Free Marty and Andres!

Breaking news from 7a.m. Monday morning: Golden Farm political prisoners Andres (NYCC organizer) and Marty (first time volunteer from Washington Heights) (you read that correctly, first time volunteer) were released from their jail cell on Monday morning around 7a.m. after having spent nearly 20 hours locked up. The upside is that they were unlawfully arrested and that they are now better friends than they ever thought they would be.

On September 24, 2014 the court issued a stipulation in the matter of Golden Farm Church Ave against New York Communities for Change et al where it was stated, inter alia:

Defendants and /or their agents shall not enter plaintiffs store, block the entrance, block the egress or access to plaintiffs store or shall or stand in front of doorway.

Defendants shall stand at least five feet away from plaintiffs produce stands located outside plaintiff’s store and shall not restrict traffic within 5 feet of the store.

Defendants shall not tape bills posters signs or other materials on plaintiff’s property.

This agreement is without prejudice to plaintiff’s claims or defendants’ defense and is not an admission of wrongdoing or unlawful action by defendants.

Andres and Marty were standing underneath the awning at Golden Farm to avoid the rain on Sunday, December 9, around noon. Sonny called the police and showed them the video shot by the security camera as they stood beneath the awning and the stipulation. The two police officers decided they had the right to arrest Andres and Marty. The police officer later admitted to the attorney from Advocates for Justice that she made a mistake. Charges will be dropped. The NYPD has no business enforcing a stipulation in a civil suit. Hopefully the NYPD can be sued to stop this from happening again.

Chalk!

Chalk!

The good news is that Sonny Kim has not seen the last of Marty and Andres! They both can’t wait to hit the picket line again!

Sonny Kim: You can’t arrest justice! Screw us and we multiply!

Solidarity always.

Committee to Free Marty and Andres

Boycotters arrested

An eyewitness account from Kensington resident Gibb Surette:

Sonny Kim has been trying for months to get picketers in front of Golden Farm arrested, on every pretext from “interference” with his business to his claim at one point that he actually owned the sidewalk.  At mid-day on Sunday, December 9, he saw his chance.  An NYCC staffer named Andres, and a community volunteer named Marty got out of the the cold rain for a bit by stepping temporarily under the awning and within five feet of the building.  Sonny got them on video and immediately called the NYPD to enforce a protective order.  There had been a legal agreement that included NYCC keeping picketing five feet from the store, but converting this into a criminally enforceable protective order should have required, among other things, notice to NYCC.  Apparently, no one at NYCC had received such notice, but Sonny is notorious for providing false statements to public authorities (e.g. the NYS Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board), so he may have told the court that the legally required notice had been given.  In any case, Andres and Marty, by then back out in the rain near the curb, were relieved of all objects on their persons, placed in handcuffs, and hauled off to the 66th Precinct.   The two brothers had been alone on the line.  Pretty clearly, Sonny hoped that he would eliminate the picket for the afternoon, perhaps leaving signs and literature unguarded.  However, just before the arrests took place, I arrived for my usual Sunday shift as a neighborhood boycott volunteer.  NYCC staff were alerted, the organization’s criminal lawyer was quickly brought into play, and word went out to community supporters, who began showing up in front of the store to keep the picket going.
Meanwhile, between talking to potential customers as usual, recounting Sonny’s history of theft and fraud, I amused myself with  a text very similar to the following, which I bellowed into the store at the top of my lungs: “Sonny Kim!  You can cut hours and wages in retaliation!  It’s illegal, but you’ve done it!  You can try to avoid a union by committing fraud!  You’ve done that, too!  You can stall recognition and negotiation for months!  You’ve done that!  Sonny, you can threaten workers with everything imaginable, up to and including the loss of their homes, and you have done that!  Obviously, you can get picketers taken away in cuffs for stepping out of the rain!  You’ve just done that!  But, Sonny, intimidation has not made the issues–or us–go away!  And it’s not going to!  Sonny, if you want the pickets and the boycott to go away, it’s very simple!  GIVE THE WORKERS SOME JUSTICE!”
Some of the people I spoke to characterized Sonny’s actions in getting Andres and Marty arrested as “disgusting”, or said “I understand now, and I’m not coming back”, or simply observed, “You’re winning”.