Important: Camilo's Trial April 5 - Action Needed

ALERT - SOLIDARITY NEEDED

Dear Friends and Supporters of Camilo Viveiros,

We are just under one month away from Camilo's April
5th trial! We need to step up our support for Camilo,
the only first-degree felony case remaining from the
arrests during the 2000 Republican National
Convention. Let's use all the available time wisely to
keep mobilizing crucial support and keep Camilo from
being put behind bars!

With the 2004 Republican National Convention
approaching, we must make sure that Camilo is not
scapegoated to justify future police aggression. If
they can get away with criminalizing Camilo then
anyone who dares to speak out for justice could be in
his same situation, a lesson reinforced during the
recent attacks by Timoney's police in Miami.

Support for Camilo and criticisms of Timoney have
been growing over the past few months. The San
Francisco Labor Council recently passed a resolution
in support of Camilo. The AFL-CIO called for a federal
investigation and for Timoney's resignation after his
horrendous role in Miami. Now is the time to mobilize
additional support from labor groups in the form of
letters or resolutions.

People have been creative about how they have been
spreading the word, from producing radio shows and
turning birthday parties into solidarity events, to
publishing articles in the independent press and using
puppets, spoken word and theater to inform others
about who Camilo is while urging people to stand by
him and stand up for our right to protest.

We all need to expand our activities and get more
people involved!

What can you do? If you've written a support letter,
you can ask an organization with whom you are
affiliated to write one. If you've signed the
petition, you can download a copy of the petition
and get more signatures. If you've made a donation,
you can pass the hat at an event, plan a houseparty or
other fundraiser. If you've looked at the website, you
can forward an announcement about the case to
listserves you are on (see below).

And of course, you can sign and circulate the online
petition:
http://www.petitiononline.com/foc/petition.html
(although we encourage you to still download the
regular petition to circulate at meetings, or when
tabling at events and conferences.)

If you care about justice and if you want to ensure
our continued right to protest (and send a message to
Timoney), then get more involved today!

Although a lot of hard work has been done, we must
remember the work that is still desperately needed. We
know that the Philadelphia Police department has over
500 detectives at their disposal and that John Timoney
has political connections at every level of
government.

We must strive to out organize their connections with
thousands of community groups and robust political
support. We have to remind the residents of
Philadelphia that they were charged with the expenses
to protect republican policies, which are now reeking
financial and social havoc on U.S. cities across the
country. From the direct action activists to Democrat
politicians we need to build a base that can threaten
efforts to stifle our dissent. We must also remind
members of religious, labor, civil rights, women's and
other social justice groups that they were once
criminalized and get them involved in fending off the
present assault on our rights and camilo.

For updates and events check the website:
http://www.friendsofcamilo.org
(If the page doesn't load, please try
http://www.waste.org/~roadrunner/writing/camilo/main.htm)

Please forward us suggestions for contacts, events,
activities and ideas.

With Love and Solidarity,

Friends of Camilo
Stayingstrong@hotmail.com
877-240-9517

To take an easy first step, please email the following
announcement to listserves you belong to:

**PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY**

-ALERT-

SOLIDARITY NEEDED IN DEFENCE OF JUSTICE!

Community organizer faces decades in prison April 5th
Trial for Community Activist Camilo Viveiros

Camilo Viveiros, a community organizer and housing
activist in southeastern Massachusetts was arrested
along with over 400 other protesters in August 2000
during the Republican National Convention in
Philadelphia. Camilo faces trumped up charges that
could result in a prison sentence of over 30 years.
We need to protect Camilo and preserve our civil
liberties!

This is not simply a case of injustice against one
individual. If Camilo is unjustly convicted a
precedent will be set that will threaten our right to
use public protest and nonviolent civil disobedience
as a way to speak up against injustice. The push for
Camilo's unjust conviction is an effort to legitimize
the repression of our movements for justice.

People went to Philly during the Republican National
Convention (RNC) to demonstrate against police
brutality, the increase in construction of jails
rather than schools, in favor of affordable housing,
healthcare, labor and immigrant's rights and many
other issues. They were met with repression,
surveillance and brutality by the police in what
civil liberties lawyers say was one of the largest
violations of First Amendment rights since the
Vietnam War.

In the three years since the RNC protest, of the
400+ arrested, 95% have had their cases either
dismissed for lack of evidence or have been acquitted.
As the prosecutor's cases fell apart in court, a
series of investigative reports revealed how far
police powers and the judiciary were abused to stifle
dissent. Police deployed such tactics as the
infiltration of groups, preemptive arrests,
preventative detention and mass arrests. Authorities
set outlandish and unprecedented bails of up to a
million dollars for misdemeanors.

>From the onset, RNC protesters where portrayed as
violent thugs. Smears and lies, claimed that
demonstrators where storing explosive materials in a
warehouse that police had infiltrated and knew
contained no such materials. Coordinated plans to
disrespect protesters' rights where hidden by a smoke
screen of anti-protester media manipulation. Police
claimed that protestors carried "unknown substances"
which turned out to be water bottles. They made absurd
claims that arrested protesters smeared themselves
with their own feces. Of the many falsified
accusations directed at protesters the remaining
charges against Camilo are important to expose.

