Long Beach under Heavy Political Repression

by xxxxx Friday, May. 24, 2002 at 11:46 PM


May Day 2001, the now infamous riot in the streets of Long Beach, was just the beginning of a well organized conspiracy to destroy the growing anarchist movement in Southern California.

The City of Long Beach, and it's police department, is now at the forefront of a well-organized quasilegal conspiracy, in the cahoots with Los Angeles, La Habra, Fullerton, and the orange County and Los Angeles sheriffs departments. Rest assured that the Feds are also heavily involved.

Their goal is to jail a few of the most outspoken anarchists in order to intimidate the rest of the movement. We have seen this scheme played out already in Eugene with devastating results.

Regardless of the harassment by the Long Beach Police Department, the activists continued to do work to better the community.

Groups and programs such as 'Food Not Bombs' (an anti-military network that serves food as a protest to war and arms), 'COPWATCH' (an organization who monitors unlawful police activity), 'POWER' (an anti-authoritarian, anti-war/anti-racist group) have been created to empower the local community.

On April 20, 2002, Mathew Gordon Lamont, a Long Beach Activist, who has been highly involved with the above mentioned groups and the infoshoppe along with Maxwell Lucas, a Food Not Bombs Activist, were pulled over in the city of La Habra (Orange County) after being followed by 2 Long Beach detectives.

While their car was pulled over for unknown reasons, it was searched by LONG BEACH DETECTIVES (Long Beach is Los Angeles County Jurisdiction). The detectives found a gas can in the car, arrested the two men and took them into custody.

Maxwell Lucas, who is a juvenile, was taken to the Orange County Juvenile Detention Center in Orange, CA. He is being charged with but not limited to the felony of possession of a destructive device.

Matthew Lamont is being held in the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, CA. and is being charged with 4 felony charges of possession of a destructive device, transporting of a destructive device, the use of a destructive device, and the possession of materials/instructions to make a destructive device.

Matthew was scheduled to have his first arraignment on Tuesday April 23rd in Division 7 of the Central Court of Orange County in the city of Fullerton. During this arraignment Matthew asked for a 3-week continuance in order to obtain an attorney. Matt's bail was placed at 100,000 dollars.

Tuesday May 14th, 2002, Matthew Lamont had a scheduled court date in Santa Ana's Central Court for his extended arraignment. A small demonstration had previously been called for in front of the courthouse. However, when the demonstrators arrived they were greeted by at least 100 cops in full riot gear, undercover cops, sheriff's deputies, police horses, etc.

The first group of demonstrators who arrived - unmasked, unarmed, unthreatening in every way - decided to go inside to view court proceedings. They proceeded to walk up to the court and waited for a few others to show up before proceeding inside.

The demonstrators were told that Matthew Lamont's hearing was held first thing in the morning before his scheduled appearance. THIS IS NOT A COINCIDENCE. It's an obvious attempt to lower his morale by making it difficult for supporters to appear in court and show support.

The demonstrators then decided to wait out in front for more people to show up. Several sheriff deputies then confronted the demonstrators and said, "OK, people! I need to see your I.D's!". Only one person co-operated with them and the rest refused to show identification. The sheriffs then backed off when they realized they wouldn't be able to get any more information.

Just moments later, the police started forming a line in front of the court door and strapped on their riot helmets and gear. They then surrounded the demonstrators up against a wall, and one officer read a dispersal order saying that if the group didn't disperse immediately they will all be arrested. Disappointed, the small group had no choice but to leave.

As the small group proceeded to leave, two demonstrators were searched by police as they arrived to their car. When the rest arrived at the parking lot, the parking attendant told them that the police ordered him to let them into the lot to investigate for bombs.

Just as the small group of demonstrators were forced to leave, another group of 8 had arrived. They stood across the street with a banner that read, "FIGHT POLITICAL REPRESSION! FREE MATT & MAX!".

Police, and undercover officers proceeded to surveil the peaceful demonstrators with video cameras.

Realizing the enormous police presence, 3 demonstrators went to get a video camera from their car so they could tape the overwhelming police presence. As they tried to do so, they were closely followed by 3 police cars. As the 3 demonstrators left the car and proceeded back to the demo, the police stayed behind and appeared to be analyzing the vehicle.

