Urgent ELP! Bulletin (28th September 2007)
Today Eric McDavid was found guilty of his role in planning to
destroy property of the US Forestry Service, etc.
He is due to be sentenced on the 6th of December. He faces a minimum
sentence of 5 years and a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Hearing the Jury deliver a Guilty verdict always comes as a shock to
the system. Therefore please send urgent letters of support to:
Eric McDavid X-2972521 4E231A
Sacramento County Main Jail
651 "I" Street
Below is the latest mailout from his support campaign team:
This evening the jury returned a verdict of guilty in the case of United
States vs. Eric McDavid. Eric faces 5-20 years in federal prison. His
sentencing will be on December 6 at 9am before Judge England. Please
continue to call the jail and request that Eric be given vegan food.
Contact info can be found on www.supporteric.org It is difficult to write
now. More will come later. Thank you all for your support. The struggle is
Saturday, September 29, 2007
ELP Information Bulletin (28th September 2007)
ELP has just learnt that a British animal rights activist, Julia Didrikson, has been sentenced to 5 months imprisonment because of her anti-HLS activities.
At the moment we do not have any prison address for Julia. If anyone knows her or knows where Julia may have been sent to, please let ELP know as soon as possible.
Below is a mainstream media article about Julia:
28 September 2007, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Animal rights campaigner jailed
An animal rights campaigner who sent threatening emails to staff at Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) has been jailed for five months.
Julia Didrikson, 43, sent malicious emails to the Cambridgeshire research centre as well as to
multinational firms contracted to the company.
Didrikson, of Poole, Dorset, pleaded guilty to six charges of intimidating people connected with
She was sentenced after a hearing at Peterborough Crown Court.
The court heard that some of the emails, sent over a three week period in March and April this year, threatened the children of staff and warned workers they would be killed.
Didrikson, of Pimpern Close, Poole, made no attempt to hide her email address from the messages, described by the judge as "vile".
Jailing her, Judge Nicholas Coleman said: "Whilst people do have well-held beliefs they are not
entitled to conduct themselves in this way.
"The language was clearly designed to instil fear. The recipients plainly felt fearful."
Emails written to HLS included: "Your lives will be at risk every time you go to your cars after
your days at the torture house."
Didrikson was jailed under the 2005 Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, which was brought in by the government to protect companies such as HLS from animal extremists.
She asked for another 19 similar offences to be taken into consideration, including writing
malicious letters to companies linked to HLS.
Didrikson was never a member of any organised animal rights group and was influenced by websites she visited when she was left alone after her Norwegian husband had to leave the UK.
Jeffrey Norrie-Miller, mitigating, said Didrikson was a lonely and vulnerable woman sparked into caring for all living things after suffering two miscarriages.
Det Con Tim Warren, of Cambridgeshire Police, said Didrikson was the first person in the country to
be convicted under the new legislation.
He said: "Everyone is entitled to conduct lawful business at work and to work alongside other
organisations without the fear of disruption and intimidation."
Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
BM Box 2407
Thursday, September 27, 2007
By Denny Walsh - Bee Staff Writer
Thursday, September 27, 2007
After deliberating for 11 hours over two days, a federal court jury has found Eric McDavid guilty of conspiring to blow up government and other facilities as part of an eco-terror plot.
The verdict came late Thursday afternoon following a trial that relied heavily on the testimony of an undercover FBI informant who was known to jurors only as "Anna" and who presented evidence of conversations McDavid and two companions had about blowing up the Nimbus Dam, a U.S. Forest Service facility in Placerville and other targets.
Two of McDavid's co-conspirators accepted plea deals from the government and testified in the case. McDavid's lawyer argued that he was a victim of entrapment by "Anna" because of the money and help she provided the conspirators.
He could face five to 20 years in prison.
Man Convicted Of Plotting To Blow Up Nimbus Dam
More Local News
(CBS13) Eric McDavid, the man accused of plotting to blow up the Nimbus dam and cell phone towers has been convicted of conspiracy to damage or destroy property by fire or explosives.
The star witness in the case known as "Anna" spent two years undercover working for the FBI. She spend months with McDavid and his co-conspirators, building the case for the FBI. She described McDavid finding her tape-recorder and told her "if you're a cop, I'll kill you." She later called the FBI and said "I want out."
Anna also described a night she woke to McDavid standing over her holding a knife. The next day the FBI moved in and arrested the group.
The Government says that if McDavid's plan was successful, he could have caused billions of dollars in damage.
As for the other two in the alleged terror group, they plea-bargained to testify against McDavid.
http://cbs13.com/local/local_story_270200810.html - includes tv broadcast
Attorneys paint contrasting pictures of defendant as the eco-terrror
plot case heads to the jury.
By Denny Walsh - Bee Staff Writer
Published 12:00 am PDT Wednesday, September 26, 2007
A prosecutor told a Sacramento federal court jury Tuesday that Eric
McDavid "was the driving force" behind an eco-terrorism conspiracy,
and a defense lawyer countered that McDavid was entrapped by an
undercover informant and the FBI agents working with her.
McDavid "never wavered from his belief" that violent action was
required to get the attention of those who pollute and exploit the
environment, Assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen Endrizzi told the jury in
her closing argument.
She compared McDavid's alleged plan for a bombing campaign to the
methods of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation
Front, radical environmental movements classified by the FBI as
But defense attorney Mark Reichel argued that McDavid did not come to
the charged crime freely because he had fallen in love with "Anna,"
an FBI undercover operative posing as a member of the conspiracy.
"She was very good at deceiving people," he said. "She was on a
mission to explore brave new areas of crime and report back to the
FBI. Eric McDavid was not on a mission. He never had a chance.
"It was like a card shark and someone who didn't even know the rules
of the game."
Two others charged in the conspiracy -- Lauren Weiner and Zachary
Jenson -- did not have their hearts in a bombing campaign but were
going along because they didn't want to let "Anna" down, Reichel told
the jury in his closing argument.
Ticking off equipment, a log book in which the foursome recorded
their activities, "the crisp $100 bills" and a Dutch Flat cabin where
the group lived in the days leading up to the trio's arrest -- all
supplied by "Anna" thanks to her FBI sponsors -- Reichel said,
"That's the creation of a case."
"Without 'Anna,' you have nothing," he declared. "That's entrapment."
But Endrizzi and Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Steven Lapham argued that
"Anna" had little contact with McDavid before he told her of his
planned campaign in the summer of 2005, while she was driving him to
Chicago from an "anarchist" conference in Indiana. Thus, the
prosecutors insisted, McDavid had a "predisposition" to violent
Lapham reminded the jury "Anna" testified that, on the same drive,
McDavid told her, "If you're a cop, I'll kill you."
"Doesn't that comment tell you he was dead serious about the bombing
campaign?" the prosecutor asked rhetorically.
Endrizzi argued that romantic feelings McDavid may have had for the
informant are "a red herring." There was nothing physical between
them, she said.
"The evidence is he was not reluctant" to proceed with the bombing
campaign, she said.
Even if McDavid wanted to impress "Anna," that is "motive, not
inducement," Lapham argued in his rebuttal of Reichel. The prosecutor
said it makes no difference what McDavid's motives may have been,
there was still a criminal conspiracy.
McDavid, 29, is charged with conspiring between June 2005 and Jan.
13, 2006 -- the day of the arrests -- to damage and destroy the U.S.
Forest Service's Institute of Forest Genetics in Placerville, the
Nimbus Dam and nearby fish hatchery in Rancho Cordova, and "cellular
telephone towers and electric power stations" at unspecified
The prosecutors on Tuesday pointed to the foursome's November 2005
meeting at the home of McDavid's parents in Foresthill as a pivotal
event in the conspiracy.
It was then, they argued, that the agreement was struck to proceed
with a bombing campaign
Weiner volunteered to buy "The Poor Man's James Bond," a book with
instructions on how to build a bomb, the prosecutors reminded the
Under the law, they said, a conspiracy is an agreement among two or
more persons plus at least one overt act.
"The conspiracy was complete when Lauren Weiner bought that book,"
Lapham told the jury.
