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Police, Trade Protesters Clash in Miami (Typical Punks getting 'proper' Police treatment)
Yahoo ^ | 11/20/03 | MIKE SCHNEIDER

Posted on 11/20/2003 10:10:58 AM PST by finnman69

By MIKE SCHNEIDER, Associated Press Writer

MIAMI - Officers and hundreds of demonstrators clashed Thursday near the site of talks to create a free trade zone for North and South America. Police blanketed downtown, remembering trade-related riots in other cities.

Officers clad in riot gear used long batons to restrain protesters, some of whom wore surgical masks or bandannas across their mouths. Other demonstrators carried gas masks. Some tried to pull down restraining fences with large hooks.

Meanwhile, AFL-CIO organizers planned a noontime rally that they said should include more than 10,000 protesters against the proposed 34-nation Free Trade Area of the Americas. They pledged that it would be peaceful.

Officers were using their batons mostly to push back the roughly 1,000 militant protesters, but occasionally used them to strike demonstrators. The confrontation, which continued throughout the morning, was a few blocks from the hotel where the trade meetings were being held. An unknown number of demonstrators were arrested.

In a brief flareup, gas that smelled like rotten eggs was fired by police. A protester scrambled forward and tossed back a canister.

Still, many other protesters kept the peace, carrying puppets, holding signs and chanting, "This is what a police state looks like." One stood in front of the officers waving an American flag.

"At this point, we are holding strong," police spokesman Jorge Pino said at late morning. "We're basically trying maintain the peace downtown, but there are some individuals that are unfortunately trying to disrupt our efforts."

Protester Joshua Xander, 21, of Cincinnati, said the police are "totally doing what they feel necessary. We are doing what we think is necessary — conflict of interests." He was tapping on an African drum.

On Wednesday, negotiators approved a draft text of a free trade pact, choosing a version that allows countries to opt out of more controversial clauses of the agreement. Trade ministers were to spend two days working to finish the text, which so far speaks in generalities.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick denied that the United States was backing away from creating an agreement that would tear down all trade barriers from Alaska to Argentina, which was how the FTAA was originally conceived. He called the buffet comparison inaccurate.

"I look at it as a full-course dinner, but each country has to decide how much to eat with each course," he told business leaders.

Critics of free trade agreements say they take jobs from American workers, exploit workers elsewhere and lack safeguards such as environmental standards.

Near the hotel where the trade ministers were meeting Thursday, several hundred protesters gathered at the fence that blocked them from getting closer. They held colorful signs with slogans such as "Corporate Greed" and "FTAA Contaminates Fish."

Police had escalated their street presence because of violent demonstrations and vandalism at similar free trade meetings, including five days of riots during a 1999 World Trade Organization (news - web sites) meeting in Seattle.

Parts of downtown Miami resembled a police state. Checkpoints with armed officers blocked pedestrians without proper credentials on several streets. Squad cars were on almost every block. Troopers searched vehicles before they could move on.

Business owners shuttered their facades.

"Everybody is scaring us. They say there's going to be trouble," said Sami Virani, who was placing plywood in the window of his shop Watch Time. "It's worse than a hurricane."

On Wednesday, police arrested seven people in a vacant Miami mansion who were allegedly had crowbars, metal chains with locks on them, flammable materials, gas masks and leaflets protesting the trade talks. They were charged with burglary.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: freetrade; ftaa; ftaamiami; miami; protesters
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The Police are not playing with these punks.
1 posted on 11/20/2003 10:11:00 AM PST by finnman69
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To: finnman69



Police officers wearing gas masks use a high lift protected by riot shields for a high vantage point as during demonstrations against meetings of the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Miami November 20, 2003. Demonstrators were confronted by riot police as they approached the hotel where FTAA ministers were meeting.






Miami Police officers are shown after they were hit with an unknown liquid as they attempted to disperse a crowd during demonstrations against meetings of the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Miami November 20, 2003. Demonstrators gathered on Biscayne Boulevard to protest against the FTAA.

Miami Police disperse a crowd, using pepper gas during demonstrations against meetings of the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Miami November 20, 2003. Demonstrators gathered on Biscayne Boulevard to protest against the FTAA.

