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Hidden with code "Submitted as Feature"
News :: Police and Prisons : Race
Somerville 18 Need Support
14 Jul 2015
Modified: 01:08:22 PM
On January 15, 2015, the #Somerville18, a group of Pan-Asians, Latinos, and white people, some of whom identify as queer or transgender, stood in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by temporarily blocking the I-93 highway in Massachusetts. The demonstration called for the end to racial profiling, incarceration, murders, and other forms of police violence against Black people in the United States and beyond.
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Now District Attorney Ryan has decided to harshly retaliate against the #Somerville18 with criminal charges and outrageous restitution fines for exercising their First Amendment rights, which guarantee freedom of expression. The #Somerville18 believes DA Ryan's excessive punishments reinforce a nationwide intimidation tactic to suppress demonstrations, particularly those in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Take action now to stand with the #Somerville18 and push back against the criminalization of demonstrations in Boston and beyond. Tell DA Ryan that 90 days jail time, 18 months probation, and $14,580 in restitution fine are unreasonable punishments for demonstrations. DA Ryan's hostile punishments set a dangerous precedent that restricts civic participation and violates First Amendment rights. Tell DA Ryan to drop the charges now!

The Reverend Jason Lydon and several other clergy and ministers recently sent a letter to DA Ryan urging her to drop the charges against the 18.

DA Ryan can be reached at the phone number for the Middlesex County prosecutor's office, 781-897-8300.

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