Compan~eras and comrades,
From within a climate of daily anarchist action and the brutal
repression of every aspect of our lives I am taking the liberty of
informing you of two important developments concerning the detention of
As you already know Alfredo Bonanno and Christos Stratigopoulos were
transferred to Korydallos prison one day before the transfer of the
murderer Korkonea to the prison of Amfissa.
There, the pharmacy refused to grant him his medication for diabetes and
severe pain in the shoulder caused by a tumour diagnosed by doctors at
the health centre of Amfissa.
Following pressure from their comrades a doctor sent by the Italian
Embassy visited him in prison where his serious state of health was
I would like to inform you that at this time the investigator in Trikala
is deliberating the application for Alfredo's release on bail.
Following the new detention measures of the Ministry of Justice,
Bonanno's advanced age (73 years), his compromised health and his
detention for a misdemeanor (given that Stratigopoulos has assumed
responsibility for the armed robbery), it is patently clear that his
continued detention is an exemplary one of political revenge.
Alfredo Bonanno is a revolutionary anarchist comrade and a writer of
many works. That why he is being held, if it wasn't him, he would
already be free until the trial.
But for us, for whom solidarity is our weapon and who know that in any
uprising we will be dynamite, we will not abandon our comrade. We demand
the immediate release of Alfredo Bonanno.
Freedom now for Alfredo Bonanno.
Ps. The following fax has been sent to the Minister of Justice
Trasparency and Human Rights, Athens, the Italian Embassy in Athens and
We wish to denounce the abusive and illegal detention of Alfredo Maria
Bonanno in unacceptable conditions in the prison of Koridallos (Athens).
The vindictive politic of the State is aimed at the physical and
psychological annihilation of the 73-year old comrade who is facing
serious health problems. Alfredo Bonanno is an anarchist who has been
involved in the movement for decades, militant in the resistance against
the dictatorship of the Greek colonels (1967-1974), and writer and
editor of many works.
We demand the immediate liberation of Alfredo Maria Bonanno
to Alfredo M. Bonanno
Friday, January 29, 2010
January 27, 2010 by denverabc
Daniel Wilson was among those arrested at the 2008 May Day celebration in
Olympia during which police and banks were attacked by masked and
(unfortunately) unmasked protesters. He decided to flee the country rather
than wait around and see what portion of his possibly years long sentence
the state would subject him to. After spending months in canada, he and
his partner decided it would be best to return to olympia so that he could
turn himself in. This is primarily due to the fact that his partner is
pregnant with his child.
Upon contacting his attorney, he learned that he still had the option to
take a plea deal that would result in him being sentenced to four months
plus one additional month for bail jumping (a far cry from the draconian
sentence originally threatened and sought by prosecutors). He was arrested
at the border returning to washington state and transferred to thurston
county jail where he was charged with riot without deadly weapon, reckless
endangerment, 3rd degree malicious mischief, and bail jumping and was
sentenced to five months in jail, $18k restitution and two years
probation. With good behavior he will be doing roughly one hundred days.
Also, he later plead guilty to and unrelated charge resulting from an
arrest at an olympia critical mass during which he was believed to have
vandalized a truck belonging to anti-choice activists who regularly
congregate in front of planned parenthood to harass and judge people.
Daniel was ordered to pay $2K in restitution to the bigoted christian
crackpots. He is currently expected to be released on March 6th. He is
loved and missed by all his friends here and we gleefully await his
release! His partner is safe and healthy; she is living in a loving home
in olympia with caring and supportive close friends where Daniel will also
be living when he is released.
Daniel says thanks to all who lended their support by flooding thurston
county jail with phone calls demanding that he be given vegan food (he
looked a lot healthier last time i saw him!). Folks can show support by
sending him any of the following items he is allowed to recieve:
Special occasion cards (no playing cards)
US Postal Money Orders
US Treasury Checks
Up to 8 photographs
Books and Magazines
* No hard back books allowed.
o A maximum of 3 each.
o Must be mailed directly from a publisher or bookstore.
o Become the property of the Thurston County Correctional Facility upon
release of the individual.
Send any and all items to:
Daniel Kyle Wilson
c/o Thurston County Corrections Facility
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502
He can receive visitors on Saturdays at 2:30 pm and Sundays at 8:30 am. If
you would like to visit him please email me email@example.com since
he can only receive two or fewer visitors on any visitation day, this will
help to avoid mix ups (it’s no fun waking up early on a sunday and going
to a jail only to find out you have to wait your turn til the following
weekend, or worse yet, everyone assumes everyone else is going on that day
and no one shows up).
Folks can also show support for Daniel and other political prisoners with
Solidarity Actions. (I of course refer ONLY to legal actions, you know,
candle light vigils, prayer circles, blah blah blah and so forth:)
ps- all but $200 of the $5K for his bail was returned to those who had
posted it prior to his skipping town!
As of 9:30pm Mountain Time, Ojore is out and on his way to Denver.
Thanks to everyone that helped make that possible.
Bond was posted at the cost of $4,500. This cost has been fronted by
various amazing folks from across the country,
but much of this money is being loaned. Ojore is in major need of
donations to help pay these loans back!
The Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross Federation is accepting donations
for this effort. Donations can be sent via paypal to: timABCF@aol.com
Ojore's court date will be February 5th.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
from Denver ABCF
So, that snag I was saying that we could hit? Happened.
So, apparently, due to the Patriot Act, there is greater monitoring of
large money wire transfers. One of our transfers of money was put on hold
by the Feds. It will be released by tomorrow, but there is nothing that
ensures it will be here tonight.
So... we're waiting to see what happens. But, as of right now, we're
officially 500 short. Anyone able to step up to the plate? And Western
Union is the only way to ensure it will be there in a timely fashion.
A full, transparent report on this situation:
Bail is indeed covered, but all the money is not yet in our hands. It
should be within the next 2 hours.
1500 of this amount was in the form of loans from two different comrades,
one from Portland, and another from Minnesota. They need to be paid back
as soon as we can get the money to them.
This money is to cover what has turned into a 4500 bond amount through a
bondsmen in the area. The house had to be put up as collateral. The actual
bond was a cash assurity bond, so only money could be put up, not
property. So, the bondsmen puts up the money, with our comrade's house as
collateral if Ojore does not show up.
So, none of the money is refundable from the state. Ojore and Bonnie both
know this and have both given the go ahead and asked for this process to
So, we're accounting for all the donors, loans, etc.. and will hold on to
this info if needed by folks.
We hopefully will be bonding him out in several hours. However, the story
of the day has been one of complications and setbacks. It's the nature of
dealing with a system in a tiny Colorado city in the middle of nowhere and
an arrestee with Ojore's history. He literally scares the shit out of the
system there. So, if something else comes up, and we hit some snags, we'll
let folks know.
Please forward to anyone that needs or wants an update, so we can get some funds
Ojore had an arraignment this morning, Thursday January 28, at 11 am
in the La Junta City Courthouse. Ojore was formally charged with
“Interfering with Public Transportation,”a class 3 felony, based on
allegations from train passengers that Ojore made “terroristic
threats against the train” while on a personal phone call while he was
a passenger the Amtrak train. Ojore has said that he was having a
political conversation with a friend at the time.
The prosecution initially asked for a $50,000 bond citing Ojore’s
previous ”criminal” background and imprisonment as well as him being an
out of state resident.
The defense argued for a $1,000 bond citing Ojore’s links to the
Denver community and housing available to him as well as his
previous imprisonment being a “politically biased imprisonment”.
The judge ruled that Ojore’s bond would be set at $30,000,
justifying this amount because Ojore is an out of state resident, and
in 1982 Ojore was convicted of a failure to appear charge and presently
posed a flight risk due to this history.
Denver Anarchist Black Cross Federation members were present for
the hearing and are presently in La Junta working to bail him out. A
bondsmen has been secured that will post bond for Ojore at the cost of
$4,500. This cost has been fronted by various amazing folks from across
the country, but much of this money is being loaned. Ojore is in major
need of donations to help pay these loans back!
The Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross Federation is accepting donations for this
effort. Donations can be sent via paypal to: timABCF@aol.com
Please forward to anyone that needs or wants an update, so we can get some
Ojore had an arraignment this morning, Thursday January 28, at 11 am in
the La Junta City Courthouse. Ojore was formally charged with "Interfering
with Public Transportation," and bond was set at $30,000.
The prosecution initially asked for a $50,000 bond citing Ojore's previous
"criminal" background and imprisonment as well as him being an out of
The defense argued for a $1,000 bond citing Ojore's links to the Denver
community and housing available to him as well as his previous
imprisonment being a "politically biased imprisonment".
