Trials beginning today for protesters at September’s Republican National Convention will themselves be protested in a variety of ways over the next few days. A new coalition called Community RNC Arrestee Support Structure — or CRASS – plans to pack courtrooms with supporters and rally against St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman today. CRASS has also called for a two-day call-in on Tuesday and Wednesday to Ramsey County Attorney Susan Gaertner — whose gubernatorial campaign fund-raiser the group protested earlier this month — to demand that she drop charges against the RNC8, eight arrestees facing felony charges whose next consolidated court date is Wednesday afternoon.
Details after the jump, including the names of those whose trials start this week.
CRASS tells the Minnesota Independent that trials start this week for Vernon Rodrigues (felony); Shannon Alsup, Ashley Majer, Lisa Mirkovich, Loren Yglecias (gross misdemeanors); and Jared Collins, Leif Johnson, Thomas Kamen and Andrew Wilson (misdemeanors).
The protest against Coleman is set for 4:30 p.m. today at Mancini’s Steak House, 531 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.
The call-in to Gaertner’s office is set for 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Wednesday. That effort leads up to the next court date for the eight people arrested before the convention began who are known as the RNC8: Luce Guillen Givins, Max Specktor, Nathanael Secor, Eryn Trimmer, Monica Bicking, Erik Oseland, Robert Czernik and Garrett Fitzgerald.
CRASS describes itself as “non-hierarchical coalition of RNC arrestees and community allies” that includes Coldsnap Legal Collective, Friends of the RNC 8, the National Lawyers Guild – Minnesota, Communities United Against Police Brutality, Anti-War Committee, Twin Cities Indymedia, and Veterans for Peace.
On Friday, Joe Robinson received the first RNC protester felony sentence – a $100 fine and 100 hours of community service — from Ramsey County District Court Judge Salvador Rosas, who is assigned to hear the RNC8 case on Wednesday.