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KATE SORENSON OUT OF JAIL

by ACT-UP Saturday, Aug. 12, 2000 at 2:07 PM

KATE SORENSON OUT OF JAIL







Subject: Update:ACT UP/Philadephia Jailed Protesters

This is an FYI on the latest on the R2K arrests in Philly going

out to ACT UP/LA and other AIDS activists, GLBT activists, and

Healthcare activists etc etc......

I have come to think that the Democratic machine in Philadelphia

was not only protecting their GOP guests but also making damn sure

they got key organizers off the streets and away from organizing

for D2K here in LA next week.

Ironically ACT UP/Philadlephia had not planned to come to LA for D2K!

The bail amounts and the treatment of prisoners has been outrageous

by now various reports. I have a report from Julie Davids (ACT

UP/Phila) which details the cumulative reports of jailhouse

mistreatement etc. which I am hope to get out in the next day or so.

Clarification: Kate I believe was organizing with Direct Action

Network whilst Terrence, though he has been part of ACT

UP/Philadelphia was not with them for R2K. No news of ACT

UP/Philly's Paul Davis who was also arrested.

Pete

(Below is from SharonAnn Lynch - ACT UP/NY & Asia Russell - ACT

UP/Philadelphia via Judy Sisneros in LA and Bruce Mirken in SF....).

Subject: Urgent Plea for AIDS Activists' Bail Fund

***PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY***

UPDATE: Kate Sorensen's preliminary hearing is taking place

right now (Thursday 8/10) in

Philadelphia. She has been in custody since Tuesday (8/1).

We are waiting to hear if

her charges, 10 felonies, are dismissed or if her bail,

million, is reduced. As of

right now, 0,000 is needed for Kate's release.

Below is a letter from Asia Russell of ACT UP Philadelphia.

Please see information on

how to send money (donations and/or loans) to the AIDS

Activists' Bail Fund. Call or

e-mail me to discuss how loans can be paid back to you. We,

of course, are in need of

donations in addition to loans.

If her bail is reduced, it is _very_ possible to get Kate

released today. Wiring money

to the ACT UP Philadelphia account is the most expedient.

Thank you,

Sharonann Lynch

ACT UP New York

phone 215-731-1844

salynch@durban2000march.org



Dear Friends and Fellow Activists:

I wonder if you have been following the protest news during

the last week in

Philadelphia. I have, because I live and work there, as an

AIDS activist-I am a member

of ACT UP Philadelphia. We are a non-violent direct action

AIDS activists. And these

days, in the city where democracy was born, identifying

yourself that way is enough to

get you arrested just walking down the street.

I know because that is what happened to my fellow ACT UP

members during the week

of non-violent protests against George W. Bush and his

cronies at the GOP convention.

ACT UP is still reeling in the wake of the sweeping, brutal

arrests, and the terrifying

conditions of detainment sustained by the protesters.

As you may have heard, the Philadelphia police saw fit to

quell free speech by

arresting a handful of activists "pre-emptively," in order

to eliminate people labeled as

leaders from the streets. Several of those outrageous

arrests-arrests based not on

peoples' criminal actions but on peoples' beliefs-were of

core ACT UP Philadelphia

members.

The egregious actions of the city of Philadelphia do not

bode well for the future of

radical AIDS and queer activism-unless we respond now. And I

would argue that,

given the horrific track record of Governor George W. Bush

on AIDS and queer

issues, protesting in response to his reactionary policies

will become an increasingly

important tactic for people with AIDS as the country

meanders toward Election Day.

Kate Sorensen, Terrence McGuckin, and Paul Davis were all

targeted by Philadelphia's

"pre-emptive" GOP convention arrests on August 1. Each also

were key participants in

a recent ACT UP office takeover and lockdown at the United

States Trade

Representative's office in November 1999. The action was

designed to send Charlene

Barshefsky-the US Trade Representative-off to the doomed

Seattle WTO Rounds with

a clear image of domestic opposition to US trade policy

blocking international access

to cheap, generic AIDS drugs. Only weeks after the protest,

President Clinton

announced a change in trade policy in favor of

"flexibility," given the ramifications of

the global AIDS crisis. Al Gore-still haggard from the

activist zaps along the campaign

trail-told the UN Security Council in February 2000 that

"the AIDS activists were

right"-the Administration should have done more about AIDS in Africa.

