After the occupation of the Franklin Shelter last November, there was a huge outpouring of community support. Now, on the eve of the trial stemming from that event, we have again seen a flood of supportive messages. We deeply appreciate these sentiments, and we know that they reflect the widespread concern about the issues surrounding Franklin, and the lingering pain over the closure of the Franklin Shelter in 2008.
As the trial begins, we ask that you show your support in three main ways.
1. Attend the trial. The trial is scheduled to begin at 9:30 am Monday at the courthouse at 500 Indiana Ave NW in DC, in courtroom 112. It is likely to go at least one more day, though we don't know how long. If possible, your presence at any point would be greatly appreciated.
**Please remember, though, that in order to support the defendants, those who attend need to dress and act in a way that shows respect for the judge, jury, and courtroom. This includes being quiet, and letting your presence speak for you. We know that this isn't easy for everyone, and if it doesn't feel feasible for you, we ask that you consider supporting in other ways.**
2. Spread the word. We want people to know about the trial and. Even more importantly, we want people to know about the larger issues around Franklin, poverty, and the use (or non-use) of public property to address community needs. By talking it up and sharing materials in your social networks--both online and in person--you can help us to do this. So please repost videos, links, talk with your friends, retweet us, etc. We expect to update this blog about twice a day during the trial, and we will also post updates on Twitter at FreeFranklinDC. (Tweeting in courtrooms isn't permitted, so frequency of updates will depend on how often there are breaks.)
3. Call the Mayor and Council. We don't want the city's leadership to forget that these are issues of great concern to people throughout DC. If you live in the District, please call Mayor Gray at 202-727-6300 to tell him that you want the city to use resources like Franklin to serve community needs, not to sell them off to serve developers. Phone numbers and talking points are in the Take Action section of this site.
Thank you for your ongoing support, and for all that you do to create a more just community.