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    NLG: CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST OCCUPY BOSTON DEFENDANTS DROPPED

    NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD, Massachusetts Chapter, Inc.

                                                     14 Beacon St., Suite 407, Boston, MA 02108  

    PRESS RELEASE

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Contact:

    Urszula Masny-Latos

    Tammi Arford (defendant):  617-686-8892                          National Lawyers Guild, Mass. Chapter

    Andrea Hill (defendant):      574-206-5632                                           617-227-7335, 617-308-0947

    ______________________________________________________________________________

     

    CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST OCCUPY BOSTON DEFENDANTS DROPPED

     

    Boston, February 8, 2013.    Today, without any notice to defense counsel or the defendants, Suffolk County prosecutors went into court and in an unscheduled, unilateral action dismissed the criminal cases that had been brought against five Occupy Boston activists which were scheduled to begin trial on Monday, February 11.  The prosecutors also dismissed all of the criminal charges remaining against the other Occupy Boston activists who were still awaiting trial as a result of the mass police arrests in October and December, 2011.  We believe that the DA’s decision amounts to an acknowledgment of the unconstitutionality of the arrests and criminal charges that had been brought against hundreds of Occupy Boston participants, and shows that the state has finally admitted that the demonstrations by Occupy activists were legal and constitutionally protected.

    Fully ready to contest the charges at trial, the defendants and their representatives from the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) had subpoenaed Mayor Menino, Police Commissioner Ed Davis, and Nancy Brennan (former head of the Greenway Conservancy) to explain why the City of Boston and its police department unconstitutionally applied the Massachusetts trespass and unlawful assembly laws to impinge upon Occupy Boston participants’ rights to assemble, to express their protected speech, and to petition the government.  In addition, they had also subpoenaed Joshua Bekenstein and Mitt Romney (of Bain Capital), and Robert Gallery (CEO of Bank of America) to address their role in constructing and perpetuating excessive corporate power and an economic system that favors the wealthiest 1% of the population at the expense of the remaining 99%– an undemocratic system in which the voices of the people are ignored.  The police action in arresting occupiers demonstrated that voices of conscience that speak out against social and economic inequality are not only ignored, they are unlawfully silenced by the state’s use of violence, fear, threat, and repression.

    This decision by prosecutors comes after 14 months of delay, during which defendants were repeatedly required to show up for court dates, only to have their day in court and their right to a jury trial delayed time after time.   Defendants and their NLG lawyers spent months working to prepare a case that would potentially embarrass the City and set valuable precedent that would reaffirm the constitutional rights of free speech and assembly.  In making this decision, Suffolk County prosecutors have not only prevented the defendants from having their day in court, they have employed yet another way to trample upon those who voice dissent and discouraged them from challenging injustice and inequality in this country.  In fact, a spokesperson from the District Attorney’s office today admitted that these defendants, who never had the chance to present their case to a judge or jury, “served a sentence” imposed unilaterally by the actions of the District Attorney without ever having been found guilty of any criminal offense.

    ###  END ###

    Urszula Masny-Latos
    Executive Director
    NLG-Massachusetts Chapter
    14 Beacon St., Suite 407
    Boston, MA 02108
    617-227-7335
    nlgmass-director@igc.org
    http://www.nlgmass.org

    Town Hall meeting

    MA Minority Law Enforcement Officers invites Occupy Boston to a Dorchester town hall meeting to discuss discriminatory practices inside the Boston Police Department.
    Join us in this great opportunity to offer solidarity and build relations with a local community.
    What: Town Hall meeting
    Why: To discuss discrimination in the City of Boston
    When: Sunday, August 5, 2010, 8-10pm
    Where:  Global Ministries Church 670 Washington Street, Dorchester Ctr, MA 02124Please join us! RSVP at the Clean Up BPPA blog or on Facebook

    Please see:

    http://cleanupbppa.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/an-open-letter-from-mamleo-to-boston-mayor-menino/

    Livestream will be on http://www.bostonpraiseradio.com/

    Mock Bake Sale for Fossil Fuels

    OB is hosting a Bake Sale for the Fossil Fuel Industries!

    On Saturday, August 4th don your finest business attire and join us at 11:30 at Dewy Square to raise money for our poor fellow citizens. Subsisting only upon record profits and a few billion $$ in US subsidies, how else can our friends in the oil industry afford to invest in innovative new technologies like arctic drilling, tar sands expansion, and hydro-fracking?

    They can’t without our support. Last year you donated $35*, but it’s just not enough. We must encourage other people to give, and to give more. Please join us to encourage others to give more as well. Feel to bring pastries for profiteers, pancakes to raise particulates, brownies to buoy bitumen, and cookies to support the Keystone XL.

    Think about it this way, when you make $137 billion, $11 billion in subsidies is just not that much.

    We have to let people know that these businesses couldn’t make it with out people like us.

    *Estimate for how much each person has “gave” on average in tax subsidies last year.

     

    Note: do bring baked goods, we are doing this potluck style!

    BOSTON FARE STRIKE COALITION MEETING SCHEDULE

    Come to meetings of the Boston Fare Strike Coalition, Thursdays, at 6:00 pm by Park Street Station. We meet near the Gazebo of the Boston Common. Help us plan our next Fare Free Friday Action!  We’re gearing up for a big action on Friday, Aug. 3rd.   Stay tuned . . . or better yet, come and get involved!”They Say Fare Hike…We Say Fare Strike!”
    “The Banks Get a Free Ride, Why Can’t We?…Public Transit Should be Free!”
    (In case of rain, we meet in the City Place Foodcourt.)http://bostonfarestrike.wordpress.com/

    “They Say Fare Hike…We Say Fare Strike!”

    Dear friends and fellow T riders:

    The Boston Fare Strike Coalition would like to invite you to a public meeting this Thursday, July 19th, at 6pm by the Boston Common Gazebo. In case of rain we will meet in the City Place food court, across Boylston St, down the alley passed Sweet Water Tavern on the first floor of the Transportation Building.
    At the meeting you will have the opportunity to:

    1)  discuss and reflect on the Fare Strike campaign thus far. What has worked? What can we do better?

    2)  plan future actions.  Up for discussion will be the idea of making “Fare Free Fridays” a regularly recurring action as well as other types of actions.
    3) Connect with the Boston Fare Strike Coalition and other transit activists and get involved in the struggle.
    Come help us to build a vibrant and creative movement, rooted in direct action and a radical analysis, to combat austerity and privatization, and to defend the people’s right to affordable, accessible, (and expanded) public transit.
    Hope to see many of you there.
    Sincerely and in solidarity,
    Boston Fare Strike Coalition

    Contact us

    Occupy Boston Media <Media@occupyboston.org> • <Info@occupyboston.org> • @Occupy_Boston