rn: Support Cheri Honkala (Welfare Queen)


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,

Thank you, Mark, for the appeal below. I am secretary of a local
environmental group so I am writing a letter (to City Attorney Mark Sidran,
copied below after the appeal) on our stationary. On the envelope I'm
putting (in red) "Cheri Honkala is a good citizen, not a criminal!"

all the best, jan

Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2000 09:45:35 -0600
To: •••@••.•••, •••@••.•••
From: Mark Douglas Whitaker <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Myth of the Welfare Queen

Some of you will remember Cheri Honkala from *The Myth of the Welfare
Queen*. Either way, check out http://www.libertynet.org/kwru/ (you'll also
see a photo of Cheri getting arrested), read below, and then write a letter
as suggested to help this dedicated activist. Thanks.---Dan

[February 15, 2000]: Cheri Honkala was arrested on November 29, 1999 in
                        Seattle, Washington. Cheri is the Director of the
Kensington Welfare Rights Union
                        and the National Spokesperson for the Poor People's
Economic Human Rights
                        Campaign. The Kensington Welfare Rights Union
(KWRU) is an organization of
                        poor and homeless women, men and children who are
fighting both to survive and
     to end poverty. The KWRU was named as one of the five most significant
human rights efforts in the world
     by the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights. This year,
the KWRU was awarded the
     Letelier-Moffet Human Rights Award. The Poor People's Economic Human
Rights Campaign (PPEHRC)
     is made up of over 40 poor-led organizations from around the country
who are fighting for economic
     human rights. The Campaign recently completed a 400 mile "March of the
Americas," from Washington
     DC to the United Nations in New York City to protest poverty in the
richest country in the world. (For more
     information, see http://www.kwru.org) 

     Cheri has dedicated her life to building a massive movement to end
poverty, led by the poor. Cheri has
     signed on to the case called "the Poor People's Economic Human Rights
Campaign vs. the United
     States." This case, filed at the Inter-American Commission of
Organization of American States, attempts
     to hold the United States accountable for the economic human rights
abuses being caused by downsizing,
     poverty and welfare reform in the US today. She has been organizing
for over 15 years to insure that poor
     and homeless families are not hidden in America, and that the voices
of the poor are heard. 


     Calling for human rights to be valued above corporate rights, Cheri
Honkala was arrested on November
     29, 1999 in Seattle Washington. Cheri was participating in the
protests of the World Trade Organization.
     She is charged with obstruction for her non-violent attempt to speak
out. All but a dozen of the over 500
     cases related to the WTO events have since been thrown out of court,
yet the District Attorney's Office is
     still pursuing Cheri's case. Cheri was offered a plea bargain that
included 5 days in jail, $1000 fine, and a
     two-year gag order prohibiting her participation or involvement in
demonstrations anywhere in the country.
     Cheri has turned down this attempt to silence her and deny her First
Amendment rights. She is scheduled
     to stand trial on March 14th, 2000 in Seattle. 


     Right now, people throughout the country, including musicians, labor
leaders, students, religious leaders,
     and lawyers are writing letters to the District Attorney's office in
Seattle asking that Cheri Honkala's case
     be dropped. We ask that you do the same. Cheri's case number is
371901. Please address your letter to
     City Attorney Mark Sidran. Mail your letter to Municipal Building,
10th Floor, 600 4th Avenue, Seattle, WA,
     98104, or fax to (206)684-8284. Also, please cc the KWRU Defense
Committee at PO Box 50678,
     Philadelphia, PA 19132, (215)203-1950 FAX, •••@••.•••. Thank
you for your support. 
Dear Mark Sidran,

I recently learned that Seattle is pursuing charges against _Cheri Honkala_
(case # 371901).

Other members of Enviro-clare and I urge you to drop all charges against
Cheri Honkala.

We believe her award-winning work as National Spokesperson for the
Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) is vitally important.

Sincerely, Jan Slakov

c.c. by e-mail to other activists