Sue Basko, Lawyer For Independent Media

The skilled panel of OSCE ODIHR has issued, Human Rights Handbook on Policing Assemblies, its newest guidebook on international requirements for protests. You may obtain a pdf of the guidebook Here. Previous variations in earlier years have leaned towards imprecise and euphemistic wordings and idealistic expectations. This 2016 version is extra-specific and helpful, maybe because of the addition of 10 panelists from police departments worldwide.

On this panel from the U.S., there may be Ralph Price, General Counsel of the Office of the Superintendent from the Chicago Police Department. Chicago has a wonderful latest track file of giant protests with no major bother. Chicago has also been in a position to hold large non-protest events with solely minor expected problems.

Note: OSCE ODIHR stands for Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. OSCE has 57 participating nations on three continents of Europe, North America, and Asia. On this guidebook, “meeting” particularly means a protest of some sort. This guidebook lists “meetings, rallies, pickets, demonstrations, marches, processions, parades, and flash mobs.” Glaringly absent is sort of any mention of camping or tent protests, which have been prevalent worldwide over the past 5 years.

Also lacking is any mention of a sit-in, which is a short or long-run residence inside a building. Camping and sit-in protests contain the occupation and exclusive use of space meant to be shared by others. These protests are sometimes extremely effective at galvanizing dissent and thus, are extremely helpful to a democracy.

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They’re additionally where legislation enforcement most must be guided and restrained. If in case you have been listening to the recent police actions towards the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allied protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline that proposes to send oil through a number of U.S. States, you’ve seen protesters sprayed with water in freezing temperatures, attacked with chemical weapons, and injured with projectiles shot from guns. The “No DAPL” protesters have an enormous groundswell of assist and look like holding ground on land that rightly belongs to their tribe.

Yet, tales of abuse by regulation enforcement in opposition to the protesters are cropping up every day. The images and movies are laborious to deny. Flash mobs are additionally listed in the “Kinds of Assemblies” (pg 15), however are solely minimally addressed thereafter. This could also be because a peaceful flash mob will usually be over and gone before there could be any police response.

Another matter that’s missing from the guidebook is the way of making arrests. This is glossed over. Within the U.S., there has developed a widespread observe of police forcing an individual to the bottom to arrest the particular person. This has led to many instances of damage and to physical abuse committed by police.

The arrestee is usually ordered or compelled to the ground, normally for no obvious cause. Often, a police officer places a knee into the back of the person on the bottom. This certainly causes damage to anybody and has been recognized to cause severe damage and demise. Numerous videos present a number of police officers piling onto a person on the bottom.