Saturday, January 12, 2019

June 4 MDEQ arrestees press conference and pre-trial hearing: Tue, Jan 15 at 12pm


Dear Michigan PPC Community:

We bring you new year's greetings and updates in 2019!

During last summer's 40 Days of Action, there were 105 arrests at several Lansing and Detroit locations. These non-violent, moral fusion direct actions were in protest of unjust Michigan policies and leadership failures that harm poor and low income working people.


On June 4th, thirty MI PPC activists were arrested at the MI Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for several reasons against the state agency, including: criminal actions and negligence harming and killing Flint residents; failure to protect public health from water, air and soil contamination; faulty scientific protocols and responsibility to uphold standards and policy requirements against pollution and environmental degradation; culpability in allowing for unjust and harmful natural resource privatization, commodification, fracking, pipelines, extractions, toxic spills, water shut-offs and rate increases; failure to uphold its EPA responsibilities; human rights violations and more.

This Tuesday, January 15th, fifteen of the original thirty MDEQ arrestees will be holding a press conference prior to appearing before a judge for their pre-trial conference (what is a pre-trial conference?). Please join them in support of MI PPC moral fusion actions:
 
Press Conference: 12:00 pm on Tue, 1/15/19 at Lansing 54 A District Court, 124 W Michigan Ave # 54A, Lansing, MI 48933. We will gather in the lobby or right outside the lobby of the Lansing City Hall (across from Michigan Capitol buildings). Please arrive by 11:30 am
Pre-trial Court Conference: 1:30 pm on Tue, 1/15/19 at Lansing 54 A District Court, 124 W Michigan Ave # 54A, Lansing, MI 48933. Located inside Lansing City Hall (across from Michigan Capitol buildings).


More details: Last summer, approximately one-third of the MDEQ arrestees chose to settle quickly their case with the Ingham County prosecutor's office through guilty or no contest pleas and/or by participating in a diversion program to remove a misdemeanor charge from their record. The remainder of the group had been waiting for the announcement of arrest warrants to appear before the court. They were finally issued in late December. On December 28th several MDEQ arrestees traveled to Lansing 54 A District Court to appear on their warrants and pay bonds. Among the outcomes were: (1) Those charged with “trespassing” appeared before a magistrate; (2) Those charged with “disturbing the peace” appeared before a judge; All were fined and paid $150 thus fulfilling all that is required of them, plus they will have a misdemeanor on their record; (3) A third group pleaded “not guilty” and requested a jury trial.


At this time, a handful of warrants are still outstanding for a few people who have been unable to get to Lansing and/or are out-of-town. We take seriously the concerns our attorneys have raised for these warrants to lead to re-arrest so future appearances is being coordinated.

Also, please save the date for more MI PPC 40 Days of Action court proceedings in Detroit beginning January 23 at 1:30 pm at 36th District Court for the #Gilbert7 group arrested on June 18th against gentrification, low income housing evictions, corporate profits on the back of poor residents, real Detroit corporate dystopia and more.
Additional updates on the entire list of arrests during the 40 Days of Action can be found on the Michigan PPC website.
 

Finally, National Lawyers Guild (NLG) attorneys who have been working on these cases pro bono tell us that their resources to support trial work are depleted. They are requesting that MI PPC defendants consider raising funds to support unpaid and underpaid attorneys so that they may continue representing us through low bono arrangements. We deeply appreciate NLG work and sacrifices and will follow up with more on this soon.

We will share more updates, news and National PPC 2019 campaign actions and moral positions in the coming days.
 

With appreciation and in solidarity,

The Michigan PPC Coordinating Committee


P.S. Please help support the legal needs of the MI PPC with a contribution today at
https://www.michiganppc.org/p/donate.html

Also, please ask your friends and family to join the MI PPC by signing up at
https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/join-campaign-get-involved-state/

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Support Jan 15 court pre-trial hearing of MDEQ nonviolent moral fusion direct action defendants

UPDATE: Please join the MI PPC for a 12pm press conference at the Ingham County 54-A District Court in Lansing (at the City Hall). Please arrive by 11:30am. More info to come...

Friends & Family,

Mark your calendars and join us to support those arrested in Lansing on June 4, 2018!  Tuesday, January 15, 2019 MI PPC members will be in Lansing District Court 54-A.
As part of the MI Poor People’s Campaign (PPC), 40 Days of Action, on June 4, 2018, the MI PPC organized a rally and demonstration at the Michigan State Capitol focused on the theme: The Right To Health and A Healthy Planet: Ecological Devastation and Health Care.  Hundreds of MI PPC supporters joined in to make their voices heard on the Capitol steps and then surrounded Lansing’s Constitution Hall, headquarters of the MI Department of Environmental Quality, encircling the entire building with yellow tape, identifying the building as a “crime scene.”  

Those risking arrest blocked the doors to the North, South, East and West building entrances.  At each side side of the building, we named the crimes. To the North- the M5 Pipeline. To the West- Nestle’s pumping of water. To the South- the Detroit water shut offs. To the East- the poisoning of Flint’s water. At 5 pm on June 4th, PPC members risking arrest moved to block the parking lot and were immediately arrested. 30 people were arrested.  

CONSEQUENCES: Eight PPC members have accepted a Diversion Program offered by the District Court. 14 of those arrested plan on taking this to a jury trial.  On Tuesday, January 15th, those seeking a jury trial are scheduled to appear for pretrial hearings at 1:30 p.m. MI PPC supporters and members are encouraged to appear with us in court in either the morning, the afternoon, or both. Defendants are to appear in the courtroom of Judge Louise Alderson.

Lansing District Court 54-A, 124 W. Michigan Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933

Greg Olszta
For the Washtenaw PPC
(This post is re-posted from an email alert from the Washtenaw PPC) 

For more information, please contact Michigan@PoorPeoplesCampaign.org