FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Arresting the Curious

by MITCHEL COHEN

Boston, July 25, 4 pm

Half-an-hour ago, around 3:30 pm, plainclothes Secret Service pulled a Mid-Eastern looking fellow out from the permitted demonstration as around 1,000 antiwar protesters marched past a check-point, and arrested him.

A crowd of around 25 people followed the police through an alleyway that opened onto a large mall, where the “detained” person sat on a stairway hands cuffed behind his back, surrounded by police.

While the crowd chanted, “This is racial profiling” and “let him go”, a lawyer for the demonstration, John Pavos, arrived, but was not afforded much time and no privacy to talk with the arrestee. The police maintained at first that he was not under arrest, but that if he’d allow them to take his picture they’d run in through their computers and let him go. He allowed them to take his picture. A few minutes later the police decided not to let him go.

What was the crime? Police spokespeople say he was arrested for walking past a checkpoint and looking around “a little too curiously.” The fact that we were ALL looking around curiously at the enormous fencings surrounding the Fleet Center where the Democratic National Convention begins tomorrow did not seem to matter to the police, who were clearly under orders from federal officials. The person — who to me appeared like any Graduate Student at the New School in NY — was detained solely because of his Middle-Eastern appearance, male and bearded.

He was taken to a nearby police center to be questioned by the Secret Service. A reporter for Binghamton IndyMedia recorded the whole thing on camcorder, and will shortly be up on the web.

The demonstration itself was very vibrant and full of energy, challenging both parties’ support for the war against Iraq and decimation of the Bill of Rights. I carried a sign — one of many — that said “Expose the Truth about 9-11”, and was interviewed on NY 1, for any New Yorkers interested in checking it out. I was also interviewed on Japanese television, in which I began by saying “The Democratic Party is the Roach Motel of Politics; the progressive people go in, and they never come out.”

The press were mostly focused in their questions about the potential for violence by the demonstrators. I told them that as a participant in Chicago in 1968 and Seattle in 1999, and many antiwar protests in between, that it has generally been the police and the government that initiated violence, clubbing people, teargassing them, shooting them with electric stun guns, and so forth. It is the government and military that are bombing the hell out of Iraq and other countries, not the protesters, and the same people that are committing the violence abroad are perpetrating it here at home, while orchestrating fear and mass hysteria to put into place fascist mechanisms.

Just also got word that they just evacuated the building at Staples due to suspicions of some package that they found. (Nothing, of course.) All done to perpetrate panic.

While the demonstrators stood around the police chanting “Let Him Go,” a group of Bostonians stood on top of the steps and counter-chanted: “Let’s go Red Sox.”

“Go Reds, Smash State,” I muttered (secretly rooting for the NY Yankees, who are here at Fenway Park this afternoon).

MITCHEL COHEN is co-editor of “Green Politix,” the national newspaper of the Greens/Green Party USA. He can be reached at: mitchelcohen@mindspring.com

 

Mitchel Cohen is Coordinator of the No Spray Coalition in New York City.

More articles by:
June 30, 2016
Richard Moser
Clinton and Trump, Fear and Fascism
Pepe Escobar
The Three Harpies are Back!
Ramzy Baroud
Searching for a ‘Responsible Adult’: ‘Is Brexit Good for Israel?’
Dave Lindorff
What is Bernie Up To?
Thomas Barker
Saving Labour From Blairism: the Dangers of Confining the Debate to Existing Members
Jan Oberg
Why is NATO So Irrational Today?
John Stauber
The Debate We Need: Gary Johnson vs Jill Stein
Steve Horn
Obama Administration Approved Over 1,500 Offshore Fracking Permits
Rob Hager
Supreme Court Legalizes Influence Peddling: McDonnell v. United States
Norman Pollack
Economic Nationalism vs. Globalization: Janus-Faced Monopoly Capital
Binoy Kampmark
Railroaded by the Supreme Court: the US Problem with Immigration
Howard Lisnoff
Of Kiddie Crusades and Disregarding the First Amendment in a Public Space
Vijay Prashad
Economic Liberalization Ignores India’s Rural Misery
Caroline Hurley
We Are All Syrians
June 29, 2016
Diana Johnstone
European Unification Divides Europeans: How Forcing People Together Tears Them Apart
Andrew Smolski
To My Less-Evilism Haters: A Rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky
Jeffrey St. Clair
Noam Chomsky, John Halle and a Confederacy of Lampreys: a Note on Lesser Evil Voting
David Rosen
Birth-Control Wars: Two Centuries of Struggle
Sheldon Richman
Brexit: What Kind of Dependence Now?
Yves Engler
“Canadian” Corporate Capitalism
Lawrence Davidson
Return to the Gilded Age: Paul Ryan’s Deregulated Dystopia
Priti Gulati Cox
All That Glitters is Feardom: Whatever Happens, Don’t Blame Jill Stein
Franklin Lamb
About the Accusation that Syrian and Russian Troops are Looting Palmyra
Binoy Kampmark
Texas, Abortion and the US Supreme Court
Anhvinh Doanvo
Justice Thomas’s Abortion Dissent Tolerates Discrimination
Victor Grossman
Brexit Pro and Con: the View From Germany
Manuel E. Yepe
Brazil: the Southern Giant Will Have to Fight
Rivera Sun
The Nonviolent History of American Independence
Adjoa Agyeiwaa
Is Western Aid Destroying Nigeria’s Future?
Jesse Jackson
What Clinton Should Learn From Brexit
Mel Gurtov
Is Brexit the End of the World?
June 28, 2016
Jonathan Cook
The Neoliberal Prison: Brexit Hysteria and the Liberal Mind
Paul Street
Bernie, Bakken, and Electoral Delusion: Letting Rich Guys Ruin Iowa and the World
Anthony DiMaggio
Fatally Flawed: the Bi-Partisan Travesty of American Health Care Reform
Mike King
The “Free State of Jones” in Trump’s America: Freedom Beyond White Imagination
Antonis Vradis
Stop Shedding Tears for the EU Monster: Brexit, the View From the Peloponnese
Omar Kassem
The End of the Atlantic Project: Slamming the Brakes on the Neoliberal Order
Binoy Kampmark
Brexit and the Neoliberal Revolt Against Jeremy Corbyn
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Alabama Democratic Primary Proves New York Times’ Nate Cohn Wrong about Exit Polling
Ruth Hopkins
Save Bear Butte: Mecca of the Lakota
Celestino Gusmao
Time to End Impunity for Suharto’’s Crimes in Indonesia and Timor-Leste
Thomas Knapp
SCOTUS: Amply Serving Law Enforcement’s Interests versus Society’s
Manuel E. Yepe
Capitalism is the Opposite of Democracy
Winslow Myers
Up Against the Wall
Chris Ernesto
Bernie’s “Political Revolution” = Vote for Clinton and the Neocons
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail