OT, Riot Gear Comes In Handy In MIAMI ***

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Drudge Report:

Flagler St and Red Road in Miami... Chief of Police orders more police wearing riot gear to intersection to control approximately 200 people there... confrontations in Downtown , in front of Bayside Mall... MORE... Gov. Bush has lifted all tolls in South Florida so traffic can move... WSVN reporter: The crowd is getting larger by the minutes... more younger people are out on the streets... MORE...


-- uh-oh (watching@NOTy2k.hhmmm), January 06, 2000



Thursday January 6 2:38 PM ET

Exiles Paralyze Miami Over Ruling on Cuban Boy

MIAMI (Reuters) - Angry Cuban exiles paralyzed traffic in downtown Miami on Thursday to protest a U.S. government decision to send a 6-year-old boy back to communist Cuba and vowed legal challenges to keep him in the United States.

But legal experts said U.S. law favored the rights of the father of the boy, Elian Gonzalez, and that relatives seeking to keep him in Miami had little chance of succeeding in court.

Miami foes of Cuban President Fidel Castro launched into a second day of demonstrations against a ruling issued Wednesday by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that Elian, who was found in the Atlantic clinging to an inner tube in late November, should be returned to his father in Cuba.

Protesters gathered outside a federal building waving red, white and blue Cuban flags. They swarmed around police barricades and streamed around cars on a major boulevard, with small groups breaking off to sit and stand in intersections to block traffic in all directions.

Police in riot gear hauled protesters away in plastic handcuffs when they barred traffic from entering and leaving the Port of Miami, a major cargo and cruise ship port.

At least 80 people were arrested.

``That kid should not be sent back to hell,'' said Maria Elena Cervera, a 46-year-old Cuban-born protester. ``I went through that hell when I was a kid ... Are we going to send a child back to prison just to be with his father?''

Some stranded motorists objected, while others supported the protests.

``I think they should stop this. They should be going to court, not here,'' said motorist Armando Garcia, 33, who came to the United States from Cuba at age 10.

During the morning rush hour, drivers in trucks and cars drove at 10 mph on the Dolphin Expressway, one of Miami's major highways, in a traffic slowdown that organizers called an act of civil disobedience.

Similar protests over the treatment of Cuban refugees last summer infuriated Miamians, who castigated the exiles for tying up traffic to make a political point in this city where the car is king.

``Unfortunately we have had to resort to these tactics because the president is unwilling to understand ... how traumatic it would be for Elian to be sent back to Cuba,'' protest organizer Ramon Saul Sanchez told Reuters.

The INS decision issued Wednesday marked the latest stage in a politically charged six-week battle between the boy's father in Cuba, who wants him back, and relatives in Miami who say the boy should be allowed to grow up in the United States.

Elian was plucked from the Atlantic Ocean on Nov 25. He clung to an inner tube for two days after a smugglers' boat bringing illegal migrants to Florida capsized. His mother was one of 11 people who died in the disaster.

His father Juan Miguel Gonzalez, a tourism worker who was divorced from the mother, had appealed for Elian to be sent home to him. Castro's government said the boy was kidnapped and staged massive rallies urging his return.

The boy's Miami relatives have vowed to go to court to stop any attempt to send him back, saying Elian wants to stay in the United States and get political asylum.

But the INS ruled that the 6-year-old's father has the legal right to speak for him. The father has repeatedly said he wants his child returned to Cuba.

Attorney General Janet Reno said on Thursday she agreed with the decision to reunite the boy with his father, dealing a blow to exiles who wanted Reno to overrule INS Commissioner Doris Meissner.

``I fully agree with her determination that the father has the legal right and the legal authority to speak for his child in immigration matters,'' Reno told a news conference in Washington.

Legal experts said that even if the Miami relatives were deemed to have legal standing to sue on Elian's behalf in a U.S. court, a judge was unlikely to rule in their favor.

``If the father wishes to have the child returned to him and have his application for political asylum withdrawn, that would trump the claim of the (Miami) family,'' said Bernard Perlmutter, a legal expert at the University of Miami.

``I think that both procedurally and in terms of the merits, they have a slim chance of success.''

Elian, who started school this week, was held out of class for ``personal reasons'' Thursday, school officials said. His relatives said he did not know about the INS decision but that it would be explained to him later on Thursday.

INS officials said the boy should be returned to Cuba by Jan. 14. But as of Thursday INS said it had no firm plans to send him back.

-- in the air (riots@R.us), January 06, 2000.

