Monsanto’s Party vs. Reverend Billy Trial Begins Wednesday

The State of Iowa seeks unprecedented ban on First Amendment defense for Rev.

 

The first paragraph of the motion reads:  

The State of Iowa requests: that the Court preclude evidence or argument regarding ―free speech rights, ―free expression, ―right to assemble, and/or other First Amendment arguments and evidence that ―free speech rights can constitute ―justification under the Iowa‘s criminal trespass statute, Iowa Code § 716.7 (2015).

Is this Trump Era justice For critics of corporations?

 

So far we haven't been able to find a precedent for the retroactive removal of First Amendment rights when someone disagrees with the message.

Reverend Billy and Iowa human rights activist Frank Cordaro are charged with “Trespassing” at Monsanto’s World Food Prize Party at the Iowa State Capitol on October 13, 2016.  

Here’s a short video of the arrest courtesy of Rodger Routh. 

The party and awards ceremony called the World Food Prize is a famous Iowa affair.  The chemical and seed executives that dominate this farming state of Iowa are in attendance, representing Monsanto, Bayer, Syngenta, Cargill, DeKalb, etc.  The corporations, their bankers and lawyers, hold forth in the Iowa State Capitol building, which also houses the State Supreme Court.  The affair is known colloquially as “Monsanto’s Oscars.”

Rev and Frank addressed the assembled protesters, among them the Womens League of International Peace and Freedom, in a designated protest area called “People’s Park” across from the Capitol.  They crossed the street onto the sidewalk located between the street and capitol grounds.  State troopers were there, checking tickets for the party in the capitol building 250 feet away.  A marching band was drowning out any effort to mount an audible protest by the Occupy group of 40 individuals.  

The officers asked Rev and Frank to return to the People’s Park.  The two refused after a conversation about Monsanto’s renting of the capitol, and then were handcuffed.  They were held in the Polk County Jail until they were released on bail.

Thanks from Rev & Frank and the defense team, Wylie Stecklow and Glen Downey and to Sally Frank for early representation after we returned to NY.

To support Rev’s legal defense fund, go to www.patreon.com/reverendbilly.

 

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