Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Black Boston City Councilor, Chuck Turner, Targeted by Federal Government and Corporate Media: Community Pledges to Fightback Against Racist Attacks

Black City Councilor targeted

By Frank Neisser

The Boston City Council is attempting to remove progressive City Councilor Chuck Turner—an African American—from his Council duties. Seven armed FBI agents went to Turner’s home in the early morning of Nov. 21 to arrest him while he was at his office. Turner was arraigned in court later that day and charged with “attempted extortion” and “making false statements to the executive branch.” He was released on a long list of conditions and a $50,000 unsecured bond.

A press conference and open City Council meeting on Turner took place Nov. 24. This is a political attack on the right of the oppressed community to political participation, representation and leadership nationwide. The International Action Center, United Steel Workers Local 8751 School Bus Drivers Union, Steelworkers Local 8751 and other activists are mobilizing local and national support for Turner, who has consistently stood up for the rights of all oppressed and working people in the Roxbury community and elsewhere. For more information and updates go to:

1) 11/26 - Chuck Turner Press Conference & Rally
2) 11/24 - Press Release

1) Defend Chuck Turner! Defend Roxbury!

November 26 - 10:00am
Press Conference & Rally
District 7 Office
51 Roxbury St., Roxbury, MA
(Dudley Sq. - Roxbury & Shawmut)

Hundreds of supporters attended Chuck's press conference that was held Monday afternoon at Boston City Hall. The overwhelming show of support for Chuck that has been growing since Friday forced City Council President Feeney to back down from her racist attempt to unjustly remove Chuck from the Council. Feeney. however, refused to reinstate Chuck as Chair of the Education and Human Rights Committees.

Come to the press conference and rally on November 26 and show your support for Chuck Turner!

• Drop the Racist Frame-up Charges Now!
• Defend the Democratic Rights of the People of Roxbury!
• City Council President Feeney & Mayor Menino: “Stop ALL Attempts to Remove Chuck Turner from the City Council!”
• Reinstate Chuck Turner as Chair of the Education and Human Rights Committees!
• Stop the “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” Witch-Hunt in the City Council and the Media!

2) For Immediate Release - November 24, 2008

City Hall Office: (617) 635 3510
District Office: (617) 427-8100

Councilor Turner’s Press Statement

After 45 years of what I believe has been a career of integrity and service to my people, I find myself in a difficult situation. Ironically, the fact of my arrest and the possibility of spending twenty-five years in jail (if I live that long) while troubling, is not my paramount concern.

Those who know me understand that beyond providing care and support for those I love, I only have one objective in life—the liberation of my people. If at the end of my 45 year attempt to be of service to my Creator by standing up, speaking out, and taking action on behalf of my racial and human family, I am convicted for a crime I did no commit, I can accept that as the will of my Creator.

My main concern is that I am not being tried by a jury of my peers, I am being tried by the Globe, the Herald, Fox News, Channel 7, Channel 5, etc., etc. etc. News outlets that would not cover my work as a City Councilor are now knocking at my door almost every hour demanding that I speak to them as if I have some responsibility to serve their bosses.

In addition, Council President Feeney, on Friday at 12, three hours before my arraignment felt it appropriate to strip me of my committee chairpersonships and committee seats. She then decided that it was appropriate to have the City Council put me on trial at a special City Council meeting called for 3 p.m. today.

Obviously, the press is working to publicly destroy my reputation before I even have an opportunity to have a day in court. Since I am being tried by the media and my fellow Councilors, I have made the decision to publicly defend myself. That is I will act as my own lawyer in this media trial in which I find myself. Some argue that I should keep quiet for fear that I may make some statement that can be used against me. So be it! I will not sit back silently and allow my reputation be ripped to shreds.

While there are more issues that I will raise in future press conference to help the public appreciate my innocence, I would urge all assembled to join me in the Council Chambers at 3 p.m. as I participate in the Council’s deliberations on whether to expel me from the Counsel and deprive my constituents of my representation.

I also urge you to join me at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 26 in front of my district office, 51 Roxbury Street where I will continue to present my defense.

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