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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Occupy Sydney Legal Fund Shoutout

Hi everyone,

This is a shout-out for personal financial donations for the barrister who can do the appeal for Akin Sari's sentence (next Wed 9th May).

Background: Akin was sentenced to a year in prison, 9 months non-parole (at Parklea Prison). This sentence was primarily for his guilty plea to assault police officer 22nd Oct 2011; he was also sentenced for guilty plea's to larceny, resist arrest and trespass. The lawyer that was previously representing him is no longer available. One of the other lawyers that have offered their assistance to OS happens to be available. The barrister would like some financial payment to cover his time with the appeal next Wed, and a visit to Akin in Parklea later this week. His normal fee starts at $2,000 but he totally doesn't expect OS to come up with that much.

3 ppl have already committed $200 from their pockets - a massive thanks to those people. Please let me know as soon as you if you can make a donation, big or small.

I completely acknowledge and understand that some of Akin's actions and behaviours have been highly controversial within OS. To clarify, this is a shout-out for personal financial donations through OS.


Re the Legals Fund (money given to OS for legal costs), its previous status was that it had $0. I have yet to work out estimated future legal costs - my apologies; please let me know if you can help me with this.

However the legals collective (around climate campaigning) that I'm a part of, Justice Tracks, has money from our fundraising and we've recently agreed to put $600 into the OS Legals Fund.

Also, remember there's the $700 still kicking around in the OS bank account.

Given there are some and potential funds for legal costs existing, ordinarily, I would also propose a motion to the Legals Working Group that we commit some amount to Akin's barrister, say $100. However I acknowledge the strong concerns that have previously been expressed to me about the level of use of the limited OS legal support capacity for Akin.

Given my own position coordinating the Legals Working Group, in order to facilitate open discussion within the Group etc, I don't think it's appropriate for me to propose the motion myself.

However I'm letting y'all know the current situation with legals $ if anyone else is interested in making a proposal for the situation.

My own two cents worth here if this is OK: I don't personally agree with some of Akin's actions and I have found him difficult to work with in the past. However I don't think that prison is helpful to Akin. I strongly encourage ppl in the OS network to do what they have the means and capacity to do to show legal solidarity towards Akin against a prison and 'justice' system that in my opinion I see as fundamentally broken. To me, part of that is putting in what money we can for Akin's barrister. I certainly think lawyers, especially barristers, get paid enough. However I do think that being able to give Akin's barrister at least $300 would be a good minimum target. As Legals Coordinator, I carry a degree of responsibility to facilitate any proposals for the Group. I'd certainly do that re proposals for some Legals Fund $ to go towards Akin's barrister. FYI.

In summary / key pts: - shout-out for personal financial donations for Akin's barrister - I've let ppl know the Legals Fund status if anyone's interested in making a proposal for some of that $ to go to Akin's barrister - come to the appeal next Wed 9th May if you can (Downing Centre, District Court part) - I know that some ppl are visiting Akin this week and organising some solidarity - I can put you in touch with them if you'd like - please let me know if you can help with working out estimated future legal costs - if ppl are interested in legals fundraising, there's some talk around it - I can put you in touch with the relevant ppl

Happy May Day.


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