Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins

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June 2, 1999

Special Truth in Media Global Watch Bulletins on NATO's War on Serbia

Issue S99-97, Day 71

FROM PHOENIX, ARIZONA explosion.gif (16495 bytes)  Topic: BALKAN AFFAIRS

June 2, 1999; 1:00PM EDT - DAY 71

HEADLINES

Washington            1. Death of Freedom in America? March on

                                  Pentagon Banned by Arlington Police!

Sweden                  2. Anti-NATO Protests Banned in Europe;

                                  Demonstrators Beaten by Police

Santa Cruz            3. California Anti-war Protester Beaten the

                                  Rodney King-Style

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1. Death of Freedom in America? March on Pentagon Banned by Arlington Police!

WASHINGTON, June 2 - As you saw in our Bulletins S90-93 and S99-94, there is a big anti-war protest planned in Washington for this weekend. The plan was to assemble at the Vietnam Memorial at noon, hold some speeches there, and then march across the Potomac to Virginia, and reassemble for more speeches at the Pentagon.

We've just received word from one of the protest organizers, the International Action Center, that the Arlington police had denied us the permit to march along public streets. If we allow this decision to stand unchallenged, it will mean the death of constitutional guaranteed freedom in America.

If you value your freedom of speech and that of peaceful assembly, we call upon you to call or fax immediately the Arlington County Police, the governor of the state of Virginia, the White House and the Justice Department - and demand that they reverse this outrageous violation of our constitutional rights.

(1) Arlington County Police--phone: (703) 228-4252, (703) 558-2222; fax: (703) 228-4127, (703) 228-4192.

(2) Gov. James Gilmore, Virginia--phone: (804) 786-2211, fax: (804) 371-6351.

(3) White House--phone: (202) 456-1414, fax: (202) 456-2461.

(4) Justice Department/Attorney General Janet Reno--phone: (202) 514-2000 (Dept. of Justice, ask for Janet Reno), fax: (202) 514-0323.

And now, here is the text of the International Action Center's message:

URGENT ACTION NEEDED - Permit Denied

In an outrageous effort to suppress the June 5 anti-war March on the Pentagon, the police authorities have denied a permit to march on the streets to the Pentagon. We are launching a massive political and media campaign to demand the right of the protest to march in the streets of Virginia. We believe the White House and the Pentagon are colluding with local police agencies in this effort.

We are appealing to all those who believe in free speech and especially to those who oppose the war in Yugoslavia to assist us in a phone, fax, and email campaign to protect the first amendment rights of all those who plan to participate in the June 5 March on the Pentagon.

With just three days to go before the June 5 March on the Pentagon, the Arlington County Police have denied the June 5th demonstration the right to march on a small stretch of Virginia roadway between the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, located in Washington DC, and the Pentagon building, located in Virginia. This is an arbitrary and political decision. It is an outrageous attempt to violate the first amendment right to free speech. It is an attempt to either stop the June 5th March on the Pentagon or to create a chaotic situation at the demonstration.

While denying the right of the marchers to the roadways leading to the Pentagon, police authorities are trying to reroute the march into a narrow and dangerous bike trail that at points becomes a single-file line, crossing a major highway. The police know that this is not a safe or tenable route for a march of ten thousand or more. The Arlington County Police refuse to return phone calls from the organizers and attorneys of the June 5 march.

The June 5 demonstration is the largest mobilization to date against the U.S./NATO war in Yugoslavia. We believe that it is impossible for the county of Arlington police to unilaterally try to prevent us from carrying out an orderly demonstration. We hold the Clinton White House and Virginia Governor James Gilmore responsible for this flagrant violation of our rights.

We will not be stopped. The war in Yugoslavia has killed thousands of innocent civilians. We will not allow the U.S. authorities to stop the anti-war movement from exercising its rights.

Please immediately phone and/or fax to the following authorities an angry protest against the denial of our rights to march on the streets to the Pentagon. Tell the authorities, we demand the right to march on Route 27 to the Pentagon. Please phone and/or fax to the following:

(1) White House--phone: (202) 456-1414, fax: (202) 456-2461

(2) Justice Department/Attorney General Janet Reno--phone: (202) 514-2000 (Dept. of Justice, ask for Janet Reno), fax: (202) 514-0323

(3) Gov. James Gilmore, Virginia--phone: (804) 786-2211, fax: (804) 371-6351

(4) Arlington County Police--phone: (703) 228-4252, (703) 558-2222; fax: (703) 228-4127, (703) 228-4192

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2. Anti-NATO Protests Banned in Europe; Demonstrators Beaten by Police

SWEDEN, May 30 - As you have seen from our earlier reports, anti-NATO protests have been also banned in Europe right from the start of the war, with a number of protesters being arrested and/or beaten (see Day 4, Update 1, Item 1, Mar. 27, and Day 12, Update 2, Item 3, Apr. 4). This weekend, we have received the following e-mail from a TiM reader in Sweden, which provides an update on that situation:

"Thank you for sending me daily your very valuable TiM information. I share it with some people here who don't have access to the Internet.

