Oct 9 trial date set.'The Timoney three.'
profrv at nex.net.au
Tue May 11 10:01:43 PDT 1999
A trial date of October 9th, 2002 has been set for three of the remaining
Republican Convention Defendants.
In August of 2000, when the Republican Convention met in Philadelphia,
local activists invited their friends to be out in the streets protesting
the Republicans' abysmal stance on criminal justice issues.
Over 400 of the protestors were arrested, and three of them are still
awaiting trial. Eric Steinberg, Darby Landy, and Camilo (pronounced
Camille) Viveiros were charged with conspiracy and violations against then
police chief John Timoney.
Lawyers for the "Timoney 3," as they have been called, attempted to reduce
the charges, which initially included conspiracy charges and a felony
assault charge against community organizer Camilo Viveiros.
Initially court proceedings went well, and in October of 2000 some charges
were dropped. In December of 2001 however, Mr. Viveiros's attorney Robert
Levant recieved the bad news that the superior court of Pennsylvania had
restored the charges, including the first degree felony assault.
An appeal was immediately filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
On Friday July 12th attorney Bob Levant was told that the appeal had not
been accepted. All three defendants now face trial on October 9th, 2002.
Supporters for Camilo hope that friends and supporters will come to
Philadelphia for the trial. Nore importantly, however, immediate actions
can be taken to see that justice prevails.
Camilo is facing serious charges and the possibility of a long prison
sentece. His friends are asking all concerned and compassionate people to
help by educating others about the case, raising money for the legal
defense fund, writing letters to Philadelphia publications expressing
concern about the case, and writing letters, in care of Friends of Camilo,
to Judge Yohn to be used at the appropriate time in the trial.
Help educate about the case by tabling at events and conferences, hosting a
panel or discussion, or organzing a fund-raiser or other event to raise
If you were at the Republican convention protests and were near Latimer
(near Walnut) and 17th at the time of the arrest you can help by contacting
the legal defense team.
If you are a writer or journalist you can help by writing a story, an
opinion piece, a letter to the editor or interviewing people involved with
If you are part of an organization, a faith- based group, a radical
network, or a concerned community it is helpful to write a sign-on letter
on behalf of your group.
Local supporters can attend a legal update and letter writing event on
Thursday, Aug. 22 at the Aspace, 4722 Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia
Guidelines for letter writing and information packets about the case will
Those interested in coming to Philadelphia for the trial, or helping to
organize court support can email Wayne Ritz: WayneRitz at hotmail.com
Background information on the Timoney 3, the Republican Convention, and
Camilo Viveiros can be found at: www.r2klegal.org and www.friendsofcamilo.org
Letters (please send 2 copies)and donations in support of Camilo should be
Friends of Camilo P.O. Box 23169 Providence, RI 02903
Contact: StayingStrong at hotmail.com to recieve guidelines for letter
writing, materials for tabling,resumes of Camilo's organizing work,
background information for articles, contact information for interviews,
contact information for the legal defense team or to have general questions
To subscribe to an announcement listserv about the case email:
info at r2klegal.org
To attend regional organizing meetings, start a Friends of Camilo group in
your area, get contact lists for your event or fundraiser, or have someone
speak about the case at your event contact A-space at defenestrator.org
To contact Eric and Darby or recieve information about their cases email:
info at r2klegal.org or check the website>A trial date of October 9th, 2002
has been set for three of the remaining Republican Convention Defendants:
GUIDELINES FOR LETTERS TO THE JUDGE (If you do not know Camilo personally)
Letters, if possible, should be on official stationery from the
Please send two signed copies of the letter, one addressed To Whom it May
Concern and the other addressed to Honorable Judge Young.
Please send the letters to: Friends of Camilo, P.O. Box 23169, Providence,
RI 02903. Do not send them directly to the Judge.
If your organization has branches or affiliates, please urge them to write
letters as well, particularly those in Philadelphia, to help build pressure
where it is needed most.
èLetters to the Judge should focus on putting Camilo in a positive light,
showing the value of his work to the community. It is not helpful to rant
against the Police Commissioner, D.A., or the Philadelphia police in general.
1)DESCRIBE THE ORGANIZATION & THE LETTER WRITER:
- State your title, position or affiliation with an organization, church,
association, union, etc. This can be anything from Executive Director to
- State the constituencies your organization serves and the size (#s)
- Describe how your organization serves/impacts the community.
