Monday, January 21, 2008

Final arguments in Columbus Day protest trial tomorrow

Closing arguments in the trial of American Indian Movement creep Glenn Morris and two others charged with blocking the Columbus Day Parade route in Denver last year will be heard Tuesday, Colorado Indymedia says:
The defense presented its case on Friday in the first trial for [Transform Columbus Day] defenders. Defenders Glenn Morris, Koreena Montoya and Reverend Julie Todd gave eloquent and moving testimony about their reasons for taking a stand against the "convoy of conquest" last October.
By "eloquent" I suppose the writer means that Morris, at least, didn't directly threaten anybody during his testimony. This blog says a verdict will come tomorrow as well, though, of course, they couldn't know that.

Also, check out the blog Towanda's Window, apparently by one of the non-leader defendants in the case, of which there are 75 or so still to be tried (though if the leaders get off, charges against the rest may well be dropped, as happened in 2005). Here's part of her longish account of Friday's trial action:
All three defendants testified, as well as a couple of witnesses. The judge had forbidden any expert witnesses on behalf of the defense (to establish why columbus and columbus day should not be honored). However, Glenn Morris, Colorado AIM leader and one of the defendants, is himself an expert. He testified eloquently for at least 45 minutes on the disastrous actions and legacy of columbus, without a peep from the judge or city. The two women on trial were also able to give their reasons, which were similar but with their own flavor.

The women were strong, articulate, genuine, and completely unintimidated by pit bull city attorney (also a woman). They remained strong even while having to watch video and see photos of themselves being brutalized by the police and then explain what was happening for the jury. They were amazing. A favorite line from K, after explaining how she was initially attacked by police, including having her face squashed into the asphalt, watched her friend be hauled away, and then be left in the street: "As I sat there shaking I realized that everything I was there to protest was happening right in front of my eyes."
Try to read the whole thing, but if you notice blood in your vomit, stop at once. The writer's a student at the Iliff School of Theology, and a fine example of the Christian activist segment of the Ward Churchill demo. Towanda!

Update: All about Towanda:
I am a 37-year old woman. Most of the time I feel like I'm 27. Or 6. What does 37 feel like? Heck if I know. I still like to splash in mud puddles, play catch, and eat popsicles.

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