Occupy Albany comes out of hibernation tomorrow - the group is urging citizens to “come out to show support at two separate hearings for activists who were arrested locally for engaging in civil disobedience in furtherance of social justice."
Occupy Albany has been monitoring the legal battle that has County District Attorney David Soares at odds with City Court Judge William Carter. Attorneys for both officials are scheduled to appear in state Supreme Court Friday morning before acting State Supreme Court Justice Richard Platkin.
When Occupy first began protesting in downtown Albany in 2011, Soares made it clear that so long as demonstrations were conducted peacefully, he wouldn't use county resources to prosecute "occupiers."
Judge Carter's lawyers say Platkin must decide whether Carter can be stopped from holding Soares' office in contempt "for failing to exercise his duty." But Soares' legal representative expects Platkin to decide if Carter can order Soares' office to call witnesses he refused to call in pre-trial hearing against four Occupy Albany protesters. The judge's legal team alleges Soares shirked his duty.
Occupy Albany has branded Carter "an out of control Judge who wants to force the District Attorney's office to prosecute peaceful protesters against their will." Colin Donnaruma is an attorney with the Ocuupy Albany Legal Working Group: he happens to be one of the four occupiers arrested during an Occupy Albany march a little over a year ago.
Occupy Albany will also be present at Albany Criminal Court on Morton Ave for the 11 a.m. arraignments of the 21 activists arrested in the NYS Capitol last Tuesday protesting the blockage of a series of key reforms including Women's Equality, Fair Elections, GENDA, the Dream Act, a Fracking Moratorium and Marijuana Decriminalization.
The district attorney's office did not respond to a request for comment. Judge Carter's legal term did not have a represenative available to speak with WAMC in time for broadcast.