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CodePink Arrestee Report from Janet Weil
by Janet Weil
Monday Jan 1st, 2007 9:05 PM
Report from Code Pink member Janet Weil, who, along with nine others, was arrested today at the South entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge for "trespassing." The CHP was given the order to clear the bridge of pedestrians and bicyclists, and prevented access for at least three hours. No laws were broken at the bridge. Check the 11pm news and SF Chronicle for pictures and stories.
Thanks to Celeste and Cynthia for their reports on today's inspiring action at the Golden Gate Bridge, and to all who participated!

Very tired after the action, the arrest and making my way back to Concord, so here's "just the facts ma'am" on the arrest part. I will try to post a longer report to the list tomorrow; also took lots of great photos which I will send to http://www.codepinkalert.org. If anyone else took photos, please send them to: webmistress [at] codepinkalert.org.

At the Code Pink action to mourn and remember the 3000 US combat dead at the Golden Gate Bridge, 10 of us, 8 women and 2 men, were arrested after a two-and-a-half hour "stand-in" at the southern end of the bridge. The charge: "trespassing on the Golden Gate Bridge" even though it is a public bridge, AND we never were permitted to set foot on the bridge until, ironically, we were arrested by the CHP. The Golden Gate Bridge Authority was also involved, and in fact we think precipitated, the arrests.

The arrestees include, in alpha order and with no last names because I don't know everyone's last names: Ann, Deb, Graciela, Leslie, Medea, Susan, Sam, and myself, Janet W; and two men, Jess and a man whose name is unknown to me. We women were searched (full body patdown) on the bridge in full view of traffic and male arresting officers. I don't know how the men were treated and/or searched. We were taken to the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant, cited and released. Renay and Deb's partner came to greet us and give us rides home or to our vehicles in the GG Bridge parking lot -- THANK YOU!

During our long attempt to cross the bridge, we received an outpouring of support from tourists (US and foreign), at least one Vietnam War veteran, and passersby in vehicles.

We are going to try to get this ridiculous charge dismissed. Stay tuned for further details. Also, if you can, PLEASE watch channels 4 and 7 tonight to monitor coverage, and read tomorrow's Chronicle and maybe North Bay papers.

Could someone please post this, or an edited version of it, to http://www.indybay.org? Thanks so much -- I have to rest now.

Together we will end this war! A great start to a year of increasing peace and sanity. I don't want to be here next year mourning 4,000, and I'm sure none of you want to do that either.

Janet Weil
proud to be part of Bay Area Code Pink


Janet
"Take your face out of your hands
And clear your eyes
You have a right to your dreams
And don't be denied
I believe in a better way"

-- Ben Harper, "Better Way"
from "Both Sides of the Gun" CD

Comments  (Hide Comments)

Approximately 100 demonstrators showed up at noon. A group photo was taken at the assembly so it is documented what demonstrators attended. Code Pink should file a class action lawsuit on behalf of the peaceful, law abiding citizens who tried to use our First Ammendment Rights to ask the government for redress, exercise our freedom of speech and engage in our right to assemble.

Because we live in a military police state, it is now illegal to wear pink, walk on GGBridge and access to public parks have been banned.
**********************************

Here is a condensed version of the days activity:

We were told for three hours by about 40 different cops "the Golden Gate Bridge is private property and you cannot walk on it unless you have our permission." Hundreds of tourists from around the world and various states were banned from walking across the bridge. The highly ironic part is that Marin County police let 25 Code Pink demonstrators walk across the bridge from that side! The California Highway Patrol and Golden Gate Bridge cops had NO answer why it was legal to walk from Marin - but illegal to walk from S.F. Those cops must be dumber than a sack of hammers. How do they manage to even chew their food.

After 3 hours - from noon to 3:00 pm the cops started arresting people. About 12:20 pm a cop attached an ABC News reporter, Randy Davis. The cop was angry that media was filming the demonstration. The cop told the reporter to leave and stop filming. The reporter refused. Then the cop said "show me your credentials" The reporter had a prominent ABC channel logo on his camera - so showing credentials was pointless. Clearly he was a member of the working press.

