community-based, non-corporate, participatory media
just some photos from the picnic/rally/march today
just some photos from the picnic/rally/march today... more will be added tomorrow
by Rovin' Workman Sunday, Mar. 30, 2003 at 10:59 PM
Good work with the photos! I also checked Yahoo! for the AP for coverage to see what other cities would carry, and found some close-up pics at the following site:
Hey, we can't compete with mainstream press in terms of special treatment from the police.
To Whom It May Concern:
My 83-year-old mother, my husband, and I, attended our first ever peace rally in Frick Park, yesterday. When the television news media announced the plans for the rally that morning they made it sound ominous that the group had no permit. Being big fans of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, free speech and peaceful assembly, we decided to witness a rally for ourselves. Although our personal history should not matter one wit, my father died in a Veteran’s hospital, my mother’s brother died at 18 in Normandy, my cousin, Jim, died at 19 in Vietnam, and my husband served in the Air Force during the Vietnam war era, so militarily speaking we’ve been around the block.
The peace rally speakers included a priest, a minister, some young poets, and a high school girl. The crowd at all times, was peaceful, respectful, almost, too courteous by today’s standard. A young man next to us let out a mild four-letter word and immediately turned and apologized to my mother and me. A couple of plain-clothed policemen took pictures of the crowd, while uniform police stood around us, and others sat in police cars. The speakers warned the crowd of police brutality, but asked for our support and help in conducting a 15-minute march. We decided to go along.
The group chanted and walked along the sidewalks and street with the police driving along beside us, traffic was stopped to accommodate us. There were some people booing us, however, I was amazed at the support of many who drove by honking and waving or came out of their houses to applaud the march. Some of the policemen started to act edgy by driving radically, too fast, backwards, screeching tires to an abrupt stop. The knowing crowd murmured that it was just intimidation tactics and to keep moving. A block later I saw officers getting into the trunks of their police cars and dawning riot gear of different sorts. A man next to me whispered, “Hear comes the pepper spray.” Minutes later, our crowd was stopped because police cars had veered into us funneling the group into a v-shape. Angry policemen attacked the front of the crowd in a preemptive strike against unarmed, non-aggressive citizens. The smell of pepper spray filled the air. I looked around to the man with his dog in front of me, my mother next to me, and a toddler in a stroller right behind me, and saw great concern but no panic. Some marchers were giving aid to those who were blinded by the spray. My husband and others took pictures. I saw one man thrown to the ground and handcuffed while others were being indiscriminately sprayed on by an out-of-control-two-fisted-madman in a police uniform. The fear, the intolerance, the cowardice of the policemen who acted so brutally or stood by watching while protecting only themselves from harm is something unforgettable. The big signs on the sides of their cars say dial 911. Well, who do we call when police as a group swarm like common thugs to easy prey? We were also disappointed by the news coverage, that evening which claimed “protesters clash with police”. You have to seek the truth here as much as anywhere else in the world, you can’t rely on the media for accurate, impartial reporting.
We have no business taking our “act on the road” until we get it right here, first. We must live democracy if we wish to preach it to others. We aren’t what we say we are, we are what we do!