ABOUT THE SAVE OUR CIVIL LIBERTIES CAMPAIGN
The November Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) Ministerial in Miami shocked the world by the deliberate and flagrant supression of democratic rights. Forty law-enforcement agencies launched a violent para-military response against unarmed, peaceful protestors funded with $8,500,000 in Federal money highjacked from the Iraq reconstruction budget.
Thousands of people including legal observers, journalists, and medics were unjustly harassed, detained, arrested, or beaten while unarmed demonstrators were assaulted by bullets and chemicals from over 20 different kinds of weapons as they were coralled by thousands of riot police, armored vehicles and military helicopters in narrow street cooridors.
This para-military police assault, called the “Miami Model” for homeland security, stands as the most deliberate, systematic and brutal attack on the civil liberties and human rights of peaceful protestors in recent history by local, state and federal authories in the United States.
The Campaign formed in the aftermath of the Miami Ministerial to increase cooperation among the many groups and individuals working to save and expand our human rights and civil liberties. It is a large and diverse collaboration initated by global justice, labor, environmental, community, and other organizations working at the local, state and national level.
The Campaign has four key demands relating to Miami:
- DROP ALL CHARGES against activists, trade unionists, journalists, medics legal observers and local residents arrested at the FTAA Ministerial in Miami.
- PROMPT INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATIONS from both non-governmental entities as well as Congressional panels and other appropriate independent agencies. Police, local, state and federal agencies must cooperate with investigations into police abuse and civil liberties violations.
- HOLD ACCOUNTABLE and CRIMINALLY CHARGE THOSE RESPONSIBLE for the attacks. Fire Miami Police Chief Timoney and hold all other officials accountable.
- REPEAL ANTI-CIVIL LIBERTIES ORDINANCES including both local Miami “Parade and Assembly” ordinances and the Florida and Federal Patriot Acts.
The Campaign is also dedicated to demilitarizing police in our communities and decriminalizing dissent. Our democratic rights to free speech, to assemble and to organize must be protected.
The Web Site
The Save Our Civil Liberties Campaign has created a web portal that will serve as a repository of information and materials for groups and individuals working on, affected by, or otherwise interested in the civil liberties organizing in the aftermath of Miami. In effect, it is an Indymedia site, a place where information-seekers and information-providers and go to exchange information. Folks post their testimonials, upload their photos and video, as well as other materials so that the various groups that need that info can easily get it. Similarly, groups can post their calls to action, announcements and updates on the web site. Copies of related news and press clippings can also be uploaded, as can flyers and fact sheets. The site is highly structured so people can get what they need quickly and be on their way.