Judge Orders Protesters Released
A judge in New York today ordered the city to immediately release 470 protesters by 5pm and imposed a $1,000.00 fine for each prisoner not timely released.
There were accusations that the city was deliberately holding the protesters longer so they would not be in the streets during Bush's speech. "The evidence shows that the city told defendants that they would not be released until George Bush went home," said Dan Alterman of the National Lawyers Guild. The New York Police Department denied the charge.
State Supreme Court Justice John Cataldo fined the city $1,000 for every protester held past a 5 p.m. deadline that he had set for their release. It was unclear how many detainees were still in custody, but Cataldo had ordered the release of 470 people. "These people have already been the victims of a process," Cataldo told the city's top lawyer. "I can no longer accept your statement that you are trying to comply."
50 of the detainees went on a hunger strike. Conditions at the make-shift jail at Pier 57 were reportedly deplorable, prompting a rally yesterday to protest "Guantanamo on the Hudson." You can read the stories of some of those arrested in their own words here and here.
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