Further News from Chicago

Gidget Digit (lilith@tdg.res.uoguelph.ca)
Sun, 1 Sep 1996 15:19:11 -0400 (EDT)

Active Resistance main conference space raided by police Thursday night.

>>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 06:15:13 -0400
>>From: JH <jhurd@BRIDGE.NET>
>>To: Multiple recipients of list SLDRTY-L <SLDRTY-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
>>Subject: Chicago Police Raid Activist Headquarters
>> COUNTERMEDIA 312/243-8342 fax 312/243-8406
>>August 29, 1996
>>Contact: 312/278-0775 (James or Vic, Autonomous Zone)
>> 312/243-8342 (CounterMedia)
>> Press Conference and Demonstration Planned at Police Headquarters
>>CHICAGO- As President Clinton took the stage at the Democratic National
>>Convention tonight, Chicago police raided the site of Active Resistance, a
>>counter-convention conference organized by the local activist group,
>>Autonomous Zone. A press conference and demonstration will be held at
>>1:00pm on Friday, August 30 at the 14th District Police Station, 2150 N.
>>California Ave.
>>At approximately 8:00pm tonight, numerous police vans gathered in the
>>street and 5-8 uniformed officers forced their way into the building at
>>2010 W. Carroll, which has served as a central meeting site for the
>>conference. Several conference participants were pepper-sprayed; two were
>>hospitalized. Officers reportedly searched through personal belongings
>>and confiscated radio equipment and papers from the site. Conference
>>participants report that when they asked to see a search warrant, officers
>>told them a search warrant wasn't necessary. No arrests have been
>>As officers entered from the back of the building, they ordered conference
>>participants there to sit down. Those who did not sit down were pushed
>>down. One officer threatened to push a woman down the back stairs of the
>>building. Conference participant Lynn Harrington was kicked and, when she
>>asked officers "what are you doing?," was pepper-sprayed in the face at
>>close range. Conference participants report that they repeatedly
>>requested a search warrant and officers' badge numbers, but were not
>>provided with either. Participants were told they were not being arrested
>>or detained. But when one woman and her three year-old son asked if they
>>could leave, officers denied them permission. On their way out, officers
>>reportedly pepper-sprayed participants indiscriminately. Conference
>>participant Alex Berkman was sprayed repeatedly at close range and was
>>Police vans then proceeded to another Active Resistance meeting site at
>>343 N. Western. By the time officers arrived at the second site,
>>counter-convention participants had already removed their belongings and
>>evacuated the building.
>>Active Resistance has been host to over 700 activists from throughout
>>North America and Europe who came to Chicago to attend workshops and
>>discussion groups on issues ranging from community organizing to
>>alternative economics. Conference participants also organized today's
>>Festival of the Oppressed, a peaceful street-theater procession with
>>costumes and colorful puppets made by participants during the week.
>>The police raids this evening come at the end of a day of 14 arrests of
>>activists and independent media makers. Eight conference participants
>>were arrested at the Festival of the Oppressed procession, including the
>>parade's traffic safety coordinator. Six videographers working with
>>CounterMedia, a coalition of alternative media makers, were arrested while
>>covering the procession. Their cameras were confiscated and some of their
>>film was destroyed by arresting officers. Videographer Jeff Perlstein,
>>who was arrested earlier in the week and participated in CounterMedia's
>>press conference this morning addressing police harassment of independent
>>media, was arrested again this afternoon. He reports witnessing an
>>officer smash his camera on the ground. Charges have not yet been
>> ###
>Michael Eisenscher
>19 Oakridge Street
>Mattapan, MA 02126-2811
>[voice/fax] 617-296-8622