Robert Cherwink (rc@vom.com)
Thu, 13 Nov 1997 21:17:05 -0800

A AA AAAA The A-Infos News Service AA AA AA AA INFOSINFOSINFOS http://www.tao.ca/ainfos/ AAAA AAAA AAAAA AAAAA


1. Rally held today in Eureka - attendee roughed up by Deputy for trying to use the Courthouse restroom

2. Lungren will review use of pepper spray

3. Pepper-sprayed protesters not so passive, lawyer says

FOLLOW-UPS TO: Headwaters News <headwaters@enews.org> Robert Cherwink <rc@vom.com> newsgroup: alt.thebird

SAVE ANCIENT FORESTS!! See "www.HeadwatersForest.org" for more on the Headwaters Forest and Pepperspray Torture of Protestors issues.

--------------- --------------- 1. Rally held today in Eureka ---------------

Protest Headwaters Forest Sell-Out and the Pepper Spraying of Activists - Thursday, November 13th

A Protest Rally was held today at Congressman Frank Riggs' office in Eureka. A march to the Courthouse followed.

Veterans for Peace presented the "Purple Tear Award" to the Activists Tortured by Pepper Spray.

It is reported that at least one Deputy just couldn't stand it. One of the attendees who was simply trying to use the Courthouse restroom (and entering with the permission of the Deputies on guard) was reportedly roughed up by a Humbolt County Sheriff Deputy. The victim was reportedly shoved approximately three times, eventually into a plate-glass window. (This reported on KPFA FM, Berkeley. Segment included an interview with Earth First! representative Darryl Cherney. I wait for more information on this incident.)

Rally sponsored by Earth First! & Headwaters Forest Defenders. Call 707 825 8911, 707 468 1660, or 707 923 4949.

SAVE ANCIENT FORESTS!! See "www.HeadwatersForest.org" for more on the Headwaters Forest and Pepperspray Torture of Protestors issues.

--------------- --------------- 2. Lungren will review use of pepper spray ---------------

>From "pressdemo.com" Nov. 13, 1997

Lungren will review use of pepper spray

By MIKE GENIELLA Press Democrat staff writer

The controversial use of pepper spray on Humboldt County protesters in October has triggered a review by state Attorney General Dan Lungren into how the chemical is used by police agencies statewide.

Lungren apologized for ""any misunderstandings'' with Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, over Thompson's request for a state review of pepper spray use by law enforcement.

""After a full and thorough review of these matters, including the Humboldt County incident, I will be in a position to determine whether the application in question was appropriate, and whether the statewide policy for the use of pepper spray needs revision,'' Lungren wrote in a letter dated Monday to state Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena.

The pepper spray controversy erupted two weeks ago when protesters released police videotapes of the Oct. 16 demonstration at the Eureka office of Rep. Frank Riggs, R-Windsor. The tapes showed sheriff's deputies swabbing eyelids of demonstrators with a liquid form of pepper spray. Their attorneys have filed a federal lawsuit alleging civil rights violations.

Thompson prodded Lungren last week to undertake a review of the incident, but Lungren's office reportedly said a state investigation was unnecessary because of an inquiry already launched by the FBI. After Thompson publicly complained the Attorney General's Office had missed the point, Lungren responded earlier this week by offering an apology and clarifying his position.

Lungren said he sees the need to conduct ""unbiased and objective research'' to determine legitimate needs of law enforcement for use of pepper spray, while making sure that ""safety concerns of our state citizens are not unduly compromised.''

The state review will determine whether past and current uses of pepper spray by law enforcement conform with accepted practices and guidelines set by the Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training.

Thompson aide Ed Matovik said Wednesday the senator is pleased that Lungren is going to review the pepper spray issue.

""We look forward to working with him to identify problems and come up with solutions,'' Matovik said.

In addition to Thompson's request, Assemblywoman Virginia Strom-Martin, D-Duncans Mills, has asked for a hearing on the Humboldt County incident before the Assembly's Public Safety Committee.

