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News :: Environment : Globalization : Human Rights
In Philadelphia, Biotech Devils Gone Home, Protesters Still in Jail - Update
23 Jun 2005
Modified: 24 Jun 2005
As the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) held their June 19-22 international corporate convention in downtown Philadelphia, people from across the country converged to bring attention to BIO's closed-door agenda of medicine for profit, genetically engineered agriculture and bioweapons proliferation.

Philly Indymedia reported that as many as 13 people got arrested, including one minor. Seven of them are still in jail with outrageous jail bails bonds ranging from 9,000 to 100,000 dollars.

While chasing protesters in front of the Convention Center, Philadelphia Police Officer Paris Williams had a cardiac arrest and passed away. According to both demonstrators and police, he was not involved in the scuffle.

SEE FULL ARTICLE FOR UPDATES
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In Philadelphia, Biotech Devils Gone Home, Protesters Still in Jail
June 25, 2005

Update as of 12:40AM Saturday morning, June 25th-as communicated to sharpie by members of the Up Against the Wall Legal Collective:

Guillame has been released.

He was held in the Homicide section of the jail, then released eventually into General Population, it is rumored he was antagonized while being held. Upon his release it appears his property was lost. He wants to extend a big thank you to all those who poured in support from Canada, the Eastern seaboard, and others. He has been released and will be fighting the charges.

The Legal Collective wants to emphasize that while there will be a legal fund soon, it appears that they were slightly short when counting and may still need up to $900 or $1000 to bail out the last of the arrestees from early Tuesday morning.

Brenton, Mark, and Caroline have been released. They, along with other activists, are waiting at the jail and are hoping Doug will be released tonight.

The remaining two will hopefully be released sometime tomorrow. Continue to watch for updates here as the situation is still unfolding.

Those of you elsewhere in the world should be aware that the Philly community is outraged at the vicious way the District Attorney has approached these cases and how she has vilified activists consistently, now as well as in the past. It should be remembered that this is the same DA involved in the million-dollar bail debacle around John Sellers of the Ruckus Society.

There has also been an expressed desire from some of those in Philadelphia that much thanks are due to Philly ARA and NEFAC especially in helping to raise these funds quickly amidst the adverse conditions.

June 24, 2005

Update as of 1pm Friday afternoon, June 24th, including information on charges, as communicated by a member of the legal team in Philly to sharpie:

So here's the latest:

Guillame's bond is in the process of being posted. It is hoped he'll be out in the next few hours.

He was charged with:

2 Counts Aggravated Assault - Felony 2 Counts Disorderly Conduct - Misdemeanor 2 Counts Resisting Arrest - Misdemeanor 2 Counts Conspiracy(Criminal Conspiracy) - Misdemeanor

A note on the charge of Criminal Conspiracy from the Philly legal folks, in Philadelphia, when you are arrested at a poliical protest, "Criminal Conspiracy" along with Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest are standard misdemeanor charges.

Caroline Colesworthy, Mark Garcia, and Brenton Hall are in the process of having the money totalled in order to bail them out, unsure at this time when they can expect to be out.

They are each charged with:

2 Counts Disorderly Conduct - Misdemeanor 2 Counts Resisting Arrest - Misdemeanor 2 Counts Conspiracy(Criminal Conspiracy) - Misdemeanor

All of the above individuals have been in custoday for just over 72 hours, since 1 PM Tuesday afternoon.

It is believed they are all in County Jail facilities at this time.

Lastly there are 3 individuals in County who have been in custody since 3 or 4 am Tuesday morning. They are:

Douglas Kurz Jonathan Slick and Kenneth Holland

They are each charged with:

5 Counts Felony Vandalism 1 Count possession of an Instrument of a Crime.

These individuals are not considered by the authorities to have been connected with the protests in Philadelphia this week, however within the activist community it is unclear whether there intention would have been to attend the events, had they not been arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The legal team still expects to need $3,000 just to bail everyone out. This does not include costs for helping those in jail return for their court dates, the legal team is requesting money to help those in jail return for court appearances, as many are from long distances away from Philadelphia. A note about the high bail costs. Originally Guillame's bail was set at $100,000, the DA attempted to raise the cost to $500,000 but was unsuccessful. He was however successful in raising the bails of the other 3 arrested Thursday afternoon. Caroline was set to be released on her own recognizance, Mark Garcia and Brenton Hall were both bailed at $2500 each initially. Their bails were all raised to $50,000. The three individuals arrested early Tuesday morning were each bailed at $9,600. The legal team feels that this underscores the political nature of the bail process in these cases. The three with $50,000 were all arrested at the same time as the death of Officer Paris Williams. It is felt that these high bail amounts are meant to punish individuals who were not responsible for the Officer's death as a means to exact vengeance on the demonstrators in Philadelphia this past week.

Furthermore, it is hoped that in excess of the money mentioned above will be donated, in order to allow some of those who have contributed a great deal to take less of the economic burden of freeing these activists.

A final note, for those interested, Charles was released on his own recognizance Thursday the 23rd.

