Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Animal activists picket U researchers, go to jail

By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 04/28/2008

Police in Salt Lake City arrested four people and
cited 12 others who were protesting animal research.

The protest and the arrests occurred in the 2700 East block of Eagle
Way Sunday at an address published by animal rights activists as the
home of two University of Utah brain researchers.

Police were called to the address about 1 a.m. Sunday and said they
found 10 people, most of whom were wearing bandanas on their face. The
group said they were holding a silent candlelight vigil and the bandanas
were for the "faceless victims" of animal research, according to a
police log.

No arrests or citations were made at the time, but police returned
about 8 p.m. and found 16 protesters. This time, police cited 12 people
for picketing in a residential area. The other four were arrested and
taken to jail on suspicion of the picketing, providing false information
to police and outstanding warrants.

No injuries or damage was reported.

Urgent Action: Bashir Hameed

Dear Comrades and Friends
Anne and I went to see Bashir on Sunday and he wants to thank you
all the letters and calls that have been placed on his behalf to get
medical care. As you know after the last set of calls he was promised
to have the necessary test done to find out about his stomach problems
and a complete blood test. Well needless to say These test have not
taken place, so we are asking for your help once again. Please call the
Commissioner of corrections- Mr. Brian Fischer at 518-457-8134. The
second person that should be able to help Bashir is Dr. Lester Wright-
Commissioner of Health _a joke for sure- at 518-457-8126. Wright
doesn't have a direct line and the receptionist will have to transfer
you so please hang on.

Here is Bashir's information so that you will have whay you need to try
and get our message across WE DON'T WANT BASHIR TO GET SICKER AT GREAT

They could also transfer him back to Sullivan or Eastern Correctional
where the medical treatment is much better. Thank you for helping us
up the work Venceremos Paulette NYC Jericho 718-853-0893

Bashir Hameed/York #82-A-6313
Great Meadow CF, Box 51, Comstock, New York 12821

Free All Political Prisoners! •

April 15th, 2008 Prison Dispatch from Jeff “Free” Luers

Last Friday I was officially transported back to prison. So, I guess this is the beginning of the end. And what a beginning it has been.

This is how it started….

I meet with my intake counselor last Monday. This is the person who decides what my custody level is, and what types of programs (i.e. anger management) if any I need to take. In short, the counselor sets the stage.

This meeting was unique in that for the first time I got to see my file—the one that has always caused me so much trouble. The one that got me pulled off the bus by a captain when I arrived at intake. It is a thick file with a bright red sticker on it that says “Danger Escape Risk.

That’s how it started. My counselor asked why that sticker was there. I figured it was a rhetorical question. I mean, he had the file and I surely didn’t know. But that was just it. He didn’t know either. He couldn’t find anything.

Then he asked about my sensitive inmate listing, which is a label for inmates who are believed to be dangerous. I replied that maybe it had something to do with my support. I received a quizzical stare. I didn’t elaborate.
What’s the point?

Much to my surprise, my counselor said, “Well, I can’t see why they have all of these restrictions on you. There’s nothing to support it.” So he removed all of them, listed me as minimum one—the lowest custody level possible, and that was that.

Of course, the next day he came back. The conversation started like this, “Mr. Luers, I didn’t know who you were yesterday. But I’ve Googled you. Do you know how many people you have out there?” And so began more meetings with security lieutenants and captains. I was told I would stay minimum but would be going back to Oregon State Prison, Oregon’s only maximum-security prison.

So, it took me by surprise when they brought me to a minimum-security prison in Portland. It’s the same kind of shock I experienced when I was arrested. I’ve just been taken from my family again.

That may sound strange. But I’ve spent the last 7 years at OSP. The friends and brothers I’ve left behind were family to me. In fact, I’ve spent more time with them than most other people in my life. Many of them are doing life, most I’ll never see again.

I’m dealing with the separation from my friends while trying to adjust to a place where people aren’t carrying shanks and people don’t get killed. Things that are definite improvements from OSP, yet also make for a more disrespectful attitude among inmates. The fear of crossing the wrong line at OSP makes everyone very cautious and respectful. Lots of please, thank you, and excuse me. Here there’s not the same level of politeness. I’m having trouble adjusting. In a way I miss OSP.

One can also possess less property here. Something that means getting rid of lots of stuff once my property finally arrives from OSP.

There are dorms here and not cells. The yard is very small, though I can get out more. One thing surprising or at least new is the trees around the yard. Cedars and pines, fragrances I haven’t smelled in years. And frogs. I heard frogs the other night. I even did my own laundry, a first in 8 years. It took me a while to remember how ironing is my next task. Though I’m gonna put it off as long as possible—it’s something I’ve never done and I’ve seen all the comedies with the iron burnt shirt.

Still, I’m not happy or content here. I don’t think I will be. I accepted OSP as home. This place is not home. I feel in transition, but a transition I do not control. Right now I’ve got around 20 months left if things hold. But maybe I’ll go to camp—maybe not. They don’t tell you and there are 7000 people eligible. So who knows? I really want to take some college correspondence courses. But I’m worried I’ll sign up and spend lots of money only to end up in boot camp where I can’t do them. Or I’ll not sign up and wait on boot camp only to not get in.

I’m left not knowing what to do. It’s not a position I like. My future is up in the air and I don’t feel in control of it yet. But, one thing is certain: I have a future I can look forward to that is only 20 months away, or sooner if I get into boot camp.

