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<nettime> New York RNC Protests aftermath: Charges dropped against Emman
Patrice Riemens on Tue, 30 Nov 2004 23:14:26 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> New York RNC Protests aftermath: Charges dropped against Emmanuel Goldstein, 2600 editor.

bwo HippiesfromHell discussion list
(my out to lunch commentary/rant is at the bottom)



Posted 30 Nov 2004 05:43:23 UTC

In a move that came as somewhat of a surprise, the City of New York 
dropped on Monday all charges pending against 2600 editor Emmanuel 
Goldstein. The charges stemmed from his arrest August 31 at the protests 
surrounding the Republican National Convention. As we reported at the 
time, he was arrested while filming a protest taking place on East 16th 
Street. (His notes, photos, audio, and videos of the event are available 

A number of those arrested at various protests surrounding the RNC, 
including Emmanuel, were told to show up to court Monday morning, prepared 
to have their trials. Most, like Emmanuel, were charged with Disorderly 
Conduct; many were additionally charged with Parading Without a Permit. 
Though a few trials actually took place Monday (as they have been slowly 
taking place over at least the last two weeks) and some more are scheduled 
for the next few days, most of the accused were instead told to come to 
court again on a later date. A few individuals had their charges dismissed 
as the prosecution was not ready to go to trial, in violation of the Sixth 
Amendment right to a speedy trial. However, alone among the cases heard 
Monday morning, Emmanuel's case was dropped voluntarily by the 
prosecution. No reasoning or explanation for this dismissal was offered or 
readily available.

Though the charges against him are no longer an issue, Emmanuel has vowed 
to continue fighting against the injustices he sees to have been done 
against him and the approximately 1800 others arrested during the 
Republican National Convention. He is joining the class-action lawsuit 
against New York City for its police and detention practices, and is 
making himself available to testify at some of the criminal trials of 
those whose cases were not dismissed so summarily.

Meanwhile, the cases for other RNC defendants plod along slowly. Of those 
who have gone to trial, very few have actually been found guilty of 
anything. The City seems to be using many of these cases as a sort of 
training for new Assistant District Attorneys, some of whom have had (and 
lost) their first trial experiences attempting to prosecute allegations of 
Disorderly Conduct.

In a somewhat bizarre twist, some of those whose cases have gone to trial 
report that the prosecution has attempted to use the video shot by 
Emmanuel against some of those also arrested on 16th Street. As the video 
does not appear to show anyone doing anything illegal, and we're not aware 
of any case in which this video was used ending in a conviction, the 
prosecution's thinking here, as in so much of this matter, is unclear.

----- End forwarded message -----


Interesting is the before last paragraph. Cases as training material for 
junior prosecutors. It is (immo) definitely a trend. There are not enough 
'political' instances of disorderly conduct, riots, and other threats 
coming from the public as compared to the level of menace perceived by the 
ruling elites. The result is that the repressive forces lack training, and 
the consequence is that every actual occurence of the above is immediately 
milked to the tilt for its training opportunities. The populace is thus, 
after being deprived of its liberties, also turned into guinea pigs.

After the first big hijacks by the Fatah in the seventies (by Leila Khaled 
& co), the two Swiss national Airports and (wide) surroundings were turned 
into _official_ "war zones". The army moved in, with orders to shoot on 
sight, without warning, and to kill. This lasted for two years, not 
because of any clear and present emergency, but the time was needed - as 
the general staff unashamedely admitted - to have the whole Swiss army 
trained into a 'real war' situation. Afaik no shot was fired in the end, 
at least not with fatal consequence, but all the same, the message is 
clear: we are expandable prison/cannon/extermination camp fodder for the 
powers that be. Of whatever denomination and whereever on planet Earth.

no cheers, patrice & Diiiinooos!


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