(en) Plymouth Assault: UAINE Statement Dec. 2

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Thu, 4 Dec 1997 07:00:49 -0800 (PST)

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

FWD: Reply to sender <uaine19@idt.net> (United American Indians of New England)

Dear friends: We want to thank all of those people who have contacted us and offered help. We have felt strengthened by your prayers and words of encouragement. Sometimes we get tears in our eyes from the incredible outpouring of support and the many heartfelt words. We apologize for the fact that we have not been able to contact some folks to answer individual questions, but hope that will be forgiven in light of how much has needed to be done in just a few days. The second group of defendants was arraigned this morning in Plymouth County Court. Much of the news media has stated that all of those 25 people arrested were Indigenous. That is not so. The cops asaulted and arrested Native, Black, Latino, Asian and white, straight and lesbian and gay, young and old people. All of us who were arrested are standing strong and are united in the circle of struggle that began with the police attack last Thursday, November 27. Below you will find our press statement of today, which contains a lot of information about what happened as well as what we are asking supporters to do at this time. Thank you. Moonanum James for UAINE

News Release United American Indians of New England P.O. Box 7501, Quincy, MA 02269 Tel. 617 773-0406 E-mail uaine19@idt.net _______________________________________________________________________

Press Statement December 2, 1997

Our National Day of Mourning demonstrations have always been peaceful events to re-educate the public about the Indigenous view of the Eurocentric "Thanksgiving" and build Native pride. Why did the cops attack a peaceful march? Why did they drag a Native man by his hair when they arrested him? Why did they arrest a peaceful Native elder and medicine person? Why did they intimidate and assault other elders? Why did they attack children with pepper spray? Why did they tear out the dreadlocks of a proud Black Man? Why did they arrest people who were standing on the sidewalk? Why did they force pepper spray into the eyes, noses and mouths of people who had already been handcuffed? Why did they single out people who wore buttons and T-shirts expressing support for Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier? Did these cops go home afterwards and stuff their faces with turkey? Did they sit down with their own families after they had attacked our families? Did they give thanks for keeping Plymouth's 377-year-old tradition of racism intact? The most sickening part of what happened is that the police attack was executed simply to protect the sacred image of the pilgrims and the sacred image of Plymouth as a tourist shrine. The cop assault was planned and carried out simply to protect the tourist industry in Plymouth. The bottom line is not the safety of women, children, elders and other people, but the protection of business interests. The human and civil rights of people of color -- and especially of Indigenous people -- are expendable when money is to be made or tourists might be inconvenienced. The police assault has backfired in their faces. They have shown in graphic detail the truth of what we have been saying all along. Did we attempt to destroy their precious property? No! Did we threaten or attack a single person? No! Our "crime" was to speak the truth about our history. Our "crime" was to attempt to go down the street like free human beings. Our "crime" was to support Leonard Peltier and other political prisoners. Our "crime" was to unify people from all four directions, to bring them together to denounce the pilgrim mythology upon which the tourism industry in Plymouth depends. We point out to all the media here that the responsibility rests not only with the town of Plymouth but with various state authorities. Massachusetts state troopers played a leading role in the cop assault on innocent people. It was clear to us and to other observers that the cops had been trained in so-called counterinsurgency tactics and had been training for some time. There were also plainclothes cops there from unknown agencies. Who were they? What agencies did they represent?

Today, we are voicing to the world four demands as we stand here in Plymouth, Massachusetts: 1. We demand that the District Attorney's office drop all charges immediately. 2. We demand a public apology from the Plymouth Police Dept., the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, and the Mass. State Police. >3. We demand an open public inquiry into the police brutality that occurred
in Plymouth on Thursday, November 27, 1997. This must be done by independent parties, not by police agencies or prosecutors. The fox cannot guard the chicken coop. 4. We demand that Governor Cellucci and other state and national public figures break their silence and condemn the police violence that occurred in Plymouth on "Thanksgiving" day. These politicians must be held accountable for what happened. Cellucci and others authorized the use of state troopers. We will not allow Cellucci, Harshbarger, Kennedy, Kerry or any other politicians to hide behind the ruse of trying to blame everything on the town of Plymouth. Why haven't any of them spoken out against this clear case of police brutality on the streets of Plymouth? When people all over the world are outraged, why are they not outraged?

We thank the thousands of people from the region, the hemisphere, and the world who have contacted us in these last few days to express their support and find out how they can help. We thank them for their prayers. We wish to express our love and admiration for all those who have had the courage to stand up with us. We are forming a defense committee to take up the day-to-day tasks of defending all of those who were arrested last Thursday. We know that many people will want to be involved in this effort. Further, we have now set up a defense fund through the ACLU. Supporters can send donations made payable to the "ACLU/Day of Mourning '97 Defense Fund" to UAINE at the above address. Postage stamps are also welcome. If anyone in the New England area can arrange for the donation of a photocopying machine, please contact us right away.

At this point, we ask our supporters to do the following four things: 1. Start a petition campaign demanding that all charges be dropped. Petitions should be sent to UAINE. [Note: An e-mail petition campaign would be great, too.] 2. Call Plymouth Visitor Information (508-747-7525) and the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce (508-830-1620). Let them know that your family will not spend a dime in Plymouth because of the police assault on "Thanksgiving" day. 3. We ask that those who can, come to the Plymouth courthouse on January 29, when the Day of Mourning Defendants will next appear in court for a pre-trial conference. 4. We ask that our supporters be on alert and stand by, because we will be planning additional actions.

More and more people are becoming aware of how the town of Plymouth chose to celebrate "Thanksgiving" this year. The people are sickened and cry out for justice. No matter what, the truth will be heard. Nothing can stop us from speaking the truth about our history or about what happened here on "Thanksgiving" Day in 1997. We are not vanishing. We are not conquered. We are as strong as ever.

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