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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Getting gassed at the RNC set to reggae
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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Getting gassed at the RNC set to reggae

from firedoglake via alternet...

Photos by Lindsay Beyerstein of security forces tear-gassing a peaceful Poor Peoples March during the Republican National Convention, Sept. 2, 2008. Set to music by Junior Murvin.

Several activist groups held an outdoor press conference in St. Paul this morning to decry police brutality against peaceful protesters. Last night, police filed tear gas into a peaceful crowd on 7th Street when the group did not immediately scatter upon the order to disperse -- rapid egress was hampered by the fact that the the police had encircled groups of people and locked down intersections at both ends of the block.

The demonstrators were part of the Poor People's March. The March is not affiliated with the anarchist groups whose members destroyed property during a demonstration on Monday. When some anarchist protesters joined the procession, organizers asked them to leave or move to the back. They were concerned that the anarchists might cause trouble or attract unwanted police attention.

Willy J.R. Flemming, the director of security for PPM, told the press conference that he didn't see the anarchists confront the police at any time. Flemming is an organizer for the Coalition to Protect Public Housing and a trained UN human rights observer.

"I observed a lot of instigation and escalation of violence [on the part of the police]," Flemming said.

Flemming expressed frustration that the anarchists' tactics and the police response were overshadowing the march's human rights message.

"Instead of trying to convince the police that you're something, convince the people that you're there with them," Flemming said.

how appalling that this is happening in my country...

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