Saturday, December 20, 2008

Re-post on Ritt Goldstein

Richard "Ritt" Goldstein fled Connecticut, USA, soon after making the below video proposing Civilian Oversight of Police in a special legislative hearing at the Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut, December, 1996. Are we truly free in the USA, or do we actually live in a Police State?

The below was [found here]

Week In The Life Ritt Goldstein, Fugitive: In a Swedish forest, on

Independent, The (London), Apr 1, 2000 by Katherine Butler

RITT GOLDSTEIN was a justice of the peace, a self-made millionaire with a big house in Connecticut, a boat and a personal trainer.

In 1995, he launched a movement for police reform and became, he alleges, the victim of a campaign of persecution by the police. In 1997 hetook a plane to Stockholm and became the only US citizen in the world seeking political asylum in another country.

MONDAY: At midnight Mr Goldstein plods through the frozen woods that blanket the north of Sweden to a small railway station. Furtively he boards a train for Stockholm.

Travelling anywhere is a high-risk activity. He has altered his appearance, assumed a new name and keeps his mouth shut where possible. "I'm never comfortable. Bad luck - a minor traffic accident, for example - has got many an underground refugee caught."

The Scandinavian night is as cold as the reception Mr Goldstein received when he asked Sweden for asylum. You can't be a refugee from America, the Swedes ruled, because the United States is "an internationally recognised democracy with a just legal system". Faced with deportation, he took to the hills.

Today's clandestine meeting in the capital is with Sweden's top immigration lawyer.

ON TUESDAY Mr Goldstein is back in his woodland hideaway. He has slept on couches, closets - in fact whatever sympathisers can offer. It is a lonely existence, lonely, but better than Flenn, the "holding centre" for refugees whose requests are being processed. "The showers reeked of human waste," he said.

At Flenn, Mr Goldstein, a white American, stood out among the Iraqis and Africans. But like them he fled to Sweden as a "place of integrity" where he felt sure he would get a hearing - and where he knew they spoke English. He had never before set foot in Sweden.

WEDNESDAY: Fugitives do not have phones but Mr Goldstein manages to speak to a friend in the US. The chat reminds him of "the life stolen from me".

His troubles began when he started campaigning for a police complaints authority to curb abuses and brutality. His home, he claims, was trashed, he received death threats and the steering in his car was tampered with. Moving home, even state, made no difference. Had he been black, he thinks, they would have killed him.

THURSDAY: Mr Goldstein works on his book. He is aware many people regard him as a conspiracy theorist but he has some strong backing for his case - Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, MEPsand Sweden's leading bishop. An appeal is grinding its way to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

FRIDAY: The fugitive enjoys a homecooked meal with trusted Swedish friends. Once a wealthy man with a taste for sports cars, he now survives on the generosity of supporters. Things look a bit more hopeful: with the government making some sympathetic noises.

Whatever happens, one thing is clear: "I want my life back - but I will never go back to the United States."

Katherine Butler

Copyright 2000 Newspaper Publishing PLC
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.

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I didn't know Ritt Goldstein in 1996. I proposed Civilian Oversight of Police around the same time to Connecticut elected officials, this is what happened to me:

[click here] for OpEd News Piece

My email:

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