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Harassment of Dissent Continues in NYC

If you ride a bike in this city you can expect harassment by the NYPD beyond just those attending such things as critical mass. If you are outspoken against the occupation of Iraq you can expect even more harassment, and it seems, if you try to help those outspoken against the occupation, you can get your property stolen.

Cindy Sheehan, of Gold Star Families for Peace who lost her son in Iraq, has been speaking out against the war and demanding George W. Bush bring the troops home. Cindy made a name for herself by camping out in Crawford Texas with other Mother’s with killed offspring, to urge the president to come up with timetables and address what is slowly becoming a “no-end-in-site” operation. The president and his cabinet were far too busy fishing, biking and napping to be bothered by such inconveniences as to have to talk to a couple of grief stricken Mother’s directly. While ignoring Sheehan’s complaints and the entire poor population of Mississippi and New Orleans during the largest natural disaster in America’s history, Cindy has vowed to keep her fight going and is now on tour making her way to Washington DC for an anti-war rally on the 24th of September. Cindy stopped in New York City to a packed house in Brooklyn last Sunday. Today she was in Union Square, where a makeshift tribute to Cindy’s Camp Casey was established until police tore it down last week. Cindy was speaking on the Southside steps which has become a focal spot for demonstrations and harassment by the NYPD. Around 2:45pm, the police moved in on Cindy and stole the sound system lent by the environmental group, Time’s Up which has constantly been attacked for their bicycle actions for more than a year now.

The sound system has been used by the bike group, on the last Friday of every month in what is being called “Still We Speak.” This is a permitted rally, which the city allows amplified sound. The police are constantly demanding the group get permits and the organizers have quickly realized just how difficult this can be as the city does everything in their power to delay the process and thus make it extremely difficult for politically motivated groups to advertise in advance, their speak-outs.

The estimated value of the stolen equipment is as follows:

$50 microphone
17 cable
65 inverter
100 battery
100 amp
50 cents worth of TIMES UP! stickers

total value $332.50

we’ve been told there are lawyers working on recovering the property which Time’s up says they need for the next critical mass speak-out at the end of this month.

There was also one arrest.

Cindy Sheehan’s people say this is the first time they’ve been harassed to this extent on their tour. Welcome to the Big Apple.
Free Speech…costs about $400.00, not to mention legal fees, time and effort.

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