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Massive effort across country to defend Carlos Montes

By Tracy Molm |
May 11, 2012
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East LA College Mecha with Carlos Montes
East LA College Mecha with Carlos Montes (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Los Angeles, CA - On April 26, Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli ordered the trial of longtime Chicano and immigrant rights activist Carlos Montes. The trial will start on May 15. Shortly after this trial date was set, a massive campaign began around the country to demand L.A. District Attorney Steve Cooley to drop all charges against Carlos Montes.

“We have begun a massive effort to pack the courtroom in support of Carlos,” said LA Committee to Stop FBI Repression member Eric Gardner. Organizers called over 300 supporters in the Los Angeles area to get commitments to attend court dates. Carlos Montes has done four interviews on progressive radio station KPFK and there are more coming up. Jess Sundin, one of the activists whose home was raided in Minneapolis on Sept. 24, 2010, came to L.A. to help make sure that, for every day of the trial, the court is packed. “Carlos is an important leader of the Chicano struggle for self-determination and that will show at the Los Angeles Court house starting on May 15.”

Organizations from around Los Angeles, including The Bus Riders’ Union, United Teachers L.A. and many area MEChA chapters are mobilizing to bring people out for Montes’ trial.

At May Day celebrations around the country, activists handed out leaflets to build support for the campaign and to urge people to call the Los Angeles D.A.’s office at 213-974-3512. Many who called on the May 3 call-in day had to call back because the lines were jammed for most of the day.

With help from the International Action Center, the Committee to Stop FBI Repression posted a new on-line petition that sends messages directly to the offices of Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Obama. Nearly 2000 signatures have been gathered since May 5. The petition is at Defend Carlos Montes.

Montes was arrested May 17, 2011, in a raid by the FBI and the L.A. Sheriffs as part of an investigation of “material support of terrorism” which has targeted 23 other anti-war and solidarity activists. Montes now faces 4 felony charges.

The outpouring of support has been overwhelming. The Committee to Stop FBI Repression asks that groups and individuals from the Los Angeles area join us at court May 15 through May 23, at 210 Temple Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. They also ask that people around the country keep calling Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley at 213-974-3512 to demand, “Stop the frame-up of Carlos Montes. Drop the charges now!”