Saturday, September 06, 2008

Nader Volunteer, State Party Official Beaten At GOP Convention

Ralph Nader volunteer, Peace and Freedom state official beaten, hospitalized at GOP convention; PF Party condemns 'brutal' attack

MINNEAPOLIS - A volunteer with the Ralph Nader for President campaign - and an official of the Peace and Freedom Party California State Central Committee - was beaten by police and hospitalized at the Republican National Convention here in what party leaders condemned as a "brutal assault on Barry Burgess and our liberties."

Burgess, elected to the Peace and Freedom Party Contra Costa County Central Committee and state committee in June, was attacked distributing literature for the Ralph Nader for President campaign, according to Kevin Akin, California State Chair, Peace and Freedom Party. Atkins statement follows:

"Barry Burgess was handing out literature for Peace and Freedom presidential candidate Ralph Nader (and) was the subject of an unprovoked attack by club-wielding police, who inflicted head injuries and arrested him... he was treated at a hospital and released, and is now recovering at a Nader supporter's home.

"Following similar but smaller attacks on demonstrators in Denver, the police attacks on peaceful demonstrators in Minneapolis, which have occurred without any criticism from leaders of the Republican and Democratic Parties, show how seriously our civil liberties have been eroded.

"The Peace and Freedom Party demands accountability from Minneapolis, Minnesota and federal authorities, and an investigation with appropriate consequences for those engaging in this mass brutality and intimidation. We also demand that all the trumped-up charges against those exercising their constitutional rights be dropped.

"We anxiously await further word on the condition of Barry Burgess, and hope that enough complaints are received by Minneapolis officials to restrain the savage excesses of their police tonight and tomorrow. We also hope that this brutal attack on Barry Burgess and our liberties inspires Americans to examine the real actions and positions of the presidential candidates on freedom of speech and free assembly."

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