Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


The Law of the Fist: New York Police Vow to Crush Protests Against Theworld Economic Forum Cont'd

StoryJanuary 25, 2002
Watch iconWatch Full Show

Ramsey Clark

former U.S. Attorney General and founder of the International Action Center.

Stephen Solley

Chairman of the British bar human rights commission.

After the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia the summer of 2000, Philadelphia police commissioner JohnTimoney was widely hailed in the media as having won the battle of the streets. But what was the cost, and what doesit mean for New York next week? Timoney is now CEO of a private security firm that’s been brought in to help with theprotests in New York.

During the RNC, the police made mass pre-emptive detentions and arrests in order to keep the streets clean ofdemonstrations. But even as the major media wallowed in accounts of Timoney’s "deft" and "restrained" policing,reports of serious civil rights violations and abuse by police mounted. Over 400 protesters were arrested ordetained, along with innocent bystanders, bike messengers, and a photographer for U.S. News and World Report.According to the legal team R2K, the umbrella group that organized the Philadelphia protests, most of those arrestedwere held for over 60 hours before being arraigned on misdemeanor charges that normally would warrant no more than adesk-appearance ticket. Almost all the charges against the arrested protesters were dropped.

In what seems a systematic campaign by the police and city officials to lock up suspected "ringleaders" until afterthe Democratic convention in Los Angeles, Philadelphia prosecutors obtained unprecedented bail of $1 million for twoprominent organizers. One of them is John Sellers, a former Greenpeace activist who is now the director of theBerkeley-based Ruckus Society, which has trained thousands in nonviolent protest tactics. Sellers’ bail was laterreduced to $100,000. Sellers now has a lawsuit pending against the Philadelphia police department. He joins us fromBerkeley.


  • John Sellers, director, Ruckus Society.


  • Bork, anarchist activist who was arrested during the Republican National Convention in August 2000, andbeaten by police.

Related link:

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation