International Day of Solidarity with Green Scare Indictees, Detainees, and
Olympia Benefit Show
Friday, December 8
at Solid Gold - 419 Boulevard Rd SE (at the corner of Pacific Ave. and
Boulevard Rd. across from the shell station)
Doors open at 7 pm, music and performance begins at 8 pm
Suggested donation $5-20
Bridget Irish (performance)
Leonardo (soul, house dj)
Myello (experimental dance electronics)
Onyxoxo (acoustica + dj)
Rachel Diamond, one lady band (!)
Shizunomargot (songs, performance)
Timezone Lafontaine (southern hip hop soulrock)
There will be free literature, merchandise and beverages for a donation,
and an opportunity to learn more about the "Green Scare" and how to
support earth liberation indictees, grand jury resistance, preserving
civil liberties & building solidarity, and refusing the criminalization of
This event is a benefit for Olympia Civil Liberties Resource, Books To
Prisoners Olympia, and non-cooperating "Green Scare" indictees.
This event is in response to the call for An International Day of
Solidarity with Green Scare Indictees, Detainees, and Political Prisoners
to mark one year since the December 7, 2005 beginning of the federal
goverment's sweep of arrests of earth and animal liberation activists,
grand jury efforts to compel activists to testify, FBI investigation of
activist communities, and the resulting chilling effect on free speech and
The term "Green Scare" refers to the federal government's expanding
prosecution efforts against animal liberation and ecological
activists, which is strikingly similar to the "Red Scare" of the
1950s. The "Green Scare" includes the cases from the "Operation
Backfire" indictments, and the cases of the SHAC 7, Eric McDavid, Rod
Coronado, grand jury resisters Jeff Hogg, Josh Wolf and several other
recent federal grand jury resisters.
Call for International Day of Solidarity:
"Green Scare" Resources:
Civil Liberties Defense Center synopsis of cases:
Portland Indymedia "Green Scare" topic page
Will Potter's "Green Scare" blog: http://www.greenisthenewred.com
In Olympia, WA (organizations to benefit from the Olympia event)
Olympia Civil Liberties Resource http://www.olycivlib.org
Books To Prisoners Olympia http://http://btpolympia.org/
Some "Green Scare" non-cooperating indictees and target activists who have
Briana Waters http://www.supportbriana.org
Daniel McGowan http://www.supportdaniel.org
Eric McDavid http://www.supporteric.org
Rod Coronado http://www.supportrod.org
Josh Wolf http://www.joshwolf.net
SHAC 7 http://www.shac7.com
Some Other Political Prisoners Resources
Break The Chains Blog http://breakallchains.blogspot.com/
Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network http://www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk/
ELP Network USA http://www.ecoprisoners.org
Jeff "Free" Luers http://www.freefreenow.olrg
Jeff "Free" Luers Statement for the International Day of Solidarity with
Political Prisoners (December 2006)
Around the world millions of people are suffering from the abuses of
power that have become all too common in our human societies. In dozens
of countries, generations of people have chosen to fight injustice
rather than submit to it.
We honor those people today. We raise our voices and our fists to salute
those who have fought to free their homelands, who have struggled for
self-determination; those who have demanded human rights; those who have
raided laboratories and liberated animals; and those who have fought to
defend our earth.
Today we shout our praises and offer our respect to those captured in
the line of duty, serving their cause. We thank them for refusing to
submit even behind bars.
On this day we bow our heads in reverence to those people who made the
ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for freedom. We remember the
price they paid and the loss that their family and friends still feel.
We offer more than our gratitude. We offer our solidarity. We make a
promise to remember and honor those who have come before. We make a vow
that the struggle will continue until all are free.
Too many people have had to fight for the freedom they should have been
guaranteed at birth; too many have suffered the cruelty of capitalist
The most important thing we can do today is to make a solemn oath: that
ours is the last generation that will have to struggle; that we will
apply pressure from all angles until these systems of oppression crack;
that we will settle for nothing less than victory.
With the memory of those who have come before us; in solidarity with
those still standing behind bars; while honoring those who gave their
lives: we march forward to bring a new day with our heads high and our
And I say to you that if we stand united with one voice and we act on
our desire for liberation we will carry the day! We will win!
- Jeff "Free" Luers
Oregon State Prison
2605 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97310
Thursday, November 30, 2006
International Day of Solidarity with Green Scare Indictees, Detainees, and
Jeff “Free” Luers Statement for the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (December 2006)
, Nov. 29 The federal government agreed to pay $2 million Wednesday to an Oregon lawyer wrongly jailed in connection with the 2004 terrorist bombings in , and it issued a formal apology to him and his family.
The unusual settlement caps a two-and-a-half-year ordeal that saw the lawyer, Brandon Mayfield, go from being a suspected terrorist operative to a symbol, in the eyes of his supporters, of government overzealousness in the war on terrorism.
