The campaign demanding justice for Larry Hales is gaining momentum. People around the country are outraged at the action last Nov. 30 of the Denver police, who stormed the home of Hales, a prominent anti-police brutality and political activist in Denver, as well as a central organizer for upcoming protests at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver.
On the false pretext of a 10:30 p.m. “parole visit” to a parolee staying with Hales, who was not at home at the time, 10 cops illegally burst into Hales’ home without permission, ransacked the apartment, handcuffed his partner to a chair, brutalized Hales, pulling out several of his dreadlocks, and arrested him on bogus charges of “interfering with the police.” Pretrial hearings that were to have occurred on Feb. 29 have been rescheduled to April 25, with the trial date rescheduled to May 21.
A National Justice for Larry Hales Committee has been formed. More than 700 people have participated in an online petition, sending more than 100,000 emails to the city attorney, judge and mayor, Denver City Council, Colorado legislature and governor, the full Colorado congressional delegation, congressional leaders, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Attorney General Mukasey, U.N. Secretary-General Ban and members of the media calling for all charges in the case to be dropped.
City councilors, lawyers and concerned clergy have faxed letters on their own letterhead to the mayor, city attorney and judge. A letter signed by unionists from the United Federation of Teachers; UNITE HERE; United Steelworkers; United Auto Workers; Communication Workers union; American Federation of Teachers; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Office and Professional Employees International Union; Maryland Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and others was also faxed to them.
Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner’s letter concluded, “We in Boston believe that an injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere, and we are prepared to stand with Mr. Hales until he receives justice.”
USW Local 8751, the Boston School Bus Drivers Union, also sent a letter. It stated: “The prosecution of Mr. Hales is nothing more than a blatant racist frame up. We in the labor movement believe and live the time tested union motto that AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL! We stand in 100 percent solidarity with brother Hales and will be with him until justice is done.”
Join the campaign by visiting troopsoutnow.org/larryhales and signing the online petition, faxing letters on organizational stationery, contacting others and spreading the word and putting out the information on listservs. Send copies of your messages to email@example.com. And if you are in the area, please plan to come and help pack the court on April 25th and May 21.
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