The judge ruled that Ojore's bond would be set at $30,000, justifying this
amount because Ojore is an out of state resident, and in 1982 Ojore was
convicted of a failure to appear charge and presently posed a flight risk
due to this history.
Denver Anarchist Black Cross Federation members were present for the
hearing and are presently in La Junta working to bail him out. A bondsmen
has been secured that will post bond for Ojore at the cost of $3,010.
Donations can be sent via paypal to: timABCF@aol.com
Ojore Lutalo Arrested on his way home from the LA Anarchist Bookfair
Ojore Lutalo (recently released Black Liberation Army prisoner of war and
New Afrikan Anarchist) was pulled off the Amtrak train in La Junta,
Colorado on his way home to New Jersey from speaking at the LA Anarchist
bookfair. He will be arraigned Thursday morning. We are working on getting
him a lawyer.
They are charging him with "endangering public transportation." The
officer said that bail will be set at $10,000.00 which means we will need
a minimum of $1,000.00 with a good chance of it being higher in order for
him to be released, while waiting for the court date.
We will need some emergency fund raising.
Go to paypal.com and send $$ to "timABCF@aol.com"
Put "Ojore Bail" in the notes section.
NYC contact- nycabc [at] riseup [dot] net
Or contact your local ABCF Chapter
(ABCF.net to "Contact ABCF" menu to "ABCF Chapters" menu)
Support the 1-2-3 Community Space in our transition to a new location! *
Follow us on twitter: twitter.com/nycabc
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211
Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!
Urgent ELP! Bulletin (28th of January 2010)
ELP has just learnt that Il Silvestre prisoner, Leonardo Landi, has been moved to a
new address. Please send letters of support to:
Carcere San Michele
Via Casale, 50/A
15122 San Michele (AL)
Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
BM Bix 2407
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
From:"Political Prisoner News" firstname.lastname@example.org
Ojore Lutalo arrested in Colorado on his way home from LA Anarchist Bookfair
I received word from LA ABCF that Ojore Lutalo (former Blacl
Liberation Army political prisoner/pow and New Afrikan Anarchist) was
pulled off the Amtrak train on his way home to New Jersey from
speaking at the LA Anarchist bookfair.
He was charged with endangering public transportation in Colorado.
His bail is set to 10,000 dollars. Currently there is an effort to
bail him out.
Contact Mapache from LA ABCF at
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
Monday, January 25 2010 Infoshop News
Leana Stormont became the third person subpoenaed by that grand jury
in Davenport, Iowa which is out to get animal rights activists
however they can. One man, Scott DeMuth has been indicted and is free
on bond. One woman, Carrie Feldman, has been locked up since before
thanksgiving for heroically refusing to cooperate with the grand jury.
Leana was a graduate student at the University of Iowa at the time of
the ALF raid on a lab on campus. That action saw the rescue of 401
animals from the Spence psychology labs in an overnight raid by the
ALF. She was a visible animal rights activist at the time and has
been on the Feds radar screen ever since.
It has been an historic tactic of the FBI to go after visible, above
ground activists since they have exhibited a complete inability to
find anyone who doesn't want to be found. The FBI resents looking
like the incompetents that they often are. This is not to say if
evidence of some nefarious act exists in a concrete form that they
won't find it. They are really good at sifting through trash and that
sort of thing...if you catch my drift.
The following is from Voice of the Voiceless.
University of Iowa Graduate Subpoenaed to A.L.F. Grand Jury
by Peter Young
Former University of Iowa student and barred attorney subpoenaed to
testify in Animal Liberation Front investigation.
A University of Iowa graduate has been named as the latest person
subpoenaed to testify to a grand jury seeking those responsible for
the 2004 Animal Liberation Front raid of the University of Iowa.
Leana Stormont, a barred attorney and graduate of the University of
Iowa law school, was involved with animal rights activism on campus
at the time of the 2004 A.L.F. raid. The action saw the rescue of 401
animals from the Spence psychology labs in an overnight raid by the A.L.F.
A visible animal rights activist on campus, Leana Stormont appears to
have been on the FBI's radar since the Animal Liberation Front
break-in. After experiencing harassment in the post-raid FBI
investigation, she published an article in the American Chronicle
titled " Caring About Animals is Not a Crime" on being surveilled by
the FBI and the government's practice of spying on activists.
With this targeting of a former student activist, the subpoena
continues this investigation's theme of persecuting academic research
The first person charged in relation to the U of I raid, Scott
DeMuth, is not an animal rights activist, but a scholar. 17 years old
at the time of the raid, DeMuth appears to have been targeted for his
research into the animal rights movements as part of his graduate
work at the University of Minnesota. DeMuth was subpoenaed to testify
at the grand jury in November after journals were seized in a raid of
his home by police attempting to neutralize protests at the 2008
Republican National Convention. In the journals, police claim, were
notes on interviews with research subjects indicating to the FBI
DeMuth may have privileged knowledge of the animal rights movement.
No information specific to the University of Iowa Animal Liberation
Front raid has yet been alleged. After refusing to testify, DeMuth
was charged with Animal Enterprise Terrorism. He remains out of jail
Continuing with this trend - while information at this point is
sparse - it would come as no surprise if Leana Stormont is being
targeted solely because she was an outspoken University of Iowa
animal rights activist at the time of the raid, and was supportive of
the A.L.F. in the media. She gave this quote from her op-ed in
support of the A.L.F. action, published in the University of Iowa
As a matter of ethical coherence, I do not believe anyone can condemn
the actions at Spence [the laboratory that was attacked by the ALF]
without likewise condemning the fact that thousands of animals have
been intentionally subject to psychological terror and have lost
their lives within the confines of that laboratory. . . .
This new subpoena means the FBI remains on the rampage in pursuit of
those who picked locks and broke down doors at the University of Iowa
in 2004, giving over 400 animals a second chance at life.
By Leana Stormount
by RNC8 Tuesday Jan 26th, 2010 Indybay.org
Dear friends, families and supporters,
The last time that we wrote, we were only weeks beyond the 2008 RNC,
and still figuring out how to navigate our case with a sense of
collectivity and integrity. Now, more than a year after the fact, we
find ourselves in a sort of limbo. Day to day, we don't feel the
intensity of repression that we did in the weeks surrounding the RNC,
yet the trial looms somewhere in the distance and we're not really
free to move on. We return to court on February 2nd, and may come out
of the hearing with a trial date certain. While it's hard to remain
upbeat about the prospect, we hope to make the final push towards
trial energizing for ourselves and our supporters alike, and we feel
certain that a strong show of court solidarity will make a huge
difference in the outcome of our case.
The past year has been difficult, both in dealing with our own
situation and in watching as State attempts to subvert and disrupt
anarchist movement gain steam, following well-established patterns of
repression against dissident political movements throughout history.
In late 2008 and 2009, Ramsey County prosecuted more than a dozen
felony cases resulting from the RNC. Abusing their unchecked power to
slap on charge after unfounded charge as a way of coercing people out
of exercising their right to trial, and with the constant threat of
terrorism enhancements, prosecutors extracted numerous plea
agreements from individuals who came to the RNC protests outraged at
this oppressive system and willing to take a conscientious stand against it.
During the fall of 2008, well-known and controversial radical
activist Brandon Darby was outed as a paid FBI informant. This
happened as a result of his entrapment of Brad Crowder and David
McKay, two young men who traveled from Texas to MN for the RNC
protests. Though Brad and David both eventually plead guilty to
federal charges of making and possessing Molotov cocktails, facts
surrounding the case and testimony given during McKay's initial
mistrial make it clear that Darby went out of his way to create the
unlikely scenario in which the crimes were committed. Darby, whose
crimes of conscience will go unpunished, has already robbed two
people of their freedom, but the extent of his cooperation and the
damage it has done to our community remains to be seen.
In April of 2009, Indiana residents Tiga Wertz and Hugh Farrell were
arrested and charged with racketeering as a result of their work
organizing against I-69, the US segment of the NAFTA Superhighway.
I-69 will displace small farmers, wreak environmental destruction,
and facilitate the movement of goods and capital at the expense of
the continents' poor and working people. Tiga and Hugh are still
awaiting trial, which will likely not start before 2011.