But Reichel argued that, without "Anna," there would have been no
He reminded the jury that the FBI instructed "Anna" to get the
threesome together and find out if they were serious about going
ahead with the bombing campaign.
Trial evidence showed that Weiner did not have the money to travel
from Philadelphia, where she was living, to the Sacramento area, and
was afraid to fly. "Anna" paid for her round trip airfare and
persuaded her to make the trip.
The evidence also showed that McDavid insisted family commitments
prevented him from attending a meeting in the fall of 2005, but
"Anna" insisted that he make time.
"She's there to focus them and get them to fix a target," Reichel
said of "Anna." "The woman now has one single target, like a
Further, Reichel argued, had it not been for "Anna's" urging and
planning, the group would not have reconvened in Dutch Flat the
"Take 'Anna' out of the equation, and they don't get back together,"
he told the jury. "The tumbleweeds" -- a reference to the vagabond
lifestyles of McDavid and Jenson -- "go their own way."
But Lapham countered, "Merely providing the opportunity to the
defendant to act on his own predisposition is not inducement."
Jenson, 22, and Weiner, 21, pleaded guilty and testified against
McDavid. They were allowed to plead to lesser charges, and they hope
the prosecutors will recommend lenient sentences for them.
U.S. District Judge Morrison E. England Jr. will instruct the jury on
the law this morning and the panel will then begin deliberations.
McDavid is facing at least five years in prison and not more than 20
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
In an unfortunate turn of events, we have received
news that Romaine Chip Fitzgerald's hearing was
canceled. According to Mel Mason (main organizer for
Chip's support campaign), the Parole Board was missing
a commissioner, and could not go on without him/her.
We are waiting for a full report from Chip. We will
report on any future dates asap.
by Kim Petersen / September 24th, 2007
Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School
Edited by Agnes Jack
(Theytus Books, 2007)
“There was nothing of First Nations [sic] language, culture or history taught to the children at the residential school. The purpose of the residential schools was to do away with First Nations’ language and culture and to assimilate the children into white society.”
– Behind Closed Doors
On 13 September 2007, the United Nations adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP). It was carried by the UN General Assembly despite the shameful nay-vote cast by Canada (along with nay-votes from other colonized and occupied states such as Australia, New Zealand, and the United States).
The Declaration sets standards for the treatment of Indigenous Peoples that should provide a framework for the protection of their human rights. The DRIP is non-binding, as is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, so adherence to the Declaration is compelled only by a state’s sense of morality and concern for its reputation in the eyes of the world.
Canada’s minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, Chuck Strahl, complained about the DRIP: “It’s not balanced, in our view, and inconsistent with the Charter [of Rights and Freedoms].”
The opposition of Canadian authorities to the DRIP is understandable in light of how Canada came about. Canada is a state founded on the dispossession of its Original Peoples. The dispossession is ongoing.1
A major plank in the Canadian government’s program has been the assimilation of the Original Peoples. This was clearly demonstrated by the state’s removal of indigenous children from their homes and families and placing them in a residential school system which sought to replace indigenous languages, religion, and culture with English language, Christianity, and western culture.
Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School, edited by Agnes Jack, is a collection of 32 stories as told by Original Peoples of their own experiences in the residential school system.
The Kamloops Indian Residential School (KIRS) was situated in Kamloops — a small city in the south-central part of the province dubbed “British Columbia.” The KIRS, which operated from 1893 until it was closed in 1977, was part of the government’s assimilationist policy.
The story tellers relate accounts of a learned dysfuntionality from the KIRS which perpetuated itself through generations of Original Peoples.
The dysfunctionality originated in the treatment at the school. Individuality was stripped from the children by shearing their long hair, wearing of uniforms, and strict separation of girls and boys, even of family members.
There are tales of loneliness, long hours of labor, and harsh discipline that included beatings.
Said former KIRS student William Brewer, “[T]hey’d beat you up if you spoke your language. Most of them kids that were coming to that school, they could hardly speak English in them days.”
Ex-KIRS student Mary Anderson lamented, “No one got a comfort of any kind [at the school].” There were no hot baths; the building was cold; and the food was inferior, gristly, and sour.
Dorothy Jones recalled, “The teachers called us savages.”2
Former KIRS student Robert Simon described the school as a prison: “I don’t know what else it could be described as other than a jail. Any place that holds you against your will, punishes you and sets up rules to totally retrain your thinking.”
There were sports, dances, and movie nights. Movie nights at the school often featured John Wayne defeating the Indian savages. Indigenous dances were eschewed in favor of dances chosen by the school clergy. Horribly, there are also tales of sexual molestation and rapes suffered by the children.
Simon rued that the churches have not taken responsibility for their role in the assimilation of indigenous children.
Ron Ignace told of millennial-old indigenous languages, repositories of “vast amounts of intellectual knowledge representing a great reservoir of cultural heritage” that were “driven to the brink of extinction by Canada.” Ignace noted that Canada has done little to right this wrong, and, as a consequence, indigenous languages are still threatened.
Wanye Christinson said, “The residential schools are our holocaust. The government forcibly confined and rendered our people powerless by their laws and policies of cultural genocide. We are speaking of 150 years of trauma and horror where our children were systematically brainwashed to not resist the government’s legislation of assimilation and genocide.”
Despite this, the hardiness of many children that attended the residential schools shows them to be survivors. Telling of the tribulations in the residential school was part of the catharsis of survival.
Behind Closed Doors is a first hand history that all Canadians should be familiar with. If diasporic Canadians become aware of how Canada was established and is being further developed by trampling on Indigenous rights, would morality guide a national conscience and reach out to the Original Peoples? Becoming aware is the first step.
1. See Robert Davis and Mark Zannis, The Genocide Machine in Canada: The Pacification of the North (Toronto: Black Rose, 1973). ↑
2. For another perspective on who the savages were, see Daniel N. Paul’s We Were Not the Savages: A Mi’kmaq Perspective on the Collision Between European and Native American Civilizations (Nova Scotia: Fernwood Books, 2000). ↑
Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice. He can be reached at: email@example.com.
author: Sacramento Prisoner Support
Court report from Day 7 of trial
Below is the court report for yesterday (Monday). The majority of the day
was taken up by Zachary Jenson's testimony, followed by Randy Meyer of the
IFG, and then the prosecution rested. Mark began the defense's case with
character witnesses. Today (Tuesday) was the last day of arguments and the
jury will begin deliberating tomorrow morning, after they receive their
instructions. We'll post the report from today soon.
Please keep calling the jail, as Eric is still not receiving vegan meals!
He did receive commissary again this week. Visit www.supporteric.org for
more info on calling the jail.
Day 7, September 24, 2007
[Note: This is day 7 because it is the 7th scheduled court day, though
only the 5th full day of court. The previous two court days consisted of
the court being informed about defense attorney Mark Reichel's injury.]
After the RNC, Zach went back to Seattle and didn't see Eric again until
April of 05 in Seattle, when Eric stayed with him at his house for 2-3
weeks. They then hitched down the coast together, split up in Vegas and
Eric went to Ft. Lauderdale for the OAS. They met up again in Philly at
Bio, which is where they met Lauren for the 1st time and stayed at her
apartment. Zach testified that he noticed a "change" in Eric after the
RNC, that Eric seemed more "focused" and that by June of 05 Eric saw
protest as ineffective. He testified that Eric had been a mediator at a
spokescouncil meeting at Bio in 05. He also claimed that Eric discussed
the use of Molotov cocktails at bio, and that this was typical of Eric's
In July of 05, Zach attended the Crimethinc convergence in Bloomington,
IN. Eric and Anna were also there. Zach testified that he and Eric both
attended a guerrilla warfare skillshare, although he doesn't remember
specifics about the skillshare. He claimed that they did discuss targeting
federal buildings. He said that while in Bloomington, Eric identified
possible targets, including banks (to burn the money), mountain top
removal projects, and communist party buildings.
