From: "SF-8 case" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, September 29, 2009
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!
FAX OR CALL JERRY BROWN - ALL DAY, MONDAY OCTOBER 5TH
DEMAND ALL CHARGES BE DROPPED AGAINST FRANCISCO TORRES!
FREE THE SF8!
Once again we are asking for your help with a phone and fax campaign
to demand that CA Attorney General Jerry Brown drop the charges
against Francisco Torres, the last of the SF8 still facing
prosecution. Brown has not yet dropped the charges against Francisco
Torres, but he knows there is no case against him. He needs to get
the message from people all over the country that we will not give up
this just demand.
**In order for this fax campaign to be a success, we need you to help
spread the word and take a few minutes to make the call and send the
fax. Please send as many individual faxes as possible. We want to
flood his office! And please also send us an email when you have
done so at <mailto:FreetheSF8@riseup.net>FreetheSF8@gmail.com (new
**You can print out and use the attached letter to fax and/or use the phone
script below, all to Jerry Brown's office.
916-322-3360 #7 for comments
I am calling to demand that Attorney General Jerry Brown drop all
charges against Francisco Torres of the San Francisco 8. The state
of California recognized that there was insufficient evidence to move
forward with the case and dropped charges against four of the
men. There is clearly no basis to prosecute Francisco Torres, the
only remaining person facing charges in connection with this 38-year
old case which is based on torture-coerced evidence. It is an
incredible waste of money in this time of severe budget crisis to
proceed with this case, and is a huge injustice to Mr. Torres and his
family. Drop all charges immediately!
Dear Attorney General Jerry Brown:
Thousands of people around the U.S. and the world have joined the
call to drop all charges against the San Francisco 8. On July 6th
the state of California recognized that there was insufficient
evidence to move forward with the case and dropped charges against
four of the men. There is clearly no basis to prosecute Francisco
Torres, the only remaining person facing charges in connection with
this 38-year old case which is based on torture-coerced evidence. It
would be an unconscionable waste of tax payer money and an egregious
injustice to Mr. Torres and his family to proceed with this case. I
urge you in the strongest possible terms to drop the charges against
Francisco Torres immediately!
COME SUPPORT CISCO IN COURT FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9TH
8 AM RALLY, 9 AM COURT HEARING
850 BRYANT ST., SAN FRANCISCO
<http://www.freethesf8.org/>For more information see www.freethesf8.org
or call 415-226-1120.
The Committee for the Defense of the San Francisco 8
Please support these brothers by sending a donation. Make checks payable
to CDHR/Agape and mail to the address below or donate on line:
Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR)
PO Box 90221
Pasadena, CA 91109
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
From: "Political Prisoner News" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, September 29, 2009
MONDAY, OCTOBER 5th, 2009: Call in on behalf of indigenous political prisoner
Byron Shane Chubbuck! End the torture!
For more information on Byron: <http://www.osoblanco.org/>www.osoblanco.org
Byron Chubbuck, who's Indian name is Oso Blanco, is serving 80 years
for expropriating money from banks and sending thousands of dollars
to Chiapas Mexico to help fund the Zapatistas and feed indigenous
children. Because of his political background he has been subject to
horrendous treatment at U.S. Penitentiary Lewisburg which must be stopped!
There is going to be a coordinated effort to call in on behalf of
Byron Shane Chubbuck. Contact USP Lewisburg on Monday October 5th,
2009 between the hours of 10am-12:00pm Eastern Standard time,
(7am-9am Pacific) If you cannot make this time frame, you can still
CALL at another time on the 5th, but make sure you do CALL. It is
essential that we maintain a unified effort in letting the prison
staff know that we oppose the abuse against Mr. Chubbuck.
The number at USP Lewisburg is:
570-523-1251 (keep trying if no answer!)
ask for the Warden's office (Warden Troy Williamson)
What to Say
Hello, I am calling out of concern for inmate Byron Shane Chubbuck,
prisoner #07909051. I am aware that his mail is being tampered with,
he has been denied medical treatment as well as religious rights, and
has sustained both physical and psychological abuse by staff at your
facility. I am requesting that steps be taken to correct this
misconduct and hope to hear a response from you as soon as possible.
Mr. Chubbuck will let us know if this continues.
Let Oso Blanco know that you supported him! It is absolutely
essential that Oso Blanco knows how many people he has on the outside
that will not allow him to be forgotten, even if it is a single letter.
Byron Chubbuck (Oso Blanco)
#07909051 / USP Lewisburg
U.S. Penitentiary, PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837
In Oso's Words.
Please. Everyone Roll with it! Nationwide action! Email, letters,
calls. June 23rd Lt. Hooper assaulted me with A. Smith and 3 others.
Lt. Argueta and 4 others assaulted me September 24.
Never Back Down!
Love and Power of the gente!
Free Oso Blanco!
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
www.Freedomarchives.org Questions and comments may be sent to
Innocence: List of Those Freed From Death Row
from the Death Penalty Information Center
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
By ALHASSAN SILLAH, Associated Press Writer Sept. 29, 2009
CONAKRY, Guinea – Guinea's government says it is launching an
investigation into who ordered soldiers to open fire on demonstrators with
A human rights group said Tuesday that 157 protesters were killed. The
government maintained only 57 died, most of whom were trampled.
The interior ministry called the opposition march "illegal" in a statement
released late Tuesday. It also said the president expressed his
condolences to the families who lost loved ones.
Hospitals were flooded with patients Tuesday, the day after presidential
guard troops opened fire on 50,000 people demonstrating against Capt.
Moussa "Dadis" Camara, a military leader who seized power in a December
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information.
AP's earlier story is below.
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) — Soldiers reeking of alcohol fired into the air
Tuesday, terrorizing residents a day after troops killed 157 people at a
pro-democracy rally and shattered hopes that this West African country was
shedding the yoke of dictatorship.
Hospitals were flooded with patients on Tuesday and the death toll rose
through the day after presidential guard troops opened fire on 50,000
people at the main football stadium. Some of those at the rally, upset
that a military officer who seized power in a December coup might run for
president in January elections, had chanted: "We want true democracy."
Then Capt. Moussa "Dadis" Camara's presidential guard opened fire with
live ammunition, scattering panicked demonstrators who left scores of dead
behind. Opposition politician Mutarr Diallo said he witnessed soldiers
raping women with rifle butts. Camara, the coup leader who was not present
at the stadium, said the violence was beyond his control.
"Those people who committed those atrocities were uncontrollable elements
in the military," he told Radio France International on Monday night.
"Even I, as head of state in this very tense situation, cannot claim to be
able to control those elements in the military."
Human rights groups demanded that those responsible be made accountable.
"Guinea's leaders should order an immediate end to attacks on
demonstrators and bring to justice those responsible for the bloodshed,"
said Corinne Dufka of Human Rights Watch.
Dr. Chierno Maadjou with the Guinean Organization for Defense of Human
Rights said 157 people were killed and more than 1,200 wounded.
An Associated Press reporter saw wounded patients crowded into the large
Donka Hospital, some with bullet wounds, others who appeared to have been
Guinea's mineral-rich soil had been plundered by two consecutive
dictatorships before Camara seized control of the country a day after
President Lansana Conte, who had ruled for nearly a quarter-century, died
on Dec. 22. Camara initially was embraced by Guineans, thousands of whom
lined the streets to applaud him as he rode through the capital on the
back of a flatbed military truck.
But since then, tensions have risen amid rumors that Camara may run in
presidential elections scheduled for Jan. 31. He initially indicated that
he would not run but said recently he has the right to do so if he
Demonstrations against Camara have grown in recent weeks but the reaction
by security forces had been comparatively moderate. Late last month,
police fired tear gas to break up a demonstration in the capital, and last
Thursday tens of thousands of residents in a town north of Conakry took to
the streets with no serious incidents.
