This is the reception that welcomed the activists. Stay tuned for further updates and join the conversation here.
Florida bloggers and fellow Froggers, if you give one care about civil rights and civil liberties, link up this post and this one to pass the word. Thanks!
A late change in plans was put in place to hold the press conference at the Miami Chamber of Commerce located directly across the street from the Holocaust Memorial.
Terry Brown paid for the membership to the chamber and the conference room was secured. On the application we told the Chamber we were a human rights organization and that we were holding a press conference.
Yesterday, I spent about three hours on the phone with Miami police Captain James Hyde, who did everything in his power to try and head us off at the pass. He initially told me there was a Federal ruling which was just handed down barring us from holding the event at the Chamber. This later turned out to be false. He flat out told me we should have a "plan C" which left me with the impression that he and other Miami officials were going to force the Chamber to renig on our use of the room, which they ultimately did . Terry is in possession of a letter which clearly demonstrates that this is in fact what occurred.
It is my belief that Miami City officials strong armed the chamber of commerce (which is privately owned) to bar us from holding the press conference inside of their facility. I will be writing a detailed article and account on this later this evening.
When the group arrived at the Chamber this morning the area was inundated with police. The police stopped everyone in the area grilling them on what their business there was. They threatened the individuals in our group that if they stepped one foot on the Holocaust Memorial or touched any part of the memorial, they would immediately be arrested.
Journalists and onlookers alike were sent away. Tom did manage to hook up with a journalist from the Miami Herald and he and our members regrouped under the Julia Tuttle causeway. They had their speech and recorded everything.The ACLU is involved but I have no further details on that at this time."