Now I have several pieces of information that I want you to check up and comment upon.

1) According to reliable information, any public demonstration against the NATO war is now prohibited in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. I heard this from a friend in Brussels, a Russian woman living there. When she and her friends tried to demonstrate, the police immediately clamped down on them and beat them up.

2) Another friend has picked up from a German TV program that the ground war was planned to be started on August 8.

3) Lots of physicians in Britain and France have been ordered to sign up for brush up courses in war medicine and be prepared for service at the coming front.

The sources of these pieces of information seem to be reliable enough. Could you compare it with your own information? Keep up the good work."

Lars Adelskogh, Sweden

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3. California Anti-war Protester Beaten the Rodney King-Style

SANTA CRUZ, May 22 - When Rodney King was brutally beaten by the California police, the whole country and much of the world was treated to constant replays on network TV of an amateur video which recorded the event. No such thing happened following the May 22 police assault in Santa Cruz, CA, which left an anti-war protester comatose even though a local TV station cameraman and a private citizen recorded the incident on video tape.

Anti-war activist, Steve Argue, was brutally beaten with night sticks by the Santa Cruz police before being arrested during a protest prepared by the Santa Cruz Coalition to Stop the (NATO) Bombing (of Yugoslavia). While on the ground, a cluster of police kicked and struck him as one officer forced pepper spray into his throat, and directly into his eyes. Then police allegedly waited almost an hour before taking their nearly comatose victim to the hospital.

The reason for such police brutality? The anti-war protesters brought a boom box which played a recording sent from Belgrade of the bombing. And they did it in front of the McPherson Center, site of a black-tie fundraiser for Congressional Representative, Sam Farr. It was the third event that week targeting Farr who had voted for war appropriations.

Here is an excerpt from an account of the incident by one eyewitness:

"It was too real for one Farr supporter and the Santa Cruz police. They ripped the boom box out of the Yugoslav woman's hand, but didn't arrest her. Instead, they arrested an 18-year old girl who was standing nearby. This infuriated the peaceful crowd which started yelling at the police: 'Why are you arresting her?'

Police then lunged at other participants, taking as their immediate targets, a young woman and a man, each holding young children. As an officer (La Favor) seized the young woman and applied a pain compliance hold, two other policemen tried to tear the child from her arms.

It was at this moment that Steve Argue intervened to rescue the woman and her baby. He allegedly punched La Favor in the face. When the police turned on him, Steve began to run. He didn't get far before police tackled him to the ground, and started kicking and beating him mercilessly, à la Rodney King.

Although he was nearly comatose and a hospital was located less than five minutes away, the police refused for nearly an hour to take Argue to the hospital. He was then taken to jail, and held in a solitary cell for over 72 hours. Argue has been charged with felony battery of a police officer, as well as with resisting and obstructing.

News reporters from Radio Free Santa Cruz were also arrested, and their tape recorders taken from them. Community activists and attorneys are discussing bringing charges against the police and a civil lawsuit against the city of Santa Cruz."

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Also, check out... Truth in Media Statement on Kosovo Crisis, "Wither Dayton, Sprout New War?", "On the Brink of Madness", "Tragic Deja Vu's," "Seven U.S. Senators Suggest Ouster of Milosevic", "Biting the Hand That Feeds You", "A Balkan Affairs Potpourri", "Put the U.N. Justice on Trial", "International Justice 'Progresses' from Kidnapping to Murder", "Milosevic: 'A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery'...", "Kosovo Lie Allowed to Stand", "New World Order's Inquisition in Bosnia", "Kosovo Heating Up""Decani Monastery Under Siege?", "Murder on Wall Street""Kosovo: 'Bosnia II', Serbia's Aztlan""What If the Shoe Were on the Other Foot?", "Green Interstate - Not Worth American Lives", "An American Hero or Actor of the Year?" (A June '95 TiM story) and/or "Clinton arme secrètement les musulmans bosniaques"

Or Djurdjevic's WASHINGTON TIMES columns: "Chinese Dragon Wagging Macedonian Tail,"  "An Ugly Double Standard in Kosovo Conflict?", "NATO's Bullyboys", "Kosovo: Why Are We Involved?", and "Ginning Up Another Crisis"

Or Djurdjevic's NEW DAWN magazine columns: "Washington's Crisis Factory,"  and "A New Iron Curtain Over Europe"