We want to thank everyone who fought so hard with us over these past 6 months. Our arrest was outrageous! We were out on February 4th at the LGBTQ Solidarity with Muslims Rally at the Stonewall Inn to stand with everyone there who wanted to protest Donald Trump’s first Muslim ban putting Muslim people in the crosshairs. We were getting out a very specific message: “NO! In the Name of Humanity We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America! Drive Out the Trump/Pence Regime!” This message enraged some Trump supporters who had come there that day, and they began harassing those of us putting out this message, looking to provoke an incident. When they didn’t get it from us, one of them went to the NYPD and we were then surrounded and arrested.
On August 7th, the prosecution was forced to back off – all the charges against all Stonewall 4 defendants were Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal, meaning after 6 months all charges will be dismissed and sealed.
This came after 6 months of a prosecution which, after the initial made-up story and set of charges began to fall apart, the District Attorney (DA) filed a different set of charges and a different complaint with an alternative made-up story of why we were arrested!
Our lawyers filed many motions against the original set of charges and the new ones, fighting to get “discovery” material turned over, to have charges dropped, and even won a dismissal by the judge of one of the newly fabricated charges.
Our supporters, you and others like you, spread an on-line petition demanding the DA and Mayor de Blasio drop the charges, which was signed by over 700 people. People, including clergy and prominent voices, did call-ins to the DA and Mayor’s offices, as well as some city council members. One caller called in to a WNYC radio show to make this demand to the Mayor.
All this served to expose that the prosecution’s case was based on lies and was a thinly veiled attempt to lock people up for daring to call for the end of the Trump/Pence regime and to stand up in the face of harassment and provocations by Trump’s supporters. Then just before trial, the prosecution made a decision to back down from pressing ahead with these outrageous charges. So we should welcome this as an important battle won, in an overall fight which is very much not yet decided.
We still have to fight the charges resulting from a serious attack that took place on one of us even before the February 4th protest at the Stonewall Inn. On January 12th, one of us was stalked by the NYPD and brutally arrested on her way to a publicly announced Refuse Fascism event. She was illegally searched, and not only was she arrested but she was also sent to Bellevue Hospital — for the explicit reason put on the official NYPD report that she had called someone a fascist and expressed opposition to President-elect Donald Trump! This is a clear case of political suppression and must be fought! You are needed in court to stand with her on August 15th.
And there has been, since February 4th, the heightening of organized thuggery of fanatical Trump supporters becoming more aggressive, more cohered, and more violent, including armed thugs coming out to intimidate and threaten people participating in various rallies called for by Refuse Fascism on July 15th to say “Trump and Pence Must Go!” All while the regime moves ahead (even in the face of difficulty and obstacles, with scandal and controversy, with in-fighting and opposition) and is making strides in knocking down the rule of law, re-ordering the governance of society in a fascist way, demonizing and scapegoating Muslims, immigrants, trans people and LGBTQ people generally, going after women’s right to control their own bodies, and further letting loose terror on Black people and Latinos, while promising still more.
So, this battle is far from over. In addition to being there in court on August 15th for the member of the SW4 who has charges from the previous arrest, Refuse Fascism has called for November 4th “This Nightmare Must End – The Trump/Pence Regime Must GO!” and is organizing regional conferences on August 19th to plan out how to make November 4th the beginning of the end of this nightmare.
In the Name of Humanity, We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America!
Thank you and struggle on,