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I got no idea why and how the Dallas Morning Snooze got this story, but it was on the
front page below the fold today, by staff writer Colleen McCain Nelson. This is just so uncharacteristic of the Morning Snooze, I wonder WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON in the city of the bronze cows.

DOES THIS SIGNIFY A SEA CHANGE?, or just a slow news day, and a smart ass reporter and editor who will get their asses kicked this afternoon by (re)pub. Jim Moroney or Belo boss Robert Deckerd?

Headline: Smarting after GOP's party

They were captured in nets, handcuffed and thrown into crowded jail cells. [THATS THE LEAD LINE IN THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS !! WHERE"S THE TYLENOL?]

For more than 1800 protesters arrested at last year's Rupublican convention, free speech came at a price. Some are still fighting charges such as disorcderly conduct and failure to disperse. Of those who have made their way through the judicial system, nine in 10 were not found guilty of anything.

(link is here; too bad you can't see it "in the paper")

Below the jump: POLICE STATE?

Demonstrators say that New York City was transformed into a police state for the benefit of President Bush. They point to the lack of convictions as evidence that Republcans were more concerned with squelching dissent at their carefully scripted convention than with keeping the streets safe.

But party officals have said that security was their main focus..blah..high alert for terroist threats while controlling the 500,000 demonstrators...[!!!]

continued on top of page 10:

BIG HEADLINE: Protesters: GOP, police went too far in New York.

...class action lawsuit is under way...New York officails recently agreed to pay a modest settlement to some of the protestors.

The protestors describe being accused of blocking traffic while standing on streets that were barricaded off and of resisting arrest when videos show them following police instructions.

"They threw these guys into cuffs and threw them into trucks," said Christopher Williams, an attorney..."... Because they disagree with certain policies?"

Gael Murphy...snagged a pass to the GOP convention. She donned a pink slip (suggesting that the president deserved one) and wrote "Fire Cheney and Halliburton' on her outfit...she didn't yell or wave her arms but positioned herself where TV cameras... might catch a glimpse....  she was wrestled to the ground and hauled off in handcuffs.

Last sentence of this massive piece: from the attorney Williams:

"We're supposed to respect democracy. But they don't want to let people exercise these freedoms without paying a huge price."

I could go on but the Morning Snooze is a little testy about fair use.

But trust me, this is really a very nasty article which pays short shrift to the Rethugs.

A very strange, almost unique piece in the Dallas Morning News...??????????? This is like Aljazeera doing a promo for Pat Robertson!!!

Why now? is the Downing Street piece penetrating the consciousness of the unwashed? Is this the rapture? WTF?

Originally posted to seesdifferent on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:18 AM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

  •  They are about 10 days late... (none)
    (From memory so the details may be wrong)

    The Settlement in the NY Class action agreed to give each individual who was arrested $150 (less than the  $350 they were entitled to under statute), and pay attorney fees in the range of a quarter million.

    I doubt that the 10% conviction rate is accurate either.  This attrocity did not receive nearly enough attention.

    The Dallas Morning News likely ran it after the editor read it and got pissed of that those damn liberals sucked more money from the economy by whining about some damn right or another.

    •  Not true (none)
      As we are participating in the class action, I think I would have heard.

      However, you got me curious so I checked out the National Lawyers Guild site for an update. What you apparently heard about was a settlement on the contempt charges.

      After a statutory limit of 24 hours without a hearing was passed, there were a series of increasingly angry hearings with judges ordering the police to let protestors talk to lawyers, let those with medical complaints see doctors, and in general start these people moving through the system. None of that happened. Eventually they were all processed in a rush Thursday night, just before the Bush speech (most arrests were Tuesday morning, some much earlier).

      The contempt charges arose from a judge's order around noon on Thursday, ordering the city to pay as I recall $500 for each person who had not yet had a hearing. The City immediately appealed and I never actually thought they'd have to pay a cent on the contempt charges.

      So it's kind of nice to hear they actually did. But this is by no means the end of the story. The class action suits are still in a very early stage.

      •  actually, i think (none)
        the first order came on wed. night as myself and some others went down to 100 centre street with water, food and stacks of "i (heart) NY" t-shirts we picked up in chinatown to greet those being released. they did indeed start releasing people about midnight but it was about 2 people an hour. that's when things started to get ugly with the judges. and thank god for norm siegel. that guy was out there all night and through the day on thursday kicking the city's ass.

        "after the Rapture, we get all their shit."

        by lipris on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:56:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it started Wed night (none)
          The 24 hour clock went by sometime Wednesday and that's when the hearings started. The court orders began coming out late Wed. night. I remember seeing the lawyers at the entry of the holding cells at 4 am, holding the court order in their hand, as the police refused to honor it and slammed the door in their faces.

          The contempt fine was what was issued around noon on Thursday, and went along with some strongly-worded orders to process specific batches of people by 2 pm, 3pm, etc. Needless to say, that was all ignored.

