Nov 15 fur protest report:1 arrested, 2 detained-and cops order NO SHOUTING
On November 15th, the old police nastiness returned to fur protests on the MD side of “Furriers Row.” Within a MINUTE of 3 protesters entering the Saks 5th Ave lobby, cops stormed in and arrested one, detaining two others-WITHOUT anyone first demanding that they leave.
Audio on DC Indymedia:
I timed 37 seconds from the start of then protest until the warning that cops were closing in from behind. In seconds more those in the lobby were trapped. This sort of fast response suggests a pre-planned ambush.
Although the cops were inside holding three people at first, protesters continues undeterred, short first 3, then one person-and minus the two bullhorns the cops stole.
Due to the police essentially holding someone hostage, protesters remained on the scene with signs and chants at Saks 5th until the cops had driven away with the person they arrested and released the detainees.
Protesters then continued to Neiman-Marcus on the DC side of “Furriers Row” on Wisconsin Ave. Cops did not show up at all here, possibly hoping the arrest, detentions, and loss of the bullhorns would take the wind out of everyone’s sails. No such luck-loud voices tuned to the resonances set up by buildings on both sides of the blocks kept things good and noisy.
Finally, protesters returned to MD to protest at Dior, a new fur-selling luxury shop where Maxmara used to be.
This is at 5741 E Wisconsin Ave just over the DC line into MD.
Dior boasted on the phone of selling fur when asked-and the very person who did the boasting was the sole occupant of the store, nervousy watching the door, when protesters arrived.
For a while, no cops, then one cop, then another cop and a number of store or building officials entered Dior. After about 1/2 hour, the two cops emerged and told people they were not even allowed to shout-and then started harassing your reporter, probably trying to get their hands on the camera full of shots of them with store/building security or management folks. They failed, of course.
Last year these Montgomery County cops pursued an Indymedia photographer over the DC line trying to get a camera and/or audio recordings. This lawless action by them failed, but now they seem to want to try again.
There were many unlawful arrests and even a beating by Montgomery county, MD police at fur protests last year. They seem to have decided to throw the law books out the window and do anything they can to prevent the Christmas shopping season from being disrupted on Furrier’s Row.