An unidentified riot equipped police officer rides on top of an armored personal carrier as he carries a tear gas gun, moving toward the protest site outside the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference area in downtown Miami, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003

Demonstrators confront a vehicle carying Miami Mayor Manny Diaz as they demonstrate at the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003 in Miami. Police said they clashed with an estimated 300 to 400 protesters.

Florida Highway Patrol officers wearing gas masks ride towards a crowd gathered at security fences near where ministers of the Free Trade Area of the Americas are meeting in Miami November 20, 2003. Law enforcement agencies expect thousands of demonstrators to protest against the FTAA.

Police in riot gear move forward as they attempt to move demonstrators at the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003, in Miami. Police said they clashed with an estimated 300 to 400 protesters.
Demonstrators attempt to pull down a fence while trying to disrupt the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003 in Miami.




Demonstrators dressed in black take down orange fencing put up by police as they attempt to disrupt the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference Thursday, Nov. 20, 2003 in Miami.



Protester Jan Orillac (R) lies on the street after he was arrested by City of Miami police officers and a Florida Highway patrolman as demonstrations took place against meetings of the Free Trade Area of the Americas in Miami November 19, 2003. Law enforcement agencies expect thousands of demonstrators to protest against the FTAA.

Miami Police Public Information Officer Lt. Bill Schwartz shows tire tubes found after seven 'suspected anarchists' were arrested on burglary charges in a vacant mansion formerly owned by the Burdines family, in Miami November 19, 2003. Schwartz demonstrated how the inner tubes could be used as slingshots. Law enforcement agencies expect thousands of demonstrators to protest against meetings of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Anti-FTAA protesters demonstrated earlier in the day against the Burdines department store chain.

Miami Police Public Information Officer Lt. Bill Schwartz shows items found after seven 'suspected anarchists' were arrested on burglary charges in a vacant mansion formerly owned by the Burdines family in Miami, November 19, 2003. Law enforcement agencies expect thousands of demonstrators to protest against meetings of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Anti-FTAA protesters demonstrated earlier in the day against the Burdines department store chain.


2 posted on 11/20/2003 10:23:51 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: finnman69
I love this officer....


BAD MUTHA


3 posted on 11/20/2003 10:25:31 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: finnman69
This is just a big game for these kids. And that's what they are: kids.
4 posted on 11/20/2003 10:47:14 AM PST by dougherty (USA = FLOPHOUSE TO THE WORLD)
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To: finnman69
Can anyone explain to me exactly what it is that they are protesting? Free Trade? Globalization? Aren't these the same people who have bumper stickers that say things like "Think Globally, Act Locally" (or something like that..).

Maybe I'm dense but though I've read a fair amount on this subject, I still don't get what it is they're so updet about.. seriously.
5 posted on 11/20/2003 10:51:50 AM PST by Trampled by Lambs (...and pecked by the dove...)
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To: finnman69

"The Emporer is displeased with your insolence..."

6 posted on 11/20/2003 10:52:28 AM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: Trampled by Lambs
... ack, my typing is off today...
7 posted on 11/20/2003 10:53:03 AM PST by Trampled by Lambs (...and pecked by the dove...)
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To: finnman69

Great. Dressing up like jihadists. Wonderful.

8 posted on 11/20/2003 10:53:05 AM PST by Theo
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To: Theo
Dressing up like jihadists

Yup, lots of that going on.

9 posted on 11/20/2003 10:56:28 AM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: finnman69
The Police are not playing with these punks.

The police ARE punks.

10 posted on 11/20/2003 11:00:44 AM PST by Jim Cane ("I've always lived twice." ~ Dr. Sarcophagus.)
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To: Jim Cane
The police ARE punks.

Thanks troll. Go up to one fo these officers and tell him that in person.

11 posted on 11/20/2003 11:04:47 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: freeeee
Is that guy a protestor or a police officer? He looks "official" and had a gun, but has the head-covering on.
12 posted on 11/20/2003 11:06:39 AM PST by Theo
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Amendment I: Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances...unless there's a trade summit in town, in that case we're going to send a battalion of riot police to kick your ass.
13 posted on 11/20/2003 11:08:08 AM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: Theo
The man in post #9 is most certainly not a protester. Look at his shoulder patch. That, and protesters openly brandishing firearms are routinely shot dead.
14 posted on 11/20/2003 11:09:46 AM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: finnman69
I love this line: "Protester Joshua Xander, 21, of Cincinnati, said the police are "totally doing what they feel necessary. We are doing what we think is necessary — conflict of interests." He was tapping on an African drum."

