Moratorium on Use of Tasers in Moberly, Missouri
The Worm Turns: Veripass – Clear Security Service Data Unsecured?
47 States Allow a Post Conviction Test of DNA
Segments This Week
Charges Dismissed Against March of the Dead Activists: Laurie Arbeiter
Charges Dismissed Against March of the Dead Activists: Laurie Arbeiter
On January 6, 2009, artist and activist Laurie Arbeiter joined seventy others from around the country for the March of the Dead. Participants assembled in Washington and began to read the names of those killed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine before the Capitol Police interrupted the event and arrested seventeen people. Four of them, including Laurie, appeared in court last week on charges of unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct, where the judge nullified their case. Robbie Diesu, Michelle Grise, and Pete Perry also appeared in court with Laurie. In the event that Laurie and others would be convicted, she prepared a statement to read outside of the courthouse. Click here to read that statement.
Laurie is a member of The Critical Voice, which started the We Will Not Be Silent T-shirt campaign.
Four of us were put on trial for an action that we did Jan 6, 2009, the first day of 111th Congress.
People came from all over the country to circle the Capitol in death masks carrying the names of the dead from Iraq, Afghanistan and Gaza.
On that day, 17 of us were arrested and some of us were brought all the way to trial.
Last week, we went into court for disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly.
We didn’t get to mount our case because of the gross misconduct of the government, including tampering with evidence–they destroyed evidence.
We were followed by police both on bicycles and motorcycles, throughout the day. But then we decided to go into the Senate Hart Building, in the atrium. We continued with the March of the Dead. Another group hung billboard sized banners.
When we did the solemn procession before we got to the Capitol, the police on bikes were waiting for us. I was in the lead, wearing a death mask, and police officers started taunting me, pointing at me saying, “We know who you are.” It made me feel more defiant.
As Barack Obama said, “those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history.”
I am one of many that stand proud in solidarity with all the other people that came from around the country.
During the court case, the police officer kept saying how loud we were, but we are all quiet, and read the names of the dead reverently.
The police asked the court to see a youtube video, edited, sound enhanced, the judge allowed it. They had problems projecting the video in court.
So, they used the judge’s laptop. My lawyer cross-examined the police officer, where are your notes, the log of the event. The cop answered they went away. At that point the case was dismissed.
This case was about what is allowed of a free people who feel an urgency because war crimes are being committed in their time. What are we as a free people allowed to do? Where do we go to seek justice?
I would have asked the court: if crimes are being committed why wouldn’t decent people speak up so their voices could be heard? Why is that a crime? While the people who committed the most heinous acts against human beings are set free. Why are we being prosecuted?
Guest – Laurie Arbeiter, artist, prominent activist, and designer of “We Will Not Be Silent” T-shirt series. To order T-shirts, email Laurie at Arrestbush(at)gmail.com. Her website (currently being built) is wewillnotbesilent.net.
Supreme Court Denies Certiorari In the Cuban Five Case
As listeners may already know, the Supreme Court recently declined to hear the case of the Cuban Five. The request for review, which included a record-setting 12 amicus briefs and received widespread international attention, was the Cuban Five’s last chance for a new trial.
The Five’s defense attorneys argued it was impossible for the men to get fair trials in Miami, where anti-Castro sentiment runs high, and that the convictions should be overturned.
Last year, the 11th U.S. District Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld the convictions of the Cuban Five, who are serving long prison sentences charged with spying and conspiracy to commit murder. Joining us again to discuss the case is noted criminal defense attorney Leonard Weinglass, who represented the Cuban Five. Len, welcome back to the show. Demonstration video link
- 98 Percent of all petitions for Cert are denied. We were optimistic because our position was so strongly stated and unprecedentedly joined by 11 briefs and friends of the court including 10 Nobel Prize winners.
- Then June 15, the news came down. The court rejected out of hand without a single dissenting opinion.
- We were hoping against experience that teaches otherwise, that the Obama Administration would lighten up on this case and acknowledge some of the undisputed facts.
- Timing: June 5, 2009 Kendall and Gwendolyn Meyers arrested for passing classified information to Cuban handlers.
- Batson Case – The government permitted several minorities on the jury who were elderly and less well educated as a shield against challenges of racial bias. The record shows the government removed seven younger well educated minority jurors. We brought this to the court’s attention, because this is happening throughout the country (Mumia Abu Jamal case – instruction film to purge minority jurors)
- Community prejudice issue: Trying the Cuban Five case in Miami.
- This is the first “conspiracy to commit espionage” case in which there was not a single classified document.
- The options have become narrower, three of the five are up for re-sentencing. I’m hopeful my client Antonio Guerrero will not get a life sentence but will get a set term of years.The Cuban Five have served 10 years.
- Analogous cases – Ben-Ami Kadish – recently (Dec 2008) received a suspended sentence and 50 thousand dollar fine (to which he responded, “no problem judge”) for taking classified documents to his handler’s home in Riverdale, Bronx several times (including information about nuclear weapons, a modified F-15 fighter, and the Patriot missiles) and let an unnamed Israeli government worker take photographs of them.
- Posada Carriles, has a long standing association with the CIA, which his attorney acknowledged in court papers. Carriles was charged with the murder of 73 people; he escaped prison, (with help of unknown persons). He was then hired by the CIA, paid by the US taxpayer to help in the war against the elected government of Nicaragua.
- Carriles was involved in bringing down the first commercial plane in mid-flight, Cubana Airlines. The bomb exploded (C4) that was placed in a toothpaste tube left in the mens room. The tail assembly was damaged, then pilots lost control and plane plummeted into ocean. Carriles was named by the person who he paid them to do it. That person is a cab driver in Caracas, Venezuela and is available to the media.
- Going forward with the Cuban Five cases, there are legal options, specifically 18 US C2255 – Federal Habeas. We could raise constitutional issues that haven’t previous been raised and litigated; we have one year in which to file. We’re not completely out of court, but what’s called the “direct appeals” are over. We now have collateral appeals.
- It’s up to the Obama Administration to recognize the reality here of what happened and begin the process of returning the Five home.
Guest – criminal defense attorney Leonard Weinglass, who represented the Cuban Five. As William Kunstler’s younger partner, Len Weinglass was considered the work horse of the defense team. He’s worked on a number of political cases including the Pentagon Papers trial and the Angela Davis case. He’s a Yale Law School graduate and former U.S. Air Force Captain.