I was arraigned and released last night about 1 AM after thirty some hours in custody - I’m fine though have reached a new state of sleep deprivation that I wish I could market as a tranquilizer - anyway, I hope later today or tomorrow to write up the full story. For now, there are still people in jail from the mass arrests on the 31. Most were arrested for horrible crimes like walking on the sidewalk—swept up by police nets or corralled by the cops while they were perfectly legal. Many New Yorkers who were not in the protest were caught in the sweeps. We were held on Pier 57, now referred to as “Guantanamo on the Hudson”—a big pier full of metal, fenced pens with an asphalt floor soaked in diesel oil, a highly toxic and unpleasant environment. Then we were taken to the Central jail, for a long period of waiting and being transferred into various cells. The process was agonizingly slow and uncomfortable and exhausting, but the cops and the guards on the whole were professional and decent and many are supportive, and said privately that they don’t like Bush either. I’ve heard a few rumors of beatings or unpleasant treatment, but I didn’t see anything like that.
However, they are making it extremely difficult for people to reclaim their property -- death by bureaucracy. As that property includes our indispensable cell phones, it makes for a difficult day.
I don’t know as yet how many people are doing jail solidarity—the Pagan Cluster decided not to as we judged that the vast number of people arrested weren’t expecting to be, weren’t prepared, and that we didn’t have the numbers to make it effective. Plus upping the ante might end up making a stressful experience even more traumatic for the vast majority who got swept up by the police in illegal arrests. When I left the jail vigil this morning at 5 am, all of our Pagan Cluster men and about half the women were out. I’m about to head back there.
You can help support those who are still in jail by calling or emailing Bloomberg and the Police Commissioner and telling them:
Release the RNC prisoners. Drop the charges. Stop doing illegal, pre-emptive arrests. (Numbers below).
Thanks for all your support!
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
(212) 788 7418 or (212) 788 3000 or (212) 788-9711
FAX (212) 788-2460
District Attorney Robert Morgenthau
Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly
(646)610-5410 or (646) 610-5865
NYC Police Switchboard
Ask for Commissioners office
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