Fwd: LAPD Attacks Organized Labor at Staples Center

radman resist at best.com
Thu Aug 17 11:08:15 PDT 2000

>D2K Labor Organizing Committee
>Contact: Michael Everett, 310-394-2596, 310-480-2871
> Jim Lauderdale, 213-482-6660, ext. 231
>August 15, 2000
>LAPD Attacks Organized Labor at Staples Center Rally; Leaders Demand
>LOS ANGELES - Last night, August 14 at 8:30pm, the Los Angeles Police
>Department used clubs, horses, rubber bullets, and chemical weapons to
>attack up to a thousand union members as they attempted to peacefully
>disperse from the Staples Center rally site.
>The D2KLA rally was cosponsored by a wide range of labor unions and
>was in fact an officially sponsored labor event. Some of the unions
>endorsing the event included the AFL-CIO San Francisco Labor Council,
>International Longshore & Warehouse Union, California Nurses
>Association, Film & Television Action Committee (representing members
>of IATSE, SAG, AFTRA, Teamsters, WGA, DGA), Laborers Local 724, AFSCME
>Local 1108, and P.A.C.E. Local 8-675. The unprovoked attack on labor
>by the LAPD was unprecedented in recent history and was the bloodiest
>labor conflict in Los Angeles since the 1940's.
>Organized labor has sponsored a series of events for the week of the
>Democratic convention in reaction to a Democratic platform, which
>embraces fast track and rejected amendments for fair trade, a living
>wage, and universal health care.
>Union members and their families, along with thousands of other
>protesters were enjoying a concert by Ozomotli when at approximately
>8pm the music abruptly stopped and the stage lights went out. An LAPD
>police commander announced from the stage that he was declaring the
>event an illegal assembly and ordered the crowd of up to 10,000 to
>disperse and giving them 15 minutes to do so. Many of the crowd were
>able to exit the area before the police attacked, but thousands were
>still struggling to negotiate the narrow exit area and the three foot
>concrete barriers obstructing it when waves of police on horseback and
>on foot moved into the crowd and began firing indiscriminately on the
>fleeing protesters. Scores of protesters were injured, most shot in
>the back, as they attempted to comply with police orders to disperse.
>Labor activist Michael Everett, one of the organizers of the event
>said, "Labor is a key component of the Seattle Coalition - when the
>police attack any on of us, they attack all of us. Make no mistake
>about it, last night's attack was an attack on the labor movement and
>the working families we represent. It marks an ominous new direction
>for relations between the LAPD and organized labor, and we call for an
>official apology from the city and from the LAPD. We ask the
>Democratic Party to publicly renounce and disassociate themselves from
>this sort of unprovoked and violent attack on labor."
>The D2K Labor Organizing Committee has called for a mass labor turnout
>at this Thursday's global sweatshop and immigrants rights march
>through the Garment district. The march will be led by Justice for
>Janitors and will begin at 8th & Santee at 4pm. It will proceed to
>the Staples Center to join a final mass rally and protest to take
>place during Al Gore's acceptance speech. Regardless of police
>provocations, organizers pledge to maintain their adherence to the
>principles of non-violence and remind both the LAPD and the Democratic
>Party that the whole world will be watching.

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