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Solidarity with the Somerville 5

The Somerville 5 are Black youth who were racially profiled by white Medford police then attacked, beaten, maced and arrested on April 20, 2005. They were charged with numerous crimes and suspended from Somerville High School. They became a symbol across Boston of youth standing up and fighting back against racism and police brutality.

Almost three years later, the Medford cops andMiddlesex DA are continuing with their attempts to railroad the remaining 2 defendants, Cassius Belfon and Earl Guerra. Jury selection will start on Wednesday, February 27 and the trial is expected to begin on Thursday, February 28. These young men should be allowed to get on with their lives. Both Cassius and Earl will be graduating from high school this year and are looking forward to attending college. Both are active in organized sports and church activities.

The pursuit of this racist vendatta by the Medford Police and DA is an outrage, particularly in light of the fact that the first trial of Calvin Belfon and Isaiah Anderson was rife with conflicting police testimony and lies. One witness for the prosecution turned against them and testified in defense of the Somerville 5, saying she had been coerced and duped. Other witnesses were taken to the police station and threatened. The judge stated in a memo that it was clear that the police initiated the attack on the youths, resulting in the youths being forced to defend themselves.

For one and a half years, the Committee to Defend the Somerville 5, friends, family and supporters picketed, rallied, held press conferences, conducted a national phone/fax campaign, held fundraisers and then packed the courtroom. The judge, the jury, the police and the DA all
took note of this. As a result, the DA's plan to lock the youth in prison for 2 years was stopped! But they were found guilty of some charges and given 2 years probation.

Enough is enough! We need to defend our youth! Demand all charges be dropped against Cassius Belfon and Earl Guerra!

Come pack the court:
Thursday, 2/28/08 9:00 AM and for however long the trial lasts.
Middlesex Juvenile Court
121 Third St.
(brick building, corner of Thorndike and Third Streets, Lechmere Stop on Green Line)

Call, Fax or Write the Judge.
Demand Case be dismissed and all charges dropped!
Chief Justice of Juvenile Court
Honorable Martha P. Grace
3 Center Plaza, #520
Boston, MA 02108
TELEPHONE: 617-788-6550
FAX: 617-788-8965

Thank you,
Committee to Defend the Somerville 5
c/o The Action Center
284 Amory St.
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

1 comment:

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

You don't have to go far to see discrimination in our court system. Look at Barry Scott only last year, and take you hats off when thinking of Ben LaGuer, all of twnety years old back in 1983 STILL languishing in jail for a crime he did not commit.

You should post an update to this case. I would appreciate you contacting me directly so I can help cross-post this story.