Saturday, August 25, 2007

ChuckO Munson: Gorilla Extrordinaire

G-Men and Anarchist Bookstores Just Don't Mix
The Pitch
Nadia Pflaum

On the same day that a presidential visit snarled traffic around Bartle Hall (really, was building the convention center to straddle the highway such a great idea?), U.S. marshals paid a visit to our local anarchist bookstore – and it wasn’t to pick up some Kafka.

Volunteer Chuck Munson was manning the Crossroads Infoshop and Radical Bookstore at 3109 Troost around 3 in the afternoon last Wednesday when he found a “posse” of U.S. marshals outside the store. Munson writes on his blog that a “woman agent, who was wearing a vest and had weapons, (was) asking questions of two people inside our store.” “I challenged her to show a warrant and she responded that she didn’t need to show a warrant.”

Munson writes that he felt threatened by the female marshal after she told him that he “didn’t want to go there” with her.


Friday, August 24, 2007

NYC Taxi Drivers Alliance Promises to over GPS Plans

August 06, 2007 (Computerworld) -- New York taxi drivers have promised to go on strike next month unless the city halts plans to require that Global Positioning System technology be installed in the city’s 13,000 cabs by early next year.

Members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, which represents about 8,400 drivers, are worried that their bosses will track their whereabouts even when they are off-duty, according to statements from six drivers and Executive Director Bhairavi Desai.

At a press conference late last month, driver Lea Acey said a GPS is “like an ankle bracelet they put on criminals.” The alliance plans to announce a strike date in mid-August.

Diebold must fix its optical scanner by Aug. 17.
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission last week said that it does not plan to change the schedule for implementing the Technology Enhancements Service Project, which would let passengers pay fares via credit cards, eliminate some paper rec­ords and let riders watch the taxi’s route in real time on a screen.

Under the plan, all taxicab owners must sign contracts with one of four approved technology vendors — Creative Mobile Technologies LLC, Digital Dispatch Systems Inc., Taxi Technology Corp. or VeriFone Transportation Systems Inc. — this month and have the systems installed between Oct. 1 and Jan. 31.

“It’s reasonable for an employer to deploy GPS,” said Craig Mathias, an analyst at Farpoint Group in Ashland, Mass., who has consulted on GPS projects.

“This is not 1984 or tracking citizens,” he said. “It is tracking people with objects, and it will improve efficiency.”

At the same time, Mathias said he understands the concerns. “People are rightly worried about Big Brother,” he said. “It should not be used unless consent is given.”

Pigs Pose as Blac Bloc at Montebello Summite; Try to Provoke Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) Members

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Pigs Attack Trade Unionist In His Own Home

He called cops - they beat, cuffed him
Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Jersey City man called cops Monday night when he saw what looked like
burglars on his roof and said he was then badly beaten by arriving
officers, who apparently thought he was a burglar as he ran to the front
door to let them in.

Mathias Bolton, 34, of Palisade Avenue near Bowers Street, suffered a
broken arm, black eye, possibly a broken foot, and many abrasions on his
arms, back and shoulders, as a result of the incident on Monday at 10:11
p.m., he said.

On top of that, Bolton was charged with aggravated assault on a police
officer and resisting arrest, but after he appeared in Central Judicial
Processing Court in Jersey City yesterday, the charges were downgraded to
simple assault and a lesser degree of resisting arrest. The case was
remanded to Municipal Court.

Police Chief Tom Comey said yesterday that there would be an investigation
of the incident.

"I would urge everyone not to rush to judgment," Comey said.

Bolton said he heard a noise on his roof and when he looked out a skylight
saw two men trying to break in, so he called police and was told a car
would be sent. After hanging up he ran downstairs to open the front door
because there is no bell, Bolton said.

"I opened the door and midway up the steps were two thug-looking guys in
jeans and T-shirts, and they looked pretty tough," said Bolton.

In fact, they were plainclothes Police Officers Victor Vargas and Kevin Hill.

Bolton said the two didn't identify themselves or display badges - a point
the officers disputed in the police report of the incident.

"These guys rushed me and I heard sirens in the distance and my first
thought was, these guys might be connected to the burglars," Bolton said.

He said the officers were grabbing him and screaming "Did you call
police?" which Bolton said made him think they were burglars and were
angry at him.

He said the pair were trying to push him back into the building.

Bolton said he braced himself to resist being pushed in and he was punched
in the face a number of times. He was still able to stop them pushing him
in and could hear the sirens getting closer, Bolton said.

When the cruisers arrived, Bolton said, he yelled: "Officer, officer, come
get these guys off me. I need help."

As the uniformed cops approached with night sticks out, he said he figured
those punching him would get beaten, but instead the arriving cops laid
into him, Bolton said.

He told police he was the one who called them but they put him in a police
car as confusion seemed to grow among the officers, Bolton said.

In a police report filed about the incident, the cops said Bolton ran to
the door, looked surprised and was out of breath. The officers said they
identified themselves and had their badges out, and that when they asked
Bolton if he called police and did he need help Bolton responded, "What?"

