Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’ office has slapped another local political activist with bogus felony charges stemming from a County sheriff’s attack on a peaceful prisoner solidarity demonstration at Cook County Jail on New Year’s Eve. The solidarity action turned unnecessarily violent when Cook County sheriffs attacked protesters and arrested local prisoner rights advocate Alex Cachinero-Gorman, who was formally charged today with felony aggravated battery — a charge eyewitnesses describe as totally fabricated. Cachinero-Gorman was being held on $10,000 bond, which supporters expected to post immediately.
Protesters were stunned at the level of unprovoked violence initiated by Cook County law enforcement staff during the New Year’s Eve solidarity action at which Cachinero-Gorman was arrested. “Watching one of the jail guards smash Alex against the sidewalk was painful — but no different from what people in Woodlawn and Englewood face daily from the Chicago police, and what a growing number of peaceful protesters experience for expressing any kind of dissent,” said Rachel Unterman, who participated in the New Year’s Eve protest.
Activists charge Alvarez and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart with trying to railroad an activist for their politics with bogus charges manufactured by the Sheriff — at a New Year’s Eve solidarity action for people that include those being railroaded on bogus charges for their politics.
“Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart manufactured these bogus charges to target Alex and the other protesters for their politics — at an action designed to show peaceful solidarity with prisoners — including those also being railroaded for their politics,” said Emily Day, a co-organizer of the New Year’s Eve Noise Demonstration events in Chicago, ”We staged this peaceful solidarity protest on New Year’s Eve to show prisoners — including those being railroaded for organizing against NATO last May — that people outside the jail walls stand in solidarity against law enforcement violence and entrapment by Alvarez and her police crime partners. Officers responded on New Year’s Eve with wanton and unprovoked violence — and Alvarez has responded with yet another abuse of the criminal justice system.”
The New Year’s Eve prisoner support group demonstrated at Metropolitan Corrections Center and at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building without incident earlier on December 31 before being attacked when they gathered for their evening action at the Cook County Jail complex. The annual event is staged to show prisoners that they are not forgotten. The group chose Cook County Jail to honor the NATO 5 — five men facing inflated charges stemming from entrapment by Chicago police officers fronting themselves as activists named “Mo” and “Nadya” in May 2012. For more information, see the NATO 5 solidarity website: http://nato5.occupychi.org/