[Ppnews] San Francisco 8 strong in court appearance today
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 14 15:57:44 EST 2007
San Francisco 8 strong in court appearance today
by Claude Marks
Wednesday, February 14
In a significant showing of support, family and friends of four of
the San Francisco 8 packed the San Francisco courtroom of Judge
Little. Many people were unable to actually get in. As the four, Ray
Boudreaux, Richard Brown, Hank Jones and Richard O'Neal, were brought
into the courtroom in shackles, supporters burst into applause. The
large showing of Sheriffs and SWAT officers cleared the courtroom.
People gathered in the hallway outside Department 12 chanting "No
justice, no peace." Defense attorneys objected to closing a public
hearing and the Judge agreed to let people back into court if they
agreed to not be noisy, but only after every individual was again
searched by Sheriffs and was wanded with metal detectors.
Unlike their previous court appearances since the arrests in January,
the men were shackled in court as close to a dozen sheriffs' deputies
and SWAT officers were inside the courtroom. The hearing opened with
defense attorneys arguing for reduced security at the courthouse and
the unshackling of the brothers as "they represent no threat to the
court or the public." It was pointed out that they had appeared
voluntarily and without need of such extensive police presence during
the 2005 San Francisco Grand Jury, and that the shackling and heavy
security were prejudicial - especially feeding the sensationalist
coverage of the corporate media. The court agreed to hear security
issues in a future meeting with the Sherriff and lawyers.
None of the men have yet entered please in the conspiracy and murder
case stemming from the killing of a SF police Officer at the
Ingleside Police Station in August of 1971.
Although there has yet to be a formal Bail Hearing, Judge Little did
lower the outrageous bail for Ray Boudreaux and Hank Jones from $5
million to $3 million (still outrageous), the same as was set for
Richard Brown and Richard O'Neal. A formal Bail Hearing as well as
other motions were scheduled for Tuesday, March 13th.
"Today's court appearance was significant in a number of ways,"
according to Attorney Stuart Hanlon. "The strong public support for
the four men in court was a powerful reminder that these men are part
of their communities and are not criminals. The Attorney Generals'
comments made clear that they (the State Prosecutors) want to keep
these men in jail on high bail and that they will make excuses to
explain the 35-year delay in bringing this case. It was made clear
to us that this is the beginning skirmish of a legal war with high
stakes - the freedom of these eight former Panthers and the rewriting
of political history by the government criminalizing the Black
Panther Party and African American freedom fighters from the sixties
and seventies. It is a war we will win and that we have to win. And
it is a war where the support of the community, in and out of court,
The brothers seemed strong and in good spirits.
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