“The apologizes to Mr. Brandon Mayfield and his family for the suffering caused” by his mistaken arrest, the government’s apology began. It added that the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which erroneously linked him to the bombs through a fingerprinting mistake, had taken steps “to ensure that what happened to Mr. Mayfield and the Mayfield family does not happen again.”
At an emotional news conference in announcing the settlement, Mr. Mayfield said he and his wife, an Egyptian immigrant, and their three children still suffered from the scars left by the government’s surveillance of him and his jailing for two weeks in May 2004.
“The horrific pain, torture and humiliation that this has caused myself and my family is hard to put into words,” said Mr. Mayfield, an American-born convert to Islam and a former lieutenant in the Army.
“The days, weeks and months following my arrest,” he said, “were some of the darkest we have had to endure. I personally was subject to lockdown, strip searches, sleep deprivation, unsanitary living conditions, shackles and chains, threats, physical pain and humiliation.”
Fingerprint examiners at the F.B.I. erroneously linked Mr. Mayfield to the terrorist bombings in through a mistaken identification of a print taken from a plastic bag containing detonator caps that was found at the scene of the bombings. The bombings, on March 11, 2004, killed 191 people and left 2,000 injured in the deadliest terrorist attack in since World War II.
Despite doubts from Spanish officials about the validity of the fingerprint match, American officials began an aggressive high-level investigation into Mr. Mayfield in the weeks after the bombings. The fact that he had represented a terrorism defendant in a child-custody case in spurred further interest in him. Using expanded surveillance powers under the Patriot Act, the government wiretapped his conversations, conducted secret searches of his home and his law office and jailed him for two weeks as a material witness in the case before a judge threw out the case against him.
The settlement includes an unusual condition that frees the government from future liability except in one important area: Mr. Mayfield is allowed to continue a lawsuit seeking to overturn parts of the Patriot Act as a violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
Several legal experts said they considered the settlement significant because of the public apology and the substantial payment.
“You almost never see something like this,” said Peter Neufeld, co-director of the Innocence Project, a legal clinic in . “It’s extraordinary, but the harm caused him was extraordinary. What I really think it speaks to is just how clearly the U.S. government crossed the line when it went after Mayfield.”
Suzanne Spaulding, a former lawyer with the Central Intelligence Agency who specializes in national security law, said that the terms of the settlement allowing Mr. Mayfield to continue his lawsuit over the Patriot Act were also significant.
“You’ve got to think that the Justice Department did not want to make that concession,” she said. “That and the two million dollars are further evidence that they were vulnerable and that he clearly had some significant leverage in these negotiations.”
Justice Department officials said they were confident that the legal foundation of the Patriot Act, including the surveillance and search provisions challenged by Mr. Mayfield, would hold up in court.
Although the F.B.I. has acknowledged serious missteps in the case, an investigation by the Justice Department inspector general released this year concluded that the government did not misuse its expanded counterterrorism powers under the Patriot Act and that Mr. Mayfield’s Muslim faith was not the reason he was initially investigated. Still, Mr. Mayfield continued to assert Wednesday that he and his family were a target “because of our Muslim religion.”
“Our freedom of religion in this country is a sacred right,” he said, “and the exercise of one’s beliefs in a lawful manner should never be a factor in a government’s investigation of any citizen.”
In , the settlement was applauded by Representative John Conyers Jr., the Democrat who is expected to become the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee in January.
“The Mayfield case cries out for checks and balances on what has been, at times, an overzealous pursuit of innocent Americans,” Mr. Conyers said. “I am heartened that Mr. Mayfield has received this small measure of justice.”
Brian Libby contributed reporting from .
Direct a campaign to close down a brutal women’s prison in Alabama
and transform women’s criminal justice policy statewide – si se
Campaign Director. A powerful coalition of community groups,
advocacy organizations and formerly and currently incarcerated women
is looking for a dedicated, talented individual to coordinate the
coalition and direct a campaign to close the brutal Tutwiler Prison
and transform Alabama's women’s criminal justice system into one
that is small, family-oriented, community-based and rehabilitative.
We are searching for a “bridge” person – someone who can unify a
diverse coalition and organize everyone from state representatives,
to service providers, lawyers to women in prison. The Campaign
Director must have excellent communication skills, be detail
oriented, and a self-starter who is able to work with little
supervision and much collaboration. She must have a strong
understanding and some experience developing and running campaigns.
Experience with the Alabama criminal justice system, with the
Alabama legislature, with legislative campaigns and/or with women in
prison strongly preferred but not required. Women and people of
color are strongly encouraged to apply. $30-35,000 DOE. Please
send a resume, cover letter outlining your interest, and 3
references by December 15 to email@example.com. No phone calls, please.
