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Announcement :: Environment : Organizing
Rally For The Lafayette 8 - May 24th
11 May 2004
Modified: 05:06:27 PM
Tell the Cambridge City Council to drop all charges immediately!!
Tell the Cambridge City Council to drop all charges immediately!!

In response the unwarranted arrests of 8 activist at Lafayette Square in April, we are calling for a rally to be held to demand that the Cambridge City Council drop all charges against the accused. The 8 were arrested at a Homes Not Jails event while attempting to plant flowers and clean up a vacant lot just outside of Central Square. They are currently facing trumped up felonies charges.

On Monday, May 24th, we will rally at 5pm outside the Cambridge City Hall. Then at 5:30pm, we plan to fill the auditorium and demand that the City Council move to drop all the charges against these community organizers.

This event will take place two days before the pre-trial hearing set for May 26th at the Middlesex County Courthouse (near the Lechmere T-Stop).

Where: Cambridge City Hall, Mass Ave, Central Square
When: Monday, May 24th, 5pm

This event is also sponsored by the Boston Branch of the Industrial Workers Of the World (IWW)

To co-sponsor this event, send an email to:

Call For Solidarity

On Wednesday, April 14th, 2004, eight Boston area activists were arrested on felony charges at Lafayette Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts. These activists were working on an on-going community cleanup operation that had begun with the March To Abolish Poverty on April 3rd. Lafayette Square was seized by the city through imminent 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 endless graffiti, broken bottles, and countless other unsightly litter.

Homes Not Jails, a housing awareness organization worked hand-in-hand with March To Abolish Poverty Organizers to call attention to the broken promises at Lafayette Square. Organizers for the event worked with city police and the city managers office. All of the proper permits were filed, and all sides were informed on the route. The march ended at Lafayette Square where Homes Not Jails activists rallied the crowd around the issue. The cleanup process began that day. Between April 3rd and April 14th, the cleanup crew had successfully planted a tree and flowers, and had managed to remove the broken glass and assorted trash. Nobody knows why the Cambridge Police Department decided to shut down the cleanup when they did. The crowd was surprised to see the overwhelming police presence suddenly appear on April 14th, as the police had known of the operation since the beginning. After the arrests, local media began reporting a strange story regarding the storage of materials at Lafayette Square for use during this summer's Democratic National Convention. The origins of this claim are unknown, and the claim itself is rather odd. This claim is most likely manifest of the growing hysteria as the DNC rapidly approaches.

While the motives of the police are unknown at this point, what is clear is that these arrests prove the vulnerability of all activists in the Boston area. In the modern political climate, all community organizers it seems are at risk of arrest - regardless of how low-key their work may be. On May 24th, there will be a rally in front of Cambridge City Hall calling for the city council to drop all the charges. The Lafayette 8 are due back in court at 9:00am May 26th at the Cambridge Courthouse on Thorndike Street, near Lechmere Station. Please show your support by attending the rally and pretrial hearing.

For more information contact:
See also:

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Re: Rally For The Lafayette 8 - May 24th
14 May 2004
Does the March to Abolish Poverty still have active organizing list? has this been publicized on any of them? While the arrests were separate fromt he March, I wonder if folks on the list might be interseted in coming out in support. Indymedia's one way to publicize, but more publicity is always better!