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.
Allen and Darocy were engaged in conduct that is protected under the First Amendment and article I, § 2 of the California Constitution. The prosecution’s theory that these reporters are vicariously guilty of the crimes that they photographed endangers the First Amendment.
The Santa Cruz Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) condemns the action of local law enforcement in attempting to prosecute eleven local activists who are alleged to have occupied the long-deserted bank building at Water and River Streets last fall.
At least some of the defendants are journalists who were present to report on the protest. We condemn any attempt to criminalize their exercise of the crucial First Amendment right to gather and disseminate information about this newsworthy event. All charges based on this constitutionally protected activity should be dropped immediately.
A banner reading “Reclaim Space—Reclaim our Lives” was hung above a counter where bank tellers had once smiled and counted out bills.
People demonstrated on the sidewalk in front of the Wells Fargo Bank located at 74 River St. in downtown Santa Cruz.