Camp Amtrak in NOLA

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Camp Amtrak in NOLA

Postby Col Quisp » Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:14 pm

This is highly disturbing. Whatever happened to due process? Kiss your civil rights goodbye. While our attention is diverted, the New Orleans atrocities continue.<br><br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://newstandardnews.net/content/?items=2475&printmode=true">newstandardnews.net/conte...tmode=true</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>Abuse, Forced Labor Rampant in New Orleans Justice System<br>by Jessica Azulay<br>© 2005 The NewStandard<br><!--EZCODE QUOTE START--><blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr> New Orleans, Oct 12 - When Robert Davis emerged from the temporary detention center in New Orleans, his eye was swollen nearly shut, his face was bruised, and he had a couple of stitches under his left eye. He told The NewStandard that police had beaten him and then charged him with public intoxication and battery, even though he had not had a drink in 25 years and had merely asked a police officer to leave him alone.<br><br>(snip)<br><br>But what did not make it into the tape or national attention was that Davis is just one of more than nearly a thousand people who have suffered in a horrific place the police call "Camp Amtrak," an improvised jail in what used to be the New Orleans bus terminal.<br><br>In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans authorities are arresting hundreds on minor charges such as breaking curfew or public intoxication, housing them in brutal conditions and then pushing them through a court process that forces most into working on clean-up projects at police facilities, according to numerous interviews and documents obtained by TNS.<br><br>At the converted Greyhound terminal, which now serves as a different kind of way station, no passengers arrive with luggage. Instead, police bring people in and book them at what used to be a ticket counter. In the back, where travelers used to board buses, police now push detainees into wire pens where they sleep on the concrete in the open air.<br><br>In interviews both inside and outside of Camp Amtrak, people who had been through the process told harrowing accounts of police brutality and harsh conditions. Some of them, like Davis, had visible injuries. Many said police had attacked them or others in their cells with pepper spray. All recounted trying to sleep on the concrete floor of the bus parking lot with just one blanket – or in some cases no blanket – to protect them from the cold and the mosquitoes which swoop in on randomly alternating nights here. None was given a phone call or access to an attorney.<br><br>"They treat us like shit," said one inmate through the wire cage. Others chimed in. One said he had not been given a blanket the night before because there were not enough to go around. Many worried that their family members did not know where they were because they had not been allowed to contact them.<br><br>Michael Resovsky was one of several men outside the jail yesterday waiting to be picked up for a shift of what the sheriff's department calls "community service." He recalled the night he spent inside: "They threw you a blanket and they gave you those MREs – you know, those meals in a bag – and they take the heater part out of it and the little bottle of hot sauce so you have to eat it cold. And you sleep on the concrete with a blanket, and the smell is not too nice.<br><br>"They were coming in there and macing people, and people were hollering and I couldn't get no sleep, and you know, it was pretty bad," said Resovsky, who is white.<br><br>Anthony Jack, another former detainee, added: "It was cold [inside]; I couldn't sleep." Jack, a black immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago, said police had arrested him on his own property and charged him with violating curfew, which in most neighborhoods here is still in affect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.<br><br>"I was in my yard, and a young white guy came by the gate and I was talking to him and the police came and arrested both of us," he recounted. "He was outside breaking curfew; I was inside… behind the gate. The police broke my gate down with a pick-ax. They broke it completely off the fence."<br><br>(snip)<br>Sandy Freelander, a relief volunteer from Wisconsin, was also one of the hundreds arrested. He said that he and two friends – one a New Orleanian widely known here for having helped rescue hundreds of people in the Seventh Ward during the flooding – were detained by police in a parking lot last Thursday. He said that they were on their knees with their hands behind their heads when a police officer attacked his friend.<br><br>(snip)<br><br>Inside, Freelander said his friend was denied medical attention and that they witnessed police pepper-spraying other detainees, handcuffing a woman to a pole and leaving her for hours, and other instances ofabuse. He, like all others interviewed by TNS, said he was not permitted a phone call or legal counsel, even after repeated requests.<br><br>(snip)<br>"These poor police officers are stretched out as far as they can be and yet you've got to mess with a bunch of gourd heads like we have down here and we have to make a jail for these kind of people," he said. "That's what's really bad about this whole [situation]."<br><br>(snip)<br>Asked whether police were pepper-spraying prisoners, Poret was again unapologetic. "I have randomly had to use it," he said. "We have to use it if they are endangering other people in the pen or endangering their [own] lives.<br><br>"Look up at the setup that we have," he said. "It's an old bus terminal. It's keeping the bad guys off the streets from harassing the poor people of the New Orleans district from worrying about their houses being broken into or worrying about some drunk laying on their porch…"<br><br>(snip)<br>Freelander, Resovsky and Jack all said that in the mornings after their arrest, they were taken to a courtroom upstairs where most prisoners were pressured into pleading guilty and accepting between 40 and 80 hours of unpaid labor.<br><br>(snip)<br>police brought in about 20 inmates who had spent the night in the cages. When they entered the room, public defender Clyde Merritt briefly explained the options while the defendants strained to hear him. In most cases, he told them, they could plead guilty and they would be sentenced to about 40 hours of "community service." If they wished the maintain their innocence, he said, they would be sent to Hunts Correctional Facility where they could wait as long as 21 days to be processed, no matter how minor or unsupported their charges.<br><br>Many of the defendants were obviously confused. They swarmed him with questions, but he held them off, telling them that he could not give them individual advice. For that, he said, they would have to retain their own attorneys.<br><br>Off to the side, the lone female defendant stood shyly in her pajamas and flip-flops. She later told the judge she had been arrested right in front of her house.<br><br>In the end, given the choice between unpaid work and continued incarceration, nearly all chose to plead guilty.<br><br>(snip)<br><br>"The police are basically arresting people for curfew violations and public intoxication and just using it as a way to get free labor to clean up the prisons and court houses and the police stations. They're just using it as a way to get people to do their dirty work for free."<br><br>Brandon Toussaint, a black 18-year-old who spoke to TNS as he was waiting to be picked up and taken to undergo a day of punishment, said he was arrested going from the downstairs of is apartment complex to another apartment upstairs. Police charged him with violating curfew and public intoxication, and Toussaint accepted forced labor rather than a transfer to Hunts, even though he said he had been wrongly arrested. He said he was worried that he would now have a criminal record, this being his first "offense."<br><br>Toussaint said he had already done a few days of work for the police, cleaning up and painting their facilities.<br><br>"If they needed someone to clean up their city, they could have just asked," he said.<br><hr></blockquote><!--EZCODE QUOTE END--><br> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Camp Amtrak in NOLA

