Posted by CODEPINK Staff
CODEPINK's most recent release regarding the arrest of Alicia Forrest:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2008
Jean Stevens, national media coordinator, 508-769-2138
Jodie Evans, CODEPINK co-founder, 310-621-5635
DENVER - CODEPINK member Alicia Forrest, 24, arrested yesterday on her way to a rally here during the Democratic convention, was released from Denver City Jail at 9 p.m. Tuesday. While tired from the ordeal, she's optimistic for further CODEPINK actions and progress for the rest of the week.
"I was standing up for my free speech rights, showing support for a fellow activist," Forrest said. "If anything, this showed me how powerful standing up for your beliefs can be, and how necessary it is for the truth to get out even in the face of resistance."
Near 12 p.m. Tuesday, moments before the beginning of a demonstrator's march here during the Democratic National Convention, officer Scott Stewart of the Denver police noticed Forrest taking photos of another man being arrested when he shoved Forrest to the ground with a raised baton then left her on the ground in pain for several minutes. When she began answering questions to reporters nearby, Stewart pulled her roughly away by the elbows and arrested her on charges of interference. The Rocky Mountain News has released video documenting the event here (http://www.rockymountainnews.com/videos/detail/police-use-force/).
Greg Campbell, a Denver police sergeant of internal affairs, told Forrest the officer who struck Forrest had been pulled from the line and can no longer interact with demonstrators.
"I was shocked that he did it," said Forrest, of Los Angeles. "We're a nonviolent organization, we were peacefully assembling for a march, and all of the officers I've encountered up until this point have been amazing and helpful. It's officers like (Stewart) who paint police in a bad light."
CODEPINK co-founder Jodie Evans called watching the video footage distressing.
"Here we are CODEPINK activists, here to deliver the message of peace, and how ironic that we would witness the exact violence we oppose," Evans said. "How is it that a Denver cop would be afraid of a peace activist with a pink crown on her head? What have we become?"