Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Support Bail for Ronald Bridgeforth

From: "Paul Harris"

dear friends:

My name is Paul Harris, i teach "guerrilla lawyering" at two law
schools in san francisco.

I am writing on behalf of my client Ronald Bridgeforth, who after 42
years as a fugitive surrendered in court today. We are trying to
raise the bail of ten percent of $25,000. These are the facts:
Ronald, who is 67 years old, married and has two young adult sons,
was charged with the murder of a police officer and conspiracy to
murder law enforcement. That case has been referred to as the San
Francisco 8. The Attorney General's office informed me last night
that they "were not going to proceed against him in that case and
would discharge the warrant for his arrest."

However, Ronald is guilty of a l968 charge of assualt on a police man
with a deadly weapon, when he and two others tried to leave a parking
lot after a failed attempt to use stolen credit cards to buy clothes
and toys for the kids they were working with in the Fillmore district
of S.F. A police car blocked their way and Ronald shot two bullets
into the car, and then was shot by police in the foot. He was the
only one injured. Told by his appointed attorney that he would serve
life in prison, he jumped bail. He has come back of his own accord
to plead guilty and faces, according to the district attorney, five
years to life under the l969 indeterminate sentencing law.

Ronald at 20 years old left college to go to Mississippi where he
registered voters for over a year, where he was chased by a mob,
threatened with death, and briefly arrested by Mississippi police
when he went to the station to pay a ticket. He went to S.F. where
he organized for SNCC, bringing Fanie Lou Hamer to the bay area to
speak, and acting as Stokley Carmichael's bodyguard when Stokley
spoke to various colleges and organizations here in the bay area.

In the last 40 years he worked his way up from a custodian to getting
a Masters degree in Counseling. He has been a respected and beloved
counselor and teacher at a community college in Michigan for many years.

Why did he return? Because he wanted to be a father his sons could
continue to be proud of, he wanted to be a model of the man he has
become, not the young reckless man he was on Nov. 5, l968.

Ronald is a dignified, eloquent, spiritual man. He has arthritis in
both hips, and other medical conditions which makes every day in jail
difficult. Any help you can give would be so greatly appreciated.

You may send checks made out to:

Paul Harris
20 Quickstep Lane, # 1
San Francisco, CA 94115.

With all the arrangements of surrendering him and making sure he was
not arrested in these last few days, I did not have time to set up a
nonprofit organization for bail donations.

This is a good man, whose life represents an arc of 50 years of
American history.

thank you, paul harris

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