Tiffany Tran was arrested during a police raid of Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant plaza this weekend, along with over a dozen other occupiers and bystanders. She was charged with an absurd felony–lynching–which criminalizes even touching or comforting someone once they’re in the physical custody of a police officer.
I spoke with a friend of hers who is in contact with her tonight, and he told me some disturbing details of her confinement at Santa Rita Jail. Tran claims she wasn’t told of her arraignment date, nor even the charge nor its severity until she spoke with a legal representative from the NLG yesterday–two days into her detention. She also said that she’s the only one from Occupy in the housing unit, that she is alone in her cell, and that correctional officers have been standing in front of her cell and harassing her, the guards told her that they were going to take photos of her and sell the–for example, according to Tran one line of ridicule has officers claiming that they will take her photo and publish it online. She says its obvious that she’s the only one being treated that way in the housing unit.
The dangers that Occupiers will face in jail have been obvious. Khali, an Occupier arrested on December 16, now faces felony charges added during his imprisonment which represent the possibility of years, if not decades, of possible incarceration. Truth, another occupier, is still in jail due to previous incarceration. Occupy Oakland, which has, since its inception been a welcoming home for a diverse group of activists, also counts some of society’s most vulnerable members as activists–especially those who’ve been dealing with an unfair society and justice system for the majority of their lives. For this reason, we can’t forget about any of our activists once they’re arrested, or make assumptions about light charges or lawful treatment.
Tiffany Tran will be arraigned tomorrow. OO and her family and friends are calling for people to pack the court room, and/or call the District Attorney.
Wiley Manuel Courthouse 7th st, Dept. 112.
District Attorney 510-272-6222
Mayor Jean Quan 510-238-3141
Information on Khali’s trial, along with a number for the Pleasanton District Attorney is available on the link in the body text above. Contact is also available there for Truth.
Occupiers including Alex, Brian and others are also being arraigned with charges as varied and absurd as lynching, inciting a riot, obstructing an officer. Arraignments will be held at 9am and at 2pm in the same courthouse for as many as a dozen occupiers arrested over the last week. Please direct your calls to DA and/or mayor for all of our activists.
There will be coffee served outside the courthouse by Occupy Oakland. For everyone except cops.