LAWRENCE BROSE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND


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News Letter, May 13, 2012

What Price Justice?

Dear Friends of Lawrence Brose,

Does the concept of justice as a form of fairness only belong to the rich?
I believe in the concept of innocent until proven guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt, but Lawrence Brose’s case reminds me that justice often
belongs to those who can afford it.

During the Steven Kurtz case, involving the charge of bioterrorism, my
wife Adele Henderson was called before a grand jury to testify,
necessitating hiring an expensive lawyer. When she mentioned this cost to
then Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York William
J. Holchul Jr., he replied: “That is the price of freedom.” After four
years of legal battles costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, all
charges against Kurtz were dismissed. (See my piece and interview, “The
Strange Case of Steve Kurtz: Critical Art Ensemble and the Price of
Freedom” at: http://lightresearch.net/interviews/kurtz/index.html)

Like Kurtz, Brose’s noted attorney is Paul J. Cambria, who has also
represented many prominent individuals including publisher Larry Flynt and
musicians DMX and Marilyn Manson. Unfortunately for Brose, the only thing
worse than being accused of being a terrorist is being charged with
possessing child pornography.

These charges stack the deck against Brose and the only way for him to get
justice is to be equally powerful to the Federal prosecutors, which
requires extensive resources. This places Brose squarely in a Catch-22
situation. The radioactive nature of the charges make it incumbent on
Brose to prove his innocence, yet the disturbing nature of the charges
cause people to turn away, thus making it extremely difficult to raise the
funds necessary to defend himself.

Having known and worked with Lawrence for over 20 years and being familiar
with details about his case, I am confident he will prevail. However, his
fight is extremely costly. Most of you are aware from past communications
that Lawrence has depleted all his resources and his legal expenses
continue to soar. Therefore, I urge you to bear in mind Holchul’s
prophetic words and donate whatever amount you can afford so he can clear
his name and reputation.

With Thanks.

Yours in freedom,

Robert Hirsch
Director of Light Research
CEPA Executive Director (1993 – 1999)

****************************************************

With our last two appeals we've raised $8,000! We cannot sufficiently
express our gratitude for this outpouring of help, but we do need to
remind all supporters that we need to raise a significant amount of money
to clear his name and reputation, as Bob Hirsch mentioned above. (Please
do take the time to read his article on the link he has provided. The
parallels between Lawrence's case and Steve's case are significant.)

Please remember that tax deductible donations to Lawrence's defense can be
made through the National Center for Reason and Justice.
http://ncrj.org/lawrence-brose/ NCRJ works for child-protective laws
based on science, fairness, and good sense, and supports people who are
falsely accused or convicted of crimes against children.

Also, please visit the defense fund website if you wish to donate
directly: http://lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com/. The website
continues to update with supportive testimonials and contributions to the
art sale to benefit Lawrence's defense.

To all who are receiving this email, please let us know if you do not want
to receive these updates.

For everyone else, please share this with your friends and colleagues. We
also invite supporters to send us their comments and suggestions for
spreading the word and seeking support. We are confident that justice
will prevail for Lawrence Brose with your help.

Sincerest regards,

The Defense Fund Team
defensefund@lawrencebrose.com
www.lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com

News Letter, April 24, 2012

Dear Friends,

“Suffering is one very long moment,” wrote Oscar Wilde in his letter from
prison, De Profundis.

For Lawrence, suffering started in November 2009, when he was arrested and
charged with possession of what the federal government claimed was “child
pornography.” For over two years and 5 months – a very long moment indeed
- Lawrence has lived with this case dangling over his head, his freedom
restricted, his retirement savings depleted, out of work, and now saddled
with a debt of over $65,000, and many more legal expenses to come.

Since then, many facts have come to light that call the charges against
him into question. The images the federal agents were looking for
originally were never found. Other supposedly questionable images came
from Lawrence’s De Profundis, a film that, as those of you who have seen
it know very well, is a mesmerizing rumination about homosexuality, art,
and identity – but certainly has nothing to do with child pornography.

One magistrate judge has recommended dismissing the entire case, stating
that here is not enough evidence. Yet the nightmare continues.

