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2001 Mayday Trials not going well in Long Beach

by GOOD COP IS DEAD COP Sunday, Sep. 09, 2001 at 1:43 AM

written by Yutaka Yokoyama ***** please forward and distribute *****

2001 Mayday Trials not going well in Long Beach

there is much concern among supportive local activists, lawyers, and
defendants, that the unusually high proportion of demonstrators who marched
on Mayday while wearing symbolic "black block" clothing (black clothes and
masks) has deterred potential supporters and will continue to bias juries and
judges.

two anti-corporate activists, Yutaka Yokoyama (that's me) and Emily
Vanderlaan, are facing six charges, including conspiracy charges, in a trial
in Long Beach that began on September 4th. The charges stem from the Mayday
demonstration in Long Beach that was attended by around 100 demonstrators 92
of whom were arrested after a short non-violent march was met with
disproportionate police tactics. marchers were clubbed (sometimes in the
face), limbs were broken, and rubber bullets were fired on the mass of mostly
young demonstrators. Yutaka Yokoyama and Emily Vanderlaan, both of whom have
thus far declined plea bargains, may soon be serving six months or a year or
more for their attendance at the ill-fated event. as many as 39 other
arrestees who have declined plea bargains may soon be on trial as well. a
class action civil suit against the police is being considered.


Other groups having trouble excercising their first ammendment rights to
assemble in Long Beach include: the Cambodian community who were forced to
cancel their annual new year celebration due to a permit process which
required prohibitively high security costs, the Surf Riders whose Luau event
was met by police who billed them $450 dollars for protection, and People for
Community Empowerment and Energy Interdependence whose 4th of July festival
was met by police some of whom were disguised in "black block". Ultimately
the People for Community Empowerment prevailed in court where the ordinance
requiring a permit to assemble was declared unconstitutional. this ruling
strengthening the first ammendment has not been enough thus far to convince
Long Beach Judge Brad Andrews to dismiss the unlawful assembly charge against
the Mayday defendants.

citizens groups including the Social Concerns Commitee of the Unitarian
church, the Long Beach ACLU, OCT.22nd Coalition against Police Brutality,
ACTION-L.A., and the Long Beach Peace Network have come out in support of the
Mayday defendants. supporters are urged to pack the Long Beach court room -
room 306 on the third floor - and to call the Long Beach city prosecutor,
district attorney, and mayor and demand that the charges be dropped.

Don White / ACTION-L.A. can be reached at (323) 658-6846
Sharon Cottrell / Long Beach Peace Network can be reached at (562) 433-7025
Mary Anna Henley / civil attorney (for class action) (626) 794-9978
Ramona Ripston / So. Cal. ACLU (213) 977-9500
Long Beach City Prosecutors office (562) 570-5600
Mayor of Long Beach (562) 570-6801
District Attorney Long Beach (562) 491-6301



i can be contacted also:
yutaka yokoyama
home (310) 441-5416
cell (301) 704-3763
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