I went to my arraignment on Monday, and it was weird.

I have 14 codefendants, almost none of whom I had ever seen before the hearing, and none of whom I know at all. Only one of them, the other observer, seems to have his shit together.

At the hearing, it really hit me that almost no one knows how to dress or behave for a court date. Most of my codefendants wore their punk gear, some with black armbands that were probably supposed to show solidarity or something, many with facial piercings still in. They were accompanied by punk kids ostensibly there in support, but who were actually very disruptive. The supporters had to be told repeatedly to take hats off, and the judge threatened to have them removed if they couldn't control their coughing. I couldn't get over how they were doing exactly what the prosecutor wanted them to do and seemed to be totally oblivious to it. I'm sure they think I'm a whore for wearing a suit and being quiet, but I know that one of the best things I can do is convince the court that I am not what they think I am - when I entered the courtroom in my suit, everyone assumed I was an attorney, not a defendant, and they treated me with respect.

Back to the case. Because of the conspiracy charge, each defendant has to have a unique attorney. Between the 15 of us, we had 3 attorneys, one of whom was private council hired by some guy's parents. The attorneys moved to have the arraignment postponed a month so the court can try to scare up some more legal council, which costs the city money. Red tape may kill this case. I'm hoping it does; I'm still scared all the time even though I know I shouldn't be. The waiting is awful, and it's hard to go on with my life.

One of my fellow arrestees got this from Rage Against the Machine:

"The members of Rage Against the Machine want to express their solidarity with the Long Beach May Day protesters as they face their respective days in court. Just like the local police during protests against the WTO, IMF, World Bank, and Democratic and Republican national conventions, the Long Beach police assaulted and arrested the May Day demonstrators on the flimsiest of pretenses in order to silence their dissident voices. A system that will honor an individual's rights only when it is safe and convenient to do so, is the very definition of hypocrisy. We also call on all people who support civil rights and abhor police brutality to likewise stand in support of these protesters.

Thank you
Rage Against the Machine"