This is a further update to the legal situation in Philadelphia, as of 10:44am Friday morning, June 24th, as communicated by Junkyard to sharpie.

the short of it is, all 7 individuals still in jail as of yesterday evening remain in jail. The Philadelphia police have been stonewalling efforts by the legal team to post bond for these individuals at every turn. Due to complications with Western Union, although the legal team was able to receive a few thousand dollars last night, they did not find out about the rest of the money until after 9pm at which point they were unable to locate a Western Union in the Philadelphia area that would release $10,000 after 9pm.

The legal team is currently receiving the money from Western Union this morning.

There was an attempt to bail out caroline very early this morning/late last night. The police would not allow her to be bailed out. The legal team was first informed that she was at the Round House, which is Central Booking for the Philadelphia Police. They were informed that she would remain there until the bail process was completed. Junkyard says that "Later they told us she was being transferred to County, but we still wanted to post bond so that when she gets to county [the police] would release her."

At this point it was first revealed that Caroline was apparently complaining of police injuries so she was taken back to the Round House and the Police were considering releasing her to the hospital. "After that the police revealed that she sustained injuries on her way to County from the Round House and they sent her to the hospital. When you get sent to the hospital, the police claim that the bond process stops."

After this the legal team decided to get the next priority out, who was Mark. When the legal team went to post bond for Mark they were told he is in the process of being transferred to County and because he is being processed it will take up to 24 hours to transfer. This was at approximately 2 am Friday morning.

At this point Junkyard informed me that, "Since yesterday the legal team has been unable to bail anyone out. The Public Defenders Office has told us that some of these events can be common. But because no one has been bailed out, it is obvious that we are being discriminated against by the police due to the political nature of the arrests."

This morning the legal team is going to take the bail money for everyone, to the Criminal Justice Center, and attempt to bond them out. They may be short money for the three arrested on the first day, possibly by as much as several hundred dollars. There will be a further update within a couple hours.

If when bail is posted the police still refuse to release anyone, the head of the Public Defenders office in Philadelphia will go down along with the rest of the lawyers because it is hoped that their political and social clout will help move the process.

It is unclear whether people are still doing jail solidarity since early Thursday, we will update soon.

The exact charges for those in jail will be posted soon, as there have been many questions circulating about this. It appears that nearly everyone has been charged with "conspiracy" although it is unclear what this means, as in general practice you must be charged with conspiracy to "something."

Again, more will be posted later. The activists in Philadelphia thank you for all your support. ------------------------------------------- June 23, 2005

Here's some information about the current legal situation for arrestees in Philly, as communicated by "Junkyard" to sharpie:

As of 5:48 on Thursday afternoon, June 23rd there were still at least 7 activists known to be in jail in Philly. It is unclear who exactly is still in jail at this time, as several individuals are practicing jail solidarity. It is known that Charles who is a Philadelphia native has been released on his own recognizance. As well, Tim and Caleb have been released, one on his own recognizance, the other without charges-it is believed that Caleb is the individual released without charges.

A Minor was arrested Tuesday afternoon, during a well-publicized skating event in Philadelphia. He was 14, his name is not available for post at the current time, if you are interested in following up for a story, please contact the legal team. According to a witness to his arrest, an officer involved in the arrest beat the individual so badly that he lost bladder control. He has been released into his parent's custody.

This afternoon during the arraignment of the remaining seven known arrestees the attorney for the prosecution appealed the initial bail decisions. The final bails were set as follows, for Guillaume Beaulieu of Canada, who has 2 felonies, $100,000; there are 3 in jail on misdemeanors who had their bails raised to $50,000 each, and 3 others whose bond is $960 each.

In Philadelphia, and all of Pennsylvania, bond is mandated at ten percent of bail, which means that the current legal costs, as of 5:48 this afternoon, are $27,880. This cost only covers the actual release of those currently held. It does not cover costs incurred by the legal team, nor costs from arrestees in terms of loss of wage or other incidentals. Please keep this in mind when sending donations to help those still in the Philadelphia jails.

Later this evening the arrestees are due to be transferred to a Philadelphia city or county jail(unclear at time of writing). If you have ever been in jail you are well aware that there is a world of difference between a few hours or a night at the precinct and being held in a general population prison. Please continue looking to this site for more information, we will attempt to keep you better updated from this time forward.

Junkyard, affiliated with the legal assistance in Philadelphia has stated that they are near to raising the money to bond out Guillaume Beaulieu. It was unclear at the time of this writing whether this means they are near to bonding out all individuals or solely Guillaume Beaulieu.

There has been some confusion about the charges, the costs, and the numbers of people in jail. The legal team is sorry about this and hopes to keep information flowing more clearly and accurately in the future. It was initially believed that those with misdemeanor charges would be bonded out for much less even than the non-appealed amount. However, the individuals were charged with multiple counts each, which multiplied the bail.

Please continue to look here for further updates, they will be posted as available.

