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Denver Builds Cages for DNC Protestors

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August 20, 2008

Last week Denver’s CBS affiliate filmed the facility that the Denver police intends to use a holding area for protestors who are arrested during the Democratic National Convention next week. Protestors who are arrested will be held in 9- by 9-yard holding pens topped with barbed wire, with signs warning: “Electric Stun Devices Used in This Facility.”

Is this really how the Denver police intend to treat protestors? It’s not out of the realm of possibility, as it’s eerily reminiscent of how the New York Police Department treated arrested protestors four years ago during the Republican National Convention (RNC).

On August 6, the ACLU of Colorado requested more information about the logistics behind protestors’ access to food, water, bathrooms, medical care and attorneys in a letter (PDF) sent to the Denver Sheriff’s department and Manager of Safety. In the letter, the ACLU of Colorado notes the lengthy processing times of past mass-arrest incidents, and the NYPD’s botched handling of the RNC in 2004, which resulted in two lawsuits brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union, which are still pending before the courts.

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