Thursday, July 14, 2005


Indymedia and anti-Police Violence

One of those arrested in relation to the savage beating of a police officer in the Mission area protests is an active Indymedia member.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:
A San Francisco police officer remained hospitalized Sunday with a serious head wound received during a Mission District demonstration against the gathering of the Group of 8 world leaders in Scotland.
The demonstration was organized by a group calling itself Anarchist Action, which posts information about its activities on a Web site run by the San Francisco Bay Area Independent Media Center, a radical forum for activists fighting globalization and U.S. policy in Iraq and other causes.

In a new message Sunday afternoon, the group asked witnesses to the arrests to contact attorneys with the National Lawyers Guild.

"We're concerned that the people being targeted might not have been responsible for the alleged assault,'' said Carlos Villareal, executive director of the guild's Bay Area chapter.

Police arrested Cody Tarlow, 21, of Felton (Santa Cruz County), Doritt Ernst, 31, of Berkeley and Gabriel Meyers, 28, whose city of residence was not available.
One of Cody Tarlow's Indymedia postings here.
All three were being held on suspicion of attempted lynching, malicious mischief, battery to a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon and willful resistance to a police officer that results in serious bodily injury.

Tarlow, who was released on bail, also was held on suspicion of wearing a disguise for the purpose of escaping discovery or identification with a public offense.
If the charges are true, Indymedia is not just responsible for reporting the news of protester violence but actively participating in it. Will Indymedia distance themself from Tarlow?

Good follow up article in the San Francisco Chronicle - people have had enough:

"Although the anarchists like to talk tough, as soon as they're called on their illegal tactics, they cry "police brutality" and try to portray themselves as political martyrs. This time around they didn't even have a permit for their march, yet they still reacted with the same outrage when the police tried to enforce the law."

"The legions of liberal lawyers and community volunteers from the ACLU and the National Lawyers Guild who are conveniently on hand during such occurrences add to the "gotcha" atmosphere. In fact, the NLG had such "legal observers" on hand the night of the anarchist march and were quick to offer those arrested help in finding a lawyer. The local activist Web site, in its version of the night's events, even provides the NLG phone number for any witnesses or suspects."

"A friend of mine, who’s a San Francisco police officer, told me that these legal observers often walk the police line before the start of a protest and take down badge numbers. He also described how protesters will occasionally try to provoke police officers into violence, while the observers look on, apparently hoping to catch them in some crime. One has to wonder at the ethics of those who witness felonies and don't report them because they're too busy trying to find fault with the actions of the police department."

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