotlight on security during the convention and make it a bit harder for this kind of bullshit to happen.

You can sign a petition in support of hte resolution at http://www.saveourcivilliberties.org/petition and most importantly, if youlive in Boston, call you City Councilors and tell them to back it! Contact info is at http://www.cityofboston.gov/citycouncil/default.asp with contact info for each Councilor along the right-hand side of the page.