Southern Center for Human Rights
83 Poplar Street
Atlanta, GA 30303
Life is the great primary and most precious and comprehensive of all human rights . . . whether it be coupled with virtue honor, and happiness, or with sin, disgrace and misery, the continued possession of it is rightfully not a matter of volition; . . . [it is not] to be deliberately or voluntarily destroyed, either by individuals separately, or combined in what is called Government.
- Frederick Douglass
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
ProLibertad Hotline: 718-601-4751
Download the November Edition of our newsletter El Coqui Libre by going to:
http://www.prolibertadweb.com/page10.html and download the PDF version.
Despierta Boricua Segment for Friday December 1st, 2006 at 6:45am
FRIDAY WAKE UP CALL WBAI 99.5FM: Live edition with an interview with
Josean Laguarta, of el Foro Social de Puerto Rico giving a report
back of what happened at the Foro Nov. 17th-19th.
Listen in via webstream: http://www.wbai.org
Join Latin@s por Mumia on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2006! GET ON THE FREEDOM VAN!
Dec. 9, 2006 marks the 25th year of Mumia's unjust incarceration. We will be
organizing transportation from NYC to Philadelphia for this historic event.
Please call 718-601-4751 or email: ProLibertad@hotmail.com to purchase your
We are very happy to announce that Ward Churchill will be joining us on
December 9th in Philly to commemorate Mumia's 25 years of resistance, and
our determination to get him out from the hell hole where he has been all
these years. Ward and Natsu will then go to New York City with us for the
"Ode" rally on behalf of Lynne Stewart. The day will be a day of unity for
all these struggles, with speakers at each other's rallies, etc. Ward being
there will only intensify the quality of the struggle and the unity it will
PHILADELPHIA—assemble 11 AM at the east side of Philadelphia City Hall. At
12 pm we begin marching!
YOU MUST RESERVE A TICKET TO RIDE IN THE FREEDOM VAN!! SPACE IS LIMITED!!
EMAIL OR CALL US NOW!!
The state is obviously targetting Compañero Luis, as he is so critical to so
many struggles. We MUST STAND WITH HIM NOW THAT HE IS UNDER ATTACK!
WE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED!
DEFEND FR. LUIS BARRIOS AND GEOFF MILLARD!
UPHOLD THE RIGHT TO PROTEST!
Fr. Luis Barrios and Iraq vet Geoff Millard were arrested on
September 19 along with 14 others outside the United Nations as GeorgeW.
Bush was speaking. They had come with this common message: "We have come to
the United Nations today to engage in non-violent civil disobedience. We
demand the war on Iraq end immediately. We
oppose any attack on Iran. We declare to the world that President George W.
Bush has been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He
does not speak for us."
When the group organized by the Bush Crimes Commission unfurled theirsigns,
police grabbed Fr. Barrios first and forced him to the ground. He was
subsequently charged with assaulting a police officer (a felony), resisting
arrest, and disorderly conduct.
Geoff Millard was knocked over by police while hand-cuffed. They then
declared that he was "resistant" and he was charged with resisting arrest.
All the others arrested had the charges of disorderly conduct against them
It is important that everyone come to the defense of Fr. Barrios because of
his long history of support for the struggles of the people, and Geoff
Millard, who is an activist member of the Iraq Veterans Against the War and
has been featured on Truthout.org. Both are innocent.
We must uphold the right of the people to protest. No
president should be allowed to deny protest around their public appearances.
We will not be cowed into remaining silent in the face of crimes against
Here is what you can do to defend Fr. Barrios and Geoff Millard: Fill the
courtroom at Fr. Barrios's court appearance, December 11, 2006 at 100 Centre
Street, Part F.
Be there before 8:30 am. On January 16, 2007 fill the courtroom for Geoff
Millard at the same address, Part B.
Call or write your protest of his prosecution to Manhattan District Attorney
Robert M. Morgenthau at (212) 335-9000 or One Hogan Place, New York, NY
You can contact Lucia Bruno at 212 926-5757 or e-mail us at
WE WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: New York October 22nd Coalition, 866-235-7814, oct22ny@yahoo. com
Juanita Young Brutalized and Arrested by NYPD in Her Own Home
On Sunday evening, November 26, an ambulance was called for Juanita's daughter. Cops came to the apartment first before the ambulance arrived. Juanita wouldn't let the cops in and told them to leave. The ambulance refused to do anything and called for backup. Eight cops showed up and started grabbing people. She kept telling them to leave. The cops threw Juanita in a room, and as one of them tried to hold the door shut, others beat her. After she was able to run out of the room, all eight of them jumped on her at once, kicking her in the chest and back as they handcuffed her. Her daughter pled for them to stop, telling them that Juanita has asthma. Juanita was arrested and brought to the 43rd precinct. Because she was having difficulties breathing, she was brought to the emergency room at Jacobi Hospital, under police custody. Since then, she has been handcuffed to the bed, guarded by a cop at all hours, and not allowed phonecalls. Family and friends have not been allowed in to see her.
