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October 20
2003: David Blaine ends glass box stunt
[ 2006-10-20 08:00 ]

October 20

October 20
Feelings are running high at anti-war protests across the country
1967: Thousands join anti-war movement

England have

The biggest demonstration yet against American involvement in the Vietnamese War has taken place in the town of Oakland, in California.

An estimated 4,000 people poured onto the streets to demonstrate in a fifth day of massive protests against theconscriptionof soldiers to serve in the war.

The city was brought to a standstill as protesters built barricades across roads to prevent buses carrying recruits to the Army's conscription centre.

Police reinforcements came in from San Francisco as the protests turned violent.

Demonstrators, many wearing helmets and holding plywood shields, overturned cars and threw bottles, tin cans and stones at the police.

Four people were injured and seven arrested.

There was no repeat of the scenes three days ago, however, when police in Oakland used clubs and chemical sprays to clear the streets.

The heavy-handed treatment of demonstrators caused outrage throughout the country.

Today's demonstration was part of what is being called "Stop the Draft Week" - a nationwide initiative which has seen peace marches in cities across the United States.

It is expected to move to Washington DC tomorrow, and demonstrators are said to be targeting all roads to the capital.

It is thought up to 40,000 could join a protest march from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon.

The demonstrators are trying to disrupt military induction centres, encouraging large numbers of young men to turn in their draft cards.

Many are burning the cards - an illegal act under a law passed by Congress two years ago.

About 50 conscientious objectors have already been sent to jail for their protest.

It is estimated up to 7,000 have left the country, mainly to Canada, to avoid the draft.

Recent polls suggest that American support for the war in Vietnam is declining steadily.

President Johnson is under attack from those who believe he is not being aggressive enough on Vietnam as well as those who think he should withdraw.

A Gallup poll published earlier this month showed his popularity rating plummeting to the point where if an election were held at this point in his term of office, he would lose by a landslide. 

October 20
Judges will be able to interpret the meaning of a suspect's silence

1988: New law could erode right to silence

Artificially 1969:

The British Government has announced plans to change the law regarding a suspect's right to remain silent so that remaining silent could incriminate rather than protect a suspect.

The change would be introduced first in Northern Ireland from November. Similar restrictions are expected to be made in England and Wales at a later date.

The news comes after increased pressure from senior politicians, security forces and judges over the failure to convict suspects, even with incriminating evidence, because they have chosen to remain silent.

In the proposed change to the law judges will be able to interpret the meaning of a suspect's silence and draw "an adverse inference" from it. However, a conviction will not be possible based on the silence alone.

Suspects will not be forced to speak, either in court or when being questioned at a police station, but the prosecution will be able to draw attention to the silence and invite the jury to consider the possible reasons behind it.

The problem has been highlighted in recent trials of IRA Provisionals. A man was recentlyacquitteddespite the fact his fingerprints were found on a bag of firearms that were central to the case.

He failed to answer any questions or make a statement to confirm any details.

Northern Ireland Secretary Tom King said the law needed to be changed to prevent the deliberate abuse that currently occurs. He said that the problem had "started with terrorists and has now pervaded through racketeering into the whole system of criminal law".

"The gross, determined and persistent abuse of that right to silence, and the training in procedures to avoid it, does pose a challenge to the whole system of justice" he added.

In a recent issue of the Provisional IRA's newspaper, Republican News, advice was given on how to deal with interrogation. It ran below the headline 'Whatever you say, say nothing'.


conscription: compulsory military service(征召)

acquit :pronounce not guilty of criminal charges(宣告无罪)

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