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(en) US, Miami, MEDIA, FTAA, Miami, Anarchists Say Police Are Harassing Them

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 12 Nov 2003 10:01:24 +0100 (CET)

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MIAMI -- Some of the people who plan to protest during the Free Trade Area of
the Americas conference next week are already in town -- and they say that
police are already treating them unfairly.

Many of the protesters told Channel 10 that they do call themselves anarchists,
but they insist they are not violent. Because of their views of the FTAA, they
consider themselves anti-globalists and human rights fighters.

Dave Meddle, an anarchist from California said, "The FTAA needs to be stopped.
It's not good for planet. It only benefits minority of people in the

Meddle and Mike McGuire and anarchist from Baltimore spoke with Channel 10's
Judy Echavez in front of the Hotel Intercontinental, a location that will be
off-limits to all anarchists and protesters next week.

McGuire said when demonstrating, he is not willing to get violent.

The men told Echavez that their visit to Miami has not been pleasant so far.

McGuire said, "All of us have had our IDs checked. The first day I arrived my
vehicle was surrounded by five police officers."

The men were in Cancun, Mexico, last month protesting trade talks, but they
said their experience there was different.

Meddle said, "Police in Cancun did a good job ... The police department of
Miami has a lot to learn of that specific means (restrained and non-violent
way) of handling a crowd."

The anarchists said what they fear the most appears to be already happening.
About 15 minutes after the interview with Echavez on Tuesday afternoon, three
protesters on North Miami Avenue were arrested, and the belongings in their
backpack were laid out on the police cruiser.

Jennifer Waltz, an anarchist, said, "I feel at this point its racial profiling -
- three people stopped walking down the street - how do they know they are

McGuire, who went to Philadelphia three years ago during the Republican
National Convention, said he found himself harassed by police.

"I was attacked by 40 bicycle police and held in jail for four days," McGuire

He says he's afraid something similar could happen in Miami.

Meddle said, "Chief (John) Timoney has a history of siding with powers to keep
even people's voices out of the streets."

The anarchists said that they believe Miami's top cop, Timoney, won't stop at
any point to make sure he keeps those voices quiet.

Meddle said, "Timoney did a great job of being brutal to protesters in
Philadelphia. He did a great job of being brutal to protesters at the World
Economic Forum in New York. And now he has been brought down to Miami to do
work on the FTAA security. It feels to a lot of us like he's probably got a
mandate from the city to be brutal to us."

"It's a blatant attempt," Meddle said. "Chief Timoney is up to his standard
practice of trying to intimidate people for coming into the streets. We're here
to say that we will not be intimidated."

From: dr.woooo <dr.woooo-A-nomasters.org>

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