by Alex Darocy, Santa Cruz Indymedia
On May 4th, community members gathered at the Santa Cruz Courthouse for a press conference and rally to demand District Attorney Bob Lee drop the charges against the Santa Cruz Eleven, who have all been charged with felonies arising from the occupation of a vacant bank building last fall. Organizers of the rally believe the DA should, “re-examine the basis for the charges, and the Court must ensure that these activists are not being selectively prosecuted.”
Approximately 100 people were in attendance at the court house rally, and after a brief press conference that had seven of the Santa Cruz Eleven introducing themselves, the group marched through downtown Santa Cruz. Those of the Santa Cruz Eleven who spoke included Brent Adams, Franklin Alacantara, Bradley Stuart Allen, Desiree Foster, Gabriella Ripley-Phipps, Grant Wilson, Becky Johnson, and Robert Norse (Kahn). The Santa Cruz Eleven are either journalists or activists supportive of the Occupy movement.
When marchers returned to the court house, demonstrators spoke again. In addition to more words from the Santa Cruz Eleven, Isaac Collins aka Lyrical I, a musician active with Occupy Santa Cruz, spoke about being arrested at UC Santa Cruz during the annual 420 celebration.
Near the end of the demonstration, a few of the Santa Cruz Eleven swatted at a Wells Fargo Bank-shaped pinata that was full of candy.
The rally was sponsored by the Watsonville Brown Berets and the Supporters of the Santa Cruz Eleven.
I also am one of the 11 defendants being charged, and I did not have anything to do with the organization or planning of the rally, or the Santa Cruz Eleven website.
Breaking the Bank
Brent Adams breaks open the Wells Fargo Bank pinata.