Here is the list of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War with birthday in August. Please take the time write them - wishing them well on their birthdays.
10916-086 / P.O. Box 2068
Inez, KY 41224
USP Big Sandy
(Anti-Authoritarian Political Prisoner)
DEBBIE SIMS AFRICA
OO6307 / 451 Fullerton Ave
Cambridge Springs, PA 16403-1238
August 04, 1956
OJORE NURU LUTALO
59860 / PO 861
Trenton, NJ 08625
(Anarchist Political Prisoner)
DR. MUTULU SHAKUR
P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226
August 8, 1950
P.O. Box 7007
Marianna, FL 32447-7007
August 13, 1956
(Cuban 5 Political Prisoner)
HANIF SHABAZZ BEY
P.O. Box 860
Oakwood, Virginia 24631
Keen Mountain Correctional Center
August 16, 1950
(Virgin Island 5 Political Prisoner)
#58733-004 / P.O. Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
FCI Terre Haute
August 18, 1963
(Cuban 5 Political Prisoner)
#81-A-4469 / Box 2000
Dannemora, New York 12929
August 23, 1949
(Black Panther Political Prisoner)
RUSSELL MAROON SHOATS
175 Proggress Dr.
Waynesburg, PA 15370
August 23, 1943
5329 Osgood Avenue North
Stillwater, Minnesota 55082-1117
August 31, 1950
(Black Liberation Political Prisoner)
Friday, July 31, 2009
Here is the list of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War with birthday in August. Please take the time write them - wishing them well on their birthdays.
July 30, 2009
For a formidable and growing global community of supporters, the prospect of Native American activist Leonard Peltier finally leaving prison inspires a longing that cuts to the depths of the soul.
So Peltier’s first parole hearing of the Obama Era---on Tuesday, July 28---inspired hope of an intensity that will have a major impact on the new presidency. A decision must come from the Federal Parole Commission within three weeks. His attorney is calling for a surge of public support that would create an irresistible political climate for Leonard’s release.
The relationship between Peltier and those who have followed his case over the decades can be intensely personal. His imprisonment has come to stand not only for five centuries of unjust violence waged against Native Americans, but also for the inhumane theft of the life of a man who has handled his 33 years in jail with epic dignity, effectiveness and grace.
Peltier’s latest parole hearing convened at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he is currently held. According to Eric Seitz, Peltier’s Honolulu-based attorney, Peltier spoke for more than an hour “with great eloquence” about the nature of his case, his imprisonment and his plans for freedom. “The hearing officer seemed to listen carefully,” said Seitz. “We thought it went very well.”
The decision on Peltier’s parole will be made by the four sitting members of the Federal Parole Commission (http://www.usdoj.gov/uspc/ ) whose offices are in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Commissioners Isaac Fulwood, Jr., Cranston Mitchell, Edward Reilly and Patricia Cushware are all Bush appointees. One seat is vacant; Fulwood was elevated to the Chairman’s seat in May by President Obama.
According to Seitz, the hearing was taped by an officer charged with reporting to the Commissioners within 48 hours. The Commissioners are required to render a decision within 21 days---by August 18. Should they rule in his favor, Peltier could walk out of prison very soon after the decision is issued.
Should the Commssioners turn down his parole application, Seitz says the appeal would go to the federal district court in Harrisburg. The report of the hearing would become available to Peltier and the public.
Seitz said he spoke to the record for about 20 minutes on the legalities of the case. He said Peter Mattheissen, author of IN THE SPIRIT OF CRAZY HORSE, explained the history of the 1970s incidents that led to Peltier being accused of murdering two FBI agents. CRAZY HORSE is the definitive account of the origins of the case and of the climate of violence and repression imposed on the native community at the time of the killings. Seitz said Mattheissen emphasized “the many reasons to have misgivings about whether the system performed well and fairly in Leonard's case.”
Mattheissen was joined by Dr.Thomas Fassett of the United Methodist Church, who testified, said Seitz, “to the negative impact of Peltier’s 33-year imprisonment on the world’s view of how the US government treats its native population. Leonard's case is viewed in the larger community both nationally & internationally as a major embarrassment…as a gross injustice…a black mark.”