Someone told me recently that they prefer to remain “neutral” until the
“truth has come out.” But it is precisely this “wait and see” attitude
that inadvertently assists the prosecution, because it helps their
strategy to isolate the defendant, both socially and financially, while
they are pursuing their case.

Wouldn’t true neutrality instead be to presume that Lawrence is innocent
until proven guilty, which is, after all, one of the basic tenets of this
country’s legal system?

Lawrence was never a threat to our community. Quite the opposite, he is a
friend and tremendous asset for so many of us. He deserves our full
support while he is fighting the case that will determine the rest of his
life.

One thing is clear: Lawrence needs our support to be able to defend
himself adequately. And he needs it NOW! If you have supported Lawrence in
the past, thank you! But if you haven’t, or would like to give again ---
now would be the time.

Thank you!

Dorothea Braemer
Executive Director, Squeaky Wheel

**********************************************

Since our last letter of support went out, generous donors helped raise
$4,000. We cannot sufficiently express our gratitude for this outpouring
of help, but we do need to remind all supporters that we need to raise a
significant amount of money to defend Lawrence's innocence and help him
reclaim his life.

Please remember that Tax Deductible donations to Lawrence's defense can be
made through the National Center for Reason and Justice.
http://ncrj.org/lawrence-brose/ NCRJ works for child-protective laws
based on science, fairness, and good sense, and supports people who are
falsely accused or convicted of crimes against children.

Also, please visit the defense fund website if you wish to donate
directly: http://lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com/. The website
continues to update with supportive testimonials and contributions to the
art sale to benefit Lawrence's defense.

To all who are receiving this email, please let us know if you do not want
to receive these updates.

For everyone else, please share this with your friends and colleagues. We
also invite supporters to send us their comments and suggestions for
spreading the word and seeking support. We are confident that justice
will prevail for Lawrence Brose with your help.

Sincerest regards,

The Defense Fund Team
defensefund@lawrencebrose.com
www.lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com

News Letter, April 1, 2012

Dear Friends,

I was at the member's preview of the Albright-Knox Gallery's new show
Thursday night, "Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the
1970's". Our friend Lawrence Brose was asked by the Gallery to act as a
docent and it was good to see him doing one of the things he does best,
advocating and explaining art. Lawrence has been an important part of the
cultural scene here in Western New York, and his legal difficulties have
forced him to be absent for too long.

As you may know if you have been following his case, matters are presently
approaching a critical phase. The federal magistrate has been conducting
evidentiary hearings, and a trial is immanent. More and more exculpatory
information has been made public, and it is becoming clear that Lawrence
was singled out for prosecution because of his art and his status in the
arts community. Lawrence has always maintained his innocence, and his
substantive and procedural defenses look strong.

Unfortunately, in order for Lawrence to prevail he must pay his lawyers
and the computer forensic experts who will testify in his defense. Many of
us have already contributed to his defense; many have been waiting for the
right moment. For those of you who have been waiting, now is the time. For
those of us who have already helped this cause, won't you please consider
another donation? The exoneration of an innocent man is as worthy a cause
as there is, and any contribution would be gratefully received.

William C. Altreuter
Altreuter Berlin
Market Arcade Complex
617 Main
Buffalo, New York 14203

*********************************************

Please remember than donations to Lawrence's defense can be made through
the National Center for Reason and Justice.
http://ncrj.org/lawrence-brose/ NCRJ works for child-protective laws
based on science, fairness, and good sense, and supports people who are
falsely accused or convicted of crimes against children.

Also, please visit the defense fund website if you wish to donate
directly: http://lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com/. The website
continues to update with supportive testimonials and contributions to the
art sale to benefit Lawrence's defense.

To all who are receiving this email, please let us know if you do not want
to receive these updates.

For everyone else, please share this with your friends and colleagues. We
also invite supporters to send us their comments and suggestions for
spreading the word and seeking support. We are confident that justice
will prevail for Lawrence Brose with your help.

