Sunday, December 23, 2007
Community Activists Demand Freedom For the Liberty City 7
for immediate release
CopWatch and other community organizations, led by CopWatch, are calling for the Justice Department to drop all charges against the Liberty City 7 and to release all seven men so they can spend the holiday with their loved ones. The press conference will be held on Monday, December 24, 2007 at 10:00AM in front of the warehouse used by the group on NW 15th Ave. at 63rd St.
Following the highly publicized arrests in the summer of 2006, including a press conference by then Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, community members and legal experts raised questions about the quality of those arrests, given the dubious charges and claims by prosecutors that seven impoverished and unarmed black men concocted a viable plan to overthrow the United States government.
Days after the arrests, CopWatch organized a press conference raising questions about the political nature of the charges, rhetoric and timing of the raid, set to coincide with an appearance of the FBI director on the Larry King show. At the time, the New York Times was set to release a story about the Bush Administration spying on the financial transactions of millions of American citizens. Subsequent media coverage of seven "home grown terrorists" easily outpaced that of stories recounting government spying on US citizens. Since then, the Justice Department has been hammered with accuasations of politically motivated investigations and arrests, ultimately resulting in the resignation of Attorney General Gonzalez.
Since then, the seven men faced prosecutors and a jury which could not find six of the men guilty, but did acquit one defendant, Lyglenson Lemorin, outright. In spite of his acquittal, Lemorin remains in the custody of federal immigration officials and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, even though he is a legal resident found guilty of no crimes. Community organizations argue that the arrests were motivated by political considerations, not national security. The men are no threat to anyone, and, therefore, all charges should be dropped.
"In this political climate, the fact that a jury refused to convict a group of men charged with terrorism speaks volumes about the weakness of the case against them," says Max Rameau of CopWatch. "The US government is using the 'war on terror' to advance a domestic political agenda. In addition to costing time and money, in addition to ruining the lives of these men and their families, this is not making anyone safer."
The groups are calling on the Justice Department to drop all charges and cancel the upcoming new trial set for January 7, 2008. Community organizations and individuals will speak at the event.
Max Rameau, CopWatch