Another demonstrator went into the court house and was confronted by a LOS ANGELES SHERIFFS DEPUTY who told her that Matthew had already had his arraignment and left court.

Despite this, the demonstrators still decided to continue on with the peaceful demonstration which took place on the side walk across the street from the court house. Approximately 15-20 minutes later, the riot police began to disperse and leave the area. The riot police on horses left shortly afterwards. The sheriffs, and undercover officers remained on the scene and continued to video tape the demonstrators. After about an hour and a half, Matthew was seen leaving the court in the back of a squad car.

Matthew's arraignment was supposed to be scheduled at the North Court in Fullerton, but was then moved to the Central Court in Santa Ana only 2 days before the demonstration. This was an obvious attempt to disorganize the event in fears of large amounts of people coming to show support.

Matthew is being charged with 4 felony counts, and is facing serious jail time.

At Matthews first arraignment, Tuesday April 23rd, one if his supporters, Jeff Hendricks, yelled out in support as he was being led back out of the courtroom by the bailiff. The Judge pressed the emergency button and the bailiff immediately arrested Jeff.

Jeff was arrested for two misdemeanor charges: contempt of court and communication with a prisoner. Jeff was held on 15,000 bail until his arraignment on Thursday April 25. During his arraignment Jeff had his bail lowered to 7,500. On Friday Jeff made bail and was about to be released when a Deputy ran into the release room of the jail with a hold: A new warrant from the Long Beach police department for remaining at the scene of a riot.

Jeff was placed back into custody and transported to an L.A county facility. Jeff made a phone call earlier that day from jail and told friends that he was put in HIGH SECURITY after being arrested at court (on minor misdemeanor charges), and had his picture taken by the FBI, and was continuously being questioned by authorities. While in custody, Jeff's car was impounded and searched for "explosives". At 4 am Saturday morning Jeff was again bailed out.

Jeff is currently out on bail and is facing his two misdemeanor charges as well as a probation violation. The probation stems from his plead of no contest to failure to disperse after his arrest in the Long Beach May Day 2001 police riot. Jeff now faces up to 2 years in jail.

Political repression in Long Beach has increased outrageously since May Day 2001, where approximately 100 demonstrators were brutally attacked and arrested as they attempted to peacefully march for workers rights.

It was only two minutes into the demonstration and police began swinging their batons. The march didn't last more than 15 minutes before police opened fire with riot guns, forcing half of the march to disperse down a drive-way where they were beaten to the ground. The other half dispersed up against building where they were trapped after police unloaded several hundred rounds of rubber bullets on them. With guns still drawn, one-by-one, everyone was arrested.

May 1st, 2002 set the worst case of police brutality in Long Beach in 33 years. Demonstrators suffered fractured arms due to baton swings, and penetrating wounds from scatter-shot projectiles fired from 12-Gauge shot guns.

Bail was set as high as ,000 for some arrestees. Many were being charged with 6 different misdemeanor charges. Despite the enormous repression, many of those arrested still decided to take their cases to trial.

After September 11th occurred, the prosecutor and judge decided to include 3 years maximum jail time if convicted, along new plea which consisted of 30 days minimum in jail time if the previous plea bargain (1 year probation) wasn't taken immediately. After this, the majority of arrestees decided to plea in fear of serving heavy jail time. This was an obvious threat which demonstrated a clear act of prejudice directed towards the arrestees because of their political beliefs.

On November 15th Robert Middaugn, who was one of those arrested on mayday, was scheduled to begin his trial. Robert had been in Jail since May 1st and was charged with Felony assault against a peace officer, Felony riot, Felony conspiracy, Felony resisting arrest, and misdemeanor failure to disperse.

At the time of his arrest on May 1st Ruckus was on formal probation stemming from pleading guilty to assault against a police officer at the Democratic National Convention. When supporters of Ruckus appeared in court the morning of November 15th there were 4 police sitting in the courtroom in the jury chairs. Ruckus' supporters soon learned that these police were there to testify against him for his parole violation hearing.

Yes, the police court was going to have Robert

Original: Long Beach under Heavy Political Repression