The police report says Bolton tried to close the door but an officer held
it open and then Bolton punched him in the chest and tried to push his way

They grabbed him and told him they were investigating a burglary and
Bolton replied, "So get the hell off me," and then fell trying to run
away, kicking at Hill and Vargas while down, the reports said.

When the cruiser arrived, the report said, Bolton said: "Get the
(expletive) off me. Who are you guys?"

According to the police report, after the uniformed officers were on the
scene, Bolton said, "OK, I give up. I'm sorry" and was taken to the police
station and then to the hospital for treatment of what the report calls
"minor scrapes."

Bolton is director of research for a union in New York City and has a
master's degree from Rutgers University in industrial management labor
relations, said his Jersey City attorney, John Burke. Bolton said his
father is a retired Paterson police officer.

Police said the officers involved would not comment.

Bolton is to appear in municipal court on Sept. 5.

© 2007 The Jersey Journal
© 2007 All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

IDF Soldiers Hijack Taxi, Shoot Palestinian Workers in West Bank Factory

Six Israeli soldiers run amok in West Bank

AM - Tuesday, 21 August , 2007 08:12:00
Reporter: David Hardaker

PETER CAVE: Israel's Defence Forces, the IDF, are investigating six soldiers who commandeered a Palestinian taxi, tied up the driver and then shot at random at workers outside a factory in the West Bank.

The IDF denies the incident is part of a culture of abuse, but it's holding investigations into the moral and ethical conduct of its forces.

Middle East Correspondent David Hardaker reports.

DAVID HARDAKER: It's one of the darkest tales to emerge from Israel's occupation - the day half a dozen soldiers ran amok, shooting an innocent young Palestinian and then attempted a cover-up.

BENJAMIN RUTLAND: I think you can categorise this as being indecent and immoral.

DAVID HARDAKER: Captain Benjamin Rutland from the Israeli Defence Forces.

BENJAMIN RUTLAND: We're taking steps to make sure that this sort of event will never occur again in the future.

DAVID HARDAKER: It was morning in the town of Dahariya - a small, isolated place in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

An officer in the Israeli Defence forces, the IDF, had been ordered to go out on foot patrol. Instead, he and five other soldiers took off their uniforms and set off on their own black operation.

First they stopped a passing taxi at gunpoint. They ordered the passengers out, tied up the driver, blindfolded him and held him in the back of the taxi.

A young Palestinian, 18 years old - called Adham Samamara - walked outside the factory where he was working and noticed a car stopped on the road.

"Arab, I thought they were Arabs," he says. "The car had West Bank numberplates and they were wearing civilian clothes.

"It's not unusual for people to stop outside our factory, to get some water and wanting some help," he says.

So, wanting to help, Adham Samamara walked towards the car. Within a minute, and without any warning, he was hit by a bullet in the chest. He remembers the sound.

(Sound of Adham Samamara making sound of gunfire)

"And," he says, "there was lots of pain."

Here, at his home, surrounded by family, the 18-year-old lifts his shirt and reveals the scars where the bullet entered his chest and then came out through his left side.

"It was a criminal act, what happened to Adham," his uncle says. "You should've seen the atmosphere in this house, we thought he was dead, we were frantic."

(Sound of machinery operating)

Outside the tile factory where Adham Samamara works, you can still see his blood mixed in the sand.

(Sound of Adham Samamara talking)

Israeli soldiers also shot at another employee, but they missed him, and they took off from the scene, leaving Adham Samamara lying bleeding in the street. The soldiers involved at first lied about what they'd done that morning. They claimed that Adham Samamara had approached them in a threatening manner.

Captain Benjamin Rutland from the IDF.

BENJAMIN RUTLAND: The IDF takes this event very, very seriously, and as a consequence, the fact that he disobeyed orders, did not get approval and placed both his soldiers and civilian lives in danger is very, very serious for us.

DAVID HARDAKER: The junior officer who was the ringleader that morning has been charged with a number of offences and may end up in jail. The other five soldiers are being investigated.

As well, there's been an investigation into the soldiers' entire battalion.

BENJAMIN RUTLAND: We're trying to work out whether the whole battalion had some sort of ethical-moral problem.

DAVID HARDAKER: Benjamin Rutland.

BENJAMIN RUTLAND: Within any group you may have a bad apple here or there. We devote considerable attention to making sure the people are given ethical training and learn exactly where the lines are.

DAVID HARDAKER: Is it a bad apple here or there, or is there in fact a systemic problem in the IDF which critics would say has come from 40 years of occupation?

BENJAMIN RUTLAND: I don't believe that there is a systemic problem. As we denoted, this is a discussion related to one particular battalion, amongst many within the IDF.

DAVID HARDAKER: The head of Israel's Defence Forces has said the incident is now to be included in IDF training.

Adham Samamara says he's pleased Israel has admitted it was in the wrong.

His uncle, Moussa, is happy too that the soldiers' lies were found out, because, he says, normally any act in the West Bank is considered a terrorist act, but this time they were forced to tell the truth.