On the deserted streets of this seaside capital Tuesday, mechanic Mohammed
Bangoura discussed politics with friends outside his derelict workshop and
said Camara has now completely lost the people's support .
"Dadis Camara's political career, if he had any ambition, is gone. He has
made an own goal," Bangoura said, using a soccer term for when a player
accidentally scores against his own team. "The killing of all these
innocent protesters can only mean doom for his political ambition."
The African Union, the European Union and the government of neighboring
Senegal denounced Monday's bloodshed. The AU already had suspended
Guinea's membership after Camara seized power. France's foreign minister
said his country is suspending military cooperation with its former
Eyewitnesses told New York-based Human Rights Watch that security forces
stripped female protesters and raped them in the streets. The rights
group, citing eyewitness reports, said soldiers on Monday also stabbed
protesters with knives and bayonets.
Hardly anyone had heard of Camara, an army captain in his 40s, until his
men broke down the glass doors of the state TV station on Dec. 23. He
announced that the constitution had been dissolved and that the country
was under the rule of a military junta. Many began to question his tactics
when he authorized raids on the homes of well-known members of the dead
president's inner circle. Camara claimed the raids were intended to recoup
money and property stolen from the state, but many complained of
The military junta also put top government officials on TV, where they
detailed their roles in a lucrative international cocaine trade in Guinea.
Guinea and other West African countries in recent years emerged as key
transshipment points for cocaine bound from South America to Europe.
Camara's arrests of corrupt officials have won him admiration, but he has
been criticized for his love of the spotlight and his insistence on
broadcasting rambling, multi-hour tirades. Camara generally sleeps all day
only to emerge at night, and has a waiting room adorned with 6-foot
(3-meter) -tall portraits of himself.
Since winning independence half a century ago from France, Guinea has been
pillaged by its ruling elite. Its 10 million people are among the world's
poorest, even though its soil has diamonds, gold, iron and half the
world's reserves of the raw material used to make aluminum.
ZACF Statement on the Armed Attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo in Kennedy Road Informal Settlement
Statement by the Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front on the armed attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo in Kennedy Road Informal Settlement "The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) notes with disgust the attacks on the Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) affiliated Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC) by a heavily armed gang near the AbM office in Kennedy Road informal settlement in Durban, KwaZulu Natal. We hereby extend our sympathy and solidarity to all those who have fallen victim to these cowardly attacks, and call for both national and international mobilisation and solidarity in their defence."
A series of armed attacks took place at about 11h30 on the night of Saturday 26 September at the Kennedy Road Informal Settlemen, and carried on with impunity for at least 23 hours. Although police are claiming two people died, it has been confirmed by Abahlali baseMjondolo that at least four people have been killed: three during the attacks and another died later in hospital. It is reported that the houses of around 30 AbM members were burnt or destroyed by a mob, shouting things like "The AmaMpondo are taking over Kennedy. Kennedy is for the AmaZulu" while carrying out the attacks. Hundreds, if not thousands of Kennedy Road residents have fled the community, some seeking refuge at nearby churches.
Kennedy Road Murders Recall Terror of the 1980s
ZACF Statement on the Armed Attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo in Kennedy Road Informal Settlement
The attacks took place at about 11h30 on the night of Saturday 26 September, and carried on with impunity for at least 23 hours. Although police are claiming two people died, it has been confirmed by AbM that at least four people have been killed: three during the attacks and another died later in hospital. It is reported that the houses of around 30 AbM members were burnt or destroyed by the mob, which was shouting things like "The AmaMpondo are taking over Kennedy. Kennedy is for the AmaZulu" while carrying out the attacks. Hundreds, if not thousands of Kennedy Road residents have fled the community, some seeking refuge at nearby churches.
The political rivalry in KwaZulu Natal has exploited ethnic sentiment and tensions that emerged during the Jacob Zuma election campaign, and we believe that the African National Congress (ANC) in and around Kennedy Road, and probably elsewhere, is using ethnicity to mobilise local residents against popular social movements such as Abahlali baseMjondolo. It seems clear to us that the popularly elected committee in the Kennedy Road settlement, and the social work they have been doing is perceived by local political leaders from the ANC to be a threat to political and property interests, and they are thus bent on destroying AbM.
It is not clear to us exactly how far up in the ANC the orchestration or tolerance of these attacks goes, but what is now unquestionable is the fact that the attacks were pre-planned; it appears highly likely that the police had knowledge of the attacks beforehand. The way in which AbM members’ shacks were systematically targeted for destruction; the fact that when the police did finally appear on the scene they immediately arrested eight members of the KRDC yet did not arrest any of the perpetrators of the attacks; and that the only people the police took statements from were the attackers - not their victims - lead us to conclude that police and political complicity in these attacks is now beyond question. Senior ANC leaders were even present in the Kennedy Road Community Hall on Sunday morning, while the armed gang continued to burn and demolish the homes of the elected Kennedy Road leadership.
The ANC and the state have their own story to tell about the attack. They imply that it was perpetrated by AbM members themselves, and that the police are now moving in to “liberate” Kennedy Road. But after the announcement was made by the provincial police minister and police commissioner on Monday 28 September, the cops departed, leaving the area to be patrolled by bands of armed men who banned AbM from the area on pain of death.
And what was this “liberation” that the state claimed to bring to Kennedy Road? An end to democratically determined curfews! The big complaint made by high state officials is that “a structure simple known as The Forum” imposed an “illegal curfew”. Indeed, the KRDC required shebeens to close by 10pm. Would these officials want shebeens operating all night in their own neighbourhoods, right next to their own homes? And we should note that alcohol abuse is a serious problem in many shack settlements, leading to such deadly results as shack fires and violence against women. In any case, the KRDC is a democratic body: if residents wanted the curfew abolished, they could have done so democratically.
If the state is worried about the curfew at all, we suspect that this democracy is precisely what they object to. The state claims for itself the authority to regulate alcohol consumption and everything else. They cannot allow working class communities to run their own lives on their own initiative, lest people start wondering why they need the state at all. This working class self-activity is one of the things they hate about Abahlali.
But we believe the curfew question is merely an excuse. To quote activist Richard Pithouse, “given that AbM has been subject to constant intelligence and police attention for 4 years its laughable that the only 'crime' that the state has now found AbM guilty of is that a sub-comittee of an elected local sub-committe in one settlement decided to set closing times on bars”. The ethnically based murderous attack has nothing to do with curfews, and a lot to do with state strategies to divide the working class and suppress our movements.
The coordinated manner in which these attacks were carried out, and the complicity of the police, are reminiscent of the dark years of the 1980s, when the apartheid regime manipulated ethnic divisions within the popular classes in order to ferment so-called black-on-black violence and turn the anti-apartheid movement on itself, thus destabilising it. The tactics used are very similar, and the murders in Kennedy Road recall the apartheid state-sponsored terror of the 1980s. Similarly, the failure of the state to intervene in these attacks and prevent further bloodshed, protect the belongings of Kennedy Road residents or apprehend the perpetrators of the attacks recalls the way in which the state failed to intervene during the xenophobic pogroms of 2008, despite being warned by intelligence about the high probability of such attacks months before they took place.
What was warned against, in fact, by Abahlali baseMjondolo in their statement  after the xenophobic pogroms in 2008 has come true, and they have been the unfortunate victims of their own prediction: the xenophobic violence of the pogroms has turned into intra-South African violence, as ethnic sentiments have been manipulated by the class enemy to attack and attempt to smash working class movements. The state, by its complicity in these attacks, together with local ANC leaders are exploiting the ethnic politics fostered by the Jacob Zuma election campaign to do their dirty work. There is an upsurge in chauvinistic violence in South Africa, much of which is directed towards the poor and working poor and, as the attacks in Kennedy Road have shown, the enemies of the working class are manipulating the chauvinistic attitudes embraced and fostered by Jacob Zuma and directing them against the popular movements of the poor.
