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News ::
Support Action for the Lafayette 8
24 May 2004
Support the Lafayette 8!

Demand that the outrageous charges against the Lafayette 8 are
dropped and that the Cambridge Police and City manager are held
accountable for the flagrant abuse of their (illegitimate) powers.


Drop the outrageous charges against the Lafayette 8

RALLY in front of Cambridge City Hall
while the City Council meets

Monday, May 24, 5:00 pm
Cambridge City Hall
Mass Ave (across from the post office)

Also pack the courthouse
Wednesday, May 26, 9:00 am
Cambridge Courthouse
Thorndike Street (near Lechmere Station)

On April 14, undercover agents with guns drawn held up local
housing/anti-poverty activists at Lafayette Square between
Massachusetts Ave and Main Street. The undercover agents
refused to identify themselves as they ordered the Homes Not
Jails activists to leave the abandoned Shell station
on Lafayette square at gun point, with one detective waving
papers which he identified as copies of email correspondence
between the activists. Soon after, uniformed police arrived
and arrested 8 activists.

This lawless and arbitrary use of threatening force along with
the 8 unwarrented arrests will not be tolerated by Cambridge
and Boston residents. Just 11 days before the arrest of the
Lafayette 8, the same group of Homes Not Jails activists ended
a "March to Abolish Poverty" at Lafayette Square and used the
abandoned Shell shack as a shelter to serve food, all in the
presence of Cambridge police who did not object or interfere
with the use of the decrepit building.

On April 14, the activists returned to the square to plant
flowers and a tree sapling. This time, the Cambridge City
police unleashed the full spectrum of the growing state
security apparatus on the activists, invoking undercover
agents and apparently email surveillance as well. These
repressive acts against political activists is in clear
violation of the rights of free human beings as well as
the resolution to maintain Cambridge as a sanctuary city
passed in response to the USA PATRIOT act in 2002. (On
June 17, 2002, the Cambridge City Council passed a
resolution regarding the USA PATRIOT Act, asking that all
city agencies and especially local law enforcement continue
to preserve residents' freedom of speech, religion, assembly,
and privacy.)

In the meantime, Cambridge police and unelected, City Manager
Bob Healy have made statements smearing the Homes Not Jails
activists. A senior Cambridge police officer told Fox25 News
that the activists were using the former Shell station as a
depot for unnamed materials for use in demonstrations against
the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Boston. The
Cambridge City Manager in the Cambridge Chronicle April 22,
ridiculed the reasons given by Homes Not Jails activits for
their activities in Lafayette Square. These unfounded
statements by City officials are prejudicial to the right
of the arrestees to a fair trial, and chilling in their effect
on citizens who might wish to participate in lawful
demonstrations at the time of the Democratic National

The Homes Not Jails activists have been working on an
on-going community cleanup operation that began with the
March To Abolish Poverty on April 3rd. The HNJ activists
focussed on Lafayette Square because the proposed, publicly
funded, development there, on behalf of MIT, sought to
separate MIT's University Park from the Area 4 neighborhood.
Lafayette Square was seized by the city through eminent
domain with the promise of converting the abandoned lot
into a public park. Instead the area has been left to rot.
Any passersby would notice a wasteland of concrete blocks,
broken bottles, and countless other unsightly and potentially
dangerous litter.

Support the Lafayette 8!

Demand that the outrageous charges against the Lafayette 8 are
dropped and that the Cambridge Police and City manager are held
accountable for the flagrant abuse of their (illegitimate) powers.


Please take a few moments to call or write letters to the following
officials to convey your concern:

Mayor Michael A. Sullivan
Cambridge City Hall, 2nd Floor
795 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617)349-4321
FAX: (617)349-4320
mayor (at)

City Manager: Robert W. Healy
Cambridge City Hall
795 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617)349-4300
FAX: (617)349-4307
citymanager (at)

Police Commissioner: Ronnie Watson
Cambridge Police Department
5 Western Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: (617)349-3377
FAX: (617)349-3320
rwatson (at)

Be sure to ask them to see to it that all charges are dropped. You may also consider asking them whether the resolution against enforcing the PATRIOT Act is being lived up to. Tell them that making fabricated allegations against activists to is unconscionable. Tell them that beautifying our city is not a crime and that city property is all of ours, there is no foundation for charging them with "Breaking and Entering."

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More Support Action for the Lafayette 8
24 May 2004
To: hnjboston (at)
Subject: [hnjboston] URGENT: Do this NOW!

Cambridge residents or property owners,
(but somehow not employees - funny that)
are allowed to sign up for public comment
time at the City Council meeting.

Call the City Council Office to sign up.
617) 349-4280

Give name, address, and state that you wish
to speak on the Lafayette arrests order submitted
to the agenda by Denise Simmons.

The comment time is only 3 minutes, so plan out
a bit what you want them to know. It is also
broadcast on CCTV, so a few thousand people
will likely hear you - this is a chance to
reach out to other city residents without
corporate media editing! I encourage everyone
who is outraged by the escalation of police
tactics and these bogus arrests to comment.
And even if you are shy, if you start tonight,
it will only get easier in the future. We
need every voice.

FYI - another group of teenagers, African-American, were also held up at gun point (several guns, actually) by plain clothes unidentifiable officers because the car that one of the kids had recently purchased was allegedly stolen. The kids were hanging out listening to the stereo, no weapons, no disturbance - GUNS for this???

Police Review and Advisory Board now has officially none of its 5 seats filled as the one and only appointed members' term expired and the Paul Bremer of Camridge, City Manager Healy, has not filled any of the positions. That means the modest mechanism put in 15 or so years back to check police power is completely non-functional.
The only recourse in this case is assembly of the
people for a redress of our greivances...

A Dry Drunk Runs our Country and a wet Drunk runs our town!

(Healy, not even a Cambridge resident, is known to like the sauce and has gotten taps on the wrist for DUI related charges...)

In struggle,