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Philadelphia Followup

by IMC Print Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2000 at 8:13 PM

Description of the conditions of protesters arrested during the Republican National Convention, and their struggle for release.

Of the nearly 500 arrested during last week’s Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, an estimated 50-80 protesters remain in jail as of August 13th. Despite using jail solidarity tactics such as withholding names, not eating or drinking, and even removing their clothes to slow up processing, protesters have been unable to convince District Attorney Lynn Abraham to capitulate to their demands.

Jailed demonstrators ask that their charges be dropped or greatly reduced, that everyone be released on their own recognizance, that the extremely high bail charges be reduced for felony charges (a demand that has been met in select cases), that prisoners receive decent medical treatment, and that DA Lynn Abrahams begin negotiations with the prisoners.

“I signed my name to the list of demands, but it was almost tongue-in-cheek,” admits defense attorney Larry Krasner. “The District Attorney believes that it is not in her political interest to give in to the demands—and she’s probably right.”

Krasner believes that after more than a week of incarceration, many prisoners want to get out so they can do more productive political work in Los Angeles. However, many remain in jail doing solidarity, with bails set into the thousands. The legal team in Philadelphia asks that supporters both contribute to the jail fund and call the DA. Tax deductible donations can be sent to PDAG, Box 40683, Philadelphia, PA 19107. Make checks out to ISMCH (Institute of Social Medicine and Health) and write “jail fund” in the memo line. District Attorney Lynn Abraham can be reached at (215) 686-5777.

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