The history of class struggle shows that these attacks on popular movements are no surprise. The state is an organ of the ruling class, and will violently defend its power when challenged. Working class movements cannot rely on the state to defend them against such attacks as the one in Kennedy Road: the state is the attacker!
Many popular movements have understood this. During the 1980s the working class and poor in South Africa found ways to deal with the violence being orchestrated against their movements and communities. They formed street committees, block watches and self-defence units to keep their enemies at bay and to defend themselves from attack.
Although popular self-defence of the Kennedy Road residents would be preferable, we understand that this is not viable when their attackers are supported by the police, while the KRDC is unarmed and lacks training in self-defence. We therefore understand why they would call for immediate state intervention to prevent any further attacks, but would like to raise a word of caution for our comrades in Kennedy Road settlement to consider. By calling for police or military intervention the KRDC is talking about inviting the forces of repression into the heartland of a working class social movement that is hated by the class enemy. Even if they offer some short-term defence against the vigilantes and the local police, this would also place our comrades from the KRDC under far closer surveillance. In the slightly longer term, any military or police presence would be a severe obstacle to further resistance. This is a problem, not just in theory and in the medium to long term, but in practice and pretty immediately. And if, indeed, these attacks were planned or supported at high levels, any further repressive presence is a recipe for disaster. As it is not yet known how far up in government and the ANC the support or involvement in these attacks goes, there can be no guarantee than any outside police force or the military will be neutral. They are, after all, sworn to follow orders and protect the interests of the state, and if high levels of the ANC and/ or government support the attacks in Kennedy Road, we can never be sure that so-called neutral forces will not behave in the same was as the Sydenham Police.
We cannot say what would be better for members of the KRDC and their families, but raise this concern nonetheless so that they may consider the possible implications of their decision to call in the police or military beforehand. In the end, however, the decision is up to them. We hope they will find a decision that can both protect their families and members from any immediate threat without putting the movement under undue pressure in the future.
We do think, though, that there are a few tactics that AbM could adopt in the present. Looking to the experience of working class communities in other countries, we could propose that they adopt some of the tactics of the CopWatch  initiatives in the United States as a means to beginning to develop the capacity for self-defence. One such method could be for community activists to begin a programme of counter-intelligence by collecting evidence, carrying out surveillance and building profiles on people who harass or threaten KRDC and AbM members, or associate with people who have made themselves known to be enemies of the KRDC, AbM and thus the working class and poor.
Members of Abahlali could also monitor the actions of the police and military, if they are indeed deployed, who they associate with and how they treat AbM members and behave towards them. Police who mistreat AbM members or are known to associate with enemies of the KRDC and AbM could be put under pressure to leave the community by means of popular protest and mobilisation. If the police are called in to secure the peace in Kennedy Road, however, we support the demand of the KRDC that the Sydenham Police not be tasked with this, given their long history of anti-AbM activity, which includes illegal arrest and torture.
We support the community's demands for:
1. Right to return to the settlement
2. Right to free political activity in the settlement
3. No more politically biased policing
4. Full investigation into the role of the anc in the attacks and the banning of abm from the settlements
We call on all social movements, activists and revolutionaries to mobilise in support and defence of the Kennedy Road Development Committee and Abahlali baseMjondolo. We call on our comrades worldwide to organise solidarity demonstrations; release statements of solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo and the terrorised residents of Kennedy Road; phone, send emails and faxes to the South African embassies in your country and to the head of the South African Police Service and demand the immediate release of the eight KRDC members arrested. We also appeal to our comrades everywhere to help to raise funds to help the members of the KRDC who had their homes destroyed and possessions stolen begin to rebuild their lives.
Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front
For further information see:
Or visit the Abahlali baseMjondolo website for updates and press releases.
Monday, September 28, 2009
infoshop news Sept. 27, 2009
Pack the courtroom on Wednesday Sept. 30th at 8am to support David Japenga, swept up by police during the rioting that happened in Pittsburgh due to the G20. David Japenga was arrested on Thursday and was given trumped up charges blaming him for the bulk of property destruction that happened during night-time demonstrations in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. The police and media are looking for a scapegoat due to their embarassing inability to control demonstrations on Thursday and Friday. A judge has revoked bail for David and he is being held in Allegheny County Jail pending his formal arraignment and preliminary hearing on Wednesday.
This is a call for monetary assistance and courtroom solidarity for David. We are raising money to hire a private defense attorney and to pay his bail should be he granted it on Wednesday. If you can give any money towards his defense, email firstname.lastname@example.org or paypal it to email@example.com.
The address for the Pittsburgh Municipal Court is-
Pittsburgh Municipal Court
Municipal Courts Building, First Floor
660 First Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Remember to dress appropriately and remember to be respectful, as bail being granted can depend on if whether we piss the judge off or not.
David Japenga is innocent! Drop the charges! Pack the courtroom to show your support and to let David know he is not alone!!
Wednesday Sept. 30th at 8AM at the Pittsburgh Municipal Court!
PayPal all donations to firstname.lastname@example.org!
California man charged with most Oakland damage
Saturday, September 26, 2009
By Dan Majors, Rich Lord and Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
One man -- a 21-year-old Californian -- has been charged with doing most of the damage that was done in the city during the two-day G-20 Summit.
Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper last night said David Japenga was taken into custody shortly after 11 p.m. Thursday after police saw him breaking businesses' windows during a protest along Forbes Avenue in Oakland.
Chief Harper said Mr. Japenga, who at first refused to give his name, then gave the false name of Eric Blair, broke more than 20 storefront windows and glass doors, including $20,000 worth of windows at Citizens Bank on Craig Street in Oakland. He was single-handedly responsible, Chief Harper said, for most of the $50,000 in damage done during summit protests.
Mr. Japenga was charged with felony criminal mischief, instruments of a crime, and providing false identification. Chief Harper said Mr. Japenga was not living in Pittsburgh and had come into the city for the summit.
Director of Public Safety Michael Huss said police made 83 arrests, but that city officials were "very pleased" with how things went during the summit.
"It's been a long week, but the results are there," he said. "It's a proud day to be a Pittsburgher."
Earlier yesterday, the defense strategy of other G-20 protesters became evident as several of those charged with mostly minor crimes said they were either caught up in the tumult or victims of police over-reaction.
Ryan Beaupit, a 17-year-old University of Pittsburgh freshman, said he was just trying to get away from advancing riot police Thursday night in Oakland and was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He said he was sprayed with some kind of gas and wrestled to the ground around 11:45 p.m. He has a gash near his knee, marks on his back and other mild injuries.
"I think the police over-reacted," he said, adding they also "made rude comments to me" and threatened him with jail if they caught him again. "It's not something I want to experience again."
Similarly, Josh Berman, an 18-year-old Pitt freshman, said he was trying to obey an order to disperse, but found OC gas behind him and police coming from both sides. He pulled on a bandana and goggles to protect himself from gas, which seemed to earn him the ire of the police.
"I'm running serpentine pattern to get away from the rubber bullets, and every cop was trying to get me," he said.
He was accused of throwing rocks at police, which he denied, though he admitted to expressing frustration at the police presence.
"Everywhere I go, it was people in riot [gear] hassling me," he said.
He was charged with failure to disperse, disorderly conduct and possession of instruments of crime.
"The general notion on campus from what I've seen is that students are upset about what happened," said Drew Singer, editor in chief of The Pitt News. "And while some students were out on the streets last night, the people who were actually committing the acts of vandalism and other illegal things were generally not Pitt students.
"We don't know for sure who was doing the damage because the majority of them were wearing masks. They were wearing the same uniforms as some of the other groups marching around town."
Albert Petrarca, a veteran protester, said that the Lawrenceville march was peaceful until it was hit with OC gas, forcing protesters to scatter.
