Detroit Law Dept. voluntarily dismisses 238 cases against BLM protesters! Claims it is acting out of fairness!

January 26, 2021

From:

John Royal

President

National Lawyers Guild Detroit & Michigan Chapter

To all:  The Detroit Law Dept. this morning issued a press release that it is voluntarily dismissing most of the misdemeanor criminal cases arising out of the Black Lives Matter protests in Detroit on May 31, June 1 and June 2.  The Law Dept. states that it is doing this after an exhaustive review of these cases and a desire to be fair.   The Law Dept.’s position is explained in the two articles attached below, from the Metro Times and the Detroit News. 

The Metro Times is reporting that the City is voluntarily dismissing cases against 238 protesters out of 245 cases issued on May 31, June 1 and 2.  The Criminal Representation Team, which is part of the Detroit Coordinated Defense Coalition (DCDC) which the National Lawyers Guild is part of along with five other bar associations and activist groups, believes these numbers to be correct.   The Law Dept.’s press release does not mention that the decision to dismiss 238 cases was made less than two weeks after Judge Larry Williams, Jr. dismissed 28 similarly situated cases because the Law Department admitted that it could not identify the arresting officers in these cases and so was unable to provide the bodycam videos of the arresting officers.  It is obvious that the same failure to preserve the names of the arresting officers that affected the cases on Judge Williams’ docket also affected the 238 cases the Law Dept is voluntarily dismissing.

The Law Department has not yet reached a decision on what it intends to do with cases against protesters who were arrested on May 29 and 30; on July 10; or on August 23.  The Law Department intends to proceed with prosecutions of Detroit school bus protesters, arrested on various dates at the end of July.

This turn of events illustrates the importance of protesters who are arrested in large numbers to form a mass defense group, and have a team of lawyers represent the entire group.   A number of the tickets being dismissed were issued against protesters who, for one reason or another, have not joined the mass protest defense team.   And some protesters opted to hire private lawyers instead of participating with the group defense.  But all of them are benefiting from the aggressive defense work of the attorneys assembled by the NLG and the other groups in the DCDC, who exposed the DPD’s failure to keep track of the names of arresting officers, and the Law Dept.’s failure to provide discovery.  

The attorneys working under the auspices of the DCDC will continue to aggressively represent all of the remaining BLM protesters in Detroit, Shelby Township, and around the state.   Today’s victory lights our way to the future. 

John Royal

President

National Lawyers Guild Detroit & Michigan Chapter

May be an image of text that says 'IF YOU WERE ARRESTED OR ISSUED A TICKET IN RECENT PROTESTS AND WANT LEGAL SUPPORT THE NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD CAN HELP YOU. EMAIL: ADMIN@MICHIGANNLG.ORG WWW.MICHIGANNLG.ORG 313-925-2626'

Milwaukee, January 27, 2021: Rally To Support Fired Workers At Marquette

Picketing in front of Zilber Hall at Marquette University

1250 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI

Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from 12-1:30 pm

___________________________________

Dear Colleagues, students, and supporter,

Last week, Marquette President Mike Lovell announced the firing of 39 dedicated university staff.  While his explanation for these cuts cite financial exigencies, numerous considerations raise serious questions about these claims.

1. Marquette is about to receive $9.7 million in stimulus funds from the Federal Government. Funds that are intended to cushion the impact of the COVID recession and stave off unnecessary job cuts. 

2. Marquette’s recently published budget also includes a $12 million surplus with no explanation for its purpose.

3. The University has provided no proof that these job cuts are fiscally necessary in the current context. 

Marquette chose to cast their employees to wolves in favor of a budget surplus.  Students, staff and faculty are coming together to demand that President Lovell do the right thing and reinstate these 39 workers. We will be picketing in front of Zilber Hall  (1250 W. Wisconsin Ave.) this Wednesday, January 27, from 12-1:30 pm to demand accountability from the Administration.  Please join us if you can. Dress warmly, wear a mask, and bring a sign!

President Lovell is abandoning Marquette’s founding principles, and threatening the very soul of the institution.  Tell him to put people first.  It is the only humane thing to do. 

