Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Jerome White-Bey Update

From: "Twitch Entropy"
Date: Wed, March 31, 2010

(please forward)

Greetings Genea and others

I don't know what to think now, but I feel the Nursing Director there,
who had an extensive discussion with him the other day, said she thinks
he understands the distinguishing differences now (I hope) between a
Diabetes condition and the apparent ("Hep-C") she supposedly said he
knew he had then, and has had it on his medical record with them since
at least 2001, when he had a general physical, and according to her
speculation that the department performs 6-month "Panel Liver Function"
checks once Hep-C is discovered (stressing) much like free-world
follow-ups are done. (h-m-m any of that debatable or challenge-able?)

These notes are not exactly complete and verbatim, but here's some of what
Shanta Pribble (gotta' love that name) says about the treatment:

Since 2001, he's had a number of these "panels" done; and should have
known the Hep-C was the likely culprit to his malady.
She suggests that it's normal policy, which isn't a given doctors are
really consistent with that in prison care, you know?
So, as to the Diabetes, his blood sugar readings aren't that radical over
normal readings categorized as "normal" in free-world terms, of Hemoglobin
checks of 4-6 as normal even to 7.0 as normal, and his was last checked at
7.7 above that normal range, which means he's been watching his intake of
problem foods diet-wise it seems to be.

He had a Liver Biopsy on (3/25/10) and after a review of that test,
expected around 4/21/10 or thereabouts, from the Regional Medical
Directors in Jefferson City, will probably be transferred to another (med.
unit) after that for Hep-C treatment using (Interferon); she believes he
was confused as to this "infection" of the Hep-C (viral infection) the
past couple years or however long it's been, and the Kidney infection he
thought it was due to related to his Diabetes we also thought was the
case. (your guess is as good as mine - or HIS as to the truth to all

That still doesn't absolve them of the fact that, now that Interferon
treatment is necessary would suggest to me things got out of control in
the controlling of the Hep-C disease state in and of itself.
She minimized my assertion that Hep-C is rampant in the prison systems,
and that it's no more pronounced than out here; and that at some point, I
can't remember when that might've been - he contracted it outside. But, I
countered that with he's been in there a long stretch as far as I know,
but I don't know his complete chronology of time he's done "flat time" or
been successively revoked of his parole.

The reality is they've also got to be held accountable too for the
deterioration that's occurred, and not just heap that responsibility on
the possibility he just didn't have better medical knowledge to understand
the difference.

Pribble maintains it was a liver dysfunctional problem all the while in
actuality and the Hep-C, which after Interferon & Endocrine System
Treatment, that I presume he's in favor of undergoing now, and a closer
scrutiny of his health and dietary consciousness; will hopefully help him
improve - though that still doesn't address the medication that made him
depressed. His blood pressure hasn't been at any alarming levels even with
the Diabetes she says.

She said someone named Arthur from the UK, who contacted them about
Jerome, but Jerome not knowing him, told them not to furnish him with any
information, I said he had a lot of people there in the UK working with
him, and mentioned you (Genea) as his lead support person there; so if you
know Arthur - explain it and tell him to write and familiarize himself
with him if you would.

If you want to try to contact her as well, I said I'd relate this to
y'all; her contact phone is:

Shanta Pribble,
Director of Nursing,
(573) 358-5516 (Ext#: 1308)
They'll hook you up after a minute.

P.S.: I'll make a note of marking a calendar to call her again to find out
how the review went, and of course I will write Jerome again too to get
any current events on what to expect next on the move; and maybe we can
find out who the doctors are that are hiding behind her a front-person -
not that I am denigrating a Nurse Director's medical expertise.

ABC Para-Legal Services

Save the Date! Birthday Tribute to Safiya Bukhari, Lioness for Liberation Saturday, April 3, 2010

Save the Date!

Birthday Tribute to Safiya Bukhari,
Lioness for Liberation
Saturday, April 3, 2010

7 pm until 10 pm
The Brecht Forum
451 West Street (between Bank & Bethune Streets), Manhattan
Safiya's daughter Wonda Jones
Jamal Joseph and Dance Troupe Impact
and Many Others!
"She was a warrior-woman who did everything she could to free her people and to free
political prisoners." —Assata Shakur
For more info: • 718-325-4407

CCR Challenges Experimental Prison Units that Restrict Communication and Forbid Physical Contact with Family Without Due Process

Segregated Federal Units Target Muslims, Activists


March 30, 2010, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed a lawsuit challenging violations of fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to due process, at two experimental federal prison units called “Communications Management Units” (CMUs). The units are being used overwhelmingly to hold Muslim prisoners and prisoners with unpopular political beliefs.
CCR filed Aref v. Holder in the D.C. District Court on behalf of five current and former prisoners of the units in Terre Haute, IN and Marion, IL; two other plaintiffs are the spouses of prisoners. The CMUs were secretly opened under the Bush administration in 2006 and 2007 respectively and were designed to monitor and control the communications of certain prisoners and to isolate them from other prisoners and the outside world.
Transfers to the CMU are not explained; nor are prisoners told how release into less restrictive confinement may be earned as there is no review process. Lawyers say that because these transfers are not based on facts or discipline for infractions, a pattern of religious and political discrimination and retaliation for prisoners’ lawful advocacy has emerged. The five plaintiffs in Aref were designated to the two CMUs despite having relatively or totally clean disciplinary histories, and none of the plaintiffs have received any communications-related disciplinary infractions in the last decade. Several of the plaintiffs expect to serve the entire remaining duration of their sentences at the CMU.
“These units are an experiment in social isolation,” said CCR Attorney Alexis Agathocleous. “People are being put in these extraordinarily restrictive units without being told why and without any meaningful review. Dispensing with due process creates a situation ripe for abuse; in this case, it has allowed for a pattern of religious profiling, retaliation and arbitrary punishment. This is precisely what the rule of law and the Constitution forbid.”
In addition to heavily restricted telephone and visitation access, CMU prisoners are categorically denied any physical contact with family members and are forbidden from hugging, touching or embracing their children or spouses during visits. Attorneys say this blanket ban on contact visitation, which is unique in the federal prison system, not only causes suffering to the families of the incarcerated men, but is a violation of fundamental constitutional rights.
Said the 14-year-old daughter of one of the prisoners in the lawsuit, “The thing that hurts the most is that I can hear him but I can never touch him. I haven’t hugged, kissed or held my dad since December of 2007.”
Between 65 and 72 percent of CMU prisoners are Muslim men, a fact that attorneys say demonstrates that the CMUs were created to allow for the segregation and restrictive treatment of Muslims based on the discriminatory belief that such prisoners are more likely than others to pose a threat to prison security.
Others prisoners appear to be transferred to the CMU because of other protected First Amendment activity, such as speaking out on social justice issues or filing grievances in prison or court regarding conditions and abuse.
For more information on Aref v. Holder, visit CCR’s legal case page.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Urgent Letter Appeal For Medical Treatment Of Jerome White-Bey

