Tell Joe Platania to Drop All Charges Against AntiRacist Activists from A12, 2017 and 2018

Tell Joe Platania to Drop All Charges Against AntiRacist Activists from A12, 2017 and 2018

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Sara Tansey started this petition to Joe Platania and

In the last year and a half in Charlottesville, anti-racist and anti-fascist activists have been hit with sixty-three different arrests and/or criminal warrants. With each arrest, the City of Charlottesville and the Commonwealth of Virginia have sent a clear message: that they will prosecute anti-racist activists for whatever infraction they can come up with.Too often we have stood in handcuffs and watched as magistrates pour over their code books to find a violation they can match to our alleged actions. It is an exercise in white supremacy and suppression.

Sixty-three separate arrests and warrants issued. For standing in a street already blocked off by cops, for telling Nazis to get out of our community, for attending a meeting, for speaking too loudly, for trying to commemorate the resilience of a community a year after we were the targets of a terrorist attack, for defending ourselves when cops stood by and watched us be beaten, for fighting in defense of our humanity.

On the one year anniversary of the Nazi invasion in Charlottesville on August 11th and 12th, 2018, when no known gathering of Nazis threatened our city (because anti-fascist activists thwarted their ability to effectively organize), when the only known plans for the weekend were those of community members who wanted to mourn and celebrate each other one year later, our town was turned into a police state with one cop for every 50 people living here. In that police state, anyone who refused to stay home, as we have so often been told to do by city representatives and judges trying our cases, was deemed a threat. It is no surprise to us that the two times the cops began to aggress against us that weekend were:

1. When UVA students who had been encircled by three hundred plus nazis the year before, attempted to have a rally at the site of their own terrorization, and

2. When survivors of the terrorist car attack called for a march to 4th and Water and attempted to hold space at the exact time of the car attack one year later.

All we wanted to do was gather. All we wanted to do was hold each other and continue the journey of healing from the trauma that no one but ourselves tried to protect us from.


It is also no surprise to us that of the three people targeted for arrest on August 12th, 2018, one was a black woman who has been repeatedly targeted with arrests, and a trans man who was violently arrested.


The trans man was held underneath the bodies of several officers, to the point he couldn't breathe, pulled away from where others could see him, and then genital checked while in cuffs without the freedom to say no. Yes, you read that right. Cops pulled a trans man away from his comrades, at the insistence of a fascist doxxer who had been harassing us all weekend, and then sexually assaulted him while he was handcuffed.

The black woman arrested has been targeted time and time again by local law enforcement and nazis alike. At her preliminary hearing, the judge asked the Commonwealth Attorney whether jail was off the table as a potential sentence. The Commonwealth Attorney said that it was not. Her charge? Disorderly conduct.

The Commonwealth Attorney’s office is currently considering jail time for an anti-racist activist with a disorderly conduct charge.

All of this is outrageous. Between the sheer number of arrests in the past year, to the fact that said arrests were made to dishearten and silence us. Fighting white supremacy is not a crime, but it is being criminalized.

Please stand with us as we call upon the Commonwealth Attorney, Joe Platania, to #DropAllCharges still pending against anti-racist activists from August 12, 2017 and August 12, 2018. It should not be a crime to resist white supremacy.

It is time for the Commonwealth Attorney’s office to recognize that they can stand for the further entrenchment of white supremacy and fascism in our community, or they can acknowledge that they’ve done the wrong thing and #DropAllCharges pending against anti-racist activists stemming from August 12, 2017 and August 12, 2018.

 

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