inJusticebusters first picked up this piece from the Justice Line. We recently heard from Robert Lederman who has sent us an update to this scary story. You think it couldn't happen here? Bet you didn't know what was happening there! Follow this story through a series of letters to the editor from Robert Lederman on-the-spot witness.
Our original story from four years ago concerned the police, in their eagerness to clear the streets of riff-raff and having been brought up short for shooting them, had overfilled the facilities at Rikers Island and several paddy wagons drove around Manhattan streets, filled with an indiscriminate variety of suspected criminals who sometimes stayed in these vehicles for many days, awaiting their time in court.
Why should we care? We don't live there. We should care because corrupt police departments -- or naive citizens groups all over the continent are promoting aspects of this inhuman social experiment as a quick fix to street crime.
This was posted first in 1998 to make a bold comparison between two seemingly dissimilar cities. As I write this on November 18, 2003, a couple weeks after Don Atchison has taken office, it no longer seems so bold.
Meanwhile, Robert Lederman, the source for the material we used to put on this page, has been continuing his legal battles against the police and administration who have sanitized Times Square and other areas where poor artists could eke out a living by selling their wares. He has been arrested dozens of times and so far the prosecutors have failed to make their charges stick.
More recently, Lederman has been exposing Arnold Schwarznegger's Nazi connections and bringing forward more information about the infamous Manhattan Institute, the think tank which George Bush relies upon and which had its murky roots in the bringing to America of Nazi anti-Communist experts.
I haven't been to New York since 1975 when I went with a couple friends to see the Kinks perform "Soap Opera."
We had a great time and took lots of photos. We got chased by a security guard in the subway because we didn't know we weren't allowed to take pictures there. (I will eventually document more fully as I draw on my personal comparisons between NYC policing and East German border guards who, in 1962 were my previous experience with being denied the right to photograph. For now I will say the experiences were about equally scary. I'll get into my border crossing adventures on the RCMP Spies page where I intend to tell about my many trips to the U.S. after being banned under the McCarren Act in 1974.
Now I've had tons of experience with being told not to photograph. One of my favorite oldies is the one man protest band, above. I can relate!
Lederman's portraits of Rudy Guiliani as Hitler and a general enemy of the people. In the two and a half years since we first started carrying the Lederman pieces, our own local stories have taken off and we need to keep on top of them. We firmly believe, though, that Saskatchewan people and people everywhere need to see themselves as part of a larger, coherent world and that similar forces are operating on all of us. The New York stories and the Narco News stories provide examples of the kind of journalism we want to be part of.
Robert Lederman, President of A.R.T.I.S.T. (Artists' Response To Illegal State Tactics) ARTISTpres@aol.com (718) 369-2111