Don't see a conflict of interest there though - I know lots of cops who like drums...

15 posted on 11/20/2003 11:12:23 AM PST by green iguana
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: finnman69
Go up to one fo these officers and tell him that in person.

What is it that do you expect your ninja wannabee droog buddy to do?

17 posted on 11/20/2003 11:23:11 AM PST by Jim Cane (With their big soviet hats atop tiny pinheads, commies scream "troll" hoping you won't notice.)
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To: finnman69
I love this officer....

Yeah, he's OK
but I like still like these guys from the Genoa G8 summit better.


18 posted on 11/20/2003 11:25:35 AM PST by Freebird Forever (Escape diversity)
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To: Jim Cane
I expect the officers to be civil unless you act like one of the punks shown above and break the law. Then I expect you would get get slapped like a sillly little bitch.
19 posted on 11/20/2003 11:43:57 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: freeeee
That's called a uniform.
20 posted on 11/20/2003 11:44:42 AM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: finnman69
I hate NAFTA and GATT, but these punks and assclowns are worse and give those that oppose them a bad name.

It's like the 'stereotypical gunowner'.

21 posted on 11/20/2003 11:47:04 AM PST by Dan from Michigan ("Today's music ain't got the same soul. I like that old time Rock N Roll" - Bob Seger)
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To: finnman69
Great post!
22 posted on 11/20/2003 11:48:48 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: finnman69
"Peace Officers" don't wear ski-masks. Thugs do.
23 posted on 11/20/2003 11:51:52 AM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: finnman69
Right on!
Take out the trash!
24 posted on 11/20/2003 11:55:19 AM PST by enraged
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To: finnman69
Officers were using their batons mostly to push back the roughly 1,000 militant protesters,

Most protestors have been peaceful and well-behaved.

The exception is the self-identified anarchist group. The 'anarchists' have no clue what they are protesting, but they have home-made weapons and love to provoke and attack the cops.

Downtown Miami has been shut down since last Saturday; there are many more cops than demonstrators in the streets near the convention hotels.

There will be no Seatle-type riots in Miami. The typical Miami macho cops have shown incredible restraint and professionalism.

Kudos to Miami Chief of Police.

25 posted on 11/20/2003 11:56:10 AM PST by george wythe
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To: freeeee; Jim Cane
Free speech doesn't allow you to block roads, damage property, menace the locals or assist those who are doing these things. These morons are perfectly free to publish their idiocy on the net or, if they can find publishers, in bookstores. They can hold public meetings if they can find a venue.
But when they make trouble like this, the cops should break heads.
26 posted on 11/20/2003 11:58:28 AM PST by Little Ray (When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!)
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To: Trampled by Lambs
Can anyone explain to me exactly what it is that they are protesting? Free Trade? Globalization?

The local news shows have been running interviews with the protestors, and you won't believe the BS these protestors are spewing.

My favorite response comes from the anarchists. When asked what they are protesting, one anarchist said "Duh!" and laughed like a person high on pot. Another anarchist answered the same question with a very insightful response, "Uhh, that's b-a-d!"

My second favorite response came from a union teacher who claimed that the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas will threaten her job, because the school system will be privatized.

27 posted on 11/20/2003 12:04:03 PM PST by george wythe
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To: Little Ray
They can hold public meetings if they can find a venue.

Free speech in a public venue, such as the streets is constitutionally protected.

28 posted on 11/20/2003 12:04:57 PM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: freeeee
Riot Police and speical officers like them do wear masks when dealing with street thugs. Jackass.
29 posted on 11/20/2003 12:06:04 PM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: freeeee

Gee, that really looks like the exercising of 'free speech'.

30 posted on 11/20/2003 12:07:31 PM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: george wythe
Here's my take: This summit is about making the entire western hemisphere with the exception of Cuba into a free trade zone.

America's middle class will be forced to sink to the lowest common denominator of 3rd world pissholes with respect to wages, hours and working conditions as corporations are forced to offshore in order to remain competetive.

These meetings will determine the trade laws, and through them, employment laws in this country and they aren't open to the public, or public scrutiny in any way shape or form.

Among rules being debated is one that allows foreign companies to sue the US if any of our laws infringe upon their profits. This is an intolerable infringement upon our sovereignty.