Tuesday, March 30 2010 Infoshop News

Jerome White-Bey is the founder and president of the Missouri Prisoner
Labour Union, an organization of Missouri prisoners and their outside
supporters who are organizing around labour and other prison conditions.
Since the founding of the MPLU, Jerome has been subject to administrative
harassment and retaliation. He was in the "hole" (administrative
segregation) for two years following the formation of the MPLU and has
constantly been moved in and out of segregation since.

Jerome is now appealing for help with a letter campaign. He has diabetes
which has caused a kidney infection that has lasted for several months
now. Despite several requests made by him to the doctors there the prison
officials are denying him any medical treatment for the kidney infection.
He has had no treatment, no tests, no medication and he is very worried
about his health and the effect the long lasting infection will have on
him. In his own words:

"There is a plot against my well being. It is clear to me now, so the only
sure way to protect myself from ill willed people is to build a wall of
security around me, because when people on the outside show an
overwhelming concern about our well being, then that stills the hand of
the evil doers. So anyone that would like to write, call the prison or
visit me is welcome to do so."

Please write letters of complaint to:

The Governor
2727 Highway K
Bonne Terre, MO 63628
+001 573 358-5516

Write letters of support to:

Jerome White-Bey
2727 Highway K
Bonne Terre, MO 63628

Lenny Foster to UN and Obama: Release Peltier

March 29, 2010

March 26, 2010
San Francisco, California

Lenny Foster (Dine')
Navajo Nation Corrections Project
Board of Directors
International Indian Treaty Council

My name is Lenny Foster (Dine') and I am the Program Supervisor for
the Navajo Nation Corrections Project in Window Rock, Arizona and I
have been a volunteer traditional Spiritual Advisor for American
Indian adults and juveniles in the respective state and federal
prisons for the past thirty years. The Navajo Nation Corrections
Project is a counseling and advocacy program for Navajo and other
Native American inmates incarcerated in state and federal prisons. I
also work with families of incarcerated American Indian prisoners and
our major activities include spiritual services such as the Sweat
Lodge Ceremonies, Pipe Ceremonies, Talking Circles, Spiritual
Gatherings, ecclesiastical visits to Death Row and probation and
parole advocacy.

I have been a Board Member for the International Indian Treaty
Council since spring 1992. The International Indian Treaty Council is
an organization of Indigenous Peoples from North, Central and South
Americas, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands working for the
Sovereignty and Self Determination of Indigenous Peoples and
recognition and protection of Indigenous Rights, Treaties,
Traditional Culture and Sacred Lands.

My submission of this paper will serve to illustrate my support and
respect for Leonard Peltier #89637-132, Ojibwa-Lakota from Turtle
Mountain, North Dakota who is presently detained at the United States
Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He has been incarcerated for
the last thirty four years. His case illustrates the discrimination
and racist attitudes and human rights violations within the United
States criminal justice system. His recent denial of his petition to
be released on parole shows the biased and skewed decisions based on
lack of compliance for the due process of his release on parole by
the U.S. Parole Commission. He satisfactorily met the criteria for
release on parole after thirty years of incarceration and assured by
the Parole Act of 2005.

I have known Leonard Peltier since November of 1970 when we first met
in Denver, Colorado when he was 26 years old and I was 22 years old.
We were young and idealistic about making changes throughout Indian
Country. I participated in the American Indian Movement with him and
we both participated in the ancient ceremonial practices of the
Lakota Sun Dance; Sweat Lodge Ceremonies and Pipe Ceremonies. He was
a role model and mentor to the younger Indians and he was older
brother to many of the younger men and women in the movement.

Leonard along with others was implicated in a shootout with the
Federal Bureau of Investigation on June 26, 1975 in Oglala, South
Dakota. These turn of events began an illegal and unjust
incarceration against Leonard Peltier by the U.S. Government. He fled
to Canada and was arrested in Canada on February 6, 1976 and he was
extradited from Canada in December based on an affidavit signed by a
Myrtle Poor Bear, Native American woman who was known to have serious
mental health problems and a woman Leonard did not know.

Ms. Poor Bear claimed to have been Leonard Peltier's girlfriend was
not true or factual and yet she claimed to have been present at the
time of the shooting and was witnessed to the shootings. She later
confessed she had given false statements after being pressured,
threaten and terrorized by the FBI agents.