So like everyone else I guess I’ll watch and wait and see what happens. I should be used to that by now, but naturally I am not.

- Jeff “Free” Luers

www. freejeffluers. org

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Witch-Hunting the Environmental Movement

April 28, 2008
The Politics of Green Scare


In May 2005, FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Counterterrorism John Lewis told a Senate panel that ecoterrorism is "one of today's most serious domestic terrorism threats." Then the FBI's James Jarboe estimated that two organizations (the Earth Liberation Front - ELF and Animal Liberation Front - ALF) committed over 600 criminal acts since 1996, causing over $43 million in damage. For his part, Lewis said both groups committed more than 1100 such acts since 1976, "conservatively" resulting in around $110 million in damages.

What's going on, and is there anything to these charges? Coming from FBI sources makes them highly suspect, especially when there are two types of documented cases:

-- people guilty of non-violent offenses called "terrorism" and given excessively harsh sentences; and most disturbing

-- innocent people targeted, accused, convicted and sentenced to hard time for environmental activism or supporting animal rights; and that's on top of hundreds of other political persecutions and many thousands of innocent people (or petty criminals) in US prisons.

This behavior isn't new in America, but things heated up after 9/11 with the administration wasting no time getting going. That evening, George Bush addressed the nation and declared a "war against terrorism," asked for world support, and began the government's "emergency (preventive war strategy) response plans." It was planned and ready before 9/11 as a "war of terrorism" to defile the law, wage aggressive wars, usurp unprecedented powers, destroy our civil liberties, and convince the public to sacrifice freedom for the security they never got. In addition, the October 2001 USA Patriot Act (written well before 9/11) created the federal crime of "domestic terrorism" that broadened the definition and applied it to US citizens as well as aliens.

When John Lewis addressed another Senate panel in May 2004, he stated that "the FBI divides the terrorist threat facing (the country) into two broad categories, international and domestic....and during the past decade we have witnessed dramatic changes in the nature of the domestic terrorist threat." For a while "right-wing extremism" (loosely defined as the militia movement) overtook left-wing terrorism (but in) the past several years....special interest extremism (from groups like) the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), and related extremists, has emerged as a serious domestic terrorist threat." That view is amplified on the FBI's web site that states the Bureau "is part of a vast national and international campaign dedicated to defeating terrorism" with ecoterrorism a key part of it.

The FBI defined it in 2002 to mean: "the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally-oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature.

Activists refer to a tactic called "monkeywrenching" from the 1985 Dave Foreman/Bill Haywood-edited book "Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching.
" It describes it as:

-- "nonviolent resistance to the destruction of natural diversity and wilderness (and) never directed against human beings or other forms of life;

-- strategic....thoughtful (and) deliberate in order to succeed;

-- individual or very small (group actions) of people who have known each other for years (and have) trust and a good working relationship;

-- targeted (because) mindless, erratic vandalism is counterproductive as well as unethical;

-- timely (and) not....when there is a nonviolent civil disobedience action;

-- dispersed (to) hasten overall industrial retreat from wild areas;

-- fun (even though it's) serious and potentially dangerous;

-- not overthrow any social, political, or economic system;

-- simple (with) elaborate commando operations generally avoided; and

-- deliberate and ethical (by being) the most moral of all actions: protecting life, defending Earth.

The Earth First Journal defines the practice as: "Ecotage (environmentally-motivated sabotage), ecodefense, billboard bandit(ry by sawing offensive ones down), road reclamation (to remediate environmental damage), tree spiking (with nails to discourage destructive logging), even fire." These are unlawful sabotage acts "of industrial extraction and development equipment, as a means of striking at the Earth's destroyers where they commit their crimes and hitting them where they feel it most - in their profit margins." It goes "beyond civil disobedience. It is nonviolent, aimed only at inanimate objects. It is one of the last steps in defense of the an Earth defender when almost all other measures have failed.

In May 2004, Republican George Nethercutt targeted them by introducing the Ecoterrorism Prevention Act of 2004, but it didn't pass. If it had, it would have made a federal crime: "certain violent, threatening, obstructive, and destructive conduct that is intended to injure, intimidate, or interfere with plant and animal enterprises, and for other purposes.

Republicans tried again in July with the Terrorism Against Animal-Use Entities Prohibition Improvement Act that would have amended the 1992 Animal Enterprise Protection Act and made it harsher. It also failed to pass, but defeat was only temporary.

On November 27, 2006, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) amended the 1992 act and became law with very harsh provisions. It's language is broad and vague, but it criminalizes First Amendment activities that advocate for animal rights like peaceful protests, leafleting, undercover investigations, whistleblowing and boycotts.

The new law updates the earlier act with penalties far exceeding comparable offenses under other laws. It also goes much further. It allows expanded surveillance of animal rights organizations, including criminal wiretapping, and makes it easier for a court to find probable cause for the vague crime of economic damage or disruption than for one requiring hard evidence a person or group plans to commit these acts.