I am a witness who was standing 3 feet from ABC News reporter Randy Davis whose nose was broken and face was cut by the GGB cop who beat him up. The journalists crime was filming the Code Pink demonstration. I heard the cop several times holler at the journalist for his credentials and try to intimidate the reporter to leave and quit filming us. The reporter's camera had a big logo for Channel 7 right on his camera. Obviously, the reporter had a job to do and intended to fulfill his duty and stood his ground. The cop's behavior was profoundly belligerent and the assault and battery against the reporter lasted several minutes. Randy Davis nose was broken, his face was cut and his eye was injured. Also his TV camera was damaged.

The crowd of demonstrators and tourists were horrified and began booing. Things were escalating and the clearly embarrassed fellow police officers forced the rogue dirty violent cop to stop beating the crap out of the ABC reporter. That violent cop was made to stand off away from the crowd for awhile in order to diffuse the upset crowd booing and hissing at the police. Whenever I asked the other cops why the reporter was beaten up they replied "the reporter deserved it - the police officer was acting in self defense because the reporter was beating up the policeman". This is a lie - the police are the lawbreakers and have taken over control of the Constitution which they tossed out the window along with the rest of our civil liberties such as Habeus Corpus which no longer exist thanks to Bush and our pile of wet mush Congress, Senate and Supreme Court who sat by and did nothing about the rape of democracy, presidential election fraud and various acts of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors done by Bush and his minions.

What has our nation come to when corporate mainstream journalists are beaten up for filming the news? The crowd of Code Pink demonstrators was primarily senior citizen women (Raging Grannies) and middle aged suburbanites. We were a pretty darn tame group of people. The cops said they wouldn't let us walk the bridge because they were convinced we would do something illegal and dangerous once we got off the bridge. I guess wearing PINK is scary to these great big strong guys with guns, tasers and tear gas.

We were repeatedly told for three hours by at least 40 cops that the Golden Gate Bridge was PRIVATE PROPERTY and people need permission from cops to walk on the pedestrian footpath.
We knew that was a lie, and we knew it was a lie about the police officers allegations that the Channel 7 reporter was the one who started the fight............and we knew we had the legal right to ask our government for redress, freedom of speech and the right to assemble.

After 3 hours of a standoff, hundreds of tourists from around the world and the nation refused entrance to the GGB footpath, shutting down the bridge for 3 hours it seemed the cops were bored and getting antsy - the standoff was over and now they were arresting people. I was 2 feet from where the arrests took place. Medea Benjamin and Sam Joi started to walk through the bunch of cops and try to walk on the bridge. After getting about 10 feet they were arrested, then disappeared...........couldn't see them any further.

A man who was peaceful and not resisting arrest was thrown to the ground by the police. He seemed to be in physical pain and distress while four cops had pinned him down on the ground. They would not let him walk to the paddy wagon - they dragged him instead. He did not go limp on purpose - he was not trying to be dragged away...........it was the cops using excessive force on a silent, calm man. All they needed to do was make him put his arms behind his back and put cufflinks and ankle links on him..............why did the cops force him to the ground - why did it take four cops to arrest one extremely peaceful man?

As I was leaving - clearly it was obvious I was walking away - a cop grabbed my arm and told me he was going to arrest me. I said, arrest me for WHAT - arrest me because I am LEAVING? He looked confused and I kept walking. The demonstration had DISPERSED and was over. About
50 feet from the demonstration I saw a Code Pink friend and was talking to her. After about 1 minute of conversation a cop threatened to arrest us and told us to move on. Again I asked
"Arrest us for what - for talking in a public place?"

An apology from the California Highway Patrol and Golden Gate Bridge Police is not enough!

I believe Code Pink should file a class action lawsuit on behalf of the 100 citizens whose First Ammendment Rights were impinged in the military police state action which transpired on New Years Day. This squelching of civil liberties and egregious harrassment of peace demonstrators is not an isolated incident.

This spring I attended a rally against VP Dick Cheney when he came to the Sacramento Hyatt Regency Hotel to conduct fundraising for Republican neo-cons prior to the election. A crowd of about 200 people showed up. We had a legal permit and the right to assemble. Throughout the entire demonstration we were exhorted by cops to disperse, to move on - it didn't matter where we stood on the sidewalk - or that we kept contstantly moving as to not disrupt or impede other pedestrians we were told by cops - "leave, move and get out of here". This went on for several hours - non-stop and relentless.