Sincerest regards,

The Defense Fund Team
defensefund@lawrencebrose.com
www.lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com

News Letter, November 3, 2011

Announcement:

In an effort to gain support for Lawrence Brose as he fights the
outrageous accusations by the Department of Homeland Security, The Mix
Festival NYC is screening Lawrence's important film with a panel
discussion to shed light on his work and his legal case.

Time: Friday, November 18 · 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Location:
The MIX Factory
45 Bleeker St @ Lafayette
New York, New York 10012

The film, De Profundis, originally screened at The MIX Festival in 1997...

In 2008, Filmmaker Lawrence Brose was arrested by the FBI and charged with
downloading child pornography from a German website. The charges also
include 100 exhibition prints from his film De Profundis, though the film
does not contain images that fit the description of 18 USC § 1466A, the
law he is being charged under. If convicted, he faces a lengthy prison
sentence and lifelong sex offender status.

Afterimage wrote about the case, "It becomes clear that in every
meaningful sense the prosecution of Lawrence Brose should be viewed as a
challenge to artistic freedom, brought by a U.S. Attorney’s office that
previously unsuccessfully prosecuted Critical Art Ensemble founder Steve
Kurtz."
(http://www.vsw.org/ai/online-exclusives/commentary-the-case-against-lawrence-brose/)

JOIN US FOR A SCREENING of Brose’s spectacular 1997 film De Profundis,
FOLLOWED BY A PANEL DISCUSSION about his case with Keith Gemerek of the
Lawrence Brose Legal Defense Fund and Judith Levine, author and activist
with The National Center for Reason and Justice. Moderated by Sarah
Schulman, author and MIX Co-Founder.

Visit the Lawrence Brose Legal Defense Fund website:
http://www.lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com/

FULL FILM DESCRIPTION:

DE PROFUNDIS
Lawrence Brose
1997, USA, 16mm, color, sound, 65 min.

MIX NYC first screened De Profundis in 1997 at the 11th MIX Festival,
where we called attention to its experimental rigor, and celebrated its
investigation of language, sexuality, and Oscar Wilde’s fabulously
transgressive aesthetics. We are just as excited now as we were then by
the striking beauty of this work and the enveloping score by Frederic
Rzewski, with additional sound compositions by Douglas Cohen.
--
"De Profundis is a three part, hand/alternative-processed experimental
film based on Oscar Wilde's prison letter De Profundis. Incorporating home
movies from the 1920's and early gay male erotica along with images from
Radical Faerie gatherings, queer pagan rituals, drag performances and
images of confinement, this 65 minute film sets up a haunting
investigation of queerness, masculinity, history and sexuality. These
images are buttressed against a soundtrack composed of Wilde's aphorisms,
a voice and piano setting of Wilde's prison letter, and multi-tracked
interviews with a diverse group of contemporary gay men.
"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it." - Oscar Wilde
If film no longer existed, De Profundis gives the impression that Lawrence
Brose is certainly capable of reinventing it. Oddly enough, Brose would do
so by stripping film down to visual components that are reassembled only
as they are knitted to each other at their breaking points. Redacted.
But one must resist the impulse to talk only of how Brose - with
controlled image manipulation and extremely experimental hand-processing
techniques has produced in De Profundis a film united by stress and
diaphanous. De Profundis is more than an unconventional approach to
filmmaking, though it would be a visual tour-de-force if it were only
that. Taking its cue from Oscar Wilde, De Profundis holds up a mirror to
gay sexuality and plumbs the tensions reflected there.
Meshing images culled from home movies, drag performances, Radical Faerie
gatherings, and vintage gay erotica with a piano soundtrack scored from
Wilde's prison letter and a voice composition fashioned from the poet's
aphorisms, Brose makes film itself into the protagonist of his
exploration. With images and sounds constantly decaying and shifting and
contaminating each other, film becomes a metaphor of the transforming self
that Wilde prized for corrupting a sense of sexual normalcy. De Profundis
embraces Wildesque deviance and cautions that the desire for normalization
prevalent among contemporary gays threatens to contain it.
Serenity in sophistication is a triumph - like the deviance of De
Profundis, which, achieved in an age too terrified to be deviant, lies in
the film's unflinching honesty and terrifying beauty."
—John Palattella