The bill exempts "lawful public, governmental or business reaction to the disclosure of information about an animal enterprise," but that only applies to economic disruption claims, not damage, and makes it hard to distinguish between the two.
It also:

-- expands the kinds of facilities covered by adding ones that use or sell animals and animal products;

-- covers any person, entity or organization connected to an animal enterprise;

-- applies to any form of advocacy;

-- criminalizes threatening conduct and protected speech as well as communication with anyone engaging in these practices;

-- protects corporate animal abusers with a vested interest in silencing dissent; and

-- targets any form of civil disobedience or protest activity and designates animal advocates as terrorists even when they cause no physical harm; in addition, the bill's language is so broad and vague (by design), it's hard to know the difference between legal and illegal behavior; it's an act of green scare state terrorism that, in fact, can be used against anyone.

Green Scare - A Definition

Activists equate it to earlier Red Scare periods after WW I and II when the government used various schemes to incite fear, sanction witch hunt prosecutions, and win widespread public approval for them. The term may first have been used in 2002 and refers to legal and extralegal government actions against animal liberation and environmental activists. The Spirit of Freedom prisoner support network defines it as "tactics the government and (their enforcement agencies use) to attack the ELF/ALF (Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front) and specifically those who publicly support them.

The term also refers to the 2005 arrests, indictments and convictions from the FBI's Operation Backfire against alleged ELF/ALF activists. It charged them with damaging property, conspiracy, arson and using destructive devices.

The Operation was the FBI's code name for its ten year domestic "war on terrorism" that's, in fact, a war on dissent. It resulted in 17 Pacific Northwest arson indictments with evidence that was very suspect. It came from a heroin-addicted self-professed serial arsonist whose former girl friend mentioned him in a grand jury proceeding. On December 7, 2005, it culminated when federal and local law enforcement agents began the largest ever roundup of alleged environmental and animal liberation activists. Seven arrests were made in four states, others got grand jury subpoenas, and people seized were charged with various acts of destroying property as part of ELF and ALF efforts.

Those arrested faced potential unprecendented sentences for non-violent acts from which no one was harmed. In some cases, they could be mandatory 30 year periods and in others life if found guilty on all counts. That compares to a median sentence of five years for arson.

With that as a threat, all but four defendants testified against the others in return for leniency. The remaining four struck plea bargains to admit responsibility but incriminate no one else. At sentencing in June 2007, the presiding judge was harsh. He included Terrorism Enhancements (TE) that are used when the justice department decides a crime aimed to influence or coerce government policy. It means sentences may be longer, and the Bureau of Prisons gets greater latitude in assigning prisoners that may be to "supermax" facilities for the most violent offenders.

In this case, sentences ranged from three years, one month to 13 years with most defendants getting added TEs. In addition, on October 26, 2007, FBI informant and serial arsonist Jacob Ferguson pleaded guilty to one count of arson and an additional count of attempted arson. According to his plea bargain, he won't be charged for his other offenses. Further, he's required to make no restitution, his formal sentencing keeps being postponed, it may come up ahead, but prosecutors recommend he spend no time in prison, receive no fines, and be able to keep the $50,000 or more he was paid for cooperating.

That's the state of things today where anything goes in the "war on terrorism" and publicizing arrests and convictions takes precedence over justice. Unless stopped, things will only get worse.

ELF and ALF - A Brief Description

On its web site, ELF describes itself as "an underground movement with no leadership, membership or official spokesperson" and uses its site "to inform and chronicle issues related to ELF.
" It further states:

-- "Any individuals who committed arson or any other illegal acts under the ELF name....choose to do so....and do so only driven by their personal conscience;

-- These choices are not endorsed, encouraged, or approved of by this web site's management, webmasters, affiliates, or other participants;

-- The intention of this web site is journalistic in intent only to inform and chronicle issues related to ELF;

-- The owners, management, webmasters, affiliates, or other participants of this website are not spokespersons, members, or affiliates of The Earth Liberation Front in any way; nor do the opinions of anyone acting in the name of The Earth Liberation Front or ELF, represent the opinions of" those affiliated with this site.

Others refer to the ELF as a collective of autonomous individuals or cells that use "economic sabotage and guerrilla war to stop the exploitation and destruction of the natural environment." The organization was founded in Brighton, England in 1992, spread across Europe by 1994, and is now an international movement in over a dozen countries. The FBI designated ELF its top domestic terror threat in March 2001 and called the group "ecoterrorists.

The ALF is an international animal liberation organization with roots in the 19th century and with no formal membership or leadership. Its web site defines "animal rights" as "the philosophy of allowing nonhuman animals to have the basic rights that all sentient beings desire; freedom to live a natural life, free from human exploitation, unnecessary pain and suffering, and premature death." It believes animals aren't property any more than humans are and asks if animal rights will become the "next great social justice movement." It cites President of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) David Weisbrot saying treating animals is increasingly becoming a social and legal issue as well as an important economic one.

Its members engage in direct action on behalf of animals, including removing them from laboratories and fur farms (they call liberation, not theft) and sabotaging animal testing and industry animal-based facilities. Its statements affirm it supports any acts that further animal liberation where reasonable precautions are taken not to endanger life. Its covert cells operate in dozens of countries clandestinely and independently of each other. In January 2005, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designated ALF a domestic terrorist threat.

