Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Funds Update from the RNC 8 Defense Committee

rnc8.org November 1st, 2010.

Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,

As we’ve stated in recent emails and on our website, the resolution of the RNC 8 case means that we have no further fundraising needs and, thus, that we are no longer accepting donations. However, this leaves us with a sum of unused money, much of which had been set aside to cover anticipated costs at trial. We have already made final payments to attorneys who worked on the case, and have set aside money for Erik’s commissary and support expenses while he serves his jail sentence. We’re also taking the time to make sure that all remaining defense-related expenses are covered, but we still expect to have funds left when all is said and done.

We believe that this money was donated to us for a specific purpose (supporting defendants through a trial and covering any related costs) that no longer applies, and we feel an obligation to donate it elsewhere in a manner reflective of the intentions of our supporters. However, knowing that we cannot promise to meet the wishes of every single donor, we have decided to return individual donations upon request. For logistical reasons, we do have to put some limitation on this, and so we’re asking that anybody who has donated in the past year and who wants a refund please email us at info@rnc8.org before November 15, 2010. Please include the form (cash, check, Paypal), date and amount of the donation, as well as a name and address.

After lengthy discussion and a lot of thought, defendants and members of the defense committee, together, have come up with the following plan for handling of the remaining money. We will be meeting once more before making final commitments and may make adjustments at that point, but our intentions as portrayed below will remain consistent.

So, here goes. We have donated:

*$1000 to Scott DeMuth’s support fund*
This will cover the last of his legal expenses and enable his support committee to focus on raising commissary funds for his impending prison term. (http://davenportgrandjury.wordpress.com)

*$1000 to Walker Community Church*
Walker is where we’ve had an office and innumerable meetings and events for two years, and has long been a welcoming and accessible space for countless social justice organizations in the Twin Cities. (http://www.wesac.org/walker/)

*$1000 to the Riseup Collective*
Riseup has hosted our numerous and heavily-used listservs, as well as personal email accounts, for 4 years. (https://riseup.net)

Whatever remains after refunds and final legal expenses will be split as follows:

*15% to the Asheville 11*
The Asheville 11 are facing ridiculously trumped-up charges related to vandalism at a protest in Asheville, NC. (http://asheville11defense.com)

*15% to G20 Toronto Legal Defense*
Reminiscent of the RNC 8 case, organizers in Toronto have been harassed, arrested, and charged in relation to recent anti-G20 protests. Their conditions of release are much worse than ours ever were, including house arrest and “no contact” orders. (http://g20.torontomobilize.org)

*15% to targets of recent FBI raids and grand jury subpoenas*
In September, the FBI conducted a sweep of raids, harassment and subpoenas around the country targeting activists engaged in anti-imperialist, anti-war and international solidarity work, citing a law banning “material aid to Foreign Terror Organizations.” All those subpoenaed, the majority of whom live here in Minneapolis, have refused to testify. (http://www.stopfbi.net)

*15% for political prisoner commissary funds*
We will come up with a list of a number of US political prisoners in need of financial support, and send money for their commissary or other support needs. (http://www.thejerichomovement.com)

*40% to Communities United Against Police Brutality*
CUAPB does invaluable work supporting and advocating for people facing police violence, abuse, and repression, all over the Twin Cities metro area, focusing on the communities most affected by the injustices of the court and police systems. They’ve also been an integral part of our support campaign. (http://www.cuapb.org)

Upcoming events that were designated as fundraisers for the RNC 8 will still go forward as scheduled, with the funds raised going to other groups. We invite you to come out if you can!

In Solidarity,
the RNC 8/Defense Committee

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