In August 05, Zach returned to Philly for Pointless Fest. He stated that
he met Eric and Lauren at a café where they discussed protest being
ineffective and using direct action. He said they planned to reconvene in
the winter, and at the AUSA's prompting he added that it was mostly Eric
and Lauren who participated in the conversation. Zach claimed that Eric
had alluded to direct action during the summer. He testified that Eric did
not seem hesitant at this time, and that he never seemed hesitant after
August of 05.
After Pointless Fest, Eric and Zach hitched back to the west coast. He
claimed that while they were passing through Kansas suggested dropping
sugar or "little bombs" into gas tanks.
In November at Eric's parent's house in Forest Hill, Zach testified that
Eric claimed the group was at the house of a "known anarchist." He also
claimed that Eric told the group during a conversation at the fire pit
that their discussions and meeting there constituted an act of conspiracy
and that he was ready to go to jail for his beliefs. The AUSA asked Zach
if Eric seemed hesitant about direct action at this time and Zach said no.
Zach testified that Eric and Anna asked him that night about how he was
feeling about direct action. He told them he felt comfortable, but when
the AUSA asked him if he was, in fact, comfortable at that time, he said
no. The AUSA then brought up an interview/article with Derrick Jensen, and
asked if Eric had referred to it at the meeting. Zach said yes, and
explained that the article was about "fence sitters" and how it doesn't
matter if they're scared away by action, because they're going to be
scared away anyway. He said he recalled that the Jensen article mentions
dams as a target. He said that Eric agreed with Jensen's views.
Zach claimed that while in Forest Hill the group discussed targets,
including billboards, cell phone towers, corporate buildings, and the IFG
(Institute of Forest Genetics). He claimed that Anna did not indicate a
particular target, but that she did ask a lot of questions - in Foresthill
and at the cabin in Dutch Flat. Zach claimed that Eric brought up the idea
of homemade C4 in Foresthill - a "recipe" including mixing bleach and
ammonia. In Foresthill, the group decided that they would meet after the
New Year to begin.
The AUSA asked Zach if Eric seemed influenced by Anna and he said no. She
asked if Eric seemed hesitant in Foresthill, and he said no.
Zach then explained security culture. The AUSA asked Zach if Eric
understood security culture, and Zach claimed he didn't remember if he
did, but he "assumed" he did. He also said he didn't remember if he was
given directions about security culture from Pointless Fest through
January of 06. He said he signed up for email in December of 06 that he
thought was secure (anythingirish).
He claimed that the group had discussed cutting off contact with their
families so they wouldn't know where they were. He also said they
discussed a possible safehouse in Wyoming. Zach stated that Eric wanted
security to "be pretty tight." The government then brought forth an
exhibit - an email between Eric and Zach in which Eric asked Zach to talk
to Lauren about security culture.
The AUSA asked Zach if Eric asked Anna to do anything to further the plan
during the weekend in Foresthill. Zach said no. Zach said he contributed
$100 worth of food stamps for groceries during their time in Dutch Flat.
He also said that Eric held on to the "Burn Book" the most. He claimed
that Eric had voiced an opinion on the accidental death of civilians,
which was that he would avoid intentionally hurting people, but that he
would take it on a case by case basis. Zach claimed he didn't want to be a
part of any "accidental death of civilians," and that Eric didn't feel the
Zach testified that the group did "recon" at the Nimbus dam and at the
IFG. The group parked their car at a market across the street from the IFG
to hide their license plate. They told the workers at the IFG that they
were students from a local college, and Eric signed in for the group under
an alias (the Sean Douglas Group). Zach claims that the group considered
the IFG a target on that day. Zach testified that Eric and Lauren used the
internet on the 11th to search for chemical supplies, but the search was
unsuccessful. They identified stores and Eric called them. At the cabin
they discussed testing explosives in the desert in Nevada or Susanville.
On January 12, the group came into contact with law enforcement when Anna
got pulled over for running a stop sign. Zach claims the mood was tense
after the stop, and that people blamed her "a little bit" for the stop. He
says he can't remember if she was criticized. He says that Eric tested
fuses on the 12th, and that it was Eric's idea. He also claimed that Eric
was the primary person mixing bleach and ammonia that day. He says he
himself did not stir the mixture. Upon prompting, Zach stated that Eric
seemed "like the brains" of the operation, that he was coming up with most
of the ideas and suggestions. When asked if Anna asked questions or made
demands, he responded that she asked questions. He claimed that Eric's
opinion usually prevailed. He also claimed that Eric was the one to calm
Zach stated that the plot was moving too quickly for him. After Anna left
the night of the 12th, the rest of the group had a discussion about
setting a schedule and having personal space so things would go more
smoothly. .He testified that no one that night suggested that Anna be
dropped, and that no one suggested pulling out of the conspiracy. He said
the plan for January 13th was to get more supplies to try again.
When asked to describe his relationship with Eric during 05 and 06, Zach
said that he saw Eric like a brother. He claimed that he still considers
Eric a friend, and that Eric told him he should take care of himself. The
AUSA asked Zach if he had conspired, and he said yes, that he had
conspired to destroy property that was harming the environment.
Mark's Cross Examination
Mark briefly reviewed the timeline Zach laid out in his direct. Zach
confirmed that he did not pick out Anna as an informant at the G8 in June
04. He said he found her to be attractive, and that they had "small"
Zach described the sleeping arrangements at Crimethinc in Des Moines (04).
He said that he slept in the attic of a house, and that Anna "was sleeping
with him [Eric] there as well." Zach said that Eric had no money at this
time, and that he was homeless and living off the land. He said this was
his own situation as well. He said that Anna did have cash in Des Moines,
and that she took him shopping at a corner store. He said that Eric at
this time was honest, nice, friendly, and not violent. After Des Moines,
Zach traveled to the RNC with Eric.
Mark then questioned Zach about previous drug use. He said marijuana
sometimes made him feel divorced from reality and paranoid. He also
affirmed that it helped him write more freely. He said he hasn't written
since May. Zach said he smoked marijuana with Eric before the fire pit
conversation in Foresthill, but that they effects had started to wear off.
Zach said that Anna claimed she had been a stripper and that she had $100
bills, but that Eric never had much money. Again, he was homeless and
penniless. When asked if he had ever known Eric to rent a home for a
month, Zach said no. Zach said the $100 in food stamps he spent in Dutch
Flat was end of the stamps, and that after that he himself was homeless
and penniless again.
After the RNC, Zach and Eric went back to the west coast. Zach claims he
can't recall if Eric talked to him about Anna, or if Eric wrote love
letters to Anna. After they arrived in Seattle, Eric stayed with Zach for
a couple of weeks, then left. They took off together again in April 05.
They had emailed through the spring, but did not discuss direct action
then or while the traveled out east. Zach said Eric did not express a
desire to engage in direct action in Auburn.
Zach said at some point he became aware that Eric had a romantic interest
in Anna, which developed at Bio. He said he didn't notice Anna ever
spurning or pushing Eric away. She knew Eric was interested in her - it
was no secret to anyone.
Mark asked Zach if he talked with the AUSA about the questions that were
going to be asked during trial. He said yes, but not the exact questions.
When asked if there were times he disagreed with the AUSA about what had
happened, he said yes. Mark went over the process of Zach's plea, during
which time Zach affirmed that his lawyer had gone over the minimum and
maximum amount of time in jail he faced and what the sentencing guidelines
were. He was facing 5-20, but after his charges got reduced with the plea,
he is now facing 0-5 years. He affirmed that he is now the government's
witness. He affirmed that he has not yet been sentenced, although his
sentencing hearing was originally scheduled over a year ago. Now it is set
for after trial. His goal is to get as little time as possible. Mark asked
if the sentencing recommendation from the government was based on whether
he was truthful, helpful, and offered his assistance, and Zach said yes.
When Mark asked if the government was no longer the opponent in his mind,
Zach said "correct." He affirmed that the government had prepared him by
giving him "pieces" of evidence to listen to. He said he wanted the
government attorneys to be happy with him as a witness.
