Submitted by Brian Dolinar on February 4, 2007 - 12:51pm
Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Champaign County Courthouse, downtown Urbana, Main and Vine, Courtroom A
Press conference at noon lunch break
with Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr.
at the Independent Media Center (old Urbana post office behind the Courthouse)
On Wednesday, February 7, a judge will hear testimony from several witnesses in an attempt to gain Patrick Thompson a new trial. In July 2006, Thompson was found guilty of home invasion and sexual abuse. Thompson’s new attorney, Robert Kirchner, is claiming that Thompson received ineffective counsel and has not had a fair trial. On January 5, 2007, six witnesses appeared in the first day of the post-trial hearings. This Wednesday, Thompson’s former attorney Harvey Welch will take the stand, along with Thompson himself, the accuser, and others. We will be holding a press conference at the noon lunch break with Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr., prison activist and founder of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee (P.O.C.C.).
Patrick Thompson is the co-founder of V.E.Y.A. (Visionaries and Educators of Youth and Adults) and one of the videographers who created a controversial documentary in 2004 called Citizen’s Watch. The documentary exposed the unfair treatment of the black community by local police in Champaign and Urbana. In August 2004, Thompson was charged with felony eavesdropping, charges which were later dropped. The same month he was also accused by a woman of home invasion and sexual abuse. Thompson’s supporters believe the two incidents are related and are retribution for his political activism.
Fred Hampton, Jr. is a grassroots activist who has worked inside and outside of the prison system for change. He is the son of Fred Hampton, Sr., head of the Black Panther Party in Chicago who was murdered by Chicago Police on December 4, 1969. Just weeks later, Fred Hampton, Jr. was born into the struggle and has carried on his father’s organizing. In 1990, he became President of the National People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (N.P.D.U.M.). While incarcerated for nine years on an alleged arson, he founded the Prisoners of Conscience Committee (P.O.C.C.). Since his release in 2001, he has become one of the foremost fighters against America’s prisons, what he calls our modern day “concentration camps.”
For more information see “More Testimony Comes to Light in Post-trial Motion for Patrick Thompson” at ucimc.org.
*Please be patient with the court police, as we have seen an increase of enforcing quiet in the courtroom. If late, you may have to wait for a recess to enter the courtroom.