In total disgust two of my Code Pink friends left the main demonstration and walked over to the Captiol Dome Park which is on the grounds of the big white state capitol dome. This is a park I have walked in for the last 12 years and it is a public park. Because we were dressed in pink and carried a cloth Code Pink banner with pro-peace message - a California Highway Patrol officer told us he would ARREST US for walking in the park. He told us "This park is private property and you don't belong here so leave immediately or you are going to jail." After 20 minutes of debating with the CHP cop it was clear he was going to arrest us. We told him he was a facsist and the one who was breaking the law - one of my friends got out her cell phone and started calling 911 - she told the cop "I am going to demand back up - I want a commanding officer to come here and assess the situtation - you can't arrest us for walking in the park". Then the CHP
office gave us a dirty look, said nothing and walked away.

We went back to the Dick Cheney demonstration and were immedietely harrasssed by cops to move on and leave, disperse. Then about 30 demonstrators decided to walk one block up to the K Street Mall and demonstrate there because if we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Hotel corner it would just be more relentless harrassment from the cops to disperese. We were met by over a dozen, armed and mounted police on horseback who told us to disperse. The horses circled the demonstrators and didn't give us anywhere to escape. It was very scary and I thought I was going to get trampled by the cops horses.

Then a huge group of schoolchildren showed up in line at the IMAX Theatre. IT looked like a grammar school field trip. The parents and the kids looked startled when the cops on horseback were chasing down peaceful protestors. At that point we started chanting MONEY FOR SCHOOLS NOT FOR WAR IN IRAQ............then the school kids started laughing, smiling and they started chanting with us.............so the cops were facing a crowd of about 200 school kids their parents all supporting us demonstrators. The cops realized they couldn't run down this crowd of grammar school kids/parents with their mounted horses. This was the ONLY reason our group of 30 demonstrators wasn't trampled by cops horses and arrested.

Code Pink needs to file a CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL and GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE POLICE - our First Ammendment Rights were egregiously violated. The bridge is NOT private property and we had the right to walk across it.

Here is the hilariously IRONIC part of this expereince. Two Spaniard tourists on vacation were trying to walk across the bridge. They recognized Medea Benjamin because the Spaniard journalists knew here from a visit to Iraq just a few weeks prior to the war starting in March 2003.
Medea gave the Spaniard journalists an interview - and our story is going to be sent to Spain and European press agencies! So now we will be getting international publicity about this.

ABC News is going to file a lawsuit against the cop who broke the nose and cut the face and eye of the journalist who was brutally attacked by the facist, rogue cop.

Call Congresswoman NANCY PELOSI's office TODAY and demand the executive at GGB police who made the decision to close the bridge and refuse to let Code Pink walk be FIRED. Demand the cop who beat up the reporter go to jail for aggravated assault and battery and be FIRED and finished in his law enforcement career. Tell Nancy Pelosi to conduct an indepth investigation about this incident as well as four years of surveillance and spying the Pentagon , Homeland Security and the FBI has done against peaceful law-abiding demonstrators.

January 1st the headline articles in the Sacramento Bee and S.F. Chronicle said Nancy Pelosi and Bush will come together as centrists to cut political deals on biparisan issues. The article said Pelosi will move from the liberal left and come to the center - and Bush will leave the ultra hard line right and move closer to the center in order to push through legislation.

Same old fuckin' pile of wet soggy mush we've had for decades. Are you satisifed with this?

Me personally.........I didn't want to vote in November for Democrats who are Republicrats. But I voted for the Democrats because at that point in time voting Green was going to help Republicans stay in power.

Nancy Pelosi says she is against the war in Iraq - but she always winds up voting YES to keep spending billions in funding the war. We need to PRESSURE her to finally stop voting to FUND the war. We also need to get her to investigate about the egregious violation of civil liberties against peace activists.

We are NOW living in a military police state - one man who is a the chief police executive at GGB administration has now tossed the First Ammendment into the toilet. You no longer have the right to demonstrate in America.

