Posted by CODEPINK Staff
Lori Purdue, Gael Murphy, Samantha Simpson, Kelly Van Pelt, Leslie Harris and a number of other CODEPINK activists plus Ann Wright were out tonight around 9:30 p.m. dropping a banner off the bridge while the mass arrests were going on. It was getting dark as they were wrapping up. So they came off the bridge and there were cops cutting off the intersection. CODEPINK was in the crosswalks with banners. There was media there. The cops began forming up in riot cop formation. Gael was asking for a respresentative or commander. No one came forward.
Possibly the strangest thing is that none of them had any identification on them. So it turned into kind of a standoff. Of course, CODEPINK began singing, but complied with all their orders. They became more threatening. Media arrived, other people arrived, soon the crowd under siege grew.
One was standing there in full riot gear, one became particularly threatening: S-481. Lori used it to identify him, call him by this number, and when he became aggressive and starting pounding the baton into his palm, the others called him back into the line. They ordered them into a park, and then cut them off from getting into the park. They forced CODEPINK off the sidewalk.
Ann Wright asks the crew to put their hands up: up in the air. They were across from the Crown Plaza, where the Texas delegates where staying. CODEPINK continued askng for someone in charge but no one would come forward. Then the delegates came out and began cheering on the cops.
"They blocked that intersection. We did not 'take' that intersection," Lori underscored.
"It was police state stuff, and it was scary," the seasoned activist—usually fearless explained. "They were posturing for violence and we were not." There were 170 riot cops and 25 or 30 mounted police; and ten activists with pink t-shirts. Singing. And media was everywhere.
"They closed the intersection. It was open before they got there," Lori says again.
"I looked at Gael and I was like, 'this is like—Orwell.' What is going on here?"
See some video here.