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(en) US, Indianapolis, Media, For Those Who Question - police pressure is the reply

From Dan Clore <clore@columbia-center.org>
Date Thu, 21 Aug 2003 12:44:50 +0200 (CEST)

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Hugh Durruti, 17, and a friend had driven a half-block north
from the Solidarity Books Collective at 2123 Boulevard Place
when they were pulled over by an Indianapolis Police
Department officer about 9 p.m. a week ago today.
"The officer said we had made an illegal U-turn," says
Durruti, who acknowledges that the driver made a three-point
turn when he left the house. When police stopped them, he
says, he and his friend immediately placed their hands on the dashboard.
Thirty minutes and no arrests later, police let the two youths go. They
returned to the Collective, where four people and one cat named Smalls live.

Used books are not sold at the Collective -- that would be
profiteering -- but donations are accepted. The collective's
credo is painted on the front door:


It does not say NO POLICE, which works, because police were
all over the place -- in vans and cars outside, walking
around on the lawn and in the house. Officers from IPD, ATF
and Seattle were there -- yes, Seattle, where the 2004
National Governors Association meeting will be held.

Fire officials were checking for code violations. Friends of
the collective had been alerted, and five of them were
videotaping. Police were making their own videos.

Keni Washington is the owner of the house, which has been in
his family for four generations. A past president of the
Indianapolis Peace and Justice Center, he, too, had been
called about the raid. When he pulled up in his car, he was
ticketed for parking more than 12 inches from the curb.

Lest you think this scenario had no comic relief, a bunch of
kids fresh from a hip-hop concert were in the yard,
freestyling -- composing rap lyrics with their version of
the happenings.

Welcome to life in the year 2003. Welcome to the obligatory
raids and strong police presence whenever the National
Governors Association meets, as it did here in a conference
that started last week and wrapped up Tuesday. Or any group
that is likely to draw protest and anarchists, which is what
the Solidarity Books Collective says it's all about. Welcome
to our brave new patriotic world, and get used to it,
because for those who dare to question authority, this is
business as usual.

So why was the Collective raided?

"Seattle was nearly burned to the ground and Montreal
suffered millions of dollars in property damage when the WTO
(World Trade Organization) met there," says Sgt. Steve
Staletovich, an IPD spokesman. "This is the same type of
anarchist group, and that simply was not going to happen

Sgt. Bill Rouse, a member of IPD's intelligence unit, says
longtime local peace activists had been meeting with police,
expressing their concerns about the potential for violence
during the governors' meeting here.

"They were saying, 'Hey, we are scared of these guys,'" says
Rouse, who says a similar collective was searched in St.
Louis and weapons were found.

But no weapons were at 2123 Boulevard Place. The Rev. Mike
O'Mara gave permission for protesters to use facilities at
St. Mary Catholic Church Downtown over the weekend. He
devoted his homilies to the potential controversy his
decision could generate.

"I said that I frankly admire the young people that were
here, for seeking to deepen their participation in public
life." He acknowledged that such groups can be frightening.

"But do we all have to think like Rush Limbaugh to be a good
American? Do we have to agree with the war?"

Ruth Holladay's column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday.
You can reach her at 1-317-444-6405 or via e-mail at .
by Ruth Holladay
Dan Clore

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