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Protester Arrested In D.C. Statehood Demontration Goes To Trial

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A few supporters of Ward 6 ANC Commissioner Keith Silver turned up at D.C. Superior Court July 13 to show support for the D.C. autonomy protester.
Pete Thompson
A few supporters of Ward 6 ANC Commissioner Keith Silver turned up at D.C. Superior Court July 13 to show support for the D.C. autonomy protester.

Keith Silver, an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner from Ward 6, was arrested in a protest on Capitol Hill April 18.

Silver and other ANC Commissioners sat down on the street outside of the Dirksen Senate Office Building during that protest, which was voicing opposition to a federal budget deal that banned the District from using city funds for abortions and calling for D.C.'s autonomy.

Silver is charged with two misdemeanors: disorderly conduct and blocking passage. Several other protesters from a different protest earlier in April are also opting to take their cases to trial to continue to raise awareness of D.C. autonomy issues.

But the judge in Silver's case postponed the trial today in order to determine whether the defense will be able to call Mayor Vincent Gray -- who was present when Silver was arrested -- as a witness during the trial, according to a report from DCist.

The superior court judge at the time commended them for showing courage and conviction.

Walking into court today, Silver says he could have just paid the fine, but it's a cause worth fighting for.

"I'm quite pleased, we've got young folks, old folks, white, black, straight and gay all rallying around this," he says. "It's a common denominator we all can support."

No ruling on Silver's case today-- his next court date is scheduled for September 13th.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the date that Silver was arrested. Silver was arrested April 18 during a protest with other ANC Commissioners and D.C. shadow Sen. Michael Brown.

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