Bring Ant Home!

Eastern District of PA, United States District Court

Anthony Smith was arrested by federal officers and taken from his home in the early morning hours of October 26th based on his alleged involvement in the arson of a police vehicle during a Black Lives Matter protest on May 30th, 2020. Instead of charging him locally, the Justice Department made the decision to charge him under federal law. If convicted of the arson, he will face a mandatory minimum of 7 years in prison.

Following his arrest by federal officers, Anthony received over 70 character letters attesting to his selflessness and dedication to serving his community. His coworkers, students, colleagues, and fellow organizers lauded him as an empathetic and reliable peacemaker who has always advocated for underrepresented and disenfranchised community members. Through these letters, Anthony was able to be seen in his true light: he is a leader, an organizer, an educator, a community advocate, a brother, a son, and a friend.

Anthony Smith is a respected educator, a standout organizer, and a beloved community member with a passion for making sure that everyone around him is protected at all times. As a high school social studies teacher in North Philadelphia, he is known for the genuine connections that he builds with his students, both inside and outside of the classroom. He is an organizer and volunteer with multiple organizations throughout Philadelphia, and is a fixture at 60th and Market each Friday, where he serves free food to the community with Food Not Bombs Solidarity. Anthony is known for his positive impact in Philadelphia and throughout the United States.

After Anthony Smith’s detention hearing on November 6th, 2020, the presiding judge ordered his release on his own signature with certain conditions; however, the federal prosecutors, determined to keep him incarcerated pending trial, appealed the judge’s order of release. This requires Anthony to remain in custody until the appeal hearing takes place. As we await his second detention hearing, we urge the community to recommit to standing by Anthony as we continue the fight for his release. Anthony has always fought for the equitable treatment of the members of our community, and now it is our duty to stand up and fight for him. Show your support by signing this petition requesting his release.

To: Eastern District of PA, United States District Court
From: [Your Name]

We, the undersigned, support Anthony’s release from federal custody pending his trial.