Charges Against Three RNC 8 Defendants are Dropped!
From the RNC 8 Defense Committee: The RNC 8 received some surprising news Thursday afternoon - charges against Luce Guillen-Givins, Monica Bicking and Eryn Trimmer have been dropped!
The fact that charges have been dismissed against these three members of what Ramsey County has for two years labeled a “criminal enterprise” exposes the political motivations behind this case. Although today’s news is an amazing development, charges against four of the eight defendants still remain and must continue to be fought with renewed strength.
Thanks to everyone who has struggled alongside the 8 and the RNC 8 Defense Committee to help get these charges dropped - and please join us as we continue to seek justice for Max, Rob, Garrett and Nathanael. We’ll post more information and analysis on this development soon - stay tuned.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2010
Charges dropped against three of the RNC 8 defendants
Remaining four defendants continue to fight politically motivated charges, resist state repression
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Today, Ramsey County prosecutors dropped all the charges against three RNC 8 defendants: Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer and Luce Guillen-Givins. The dismissal of these charges further shows that they were in response to the defendants’ political beliefs and activism rather than any alleged illegal acts. Despite revealing the motivations behind the charges, the prosecutors are continuing their abusive, politically motivated prosecution against the remaining four defendants: Max Specktor, Rob Czernik, Nathanael Secor, and Garrett Fitzgerald.
"This was a political case from the beginning, using charges of terrorism and conspiracy to try and justify the massive police presence and repression during the 2008 RNC," stated Jude Ortiz of the RNC 8 Defense Committee. “The prosecutors dropping the charges two years after the fact shows that our solidarity and strength in the face of state repression has called their bluff and forced them to drop part of the sham. We’re committed to supporting the remaining defendants as they continue to fight these prosecutorial abuses.”
Thursday’s new development is the latest in a string of what must be disappointments for the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office and Sheriff Bob Fletcher. The defendants’ original terrorism enhancements were dropped due to political pressure in the spring of 2009. Then, last month, Erik Oseland accepted a plea deal that dropped two felonies for one gross misdemeanor, in which his only admission of guilt was to talking about tipping a newspaper box.
The RNC 8 has insisted from the beginning that the evidence to support the terrorism and felony conspiracy charges simply did not exist. Ramsey County, however, claims the dismissals are only to avoid a complex trial and focus resources on the remaining defendants.
"Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner cannot be allowed to hide behind claims of trial management and lack of resources to explain the dismissal of these charges,” said Bruce Nestor, attorney for Monica Bicking. "She and Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher drove this prosecution from the beginning, claiming the RNC Welcoming Committee was a ‘criminal enterprise’ of anarchists out to destroy downtown St. Paul. It is absolutely shameful to charge people as ’terrorists’ and with felony conspiracy charges, and then dismiss all charges two years later because the trial will be complex and time consuming."
The next pre-trial hearing is scheduled on Wednesday, September 22nd at 9 a.m. at the Ramsey County Courthouse. This hearing will be to determine trial logistics, including jury selection procedures for the trial of the remaining four defendants.
All members of the RNC 8 and their defense team will continue to work for dismissal of charges against the remaining four defendants.
For more information, visit http://www.RNC8.org. For late-breaking news, follow us on twitter @defendthernc8.