Later, when police ordered marchers to disperse, he was reminded of the footage from protests in Tianenmen Square in 1989 when a lone man stood before the tanks.
He sat down in the street and raised both hands into peace signs.
"An officer came up to me and politely said, 'You have to move or you're going to be arrested.'
"They were very polite. I had no complaints."
After he was taken into custody, he and several other arrestees were taken to be processed at the State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh.
Those arraigned yesterday ranged in age from late teens to late 50s. While many were released on no bond, pending hearings next week, some were held on bond ranging from $3,000 to $10,000, payable at 10 percent.
Lauren Wasson, 23, of Garfield, was charged with obstruction of highways and aggravated assault after she "threw bicycle at Officer [Shawn] Dady, striking Officer Dady with it." Her bond was set at $10,000, payable at 10 percent.
Mr. Huss said today should be a normal day in Downtown Pittsburgh with most road barriers and fencing removed by morning.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 14
7 TO 11 P.M.
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. LABOR CENTER, 1199 SEIU
310 W. 43rd STREET, btw. 8th & 9th AVENUES
NEW YORK, NY 10036
$20 ADMISSION, FOOD AND BEVERAGES FOR PURCHASE
FUND RAISER FOR THE SUNDIATA ACOLI FREEDOM CAMPAIGN (SAFC)
On Saturday, November 14th, we will dance and celebrate at Freedom
Dance. This celebration is an opportunity for us as a community to
acknowledge our victories and renew our efforts to continue this
essential work. We celebrate the liberation and freedom of our
sister Assata Shakur, who along with many other Political Prisoners
(who still remain behind the walls) set the example of unselfish
sacrifice for our beloved people. We also celebrate the sacrifice of
those freedom fighters whose spirits were released due to their
physical demise. This is a celebration for them all. We will
especially honor Sundiata Acoli. Through music and the warm
meaningful collective interaction of dance and laughter, we will
reaffirm our commitment to their freedom.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
libcom.org Sept. 27, 2009
Activists in the South African shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo have been attacked in Durban, leaving several dead.
Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC)
Emergency Press Release, Sunday 27 September 2009
Abahlali baseMjondolo Attacked in Kennedy Road – People Have Been Killed
Last night at about 11:30 a group of about 40 heavily armed men attacked the Abahlali baseMjondolo office in the Kennedy Road settlement where the movement was holding an all night camp for the Youth League.
The men who attacked were shouting: 'The AmaMpondo are taking over Kennedy. Kennedy is for the AmaZulu.” Some people were killed. We can't yet say exactly how many. Some are saying that three people are dead. Some are saying that five people are dead. Some people are also very seriously injured. The attackers broke everything that they could.
The Sydenham police were called but they did not come. This has led some people to conclude that this was a carefully planned attack on the movement and that the police knew in advance that it had been planned and stayed away on purpose. Why else would the police refuse to come when they are being called while people are being openly murdered? When the attack happened one officer from Crime Intelligence was there in plain clothes.
This morning the police arrived under the authority of Glen Nayager and made arrests. As far as we can tell only members of the Kennedy Road Development Committee (KRDC) have been arrested. If this is true it indicates clearly that the police are part of this attack on the movement. It also seems that the police are only taking statements from the people that attacked us! Some of the people that they have arrested were not even at Kennedy Road when we were attacked. These arrests feel to us like the Kennedy Six scandal all over again.
We believe that this attack has been planned and organised by Gumede, from the Lacy Road settlement, who is the head of the Branch Executive Committee of the local ANC. There has never been political freedom in Lacy Road. Since 2005 we have been told that anyone wearing the red shirt of Abahlali baseMjondolo in Lacy Road will be killed. But anyone can wear any shirt of any politics that they like in our settlements. You will see COPE, ANC and SACP shirts in our settlements. We are democracts. Our politics is a politics of open and free discussion - not violence and intimidation.
This is not the first time that our movement has been attacked. Last year both Mzonke Poni, head of AbM in the Western Cape, and S'bu Zikode, head of AbM in KwaZulu-Natal, were attacked and seriously beaten by well organised and mysterious groups of young men. These attacks happened a few days apart. The men who attacked Zikode also said that he was selling Kennedy to the AmaMpondo. Some time after the attacks on Mzonke and S'bu Mashumi Figland, Deputy President of Abahlali baseMjondolo and Chairperson of the Kennedy Road Development Committee, was also attacked and seriously beaten. Again the attack was very well organised and carried out by a mysterious group of young men. During the attack Mashumi, who is Xhosa, was told that the AmaMpondo must leave Durban and go back to the Eastern Cape.
Gumede, head of the local BEC of the ANC, has been trying by all means to undermine the movement for many years. He has failed. Every year we have open elections in Kennedy Road and ever year people vote for Abahlali baseMjondolo.
We believe that Gumede, with the support of ward councillor Yakoob Baig, has tried to build a coalition against the movement in order to attack it violently. This coalition is now a milita. They have found 3 types of people that want to attack the movement:
1. People who want to follow an ethnic politics: The movement accepts all shack dwellers on an equal basis. We do not care where a person was born or what language they speak. This has caused those who want an ethnic politics to oppose us.
2. Criminals: We have a Safety & Security committee and we have been working to get the criminals out of our settlement. In recent months we have been working very well with the local police to get them arrested. We have also put a time limit on the shebeens saying that they must close at 10:00 p.m. so that people can sleep properly and that there is no violence, especially violence against women, when people get too drunk. The criminals and some shebeen owners do not like what the movement is doing to make the settlement safe for everybody.
3. People who want Gumede's patronage: Every time the movement wins a small victory, like getting toilets built or even cleaned, Gumede tries to ensure that the jobs go only to his people. We are opposed to development becoming misused for party politics. The people who want to get Gumede's jobs are also unhappy with what we are doing.
The next Kennedy Road AGM is coming soon. Once again the people of Kennedy Road can vote for ever they want to represent them. The people who attacked us last night do not want democracy. If they felt that they had support they could just have waited for the AGM and put up candidates.
What Gumede, and Baig are doing is not just an attack on Abahlali baseMjondolo. It is also an attack on democracy. They have now set set up a militia to destroy the movement. We have no armed wing. We have never attacked anyone. Our politics is a politics of open meetings and popular democracy. It is a politics of debating and discussing together. The politics that is being used to attack us is a politics of war.
We see no difference between what is being done to us and what the apartheid regime did with the Witdoeke in the shack settlements in Cape Town in the 1980s.
After what has happened many people are saying to us that they do not trust the police. They are asking for the army to be sent in as the army might be neutral.
As we write the attacks and threats continue. We are under attack. We are not armed.
Gumede and his militia are not just a threat to us and our community. They are a threat to democracy in South Africa. It is very clear that democracy is under attack.
As we are sending this statement a helicopter and many more police officers are arriving. We hope that they will be neutral and follow the law – not Gumede's politics of war. But as far as we can tell the police that are here are just looking for statements against the KRDC - those who were ambushed in the night! The violence is continuing. Gumede's people are saying that if Mashumi Figlan returns to Kennedy he will be killed. We do not have confidence that he and others will be protected by the police.
Things are still confused. If there are any errors in this statement we will correct them when we can talk to everyone safely and send out a more detailed statement.
For more information and breaking news please contact:
Mzwakhe Mdlalose: 072 132 8458
Anton Zamisa: 079 380 1759
Bheki Simelane: 078 598 9491
Nokuthuka Manyawo: 083 949 1379
Sunday September 27th - 6pm
SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEOPLE OF OAXACA, MEXICO!
Justice for Brad Will! Freedom for Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno!
Join us for an evening of music, speakers, videos, refreshments, and a live
web cast with Q&A direct from Oaxaca, Mexico.
