[act-ma] Fw: SIGN TO KEEP CHUCK TURNER OUT OF JAIL! & BE IN COURT FOR SENTENCING TUESDAY 1/25!
nosanctions at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 24 06:26:14 PST 2011
--- On Sun, 1/23/11, International Action Center Boston <iacboston at iacboston.org> wrote:
From: International Action Center Boston <iacboston at iacboston.org>
Subject: SIGN TO KEEP CHUCK TURNER OUT OF JAIL! & BE IN COURT FOR SENTENCING TUESDAY 1/25!
To: iacboston at organizerweb.com
Date: Sunday, January 23, 2011, 10:51 PM
1) BE IN COURT WITH CHUCK TURNER!
TUESDAY, JANUARY 25 2:00 PM
MOAKLEY COURT HOUSE @ NORTHERN AVE.
COURTROOM 1. JUDGE WOODLOCK
2) 1/25 RALLIES TO STOP FBI REPRESSION (leaflet at bottom of post)
12-1 JFK BUILDING (demo scheduled to march to court house to support Chuck)
5-6 PARK ST STATION
SUPPORT CHUCK TURNER!
Sign the ONLINE PETITION to KEEP CHUCK OUT OF JAIL!
and BE IN COURT, TUESDAY 1/25 2 PM COURTROOM 1 MOAKLEY COURTHOUSE at Northern Ave.
go to iacboston.org/chucktjudgepetition.html to tell U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to KEEP CHUCK OUT OF JAIL!
To make a donation to help retire the $180,000 debt owed by his campaign to Chuck and his wife Terri for the maintenance of the District 7 office in Roxbury, go to the contributions page at chuckturner.us
On Oct 29 a predominantly white and suburban federal jury falsely found African-American Boston City Councilor guilty of one count of attempted extortion and three counts of lying to the FBI. The community has shown its unwavering support for Chuck, voting for him, packing the trial and turning out hundreds strong at a rally on October 30 at the District 7 office in Roxbury. saying "We Stand with Chuck Turner. Chuck is Innocent! The verdict is the crime!"
In that rally and in a statement on November 1, Chuck appealed to supporters to write to Judge Woodlock telling him not to put Chuck in jail. PLEASE RESPOND TO THE PETITION TONIGHT -- CHUCK APPEARS FOR SENTENCING BEFORE JUDGE WOODLOCK ON TUESDAY!
The text of the online petition follows:
Tell U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock that Chuck Turner does not belong in jail.
Please tell U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, with copies to the Boston City Council, Mayor Menino, President Obama, Attorney General Holder, Congressional leaders, the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, Governor Deval Patrick, the U.N. Secretary General Ban and the media that Chuck Turner does not belong in jail.
YOUR EMERGENCY ACTION IS NEEDED NOW!Sample Text (you will be able to edit it online):
To: Hon. Douglas P. Woodlock, Judge, U.S. District Court, Boston
cc: Boston City Council, Mayor Thomas Menino, President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional leaders, the Massachusetts congressional delegation, Gov. Deval Patrick, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the NAACP, the ACLU, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, the New York Times, the Associated Press
I am writing to appeal to you not to sentence Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner to jail time, but instead to allow him to continue to serve the community and the people of Roxbury. Since his election in 1999, Chuck Turner has gone beyond the call of duty in representing his constituents and serving their needs. He alone among Boston politicians maintained a full-time office in Roxbury at his own expense to serve the residents of the community. He has devoted his life to community leadership and service. Councilor Turner does not belong in jail.
Mr. Turner's prosecution must be seen as part of a national campaign to oust African-American elected officials by demonizing them and prosecuting them, whether in congressional hearings or in the courts. In reality, these officials are singled out for who they are, for the disenfranchisement of the communities they represent, and for their outspoken ideas and points of view. His removal from office by the Boston City Council was illegal and is being contested in court. Rather than sentence him to jail, that process should be allowed to go to completion restoring him to represent those who elected him.
At a time of massive budget cutbacks and economic crisis, the people of Roxbury must not be deprived of their leader and their voice.
Do not send Chuck Turner to jail! Allow him to serve the people of Boston and complete his term on the Boston City Council.
(your signature here)
Community rallies to defend City Councilor Chuck Turner
By Frank Neisser
International Action Center Boston
Published Dec 16, 2010 10:07 PM
Cries of “Unjust!” and “Shame!” echoed through Boston City Council Chambers on Dec. 1 as an overflow crowd of community supporters protested the Council’s vote to remove progressive African-American District 7 City Councilor Chuck Turner from the office the people of Roxbury had elected him to. Prior to the vote more than 100 community supporters rallied in support of Turner outside City Hall.
Turner is a tireless fighter for justice, against racism and for the rights of the African-American community of Roxbury. He is the only Boston politician who maintained an office in the heart of the Roxbury community to serve his constituents, paying for it out of his own pocket.
When he was indicted in 2008, the community immediately knew he was innocent and the victim of the U.S. Attorney’s and FBI’s national right-wing political campaign to remove progressive political representatives elected by oppressed communities from office. In the 2009 election they returned him to office with more than 60 percent of the vote, rejecting the false charges against him. In October he was falsely convicted of one charge of taking a bribe and three charges of lying to the FBI.
The community immediately rallied behind Turner and sent hundreds of letters to City Council members, telling them a vote to remove Turner would be a vote to disenfranchise Roxbury and deny the community’s right to decide for itself who should represent it.
A letter to council members from the Boston School Bus Union, Steel Workers Local 8751 stated: “Chuck Turner has been a consistent, principled and courageous champion not only for District 7 but for the oppressed and workers of Boston, the state, the country and the globe. He has been a most powerful and many times a lone voice for justice and liberation.
