Do not pass Go: $1 million bail for Ruckus leader

By Anthony York

By Salon Staff
Published August 11, 2000 7:27PM (EDT)

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The cops and prosecutors are serving coercive corporate interests in arresting the Ruckus leaders on specious grounds and holding them on bail amounts that are indefensible on any rational ground other than burying peaceful protest in the ashes of our democracy. The same corporate interests now dictate to local police who suppress legitimate protest and peaceful demonstrations for the "nominating" conventions funded by hundreds of millions of dollars of corporate "donations" that anyone who cares to look at the process would call bribes.

-- Alan Nestlinger

Having spent a week at a "Ruckus Camp" in January, I have come to know firsthand not only the Ruckus Society, but its director, John Sellers. Ruckus is an amazing organization of individuals fervent in their quest to pass on knowledge of not just tactical civil disobedience, but protest history as well.

It is amazing to me that John Sellers was held on $1 million bail in Philadelphia. He is obviously not a "flight risk," and having sat around a campfire with him, I can say, without a doubt, that John didn't "smash" anything.

The Ruckus Society, and Sellers, do much to train activists to be effective and nonviolent, providing a great service to the activist community and to society at large. I daresay that WITHOUT the Ruckus Society, there would be much more property destruction. Ruckus is the antithesis to that sort of protesting -- because you learn how ineffective it is to smash windows when there are many other nonviolent tactics available. I suggest others peruse their Web site.

-- Molly M. McCarthy

Han Shan claims that Ruckus is following civil disobedience? I suggest he go back and reread the classic. Thoreau did not resist arrest, refuse to give his name or struggle with authorities. He believed so strongly in his cause, that he willfully accepted his punishment for defiance of the law. I see very little of that integrity with the protest movements of today.

-- Steven Bolin

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