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(en) [nycanarchists] End of Year Communique from NEFAC: Solidarity with Protesters

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Thu, 1 Jan 2004 10:07:50 +0100 (CET)

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From: christinekaratnytsky-A-juno.com To: nycanarchists-A-lists.riseup.net
End of Year Communiqué from NEFAC: Solidarity with Protesters Against Neoliberalism
With the close of the old year comes word that a U.S. federal judge has ruled invalid
the mass arrest of 150 people during the historic 'Battle of Seattle' against the 1999
meeting of the World Trade Organization. District Judge Marsha Pechman found that police
violated the constitutional mandate which states arrests can be made only when probable
cause exists to believe a crime has been committed. [See Seattle Post Intelligencer,
Wednesday, December 31, 2003, "Judge rules mass arrests in WTO invalid."] This news, as
well as the possibility that the people of Seattle themselves might be liable for
damages in a lawsuit filed by the arrestees, should surprise no one.

The pattern established during the WTO protests of police abuse,
subsequent reversal of charges, and the placement of an enormous
financial millstone squarely on the shoulders of an already
abraded public for crimes committed by the state has become all
too common in the four years of widespread protest in the United
States against neoliberalism. The pattern can be followed
across the country, from upheaval to upheaval, from Los Angeles
to New York, down the eastern coast to Miami, where, this past
November 2003, protesters against the Free Trade Agreement of
the Americas talks, especially people of color, women, queer and
transgendered comrades, had their fundamental rights to free
speech and due process violated, were brutalized, isolated, and
targeted for physical and sexual assault in the prison system
after grossly false arrest. For this reason, the North-Eastern
Federation of Anarcho-Communists (NEFAC) expresses our continued
solidarity with our comrades in struggle.

Like the equivalent policies put forth by the WTO, the FTAA is an
effort to reorganize capitalist trade in the Western hemisphere
in the interests of the most powerful US-based businesses. We
are proud that some of our members were part of the thousands of
people, from all walks of life--students, retirees, union members
and others--who demonstrated against the FTAA. We are delighted
that the demonstrators received popular support while in Miami,
from working class people and prisoners. These demonstrations
contributed to the failure of the Miami talks, as they had to the
previous Cancun talks, as they had to talks that can be traced
back to Seattle. But we are furious, though not surprised, at
the extent of repression which the state rained down on the

Thousands of dollars were spent to hire eight thousand
militarized police under the direction of John Timoney whose
notorious resume has included brutally battling the public since
1988, when he directed the New York City police force to attack
the homeless, housing activists, squatters and massive numbers of
their Tent City supporters in Tompkins Square Park. Timoney
further honed his reputation for repression and assault as
Philadelphia's police commissioner during the 2000 Republican
National Convention. In Timoney's Miami, peaceful gatherings and
marches were assaulted by police armed with clubs, tasers, pepper
spray and repeat-firing rubber bullets. Injuries were widespread
among the demonstrators. Plain clothes provocateurs, scattered
throughout the demonstrations, attacked real protesters.
Numerous people reported police holding guns with live bullets to
their heads, making threats. The FBI admits to spying on
the protest organizers. Hundreds were arrested, in spite of
these being among the most nonviolent demonstrations held in the
United States.

This is the face of the State. This IS capitalist democracy.
When the ruling elite feels that its limited democratic
procedures or its lying propaganda are not enough to maintain
control, it resorts to the club and the gun. In this way, they
assaulted the nonviolent civil rights demonstrations of Dr. King
and others. In this way, they assaulted student antiwar
protesters, like those at Kent State. In this way, they attacked
striking workers, from the thirties to this very day.

We support and reiterate the demands of the Miami Activist
Defense. Those threatened with fines and legal action need help
in gathering money, with the on-going goal for all charges to be
dropped. An independent, civilian investigation panel, with the
power to compel police testimony and to enforce departmental
policy changes, should be convened. Charges of misconduct and
abuse must be investigated, with all officers being held
accountable for their actions. John Timoney should be fired from
the Miami Police Force and should be prevented from ever working
in a similar capacity. The local Miami "Parade and Assembly"
ordinances and the Florida and Federal Patriot Acts should be
repealed. Down with John Ashcroft!

The struggle for global justice will not go away. It is only one
aspect of the class war. So, goodbye to the old year. Welcome
to the new. In 2004, from July 26 - 29 in Boston and from
August 29 - September 4 in New York, the Democrats and the
Republicans will hold their national conventions in two of our
organizing areas. These arch proponents of capitalism have
afflicted us with wars, a wrecked economy, an insensible social
system, and a damaged planet. They put our children and our
future in peril. We will continue to struggle, harder and
smarter, and we intend to win, in Boston, New York and beyond.

General Secretariat, NEFAC
North-Eastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists



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