Scaring Miami

In November 2003, a coalition of labor, environmental, peace and social justice activists converged in downtown Miami to protest the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) meeting. The protesters were confronted by an unprecedented paramilitary police operation now heralded as “the Miami model.” Corporate-owned media monopolized and distorted local news coverage. Here is the untold story.

Co-created by Elizabeth M. Iglesias and Madeleine M. Plasencia, Scaring Miami is a unique still and moving images extravaganza, part narrative performance, part art exhibit, part documentary exposé. Scaring Miami recounts a story of media concentration, corporate globalization and a coordinated assault on basic civil liberties that starts in Washington where the Bush administration has been helping corporate media conglomerates monopolize all news outlets. The result: lies, distortions and a complete failure to inform the public. The objective: a frightened citizenry. The casualties: political accountability.

Written, directed and edited by Elizabeth M. Iglesias, Scaring Miami (the documentary) explores the struggle over corporate-globalization and democracy, with local police using “less lethal weapons”— pepper spray, bully clubs, “tazer” and paint-bullet guns to shut down dissent. The film includes in-depth interviews by the filmmaker with police officials, anarchists, labor leaders, legal observers and community activists.

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