Last Friday, October 1 2010, during the No Border Camp: a convergence of struggles aiming to end the system of borders that divide us all, Marianne Maeckelbergh (US citizen and professor at the University of Leiden, Netherlands), a former Red Pepper worker, current contributor and a long-time global justice activist and the author of The Will of the Many: How the Alterglobalisation Movement Is Changing the Face of Democracy, was arrested for taking pictures while police were making arrests in Brussels, Belgium.
Having just entered Belgium, some two hours earlier, she witnessed violent arrests on the street. When Marianne began taking pictures, she was arrested. 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 did not take place 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, as well as 25 euros in cash – to date they have refused to return her property.
Roughly 500 people were arrested, many preemptively, including people involved in the No Border Camp and other protest activities including an alleged attack on a police station. Marianne has now been released but as of Wednesday 6 October, 2010 at least four people are still incarcerated.
Your help is needed to secure the release of the remaining prisoners and to demand that the police are held accountable.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
- Call, email or fax Belgium’s UK Ambassador, H.E. Ambassador Johan Verbeke to demand the immediate release of all prisoners and express your outrage at the torture, abuse, and unjust incarceration of Marianne and others.
- Ambassador’s Secretariat Tel: 020 7470 3700 Ann.Willems@diplobel.fed.be Katja.Wauters@diplobel.fed.be
- For more information contact Adam Weissman.
Thanks to Red Pepper for alerting us to this.
How the Alterglobalisation Movement is Changing the Face of Democracy
Argues that the most promising new model for democracy is found in grassroots movements against capitalist globalisation.
‘Maeckelbergh’s ethnographic research has enabled her to write an exciting book-length exploration of the prefigurative democratic political practices of alter-globalization activists. This study is essential reading for all who continue to insist that other worlds are possible.’ – John Gledhill, Max Gluckman Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester
‘Fifty years from now, this book may well be looked back on as having opened an entire new chapter in the history of democratic thought. It certainly deserves to.’ – Dr David Graeber, Reader in Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, University of London