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(en) US, Seattle, Free Chen Honkala! Don't let the poor be silenced!

From Joe Williams <search@outofprint.com>
Date Sun, 20 Feb 2000 03:21:01 -0500


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>From: <kwru@libertynet.org>
[February 15, 2000]: Cheri Honkala was arrested on November
29, 1999 in Seattle, Washington.  Cheri is the Director of
the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the National
Spokesperson for the Poor People's Economic Human Rights
Campaign.  The Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) is an
organization of poor and homeless women, men and children
who are fighting both to survive and to end poverty.  The
KWRU was named as one of the five most significant human
rights efforts in the world by the United Nations High
Commissioner on Human Rights.  This year, the KWRU was
awarded the Letelier-Moffet Human Rights Award.  The Poor
People's Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC) is made up
of over 40 poor-led organizations from around the country
who are fighting for economic human rights.  The Campaign
recently completed a 400 mile "March of the Americas," from
Washington DC to the United Nations in New York City to
protest poverty in the richest country in the world.

Cheri has dedicated her life to building a massive movement
to end poverty, led by the poor.  Cheri has signed on to the
case called "the Poor People's Economic Human Rights
Campaign vs. the United States."  This case, filed at the
Inter-American Commission of Organization of American
States, attempts to hold the United States accountable for
the economic human rights abuses being caused by downsizing,
poverty and welfare reform in the US today.  She has been
organizing for over 15 years to insure that poor and
homeless families are not hidden in America, and that the
voices of the poor are heard.

WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY
Calling for human rights to be valued above corporate
rights, Cheri Honkala was arrested on November 29, 1999 in
Seattle Washington.  Cheri was participating in the protests
of the World Trade Organization.  She is charged with
obstruction for her non-violent attempt to speak out.  All
but a dozen of the over 500 cases related to the WTO events
have since been thrown out of court, yet the District
Attorney's Office is still pursuing Cheri's case. Cheri was
offered a plea bargain that included 5 days in jail, $1000
fine, and a two-year gag order prohibiting her participation
or involvement in demonstrations anywhere in the country.
Cheri has turned down this attempt to silence her and deny
her First Amendment rights. She is scheduled to stand trial
on March 14th, 2000 in Seattle.

WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
Right now, people throughout the country, including
musicians, labor leaders, students, religious leaders, and
lawyers are writing letters to the District Attorney's
office in Seattle asking that Cheri Honkala's case be
dropped. We ask that you do the same.  Cheri's case number
is 371901. Please address your letter to City Attorney Mark
Sidran.  Mail your letter to Municipal Building, 10th Floor,
600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104, or fax to (206)684-8284.
Also, please cc the KWRU Defense Committee at PO Box 50678,
Philadelphia, PA 19132, (215)203-1950 FAX,
kwru@libertynet.org.  Thank you for your support.

---
CONTACT INFO:

Kensington Welfare Rights Union
NUHHCE, ASFCME, AFL-CIO
PO Box 50678
Philadelphia, PA 19132-9720
Phone: 215/203-1945
Fax:   215/203-1950
email: kwru@libertynet.org
web:   http://www.libertynet.org/kwru



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