[Ppnews] Former Political Prisoner, Richard Picariello, on trial in Boston

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 1 16:03:44 EST 2006


From: Jericho Boston <jericho_boston at yahoo.com>

The following was sent out by our comrades in the New England 
Committee to Defend Palestine.

begin forwarded message:

Support Richard Picariello

Pack the Courtroom

Monday, March 6, 9:00am

Boston Municipal Court
Edward W. Brooke Courthouse, 5th Floor
24 New Chardon Street
(Near Government Center in downtown Boston;
T-stops: North Station, Haymarket, Government Center)

On Monday, March 6,  the case of Richard Picariello is again 
scheduled to go to trial. After numerous hearings and delays over the 
past year, the trial this time should actually take place. Support 
for Richard at previous hearings has been crucial in letting the 
state know that people are paying attention to increasing attacks on 
civil liberties. Richard is a former political prisoner and a highly 
respected activist in the Boston area. He is well-known in the 
anti-war movement and in the struggle for justice in Palestine.

Arrested twice in March of 2004 on false charges during the period 
leading up to the Democratic National Convention - the first time 
while distributing anti-war literature at the Park St. T station, the 
second while attending a protest at a Bush fundraising event at 
Boston's Park Plaza Hotel - Richard has attended over a dozen 
pre-trial hearings in which the Boston Police and District Attorney 
have refused to comply with "discovery" and supply his lawyers with 
evidence and information related to his arrests. This information 
includes the content of a special Boston police/federal police "Joint 
Terrorism Task Force" briefing prior to the Bush protest on March 25, 
2004 in which Richard's name was mentioned along with other 
activists. At stake is potential evidence showing pre-planning for 
the arrest of specific activists.

The Boston Police have also withheld the contents of a "secret 
dossier" on Richard that would demonstrate political profiling and 
targeted arrest. On May 16, 2005 the BPD admitted that it could not 
certify in writing that it did not possess such a file. On December 
7, proceedings were once again stalled when a federal lawyer bluntly 
stated that federal authorities were under no obligation to provide 
ANY information they might have, whether relevant or not,  and that 
federally deputized local police in the Joint Terrorism Task Force 
were under no obligation to respond to subpoenas sent out by 
Richard's lawyer. What this means is that the Boston Police, with 
federal backing, can arrest and prosecute local activists through 
what amounts to secret evidence.

It is important to attend this trial in order to prevent this 
precedent from happening in Boston, as it has clearly happened 
elsewhere under the Bush Administration. Bush's Department of 
Homeland Security isn't fighting terrorism; it's fighting free speech 
and political dissent right where we live.

Stop political repression in Boston - pack the courtroom on March 6!

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
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