Examples of Witch Hunt Convictions

Many can be cited, but Jeff Luers' case is typical. In June 2001, he was sentenced to 22 years, eight months for burning three SUVs to raise awareness of global warming and how these gas-guzzlers contribute to it. No one was hurt, $40,000 in damages resulted, and the vehicles were refurbished and subsequently sold. Jeff is a political prisoner, and his sentence exceeds that for murder, kidnapping and rape under Oregon law where he resides. He appealed in January 2002, the hearing was held in November 2005, and on February 14, 2007 the Appeals Court remanded his case to the Circuit Court for resentencing. The case was heard on February 28, 2008 after which his sentence was reduced to 10 years.

Josh Harper is another political prisoner who committed no crime. He's an activist believer in animal liberation, preserving the wilderness, and participated in human freedom projects for over 10 years. In 1997, he co-created Breaking Free Video magazine and went on speaking tours in 1999. He also sabotaged a whale hunt, defied grand juries, and contributed to confrontational protest campaigns. It made him a target and got him indicted for violating the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA).

Evidence at his trial was mostly from two of his speeches in 2001 and 2002. He spoke about already committed political sabotage acts as well as European anti-vivisection campaigns he supported. He also ended one speech by demonstrating how to participate in a form of electronic civil disobedience called "black faxing" that involves sending multiple black paper sheets through an opponent's fax machine. It got him arrested, charged and convicted.

He was one of six animal rights activists in the so-called SHAC 7 (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) case. Charges against one of the original 7 were dropped. SHAC is an international animal rights campaign against Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) - one of the world's largest contract research organizations, UK based, and operating on three continents. It's also Europe's largest contract animal-testing laboratory and uses around 75,000 animals each year in its operations.

UK-based activists established SHAC in 1999 and successfully closed down two animal-testing operations in their country. It's now a worldwide campaign, the first of its kind, and it operates in the UK, US, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy as well as many other countries. It calls its campaign "innovative" and states it doesn't "encourage or incite illegal activity.

On March 2, 2006, Harper and his co-defendants were charged and convicted of conspiracy to violate AETA (and several other charges) and got sentences of from four to six years. The case was an appalling miscarriage of justice for violating the defendants' First Amendment rights that AETA repealed for these activists. The defendants weren't charged with violent or threatening acts. Instead, the case was based on the notion that animal rights organizers are responsible for actions others take that the prosecution equated to a global conspiracy.

Briana Waters is another example of gross injustice. She's an innocent woman charged and convicted. On March 30, 2006, she was arrested and accused of being a lookout in connection with an alleged 2001 arson at the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture. Waters is a California resident, violin teacher and mother of a young child. She was indicted, then reindicted with other defendants on May 10 on charges that included using a destructive device that carries a mandatory 30 year sentence.

On December 26, 2007, her lawyers filed a motion accusing the Justice Department of concealing vital exculpatory information as well as producing a fraudulent FBI report. The agency is infamous for creating "evidence" out of whole cloth and getting manipulated informants to state it. Nonetheless, a hostile federal judge denied defense's motion and went further as well. He ruled against allowing a defense expert to rebut government "evidence" that a delayed incendiary device was a bomb.

One of Waters' attorneys expressed outrage over a common federal practice of "The government hand-picking (the) judge (and) manipulating court procedures. This is a classic case of a corrupt prosecution, and a judge who apparently chooses to look the other way." It's no surprise at a time two-thirds of all federal judges are from or affiliated with the extremist Federalist Society. It advocates rolling back civil liberties; ending New Deal social policies; opposing reproductive choice, government regulations, labor rights and environmental protections; and subverting justice in defense of privilege.

Waters was up against this when her trial began on February 11, 2008. She was further disadvantaged by the government's case being based on two informants who struck a plea bargain by pleading guilty to conspiracy, arson and destructive devices in return for leniency. On March 6, Waters was convicted on two arson counts, but the jury deadlocked on the more serious charges of a destructive device and conspiracy. Despite prosecution claims, no devices were found nor was there evidence of conspiracy. That raises serious questions of the government's falsifying evidence and lying to the jury about it. Again, no surprise under witch hunt justice with innocent people like Briana being harmed.

Her case also featured circumstantial evidence, including a folder containing radical pamphlets with a note on the cover from Waters to one of the informants. She testified that she didn't write them or subscribe to their views. The prosecution claimed otherwise. Her defense also argued that Waters knew nothing about the materials, they were substituted for ones she put in the folder, and her fingerprints weren't on the ones in it for proof.

Civil rights attorney Ben Rosenfeld said the "government's case was primarily based on character assassination and guilt by association (and that) evidence of other people's writings should never have been allowed to be used against her." He also denounced former Attorney General Gonzales for proclaiming Waters guilty in the media after she was indicted. He harmed her chances at the outset and showed convictions count more than justice, especially when charges of terrorism are raised. Waters strongly defends her innocence and will likely appeal the verdict. Sentencing is on May 30.

A Look Ahead

Post-9/11, future prospects look grim with fear prevailing over reason, a bipartisan effort exploiting it, and convictions more important than justice. If friends of the earth and animal rights champions are targeted, so can anyone. Governments today won't protect us and neither do courts that defer to their lawlessness. As a result, expect lots more innocent people hurt because those in power want unlimited amounts of it and won't let anyone stop them from getting it. It means hard times ahead when the law won't protect us, dissent is a crime, and the greater good is sacrificed to benefit the privileged.

