For Immediate Release: October 8, 2009
(Rochester, NY) - The Green Party of Monroe County condemns the reaction of the Rochester Police Department to war protesters downtown on the evening of Wednesday, October 7, 2009. Eyewitness and participants of Wednesday evenings protest to US involvement in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq saw police brutalize citizens participating in peaceful civil disobedience. Video taken by independent media at the event supports this.
The Green Party stipulates that the protesters were participating in civil disobedience and that arrests may have been warranted, but that the violent and egregious actions by members of the police force were unnecessary and illegal.
“Were protesters in the street? Yes. Did we not comply with police directions? Yes. Were the beatings warranted? Absolutely not,” according to GPoMC Secretary Dave Atias, who was a participant in the protest. “Those who were assaulted were already on the sidewalk and there wasn’t a single protester who was violent.”
The Green Party of Monroe County is calling on Mayor Bob Duffy and Police Chief David Moore to investigate the incident that occurred on the Main Street Bridge and discipline those involved in wrongdoing. Local independent media were present and filming the incident and call on the Mayor and Police Chief to use the footage in their investigation.
GPoMC also call for additional training for police on how to handle acts of peaceful civil disobedience.
“It doesn’t matter if you wear a badge or not, you don’t get to beat people up because they won’t do what you say in the time you want them to,” added Atias. “In fact, the police should be held to a higher standard as examples for the community. This was pure barbarism.”
The Green Party of Monroe County is a grassroots-based party united around key issues and values and is the only progressive electoral voice in Monroe County. Its vision for Monroe County includes a revitalized, locally based economy; ecologically smart development, economic and social justice and increased reliance on renewable energy sources.