Arousing the Protesters


A year ago September, the Washington, D.C., police arrested 400 people out of an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 demonstrating in Pershing Park against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. Subsequently, demonstrators brought a class-action suit in Federal District Court in D.C., claiming they were surrounded by cops, arrested, handcuffed, and held up to 13 hours on buses and then at the police academy gymnasium for up to 36 hours. While at the gym, the protesters say, they were handcuffed one wrist to the opposite ankle. During the course of the suit, the judge released documents from the Metropolitan Police Department’s own internal investigation of the incident. According to one of the documents, Cathy Lanier, a Special Operations division commander, “stated that the handcuff technique was used to prevent escape, protect the protesters from one another, and to prevent them from committing sexual acts with each other.”

Additional reporting: Ashley Glacel and Phoebe St John