INDEPENDENT NEWS

Scoop Images: "CNN - Half The News, All The Time"

Published: Mon 12 Nov 2001 03:08 PM
Three Arrested in Atlanta at CNN Protest
Images and Story - Atlanta Indymedia
Story by B. Lavoie Atl. IMC
6:27pm Sat Nov 10 '01
Saturday, Nov. 10 - 100 people came out for a CNN protest march and rally. Three were arrested and remain in jail.
Today, close to 100 people participated in a protest targeting CNN for, what the organizers call, one-sided news coverage. The action began around noon after a brief gathering in Woodruff Park. The group, led by women wearing cardboard TV sets on their heads, marched in a circuitous route through the 5 points area which eventually brought them to CNN. While winding through the upper levels of Underground Atlanta, the march mostly kept to the sidewalks but upon turning west on Decatur street at GSU, the final approach to CNN, it took to the street. Still, there was no police interference even though several officers watched the crowd go by.
When the march reached CNN people stood in front of the Marietta St. entrance chanting "CNN- Half the news, all the time." Soon security guards poured from the building and formed a line between the protestors and CNN property. At first they made no attempt to disperse the crowd. However, as people were listening to speakers and skits, the guards began to push the crowd away from the building towards the street that was already lined with cops. The group was pinned in on both sides and the space on the sidewalk was getting tight.
So, when a clean-cut young man named George was gruffly asked to keep moving forward after he had already taken the largest step space would allow, he quietly but firmly refused to do so. Immediately, he was handcuffed by CNN security guards and people began to follow as they led him away. As the crowd moved to the other side of the building, Atlanta police officers arrested 2 other protestors for wearing masks. Janx, a local Atlanta activist, had his head wrapped in a kaffiyeh "intifada-style" and Matt, from Asheville, NC, was wearing a handkerchief. Due to the fact that attentions were largely focused on George, not many witnessed the other arrests. Those who did say that, while Matt was arrested quickly, Janx tried to get away and was tackled by 3 cops.
After some confusion, the demonstrators lined up outside CNN"S side entrance and chanted "Freedom of speech- Let them go." Later, as voices became hoarse, the protestors stormed angrily back to Woodruff Park. Those who still had voices started screaming "Fuck CNN, Fuck the War- We won't take this shit no more!" While the uncensored chant sent a few mothers rushing to cover their kids ears, many people on the streets seemed to find it funny. Eventually, the group marched to the jail to await the release of those arrested.
During the jail vigil police harassment of the protestors continued. Three men, one a uniformed officer and the other two plainclothes, approached march participants Marc and James from whom they demanded ID. Marc grudgingly complied but James refused to give more than his first name. The cops then took him to a nearby cruiser where they frisked him and found his wallet. After being questioned, he was released with no explanation as to why he was detained in the first place.
A short time later, three lawyers with the Southern Center for Human Rights arrived to help look into the charges faced by George, Matt and Janx. They were told the following:
CHARGES
George- misdemeanor criminal trespass
Matt- misdemeanor "mask"
Janx- misdemeanor "mask"
misdemeanor simple battery
felony obstruction
As of 6 pm, the three were still in jail and a handful of people continued to vigil outside. It is believed that the $200 raised after the arrests plus the additional money provided by family should be sufficient to bond out all three tonight.
ENDS

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