News Letter, June 26, 2011

Dear friend and supporter of Lawrence Brose,

In the interest of spreading the news about Lawrence's defense, we have
attached a statement (with photograph of Lawrence and a sample of his
artwork) that highlights the important details of who Lawrence is, the
case against him, the defense of his innocence and the news of NCRJ
setting up the artist defense fund. Our hope is that this pdf would be
shared as far and wide with everyone's personal contacts to gather support
for Lawrence. We cannot stress it enough how important it is to raise
money to mount a defense against these outrageous federal charges. As a
friend, and important artist, he deserves your help. Please take the time
to read this report and share it with everyone you can. Artistic and
personal freedom is at stake for all of us. Thank you for your help.

DOWNLOAD a PDF summary about Lawrence and the case. Feel free to share it with everyone you know!

Sincerely,

The Defense Team at defensefund@lawrencebrose.com.

P.S. If you have anything to share with us, any stories about your own
efforts at outreach on Lawrence's behalf, please feel free to drop us a
line at defensefund@lawrencebrose.com. We would love to hear back from
supporters. Your efforts are much appreciated.

News Letter, June 2, 2011

The National Center for Reason and Justice is now sponsoring Lawrence
Brose! Please read about their sponsorship at
http://ncrj.org/lawrence-brose/

The NCRJ is for those concerned about false accusations and wrongful
convictions, a 501c3 not-for-profit and all donations are tax deductible.

When making a donation to the NCRJ it is important to request that the
donation be in support of Lawrence Brose. A general acknowledgment of the
donation to the NCRJ will be sent to the donor.

This is great news and we hope it will encourage people to donate to help
Lawrence with his legal defense. He and his attorneys have returned to
court for the beginning of the oral arguments related to the motions they
submitted regarding his 1st, 4th, and 5th amendment rights being violated.
We will let you know how things progress and how the judge rules. Please
keep Lawrence in your thoughts while he fights his case and hopefully will
be exonerated.

Please share this news!

Lawrence Brose Legal Defense Team

News Letter, April 3, 2011

We want to thank everyone who has signed up and to those who have
contributed. We apologize for the delay in bringing you up to date but the
wheels of justice move very slowly.

We cannot comment on the details of the evidence collected in Lawrence’s
defense but there are a few things we can tell you. Lawrence and his
attorneys hired two different computer forensic experts who came to
Buffalo on separate occasions. The first expert found a backdoor Trojan
virus that has been active on the computer since 2005. Both experts found
no evidence that the original downloads, that the government accused
Lawrence of, could be found on the computer. Even the government admits
this.

The second expert, who has been doing this type of investigation for over
20 years, said that she can tell within a couple of hours of research if a
person is interested in illicit images and she reported that Lawrence is
clearly NOT (her emphasis).

The government made a “by the book” plea offer for 43 months in federal
prison, which would also label Lawrence as a sex offender for the rest of
his life. Clearly, Lawrence declined. The case was then sent to the Grand
Jury and they indicted him – his attorneys said this was no surprise, as a
Grand Jury will indict a ham sandwich! No evidence is presented by the
defense. They have included 100 images of his exhibition prints, made from
his film De Profundis, in the charges!

The forensic experts have gathered very strong exculpatory evidence in
Lawrence’s favor. However, his attorneys are holding back on that
evidence if the case is taken to a jury trial.

Currently, Lawrence’s attorneys have filed 16 motions; many to dismiss the
charges based on his 1st, 4th, and 5th amendment rights being violated.
Oral arguments will be presented to the court in the near future. We will
keep you apprised of the outcome of these motions.

Also, many artists and collectors have generously donated artwork to the
defense fund. Currently, we are offering the works for sale on the defense
fund website. Please scroll to the bottom of the main page for a link to
the art sale. And please spread the word. We will also investigate taking
the collection to auction.

Lawrence has exhausted all of his savings and retirement accounts to pay
for the forensic experts and attorney’s fees. Please reach out to anyone
that you think might be willing to contribute to this cause so that
Lawrence can clear his name and get on with his life.

Thank you again for your support.