Discovery Hearing in Puerto Rican People’s Parade 7 Case

Lawyers Show Evidence of Police Harassment of Revolution Club, Judge Rules Prosecutor Has to Turn Over Requested Records



On Tuesday, October 29 at a discovery hearing in the case of the Puerto Rican People’s Parade 7, the judge ruled that the state has to turn over to the defense evidence that lawyers filed for previously, as long as seven months ago. This is supposed to be a basic right for anyone facing criminal charges, but is increasingly denied to many people. This positive ruling came after lawyers for the defendants filed a 12-page brief (with 70 pages of attachments) and arguments were made in the courtroom that focused in large part on whether or not the Revolution Club is being targeted by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) for the Revolution Club’s political viewpoint.

The Puerto Rican People’s Parade 7 are seven members of the Revolution Club who are facing trial and potentially a year in jail after an illegitimate mass arrest at the 2018 Puerto Rican People’s Parade. The arrests were a blatant violation of free speech rights, with Chicago police grabbing and throwing people to the ground who were speaking to people over a bullhorn and passing out flyers. These arrests are part of a pattern of repression against the Revolution Club, which is based on and strives to represent the interests of humanity: revolution and the new communism developed by Bob Avakian.

The brief filed in the case brought out how Revolution Club members were speaking on the sidewalk at the parade about the deaths of thousands of people in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria due to the Trump/Pence Regime, and about “U.S. hegemony, imperialism and colonialism, and police violence in Puerto Rico, Chicago, the Bronx, and other locations.” It included as an attachment a letter from the ACLU about the right of the Revolution Club to speak and use amplified sound at parades and other similar events.

The brief argued that the First Amendment rights of the Revolution Club members are being violated and they are being targeted by the CPD, so the Defendants should get the discovery they’ve asked for which could show further evidence of this. It included known history of the CPD spying on, infiltrating and harassing political groups, in particular through its “red squad” that was supposedly dismantled in the 1970s but which had to be enforced by consent decree until 2001. It also included evidence of CPD surveillance of the Revolution Club during the upsurge against police murder in 2014-2015, and it documented more than a dozen arrests, tickets, and near-arrests of members of the Revolution Club during free speech activities since 2016. The brief also pointed out that over and over again the charges on these arrests have either been dismissed or the city has worked out resolutions like “deferred prosecution” where the charges are eventually dismissed but the defendants are forced to do community service first for a period of time. It said, “Those tactics strongly indicate a strategy to get Defendants off the streets and chill their future expression.”

In the hearing, the prosecutor tried to act like there was nothing political about the arrest and that the idea the Revolution Club is being targeted for political and ideological reasons is ridiculous. He said, “this isn’t 1955” to argue that a communist group would be targeted by the police doesn’t happen anymore. One of the lawyers for the defendants responded, with honest indignation, it is WORSE today than 1955!

The lawyers argued that the Revolution Club is being arrested because the police don’t like what its saying, and there is a pattern of harassment, including dramatically in court pointing to one of the defendants and saying just one week before this arrest, she was arrested at the Back of the Yards Festival (a street fair on the south side) for the same activity. In response to questions from the judge, the lawyers kept making the case for this, and why this matters in relation to being able to see the records of whether the police are surveilling the Revolution Club and how the decisions were made to arrest them at the Puerto Rican People’s Parade.

The prosecutor then tried to argue that he would be willing to hand over any information he could find, but he doesn’t think any of the documentation the defendants are asking for exists. Another one of the lawyers jumped in to say that in many cases she has found that just because prosecutors say these things don’t exist, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. She argued with a lot of substance that she fully expects the records being asked for do exist, even if the prosecutor doesn’t think so.

The judge ultimately ruled that the defendants have a right to what they are asking for, including in his ruling that the lawyers presented evidence that the group (the Revolution Club) has been monitored and harassed, and because of its history with the CPD and the history of the CPD targeting political groups, the police may have animus towards it, so the state is required to respond to their requests. There will be a status hearing in two weeks, which is likely to be the first of several, to make sure the discovery is actually going forward.

The targeting of the Revolution Club described by the lawyers is not happening in a vacuum. It is happening in the context of the Trump/Pence regime coming to power and piece-by-piece installing a fascist America. The day before the hearing, Trump was in Chicago, for the first time since he got into office, giving a fascist speech to a room full of police chiefs, to unleash further open violence and repression against Black people and immigrants, and the “far-left activists” that stand in the way of that. Chicago’s police chief, Eddie Johnson, refused to go to that meeting and was bashed by Trump for not getting with the program. And yet Eddie Johnson’s hands are dripping with the blood of dozens of Black youth who have been murdered by Chicago police, and his police force, together with the state’s attorney, Kim Foxx (who has also been targeted by the fascists) has been assisting the fascist regime in criminalizing dissent and systematically repressing the political group that has a way out of this nightmare.

As the defendants stated in their press release about the hearing, “Everyone who wants a real future for humanity should join us in demanding, ‘Drop the charges on the Puerto Rican People’s Parade 7, Hands off the Revolution Club!,’ join us in the streets demanding Trump/Pence #OUTNOW, and join us in getting organized for a real revolution and real path to a whole better way the world can be.”

Noche Diaz and the Puerto Rican People’s Parade 7




Get a free email subscription to

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.