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Free the New Haven Two!

More on the hashers who got in trouble in Connecticut

I promised an update after the New Haven Twos’ court date, which was yesterday.  Here it is (click here for the entire article): 

City tries to strike deal in biohazard scare

NEW HAVEN – City officials have agreed to let two defendants charged in the Ikea biohazard scare do community service rather than pay restitution for the work of the Police and Fire departments, according to their defense attorney.

But attorney Michael Jefferson said Friday, “The state is still adamantly opposed to dismissing the charges. I find that unbelievable.”

[ . . . ]

The defendants had another pretrial date in Superior Court Friday, but their case was again continued, this time to Oct. 5. Dorothee Salchow, who has since returned to Germany, has not been ordered to attend these sessions.

My friend Beaver Bam Bam Balls comments: “Looks like the city and state are still idiots.”  And I have to agree . . . common sense certainly seems to be in short supply in the Constitution State.

Before everyone on the hash list got bored with the story and started asking others to stop sending more e-mail about it, a number of hashers insisted that everything we do is legal and that the entire New Haven incident – the bust, the arrest, the pressing of charges - is a travesty.

Au contraire, mes amis . . . a lot of what we do is illegal, depending on how big an asshole the Man decides to be.  We litter.  We drink in public.  We disturb the peace.  We effing jaywalk.  Anywhere in the USA – most anywhere in the world for that matter – a hasher who pisses off the wrong cop could wind up in just as much trouble, or even worse.  As one non-hashing blogger noted, if the New Haven hashers had been anything other than white, the cops might just have shot ‘em!

So what’s next?  Apparently another court date in early October.  I’ll try to stay on top of it and update you then.  Meanwhile, I’ll ask around about a legal defense fund.  If I get any information on that I’ll post it here.

This could happen in my town or yours.  It could happen to me or to you.  We . . . the hashing community, particularly the US hashing community . . . need to start planning for this threat.  “Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke” isn’t much of a plan!

Update (9/16/07): more information has been provided by Daniel Salchow.  Here are the relevant bits:

[ . . . ]

After three weeks of the unyielding support of Hashers via petitions, blogs, emails, t-shirts, letters to the editor of numerous media sources and letters to the mayor of the city of New Haven, your efforts are starting to pay off. The City of New Haven has decided not to seek restitution. On On!

[ . . . ]

While there is much to be celebrated in the recent decision of City of New Haven, the State of Connecticut so far has not dropped the felony charges against the infamous New Haven Two. The state attorney is arguing that the actions (dropping flour) of Daniel and Doro Salchow could be considered “reckless,” which is a term included in the “breach of peace” class D felony statute. Given Daniel’s immigration situation and Doro’s foreign status, these charges cannot be taken lightly. We go back to court on October 5th.

That said, we are reaching out to Hashers to continue their efforts by directing their attention to the state attorney’s office. If you wrote letters to the mayor, please resend them to the state attorney. If you didn’t, we encourage you to write one now. Here’s how: Please write to Michael Dearington, State’ Attorney; copy Marc Ramia, Asst. State’s Attorney; and copy David Strollo, Supv. Asst. State’s Attorney; 121 Elm Street, New Haven, CT 06510 or give them a call at (203) 503-6823. You may also want to try conndcj_at_po.state.ct.us and address it to the attention of all three names listed above. If possible, please send a copy of the letter to shanakennedy_at_hotmail.com (to be passed on to the lawyer).

Some possible topics to include in you[r] letters: the history and frequency of hashing; the fact that hundreds of Hashes go on each week without incident and where there [have] been incident[s], it was dealt with in an appropriate matter by law enforcement and justice systems alike; it was just flour; our rights and anything else you think necessary.

[ . . . ]

Legal Defense Fund News

To date, Hashers from all over the place have raised money to help pay the legal fees. We have been beyond amazed by this generous outpouring of financial support. As it stands, Hashers have raised close to $3,000. It truly has been amazing – thank you all.

A special thanks to Cap’n Crunch of DCH4 for organizing the legal fund. Additonally, Matzo Balls of the San Luis Obispo H3 out in CA is in the process of setting up a PayPal account to accept additional funds – more to follow on this soon.

If any funds are left over after the legal fees are paid, it will be donated to the Hill Health Center, a medical center for uninsured and economically disadvantaged patients here in New Haven. Read about it here: http://www.hillhealthcenter.com.

[ . . . ]

Sounds promising!

© 2007 – 2008, Flying Booger. All rights reserved.

About Flying Booger  Hash House Harrier, man about town.


1 comment to Free the New Haven Two!

  • After posting this entry, a hasher e-mailed me directly with this comment. I thought I should share it with you:

    A bit of gloom and doom in that post.

    Following the events at New Haven, I started calling the local Fire Department prior to our runs. I don’t tell them about hashing, explain the sounds or volunteer much about the group at all. I just mention that I and some friends are doing a ‘training run’ that will be laid out by one or two runners ahead of time using chalk and flour. Its a short simple notice that they can put out to the cruisers. In the case of a panicked citizen it might dissuade the Haz-Mat unit, and if not, well *I* called and I don’t expect to face any charges.

    We’ve had police investigating the hash since well before 9/11. Haz-Mat units have been called out before 9/11. Not a lot has changed, Its a ‘cover-your-ass’ world out there, and if the first responders are going to cover their ass by invoking Haz-mat, I’m going to cover mine.

    Calling emergency services prior to the run is just one more pain that is being the GM of a hash. Nothing compared to sexual harassment, drunk driving and other issues I’ve had to deal with over the years.

    I’d like to believe that world/nation/state will suddenly revert to a more rational, saner level, but in the meantime, I’ll keep running (and protecting) the hash.

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