    •  By the way (none)
      Reading the article at the NLG site I see the $150 payment is for 108 plaintiffs. As there were over 1000 people who the judge was concerned about when he imposed the fine, I'm not sure why this number is so small.

      I don't begrudge the NLG people their miniscule legal fees. A lot of high-powered lawyers have been putting in a lot of pro bono time on this. They were there almost nonstop, round-the-clock during the RNC. I know because I was there in the courthouse with them.

  •  But as to your question, yes (none)
    I'm seeing signs of a sea change.

    It's because of the drop in approval of Bush.  The media go where the readers already are. . . .

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:26:07 AM PDT

  •  I saw it a nd read some (none)
    and wondered what this was about, too.  Occasionally th eDMN gets a big "Hmmmm..." out of me.
  •  using nets? (none)
    Is that like the men in little white coats and butterfly nets? Does anyone have a picture of using nets against the protestors, or does it mean net in a more figurative sense?
    •  they were bright, safety orange (4.00)
      nets, much like you see surrounding construction sites. the cops would run along the perimeter of a crowd carrying these things and then, with little rhyme or reason, pull them up. if you were on the wrong side of those nets, you were arrested. period. whether you were part of a "protest" or picking up some cat food at the corner bodega. i personally witnessed probably 600 or so of the 1800 arrests and only through dumb luck always found myself on the right side of the nets when they went up. in fact, i'm one of the few people in my circle of friends that didn't get picked up.

      i've got plenty of pictures and oh, about 90 hours of video, i'll try to post some sometime. it was pretty fucking surreal.

      "after the Rapture, we get all their shit."

      by lipris on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:42:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh, and the "protestors" (none)
        weren't thrown in to "crowded jail cells". they were thrown in to pens at an old MTA bus depot on pier 57. they came out days later covered in all manner of filth, oil, brake fluid, etc. quite a few of them actually had rashes and sores on their bodies for weeks afterwards. a friend of mine went in to pier 57 with a cut on his knee and was forced to go straight to the hospital upon his release because his knee had become so infected. he stayed in the hospital, at his own expense, for 3 days.

        "after the Rapture, we get all their shit."

        by lipris on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:47:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks that makes much more sense. n/t (none)
    •  fence netting? (none)
      If I correctly remember the photos I saw, it was basically some kind of large plastic fence netting.  They'd push and/or mislead a bunch of protestors into a fenced-off section of street and then do a mass arrest.

      Proud member of the reality-based minority

      by Bearpaw on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:47:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yup. (none)
        that's pretty much it.

        "after the Rapture, we get all their shit."

        by lipris on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:49:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yep (none)
        They'd push and/or mislead a bunch of protestors into a fenced-off section of street

        not to mention a German tourist taking pictures of the action, a guy out buying a paper, and numerous other innocent bystanders who just happened to be in that stretch of sidewalk when it was cordoned off. And needless to say, those people all spent 60 hours in jail too, since nobody was bothering with hearings.

  •  I know why... (none)
    The top dogs at Belo are so busy worry about staying out of jail because of the growing circ scandal that they don't sufficiently censor their front page.
  •  DMN and GOP Convention 1984 (none)
    The Dallas Morning News was quite good in their coverage of protests at the 1984 Republican National Convention in their hometown. Sorry no links, it's all too far back to be online.

    They frontpaged my injunction cases against the City over access in the week before the Convention, and ran a front of the Metro photo of my stunt with an "Ed Meese fast loan drive-in Bank."

    I am not currently Licensed to Practice in this State. Or Yours.

    by ben masel on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:09:49 AM PDT

  •  Hey now (none)
    As someone who used to sing in that "brain dead echochamber barn," I must take issue with the poll. (But strippers-ho!)

    But I agree -- WTF is up at the Snooze? That's pretty amazing. Too bad it's coming out nine months later, but better late than never, right?

    Blog this! Visit me at K Street Blues. It will change your life.

    by AggieDemocrat on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:11:36 AM PDT

    •  Symphony Chorus or TCC member? (none)
      On DKos?  Who'd a thunk!  I was a DSC member for many years (not currently).  I love performing in the hall.
    •  I am sure I would like it better (none)
      ...if I had gotten better seats. Sitting in the balconies I wanted to put wax in one ear and a hearing aid in the other. Most people think its great. I think it's like Dallas: BIG: Big boobs, big hair, big bucks, big rep. More big than good. But I know I am in the minority. But its my poll. You can do yer own...ha ha.
      Best wishes
  •  hey, sees, got a link (none)
    for DMN story?

    "after the Rapture, we get all their shit."

    by lipris on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:11:42 AM PDT

  •  Good to hear it from the horses mouth.... (none)
    Hopefully, New York will be forced to realize that it must allow protestors to be heard.  The imprisonment of the protestors was amazing to me (I sure didn't hear a lot about it during the convention), and it seems to me that jobs and pensions should be lost which would more than offset any costs of this litigation to the city.

    For those of you involved, please keep us updated.

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