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In NYC you can go to jail for being a community gardener: La Esperanza Update


This morning I attended the pretrial motions of  26 of the 31 community 
garden activists who were arrested and charged  in connection with the 
protests against the bulldozing of the La Esperanza Garden on Manhattan's  
Lower East Side last February. Before we entered the court at 100 Center 
Street, we were treated to a curbside puppet show by one of the defendants  
retelling the events that led up to the bulldozing of this 20 year old 
community garden for the benefit of  Donald Capoccia, a Giuliani campaign 
contributor and developer of luxury housing. Watching the expressions of 
court officers, attorneys and passersby were priceless. Then, of course, back 
to reality.

These gardeners and garden activists are each facing several counts  of 
trespassing and obstruction of government administration which could 
potentially land each of them in jail for about a year. 

There is movement from the DA's office to reduce the charges for some 
participants, the worst sanctions are reserved for those who climbed a tree 
at a City Hall protest last March and for whom no plea bargain deal  is 
currently being offered. 

Currently, the pre-trial motions  for the 26 defendants are being handled on 
a pro-bono basis by Ronald L. Kuby's law office (formerly of the law firm of 
Kunstler & Kuby) and will probably  be handed over at some point to Legal Aid 

Should there be any need at a later date for letters/e-mails/telephone calls 
of support for the gardeners to the court, elected officials and media, I 
will certainly pass it on to this listserv. 

Currently, there has been no legal defense fund set up for these largely 
indigent defendant-gardeners. Should the need arise, I will of course let you 
all know where contributions can be sent.

Happy Gardening,

Adam Honigman
Clinton Community Garden

community_garden maillist  -  community_garden@mallorn.com

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