Ms. Poor Bear wanted to testify about her treatment by the FBI agents
and provide a full detailed report of threats by the FBI agents;
however, the Federal Judge barred her testimony on the grounds of
mental incompetence. She provided false testimony to convict Mr.
Peltier and that fact is now considered moot. This conviction on
disputed evidence led to a decision that convicted Leonard Peltier to
two consecutive life terms in federal prison. This conviction was
based on fabricated evidence and it ruined the confidence for a free
and unbiased trial.

Leonard has been in the United State Penitentiary in Marion,
Illinois; Leavenworth, Kansas; and Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and he has
been an exemplary and model inmate with no incident reports. He has
been a regular participant in the weekly Sweat Lodge ceremonies and
Pipe Ceremonies which is a very positive spiritual experience for all
those young Native prisoners who partake in the ancient cleansing and
purification ceremony. I have been visiting him as his Spiritual
Advisor since March 1985 at the United States Penitentiary in
Leavenworth, Kansas and I have been witness to his changes in his
demeanor, spirituality and is a serene and a kind and very respectful
person. He has become a very respected and revered elder. He is now
sixty-six years old.

It is my opinion that Leonard Peltier is not a threat to the
community nor would his release jeopardize the community much less
"depreciate the seriousness of the law" or "promote disrespect for
the law". I have prayed and conducted the sweat lodge ceremony with
him and he is a very genuine and exudes humanity. He has expressed
remorse about the incident and prays for all who were there on that
day on June 26, 1975 and I believed he has made amends and has made
his prayers of forgiveness to the Creator. He has helped many and
encouraged Indian prisoners to rehabilitate themselves by advocating
a drug and alcohol free lifestyle while encouraging pride and
learning about their culture and traditions. He is a father,
grandfather, and a great grandfather. He is considered a wise elder
among the younger Indian prisoners and I can attest to that fact
because I have been visiting him for twenty five years and I have
observed his maturity flourished. He has been experiencing severe
health problems including high blood pressure, diabetes, losing his
eyesight due to diabetes and a jaw that needs immediate medical
attention and I hope and pray this serious condition warrants
immediate release from prison to serve out his remaining days with
his great grandchildren and grandchildren on his home reservation in
North Dakota.

While in prison, Leonard has advocated for peace and respect for the
rights of others; he has numerous project he has initiated and
spearheaded a pilot program with Dr. Steward Selkin on the Rosebud
Sioux Indian Reservation on health care deliver including health care
delivery and hopefully implement similar programs on Indian
Reservations throughout the United States; also he has worked with
Professor Jeffery Timmons on a program to stimulate reservation based
economics and investments in Native American business enterprises
including component to teach business ownership and operation to the
Native youth. Also, he helped established a scholarship at New York
University for Native American students seeking a law degree. He has
raised two of his grandchildren from prison and he has sponsored
young children through various boards and programs. He has sponsored
and organized emergency food drives and Toys for Tots on the Pine
Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

He has become a very accomplished and self taught painter and has
donated many of his paintings to worthy causes, human rights and
social welfare organizations and has worked to develop prisoner art
programs whereby increasing prisoner's self-confidence. Many of his
paintings are in demand from many Art Galleries and from art
collectors throughout the world. Some of the recipients have been
American Civil Liberties Union, Trail of Hope, World Peace and Prayer
Day, the First Nation Student Association; and the Buffalo Trust Fund
along with many others including human rights activists and movie
actors. His humanitarian and charitable works reaches far into the
community and programs. Leonard has been widely recognized for his
humanitarian works and has won several human rights award including
the North Star Frederick Douglas Award; Federation of Labour in
Ontario, Canada; Humanist of the Year Award; Human Rights Commission
of Spain International Human Rights Prize and the 2004 Silver Arrow
Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2009 Leonard Peltier was nominated
for the Nobel Peace Prize for the sixth consecutive year. He
maintains his dignity and pride in spite of being incarcerated for
thirty-four years.

I recommend the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples
seek compliance through the Declaration of Human Rights of Indigenous
Peoples and demand a congressional investigation into the human
rights violations of Leonard Peltier. Invitations will be made to the
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples to visit Leonard
Peltier at the United State Penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
I request his petition for Executive Clemency is approved by the
United States Justice Department and President Barack Obama. Thank you.
Posted by Brenda Norrell at 4:20


Announcing Anti Prison Demo during G20 in Toronto

On Sunday, June 27 2010 at 5pm there will be a Demonstration Against
Prison in Toronto. Anarchists are organizing the demonstration as a part
of the larger mobilization in opposition to the G20 meetings.

This is a statement of our perspective and intention for the demo, more
details to come soon.

Prison is everywhere. It is nothing more than a reflection of the society
in which we live. A society that resembles an open prison in which the
majority of the population is locked up because of the necessity to find
money, because of the lack of purpose in life, because of the roles of
submission and servitude that are imposed by the ruling values. It is a
daily threat and reality that has permeated every facet of society.

With the deepening of surveillance, the integration of police forces, the
increased use of private security, the existence of courts, repression and
isolation, the walls of prison are already built around us. If we don’t
accept this miserable life offered to us, they’ll always have room for us
in their overcrowded cells. The fear of being ripped apart from our loved
ones and thrown into jail is what we measure, each day, against our
existing servitude.

In the streets, prisons, psychiatric institutions, detention centres,
there are those who do not come to peace with their exploitation, who do
not bury a taste for freedom, for a better life, just because a judge
imposes it. There are people who refuse the daily humiliation of obeying
guards and bosses. For whom the walls and the barbed wire of the prisons
are not yet marked in their brains but are taken as obstacles to overcome.

We desire to stand with comrades and accomplices who refuse to accept this
reality, who refuse to be defeated by the System, who taste freedom in the
ashes of prisons. We want to shed our fear and together confront the
prison apparatus – the surveillance cameras, the police, the alienating
consumer culture, the prison itself.