Yes, the protesters are stupid looking and many of them are leftists and even disruptors. I don't care - this trade agreement is a sellout of the US.

31 posted on 11/20/2003 12:13:07 PM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: freeeee
Free speech in a public venue, such as the streets is constitutionally protected

There have been little infringement on the free speech of marchers and protestors. As a matter of fact, the police and business owners have gone out of their way to allow free speech in Miami.

When the anarchists threatened publicly to break windows and destroy business properties, the local business owners closed their shops and businesses in downtown Miami, boarded up their glass doors and windows, and let the protestors have the streets since last Saturday.

The anarchists have publicly taunted the police with threats of violence, some violent demonstrators have broken into for-sale houses to set up training camps and drug parties, and several protestors have been caught with dangerous illegal weapons.

Nevertheless, the cops have not overreacted. They have continued to protect these punks from themselves.

32 posted on 11/20/2003 12:20:12 PM PST by george wythe
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To: finnman69
I expect the officers to be civil unless you act like one of the punks shown above and break the law.

I expect the officers to act like thuggish slobs at all times, regardless of whether one is breaking the law or not.

33 posted on 11/20/2003 12:22:40 PM PST by Jim Cane (With their big soviet hats atop tiny pinheads, commies scream "troll" hoping you won't notice.)
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To: Jim Cane
So what happened to make you so anti-cop, did an officer give you a deserved beat down once?
34 posted on 11/20/2003 12:27:06 PM PST by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestus globus, inflammare animos)
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To: freeeee
Yes, the protesters are stupid looking and many of them are leftists and even disruptors. I don't care - this trade agreement is a sellout of the US.

Thank you for your opinion about the agreement; IMHO, the way to improve the agreement does not involve throwing feces to the local cops and using chains to beat up cops.

Of course, destroying property while cooking drugs is not a very effective way to convince me to accept any of the anti-free-trade tirades.

35 posted on 11/20/2003 12:27:14 PM PST by george wythe
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To: george wythe
"Beginning on Wednesday, when 9 people were arrested by undercover officers while walking down the street, the police began a strategy of random arrests and confiscation of legal possessions of those who fit what the police believe to be the demonstrator "profile". During protests today, that tactic expanded as the police violently apprehended march participants and dragged them behind police lines. Often these officers were dressed in civilian clothes, or even dressed as demonstrators. Seven people living in an abandoned house were arrested, as the police declared that their bicycle tubes were in fact sling shot weapons, despite no evidence to support that claim.

As the demonstrators gathered in greater numbers on Thursday, the police began aggressively declaring the demonstration an "unlawful assembly" and assaulting the participants with physical attack, including hitting them with batons and bicycles, with chemical weapons, including what seemed to be tear gas, pepper spray, and an unknown chemical, as well as tazer (electric devices that cause pain and unconsciousness) and rubber bullet attacks. At 14th and 2nd St., police "ran over a cyclist" according to reports from demonstrators.

Demonstrators challenged commercial media reports that they were attacking police officers. One woman struck over the head by the police was insistent that "this was a peaceful demonstration" as she was taken away by medics.

There were many reports of police intimidation, including a report that some demonstrators were followed by men (apparently police officers) dressed as protestors (including an anti-FTAA t-shirt) who carried a 9mm pistol on his lap and told the demonstrators "you don't want to ____ with us."

The police blocked streets, denying the movement of the early morning march as well as blocking union vans attempting to join the AFL-CIO march later in the day. Throughout the day, the police have herded demonstrators into contained areas on the streets, where they then proceeded to demand the demonstrators disperse, as well as fire tear gas, water cannons, and physically attack protesters with batons. There are reports of up to 185 buses that have been stopped enroute to Miami, or right outside of Miami, on their way to peaceably march against the FTAA. While the AFL-CIO has invited other demonstrators to join their march, the police are demanding identification at times to enter the amphitheater where they are assembling and speaking."

Source

Look, I don't personally care for these protesters either, but the right to protest must be preserved. We're going to need it!

36 posted on 11/20/2003 12:31:39 PM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: george wythe
the way to improve the agreement does not involve throwing feces to the local cops and using chains to beat up cops

Agreed. The disruptive portion of protesters gives their own cause a bad name and distracts from the real issue, and gives police a convenient excuse to deny free assembly to law-abiding (even though weird looking) protesters.