Juanita Young is a major activist and public speaker in the fight to stop police brutality. She and her family have been targets of police harassment on several occasions, including an attempt to illegally evict her from her home. Her son Malcolm Ferguson was killed by NYPD in March 2000, a week after he was arrested for being part of a protest against the verdict in the Amadou Diallo case. She has been a key organizer of the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation since 2000, and has stood with and supported many victims of police violence.
------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -
People can call in to the 43rd precinct to demand to know why they are holding Juanita (in the hospital emergency room) and not allowing friends, family and attorneys to visit.
43rd Precinct: 718-542-0888
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly: 646-610-5000
Mayor Bloomberg's office from NYC: 311
(or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
EMAIL: http://www.nyc. gov/html/ mail/html/ mayor.html
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Over the last year, we have asked you for a lot of help regarding Daniel's case and his need for your support. We really appreciate all the assistance that has been offered by people on this list and beyond. Now, we need to ask you for another big task. Daniel will be sentenced to a prison term sometime in the spring of 2007 and we need you to write a letter to the Judge regarding his sentencing.
You will find all the information you need regarding this below and on our website at http://www.supportdaniel.org/morehelp/judge.html You need not know Daniel in order to write this letter, but it is imperative you follow our guidelines below regarding the content of the letter. Most of all, be sure to send this letter (signed) to our lawyers' office, NOT the Judge.
Thank you for your help on this. With your help, we can show the Judge that Daniel has a large base of support and a ton of people who care about him. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us.
Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan
Guidelines for Letters to Judge Aiken in Support of Daniel McGowan
Some topics are simply not helpful subjects of discussion in a letter to the Court related to sentencing. We ask that you not justify or rationalize the incidents. We ask that you not compare Daniel to others who have entered pleas and who are also facing sentencing or to those who have not been arrested or are fugitives.
Judge Ann Aiken
U.S. District Court
Schroeter Goldmark & Bender
810 Third Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, Washington 98104
Questions? Call or e-mail Amanda Lee at (206) 622-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 26, 2006, 13:01
http://www.axisoflo gic.com/artman/ publish/article_ 23465.shtml
On a November 9, 2006, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-
Peoples Army, (FARC-EP) sent an "Open Letter to the People of the
United States". It was specifically addressed to several Hollywood
producers and actors (Michael Moore, Denzel and Oliver
Stone) as well as three leftist academics (James Petras, Noam Chomsky
and Angela Davis) and a progressive politician (Jessie Jackson). The
purpose of the open letter was to solicit our support in facilitating
an agreement between the US and Colombian governments and the FARC-EP
on exchanging 600 imprisoned guerrillas (including 2 on trial in the
US) for 60 rebel-held prisoners including 3 US counter-insurgency
FARC-EP: Terrorist Band or Resistance Movement?
Contrary to the US government position characterizing the FARC-EP as
a `terrorist organization' , it is the longest standing, largest
peasant-based guerrilla movement in the world today. Founded in 1964
by two dozen peasant activists, as a means for defending autonomous
rural communities from the violent depredations of the Colombian
military and paramilitary, the FARC-EP has grown into a highly
organized 20,000 member guerrilla army with several hundred thousand
local militia and supporters, highly influential in over 40% of the
country. Up until September 11, 2001, the FARC-EP was recognized as
a legitimate resistance movement by most of the countries of the
European Union, and for several years was in peace
negotiations with the Colombian government headed by President Andrés
Pastrana. Prior to 9/11 FARC leaders met with European heads of
state to exchange ideas on the peace process. Numerous prominent
business leaders from , City of London and Bogotá and
notables like Queen Noor of Jordan met with FARC leaders in the
demilitarized zone during the aborted peace negotiations (1999-2002).
Under heavy pressure from the , particularly its leading
spokespersons, the right-wing extremists like the notorious Otto
Reich, Roger Noriega and, John Bolton, the Pastrana regime abruptly
broke off negotiations and in less than 24 hours sent the Colombian
Army into the demilitarized area, in an attempt to capture the FARC
leaders engaged in negotiations. The `surprise' attack failed but
did set the stage for the escalation of the conflict.
