27
Sep
2004

LITTLE GUANTÁNAMO

City officials converted a disused bus depot on the Hudson River's Pier 57 into what detainees nicknamed "Little Guantánamo" for its outdoor setting and maze of pens divided by chain-link fencing. Numerous arrest victims reported being denied food and water or access to an attorney or a phone. ("Sorry, I can't do that," police said.) Children, some who happened to be walking down the street when the cops arrested everyone present, were locked up for several days. Police refused to tell their frantic parents where they were. Adding to the misery was a resinous layer of gasoline and toxic cleansers coating the floor. "Everybody was laying in filth," said Cincotta. "Nobody was sleeping. A lot of people were screaming in agony." The Times reports that "scores" of RNC detainees contracted mysterious rashes and lesions. Prisoners were shuttled between Pier 57 and the city's central holding jail in similarly dismal conditions. Wendy Stefanelli, a 35-year-old TV hair stylist, spent several hours locked in a hot bus--the weather was humid with temperature in the high 80s--with a man whose colostomy bag had burst. "He was throwing up all over the back of the bus," she said. "The entire bus begged the officers present to please get medical attention to this man. They completely ignored us."

"My experience wasn't nearly as bad as other folks'," says Jon Goldberg, 26, of Brooklyn. "There were people roughed up who were not resisting arrest. I saw one person with bruising on his head; he said a cop had kneeled on his head. A lot of people had their cameras destroyed. One had his photos deleted except for one, a new image of a police officer's boots and his hand protruding toward the lens--showing 'the finger.'"

http://makeashorterlink.com/?O2B015259


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