The testimony was accompanied by thousands of letters, with signees including South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, US Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI), and actor Robert Redford, whose film INCIDENT AT OGALALA is the definitive documentary.
Cynthia Maleterre of the Turtle Island Clan then outlined how Peltier could meet the requirements of parole in his home community in North Dakota. Restored to his Chippewa-Dakota homeland, Maleterre explained that Peltier would have housing, a job and be surrounded by family, including great-grandchildren he has never seen.
Seitz said testimony opposing parole came from a representative of the FBI, sent by Director Robert Mueller, a holdover Bush appointee, and from the former director of the Minnesota Bureau. Two sons of Jack Coler, one of the FBI agents killed in the Ogalala shoot-out, also argued against Peltier being freed, as did a former agent named Ed Woods.
Seitz said that all those opposing parole argued Peltier should spend the rest of his days in prison, and did not deserve a new trial.
But Seitz was “guardedly optimistic” about a favorable decision from the Parole Commission. He said that a “good rapport” had been established with the hearing officer, and that the new chair of the commission is generally held “in high esteem.”
President Barack Obama does have the power to grant clemency, but Seitz said prisoners apply only when all other avenues have been exhausted. Usually, says Seitz, “presidential pardons do not come until the Chief Executive is leaving office.”
Seitz says letters to the Parole Commission and to local newspapers, calls to Congressional Representatives (202-224-3121), talk show hosts and other forms of public pressure are now of the utmost importance. The hope, he says, lies in creating a “public environment favorable to release.”
As Leonard Peltier approaches his 65th year---having spent half his life in prison---every day is now critical to lifting this burden from our collective souls.
For more information go to http://www.leonardpeltier.net.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Written Aug. 4, 1993
August, in both historic and contemporary African American history, is a month of meaning.
It is a month of repression:
- August 1619 – The first group of Black laborers, called indentured servants, landed at Jamestown, Virginia.
- Aug. 25, 1967 – Classified FBI memos went out to all bureaus nationwide with plans to “disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize” Black Liberation Movement groups.
- August 1968 – The Newark, New Jersey, Black Panther Party office was firebombed.
- Aug. 25, 1968 – Los Angeles BPP members Steve Bartholomew, Robert Lawrence and Tommy Lewis were murdered by the LAPD at a gas station.
- Aug. 15, 1969 – Sylvester Bell, San Diego BPP, was murdered by the US organization.
- Aug. 21, 1971 – BPP Field Marshall George L. Jackson was assassinated at San Quentin Prison, California. Three guards and two inmate turncoats were killed, three wounded.
- Aug. 22, 1831 – Nat Turner’s rebellion rocked Southampton County, Virginia, and the entire South when slaves rose up and slew their white masters.
- Aug. 30, 1856 – John Brown led an anti-slavery raid on a group of Missourians at Osawatomie, Kansas.
- Aug. 7, 1970 – Jonathan Jackson, younger brother of Field Marshal George, raided the Marin County Courthouse in California, arming and freeing three Black prisoners, taking the judge, prosecutor and several jurors hostage. All, except one prisoner, were killed by police fire that perforated the escape vehicle. Jon was 17.
- Aug. 8, 1978 – After a 15-month armed police standoff with the Philadelphia-based naturalist MOVE Organization, the police raided MOVE, killing one of their own in police crossfire, and charging nine MOVE people with murder. The MOVE 9, in prisons across Pennsylvania, are serving up to 100 years each.
August saw slaves and the grandsons of slaves strike out for their God-given right to freedom, as well as the awesome price, the ultimate price always paid by those who would dare oppose the slave master’s will.
Like their spiritual grandfather, the blessed rebel Nat Turner, those who opposed Massa in this land of un-freedom met murder by the state: George and Jonathan Jackson, James McClain, William Christmas, Bobby Hutton, Steve Bartholomew, Robert Lawrence, Tommy Lewis, Sylvester Bell – all suffered the fate of Nat Turner, of the slave daring to fight the slave master for his freedom.
