[Ppnews] Government continues trumped up case against Carlos Montes

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Sep 30 09:36:05 EDT 2011

Government continues trumped up case against Carlos Montes

Protest demands “Drop the charges now” at LA courthouse

By Staff |
September 29, 2011

Los Angeles, CA – Chanting, “Drop the charges 
now,” more than 60 supporters of veteran Chicano 
leader, Carlos Montes, rallied outside the LA 
Courthouse here, September 29, for a protest that 
coincided with a preliminary hearing, where the 
government outlined their case against him.

“I am being attacked for my anti-war and 
international solidarity activism.” Montes told 
the crowd. “It’s great to see so many of you from 
the labor, immigrant rights, and Chicano movement out here today.”

At the instigation of the FBI, in the early 
morning of May 17, the LA Sheriff's Department 
executed a search warrant on the Montes home. 
SWAT Team members smashed down the door and 
seized Carlos’ computer, cell phone and documents 
related to his political activism. Charged with 
trumped up violations of firearms laws, Montes 
was taken away at gun-point, jailed for one day, 
and released with a 35,000-dollar bail.

Speaking in front of the courthouse Charla 
Schlueter, of the LA Committee against FBI 
Repression said, “What happening in this 
courthouse is a real injustice. Carlos Montes is 
a nationally respected leader in the immigrant 
rights and anti-war movements. He is an example 
to me, and so many others, who are fighting to 
make this world a better place. The charges 
against him are nothing more than a pretext to 
put a man who has dedicated his entire life to 
peace, justice, and liberation in prison.”

Following the rally outside, supporters of Montes 
filled every seat in the courtroom, where Judge 
Rehm presided. Montes and his Attorney Jorge 
Gonzalez took their seats in the front of the 
courtroom. The District Attorney called his 
witnesses and introduced ‘evidence’ while 
attorney Gonzalez pushed back every step of the way.

Gonzalez dropped a legal bombshell when he 
pointed out that the legal documentation 
introduced into evidence by the District Attorney 
failed to support the basis of the entire case against Montes.

The charges against Montes are based on the 
government’s allegation that he has a felony 
conviction, stemming from a protest 41 years ago, 
which would prevent him from legally buying or 
owning a gun. At this 1969 protest for Chicano 
studies, hundreds of cops invaded East LA 
community College. Montes was accused of throwing 
an empty aluminum can that bounced off a 
sheriff’s arm. Gonzalez told the court that the 
legal documents from that case don’t back up the 
government’s claim that this matter was sentenced as felony.

“In a nutshell, the government has no case at 
all,” says Montes supporter Charla Schlueter. 
This matter will be revisited in future court proceedings.

Gonzalez also raised some basic questions about 
who was behind the prosecution of Montes.

When the DA called Sheriff Detective Donald Lord 
to the stand, Gonzalez asked him how many law 
enforcement personal were involved in the raid on 
Montes’ home, Lord answered that 15 to 20 were 
present. When asked which agencies participated 
in the raid, the DA objected. This issue came up 
again when Gonzalez asked Detective Lord if he 
knew Carlos Montes. Lord said no. Then Gonzalez 
asked, given that Lord had signed the affidavit 
for the search warrant on Montes’ home, which 
stated that Montes has an “anti-government 
ideology,” how did Lord know this? Again the DA 
objected, with the judge siding in his favor.

This issue is important because the raid was 
instigated by the FBI as a part of their ongoing 
campaign against anti-war and international 
solidarity activists. During the raid on Montes 
home, FBI agents attempted to question him about 
Freedom Road Socialist Organization. In an 
interview with the Pasadena Star, a spokesperson 
from the LA Sheriff Department confirmed the 
involvement of the FBI. This matter will come up in future court dates.

At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing, the 
arraignment court appearance was scheduled for October 17.

Standing in front of the LA courthouse, Mick 
Kelly of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression put 
the case in context stating, “On September 24 of 
last year, the Justice Department launched a 
series of attacks. Using FBI raids and grand jury 
subpoenas, anti-war, international solidarity, 
and labor activists were targeted. When the 
offices of the Minneapolis-based Anti-War 
Committee were raided, one of the names listed on 
the search warrant was Carlos Montes. Carlos, 
like many of the others raided, helped to 
organize the massive 2008 demonstration at the Republican National Convention.”

Kelly, who was among those raided by the FBI 
continued, “Every progressive person needs to 
understand that what is happening to Carlos 
Montes can happen to anyone who stands up against 
injustice and war. An injury to one of us is an 
injury to all of us. We can not afford to rest 
one day until the charges are dropped.”

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

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