[R-G] Verdict in Texaco 7 Trial, Albuquerque, Oct 2, 2002
citizen at comcast.net
Thu Oct 3 11:08:14 MDT 2002
Thursday, October 3, 2002
War Protesters Convicted of Criminal Trespass
By Chris Ramirez
Journal Staff Writer
Four protesters who chained themselves to service station gas pumps
during an anti-war demonstration were convicted of criminal trespassing
Metropolitan Court Judge Marie Baca dismissed charges against two other
defendants, and a seventh protester was acquitted. About 40 people, mainly
college-age supporters, packed Baca's tiny courtroom.
Before handing down the sentences, Baca said the protesters could have
legally protested from the sidewalk to get their message across.
Charges against the defendants, who dubbed themselves "The Texaco 7,"
stemmed from an April 8 demonstration at the Texaco at Carlisle and
Interstate 40. The demonstration drew about 40 protesters, many of whom
carried signs that read, "No blood for oil."
The Texaco 7 protested the United States' support of Israel, which at
the time was embroiled in heavy fighting with Palestinian militants in the
town of Jenin. They also claimed that President Bush's Middle East foreign
policy was driven by ambitions of establishing American oil rights in the
Charged were Jessica Cullity, Jackie Storr, Julie Buckland, Cara
McClendon, Darcy Brazen, Yhvh Batista and Bob Anderson, all of Albuquerque.
McClendon, Buckland, Anderson and Brazen were convicted and were each
given six months of unsupervised probation. Cullity was found not guilty.
Baca dismissed charges against Storr and Batista, saying the state
failed to prove its case against them.
Store manager Charles McCracken testified that protesters ignored his
pleas over a loudspeaker for them to leave the property. He locked himself
in the store, then called police.
Officers had to use fire department bolt cutters to free and arrest the
"There was no criminal intent," said Charles Knoblaugh, one of four
defense attorneys in the case. "They were exercising their Constitutional
Initially, the protesters were charged with criminal trespassing,
refusing to obey a police officer, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly and
obstructing movement. Prosecutors dropped all but the trespassing charge in
exchange for the defense allowing the case to be heard by a judge instead of
a jury, said Pete Ross, an assistant district attorney.
Ross had recommended that each defendant serve probation for a year.
Baca also ordered McClendon, Buckland, Anderson and Brazen to perform 20
hours of community service and barred them from going to the gas station
Anderson said he and the other protesters wanted to send a message that
there is growing opposition to President Bush's agenda in the Middle East.
"Americans are tired of war," said Anderson, who teaches American
Studies at the University of New Mexico. "Our foreign policy is terroristic.
It's got to change."
Albuquerque, NM 87196
citizen at comcast.net
Dr. Robert L. Anderson
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131
band at unm.edu
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