Vestigial Thoughts

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Keeping your Dirty Hippies on a Leash

This is kind of interesting

The D.C. government has agreed to pay $1 million to a group of people who claimed they were illegally arrested during a protest in the city five years ago.

I'm glad to see something is coming from this. I wasn't a member of this group. I was at a place called Pershing Park when I was arrested

A larger class-action lawsuit is pending, covering more than 400 people who say they were illegally arrested at Pershing Park.

I suppose I'm part of the large suit that is still pending. I was arrested at Pershing Park, and I had contact with lawyers about this immediately after the fact. Though I haven't heard from them in years. I do however still have the following memento:

The following is a little odd though:
Sofiya Goldshteyn, then a George Washington University student from Ukraine, never made it to her work-study job that day. Instead, she said, she endured plastic handcuffs that were too tight, hunger, filthy water, cold concrete floors, strip-searches and fear that she would be deported.

We all had to endure plastic hand cuffs -- 16 hours on bus. I'm a little on the flexible side, so I was able to slip out of them behind my back and put them back on in front of me. We were given bottled water, little juice boxes, and bag lunches of bologna sandwiches and granola bars. Of course with this crowd there were a disproportionate number of vegetarians, but food was provided and only runway models are going to starve by not eating for a day. I kept at the police training facility, specifically on a gymnasium floor. They were nice enough to put mats down for everyone though. As frisky as they were, no one strip-searched me. This isn't to say it didn't happen to some folks, but I don't think it was the norm. Most of the police were polite -- of course I was polite to them. The situation was uncomfortable -- having my hand zip tied to my ankle for 11 hours on the gym floor was a pain in the ass. This isn't to say the woman mentioned in the article is lying or exaggerating, I just had a different experience.

I was fairly secure in my belief that we were arrested illegally. There's no reason to be rude to the police though. The civil rights violation came from the person who gave the order to arrest everyone and not the individual carrying it out. How they chose to carry it out may be questionable, but most of my experiences were benign.