Friday, November 17, 2006

40 Janitors on Strike Arrested In Downtown Houston

The Houston Chronicle story.

What was left out
: “The horses came all of a sudden. They started jumping on top of people. I heard the women screaming. A horse stomped on top of me. I fell to the ground and hurt my arm. The horses just kept coming at us. I was terrified. I never thought the police would do something so aggressive, so violent.” -- Mateo Portillo, 33 (Photos and clips are at the link so you can judge for yourself..)

From an email:
As you may have heard, there are many injured janitors in jail after last night when Houston Police violently backlashed against janitors non-violent act of civil disobedience in downtown Houston.

What can you do to help?

Contact the District Attorney and ask him to release the janitors!

District Attorney
Charles A. Rosenthal, Jr.

Here is the footage that I took last night.
More at Houston Justice for Janitors and Houston Indy Media.
Community activists and leaders expressed concern and dismay at the police’s use of horses to intimidate and corral janitors participating in non-violent civil disobedience. The police’s choice to use horses to stop the protest resulted in four people being injured, including an 83-year old janitor from New York....

As the janitors began to sit down peacefully in the intersection, Houston Police Department mounted police charged violently into the intersection to break up the demonstration, endangering workers’ lives and using their horses to physically intimidate the peaceful protestors.

Workers report they were stepped on by horses leaving an unknown number of protestors with bruises and other injuries. The number of workers who sustained injuries is currently unknown. Immediately after the act of violence, the police arrested the protestors and put them on a bus took them in for booking. While the cops moved the activists onto the sidewalk, the intersection remained blocked off until after 6pm.

At least one protestor, Hazel Ingram, an 83 year-old janitor from New York City was injured in the police action. She was taken to Ben-Taub hospital for an injury to her arm.

"A protest is a sign of freedom in the United States and exercises our basic rights to free speech. I am calling for a swift and fair resolution to this matter before more people get hurt needlessly." - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
Janitors from across the the country come to Houston to comit civil disobedience in support of a living wage for local workers. HPD give a traditional southern welcome of hospitalizing old ladies and breaking people's arms.

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1 comment:

Gary said...

One anonymous anti-union comment rejected.