Make Art, Not War

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My day in court

Well, this is just taking forever. After several continuances, and some mean-spirited new charges we might actually be on our way to court next week for an action taken last fall. I wish I had my thoughts collected enough to post my full argument here, but I probably should save all that passion for the stand. I hope to post my thoughts (of triumphant victory) after the case is settled, but until then here is the statement put together from our friends in the People's bailout coalition (regarding the new charges and a call to action for our supporters).

Wish me luck, folks. 

Say NO to political prosecution of anti-foreclosure protesters!

We need to stand up for the right to protest!

CALL…Mayor R.T. Rybak at 612-673-2100,
Assistant City Attorney Mary Ellen Heng at 612-673-2270
City Attorney Susan Segal at 612-673-3272
  • Ask them why Occupy protesters are facing unusually harsh charges.
  • Demand that they drop ALL CHARGES on anti-foreclosure protesters
including the 4 people in the U.S. Bank action who are going to court on July 30th and those arrested at the Cruz home.
On October 20, 2011, hundreds of people participated in a demonstration in front of U.S. Bank in downtown Minneapolis to draw attention to the fact that over 25,000 Minnesotans lost their homes to foreclosure in 2010 alone. 7 people were arrested in the intersection in front of the bank and charged with “interfering with pedestrian and vehicular traffic.”
Four of them are scheduled to go to trial on July 30th, but on July 20th they had 3 more charges added (unlawful assembly, public nuisance and not complying with a “peace officer”)!
Nationally, the Occupy movement is facing increasing police brutality, police infiltration, and trumped up charges. Locally the Minneapolis city attorney’s office has decided to try to shut down the growing movement of people standing in solidarity with families struggling to save their homes from foreclosure by giving protesters outrageous charges. For example, the city prosecutors have escalated charges on the 14 protesters who defended the Cruz family home on May 30th. Prosecutors at the City Attorney’s office originally charged supporters with trespassing, but have now moved to significantly more serious charges including 3rd degree riot – a gross misdemeanor which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.
The city of Minneapolis is trying to scare people from standing in solidarity with people being thrown out of their own homes. Solidarity is not a crime! Don’t jail the movement, jail the bankers! We, the People’s Bailout Coalition, know from our work defending the homes of Rosemary Williams and Leslie Parks that it is essential to our movement for people to be able to protest home foreclosures. The foreclosure crisis is a central issue in the U.S. economic crisis – we cannot be scared away from this important issue and from the tactic of civil disobedience!

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