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LOCAL Announcement :: Civil & Human Rights : Police State

Rally Agaist Torture (12/10)

Article 5: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights says, No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or


Pacific Ave. & Cooper St. 2 PM to 4 PM
* Music by The Source

* Speakers: Paul Ortiz, Professor, UCSC

Tony Madrigal, Labor Leader, S.C. City Council

Curtis Reliford, Follow Your Heart

The Rally will be followed from 4 to 5 by the presentation of awards to High School winners of the contest "Why the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is Important Today" in the Atrium of the Museum of Art and History, sponsored by Amnesty International and the United Nations Association of Santa Cruz County.

In case of rain the rally will proceed to the Museum.

Sponsored by the United Naions Association of Santa Cruz 831-425-7618 1330 Pacfic Ave. Santa Cruz

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Hear New Music From Local Students

Please check out the awards ceremony from 4 - 5p.m. at the MAH. Some outstanding local student musicians will be performing pieces the've composed for the contest; art and writing entries will be on display; and there will be free refreshments for all!

It should prove very exciting to have so many different groups and ages all coming together for the same reason -- to creatively seek ways to promote and affirm human rights.

Re: Rally Agaist Torture (12/10)

The problem with this protest was it was silent on local practices which verge on and include torture.

These include no tasering guidelines or public accountability on tasering for the SCPD and Deputies. The in-custody death of David Anthony Cross after being tasered while surrounded with six deputies in the jail is still fresh in my mind.

And the mask-and-chair used to "restrain" drunks in the jail in a special holding cell for hours and hours where they can sit in their own piss.

Then there's the City Council's Sleep Deprivation Law (also known as the Sleeping Ban) which legally requires homeless people to leave the city limits, stay awake between the hours of 11 PM and 8:30 AM, or find some private person to give them sanctuary.

Not least and probably not last are forced drugging practices at the Dominican Hospital's psych ward where those labeled "mentally ill" are held against their will and forcibly medicated with psychiatric drugs that World Health Organization studies have found actually increase the brain's susceptibility to psychosis (see Robert Whitake's book--Madness in America). The token Reece hearings that are supposed to give those faced with forced drugging a chance to challenge this practice are largely a joke. The county-funded advocate is largely window dressing.

The local chapters of Amnesty International and the ACLU have never taken up the issue of LOCAL torture to my knowledge. Councilmember Mike Rotkin remains on the Board of Directors of the ACLU. While this organization grows bigger and richer off the (legitimate) fears of the community regarding the Republican/Democratic assault on civil liberties after 9-11, it says nothing about local abuses (including, of course, the local jail packed with local drug war victims).

Tony Madrigal is particularly two-faced about this issue, having come to City Council with promises to labor and progressives to address such issues as the Sleeping Ban.

It's disheartening and leaves a bad taste in my mouth to see people trotting around with signs that say nothing about local abuses, hosting politicians who have the power to challenge or change them.

Local author and UCSC professor Paul Ortiz, who also spoke at the event, has said he opposes the Sleeping Ban. I'll be interviewing him next Sunday (December 18) at 9:30 AM on Free Radio Santa Cruz (101.1 FM) .

Author Revealed

I wrote the previous post.


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