What to do? Get active, organize, speak out, resist, and use the law for whatever justice is still under it. Things are very dire, change isn't coming next year, and, more than ever, apathy isn't an option. In America's "war on terrorism," we're all potential targets.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

Perspectives TV Show on Sean Bell Verdict

In the wake of the verdict resulting from the trial of the officers in the Sean Bell case, BronxNet is dedicating the next live episode of Perspectives to discussing and analyzing the outcome of the case.

The special episode of Perspectives will be cablecast on Tuesday, April 29, at 8:30 p.m. We are inviting advocates, activists, and legal aids, to join us as guests for a panel discussion. You can also join our inside studio television audience.

The program will highlight a peaceful quest for justice, help shed light on issues at hand, give viewers a chance to hear the opinions of experts and to call in and express their own opinions.

Guests are asked to arrive by 8:00 PM. Please see below for more details.


Hosted by TV Journalist and former news anchor, Daren Jaime, "Perspectives," is an award winning, live interactive television program geared toward discussing contemporary topics affecting the African-American and other ethnic communities. The primary aim of the program is to stimulate dialogue, raise awareness, and act as a bridge between the public and community organizations. Viewers can call in to (718) 960-7150 during the live taping to voice their opinions and concerns.

BronxNet is an independent, not-for-profit organization established under the requirements of the cable television franchise agreement between the City of New York and Cablevision of New York City. Programs are cablecast over Channels 67, 68, 69 and 70,in the borough of The Bronx.


BRONXNET Television

250 Bedford Park Blvd. West

Lehman College, Carman Hall Rm. C4

Bronx, NY 10468 - 1589

Phone: 718-960-1180 or 718-960-7150

BRONXNET is located on the campus of Lehman College in the Northwest Bronx, South of Van Cortlandt Park and West of the New York Botanical Garden. BRONXNET is located in Carman Hall, a building on the Southern end of the 37-acre campus. Carman Hall can be easily accessed from Goulden Avenue, through Gate 2 of the Campus. BRONXNET is in the Sub-basement of Carman Hall in Room C4.

By Train: IRT No. 4 or the IND "D" line to Bedford Park Boulevard. The campus is a three-minute walk to the west. For more information about subway service to the Lehman campus, call the New York City Transit Authority at (718) 330-1234. Metro North's Harlem line has a local stop at the Botanical Gardens station. The campus is about 12 blocks due west on Bedford Park Boulevard. Call Metro North for information about fares and schedules (212) 532-4900.

By Bus: Nine Bronx buses including the 2, 10, 22, and 28 have stops at Lehman College. Liberty Lines BXM4A or 4B express buses from Manhattan stop near the campus, at Bedford Park Boulevard and the Grand Concourse. Good connections are available on Westchester 20 or 20X buses from White Plains, Hartsdale, Scarsdale, and Yonkers via Central Park Avenue. The No. 4 from Yonkers also stops near the campus. For more information about taking a bus to the Lehman campus, call (718) 330-1234 (Bronx buses) or (718) 652-8400 (Liberty Lines) or (914) 682-2020 (Westchester buses).

By Car: Major highways from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, and New Jersey have exits near Lehman College. The Van Cortlandt Park South exit off the Major Deegan Expressway (I-87) is just a few minutes from campus. Another popular approach is via the Mosholu Parkway exit off the Bronx River Parkway or the Saw Mill (Henry Hudson).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Shawn Brant Arrested on Trumped-Up Charges Once Again

  Update: Tense Standoff Continues in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
Shawn Brant Arrested on Trumped-Up Charges Once Again


**please note that circumstances on the ground continue to change
so full updates are not possible at this time **

After a tense exchange this morning, in which the OPP informed Mohawk
spokesperson Jason Maracle to get people out of the area or they would
come in, the OPP instead disbanded a Mohawk roadblock erected on the
perimetre of the reclaimed quarry site. This psychological warfare on
the part of the police resulted in a tense face-off between the OPP
and community members. At present, the OPP has removed one of the
roadblocks on the Slash Road and pulled back, but remains present in
the direct vicinity of the quarry in great numbers. At the centre of
the dispute is the Culbertson Tract, land which rightfully belongs to
the Mohawks of Tyendinaga. Community members have been occupying a
gravel quarry site for over a year.

In addition, a blockade of Highway 6, taken in support of the
Tyendinaga Mohawks, continues by people of the Six Nations of the
Grand River Territory. Six Nations community members have said they
will remove the Highway 6 bypass blockade once they receive
confirmation the OPP have withdrawn from the Mohawks of Tyendinaga.
The road is now barricaded with a downed hydro tower, wires and a
telephone pole.

Important to note is that, despite the reporting in mainstream press,
Mohawk spokesperson Shawn Brant's arrest on Friday, April 25th stems
from an incident which took place on Monday April 21st. Specifically,
Shawn Brant has been charged for his role in allegedly preventing
further attacks on a woman from Tyendinaga and a young child by racist
rednecks from the town of Deseronto.

These new charges were laid less than two weeks after Shawn Brant was
acquitted of charges alleging that he threated Canadian Forces
soldiers during a demonstration to prevent development of the
Culberston Tract in 2006.

