A September 14th story by Nao Gunji of the Rafu Shimpo reports that Kurt Isobe, one of the Garden Grove 5, who was found innocent of charges of throwing cans, is still stuck in the court system for allegedly resisting arrest and interfering with police officers. He is due back in court on Sept 18th.
Isobe was arrested along with four others at a May 25, 2005 protest against a speaking engagement by Minutement founder Jim Gilchrist at a meeting of the far-right-wing anti-immigrant group CCIR. Shortly after driver Hal Netkin drove his van into a crowd of people picketing across a driveway, knocking down two people, the situation became tense. Garden Grove PD rushed the crowd on horseback, and allegedly targeted specific people for arrest. Among those arrested were a demonstrator in a wheelchair, and a local activist, Teresa Dang, who was later accused of trumped up charges of stealing a flashlight.
Summary of events on Action LA
Summary of events at One People's Project.
Others arrested and charged at the Garden Grove demonstration against the Minutemen were found not guilty, or took plea bargains for lesser charges, but Isobe decided to fight the false charges, in the name of justice. The system, however, has pursued charges against him, despite the jury's clear finding that Isobe did not commit the most serious and concrete acts charged against him.
This writer believes these final efforts are an attempt to exact revenge against the demonstrators for their participation in political actions in Garden Grove and Orange County, for their unpopular political opinions, and for the public embarrasment the Garden Grove Police Department suffered with the Dang case.
To help defray legal expenses, a benefit concert on Sept. 16th, from 2 to 5 pm at Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso St., featuring Warren and Lisa Furutani, George Abe, Kiyoshi Graves, Miwa Lyric, the Afro-Cuban All Stars from J-Flats, and Kyoko. Donations can be made to the Kurt Isobe Support Committee c/o NCRR, 231 E. Third St. Los Angeles.
Support Committe Website.
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