In June 2006 a massive peoples’ movement began in Oaxaca, Mexico in protest
of the governor’s failed pre-dawn raid on a peaceful striking-teachers’ sit
in. This coalesced into a broad-based struggle known as the Asamblea Popular
de los Pueblos de Oaxaca (APPO), effectively governing the state for 5
The state responded with police repression and paramilitary violence, killing
more than 28 protesters, teachers and APPO supporters during that time. Among
them, U.S. Indymedia video journalist Brad Will was murdered on October 27th
of that year, while filming a confrontation between APPO activists and
police/paramilitaries at a street demonstration.
Two years later, on October 16, 2008, the Mexican federal government arrested
neighborhood resident Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno, charging him with the
murder of Brad Will, despite any evidence of his involvement, while burying
the strong evidence that paramilitaries were the true murderers.
Join us for a live teleconference direct from Oaxaca, Mexico with the family
of Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno to hear directly from those most affected.
Afterwards there will be letter writing to the judge in Mexico and a
discussion of what more we can do. There will be live music by Salario Minimo
and lots of great food and drinks. Please remember that this is a benefit to
raise funds for legal defense, so bring some cash to kick down. No one tuned
away for lack of funds.
Sunday September 27th - 6pm
In Other Words Book Store
8B NE Killingsworth St.
More info: email@example.com
Domingo el 27 de Septiembre – a las 6pm
¡SOLIDARIDAD con los PUEBLOS de OAXACA!
¡Justicia para Brad Will!
¡Libertad para Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno!
Únanse para una noche de música, platica, videos, bocados y un web cast en
vivo con preguntas y respuestas directo de Oaxaca, México.
En junio del 2006 una lucha popular comenzó en Oaxaca, México, en protesta de
una redada del amanecer preparada por el gobernador del estado en contra de
un plantón pacífico del magisterio en huelga. Este se convirtió a un
movimiento masivo conocido como la Asamblea Popular de los Pueblos de Oaxaca
(APPO), que efectivamente gobernaron el estado por 5 meses.
El estado respondió con represión policiaca y violencia paramilitar, matando
a más de 28 manifestantes, maestros y simpatizantes de la APPO durante ese
tiempo. Entre ellos el periodista estadounidense de Indymedia Brad Will fue
asesinado el día 27 de octubre de ese año mientras filmaba un enfrentamiento
entre activistas de la APPO y la policía y los paramilitares en una
Dos años después, el 16 de octubre de 2008, el gobierno federal mexicano
detuvo un residente de la colonia, Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno. Se le acusó
del asesinato de Brad Will, sin ninguna prueba de su participación, mientras
que enterraban la clara evidencia que los paramilitares fueron los asesinos
Únanse para un teleconferencia en vivo directo de Oaxaca, México con la
familia de Juan Manuel Martínez Moreno. Después, vamos a recaudar fondos en
apoyo a su defensa legal y escribir cartas al juez en Oaxaca.
Domingo 27 de setiembre a las 6pm
en In Other Words Women’s Books & Resources (8 NE Killingsworth, Portland, OR )
más información: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, September 26, 2009
By Angola 3 News
This new interview with author/activist Dan Berger was conducted in the Winter of 2009. The interview is mostly based on Berger's essay "The Real Dragons: A Brief History of Political Militancy and Incarceration: 1960s to 2000s," which is featured in the book "Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners" (PM Press, 2008).
In part one, Berger discusses his new research into US prison movements of the 1970s, which Berger is researching and writing about for his PhD dissertation at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.
Dan Berger is a writer and activist living in Philadelphia. He is the author of "Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity" (AK Press, 2006) and co-editor of "Letters From Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out" (Nation Books, 2005). Presently, along with his dissertation about 1970s prison movements, he is editing a book about 1970s-era radicalism, titled "Hidden Histories of 1970s Radicalism" (forthcoming from Rutgers University Press in Fall, 2010). His writings have also been published in The International Journal of Communication, The Nation, Punishment & Society, WireTap, Z Magazine, and elsewhere.
The grandson of Holocaust survivors, Berger has long been involved in struggles for social justice. From 2000 to 2003, he served as founding co-editor of ONWARD, a now-defunct internationally distributed quarterly anarchist newspaper based in Gainesville, Florida, that emerged out of the global justice movement. Berger has also been involved in an array of organizing efforts against war, racism, and the prison industrial complex. A longtime activist in support of U.S. political prisoners, Berger has published and presented scholarly essays on news images and prison abuse, alternative media and globalization, and race and social movements.
This new video-interview is made by Angola 3 News, which is an official project of The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Over 37 years ago in Louisiana, 3 young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000-acre former slave plantation called Angola. In 1972 and 1973 prison officials charged Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and Robert King (who then became known as the Angola 3) with murders they did not commit and threw them into 6x9 ft. cells in solitary confinement, for over 36 years. Robert was freed in 2001 after 29 years of continuous solitary confinement, but Herman and Albert remain behind bars.
Through our work supporting the Angola 3, we seeks to spotlight the broader issues that are central to their story, like racism, repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture, political prisoners, the legacy of the Black Panther Party, and more. Our first video focused on California death row prisoner Kevin Cooper. Please stay tuned for future videos and more original multi-media projects by visiting www.angola3news.com and our other websites:
libcom.org Sept. 26, 2009
Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape, is scheduled to stand trial on the charge of public violence on Tuesday 29 September 2009.
The charge relates to a protest organised in opposition to state criminality against the Macassar Village Land Occupation. He has written this essay on 'public violence' in response to the charges levelled against him.
by Mzonke Poni, Chairperson of Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape
What exactly is public violence? Who really counts as the public? What really counts as violence? These are important questions that require clear arguments.
I have seen many comrades in our movements arrested and charged with public violence for engaging in legal and peaceful protests. I have also seen the state engaging in illegal and violent actions, such as evictions and assaults on comrades, without anyone being arrested.
I have now also become a victim of the long standing and widespread tendency to arrest activists in poor people’s movements on the charge of public violence. In 2005 I was leading a protest at Khayelitsha where we barricaded the N2 for about 2 hours with burning tyres and stones. There were heavy armed police officers on the scene and they instructed us to clear the N2. We refused. During the course of the action one police officer come to me and asked to speak to me in private. At that time I was busy addressing people but I paid attention to him. He told me that he wanted to question me at the police station and immediately put me at the back of police vehicle. At the police station I was immediately charged with public violence.
I went to court and the state prosecutor proposed a R500 bail. My lawyer rejected that. She said that “All the cases must be treated equally according to schedule 1 of the criminal procedure. My client does not have any cases pending, has never been arrested before, had provided the court with fixed address and he is committed to the struggle.’’ I was released on a warning to appear to court, and during my second appearance my case was postponed for further investigation. On my third appearance my lawyer argued that ‘’what seems funny to me is, in the box of a match we have only one accused while it is a group of people who commit public violence.’’ The state prosecutor was forced to postpone the case again for further investigation and during this process of further investigation the state was still waiting for more arrests from the police.
On my fourth appearance still there were no further arrests and the state was forced to withdraw the charges against myself.
The background to the barricade of the N2 is the lack of service. Early this year I participated in a community based initiative to house homeless people at Macassar Village by building shacks on a vacant piece of public land which has not been used since 1994. This was public land and the people who occupied it where the public. The people who were building shacks on this piece of land were people that were coming from Macassar Village. Some of them had waited for many years for the state to build houses for them as they were on the housing waiting list.
On day one of this action we managed to occupy the land by building and occupy eights structures. These eight structures were then demolished by the municipality’s anti-land invasion unit without a court order and people’s building materials were confiscated. These evictions were therefore criminal acts perpetrated against the public by the state. However no state official was arrested on the charge of demolishing a shack without a court order or stealing people’s building materials.
