Tax Day Protesters appear In Court - DA Wants Attornery Disqualified

On May 25, the 'Tax Day Five', peace activists arrested while carrying signs against the war on Main Street in East Hampton appeared in East Hampton Justice Court. At least 40 people filled the court room in support of the five. One of them, Lucius Ware of the Eastern LI NAACP told a press conference that news of the arrests has spread. "It's being heard around the world". Ware said "I don't know why the authorities don't fold their tents real quickly to avoid further embaressment [for] the Town of East Hampton". Ware said that the prosecution "interferes with everything we know about constitutional rights and civil rights."

The five activists, Paola Agudela, Kathy Engel, Ella Engel-Show, Dan Steiger and Conor Wolf were all charged with disorderly conduct for obstructing traffic and failure to obey an order to disperse. These charges are misdemeanors.

In addition Wolf and Steiger were charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration which are crimes. The two men are represented by Joseph Gianinni, the three women by attorney Steve Grossman.

The cases were put over and no trial date was set. Attorney Joseph Giannini made motions of discovery and to dismiss the charges against his clients and also for a hearing to determine the admissibility of an alledged statement by Conor Wolf about a conversation with attorney Grossman who was on the scene of the protest. The DA wants Grossman disqualified. Giannini thinks that the statement was a fabrication. The police charge that Wolf said Grossman told him to go ahead with his protest. But Giannini says disqualifying Grossman does not make any sense since Grossman does not represent Wolf and Steiger.