Mark then directed the conversation back to the email between Zach and
Eric. Eric was in Sacramento at the time, and he says he can't make it to
the November meeting because he has family stuff to take care of. Mark
asked if Eric didn't want the group to know he was hesitant, and Zach said
"correct." He said he was acting.
Zach said that during the car ride out west in January that he was "still
saying things to make them think I was good to go for it," although he was
hesitant and reluctant. He said that Anna paid for the gas during this
trip. He says he does not remember Anna asking him how he felt about Eric
being their leader during this trip, but he does remember a conversation
(with Anna) about Anna leading them into a trap. Mark asked if that was
because she was leading everybody on everything, and Zach said "it seemed
Anna told Eric to get an anythingirish email account. She was upset when
Eric said he couldn't make it to the November meeting. He affirmed that in
December of 05 Eric was still trying to get a recipe from Anna, and that
Eric never said to Anna that he had a recipe and that he didn't need any
help. He said that Lauren did bring books with recipes to Dutch Flat.
When asked if the government had talked to him prior to his testimony
about who was the "brains of the operation" he said "yes I did." Mark
asked him if Anna had at least the same brainpower and wherewithal as
Eric, and Zach said "she seemed to." He affirmed that she had instructed
Eric, and that Lauren had brought books with recipes. He testified that in
July and August of 05, Eric said he didn't want to go to the west coast on
the advice of an attorney, and that he didn't want to be involved in
direct action in California. When Mark said that idea must have come from
somewhere else, Zach said "I suppose so, yes." Anna brought the laptops
the group used, as well as a chemistry set.
The group spent a lot of time on the 11th trying to figure out what a
hydrometer was - Zach testified that Eric didn't know what it was, but
that Anna did. He admitted that he himself is very unfamiliar with
chemistry. He said he didn't know if the "final product" at Dutch Flat
would use a fuse, so he had no idea if the fuses were for something else.
He had no understanding of what the final product would be called. He
testified that the mixing was a failure, and that the bowl breaking added
to the tension of the day. He admitted that it felt like they were a bunch
of amateurs. When asked if Anna was the brains of the operation, he said
she was in regards to the chemistry stuff.
In the "Burn Book," it says "A" (for "Anna") next to "Targets." This was
her concern and she wanted to talk about it. Eric's name is nowhere on the
list of concerns. The purpose of the book was to focus the group, and Anna
encouraged everyone to write in it.
On the 12th, during the argument, Zach stated that things were moving too
fast. He affirms that during this argument, Eric was advocating to Anna
his (Zach's) position. Eric says maybe they can just do billboards. Lauren
was also trying to pull back. Lauren was in the kitchen during the mixing,
but Anna was trying to get her to come out. Eric was sticking up for
Lauren, telling Anna not to push people. When asked if Anna was pushing
people, Zach said yes, that he found Anna to be pushy at this point. After
the argument, Zach voiced concern that Anna had turned off her cell phone
for security reasons.
Mark then asked Zach if anarchism means different things to different
people, and Zach responded "yes." He affirmed that it's a political view
that is egalitarian and concerned for others, that the poor should be
helped. He said this was a vision he shared with Eric. He testified that
Eric was not violent when they met.
Zach testified that he and Eric smoked marijuana the night of the 12th.
They then wrote in the "Burn Book" their plans for the next day, to
organize how things were going to go. He felt like things were moving too
fast. He said that there were no real plans at the end of the day, but
that they discussed plans later that night. Zach said that both he and
Lauren's goals during the discussion/argument on the 12th was to say
things were going too fast, and that Eric was backing them up.
He testified that Lauren really like Anna, that Anna was like a sister to
her and that she looked up to Anna. Zach said that Anna gave Eric money
for supplies, $100 bills. He also testified that the group decided Nimbus
dam would NOT be a target. The group had no specific cell towers
identified as targets. The group had no agreement on fixed targets the
morning of the 13th [when they were arrested]. Mark asked Zach if direct
action could mean many different things (sit ins, breakaway marches,
vandalism, arson) Mark asked Zach if people at convergences talk about
direct action, and Zach affirmed. Zach had talked about federal buildings
in July of 05. Zach affirmed that these were the same sorts of
conversations the group was having on the 12th and 13th.
The government went back over the terms of Zach's plea. He admitted having
had to talk to agents about people unconnected to these charges. He said
if he lies he can be recharged with the original charges. The government
can recommend the full 5 years, under the current charge.
When asked if Eric had a physical relationship with Anna, Zach said yes,
but only cuddling and sleeping. He named a couple other people Eric had
physical relationships with. He said that Anna did not encourage Eric in
his advances. He claims that he Anna told Lauren Eric was trying to force
himself on her, but that Eric said he never forced himself on Anna.
He talked about how they ate out of dumpsters, shoplifted and panhandled.
When asked if Eric was the same size he is now, Zach said that Eric looks
like he's lost 20 pounds [no surprise, as the jail continues to deny him
vegan food... ]. The AUSA asked Zach if Eric's parent's kicked him out,
and he said no, that he understood Eric could go back home when he wanted
to. He claims that Eric was not housesitting for his parents in November,
but that he was actually living there.
Zach testified that Eric claimed to be the "idea man" for the group. He
said that Eric expressed the desire to use a Molotov sometime between july
of 04 and January of 05. He said that Eric didn't seem capable of
attacking gas stations (with sugar or little bombs) because he didn't have
the tools or supplies he would need. He said he didn't seem hesitant. Zach
said the group purchased a gas can for fuel for an explosive device.
Zach testified that Eric was not high on the 13th and that he appeared
"willing to go." When asked if Anna had not had money that morning, would
the group have been able to get supplies, Zach said it would have been
harder, but yes. The government then played an audio clip in which Eric is
advocating slowing down, and possibly targeting unspecified cell phone
towers. Anna expresses her dismay at losing the "tree factory" [IFG]. The
government asked Zach who was giving the answers in this clip, and he
replied "mostly Eric." When asked how he felt when he reviewed the
evidence in the case, Zach said it scared him because they "had a lot of
evidence against us." She asked him if he was guilty, and he said yes.
Mark points out that the excerpt isn't the end of the conversation. Zach
affirms that other people participate in other parts of the conversation
and that it wasn't just Eric. When Lauren later gives her views, Eric is
supportive. Zach said Eric sat quietly to consider their thoughts, and
that he was supportive of them. The disagreement was with the three of
them and Anna.
Was the agreement still in place? "yes"
You had no idea what was in Eric's mind, correct? "Correct"
Did Eric express opinions about going forward in this exhibit? "yes"
You were just acting, right? "yes"
So you have no idea whether or not Eric was acting also? "yes"
Randy Meyer's Testimony
Randy Meyer works for the Department of Agriculture, USFS, at the IFG in
Placerville, CA, where he is a biology technician in a lab. He has been in
the field for 16 years. He says he interacts with college students
regularly on the job. He says that visitors usually register in the
registry book, as a security measure. He was at work on the 10th when
Eric, Zach, Lauren and Anna came to the IFG. The group signed in under
"Sean Douglas Group." Randy had shaded in their entry with highlighter
because he claims he was nervous about the group. He gave them brochures
and pointed out the arboretum, but then saw them again later. He said they
"weren't quite doing what I thought they were gonna' do." He said their
responses to questions weren't making sense, as he has a familiarity with
the local schools and what classes are offered, which teachers teach them,
etc. He claims he spoke primarily with Eric. The government then pulled up
a hand-drawn map, allegedly drawn by Eric, of the IFG. Randy testified
that it was a fairly accurate representation of the property. He said if
someone wanted to do mischief with the map, they could. He testified that
there was a scientist who lives on site. The government then asked him
about gas and fuel tanks, as well as chemical supply sheds. He said the
propane tanks were not hidden and were "kinda' hard to miss." He said the
chemical building was clearly marked on the outside, and that the
chemicals would be toxic if caught on fire.