Late this fall, two friends and comrades of ours in Minneapolis,
Carrie Feldman and Scott DeMuth, were subpoenaed to a federal grand
jury in Davenport, IA, which is investigating a 2004 Animal
Liberation Front action at the University of Iowa. Scott and Carrie
were teenagers in Minnesota at the time of the ALF raid, and though
they have no information to give about it, they refused to cooperate
with the grand jury on principle. They were both jailed on civil
contempt on November 17, 2009, and two days later, Scott was indicted
under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). He is currently out
awaiting trial and Carrie remains jailed in Iowa, where she may sit
for another nine months. Carrie and Scott's involvement in RNC
organizing, their affiliation with known antiRNC organizers, and
materials seized in RNC raids, have all been used so far in
prosecutorial attempts to vilify them and their politics.
Scott is only the seventh person ever charged under the AETA. In
February of 2009, four people in Santa Cruz, CA, became the first
AETA indictees, accused of first-amendment protected activities
including leafleting and chalking sidewalks. Last spring, BJ Viehl
and Alex Hall in Utah were also charged under the AETA in relation to
mink liberations. BJ recently plead guilty, citing the improbability
of a fair trial in such a heavily conservative state, and will
probably be sentenced in March. Alex is still awaiting trial.
The same day that we go to court here for our next hearing, Jordan
Halliday will start trial for felony contempt of court, a charge he
is facing after months of incarceration on civil contempt for
refusing to testify before a federal grand jury in Utah.
This fall, comrades from the Tin Can Comms Collective sustained a
raid and two arrests at the G20 mobilization in Pittsburgh. After
returning to their home in Brooklyn, NY, the two arrested were
subjected to yet another raid, this time on their house. State
charges related to the G20 were subsequently dropped under
circumstances that suggest the existence of an active federal
investigation of Tin Can's activities.
Needless to say, anarchists have taken quite a few hits this year.
Yet these cases are only one manifestation of the systematic
repression of movements for social change. Even as anarchists have
yet again become a primary target of State repression, the U.S.
continues its war on Black and Puerto Rican revolutionaries, and their allies.
In January of 2007, charges were brought against eight former Black
Panthers (the San Francisco 8) for the 1971 murder of a police officer.
The case, re-opened with post-9/11 anti-terrorism funds, is based on
information extracted through torture. Several of the the SF8 are
former or current political prisoners. By summer of 2009, most
charges had been dropped or drastically reduced in plea agreements.
As of this writing, the last remaining conspiracy charge was dropped,
leaving a single charge against Cisco Torres.
In recent months, the State of Pennsylvania has engaged in a new push
for the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal, falsely convicted of the murder
of a police officer in1982 and held on death row ever since. His
supporters across the globe are mobilizing, yet again, to prevent
this- our movements have kept him alive thus far, and it falls on us
yet again to prevent his State-sanctioned assassination.
Meanwhile, the Puerto Rican independence movement- which has won the
release of most of its political prisoners over the past decades- is
preparing a final push for the release of two of the remaining three,
Carlos Alberto Torres and Oscar Lopez Rivera.
At this moment, dozens of political prisoners sit in U.S. prisons and
jails, many of them having been there for decades and some who may
never get out. The State would have us believe that political
prisoners do not exist in this country, which holds a full quarter of
the world's incarcerated people in its prison plantations. It is our
common commitment to a radically transformed world that they intend
to subvert with every new arrest, detention and prosecution, and our
only defense is an acknowledgement of the fact that this is happening
day in and day out, and a commitment to fight it at every step of the way.
As we look towards what could be the final stage of our own case,
we're left to ponder the impact of our work. It is our hope that our
supporters also support every person named in this letter, and every
target of State repression left unnamed. Whether we're acquitted or
convicted come trial, the greater measure of our success will be the
extent to which our case builds the movements to which we belong.
See you at trial,
the RNC 8
Defend the RNC8!
Follow us on Twitter
Sign a petition to Defend the RNC8 at
January 27, 2010 By Linn Washington ZMag
In a perverse way, the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling reinstating
the death sentence of Mumia Abu-Jamal could ultimately benefit the
world's most recognized death row inmate.
This ruling orders the federal 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to
reexamine the issue of whether the judge at Abu-Jamal's 1982 trial
provided faulty jury instructions regarding death penalty
The 3rd Circuit had found those judicial instructions flawed and
voided Abu-Jamal's death sentence, prompting an appeal from
Philadelphia prosecutors that the Supreme Court granted.
Returning this controversial case back to the 3rd Circuit enables new
legal maneuvering which Philadelphia prosecutors concede could
include examination of issues federal courts have not considered in
this matter that draws attention internationally arising from the
explosive intersection of racism and politics.
Although the case against former Black Panther Abu-Jamal arguably
contains compelling elements, this case is circumstantial, centered
on testimony from criminally flawed eyewitnesses and lacking
conclusive forensic evidence.
Those demanding a new trial for self-proclaimed revolutionary
journalist Abu-Jamal consistently cite credible evidence of egregious
improprieties by police, prosecutors and jurists as corrupting the
quest for justice of this once award-winning radio reporter who's
authored six books while on death row for over 25-years.
Amnesty International, in its seminal 2000 report on the Abu-Jamal
case, detailed "a pattern of events" comprising Abu-Jamal's fair
trial rights including irregularities by police and prosecutors plus
"hostility by the trial judge and the appearance of judicial bias
during appellate review."
The least scrutinized aspect of Abu-Jamal's case is unusual rulings
issued by appellate courts - federal and state - often creating new
standards seemingly crafted to deny this convicted cop killer the
legal relief granted to others including a few convicted of murdering police.
When the Pennsylvania Supreme Court first upheld Abu-Jamal's
conviction in March 1989 it eliminated an ancient legal standard
permitting defendants' to make statements before sentencing that it
had reinforced in a ruling issued just one month earlier.
Curiously, the same Philadelphia and Pennsylvania courts that found
major flaws in 86 Philadelphia death penalty convictions between
Abu-Jamal's December 1981 arrest and October 2009 declare that not a
single error - evidentiary or procedural - exists anywhere in the
Despite Pennsylvania state and federal courts voiding 22 death
penalties because of defense lawyer failures to present any
mitigating evidence for their clients during death penalty hearings,
courts found no fault in Abu-Jamal's trial lawyer failing to present
any mitigating evidence during the penalty hearing.
When the 3rd Circuit Court upheld Abu-Jamal's conviction in 2008, it
created a new standard for defendants challenging racist jury
selection practices by prosecutors - a standard more stringent than
the standard used by that Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Abu-Jamal's appeal of that 3rd Circuit ruling highlighted 11 separate
rulings where federal and Pa state courts specifically faulted
Philadelphia prosecutors for engaging in intentional discrimination
during jury selection.
Six of those 11 rulings cited in that appeal came from the 3rd
Circuit yet the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Abu-Jamal's appeal in
April 2009 without comment.
The U.S. Supreme Court engaged in contradictory rulings related to
Abu-Jamal in the early 1990s making a mockery of its duty to ensure
equal justice under law.
That Court granted a new hearing to a Delaware murderer who
challenged prosecutorial reference to his current membership in a
violent white racist prison gang, citing the racist's First Amendment
free association rights.
Following favorable ruling for that avowed racist, Abu-Jamal
unsuccessfully sought Supreme Court reconsideration of its rejection
of his challenge of prosecutors violating First Amendment protections
by referencing his teenaged membership in the Black Panther Party.
Months after spurning Abu-Jamal's request, the Supreme Court granted
relief to a white Nevada murderer challenging prosecutorial reference
of his membership in a devil worshipping cult - citing its prison
racist ruling precedent.
Equal protection of laws seemingly should have provided an ex-Black
Panther with the same protection of rights extended to a racist gang
member and devil worshipper given similarities in their respective appeals.
While it's true that courts enjoy wide discretion in interpreting law
as those courts deem appropriate, disparate rulings in the Abu-Jamal
case raise real questions about courts acting in accordance with
America's bedrock principle of equal-justice-under-law.
The most disturbing aspect of the Abu-Jamal case is that evident
improprieties by police, prosecutors and jurists ignored in this
matter are deprivations endured daily by defendants nationwide,
undermining equal justice under law - that phrase chiseled above the
entrance to the U.S. Supreme Court building.
Linn Washington Jr., columnist for The Philadelphia Tribune, is a
former Yale Law Journalism Fellow who writes frequently about the
Abu-Jamal case and other issues involving race-based inequities in
America. He is author of Black Judges on Justice: Perspectives from
the Bench, published by The New Press.
Supreme Court opens door to Mumia’s execution
BY JEFF MACKLER Philly IMC
In a dangerous decision and a break with its own
precedent, the U.S. Supreme Court, on Jan. 19,
opened the door wide to Pennsylvania prosecutors’
efforts to execute the innocent political
prisoner, murder frame-up victim, award-winning
journalist, and world-renowned “Voice of the Voiceless,” Mumia Abu-Jamal.
