Who’s on First?


Local Blogger Wes Blackman is crowing about Cara Jennings being awarded $1,500 as part of a settlement with the City of Miami to 34 people as a result of the  2003 protest of  Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Mr. Blackman states in his post, “I’m not sure if anyone is aware of this, other than the recipients and the City of Miami.”

Yes Mr. Blackman a lot of people are aware of what happened November 2003 at the FTTA protest in Miami.

Many lawsuits were filed due to the police actions on that day, the ACLU filed at least 7, and from what I have found the majority have been successful.  Here are a few excerpts from articles on the internet:

Miami-Dade and City of Miami officials acknowledged their use of vast and unnecessary police force, also disclosing regret that their actions had prevented Amnesty International’s attempt to communicate an important message to the public. Link

Several similar lawsuits (involving the FTAA in Miami, 2003) have been settled to date, amounting in almost 1-million dollars. The FTAA’s (Free Trade Area of the Americas) police presence turned Miami unrecognizable and uninhabitable. Link

Killmon, et al. v. City of Miami, et al. is a lawsuit brought on behalf of 21 activists to challenge the government’s assault on the civil rights of protesters through a deliberate and coordinated disruption of lawful political protests during the meetings of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) in Miami, Florida during November 2003. CCR celebrated a victory in April 2008 with a settlement totaling $895,500 for all plaintiffs in this case. Link

An Independent Review Panel established by Miami-Dade County conducted an investigation of citizen complaints of police conduct during the FTAA protests and, eventually, “strenuously condemned and deplored” police for “unrestrained and disproportionate use of force” where “civil rights were trampled.” Link

Tom’s Page has not always agreed with Commissioner Jenning’s actions, however trying to cast her in a negative light for standing up for civil rights and the First Amendment, along with many others,  is a low blow indeed.  By the way Mr. Blackman was Ms. Jennings an elected official in November, 2003?

Lake Worth’s favorite puppet Community Relations Board Chair Mark Parrilla has jumped aboard with comments at Mr. Blackmans site.  This is not the first time Mr. Parrilla’s comments have belied his thoughts, including making fun of the term “undocumented” (click here to view).   In light of his continued behavior, Tom’s Page suggests that Mr. Parrilla is uniquely unsuited to remain as Chair of that Board.

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10 Comments on “Who’s on First?”

  1. Wes Blackman Says:

    My comments about this are fairly neutral – this settlement was apparently reached last year while Commissioner Jennings was an elected official – so it’s not as if this is ancient history. I would think the damages awarded should have been more if such transgressions transpired. I would like to hear from Commissioner Jennings or others mentioned here if there are any other claims against law enforcement agencies still on-going as a result of protests after 2003.

  2. Gaea Says:

    Whaaa? An independent review panel conducted an investigation of citizen’s complaints regarding police conduct? Outrageous!!

  3. Loretta Sharpe Says:

    I also make fun of Commissioners, who try to outlaw the use of words. These Commissioners are so concerned about the rights of Illegal Immigrants, however they don’t blink an eye at TRYING to limit my right to free speech.If you are not a citizen or do not have the appropriate papers to be in this country legally then you are here illegally. Changing the word doesn’t make it legal.

  4. Loretta Sharpe Says:

    OH, BY THE WAY TOM I LOVE THE PICTURE.

  5. Jeff Says:

    Parila should resign. He is a disgrace to this city and a Chair of this impt board. Wes needs to grow up but he does look pretty tall in this picture.

  6. Deborah Says:

    I was in the lawsuit in with Cara…we were both legal observers in the FTAA protest.I was teargassed and shot in the back twice with rubber bullets and witnessed countless violations of civil liberties at this event.

    When asked to participate in this lawsuit, I was told I would have to appear in multiple depositions, losing time at work, expending gas, etc. I did not expect to be awarded any money…the lawsuit was an extension of the protest. All the plaintiffs in our case donated a significant portion of the money to a legal defense fund.

    I am very proud to have been with this group of people who protested the FTAA and protested the police repression that was unleashed at the 2003 event against peaceful, legal protestors.

  7. Wes Blackman Says:

    Something else, if someone voluntarily posts a comment on a board/blog/website that you maintain, does that make that person a puppet of yours? I don’t think so, but that is the implication here.

    • tomspage Says:

      Actually the image alludes to the Mark’s statement, “…I stopped reading any of the local blogs except for Wes Blackman’s.” in a comment to a post here.

    • film critic Says:

      Wes dont get your knickers in a knot.

      “I think we need to have the ability to laugh at ourselves, realizing that our egos many times get in the way of progress”

      — seems that you are pretty good at talking the talk, try walking it now.


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