Volume 17 • Issue 15 | SEPTEMBER 3 – 10, 2004
Arrests of people protesting the Republican National Convention between the beginning of demonstrations on Thurs. Aug. 27 and the last day of the convention on Thurs. Sept. 2 reached about 1,800.
On Tues. Aug. 31, when the demonstrations became most intense, protests began early in the day Downtown in the Stone St. Historic District.
At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, police who had been staked out around the New York Stock Exchange anticipating disruption of trading by Anarchist were dispatched to the Historic District where a group of young demonstrators had stretched red and yellow yarn across the narrow intersection of South William St. and Mill Lane while displaying a sign that said “Celebrate the Power of Money.” Fourteen were arrested and charged with obstructing traffic, police said.
A short time later, police arrested three demonstrators on bicycles for obstructing traffic on Exchange Pl.
In the late afternoon, police arrested about 200 members of a group organized by the War Resisters League on Fulton St. near the World Trade Center site at the beginning of a protest march to Madison Sq. Garden. The marchers were told they were blocking the sidewalk and were then loaded onto vans to be taken to the detainee processing center on Pier 54 on the Chelsea waterfront.
Commissioner Ray Kelly at a press briefing on Tuesday evening said the War Resisters League group had violated an agreement not to block foot traffic on Fulton St. But an organizer of the march said police had told them they would not be arrested if they stayed on the sidewalk and did not block autos or pedestrians.
On Thursday, Aug. 27 police arrested 22 demonstrators: five members of No Police State were arrested at Union Sq. for using public address bullhorns without permits; there were 10 other arrests at Union Sq. later; 11 members of Act Up demonstrating naked and nearly naked in front of Madison Sq. Garden were arrested and four members of Operation Sibyl were arrested for rappelling down the front of the Plaza Hotel at Fifth Ave. and Central Park S. and draping the facade with a 30-ft.-tall anti-Bush banner.
The Operation Sibyl members included Terra Lawson-Remer, 25, of 310 E. 23rd St., a New York University graduate student, arrested after her rappelling gear got stuck; Rebecca Johnson, 25 of Oakland, Cal., and Pablo Cesar Makit, 28, a Dallas architect, arrested on the Plaza roof; and David Murphy 31, of Brooklyn, an instructor in the Trapeze School in the Hudson River Park at Desbrosses St., arrested after he rappelled from the roof to the ground. Evan Thies, Operation Sibyl’s media spokesperson and a staff member of City Councilmember David Yassky was arrested later for facilitating a crime. A police officer involved in the Plaza arrests sustained cuts that required 36 stitches when he stepped through a skylight; as a result, all four were charged with assault in addition to reckless endangerment.
Friday night, over 200 bikers were arrested for blocking traffic during the anti-R.N.C. bike bloc ride. At Sunday’s United for Peace and Justice march there were over 240 arrests, including members of a group called Black Bloc, who set a papier-mache dragon on fire and then resisted arrest.
There were two more arrests at Union Sq. on Sunday, including, Geoff Blank, a member of the No Police State Coalition, who again was using an electric megaphone without a permit.
A man playing basketball at the Rockefeller Park courts collapsed at about 6 p.m. Sat. Aug. 28 and was declared dead at NYU Downtown Hospital. The victim, identified as Darrian Constable, 26, was taken to the hospital by an Emergency Medical Service unit. Two passersby who happened to be doctors found the victim unconscious and alerted two Park Enforcement Patrol officers who called 911, according to a Parks Department spokesperson.
and Lincoln Anderson
WWW Downtown Express