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New Jersey: Case against Plainfield 4 Dismissed

By David Hungerford

Group in the cold

Plainfield, NJ – The People’s Organization for Progress (POP) called a rally here, Dec. 15 to protest the Nov. 19 arrest of four of its members. The 4 were peacefully rallying against police brutality and violence in the community when they were arrested, photographed and charged with unlawful assembly.

About 60 people turned up at the arrest site on Dec. 15 to continue the struggle against this outrageous violation of civil and constitutional rights. Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson Briggs approached the group. To the cheers of the participants she read a statement that all charges would be dropped, the records expunged and the photos shredded. “Everyone has the right to fight for their civil rights,” she said.

POP had demanded that any city ordinances in conflict with rights of free speech be dropped. Bennet Zurofsky, attorney for the 4, said, “Police often treat people who demonstrate in the streets as people who are only marginally behaving in a legal manner, who should be grateful for whatever they’re given, when in fact, it’s the law of the nation.” He will meet with city officials to discuss changes in the ordnances to protect demonstrators.

The repressiveness of the G.W. Bush era is a sign of weakness and crisis in the U.S. social order, not of strength. The victory of POP and the Plainfield 4 is due to the power of the people. When the people stand together they are stronger than the Bush forces.

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