- When instructive, describe the specific issues (civil rights, labor,
economic justice, faith-based social justice) where the organizations work
is focused and the connection to various social, ethnic or academic
communities that highlight the organizations status in the community.
2) DESCRIBE YOUR FAMILIARITY WITH THE WORK CAMILO DOES:
- See http://www.friendsofcamilo.org for information. If the issue you want
to highlight is not there, please contact: stayingstrong at hotmail.com and
they can provide you with more details about the kind of work Camilo has
been involved in over the years.
- State why is would be a shame to deprive Camilo of his ability to
continue to work on important community issues.
3) DRAW A LINK BETWEEN YOUR ORGANIZATION AND CAMILOS WORK:
Camilo has been involved in direct service, advocacy and community
organizing, He: works to assist mostly elderly and disabled tenants who are
endangered by rent increases to form tenant associations and stop
evictions; volunteered as a caregiver in high school; volunteered on a
suicide hotline; worked in group homes with developmentally disabled
adults; worked in the local rape crisis center; co-founded the Progressive
Student Alliance (to increase financial aid funding and preserve programs
to support immigrant and first-generation American students); co-founded
the national organization Empty The Shelters (Fill the Homes), which helped
students and youth contribute to the efforts of welfare rights
organizations and unions of the homeless; helped to mobilize a mostly
Cambodian and Lai neighborhood in Fall River, Massachusetts, to pressure
the city to shut down a toxic incinerator; went to Canada to stop the
creation of a Hydro Quebec dam on Innu land; co-founded Homes not Jails in
Boston. Camille has been committed to the use of civil disobedience for years.
Camille has always believed that the power of the people lay in passionate
activists successfully building the support of ordinary people.
4) EXPLAIN WHY IT WOULD BE A GREAT TRAGEDY TO IMPRISON SOMEONE LIKE CAMILO
State why you think Camilos role in the community should be considered;
how the kind of work he does is so useful and necessary to society. E.G.
Proceeding with the prosecution of these charges would constitute a great
disservice not only to Camilo and everybody that is lucky enough to know
him, but to a society that is already suffering from a serious shortage of
people as passionate and committed as Camilo. Tom OBrien, former
Biography of Camilo Viveiros Jr.
Camilo Viveiros was born in 1971 to immigrant parents from the Azores,
Portugal. Before immigrating to Southeastern Massachusetts, his parents led
an agrarian life in the Azores, a small group of islands in the Atlantic
between Portugal and the U.S. Raised in the closely-knit Portuguese
community of Fall River, Massachusetts, Camilo was taught from an early age
that strong family ties and support were more important than the size of a
bank account. Through their example, his parents instilled in their son a
commitment to sharing generously with others -- important values in an
extended family without large paychecks. Both of Camilo's parents worked
blue-collar jobs -- his mother, working for over forty years in the garment
industry, while his father worked his whole life as a laborer.
Camilo was arrested on August 1st, 2000, during demonstrations in
Philadelphia highlighting national mispriorities of putting the profits of
the few over the needs of public. In particular that day of protests was
focused on the number one growth industry in the U.S. the prison and
criminal justice industries. While more and more prisons are being built,
funding for education, healthcare, affordable housing and decent jobs are
being cut. As the regional organizer in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape
Cod for the Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, he works to assist mostly elderly
and disabled tenants who are endangered by rent increases to form tenant
associations and stop evictions. He had come to Philadelphia in that
capacity, to represent the concerns of these tenants and to address call
attention to the lack of support for low and moderate income people in
Until his arrest, Camilo has been involved in work for social justice
virtually without a break. This dedication to helping those who have
"fallen through the cracks" made itself known early on in his youth. During
his high school years he began by volunteering as a caregiver, choosing the
settings in which he could help those who were most overlooked. In his
teens he spent time volunteering on a suicide hotline, giving attention to
people who called in their worst moments of crisis. Believing he should try
to contribute to the welfare of others before graduating high school, he
dedicated time to distributing food to those in need. "Camilo is always
looking after the underdog," his friend, David Malone, says of those years.
"In high school he took time out to befriend others, who were being made
fun of, because he has a big heart." After high school Camilo worked in
group homes with developmentally disabled adults, assisting residents with
their everyday needs to "make a little positive difference in their lives".
