News in Brief: KPFA Censorship Protester Awaits Trial for Resisting Arrest



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The only activist still facing charges from last summer's protests against alleged censorship of KPFA radio appeared in court yesterday to prepare for his trial.

Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, a middle school teacher, is being charged with a misdemeanor for "resisting, delaying, or obstructing a police officer in his official duties," according to Alameda County Deputy District Attorney David Lim.

Lim said the actual trial did not start today.

"We spent the whole morning trying to find a courtroom," he said. "We actually didn't do much of anything today."

Lim said the court is handling pretrial motions and may not begin jury selection until tomorrow.

Jacobs-Fantauzzi said he was impressed with the judge who will hear his case because she made an effort to talk with the protesters who gathered in the courthouse.

"I hope that we're finally going to get a chance," he said. "The truth will be revealed."

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson spoke at a rally in support of Jacobs-Fantauzzi as the courtroom session began.

"Kahlil's whole trial is about freedom of speech and freedom of the press," he said. "It sends a signal to individuals that you still have to fight for your free speech."

If the Pacifica Corporation - KPFA's network - had not fired several broadcasters, eliciting charges of censorship from around the nation, Jacobs-Fantauzzi would not be on trial, Carson said.

Carson said he is requesting that Jacobs-Fantauzzi's charges be dropped and that authorities investigate whether he may be the subject of "persecution" to send a message to other activists.

"An activist is a person who raises issues and wants to focus on injustices," he said.

Jacobs-Fantauzzi's race may have influenced the fact that he is the only protester still being charged, Carson said.

"History has shown that people of color have disproportionately found themselves going through the criminal justice system," he said.

The Pacifica Corporation, the target of the protests, and the Berkeley City Council both passed a resolution calling for Jacobs-Fantauzzi's charges to be dropped.

Will Evans

Mother Robbed After Getting Off Bus

A woman carrying her infant son was robbed in West Berkeley, police said yesterday.

The incident occurred Sunday at approximately 7 p.m., according to Berkeley police Capt. Bobby Miller. The woman got off the 73 bus on Bancroft Way and San Pablo Avenue. The robber was on the bus with the woman and later followed her, Miller said. The robber allegedly simulated a gun and demanded the woman's purse. When she stooped to put down her son, the robber grabbed the backpack-style purse from her back, police said.

The robber is described as a black male between the ages of 28 and 30. He is approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds and was wearing a black three-quarter-length leather coat and blue jeans.

Anne Benjaminson

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