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The trial of Sylvester "Sluice" Macabee continues in a Tampa courtroom. Sluice is charged with violation of a Tampa ordinance forbidding members of the Teragen from entering the city limits, which he violated earlier this year, during an appearance by T2M/NA, protesting the ordinance as illegal and unconstitutional.

The prosecution maintains that Sluice's deliberate, and admitted, violation of the ordinance is the key factor in the case, combined with the fact that fellow Teragen-member Proteus was responsible for the assassination of Tampa mayor Frederick Rupert last year.

You can check out the discussion boards and legal commentary on the ordinance from Nova·Net readers and staff in the Nova Law section here.

Defense attorney Kim Cortierra maintains that Sluice's act was one of civil disobedience and has compared him to civil rights heroes like Rosa Parks, creating no small amount of resentment from the African-American community. The case seems to turn on whether or not the judge rules that the Teragen is an illegal, criminal organization and can therefore be legally banned or that Tampa's ordinance is in violation of novas' freedoms of speech and assembly.

Authorities are concerned about the possibility of violence, regardless of the outcome of the case, as protesters on both sides continue to confront each other across picket lines outside the courthouse. The Teragen has issued no statement regarding what actions, if any, it might take should the judge rule against Sluice.

The latest tracking poll shows a divided public on the issue. Our own unscientific Nova&middor;Net poll shows strong support for Sluice among our younger readers 75%-25%, and a curious 50%-50% split among novas who took the poll. Limiting the results to Florida residents pushes the numbers against Sluice by 5%-30%, depending on the demographic.

We'll have more as developments unfold.

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