Once again, for his role as a spokesperson in the community, Shawn
Brant is facing trumped-up charges. Arrested during an interview he
was conducting with APTN, Shawn's final words during his arrest on
Friday were "This is it, justice for first nations communities: lock
us up. Anybody who speaks out, lock-em up. KI6, Bob Lovelace: lock-em
up...Don't fix the problems, lock-em up." (to watch, click on

Supporters rushed to the quarry after watching or hearing of Shawn's
arrest. An altercation with the OPP is alleged to have ensued. Four
Mohawks were then arrested and jailed. The OPP were reported to have
drawn their guns on the Mohawk community members remaining the quarry.

According to Mohawk spokesperson Jay Maracle, "The OPP led us into
this incident by jumping five of our men, arresting them and taking
them to jail and then sticking guns in our faces, in women and
children's faces," he said.

There has been open communication between the Mohawks and the OPP but
Maracle said things will not improve unless OPP retracts a statement
indicating there are armed Mohawks at the quarry. He said there are no
guns at the site.

Matt Kunkel, Clint Brant, Dan Doreen, and Steve Chartrand remain in
custody and will appear in bail court in Napanee today. The group
includes Dan Dorene, spokesperson for the Mohawk blockade on Highway 2
one week ago, erected to prevent development on the Culberston Tract,
land which rightfully belongs to the Mohawks.

A couple from the community who were also arrested by the OPP on
Friday were later were released unconditionally.

Shawn Brant will also likely appear in court today.

This brings the total number of First Nations people in Ontario jails
for defending their land to 12.


Please continue to call the premier's office and urge the Provincial
Government to:

Honour Mohawk land, call off the OPP: Do not risk people's lives for
a gravel pit the government has already acknowledged
is on Mohawk land!

Release all First Nations political prisoners!

Premier Dalton McGuinty: 416-325-1941 (phone)
416-325-3745 (fax)

Sunday Press Release from TMT:


Ontario Jails Five More First Nations People Involved in Land Struggles

(Sunday, April 27, 2008 -Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory) Five men from
Tyendinaga are in jail today bringing the total number of First Nations
people in Ontario jails for defending their land to 12.

Ontario, it appears, has opted for the incarceration of First Nations
people over the resolution of outstanding land issues as their status quo.

As for the Ontario Provincial Police, it appears the adoption of Justice
Linden's Ipperwash Inquiry recommendations is experiencing some delay.
While in custody at the Napanee Detachment several different officers
repeatedly informed Shawn Brant that they were going to "slit his throat"
and that he was a "dead man."

This followed a similarly disturbing incident that occurred on Monday,
April 22nd during the road closures in Deseronto when an officer on the
scene clearly and audibly commented to her colleagues "we should just
shoot them (Mohawks) all."

Meanwhile, road closures continue in Tyendinaga and Six Nations until, as
one man said, "We finish the job."

Contact: Jay Maracle: 613-243-4993

Support Marie Mason - Thursday May 1 Potluck and Movie

 From Minneapolis, Minn.:

Thursday May 1
I Am Legend
Potluck Dinner @ 6:30 pm (that means bring something!)
Film @ 7pm
At Future Pasture email collective (at) for location

Join the Twin Cities Eco-Prisoner Support Committee for some food and a
totally sweet movie.
We will be on hand to accept donations to support Marie Mason, indicted
for ELF actions in the Upper Midwest. We will also have a letter writing
station to support other imprisoned activists.

Marilyn Buck - State of Exile Book Release - May 14, SF - May 20, Berkeley - June 8, NY

Marilyn's address is:

Marilyn Buck 00482-285
5701 8th St., Camp Parks, Unit A
Dublin, CA 94568

if you want to drop her a note of congratulations.


Marilyn Buck, political prisoner at FCI Dublin,
has translated and written an introduction to a
book of poetry by Uruguayan poet Cristina Peri
Rossi. Come celebrate this achievement and hear
excerpts from this beautiful book at one of the
book release parties happening in May. See below for full information.

Book Release Celebration!


By Cristina Peri Rossi Translated and with an introduction by Marilyn Buck

“State of Exile is a haunting work that sat for
decades, awaiting, like cicadas, its proper
season. That time is now.” --Mumia Abu-Jamal

In the first years of her exile from Uruguay,
lesbian poet, author, journalist and social
activist Cristina Peri Rossi penned an
extraordinary collection of poems – spare,
beautiful poems fueled by the experiences of
forced migration, poems so personal, she didn’t
publish them for almost 30 years.

Now, in a collaboration across prison walls,
continents and states of exile, U.S. political
prisoner and poet Marilyn Buck has translated
Peri Rossi’s poems into English. The poems are
accompanied by two brilliant essays on exile, one
by Peri Rossi, written for Spanish publication in
2003, and the other by Marilyn Buck for this bi-lingual City Lights edition.

Book Release Celebration!
City Lights Bookstore Wednesday, May 14 7pm
261 Columbus, San Francisco

David Meltzer
Graciela Trevisan

La Pena Cultural Center Tuesday, May 20 7pm
3105 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley

Maisha Quint, MC

Cherrie Moraga
Mitsuye Yamada
Graciela Trevisan

$10 donation

Please save the date: SUNDAY, JUNE 8th, 6:00 pm - 8:00, we will be having
a book release/solidarity event at Bluestockings (/172 Allen Street
between Stanton and Rivington; Political prisoner
Marilyn Buck has translated and written an amazing introduction to the
poems of Uruguyan poet Cristina Peri Rossi, "State of Exile," about
political exile. (For more on the book:

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977 Questions and comments may be sent to

Puerto Rican POW's Transferred

Carlos Alberto Torres has been transferred. New
address is listed below.

