Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We can't let ourselves be intimidated

Here's the email from Sally Weiss that got folks together yesterday...
There's a CALL FOR SOLIDARITY with the anti-war activists who must appear before a Grand Jury in Chicago early next week.  Let's answer this call and assemble at 4:00 this Tuesday (Jan. 25) in downtown Springfield in front of the FBI office,  which is in the downtown TD Building right in the heart of downtown Springfield.
Carpool from the North at the Gazette Parking Lot on Conz Street,  Northampton, at 3:25.
Ellen Graves and I put together a Stop the FBI Raids demonstration in front of the FBI office (downtown TD Bank Bldg) in Springfield shortly after we heard about the raids in Minneapolis and Chicago on Sept. 24, 2010.  We had a good response, a very good crowd of protestors.  Emma Roderick of BORDC (Northampton) spoke and was our interface to the TV media.  Atty. John Thompson explained our rights as protestors to us and helped us interface with the Springfield police. Carl Moos wrote us up a good explanatory flyer to hand out to citizens; those passerbys seemed quite interested. We chanted,  led by Ellen and by Malcolm Chu of Justice for Jason and No One Leaves.  We certainly got each other energized.
Fast Forward to December.  Marilyn Levin from Boston contacted several members of the Alliance for Peace and Justice of W-MA that one of the people subpoened on Sept. 24 in Minneapolis was available to speak in Northampton.  We jumped at the opportunity.  The very committed activist Meredith Aby gave us a rousing account of what happened to her and what the National Lawyers Guild is doing in building the defense of these activists.  Bruce Miller, professor of Constituational Law at Western New England College,  was our M.C.  Bill Newman of the ACLU and Nick Camerota of IAC-International Action Center provided us with materials,  especially the CCR's "When the FBI Knocks".  Now we knew a lot and were better prepared to protect ourselves and our friends.
IT LOOKS LIKE WE NEED TO EXERCISE OUR FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY and OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH ONCE MORE.  Down below please read a call relayed by PDA's Tim Carpenter for SOLIDARITY PROTESTS ON JANUARY 25 -- this coming Tuesday.  My buddy Ellen Graves is in D.C. fasting and protesting No More Guantanamos and the treatment of Bradley Manning.  So this Sat. morning at 6:15 I am issuing the call,  based on what went well earlier.
Let's meet up at 4:00 this Tuesday (Jan. 25) in downtown Springfield in front of the FBI office,  which is in the downtown TD Building right in the heart of downtown.  There is a little brick plaza there -- just built for a good protest.  It's right on Main Street at 1441 Main.   If you're coming from I-91,  it's just one block from the ramp at Exit 7 (coming from the North).  It is in the general area of the Sheraton Hotel and Tower Square.  There is some parking on the street and in the huge parking area a block away under I-91.
ARISE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE made signs for the earlier demonstration so we're all set there.  We'll try to stay awhile until about 5:30 or so, so that demonstrators can get there after work too.  We did find that there is good passerby traffic at 4:00;  it's a good time for TV coverage;  so let's stick to that starting time.  Checking the weather forecast,  Tuesday will be slightly warmer than Sunday, with some possibility of snow.  (Watch your email for any changes in schedule due to the weather, but it looks ok right now.)
In Northampton we are used to carpooling from the Gazette Parking Lot.  So let's say -- Carpool at 3:25.
Maybe I can rig up a way to fill AFSC's big water jug with some Hot Chocolate to keep us going. 
Try to be there !  Spread the word !  This is our chance to support the brave activists in the Midwest,  our chance to support Meredith Aby, who we know.
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