Copyright 1997, The Press Democrat

--------------- --------------- 2. Pepper-sprayed protesters not so passive, lawyer says ---------------

>From "pressdemo.com" Nov. 13, 1997

Pepper-sprayed protesters not so passive, lawyer says

By MARY CALLAHAN Press Democrat staff writer

An attorney for Humboldt County deputies and police who applied pepper spray on protesters at Rep. Frank Riggs' office last month contended Wednesday demonstrators inaccurately described themselves as ""passive'' and posing ""no threat.''

Instead, the swabbing of pepper spray around protesters' eyes proved a ""measured and appropriate response'' to increasingly active resistance on the part of demonstrators trying to avoid arrest, attorney Nancy Delaney wrote in legal papers filed Wednesday in federal court.

The pepper spray incident was videotaped and later broadcast nationwide, bringing condemnation on the Eureka officers.

In sworn declarations and briefs filed in advance of a Friday hearing, Chief Deputy Gary Philp and Police Capt. Bill Honsal further charged North Coast environmental activists have been increasingly aggressive in their tactics. In one case, activists knocked an officer down and took his billy club, the documents said, and in another case they embedded glass and saw blade pieces into concrete molded around their arms.

Earth First! organizer Darryl Cherney's response Wednesday was simply: "Never happened."

"These police officers came to the scene with cotton swabs in advance,'' Cherney said. "These are premeditated actions on the part of officers.''

Lawyers for the activists are seeking a court order barring the use of pepper spray on ""peaceful, nonviolent protesters ... who pose no threat to the safety of the arresting officers or to others.''

U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is expected to issue a temporary ruling Friday, pending the outcome of a civil suit filed against law enforcement officials by the nine protesters involved.

The court action was prompted by three recent incidents in which protesters were subjected to liquid spray applied in most cases with a cotton swab that was dabbed around -- some say in -- activists' eyes because they refused to release themselves from V-shaped metal sleeves through which they chained themselves together.

Law enforcement officials said they used pepper spray because it offered a lower risk than attempting to cut or saw through the quarter-inch steel sleeves, which weigh about 25 pounds each.

Authorities said they couldn't move the group out through the glass front doors, especially with a growing number of protesters gathering outside.

They also noted the officers themselves have had pepper spray applied under their eyes during training and knew it wouldn't result in long-term effects.

Attorney Edward O'Leary, one of several working on behalf of environmentalists, said, ""They are basically just defending the actions of the sheriff and the (Eureka Police Department), and at this point it's going to be up to the judge. We believe that what was done was basically civil rights violations, and we don't agree.''

In all three cases, demonstrators were protesting a proposed $380 million deal to preserve 7,500 acres of old-growth redwood forest owned by Pacific Lumber Co. near Fortuna.

They included the Oct. 16 sit-in at Riggs' Eureka district office, Sept. 25 at Pacific Lumber's Scotia headquarters and Oct. 3 at a logging site known as Bear Creek.

Two aides present during the incident at Riggs' office said recently they feared for their lives.

But Terri ""Compost'' Slanetz, one of the four women arrested there, said Wednesday that she and her colleagues were ""nonthreatening'' and ""polite.''

""In fact the aide that said later that she was terrified, at the time (of the protest) she went and locked the door and said, "None of you are going to leave,' and the other one was taking phone calls,'' Slenetz said.

""They locked the doors to keep the people in,'' Cherney said, ""and you don't do that if you're afraid of someone.'' Copyright 1997, The Press Democrat

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NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for research and educational purposes.

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FYI: Congressman Riggs' office telephone number is: 707-441-8701

The telephone number of the Humboldt County Sheriff Department is 707-445-7251


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FOLLOW-UPS TO: Headwaters News <headwaters@enews.org> Robert Cherwink <rc@vom.com> newsgroup: alt.thebird

See "www.HeadwatersForest.org" for more on the Headwaters Forest issue.



Rob, Sector Air Raid Warden at Rob's Place A SITE DEDICATED TO SPIRIT, TRUTH, PEACE, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM http://www.vom.com/rc/home.htm



Rob, Sector Air Raid Warden at Rob's Place A SITE DEDICATED TO SPIRIT, TRUTH, PEACE, JUSTICE, AND FREEDOM http://www.vom.com/rc/home.htm


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