by Sacramento Prisoner Support Indybay.org
Friday Jan 14th, 2011
Yesterday marked the 5th year of Eric's arrest and imprisonment...
Yesterday marked the 5th year of Eric's arrest and imprisonment. Every
year, at this time, we are forced to reflect on all that has happened. It
is never an easy process, but this year feels different. This year we know
that Eric will be in prison for the duration of his sentence. All of his
appeals have been exhausted. 5 years is a long time – but we aren't even
Perhaps one other thing is striking about this 5 year milestone. Both of
Eric's former co-defendants plead guilty to a lesser included offense. In
doing so, the maximum amount of time they could possibly have gotten in
prison was 5 years. Had the jury in Eric's trial been allowed to find Eric
guilty of the same charge that Zach and Lauren plead guilty to (and more
than one juror indicated that they would have...), Eric would now be free.
But the judge in Eric's trial, Judge Morrison England, refused to allow
this as an option for the jury.
Since Eric's arrest, the FBI has continued its war against activists and
any other groups that they perceive as a threat. Indeed, it seems as if
hardly a week goes by without some new story of FBI shenanigans.
Entrapment – rather than being perceived as a legal no-no – seems to be
their favorite tactic. This is not surprising. We knew all along (with
that horrible, sick, sinking feeling in our guts) that Eric's case would
be used as a test. This was the FBI at their most outrageous (well,
almost...). The FBI spent a year and half creating a crime, entrapping
three people in it, charging them with thought crime, and then sent the
only one who stood up for himself to prison for nearly 20 years. They
certainly are busy bees...
And their scheme worked. Now it seems they are using Eric's case as a
model of how things should be done. If you need proof, don't take our word
for it, check out:
http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2008/june/ecoterror_063008 (just keep in
mind, we have no idea what kind of “cookies” or other such creepy crawlies
might be triggered by visiting this site...)
We have watched in horror these last few years as more and more of these
kinds of cases have appeared across the country. The state has been
emboldened by their “success.” But their success is nothing more than the
attempted destruction of countless lives and futures.
It is hard not to think of this as a time of mourning. So much has been
stolen from us – from all of us - these past 5 years. But we have also
learned a lot. We have learned (and continue to learn) more about how the
state works. About how we can better protect ourselves and the people,
places and creatures we love. We have learned how to make miles seem
irrelevant. We have learned how to walk through walls and bend the bars.
Perhaps most importantly, we have learned just how much strength and
courage we can find in each other.
So maybe instead of a day of mourning, today can be a day of defiance. Of
remembering all that we have lost – and figuring out how to get it back.
Or how to keep it from happening again...
Today can be a celebration of thought crime.
Won't you celebrate with us?
Please remember that other folks are sitting in prison for very similar
reasons as Eric! They deserve your support.
Marie Mason and Sadie (Joyanna Zacher) both have birthdays this month.
Please consider sending them a note of support.
Marie Mason: http://supportmariemason.org/ or http://freemarie.org/
Sadie can be written at:
Joyanna Zacher #36360-086
Federal Correctional Institution
5701 8th St - Camp Parks- Unit E
Dublin, CA 94568
Jonathan Paul also has a birthday this month - but he was recently
released to a halfway house and will soon begin the difficult transition
back to a life outside of prison. Please keep him in your thoughts as
well, and keep your eyes peeled for ways to offer him your support in the
Finally, we recently set up a wishlist on Microcosm for Eric. If you would
like to send him something, please visit:
If you order something from this list, please contact us and let us know
what you have ordered so we can be sure it is removed from the list. If
you would like other suggestions about books to send Eric, please contact
For information on other ways to support Eric, please visit his website: