On September 27th, 2002, 100 Pittsburghers headed to Washington, DC to participate in the national People's Strike, part of a protest against the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Others were there for a separate protest of the looming war in Iraq and ongoing war in Afghanistan. Many were arrested preemptively
under orders given by Chief of Police Charles Ramsey near Freedom Plaza in downtown DC. Now the City has acknowledged in an internal review
that the arrests were illegal.
The first wave of court cases arising from the illegal arrests has resulted in a settlement with the city for $7,000 per protestor for a group of three student reporters swept up in the mass arrests. More than 400 protestors and bystanders were arrested in total, some of whom spent more than 24 hours handcuffed hand to feet and detained on a city bus or on the floor in the District's Blue Plains Police Academy. [ Story
Although judgments favoring the other protestors involved in a separate class-action lawsuit is not guaranteed, many already have a plan for what to do with their money: donate it to relief efforts in Afghanistan and efforts to help the homeless in DC or anti-police brutality causes there.
[ Washington Post Story
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