G-8 PROTESTORS GO TO TRIAL - Mitch Perry06/23/04
Tomorrow morning in Glynn County, Georgia, 6 protestors at the G-8 Summit that took place earlier this month go before a Judge for a Preliminary Hearing. The 5 men and 1 woman were arrested for disorderly conduct and giving a false identification......
Media reports indicated that around 350 demonstrators turned out during the 3 day G-8 Sea Island Summit events in Savannah and Brunswick, Georgia.....The Summitt ended 13 days ago with relatively little news produced by the World leaders, or from protestors...Many mentioned the massive police prescence at the Island...
Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Dan Flynn told the Savannah Morning News that the excessive buildup was necessary given previous international gatherings. Some of them attracted tens of thousands of angry demonstrators and lead to violent clashes with police.
This afternoon, WMNF spoke with one of those 6 people who could end up remaining in jail for months.....The young activist, who is identifying himself as 'King Will', hails from the Atlanta metro area....He's been on a hunger strike in prison for the past 8 days
WMNF spoke to him today from jail...We asked him how's he doing (roll tape#1 o.q."malnourished when we got here")
19 year old 'king will" says the G-8 was his first experience at one of the major demonstrations that seemed to have escalated to a different level after the "Battle in Seattle", the 4 day session for the World Trade Organization in November of 1999 that led to a barrage of tear gas attacks, mass arrests, and a declaration of a state of emergency.
Since that event,, local communities have passed laws and done whatever was legal - and foes would say - beyond that a times, to maintain order, desparate not to reprise the sense of anarchy that some feel happened after some vandalism some occurred in Seattle.
However, unlike the thousands in Miami at the FTAA meetings last fall, or what will probably happen at the political conventions this summer, there were relatively few demonstrators protesting the annual meeting of the leaders of the 8 biggest economies -plus Russia - of the world.
King Will gives his theory on why the protests at the G-8 were relatively small in comparison to other events (roll tape#2 o.q. "in Georgia")
A Tampa area activist, who also attended the protest which led to the arrests at the G-8, says she believes the Government is using tactics to try to tamp down protests. "Rain" says that she saw what law enforcement did to squelch dissent at the Free Trade Area of the Americas Summit in Miami last N ovember, and believes it carried a chilling effect that reduced the number of dissenters in Georgia (roll tape# 3 o.q " and protest")
Tampa Activist Rain says these heavy handed tactics will surely continue at the next big site for protests this summer - at the Democratic National Convention in Boston next month, and the biggie : The Republican Convention in New York in beginning in late August(roll tape#2 "and DNC")
The 6 G-8 protestors in jail will go before a Judge tomorrow morning. If the charges against them are NOT thrown out, they could be facing months before going to trial
With his freedom already been restrained in the past 13 days, and with the potential for many more to come, 19 year old activist "King Will" explains why it was important to protest the 6-8 Meeting (roll tape#4 o.q. "they don't have the right to")
Again, the Brunswick 6 go before a Judge in Glynn County, Georgia tomorrow morning... WMNF will of course, report what happens there on tomorrow Evening's Newscast.