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For Immediate Release

Contact

Annie Banks, Indigenous Peoples Day 5 Solidarity Coalition
anniembanks@gmail.com/510-631-4353 (media purposes only)

Press Release

Over Fifty Community Organizations Call On Marin County District Attorney Lori Frugoli to Drop the Charges Against the "Indigenous Peoples Day 5"

WASHINGTON -

At 9:30 am on Wednesday, February 17, the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco-Bay Area, the Anti Police-Terror Project and the Indigenous Peoples Day 5 Solidarity Coalition will hold a virtual press conference in support of the Indigenous Peoples Day 5 and the campaign to drop the charges. The National Lawyers Guild is representing two of the defendants in the case. The press conference will take place in advance of the next hearing in the felony case being pursued against the Indigenous Peoples Day 5 by Marin County. Register to join the press conference here. ASL interpretation and closed captioning will be provided.

The group of Indigenous women and Two Spirit people are being charged by Marin County District Attorney Lori Frugoli in relation to the toppling of a Juniper Serra statue at Mission San Rafael on Indigenous Peoples Day. The group of community members was detained by police after a large gathering at Mission San Rafael on Indigenous Peoples Day in 2020, where participants demonstrated against the genocidal actions of Junipero Serra. Despite widespread community support for the Indigenous Peoples Day 5, their place in the important history of political resistance in the Bay Area, and the removal of Juniperro Serra statues throughout the state, Frugoli is pursuing felony charges against the five and has even considered hate crime enhancements.

Speakers will include Corrina Gould of Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, James Burch, President of the National Lawyers Guild San Francisco-Bay Area and the Policy Director of the Anti Police-Terror Project, Hasmik Geghamyan of the National Lawyers Guild, and Minister Cherri Murphy, Interfaith Organizer with EBASE. 

"Lori Frugoli's decision to single out Indigenous Women and Two Spirited persons for prosecution is of great concern to community organizations across the Bay Area. We will continue this campaign until the charges are dropped."—James Burch, National Lawyers Guild San Francisco-Bay Area and the Anti Police-Terror Project.

Junipero Serra was the founder of the Mission system and a murderous abuser of Indigenous people, notorious for imprisoning and enslaving Indigenous people in what is now known as California. His canonization was and is vehemently opposed by many groups, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous; numerous statues of Serra have been taken down for this reason. The  actions of the Indigenous Peoples Day 5 are part of a nationwide effort to remove symbols of violence, brutality, enslavement, and genocide. Many of these symbols have subsequently been removed by city and state officials themselves. 

An open letter to DA Frugoli, signed by over 50 community organizations, urged her to “act in accordance with your own stated values -  those of standing against racism in Marin, and drop the charges now against the Indigenous Peoples Day 5.” A petition urging the same has collected over 75,000 signatures and will be delivered to the District Attorney’s office this week. 

Ahead of Thursday’s arraignment, the Indigenous Peoples Day 5 Solidarity Coalition and Showing Up for Racial Justice Marin are asking supporters to call and email Frugoli’s office to demand that she drop the charges against the Indigenous Peoples Day 5.

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The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) works to promote human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests. It was founded in 1937 as the first national, racially-integrated bar association in the U.S.

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