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Rally: Outrageous Police attack on activists of color in Brooklyn

November 16, 2003

Late tonight, the eight activists attacked and arrested by the NYPD are released on recognizance, without bail. Those requiring medical attention will get the care they require.

There will be a rally and press conference tomorrow, Monday November 17. Security arrive at 9:30 am. It starts at 11 am. Please come to show your solidarity and support for NYC activists of color, and speak out against police repression and surveillance.

NEW LOCATION just announced (no longer at court house):
City Hall
Broadway and Park Row

Critical Resistance 718 398 2825


Original press release

Contact: Critical Resistance Northeast Office, 718.398.2825,
Mervyn Marcano, 646-336-6789 ext. 104

November 16, 2003

8 People Arrested at Benefit for Activist People of Color

Brooklyn, NY - People attending a fundraising event in Brooklyn were shocked early this morning by unprovoked and violent assault at the hands of the NYPD. Up to 100 people attending a fundraiser for activists of color were indiscriminately sprayed with chemical agents, beaten with nightsticks, and harassed by a throng of police officers. Witnesses say there was no cause for the assaults and the subsequent arrests following the melee.

Approximately 21 marked police vehicles arrived at The Critical Resistance office 968 Atlantic Avenue, the location of the fundraising event, at around 2AM, to investigate an officer's report of someone standing outside the party allegedly holding an "open container." Within minutes, the police unleashed their wave of violence onto the crowd, provoking onlookers and beating down attendees who were not resisting their orders. Over 20 people were experiencing effects of the pepper spray that was erratically sprayed into the air by the officers. The officers were also attempting to take the event sign-in sheet.

All tenants of the private, residential building were present at the event, did not request police assistance, and no one in the building placed a complaint with the precinct or the emergency response system. Witnesses report that no warrant was presented upon police entrance. Organizers responded peacefully to police threats and physical provocation, and cooperated with police.

"I was stunned at the severity of the attack, and I am genuinely concerned for the safety and well-being of those who were unfairly detained and arrested," said witness at the scene of the incident.

Legal council at the scene confirmed that at least 8 arrests were made. Preliminary charges include assault, inciting a riot, and resisting arrest. The 77th Precinct, which is where the arrestees were initially held, has been unwilling to provide even the smallest information about the status of those arrested. EMS visited the precinct to attend to those who sustained serious injuries, which include bruised ribs, a spinal injury, and sever blows to the head.

Critical Resistance is a national grassroots group that focuses on prisons and police brutality, and challenges the belief that policing, surveillance, imprisonment, and similar forms of control make our communities safer.

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