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prisons & prisoners

Support political defendant June 20

Portland revolutionary John Paul Cupp faces trial on June 20, 2001 for running afoul of Portland police limits on allowable political speech. Please attend the trial at the Multnomah County Courthouse at 1021 SW 4th, currently assigned to room 528 beginning at 9:00am.
Portland revolutionary John Paul Cupp faces trial on June 20, 2001 for running afoul of Portland police limits on allowable political speech. Please attend the trial at the Multnomah County Courthouse at 1021 SW 4th, currently assigned to room 528 beginning at 9:00am. We need to support this man who has put himself on the line. Charges stem from a December 9, 2000 demonstration to call for the release of political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal. Cupp could be sentenced to six months in jail for disorderly conduct.

Police signaled that they would crack down on the demonstration soon after participants began to gather in Pioneer Courthouse Square. They confiscated a bullhorn from one person, injuring his hand in the process. Around forty people then left the Square for a spontaneous march and were followed by police. When another bullhorn was produced, police moved in and arrested two people, including Cupp.

Arraignment and bail appearances have not gone well. A public defendant was assigned to the case against the wishes of Cupp who prefers to defend himself. Since then, the judge has conducted the proceedings with the appointed attorney, shouting down John Paul when he asks to speak in his own defense. This all too common practice demonstrates that the court has an overriding interest in efficiently moving defendants through the system and regards the right of adequate legal representation as an obstacle to the smooth operation of its assembly line style of justice.

Requests for more information and other communication sent to  mumiapdx@yahoo.com will be forwarded to John Paul.