© Copyright 2009 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Read Mumia’s brand new book, “Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.,” available from City Lights Publishing, www.citylights.com or (415) 362-8193. Keep updated at www.freemumia.com. For Mumia’s commentaries, visit www.prisonradio.org. For recent interviews with Mumia, visit www.blockreportradio.com. Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries and interviews. Send our brotha some love and light at: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Greene, 175 Progress Dr., Waynesburg PA 15370.
Carlos Alberto Torres update
On July 28, 2009, Carlos Alberto finally received something from the
Parole Commission... saying they will be delaying for up to 90 days
their decision pending the resolution of the still-outstanding
January disciplinary report falsely accusing him of possessing hidden
knives. Prior to his May parole hearing, the accusation had been
expunged... after the parole hearing, he and the others who occupied
the cell were re-charged, and the renewed accusation remains pending.
At his request I have written to the prison and the regional office
asking that they resolve this immediately so that the Parole
Commission can render its decision.
People's Law Office
1180 N. Milwaukee
Chicago, IL 60642
773/235-0070 x 118
“The soldier has to be the baddest and strongest of our kind: calm, sure, self possessed and completely familiar with the fact that the only thing that stands between Blackmen and a violent death are the fast break, quick draw and snap shot.” – Comrade George L. Jackson, “Blood in My Eye”
I have never met Lovelle Mixon. I do not know if, while in prison, he read the works of the legendary George L. Jackson. I do not know if he considered himself a revolutionary, a rebel or an outlaw. I do not know if while imprisoned he resolved never again to allow himself to be taken alive by the police. I do not know if he viewed himself as a “soldier” in the street wars that dominate the inner city or if he just viewed himself a brotha trying to make it in the hood.
I do not know if on that fateful 21st day of March, 2009, he felt a genuine fear of the police who pulled him over or just said to himself, “This is it.” Likewise, I do not know if the officers who pulled Lovelle over that day viewed him as just another stereotypical Black criminal inner city asshole or thug they were charged with ridding the streets of.
What I do know is this: The confrontation that occurred on March 21st in Oakland was another episode in the long running social conflict between youth of color and police departments in the United States. It is the original “street beef” in urban communities of color that even predates the beef between the Bloods and the Crips, as well as other gang beefs in inner cities throughout the country.
The responsibility for these attitudes rests in the government’s war on drugs, the nation’s longest running war or police operation depending on how you see it. The language and debate that surrounds this war employs all the features of a military campaign. Ever since President Nixon stood on the White House lawn in the early ‘70s and declared a “war on drugs,” law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices, the prison system and courtrooms of the United States have operated on a war model, particularly in communities of color.
Criminals and drug addicts are enemies, drug addiction is considered a crime, not a health issue, and neighborhoods that are caught in the grip of poverty and drug abuse are considered “enemy territory.” The police are not responsible for the war on drugs but they are responsible for patrolling the neighborhoods considered enemy territory. They are the enforcers of this government policy and, like the communities they patrol, they suffer the consequences of a national crime policy that identifies civilians as enemies.
All of the men who fell that day Lovelle Mixon decided to hold court in the street were casualties of a failed war. Casualties of the militarization of law enforcement and a national prison policy that is more concerned with dehumanizing prisoners than rehabilitating them. Casualties of a criminal justice system that has been hijacked by right wing ideologues and right wing victims’ rights advocates more interested in the pursuit of vengeance than justice.
People who are outraged that Lovelle Mixon was a “parolee” just released from prison should not be that surprised that he didn’t benefit much from his imprisonment. In the era of mass imprisonment, there are no rehabilitation programs in prison. The state doesn’t have money for the programs because the majority of the money is spent on building new prisons or maintaining current ones.
“All of the men who fell that day Lovelle Mixon decided to hold court in the street were casualties of a failed war. Casualties of the militarization of law enforcement and a national prison policy that is more concerned with dehumanizing prisoners than rehabilitating them. Casualties of a criminal justice system … more interested in the pursuit of vengeance than justice.”
