UPDATE: More on Upcoming Anti-Andy Thomas Rally from "Non-Organizer" Jim Belanger
Shortly after publishing the previous blog post on the scheduled December 21 demonstration by local criminal-defense attorneys against Maricopa County Attorney Andy Thomas, someone forwarded us another missive being disseminated by lawyer Jim Belanger.
Belanger suggests that he and his fellow barristers should act "civilly," and not take to the streets as the Italian soccer fans in the photo did a few years ago after things didn't go so well for their boys.
He wrote, "Second email: I do not consider myself an organizer of a rally. I consider myself as someone who has an idea for people who choose to do so to publicly and civilly express their sentiments.
"For me, the idea for the rally was triggered by the felony charges against Judge Gary Donahoe. At that point, in my mind, the actions of the county attorney went from political self-interest to dangerousness. The public gathering is intended to express the following things:
"(1) To show the rest of this county and the country that there are many, many people who do not agree with the way the county attorney conducts himself and his office; (2) to show that, again, there are many, many people and lawyers in this county who have a high degree of respect for the rule of law and the Maricopa County judiciary even when we disagree with them or their rulings; and (3) to give the many people who have asked me what we can do a means to civilly and publicly express their personal embarassment and outrage that this county attorney has acted in the fashion that he has.
"What the State Bar ultimately chooses to do, if anything, is almost certainly out of our hands. That is as it should be. In fact, I think almost all of us would agree that the process and rules to which the county attorney and all of us are subject should unfold as they are written and as they are intended. I was not and am not anticipating a series of speeches or flamboyant gestures.
"Rather, I was thinking that there would be a respectful and civil gathering from 12:15 until 12:45 or so and that, after a very few remarks, there would be 60 seconds or so of silence to express solidarity with and support of what I have articulated above.
"The Preamble to Arizona's Rules of Professional Responsibility tell us that lawyers have a special responsibility to ensure that justice and the rule of law are respected and that we are to act with honor and integrity.
"I believe that."