A question is often raised: what do we do with the murderers and rapists?
In this question lies the assumption that the current system offers a
solution. All the prisons have yet to “correct” the elements of society
that breed this violence. Let us think instead about what we can do with
each other, how we create communities of self-determination and autonomy
that do not breed this rape culture through patriarchy, or genocide
through racism.

We want to expand our solidarity in struggle against prison. We want
people to join us and directly confront the systems of social control. We
want to be everything prison isn't: uncontrollable, joyful, creative...

The location for this demo T.B.A.

Keep the date marked off, we'll see you in the streets!

For updates and more info:

Monday, March 29, 2010

ProLibertad: April Freedom Month Calendar

The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
ProLibertad Hotline:718-601-4751

On April 4th, 2010 the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners will have completed 30 years

Every April, ProLibertad organizes a series of events to denounce the arrests of our
political prisoners. We use this month as a time to raise awareness around the
prisoners and of Puerto Rico's colonial reality.

April Freedom Month Calendar:

Sat, April 3rd, 2010 a full day of events (in El Bronx and El Barrio!!!) KICK OFF:
El Maestro 1029 East 167 Street Bronx, NY 2 or 5 Train to Simpson stop 4PM to 8PM $2
- $5 sliding scale (or give what you can!!!)A film, a play, and a
conversation with Ponce Laspina, Ben Ramos, and others… and

Camaradas 2241 1st Avenue (115 st.) East Harlem, NY
6 train to 116th street stop 9PM to 1AM $5 - $10 sliding scale
(or give what you want!!!)
Music and Militancy with Spirit Child, Prisionera, Cindy
Sugarush,The Dynamite Brothers, Reyes, Delilah, The Welfare Poets, and
DJ Mellow G

Co-sponsored by: ProLibertad, Boricua Human Rights Network, Welfare
Poets, Guerrilla Republik, and Ricanstruction Action Party (RAP)

Saturday April 17th, 2010 at 7pm:
Commemoration of Manuel Rafael Suarez Diaz and the birth of
Revolutionary Jose de Diego with keynote former Political Prisoner and
Nationalist hero/leader; RAFEL CANCEL MIRANDA
Cultural Act: 5 en Plena
El Maestro 1029 East 167 Street Bronx
2 or 5 Train to Simpson stop
For more info call the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party: 646-841-5476

Tuesday April 20th, 2010 at 3pm:
Hostos Puerto Rican Club Workshop on the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners
Featuring: Benjamin Ramos Rosado and Ismael Nuñez, of the
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
Film, Lecture, letter writing and discussion on Hunter College CampusFor more info.

Sunday April 25th, 2010 at 12:30pm:
People’s Mass for the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners
La Iglesia San Romero De Las Americas/UCC
752 W178th St Apt 1A

Guest Speaker: Frank Velgara, The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign

Sunday April 25th, 2010 at 1:00pm:
Unity Brunch Celebrating the Life of Safiyah Bukari: Freedom Fighter and
International Freedom Fighter supporter
Panel Discussion with Ashanti Alston (Jericho movement), Laura Whitehorn (former PP,
New York State force on Political Prisoners) Ben Ramos (ProLiberatad)
Others to be confirmed… Hosted by Sala Cyril (MXGM member and Panther cub)
email if you are interested in attending/for location

Tuesday April 27th, 2010 at 7pm:
Letter-Writing Dinner for the Puerto Rican Independence Movement
Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHERE: Red Roots Community Art Space 503C Wales Avenue Bronx, New York
6 Train: Walk west on 149th Street and make a left on Wales Avenue. We’re
halfway down the block, just past the church. Or 2,5 Train: Walk south on Jackson
and make a left on 149th Street, and make a right on Wales Avenue. We’re halfway
down the block, just past the church.

Wednesday April 28th, 2010 at 3:30pm:
Puerto Rican Club Workshop on the Puerto Rican Political Prisoners
Featuring: Benjamin Ramos Rosado and Ismael Nuñez, of the
The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign
Film, Lecture, letter writing and discussion on Lehman College Campus
Lehman College's Student Life Building Room 111

Friday April 30th, 2010 at 6:30pm:
Join us for a Night of Discussion and Networking! Come learn about the newest Puerto
Rican Political Prisoner: Avelino Gonzalez Claudio! Guest Speakers: Juan Antonio
Gonzalez Pedrosa, Son of Avelino
Blanca Figuerora, Wife of Avelino
St Mary’s Episcopal Church 521 W126th St. Between Broadway and
Amsterdam Avenue

Freedom Month Endorsing organizations: NYC Anarchist Black Cross (ABCF-NYC), Dr.
Ernesto R. Marrero MD, NYC Jericho, Ricanstruction Netwerk, Former Political
Prisoner Laura Whitehorn, Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition, International Concerned
Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal, Rosa Clemente (2008 Green Party VP Candidate,
Hip Hop Journalist and Activist), Hawai'i Support Committee, Resistance in Brooklyn,
The Welfare Poets, La Iglesia San Romero De Las Americas/UCC, Vagabond (Film maker
and Director of MACHETERO), Federico Aquino (Activist Oregon), Dylcia Pagan (former
Puerto Rican Political Prisoner), Hector Lopez (Independentista/Activist,
Connecticut), (AMAZING LATINO BLOG), El Movimiento de Liberacion
Nacional Mexicano (M.L.N.M.), Radical Women, The National Boricua Human Rights
Network-NYC Chapter, Puerto Rican Club Lehman College, Hostos Puerto Rican Club,
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

American Friends Service Committee - Torture in US Prisons

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010

To Whom it May Concern:

The American Friends Service Committee Prison Watch Project is planning to update
the Fall 2001 "Torture in US Prisons – Evidence of US Human Rights Violations." We
are seeking testimonies from men, women and children relating to the use of extended
isolation and devices of torture (use of force, chemical and physical restraints,
other living conditions, forced double celling in isolation, etc.). We will also be
accepting drawings and photos. Our deadline is June 15th. We will only be able to
acknowledge by form letter. Unless otherwise authorized the publication will use
first name, last initial and facility only. Please send to Bonnie Kerness, AFSC, 89
Market St., 6th floor, Newark, NJ 07102. Please make this message available to
people concerned with the prison system and send it to friends and loved ones in
prison. Without your input, this publication would not be possible. Our gratitude.