Randy said he had not been notified by the FBI prior to the group's
arrival (which he was upset about). He did not see what car they drove in,
which was an indication to him that something was amiss, as no one had
ever walked in off the road before. He stated that he thought Eric was the
leader of the group. He did not notice anyone taking pictures or using a
In a break, during the absence of the jury:
Both parties agreed to the following:
1)Cell phone towers affect interstate and international commerce
2)The Nimbus dam is owned and operated by the US Bureau of Reclamation
3)The fish hatchery is owned by the state of California
4)The IFG is owned by the USFS
1)To renew the pretrial motions to dismiss because of outrageous
2)To renew the motion to suppress evidence of audio/video surveillance in
DF because of 4th amendment violations, no warrant and Anna's testimony
that there was no place in the house the camera's couldn't reach
Govt says Anna never testified to that, the tapes only ran in her
presence, the cabin was rented by the govt so there was no warrant required
3)To move for acquittal based on Rule 29, the govts failure to establish
evidence of a crime
Defendant's Case in Chief
Eric has known Eric for 15 years. They met in High School and have been
best friends since then. The last time he saw Eric was at New Years in
January of '06. Eric M. lived with Eric G. for a while in 04 while Eric M
was working construction in Sacramento. He described Eric M as honest and
kind, and said that Eric never expressed violent thoughts to him. Eric
told him about his travels. He said that Eric did not strike him as
someone who would have been involved in explosives in 05. He said Eric
offered to help others and that his disposition was that he was always
happy. He said he never heard Eric talk about making explosives. Eric was
part of the family - he knew him for 15 years and he had never harmed
The AUSA asked Eric "Who is Derrick Jensen?" and Eric responded that he
didn't know. Eric said that he and Eric M talked back and forth about what
they believed in, but that Eric never really talked about his own
political views. Eric M never told him he was an anarchist. He did share
travel stories and he did tell him he was attending protests and
crimethinc convergences. He said he didn't know where he was going after
New Years. Eric G was interviewed by the FBI about Eric M in April of 06,
and FBI documents show that Eric G reported to them that Eric had told him
he was going to Seattle after New Years. The AUSA was seemingly trying to
get Eric G to say that Eric M was lying to him, but he said he wouldn't
consider it a lie. He said he had never heard Eric M discussing plans. The
AUSA then asked Eric G about his political views - specifically if he was
conservative then, then if he was a republican. He stated that he was
Eric Gonzalez's wife has known Eric M for 13 years and also considers him
a good friend.
[Long back and forth between govt and Mark about when admissible timeline
starts - England sides with govt, effectively stating that predisposition
starts the same day as the conspiracy allegedly begins???]
Sarah has known Eric for 13 years. During that time he has stayed and
lived with them. He is like a brother to her. She said he's always been
special to her. She described him as caring and loving - as family. She
said he has never been a violent person, and that she was extremely
surprised by the charges. She said that he did talk to her about Anna - he
enjoyed her company and looked forward to seeing her again. .
The government asked if Sarah was with Eric in Philly, Des Moines, etc.
No. She couldn't remember if Eric had talked with her about Derrick
Jensen. She said that Eric had not told her he was an anarchist, but that
he did talk to her about Ryan Lewis. He had not talked with her about
direct action or the ELF.
Sarah is is Eric's sister. She testified that Eric did not have a job in
the summer of 05 and that he was traveling at the time. She said that her
brother was completely non-violent, and that violence was not in his
character. She said he is extremely peaceful and sensitive. She said he
was normally happy. She testified that Eric came home for the holidays in
05. When Eric was arrested, she said she was completely surprised by what
the media was saying about him being an "eco-terrorist." When Mark asked
her why she said "because he's not." She said he is not ok with killing
The govt asked her how many conversations she had with Eric about killing
people, and she responded "zero." She said that they had discussed his
views on the environment, but had not discussed the ELF or ALF. She said
she knew he was having friends up to the house in November. The government
asked if she had heard any of the tapes, and she said yes. The government
said, despite listening to all these things, you still believe he's
nonviolent? And she said yes. The government said "Because he's your
brother?" She responded that it was his character.
This concluded court for the day.
Dear Fellow Activists,
I received this from Scott with the Texas Moratorium Network and think these
figures show the strength of our movement for Kenneth Foster. Of course it
was not only the letters, phone calls, emails and faxes that saved
Kenneth--but the overwhelming numbers in support of Kenneth had to catch
11,815 to 12 in support of Kenneth! Very impressive!
While many of us marched, leafleted, held forums and other events, not
everyone could attend these events. So every little thing that everyone did
played a part in the victory. Let's remember that!
Thanks Scott for providing this information! Ramona or Pam in philly--can
you all get this information to Mumia?
Thanks for making the impossible possible in Texas everyone!
Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles
Board General Counsel
P. O. Box 13401
Austin, Texas 78711
Phone (512) 406-5852
September 19, 2007
Mr. Scott Cobb
3616 Far West Blvd., Suite 117, Box 251
Austin, Texas 78731
Re: Open Records Request dated September 06, 2007, received September
COMMUNICATIONS FOR KENNETH FOSTER JR. TDCJ# 999232
The number of communications received by the Texas Board of Pardons and
Paroles regarding the case of Kenneth Foster Jr. Faxes
The number of communications that support the execution. Texas
6 United States
3 Foreign Countries
The number of communications that oppose the execution
The number of names signed on petitions.
Provide the dates of the first communication and the last communication
09/11/2007 08:38 AM To Charlene Anderson/Parole/
Subject Fw: Public Information Act Request
Urgent ELP! Bulletin (25th September 2007)
ELP has just learnt about the arrest and imprisonment of two antifa
activists in Belarus following a clash between the activists and a
group of neo-nazis in December 2006. One of the activists is Maksim
Gubski, a local Minsk organiser of Food Not Bombs.
Below is an e-mail about Maksim and his co-defendant, Vladislav.
Support imprisoned Belarussian anti-fascists!
Maksim and Vladislav are anti-fascists from Minsk, who are doing 3
years sentences in Belarussian camps for their activities. They
support football club MTZ-RIPO, which is famous for its
uncompromisingly anti-fascist fans.
Maksim turned 18 years old in late July. He has been in anti-fascist
movement for 3 years, and was one of the organisers of Food Not Bombs
in Minsk, which made actions in Gorki park, Victory square and other
places in the city.
In December of 2006 they had an encounter with nazis, who ended up
being defeated. One of the nazis figured out that Maksim was
participating to event, and he went for the cops. Eventually Maksim
and Vladislav were sentenced to 3 years for "aggravated hooliganism",
that is statue 339 part 2 of the Belarussian criminal codex.
Write letters of support to Maksim and Vladislav! Their addresses are
VK-2 - 21
Batowa str. 4 Bobruisk
Vladislav Vladimirovich Plyashkevich
IK-10 otryad 4
Novopoltsk-5 Vitebskaya oblast
If you have a chance to write addresses with cyrillic letters, it is
more chance that letter will make it there:
213800 Ðåñïóáëèêà Áåëàðóñü ã.Áîáðóéñê
óë. Áàòîâà-4 ÂÊ-2
Ïëÿøêåâè÷ Âëàäèñëàâ Âëàäèìèðîâè÷
211440. Ðåñïóáëèêà Áåëàðóñü. Âèòåáñêàÿ îáë.
ã.Íîâîïîëîöê-5 ÈÊ-10. Îòðÿä ¹4.
Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
BM Box 2407
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
ProLibertad@hotmail.com and ProLibertad.Campaign@gmail.com
ProLibertad Hotline: 718-601-4751
The above link is to a website with pictures of el Grito De Lares
event/activity in New York City.
Here are statements from the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners for El
Grito de Lares in Puerto Rico, in Spanish, the English translations
will be published later this week.
