Joey Johnson, Other Revcoms and Defendants Released! Two Remain in Jail
July 21, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Joey Johnson, Revolution Club members, and other flag-burning defendants, just released from jail, rallied in front of the Justice Center, with supporters and Revcoms, who had marched from Public Square chanting "burn that flag!" (Photo: @SunsaraTaylor)
Thursday morning press conference denouncing the arrests and calling for the release of Joey Johnson and others. Photo: Special to revcom.us
Earlier a member of the legal defense team for Gregory “Joey” Johnson, Revolution Club members, and others arrested at yesterday's flag-burning protest told revcom.us:
“As far as we know, a total of 17 people were illegally and illegitimately arrested yesterday at the flag burning protest. Outrageously, all they were held overnight and all but one are still in custody. This morning one person was charged with a misdemeanor and released. Finally, about 5:30pm, today after further delays, 14 others, including Joey Johnson, were arraigned on misdemeanor charges and have now been released. Two others are allegedly being held on felony charges, and they still have not been arraigned because the judge claimed there was a 'snafu' and the court didn't have 'the paperwork' on them. Defense attorneys and supporters are arguing that the court needs to get its paperwork together and these two need to be released tonight.”
The ACLU, National Lawyers Guild (NLG), and the NAACP have all condemned holding these defendants overnight as illegal preventive detention aimed at keeping them off the streets on this, the last day of the RNC. "There is no reason these people should be held for so long on minor charges,” the ACLU stated. "They are making sure they are not back on the street protesting.” The NLG said the defendants have been “illegally held in jail."
Carl Dix speaking in Public Square, Cleveland. Photo: Special to www.revcom.usEarlier Carl Dix - @Carl_Dix tweeted:
5:43: Last night of RNCinCLE Flagburners deliberately being held to keep them off streets. AmericaWasNeverGreat yes it is a police state
5:45: So far 8 revcoms flagburners being released w/o bail. Cheers in courtroom for them from supporters.
6:20 pm: Taking Revolution to the Streets of Cleveland
As this court battle was taking place, other revolutionaries and Revolution Club members were in the streets of Cleveland, organizing people for an actual revolution:
News Flash, 5 pm Thursday, July 21:
Gregory “Joey” Johnson, Revolution Club members, and others still being illegally held!
Joey Johnson burns an American flag at the Republican convention. (Photo: Special to www.revcom.us)
Gregory “Joey” Johnson, Revolution Club members, and others arrested at yesterday's flag-burning protest were scheduled to appear today at 4pm for a special docket at the Justice Center in Cleveland. However, when attorneys, revolutionaries, activists and other supporters of the defendants arrived in court, they were told that there were no papers for the defendants who've been held since yesterday afternoon. The defense lawyers are outraged, saying the defendants should not have been arrested and in jail in the first place. At this writing, the attorneys are going to the prosecutors and the judge to protest this further outrage.
Earlier today Sunsara Taylor @sunsarataylor tweeted:
“Protesters are still being held. Its definitely preventative detention keeping them off the streets 4 protest today”
“Lawyers 4 flag burner protesters r fighting for immediate release of 17 arrestees. Its preventative detention. They belong @ protest today.”
For updates see @Carl_Dix twitter feed
The following press release was issued before the scheduled court appearance:
Flag Burning Protesters on 4pm Special Docket at Justice Center
DROP THE CHARGES!
Press Conference and update from Statement from Revolutionary Communists
Flag Burning Protesters on 4:00 pm Special Docket at Justice Center
1200 Ontario Street, use Lakeside entrance
4:30 pm Press conference at Lakeside entrance
DROP THE CHARGES!
“What is the proper way to display the American flag? On fire!” says, Sunsara Taylor, supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party. “I salute Joey Johnson and the 17 other members of the Revolution Club and others who burned the US imperialist rag. We demand their immediate release and DROP THE CHARGES.”
* The U.S. flag is drenched in blood and deserves to burn.
* The police LIED. Joey Johnson never set himself or anyone else on fire. This police lie was used to justify illegitimate attack and suppression of constitutionally protected speech.
* The RNC is not “politics as usual” it is a lynch-mob being whipped up that concentrates all the worst of America – white supremacy, imperialist plunder, boastful ignorance, and frat-boy thuggery – to an unprecedented level.
* People need to stand up in the streets against this whole direction, refusing to be intimidated or cowed by illegitimate police state repression.
* The Revolutionary Communist Party is organizing now to overthrow this system at the soonest possible time.
Press contact: 216 932 2543
Contact for interviews with Gregory “Joey” Johnson; Sunsara Taylor; Carl Dix
Debra Sweet 718 809 3803