US Role in Conflict
Beginning with President Clinton in 2000 and continuing with Bush,
the US has poured over $4 Billion dollars in military aid to the
Colombian regime in order to destroy the guerrilla army and its
suspected social base among peasants, urban trade unions and
professionals (especially teachers, lawyers, human rights activists
and intellectuals) . vigorously pushes a military solution
by subverting any peace negotiations, through a substantial number of
military advisers, contracted mercenaries, Drug Enforcement
operatives, CIA agents, Special Forces commandos and a host of other
undercover personnel. Between the early 1980's to the late 1990's,
Washington maintained the fiction that its military programs were
part of an anti-narcotic campaign, though it failed to explain why it
concentrated most of its efforts in FARC-influenced regions and not
in the vast coca-growing areas controlled by the Colombian military
and paramilitary forces. With the launching of Plan in
2000, explicitly underlined the counter-insurgency nature
of its military aid and presence. Profoundly disturbed by President
Pastana's acceptance of peace negotiations and the advances of the
social and guerrilla movements, backed a rightwing
politician with a history of ties to Colombia's death squads for
President, Álvaro Uribe. His electoral victory inaugurated one of
the bloodiest extermination campaigns in the violent history of
US military officials and their Colombian counterparts funded a
31,000 strong death squad force which ravaged the country, killing
thousands of peasants in regions where the FARC was influential.
Hundreds of trade unionists were assassinated by hired killers
(sicarios) in broad daylight in the towns and cities occupied by the
military. Human rights workers, journalists and academics who dared
to report on the impunity of the military involved in village
massacres were kidnapped, tortured and killed; not infrequently they
were decapitated or disemboweled to sow even greater terror. Over 2
million peasants were forced off their land into squalid urban slums,
their lands seized by prominent paramilitary chiefs or large
landowners. The `class cleansing' of the countryside was right out
of the counter-insurgency manuals of the Pentagon, instructing the
Colombian military to destroy the `social infrastructure' of the
guerrilla movements - especially the FARC which had longstanding and
extensive family, community and social ties with the peasants.
President Uribe embodied the classical authoritarian South American
ruler: At the throat of the poor and on his knees before his
patron. His perpetual large-scale offensive campaigns
decimated the countryside but failed to weaken the guerrillas or even
capture any of the FARC general command. After six years of massive
and costly extermination campaigns, top US and most Colombian
military officials conceded that a military victory over the FARC was
highly improbable. The best that could ensue, military strategists
argued, was a severe weakening of the FARC, forcing them to negotiate
a `peace agreement' favorable to the regime.
Peace Negotiations: A Brief History
During the Presidency of Belisario Betancourt (in the mid 1980's),
the FARC agreed to a cease-fire and many joined the electoral
process. Thousands of guerrillas, their sympathizers and many
independent leftists formed a political party, the Patriotic Union
(Unión Patriótica) and ran candidates at all levels of government.
In less than 5 years, 5000 activists, candidates and elected
officials were murdered by the military and their death squads,
including two presidential candidates, several congresspeople, scores
of mayors, hundreds of city councilors and local party leaders. The
survivors rejoined the guerrillas, fled into exile or went
underground. Contrary to claims by the government, was not
a `democracy' in the usual sense, but a `death squad democracy' in
which the most elementary conditions for electoral campaigning and
political norms were absent. Less than two decades later, when the
FARC had extended its influence within 40 miles from the capital
Bogotá, the government of Andrés Pastrana agreed to another round
of `peace negotiations' in an extensive demilitarized region under
While the negotiations proceeded, hundreds of `visitors' from all
sectors of Colombian society as well as foreign political and
business notables participated in public forums. Open debates
organized by the FARC covered fundamental social, economic and
political issues. For the first time in recent memory, issues of
land reform, public investment in job creation programs, foreign
investment and public ownership, economic alternatives to coca
farming, education and health were debated without fear of death
squad reprisals. The image of the FARC as a `militarist narco-
guerrilla force' was challenged; many former hostile observers from
, and , while not necessarily
agreeing with some of the FARC's proposed reforms, nevertheless came
away with the impression that they could be negotiated with and
agreements could be reached to end the civil war.
The radicalization of the Bush regime following September 11, 2001
served as a pretext to force a break in the peace negotiations.
Subsequently with the election of Álvaro Uribe, the FARC was included
in the list of `terrorist' organizations. The European Union, which
had publicly met and consulted with the same FARC leaders, followed
the US lead. Soon afterward, FARC negotiators and international
representatives were arrested in , , and
. The latter two countries handed FARC representatives over
to the notoriously brutal Colombian political police (DAS). Under
cover of Washington's `War on Terrorism', President Uribe proceeded
to severely repress trade union general strikes and massive rural
protests by the major agricultural organizations against his signing
of a `free trade' agreement with the US.
In the midst of government-sponsore d carnage, the FARC pursued a
strategy of tactical withdrawal to its jungle and mountain
strongholds and issued offers for mutual prisoner release as
a `confidence building' step toward future peace negotiations.