MENSAJE DE OSCAR LÓPEZ RIVERA
ACTO DEL GRITO DE LARES
23 de septiembre de 2007
Saludos cariñosos y patrióticos para todos(as):
“Gerardo, Antonio, Ramón Fernando y René volverán” reza la consigna
del pueblo cubano que lucha por la libertad de sus cinco héroes
injustamente encarcelados y condenados a excesivas penas en mazmorras
del imperio yanki. Diariamente este mensaje es transmitido al mundo
por la radio cubana. Y ya más de 300 grupos por todo el planeta se
han solidarizado en ésta causa y están exigiendo justicia y libertad
para estos compañeros. Hoy, cuando conmemoramos nuestro glorioso
Grito de Lares, gritamos: “Gerardo, Antonio, Ramón Fernando y René
Nos incumbe a todos(as) los(as) boricuas que amamos la justicia y la
libertad ser solidarios y luchar por la liberación de estos héroes y
compañeros. Ellos son presos del imperio yanki porque con su valor e
inteligencia lograron infiltrar organizaciones terroristas de la
derecha cubana americana que viene cometiendo atrocidades contra el
pueblo cubano y su Revolución por casi 50 años. Son las
organizaciones terroristas que asesinaron a los 73 pasajeros de
Cubana de Aviación en Barbados con una bomba, los que asesinaron a
Orlando Letelier y Randy Moffet en Washington y los que tienen a la
comunidad cubana en yankilandia terrorizada. Son los que han
cometido fechorías y ataques terroristas contra el independentismo y
los responsables por el vil asesinato del compañero Carlos Muñiz
Los terroristas de esas organizaciones tienen nombre y apellido,
cuentan con licencia e impunidad, fomentan la corrupción y participan
en el tráfico ilegal de drogas. Es el gobierno estadounidense el que
le da licencia, santuario, impunidad, recursos y dinero. Son sus
mercenarios y sus terroristas. Son esos viles y brutales canalladas
los que cinco compañeros estaban tratando de parar.
La libertad de los cinco es nuestra libertad. Que ellos vuelvan a su
Patria y nosotros a la nuestra. La lucha sigue...Filiberto vive.
¡Qué viva Puerto Rico Libre!
En resistencia y lucha,
Oscar López Rivera
17 de septiembre de 2007
Oscar López Rivera es prisionero político puertorriqueño desde el 29
de mayo de 19981, hace 26 años.
MENSAJE EN EL GRITO DE LARES 2007 DE Carlos Alberto Torres
Prisionero político puertorriqueño desde el 4 de abril de 1980, hace 27 años.
Un saludo lleno de aprecio y calor patriótico a todos los presentes
que hoy unidos conmemoramos esta fecha tan gloriosa en nuestra
Hoy celebramos la valentía y compromiso con la patria, recordamos a
nuestros héroes y mártires que por amor a nuestro pueblo nos
brindaron el más supremo sacrificio. En este día sagrado que
pertenece a todos los puertorriqueños que aman la libertad, rendimos
homenaje a ese noble hijo de la patria, el comandante Filiberto Ojeda
Ríos. Su ejemplo de valor y sacrificio fue lo que los asesinos no
pudieron, ni jamás podrían, matar.
Recordamos también a los preso políticos puertorriqueños, a los
cubanos, que hoy comparten con nosotros las rejas y alambres
carcelarias que mejor caracterizan el comportamiento del gobierno de
los Estados Unidos contra los pueblos que luchan por el progreso y
bien de su gente.
Compatriotas, Lares simboliza la esperanza. La fe que podemos sentir
por nuestra capacidad en superar los atropellos y contratiempos que
nos imponen los enemigos de nuestra libertad. Lares simboliza la
solidaridad humana que no sólo ata a los puertorriqueños uno al otro,
sino, a todos los pueblos latinoamericanos que forman una gran
familia de seres. Lares es símbolo de la dignidad humana que aspira
Porque Lares es símbolo de nuestro amor por la libertad, saludo con
gratitud a todos los Lares de este planeta: a Venezuela, a Cuba, a
Bolivia, a Chiapas y todos los lugares dónde se lucha por la
¡Viva Puerto Rico libre!
¡Viva la memoria del comandante Filiberto Ojeda Ríos!
¡Libertad para los presos políticos puertorriqueños y cubanos!
Carlos Alberto Torres
17 de septiembre de 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Daniel has been getting settled into FCI Sandstone and has made a number of calls to friends and family. He's back on his 300 phone minutes a month and is able to start responding to letters, although he may not be able to respond to every single person. Daniel's job (all federal prisoners must work for the prison) is a clerical position in the psychology department. He starts it this week. He's been playing "pickle ball" (not quite sure what that is) and has been eating a lot better than at previous locations. We're relieved to hear he's doing OK, getting into a routine, and passing his time.
Daniel's latest "blog" entry is pasted below. You can also see past entries here: http://www.supportdaniel.org/prisonlife/blog.html. We're working on getting a real blog on the website soon.
September 18, 2007
Whew, so I finally made to FCI Sandstone — a low security prison in northern Minnesota and my home for the next couple of years. It’s been a rough couple of weeks — 2 flights, 2 long days in a bus, 11 days in the hole and not having a clue when I would be moved. Transit in the federal prison system is disorienting and frustrating but I’m here now and things are starting to normalize. Big thanks to everyone who wrote me in Oklahoma, Terre Haute, and Oxford — the letters are starting to catch up with me this week. I am way behind on correspondence and at times feel like I will be for a while.
How to describe Sandstone. Well, it has fences and barbed wire but it's not Oz! The first couple of days here were tough — trying to figure out what to do, where to go, how to do mundane things that others know already. With some help, I’m adjusting and each day gets easier by far. I hear once you learn how everything works, the boredom sets in but I’m doing all I can to keep busy by reading, preparing for my master’s program, running and signing up for classes.
I want to thank everyone who came out for the September 1st benefit in Brooklyn, NY that was held to help me pay for tuition. From what I heard, it was a lot of fun and really successful — I can’t wait to see the photos.
Finally, I want to ask you for your participation in this year’s Leonard Peltier Annual Holiday Toy Drive for the children of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. This project has gone on for years and I’m happy to be part of it this year in a supporting capacity. My support crew will be creating a registry of toys that will make it simple for you to buy a toy or two for the Native children on the Pine Ridge reservation. I’m honored to be working on a project initiated by Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier and run by the Leonard Peltier Defense Committee — true allies in the struggle for political prisoners and environmental protection. Please participate as much as you can to make a real difference in the lives of these children who live on one of the poorest reservations in the nation and also by lending your support to the struggle to free Leonard Peltier. Check www.supportdaniel.org and www.leonardpeltier.net for more information in the near future.
Thanks for all the letters and support!
Daniel McGowan is an environmental and social justice activist. He was charged in federal court on many counts of arson, property destruction and conspiracy, all relating to two incidents in Oregon in 2001. Until recently, Daniel was offered two choices by the government: cooperate by informing on other people, or go to trial and face life in prison. His only real option was to plead not guilty until he could reach a resolution of the case that permitted him to honor his principles. As a result of months of litigation and negotiation, Daniel was able to admit to his role in these two incidents, while not implicating or identifying any other people who might have been involved. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison on June 4, 2007 and began serving his time on July 2, 2007.
Moreover, Rod Coronado is not a threat to the community, as he has
Saturday, September 22, 2007
September 22, 2007
By Gina Gallucci, Frederick News-Post
After her first child was born, Vicki Schieber wrote a list to God asking
for certain qualities in her newborn daughter Shannon.
"She was the light of (my) life," Schieber said.
While at college in Philadelphia, a man broke into her home and raped and
murdered 23-year-old Shannon.
"There are no words to explain the insurmountable tragedy," Schieber said.
"Nothing prepared me."
After police caught the man they believe committed the crime, prosecutors
told the family they would seek the death penalty.
"We said, 'Not in our name,'" Schieber said. "By executing him, it would not
bring our daughter back."
Schieber was one of four speakers at the St. John the Evangelist Roman
Catholic Church on Friday evening. The event was sponsored by the coalition
Maryland Citizens Against State Executions.
The keynote speaker was Sister Helen Prejean, best known for her Pulitzer
Prize-nominated book "Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death
Penalty in the United States." The book was later turned into an Academy
Award nominated film starring Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. Sarandon won for
"Look me up on Google," she said. "I'm the death penalty nun."
Prejean, 68, began doing prison ministry in 1981 and became pen pals with
Patrick Sonnier, an inmate on death row convicted of murdering two teenagers
She told the standing room only crowd Friday that prior to meeting Sonnier,
she was nervous and clutched her cross.
