Thursday, January 27, 2011

American presses attempted murder charges against Delta Police for beating in demonstration

Jan. 26, 2011 Occupied London

Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler are amongst 170 internationals to denounce
Delta Police and call for investigation

Athens, Greece

This morning in Athens, an American anarchist has pressed attempted murder
charges against Delta and Dias motorcycle police, as well as the relevant
commanding officers, for a beating she suffered at the intersection of
Patision and Stournari streets, while demonstrating against the IMF on
November 15th, 2010. Meanwhile, over 170 members of the American and
European scholarly community, including Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, and
Immanuel Wallerstein, have denounced the behavior of the Delta police
towards demonstrations and specifically the beating of the American
demonstrator, calling the attack on her “nearly fatal”.

The November 15th Beating

On the night of the 15th of November, the 27 year old, 48 kilo protester
was rushed bleeding and semi-conscious to the Erythros Stavros emergency
room, where she was diagnosed as multiply- injured and having been
brutally beaten by S. Marianou, a forensic surgeon. She was released after
three days. Among multiple injuries to her head, neck, back, and abdomen,
she suffered from a skull fracture, blood hemorrhaging, and permanent
damage to her inner ear. She also received stitches on the side of her
head where she was injured by the first blow from the police by what
surgeons in the hospital called a “blunt object”- the impact of which had
rendered her immediately unconscious.

The demonstration took place on the first day of anniversary celebrations
of the historic 1973 Polytechnio uprising, and was attended by thousands
of people ranging from base unions to student organizations to left
parties and anarchists, protesting the arrival of IMF officials in Athens
that day.

Eye-witness say that as the demonstration was coming to end at Polytechnio
at approximately 8pm, up to 15 Delta police on motorcycles charged a
student block at the back of the demonstration on Patision street,
throwing concussion grenades into the crowd and sending people into a

According to eye-witness accounts, one of the Delta police ran towards the
American woman and hit her from behind with a blunt object, immediately
knocking her unconscious and causing her head to gush blood. Then multiple
officers beat her with batons and kicked her before dragging her to an
adjacent sidewalk, where she was beaten again by multiple officers. The
officers attempted to handcuff her, but because of her condition they
decided to leave her. She later recovered her consciousness. – “When I
woke up I was surprised because I was in a different place than I had last
remembered when the police first hit me. I could not hear anything from my
right ear, and I could not turn my head or move my right arm- I thought my
neck was broken. I saw blood on the sidewalk all around me and on the
column in front of me. I was incredibly dizzy and it was difficult to
remain conscious.”

The American demonstrator was brought to the hospital by ambulance after
being given first aid in the Alpha theater on Patision by members of
EEK(Workers Revolutionary Party).

Eleytherotypia reported, “We saw her in the ambulance full of blood. She
was bleeding from her head, her ear, and her nose.”

The doctors said that she had multiple injuries and admitted her for care.
She was also screened for internal bleeding, as she had lost urine during
the beating as a result of being kicked directly in the kidneys. Four
police officers had followed her to the hospital, where they repeatedly
tried to intimidate her and interrogate her throughout the night despite
her debilitated condition. However, people who showed up in solidarity as
well as the doctors prevented them from approaching her bed well into the
late hours of the night.

Attempted Homicide Charges Against the Delta

Her lawyer, Giota Massouridou, claims that the police’s actions were
intentionally lethal given that she was beaten for a prolonged amount of
time while clearly bleeding from the head and unconscious, and that the
medical reports show that the police targeted the most vulnerable parts of
her body- repeatedly beating her on the head, neck, and mid-section. The
fact that the officers dragged her limp body several meters to the
sidewalk evidences that they were aware that she was completely
unconscious and unresponsive, and yet they continued the beating on the
sidewalk- as witnesses say- for up to two minutes. Massouridou also says
that given the American woman’s petite size, it obviously would have been
difficult for her to sustain such an attack from multiple policemen, and
that it is by pure luck she is alive.

Additionally, the officers left her unconscious on the sidewalk,
indicating that they wanted to avoid responsibility for the extent of her
injuries, especially in the case that she would not survive.

Along with attempted murder, the American woman is also charging the
police with continuous and collective use of illegal violence, breach of
duty, and abuse of authority.

In light of the beating of the American anarchist, an international
denouncement of Delta police was made by over 170 professors, journalists,
legal scholars, and university students from the United States and Europe,
including several well-known academics and writers such as Noam Chomsky
and Judith Butler.

“There is a long history of complaints against Delta police for physical
brutality, as there are several other cases of demonstrators being
hospitalized with severe injuries after receiving beatings from Delta
police, ” the statement reads. “We urge a full disclosure of information
regarding the identity of the Delta unit responsible for the excessive
attack on the night of the 15th of November. ”

There are other indicative charges which have been brought against the
Delta police for brutality towards demonstrations. Charges were brought by
Professor Aggeliki Koutsoumpou, who was seriously injured on the 6th of
December 2009, when a Delta police officer rammed her with his motorcycles
during a demonstration. On January 4rth, the political organization
‘Dikaioma’ sued the DELTA and DIAS for an assault on their block during a
December 15, 2010 general strike demonstration.

In a press conference the lawyer for Dikaioma, Kostas Papadakis, said, “It
is only a matter of time before the Delta police kill someone.”

The american anarchist, who still suffers from a fractured skull and
permanent hearing loss, said in reference to the actions of the police:
“What happened to me is not an isolated incident, it is a daily occurance
because it is the very role of the police in co-operation with state and
capital. This beating will not make me afraid, it does not stop me or
anyone else from going to demonstrations – although it’s true that the
police came close to killing me that night, we go into the streets because
capitalism murders us everyday.”

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