This morning Ademo Freeman and I had court in Greenfield, MA.
As we approached the courthouse, our bud William said to our group “Hurry up guys. Time for justice!” trying to get us through the doors. A bailiff, stationed outside, responded laughed and said, “You’ve came to the wrong place.”
He was right. Below is an overview.
Ian Freeman was cool enough to film using Qik (he informed the court of his intention when he arrived this morning). Links to the first three are linked in the text and his fourth is embedded below.
First video (~1min)
We shuffled into a small courtroom. Standing by the door, I overhead one exiting court employee tell an entering court employee to “be careful” because “there’s a mob in there.” That “mob” were all the awesome individuals who took time out of their busy schedules to join us – we counted 24 total from NH, MA and NY.
We were supposed to start at 8:45am. That came and went.
At 9:10 I approached the court employees and asked when we were getting started, noting that a lot of people took time out of their schedules to be present. I was told that we “may have to wait all day.” Friendly.
Soon after the judge ordered everyone save for Ademo and myself (and our buddies) to leave the court. (Later, when walking down the hall a friendly but discrete lawyer pulled me aside and noted that that action – telling some people to leave – may have violated the Constitution – not that that’s where I look for my rights but in case he’s correct per that text for those of you who do).
Second video (~3min)
Ademo was told that his case would be continued to February 18th since his lawyer wasn’t present (we were told that he hurt his hand on Saturday). Ademo noted that he had never made an agreement with the lawyer (randomly assigned at his arraignment on July 2nd) and that he wanted to proceed on his own.
I reiterated that I would not sign their paperwork and tried to communicate just how unaccountable Greenfield bureaucrats have been in providing me any information about our case specifically and about court and agency procedural practices generally.
Third video (~1min)
Apparently they didn’t like our responses. We were told to go wait in the hall so they could hear 15 other cases. Michele Seven asked if we had enough time to eat. She was told by a snarky bailiff: “Sorry, but I don’t have my crystal ball.”
The fourth video (~10min)
We were called back into the court. I inquired why our cases were at different points (Ademo had trial, I had pre-trial). Ademo restated that he wanted to proceed and that he’d not made any agreements with any lawyer. I was told I could not represent myself and they could not continue with my case until I signed their waiver. Ademo requested access to his property (camera, phone) still in their possession. Then the judge said “I’m gonna get off the bench” and we were told “February 18th” by multiple people and they tried to usher us out. We sought accountability and got none.
All in all, they didn’t drop our charges, return our property or even provide us copies of the footage captured during our arrest. Instead, they ordered us to return on February 18th.
For more, see our short post-court Qik update, listen to the Jan. 10th episode of Free Talk Live hosted by Ian Freeman, Mark Edge and Michele Seven and watch RidleyReport’s “Judge Bans Laughter” and previous related posts Greenfield, MA PD Arrest & Intimidate Activists For Filming and My Name is Pete Eyre – My Docket Number Is 10.41.CR.11.41.