Friday, May 4, 2012

Four of Santa Cruz Eleven Freed at Pre Trial Hearing, District Attorney threatens to Refile Charges Against These Innocent Occupiers

This editorial on behalf of the Santa Cruz Eleven, in response to the GOOD TIMES' May Day Update written by John Malkin. Malkin and I are allies. When it existed, we both attended City of Santa Cruz's  Civilian Police Review Board meetings. At the first day of the Pre Trial Hearing he reports in this week's GOOD TIMES, I was fortunate to be sitting next to Malkin, coveting his shorthand ability. 

I tried to attach this editorial below his recent GT article, but the digital censor said it was "too short." So am posting it below. The GOOD TIMES article posted at Linda's Hearth just prior to editorial.

D.A. Obscures the Crimes and Threatens Four Indicted Defendants Despite Judge Burdick's Release During Pre Trial

by Linda Ellen Lemaster
for Linda's Hearth

Santa Cruz County
Board of Supervisors
701 Ocean Street
Santa Cruz, CA  95060

Dear Chairperson and Members:

I believe Santa Cruz County District Attorney's office has been out of line in their broad sweeping approach to the break-in -- considering California's budget woes (shutting down schools, whole cities, and even the courts' "furlough Friday" cuts) -- there is NO legitimate excuse for what they are doing. They decided to indict innocent folks, pretending on behalf of "the People" that those particular eleven defendants have committed crimes, while squandering YOUR taxes and Superior Court resources on a grand scale, just to make a dog-n-pony show for citizens. It's a sham.

Maybe they CAN, indeed, further trash some of the people whom they're targeting for prosecution. And by sleight-of-word and obscuring what really went on, even get some convictions. But it will truly be a miscarriage of "justice" if that happens. It looks to me as tho' the DA and the City of Santa Cruz's police department are faking a big Passion Play (for what? headlines? revenge? diversion? getting their fingers on some Homeland Security inflation-dollars?) in order to distract the People from finding out what actually happened between November 30 and December 1, 2011.

Defendants are getting quashed like sitting ducks while whomever was behind the vacant Building Liberation at 75 River Street during a major windstorm outside isn't even being talked about. "Did you go by there?" does NOT translate into "We deem you guilty of felony tresspass because someone's got to pay and we have nothing real to pursue" Maybe this is simply a fear-driven, state-sanctioned attack on Occupy Santa Cruz, because there seems to be little to nothing going on with the prosecution's show that's focused on actual property/real estate crime. All this energy is focused on further debilitating and pauperizing bystanders for their hint of community-building or curiosity.

Last Monday outside the courthouse on Ocean Street, just minutes before Grant Wilson and three other of the defendants were due for Pre Trial Hearing, as reported above, Wilson spoke to a circle of over forty diverse supporters. This circle included former mayors, preachers, peaceniks like Sherry Conable, as well as a handful of Occupy Santa Cruz stalwarts.

His short comments to the circle were quite brief. One of Grant's comments was like, "Our lawyers have told us not to talk to each other; not to talk about this case at all in public; I shouldn't be standing here talking to you right now, but am grateful for your support." Grant Wilson, Franklin Alcantara, Edward Rector and Cameron Laurendau are being systematically isolated because of alleged crimes that, however they maybe came about, did not in any rational sense get committed by them. This is simply unjust. And it feels like McCarthyism.

Jury Nullification is worth considering, when the charges from the state are ridiculous in their application. Potential Jurors need to understand that if the laws don't work as utilized, they have a civic responsibility to call the system on it's shortsightedness. Segregating "verdict" from "sentence" does not release jurors from sharing responsibility for bad laws or for extreme sentencing. It is the conscience of even a single juror that can keep the excesses of systemwide competition and bravado, and politicized motives, from tanking the whole Superior Court system's attempts at justice.

Eleven scapegoats deserve an apology from the County. It is apparent the four released have already been put through a level of hell; the other seven are still getting the sticky stick treatment.

I would appreciate hearing our elected supervisors speaking up about where they stand in the face of such a rabid and disingenuous District Attorney position that costs so much and reaches so far beyond what pertains to protecting the People. If our County Government is so entrenched a part of this Leviathan we call State, that it can't correct it's overzealous missteps, then all I can say is, Thank God for Occupy.


Linda Ellen Lemaster
Housing NOW! in Santa Cruz
P O Box 42, Davenport, CA 95017

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