Six months earlier, on April 6, the Supreme Court
all but shut the door on Mumia’s 28-year fight
for justice and freedom when it refused to grant
a hearing (writ of certiorari) despite its own
decision in the 1986 case of Batson v. Kentucky
that the systematic and racist exclusion of
Blacks from juries voids all guilty verdicts and mandates a new trial.
In Mumia’s 1982 trial, presided over by the
infamous “hanging judge,” Albert Sabo,
Philadelphia prosecutor Joseph McGill, in
explicit violation of Batson, used 10 of his 15
peremptory challenges to exclude Blacks from the
jury panel. But as with virtually all Mumia court
decisions over the past decades, the “Mumia
Exception,” a consistent and contorted
interpretation of the “law,” or abject blindness
to it, has been employed to reach a predetermined
result. Mumia’s frame-up murder conviction was allowed to stand.
In contrast, on Jan. 19, 2010, Pennsylvania
prosecutors, twice rejected in their efforts to
impose the death penalty on Mumia (in 2001 and
2008), were given yet another opportunity to do
so when the Supreme Court remanded the sentencing
issue of life imprisonment versus execution to
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
The latter was instructed to take into
consideration the High Court’s new ruling in the Ohio case of Smith v.
Frank Spisak was a neo-Nazi who wore a Hitler
mustache to his trial, denounced Jews and Blacks,
and confessed in court to three hate-crime
murders in Ohio. Spisak saw his jury-imposed
death sentence reversed in the federal courts
when his attorneys, like Mumia’s, successfully
invoked a critical 1988 Supreme Court decision in
the famous Mills v. Maryland case.
The Mills decision required, with regard to
sentencing procedures, that both the judge’s
instructions and the jury forms make clear that
any juror who believes that one or more
mitigating circumstance exists (sufficient to
impose a sentence of life imprisonment as opposed
to the death penalty) should have the right to
have that issue(s) considered by the jury as a
whole. Prior to Mills, Maryland jurors were
effectively led to believe that they had to be
unanimous on any possible mitigating circumstance
for it to be considered in the deliberation process.
Mills explicitly rejected the idea of unanimity;
it rejected the notion that a single juror could
block from consideration the mitigating
circumstances hypothetically found by another
juror or even by 11 of the 12 jurors.
Before Mills, the “unanimity” requirement in the
way it was presented to juries essentially
eliminated the vast majority of mitigating
circumstances, and therefore juries had little or
no alternative but to impose the death penalty.
Under Mills, once all mitigating circumstances
were set before the jury, it was then their
responsibility to determine whether they were
sufficient to impose a sentence of life as opposed to death.
In both Spisak’s and Mumia’s cases the trial
court judge violated the Mills principle and in
essence instructed the juries that unanimity on
each mitigating circumstance was required for
consideration of the jury as a whole. As a
consequence, Federal District Courts in both Ohio
and in Pennsylvania (in the case of Mumia), later
backed by decisions of the U.S. Courts of
Appeals, invoked Mills to overrule the
jury-imposed death sentence verdicts. They
ordered a new sentencing hearing and trial with
the proper instructions to the jury and where new
evidence of innocence could be presented. The
jury remained bound, however, by the previous jury’s guilty finding.
Even so, the long-suppressed mountain of evidence
proving Mumia’s innocence drives Mumia’s
prosecutors to avoid a new trial at all costs. A
new trial of any sort could only expose, with
unpredictable consequences, the base corruption
of a criminal “justice” system permeated by race
and class bias. Executing innocent people does
not sit well with the American people. In the
courts of the elite, as in life itself, nothing
is written in stone. The “law” has more than once
been “adjusted” in the interests of the poor and
oppressed when the price to pay by insisting on
its immutability is too costly in terms of doing
greater damage to the system as a whole.
The effect of the 1988 Mills decision was to make
it harder for prosecutors to obtain death
sentences in capital cases; the effect of Spisak
is to make it easier. Armed with this new Supreme
Court weapon and order to reconsider the
application of Mills, Pennsylvania prosecutors
will once again seek Mumia’s execution before the Third Circuit.
“States’ rights” logic of Spisak decision
Prior to this unexpected turn of events and for
the past 22 years, the broad U.S. legal community
appeared to agree that Mills applied to all
states. That is, if a jury were orally
mis-instructed and/or received faulty or unclear
verdict forms that implied it needed to be
unanimous with regard to mitigating circumstances
that would be considered to weigh in against the
death penalty, the death penalty would be set
aside and a new sentencing hearing ordered.
That is what happened in Mumia’s case when
Federal District Court Judge William H. Yohn in
2001 employed Mills to set aside the jury’s death
penalty decision. Yohn gave the state of
Pennsylvania 180 days to decide whether or not to
retry Mumia or to accept a sentence of life imprisonment.
Since then, Pennsylvania officials have
effectively stayed Yohn’s order by appealing to
the higher federal courts. The Supreme Court gave
them the victory they sought.
In deciding to hear Ohio prosecutors’ arguments
in the Spisak case with regard to Mills the
Supreme Court implied that a new interpretation
of the concept of federalism was in the making.
The political pendulum has swung back and forth
on this issue. In past decades, a “states’
rights” interpretation was employed to justify
racist state laws that denied Blacks access to
public institutions and facilities. With the rise
of the civil rights movement, federal power was
used to compel the elimination of the same racist laws.
Justice is far from blind in America. It is
applied to the advantage of the working class and
the oppressed only to the extent that the
relationship of forces—that is, the struggles of the masses—demand it.
Since Mills was decided based on the facts in the
state of Maryland only, Ohio and Pennsylvania
prosecutors argued, Mills cannot be automatically
applied to other states where a different set of
jury instructions and jury forms were involved.
Indeed, Ohio prosecutors argued before the
Supreme Court on Oct. 13 that Ohio and
Pennsylvania were the exception and not the rule
and that the norm in other states was to
essentially reject a strict interpretation of
Mills in favor of various state guidelines
regarding jury instructions. It was not by
accident that Mumia’s Pennsylvania prosecutors
filed a friend of the court brief (amicus curiae)
in support of the Ohio Spisak appeal.
Undoubtedly, the U.S. Supreme Court found some
delight in rendering their Spisak decision. They
changed the law in order to allow Ohio to execute
a likely deranged Nazis and instructed
Pennsylvania prosecutors to use this law to try
to execute a revolutionary—that is, Mumia Abu-Jamal.
In every sense Mumia’s life is on the line as
never before. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is
pledged to sign what could be the third and final
warrant for Mumia’s execution. Opinions vary as
to the timeline for a final decision of the Third
Circuit. Indeed, the Third Circuit could in turn
remand the Mills issue back to Judge Yohn’s
Federal District Court, and any decision made
therein might well be appealed by either side
back to the Court of Appeals and then to the U.S.
Supreme Court. The process could take months or
years, but the deliberations will be based on new
turf that leads closer to the death penalty for Mumia than ever before.
Mumia's supporters around the world and Mumia
himself have long noted that the battle for his
life and freedom largely resides in our
collective capacity to build a massive movement
capable of making the political price of Mumia’s
incarceration and execution too high to pay.
Mumia is alive and fighting today because of that
movement. Those dedicated to his freedom and who
stand opposed to the death penalty more generally
are urged get involved. Free Mumia!
--Contact the Mobilization to Free Mumia
Abu-Jamal in California, (510) 268-9429, or the
International Concerned Family and Friends of
Mumia Abu-Jamal in Pennsylvania, (215) 476-8812.
--Jeff Mackler is the director of the Northern
California-based Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.
This article was originally published in
Socialist Action newspaper, February, 2010.
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
From: "Political Prisoner News"
Date: Mon, January 25, 2010
Sundiata Acoli is coming up for parole in February 2010. Sundiata has
been in prison 36 years.
36 years is more than enough. Its time to bring Sundiata home.
This is a statement written by Sundiata, read by hip hop artist Hasan Salaam.
Produced by The Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign.
To get involved:
Monday, January 25, 2010
****Cross Post Freely, Widely & Quickly****
URGENT & TIME SENSITIVE
JAIL SUPPORT NEEDED NOW
ACTIVIST ARRESTED TODAY
IN NEW YORK CITY
Late this afternoon, Sunday January 24, 2010, an activist attending a
peaceful, quiet demonstration at the ASPCA was arrested for no reason at
all. The demonstration was over, bags were packed and NYPD officers led
by a Sergeant descended on the group which was in process of returning
to the subway.