AFSC Prison Watch Project

Friday, March 26, 2010

Joel Dow Arrested at Portland Anti-Police Demo, Charged with Felonies, Solidarity Needed!


As many of you know, a quick and severe response was generated against
police violence in Portland during the last week. A cop killed somebody
and the same night a riot took to the streets, smashing up things and
clogging up traffic. Marches continue and portland indymedia provides a
little less info than desirable.

Joel Dow was arrested at one of these marches and charged with:
ASSAULT II (B Felony) $250,000 Unsentenced
ASSAULT POLICE OFF (C Felony) $5,000 Unsentenced
RECK ENDANGER (A Misdemeanor) $2,500 Unsentenced
DISORDERLY COND 2 (B Misdemeanor) $1,500 Unsentenced

They need bail money fast, which you can donate via paypal:

If you want to write Joel, his jail address is:

Multnomah County Justice Ctr
C/O Dow, Joel D.
SWIS ID: 745437
1120 SW 3rd Ave
Portland, OR 97204

Also, Joel is a vegan and IS NOT receiving vegan meals. CALL THE JAIL
and let them know we're watching 503 988 5060!

Keep up the heat an keep throwing down,

Indiana: Case of Hugh and Tiga - Enhanced Prosecutorial Techniques

March 26 - 28, 2010


No news is good news, as the saying goes, but when it comes to the
legal case of Hugh Farrell and Gina "Tiga" Wertz, no news is ambiguous.

Farrell and Wertz engaged in peaceful protests against the I-69
highway, and the State of Indiana has charged them with felony
racketeering and several misdemeanors.

Wertz is charged with intimidation, a class A misdemeanor, two
counts; conversion (unauthorized use of someone else's property), a
class A misdemeanor, two counts; and corrupt business influence
(racketeering), a class C felony. Her bond was set at $10,000.

Farrell is charged with two counts of intimidation, two counts of
conversion and corrupt business influence; his bond was set at $20,000.

At the Petersburg courthouse on Jan. 21, at the first court hearing
since Wertz and Farrell's arrest, their attorneys moved for the judge
to dismiss the racketeering charge and to reduce the misdemeanor
charges. The judge responded that he would take the issue "under
advisement" and make his decision "soon."

According to, at the hearing, "The prosecutor
was playing dirty, even going so far as to liken Tiga and Hugh's
charges with murder." Yet in their protests no one was hurt, nor was
any property damaged.

A pretrial court hearing was scheduled for March 4. On March 2
Farrell and Wertz learned that the March 4 hearing was postponed
indefinitely, and the judge hadn't announced his decision about
dismissing and reducing the charges.


The arrest warrants allege that the defendants were affiliated with
Roadblock Earth First! and describe the organization as "an
enterprise with the stated and actual objective of discouraging
and/or obstructing the lawful construction of I-69. . . ."

"At the Petersburg courthouse on Jan. 21, ... their attorneys moved
for the judge to dismiss the racketeering charge and to reduce the
misdemeanor charges."
Farrell and Wertz are charged with intimidation for removing
furniture and posting an eviction notice on the front door of an
state I-69 office; allegedly participating in a tree sit; and,
according to Farrell's arrest warrant, "kicking over chairs, climbing
on a table and shouting at members of the public" during an I-69
informational meeting.

The felony racketeering charges stem from the defendants' allegedly
"conspiring" to commit the above actions, along with their
door-to-door visits to homeowners living in the path of the highway.

The arrest warrant accuses the defendants of "advocating anarchy,
property destruction and violence, including advocating literature
and materials which advocate anarchy, property destruction and violence. ..."

Activists say Farrell and Wertz are being prosecuted because they
have been some of the most outspoken opponents of I-69. The charges
are clearly political, intended to silence and punish them for their
views and for exercising their right to free speech.

According to local activist Alex Smith, "The state is taking a
forceful and draconian approach. The state feels they have to crush
this because the opposition is big, and there is resistance. The
state is trying to alienate the activist community from those who are
also against I-69, but who are not taking an activist approach. Their
strategy is to create a wedge."


The arrests, by the Indiana State Police and Indiana Department of
Natural Resources Ecoterrorism Task Force, bear the earmarks of FBI

"The judge responded that he would take the issue 'under advisement'
and make his decision 'soon.'"

Harassment through the legal system is a standard FBI method of
dealing with activists. The outlandish charges with high bail are
calculated to intimidate and frighten. Frequent postponement of court
hearings bogs down the defendants, wasting their attorneys' time and
raising their fees and travel expenses. The harassment says to
community organizers, "Be careful -- we're watching you. If you speak
out, you might be charged with a criminal offense."

Covert action directed against political activists, as
points out, is the quintessential FBI activity. "Part of COINTELPRO
and other intelligence agendas, the FBI has been engaged in domestic
surveillance activities and have been falsely targeting political
activists since the 1960s."

In recent years the FBI identified the Animal Liberation Front and
Earth Liberation front as the top domestic terrorism threats.
"Eco-sabotage" is the government's top domestic terrorism priority.
The focus on these activist organizations is now being used to
justify repression against community organizers.

