25 June 2012

Today on DefendersLIVE

Part 2 of 2-part interview with Lois Leveen, author of "The Secrets of Mary Bowser"- Continuing the conversation about Mary Bowser's work with Elizabeth Van Lew as a Civil War Union spy in the White House of the Confederacy. Why would an educated, free Black woman in Philadelphia risk all to return to the city of her birth, and her enslavement, to do this work? How is a culture of secret-keeping a key to survival while enslaved as well as in espionage... Why symbolic truth is as important for the oppressed as it is for the oppressor...

Tune in at 12 noon - live streamed at WRIR.org or on your radio at 97.3 FM (LP).

You can hear past shows at DefendersLIVEradio.blogspot.com (2011-2012) and Radio4all.net (2011 and earlier)
Comments or questions? Email defenderslivehost@gmail.com

18 June 2012

Emergency Court Watch: All Out for Ashley Williams, Tues. June 19 at 3pm

Attention Defenders & Friends!!

The Coalition for Justice has just learned that Judge Richard Taylor has scheduled the sentencing hearing for Ashley Williams. for tomorrow, June 19, 2012, at 3pm, at the John Marshall Courts Building, 400 N. 9th Street. We do not know the room number, but it will be posted in the lobby.

It is critical that everyone who can attend this hearing.
We must speak out against this miscarriage of justice!

Supporters include the Coalition for Justice, VA NAACP, Defenders, and Alliance for Progressive Values.
For background on the case, visit DefendersFJE.org
Today on DefendersLIVE: part 1 of 2 part interview with Lois Leveen, author of "The Secrets of Mary Bowser"- A conversation about this historical novel based on the limited historical record available about her work with Elizabeth Van Lew as a Civil War Union spy in the White House of the Confederacy providing information to the Union Army from the desk of Jefferson Davis... Why would an educated free Black woman in Philadelphia risk all to return to the city of her birth, and her enslavement, to do this work?

Tune in at 12 noon - live streamed at WRIR.org or on your radio at 97.3 FM (LP). More on DefendersLIVE at defendersliveradio.blogspot.com

01 June 2012

UPDATE ON THE ASHLEY WILLIAMS CASE – The court hearing to decide on Ms. Williams' request to be represented by attorney Pauline Ewald will NOT take place this Monday, June 4. What will happen Monday – by email – will be deciding the DATE for the court hearing. We should know that date by Monday afternoon, and will post and send out the information.

An explanation: A June 4 hearing is listed on the Virginia Courts Case Information website (http://ping.fm/DiYZP), the standard site reporters use to find out the progress of cases. But Ms. Ewald has told us that an actual hearing will not take place on that day. There has been confusion about hearings in the past, so, just to double-check, I stopped by the court clerk's office yesterday, and was told the same thing.

Hopefully, everyone who had planned to attend a June 4 hearing will be able to make the new date. If Ms. Williams is granted her request, Ms. Ewald will then ask the court to allow Ms. Williams to withdraw her guilty plea and let the case go to trial, under a new judge. If Ms. Williams is denied her right to be represented by the counsel of her choice, the case will go back to Judge Richard Taylor – not for a trial, but for sentencing. Ms. Williams is facing up to 45 years in prison for a crime she did not commit, so a big turnout for the court hearing will be crucial to prevent a major miscarriage of justice.

Look for a public statement to be jointly issued soon by the state NAACP, the Defenders and the Coalition for Justice, a group of longtime Richmond Black activists that is playing the leading role in supporting Ms. Williams right to a fair trial.

FOR THE BACKGROUND ON THIS CASE, PLEASE VISIT WWW.DEFENDERSFJE.ORG.

The Defenders also are urging everyone to support the courageous Virginia prisoners carrying out a hunger strike at the notorious Red Onion State prison. (See http://ping.fm/24TXg)

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO IS FOLLOWING BOTH THESE IMPORTANT STRUGGLES.