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Cindy Sheehan leads Occupy Sacramento defendants to mass arraignment
by Dan Bacher
Thursday Nov 3rd, 2011 9:19 AM
A temporary restraining order requested of the federal court to permit "occupiers" to continue their free speech activities 24 hours a day and prevent the City from continuing arrests will be heard late Thursday afternoon, at 2 p.m. in Judge Morrison England's Courtroom, Courtroom 7, 14th Floor at the 5th & I St. Federal Courthouse.
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Cindy Sheehan leads 30 Occupy Sacramento defendants to mass arraignment

by Dan Bacher

Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war mom who brought global attention to the Iraq war when she organized an encampment outside Bush's Ranch in Crawford, Texas in 2005, and 29 other Occupy Sacramento defendants appeared in the largest mass arraignment yet this this morning.

Later today, a federal judge will decide whether the City of Sacramento must stop arresting demonstrators exercising their First Amendment rights. Occupy Sacramento lawyers vow to continue the lawsuit even if the TRO is turned down.

"The trial courts Wednesday refused to let additional occupiers be arraigned Thursday because it became apparently the courts can't handle the load," according to Cres Vellucci of Occupy Sacramento. "82 arrests have been made at Occupy Sacramento at Cesar Chavez Park since Oct. 6. All are expected to plead not guilty, reject any offer by the City of Sacramento and demand a jury trial.

A temporary restraining order requested of the federal court to permit "occupiers" to continue their free speech activities 24 hours a day and prevent the City from continuing arrests will be heard late Thursday afternoon, at 2 p.m. in Judge Morrison England's Courtroom, Courtroom 7, 14th Floor at the 5th & I St. Federal Courthouse.

Occupy Sacramento now has about 20 or so volunteer lawyers working on the criminal cases, and several others on the federal civil rights lawsuit.

Yesterday many activists from Occupy Sacramento marched on the Port of Oakland with tens of thousands of others to shut down the facility during the first General Strike in the U.S. since 1946. Karen Bernal, the chair of the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party, attended the General Strike after her arraignment that morning with her husband, Bill, and daughter, Zoe.

Bernal, a temporarily unemployed union organizer, told the Sacramento Bee, "I'm definitely not going to plead guilty or no contest." (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/11/03/129126/occupy-sacramento-protesters-plan.html)

Bernal, due back in court November 16, said she is ready to go to trial "if I have to."

"I didn't do anything wrong," she said. "I guess they're forcing our hand. We can either cave in to the local ordinances or we can decide to stand up for our First Amendment rights."

During the march to the port in the evening, Bernal was enthralled by the huge turnout, diversity of the crowd and effectiveness in shutting down the port.

"This is one of the most liberating experiences I can ever remember," Bernal told me. "The 1% has a lot to be afraid of. If every city could see what happened here, there's no stopping us."

The protest drew thousands from Bay Area labor unions, along with a good number of parents with children. For example, Emma Fuentes marched to the port with her two young boys, including one in a stroller.

As the protesters marched down the streets of west Oakland from Oscar Grant Square at 14th and Broadway, some residents cheered the protesters from their porches and held up their own signs supporting the march.

The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office has declined to file charges against the Occupy Sacrametno protesters, saying no crime has been committed. However, the Sacramento City Attorney's Office has chosen to prosecute the cases of those arrested in Cesar Chavez Park the past month.

For more information, call Cres Vellucci, 916-996-9170

http://www.facebook.com/OccupySacramento, http://www.occupysac.com, Twitter @OccupySacto

http://www.livestream.com/occupysacto or http://www.ustream.tv/channel/dummey







Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Morrison England
Thursday Nov 3rd, 2011 11:53 AM
Lost that hearing. That judge hates anyone whose not part of the republican machine. He's the one who sentenced Eric McDavid to 20 years for the government agent committing entrapment and letting the Fumbling Bumbling Idiots get away with it. The jurors asked if Snitch Anna was a government agent and he said no. How can someone receive $70,000 in salary from the FBI and not be a government agent. The only thing I can think of is that he's a staunch republican and will crush any political resistance when he has the chance. The TRO will loose at 2pm, unfortunately.

England was nominated by President George W. Bush and is a US reservist in the Army.