Saturday, December 25, 2010

Verdict in the case of Jonathan Pollak at Magistrates Court, Tel Aviv-Yafo

Dec. 19, 2010 A-Infos

The seams of the Israeli "democracy for Jews" start to crack.... It is a
naked case of a ridiculous "illegal assembly" applied to a critical mass
ride we did on Thursday, 31st January 2008, against Jonathan Pollak who is
regarded by the Israeli not so secret services as a main leader of the
Israeli anarchists agagainst the wall. Jonathan was nicked in the middle
of the ride when we traveled a road not far from the sea shore.

"The verdict in the case of Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, charged with
illegal assembly for his participation in a January 2008 Critical Mass
ride against the siege on Gaza, will be handed down on December 27, 2010
at 10:00 at the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court. If convicted, Pollak is
expected to be sentenced to three to six months in prison. A conviction in
this case may activate an older three month suspended sentence, imposed on
Pollak in a previous trial for protesting the construction of the
Separation Barrier. Tel Aviv Magistrates court judge Yitzhak Yitzhak could
feasibly add an additional prison term or other sanctions, in addition to
the suspended sentence.


On January 31, 2008, a group of some 30 activists participated in a
Critical Mass ride through the streets of Tel Aviv in protest of the siege
on Gaza. During the action, Pollak was arrested by plain-clothes police
who recognized him from previous protests and because, as claimed in
court, they assumed he was the organizer and figurehead of the event. The
protest, however, continued after Pollaks's arrest and ended with no
further incidents or detentions. The indictment against Pollak was filed
in 2009.

Pollak's arrest appears to be the result of police vindictiveness, rather
than his behavior at the time of the event; Pollak was but one activist in
a group of activists who behaved exactly like him, yet he was the only one
to be singled out and arrested. During the court hearings, some of the
police officers admitted to knowing him in advance and to recognizing him
from previous demonstrations. Moreover, environmental Critical Mass events
take place in Tel Aviv on a regular basis, but have never been met with
such a response. Other protests, which have caused far more sever
obstruction of traffic (e.g. the motorcade protest of tens of thousands of
two-wheel vehicle drivers) did not result in arrests, and surely did not
lead to the filing of criminal charges and imprisonment.

Jonathan Pollak is a prominent Israeli activist and graphic designer. He
is one of the founders of "Anarchists Against the Wall" and serves as
outreach coordinator for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.

As the occupation and its crimes persist, so grows criticism of Israel -
criticism that Israel does all in its power to repress. The judicial
system is one of the main vehicles used by Israel against the resistance
movement: Leaders and activists of West Bank popular protests are
imprisoned in masses, and even inside Israel it becomes increasingly
difficult to protest, resist or voice different opinions.

We invite you to join us on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 10:00 at the Tel
Aviv Magistrates Court, to hear the verdict of activist Jonathan Pollak,
to protest against this arbitrary arrest and to call out against a legal
system that works at the service of occupation."

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