Friday, December 10, 2004

1,800 people were arrested for expressing their opposition to the Republican Party or their policies during the GOP's national convetion in NYC last August. Of the 1,188 cases which have been decided the City has only convicted 5 people of crimes. Civil libertarian groups like the National Lawyer's Guild and the American Civil Liberties Union point to this record as evidence of a preemptive strategy on the part of the police to clear the streets and sidewalks of anyone critical of the Republicans. Protests throughout the week of the convention were overwhelmingly peaceful in the face of what appears to be criminal police actions to repress free speech. Free speech is the corner stone of American democracy and must be defended even if that means physically resisting illegal police actions.