Mass imprisonment is a consequence of the war on drugs. It is estimated that over 600,000 of the 2,300,000 people in state and federal prisons are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. This does not include the other 5 million people who are either confined in county jails or on probation or parole, a majority of whom are nonviolent drug offenders. This means out of a United States population of over 250 million people, over 7 million people are in one way or another under the supervision of the prison system.
No nation in history has ever confined that percentage of its population in prison. It is unprecedented and it is a complete failure. Yet the war on drugs continues.
There will be many more casualties in this domestic war playing out within the United States and not all of the victims will be combatants. Unfortunately, the majority of the casualties will be the innocent or those suffering from addiction. The casualties will be the communities under siege from poverty and drugs or overly aggressive police. The casualties will be the families whose loved ones were murdered in the countless skirmishes that play out on the streets across the country.
There appears no end in sight for this domestic war. Despite its failure, the war on drugs is entrenched in the halls of government. Even President Obama is reluctant to call a halt to this war. Why is this? The answer is the war on drugs and all of its consequences; i.e., mass imprisonment, increased law enforcement budgets, training, equipment, lobbying, confiscation of assets etc. have spawned an industry that is now a vital component of the economy of the United States.
The war has taken on a life of its own to such an extent that whatever motive may have been behind the war on drugs has long been lost to the priority of maintaining the industry. It is perpetual war, and its casualties are the addict, casual drug user, street thug caught up in the game, police officers enforcing the war, innocent bystanders, families losing loved ones to the cemetery or prison system etc.
We can only hope, and work, for an end in sight. There may be light at the end of the tunnel. As the United States continues to expand its influence globally while at the same time its economy is contracting in a new world economy, there may be a breaking point where the nation cannot sustain the costs of a domestic war on drugs within its borders. This could compel government to abandon its war on drugs and repeal the bulk of its laws that criminalize drugs.
Already, in the present difficult atmosphere of the economy, politicians are beginning to question the costs of the war on drugs and the criminalization of addiction. What is certain, however, is that in the United States, morality will not determine whether or not to abandon the war on drugs; the economy will. That is unless the people rise up and demand a change in direction, but that is another story for another time.
In the meantime, both sides will continue burying their fallen. In the weeks following the March 21st shootout, the four police officers were laid to rest with honors. Officers from all over the country flew in to salute their fallen brothers, the state of California’s flag was flown at half mast to their sacrifice and they were praised as heroes.
On the other side, the family and friends of Lovelle Mixon laid him to rest and celebrated his memory. Throughout the hoods, barrios and prisons of the United States, young men of color gave silent nods of the head and silent stares to one another identifying with the rage that was within Lovelle Mixon and mourning the loss of another one of their side. Both sides mourn their fallen soldiers and await the next skirmish in this ongoing war with no victors, only endless casualties.
Robert Saleem Holbrook writes: “I am a prisoner serving a life-without-parole sentence for a crime I was convicted of as a juvenile offender. I have been in prison for over 19 yrars. Throughout my imprisonment I have evolved into a prisoner activist and writer, using the example of George L. Jackson as my inspiration … More of my writings and life story can be found on my website: www.freesalim.net.” Send our brother some love and light: Robert Saleem Holbrook, BL-5140, SCI-Greene, 175 Progress Dr., Waynesburg, PA 15370.
Break The Lock Political Prisoner Program believes that every prisoner locked up behind enemy lines ( The Prison Industrial Complex) is a political prisoner because of the social conditions we are living under. In this society of the Haves and Have Nots, those who are poor are more likely to end up behind bars
We will be raising money to write letters, send books and literature, supporting political prisoners and their families. Our goals also are to give rides, help with visitation and legal support. Break The Lock! Free All Political Prisoners! The Black Riders Liberation Party is putting out a call to all organizations in solidarty and support of to please help out if possible with the materials list below;
Stamps, envelopes, pencils,paper, volunteers, books, money, literature, copies, lawyers.
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE !!
