Well-known N.Y.C. activist Edward “Noche” Diaz (pictured left of center) of the Revolutionary Communist Party made his latest court appearance Thursday morning, answering charges stemming from arrests last August and November.
Officers first arrested Diaz during a mass Times Square demonstration August 14th against the Michael Brown shooting. He received six misdemeanor charges, including riot, obstructing government administration, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and harassment.
A November 25th arrest for participation in protests against Darren Wilson’s non-indictment in the case brought five additional charges, including another disorderly conduct charge, unlawful assembly, and inciting to riot.
Prosecutors cut Diaz a break Thursday, dismissing his inciting to riot, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, and the disorderly conduct charges from November; however, they added two additional charges to that case: obstructing governmental administration and a new disorderly conduct charge.
Diaz and supporters held a brief press conference outside the courthouse after the hearing, where he discussed his case in detail. He also revealed that prosecutors offered him a plea deal.
“Before they said that they were gonna drop all these charges, they offered time served if I pled to all the charges,” he revealed.
After a short pause, he reassured supporters, “I didn’t do it.”
“That means that you’re a convicted protestor,” added Debra Sweet (pictured third from far right, in background), from The World Can’t Wait, a group dedicated to mobilizing mass resistance against the U.S. Government.
“This is why I think it’s important to find and unite with all these other people who have been arrested and make a political defense of these very highly political charges.”
A hearing for a motion to dismiss the new November charges was set for March 19th. There will also be a hearing for the August charges that day.