What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 19, 2005

Cindy Sheehan Speech Stopped in NYC?

I just read about it at kos. The time stamp shows 12:42 PDT. So that's 3:42 on the east coast, right? So that's about 2 1/2 hours ago as I write this. I think.

The kos posting linked to a couple of other sites. Here and here.

Although nycindymedia.org is reporting:
The New York City Police Department forcibly broke up this afternoon's rally for Cindy Sheehan, moving in as Cindy was speaking at about 3 p.m. in Union Square. The rally had been underway for about an hour, and was about to conclude as Cindy spoke following several other speakers, including a few who are traveling with her on her caravan.

As Cindy was speaking, a large platoon of police massed behind from the interior of the park, then formed a circle behind her, the speakers' area and a few dozen people who were deployed in an arc behind her. Overall, about 200 people were in attendance, with the crowd steadily increasing in size as the rally progressed. As the police formed their arc just behind, the men and women immediately behind Cindy linked arms. A captain made a cutting motion at his throat, signalling he wanted no more free speech. He waited about 30 seconds, then the police moved in. They didn't dare arrest Cindy, but they immediately moved in and grabbed zool, the event's organizer and one of the main organizers of Camp Casey-NYC, pulling him away and arresting him. I do not believe anyone else was arrested; at least I didn't see any other arrests. I was nearby, and there was no hesitation on the part of the police in specifically targetting zool.
The blog Booman Tribune writes:
Just back from Camp Casey, New York which is at Union Square. Took an extended lunch break, as I had seen that Cindy Sheehan would make a speech there this afternoon at 2pm. A nice little crowd, Cindy was delayed - but there were plenty of people with issues on their minds in the mean time.

Then comes Cindy and within two minutes the police interrupts. They had been in the background all along, but made their move only after Cindy started her speech. It was difficult to see all the details of what went on. Here is my summary based on what I saw and also discussed with others - including organizers - immediately after.

The police unplugged the PA-system. The organizers of CC, New York (mainly Green Party folks, as far as I could see) replugged it and made a small human chain (3-4 people) to prevent police from reaching the PA again. They were immediately detained and the crown started to boo and shout. Not so much in anger, initially - I think most of us were in total disbelief. As reality sunk in, the crowd became more vocal.

I did not see what happened to Cindy, but heard that she was escorted away from the microphone by the police, but not arrested.
I haven't been able to confirm this at CNN or google news. I'll try to follow up as soon as I can.

Technorati Tags:

UPDATE (6:32pm) I found something at the Villiage Voice. Here's the lede:
Cindy Sheehan may be the Rosa Parks of the antiwar movement. But that didn't stop members of the New York Police Department from marching into the crowd of about 150 people gathered in Union Square Monday to hear her speak and yanking away the microphone.

1 comment:

Maria said...

Story covered in the Village Voice now.