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Police brutality prevails at US Democratic National Convention



(August 31, Denver, Sri Lanka Guardian) The mainstream media covering the Democratic National Convention created an image of everyone clicking their heels together and entering the land of Oz, as in the Wizard of Oz fantasy film.

However, while the mainstream media and politicians were cloistered together, the people were in the streets August 25 --28, voicing disgust over the Bush regime, which decimated civil liberties and turned the Earth into the corporate profiteers' commodity. At the same time, the Iraq war continued with the mainstream media complicit in the genocide of women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The protest signs reminded all that the Bush regime and US Congress violated the Geneva Conventions and carried out kidnapping, torture and murder of people in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and secret prisons.

The lawlessness that prevailed in the White House and Congress was maintained by the police at the Democratic National Convention who provoked peaceful demonstrators on Monday night, culminating in an at attack by riot police who sprayed pepper spray and shot rubber bullets at peaceful protesters.

The collapse of US democracy was most poignant at the Freedom for Political Prisoners rally and march at the federal courthouse in Denver on Monday. Here, Aurora police drew weapons on people of color: American Indians, blacks, Chicanos and others. It was clear that there are two Americas and one America is filling the prisons because of
racial profiling and racial injustice. During the rally, activists demonstrated waterboarding and US torture and called for freedom forLeonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, the Cuban Five and other political prisoners.

With courage, US servicemen led the march against the war and occupation in Iraq on Wednesday. On Thursday, marchers demanded that US lawlessness be halted and the ICE raids against workers that are dividing families be halted. At the "We Are America," march for immigrant rights, marchers pointed out that hundreds of workers arrested in Laurel, Mississippi, in raids have been sent to one of the most racist towns in America: Jena, Louisiana.

As the so-called "clean coal," poured millions of dollars into the convention, protesters reminded the people that there is no such thing as "clean coal." A moment of truth came when ABC news producer Asa Eslocker was roughly arrested. Eslocker, an investigative reporter, was pushed into the traffic by a Boulder police officer. During the arrest, Eslocker was grabbed around the neck by an officer, as documented by film crews. Eslocker was waiting on a public sidewalk to film financial donors leaving a hotel.

Meanwhile, those marchers who were sprayed with pepper spray on Monday were not allowed to wash it off when they were detained and jailed. "This is a form of torture," said one street medic, describing the poisons that are absorbed internally. Another medic described the wound of a rubber bullet. During the week, women with the organization
Code Pink were targeted by police and violently thrown to the ground during arrests, as documented in videos.

Already, police raids have been carried out in homes and community centers in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area of Minnesota, where the Republican National Convention will be held Sept. 1 -- 4. Protesters have vowed not to be intimidated.

As thousands marched this week in Denver, volunteers at Food Not Bombs gathered donated foods and fed the people. In the streets, the people asked: "Is anyone really listening?" The people don't have a clue. But for those who spent this week in the streets of Denver, a new America was emerging. The people were giving voice to truth, a prized commodity in this age of US genocide, corrupt media and the corporate rape of the Earth Mother.


(Brenda Norrell is our new columnist has been a news reporter in Indian country for 26 years. She served as a staff reporter at Navajo Times and as a stringer for The Associated Press and USA Today during the 18 years she lived on the Navajo Nation. After serving on staff for Indian Country Today, she was censored and terminated. Currently she is publisher of the Censored News blog online and serves as human rights editor for the U.N. OBSERVER & International Report at the Hague. She recently finished co-hosting the five-month Earthcycles web radio broadcast, Longest Walk Talk Radio. The show includes the voices of Native Americans as they walked across the United States and towns people speaking out against human rights violations and environmental injustice in the U.S. Currently, Brenda Norrell is based in Tucson, Arizona. She can be reached at brendanorrell@gmail.com).
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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