Sentencing of Michael Williams, Defender Against Anti-Muslim Bigotry
MICHAEL WILLIAMS SPOKE OUT WHEN HE SAW A BIGOT
HARASSING YOUNG MUSLIM WOMEN.
HE WAS ASSAULTED, ARRESTED AND NOW FACES UP TO 7 YEARS IN PRISON!
COME TO COURT FRIDAY AND STAND WITH THIS BRAVE MAN AT HIS SENTENCING!
FRIDAY, AUG. 10, 9:30 AM, 111 CENTRE ST., ROOM 631, PART 48
Michael Williams was convicted of second-degree assault for defending young Muslim women against a hate-filled bigot. He will be sentenced Friday, Aug. 10.
The prosecutor, who introduced blatantly anti-Muslim rhetoric into the trial, wants to send him to prison for 5 years.
He wants this union drywall taper and gentle father of two to lose his job and his home. He wants to send a message that it's okay to physically assault Muslims and protesters in New York City. That it's okay to assault people who stand up to bigotry.
Michael Williams assaulted no one. He intervened verbally to protect the girls and after he was attacked he only defended himself.
But this case is not just about Michael Williams. Michael is being used as a message to all people who stand for their right to protest and against Anti-Muslim bigotry.
Please come to court Friday to support Michael at his sentencing.
You may also write a letter asking for clemency to the judge, Hon. Daniel McCullough, New York State Supreme Court, and email it to Michael's defense attorney, Lamis Jamal Deek, at email@example.com
A short account of Michael's arrest and trial is posted below.
SUPPORT MICHAEL WILLIAMS
On Jan.9, 2011, this gentle father of two, a union drywall taper, saw Muslim-hating bigot Joe Kenny harassing and abusing a group of teenage Muslim women who were going for pizza after a rally commemorating the massacre of Gaza.
Michael, a passionate believer in human rights, had traveled all the way from his home near Boston to take part in that rally. He had a bullhorn.
When he heard the bigot harassing young women, Michael said over his bullhorn that they had a right to be here and say what they believed. The outraged bigot then followed Michael into the street, physically assaulted Michael and left with his bullhorn.
Despite the pleas of the girls he was protecting, Michael was arrested and charged with Assault in the First Degree and endangering the welfare of a child, because the Kenny's son had watched his father assault Michael.
After three days deliberation, the jury acquitted Michael of first-degree felony assault. The charge of endangering the welfare of a child (assailant Kenny's son, who was allegedly present) was dismissed, but Michael was convicted of second-degree assault, for which he now faces up to seven years in prison.
Michael's conviction -- despite unchallenged evidence of self-defense -- reflects the prosecution's orchestrated campaign to punish and intimidate those who stand up against anti-Muslim bigotry and for Palestinian rights.
The prosecution was permitted to introduce grossly prejudicial rhetoric against defense witnesses, one of who was even questioned about his opposition to a U.S. war with Iran. A teenage girl was asked whether she believed Michael was a "martyr for the Palestinian cause."
Michael and the young girls he defended have been doubly victimized in this case, first by a racist attack on Jan. 11, 2011, and then by an unfair and politically motivated witch-hunt in the court.
For carrying out his civic duty, Michael faces up to 7 years in prison. The DA is carrying out a blatantly political prosecution, based on anti-Muslim and anti-Arab prejudice, rather than the facts of the case.
To win justice in this case, your help is urgently needed. Please:
1. Donate to Michael's defense fund. Go to paypal.com, click "Send Money" then "Send Money Online" and follow the instructions on the right. At step 2 type "firstname.lastname@example.org" in the "To [email address]" field. (acpollack is serving as our Treasurer).
2. Come to Michael's sentencing on Friday, Aug. 10, 9:30 a.m., 111 Centre Street, Part 48 (Room 631), Manhattan.