Camille Hankins, organizer of the protest was told that she was being
arrested for violating a restraining order. After violating her rights
to privacy and dissatisfied that they were unable to make an arrest,
they turned their attention on a nearby activist, who expressed in a
calm quiet tone of voice that he was disappointed in the manner in which
New York City police were handling demonstrations. The activist, Isaac
Peter, is a visitor to New York City and he was merely expressing his
opinion. He was subsequently arrested for standing quietly on a New
York City sidewalk.
When a jail support team followed the arrested activist to the precinct,
they were lied to by the desk officer who told them that he would be
released later that evening. The activists who were sitting quietly in
the station reception area, were ordered to leave the building under the
implicit threat of arrest. Now we hear that Isaac is being transported
to The Tombs, New York's legendary and disgusting holding facility to be
arraigned in court tomorrow morning.
Please contact the police precinct where he is being unjustly held.
* you are concerned about the safety and disposition of prisoner
* ask that he be provided with vegan food (he has not eaten all day)
* ask them what the charges are and why he was arrested at a
peaceful, legal demonstration?
* ask when he is going to be released?
* ask where he is being held right now?
Please help send a message that they cannot use the arrest of peaceful
law abisding demonstrators just because they want to break up a
demonstration. Call now, Call often.
Inspector James W Murtagh
East 67th Street,
New York, NY, 10065
Precinct: (212) 452-0600
Community Affairs: (212) 452-0613
Please keep in touch with us and let us know if you find out anything.
For more info contact Win Animal Rights at: email@example.com
Call: 646.267.9934 or visit the WAR website at: http://war-online.org
On January 19, 2010, Carlos Alberto Torres attended a video hearing presided over by
a U.S. Parole Commission hearing examiner whose task was to consider the
disciplinary charges stemming from last January, and to make a recommendation for
what should happen with respect to his request to be released on parole. Carlos
Alberto answered the questions posed, and his attorney Jan Susler asked that the
Parole Commission release him on parole as previously recommended, regardless of the
wrongful charges. She pointed out the vast, ongoing support for his release, and
argued that there is absolutely no risk in releasing him, as evidenced by the
impressive example of his compatriots who were released by presidential commutation
in 1999. The hearing examiner then made a favorable recommendation. The Parole
Commission will make the final decision, hopefully within the next 30 days.
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign is launching a 30 day online petition campaign! We
want 1000 people to sign our petition within the next 30 days showing their support
for Carlos Alberto Torres.
At the end of the thirty days the petition will be mailed to the Parole Commissioner.
Sign this petition and forward it out to everyone you know!
Libcom.org Jan 22 2010 13:14
The trial over the assassination of Alexandros Grigoropoulos opened today
in Amfissa, with the defense of the assassin cops trying to turn the trial
on its head.
After a two days delay the trial of the assassins of Alexandros
Grigoropoulos opened today in the remote town of Amfissa.
The procedure, which is still to be completed for the day, opened with the
lawyer of the defense, the notorious Mr Kougias, trying to turn the trial
on its head by presenting material supposedly indicating that before his
assassination the dead boy has been at a water-polo match in Chalandri
during which hooligan activities took place. The court has declared its
reluctance to accept the material, while the lawyer of the boys family
intervened to ask if this was a trial of alleged acts of hooliganism, or
of the assassination of Alexandros
Tension rose again when the defense claimed that Mr Korkoneas, the main
accused "did not kill anyone, it was a tragic coincidence. finding him
self in danger he shot up in the air. The ones who really attacked were
the boy and the witness. Those 16 year old boys are not normal kids like
mine and yours". At that moment, police had to intervene to contain the
enraged mother of the boy.
The courts are guarded by strong police forces at gunpoint, while clashes
that appeared two days ago at the original, postponed, opening of the
trial were not repeated.
On other news from greece, farmers continue their mobilisation which is
taking qualitatively new characteristics after farmers from the blockades
of north greece have declared they no longer consider their official
unions relevant and have formed an ad hoc autonomous council comprising of
two elected members from each blockade. This is an unprecedented move of
autonomy by a productive sector plagued by all-powerfull party-controlled
unions. The development has visibly angered the government, with the PM
urging the farmers from the Parliament to abandon the blockades and engage
in dialogue. The farmers insist they demand nothing less that what PASOK
promised them before its landslide electorate victory last October. The
herder's union has announced its mobilisation beginning next Monday for
the re-enforcement of the farmers' blockades.
The developments on the farmers front, has caused the intervention of the
ex-PM of the right and senior statesman Mr Mitsotakis who warned the
government that "the country is in its worst overall crisis since the end
of the civil war" warning that there could be a mass uprising in the near
On other fronts, Civil Aviation workers symbolically occupied the Civil
Aviation Headquarters on Thursday, while prostitutes main Athens union
formed a demo outside the parliament demanding more working positions and
better health care.
Finally, the latest guerrilla attack, against the Ministry of Press, has
been claimed through a long communique by a new group called
"Revolutionary Organisation 6th of December" (referring to Grigoropoulos
day of murder). The communique has caused publicly expressed deep concern
to the authorities due to its completely new style of analysis, different
and openly critical of both the leninism of the Revolutionary Struggle and
the nihilism of the Sect of Revolutionaries (though none of the groups are
named, the references are very explicit). The communique presents a
concise history of the social and class movement since the collapse of the
junta, and declares what it terms "social guerrilla" of ELA and 17N
outdates, due to lack of mass working class movement. It rather attacks
the concept of democracy and declares itself as "a third pole", an
"experiment" which calls for the mobilisation of participants of the
December Uprising beyond the given identities of traditional anarchist or
Jan 22 2010 21:53
Update: The trial continued with the testimony of the boy's mother who
described the last day of Alexandros and the conditions of his murder in
Messologiou street: How the two cops shot at the boy and left him dying in
the middle of the street, while they calmly walked back to their police
car (as shown by the home-video shot at the time). In response to the pig
Korkoneas' claim that he would never harm anyone, but would put his body
as a shield against bullets threatening any citizen, the mother replied
that "the life of my boy is worth for them as much as a cockroach. They
left him there like a squashed mouse". Responding to the defense lawyer's
claims that the boy was rioting, the mother replied that "They have killed
my boy twice, the first time by the assassin, and the second time by
trying to soil his honour. They killed his body and then they killed his
soul". The trial will continue next Friday with the testimony of the
doctor responsible for the necropsy. It must be noted that the bourgeois
media are systematically under-reporting the trial, obviously at the
orders of the Minister of Public Order, known for his draconian media
manipulation in his last term 7 years ago.
Libcom.org Jan 23 2010
A local antiracist demo in Ampelokipoi, Athens, came under attack by
fascist thugs, leading to the hospitalisation of one woman. More than 40
fascists have been detained. The attack marks a climax of fascist violence
which has also led to the torching of Chania's Synagogue.
On Saturday 23 January an anti-racist demo of the Cultural Centre of
Ambelokipoi in Athens was fiercely attacked by a fascist group of
so-called “autonomous nationalists”. The demo was organised as a response
to continuing disturbance of the functioning of the 50 year old Centre by
fascist thugs who tried to burn it down last week. Before the official
start-time of the demo, at 12, when only the organisers were in Panormou
square, 40 fascist thugs attacked them with sticks leading to the wounding
of three people, amongst which a 50 year old woman who has been
hospitalised. During the attack riot police forces stationed in the square
stood by watching, even moving aside to let the fascists strike.
Nevertheless, the demostrators managed to counterattack chasing the
fascists, despite police efforts to stop them.
Thr police finally intervened only after it became known that an MP was
also amongst the people attacked. The police intervention has led to 44
detentions of fascists, who are being interrogated at the police
The attack comes in a climax of similar moves that have been growing ever
since the government announced a law that will legalise hundreds of
thousands of second generation immigrants giving them the right to vote.
The extreme-right has launched a campaign of hate in order to halt the
Ambelokipoi, the area where the attack took place, has a long record of
fascist action, with leafleting at schools of the area coming under
frequent attacks, once even at gun-point. This does not however mean that
the neighbourhood is fascist as such. In fact, after the 50 year old woman
was taken to the near by Red Cross Hospital, doctors and nurses came down
to the street to join the demo in protest to the fascist violence. The
demo formed a protest march towards the Athens police HQ which is also in
The Coalition of Radical Left MP who participated in the demo has declared
that “For one more time fascists are acting in the open with the
toleration of the police against any kind of protest against racism and
xenophobia. This terrorism will not pass. Fascism will not take root in
this country”. The Left wing labour union umbrella “Autonomous
Intervention” denounced the “Uncontrollable activity of neofascist groups
which are provoking the democratic and anti-fascist sentiments of the
It must be noted that recently Spartakos, the 30 year old “Network of Free
Conscripts”, revealed that the Ministry of National Defense has been
organising paramilitary training camps in Chalkdiki, where ex-soldiers and
other militaristic elements have been trained in “counterterrorist”
operations. After the revelations, Spartacus has come under the spotlight
of the fascist parliamentary party LAOS, which has demanded from the
Ministry the containment of the group. Spartakos has denounced efforts of
detaining its members during leafleting, and has further revealed that a
secret General Stuff document describing in detail the Network’s totally
legal day-to-day activities has come to the Network’s possession.