The FARC held over 60 Colombian politicians and military officers
prisoner, including a former presidential candidate, Ingrid
Betancourt and three US self-described `military contractors' engaged
in an intelligence collecting mission. The Colombian government
holds over 600 guerrillas. The US currently holds 2 FARC members.
The FARC proposed a meeting to arrange a prisoner exchange in a
demilitarized zone. The families of the FARC prisoners were
naturally unanimously in favor of the proposal as were most civil
society organizations, humanitarian, church and human rights groups.
The US has opposed any prisoner exchange and Uribe echoed his master,
at least during his first term of office. Their slogan was that
through military action they would liberate the prisoners. No
prisoners have been `liberated' in the past five years. On the
contrary in a recent failed military incursion, 10 prisoners were
killed, including an ex-minister of defense, a governor and 8
military officers. Under enormous pressure from Colombian civil
society, the European Union and most Latin American governments,
President Uribe declared, on his re-election, that he would be
willing to enter negotiations for an exchange. Within a month,
however, he reneged using as a pretext a bomb set off in a military
installation, which he attributed to the FARC despite its denials.
Experts suspect this was a covert operation by Colombia's secret
service to undermine any move toward a prisoner exchange.
Prospects for Peace Negotiations
Outside of and President Uribe's immediate entourage,
everyone agrees that the beginning of any peace process should begin
with confidence building measures, specifically the prisoner exchange.
Immediately complicating those negotiations, the US extradited two
FARC prisoners held by the Colombian government on December 31, 2004
and has confined them to solitary confinement, shackled 23 hours a
day. On October 16, 2006, one of the FARC political prisoners,
Ricardo Palmera - whose better known `nom de guerre' is Simon
Trinidad - was put on trial for `drug trafficking' and `terrorism' as
well as `kidnapping' . This is a classic `political show trial' in
which an illegal seizure, fabricated evidence and prejudicial
judicial procedures have been mounted to secure a guilty verdict.
The most suspicious aspect of this political charade is the
characterization of Trinidad's role in the FARC. He was their
principal peace negotiator, as was evident when he was recognized as
the FARC's principal interlocutor with Colombian President Andrés
Pastrana during the peace negotiations of 1999-2002. There are
numerous photographs, news reports and interviews in the Colombian
and European media of the time clearly identifying Trinidad as a key
peace negotiator. Equally important, Trinidad was the principal FARC
peace intermediary dealing with United Nations Human Rights
representative, James Lemoyne, appointed by the US Government and a
former Times journalist based in .
Recognizing that Trinidad's status as a FARC peace negotiator
concerned mainly with diplomatic missions severely compromised
Washington's case, the Federal prosecutor modified the charges from
direct involvement in the `kidnapping' of three US counter-insurgency
officers held as prisoners of war by the FARC, to `association' with
kidnappers and `conspiracy' to commit the crime of `hostage taking'.
The Federal prosecutor has taken advantage of the language of the new
anti-terrorism legislation passed by Presidents Clinton and Bush to
indict Trinidad. This legal framework has been denounced by all
leading US civil liberties organizations and the American Bar
Association as violating the US Constitution.
The charge of `association' is based on the unsubstantiated charges
that Trinidad `met' with the three US counter-insurgency officers,
subsequent to their capture, an accusation which lacks any concrete
proof - the Prosecution has neither witnesses nor documents of such a
meeting, not does it specify time, date or place of the alleged
meeting. In fact, Trinidad was in another province directing a FARC
educational program at the time. The charge of `conspiracy' is based
on Trinidad's membership in the FARC, which was labeled a `terrorist
organization' by President Clinton in 1997, a characterization which
was rejected by the European Union which played host to a touring
group of FARC leaders and peace negotiators shortly thereafter.
Moreover Colombian President Pastrana, who was engaged in peace
negotiations with the FARC between 1999-2002, rejected the `terrorist
label' considering Trinidad a legitimate interlocutor.
The long political history of the FARC, its historic ties with a
large segment of the Colombian countryside, its political program of
social reforms, its targeted use of force in its conflict with the
armed forces of the Colombian state, its continued pursuit of peace
negotiations based on reforming society and the military are in
strong opposition to any and all definitions of a `terrorist'
The entire notion of `kidnapping' three US intelligence or military
personnel engaged in a military surveillance operation in a combat
area against an insurgency targeted by the US is absurd. As captured
combatants, they are, by the definition of the Geneva Conventions,
prisoners of war and, as such, subject to possible prisoner of war
exchanges if the warring parties should agree. The Federal
Prosecutor charged that Trinidad was engaged in the prisoner exchange
when he was illegally seized in and transferred to
and later extradited to the US. In court Trinidad rebutted that
allegation by demonstrating that he was in to set up a
meeting between Lemoyne and a top guerrilla leader. The prosecution
presented no written or taped evidence linking Trinidad to
any `prisoner exchange'.