They're just too young and stupid to know it.

37 posted on 11/20/2003 12:34:10 PM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: freeeee
I don't believe the crap you posted from Indymedia.

I live in South Florida, I go to downtown Miami for business at least once a week, and I have plenty of friends and business associates who live near downtown.

I have kept abreast of the local developments, and my friends contradict your "Indymedia" sources. Eyewitness accounts and video tapes have shown the demonstrators attacking the cops, and the cops acting only defensively.

38 posted on 11/20/2003 12:42:56 PM PST by george wythe
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To: freeeee
Wrong.
The streets are for public use for transportation. They are venues only if, and only if, you have permit, or remain below a certain threshold (that doesn't block the streets...). Peaceful and orderly behavior are also part of the conditions.
Lots of these folks ain't behavin' in a peaceful and orderly fashion. I doubt they have permits. Time to break heads.
39 posted on 11/20/2003 12:46:35 PM PST by Little Ray (When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!)
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To: george wythe
I don't believe the crap you posted from Indymedia.

I don't expect to get an unbiased opinion from Indymedia anymore than I expect to get one from CNN. I want to hear everyone's side of the story and decide for myself. If you have eye-witness accounts, by all means post them.

This is the beauty of the internet - unfiltered news.

40 posted on 11/20/2003 12:49:17 PM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: Little Ray
I doubt they have permits

If you have to ask to excercise a right, it isn't a right, it's a privilidge.

"Time, place and manner" restrictions have been abused to the point where they should be ignored as an act of civil disobedience. Protesters are routinely confined to a parking lot sometimes miles from the event they want to protest, behind a chain link fence and surrounded by an army of cops just itching to use violence. The idea is "if a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, did it really happen?". The 'forest' in this case is a parking lot in a remote location.

41 posted on 11/20/2003 12:53:29 PM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: freeeee
What about my own eye-witness account?

As I type right now, the local Fox affiliate, Channel 7, is broadcasting live shots from downtown Miami, both from TV trucks and helicopters.

The "peaceful" demonstrators are throwing gas canisters to the cops, and the cops have not reacted at all. The cops have stayed put.

The punks keep throwing objects, such as bottles and rocks, to the cops and the cops are doing nothing.

The punks are burning trash in the streets, and the cops are doing nothing.

42 posted on 11/20/2003 1:01:51 PM PST by george wythe
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To: george wythe
Thanks for your report.

The "peaceful" demonstrators are throwing gas canisters to the cops

They're throwing them back.

43 posted on 11/20/2003 1:03:26 PM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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4:10 PM:
Cops moving past the burning trash toward the punks. Punks retreat and burning trash is put out.

Punks keep throwing objects to the cops.


44 posted on 11/20/2003 1:05:04 PM PST by george wythe
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To: freeeee
They're throwing them back

Incorrect.

The punks brought their own gas canisters to attack the cops

45 posted on 11/20/2003 1:06:13 PM PST by george wythe
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Protestors fighting with each other as peaceful protestors try to prevent "peaceful" protestors from burning another pile of trash.
46 posted on 11/20/2003 1:07:47 PM PST by george wythe
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To: george wythe
Riiiiight.
47 posted on 11/20/2003 1:08:20 PM PST by freeeee (I may disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it)
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To: freeeee
Others have the right to use these public areas every bit as much as protestors do - more so since they are making proper use of it (and since folks with lives and jobs outnumber the protestors by a huge amount...). If the protesters want to take to the streets without permits, then I ain't gonna complain if they end up decoratin' the bumpers of SUVs.

Or police APCs.
48 posted on 11/20/2003 1:09:46 PM PST by Little Ray (When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!)
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Cops keep moving forward, protestors set a second pile of trash on fire, cops moved past the burning fire and called someone to extinguish fire.

Protestors ahead of cops setting up a third pile of trash, presumably to create another fire.

One cop has been taken to the hospital, no punk has been taken to the hospital.

49 posted on 11/20/2003 1:12:30 PM PST by george wythe
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To: freeeee
Street protestors have given interviews to the local news shows showing their own gas canisters and vowing they will use gas cans against cops.

It's an undisputed fact that some protestors brought their own gas canisters to attack the cops, and I saw them throwing gas cans to the cops; the cops have not used gas at this hour.

50 posted on 11/20/2003 1:16:20 PM PST by george wythe
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