Illegally Arrested Antiwar Protesters Awarded 1 Million Dollars
By Chip Gibbons, Student Peace Action Network
A US District Court Judge has ordered that the District of Columbia must pay a million dollars to 120 antiwar protesters illegally arrested. Each defendant will receive at least $6,000.
The protesters were attempting to participate in a Sunday, September 29, 2002 antiwar march of an estimated 4,000 people when they where surrounded by police on Constitution Ave and arrested.
The march was part of a weekend of actions called “Protests for Global Justice” aimed at opposing the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as well the impending invasion of Iraq.
The demonstrations were marked by mass arrests and allegations of police misconduct. On the first day alone, 649 people were arrested including not just protesters, but bystanders and members of the press, such as Colin Powell’s personal photographer.
The ACLU reached a $425,000 settlement for seven protesters and bystanders illegally arrested as part of an earlier demonstration in Pershing Park. A larger class-action lawsuit filed by the Partnership for Civil Justice and National Lawyers Guild is still pending.
The DC City Council has since passed a resolution affirming the right to parade without a permit.