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Felony Trials for GOP Protesters Begin With Kate Sorensen-- Accused "Ringleader"
by R2K Legal
Email: info (nospam) r2kphilly.org
02 Mar 2001
Kate Sorensen, a long-time organizer and member of the AIDS activist group, ACT UP Philadelphia, was arrested on August 1, 2000, held on $1 million bail, later reduced to $100,000, and kept in jail for 10 days. She will stand trial this week on four felony charges: riot, risking catastrophe, criminal mischief, and conspiracy.
R2K LEGAL COLLECTIVE MEDIA ADVISORY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 2, 2001
Kris Hermes, R2K Legal (215) 925-6791
Kate Sorensen, ACT UP Philadelphia (215) 476-3585
Lawrence Krasner, R2K Lawyer (215) 636-9500
FELONY TRIALS FOR GOP PROTESTERS BEGIN WITH KATE SORENSEN--ACCUSED
Jury trial to begin Tuesday, March 6th at 9:00AM in Room 707 of the
Criminal Justice Center (13th & Filbert Sts) is the first of nearly a
Kate Sorensen, of ACT UP Philadelphia, and a defendant from the GOP
Convention protests, initially slapped with $1 million bail, will be
to trial Tuesday, March 6th through Thursday, March 8th. Sorensen is
defending herself against charges of "Riot," "Risking Catastrophe,"
"Criminal Mischief," and "Conspiracy." Sorensen, an accused protest
"ringleader" was originally charged with ten felonies.
WHO: Kate Sorensen, a long-time organizer and member of the AIDS
group, ACT UP Philadelphia, was arrested on August 1, 2000, held on
million bail, later reduced to $100,000, and kept in jail for ten
Sorensen was originally charged with ten misdemeanors and ten
All of the misdemeanors and six felony charges were discharged in
hearings. She will stand trial this week on four felony charges:
risking catastrophe, criminal mischief, and conspiracy.
WHAT: Sorensen is utilizing her right to a jury trial with jury
to happen on the first day. Sorensen's defense will take place in
courtroom of Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe. This
an example of how law enforcement has been attempting to suppress
right to speak out and how activists are being targeted for their
WHEN: Tuesday, March 6th at 9:00AM through Thursday, March 8th
WHERE: Room 707 of the Philadelphia Criminal Justice Center (CJC) at
and Filbert Streets
WHY: Due to the high level of Sorensen's bail, and claims by law
enforcement that she was a "ringleader," her story is particularly
compelling. Her case is another form of over-reaction by law
and the judicial system. Sorensen's case is indicative of the
over-prosecution of hundreds of activists that have already had over
thousand charges thrown out due to acquittal, dismissal, or
lack of evidence.
Allyson Collins of the Washington, DC-based group, Human Rights
argues that the "allegations of excessively harsh treatment,
high bail amounts set for many of those arrested, have a chilling
those who wish to express their views and exercise their right to
"This is a war on dissent," says Sorensen's lawyer, Lawrence Krasner.
District Attorney must produce evidence that directly points to my
committing a crime. So far, the prosecution has only come up with
accusations and outlandish claims. This case is a fraud and a
the people of this city"
"Over ninety percent of the RNC cases have been dropped," exclaims
defendant Kate Sorensen. "The city of Philadelphia continues to
that they failed to handle the convention protests with integrity and
honor. In an effort to serve the interest of the sponsors of the
city committed itself to tactics of violence, intimidation, and civil
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