Mass Dissent – Mass Defense Committee Update

On Friday, February 10th, Jeff Feuer represented 14 Extinction Rebellion activists who were arrested in the evening of February 9th in Governor Healey’s office at the State House as part of a large demonstration (approximately 50 people) done by Extinction Rebellion to demand that the Governor take some immediate steps to address the climate emergency facing our state and country.  The 14 activists refused to leave once the State House closed to the public at 5:00 p.m.  They were all charged with criminal trespass on state property (G.L. c. 266, sec. 123).  Three of the arrestees still had open cases stemming from prior arrests at XR protests.

In the BMC, Jeff approached the ADA (after the State Police report showed no resistance by the demonstrators, other than an insistence on being arrested), and offered a dismissal before arraignment upon payment of $50.00 “court costs”.   The ADA eventually countered with delaying the arraignments for 2-3 months, completion of four hours of community service, and “staying out of trouble”.  After more negotiation, we settled on delaying arraignment for one month (until March 13th), four hours of community service at any non-profit that the arrestees are not currently affiliated with, clarifying that “staying out of trouble” meant not getting arrested again during the next month, and dismissal before arraignment on March 13th if their community service was completed, with the defendants’ appearance waived on that date.  All in all an excellent resolution that the activists were very happy with.