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Sat Apr 14 2012 (Updated 04/17/12)ACLU Statement of Support and Petition for "Journalists, Local Press and Activists"
Sat Apr 14 2012 (Updated 04/17/12)DA Bob Lee, "Drop These Ludicrous Charges and Prosecute Real Criminals!"
Eleven local activists have been charged with a variety of offenses arising from the occupation of a vacant bank building last fall. We have two primary concerns regarding this prosecution. First, at least some of the defendants are journalists who were present to report on the protest. We condemn any attempt to criminalize their exercise of the crucial First Amendment right to gather and disseminate information about this newsworthy event. All charges based on this constitutionally protected activity should be dropped immediately.
Second, it appears that some of the defendants may have been charged due to their past adversarial relationship with law enforcement officials. The Constitution requires that the enormous power of government be exercised fairly and even handedly, and not be based on the identity or past actions of the defendants. The District Attorney should re-examine the basis for the charges, and the Court must ensure that these activists are not being selectively prosecuted.
Very truly yours,
Chair, Board of Directors
ACLU–Santa Cruz Chapter
Read More | Sign the ACLU's Statement of Support! | Santa Cruz Eleven Update | Treading on the Occupation
Previous Coverage: Demonstration at Wells Fargo in Solidarity with 75 River St. Arrestees || Occupy Santa Cruz Marches to Protest Repression of the Occupy Movement || Indybay Journalists Charged with Felony: Conspiracy to Make Media || Demonstration at Wells Fargo in Santa Cruz: "Drop the Charges! Bust the Banksters!"