Carlos Alberto Torres
FCI Pekin
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 5000
Pekin, IL 61555

After 27 years in maximum and super-maximum security
prisons, on February 13, 2008, Puerto Rican political
prisoner Oscar López Rivera was moved to a medium
security prison. This is a result of his excellent
record in prison, but it is also due to the tremendous
vigilance and defense of his rights by the
organizations involved in the campaign for his and
Carlos Alberto Torres release. While he is still being
singled out for special, more onerous treatment,
including being required to report to prison staff
every two hours, this is the first time in almost
three decades that he is in a medium security prison.
Buoyed by the warm send-off from his fellow prisoners
at the USP (maximum), and by the warm welcome from
those at the FCI (medium), he will adjust to his new

Oscar López Rivera
FCI Terre Haute
P.O. Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808

Eric McDavid's Sentencing May 8

Date: Mon, April 28, 2008

Dear friends,

We just wanted to make sure you all have the most up to date information
about Eric's sentencing. The sentencing hearing is currently set for
Thursday, May 8 at 9 am. We'll keep you updated about any changes that
may occur...


Sunday, April 27, 2008

MOVE 9 Women Denied Parole!

Read MOVE's response here.

The Philadelphia Inquirer ( READ FULL ARTICLE ) announced today that the three remaining MOVE 9 women (Debbie Sims Africa, Janet Hollaway Africa and Janine Phillips Africa) were denied parole by the PA Parole Board. The Inquirer quotes parole board spokesperson Leo Dunn as saying that parole had been denied on the grounds that the three MOVE prisoners had “minimized or denied the ‘nature and circumstances’ of the offense, ‘refused to accept responsibility’ and lacked remorse. He said the fourth reason for the rejections was the ‘negative recommendation’ by the prosecutor.”

The parole board used several of the stipulations that MOVE spokesperson Ramona Africa had predicted that they would try and use to deny parole, including that they "refused to accept responsibility" and lacked remorse.... The unfairness and arguable illegality of this is so obvious, because how can you expect someone to "admit guilt" when they've always said they are innocent? Where does remorse come from if someone is actually innocent?

The “nature and circumstances” stipulation is a blatant re-sentence, since the serious nature of the charges were considered by the judge at the time when he ruled that MOVE should be eligible for parole after 30 years. How can this fairly be used to deny parole?

A further outrage is that the women never even faced weapons charges, unlike the male MOVE 9 prisoners. Because of this, it had been thought by many observers that the women would have a better chance of receiving parole.

Therefore, if this is any indication, it does not look good for the MOVE 9 men, for whom the parole decision is still pending. If supporters want to make a difference and hold the parole board accountable for these blatantly unconstitutional parole stipulations, we must increase public pressure.

This blatantly unfair decision can only serve to validate the argument that the MOVE 9 are indeed “political prisoners”.

May Day Anti-War message from Jaan Laaman

From:    "Jaan Laaman Legal Freedom Fund" <>
Date: Fri, April 25, 2008 5:42 pm

Hey all,
Please check out political prisoner, Jaan Laaman's Anti-war message in
the spirit of International Workers's Day, May 1st. Go to ''
to listen or download, the podcast. You can also subscribe through
iTunes, and receive Jaan's semi-monthly audio commentaries

These days, it seems that just about everybody is against the U.S.
occupation of Iraq. The question is, what are we going to do to end it?
Jaan has a couple suggestions, and brings up some inspiring examples.

This May Day, please keep all political prisoners in your thoughts, as
well as all prisoners in the U.S. Some of the most exploitative labor
conditions today exist in America's prisons. Remember, the 13th
amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery in all forms, except in

Freedom is a constant struggle!


Jaan Laaman Legal Freedom Fund
Jaan Laaman Legal Freedom Fund
P.O. Box 681
East Boston, MA 02128 -

Free all Political Prisoners!

The Jaan Laaman Legal Freedom Fund sends out periodic email updates and
action alerts related to political prisoner, Jaan Laaman, as well as other
prisoners. We intend for this to be a low-traffic list. If you would like
to be removed from the list, please reply with "REMOVE ME" in the subject
line. Thanks.

Upcoming Benifits for Marie Mason

Date: Fri, April 25, 2008 11:41 am

Below is a list of upcoming events for Marie Mason. If you're in the area,
please come out and show your support.

If you are planning on holding an event for Marie please let us know so
that we can help spread the word.

Love and Rage,
Got Your Back
Friends of Marie Mason
P.O. Box 19065
Cincinnati, OH 45219

April 25 - Friday - Cincinnati, OH - Show starts at 9:00 p.m. Doors open
at 4 p.m.

the Blue Rock Tavern, (Located in Cincinnati's Northside neighborhood)
4114 Hamilton Avenue

Punk, Hardcore and Bluegrass Show
featuring Background Music, Mona
Medusa, Defective Males and Andreas Chronis

April 29th -Tuesday – Washington D.C. - Seating starts at 7 p.m.

A special benefit dinner with the Traveling Vegan Chef: Joshua Ploeg. A
7-course gourmet vegan meal to benefit recent Green Scare arrestee and
environmental activist Marie Mason.