During the course of our action at Macassar Village we managed to obtain legal assistance from the Church Land Program (Church leaders). With their support we managed to obtain a court interdict against the City of Cape Town. That interdict was forcing them to obey the law. It forced them to:
1. Return the stolen building materials.
2. Cease the illegal demolition of our structures.
We understand very well that our exclusion from the city is a political strategy by the rich which will only be defeated by the strength of the politics of the poor. But when the rich and their government are armed and willing to act against us as if we are not people who are protected by the law then going to court can be an important action to defend our politics against state criminality. We went to court to secure the structures that we have to build to shelter ourselves and our belongings and, also, to protect our building materials against theft by the state.
The City of Cape Town just ignored the court interdict. They came back to the Macassar Village occupation and demolished the four structures that we had been able to rebuild from the remaining building material after obtaining the interdict against them on the Friday night. When I tried to stop them from demolishing the structures and tried to show them the interdict so that they could see that their actions were illegal I was threatened by arrest and rubber bullets and the demolition went ahead without them having a court order and in violation of the court interdict. This time their actions were in contempt of court as well as criminal.
On Monday the municipality went to court and obtained an interdict against us. We were interdicted from erecting structures on the land. They argued in court that people had invaded the land but that there were currently no structures on the piece of land and they failed to disclose to the court that the reason why there were no structures was because of their illegal demolitions and their undermining the interdict which was issued by the High Court.
After their court interdict was served to the people at Macassar Village, everyone was upset because they had undermined our interdict and now they wanted us to be banded by their interdict. As a result of that people started to protest, barricading the New road with burning tyres and stones. Immediately the guys from law enforcement responded and moved people off the road and cleared the road. As they were busy clearing the road one of their officers come to me and insulted me in front of everyone. He told me that I am the one who is fucking them around and he threatened to arrest me. I told him instead of threatening me he must go ahead and arrest me. He was called by one of his colleagues to stay away from me. More law enforcement officers and members of SAPS were arriving on the scene but I decided to leave the scene as it was getting late for me to catch the taxi to Khayelitsha (15km away from Macassar Village).
So, while I was standing at another street with two comrades of mine waiting to catch the taxi two law enforcement vehicles come next to us speeding. My comrades ran away but I decided to stand where I was standing because I couldn’t get it why they were running away. Immediately guys from law enforcement stop next to me and the guy who threatened to arrest me before come out and started assaulting me. He sprayed me in my eyes with a spray gun and clapped me in the face, then threw me in a private vehicle, drove around the Village with me while beating me with hand cuffs on my right hand shoulder and making fun out of me. I guess they enjoyed that moment.
After they had finished assaulting me I was taken back to the scene and from there to Macassar Village police station, where I was charged with public violence.
Here is the first question that I want to raise: What exactly is public violence? Is it doing something in public which is against the will of the public? Or is to commit an act that affects the public? Or is it an act in public that is against the law? Or is it a public act of violence by an unruly mob? The last definition is based on the English dictionary which confirms to me that it is a bunch of people who commit public violence.
We do not deny that we occupied the land at Macassar Village. We do not deny that we built shacks on that land. We do not deny that occupying land is trespass. We do not deny that building without permission is also, like trespass, a minor civil offence. We do not deny that we barricaded the road. This is an act of civil disobedience. It might not be lawful but it is not violent and it is not criminal.
However the police and the Anti-Land Invasions Unit committed various criminal acts and they committed them in public. They include illegally destroying shacks, contempt of court, theft, damage to property and assault. They even shot a twelve year old child with their rubber coated steel bullets. They were acting in groups. It is clear to anyone who looks at the situation honestly that the police and the Anti-Land Invasions Unit are free to engage in criminal behaviour against the poor.
We justify our minor infractions of the law, our civil disobedience, on the grounds that the law is for the rich. The law says that you must buy or rent a house or that you must be given a house by the state. But as the poor we cannot afford to buy or rent a house and the state is failing to give us houses. Therefore we have to occupy land and build our own houses. The fact that this is against the law (even though it is not criminal) just shows that the law does not fit with the reality of the people. For as long as the law does not fit with the realities of the people the people will break it daily because they have no other choice if they are to survive. Often this breaking of the law actually helps to force the state to bring the law closer to the lives of the people. Often our actions help to break the hold of the rich over the land – something that the government has failed to do. Therefore we say that it is clear that our actions are democratising society from below. They are for the good of society.
Anyone should be able to recognise this. The fact that this is not recognised shows us that we as the poor are not considered to be the public. The fact that our minor and non-criminal offences are treated as criminality – as public violence – shows that in reality we are not included in the definition of the public. The law might say that all of us with papers are citizens but the police and the Anti-Land Invasions Unit and the politicians act as if only the rich are citizens. We can never accept that. Therefore we have to rebel just to count as part of the public.
But the courts are supposed to uphold the law fairly. Why is it that when it is the state that commits criminal and violent actions in public is it not brought to justice?
The fact that the state is free to commit criminal and violent acts against the people questions the independence of the justice system in South Africa.
We have questions about the independence of certain judges. For instance after we got the interdict against the state to force the state to obey the law and then the state went ahead and broke the law and violated the interdict we went back to court to report this. If the judge was fair he would have ordered the arrest of the officials who ordered these criminal acts. But the judge, Mr. Van Zyl who is an acting judge and also an SC, dismissed our application. Later the same judge awarded an interdict to the Municipality! He clearly puts the right of the rich to control the land over the laws of the country. This confirms that in the eyes of the law we as the poor are not equal: there are those who are better off than others.
We have learnt another important lesson from this incident: the judiciary system is not accessible to all, is it only accessible to those with money. On day one of demolition of our structures I personally went to the LRC, the Law Society and the Legal Aid Board with a view to seek legal representation to lodge an urgent application to interdict the state from demolishing the structures. I went from one corner to the other seeking for urgent help but all these organisations told me that they don’t have the capacity to help us.
It was clear that private representation was the solution. But private representation costs money and this therefore confirms that the law is not accessible to the poor but only to the rich. Is this not a form of public violence? The answer is clear. As long as the rich have easy access to the law and the poor are denied access to the law the law will be an instrument that the rich use against the poor. It will be a tool of oppression. It will be used to justify and protect all kinds of violence against the poor. Until access to the law is free the legal system will be a form of institutionalised public violence. We must face this reality.
The state has failed to provide people with basic or essential services such as adequate toilets, clean water and electricity. Is this not a form of public violence? Children die of diarrhoea because they don’t have clean water, women are raped because they have no safe place to do the toilet, people die in shack fires because they have no electricity. We are being killed by the violence of the poverty caused by the state’s failure to treat us as human beings. But we don’t see the mayor being arrested because the people still have no toilets.
The state evicts people from where they have established themselves for years and where they perform their daily economic activities. This form of development is carried out without meaningful engagement with affected people. Mostly it is enforced by the police and private security. But the state still argues that their actions, that they have to carry out violently, are ‘development’ and that they are ‘in the public interest’. Is this kind of development again not a public violence? The answer is clear. Evictions are clearly a case of public violence. But we never see the evictors in court.
When the state fails to manage the housing crisis and to deliver services to the poor, why do they always want the courts to manage their own crisis? Is this not because they know that they can afford good lawyers and can manoeuvre very well within the legal system? It is not in the public interest for the state to take its failures to the courts instead of too the people. Is this reliance on the courts rather than negotiations with the people not also a form of public violence?
When the state is being threatened by community leaders who encourage communities to remain mobilized in pressurizing the state to realize its obligations to the public it targets those leaders. They are arrested, they are assaulted, they are accused of being the ‘third force’. Is this intimidation not a form of public violence? When protests are attacked is this not a form of pubic violence?
When the state/politicians/ministers/mayors/councillors fail to attend to peoples’ demands why are they not being brought in front of the law to answer to the people? When the people who had enough of them take to the streets they are being brought in front of the law and accused of public violence. Who is the public? Are we not the public? When we protest which violence do we really commit? Is the right to protest not a freedom of expression?