Moreover, the escalation of fascist violence has inculded the torching of
the Chania Synagogue which destroyed thousands of rare manuscripts and
books. Regarding the torching (twice in one month), the police has
arrested 1 greek and 2 british citizens as part of the anti-Semitic group
that perpetrated the attack. The greek has confessed, while the british
are denying any involvement in the act; 2 US citizens are also wanted for
the same case. However, the police is refusing to follow the link to the
torching of the Immigrant Social Centre of the city which occurred within
the same time. Swastikas were found painted in the torched Immigrant
Centre, while a slate of soap believed to be the group’s signature was
found in the torched Synagogue.
The arrests come as a rare incident in a country where fascist action is
tolerated by the state to the degree that it is often believed that
fascist groups are in fact parastate terror organisations, similar to the
ones kept by the state until the end of the junta.
Update: According to the bourgeois media, 35 of the detainees have been
declared arrested and will be persecuted for "breach of the peace". It is
indicative of the state's stance towards the fascists that although one
person was hospitalised during their attack, the thugs are not accused for
human injuries etc. "Breach of the peace" is the most harmless accusation
possible under the circumstances. It is also indicative that, as revealed
by photos published on the web, the fascists are not being persecuted
under the anti-hood law, though they are visibly arrested while wearing
full-face masks. Unlike the usual police brutality towards anarchists and
the left, or in fact any common protester, the cops did not even use their
batons against their ideological colleagues.
On the farmers front, the international harbour of Igoumenistsa (the
largest on the west coast of the country) has been blockaded by farmers,
halting all import-export activity, as well as passenger transport to
Italy. The wildcat action has caused anger in the greek government.
Despite below zero temperatures and snow farmers in north greece remain at
their blockades blocking both the south-north and the east-west national
highway. Forestry Department workers have set their own blockade in
Asprovalta. The clash between the official unions and the autonomous
farmers has become explicit as the former agreed to meet with the Ministry
of Agriculture and lift 17 blockades across the country. On the other
hand, the autonomous farmers have refused to participate in the talks, and
have been called "terrorists" by the Bulgarian PM, who is angry about the
continuing closure of the Greek-Bulgarian borders by the blockades. All in
all 10 out of 20 blockades in the north of the country will not take part
in the proposed dialogue and intend to form a demo outside the
Presidential Mansion in Athens where the collaborationist unions will meet
the Ministry on Monday. Thessaly farmers have also announced their not
participation in the talks.
Regarding the torching (twice in one month), the police has arrested 1
greek and 2 british citizens as part of the anti-Semitic group that
perpetrated the attack. The greek has confessed, while the british are
denying any involvement in the act; 2 US citizens are also wanted for
the same case.
Is this the first incident of foreign fascists coming to Greece? Is there
much chance of Greece becoming a hub for the international far right?
Fascists have tried to hold international assemblies but these have been
cancelled (at least publicly) due to the general outcry against them. I
think that fascism is Greece is a deeply institutional state-sponsored
phenomenon as the visit of the previous mininster of public order to the
Golden Dawn Agios Panteleimonas group last summer has once again proved
(after their meeting, Villa Amalias one of the oldest anarchist squats in
Athens was attacked by the fascists). Nevertheless the maximum people a
fascist demo has managed to gather is 100 people, as much as any of the
small leftist groups in Athens can mobilise on its own. LAOS which is the
extreme-right party in parliament (BNP greek style) is more of an
expression of right-wing votes leaking from the Conservative Party due to
its (now ended) move towards neoliberalism. I hope I will get the time for
something more analytical on this issue at some point. Dont forget however
that fascist death squads were active throughout the 1940s, that Greece
before the war was ruled by a fascist (nazi salute included) dictatorship,
and that the 1960s 1970s junta was also explicitly fascist.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
ELP Information Bulletin (24th of January 2010)
ELP has been asked to circulate the following e-mail regarding the Swedish
eco-prisoner Jonatan who is serving 15 months imprisonment for damaging vehicles
used by the logging industry, damaging a Department of Defence communication tower
and cutting the cables on a crane at an urban sprawl construction site.
ELP encourages everyone to support Jonatan and we encourage people to help promote
his support campaign website.
> Hey the new info-blog for Jonatan in english is online. It's still
under construction but
ready to get liked so please do this on your blogs, pages and in your
Jonatan is in a closed prison far away from his comrades, friends and
supporters now. He really needs support. His mood is changing a lot
and sometimes its hard for him to stand the isolation and lonelyness.
We also would like you all to maybe think of sending him
something theese days. He won't get a lot visitations in this time.
If you send him books, make shure that there is nothing written by
hand in it. Also if you send him CDs they have to be original
otherwise he won't get them.
Jonatan is interested in (green)anarchism, anti-civ theory,indigenous
struggles...the wild. He likes music of all kind (from HC to HipHop,
Drum and Bass,Folk...). He'll be also really happy about posters and
flyer from the resistance on the outside...
Nothing forgiven-noone forgotten!
For anarchy,social war and total liberation!
with love and rage
ABC-Orkan (anarchist black cross group from northern germany)
Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network
BM Box 2407
Friday, January 22, 2010
From: "Political Prisoner News" firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Fri, January 22, 2010
"On the medical situation, folks should demand that I be sent to
Butner, NC, the Federal Medical Center for cancer treatment,
monitoring, etc". --Tom Manning
Jericho has also spoken with his attorney who has already called and
sent a request to get Tom moved and suggested we do the same. Here is
the information needed to both call and write the Cumberland warden
as well as other officials at the federal bureau of prisons.
1. Ask for Warden- However I received a reply by phone (1/22) and was
told every request for a transfer for Tom must be in writing either
by Fax or e-mail. So if you can please e-mail or fax this request.
1A follow the info below if you want to put vocal pressure on the Warden.
2. Have Tom's # ready "Thomas Manning 10373-016 recent transfer from
3. If you reach the warden or his/her sectary explain that Tom has
recently been transferred from Hazelton and had not received the
medical care needed for the growth in his groin area, lump under his
left nipple or the growth under his shoulder blade. His records have
been reviewed by an out side doctor who urgently recommended a biopsy
to check for cancer in these areas. Tom asked you to ask for an
immediate transfer to the Federal Prison Hospital facility at
Butner, NC to get the necessary medical procedures done.
4. If you get a recording please leave your name and phone # for them
to accept our seriousness regarding Tom's health.
5. If you fax either place a letter be sure to give your information
as well as Tom's full name & number.
6. Please send us any information you are given so that we can put
pressure on the correct dept.
IF YOU KNOW OR ARE A DOCTOR OR MINISTER/IMAM PLEASE FAX A LETTER TO
BOTH THE WARDEN AND REGIONAL OFFICE USING YOUR LETTERHEAD AND ASK FOR A
THANK YOU FOR YOU HELP
& ANNE AT mailto:NYCJERICHO@GMAIL.COM>NYCJERICHO@GMAIL.COM
Phone: 301-784-1000 ask for warden
Mid Atlantic Regional Office press #1 for inmate services & you will
probably have to leave a message.
Federal Bureau of Prisons
302 Sentinel Drive
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
www.Freedomarchives.org Questions and comments may be sent to
Thursday, January 21, 2010
For photos and working links, go to original at
Year and two days ago, human rights lawyer Stanislav Markelov and
anarchist journalist of Novaya Gazeta, Anastasia Baburova were shot in
cold blood in center of Moscow.
Sad anniversary two days ago, 19th of January, became biggest
manifestation of solidarity with Russian anti-fascists ever – actions
were organised in more than 30 cities in Russia and around the world.
Much has happened during a year, in beginning of November Russian police
arrested two suspects of the murder of Stanislav and Anastasiya – Nazi
activists Nikita Tikhonov and Yevgeniya Khasis. Little is yet known
about the evidence against the two, but amongst Russian anti-fascists
there is a wide belief that double murder was indeed work of Nazis,
although not necessarily by the two alone. Tikhonov was a successful
right-wing journalists and political spin doctor, before an arrest
warrant was issued against him in August 2006 for organizing murder of
anti-fascist Aleksander Ryukhin in April 2006. This arrest warrant was
much due to efforts of Stanislav Markelov, and Tikhonov was forced to go
underground against his personal will – thus he had both political and
personal issues with Markelov.
