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Protesters’ Charges Dismissed

Thu, 02/09/2023 - 10:12
A scene from the airport protest on July 11, 2022.
Christine Sampson

East Hampton Town Justice Lisa R. Rana has dismissed charges against five of the people who faced disorderly conduct violations stemming from the “tax the rich” protests in East Hampton Village and at the East Hampton Airport last summer.

The five defendants were between the ages of 19 and 35 and hailed from Brooklyn or Manhattan. Police made a total of 16 arrests when activists with the Brooklyn-based group New York Communities for Change staged protests that started in Southampton Village and moved east on July 10 and 11.

Justice Rana dismissed the charges on Jan. 25. It is unclear how many other cases are still pending in court stemming from the same demonstrations.

Disorderly conduct is a low-level violation, and as such, The Star does not typically name individuals charged with this offense.

Last July, the protesters had taken to the streets to decry what they said was the role of the very wealthy — the “1 percent” — in perpetuating climate change, income inequality, unaffordable housing, and the destruction of native lands.

At the time of their arrests, they were accused of blocking traffic, first on Main Street and Newtown Lane, and the next day at the entrance to the East Hampton Airport. Their signs had slogans like “Tax the Rich” and “Abolish Billionaires.”

Blocking the main entrance to the airport, one woman sat atop a tall makeshift tripod until a female police officer in the bucket of a cherry-picker truck escorted her down. Officers also confiscated signs and some pieces of PVC pipe that the activists had used to protect their linked arms.

The defendants were represented by David Kline, a civil rights attorney who works with New York Communities for Change. Mr. Kline could not be reached for comment this week.

Also in East Hampton Town Justice Court on Jan. 25, Freddy G. Coraisaca-Carchi of Hampton Bays, 31, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated. Town police charged him on Aug. 7, having pulled him over for allegedly crossing a double yellow line and tailgating a marked police car on Springs-Fireplace Road. Because he has completed the 35 hours of community service she asked of him, Justice Rana sentenced Mr. Coraisaca-Carchi to a year of interim probation.

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