Shawn Mills a co-worker of Camilo's at a group home for the developmentally
disabled seniors said "Camilo always treated clients with respect, he spoke
to them as peers and recognized them as unique individuals."
During his college years and in his professional work, Camilo has continued
to devote his time to help people in impoverished communities to attain
basic survival needs, from food and housing to environmental health and
protection from domestic violence. This caring has been expressed through
his work with myriad grassroots community organizations, several of which
he helped to found. During college he worked in the local rape crisis
center, assisting those who had been sexually assaulted to find services
and counseling. Also while in college, he co-founded the Progressive
Student Alliance, whose members struggled to increase financial aid funding
and preserve programs to support immigrant and first-generation American
students. Also, during these years, Camillo began what would become a
lifelong commitment to ending homelessness and increasing the availability
of affordable housing. He co-founded the national organization Empty The
Shelters (Fill the Homes), which helped students and youth contribute to
the efforts of welfare rights organizations and unions of the homeless.
Camilo's commitment to empowering communities in need has continued in his
professional work. Yet his activism as an adult has not been limited to his
paid work. As one example, he helped to mobilize a mostly Cambodian and Lai
neighborhood in Fall River, Massachusetts, to pressure the city to shut
down a toxic incinerator. Ed Duran, who was part a the coalition effort,
commented, "Camilo is always thinking about how to broaden community
participation He helped increase participation by simply going
door-to-door. Residents responded to his approachable and humble character
and with more community support we eventually got the incinerator shut
down. " Again and again, both his professional colleagues and the community
residents he works with describe Camilo's manner and organizing style as
unique, marked by his belief in each person's human dignity and his soft
spoken support. Efforts by police administrators to portray Camillo as
violent or thuggish contradict sharply with the experiences of the elderly
and disabled tenants, religious, labor and community leaders who have come
to know him. As Gary Hicks, one public housing tenant who has witnessed
Camilo's efforts, says, "Camilo constantly builds up tenants'
self-confidence through his gentle encouragement". "All of Camilo's caring
community work and sensitivity for some of our most vulnerable community
members does not match who police officers claim he is," says his partner,
Mimi Budnick. "Camilo has spent much of his life trying his best to play a
positive role in others' lives. We will not allow an inaccurate impression
of him to be accepted. We're confident that the more others get to know
him, the more people will understand why this violent portrayal just
doesn't ring true."
Background Information on Camilo
Camilo Viveiros Jr., a social justice activist who resides in New England,
has been singled out and villianized by the most powerful law enforcement
official in Philly, police commissioner Timoney. The Philly Commissioner of
police testified against Camilo Viveiros at his pretrial on August 9th.
Camilo went to the Institute for Social Ecology for two summers and has
made visits back to this area to keep in touch with other activists.
He has worked with Vermont activists in the mid 90's going up to Canada to
stop the creation of a Hydro Quebec dam on Innu land. He participated in a
non-violent blockade and was arrested with Vermonters defending the
sovereignty of the Innu people from ecological genocide.
Through the years Camille has co-founded a variety of grassroots social
justice groups ranging from Empty the Shelters in Oakland to Homes not
Jails in Boston to community coalitions to stop incinerators, stop the
construction of an outfall pipe on indigenous land, end the use of
chaingangs etc. etc.
The Commissioners attempt to put Camille behind bars is a clear attack on
the continually growing momentum of large direct action demonstrations.
Camille has been committed to the use of civil disobedience for years.
Putting an end to the movement means that our opposition will want to scare
people off by marginalizing people like Camilo.
Camille has always believed that the power of the people lay in passionate
activists successfully building the support of ordinary people. This
situation is no different. He recognizes that the City of Philly has sent a
clear message to the core of long time activists who came to Philly. What
needs to be done now is to broaden our support. Any community organization
that looks into it's history, has to acknowledge that there was a time when
authorities attempted to marginalize and in fact criminalize their
activities: religious freedom, women's ability to vote, the emancipation of
people of color from slavery, labors' protection of working people,
"disabled" peoples' access to public buildings etc. All those movements
have gone through times when their activists where painted as villains and
violent trouble makers.
We need to reach out to community members and remind them of the past and
invite their contemporary solidarity.
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