Monday, November 22, 2010

Arpaio 5 update: Grace's Sentencing/Garyn and Claire's Trial

Nov. 22, 2010

Grace's Sentencing

Grace went in for her sentencing hearing this morning surrounded by
approximately 40 friends as well as family. She was given the agreed upon
30 days in jail from her plea deal of a class 6 felony for disorderly
conduct with a dangerous weapon, which starts upon her turning herself in
at 5 PM today. After considering her involvement in the community and for
social justice, the judge decided to give Grace 18 months supervised
probation instead of three years starting today. She also still has the
chance to get work release during the day, although it looks unlikely and
wouldn't go into effect immediately. We'll post any information we get
regarding her mailing address in the jail.

Garyn and Claire's Trial

A deal (not a plea) has been offered to Garyn and Claire where they will
take their trial before a judge instead of a jury as a bench trial and in
return have been offered a reduction for their felony charges down to
misdemeanors. This means that even in the event that they are found guilty
of any of their charges, they will not be facing any jail time. Their
trial, which could be as short as one day, is scheduled to begin on
December 13th at 201 W. Jefferson. We believe that it will be in courtroom
703 at 8:30, but we will post any changes if necessary.

In related news, Dane, who came up from Tucson and was arrested at the
anti-Nazi rally in Phoenix and faces five charges, had court today as
well. His case was scratched, which is fantastic news, although a scratch
isn't a dismissal and charges could be brought back up within seven years.
However, at the moment he isn't facing charges.

To keep up on Grace's situation and to find out how you can support her,
she now has a website set up:

Case Background

On January 16, 2010, thousands of people took to the streets to show
support for immigrants and to oppose Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
From the onset of the march, a group of marchers were targeted by the
Phoenix PD, marching under the banner of an indigenous,
anti-authoritarian, and allies contingent. As the march proceeded, the
police became increasingly violent, leading to a final planned attack
executed against the contingent and other protesters in the vicinity, as
the march neared its end. Officers on horseback rode into the crowd,
injuring some; then deploying large amounts of pepper spray throughout the
area. This resulted in five of our comrades being kidnapped out of the
group, brutalized and arrested. Although we are happy to announce that the
charges against two of the arrestees have been scratched, the remaining
three are now facing felony charges for “assaulting an officer”.

The Arpaio 5 Support Committee is a group of friends and supporters of the
arrestees who have come together to help raise much needed awareness and
legal funds.

What occurred on the January 16, demonstrates the violence that becomes
inevitable when armed thugs are invited or allowed to be present at our
protests or in our community. While our first priority is to ensure that
our comrades do not face any further jail time, we hope that this also
serves as a general call for further actions challenging any and all
police presence; which we know only serves to protect an inherently racist
and oppressive system.

This attack is not in isolation, but rather is part of a systematic
attempt to repress any ideas which are vocalized or acted upon that
encourage or manifest actualized resistance within our communities. We
must be ready to support those who are targeted for continuing to fight
despite these threats during the current and upcoming struggle. By forming
community solidarity in response to this instance of repression, we create
a framework that provides a base for further organizing against the police
state, while also making the statement that we will not allow state
sanctioned intimidation to silence and divide our movement.

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