The FBI has a long history of coordinating operations with other arms
of law enforcement. In one infamous case, the assasination of Chicago
Black Panther Fred Hampton in 1969, the Chicago police carried out
the murder with the help of a map of Hampton's apartment the FBI provided.

FBI agents have been spotted at Wertz and Farrell's two court dates,
as well as on the day of the arrests.

The FBI's Ecoterrorism Task Force has an office in Bloomington.
Eugene, Ore., is the only other city that has such an office.


"The prosecutor was playing dirty, even going so far as to liken Tiga
and Hugh's charges with murder."With reference to Operation Backfire,
an earlier "eco-sabotage" investigation that the FBI spearhearded in
2005, a news release from the National Lawyers Guild quotes Executive
Director Heidi Boghosian, "In the past few years, the Guild has
witnessed a disturbing trend of targeting protesters engaged in
dissent, and in imposing draconian sentences for expressing such
dissent. Life sentences for property damage offenses where the actor
has no intent to harm an individual are simply unconstitutional --
the punishment does not fit the crime."

Before 9/11, it would have been impossible to bring such "draconian"
charges against people engaged in nonviolent action. Since then the
government has increasingly criminalized dissent under the heading of
domestic terrorism. The FBI needs a new domestic target so it looks
like it's accomplishing something. Arresting activists makes law
enforcement look good.

Conviction of Farrell and Wertz would set a powerful precedent,
allowing the government to more boldly charge visible and public
organizers in a variety of movements with exotic charges.

Linda Greene can be reached at

This article originally appeared on the
Bloomington Alternative.

Rafael Cancel Miranda writes in defense of Cuba

March 26, 2010

Rafael Cancel Miranda, a giant in the Puerto
Rican independence struggle, a man who spent 25
years in prison in the United States following an
attack on the U.S. Congress meant to call
attention to that struggle, has a few suggestions
for Guillermo Fariñas, the latest Cuban hunger
striker. In an interview
some years ago, he spoke more about the attack at
the U.S. Capitol and explained the significance
of the Cuban he mentions here too: Saturnino.

“For me, Cuba is Saturnino, a black man who
worked with me. When he saw me eating bread with
quail for lunch, he took me to his house. He
lived in total poverty but his mother gave me a
sandwich from the larder. He was called Saturnino, and that for me, is Cuba.”

The Truth is On the Side of the Cuban Revolution
and it Shall Prevail –ñol

Compañero José Estevez
Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples
Havana, Cuba

Jose, my brother.

Of course it is with the greatest of honor and a
sense of justice that I am signing the
Declaration in Defense of Cuba to counter the
hypocritical and cynical campaign by the Yankees
and the European Union. With what moral
authority can these plunderers of humanity speak
of human rights? It’s beyond cynical that those
who have never bothered themselves about the
deaths by starvation of thousands of children who
would have liked very much to have something to
eat, should suddenly and in a very orchestrated
way pretend to be so worried about someone on a “fast.”

This “fasting” gentleman – who I understand is
black and is also said to be a psychologist (if
so, it is thanks to the Revolution) – has no idea
how his race was treated by those who today claim
to be so concerned for his health. I was
surprised enough to hear about this psychologist
because I lived in Cuba under [Cuban presidents]
Prío Socarrás and the bloodthirsty Batista and I
never knew of any black psychologists. I
remember that when the legal and illegal mafias
were predominant in Cuba, there were clubs where
black people were prohibited from entering and
places where they were not even allowed to
approach, such as the house belonging to the
DuPonts. To be precise, those that organized
those clubs were of the same mentality as those
who today claim to be worried about the health of
the “faster.” I also remember the poverty of my
brother, the black man named Saturnino, who
worked alongside me repairing streets in Havana.

Seeing as this “faster” is of the noble black
race, I’d like to suggest to him that he make a
“fast” in favor of the liberation of a group of
his black brothers from the Black Liberation Army
and the Black Panthers, who’ve spent more than
thirty-five years behind bars in Yankee prisons
for having fought for the rights of their race. Here are their names:

Abdulla Majad

Sekou Odinga

Dr. Mutulu Shakur

Jalil Muntaquim

Robert Seth Hayes

Sundiata Acoli

Also having spent more than three decades in
prison are compañero Herman Bell and the
spiritual leader of the Native Americans (the
originals) Leonard Peltier, as well as the Puerto
Ricans Carlos Alberto Torres and Oscar López Rivera.

As well, the “faster” might honor the four
compañeros of the Black Liberation Army who died
while incarcerated: Kuwasi Balagoon, Bashir
Hameed, Albert Nuh Washington, Teddy Jah
Heath. And he might also remember his brother,
the black journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has spent years on death row.

Of course, the imperialist and oligarchic press
will not mention him, and as we say amongst
ourselves, they’ll look the other way; they’ll
shut their mouths, just as they remained silent
about our Five Cuban antiterrorist brothers, as
they’ve remained silent about the rape of
Colombian girls by Yankee soldiers, as they’ve
said nothing about Haitian women marching to
protest the abuses committed against them –
including rape – by the Yankee
soldiers. Well…they’re black women and dressed in the garments of poverty.

The truth is with the Cuban Revolution and it
shall prevail. The fakers will fall in their own trap.

Well, my brother José, I began to write these
lines to you some three days ago, but my father
in law fell ill and you know what the deal is
with healthcare in Puerto Rico. The first thing
they ask you is not where it hurts, but how
you’re going to pay and go on from there. You
can’t believe how many people die because they can’t pay.

Onward, forever!

With a warm Caribbean embrace,

Rafael Cancel Miranda

Machetera is a member of, the
international network of translators for
linguistic diversity. This translation may be
reprinted as long as the content remains
unaltered, and the author and translator are cited.

