This was an exciting week for the legal collective. See below for updates.
This Tuesday evening, we had our second meeting of arrestees to organize, build community and support one another. There were about 40 arrestees present at the meeting. We formed working groups, including:
- Shut down the workhouse
- Abolish municipal courts and bench warrants
- Monthly support group for arrestees facing felonies
- Drop the charges for protesters
- Know Your Rights training/political education
Our goal is to organize with arrestees so that we are not only supporting them as they navigate the criminal “justice” system, but also organize to fundamentally change that racist system. These working groups will be meeting over the next couple of weeks. Our next all-arrestee meeting will be the first Tuesday in March, location TBD. If you are interested in joining any of these groups (even if you were not arrested in the protests), please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Josh Williams is back at home!
After spending more than a month in jail, Josh Williams has finally been released. Late last week, Josh’s lawyer, Nick Zotos, was able to secure a bond reduction. Josh’s bail was reduced to a $3000 bond surety (meaning that it cost $3000 to get Josh out and that money will not be returned when the case is closed). The #FreeJosh fund (started and coordinated by Jermell Hasson and housed within the normal legal support fund) had raised about $12,000 at that point. $3000 of that $12,000 was used to bond Josh out. Some money was also used to pay for Josh’s electronic monitoring bracelet. The remainder of the money will go towards other legal expenses for Josh; if there is money left over, it will go into the general legal support fund. A huge thank you to everyone who donated to the #FreeJosh fund to make his release possible!
Donation from Talib Kweli’s Ferguson Legal Defense Fund
This week, we received a $35,000 donation from Talib Kweli’s Action Support Committee. We are thrilled to receive this donation to ensure that the legal support fund is well resourced and can continue to support the movement. Some of the $35,000 will be earmarked for bail money for protesters who continue to be arrested at actions and as a result of police repression against the movement, and some will be earmarked for legal defense fees associated with protesters taking their cases to trial.