Articles on Miami Protests

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Memorial piece for Jordan Feder, who died immediately following the Miami police state. A beautiful piece written by a friend and fellow fighter.

author: Pete Spina, contributed by dadanarchist
9 January 2004

It is November 23, 2003. At around 11 p.m. we load into our van, ready to leave Johnston Memorial Hospital in Smithfield, North Carolina and head back north. Morninglory turns to us. Jordan wanted her to tell us that he loves us all and that he never would have traded this for anything.

We are leaving Jordan behind in North Carolina. When we arrived at the hospital his fever was 103.7º F and his hands were going numb. The doctors said it was the flu and gave him something to bring down his temperature. We decided it would be best if he spent the night with a person we know in Raleigh. Allie and Madmartigan, our medics, will be staying with him.

Rewind a bit. Start somewhere else.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mayor says repression was a “model for homeland security”
By Jennifer Van Bergen
26 November 2003

Tens of thousands of demonstrators who came to Miami last week to protest the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA) ministerial meetings met with police harassment, provocation, and brutality. More than 100 protesters were treated for injuries, 12 were hospitalized and an estimated 250 were arrested. The Bush administration provided $8.5 million to back up local police against protesters.

Miami Activists Defense (MAD), a rapidly assembled group of attorneys from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) and legal workers from Midnight Special, a mass demonstration support group that arose out of the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, along with other groups, assembled in Miami a week or so before the ministerial meetings to provide demonstrators with legal support. MAD members field phone calls, provide referrals for legal representation, attend bail and court hearings, and post helpful information on the Internet.

Expressing alarm over the police tactics, Laura Raymond, the NLG student organizer on the Miami protest who is working with MAD, cited “brutality, beatings and such—tasers, wooden and rubber bullets, many cops beating one person, concussion grenades, electrical shields, etc.—so it seems as though arrest numbers are down but the intensity of the arrest and the complexity of defending all these cases is high.”

Another MAD worker inside the demonstration zone stated that there have been “thousands of militarized police, in full riot gear, including electrified shields, tanks, automatic and semi-automatic weapons, tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bags, violently arresting peaceful demonstrators.” The MAD worker pointed out that while “similar means have been used, of course, in response to global justice movement actions in the past… [W]hat makes Miami different, more frightening, is that all of these tactics were [now being] used in the absence of direct action” by demonstrators. MAD even received multiple reports of people being held at gunpoint without explanation or cause.

Public remarks of Miami police chief John Timoney support MAD reports. Papers quoted him saying: “We’re locking them up, piecemeal. We’ll try to do as many arrests as we can. If we don’t lock ’em up tonight, we’ll lock ’em up tomorrow.”

Michael Avery, president of the NLG, wrote a letter to Miami mayor Manuel A. Diaz, condemning the actions of the Miami police and demanding “a full-scale, independent investigation into the police officers’ alarming behavior, with the results to be made public.” Avery wrote Diaz: “Such paramilitary tactics are ill-conceived and self-defeating and have no place in a democratic society.” Two other advocacy groups—the Citizens Trade Campaign and Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch—also sent letters Friday to the Miami police.

Miami public defenders report that bonds as high as $20,000 have been set for such infractions as riding a bike late at night or carrying an open can of beer.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attempted to negotiate with police for many weeks before the demonstrations to ensure that protesters’ First Amendment rights would be protected. An ordinance was passed by the Miami Commission just the week prior to the demonstrations, restricting items demonstrators could carry and giving the ACLU and NLG little time to respond with legal action.

“We think the Fourth Amendment was completely suspended this week, and we’re very frustrated with that,” said Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, president of the Miami chapter of the ACLU. Both the ACLU and the NLG are considering legal action against Miami officials.

“Police chief Timoney claimed officers acted with restraint,” said Marc Steier, an attorney with MAD. “This assessment goes against the eye-witness reports of hundreds of people on the streets,” continued Kris Hermes, MAD spokesperson. “Mayor Diaz even had the gall to say that Miami was a ‘model for homeland security.’ He should know that his so-called ‘security,’ accomplished through assault and denial of rights for hundreds of people will be met with appropriate legal action.”

From Worker
Date Wed, 7 Jan 2004 14:20:32 +0100 (CET)

A – I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists

The Northeastern Federation of Anarcho-Communists joins
our comrades in Anti-Racist Action in remembering Jordan
Matthew Feder, anti-authoritarian, anti-fascist, medic, and friend.
Jordan died from meningitis after protesting the Free Trade
Area of the Americas in Miami, Florida and helping de-contaminate the
many victims of police chemical weapons at the protests.
In rememberance, we’re publishing a tribute from New Jersey Anti-Racist
Action as we add Jordan’s name to our list of comrades gone, but not forgotten.
Jordan Matthew Feder – PRESENTE!
“I cried when I found out that you had died, and I cried as I poured a shovel-full of dirt on your grave.
Read the rest of this entry »

By Starhawk

For those of us who participated in the protests against the FTAA, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, in Miami the third week in November, it?s a bit hard to feel victorious. We are bruised, battered, worried about companeros still in jail, and grieving for the Jordan Feder, a young medic who died of meningitis after the action. We?ve been harassed, arrested, tear gassed, pepper sprayed, hit, beaten, assaulted, lied about, and in some cases literally tortured and sexually assaulted in jail, and we?ve stared directly into the naked red gaze of the New American Fascism.
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Investigations Demanded on Police Actions

by Orin Langelle/Global Justice Ecology Project

The Ministerial Summit on the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) ended Nov. 20, a day early, with a watered-down version of the proposed trade pact, as police clashed with protesters in Miami’s streets. As trade ministers from 34 countries discussed a neoliberal trade agreement that would stretch from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, police used tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and electronic tasers to attack the FTAA opponents. Many protesters and bystanders were injured. Read the rest of this entry »

CORALIE CARLSON, Associated Press Thursday, November 27, 2003
MIAMI — A volunteer medic who treated injured demonstrators at the Free Trade Area of the Americas meeting last week died Wednesday of a strain of bacterial meningitis, sparking a health investigation to determine whether others were exposed.

The 23-year-old New Jersey man, whose name was not released by officials, died in a Raleigh, N.C., hospital, said Dr. Jean-Marie Maillard, an epidemiologist for the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. He had been hospitalized since Monday. Read the rest of this entry »

A volunteer medic who treated injured demonstrators at a free-trade meeting last week died Wednesday of bacterial meningitis, sparking an investigation to determine whether others were exposed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday that no other cases had been confirmed. Forty to 45 people who had close contact with the victim were given antibiotics, CDC spokesman Llelwyn Grant said.

“We just don’t know at this time how far-reaching this will be,” Grant said. Read the rest of this entry »