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Between The Lines

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Between The Lines

Special Report on GOP Convention Defendants

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Bill Beckler is slightly built, soft-spoken, but articulate young man who planned a career as a public interest lawyer. A Columbia law school graduate student who recently passed the bar in New York, he was acting as a legal team observer of the Philadelphia Republican National Convention protests during the first week of August when he was arrested. Police officers hit him, and stomped his arms and ankles, causing gashes that became infected while he was in jail for a week. He has been charged with two cases of aggravated assault against two police officers. His bail was set at $60,000 and if convicted, faces up to 10 years in prison.

Kate Sorensen has worked as an advocate for people with AIDS as part of ACT-UP, and was hired by union Local 1199 to organize a health care rally at the GOP National Convention in Aug. 2000. She was arrested as an alleged ringleader of demonstrators during the Republican convention, held in jail on a bail of $1 million and charged with 20 felonies and misdemeanors including riot, risking a catastrophe, criminal mischief and possession of an instrument of crime. The police testified that they arrested her because they saw her talking on a cell phone during the demonstrations.

Both spoke at a New Haven, Conn. fundraiser for the defense of those still facing trial in the wake of the GOP National Convention protests. Sorensen says that of the hundreds of police that were present at the RNC protests, a group of only about six police officers repeatedly have made claims that they were beaten by protesters.

Beckler and Sorensen also spoke of the national and international efforts by authorities to suppress the anti-globalization movement.

For more information, contact R2K Legal at (215) 925-6791. Or visit their website at or

Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Producer: Scott Harris

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Between The Lines/WPKN GOP Convention Archive (in MP3):

"GOP Convention Archive"


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