Criminal Charge Dropped in Dan Steiger Tax Day Protest Case

The prosecution in the 2006 East Hampton - Tax Day Protest case dropped a charge of resisting arrest against an anti-war protester at East Hampton Justice Court on Tuesday. The defendent will be tried along with 4 other protesters in front of a judge in July.

Dan Steiger of Sag Harbor was accused of resisting arrest during the protest on April 15, 2006. The misdemeaner charge carried the possibility of fines and up to 1 year in jail. The jury trial scheduled for this week was cancelled. The cases of Steiger, Kathy Engel, Ella Engel-Snow, Paola Agudela and Connor Wolfe who were charged with interfering with pedestrian traffic have been consolidated and their case will be heard by a judge.

The defendents have stated that they were excercising their First Ammendment rights of free speech and assembly when they walked along East Hampton's Main Street carrying signs with pictures of the dead from Iraq and Afghanistan. The signs, prepared by North Fork People of Conscience, were confiscated and are still held by East Hampton as evidence.
Steiger said 

"the Assistant DA knew he did not have a case.
This is a victory for ourselves and anti war
protesters throughout the nation.
When it comes to a battle between the
1st Amendment to the Constitution
and local police and government officials, the
Constitution wins. This decision will enliven our
struggle to bring the troops home now."

The case of the 'Tax Day Five' will be heard in East Hampton Justice Court on July 24.

This report was adapted from a news story prepared for broadcast on the WPKN 6:30pm local news on WPKN 89.5 Bridgeport / WPKM 88.7 Montauk.