Updated 3/10/2020 |
Find more on the legal proceedings in this case, including the attempts to silence the defendants in and out of the courtroom, the unconstitutional measures the prosecution is taking to criminalize mounting political opposition to these charges, the mistrial of two of the defendants from the #Freeway9 and information about the new trial.
WE DEMAND: Drop The Charges Against the #Freeway9 and #UCLA5
The Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has criminally charged members of Refuse Fascism and the Revolution Club for protesting the fascist Trump/Pence regime, calling for massive nonviolent sustained mobilization to drive this regime from power.
The charges stem from:
- Two actions in the Fall of 2017 on the 101 Freeway in downtown Los Angeles unfurling banners demanding that the Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!
- A range of protest actions at UCLA, including a public challenge to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in the Spring of 2018.
We oppose these unjust and outrageous criminal charges by the LA City Attorney, aimed at criminalizing and suppressing protest commensurate with the extreme dangers of this fascist regime – protest that steps out of the bounds of the normal and ineffectual political channels, sounding the alarm throughout society for people to break from business as usual while the fascist measure of this regime are normalized and accepted. Their actions were responding to the call from Refuse Fascism for a mass sustained non-violent movement of millions, in the streets aimed at driving this regime from power – the only way to stop this nightmare!
The arrests and subsequent charges for these acts of political protests are unjust and illegitimate. The Trump/Pence regime is tearing up what are supposed to be protected civil and legal rights and legalizing crimes against humanity: terrorizing and torturing immigrants, gutting the right to abortion, threatening war on the world. In the face of open terror and violence unleashed and condoned by this regime, these protests were necessary and right. It is NOT illegal to shout fire in a crowded theater IF THERE IS A FIRE. What we are facing is, by analogy, a fire of such extreme proportions, humanity and the earth’s future hang in the balance.
- Charges associated with the 101 Freeway actions include: “Conspiracy to commit a crime, obstruction of free movement of people, disobeying a police officer, and failure to disperse.”
- Charges resulting from actions at UCLA include: “Disturbing the peace, trespassing, resisting arrest, and failure to leave the UCLA campus for 7 days” after being illegally arrested.
These heroes face up to three years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
The prosecution has claimed these are simple criminal cases, but everything about these cases prove this is a highly political persecution. The charges were brought by the notorious Anti-Terrorism Division (ATD)/Major Crimes Division of the LAPD, who took over investigation after the September 2017 freeway protest. They sent a confidential informant, a spy, into meetings of the Los Angeles chapter of Refuse Fascism in a church, secretly taping conversations and proceedings. Two leaders of Refuse Fascism were initially charged with conspiracy in relation to the freeway protest. The prosecution later dropped these charges when a judge ordered the LAPD to turn over the identity of the informant. Police reports also reveal the UC Police have stalked and surveilled defendants while on campus.
All this is taking place at a time in which the legal rights to political protest and speech are being rapidly foreclosed by the Trump/Pence regime which has unleashed a wave of new state laws, gutting basic civil liberties and a movement of fascist thugs carrying out mob violence, and violent threats, in order to intimidate and silence people.
There are great stakes in these cases – whether people who are acting commensurate with the extreme danger we are facing will be criminalized and suppressed, or whether people throughout society will learn from their example and act in kind.
As longtime Salvadoran-American activist Isabel Cardenas said: “If more Germans and Jews in Nazi Germany had done what these defendants have done (and are doing), millions of lives could have been saved. This country needs people such as those who have been criminally charged so that those who have no voice may have someone with the courage to defend them. They are striving to save us all from THE TRUMP-PENCE NIGHTMARE so that we – billions of us on the planet earth, including millions of Immigrants who helped to build this country – may stop enduring the madness that goes on in the White House.”
Sign the statement:
WE DEMAND: Drop The Charges Against Members of Refuse Fascism and Revolution Club!
For more on the legal proceedings in this case, including the attempts to silence the defendants in and out of the courtroom, the unconstitutional measures the prosecution is taking to criminalize mounting political opposition to these charges, the mistrial of two of the defendants from the #Freeway9 and information about the new trial, go here.