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Announcement :: Education : Human Rights : Organizing : Politics : Race : Social Welfare
Pack the court for the Somerville 5!
22 Jun 2005
July 5 and July 7, 9 AM
Cambridge District Court
40 Thorndike Street

NO TO RACIAL PROFILING AND POLICE BRUTALITY!
DROP THE RACIST FAME-UP CHARGES IMMEDIATELY!
STOP RACIAL PROFILING AND POLICE BRUTALITY! DROP THE RACIST CHARGES AGAINST THE "SOMERVILLE 5"

Every day, across the country, Black youth and other young people of color are the victims of racial profiling and police brutality. Skin color and national origin are seen by police as a cause for suspicion and a reason to violate people's rights. "Driving while Black" or "walking while Black" is the harsh reality for young people. Racial profiling can result in beatings, maiming, imprisonment and even death.

On April 20, 2005, five Black youths who attend Somerville High School (Calvin Belfon, Cassius Belfon, Earl Guerra, Isiah Anderson and Marquis Anderson) were the victims of racial profiling and a brutal, unprovoked attack by Medford Police. On that day the youths stopped at a Store 24 before planning to catch a bus home. Outside the store they were confronted by a heavily armed Medford police officer who grabbed Calvin Belfon by the throat and punched him twice in the face. Fearing serious bodily harm or worse, Belfon defended himself. His brothers and friends came to his aid. When Calvin appealed for the cop to stop, he responded by calling him a racist name. A police riot ensued with at least ten cops armed with guns, clubs, mace and flashlights, beating the five youths. All five young people sustained injuries to the face and head and all were maced. Calvin and Isiah were clubbed on their heads with a flashlight. All later went to the hospital for treatment. Police also gang-profiled the youths, asking them what their "street names" were.

A cover-up of this vicious assault by the Medford Police quickly followed. In orchestrated stories, police claimed that they were "fighting for their lives", "they were overwhelmed" and "the teens were trying to take their weapons". These are lies typically used by police to try and explain to the public their unprovoked, violent attacks on innocent people. Their strategy is to portray the victims as the perpetrators and themselves as the victims.

But we refuse to allow this racist frame-up to succeed. Family, friends, supporters, community groups, church members and students have packed the court rooms at all the pre-trial hearings. 300 Somerville High School students signed a petition demanding that all five youths be reinstated in school after the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Argenziano and Principal Galligani unjustly suspended them. Within one week, hundreds of people across the country and as far away as Belgium, phoned, faxed and emailed Argenziano's office demanding their reinstatement. Hundreds more have called the Medford Mayor's office demanding the charges be dropped immediately. Community groups held a successful press conference.

The futures of these young people, all good students and excellent athletes, is in jeopardy. The Medford Police and District Attorney Martha Coakley have closed ranks in order to cover up what is in fact police terror against youth of color. Bush and the Pentagon only offer our youths jail or war while they slash human services to feed the war machine. Let us join together and fight for what we ALL need: education, jobs, housing and healthcare.

Join us in demanding:
*Drop all charges now.
*Reinstate the students at SHS immediately.
*Conduct an independent investigation into police actions on 4/20/05
*Stop racial profiling and police brutality.
See also:
http://www.iacboston.org/
http://www.iacenter.org/

This work is in the public domain
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Re: Pack the court for the Somerville 5!
23 Jun 2005
No one defending these kids have been able to come up with anything that shows this was police brutality. Where's the evidence?

Also, the story posted here is leaving out some details. Here's what happened:

The teens were trying to get into where a carnival was, but it was closing. Since it was closing, the cops asked them to leave. So they did, and went to the Store 24. <b>A clerk notified police because he said that they were harassing customers.</b> That detail is being left out, the cop wasn't just approaching them to harass them. What happened next was unclear, someone struck first.

The only thing I've heard in their defense is weak, that "they wouldn't just hit a cop unprovoked". You could say just the same thing about the cops, that they wouldn't attack unprovoked. That's a weak defense, at best. Why not let it go to trial and have the truth be found there?
Re: Pack the court for the Somerville 5!
24 Jun 2005
Pete, you know the "real" story how? Were you there? Did you talk with the Store 24 clerk?
Re: Pack the court for the Somerville 5!
24 Jun 2005
"The only thing I've heard in their defense is weak, that "they wouldn't just hit a cop unprovoked". You could say just the same thing about the cops, that they wouldn't attack unprovoked."

are you serious? police abuse people unprovoked all the time and they always get away with it. (name one time they haven't. rodney king?...)
Re: Pack the court for the Somerville 5!
24 Jun 2005
....which goes back to my original line of inquiry --- what evidence is there? You have absolutely no case without evidence.

And now you're disputing the store clerk complaining? That's what the story has always been when reported in most papers (However, activists like to leave that out for some reason); if you want to dispute that, you can check the logs of the Somerville police dept.. It'd be alot bigger case here if they were fabricating log entries.
Re: Pete
25 Jun 2005
Re: Protest Warlord Tommy Franks June 28th Fleet center
by Pete
clickman (nospam) gmail.com (unverified) 23 Jun 2005
Where would be best to get maximum visibility for a demo? I have stuff around to re-create the Abu Grahib genital-electrode photos, like that guy did at the Army Recruiting Center last year.

.
Re: Protest Warlord Tommy Franks June 28th Fleet center
by The resistance
(No verified email address) 24 Jun 2005
Im going as a shot up solider or iraqi just like my heros at boston direct action project. The protest pit always smells like pork to me so ill be movimg around and waiting for that scum to appear so i can jump out his closet. where do you get the fake blood and can you get it by the barrel?
genital electrodes, if you want to stick to geather i can bring a dog leash.
Re: Protest Warlord Tommy Franks June 28th Fleet center
by Student
___ (nospam) ____ (unverified) 24 Jun 2005
Whoa............. Hold up, children! Halloween is a few months off.

Peaceful protesters you guys are NOT! Children dressed as clowns you guys may BE! Do you honestly believe that you are taken seriously with your theatrics? Intelligent adults would be heard but bratty kids who spend their allowance at a costume store will most probably be arrested- as they should be.
Re: Protest Warlord Tommy Franks June 28th Fleet center
by The
(No verified email address) 24 Jun 2005
Like Yoda you talk. Too much Star Wars you have watched.
Re: Protest Warlord Tommy Franks June 28th Fleet center

by Pete
(No verified email address) 24 Jun 2005
Performance art isn't childish by any means.
Re: Pack the court for the Somerville 5!
25 Jun 2005
these guys are cops. bent on disruption.
Re: Pack the court for the Somerville 5!
26 Jun 2005
Okay, Pete, if that's the case, show it. Reference an article. I may well have missed something. But don't just tell me what has been reported in most papers (especally since most papers haven't reported much on this!).

I'm skeptical of hte IAC's story, as I'm often skeptical of them in general. But so too am I skeptical of your claims, which you don't back up.