Much solidarity to all those still in prison, whether from this week or those who were already there when these most recent arrestees arrived. Keep in mind that there well over a million in American prisons, these are simply some of the most recent signs that the American Justice system is hardly just. ----------------------------------------
See also:
http://www.phillyimc.org/en/index.shtml

This work is in the public domain.
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To Donate $$ for the Jailed Protesters
23 Jun 2005
If you would like to donate $$, every little bit helps, so please send money. You can Western Union it to Cynthia Pitt, call her after - 856-816-8715. You can also paypal it to cyndipitt (at) gmail.com.
Re: In Philadelphia, Biotech Devils Gone Home, Protesters Still in Jail
23 Jun 2005
"Keep in mind that there well over a million in American prisons, these are simply some of the most recent signs that the American Justice system is hardly just."

THANK YOU for saying that...

hopefully nothing too terrible will come of any of this. those with spare cash kicking around might consider wiring it to PA.
Re: In Philadelphia, Biotech Devils Gone Home, Protesters Still in Jail
24 Jun 2005
thanks to everyone in boston for thier support, including ABC for sending a donation. Update as of this evening is that Caroline has been transferred to a hospital after obtaining injuries during transit. Every attempt at trying to post bail has been fraught with difficulties. At this time it looks like it wont be until tomarrow morning (friday) until at least Caroline is released. If you can please call the DA and demand to have the remaining 7 released with lower bail or the charges dropped.
District Attorney┬┤s Office, 1421 Arch Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19102-1507
phone: 215-686-8000 fax: 215-563-0047
Re: In Philadelphia, Biotech Devils Gone Home, Protesters Still in Jail
24 Jun 2005
The DAs communication person(media spokesperson is Kathy Abookre.
her number is 215 686 8711
beeper number 215 916 2572
direct to her office in the DAs Executive Unit is
215 686 8716
if shes not around try any numbers around
8711-8719 to talk directly to the DA big suits
Be polite! tell them what you want and why listen to thier bs, repeat.
Re: In Philadelphia, Biotech Devils Gone Home, Protesters Still in Jail - Update
25 Jun 2005
Hang in there you'll be out soon. Thank you for being there and protesting for those of us that could not make down.

Solidarity from roxbury!
Re: In Philadelphia, Biotech Devils Gone Home, Protesters Still in Jail - Update
27 Jun 2005
Biodemocracy legal update, saturday am

There were 15 arrested around the Biodemocracy events. All have been released except for two of those arrested in West Philadelphia early Tuesday morning. Douglas Kurz was released from CFCF (on State Road) early Saturday morning, after activists paid his $960 bond ($9,500 bail) Friday evening. Jonathan Slick and Kenneth Holland are expected to be bailed out sometime Saturday, at $960 bond each. Each of the three are charged with 5 counts felony vandalism and 1 count possession of an instrument of a crime.

Seven of the arrests were considered part of the investigation into Officer William's death, which has since been determined to be from natural causes. Kaleb (MA) was released without charges and Tim Kozak (Philly) was released on his own recognizance (ROR) but with charges of 1 count disorderly conduct (misdemeanor), 2 counts resisting arrest (misdemeanor) and 1 count criminal conspiracy (misdemeanor). They were released from the 9th district Thursday morning. Charles Sherrouse (Philly) was released from the 9th district round 4 pm Thursday without bail (ROR), to the dismay of the DA's office, but with charges of 1 count disorderly conduct (misdemeanor), 2 counts resisting arrest (misdemeanor) and 1 count criminal conspiracy (misdemeanor). Guillaume Beaulieu (Canada) was released on $10,010 bond ($100,000 bail) that was raised by his friends and family. He was finally released from CFCF Friday afternoon with charges of 2 counts aggravated assault (felony) 2 counts disorderly conduct (misdemeanor), 2 counts resisting arrest (misdemeanor), 2 counts criminal conspiracy (misdemeanor). Caroline Colesworthy (CA), Mark Garcia (TX), and Brenton Hall (ME) were released about 1 am Saturday on $5,010 bond ($50,000 bail) each. They were each charged with 2 counts disorderly conduct (misdemeanor), 2 counts resisting arrest (misdemeanor) and 2 counts criminal conspiracy (misdemeanor). All 6 will have their first court date on August 11 at the CFC, 13th and Filbert Streets.

It should be noted that none of these 7 arrestees was allowed to make a phone call or see a lawyer for over 24 hours while the DA's Office went to lengths to ring up murder charges. After it was clear that demonstrators were not responsible for the heart attack nor any other serious crimes, the DA tried, unsuccessfully, to raise Guillaume's bail to $500,000 and did increase the bail for Caroline, Mark and Brenton from $2,500 to $50,000 each. Western Union was initially unable to come up with sufficient cash for any of these bails throughout the philadelphia area, delaying the release of Guillaume for over a day. When attempts were made to post bail for Caroline Wednesday night, she was lost in the prison system, between downtown and State Road, delaying her release by a day.

Particular thanks are due to Philly ARA and NEFAC in helping to raise and use these funds quickly amidst adverse conditions. Gratitude is also due to Up Against the Wall Legal Collective for coordinating the flow of information and maintaining the hotline.

Funds are still being raised to repay some short term loans and to help cover travel expense for those returning for trail from out of town. To contribute by paypal visit
http://www.reclaimthecommons.net/article.php?id=208

To read more details check updates at
http://boston.indymedia.org/feature/display/38966/