"I thought, 'He writes nice letters but everybody writes nice letters,'" she
said. "My plan as a nun did not include going to death row but we don't plan
When she first saw him, it struck her how human his face was, Prejean said.
"The time flew by," she said. "I didn't have to say much."
She became his spiritual adviser and he helped teach her the road of healing
Prejean's face was the last one Sonnier saw as he was electrocuted in 1984.
"I threw up," she said. "I had never seen anyone killed before my eyes."
While Prejean maintains that she abhors Sonnier's crime, that horrible act
should not have resulted in his death.
The U.S. culture tells families that the death penalty will give them
justice for their loved one's murder, she said. Jurors sometimes feel it
would dishonor the victim's family or the victim if they do give the accused
the ultimate penalty.
Kirk Bloodsworth, 46, told the crowd Friday about his brush with the death
He was convicted twice of raping and murdering 9-year-old Dawn Hamilton near
Baltimore in July 1984 and spent nearly 10 years in jail, including two
years on death row.
All the while, he proclaimed his innocence.
"Nobody listened," he said. "All those days sitting in a metal box."
While serving his time, he read "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh, a former
police officer, which discusses DNA evidence.
Bloodsworth suggested the small amount of DNA found on the girl's panties be
tested. The results eliminated him as a suspect and he became the first
person on death row exonerated by DNA evidence. He was freed in July 1993.
Bloodsworth is a vocal opponent of the death penalty and tried to persuade
state lawmakers in the past legislative session to repeal the death penalty.
The repeal failed, but the issue could be introduced in the upcoming 2008
Maryland has had the death penalty since 1978.
Bloodsworth told the crowd that if being accused of a crime happened to him,
an honorably discharged U.S. Marine with no criminal history, it can happen
Source : Frederick News-Post
Friday, September 21, 2007
The ABCF Update, Issue 48, Summer 2007 is now out!
The Update is a quarterly publication produced by the Anarchist Black Cross Federation. It is one of the few publications designed specifically for news/articles about and from political prisoners and prisoners of war in North America.
The present issue has the following items:
• Zolo Azania
• Daniel McGowan
• Kamau Sadiki
• Jamil Al-Amin
• William Gilday
• Roisin McAliskey
• Mutulu Shakur
• Fred Muhammad Burton's Current Appeal Process
• Rod Coronado’s Deadlocked Trial
• San Francisco 8
• Omaha 2 Retrial Hearing
• Chip Fitzgerald’s Transfer and Parole Hearing
• Love Park 4
• Morristown 3
• Jena 6
• Ahmad Sa’adat’s (PFLP leader) New Trial
• FARC trials
• Running Down the Walls Reports
You can download a copy from the ABCF site at:
www.abcf.net/abcf.asp?page=pdfs . All hardcopy subscriptions can be order by contacting LA-ABCF at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Urgent ELP! Bulletin (20th September 2007)
Two activists from Philadelphia have been charged with acts of
sabotage against HLS (Huntingdon Life Sciences) targets in New
Jersey. One of the two activists, Nick Cooney, faces a mandatory
minimum of 3 years if convicted. Funds are needed to provide
competent legal defense. Please do what you can to help these
dedicated activists avoid prison.
A full statement from Nick is below.
PayPal all donations to:
usababylon at hotmail dot com
or mail to:
720 North 38th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
In July of 2005 my friend Janice and I were arrested and charged with a
variety of charges in connections with two vandalisms in New Jersey. The
alleged actions were in relation to the HLS campaign. For reasons
unknown to us, the case has sat for about two years but now is
proceeding forward. Janice and I were indicted last week (meaning, a
grand jury in NJ [not the scary kind of grand jury] found there to be
enough evidence that we should be put on trial), so there will be
upcoming appearance dates and court dates relatively soon. If this goes
to trial and I'm found guilty of the main charge (3rd degree criminal
mischief), there's a 3 year mandatory minimum for me because of my prior
convictions (6 1/2 year max for all charges, for both of us).Janice's
situation isn't quite as bad in that there's no mandatory minimum, but
both of us are facing jail time and desperately need money for our
attorneys ASAP. We need to raise about $3,500 each for the case, and
very quickly. After being released on bail back in 2005, we never set up
any support websites or put out calls for assistance since the SHAC-7
trial was going on and support was much needed there; and, because our
case was for some reason not going forward. Now, we really are in need
of help from the animal rights community to help us fight these charges
with competent counsel.
If anyone can help out in any way - organizing fundraisers, donating
yourself, or letting any well-off animal rights supporters know, it
would be very much appreciated.
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2007 17:52:16 -0500
From: "Denise Welch"
Tell the Oregonian You Oppose Expansion of Measure 11
Kevin Mannix, author of Measure 11, wants more mandatory minimum sentences for Oregon. Reporter Ashbel Green’s story in the Saturday, September 15th Oregonian shows clearly why we need to fight the proposed Mannix measure and the mandatory sentences it requires for non-violent property crimes. You can read the Oregonian story here:
The new Mannix measure would increase sentences to a minimum of three years for drug offenses and property crimes, according to Green, and would cause Oregon’s prison population to swell by 3,000 to 6,000 prisoners by 2011 at an annual cost of $200 to $400 million.
We need you to write a letter to the editor of the Oregonian to let other Oregonians know that this Mannix measure is bad public policy and bad for Oregon. Below are a few facts and talking points that will help you write your letter:
►The mandatory sentencing measure is clearly an over-reaction as the FBI reports that property crime is significantly down in Oregon for each of the past two years. Property crime in 2006 is estimated to be down 14.4% in Oregon’s three largest cities.
►Mannix’s mandatory sentencing measure would force Oregon to build at least two additional prisons at an estimated cost of $600 million per prison for construction and debt service.
►More money going to building and operating new prisons means we’ll have less money for schools, health care and other essential services. Let’s spend our money where it is truly effective – for schools, colleges, health care, Head Start and other programs that create healthy and safe communities.
►There are far better alternatives to reducing property and drug crimes than incarceration. Both drug and alcohol treatment and early intervention programs for at-risk youth are far less expensive and work more effectively at preventing crime.
►Mannix’s mandatory sentencing measure is one of 20 initiatives already filed by Mannix for the 2008 election; a clear abuse of the initiative system. Our initiative process seems to be making money for him. The Oregonian reported last year that since 1996, Kevin Mannix has paid over $800,000 to himself, his law firm and other businesses from political committees and foundations he controlled.
►After failing four times to be elected to statewide office, Mannix is trying to become politically viable again. But this is a bad strategy that takes us down the wrong path. We need smarter solutions to our criminal justice problems.
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Notes form Closing Arguments – Rod Coronado trial 9/17/07
The day began with Jury Instructions, summarized in part below.
The burden of the Jury is to deliver a verdict based on the charges,
returning a not guilty verdict if not convinced beyond a reasonable
The burden of the government is to prove that:
The defendant taught or demonstrated the making or use of a
The defendant intended that the teaching or demonstration of the
device would be used for, or in furtherance of, a federal crime of
At the time, both the intent and tendency of his actions were to
provoke or incite an imminent crime of violence.
The Judge defined the defendants theory of defense as that he did not
have intention, and that his actual words did not incite an imminent
crime of violence.
The judge also added that an incendiary device is a destructive
device, that arson is a federal crime of violence, that past
speeches, and demonstrations have been admitted to help establish
intent (Note: there were lots of these: the American University
speech, more inflammatory that the 2003 speech at issue, 60 minutes
interview, and even the 2003 condo fire that took place 15 hours
before Rod was in San Diego.
Closing remarks by prosecuting U. S. Attorney John Parmley:
Parmley described Rod as a recruiter and mentor of arsonists, that
his intent in the San Diego speech when he commented on the fire that
morning was to glamorize it as a success because it got media
attention. In this regard, Rod made arsonists out to be heroes and
thus influenced his audience to do such actions.
Numerous citations from events other than the speech at question were
used to paint Rod in a negative light, including:
1. undated writings taken from his personal computer in which Rod
calls for the revolution to begin, and where he admits to teaching
people how to build firebombs.
