General

Sue Basko, Lawyer For Independent Media

The expert panel of OSCE ODIHR has issued, Human Rights Handbook on Policing Assemblies, its latest guidebook on international standards for protests. You’ll be able to download a pdf of the guidebook Here. Previous versions in earlier years have leaned towards the vague and euphemistic wordings and idealistic expectations. This 2016 model is extra particular and helpful, perhaps because of the addition of 10 panelists from police departments worldwide.

On this panel from the U.S., there may be Ralph Price, General Counsel of the Office of the Superintendent from the Chicago Police Department. Chicago has a superb latest observe document of massive protests with no main hassle. Chicago has additionally been in a position to hold big non-protest events with solely minor expected issues.

Note: OSCE ODIHR stands for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. OSCE has 57 participating nations on three continents of Europe, North America, and Asia. In this guidebook, “meeting” specifically means a protest of some sort. This guidebook lists “conferences, rallies, pickets, demonstrations, marches, processions, parades, and flash mobs.” Glaringly absent is almost any point out of camping or tent protests, which have been prevalent worldwide over the past 5 years.

Also missing is any mention of a sit-in, which is a short or long-term residence inside a constructing. Camping and sit-in protests contain the occupation and unique use of space meant to be shared by others. These protests are often extremely effective at galvanizing dissent and thus, are highly useful to a democracy.

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They’re also the place law enforcement most needs to be guided and restrained. If you have been listening to the current police actions in opposition to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allied protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline that proposes to send oil via several U.S. States, you have seen protesters sprayed with water in freezing temperatures, attacked with chemical weapons, and injured with projectiles shot from guns. The “No DAPL” protesters have an enormous groundswell of support and seem like holding ground on land that rightly belongs to their tribe.

Yet, stories of abuse by regulation enforcement against the protesters are cropping up every day. The photographs and videos are hard to deny. Flash mobs are also listed in the “Varieties of Assemblies” (pg 15), but are solely minimally addressed thereafter. This may be as a result of a peaceful flash mob will often be over and gone earlier than there may be any police response.

Another matter that’s lacking from the guidebook is the way of making arrests. This is glossed over. Within the U.S., there has developed a widespread observe of police forcing an individual to the ground to arrest the individual. This has led to many cases of harm and to bodily abuse dedicated by police.

The arrestee is usually ordered or forced to the ground, normally for no obvious motive. Often, a police officer locations a knee into the back of the individual on the ground. This certainly causes harm to anybody and has been identified to trigger extreme damage and death. Numerous videos present a number of police officers piling onto a person on the ground.