Cops brutally attack Human Rights Fest in uptown Charlotte
by David Dixon
On Sept 23, cops brutally attacked band members and the crowd attending a Human Rights Fest in uptown Charlotte.
The event had been going great attracting a multinational crowd of some 200. Many people passing by stopped and joined in.
The Human Rights Fest featured performances from Dirty South Revolutionaries, Tax Slave, 25 Minutes To Go and Southside Punx. Band members made political statements speaking against Bush, police brutality, war, and making the point that uptown Charlotte was built by the working class and the people had a right to be there.
As Southside Punx was playing their last few songs, a cop told organizers they had to shut it down because someone had set a piece of newspaper laying on the ground on fire. David Dixon told him that the Action Center For Justice had permits to be there until midnight, and the event was almost over. The cop said he didn’t care, that “you have to shut it down,” so Dixon told him that was being done.
The cop then said, “I don’t care. I got my boys coming.”
David Dixon stated, “We’re shutting it down and we’ll be out of here.”
The cop replied, “It doesn’t matter. I got my boys coming. They’ll be here in a minute,” and he chuckled.
A member of Southside Punx yelled into the crowd that we had a constitutional right to be there.
Suddenly dozens of cops charged into the crowd, jumping on people and using tasers on some. David Crane was beaten by several cops and suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung.
“My friend was held on the ground at gun point for no reason. This was after they tased him. Then I saw the cops shove another friend to the ground and jump on top of him,” said Elizabeth Arrowood. “No one did anything to deserve this.”
Brandon Magness with Southside Punx said, “The cops rushed in tasing people and pulling guns. I had at least 3 tasers pointed at me. My roommate got beat up. We were being peaceful”
The cops then told Dixon and Magness that they could arrest them and the band, as well as confiscate the band equipment, for “inciting a riot.” They said Magness had been trying to incite the crowd against the police while singing. That couldn’t be possible as the dozens of cops that arrived weren’t there when the sound was turned on. When Magness stated his innocence, he was arrested.
Dixon said, “It actually appeared the cops were trying to provoke the crowd and incite a riot.”
If you witnessed the event or have any photos or video before, during or after the police attacked please send them to email@example.com or call (704) 492-8527.
A campaign is being launched to demand the charges against five of those arrested, now known as The Charlotte Five, be dropped and any violations of their civil liberties be addressed. (The sixth person arrested has come forward & is being included in this campaign.)
Sign the petition to drop the charges against the Charlotte Five at www.petitiononline.com/thefive.
More information will be posted at www.geocities.com/defendrights or call (704) 492-8527.