Postby dbeach » Sun Oct 16, 2005 10:47 pm

NO is just the preliminaries for the many main events to follow brought to you by corporat amerika and international corporatas <p></p><i></i>
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!

Postby wintler » Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:32 am

holy guacamole. <br><br>The specs of 'The NewStandardNews'<br><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://newstandardnews.net/promo2/?action=show_about_us">newstandardnews.net/promo...w_about_us</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <br>look good to me.<br><br>The only way i know to stop this is to get ppl talking about it fast, hope they wont mind me posting this to Indymedia...<br> <p></p><i></i>
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This is disgusting

Postby lilorphant » Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:52 am

The bar owners complained about curfew, and they put it to two o'clock. They need to relax on the curfews, and charge extra only if you are committing a crime. We had to drive past curfew many times (since KATRINA) in Mississippi because we were staying quite aways away, but had to go into our town to get outpatient care every day for to weeks for one of my children. I cannot imagine how they plan to rebuild New Orleans under these conditions. We figured we would go there to work, some places are giving bonuses, but not under those conditions, I have four children, including two teens, and you cannot keep them in the house every night like that, after a while, you go stir crazy.<br><br>I don't know what we could do except scream about it, post it, but pehaps letters to business leaders, and restaraunt owners. <p></p><i></i>
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Reposting

Postby Col Quisp » Mon Oct 17, 2005 12:32 pm

Their re-posting policy is simple. They encourage reposts, but request the author get attribution, and if possible, encourage the reader to visit their website. <br><br>I was impressed by this new news source as well. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Camp Amtrak in NOLA

Postby heath7 » Mon Oct 17, 2005 1:26 pm

This should not be allowed to happen.<br><br><br><br>Sounds like a class action lawsuit should be in the works. <br><br>A man tries to give credit to good cops, but stories like this implicate all the pigs. <br><br>This is nothing to fear, this is something to get downright pissed off about. <br><br>When the hell are all the acivists going to descend on NOLA and expose what's going on there? <p></p><i></i>
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