It is indeed a good question, how come Tikhonov could live freely with
his girlfriend Khasis, and keep murdering for more than three years,
stockpiling firearms and 17 000 dollars of cash from unclear sources,
while his girlfriend was a visible Nazi activist, monitoring courts of
murderous Nazi gangs for Nazi “human rights” organization Russian
Verdict (http://rusverdict.livejournal.com/). Tikhonov was a co-founder
of “Russkiy Obraz”-paper, which later developed to an organization which
has lately cooperated with pro-Kremlin “Young Russia” youth
organization, premises of which were attacked in November after murder
of Anti-fascist Ivan Khutorskoy (https://avtonom.org/en/node/5277).This
is a fertile ground for conspiracy theories, however main thrust of the
demonstration in Moscow, organized by “19th of January committee”, was
against Nazis, not against government authorities who obviously at least
underperformed during search of Tikhonov.
Thus attempts of authorities to suppress protests seem rather
irrational. However one must understand, that in Russia any autonomous
political activity is heavily discouraged and repressed, even when it is
not directly against government authority. And as 19th of January
proved, anti-fascism has become a significant and independent political
force in Russia.
Website of the committee, http://19jan.ru/ was under a constant DdoS
attack in prior to action, government tactics usually organized by using
proxies such as Pro-Kremlin Youth organizations. There was a constant
flow of false provocative statements, disinformation and mudslinging,
coming from “informational agencies” linked to internet activities of
“Anti-Extremist Center” of Russian police. And most importantly, Moscow
authorities banned protest march and allowed only two pickets, for a
maximum of 50 persons both.
Demonstration was endorsed by a number of Russian celebrities, of whom
perhaps most famous abroad is science fiction author Boris Strugatski.
Full list of endorsers is available here:
http://19jan.ru/aktsiyu-podderzhivayut. Politics and tactics of the
committee is an issue of ongoing discussion in Russian anti-fascist
movement – for example few days before the action, Belorussian
anarchists published a statement
(http://www.ainfos.ca/en/ainfos23519.html), which criticized apolitical
analysis of the committee, which did little to point out to roots of
fascism in capitalism and hierarchical worldview. It is obvious, that no
political force should “monopolize” memory of Markelov, who hold
anti-authoritarian leftist views but worked with a wide variety of
persecuted Russian opposition from Chechens to pro-western liberals and
Stalinists. In another hand, decision of January 19th committee to ban
political symbols in Moscow demonstration created an impression of a
certain unity instead of a pack of marginal sects. In other hand,
although Committee was totally anonymous and held all press conferences
wearing masks, faces of political celebrities (from liberal Yabloko
party, Stalinists and human right NGO's) who joined demonstration were
of course prominently shown in media, whereas anarchists and antifa do
not have individuals who are brands in themselves. It is little doubt
that anarchists and other radical antifascists in black bloc dress code
were the biggest single group in the Moscow demonstration, perhaps half
of the original crowd of more than 800. This does not sound like a big
number in a city of 10 million, but as a matter of fact it was amongst
the biggest oppositional demonstrations of the recent years, next only
to Nazi demonstrations of 4th of November and 1st of May and 7th of
November demonstrations of the Communist Party. One should also take in
account that confrontation (with both police and Nazis) was to be
expected, and that it was a working day with a cold weather down to -20
C (-4 F), all factors decreasing turnout. But whatever there are issues
with politics of the coalition, in terms of turnout and level of
confrontation 19th of January demonstration was a success in Moscow.
Around 7 PM 19th of January, people started to gather at Petrovskiy
boulevard, a section of “Boulevard ring” in center of Moscow. People
formed a long queue, as police searched everyone joining the action. As
loudspeakers were banned, little was heard of the speeches. Police had
allowed “passage” from this picket to the next at Griboyedov statue next
to Chistye Prudy metro station, however any slogans and banners were
banned. Demonstrators had no intentions to follow these orders, thin
police lines were promptly broken and a group of around 200
demonstrations went to move down the boulevard, scanning “Alerta
antifascista!”, “Get to the streets, reclaim the city!” and “ACAB!”. In
the front banner, there were names of dozens of Nazi victims of the
previous years. However due to bad coordination due to inexperience of
good part of the participators and lack of loudspeakers, remaining crowd
of 600+ was isolated from breakout group, and they were only let out
from the police cordon with small groups of 50 persons.
In Trubnaya square, breakout crowd ran to hundreds of OMON and regiments
of Army of Interior in riot gear. (In Russia there is a 200 000 strong
army not controlled by the ministry of defense but by the ministry of
interior affairs, they have their own aviation, tanks and artillery.
Back in the days it was under command of NKVD and responsible for
guarding GULAG system). This was an unequal match and banners were
unrolled, however cops were already pissed and they grabbed some people.
Eventually police managed to separate marchers to smaller groups, and
rest of the march towards second picket was rather uneventful – small
groups tricked towards Chistye Prudy and occasionally scanned slogans.
There security group of the demonstration ran to badly disguised Nazi
scout, who was promptly taken to hostage for the rest of the action.
Nazis threw some smoke bombs and firecrackers to the crowd, but in
general, unlike cops, they had little success in sabotaging action.
Original purpose was to screen speech Stanislav made in a demonstration
in November of 2008 in Chistye Prudy (available here:
http://www.youtube.com/v/oNojZ5hh03Y) , but police arrested projector,
screen and the sound system. Thus committee decided to read out their
statement, wearing masks – police did not liked this, and in middle of
the speech they interfered, attempting to grab megaphone and speaker. In
the following confrontation, speaker was dearrested but crowd got
furious, and an attempt was made to organise an illegal march by the
boulevard towards Kitay Gorod metro station. Hower this was cut short by
OMON after 200 meters, what followed was a melee of truncheons and gas
in another side and snowballs and ice in another. More people were
grabbed, putting a number of overall arrests to more than 50 – however
crowd refused to disperse until everyone was to be released, and most of
the people were released soon and everyone during the same night, most
were filed misdemeanor charges but no felonies.
More early during the day, while crowd was gathering at Petrovskiy
Boulevard, a group of autonomous anti-fascists attacked house of Russian
Union of Writers with stones and smoke bombs. In a leaflet which was
left at the spot, it was explained that house of Union was targeted as
it had several times provided premises for benefit events of Nazi
organization “Russian verdict”, which supports Tikhonov and Khasis and
such Nazi serial killers as Arthur Ryno and Pavel Skachevskiy, who
recently confessed random murders of 20 migrants in Moscow. This
anonymous group uploaded a statement to indymedia
(http://ru.indymedia.org/newswire/display/23252/index.php), where it
explained that “goal of the action was to cause material damage to house
and thus it was non-violent”, in good traditions of Russian
There is a huge amount of photos and video footage of the Moscow events
online, perhaps most comprehensive video is this by grani.tv:
More videos are available here: http://tupikin.livejournal.com/463103.html
Some nice photos:
Short summary of actions in other cities
Anti-fascists gathered at a memorial action in eternal fire.
A banner drop in one of the main streets
Around 50 people joined memorial action at Kirovke 17th of January.
Food Not Bombs organized a memorial action.
Illegal march was organized
A photo exhibition and presentation was organized.
A banner drop at the central park.
Anti-fascists gathered at the memorial of victims of political repressions.
A memorial action at drama theater.
Nizhni Novgorod, Russia
Around hundred people gathered at a memorial picket to Freedomsquare
Anarchists and anti-fascists made a memorial wall in metro:
60 people gathered at memorial event and were harassed by cops
30 people marched and gathered at memorial event at eternal fire.
30 people gathered at a memorial event in victory park.
A memorial event at eternal fire
19th of January there was an illegal street exhibition organized at the
outer wall of museum of political history
(http://avtonom.org/en/node/6907). 20th of January anarchists and other
anti-fascists organized an illegal demonstration at the Marat street
Police banned demonstration announced by Autonomous Action. Eventually
anarchists and anti-fascists handled leaflets and gathered at the
Twenty activists of Oborona, Antifa, Food not Bombs and Movement Against
Violence marched. http://ru.indymedia.org/newswire/display/23230/index.php
A banner drop at the Mogilevskaya street
Leaflets were spread and banners dropped at Athens polytechnic.