The Illegal Seizure and Arrest of Simon Trinidad
Any juridical process worthy of its name would throw out the
prosecution' s case on the most elementary basis of wrongful arrest.
In late December 2003 Trinidad traveled to to contact
James Lemoyne about possible peace negotiations with the Colombian
government, beginning with confidence building, humanitarian measures
related to prisoners and captives. During the earlier peace
negotiation Lemoyne had been a decent peace mediator, rejecting
pressure from the US Embassy to scuttle the proceedings. Given the
massive military escalation undertaken by President Uribe, there was
no opportunity for Trinidad to meet with Lemoyne in . Word
reached the FARC that Lemoyne would be available for conversations in
Under CIA direction, a joint Colombian-Ecuadoria n squad illegally
seized Trinidad. The entire operation violated Ecuadorian
sovereignty, judicial procedures and the rights of political appeal.
Extra-territorial seizures of opposition leaders and their transfer
to imperial courts resemble the practices of the Roman Empire and not
contemporary international law.
While in captivity, Trinidad has been denied access to translations,
documents and writing materials. He was manacled in an isolation
cell for 23 hours a day for over 21 months without access to legal
counsel. The Federal Judge, Thomas Hogan, and Federal Prosecutor
have acted to prejudice the trial even before its start. Over 30
armed police in a caravan of police vehicles accompanied by
helicopters bring the chained Trinidad to court. He has been denied
any selection of attorney and assigned a team of court-appointed
lawyers. When his attorneys attempted to provide a relevant
historical context including the FARC's attempts to participate in
electoral politics and the subsequent massacre of 5000 activists and
candidates, including 2 presidential candidates, the Prosecution
objected. The Prosecution also objected to the defense's description
of the massive, sustained State violence in and the role of
the US counterinsurgency forces in alliance with the paramilitary
In this Kafkaesque nightmare of a courtroom, the judge was asked by
the Prosecutor to withhold the names of the jurors to protect them
from `retaliation from Trinidad's `terrorist organization' (deep in
the Colombian jungle) - further prejudicing an already frightened
jury and biased judge.
The court-appointed defense attorneys have failed to challenge the
most elementary prejudicial statements by the Prosecution' s key
witness, a Colombian Army Colonel, who referred to Trinidad as
a `terrorist' despite the obvious fact that he has yet to be
convicted. Judge Hogan has refused to allow jurors to take their
notebooks containing trial notes from the court and denied them
access to transcripts, preventing them from rationally evaluating the
Trinidad's refutation of the Prosecutor's chief Colombian witness
and the outrageous nature of this political show trial were evident
from the first day the jury reported to the judge. The jury declared
that they were deeply divided on all charges and asked the court to
declare a mistrial. After 18 days of highly charged prosecution,
demagogy and inflammatory political rhetoric, the jurors spent a
little over seven hours deliberating before reporting that they were
deadlocked. A note from the jurors to US District Judge Thomas Hogan
stated: "We believe our differences based on deep thought are
irresolvable. " Judge Hogan rejected Trinidad's request for a
mistrial and told the jurors to keep deliberating, stating he would
declare a mistrial if the jurors repeated their declaration of a
deadlock a second time.
The `political show trial' of Simon Trinidad is a striking example of
the threats to constitutional freedoms, which we and the citizens of
the world face before the unbridled power of the American President
to overrule all the rights of sovereign states and their citizens,
international law and constitutional freedoms.
Equally important is the current reality of `extraterritorial,
lawless seizures, abductions and kangaroo proceedings at the service
of bloody imperial policies and client rulers whose actions have
devastated Colombian society. More than 2.5 million Colombian
peasants and urban slum dwellers have been displaced by the savage
counter-insurgency program called `Plan ; the number of
displaced persons is second only to . The
counterinsurgency programs, variously called `Plan ', `Plan
Patriótica' and `Democratic Security' are financed and directed by
the and promoted by its client President Álvaro Uribe.
The US AFL-CIO documents over 4,000 trade unionists assassinated
between 1986-2002; the Colombian government has only investigated 376
of which only 5 cases led to a conviction of the killer. According
to Colombian human rights groups, between 2003-2006 Uribe's military
and paramilitary allies have murdered nearly a thousand more trade
Over the past 5 years, 30,000 peasants, rural teachers, and peasant
and indigenous leaders have been killed with impunity. State
repression (`Democratic Security') has been directed at weakening
trade union resistance to the US-Colombian Free Trade Agreement, not
at countering guerrilla armies. With over 68% of the Colombian
people living under the poverty line of $2 dollars a day, and land
seizures by paramilitary leaders, cattle barons and military officers
concentrating land ownership to an unprecedented level, it is no
wonder that the guerrilla resistance is recruiting and successfully
countering Government-sponsore d military campaigns, each bearing a
triumphalist title and all ending in abysmal failure. Without
fundamental political and social reforms and lacking an economic
model that integrates the millions displaced, terrorized and
excluded, there is no military strategist or strategy, no matter how
well funded and directed by which will end the civil
The first step toward a resolution of this half-century conflict is
the recognition that is in the midst of a civil war, not
a `war on terror'. The second is to release the protagonists of the
peace process, Simon Trinidad and his comrade `Sonia' as a concrete
move toward a humanitarian prisoner exchange and confidence building
measure opening the way to full-scale peace negotiations.
