I’m reposting a press release distributed on the UFPJ Counter-Recruiting List. I’m not sure what the updates discussed at the press conference were — the p.c. mentioned below happened yesterday afternoon, 5 July 2006. I am pleased that support from around the country is being shown to the counter-recruiting group. Keep the pressure on the police who have changed their story. The police complicity in the attack on peaceful protesters is the most disturbing element of this course of events for me. Outrage must be expressed from every area in the nation about the situation in New Haven, as well as my own dear Old Pueblo, toward the unconstitutional behavior of officials in these anomolous municipalities if this sort of police state is to be dismantled and stopped from spreading even further throughout our Constitutional Republic.
If you know of this sort of police and military suppression of counter-recruiting communication that is happening elsewhere in the U.S., I would appreciate receiving links to where the events and actions are described -or- if anyone would like to document other as yet under or unreported instances of military and police suppression of free speech about counter-recruiting efforts and events in the U.S. and email them to me at: artpax (at) gmail.com. I will probably post any such information received to Build Peace so be sure to include whether you want your name or nom de bot (a la nom de plume) listed with a post. I cannot print anonymous info. I have to know how to contact you, for real, although I will not release that information.
*Press Conference – Wednesday, July 5th 2006 – 5PM*
*157 Orange St. New Haven, CT 06511*
Thanks to all of you who have called in to make complaints against the New Haven Police Department and the Marine Corps. Momentum is building here in New Haven and nationwide to stand up and defend free speech! Many of you have sent us reports of your phone calls to the police and although the police initially were taken off guard by the outpouring of support, they have since developed their own version of the events of June 28th. People have reported that police now claim that protesters were blocking the doors, that they were never assaulted and that the phone “fell” out of the protester’s hand and was not taken.
1. The protesters never blocked the entrances to the recruiting station.
2. The marine absolutely did assault several protesters with a baseball bat.
3. The cell phone was taken by the marine and returned by the police a full 45 minutes later without the photos.
4. Even if our presence or message angered the marine, this does not give him the right to assault unarmed citizens.
This situation represents a severe infringement of free speech rights in the city of New Haven and just another example of many instances of repression around the country. While activists consult a lawyer as to their legal options, the political implications are clear. This is a stunning example of the use of violence and intimidation to silence opposition to an unjust and unpopular war in which hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have perished as well as over 2500 US soldiers. We must organize to defend our right to dissent and challenge the lies of military recruiters. We look to the brave heros who have resisted deployment to Iraq to inspire our struggle. What does it say about a system in which soldiers and citizens who dissent are punished and those who silence dissent are protected? Fight back tomorrow by signing the petition, calling in and coming to the press conference!
BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
*1. **Sign the Online Petition! Demand Free Speech!*
*2. * *Participate in the National Call-In Action!*
Call the New Haven Mayor’s Office
Mayor John DeStefano Jr.
Office of the Mayor – 203-946-7672 or 203-947-7673
DeStefano for Governor – 203-752-0545
DeStefano’s Home Number – 203-389-9431
Call the US Marine Corps Recruiting Command
Orange St, New Haven, CT – 203-789-4484
Regional Office, Springfield, MA – 413-594-4623 or 2033
— Major Lawrence Coleman, Sergeant Major Cevet Adams
Call the New Haven Police Department
Chief Francisco Ortiz – 203-946-6333
General – 203-946-6316 or 6120
“Internal Values and Ethics” – 203-946-6249 or 6250
–Officers Ratti (#463), Hartnett (#4), Knickerbocker (#80)
*3. Come to the Press Conference and Rally*
Wednesday, July 5 – 5PM
157 Orange St. New Haven, CT 06511
Speakers include: Two Eye-Witnesses, National Lawyer’s Guild Lawyer and Connecticut United for Peace Representative. Statements of support from Sara Rich (Suzanne Swift’s Mom), Iraq Veterans Against the War and the Campus Anti-War Network. For More Info/ directions/ get involved call Todd 203-506-2414.
Please help us by addding your signature to The Petition for Suzanne Swift
Direct Link to petition is: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/441448013 or for more information go to http://www.suzanneswift.org where you can link to the petition.
CO-SPONSOR THIS PETITION; Your organization or Nation can sign this petition as a co-sponsor. Please send your statement of support to email@example.com
Thank you for your support,
BJ Stewart, Originator of Petition
I am sure that this will not be approved by you, if you do publish this, I will be shocked. While I do not know exaclty what happened, I will say this. A Marine Recruiter (or any Marine for that matter) would not take the action you describe without sufficient provocation or a feeling that he was in danger. I have been a Marine for 18 years, and let me tell you… Every time I see a protestor I smile… IT IS BECAUSE I PUT MY LIFE IN HARMS WAY SO THAT YOU CAN DO IT… Every person in todays military signed of thier own free will, we do not want you to speak for us, we have our own voices, we use them every day that we protect YOUR rights… Do us a favor and find another cause… Semper Fidelis…
OORAH Marine, OORAH!!!