Protest in Solidarity with Marianne Maeckelbergh and the Arrested and Tortured No Borders Activists!
When: Friday, October 8th at Noon
Dr. Marianne Maeckelbergh is a longtime activist who grew up in NYC and currently resides in Holland. An animal rights activist since her early teens, Marianne coordinated the Wetlands Animal Rights Action Team in the mid-nineties where she launched the Boycott Macy's campaign in New York City, organized protests against the Canadian seal hunt, campaigned against the infamous junkie-money experiments of notorious vivsector Ron Wood, helped to launch a network of student animal rights organizations, and ran monthly educational forums on animal rights issues at the Wetlands Preserve nightclub in Tribeca. She also volunteered with PETA and other groups. Marianne is currently a professor at the University of Leiden in Holland author of The Will of the Many: How the Alterglobalisation Movement Is Changing the Face of Democracy, and an active supporter and longtime friend of political prisoner Daniel McGowan, imprisoned based on statements he made that were recorded by an FBI informant in 2005 at the Grassroots Animal Rights Conference.
Last Friday, Marianne arrested for taking pictures while police were making aggressive arrests in Brussels, Belgium. Having just entered Belgium two and a half hours earlier, she was on the terrace of a café with friends when she witnessed violent arrests on the street. She went to take pictures and was herself arrested by the police chief. She was taken into police custody where she was violently dragged by her hair, chained to a radiator, hit, kicked, spat upon, called a whore, and threatened with sexual assault by the police. She also witnessed the torture of another prisoner also chained to a radiator.
This took place not in a dark corner of the police station but out in the open, directly witnessed by police station authorities who gave the impression that this was standard practice. Police removed her ID card, USB stick, the camera with the photos on it, and 25 euros in cash from her property and have refused to return them.
Amidst a week of protest, roughly 500 activists were arrested last week in Brussels, many preemptively, including people involved in the No Border Camp, "a convergence of struggles aiming to end the system of borders that divide us All," and other protest activities including an alleged attack on a police station. As of Wednesday 7 October, 2010 at least one person is still incarcerated.
Your help is needed to secure the release of the remaining prisoner and to demand that the police be held accountable for their torture of Marianne and others.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Attend the protest! Again, it'll be tomorrow, Friday, October 8th at Noon at the Belgian Consulate, north side of 40th Street between 6th Ave and Broadway (just west of Staples), Manhattan. Call (718) 880-7979 if you need more info.
- Call Belgium's US Ambassador, H.E. Jan Matthysen at (202) 333-6900 and Belgium's Ambassador to the United Nations Jan K.F. Grauls (212) 378-6300 to demand the immediate release of the last prisoner and express your outrage at the torture, abuse, and unjust incarceration of Marianne and others.
- Call the Belgian National Tourist Office at Tel: (212) 758-8130. Let them know you'll be canceling your plans to vacation in Belgium because you no longer feel that Belgium is a safe tourist destination for US citizens based on this torture incident.