Paradoxically, the end of the Colombian blood letting could begin in
, in a Federal Courtroom, or possibly in the US Congress
with the recognition that the US is an armed party in Colombia's
civil war, that their combatants are prisoners of war and that their
ultimate release depends on recognizing the limits of US military
power (and that of its Colombian client) and that a diplomatic,
negotiated agreement is the only realistic option.
I look forward to joining with such artists and intellectuals as
Denzel , Oliver Stone, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and
Angela Davis, named in the FARC appeal in a common effort to pressure
the US government to agree to exchanging imprisoned guerrillas (both
here and in Colombia) for rebel-held prisoners, including the three
Jericho Boston Presents
as part of their International Week of Solidarity with Political
Can't Jail the Spirit : Art by Political Prisoner Tom Manning
Can't Jail the Spirit exhibits Manning's paintings of political
prisoners, freedom fighters, the earth and people struggling against
oppression. For his actions, Tom Manning became a political prisoner and
has taught himself
to paint inside the prison walls.
Can't Jail the Spirit was first displayed at the University of Southern
Maine in Portland, Maine. A week after it went up, it was censored
after intense pressure by state troopers and the police to shut it down.
Tom's paintings transcend concrete and razor wire, and show that they
still can't jail the spirit!
WHERE: Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge MA
(follow Garden St. from Harvard Square, turn left on Berkeley St. just
past the Sheraton Commander Hotel;
the Episcopal Divinity School is at the end of the block)
OPENING RECEPTION: Tuesday, December 5, 2006
-Fred Hampton Jr. (former Political prisoner and son of Fred
Hampton/Deputy Chairman Black Panther Party, Illinois chapter, murdered
by the Police in 1969)
--J. Soffiyah Elijah (attorney for several political prisoners held by
the U.S., including Marilyn Buck and Sundiata Acoli)
--Luis Rosa (FALN Prisoner of war/Puerto Rican Independentista)
--Tim Swallow (Opening ceremony)
--Voices of Liberation (Revolutionary youth)
--Kazi Toure (Former Political Prisoner)
--Ed Rodman (Episcopal Divinity School)
--PRESENTE! (Music for the revolution)
For a calendar of related events visit www.jerichoboston.org
Sponsors include: Haymarket People's Fund, Episcopal Divinity School,
American Friends Service Committee, The New England Committee to Defend
Palestine, Councilor Chuck Turner, Councilor Felix Arroyo, Voices of
Liberation, Boston Community Church, SHARC, Social Justice Education
Project, The Jericho Movement, and others
United States Penitentiary - Hazelton
Bruceton Mills, West Virginia 26525
In Eugene, the community will be gathering on Dec. 3rd at 8pm at Sam Bonds Garage, 407 Blair Blvd, in the heart of Green Scare country. Other events are posted on www.greenscare.org. If there is no event planned in your community, consider organizing one yourself! Ideas include films, rallies, a bike ride, potluck, whatever--simply a time and place to reflect on the struggles and strength that we as a larger community have endured over the last several years.
And, although the Green Scare case may be at a slow simmer at this point, the final sentencing proceeding are yet to be scheduled. The sentencing hearing is the time when the judge rules upon the actual punishment (jail and fines) that each defendant shall receive. These hearings will be discussed and possibly scheduled at a status hearing set for December 14th in Eugene federal court. Our website will keep you posted on what is determined at that time.
Additionally, let's not forget that Briana Waters is still set for a jury trial sometime in May, 2007 in federal court in . Her attorneys have filed their own NSA wiretap motions with the government response due within the next week or so. Many will be interested to know that the NSA/Green Scare legal challenge will continue in the federal courts. We will be posting Briana's motion in the next day or two so check back.
And finally, let's not forget that the feds have not given any of their agents pink slips yet. The FBI continues to investigate and harass the activist community and with their time freed up in the case, there are concerns that their focus may shift to other areas or activists.
If your community would like to schedule a know your rights training, email us at and we will do our best to get you this vital information.
That's all for now. Peace,
The Civil Liberties Defense Center
Lauren C. Regan, Attorney at Law
WARNING: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice. They may do this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no recourse nor protection save to call for the impeachment of the current President.