At The Potter’s House
1658 Columbia Road NW
Washington, DC 20009

***Minimum $20 per person donation requested higher donations are
appreciated and encouraged.***

Advanced reservations requested. Seating Limited to 40 people. R.S.V.P. to with Benefit Dinner R.S.V.P. in the subject
line. Please include your name, and how many people you are making
reservations for.

MAY 6 - Tuesday - Nashville, TN

Benefit Show
1019 Joseph Ave. in East Nashville.

For more info-

Daniel McGowan's Birthday - May 2

From:    "Family + Friends of Daniel McG" <>
Date: Fri, April 25, 2008 11:01 am


Just a quick note to let everyone know that Daniel's 34th birthday is on
Friday, May 2nd, a week from today.

Please send cards and letters with birthday wishes to:

Daniel McGowan
FCI Sandstone, Unit I
PO Box 1000
Sandstone, MN 55072

Thanks for your support!

Daniel McGowan is an environmental and social justice activist. He was
charged in federal court on many counts of arson, property destruction and
conspiracy, all relating to two incidents in Oregon in 2001. Until
recently, Daniel was offered two choices by the government: cooperate by
informing on other people, or go to trial and face life in prison. His
only real option was to plead not guilty until he could reach a resolution
of the case that permitted him to honor his principles. As a result of
months of litigation and negotiation, Daniel was able to admit to his role
in these two incidents, while not implicating or identifying any other
people who might have been involved. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison
on June 4, 2007 and began serving his time on July 2, 2007.

Be a better friend, newshound, and know-it-all with Yahoo! Mobile. Try it
Support Daniel McGowan:
Daniel on MySpace:

Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan
PO Box 106, NY, NY 10156

Donations:checks or money orders can be made out to "Lisa McGowan" and
sent to the above PO Box or online at

Sean Bell Verdict Protest


Album Description:

Rally and community speak-out in front of Queen's District Attorney's Office

Friday, April 25, 2008

America's Gulag Just Keeps Growing

By Ethan Nadelmann, AlterNet
Posted on April 25, 2008

We're No. 1! We're No. 1! The New York Times' Adam Liptak wrote a disturbing front-page story on Wednesday about how the United States dwarfs the rest of the world when it comes to locking up its citizens. The United States has less than 5 percent of the world's population, but a quarter of the world's prisoners. There are now 2.3 million people behind bars in the United States. According to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics' most recent report, the number of people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails jumped by more than 60,000 in the year ending June 30, 2006. That jump represents the largest increase since 2000.

The United States continues to rank first among all nations in both total prison/jail population and per capita incarceration rates. The United States has held first place for decades, followed by China (with more than four times our population) at 1.6 million and Russia at 885,670, according to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College in London.

America's prison population explosion is fed in good part by the failed drug war policies of the past 30-plus years. Back in 1980, around 50,000 people were incarcerated for drug law violations. The total is now roughly 500,000. And this number does not even include hundreds of thousands of parolees and probationers who are incarcerated for technical violations, such as a drug relapse, nor does it include nondrug offenses committed under the influence of drugs, or to support a drug habit, or crimes of violence committed by drug sellers.

The Liptak piece describes criminologists and legal scholars in other industrialized countries as being mystified and appalled by the number of Americans incarcerated and length of the prison sentences. "The U.S. pursues the war on drugs with an ignorant fanaticism," said Vivian Stern, a research fellow at the Centre for Prison Studies at King's College in London. In the past Europeans came to America to study the prison system, but now they look at U.S. policies to see what not to do.

Two powerful forces are at play today. On the one hand, public opinion strongly supports alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent and especially low-level drug law violators -- and state legislatures around the country are beginning to follow suit. The paramount example to date is Prop. 36, the Californian "treatment instead of incarceration" ballot initiative in 2000 that won with 61 percent of the vote notwithstanding the opposition of political and law enforcement officials. On the other hand, the prison-industrial complex has become a powerful force in American society, able to make the most of the political inertia that sustains knee-jerk, lock-'em-up policies. There are some prosecutors quoted in the Times story who try to spin the draconian sentences as the byproduct of democracy: that elected officials are just responding to their constituents' desire to lock up the bad guys and throw away the keys. There's no doubt some truth in this, but far more insidious is how many politicians exploit fears about drugs to make themselves look "tough on crime.

Voters should be outraged that their tax money continues to be wasted on failed drug war policies. It's time for a change.

Despite hundreds of billions of dollars spent and millions of Americans incarcerated, illegal drugs remain cheap, potent and widely available in every community; and the harms associated with them -- addiction, overdose, and the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis -- continue to mount. Meanwhile, the war on drugs has created new problems of its own, including rampant racial disparities in the criminal justice system, broken families, increased poverty, unchecked federal power and eroded civil liberties. Our elected officials need new metrics to determine whether progress is being made.

It's time for a new bottom line for U.S. drug policy -- one that focuses on reducing the cumulative death, disease, crime and suffering associated with both drug misuse and drug prohibition. A good start would be enacting short- and long-term national goals for reducing the problems associated with both drugs and the war on drugs. Such goals should include reducing social problems like drug addiction, overdose deaths, the spread of HIV/AIDS from injection drug use, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and the enormous number of nonviolent offenders behind bars. Federal drug agencies should be judged -- and funded -- according to their ability to meet these goals.

Ethan Nadelmann is the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance.

View this story online at: http://www. alternet. org/story/83434/