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January 20: US Human Rights Leader Cheri Honkala Stands Trial

for Setting up Bushville Encampment to House Homeless Families During RNC

On the same day that President-Elect Obama is sworn in as president of the United States, PPEHRC National Organizer Cheri Honkala is standing trial for setting up “Bushville” an encampment created to house homeless people on Harriet Island in St Paul, during the Republican National Convention (RNC).

Cheri Honkala is a Minneapolis resident who led the national “March for Our Lives: Money for Health Care and Housing, Not for War!” during the Republican National Convention on September 2, 2008. The March was one of the largest marches of the week. Cheri is the National Organizer of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC).

Of hundreds of cases of unlawful arrest during the RNC, Cheri's is one of the only cases still being tried for peaceful protests during the RNC.

Cheri's trial comes in the context of the foreclosure crisis in the US and global financial crisis which has left millions of families in the United States and worldwide homeless, jobless, struggling to keep their homes, and unable to provide for their basic needs.

This trial is also occurring a week before Honkala and the PPEHRC will join Hurricane Kartina survivors in the poorest state in the US, Mississippi, in fighting to keep their post-Katrina homes. These families are scheduled to be evicted this month from housing they were given after the hurricane.