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Common Ground speaks out about police harassment
by matt toups Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005 at 10:38 AM
mtoups@indymedia.org

The day after a common ground volunteer was arrested, threatened and brutalized by New Orleans Police, Rustbelt Radio spoke with Sakura Kon้ of Common Ground about the incident and the larger issues of repression and relief in New Orleans. (audio, mp3, 21:10)

audio: MP3 at 14.5 mebibytes

Flash player: Embed this audio player:

background from Common Ground:

Last night, Thurs. November 10, 2005, three medical workers documenting
police harassment outside the Common Ground Free Clinic became the targets
of that harassment. This incident is the culmination of increased daily
harassment this week, and are just a few of the examples of abuse that
volunteer relief workers have faced over the past two months and that New
Orleans residents, especially African Americans, are facing everyday.

Greg Griffith, a volunteer relief worker, was arrested by the New Orleans
Police and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) near the Common Ground
Free Clinic in Algiers. Greg was thrown against the car, charged with
crossing a police line, resisting arrest, and carrying a concealed weapon- a
small pocket knife. While handcuffed in the back of the police car, he was
told that he would be "shot, and his body thrown in the river". He was
bailed out last night fearing for his safety and will go to court at OPP
this morning. Emily Westerholm, the Unit Coordinator was violently thrown to
the ground and Scott Weinstein a resident RN was verbally abused.

Common Ground Collective was founded by local activist Malik Rahim as a
relief organization in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Common Ground has a
team of volunteers including: medical and health providers, aid workers,
community organizers, environmentalists, legal representatives who have
supported thousands of Gulf Coast residents who stayed and who are returning
home. Says Rahim, "We're putting a call out for the establishment of a Human
Rights Watch in New Orleans, and for volunteer lawyers and human rights
organizations to help monitor the police behavior"

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Also arrested Gabirel Strachota Thursday, Nov. 24, 2005 at 7:59 AM
Citizen Chambers Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005 at 6:25 AM
[link to] Photos from the 11/11/05 Common Ground Press Conference on Police Brutality ck Monday, Nov. 21, 2005 at 4:38 PM


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