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News :: Human Rights
Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
15 Apr 2004
Eight people were arrested Wednesday night for a Homes Not Jails event in Lafayette Square, Cambridge were arraigned on felony charges in Middlesex County Courthouse Thursday morning.

The six adults in the case have been charged with two felonies: breaking & entering and possession of tools for burglary. They are all scheduled to return to court for a pre-trial hearing on May 26th.
Eight people were arrested Wednesday night for a Homes Not Jails event in Lafayette Square, Cambridge were arraigned on felony charges in Middlesex County Courthouse Thursday morning.

The site of the event was at a visible vacant lot that has sat dormant for many years. Community organizers were attempting to improve the area by planting flowers and setting up a free park.

The six adults in the case have been charged with two felonies: breaking & entering and possession of tools for burglary. They are all scheduled to return to court for a pre-trial hearing on May 26th.

The two minors in the case are still in the courthouse, with delays due to the fact that no juvenile court judge is there today. They are expecting to be arrainged this afternoon.

All eight defendents were initially charged by the police with misdemeanor B&E and some with misdemeanor trespassing, but the charges for the adults were changed to more serious ones during the arraignment. The prosecutor tried to get a stay-away order to keep the defendants away from the Lafayette square site (to no avail) and questioned the citizenship status of all the defendants, a legal challenge not permitted during arraignment.

The defendants are in need of witnesses. Anyone who saw all or part of what happened or who has photos, audio or video is urged to contact the Boston Anarchist Black Cross (a group that works on prisoner support and community defense) as soon as possible via email at abc-boston(at)hush.com.

Witnesses will need to provide contact information in order for the defendants' lawyers to reach them, including name, date of birth, address and phone number, as well as a *brief* description of what they saw.

Witnesses should also write up a full description of what they saw, for their own records, as the trial date may not be for months. Please do not send a full account of what you saw to the ABC; the lawyers will contact witnesses at a later date if they need further information.

Witnesses are also advised not to make public statements or otherwise publish information concerning what they saw, so as not to endanger themselves or others.

Again, if you were a witness to the arrests at Lafayette Square, please contact abc-boston(at)hush.com.

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
16 Apr 2004
planning. that's all i have to say. planning.
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
16 Apr 2004
yeah. like maybe having backup. or, more specifically, telling friendly people who know stuff about the law that you're going to go off and break it.

or, say, having some kind of substantive community support for/awareness of such actions.

ah well, live and learn--let's cross our fingers about these terrible charges.
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
16 Apr 2004
Obviously the first two commentors have no fucking idea what happened or is currently happening. No amount of planning would have helped the situation. When cops decide to just roll up to a place and arrest every person in the area, this is what happens, regardless.

If all you people have to add is sarcastic bullshit like "live and learn", then keep it to your fucking self. This is a time for support and solidarity not uninformed and childish sarcasm.
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
16 Apr 2004
What's the legal situation looking like? Are you getting pro bono representation, or else paying for a lawyer? Keep people updated, and if funds are needed some of us will do what we can to raise them.

Definitely agree with HKM. From now until the DNC, every anarchist in this city, to some degree or another, will be targetted for harrassment. From the sounds of the report, it sounds like this was intended to be a low-key community action. But the police over-reacted, and having found out that some of the arrestees are anarchists, stepped up the charges. Now is not really the time for snotty comments. We should have each other's backs here. Unconditionally.
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
16 Apr 2004
hkm, don't be an idiot. squats are opened publically, with publicity and support from community groups, or in the middle of the night and secretly prepped for public opening. these kids half-assed it, didn't do their homework, and got arrested as a result. don't you dare tell the rest of us to blindly support and not criticize this fucked-up, misplanned action in the name of "solidarity". childish indeed.
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
16 Apr 2004
From the report, it does not appear that anyone tried to squat any buildings. Only plant some trees, and fix up a vacant lot. Some basic neighborhood improvement.
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
16 Apr 2004
HKM:

If they weren't breaking and entering, then great. Hopefully the charges will go away after draining as little of people's energies and resources as possible.

"Live and learn" was not intended as "sarcastic bullshit." Look, literally within 10-15 minutes after the arrest I'd taken out $200 from an ATM to help chip in for bail. And I'm a wage slave--that's a very substantial part of my current life savings. When it turned out that it (a) it would be a sunk cost and (b) what people guessed was going to be enough money had already been donated, I threw in a 20 anyway. I really don't mean to come across with a "lack of solidarity". And I do think that, sadly enough, B&E or no, a bunch of anarchists breaking the law in a public place in the early evening in a city that is obviously monitoring our activities at least online (hello!) should, from this point on, have some sort of response plan in place for arrests or worse.

Do I fault the people who were arrested Wednesday? Hell no. But that's why I'm saying live and learn. We have some big struggles coming up (and I'm hopefully not just talking protests around the DNC) and we need to start not going to jail. Anyway, I do realize how I came across and, if any of the eight people the pigs snatched Wednesday are reading this, I'd like to offer a personal apology and an assurance that any critical discussion with an eye toward making our actions more effective happens within a framework in which solidarity is a GIVEN. Best of luck with this pig bullshit.

NEFACista: what do you mean by "community action"?
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
16 Apr 2004
"anarchist":

no one here is talking about what did or did not allegedly go down around the arrests. only who was arrested and and when and their present legal status. that's really all that's appropriate to talk about right now, in terms of the actual action.

HOWEVER, in terms of the actual planning around this action, without naming names of people or groups, i think a LOT needs to be said.
Details On The Internet?!?
18 Apr 2004
look, i assume this is the same person who has been posting this same garbage to boards all over boston. clearly you know absolutely nothing about the situtation or what happened!! Sounds like you are just going off what FOX News and the cops said. We can't really talk about the details about it right now because people are facing FUCKING FELONIES. Show some respect and stop making assumptions about what happened and why.

It is really obvious from the trash you keep repeating that you have no clue about what really happened and about what the cops and the DA are trying to do to people when they found about they might be anarchists.

For gods sake, please stop posting inane things about really serious shit you clearly don't understand.

Just because the state is charging people with things, doesn't mean they really happened. Please be patient and respect the fact that we can't talk about the details of the incident because people are facing charges about it. Do you have the security culture sense of a 6 year old?!?!?
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
18 Apr 2004
who's posting details?
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
18 Apr 2004
Choke, could you explain exactly who is the "you" you're referring to? I don't see anyone posting or asking for details. What are the "inane things" you're referring to? What is the "trash" that someone keeps repeating?
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
20 Apr 2004
I don't understand. What's so wrong with planting flowers to make the neighborhood look better? It's not like they were doing anything dangerous or malicious.
Re: Arrests at Homes Not Jails event
20 Apr 2004
you know what, these people may have just messed up and are now caught. I do not think that its really fair to say who's at fault because I don't believe the article was very clear in describing the situation in which all of this controversy has now taken place. Sometimes it's best to wait and see what happens. If they need support, okay. But, blaming or assuming when one does not know all facts just is not the best idea.
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