Contact Etana at Yabastaorganize@gmail.com or (707) 616-9774
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Urgent ELP! Bulletin (29th of July 2009)
ELP recently reported that Alex Hall and William James Viehl have both been returned to prison for violations of their bail conditions. Both men are accused of anti-fur farm activity and are awaiting trial for that.
At the time of our original report we had William's full postal address, but not Alex's. However we've now had Alex's address confirmed to us. So please send urgent letters of support to:
Davis County Jail
800 West State St.
Farmington, UT 84025
Also don't forget Williams address is:
William James Viehl
Davis County Jail
800 West State St.
Farmington, UT 84025
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign Date Cc: Theresa C. Lantz Mary M. Marcial NEW FUNDRAISER FOR THE PUERTO RICAN FREEDOM PROJECT The Puerto Rican Freedom Project 5th Fundraiser – Friday, July 31st 2009 -- purpose: to finish raising funds to put out the Freedom Album, a CD to raise funds for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and their families (release date – September 23rd 2009) Date: Friday, July 31st 2009 Time: Doors Open at 7pm Location: The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective478 Austin Place, 2nd floor Performers: Rebel Diaz, T-Weaponz, Madd Illz, Dr. Loco, Division X, 3rd Rail, Carlos Jimenez & Mambo Quintet with DJ Samman Cost: $10 For more information about the Puerto Rican Freedom Project, go to:
Puerto Rican Political Prisoner Avelino Gonzalkez Claudio is being denied medical treatment! Since his incarceration, he has developed a neurological condition. In November 2008, Avelino requested, several times, medical attention receiving only a “I do not know”, “I will read some books” answer from the Doctor assigned to his facility.
We cannot let our brother suffer! COPY AND PASTE THE FOLLOWING LETTER AND MAIL or FAX IT TO JEFFERY E. MCGILL! SHOW HIM AVELINO HAS THE SUPPORT OF THE MOVEMENT!
Jeffrey E. McGill
Northern Correctional Institutio n
PO Box 665
Somers, CT 06071
RE: Avelino González Claudio N.C.I. # 357422
To Warden Jeffrey E. McGill:
I am writing to express my concern about the serious violations of the rights of Mr. Avelino González Claudio, an inmate at your facility, to adequate medical evaluation & treatment.
Avelino González Claudio was placed in Northern Correctional Institution on February 2008. Since then, he has developed a neurological condition. Beginning on November 2008, Mr. González-Claudio requested, several times, medical attention receiving only a “I do not known”, “I will read some books” answer from the Doctor assigned to your facility.
This treatment is a flagrant denial of Mr. González Claudio’s basic human rights. This treatment is also seriously detrimental to his deteriorated health condition.
In order to ensure Mr. González Claudio’s health, I insist that he immediately be afforded ade quate evaluation & treatment for the medical condition that he has developed under your custody.
Connecticut Dept. of Correction Programs and Treatment Division
24 Wolcott Hill Road Connecticut Dept. of Correction
Wethersfield, CT 06109 24 Wolcott Hill Road
Fax 860-692-7783 Wethersfield, CT 06109
Shipman and Goodwin, LLP
One Constituion Plaza
Hartford, CY 06103-1919
2 blocks away from the E. 149th stop on the 6 train
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
Cc: Theresa C. Lantz Mary M. Marcial
NEW FUNDRAISER FOR THE PUERTO RICAN FREEDOM PROJECT
The Puerto Rican Freedom Project 5th Fundraiser – Friday, July 31st 2009
-- purpose: to finish raising funds to put out the Freedom Album, a CD to raise funds for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners and their families (release date – September 23rd 2009)
Date: Friday, July 31st 2009 Time: Doors Open at 7pm
Location: The Rebel Diaz Arts Collective478 Austin Place, 2nd floor
Performers: Rebel Diaz, T-Weaponz, Madd Illz, Dr. Loco, Division X, 3rd Rail, Carlos Jimenez & Mambo Quintet with DJ Samman
For more information about the Puerto Rican Freedom Project, go to:
Monday, July 27, 2009
On Tuesday, July 21st, 4 local individuals were sentenced for smashing bank windows, “rioting”, and thwarting the arrests of others on May Day ’08 in Olympia. The court house in Olympia was packed with supporters. A ring of police stood between us and the judge, smirking and chatting with the prosecutor during recess.
