Support The Baltimore Anti-Racist 28!
On the morning of August 24, 2002, twenty-eight anti-racist activists went to the Baltimore Travel Plaza to protest the neo-nazi organization "The National Alliance." Some two hundred racists were gathering there to meet before caravanning to their march and rally in Washington, D.C. later that day. As the activists entered the parking lot of the Travel Plaza, it began to storm and the group was confronted by several police cars. The twenty-eight attempted to return to their cars when suddenly they were surrounded by dozens of police cars and wagons. Held in the pouring rain for nearly an hour, they were eventually cuffed and brought to the Southeast District police station. After hours of shivering on the floor of a conference room without being charged, they were transferred to Central Booking and held for almost twenty four hours before receiving their papers. When they finally were allowed to see commissioners, some of the twenty-eight were released on their own recognizance while others received bail amounts upwards of ,000. None of these twenty-eight activists had committed any crime, nor were they told what they were being charged with until after they had been interviewed. Bail was raised and all activists are now out of jail, but the legal battle is just beginning.
Later that night...
Baltimore police carried out a raid on a community center, the activists were using to coordinate jail solidarity, without a warrant. They confiscated pamphlets, magazines and other literature. Immediately afterward, police surrounded a progressive activist center and they attempted another warrant-less search. The activists inside refused to talk to police and instead called the media. The police left the scene when the media showed up. Police then followed and pulled over cars traveling to and from these locations without providing reasons for the stops. Several people were pulled over at gunpoint for trying to reach these safe spaces.
The Baltimore Police Department is going forward with their trumped up charges. Once again the police are protecting violent racists over the interests of our communities.
In addition to funds, the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 are also in need of legal support. Any legal resources you can provide will be greatly appreciated and are desperately needed.
It is clear that the charges against the Baltimore Anti Racist 28 and the harassment of the Baltimore Anti-Racist community are part of a larger attempt to silence the voices of committed activists. Due to the scale of media coverage and the various regions represented by the defendants, this case is important to everyone continent wide who is opposed to racial and other nazi prejudices.
Accurate information on the charges and the police tactics and response to anti-racism must be disseminated. Corporate media accounts are based on the statements by the police and the National Alliance. Please spread the true message as far and wide as you can. Flyers, benefits, teach-ins, demonstrations, etc. are needed to assist the Anti-Racist 28 through their court cases.
Twenty-six activists have each been charged with:
One count of rioting (unlimited penalty)
Three counts of second degree aggravated assault (punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a ,500 fine)
One count of possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure (punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a ,000 fine)
One count of malicious destruction of property valued over 0 (punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a ,500 fine)
One count of disorderly conduct (punishable by up to 60 days in prison and/or a 0 fine)
The twenty-seventh activist, a minor, received the same charges plus an additional 20 counts of Second Degree Aggravated Assault. The twenty-eighth activist, a representative of the National Lawyers Guild, was also arrested while he attempted to protect the rights of the activists. He was charged with one count of failing to obey an officer (punishable by up to 60 Days in prison and/or a 0 fine).
The National Alliance claimed to police that they were confronted by anti-fascists in the morning. If so, they had been there and left well before the twenty-eight had arrived. The police decided to round up anyone in the parking lot and are attempting to pin any real or imagined crimes the National Alliance racists complained of on these innocent activists. These anti-racist activists need your assistance as they are facing a combined total of about 1,177 years of jail time.
Please donate to the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Legal Defense Fund. Many thousands of dollars will be needed by these brave and dedicated activists to fight these bogus charges. Much thanks to all of the great people who sent money for bail, but the serious costs will begin now. Every little bit counts.
Please send legal support donations to:
Black Planet Books
1621 Fleet Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21231-2931 USA
Phone: 410.537.5005 E-Mail: email@example.com
Personal checks or money orders should be made out to Black Planet Books. If sending cash, please conceal it well. Please note in envelope that your donation is for the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Legal Defense Fund.
The Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Defense Committee
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