A movie screening and info event on situation in Russia
Around 80 people marched, there was a minor fight with local Nazis
50 people gathered to a meeting at fountain of innocents. Later in the
evening there was also an
“Direct action”-group picketed Russian embassy
Russian embassy was picketed
A picket at Russian embassy
40 people joined illegal march
50 anti-fascists gathered at the Russian embassy
A memorial event at the consul of Russian Federation
A 50 meter memorial graffiti was made by local anti-fascists
Local anarchists organized a memorial action
An overview of the situation in the wake of the attacks on Abahlali baseMjondolo (reposted from Indy Media UK).
On September 26th , a gang of forty armed men attacked the Kennedy Road shack-dweller community, an informal settlement in Durban, South Africa's second largest city. They were changing fascist ethnic slogans [pro Zulu and anti Pondo] and threatening to kill the leaders of the shack-dwellers' organization, Abahlali baseMjondolo ( AbM – literally “Shack Dwellers' Movement”).
They rampaged through the settlement destroying homes and driving people from the settlement from 11 that night till 3 that morning while the police stood by refusing all calls to help. By 3 the next morning some resistance was organised and there was a clash that left many wounded and two dead. The police then descended on the settlement, broke the resistance and allowed the mob to continue its rampage during which almost 40 homes were destroyed and looted. Facing death threats [from a mob that has clear police and judicial backing], leading members of the movement are now living underground.
The gang was organized by local and regional African National Congress (ANC) leaders, with support of the local police. When called, police arrested not the ANC attackers but 13 members of Kennedy Road Development Committee, AbM's local affiliate. Although six detainees have since been granted bail, five languish in jail. During court hearings, local ANC activists mobilized, demanding the judge deny bail and threatening AbM supporters inside the court. International support for the remaining prisoners is urgently needed for the next round of bail hearings set for mid-January 2010.
The roots of the present attacks date are complex but go back to the early years after the collapse of apartheid, in the broken promises and dashed hopes which have grown since 1994, the disillusionment with what is known in South African circles as “the gravy train” – personal enrichment and corruption - and the ANC's “ Big Sell Out.”
Under apartheid, the ANC was always ambiguous about its ultimate goals. In large part, this was a result of the unspoken division of labor in the ANC and South African Communist Party (SACP) alliance that was the backbone of the anti-apartheid struggle. The South African revolution was supposed to unfold in two stages. The ANC would lead the “democratic” revolution against apartheid and the SACP would then step in and guide the revolution to the socialism that would follow.
But in 1996, the ANC dropped any hints of adopting the developmentalist Keynesianism policy many assumed it would implement. In its place, the ANC embraced the IMF-brokered Growth Employment And Redistribution (GEAR), although South Africa was not facing any default and in fact had low external debt. Despite its title, GEAR had little to do with income distribution and better conditions for the poor and unemployed. Instead, GEAR led to massive job loss and poverty because in reality it was a structural adjustment program intended to make South Africa more attractive for foreign investment.
These job losses weakened trade union power, making the unions more dependent on alliances with the governing party. The sort of extra-union shop-floor movements of the 1980s, like those in the auto factories of Port Elizabeth where workers burned effigies of “sell out” union officials and carried mock cardboard rifles on the assembly line to point at supervisors, are all but gone. While strikes still take place, some quite militant, and at higher levels than in many other countries, these strikes are increasingly more defensive than offensive, reflecting the changed balance in forces.
Because of these trends, living standards for the poor and working class have plummeted since GEAR. As an article in Pambazuka News sums up the current situation, “Levels of human development are now lower than in 1994, and South Africa has overtaken Brazil as the country with the widest gap between rich and poor.” But while many ordinary people barely survived, many ANC leaders by contrast became millionaires in the process. It wasn't uncommon in the “new” South Africa for a former comrade, now older and jobless with no realistic prospects of ever landing one, to see other former comrades drive by in Mercedes. What Michael Neocosmos calls “the sequence of elite construction,” with a native South African black bourgeoisie, and represented most clearly under the Mbeki regime, in fact has been openly underway for some time. The recent election of Jacob Zuma and the split within the ANC, which led to Mbeki's decamping with a significant minority to form a rival party, doesn't so much signal a fundamental shift in direction as it does an in-house falling out over how best to carve out future spoils and what strategy to follow if discontent or expectations rise too quickly.
Since the mid-2000s though, small but significant struggles have cropped up, struggles involving those living in substandard housing and working, if at all, precariously in the informal economy and fighting against privatization, evictions, water-collection and electricity turn-offs. These community-oriented struggles are based in the “illegal” settlements which are mushroom in and around major cities and sections of the countryside because of South Africa's ongoing housing crisis. Loosely linked together in the Poor People's Alliance, movements like AbM, the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, the Landless People's Movement, and Abahali baseplasini (Rural Network), have taken direct action against government policy and official neglect. The movements have used tactics like :
Going behind government workers removing water meters (needed for both running water and billing) because of non-payment and replacing meters with pipes that not only supply water but are harder to remove.
Successfully defying evictions by surrounding shacks with other residents, thus keeping the authorities from evicting families. Creating diversions during evictions like setting cars on fire in nearby streets to divert police. If evictions take place, moving families back in as soon as possible.
Keeping officials from confiscating residents' possessions to pay off debts owed to children's schools.
Refusing participation in party politics and using mass assemblies to decide actions and policies. For example, groups organized boycotts in recent elections under the slogan, “No Land, No House, No Vote.”
During anti-foreigner attacks on African immigrants in the townships last year, groups like the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign quickly set up street committees composed half of immigrants and half of native born, successfully defusing potential violence.
These movements refuse to wait for government action or ask permission – there are already lofty phrases guaranteeing decent housing and stable employment embedded in the Constitution and never enforced – but instead take whatever steps are needed for what they call “the right to live.” As someone active in the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign put it, “these are things our ancestors struggled and died for to win. Rightfully, they belong to us.”
In response to these small but increasing numbers of “no-go” areas effectively out of government control, the ANC has repeatedly denounced a “culture of non-payment,” “criminal elements” and “ultra-leftists” and at times brutally intervened . For example in 2007, police fired rubber and live bullets on demonstrators during a housing protest in Protea South in Gauteng. A reporter for a Durban newspaper investigating police attacks on Pinetown shack-dwellers the same year was kidnapped and severely beaten. In other instances, the ANC has used “the carrot” : coop-ting “leaders” with grants and patronage positions in the local party hierarchy and drawing independent organizations into the NGO orbit as junior consulting parties representing “civil society” to the state.
But the ferociousness of recent attacks on shack dweller movements may signal a shift in current government policy. As one observer writing after the Pemary Ridge incidents points out, “It is an expression of a particular form of state politics akin to the politics of colonialism and apartheid, where a certain section of the community is considered the enemy.” Repression then may be intentional, a sign of a stealthy slide in recent years, despite the splits, factionalism and rival appetites within the bureaucracy, toward increasing authoritarianism in ANC rule or even a partial “ZANU-ization” of the ANC, a reference to Mugabe's party in next door Zimbabwe first hypothetically raised and then quickly dismissed by the SACP's Jeremy Cronin during the Mbeki years. It's too soon to tell for sure whether the attacks result from specific local and regional factors or whether they stem from new national directives for a “zero tolerance” policy.
The ANC without a doubt still enjoys widespread and genuine mass support for now because of its visibility, courage and sacrifice during the apartheid era. But already there are mounting signs that this support won't last forever, something more far-sighted ANC leaders must realize. As the older generation dies off and memories fade, the glow of “the struggle” will inevitably wear off and the party will not be able to draw on personal memories of life under apartheid. Its political capital and ability to balance between competing interests will weaken. Internal and external pressures will build up, especially if South Africa gets mired in long-term Japanese-style economic stagnation as result of the world recession.
But worries about the recession's social effects, which are just now starting to roll over South Africa, can't be ruled out either as another more pressing factor behind recent government actions. The government justifiably fears rising social tensions might threaten to escape the usual containment brokered by the official parties. In that case, state violence can be seen in a different light, as a sort of pre-emptive strike and a hidden warning to the population as a whole not to step outside the bounds. These local “poor people's” organizations, relatively small and powerless now (at least when compared to the many millions of desperately poor South Africans living in atrocious conditions) in the right circumstances could suddenly snowball anti-government feeling into something far more powerful - and threatening both to the ANC and South African business interests.
AbM website : www.abahlali.org
Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign : www.antieviction.org.za
Part of Jenny Morgan's film on AbM can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr7h6aTQp5A
Pambazuka News : [www.pambazuka.org]
“After the Thrill is Gone : A Decade of Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Special issue of The South Atlantic Quarterly. Volume 103, Number 4. Fall 2004.