When the state prosecutor and the magistrate want to prosecute individuals who are accused of public violence when they know clearly that in terms of law those charges are invalid but they still want to go ahead with prosecution, what is that called? Is this not a public violence? These charges are a way for the legal system to rob the public of the minimum resources they have because each time we appear in court the community always demonstrates outside the court and we have to appoint good criminal lawyers. All these resources that are wasted in this regard are the resources that were supposed to be used at capacitating our community led structures but the state is robbing them. Is this not a public violence?
Just to defend our structures at Macassar Village which were demolished by the state without a court order, just to obtain a court interdict, the law firm who took our case against the municipality robbed us almost R130 00 which was paid to them by church leaders (Church Land Program). Is this also not a public violence? After the case the City announced that they would no longer give any work to this law firm. They clearly want to punish any law firm that takes instruction from the poor. Is this also not a public violence?
I am facing charges of public violence at Somerset West Court and my case goes on trial on the 29th September 2009. This case had been postponed many times due to my failure to secure legal representation. I have consulted with many law firms and individuals attorneys. All of them refused to do my case, some lawyers told me that this case will cost me lot of money, some told me that they don’t do criminal cases and some did not want to have anything to do with a case against the City of Cape Town.
One lawyer who once represented me on my previous case of public violence, accepted my case and money was transferred to her account number three weeks before my court date but during the day of my trial she did not pitch at court and did not even want to pick up my calls. Why? I don’t know. Maybe she is also receiving instructions from the city, you will never know.
I had to appear four times in front of that magistrate as she was applying a pressure to me, the failure from my attorney to pitch was translated to my fault by the magistrate as she was forcing me to bring my attorney to the court irrespective of the explanation that I gave to the court.
This case has affected the progress of the movement (Abahlali baseMjondolo WC) as it is difficult now to engage the state actively while having this case which is pending in the court of law and this cause set backs in communities that work with the movement. This case is in violation of the rights of the movement and its constituencies to organize freely. I therefore declared my arrest as a public violence which is being committed by the state and it’s judiciary system because that magistrate and the state prosecutor were supposed to throw this case outside their court roll as they had real cases to deal with. Shame I understand them - maybe they are also looking for ways to defend themselves as well , so that in the eyes of their bosses can be seen as good officers of the court, because if they were independent they would have used their discretion as they are doing with other cases that they are throwing out of the court roll.
We are fighting for a society in which we are all the public. We will keep on with this fight. If we are taken to prison we will be political prisoners and not criminals.
Down with state repression! Down with a legal system that is for the rich and by the rich!
Friday, September 25, 2009
Urgent ELP Bulletin (25th September 2009)
Yesterday ELP received the below e-mail concerning former British animal rights prisoner, Dean Cain....
Dean Cain is back in prison, his parole license has been revoked after
he was involved in an incident. Although the incident was not related to
campaigning, he is in effect in prison for the original offence, which
was for "offences" in connection with Highgate Rabbit Farm, which breeds
rabbits for vivisection including supplying HLS.
Please write letters of support to Dean, he's already been inside a few
weeks and there hasn't been much publicity.
Dean Cain WJ 4309,
2 Ribbleton lane
Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
BM Box 2407
Fri, 25 Sep 2009
Looking for support for an eco/indigenous warrior getting worst treatment of his lengthy sentence - worst treatment out of 5 fed prisons. Please write or call... I don't want to use the words 'prisoner emergency' yet but we are rapidly approaching it. Hello, my name is Sumner Gray and I have been writing Oso Blanco aka Byron Chubbuck, for over 5 of the 10 years he's been in the fed. prison system and this is the WORST TREATMENT HE HAS RECEIVED while incarcerated. For full info on Oso visit www.osoblanco.org ('the case' and 'the cause' tabs explain a lot).
There are two main areas of concern. First is my belief that USP Lewisburg is an archaic institution, stuck in time in its interactions with inmates (openly racist and hateful). Oso has been punished for the silliest things and I truly believe that this prison is trying to rack up enough punishment time against him that he will lose all contact with the outside world. In short, they are trying to keep him indefinitely in solitary. Oso has racked up 1.5 years of no phone calls, 1.5 years of no visitation, and 1.5 years of loss of store privileges! He hasn't even been at this facility for 6 months (more details below). Secondly, mail (isn't that always a problem for political prisoners?) has come to a halt in and out for Oso. He has not received any of his three current paid for magazine subscriptions nor any political papers since his transfer to Lewisburg. Oso is an avid writer - often sending two to three letters out a day. All contact has been lost for months except to me off and on.
All I'm asking from anyone who receives this is to please call or write the warden and ask the prison to STOP TAMPERING with Byron Chubbuck's mail. If you would like to comment further on the incidents listed below, great and thank you. But it is vital (and will fit on a postcard) to get Oso's mail flowing again. Keep it simple: "We have proof that Bryon Chubbuck's mail is being tampered with to and from your facility. Please immediately investigate and rectify the situation." Then add lib the rest. So please write or call:
570-523-1251 (keep trying if no answer) Or write:
2400 Robert F. Miller Drive
Lewisburg, PA 17837 (please include a return street address so we can hear the warden's response)
Feel free to post this call to action on myspace or facebook or email chains or indymedia - get the word out! Oso has been brave to openly speak about prison abuse at various facilities (that even lead to his re-capture in 2001), the least we can do is follow thru with his claims. Below are specifics from Oso on prison treatment and my example letter.
His punishment incidents:
1- "Our cell is very very clean but no there is no ventilation. So we have to hang up anything damp to dry or in a day it will start to mold" Oso and his cellie got 6 months for a towel hanging up to dry.
2 - "Around 50 people got a shot (write-up) for taking off these hot ass jump suits to work out in our dog cages. They put bar cuffs on very tight. This cuts into your wrists and swells up your hands like balloons. It's a form of torture". Oso got 6 months for removing a jump suit.
3 - Oso was violently attacked by guards and gassed while cuffed and left in a cell with water on the floor with only his underwear on for 72 hours or so. The guards claimed he threw feces at them. Anyone who knows Oso (or looks at his prison record) knows this is a false claim. Indeed, Oso filed a formal complaint against the attacks and the false claims. Oso says he was left in tight cuffs from 6/24 - 6/27 and has lost feeling in his big right toe as a result. He has been denied medical treatment and still has no feeling months later. Oso got 6 months for getting beat up and shackled. STOP THE ABUSE!
Writing the warden is vital but if you want send Oso a quick card or letter at:
Byron Chubbuck #07909051, USP Lewisburg, U.S. Penitentiary, PO Box 1000, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, North America (Oso request no zip codes).
September 11, 2009
Our group has been in contact with inmate Byron Chubbuck #07909051 for over five years now in various USPs. Mr. Chubbuck has recently received disciplinary action including loss of phone, visitation and commissary for extremely trivial matters. He has also been accused of throwing fecal matter at your staff. We find these claims either completely false (fecal throwing) or excessive punishments (hanging a towel to dry, removing jump suit to work out). But our biggest concern is the lack of mail that Mr. Chubbuck receives AND sends. We know for a fact that he is not receiving mail. We have talked with family and friends and know that mail is not getting into your prison to your inmate. Mr(s). Warden, this is unacceptable and needs to be rectified immediately. This is the worst handling of mail for Mr. Chubbuck in over five years and at five different USPs. We hope this is not in retaliation for Mr. Chubbuck's political views as this would obviously violate his rights as well as BOP policy.
We will await a response from you but in the meantime we have sent copies of this letter to state representatives in order to establish a record of what we consider abuse. We will also be going through the proper channels within the BOP system. Please know that Mr. Chubbuck will not be cut off from his international supporters. He will not be forgotten!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Citizens In Action (C.I.A.)