Click here to send an email to university leadership: Link

Marquette Academic Workers Union-Organizing Committee

Your Classes Are on Zoom and Your Teaching Staff Is Being Cut

PLEASE SHARE WIDELY: Facebook shuts down community, women’s groups and activists’ pages without cause

Struggle – La Lucha for Socialism

Versión en español a continuación

For Immediate Release:January 24, 2021

Contact: Sharon Black and Attorney Alec Summerfield

Phone: 410-218-4835

#FacebookCensorship #DefendPeoplesRights #ReactivatePPA

Facebook shuts down community, women’s groups and activists’ pages without cause

Groups announce campaign to restore pages and to fight censorship

On Friday, January 22, 2021, Facebook disabled the main pages of two major community organizations, Peoples Power Assembly and Women In Struggle / Mujeres En Lucha, and activists around the country who have played roles in either group, extending it’s purge to Puerto Rican activist Berta Joubert-Ceci; Greg Butterfield, Struggle La Lucha writer; Cheryl La Bash, co-chair, National Network on Cuba; Maggie Vascassenno, Los Angeles Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice; and others.

It also included PPA page editor Charlene Lady J. Jenkins, a founder of “What’s Up Baltimore,” whose Baltimore grassroots network was shut down as a result.

In addition, 16 individual activists’ profiles were disabled, which means that close to a dozen other progressive pages and groups were frozen when their administrators were disabled, including: the Baltimore Harriet Tubman Solidarity Center, ICE Out of Baltimore, Prisoners Solidarity Committee, Youth Against War & Racism, and Baltimore and Maryland Amazon Workers.

Sharon Black stated: “Facebook’s disabling of pages and the accounts of major activists who have not violated community standards is meant to silence and censor our voices. The Peoples Power Assembly has played a significant role in the Baltimore Black Lives Matter protests in the summer and more recently opposing Trump’s effort to overturn the election. On Dr. King Jr.’s birthday holiday, we held a car caravan to Jessup Correctional Institute and the Howard County Immigrant Detention Center to demand justice for prisoners and detainees.”

Berta Joubert-Ceci, founder of the Women’s Fightback National Network/Red Nacional de Mujeres en Lucha and Women In Struggle, stated, “It is appalling — the cowardice of Facebook in silencing the voices of women and progressive people who struggle for justice and a better life for all.” Joubert-Ceci is also an organizer of the International Peoples’ Tribunal on U.S. Colonial Crimes in Puerto Rico. Her personal page used to connect with the Puerto Rican movement was deleted along with Women In Struggle.

Attorney Summerfield concluded, “We intend to fight this! This includes waging a public campaign to demand that the pages of all activists and the groups they represent are reactivated. We intend to use every avenue at our disposal, including legal remedies, to stop the censorship of voices that are too often marginalized.”

Groups are urging people to contact Facebook at:

Twitter: @_Finkd (Mark Zuckerberg);

@Facebook @guyro (VP Integrity @ Facebook)

Email: ZUCK@FB.com;

info@support.facebook.com and zuckerberg@fb.com.

Phone: 650-543-4800 or 650-308-7300

press@osbadmin.com

Tell Facebook: Stop silencing the voices of community, workers, anti-racists, BIPOC, women’s, anti-war and socialist groups. Restore all the pages: Peoples Power Assembly, Women In Struggle / Mujeres En Lucha, and all of the activists impacted and the pages they administer. This includes: Sharon Black, Berta Joubert Ceci, Cheryl LaBash, Greg Butterfield, Maggie Vascassenno, Rasika Ruwanpathirana, Andre Powell, Elizabeth Toledo, Steven Ceci, Lallan Schoenstein, Charlene Lady J Jenkins, Alec Zomerfeld, Andrew Cancon, Miranda Etel, David Card, and Ian Andrew Schlakman.

