UPDATE on Liz’s condition (from a Phoenix friend):
“I just got off the phone with Dana in Washington. She says that she’s heard that Liz is fine, although the Capitol Police broke her glasses and her head was cut in the scuffle. She apparently did not go to the hospital. She, Medea, and Lori will see a judge today at 1:00 eastern time to see what happens next. I’m not sure when Desiree (the woman with the red hands) will be released or what she’s going to have to go through. I think it’s significant that the vice-chair for the House Foreign Relations Committee called the Capitol Police to say that the committee’s policy is to only escort activists out and not to arrest them. The vice-chair asked for their prompt release, but everyone was kept over night. I’m guessing that the Capitol Police are now just the strong arm of the administration.”
What a lot of people don’t realize is that law inside the Capitol, especially when a hearing is in session, is a bit different from what people might presume it to be. The chair of the session has authority over his or her hearing room. For me, this is the most deeply disturbing aspect of yesterday’s arrests. From what I can tell from out here in the western U.S.A., the Vice Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee asked the police to immediately release those arrested and act according to the known policy of that committee. The police knew this policy and should have honored the law. Furthermore, once the will of the Committee Chairwas iterated, those arrested without provocation should have been immediately released. They were kept in jail overnight.
Desiree knew, I’m sure, what the consequences of confronting Rice might be. She is an extremely intelligent woman. She was also careful not to touch Rice and to keep her hands clearly visible. Plus these cops know these women. They know that these are not violent women. The psychological profiles I’m sure they have done must show this or they wouldn’t have been allowed into hearings on an almost daily basis for the last couple of years.
The wonderful thing about CODEPINK is that it values the individual and nothing is “policy written in stone” other than those necessary for 501c3 status. Those pink women sitting in the “audience”/gallery did nothing wrong. The police acted in defiance of known Congressional authority. And they did this repeatedly. If the police are no longer respecting the laws of the land and the procedures of the leaders on The Hill, we are in watching a slow motion military/police cout d’etat.
Call/write/contact your Congresspersons and let them know you are outraged by this flagrant police abuse of the law and disrespect of Congress.