It is with great disappointment that we share the news that our co-defendant, Erik Oseland, has decided to take a plea agreement as early as Monday, August 23rd. He has informed us that he will plead guilty to one count of gross misdemeanor conspiracy to commit riot, which is riot "without a dangerous weapon," a charge which bears a maximum 1-year sentence. We will
send out the exact date and time of the hearing as soon as we know it, for those who wish to attend.
Erik has told us that this is a non-cooperating plea agreement, and we want to make absolutely clear that *we ARE NOT treating Erik as a cooperator*, and *we ARE NOT asking people to withdraw their support from him.* We do fear that any plea agreement offered by the State has the potential to hurt the rest of us, but we are reserving further comment on the matter until the hearing has taken place and we've been able to review the final resolution of Erik's case.
Erik's decision to take a plea, while a break from the rest of us and our beliefs about the case, is not a break with the approach he has long held towards our defense strategy. We know that plea agreements are often used as a "divide and conquer" tactic by the State, and it is important to us that everyone take care to prevent this turn of events from becoming divisive and furthering the State's strategy of undermining resistance movements.
The court system is a government tool that uses coercion and manipulation in its attempts to control all of us. It has nothing to do with truth or justice. The 7 of us remaining believe there are times when it is prudent to stand your ground and fight even if the terms of struggle are not ideal. We are fully committed to fighting this all the way through trial, as we always have been. We are grateful for the support of all of you.
Luce Guillen-Givins, Max Specktor, Nathanael Secor, Eryn Trimmer, Monica Bicking, Robert Czernik and Garrett Fitzgerald.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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