Timoney claimed that Camilo was violent to him and
another officer, while witnesses and hospital records
prove that Camilo was beaten by the police and
received a concussion. After Camilo was brutalized he
was charged with attacking police. Unfortunately it is
a prevalent police cover up tactic to charge those who
are attacked by the police with aggravated assault
against the police.

Camilo is caught in the very system he was protesting
for its inhumanity and brutality. He still faces
severe charges. We need to work together to make
sure he does not stand alone, after he has struggled
to stand up for justice in our communities.

Camilo's trial is set for April 5th. It is the
prosecutor's final attempt to try to claim "violent"
protesters validate the city's misdeeds and wasted
resources. For those who know Camilo and the
behavior of Philadelphia's Police during the RNC the
charges against Camilo are clearly false. He
remains charged with a first-degree felony claimed
by then-police commissioner John Timoney, a charge
that carries the same potential sentence as homicide.
If convicted, Camilo could face 15-40 years in prison!

While Camilo's history, as a non-violent activist is
clear, John Timoney has advanced his career from his
role in the often-violent repression of activists. He
gained national notoriety by repeating his
fictionalized accounts of fending off dangerous
protesters in Philadelphia. He has replicated his
tactics of repression as police commissioner of Miami.
After Timoney trampled on protesters rights and the
public's security during the Free Trade Area of the
Americas (FTAA) protest, he earned widespread
condemnation including a demand by the Steelworkers
as well as the AFL-CIO that he be removed from office.

Timoney has a personal investment in portraying
protesters as dangerous. He is presently on a leave of
absence from a security firm that specializes in
protecting corporate interests. With disturbing
national trends that are reducing civil liberties and
John Timoney's special role in repression it is
important that we work to keep Camilo free and stop
the build up of repressive government forces that will
be used against social justice activists and people of
color.

We need to support Camilo to fight increased
government repression and defend our civil liberties!

STEPS YOU CAN TAKE:

1) Write a letter in support of Camilo. Letters from
individuals are important, and letters from national
organizations, community groups, tenant associations,
unions, religious congregations, etc. are powerful in
demonstrating broad based concern.Letters are vitally
important for convincing the judge of Camilo's
character, and for showing how much damage it would do
to the community if he were imprisoned. Letters of
support also help increase public and political
pressure around the case. Support letters have been
received from: U.S. Congressmen Barney Frank and
James McGovern, the Boston City Council, the
National Organizers Alliance, the National Coalition
for the Homeless, Arthur Miller, Mel King, Howard
Zinn, and numerous housing, religious, labor and
social justice organizations from around the country.
Send two copies of your letter, one addressed to the
"Honorable Judge Mazzola", one addressed to "To Whom
it May Concern", to the following address: Friends of
Camilo P.O. Box 23169 Providence, RI 02903

For more information or assistance email:
stayingstrong@hotmail.com

In your letter, try to address the following points:

*If possible write your letter on organizational
letterhead and state your group's members and services
provided. If you are not a member of an organization,
you can mention community work or an institution you
belong to and describe the communities served. If you
are writing solely as an individual, it is useful to
mention something about yourself (i.e.: you are a
student, small business owner, union member etc.).

*Briefly state your concerns regarding the continued
prosecution of Camilo. Explain why it would be a shame
to deprive the community of the valuable work Camilo
does. E.g. Taking him away from his work would be a
crisis for the tenants he works with and would add
insecurity to the lives of the seniors and low-income
tenants who Camilo works with.

*Make a connection between the work you are doing and
the work Camilo does. Contact us if you want to learn
more about Camilo's work on a particular issue (the
website does not contain a comprehensive listing of
all the issues Camilo has or is working on.)

* Attest to Camilo's character and reputation as a
nonviolent and peaceful person and a level headed
community member. Letter writing guidelines and sample
letters can be found at: www.friendsofcamilo.org.
(If the page doesn't load, please try
http://www.waste.org/~roadrunner/writing/camilo/main.htm)

2) Help generate support in Philadelphia; this is a
community issue! We need to let people know that
Camilo went to Philly to support the important
programs that affect the average Philadelphia.
Taxpayers’ funds have been used to support the
criminalization of Camilo rather than to support
needed social service programs that Camilo was
defending in the first place. As the prosecution
against Camilo continues, important community issues
are drained financially in order to villainize Camilo
with false allegations. If you have suggestions or
contacts of Philadelphia community groups or
individuals that can help, please contact us at:
stayingstrong@hotmail.com.

3) Publicize information about Camilo's case in your
internal publications and networks like newsletters,
mailings, listserves or website. Having your labor
union/labor council pass a resolution to support
Camilo would also help (for examples and literature
contact us).

4) Download a petition and collect signatures at
meetings and events. Download the pamphlet "In Defend
of Justice" from www.friendsofcamilo.org
and distribute it.

5) Attend events in your area. (There will also be a
vigil and solidarity events in Philadelphia during
Camilo's trial.) Events are listed on the website.

6) Email: stayingstrong@hotmail.com if you are
willing to participate in more, e.g. make phone calls,
do research/outreach, organize solidarity
events/fundraisers, attend the trial or a press
conference, etc.