Today Mike D. received a suspended sentence and probation with work release requirements. (Thanks to all who showed up.)
A quick lo-down for those unfamiliar w/the all too familiar story: At the July 23rd Portland protests against the G-8 meetings and killing of a protestor in Genoa, Italy, Mike D. was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and interfering with an officer -- this while simply trying to cross the street legally at a designated crosswalk.
The judge, while not as arrogant as they come, focused his comments on the part of the incident in which Mike's feet were caught under the police car, rather than the fact that police were the initial escalators of aggression. (Sgt. Smitch kept advancing his police car into a crosswalk in which Mike D. was crossing. Mike D's real offense was having the temerity to comment on it.)
Instead the Judge chose not to address the problem that a person should have the right to object to objectionable behavior, regardless of the badge, and the right to draw his arm back when grabbed without being accosted for "resisting arrest." ... that it is a human right to resist unfounded, unlawful "arrest," as loose a term as "arrest" has become in practicality.
He expressed his views that Mike D.'s wariness of police officers was a symptom of an irrational paranoia, that one should never believe oneself a target of the police for attempting to exercise one's rights. And, he expressed the belief that Mike D.'s choice to engage in work without monetary compensation of any sort is a sign of mental illness.
These are our concepts of justice and mental health in the United States today.