Sue Basko, Lawyer For Independent Media

The professional panel of OSCE ODIHR has issued, Human Rights Handbook on Policing Assemblies, its newest guidebook on worldwide standards for protests. You may download a pdf of the guidebook Here. Previous variations in earlier years have leaned toward the obscure and euphemistic wordings and idealistic expectations. This 2016 version is more specific and useful, maybe because of the addition of 10 panelists from police departments worldwide.

On this panel from the U.S., there’s Ralph Price, General Counsel of the Office of the Superintendent from the Chicago Police Department. Chicago has an excellent recent track record of large protests with no main bother. Chicago has also been ready to carry huge non-protest events with solely minor, anticipated problems.

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

Also missing is any point out of a sit-in, which is a brief or long-run residence inside a constructing. Camping and sit-in protests contain the occupation and exclusive use of an area meant to be shared by others. These protests are sometimes extremely effective at galvanizing dissent and thus, are highly helpful to a democracy.

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They are additionally where law enforcement most needs to be guided and restrained. When you have been paying attention to the recent police actions in opposition to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and allied protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline that proposes to send oil via several U.S. States, you could have 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 help and seem like holding floor on land that rightly belongs to their tribe.

Yet, tales of abuse by regulation enforcement in opposition to the protesters are cropping up day by day. The photographs and videos are arduous to deny. Flash mobs are also listed within the “Varieties of Assemblies” (pg 15), but are only minimally addressed thereafter. This may be as a result of a peaceful flash mob will normally be over and gone earlier than there might be any police response.

Another topic that’s missing from the guidebook is the way of constructing arrests. That is glossed over. In the U.S., there has developed a widespread apply of police forcing an individual to the ground to arrest the particular person. This has led to many instances of damage and to physical abuse dedicated by police.

The arrestee is usually ordered or forced to the ground, normally for no obvious purpose. Often, a police officer places a knee into the back of the person on the ground. This certainly causes injury to anybody and has been identified to cause severe injury and death. Numerous videos show multiple police officers piling onto an individual on the ground.

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