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The Time is Now to Support Carlos Montes, Beloved Chicano Activist

by Stephanie Weiner Tuesday, May. 15, 2012 at 8:14 AM
stephanieweiner6@gmail.com 773-368-6254

A very important trial is coming up this Tuesday in LA. There will be a large crowd of supporters outside the criminal court building at 8 am demanding justice for Carlos Montes. What justice would mean in this case is that the District Attorney Steve Cooley drops the charges against Carlos Montes, a beloved Chicano activist, before the trial even starts. If the trial does proceed, the jurors will hear many tall tales told to them by the prosecution. What they will see, however, with their own clear eyes is that Carlos Montes' house was raided nearly one year ago at 5am because of FBI political repression due to his years of activism.

The Time is Now to S...
elac_mecha___cm.jpg, image/jpeg, 960x574



A very important trial is coming up this Tuesday in LA. There will be a large crowd of supporters outside the criminal court building at 8 am demanding justice for Carlos Montes. What justice would mean in this case is that the District Attorney Steve Cooley drops the charges against Carlos Montes, a beloved Chicano activist, before the trial even starts. If the trial does proceed, the jurors will hear many tall tales told to them by the prosecution. What they will see, however, with their own clear eyes is that Carlos Montes' house was raided nearly one year ago at 5am because of FBI political repression due to his years of activism.

Carlos Montes is a long-time Chicano activist and a co-founder of the Brown Berets in Los Angeles. Today, Montes is a leader in the anti-war & immigrant rights movements. He played an important role in the movement against Arizona’s SB1070 and continues to fight other anti-immigrant laws in the U.S. When the FBI raided several Midwest homes and served subpoenas on September 24, 2010, Carlos Montes’ name was listed on the FBI federal search warrant for the Anti-War Committee office in Minneapolis - the organizing center for the protests of the 2008 Republican National Convention, in which Carlos participated.

Eight months later, on May 17, 2011, the LA Sheriffs broke down Carlos’ door, arrested him, and ransacked his home. They took political documents, a computer, cell phones and activist meeting notes having nothing to do with the charges. The FBI attempted to question Montes while he was handcuffed in a squad car, regarding the case of the 23 Midwest anti-war and solidarity activists.

Carlos Montes faces four felony charges with the possibility of years in prison because the FBI claims he is a felon in violation of firearm codes. The FBI claim stems from a 1969 student strike for Black, Chicano, and Women’s studies at East L.A. College, where police beat and arrested demonstrators. Carlos was arrested on his way home from the protest, accused of assaulting a sheriff’s deputy (with an empty soda can). This charge was sentenced as a misdemeanor according to a recent court document. District Attorney Steve Cooley, under the guidance of the FBI, is basing his case on this 42-year-old misdemeanor, disguising it as a bogus felony. Without a past felony, all of the charges Montes is facing, relating to his legally purchased firearms, would be dismissed. Both sides agree that no prison time whatsoever was served in the 1969 incident. The legal process is being driven by something other than the facts of the case. It is political repression.



The massive show of support is not just in LA. This past year thousands have signed the petition for Carlos .The office of District Attorney Cooley has been swamped with calls from all over the country since the May 15th court date has been announced. The famous photo of Carlos leading the walkouts at Lincoln High School in 1968 has been seen again on campuses on buttons and t-shirts. More importantly regular conference calls have happened where local committees from coast to coast report on their organizing around this case. When word comes to a Mecha chapter or a Chicano Studies class that Carlos Montes is again under attack, they all sign up for courtroom solidarity.



The Tuesday May 15, 8am opening rally sends a loud and clear message to drop the charges. What is so exciting is that we in Los Angeles can make a difference by going inside the building for the actual trial through out the two-weeks of proceedings. A packed courtroom will show the jurors and the judge that all is not what the prosecution claims it to be. When the actual FBI agents get called into court, they will stammer and deny that this case is not about them trying to slice and dice a community hero. Or that they are trying to scare other activists not to protest, all along claiming the threat of domestic terrorism is under every rock. This time there will be a room full of people to help get the truth told. History making events rarely come with a 24-hour notice. This one does. We need everyone to go to stopfbila.net and sign up for trial support.

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Carlos Montes Irma Wednesday, May. 16, 2012 at 6:17 AM
-go after the terrorist, the bombers, the real enemies of our country!- What? Wednesday, May. 16, 2012 at 7:06 AM

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