A Call For Help for Holly Noll

by Sarah Pequignot ( slp [at] )
Mar 25th, 2010

A young woman named Holly is being prosecuted in Alameda County for an
arrest that took place during the January 14, 2009 Oscar Grant
protests. She is asking anybody who attended those protests to review
their video or photos to see if they have photos of the scene. She is
also asking if anyone, who took video/photos of both the January 7th
and January 14th protests, would be willing to share their footage,
and possibly testify at trial about the general atmosphere of the
Oscar Grant protests.

I am an attorney, assisting in the representation of a 23-year-old woman
named Holly, who is facing felony charges in Alameda County. On January
14, 2009, during the Oscar Grant protests, at least fifteen police
officers detained a group of four people, including Holly, for wearing
bandanas over their faces. As a direct result of the encounter, Holly, is
now facing trial on April 5th.

The events happened near the corner of 12th and Alice at around 5pm on
January 14, 2009. A legal observer has provided us with audio of his
observations at the scene. His audio mentions that a videographer was
present at the scene, and appeared to be videotaping. We are looking for
any video or photographs that may have been taken at the scene, showing
any interaction between Oakland police officers and the group of five
individuals (3 males, and one female) at this intersection, either prior
to or subsequent to their arrest.

In addition, a month ago, at a previous hearing in Holly's case, an
officer testified that the violence that erupted at the January 7, 2009
Oscar Grant protests, gave him reason to detain anyone wearing bandanas
over their faces at the January 14, 2009 protest. However, as many people
who participate in demonstrations will agree, people wear bandanas for
many reasons, not always to engage in violence. Conversely, people who
engage in violence at these demonstrations often don't wear masks.

For this reason, in addition to any possible footage or photos of the
arrest at 12th and Alice, Holly is also asking if anyone would be
interested in sharing their video footage from both Oscar Grant protest
dates (Jan. 7th & Jan. 14th) to help demonstrate for the jury the general
atmosphere of the Oscar Grant protests and the commonness of wearing
bandanas at demonstrations such as the Oscar Grant protests. As Holly's
defense team, we will do our best to adequately prepare anyone willing to
testify at trial.

If anyone is interested in assisting with Holly's defense in either of
these ways, please contact me as soon as possible. You may contact me by
email, as shown in this post, or you may call me at (415) 864-5600. Trial
is set to begin April 5th, so time is of the essence.

More info at:

Support Holly!!

Holly Noll is a bay area activist heavily involved in anti-oppression
organizing and a number of political causes. She is a dedicated student
with aspirations to teach, and a deep love for vegan food, music and bike
rides and her rat terrier puppy, Ani. Upon hearing about the Oscar Grant
execution that occurred on January 1st 2009 (please read more about the
oscar grant case here:
she felt a call to action.

Like thousands of other Oakland residents, she took to the streets to
protest this cold blooded racial killing. During the melee that occurred
over the next two weeks, over 100 people were arrested on false charges.
Most of the charges were dropped, save for a handful of people. Holly was
in this handful. She now stands as one of the two remaining members of the
Oakland 100. The wrongful arrest, and subsequent false charges placed
against Holly Noll and the other members of the o100 was done to instill
fear in those who would speak up against police abuse of power and to make
examples of those who dare to make their resistance to a police state
reality known. Holly is being charged with felony assault on a police
officer with a deadly weapon, non firearm. This is a completely false

Please support Holly and the other members of the O100 in any way that you

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Leonard Peltier - Universal Periodic Review

Universal Periodic Review

There have been a lot of recent activities on
Leonard’s behalf. For example, in front of even
the lead banner at the major anti-war protest in
San Francisco this week, strode a contingent of
Native Americans and their supporters calling for
freedom for Leonard Peltier. Awesome!

Last week, four persons attending the U.S. State
Department “listening” session in Albuquerque
spoke up on Leonard’s behalf. More mention was
made at the second Albuquerque session the next
day. Other supporters will speak on Leonard’s
behalf today and tomorrow at the Berkeley and San
Francisco “listening" sessions, respectively. We can’t thank you enough.

For your information, the remaining sessions (as of this writing) include:

-- Detroit/Dearborn, MI, on April 7, 2010, at
Wayne State Law School (Host organizations:
NAACP, American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee)
-- Chicago, IL, on April 13-14, 2010, at John
Marshall Law School (Host Organizations: Housing
Action Illinois, John Marshall Law School)
-- Birmingham, AL, Date TBD (week of April 19) at
Miles College (Host Organizations: Greater
Birmingham Ministries, Alabama ARISE)
-- NEW! Washington, DC, on April 22-23, 2010,
Location TBD, (Host organization: Federalist Society).

If you are unable to attend a session, you’re
encouraged to send a message directly to the U.S.
Department of State. Those interested in
providing their views, comments, proposals and
recommendations regarding the human rights
violations related to the Peltier case can send
an mailto:upr_info@state.gove-mail (

With YOUR support, we’ll build a strong case to
put before the Office of the High Commissioner
for Human Rights at the UN. So, again, thank you
for all you do on Leonard’s behalf.

In solidarity and as appropriate, the LP-DOC will
become a signatory to cluster reports currently
under development. These reports are being
developed by a coalition of human rights
organizations and each report addresses a
specific area of concern. The LP-DOC has already
submitted material for the cluster report on
political prisoners and will submit its own
report directly to the United Nations next month.
We plan also to participate in the UN session in
Geneva later this year which will conclude the
review of the United States government’s record
in meeting its human rights obligations.
March 23, 2010


Morning Star Gali, International Indian Treaty Council

(Berkeley Session)
Allison Davenport

State Department to hold listening sessions on US
Compliance with International Human Rights
Obligations in Berkeley and San Francisco March 25th and 26th.

