www.r2klegal.org
DEFEND THE RNC 420

Over 400 people were arrested while protesting at the 2000 Republican National Convention (RNC) in Philadelphia, PA. This website provides information on their legal situation and the issues they are protesting.

 Home 

Breaking News
Breaking News Archive

 R2K Legal 

Civil Suits
Friends of Camilo
Lawyers
Legal FAQ
Legal Forms
Legal Statistics
Legal Timeline
Legal Updates
Mayor/DA Contact
Press Releases
R2K Legal Contact:
info@r2klegal.org
Also see Local Support for contacts in your area.

 Calendar 

You can post trial dates, events, meetings, etc. on the R2K calendar.

 Local Support 

Support groups are in the following areas:
Arcata, CA
Boston, MA
Connecticut
New Jersey
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Providence, RI
Virginia
Washington, DC

Add yours...

 Outreach 

Flyers
Radical Cheerleaders

Add yours...

 Media Coverage 

Independent Media:
Independent Media Center of Philadelphia
phillyimc.org
2600 Magazine
2600.org

Corporate Media:
Associated Press
ap.org
Philadelphia Daily News
dailynews.philly.com
Philadelphia Inquirer
philly.com
Philadelphia Tribune
phila-tribune.com
National Public Radio
New York Times
nytimes.com
Salon.com
Village Voice
villagevoice.com
Washington Post
washingtonpost.com

Letters to the Editor
Media Signup...

Media Coverage: Corporate Media | Independent Media | Letters to the Editor | Media Sign-up

Judge acquits five protesters arrested at GOP Convention

10/03/01 - by Robert Moran - Philadelphia Inquirer

Five protesters who disrupted a Center City intersection the week of the Republican National Convention were found not guilty yesterday of obstructing the highway and other charges.

Municipal Court Judge Felice Stack acquitted Linda Panetta, 35, of Philadelphia, of all charges and reduced the charges against the four other defendants after the prosecution rested its case.

Later, after hearing defense testimony, Stack found the remaining defendants not guilty of obstructing the highway, saying that even though the protesters were sitting or lying in the street at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard on July 31, 2000, motorists on that Monday morning were able to drive around them.

Found not guilty were Allison Styan, 19, of Maryland; Rebecca Johnson, 22, of Maryland; Laurel Paget-Seekins, 21, of California; and William Brown, 32, of Philadelphia.

The defendants were protesting the School of the Americas, a U.S. facility in Georgia accused by the protesters of training Latin American military personnel on how to torture, kidnap and assassinate civilians.

Despite repeated objections by prosecutor Josh Van Naarden, Stack allowed Catholic Bishop Tom Gumbleton from Detroit to testify at length about allegations that the School of the Americas was linked to specific killings and massacres in Central America during the 1980s.

Before rendering her verdict, Stack said that she had never heard of the School of the Americas until yesterday and that what she learned was "very enlightening and somewhat shocking."

The protesters wanted the government to close the School of the Americas, which the protesters say was recently renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

A Web site for the institute says that it replaced the School of the Americas and that it promotes democratic values and respect for human rights. The institute did not respond to a request for comment.

Shawn Nolan, a lawyer for three of the defendants, called what the protesters did last year "democracy in action."

Nearly 400 people were arrested during the week of the convention. Most cases were dismissed, although a handful of protesters were convicted of misdemeanor charges. Some of the cases have led to lawsuits against the city for wrongful arrest.

Cathie Abookire, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, was unable to say whether there are any other criminal cases pending.

Commenting on yesterday's trial, Abookire said prosecutors believed they had a strong case, including a police videotape showing the protesters getting arrested after they refused police commands to get back on the sidewalk.

"We disagree with the judge's decision," Abookire said.

The charges against the defendants had been thrown out by another Municipal Court judge, but they were later reinstated by a Common Pleas Court judge.

Robert Moran's e-mail address is [email protected].

Notice: All information is subject to change, it's your responsibility to confirm with R2K Legal.
previous r2klegal.org

 About Us 

Who are we? The R2K Network. Why are we protesting? Here's some background.

Add yours...

 Donate 

Please help support our Legal Fund for Camille and the Timoney 3 cases. To make a donation, contact: info@r2klegal.org

 Supporters 

Letters of support:
Activist Organizations
AFSCME Union
APWU Union
First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia
Members of Congress
National Association for Socially Responsible Organizations

Add yours...


R2K Mobilization Links:
Ad Hoc Committee to Defend Health Care
phillyhealth.org
August 1st Direct Action Coalition
Kensington Welfare Rights Union
kwru.org
NJ Unity2000
Philly Direct Action Group
Redirect2000
Refuse & Resist
refuseandresist.org
Silent March
silentmarch.org
Unity2000





Fair Use Notice of copyrighted material contained in this website.