Plymouth 25: What happened in court today

Thomas Cagle (nh-adapt@juno.com)
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 11:35:23 -0400


Good morning Listers,
What follows is Mahtowin's account of yesterdays court activity. Bear in
mind as you read this that this was the 28th peaceful observance. Also if
you can attend and support any of these defendants at their court dates
it would be appreciated.

Tom Cagle

Below is a VERY hurried account of what happened to us in court today
since
so many people are calling or e-mailing and asking.  Thank you as always
for
your concern and prayers and everything else!  -Mahtowin for UAINE

Plymouth, Mass. police cover-up continues
Plymouth, April 15, 1998

	The Plymouth 25 defendants were back in court today, and the
district
attorney and the state chose to continue and intensify their vindictive
campaign against supporters of National Day of Mourning.
	Twenty-five people -- Native, Black, Latino, Asian and white,
young and
elder, lesbian and gay and straight -- are facing criminal charges as a
result of a police attack on the National Day of Mourning protest in
Plymouth, Mass. on November 27, 1997.  National Day of Mourning is a
Native
protest of the "thanksgiving" holiday that has been organized by United
American Indians of New England since 1970.
	At today's court appearance, the defendants asked for a jury
trial.  The
defense lawyers argued motions to try and break through the wall of
secrecy
erected by the prosecutors.  The judge acted as nothing more than an
extra
prosecutor.
	Dozens of supporters packed the courtroom and the hallways of the
courthouse.  When the defendants were ordered to rise, most of the
supporters rose also, in a visible show of solidarity, and remained
standing
alongside the defendants during the proceedings.
	One of the supporters even showed up with hand-knitted caps that
showed a
crossed-out Pilgrim hat and bore the slogan, "November 26, 1998. 
Plymouth.
Be there."
	The state has all kinds of resources.  Since they have no
evidence behind
the criminal charges they have brought, they have been engaged in a
vicious
campaign to target some of the defendants. 
	At today's court appearance, the assistant district attorney
suddenly
announced that one of the defendants allegedly had an outstanding warrant
from New York State.  The defendant was immediately taken into custody
and
held on $5,000 cash bail.  Supporters who were at the courthouse
immediately
swung into action and began raising the money needed for bail (we expect
that he will be out this evening).
	The media attempted to focus on this prosecutorial diversion. 
But the
leadership of UAINE pointed out that "the state is only trying to do this
to
take the focus off the police brutality that occurred in Plymouth last
November.  The real criminals are the police, not any one of the 25
defendants!  We continue to voice our demand that these charges be
dropped
now!"  The crowd began to chant, "Drop the charges now!  Drop the charges
now!"
	UAINE also issued a national call today for Native people and
supporters
from the Four Directions to join UAINE in Plymouth, Mass. on the next
National Day of Mourning (November 26, 1998) to take a stand against
racism
and police brutality.
	No trial dates have been set yet, but the defendants will next
appear for a
pre-trial conference on Friday, May 1 at 11 a.m. at the Wareham, Mass.
District Court, where the trials are expected to take place.



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