Anyone who attended this demonstration and is a witness and who wants to work with me to file a class action lawsuit against the cops for violating our civil liberties - PLEASE CONTACT ME

cmwhalen2001 [at] yahoo.com Colleen Whalen

I live in Sacramento. Our local peace groups have been under surveillance even before the war started. January, 2003 10,000 people demonstrated in downtown Sacramento. At the rally at the state capitol dome government surveillance agents photographed people at the rally. George Main and Veterans for Peace was conducting anti-recruitment demonstrations at Rosin Court Military Recruitment center in Natomas, Sacramento.

This went on for many months and the whole time the Pentagon had that peace group under surveillance. This story finally broke and was released about 2 months ago in the Sacramento Bee. The Pentagon admitted it has been spying on peace activists all over America - but then they have done doublespeak and said "no we are not spying on Americans who are non-violent, but we have files on peace activists and we shouldn't have these files." Does that statement make sense to you? It doesn't make sense to me. First the Pentagon admits they have files on us - then they say they should not have made those files - then they deny they have been spying on us..........doesn't this sound reminiscent of Bush's Orwellian Newspeak calling his energy program for coal burning fuel "Clear Skies".

George Orwell rolls in his grave as Newspeak Doublespeak is spouted by cops who tell us the Golden gate Bridge is private property and cops who tell us we cannot walk in public parks, it is now illegal to wear pink!
The Republic is in peril!

January 5th Congress and Senate reconvenes - attend your local demonstrations.

January 27 go to Washington DC and demonstrate or join your local anti war demonstration and DEMAND your political representatives stop funding the war in Iraq. The way to end the war is to stop the money that pays for it.

March 17th come to Washington for the March on the Pentagon.

We need a million people in the streets of DC. There is no draft, so the vast majority of Americans are too lazy and apathetic to get off their butt and demonstrate or pressure their elected officials.

DO SOMETHING! "I am too busy" is no excuse.

2 million Iraqui refugess, 650,000 dead Iraqui non-combatant civilians, 3,000 dead American soldiers (more than the number of deaths from 9/11). We have been at war in Iraq longer than we were at war in WWII.1

There will be chartered buses from the west coast to DC. Code Pink has organized houses for S.F. and California demonstrators to stay in. There is a low price youth hostel in DC downtown walking distance from the Capitol Mall you can stay at.

For more info contact info [at] bayareacodepink.org

510-524-2276

http://www.bayareacodepink.org http://www.codepinkalert.org


KEEP HOPE ALIVE

TAKE YOUR COUNTRY BACK

DEFEND THE REPUBLIC


Colleen Whalen
Sacramento Code Pink
16th & Broadway Peace Coalition
When you vote for the Democrats, you vote for the Republicans and for war and fascism. The Democrats and Republicans are the twin parties of the capitalist class. The only reason the Democrats exist is to keep the Reds (Peace & Freedom Party) and the Greens out of office, the only 2 peace and civil liberties parties on the ballot. This is nothing new. This is the entire history of the Democratic Party. The Democrats are now, as always, voting for war and fascism, and they told you they were for war and the "PATRIOT" Act, and you still voted for them! Did you finally learn your lesson when confronted with the Democratic Party's police (San Francisco police-what were they doing on the bridge?-are run by the Democratic Party of SF, all California police agencies are supposedly supervised by the Democratically-controlled Legislature and in fact, there are only 2 Constitutional officeholders that are Republican, the Governor and the Controller, so you can thank the Democratic Party for this whole fascist show)? What is it going to take to wake up you and everyone else who claims to be for peace and civil liberties while you vote for the war and fascist Democrats? And you are not even ashamed of yourselves. You continue to chant the Democrats' sales pitch that voting for them keeps the Republicans out of office when the Democrats are EXACTLY THE SAME BECAUSE THEY ARE PAID FOR BY THE SAME CAPIALIST CLASS TO CARRY OUT THE SAME CAPITALIST AGENDA. This is th old good cop/bad cop con job.

The time for publicity stunts is long over. The time for organizing the workingclass for a general strike to put an end to the private profit system that is the cause of war and fascism is long overdue. Please do more counter-recruiting to get the workingclass to NEVER JOIN THE MILITARY, and those who are there now should be told to RESIGN FROM THE MILITARY TODAY!

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