Preliminary Hearing Monday June 8th in San Francisco
Drop Charges on San Francisco 8
Preliminary Hearing Monday June 8th in San Francisco
On Monday June 8th the International Action Center in Los Angeles is sending a delegation to the court hearing in San Francisco in support of the San Francisco 8 - former Black Panther Party members still being victimized by remnants of the FBI's illegal COINTELPRO program to imprison or assassinate Black community leaders.
In 1973, three Black activists were arrested in New Orleans and tortured by local police, and interrogated by two San Francisco police detectives at intervals between the torture, which lasted several days, during which the three men were separated from each other, stripped naked, covered with wool blankets soaked in boiling water, beaten with slapjacks, suffocated with plastic bags tied over their heads, sleep deprived, kicked, beaten, shocked with electric cattle prods on their genitals, anus and under the neck.
Statements resulting from the New Orleans torture were used to bring charges in the mid-1970s in several jurisdictions (including charges for the 1971 killing of a San Francisco police officer); all of these charges were dismissed when the judges learned that these ‘confessions’ had been coerced under torture.
Now, after 36 years, the prosecution re-filed the charges against the San Francisco 8 based on the same tortured ‘confessions’ illegally obtained in 1973.
When: Monday June 8th - demonstration at 8 am, hearing at 9 am
Where: At the San Francisco courthouse, 850 Bryant Street (between 6th and 7th Streets), San Francisco.
For more information go to: freethesf8.blogspot.com.
Who are the SF8? (From the site www.freethesf8.org):
Herman Bell, 59, of Mississippi, a political prisoner since 1973. Cointelpro's "pattern of manipulation and lies, continuing into the present, indicates something more than the ordinary corruption and racism of everyday law enforcement. It can be understood only in terms of the power of the political movement that [we] were part of, and the intensity of the government's efforts to destroy that movement and to disillusion and intimidate future generations of young activists." Write to him - 2318931, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco CA 94103. See his statement on the case. More about Herman.
Ray Boudreaux, 64, of Altadena. "Actually for the last 25 years I've lived a pretty peaceful and quiet life. My politics are still the same. It's just that I'm not active. People come to me sometimes as a peace-maker. And all of that has to do with all of my experience." Freed on bail September 11. Write to him c/o Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, P.O. Box 90221, Pasadena, CA 91109.
Richard Brown, 65, of San Francisco. "For the past six years I have been a Community Court Judge Arbitrator working with the San Francisco District Attorney's office. We place a lot of emphasis on restorative justice, so most of the community service done will be done in our own community where the offender can give back to the community." See the story on his arrest. Freed on bail August 30. Write to him c/o Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, P.O. Box 90221, Pasadena, CA 91109.
Henry W. (Hank) Jones, 70, of Altadena. "I [have lived] under the constant threat of another ... incarceration. In essence I have been robbed of peace of mind, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am therefore compelled to resist these tactics and inform the public of my recent experience, feeling that something similar could happen to anyone given the climate of fear, paranoia, and abuse of authority that is rampant in our country today." Freed on bail September 18. Write to him c/o Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, P.O. Box 90221, Pasadena, CA 91109.
Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), 55, of San Francisco, a political prisoner in New York since 1978. "The United States does not recognize the existence of political prisoners. To do so would give credence to the fact of the level of repression and oppression, and have to recognize the fact that people resist racist oppression in the United States, and therefore, legitimize the existence of not only the individuals who are incarcerated or have been captured, but also legitimize those movements of which they are a part." Write to him - 2311826, 850 Bryant Street, San Francisco CA 94103. See his statement on the case. More about Jalil.
Richard O'Neal, 58, has worked for the City of San Francisco for 25 years, most recently at the Southeast Community Center in Bay View. “People who work there said they were stunned by his arrest, recalling him as a kind and gentle man who always had a smile on his face and would stay late to fix lights or other things.” (SF Chronicle) The dean of the campus noted, “He is a trusted employee who would do anything to help us...He would take the shirt off his back to try to help you.” See the story on his arrest. As of February 7, 2008 Richard has been cleared of all charges. Write to him c/o Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, P.O. Box 90221, Pasadena, CA 91109.
Harold Taylor, 58, of Panama City. "In 1971, two brothers and I were set up by the FBI. We didn't learn about COINTELPRO until years later. In 1973 I was arrested in New Orleans and was beaten and tortured for several days. in 2003 the detectives that were responsible for my torture came to my house to try and question me. I have not been the same since." Freed on bail September 12. Write to him c/o Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, P.O. Box 90221, Pasadena, CA 91109.
Francisco Torres, 58, of New York City. Cisco born in Puerto Rico and raised in this country. He is a Vietnam Veteran who fought for the grievances of Black and Latino soldiers upon his return to the states. A former Black Panther, he has been a community activist since his discharge from the military in 1969. Freed on bail September 21. Write to him c/o Committee for the Defense of Human Rights, P.O. Box 90221, Pasadena, CA 91109.