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LA Night of Solidarity fundraiser for Carlos Montes

By staff |
April 23, 2012
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Los Angeles, CA – On the evening of April 14, dozens gathered at the Echo Park Methodist Church in Los Angeles at a fundraiser in support of Carlos Montes. The event, dubbed a “Night of Solidarity,” featured speakers from a variety of social justice movements, political poetry, music and a multiple course dinner. All proceeds and donations supported the LA Committee to Stop FBI Repression’s defense work.

Montes, a veteran L.A. activist, is facing trumped up felony charges in response to his decades-long career of anti-war and international solidarity activism. As his case approaches trial sometime this summer, activists from all over Los Angeles and beyond have been rallying to his defense.

Two of the evening’s speakers shared their own experiences of legal and political repression due to their political views. Alex Sanchez, the executive director of Homies Unidos (a community gang-intervention organization), discussed his own battle against bogus charges of gang involvement and the need to link cases like his own and Carlos’ together to push back against government repression of activists. More information about Sanchez’s case is available at www.wearealex.org.

Hank Jones, a former member of the Black Panther Party, spoke next. Like Montes, Jones is a veteran activist whose career stretches back decades. He discussed first becoming radicalized after learning about the murder of Emmet Till in 1955. The Black Panthers suffered many injustices under the COINTELPRO policies of the FBI and local law enforcement – policies which included intimidation, constant surveillance of activists, bogus criminal charges against movement leaders, police brutality and murder.

More recently, as a member of the San Francisco 8 (SF8), Hank Jones had his life turned upside down by the government again in 2007. Based on decades-old testimony compelled under torture, the government charged Jones and seven others with a 1971 attack on a San Francisco police station. As he told the story of the years-long struggle to free the SF8, he made one thing very clear: it was only with the help of hundreds of supporters and committed activists working on the defense campaign that he was able to clear his name.

The LA Committee to Stop FBI Repression thanks everyone who came out and helped make the Night of Solidarity a success – as the struggles of fellow organizers like Alex Sanchez and Hank Jones show, waging a political campaign outside of the courtroom is crucial for victory inside it.

Carlos Montes’ next court appearance is April 26 and the LA Committee to Stop FBI Repression will rally outside to keep pressing its demand that all charges against Montes be dropped. For more information on how to get involved with the defense campaign, visit www.stopfbila.net.

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