Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Columbus Day protesters found guilty

Glenn Morris's alleged eloquence is getting a little threadbare. The Rocky:
The first three of more than 80 protesters to be tried for blocking a Columbus Day parade in October were found guilty in Denver District Court on Tuesday.
Sentenced to fines were University of Colorado political science professor Glenn Morris; the Rev. Julie Todd, a Methodist minister; and Koreena Montoya, of Denver.

An appeal is possible, said David Lane, one of five defense attorneys on the case. . . .
Hope you're not going to let your focus be diverted by this, David. Ward needs you.
Lane told the jurors that the delay of the Columbus Day parade was insignificant compared with the suffering of Indians since Columbus landed. . . .
And the jury, praise God for vittory, called bullshit:
Jury Foreman Terry Smith, a retired Ford executive, said that the panel based the decision only on whether the evidence showed the defendants committed the acts with which they were charged — not the message the protesters were trying to convey. . . .
Wonder who'll be first to call the jurors racists? Anyway, don't expect to see Morris holding a "why lie, I just want a beer" sign at a street corner any time soon:
Morris, who has participated in several of the protests against the annual Columbus Day parade in recent years, was given a $200 fine, plus $41 of fees.

Morris also must pay $323.53, the cost of cleaning up the theatrical blood.

The cost is so high because police called in a hazardous materials unit to do the cleaning before the parade was allowed to proceed.

Todd was fined $100, with $50 suspended, and Montoya must pay $200.

Drazen-Smith had asked Jordan to impose a one-year suspended jail term on Morris. She said a tough stance against illegal protests will help deter trouble during the Democratic National Convention in August, when protesters are expected to descend on Denver.
Morris said at his sentencing that the protest was “an act of conscience.”

“Our country is taken. Our people are destroyed, and we are the criminals. There’s no justice in that,” he said.
What a creep.

Update: Just noticed that Churchill's dog Benjie over at Try-Works hasn't posted a word about the trial, and he participated in the protest (though in some miraculous and still-unexplained manner he failed to get arrested). Now why might that be? Maybe because even the defendants' testimony made his lies about a protest "bloodbath" look more ludicrous than they already did?

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