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Announcement :: Human Rights
ALERT: DEFEND THE LAFAYETTE EIGHT!! PACK THE COURTROOM!!
23 Jun 2004
This Thursday, June 24th, the six adult defendants of the Lafayette Eight will be in court to face felony charges. The modern political climate in
Boston has produced a witchhunt. Community Activists are being targeted left and right. We must show solidarity against state repression. We will not allow the media slander and state repression to continue. We will centralize
our efforts and make an injury to one the concern of all. Please help us pack the courtroom Thursday morning, 9am at the Cambridge District Court.
DEFEND THE LAFAYETTE EIGHT!! PACK THE COURTROOM!!

Thursday June 24
9am
Cambridge District Court
40 Thorndike Street
13th Floor, courtroom B

Directions to Court:
http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/cambridgedistrictmain.

This Thursday, June 24th, the six adult defendants of the Lafayette Eight will be in court to face felony charges. The modern political climate in
Boston has produced a witchhunt. Community Activists are being targeted left and right. We must show solidarity against state repression. We will not allow the media slander and state repression to continue. We will centralize
our efforts and make an injury to one the concern of all. Please help us pack the courtroom Thursday morning, 9am at the Cambridge District Court.

------------

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 manager's 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. While there is absolutely no truth to this claim, we must assume that this claim is most likely a manifestation 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.

The Lafayette Eight are due back in court at 9:00am June 24th at the Cambridge Courthouse on Thorndike Street, near Lechmere Station. Please show your support by attending the pretrial hearing. For more information contact
abc-boston (at) hush.com or visit www.baamboston.org
See also:
http://www.baamboston.org/abc

This work is in the public domain
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Re: ALERT: DEFEND THE LAFAYETTE EIGHT!! PACK THE COURTROOM!!
23 Jun 2004
FYI

GENERAL LAWS OF MASSACHUSETTS
PART IV.
CRIMES, PUNISHMENTS AND PROCEEDINGS IN CRIMINAL CASES

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TITLE I.
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CHAPTER 268. CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC JUSTICE

Chapter 268: Section 13A Picketing court, judge, juror, witness or court officer

Section 13A. Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the commonwealth, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer, shall be punished by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Nothing in this section shall interfere with or prevent the exercise by any court of the commonwealth of its power to punish for contempt.
Re: ALERT: DEFEND THE LAFAYETTE EIGHT!! PACK THE COURTROOM!!
23 Jun 2004
If the goal is to have a full courtroom as a show of community support, the above-cited law isn't relevant. It refers to "picketing or parading." Moreover, while some of this could vary with a judge's definition, it focuses on picketing or parading "with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty." simply holding a rally that didn't interfere, obstruct, or impede would probably be fine.

Of course, in the courtroom, disruptive behavior can definnitely get you arrested for contempt, not to mention potentially harming the case. So show up in large numbers but be on polite behavior.