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News :: Organizing
Protester may see charges dropped
08 Jun 2004
Protester may see charges dropped
Student mimicked Iraq prison photo
Protester may see charges dropped
Student mimicked Iraq prison photo

By David Abel, Globe Staff, 6/8/2004
The Suffolk district attorney's office is "strongly considering" dropping charges against a Boston College junior arrested last month while protesting in front of a downtown military recruiting center by imitating one of the photos taken at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.

On May 26, Joseph Previtera, Jr., 21, an international studies major, stood on a crate outside the Armed Forces Career Center on Tremont Street wearing a pointy, black hood and a gauzy, dark shawl. Mimicking the photograph, he dangled two wires from his outstretched fingers, as if he would be electrocuted.

Soon afterward, police arrested Previtera, and he was arraigned the next day in Boston Municipal Court on charges of disturbing the peace, making a false bomb threat, and possession of a hoax device.

Authorities are now saying they have yet to find evidence that Previtera was making a bomb threat.

"As best we know now, we're not aware of him saying anything threatening," said David Procopio, a spokesman for the district attorney's office.

"I think it's safe to say we're strongly considering dismissing the charges."

He added: "Boston has a proud tradition of political protest, and the district attorney's office supports anyone's right to do that, so long as it's done peacefully. If we determine he was acting peacefully, and the charges are not appropriate, we would make a decision to terminate the prosecution."

"Until they actually dismiss the charges -- I'm still waiting to see," Previtera said last night in a phone interview.

"I think the charges are bogus," he said. "I was standing there depicting the iconic picture of the tortured Iraqi prisoner. I think they were trying to suppress my free speech."

Previtera said he was trying to humanize the issue, by having people see a depiction of the torture.

He chose the location so potential recruits might see an alternative perspective of what the recruiter might tell them.

"This was not only for their own safety," he said, "but because of the torture they might be asked to commit."

Previtera is scheduled to appear in court June 16 for a pretrial hearing.
© Copyright 2004 Globe Newspaper Company.

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Protester may see charges dropped
08 Jun 2004
Charges against Joe Previtera have been dropped.
Re: Protester may see charges dropped
09 Jun 2004
That's fantastic! LEt's bring some up on those pigs!
Congrats Joe