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Protest November 20th in Washington D.C.

By National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera

Fight Back News Service is distributing the following press release from the National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera.

On November 20th Colombian revolutionary Ricardo Palmera faces sentencing in a Washington D.C federal court. The National Committee to Free Ricardo Palmera will pack the courtroom in support of this brave freedom fighter.

Tom Burke of the National Committee says, “We oppose the kidnapping, trials, and imprisonment of Ricardo Palmera. Palmera is a political prisoner. President Bush’s empire is crumbling around him—from Baghdad to Bogota. Even in U.S. courtrooms, brave revolutionaries like Ricardo Palmera speak against the U.S. Empire and expose the lies, the distortions, and the injustice of the Bush administration. Palmera has beaten the slanders and lies of the U.S. government again and again. We say Free Ricardo Palmera!”

Angela Denio of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) relates, “Students from across the U.S. are educating themselves and protesting the trials and sentencing of Professor Palmera. We oppose the war in Iraq. We oppose Plan Colombia—the U.S. dirty war that brings poverty, misery, and death to the Colombian people. SDS protests at the U.S. Military’s School of the America’s in Georgia, where the Colombian death squads are trained. An SOA graduate recently testified against Professor Palmera. It is Bush and the SOA that should be on trial! Our campaign to Free Ricardo Palmera shows Latin Americans that most North Americans are for peace and justice.”

Ricardo Palmera is a peace negotiator for Colombia’s rebels – the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The U.S. kidnapped and extradited Palmera to a prison outside Washington D.C. where he is held in solitary confinement—allowed no family, no friends, no reporters, not even his own Colombian lawyer. Ricardo Palmera is a political prisoner. He has committed no crime. He only defends his country and fights for freedom and democracy for the Colombian people.

Professor Palmera’s trials are extraordinary. By speaking the truth, FARC leader Palmera has consistently beaten the Bush administration’s prosecutors. Palmera won a victory when the first trial ended in a hung jury. When the U.S. government re-tried Palmera on the same exact charges, Judge Hogan was caught cheating and had to step down. Hogan’s replacement, Judge Lamberth refused to allow Palmera any witnesses. The U.S. prosecutor has dozens of witnesses—paid informants, lying convicted drug runners, and corrupt Colombian government officials. At the end of the retrial, the jury could not find Palmera guilty of “terrorism” charges or a kidnapping charge related to three U.S. military contractors captured and held by the FARC. Unfortunately, based upon the FARC capturing its enemies in combat, the jury convicted Palmera of “belonging to a conspiracy to kidnap”. In another recent “drug” trial, seven American jurors wanted to find Professor Palmera “not guilty”, but a hung jury resulted. The U.S. prosecutor plans to re-try Ricardo Palmera though there is no evidence, only paid informants. Palmera plans to testify and win again. The only fair trial is no trial. The only fair sentence is no sentence.

Free Ricardo Palmera!

Picket line and press conference to demand Ricardo Palmera's freedom!

Tuesday, November 20th

8:30 AM picket line

9:00 AM press conference

U.S. Federal Court Building (333 Constitution Ave., NW)

For more info contact Tom Burke at 773-844-3612 or Mick Kelly at 612-715-3280.

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