Cuban populace in Miami are protesting the returning the child back to his father in Cuba... Not a Y2K incident.

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), January 06, 2000.

One little boy from Cuba ... difference in custody opinion ...

Can you imagine what it would have been like if the Doomers had been right about Y2K?

The streets ...

-- glad it did not happen (powder@keg.fuse), January 06, 2000.

Thats it! I'm outa here! This is ridiculous. I am just a few blocks from there and absolutely NOTHING is going on other than normal ATM withdrawals. The lights work, the water works, the airplanes are flying, EVEN THE SUN IS SHINING! there are no chemtrails. You people are grasping for anything to prove that the sky is falling. I'm going home to start eating my beans and rice, and Gawd I hope I have the fortitude to never come back in this forum again.

Thanks to Homer Beanfang, RC, Flint and Decker for their reasonable posts and news updates. I'm sure there are many others I am over- looking. I can no longer tolerate the idiots in here, doomer and polly alike. It has been fun folks! I have invested over a year in here but it is time to get a life again and move on. I'll check back in here in March or April to see if Dale Way was right.

Sorry Ed Yourdon. I hope you have a thick hide. I personally believe that you did your best to alert us to a possible problem. I have no regrets from my preparations. The only regret I have it the amount of time I have wasted in here reading some of these idiotic posts.

-- JoseMiami (caris@prodigy.net), January 06, 2000.

Damn Straight!

-- lance taylor commodore (ltcomm@rts.com), January 06, 2000.

See ya tomorrow, JoseMiami.

-- Think It (Through@Pollies.Duh), January 06, 2000.

Jose in South Florida, You get the prize for most sensible use of the English language I've seen here in many weeks!! Well said!! and Thank You and good luck finding a good life. signed, Hopelessly Optimistic

-- should I tell you? (optimistically@home in the woods.org), January 06, 2000.

Jose sure flipped out. Just a copy of Drudge page. Sheesh. There IS a valid point here. The police depts did update their gear and training and contingency plans. Jose would have done better to simply point out that he was eyewitnessing the locations and that Drudge's sources were not accurate for the moment that he was seeing ...

-- they are all (going@crazy.here), January 06, 2000.

You made me laugh, "Think it." Yes you are probably right. I am hopeless adicted to the lunacy in here. It is worse than soap operas. See you all tomorrow!

-- JoseMiami (caris@prodigy.net), January 06, 2000.

Miami protest over boat boy escalates, 80 arrested

Updated 4:38 PM ET January 6, 2000By Jim Loney

c MIAMI, (Reuters) - Cuban exiles jammed downtown roads, disrupted traffic and blockaded Miami's port Thursday in angry but peaceful protests against a U.S. government decision to send a 6-year-old shipwreck survivor back to communist Cuba.

Helmeted riot police with truncheons confronted dozens of protesters who marched to Miami's busy seaport and sat down on the pavement at entrance and exit roads, snarling traffic. About 80 people were arrested, police officials said.

Miami foes of Cuban President Fidel Castro took to the streets a day after a ruling by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service that Elian Gonzalez, who was found in the Atlantic clinging to an inner tube in late November and brought to Miami, should be returned to his father in Cuba.

"There are 11 million people in Cuba in a big jail. If Elian is sent back, he will be going to a big jail," said protester Lourdes Chao-Navarrete, moments before she was handcuffed and led to a waiting police van.

The protests started when several truckers drove at 10 mph along the Dolphin Expressway, a major road, during the morning rush hours, backing up traffic for miles. Florida Highway Patrol troopers handed out $85 tickets to the drivers.

The demonstrations escalated at noon when dozens of exiles gathered outside a downtown federal building waving red, white and blue Cuban flags. They swarmed police barricades and streamed around cars on a boulevard, with small groups breaking off to sit and stand in intersections to block traffic in all directions.

In Miami on Thursday, exiles on foot, riding bicycles and at least one driving a hot dog cart roamed the streets waving signs reading "Justice for Elian" and "Elian's return; Clinton's infamy." A van festooned with Cuban flags rolled along Biscayne Boulevard, a speaker blaring: "His mother died for his freedom."

At the port entrance, protesters argued with police and ignored warnings to move, asking to be arrested. They were pulled to their feet, handcuffed and marched into police vans.

"Is this crazy? Only in Miami," a passerby said.

-- but they were peaceful ||| (police@too.forceful), January 06, 2000.