The actual crime of this whole affair is the persistence of the state, its apologizers and witless functionaries, and the daily coercion which becomes concentrated against individuals who show resistance. This was displayed nakedly as the prosecutor and judge showed special enmity for our companero, Bryan, by ordering 120 days in jail because he held his head up during the proceedings intended for humiliation.
We know that jail time is one of the prods used by Authority to break a human being down into subservience. In this regard, we think Bryan may still be better off than others who received less time, because his spirit was never fooled that the same State which is purposefully attacked every May Day might spare anyone even a little breathing room from its wretched odor.
We are reminded of a comrade in Greece, Ilias Nikolau, accused of an explosion on the police in January, who sees clearly the stakes of his imprisonment. He writes, “To all those who think that they have overcome me, that they have overcome us…
For me and my comrades it works just the other way around! Because as long as there are prisoners of war, we will continue to struggle.”
We are sickened by Bryan’s lawyer, who thought his liberal grandiloquence would convince the liberal judge of anything but more of the same. Had he watched Stefanie’s defense (Stefanie abstained from groveling and was granted 30 days of electronic monitoring), at the very least we might have been saved 30 minutes incarceration by his painful sermon. The other sentences were 45 days for Randal, and 30 days for Shyam. References by almost every suit around the court indicated that the final absconded defendant, “the At-large Mr. Wilson”, was being vilified to the furthest extent. We all laughed at the twit piece-of-shit prosecutor describing black clothing as ‘combat attire’, but the judge threatened us to be silent because she wanted to give her dirty verdict and then disappear from any responsibility of her own. Some grumbles accompanied our departure and someone shouted to her before leaving that she embraced a vision of democratic self-deprecation. We feel that the Judge and Prosecutor attempt to inseminate their filthy Ideal of pacifist democracy and the sanctity of property.
All four have two weeks before beginning their sentences, as well as two years probation. The other two arrestees, Daniel B. and Forest, have already served 60 day sentences. Plank of America is requesting +$10K for its broken windows, and the judge will most likely comply with that bullshit, too, in the next month.
Do you think we ignore that in other countries your doppelgangers simply kill our comrades for their crimes? Do you think we forget all those who have been ‘suicided’ inside your wards? Why do you think that in Greece and Germany it is not so forgotten that the state prosecutors and prison directors were the target of attacks? It is because we understand this entire open-air prison to be a death threat. As the torment increases, we will continue fighting for our lives!
Scumbag mainstream article here:
leaflet on international imprisoned anarchists:
Do not pass go, Do not collect $200
On July 21, 2009, the events of May Day 2008 finally came to a close with the sentencing of four anarchists of the South Sound region. For over a year they have been legally bound to endure an array of court dates, legal costs, extradition waivers, etc. All this has stemmed from some debatable interactions with banks that have since then had a wide impact on the Olympia activist and broader communities.
May Day 2008 began at noon downtown in Sylvester Park with a large crowd listening to speakers who talked about issues ranging from establishing Olympia as a sanctuary city to the history of May Day. Because the rally was intentionally focused on immigrant solidarity, all the speeches were directly translated into Spanish. At the conclusion of the speeches the crowd led itself on a permitted march up Capital Blvd. to the Capital Campus. At the Capital more speeches followed as well as some disagreements over tactics. Next, the crowd continued the march to the City Hall and then downtown where a “break away” march occurred. The break away march consisted of people who were seemingly prepared to use a diversity of tactics. These tactics proved to include property destruction via rocks through the windows of banks. The cops reacted predictably as pigs and began assaulting and arresting people at random. Six people were arrested and taken away though many more were de-arrested.
