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voyager12

CMPD disturbs the peace at Human Rights Fest

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The Human Rights Fest on the Square was a great success last Saturday from all the reports I hear. Unfortunately, near the end of the event, CMPD claimed that the gathering violated the noise ordinance and went on to reenact Battle of Seattle Police tactics in Uptown. I was traveling this time but have participated in many past anti war streetside protests in Uptown and citywide that went on without any problems. As a member of the Local Action Center for Justice I can say that we are not violent extremists and the nature of this event was to promote peaceful coexistence among diverse groups. One of those arrested was hospitalized and suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung. An online petition urging dropping of all charges against the innocent protestors arrested has garnered over 800 signatures in less than 36 hours and is available to sign @ www.petitiononline.com/thefive . A Bush Impeachment Rally featuring speakers and bands is being held at Freedom Park from 1:00 to 6:30 on Saturday. On Oct 5 we are going back to The Square to hold an Anti-War and Right Wing Theocracy Rally from 6:00 to 8:00 whether the CMPD likes it or not. Please try to attend both or either of the events if you agree with our cause, if you don't I would respect your right to hold an opposing viewpoint sign and you can just get arrested with the rest of us rofl:

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It's very disturbing at how the law enforcement resources are being turned against citizens exercising their First Amendment rights. Oh I forgot, Bush wants to suspend those rights. Silly me.

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One would think that the protestors would be thrilled that police fulfilled their role in the stereotype.

Gee, now Bush will really take notice and get out of Iraq.

This was all very effective.

I can't wait until there are peace protests against the violence in inner city neighborhoods.

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The Human Rights Fest on the Square was a great success last Saturday from all the reports I hear. Unfortunately, near the end of the event, CMPD claimed that the gathering violated the noise ordinance and went on to reenact Battle of Seattle Police tactics in Uptown. I was traveling this time but have participated in many past anti war streetside protests in Uptown and citywide that went on without any problems. As a member of the Local Action Center for Justice I can say that we are not violent extremists and the nature of this event was to promote peaceful coexistence among diverse groups. One of those arrested was hospitalized and suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung. An online petition urging dropping of all charges against the innocent protestors arrested has garnered over 800 signatures in less than 36 hours and is available to sign @ www.petitiononline.com/thefive . A Bush Impeachment Rally featuring speakers and bands is being held at Freedom Park from 1:00 to 6:30 on Saturday. On Oct 5 we are going back to The Square to hold an Anti-War and Right Wing Theocracy Rally from 6:00 to 8:00 whether the CMPD likes it or not. Please try to attend both or either of the events if you agree with our cause, if you don't I would respect your right to hold an opposing viewpoint sign and you can just get arrested with the rest of us rofl:

well crap, i typed something quite savy but it disappeared - oh well. Is it cool to be promoting political causes on the urban planet boards? I have some stuff to promote as well and I just dont want to be banned for posting - can a mod advise?

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The CMPD's ridiculous overreaction did give us more publicity. Hopefully we will attract even more people to Freedom Park on Saturday. I am a realist and know that impeaching Bush is more of a statement expressing anger over the whole Iraq mess and other issues than a likely goal. Expressing your own beliefs is what is so great about this country and this right is rapidly dissapearing. Under today's administration anyone who disagrees or protests against the war is automatically a terrorist supporter and unamerican. Instead of fighting so called "Islamic Fascism" ( which is insulting because Islam is a peaceful religion) our government is what is becoming Fascist.

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^ i agree with you about the rights to protest (i even agree with your reason). however, islam like christianity and all religions cannot claim to be peaceful. perhaps, they are intended to be so... but human interpretation always screws that up. which is what often happens @ protest marches. i went to a march in D.C. after 9/11.... i was blown away by the cahotic nature of the protestors. i'm not saying that is what happened uptown last week, because i know that police often act agressively, pre-emptively. i also know that i have seen a few people of protest just salivating for chaos to break out. i hope the protest @ freedom park is peaceful and successful... i'm thinking about going to it as i believe in the cause.

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MovingUptown, I am hardly an authority on great behavior on here. I have gotten in hot water a bunch of times. I am doing better lately though:) If you are careful not to flamethrow or personally insult someone, I think The Coffee House is the place for various topics. So you can post liberal, conservative, or any other viewpoint as long as its respectful. I hope you attend Cinco. The event was permitted and planned months ago, we are not doing anything illegal and the recent Peace Vigil at the Freedom Park Bandshell went off without a hitch. Heck, its just nice that I don't have to haul it to Asheville or Chapel Hill to get my activist itch scratched this time!

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Its a protest! I think teh "peaceful" descriptor is supposed to convey that those gathered aren't there to physically hurt someone to display their discontent with whatever they are protesting against. But the teeth of this type of protest are removed if its simply a city sanctioned quiet affair where people hold signs for a few hours then go home & watch tv. The entire civil rights movement was about disruption, causing people to pause & think, and yes often times breaking unjust laws and rules designed to disrupt the assembly of people trying to call attention to various injustices. Its not supposed to be "pretty & sweet" and it has never been.

I read the statements in the paper about this event. The cops say that someone set a fire an officers feet. Not cool. But who knows is this is a true statement or not. I will say though Voyager, that "peaceful" protesters are often the victims of the agents of state & government and other citizens "violently protesting" back. Even the children in the civil rights movement had to take their lumps and feel the hoses, billy clubs, and dog bites, and far far worse. Its not right but nobody said it was supposed to be easy. The response of the citizens of Charlotte to this event and the behavior of the hired agents who are supposed to be working on their behalf will in the end be the determining factor.

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I read the statements in the paper about this event. The cops say that someone set a fire an officers feet. Not cool.