Arrests follow ruling on Cuban boy

Protesters confront police Thursday in Miami

Jan. 6  Hundreds of Cuban-Americans chanting Liberty! Liberty! disrupted downtown traffic and blocked the street to the Port of Miami on Thursday to protest the U.S. governments decision to return a 6-year-old boy to Cuba. Police arrested about 25 people, including two prominent Cuban exile leaders.

THE STREET PROTESTS erupted as Attorney General Janet Reno virtually closed the door on any chance she would reverse the immigration commissioners decision to return Elian Gonzalez to his father in Cuba.

Marchers blocked the street entrance and exit to the Port of Miami, where about 50 police officers in riot gear prevented them from entering. The ports entrance is in the shadow of the Freedom Tower, a former Customs building where many Cubans formally entered the United States in the 1960s.

Some demonstrators who sat in the middle of the road were arrested while others crossed police lines to get handcuffed and taken to a nearby police wagon. Among the two dozen people arrested were Cuban exile leaders Ramon Sanchez, head of the Democracy Movement, and Jose Basulto, president of Brothers to the Rescue.

Were not going to let anyone get hurt, police Lt. Bill Schwartz said. Were not going to let the streets be taken over by a mob.


Less than a mile away, several hundred people waving Cuban flags gathered at lunchtime outside a federal building in downtown Miami and marched onto Flagler Street, weaving through cars while police on horseback monitored the crowd.

The time has come for something drastic to be done, said Albert Garcia, 27, who took the day off from his job with American Airlines to protest. If Elian has to be the match for this fire between Cuba and the U.S. then let it be.

On Wednesday, some drivers slowed or stopped cars near Miamis airport, waving Cuban flags, while hundreds demonstrated outside the INS building as well as the home of the boys Miami relatives.

Some chanted: If Elian goes back, Miami will burn.


-- right to assemble (not@any.more), January 06, 2000.

2 weeks ago this would have rivitted attention. Still interesting. Authorities very "no nonsense."

Does anybody really think any type of revolution would still be possible in America?

-- no escape (fit in@or.else), January 06, 2000.


... Police officers sealed off the entrance and exit to the Port of Miami and refused to let the demonstrators enter. When demonstrators refused to disperse, officers began binding their wrists with plastic straps and putting them aboard vans to take them away. More than three dozen demonstrators, including Ramon Saul Sanchez, the protest organizer, were arrested.

"They are telling us they want to go to jail and that's where they are going," said one Miami-Dade police officer. He said the demonstrators were being charged with two misdemeanors, failing to disperse and failing to obey a lawful order.

... Community leaders are also calling for Cubans to leave their jobs, and motorists to turn their engines off for five minutes in protest of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service decision.

-- 2000 (2000@2000.2000), January 06, 2000.

Hey there in Miami,Jose! I always look for your posts, just so you know. Your 1st reply in this thread was right-on. Sadly , your next one was too. I know what you mean!

on de rock

-- Walter (on de rock@northrock.bm), January 06, 2000.

thanks Walter. Stay on da Rock man. No better place to be. :=))

-- JoseMiami (caris@prodigy.net), January 06, 2000.

Former CUBANS in Miami - Ignorant people don't burn your own CITY, if you want to fight your enemy then go BACK to CUBA and free your country!!!!! Mouthing off here is doing no good. WE as a country don't care enough about CUBA's land mass, mineral riches or peoples freedom to fight for it.

LET the people of CUBA and those who have turned and fled go back and fight for their own freedom, if they want it, just as our forefathers did for ours. If you run from your countries fight you are just, a soft belly, living an easy life here, spewing forth words to no effect. Why should we listen or endanger our young men and women or country when you have RUN! GET smart this county is not your enemy he lies across the sea.

Make your fires elsewhere!!!!

These former Cubans need to understand that a parents rights rule over the rights of other relatives. Why the heck can't they see this??

If the childs father is deemed to be a good father then he should have the child no matter where he lives. I am sorry the child has to return to a restricted society but he is a minor.

-- USAparent (parentsrights@rule.com), January 06, 2000.

I think the Cuban exiles have to realise there is one set of laws for all of us. If my husband were to abscond with my children to another country without permission, you can be damn sure there would be a fight to get them back. What happened to this child was absolutely tragic, but a parent's rights are as absolute as a child's. Who the hell are we to say that kid would be better off here? So he can have burgers instead of fresh, normal food? So he can visit Disneyland instead of going fishing? So he can shop at a superstore instead of a market? The truth is the child is a political pawn and a great many should be ashamed.

-- Gia (laureltree7@hotmail.com), January 06, 2000.

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