Direct action results in major shifts in the terms of

debate, in favor of people with

AIDS. So when public officials equate blocking traffic,

clogging transportation routes,

blocking hotel entrances, and stopping business as usual

with "terrorism," "rioting,"

and "conspiracy," we must fight back. In the history of the

AIDS crisis, and the history

of the queer liberation movement, we have never won anything

by asking. Every

positive advance has been the result of struggle. But the

tools of struggle and resistance

are being taken from our hands.

There are several concrete steps you can take to help

rectify this crisis:

o Get our comrades out of jail

We have many members among the 350 who remain in

Philadelphia jail. One is ACT

UP activist Kate Sorensen, a community organizer of

unmatched caliber on a variety

of issues. Kate's bail is set at million; she is charged

with ten profoundly

trumped-up felonies-from arson, to conspiracy, to inciting a

riot. Police Commissioner

Timoney describes her as one of "a cadre of criminal conspirators."

Donate to her bail fund--our community activists must be

returned to the

community:

Make your tax-deductible check out to "ISMCH" (they're the

Fiscal Sponsor, The

Institute of Social Medicine and Community Health), and mail

it to the Philadelphia

Direct Action Group (P-DAG). If your money is specifically

for a ACT UP or for an

individual, please specify that in the memo field of your

check along with the text

"BAIL FUND." Also send an e-mail to ACT UP Philadelphia

Treasurer Rebecca

Ewing (rbecca@critpath.org) and to Sharonann Lynch

(salynch@durban2000march.org) stating the amount.

P-DAG

P.O. Box 40683

Philadelphia, PA 19107-0683

Wire ACT UP Philadelphia money today:

If it's done before 6:30pm, we can get Kate out today. This

is not tax-deductible but

you can use your credit card. Again, please e-mail the

details to rbecca@critpath.org

& salynch@durban2000march.org.



Account number: 31 00 20 557

Routing number: 036 001 808

Commerce Bank

1900 Market Street

Philadelphia, PA

Commerce Bank phone 215-568-0900



o Voice your rage

If you are outraged that Philadelphia sees fit to quell

non-violent protest with tactics of

torture, brutality, and denial of civil liberties; if you

are outraged by reports of

protesters denied water, food, medication, and medical

attention during their

outrageously prolonged detainment; if you are outraged by

Philadelphia's use of

exorbitant bail to silence dissent and activism, rather than

to prevent flight; if you are

outraged by the clear and present criminalization of

activist dissent and protest, then I

urge you to contact

Philadelphia's City Hall:

Mayor John Street's (215) 686-2181; Fax: (215) 686-2180

Stefanie Stuber, Mayor's Chief of Staff-(215) 686-7508; Fax:

(215) 563-3162

Lynn Abraham, District Attorney (215) 686-9604 Fax: (215) 563-0047

Philadelphia Police Complaint Line: (215) 686-3991

Deputy Commissioner Mitchell (Head of Demonstrations) (215) 686-3364

Captain Fisher (Head of Civil Affairs) (215) 685-3684

Chief Maxwell (Head of Detectives and Investigations) (215) 686-3362

Say you are following the situation and encourage/demand:

1) All charges be dropped. This demand will include those

who are charged

with felonies and those that have already been released.

2) No separation or isolation of any individual.

3) Equal treatment for all individuals.

4) An end to the harassment of legal observers.

At times such as these, we do well to remember the history

that has brought us here:

the Stonewall riots, shutting down the FDA, stopping trading

on Wall Street over the

price of AZT-our tactics of direct action do not make us any

friends. But they have

forced our targets to capitulate time and time again.

Our grandstanding Police Commissioner, John Timoney, wants

to launch a full-scale

federal probe into the activities of the groups whose

protests shut down the World

Trade Organization rounds in Seattle, disrupted recent IMF

and World Bank meetings,

and stopped business as usual at GOP convention central.

"Somebody's got to look into

these groups," Timoney says. While Timoney sets his sights

on puncturing our

movement with a taxpayer funded, McCarthy-style witch-hunt,

ACT UP will be

fighting back. We hope you will be there with us.

Yours in struggle,



Asia Russell

for ACT UP Philadelphia





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