I read that and wondered how does one "set fire" to someone else's feet? Personally, though I might be slower than I used to be, I think i could move in time to avoid a person lighting a fire. Not saying someone might have had some type of incindiary, but they didn't say that, they said someone set fire to his feet. What the h*ll does that mean?

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^ right. i am believer in civil disobedience, breaking unjust laws, and giving cause for people to really take a hard look into issues that people feel strongly about. but, i think history shows that the most successful causes have been championed by non-violent movements. when people start throwing rocks and tossing the cocktail bombs... the cause often loses credibility and doesn't win over any opposition. all this can be argued, and of course violence sometimes seems inevitable... but, @ a human rights fest or peace rally it seems proposterous. turning the other cheek truly is divine... sometimes, even beyond my comprehension.

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I read that and wondered how does one "set fire" to someone else's feet? Personally, though I might be slower than I used to be, I think i could move in time to avoid a person lighting a fire. Not saying someone might have had some type of incindiary, but they didn't say that, they said someone set fire to his feet. What the h*ll does that mean?

wow. this sounds like somebody is bending the truth. i heard from a friend who attended that one of the protesters had set a small effigy on fire only to be stomped out by a policeman. could this be what they are refferring to? if that is real version of events that is being reported - then thats laughable. i guess that would explain how a foot got "set fire" to.

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We have been doing peace protests and vigils since the war began all over town and the best coverage we could ever get was a mini blurb in CL. Funny how the media works....Anyhow, someone lit a newspaper and dropped it in front of this security guard from the Marriot who went down there because of a "supposed" noise complaint from the hotel. Today's article also stated that it was immediately doused by other protestors. It was a stupid move but no one was in any great danger at any time. And its not like we went on a rampage and trashed Starbucks or something. We are not anarchists. The police in Uptown are on a hairtrigger because of the 4th of July melee so they put the heat on us as well. The group is a mix of married couples, grandmas, black,white, gay and straight etc etc. We have held signs and sung songs at many major intersections and don't harass people. There is going to be a great rally at Freedom Park on Saturday. And I learned today that we were granted another permit to protest in the same location where this "incident" occurred from 6-8 on Thursday of next week. So come out and judge for yourself. While I think the police conduct was inexcusable, I am glad to see that it has sparked greater recognition of the growing anti-war/progressive movement in Charlotte. It ain't easy to build one here :ph34r:

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And its not like we went on a rampage and trashed Starbucks or something. We are not anarchists.

Because that would most certainly be anarchy!! :D

Honestly, though, I have seen your protests, one on East Blvd, and it is a far cry from anything that even needs a police presence. I do agree, however, that the media coverage might be a good thing. A protest needs attention, the media garners attention. Maybe the media will come to the next events hoping to get some "action" but in the end just getting the word out. I'll be gone this weekend, but I hope you have a huge turn-out.

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I heard from a friend who attended that one of the protesters had set a small effigy on fire only to be stomped out by a policeman. could this be what they are refferring to?
Well technically I could see how this would be more than enough of an excuse for the police to start swinging. These days they really don't need much of an excuse.

I thought this was interesting (from the Charlotte Observer)

He said the band began to incite protesters by saying things such as "F--- the police, f--- the pigs."

Protesters have a right to exercise First Amendment rights to free speech, Adkins said. But, he added, when the language is likely to trigger a violent response, it's no longer protected speech.

So basically he's equating a chant of "F--- the police" to shouting "fire" in a crowded movie threatre. That's an interesting debate.

The paper said there was a larger turnout than normal Do you have an estimate of how many turned up?

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Hmm. It's probably been 30 years since I have heard the police referred to as "The Pigs" and then only in reference to the war and civil rights protests of the 60s.

I recommend that during future protests, one or two people be assigned to videotape the whole thing. And do it discretely, because there is currently a guy in jail in San Francisco for filming the protest of the G8 summit who refused to turn his tape over to federal authorities. That story is here.

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When protests of any sort gain greater media notoriety they tend to attract some participants that could care less about the goal of the action. They only want to cause mayhem and start altercations with the authorities. They don't represent the majority of the protestors but in the media and public eye its all the same. The perception is that the entire group is violent, which is a shame. I don't think whatever happened last week rose to that level but its something to watch out for. Recorded proof is a good idea. So risky these days though. The government is empowered with all kinds of Big Brotherish surveillance tactics but god forbid a citizen brings out a camera or video recorder...and its off to a secret prison or Gitmo with you!

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It is really sad that these discussions have to happen at all. Freedom of Speech is suspeded if that speech is likely to incite violence? What a wonderful open definition, as hard to interpret and easy to manipulate as all other government actions of late.

Scary stuff.

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Overall, I have to say that the Freedom Park rally on Saturday went very well. It was an all afternoon thing so the crowd ebbed and flowed but there was a lot of great energy and a feeling of community. I hope the protest at Trade&Tryon from 6-8 on Thursday goes just as well or better.

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What do you expect from CMPD? The majority of them were low class, uneducated, intolerant and rude bullies that abuse their power. Black, white, hispanic, all races... they are equal oppurtunity basterds.

A human rights organizition, no doubt in my mind are not the type of people that resort to violence nor do they start trouble. Im sorry for those people who were arrested by those inhuman jerks.

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The Charlotte Action Center for Justice is sponsoring an Anti War Protest on Saturday the 28th as part of "The National Day of Action". We will be on the corner of South and East Blvd's across from Fuel starting at 5:00. Come work the corner with us rofl: If you are of a like mind, gatherings like these can be wonderfully cathartic and unifying experiences. There should be extra signs available to wave if you don't have one. Expect a mixture of curses, and getting flicked off. Although all streetside protests I have been to ended with supportive beeps and other shows of support outweighing the negative vibes :thumbsup: There is a benefit concert at Tremont Music Hall afterwards, $12 at etix.com

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