Tom Hayden gives his account of the FTAA resistance in Miami here.

The protest could easily have been contained by a handful of officers, or might have simply faded as the day ended. Instead, at approximately 5pm, the commanding officer summoned the activist lawyers to announce that those milling, waiting or sitting in the parking lot had become an “unlawful assembly” with three minutes to disperse. In addition, he said with a straight face, there was “intelligence” that some in the crowd had rocks. There was no evidence shared with regard to this secret intelligence and no rocks were seen in the events that followed…

Solnit and six others sat down suddenly on the sidewalk, holding their hands up in V-signs. A phalanx of 25 police closed in on them as we took photographs and notes from a few feet away. In moments the seven on the sidewalk were handcuffed and led away. More police were swarming everywhere now, overwhelming the remaining protestors by 10-to-one.

One block away, the dispersing crowd was walking backwards as more police marched on them with helmet visors down and guns and clubs drawn. By now five of my students had joined this retreating witness, all holding their hands over their heads and chanting “We are dispersing” again and again.

How could the police not notice how young they were, how utterly unthreatening, how innocent?

I moved alongside the advancing and retreating lines to take a photograph when I noticed that a policeman was aiming a shotgun straight at my chest. Fear leaped in me, then he pointed the weapon down. But a moment later he was looking down the barrel at me again. I was holding a camera, notebook and pen. Suddenly I found myself asking him, “Are you really pointing that fucking gun at me?”


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