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(en) US, Calls Need to Stanislaus DA for Charges to be Dropped Against Modesto Marchers

Date Thu, 28 Jul 2005 14:47:30 +0300

Stop Police Targeting of DAAA Collective Organizers
On July 23rd, the Modesto based Direct Action
Anti-Authoritarians, (DAAA) Collective, held an all
day occupation of Tower Park in Modesto. The event was
to call attention to rising homelessness, the affects
of urban sprawl, the threat of environmental racism to
various working class communities, and the ongoing
harassment and brutality aimed at working people by
the Modesto Police Department. The event was joyful,
with massive amounts of free clothing and kids items
being distributed to the poor, and three large meals
being served to anyone that was hungry. However, those
that attended the event knew that the issues they felt
strongly about would not be simply fixed by writing
letters to the editor and talking to “their
representatives”. At around 4pm, a group of about 40
took to the streets of Modesto to reclaim the streets
of the city, and to also bring attention the various
problems that face working people in this area.

The march was militant, yet peaceful, it blocked
traffic, but was not antagonistic towards drivers or
people on the street. But soon police swarmed around
the march, with police cars, undercover cars, and
motorbikes. After the march went down a empty street
with no people, police rode motorbikes onto the
sidewalk, and blocked off the street with cars. Police
then stopped and picked out of the crowd three
organizers with the DAAA Collective, Doug Gilbert, Dan
V., and Terry Clancey. All three organizers have had
numerous experiences with the Modesto police, and many
of the officers on duty have threatened these very
organizers with arrest before. The collective members
have come into contact with these officers during
organizing efforts, legal distribution of free
literature in the downtown area, and also while
monitoring police harassment and interactions with the
youth in the downtown Modesto area. When asked why
these people were being detained and ticketed, the
officer in charge stated it was because he, “knew
them”. Thus, three organizers were picked out of a
group of about 40 people, and given tickets for
blocking traffic.

This is not the first time that the Modesto Police
have singled out various people within the group that
they deem to be “leaders”, and then given tickets. The
Modesto Police are unable to understand that a group
like the DAAA Collective works as an autonomous
collective, organizing itself through consensus and
direct democracy, not a top-down system of hierarchal
order. In the picking out of three well known
organizers from a large group, the Modesto Police have
made it clear that they will target those they think
are prominent in the organization, even if it means
that doing so is unequal application of the law. We
are asking that all concerned people call into the
Stanislaus District Attorney’s Office, and ask him to
please drop the charges against the Modesto 3!
Prosecute the real criminals in this city, the owners
of Covanta and Tallow Plant, the corporations that are
gentrifying this area and causing urban sprawl, and
the police who kill and harass poor and working


Call: (209) 525-5550


DAAA <modanarcho-A-yahoo.com>

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