Sunday, November 25, 2007

Protest abusive police actions

The below, [found here]

Welcome to

It is no crime to protest against warmongers.
It is no crime to complain about police brutality.
It is no crime to complain about dangerous medical malpractice.
Dr. Catherine Wilkerson will fight back. Will you stand with her?

--Things You Can Do to Help--
1. Spread the word to friends and fellow justice and peace activists by e-mail.
2. Phone or send a letter to the prosecutor urging him to drop the charges.
3. Sign the online petition.
4. Let friends and allies in southeast Michigan know about the case and the Committee and encourage them to get involved.
5. Hold a fund raising event--Dr. Wilkerson could teleconference or maybe send a video--or make a donation to the Committee.
6. Get organizational endorsements of our work.
7. Write an article or do an interview on the case.
8. If you have connections to any high-profile cultural or political figures who might send a letter of support then please let us know.

--Trial Information--
Jury selection is scheduled to continue on the first day of trial, which is November 26th at 1 PM. The trial continues on the 27th, 28th and 30th at 8:30 AM every day. All events take place in the courtroom of 15th District Court Judge Elizabeth Pollard-Hines. The court is located at 101 E. Huron St. (corner of Main St.) in downtown Ann Arbor. For directions go here. The court phone number is (734) 222-3380. We'll try to keep you apprised of scheduling changes but if you're coming in from out-of-town then you may want to call first.

--New Committee Endorsements--
Thanks to the efforts of Paul L., the Committee to Defend Catherine Wilkerson has two new Florida-based endorsing organizations: Bolivarian Youth and the Broward AntiWar Coalition. Welcome and thanks to our friends and allies in Florida for joining with our earlier endorsers: National Lawyers Guild, Detroit & Michigan Chapter; Council on American Islamic Relations, Michigan Chapter; Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality; Huron Valley Greens; Green Party of Michigan; Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice; and, the Gray Panthers of Huron Valley.


Defend Wilkerson Flier

Wilkerson Will Fight Political Repression & Police Brutality

The Committee to Defend Catherine Wilkerson was formed in April, 2007, to help Catherine Wilkerson, MD, fight back against political repression, police brutality, and apparent retaliatory misconduct by the University of Michigan (UM), Ann Arbor Police Department (AAPD), and Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie. On January 23, 2007, Dr. Wilkerson was charged by Mackie's office with two counts of attempting to assault/resist/obstruct "a person … performing his or her duties" in connection with a police disturbance last November on the University of Michigan campus. In fact, Dr. Wilkerson's only 'crimes' were to take responsibility for the well-being of a man apparently rendered unconscious by UM police and to file a written complaint about the police brutality she suffered at the hands of AAPD Officer Kevin Warner.

Last year, the American Movement for Israel invited Ray Tanter, PhD, to speak at the UM. In his 1998 book, Rogue Regimes, Tanter admitted to being an unindicted co-conspirator in the illegal Iran-Contra arms deal. In October, 2002, Tanter told the Michigan Daily that the coming US invasion of Iraq would be "an antidote" and that there would be no backlash. "Arab people won't go crazy, Muslim people won't go crazy. They'll roll over because they hate Saddam Hussein." Vanity Fair reported that in a speech in late 2005: "Tanter went as far as to suggest that the U.S. consider using tactical nuclear weapons against Iran." During his UM presentation, Tanter advocated reversing the State Department's designation of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq as a "foreign terrorist organization" so that they could receive funding to expand their terror campaign in Iran and bring about a "civil war."

It was against this backdrop that an informal group of local peace and justice activists, including Dr. Wilkerson, decided to stage a nonviolent protest. The protest began uneventfully outside the UM's Michigan League, where Tanter was to speak on November 30, 2006. It was inside that things went awry when UM police physically attacked to suppress the free speech rights of an Iranian-born woman who was heckling Tanter, as is explicitly permitted under the UM's policy on "Freedom of Speech and Artistic Expression."

In the ensuing overly aggressive police response, three people were arrested. As the senior medical professional on scene, Dr. Wilkerson took responsibility for the well-being of a middle-aged man who was forced by police to the floor. The man, at least twice, told the two police officers on top of him, "I can't breathe." After he lost consciousness, Dr. Wilkerson exhorted police to get off him and allow her to check his breathing and pulse. Wilkerson later protested when Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel adopted a punitive, potentially dangerous approach and breached ethical medical practices by forcing ammonia into the man's nostrils and face. It was at this time that she was physically assaulted and detained by Ann Arbor police. To this day, Wilkerson still requires physical therapy for the shoulder injury she needlessly suffered at the hands of Officer Warner. Wilkerson was never handcuffed or even required to produce identification because she had committed no crime in advocating for a patient in her care. However, nearly two months after the incident and just seven days after she filed a police brutality complaint, she was charged by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor Brian Mackie's office, at the request of the UM police, with two attempted felonies—one against Officer Warner and one against the EMS personnel.

A pdf flyer including this article may be downloaded at

For more information on how you can get involved or make a contribution to Dr. Wilkerson's legal defense fund, contact Aimee Smith at (734) 761-9901, DefendWilkerson-owner[AT], or go to The Committee's work is supported by the National Lawyers Guild, Detroit & Michigan Chapter; Council on American Islamic Relations, Michigan Chapter; Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality; Huron Valley Greens; Green Party of Michigan; Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice; Gray Panthers of Huron Valley; Bolivarian Youth (Miami); and, the Broward (FL) AntiWar Coalition.

The Committee to Defend Catherine Wilkerson, P.O. Box 8041, Ann Arbor, MI 48107

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