20 Dec 2008
16 December 2008
Amnesty International has said that industry claims that Taser stun guns are safe and non-lethal do not stand up to scrutiny. The organization called on governments to limit their deployment to life-threatening situations or to suspend their use.
The call came as the organization released one of the most detailed reports to date on the safety of the stun gun. The report "USA: Less than lethal?" is being published as the number of people who died after being struck by Tasers in the USA reached 334 between 2001 and August 2008.
"Tasers are not the 'non-lethal' weapons they are portrayed to be," said Angela Wright, US researcher at Amnesty International and author of the report. "They can kill and should only be used as a last resort.
"The problem with Tasers is that they are inherently open to abuse, as they are easy to carry and easy to use and can inflict severe pain at the push of a button, without leaving substantial marks."
Amnesty International’s study – which includes information from 98 autopsies – found that 90 per cent of those who died after being struck with a Taser were unarmed and many did not appear to present a serious threat.
Many were subjected to repeated or prolonged shocks – far more than the five-second "standard" cycle – or by more than one officer at a time. Some people were even shocked for failing to comply with police commands after they had been incapacitated by a first shock.
In at least six of the cases where people died, Tasers were used on individuals suffering from medical conditions such as seizures – including a doctor who had crashed his car when he suffered an epileptic seizure. He died after being repeatedly shocked at the side of the highway when, dazed and confused, he failed to comply with an officer's commands.
Police officers also used Tasers on schoolchildren, pregnant women and even an elderly person with dementia.
In March 2008, an 11-year-old girl with a learning disability was shocked with a Taser after she punched a police officer in the face. The officer had been called to the school in Orange County, Florida, after the child had become disturbed, pushing desks and chairs and spitting at staff.
Existing studies – many of them funded by the industry – have found the risk of these weapons to be generally low in healthy adults. However, these studies are limited in scope and have pointed to the need for more understanding of the effects of such devices on vulnerable people, including those under the influence of stimulant drugs or in poor health.
Recent independently-funded animal studies have found that the use of these kinds of electro-shock weapons can cause fatal arrhythmias in pigs, raising further questions about their safety on human subjects. It was also recently reported that nearly ten per cent of 41 Tasers tested in a study commissioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, delivered significantly more current than the manufacturer said was possible, underscoring the need for independent verification and testing of such devices.
Although most of the 334 deaths nationwide have been attributed to factors such as drug intoxication, medical examiners and coroners have concluded that Taser shocks caused or contributed to at least 50 of these deaths.
"We are very concerned that electro-shock weapons such as Tasers have been rolled out for general use before rigorous, independent testing of their effects," said Angela Wright.
19 Dec 2008
The police will uphold and protect the right to peaceful protest. If
your protests are peaceful and nonviolent (no shouting, throwing things,
waving fists, rude language and aggressive and illegal behaviour) then
you should be fine. Article 11 of the European Convention on Human
Rights (to which Scotland is a signatory) states
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to
freedom of association with others,
including the right to form and to
join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
2. No restrictions shall be placed on the exercise of these rights
other than such as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a
democratic society in the interests of national security or public
safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of
health or morals or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of
others. This article shall not prevent the imposition of lawful
restrictions on the exercise of these rights by members of the armed
forces, of the police or of the administration of the State.
This means that if you cause an obstruction, or cause harassment, alarm
and distress to others, or commit acts of violence the police have the
right to stop the protest ie impose lawful restrictions.
So the best thing (and what every organisation who wants to organise a
does) would be to go in person to the police and explain
what you are planning to do, where and for how long and ask for their
advice and support. They should then treat it as a legal demonstration
and be there to ensure there is no violence and the laws of peaceful
protest are being obeyed. There may be streets or areas in Edinburgh
where they do not wish you to go, or there is a risk of
obstruction/congestion. They usually film and photograph protesters on
illegal protests. So establishing a polite and reasonable dialogue with
the police is a really good idea!
17 Dec 2008
Radio reports this morning that the ballistic examination is out and the “ricocheting” scenario is now official. As explained in a previous post, it is highly unlikely this is the truth. According to eye-witnesses (the friend of Alexandros included) the murderer cop shot straight at him.
At 8 am today the building of GSEE (General Confederation of Workers in Greece) was occupied by insurgent workers, according to their own statement. An open workers assembly has been called for 6pm.
Huge banners were hanged in front of the Acropolis, calling for tomorrow’s mass demonstration…
A government spokesman called yesterday’s state-run TV station occupation “an attempt to overthrow democracy”. The action was also condemned by the communist party (kke).
Article from http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/
13 Dec 2008
12 Dec 2008
Meeting will take place at 17:00 at Library Bar at Bristo Square.
From alex demo
Paidia eimaste mazi sas.
kai emeis diadilonoyme edo sto Edinbourgo gia esas kai tin dolofonia toy Alexi.
From Πρωτοβουλία Συντονιστικού σχολείων Αλέξανδρος Γρηγορόπουλος
to alex demo
eyxaristoume poly gia ola, steilete mas mynimata gia tis draseis sas.
From Πρωτοβουλία Συντονιστικού σχολείων Αλέξανδρος Γρηγορόπουλος
to alex demo
Παιδιά, τι θα λέγατε την Δευτέρα που διοργανώνουμε την καθιστική διαμαρτυρία στις 12:00 να κάνετε και εσείς το ίδιο στο Ελληνικό προξενείο;
11 Dec 2008
Click on the poster to have them in better resolution
BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU PUT THE POSTERS IN THIS COUNTRY YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO DO IT WHEREVER YOU WANT
10 Dec 2008
Here is a proposed route. It starts at Teviot , going at George square that all the university buildings are. And then more or less what we did on Monday, with the thought that we could go further on Princess Street and end at the pedestrian road of Castle St. were we stay to protest and light candles for the murder of Alexis.
This again is only a proposal, say whatever you think it should change in order to send it at local authorities.
Whoever reads it please make a comment even if you don't want anything to change in order to know that everybody has read it. Please be as fast as you can.
9 Dec 2008
I hope you are both good. The protest yesterday was good i thought.
However, the local press is not reporting the issues very well:
You should consider writing a press release in advance of this wednesdays
demonstration, and email it to the scotsman and evening news newspapers,
so that you can get some better press coverage. I have attached a file
with some press information that I use for demonstrations, that you might
I would recommend sending a press release today, so that it gets used in
2moro's newspapers, and potentially some reporters come to wednesdays
Ill see you on wednesday!
1. Call up before action to check contact details are correct, they go out of date fairly fast.
2. Press releases best sent night before, to get in next days paper.
3. Call them up to make sure they got it, and to remind them of its existence.
4. If it doesn't get picked up, call them and ask why, so that you can learn.
Edinburgh Evening News
0131 620 8734
0131 620 8503
0141 302 7000
Scottish press association
0870 830 6725 (Newsdesk)
The Big Issue in Scotland, Editorial
0141 352 7260
We would like to thank him for his help