“In the nearly 40 years that this union has known him, he has been an active supporter and leader in every progressive cause. He has fought against war, poverty, racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination and for jobs and rights for workers. He has been a staunch defender of equal, quality, public education. He has stood for freedom — from Haiti to Colombia, from Palestine to India.”
Turner’s supporters are continuing the struggle so that he doesn’t spend a single day in jail. For information about sending letters to Judge Douglas P. Woodlock, go to supportchuckturner.com. Sign an online petition addressed to the judge at iacboston.org.
Community defends City Councilor Chuck TurnerBy Frank Neisser
InternationalAction Center, Boston
Nov 3, 2010
On Oct. 29 a predominantly white and suburban federal jury falsely found African-American Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner guilty of one count of attempted extortion and three counts of lying to the FBI.
The case was based on an undercover sting operation and a cooperating witness who had passed bribes for years, and who himself declared Turner to be innocent in interviews in the Boston Globe. The witness condemned the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s office, saying he thought they were conducting a corruption investigation, but that he had been used to bring down two strong progressive African-American politicians, Turner and State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, while no one else was touched. He only testified against Turner under threat of being jailed for contempt of court if he didn’t.
This guilty verdict is a reflection of an alarming, expanding racist conspiracy to oust African-American elected officials by demonizing them in congressional hearings or in the courts with various charges of ethics violations, especially corruption. In reality, these officials are singled out for who they are, for the disenfranchised communities they represent and in some instances, like Turner’s, for their radical politics.
More than 200 community residents, activists and supporters expressed their total solidarity with Turner at a rally in front of his district office in Roxbury on Oct. 30, saying, “We stand with Chuck Turner! Say no to FBI/U.S. racist frame-up! Chuck is innocent! U.S. government guilty! The verdict is the crime!” Roxbury is a predominantly Black community in Boston.
The jury never got to hear from more than 80 witnesses who were prepared to testify to Turner’s selfless service to the community, asking nothing for himself.
For every day of the councilor’s two-week-long trial his supporters packed the court room, forcing the U.S. District Court to provide a second courtroom for the overflow. Beginning with Turner’s arrest two years ago the community has understood this attack to be a political one on the entire African-American community and its right of self-determination to choose its own leaders.
Supporters poured out by the hundreds in rally after rally. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, founder of the International Action Center, came to Boston on Dec. 17 and stood next to Turner and condemned the nationwide pattern by the U.S. Attorney’s offices and the FBI of going after elected officials of color and progressive officials to remove them from office based on a political agenda.
An online petition demanding all the politically motivated prosecutions of progressive politicians and politicians of color be dropped and that the prosecutors be prosecuted has generated over 35,000 e-mail messages to Obama administration officials and congressional leaders. Support for Turner could not have been clearer than in the 2009 City Council race, in which he won re-election with more than 60 percent of the vote.
Strongly refusing to compromise his politics
At the Oct. 30 rally, Turner began the program by thanking his supporters and saying it was their support that gave him strength and serenity from the beginning.
Turner specifically recognized the Boston Workers Alliance and the Boston School Bus Union as being the core of his support throughout. He spoke from the School Bus Union sound truck, which had led many motorcades through the community in support of him.
Turner blamed U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan and the FBI for his frame-up. He expressed his excitement at the progress the African-American community has made in electing more people of color to at-large positions on the City Council. He spoke of having organized all of his life for the liberation of African-American people. He spoke of the corruption of a system that was built by unpaid slave labor in both the North and the South, and cited the fact that the prison industrial complex is the fastest growing industry in today’s economy.
Turner invoked Shay’s Rebellion against bankers’ control of the U.S. government in the late 1700s, saying that the U.S. Constitution has been illegal from the start and protects only the rich and the banks. He called for a new people’s movement to build economic democracy for working people of all races and backgrounds. The crowd was also addressed by Minister Rodney X of the Nation of Islam and by longtime African-American City Councilor Charles Yancey.
Yancey called Turner “our leader” and equated the FBI attack on him to earlier FBI attacks on W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Cultural expressions of solidarity were provided by The Foundation and Gabrilla Ballard.
Love and support for Turner runs so deep in the Roxbury community that the Boston Globe was forced to cover the rally with a picture and a full account showing the depth of community support for him. The Globe also printed a separate article interviewing person after person from the community saying they knew the councilor to be a selfless dedicated servant of the people, who, alone among city councilors, has maintained a district office in the heart of Roxbury, paying the expenses out of his own pocket.
But the agenda of the real, racist rulers of the Boston establishment could be seen in the Boston Globe Oct. 30 editorial on the verdict. It revealed what they revile him for — that he dares to speak truth to power, pointing the finger at the Boston Police chief for the crimes of the police in the community, daring to say that U.S. soldiers had been guilty of the rape of Iraqi women, and telling his constituents the truth that the corporate rulers don’t want them to hear.
Turner’s supporters are determined to conduct a broad and tireless campaign to see that he not spend a single day in jail. Turner is urging supporters to write letters to Federal District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock asking that he be put on probation rather than spend time in jail, so that he can continue his work as a city councilor. These letters should be sent to City Councilor Chuck Turner, Boston City Hall, One City Hall Square, Boston MA 02201.
He is also asking supporters to write to Boston City Council President Michael Ross and the members of the Boston City Council at the same address, and ask them to delay any vote on Turner’s continued tenure on the Boston City Council until after he is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 25. Further information can be found at supportchuckturner.com.
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