2. an interview with 60 Minutes, where Rod admits to wanting people
to be courageous enough to act on their beliefs.
3. a speech at American University, prior to the San Diego speech,
where Rod describes having no faith in writing letters and espouses
the philosophy of life over property and profits, and calls
4. an editorial in the Earth First! Journal entitled “In Case of
Fire, Let It Burn (Baby).
The prosecutor attacked the defense witness who asked Rod the
question, suggesting her testimony is disingenuously naïve. Parmley
described Rod as a traveling arson recruiter, in San Diego for a few
short hours and with a focused mission to recruit more arsonists for
his causes. Regarding the legal requirements of imminent threat in
the charges, the prosecutor took Rod’s statements about the extreme
planning and caution to protect life in his past actions to suggest
that seeds of relatively imminent arsons, subject to a similar
planning process, could have been sown at the San Diego lecture.
Much of the prosecution’s closing, as in the trial itself, sought to
play on the emotions of fear, present the most inflammatory
statements and images available to them, including a lengthy ending
image of the fire in San Diego the morning of Rod’s talk.
Defense’s closing arguments by Tony Serra:
In sharp contrast to the government’s sensational imagery and
displays of incendiary rhetoric, Tony Serra weaved together an over
two-hour riveting presentation of the essence of the language of the
statute in question, the actual evidence in the trial, and the
responsibility of the Jury relative to the nature of the US legal
Repeating the Jury instructions, he reminded them that their decision
is not to be based on personal likes or dislikes, and that the
question before them is essentially if the defendant’s actions, and
only the actions of August 1, 2003, intended to cause an imminent act
of violence. He displayed on the overhead screen sections of the
judge’s jury instructions a number of times.
To back up Rod’s innocence, he stated that Rod had not come to San
Diego as a recruiter, but rather had given a standard speech about
his life’s work, and ideology, and the question which led to the
charge against him was spontaneous. In glowing praise of the US
judicial system, he appealed to the jury to apply logic and reason
and examine the facts of the case. The law is constant, a beautiful
thing, it protects us from harm. One does not surrender common sense
when one enters the portals of the courts system.
Serra then goes into the heart of the defense, the failure prove that
an imminent lawless action was provoked by Rod’s words. Listing
myriad synonyms of the word imminent, the point was driven home that
the exception to protected free speech covered in the statute under
which Rod is charged (the “Brandenberg” exception) has the purpose of
preventing immediate violent action and harm, incited by words. Such
words would clearly be a direct call to immediate action (“Follow me!
Let’s go burn it down!”) Serra’s dramatic and elegant oratory skills
were quite effective in illustrating examples of protected versus
unprotected speech in hypothetical reenactments of turbulent US
social struggles. Imitating the voices of The Boston Tea Party,
vigilante justice in the racist South, the Longshoremen’s labor
struggle of 1930’s, and an uprising in the Castro District in San
Francisco in the 60’s following two murders of progressive leaders;
Serra exemplified ways in which the words of those events could have
“crossed the line” between protected and unprotected speech.
Concerning some of the prosecution’s evidence, Serra qualified that
Rod was once in a point in his life where he committed illegal acts,
and for which he went to prison. He then became a movement
spokesperson, and thus an advocate. In doing this, he was protected
by the First Amendment; even though his speech was political, and
offensive to some, allowing that it was likely offensive to some on
the jury, it was protected. Serra stated that a free society, to
avoid becoming totalitarian, must allow all to espouse their
ideology, and seek to protect the speech and ideas that offend us
most. To the Jury: “Although you may hate his ideology, love the
concept that protects his freedom of speech.”
Regarding the question asked of Rod in 2003: the person who asked the
question demonstrated no intent or desire to actually commit an
arson, and testified to that as well. Tony reminded the jury that Rod
hade also cautioned the audience about the risks involved in such
actions, citing Jeff Luers, who received a 22-year sentence for
burning three SUV’s at a car dealership; those words were a red
light, not a green light, said Serra. No one at that talk was
inculcated with the mentality to go out a commit violent crime.
In order for the Jury to judge intent, they need to understand the
law clearly, to induce or deduce. They must by completely sure in
order to reach a conviction on his intent. If it was possible to them
that his intent was to incite imminent action, or even probably,
they must deliver a finding of not guilty. A preponderance of
evidence, still requires not guilty. Only if the Jury believes that
beyond all reasonable doubt that it was intention to incite imminent
action should he be found guilty. The hallmark of reasonable doubt:
reject that which points to guilt, embrace that which points to
innocence. The only way to reach a conviction in this case would be
for the Jury to reject the qualification of imminence, and throw that
part of the instructions out the window.
On the Prosecution’s “Red Herrings”:
Fire instills animal fear, is deep within our psyche. The prosecution
is playing on that fear with sensationalized imagery and conjecture,
making the prosecution’s motive questionable.
Rod’s ideology is unfairly on trial. They play up crimes in the past,
portraying him as a threat, rather than showing that his heart seeks
to protect the health of the earth and the animals.
We expect to side with law enforcement, because we are beholden to
them for our safety,yet they have proven unreliable at best in this
case. “The thin blue line has become a thick blue wall. What law
enforcement wants, law enforcement gets.”
“The foundation of the criminal justice system is honesty, integrity,
candor and impeccability of law enforcement. They are the brick and
mortar we pay for and depend on. To err is human. We are not punitive
in our judgment of mistakes. Let us visit Detective Joseph Lehr. He
awoke early on August 1 to a devastating fire. He saw the ELF banner.
He was traumatized. Lehr went to Rod’s talk that night, undercover.
He may have had anger, animus, may have lost clarity – officers are
not supposed to do these things. He knows the significance of words.
He puts in his report the words “bomb for an action.” Heavy words. An
indictment of the individual. When caught, he admits to misstating
the words. Why are we here then? We would not be here without these
words. That was the case. This is s a great misstatement. This is a
tragedy. This is at a minimum a wanton disregard for the truth. This
is treason by a seasoned officer. If you measure in your mind the
potential harm to a society when a police officer grossly misstates
something that is at the heart of the case, isn’t that something that
presents more potential harm than someone presenting the words of the
ELF or ALF? What is worse I ask you? The one has first amendment
protection; the other has the potential to be gross political
malfeasance. There will never be a more concrete, more dramatic form
of impeachment than this. Do not brush it off. It is unacceptable.”
Addressing specific evidence from the Prosecution:
The undated letter seized from Rod’s computer lauds direct action,
but ends with “My friends, I cannot tell you what you must do. Only
your heart can now do that.” This is not a call to action. The San
Diego speech was also not a call to action.
In the 60 Minutes interview Rod says he is “asking people brave
enough to take the risks…” This is not a call to action. Likewise,
the American University does not cross the line by calling for
immediate violent action. Plus those are not what he is charged with,
but they were presented.
In addition to this history, Rod was under intense police scrutiny
for years. They knew where he was and what he was doing. They were
monitoring his speeches before and after August 1, 2003. There were
at least six police officers involved in monitoring his talk in San
Diego. At some point, it went to a Federal level. They were following
him, but he committed no crimes. What does the two+-year delay in his
arrest signify? He is clean. He wasn’t arrested until 2006 – was it
merely a tactic to silence him? (Objection/sustained)
Remembering the words of Voltaire, “I disagree with what you say but
will fight to the death to protect your right to say it.” This is a
terrifically important case. The two most beautiful words in the
criminal court are “not guilty.” In a system where everyone is
guilty, that is the beginning of totalitarianism. In the American
way, we don’t punish ideology, we punish crime.
Rebuttal by Prosecutor Skerlos:
One of the most beautiful things to me is the evidence. Cites the ATF
agent testimony about the destructive power of fire, and Detective
Lehr; for you the Jury to consider whether he is truthful. Case
boils down to the evidence of what he did and what he intended to do.
Suggests that Defense witness Kari Shaw, who testified about the
question she asked Rod, was in collusion with Rod to ask the question
for him to answer.