In the weeks that followed police harassment against activists continued as well as a disturbing amount of in-fighting and finger pointing towards local anarchists. Claims went as far as to blame anarchists for the denial of the Sanctuary City proposal, demonstrating a lapse in memory regarding standard city council behavior. Whether or not all groups agreed the tactics were effective they did work to initiate a significant amount of dialogue around property destruction and what solidarity looks like.
Over the next year, despite state repression, anarchist activity continued undeterred. In addition to countless hours of day to day community organizing, the cops were attacked at their Westside station.
Mid afternoon on July 21, 2009, about 20 or so friends, family and comrades of the arrested converged at the Thurston County Courthouse to witness the conclusion of the court proceedings. While the defendants and their supporters waited for the proceedings to begin, a badge wearing buffoon tried to quiet the crowd but was met instead by jeers and laughter. The atmosphere amongst the visitors remained supportive and there was an understanding that this particular charade of justice was soon coming to a close.
Inside the courtroom at last, the authorities displayed a typical detachment with reality. There was an excessive amount of sheriffs supposedly meant to deal with the anarchist crowd control. The prosecutor Bruno, a parody of JP Moneybags, consistently talked in language equating anarchists to criminal combatants. The Judge could hardly suppress her disdain for the accused with body language that all but gave away her bias. In the end after final statements were given, a last ditch effort to demonize the defendants was provoked when Prosecutor Moneybags submitted a photo of an unidentified person in black clad clothes. Meanwhile, the defendants and their supporters braved the drudgery with jokes, small talk and hugs.
The co-defendants received from 10 to 120 days in jail, although they will avoid hard time because Thurston County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch authorized the use of work release or home detention with electronic monitoring. They must report by Aug. 4. Hirsch also ordered the co-defendants to each serve 240 hours of community service.
Not all defendants interacted with the judge in a similar fashion when given space to present a statement. Responses ranged from so-called “groveling” or using an apologetic response and conceding to making a mistake to a “defiant” non-response. It should be understood that whichever approach is taken, the bottom line is the state is illegitimate and we should not expect nor desire them to be moved by our behavior in court. More importantly, within our anarchist communities we should respect our own capacities to navigate the legal system in whichever way we see fit. Ever heard of self-determination? We would do well to balance a level of being self-critical with a space for support and compassion. There is no interest in being part of replicating the same characteristics of culture thriving on bickering and miscommunication.
If there is anything to be remembered from such a day in court, it is that amidst the fallacy we remained in solidarity with each other and were able to offer and provide comfort to our compañeros during a time of misfortune. We do this because we love each other, what we stand for, and how we are creating a world where days in court are a boring memory.
Anarchist activity looks like many different things for all anarchists. We are deeply involved in building communities based on mutual aid, voluntary cooperation and happiness inside a world programmed not to understand such concepts. While our daily affairs may lead us into conflict with cops and other authorities, anarchy is much more than the reliable opposition to banks, schools and prisons. We must consider moving beyond defining anarchist activities solely as confrontation with figments of the state. We do not advocate a cease of direct action but rather an applause of the all the dreams that we can realize.
On August 4th the defendants are ordered to comply with their respective sentences as given by Judge Hirsch. As documented in the court proceedings all four defendants have been and will continue to be involved in important work within their communities. Luckily, the court has no idea about what community work actually means and how subversive it is to their positions of authority. These punishments should not be seen as setbacks but rather as court-appointed hindrances that we will creatively endure together. We would like thank our friends who will now have the opportunity to reflect not on mistakes but on the learning process of being an anarchist with a monitoring chain on their ankle.
PS – on May 1st 1886 the struggle for the 8 hour work day culminated with the arrest and eventual execution of four anarchists (Albert Parsons, George Engel, August Spies and Adolph Fischer). May Day has deep ties with the anarchist tradition. In the Olympia community we would like to recognize this tradition and not repeat the history of state repression of anarchists by continuing to put anarchy on trial.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
S.A. Hasan: Statement from Ohio DR Against 1000th Lethal Injection Siddique Abdullah Hasan is one of the Lucasville Five--a group of men railroaded onto death row in Ohio after a 1993 prison rebellion in which inmates at the Lucasville prison rose up against the abuses and arbitrary rules of prison guards and officials. Here, he writes about the July 21 execution of Marvallous Keene--the 1,000th prisoner to be executed by lethal injection in the U.S. since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
IN SPITE of the milestone we have made with the election of the first African American president, it is sad that we have to witness, in the 21st century, in such an industrialized nation, that we've come to the point that we have executed the 1,000th person by way of lethal injection.
