Tuesday, December 13, 2011

City dismisses all charges against 9 Occupy Sacramento defendants

Dec. 12, 2011 indybay.org

by Dan Bacher

The City of Sacramento late Monday – under a barrage of questioning by the
court about a failure to provide discovery to the defense – dismissed all
charges against nine Occupy Sacramento defendants scheduled to start their
trials on Tuesday, December 13.

After trial court judge Earnest W. Sawtelle repeatedly chastised city
attorney Gary Lindsay for turning over only 2 of 44 items of discovery –
which were due no later than Dec. 5 by court order – Lindsay conferred
with his office then announced the City would drop all charges "in the
interest justice."

Occupy Sacramento Legal Committee coordinator Cres Vellucci called it a
victory for the First Amendment, noting:

"We have said all along, and our lawyers have argued, that this local
ordinance that proclaims the Bill of Rights only relevant before 11 p.m.
weekly or midnight on weekends is unconstitutional. We think the City of
Sacramento knows that and does not want to see it challenged in a court of

"One-hundred and eleven (111) people have now been arrested at Cesar
Chavez Park peacefully protesting the law. They have risked their freedom
to preserve the rights our founders fought for, and Americans have died
for more than two centuries.

"We now ask the City of Sacramento to save the taxpayers of Sacramento the
cost of arresting and prosecuting other people simply expressing their
free speech rights. Now is the time to sit down and work out an agreement
that allows all Sacramentans their First Amendment rights."

In total, there have been 111 arrests at Cesar Chavez Park for curfew
violations. Thirty-five people had their charges dismissed earlier,
according to Vellucci. After today's decision, 7 people may still face
trial in January.

Another 24 people, including "Joe," who was arrested by police after
occupying a tree in Cesar Chavez Park, were arrested last week. "There is
no word yet regarding those arrested last week," noted Vellucci.

The crackdown on the First Amendment by the cities of Sacramento, Oakland,
Los Angeles, San Francisco and others across the country is apparently
part of a nationally coordinated campaign by the Department of Homeland
Security and other federal law enforcement agencies in collaboration with
local police departments, as exposed by author Naomi Wolf in her November
25 article in the UK Guardian

"So, when you connect the dots, properly understood, what happened this
week is the first battle in a civil war; a civil war in which, for now,
only one side is choosing violence," wrote Wolf. "It is a battle in which
members of Congress, with the collusion of the American president, sent
violent, organised suppression against the people they are supposed to
represent. Occupy has touched the third rail: personal congressional
profits streams. Even though they are, as yet, unaware of what the
implications of their movement are, those threatened by the stirrings of
their dreams of reform are not."

1 comment:

BeanAfficiando said...

This is exactly what I thought would happen since the city treasury is stone broke and there is no money to prosecute people defending the Constitution and Bill of Rights. 100% of bathrooms in Sacto public parks have been shut down since the city is stone broke...so there is no money to prosecute patriotic Americans defending the republic.

The Matsui 10 had their court case dropped because holding a trial would have brought far too much inquiry and embarrassment upon the govt.

I bumped into Kevin Johnson at 2nd Saturday in November and asked him why $100,000 was spent to send 70 patrol cars and around 100 cops to Caesar Chavez park to arrest a very small number of protestors. It was tantamount to a John Wayne western movie when the the Calvary charge attacks 5 Native Americans. Kevin Johnson claimed he had "nothing to do with that decision it was the City Manager's fault". The Mayor supervises and hires the City Manager. I mentioned that to the Mayor and he refused to comment - which is typical of him. I've never been able to get a straight answer out of Kevin Johnson in over 2 years - he is known for lack of accountability and is a typical pile-of-mush politician who refuses to answer straight questions and breezes through life on
water-wings. Does anyone have more info on who authorized spending $100,000 to send 70 patrol cars and approx. 100 cops to Chavez Park in the very early days of Occupy Sacto? I'd greatly appreciate clarification on this issue, since the Mayor is so well known for obsfucation and avoiding answering questions.

Please call the White House and ask President Obama to veto the "Defense Authorization Act". Legislation sponsored by Senator Carl Levin and supported by John McCain and 93 out of 100 Senators would make it legal to Abolish the 4th Ammendment. Any US citizen could be arrested indefinitely and held in prison for life without receiving a trial if the govt thinks they are a "terrorist", but there is no burden of proof on the govt to have concrete evidence American citizens put in prison are actually terrorists.

This is a de facto imposition of Posse Comitatus which would impose martial law upon all American born citizens. The Senate will vote quite soon on this, and only 7 Senators out of 93 legislators in the Senate are opposed to this bill. I already called Sen. Boxer and Feinstein's office and their staff assured me they are opposed to the "Defense Authorization Act". Boxer & Feinstein are 2 of the 7 Senators who spoke out against this legislation.

Please call the White House ASAP and urge Obama to veto this legislation.