SUPPORT ALL RNC PROTESTERS
DROP ALL RNC MISDEMEANOR AND FELONY CHARGES NOW!
JUSTICE FOR THOMAS JONES AND ROBERT BROWN!
Philadelphia District Attorney Lynn Abraham and Mayor John Street refuse to reduce or drop charges for the hundreds of activists who were arrested at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in early August.
But in the weeks prior to the Convention, a dozen police officers were videotaped beating Thomas Jones, an unarmed African-American man. A cop unjustifiably killed another unarmed, mentally disabled man, Robert Brown, in the 30th St. Train Station.
Abraham has not charged a single one of those cops with any crime.
This is justice - Philadelphia style - in the birthplace of the U.S. constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Aug. 1st , 2000 - Prison Protest Day
On August 1st, protesters were arrested for demonstratingin Center City streets on a day dedicated to opposing police brutality, the death penalty and the prison-industrial complex, and to demand a new trial for death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. The activists were jailed under brutal conditions for days or even weeks.
Over three hundred and fifty protesters from up and down the East Coast and as far away as Oregon face multiple misdemeanor charges, and another thirty-six face serious felony counts. If convicted, activists could receive jail terms of up to fifty years.
THESE CHARGES ARE A THREAT TO EVERYONE'S RIGHT TO PROTEST AGAINST GOVERNMENT WRONGS. WE NEED YOUR VOICE TO DEMAND "DROP ALL CHARGES NOW"!
Most if not all of the thousands of arrests that took place during anti-globalization protests in Seattle last year, in Washington, DC last April, and in Los Angeles at the Democratic National Convention in mid-August were eventually settled with summary offences - similar to those given for traffic violations - or were simply dropped.
It's not that the Philadelphia City Administration and the powerful corporate heads behind them are meaner and more vindictive then their counterparts in other U.S. cities. Their refusal to drop the charges, all of which are grossly exaggerated, trumped up or patently false, may have a lot to do with the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal and police brutality in Philadelphia.
Abu-Jamal's habeas corpus petition to overturn his 1981 conviction and death sentence is currently before U.S. Federal District Court Judge William H. Yohn. He is soon expected to announce the date when hearings will begin on Abu-Jamal's appeal for a new trial.
Abu-Jamal and his legal team will attend those court proceedings. Thousands of supporters and anti-death-penalty activists are expected to pack the courtroom and the streets outside as the former Black Panther's arguments are presented before Judge Yohn.
Most of the preliminary arraignments for the RNC protesters with misdemeanors are scheduled on September 16th, 23rd and 30th at the Criminal Justice Center, 1300 Filbert St, in Philadelphia. Those charged with felonies are scheduled separately.
Trials for all these cases could last through October, November, and December and into 2001.
RNC TRIALS MAY COINCIDE WITH MUMIA'S HEARING
It seems likely that these trials will coincide withMumia's court hearings at some point. Abraham, Timoneynd Street hope that the message most people will get is that you will get arrested and be charged with exaggerated crimes if you come out and demand justice for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
They want the RNC trumped-up charges and court proceedings to have a chilling effect that will scare people away -- especially the youthful movement of new activists that emerged so strongly in the past year againstglobalization, the World Trade Organization and the deathpenalty.
Abraham, who had a hand in framing up Mumia in 1981, and other supporters of the Fraternal Order of Police also want to keep activists so busy defending themselves that they have no time to organize support when Mumia is in court.
COPS & RIGHT-WING HAND-IN-HAND
On August 1st, 2000, cops openly beat demonstrators and even arrested activists who were not near protest sites. In a raid reminiscent of the McCarthy period of the1950's, cops - acting on false information supplied by the right-wing Maldon Institute - raided the 41st St. puppet warehouse and arrested 70-plus "puppetistas".
Once in custody, hundreds of activists were kept on hot buses without fresh air or water for hours. Many were beaten by cops and guards in the police headquarters' jail cells over the next few days.
Yet the corporate press repeatedly lauded the police and Commissioner Timoney for their "fair-handed treatment" of the activists, while accusing the protesters of violence.
Anyone who opposes police brutality and the death penalty should demand that all the charges against the RNC protesters be dropped, and that charges be filed instead against the cops responsible for the Jones beating and Brown's murder.
Call District Attorney Lynn Abraham at 215-686-9604, or fax 215-686-8049.
-CAll Mayor John Street at 215-686-2181 or fax 215-686-3162.
- Call City Council President Ann Verna 215-686-3442 or 215-686-3412.
If all charges are not dropped, come to the courthouse at 1300 Filbert St. in Philadelphia to show your solidarity for all the RNC activists. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 23, & 30, 2000, starting at 8am.
Support is especially needed for those facing felonies. The I. A. C. will help publicize those court dates as they are scheduled.
Help pay legal costs! Please donate to the defense fund: PDAG (please make checks out to "ISMCH") P.O. Box 40683, Philadelphia, PA 19107
On September 23, 2000, stay in Philadelphia for an Emergency Organizers Conference for Mumia Abu-Jamal - 3pm at 4601 Market St. Call 215-476-8812 for information.
INTERNATIONAL ACTION CENTER - Philadelphia Office
813 South 48th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143
(215)724-1618 ; email@example.com
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