Sumner Gray, co-founder
354 Juanita Ave
St. Augustine, FL 32084
cc: Senator Robert Casey, Senator Arlen Specter, State Rep. Adam Harris, U.S. Rep. Christopher P. Carney
Byron Shane Chubbuck
Sept. 24, 2009 Libcom.org
Four young persons were arrested in relation to urban guerrilla warfare activities after anti-terrorist police stormed a house in north Athens hours after bomb attack against MP apartment.
On Wen. 23/09 evening the greek antiterrorist police stormed a two-story house in Chalandri, a middle-class neighborhood in the north of Athens in relation to urban guerrilla warfare activities. Although the police initially claimed that it has been watching the house for some time in relation to what it called "anti-authoritarian and anarchist attacks", the anti-terrorist rep has gone back on earlier statements claiming: "None of the persons or places were being watched; we have a State of Justice where no greek citizen or place is watched".
According to the press, which is reproducing masses of rumors and contradictory information, the police got the the green light to storm the Chalandri house after a bomb damaged the apartment of two Socialist Party (PASOK) MPs, Louka Katseli and her husband, the ex-Minister of Education Ger. Arsenis, whose educational reform had caused a long pupil and student uprising in 1998. The bomb which was announced to the press half an hour before ignition did only limited damage to the flat in the ruling class neighborhood of Kolonaki only two hundred meters away from the Parliament and the PM headquarters. Police claims that the attack bears marks of the methodology of the Nuclei of Fire Conspiracy (NFC), a group that has recently announced its upgrading from night raids via bombing of a series of high-profile targets like the house of the ex-Chief of the General Staff and ex-Minister of Public, the house of the running chief of the Secret Services (EYP) and the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace. The NFC have not made assassination attempts or made public use of guns in their operations, making them a distinct category from other urban guerrilla groups in operation in Athens.
According to the police, what the bourgeois press calls the Chalandri safe-house contained material that can be used to manufacture bombs "typical of the NFC". Most peculiarly, in the initial police briefing these consisted of a pressure cooker, clocks and flamable liquids, soon to be rendered "a ready-to-use time-bomb pressure-cooker explosive device and print material" in later police briefings. PCs are also being checked for electronic traces relating to criminal activity.
The police has arrested three people in relation to the Chalandri house: the son of the owner, the tenant, and one girl, all in their early 20s. It is unclear due to contradictory claims by the police and the press as whether all or some of the arrested were at the time in the premises.
Soon after the initial two arrests the police stormed a flat in the petty-bourgeois neighborhood of Galatsi, where two more people in their early 20s were apprehended after police allegedly found "3,500 well-hidden euros" (a crime against banking presumably), what seems to be a toy-gun and..."tools with which bomb connections can be constructed" (presumably pincers, screwdrivers and other satanic weapons). The police has arrested one of the two, while letting the second free.
None of the names of the arrested has been announced and they all pend examination by a judge within the first 48h of their arrests so that accusations can be formulated against them.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The Final Nail In The SOCPA Coffin?
In May 2008, following an 18-week trial costing over £4.5 million, the
operator of a website criticising animal testing, Sean Kirtley, was sentenced
to four and a half years in prison for allegedly organising legal protests.
He was found guilty under Section 145 of the Serious Organised Crime and
Police Act (SOCPA) for "interfering with the contractual relationships of a
laboratory" by campaigning against Sequani Limited and its business
associates. He was released this month after his appeal was successful.
Solidarity direct action included a Carnival Against Vivisection in September
against Sequani and anonymous ALF activists painting a city centre, walls and
bridges, liberating hundreds of chickens, redecorating a fur shop,
vandalising a hunter's car and sabotaging vending machines.
¡FILIBERTO OJEDA RIOS VIVE!
Friday Sept 25th, 2009 at 7pm
St Mary’s Episcopal Church
521 W126th St. (between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue)
Take the 1 train W125th St and Broadway
Come see COMANDANTE FILIBERTO: THE CLANDESTINE INTERVIEW
Hear Filiberto Ojeda Rio’s Last Speech read by local activists
COMANDANTE FILIBERTO OJEDA RIOS
Filiberto Ojeda Rios was founder and leader of the Puerto Rican People’s Army (EPB) also known as the Macheteros. He fought tirelessly his whole life to end US colonial rule in Puerto Rico. September 23rd is a national holiday celebrated and commemorated by Puerto Ricans in remembrance of an 1868 rebellion against Spanish colonial rule. On September 23rd of 2005, the US government assassinated Filiberto in an attempt to kill the spirit of the Puerto Rican liberation struggle.
COMANDANTE FILIBERTO: THE CLANDESTINE INTERVIEW
Filiberto was charged and arrested for his alleged involvement in the Macheteros, $7 million Wells Fargo armored truck robbery of Hartford Connecticut. While awaiting trial an electronic monitoring shackle was placed on his ankle, but on September 23rd of 1990, Filiberto cut it off and went into clandestinity. Shortly after that, Puerto Rican journalist Daisy Sanchez, interviewed him he was while in hiding. Filiberto speaks for himself and the Macheteros on the colonial issues that continue to plague the nation of Puerto Rico. The interview aired uncut on Puerto Rican television and was the most watched television program in the history of Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rican Freedom Project is hosting the release of "The Freedom Album," a musical compilation CD on Oct. 1st of 2009, at 8:00pm. The event will be held at the Julia De Burgos Cultural Center (Taller Boricua space) in East Harlem (1680 Lexington Avenue (between 105 & 106 Sts). Performing that night will be internationally known folk artists, Roy Brown, salsa legend, Yomo Toro with Zon Del Barrio, Puerto Rico's own political Hip Hop sensation, Siete Nueve, and The Welfare Poets. All proceeds from this album will go to aid the Puerto Rican political prisoners and their families. The event will cost $20.
We would love any assistance in getting the word out about this crucial project.
You can find out more information about this project by going to: www.myspace.com/freeourpoliticalprisoners and www.prfreedomproject.org
Thank you so much for your time.
The Welfare Poets
The Puerto Rican Freedom Project
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Sun Sep 20 2009 (Updated 09/21/09) Community Journalist J.R. Valrey Targeted
by Oakland Police in Bogus Arson Arrest
J.R. Valrey on Trial for Felony Charges in Oscar Grant Rebellion Update: In a
brief hearing on Sept. 21st, Judge Jacobson revoked a stay-away order which
kept Valrey away from downtown Oakland.
J.R. Valrey will stand trial in Oakland on felony arson charges, after he was
arrested while reporting on the Oscar Grant Rebellion on January 7, 2009.
Valrey is a producer at KPFA radio, associate editor and multimedia director
of the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, and runs the Block Report Radio
Valrey believes his arrest was payback for his years covering police
brutality in print and on the radio. "I was covering it as a journalist," he
said. "But one thing that's different about me from the rest of the rebels is
that the Oakland police know me. ... I'm not a stranger to the power
structure of Oakland, so I believe like many others that I was targeted
politically... We were basically set up on trumped-up charges." Valrey's
lawyer, Marlon Monroe, says the case against Valrey is weak and will fail.
"J.R. has really been a thorn in the police department's side," says SF Bay
View publisher Willie Ratcliff, who has published Valrey's work. "His stories
are like those of Mumia Abu Jamal. He's young and really smart, and the
people love him, they are really organizing, so the police are always after
him. The judge even tried to get him to cop a plea to a misdemeanor,
something I've never seen a judge do. But they really blew it this time
because he didn't do anything except his job. The police even admitted that
they didn't see him set any fire."
The profferred plea bargain involved five years of felony probation,
warrantless searches at any time of Valrey's body, car, home, and places of
employment, time served, and restitution.
Supporters have been asked to attend a hearing on Sept. 21st to "[l]et the
judge, OPD, the City, and whoever else needs to be aware that we stand in
loving support of truth and justice and that JR is a gift and his work is
valuable to the health and well being of this community. It is unacceptable
that he be targeted and charged with crimes he did not commit - because he
serves this community."