Workers Vanguard No. 910

14 March 2008


Drop Charges Against Denver Leftist Larry Hales!

The following Partisan Defense Committee protest letter was sent to Denver City Attorney David R. Fine and Mayor John Hickenlooper on March 8.

The Partisan Defense Committee protests the vicious police attack and bogus charges of “interfering with the police” against Larry Hales, a leader of the Denver branch of Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), a contributing editor to Workers World newspaper and an organizer against police brutality. We demand that all charges be dropped immediately.

Hales was arrested on November 30 after ten cops burst into his house without a warrant. The cops claimed they were seeking a man Hales was housing at the time, a survivor of a police gunshot in the back who was on parole and who had also filed a civil case against the cops. After he informed the police that the parolee was not home, Hales was assaulted and his companion, Melissa Kleinman, was handcuffed to a chair. Having ransacked his home, the police then dragged Hales off to jail. During the arraignment, the prosecutor suggested that more charges might be pending.

Hales was targeted by the police not only because he is a well-known young black activist with a history of protesting racist police terror, but also because he is an organizer of Re-create 68, one of the groups planning demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to be held in Denver in August. Hales’ arrest was a message of intimidation aimed at anyone who would want to protest. We recall that for the 2004 DNC protests in Boston, armed Coast Guard boats patrolled Boston Harbor while a razor wire steel cage was set up as the “free speech zone.” Congress has allocated $50 million each for security at the Denver DNC and the St. Paul Republican National Convention. Already last May the Denver city government announced plans to clear the homeless from downtown streets for the duration of the convention, especially in the so-called “security perimeter.”

We vigorously protest Hales’ outrageous arrest and demand that all charges against him be dropped.

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The PDC has contributed to Larry Hales’ legal defense. Donations can be sent to: National Justice for Larry Hales Committee, c/o Solidarity Center, 55 W. 17th St., #5C, New York, NY 10011. Make checks payable to Justice for Larry Hales/IAC.