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Held in the pouring rain for nearly an hour, they were eventually cuffed and brought to the Southeast District police station. The lawyer
who arrived to represent themwas also placed under arrest. After hours of shivering on the floor of a conference room without being charged, they were transferred to Central Booking and held for almost twenty-four hours before receiving their papers. When they finally were allowed to see commissioners, some of the twenty-eight were released on their own recognizance while others received bail amounts upwards of $10,000. None of these twenty-eight activists had committed any crime, nor were they told what they were being charged with until after they had been interviewed. Bail was raised and all activists are now out of jail, but the legal battle is just beginning.
Later that night...
Baltimore police carried out a raid on a community center, the activists were using to coordinate jail solidarity, without a warrant. They confiscated pamphlets, magazines and other literature. Immediately
afterward, police surrounded a progressive activist center and they attempted another warrant-less search. The activists inside refused to
talk to police and instead called the media. The police left the scene
when the media showed up. Police then followed and pulled over cars
traveling to and from these locations without providing reasons for the
stops. Several people were pulled over at gunpoint for trying to reach these safe spaces.
The Baltimore Police Department is going forward with their trumped up
charges. Once again the police are protecting violent racists over the
interests of our communities.
In addition to funds, the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 are also in need of
legal support. Any legal resources you can provide will be greatly
appreciated and are desperately needed.
It is clear that the charges against the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 and the harassment of the Baltimore Anti-Racist community are part of a larger attempt to silence the voices of committed activists. Due to the scale of media coverage and the various regions represented by the defendants, this case is important to everyone continent-wide who is opposed to racial and other nazi prejudices.
Accurate information on the charges and the police tactics and response to anti-racism must be disseminated. Corporate media accounts are based on the statements by the police and the National Alliance. Please spread the true message as far and wide as you can. Flyers, benefits, teach-ins, demonstrations, etc. are needed to assist the Anti-Racist 28 through their court cases.
Twenty-six activists have each been charged with:
One count of rioting (unlimited penalty)
Three counts of second degree aggravated assault (punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine)
One count of possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure
(punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine)
One count of malicious destruction of property valued over $500
(punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine)
One count of disorderly conduct (punishable by up to 60 days in
prison and/or a $500 fine)
The twenty-seventh activist, a minor, received the same charges plus an
additional 20 counts of Second Degree Aggravated Assault. The twenty-eighth activist, a representative of the National Lawyers Guild, was also arrested while he attempted to protect the rights of the activists. He was charged with one count of failing to obey an officer
(punishable by up to 60 Days in prison and/or a $500 fine).
The National Alliance claimed to police that they were confronted by
anti-fascists in the morning. If so, they had been there and left well
before the twenty-eight arrestees arrived. The police decided to round up anyone in the parking lot and are attempting to pin any real or imagined crimes the National Alliance racists complained of on
these innocent activists. These anti-racist activists need your assistance as they are facing a combined total of about 1,177 years of jail time.
Please donate to the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Legal Defense Fund. Many
thousands of dollars will be needed by these brave and dedicated activists to fight these bogus charges. Much thanks to all of the great people who sent money for bail, but the serious costs will begin now. Every little bit counts.
Please send legal support donations to:
Black Planet Books
1621 Fleet Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21231-2931 USA
Phone: 410.537.5005 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal checks or money orders should be made out to Black Planet Books with a memo that it is for the Anti-Racist 28 legal defense efforts.
If sending cash, please conceal it well. Please note in the envelope that your donation is for the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Legal Defense Fund.
The Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Defense Committee
Silence Is Approval!
Demand Justice Now!
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