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I am the Mother of one of the activists arrested on Tues. Aug 1 at the Warehouse. My daughter called me the following Sunday still realing from the shock of what she had been through. Her story is matching all the ones I have read so far except that, in her area, not only were they deprived of decent food, but were also subjected to extreme cold from air conditioning turned down so low that they had to lay on top of one another to share body heat while the guards walked around wearing heavy winter coats and enjoying space heaters. My daughter has been an activist for about 6 years now and I have never heard in her voice what I heard in that phonecall. I was left numb and reeling from her account. I felt as if the blinders for our freedom were ripped from my face. I work with foreign exchange students and have heard similar stories from my students in Kosovo, Columbia and other countries, but I always believed that nothing like this could EVER happen in this country.
Well, my friends, that myth is now gone from my mind. My daughter is a PEACEFUL protester who, in her own words, was "making puppets, floats and beautiful flags with shimmery twirly things in an effort to dispell the tention around the convention." They were planning a parade. When the police came in and "detained" them, they also took all the puppets and other things, put them in a trash compactor and destroyed them. How, now, can they defend themselves with no evidence left. The only thing they had left was chicken wire, piano wire and duct tape. These articles, said the police, were evidence that they were planning "unlawful activities." I am very proud of my daughter and others like her for standing up and speaking out against things they do not believe in. However, it is sad to know that this great country of ours is becoming more and more like the countries we fight against. Today, a little past middle age woman will also become an activist.