Guantanamo on the Hudson
From the WSWS:
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has launched a harsh crackdown against anti-Bush protesters, arresting between 1,500 and 2,000 since demonstrations against the Republican National Convention began last Friday.Not a peep have I heard out of either Republicans, who take the votes of libertarians for granted, nor Democrats, who take the votes of the anti-war crowd for granted, about New York's assault on civil liberties. How is it, when push comes to shove, whether it's Bush visiting Europe which hates him or the right-wing Republican freak show coming to the most liberal city in the U.S., that the fascists always seem to win? Why did New Yorkers elect two horrible Repug mayors in a row?
Cops carried out arbitrary mass arrests in different parts of the city on Tuesday, corralling hundreds in orange plastic netting—the latest police tool for suppressing the right to assembly—before handcuffing and loading them into jail buses.
Massed ranks of helmeted riot police swept down on various protests Monday. While nearby at Madison Square Garden the Republicans praised each other for their “compassionate conservatism,” in separate instances of police brutality, cops beat teenagers, threw an elderly man to the ground and tackled women on concrete sidewalks.
The conditions under which the thousands of arrestees are being held sparked another protest on Tuesday morning outside Pier 57 at 15th Street on the West Side Highway. The facility has been turned into a mass detention center that protesters have dubbed “Guantánamo on the Hudson.”
Lawyers for the jailed protesters have reported that their clients were brought to court covered with grime after being forced to sleep on the concrete floors covered with oil and chemicals from the buses that are normally parked in the three-story structure. One woman had to be rushed to a hospital after the chemicals caused her to break out in rashes all over her body.
Transit union officials have confirmed reports that the facility was contaminated with asbestos as well as dangerous chemicals.
Those arrested are housed 100 each in separate pens, with just two portable toilets in each of these cages. They have reportedly been subjected to verbal abuse by guards and denied food.