Is it really just a coincidence that Marvallous Keene in Ohio, the victim of this 1000th lethal injection, was a Black man?
As if lethal injection is a sanitized way of killing someone! The reality is that regardless of how the execution is being carried out, it still amounts to murder. Another murder that this society doesn't need to make society safe.
There are too many injustices and too much unfairness to support lethal injection or any other form of execution in this country. Too many minorities are being victimized by it. And you have veterinarians not willing to use some of the elements of the lethal injection on animals, yet this government is willing to use it o n human beings. They are saying that animal life is more important to them than human life.
But it's hard to tell Ohio authorities, considering that they just killed two people last week--and that, between now and February 4, they have seven more executions scheduled.
What has really touched a nerve with me is that one of these people scheduled for execution on January 7 is a very good friend and dear Muslim brother of mine. Not only is he a dear friend of mine, but I'm also trying to see to it that he gets a proper Islamic burial.
What we need is for concerned citizens in Ohio and elsewhere to show some collective responsibility. We need a national movement to put this issue on the table so that Barack Obama's administration must turn their attention toward the criminal injustice system.
Should we wait on them? No! We should unify our efforts in the anti-death penalty movement and demand that Barack Obama's administration do something about it. We must come wit h an agenda and submit this agenda to Barack Obama and the Justice Department.
It is my hope and prayer that the soldiers in the abolitionist movement will step up to the plate and use every resource available at our disposal to not only fight the injustice of capital punishment in Texas, Georgia and Ohio, but work toward abolishing it on a national scale.
Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan, from Ohio's Death Row
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Visit his Web site at www.freehasan.org .
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Call the PA parole board in support of the MOVE 9! (717) 787-5699
Call the PA Governor's office at 717-772-8284
Since the prison system insists on having DIN numbers, make sure to
have them on hand when you call or write.
Charles Simms Africa #AM4975
SCI Graterford, Box 244, Graterford PA 19426
Debbie Sims Africa #006307
451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403-1238
Delbert Orr Africa #AM4985
SCI Dallas Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612
Edward Goodman Africa #AM4974
301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932
Janet Holloway Africa #006308
451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403-1238
Janine Phillips Africa #006309
451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403-1238
Michael Davis Africa #AM4973
SCI Graterford, Box 244, Graterford, PA 19426-0244
William Phillips Africa #AM4984
SCI Dallas Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612
People can call the lists of Parole Board members here at (717)
787-5699, most importantly Chairwoman Katherine McVey.
Chairwoman Katherine McVey
Michael L. Green
Jeffry R. Imboden
Matthew T. Mangino
Benjamin A. Martinez
Gerald N. Massaro
Lloyd A. White
It is best for individuals to personally send a letter to Chairman
McVey, and if folks have the resources, to also send a copy to each
of the other eight board members, at the same address.
[name of Board member]
Board of Probation and Parole
Attn: Inmate Inquiry
1101 South Front Street, Suite 5300
Harrisburg, PA 17104
Make sure to have a paper and pen handy when you call, so you can
write down who you spoke with and what their response was. This info
can be sent to the MOVE Organization:
Board, send a copy of your letter to the email above or:
The MOVE Organization
P.O. Box 19709
Philadelphia, PA 19143
If you are a Facebook member blog about who you speak to and the
response on the Cause page for Free the MOVE 9 (and join the
cause!). This way we can keep track of the lies these people tell
and coordinate our response. Network on other sites, such as
MySpace, as well.
Join the international call for the release of the MOVE 9. Sign the
Keep yourself informed at
or call 215 387 4107