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Para publicación inmediata:

24 de enero de 2021Contacto: Sharon Black y Lic. Alec SummerfieldTeléfono: 410-218-4835

#FacebookCensorship#DefendPeoplesRights#ReactivatePPA

Facebook cierra sin razón alguna páginas de grupos comunitarios, de mujeres y activistas

Grupos anuncian campañas para restaurar páginas y luchar contra la censura

El viernes 22 de enero de 2021, Facebook desactivó las páginas principales de dos importantes organizaciones comunitarias, Peoples Power Assembly (Asamblea del Poder Popular) y Women In Struggle / Mujeres En Lucha, y la de activistas de todo el país que han desempeñado papeles en estos grupos, extendiendo su purga a la activista puertorriqueña Berta Joubert-Ceci; a Greg Butterfield, escritor de Struggle – La Lucha; Cheryl La Bash, copresidenta de la Red Nacional sobre Cuba; Maggie Vascassenno, del Centro Harriet Tubman de Justicia Social de Los Ángeles; y a otros activistas.

También incluyó a la editora de la página de PPA Charlene Lady J. Jenkins, fundadora de “What’s Up Baltimore”, cuya red de base de Baltimore se cerró como resultado.Además, se desactivaron 16 perfiles de activistas individuales, lo que significa que cerca de una docena de otras páginas y grupos progresistas se congelaron cuando sus administradores estaban inhabilitados, incluidos: el Centro de Solidaridad Harriet Tubman de Baltimore, ICE Out of Baltimore, Comité de Solidaridad de Prisioneros, Youth Against War & Racism, y Trabajadores de Amazon de Baltimore y Maryland.

Sharon Black declaró: “La desactivación de Facebook de las páginas y las cuentas de los principales activistas que no han violado los estándares de la comunidad tiene como objetivo silenciar y censurar nuestras voces. La Asamblea del Poder Popular ha jugado un papel importante en las protestas de Baltimore Black Lives Matter en el verano y, más recientemente, oponiéndose al esfuerzo de Trump para revertir las elecciones. En la fiesta de cumpleaños del Dr. King Jr., llevamos a cabo una caravana de automóviles al Instituto Correccional Jessup y al Centro de Detención de Inmigrantes del Condado de Howard para exigir justicia para los prisioneros y detenidos”.

Berta Joubert-Ceci, fundadora de Women’s Fightback National Network / Red Nacional de Mujeres en Lucha y Mujeres en Lucha, declaró: “Es espantosa la cobardía de Facebook al silenciar las voces de las mujeres y las personas progresistas que luchan por la justicia y una vida mejor para todos “. Joubert-Ceci también es organizadora del Tribunal Internacional de los Pueblos sobre Crímenes Coloniales de Estados Unidos en Puerto Rico. Su página personal utilizada para conectarse con el movimiento puertorriqueño fue eliminada junto con la de Women in Struggle.

El abogado Summerfield concluyó: “¡Tenemos la intención de luchar contra esto! Esto incluye realizar una campaña pública para exigir que se reactiven las páginas de todos los activistas y de los grupos que representan. Tenemos la intención de utilizar todas las vías a nuestra disposición, incluidos los recursos legales, para detener la censura de las voces que a menudo son marginadas”.

Los grupos instan a las personas a ponerse en contacto con Facebook en:

Twitter: @_Finkd (Mark Zuckerberg);

@Facebook @guyro (VP Integrity @ Facebook)

Correo electrónico: ZUCK@FB.com;

Teléfono: 650-543-4800 o 650-308-7300;

press@osbadmin.com

Dile a Facebook: Deje de silenciar las voces de la comunidad, trabajadores, antirracistas, BIPOC, grupos de mujeres, pacifistas y socialistas. Restaure todas las páginas: Peoples Power Assembly, Women In Struggle / Mujeres En Lucha, y todas las y los activistas impactados y las páginas que administran. Esto incluye a: Sharon Black, Berta Joubert Ceci, Cheryl LaBash, Greg Butterfield, Maggie Vascassenno, Rasika Ruwanpathirana, Andre Powell, Elizabeth Toledo, Steven Ceci, Lallan Schoenstein, Charlene Lady J Jenkins, Alec Zomerfeld, Andrew Cancon, Miranda Etel, David Card e Ian Andrew Schlakman.

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