The US Bank protesters on the UC Davis campus appeared at the Yolo County Superior Court accompanied by five attorneys for their highly publicized court appearance. As expected, they pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges brought on by the barricade of a local bank. The now famous Bankers Dozen, 11 UC Davis students and one professor will likely receive a July court date that should give the locals plenty of drama for such a minor offense. One of the five attorneys representing the dozen is legendary San Francisco defense attorney Tony Serra, whose past clients include Barry Bonds. Serra is representing one protester that has been charged with vandalism of over $400, which carries a maximum of three years in prison.
Each protester faces 20 counts of obstructing movement on a street and one count each of conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor. If convicted on all counts, they could face a year and a half in jail and ordered to pay $1 million to compensate US Bank for its losses The likelihood the protesters will receive the stiffest penalties are low at best. Eighty hours of community service has been offered by the Yolo county assistant chief deputy district attorney. This proposal was soundly rejected by the defendants. A spokesman for the protesters said they would have rejected any deal based on the wrongful attempt to prosecute political speech on campus.
These charges would not have been filed if campus police had not received multiple complaints from students and faculty claiming they had been prevented from entering the campus US Bank. The siege continued despite numerous attempts by campus staff to intervene and educate the Bankers Dozen about the risk and potential harm these protesters were causing with their actions. The blockade began on January 2nd fingering the privatization of the university and corporate greed. After two months of daily disturbances, plus loss of business and repeated complaints that UCD was ignoring the problem, US Bank decided to end their 10 year deal and close their doors. More than 5000 people have signed a petition at ://davisdozen.org asking that the charges be dropped. Faculty members have also urged UCD to do the same. More than likely charges will eventually be dropped, rather than make a court spectacle over such a minor transgression. Please visit my website www.JohnnyBrooksHomes.com for helpful tips on buying or selling a home, scan my informative blogs, join my professional networks on Twitter and LinkedIn and easy access to view local area homes for sale in Davis, California and the surrounding communities.