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Brutal police attack at Sylvia Rivera Law Project Fifth Anniversary

Transgender activists and allies to hold press conference in response to brutal police attack at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project Fifth Anniversary

On Wednesday, September 26, 2007, officers from the New York Police Department's 9th precinct made an unprovoked attack, employing excessive use of force against members of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and other community members. While pepper-spraying a group of people who were gathered outside of a celebration and benefit for the organization's five year anniversary, the police also violently arrested two people from the crowd, Ileana Mendez-Penate and Reggie Gossett. These two people were released the following night, and all charges were dropped.

A press conference will be held on Monday, October 1st @ 2pm on the front steps of New York City Hall in Lower Manhattan. We at The Sylvia Rivera Law Project would like to thank all the local elected officials and their staffers, especially Rosie Mendez and her staff, who had a hand in the eventual release of the two detainees.

WHO: Community members and Allies of the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, including the two arrestees, Reggie Gossett and Ileana Mendez-Penate.

WHAT: A press conference on the steps of New York City Hall.

WHEN: 2:00 pm, Monday October 1, 2007.

WHERE: On the Steps of New York City Hall, in City Hall Park between Broadway, Park Row and Chambers Street.

WHY: By holding this press conference, transgender activists and allies prepare to send the message that excessive unprovoked police force and false arrests by the 9th precinct or any other precinct will not be tolerated.

UPDATE: 8:30pm Thursday 9/27

Reggie and Ileana have just been released from police custody! The DA declined prosecution, which means that no charges are being pressed. They are free and clear, and are now getting the suppvort they need from their community - in person.

We are all thrilled by this result, the only truly just outcome after a long night and day of injustice. Thank you to everyone who has helped out and expressed support, including all of the allied organizations, fellow activists, community members and councilpeople who stepped up to support us.

Although they have thankfully been released, our work around this incident is not finished. Now it is time to hold the police accountable for the unnecessary force and community targeting that occurred last night, and work so that no more incidents like this happen again. We will keep you all posted as to our next steps and ways to plug in.

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