UPR community training on Wednesday, March 24th
6-8 p.m, Mission Cultural Center 2868 Mission
Street, San Francisco CA 94110, 3rd floor Art Studio

San Francisco – As part of a process conducted by
the United Nations Human Rights Council to
examine the United States’ compliance with its
legally-binding human rights obligations, the
U.S. Department of State will conduct two
“listening sessions” or consultations with human
rights and community groups from the San Francisco Bay Area.

The San Francisco and Berkeley consultations will
focus on United States’ signed and ratified human
rights treaties as well as the UN Charter and the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A wide
cross section of Bay Area rights organizations
will testify on the fulfillment of human rights
protections that address racial discrimination;
criminal justice; economic justice and equity,
including state accountability, health and
education; LGBT rights; disability rights and
environmental justice and sustainability.

This November will be the United States’ first
review under this Human Rights Council process.
The “Universal Periodic Review” or “UPR” assesses
the human rights compliance of every UN member
state every four years and is intended to improve
all UN Member States’ human rights compliance.

Representatives of the U.S. Department of State
and other federal agencies will be in attendance
to inform their report to the Universal Periodic
Review (UPR). Prior to the listening sessions, a
training will be held to inform the local community of the UPR process.

“The U.S. government is the main abuser of
immigrants’ rights,” states Arnoldo Garcia of the
the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee
Rights. “Our communities will use the UPR to
expose the U.S. and press for action to comply
with the CERD by ending all forms of racial,
ethnic, nationality and religious profiling.”

“This really is an historic event,” said Alberto
Saldamando, General Counsel of the International
Indian Treaty Council. “In the 36 years of work
of the IITC at the international level, this is
the first time the U.S. government has ever asked
the victims for their opinion on how the US is
doing to comply with its internationally legally
binding human rights obligations.”

The meetings will be recorded, and a written
report will be posted on the U.S. Department of
State’s website. This summary may be used as part
of the U.S. government’s submission to the Human
Rights Council. Organizations are also welcome to
submit a 5-page report directly to the UN before April 19th.

The government selected several cities in the US,
including San Francisco and Berkeley, in which to
conduct listening sessions or consultations.
Consultations have been held in New Orleans,
Washington, D.C., New York City, El Paso and
Albuquerque, and others are planned for Detroit, Chicago and Birmingham.

The Berkeley consultation is on Thursday, March
25 at the Bancroft Hotel, 2680 Bancroft Way,
Berkeley, CA and will begin at 8:30 am and end at
12:30 pm. The San Francisco consultation will be
held at the University of San Francisco on
Friday, March 26, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in the
Mclaren Conference Center, 2130 Fulton Street,
San Francisco CA 94117. The UPR community
training will be held on Wednesday, March 24th
6-8 p.m, Mission Cultural Center 2868 Mission
Street, San Francisco CA 94110, 3rd floor Art Studio.

For more information and to register for the
upcoming sessions, visit

Abahlali basemjondolo Occupy Central Durban for the First Time Since the Attacks in September Last Year Mar 23 2010

Abahlali basemjondolo Occupy Central Durban on 22 March 2010 -'Human
Rights Day'

Around 3 000 Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM) members braved serious
intimidation from the intelligence services, local party goons and the
notoriously violent South African Police to occupy downtown Durban
yesterday - which was the South African public holiday in honour of 'Human

The notoriously authoritarian Durban City Manager, Mike Sutcliffe (who
calls himself a Marxist), had first tried to ban the march with an illegal
diktat. AbM promised to march in defiance of the ban forcing Sutcliffe to
compromise. He then 'allowed' them to march through the periphery of the
City. They went to court to contest this restriction of their right to
protest but lost on a technicality. But yesterday they set off on the
route that they had originally intended to take and were able to occupy
the main streets and the downtown area in violation of both Sutcliffe and
the court. However they could not get past the huge and armed police
presence cutting them off from the City Hall. But the comrades in Durban
are thrilled - they have shown the ANC that they have not been defeated by
the attack on the movement in September last year and the incredible
intimidation and repression that followed the violence by a state backed
party militia.

A Memorandum of Demands to President Jacob Zuma
Monday, 22 March 2010 14, 2005

We, members and supporters of Abahlali baseMjondolo and the Rural Network
in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, are democrats committed to the
flourishing of this country. We speak for ourselves and direct our own
struggles. We have no hidden agendas. We have been mobilised by our
suffering and our hopes for a better life. We believe that it is time to
take seriously the fact that South Africa belongs to all who live in it.

We come from the townships of Inanda, KwaMashu and Lamontville. We come
from the farms in eNkwalini, New Hanover, Howick, KwaNjobokazi, Melmoth,
Utrecht, Babanango and eShowe. We come from the flats of Hillary,
Portview, Ridge View (Cato Manor), Wentworth and New Dunbar. We come from
the shacks of Joe Slovo, Foreman Road, Clare Estate, Palmiet Road, Quarry
Road, Motala Heights, Siyanda, Umkhumbane, New eMmaus, Pemary Ridge,
Arnett Drive, Lindelani, Richmond Farm and, yes, Kennedy Road. We come
from the transit camps of Richmond Farm, eNsimbini, Ridge View (Transact
Camp), Cato Manor and New Dunbar.

We are all agreed that there is a serious crisis in our country. The poor
are being pushed out of any meaningful access to citizenship. We are
becoming poorer. We are being forced off our land and out of our cities.
The councillor system has become a form of top down political control. It
does not take our voices upwards. The democracy that we won in 1994 is
turning into a new system of oppression for the poor.

We are all agreed that this country is rich because of the theft of our
land and because of our work in the farms, mines, factories, kitchens and
laundries of the rich. That wealth is therefore also our wealth. We are
all agreed that the democratic gains that were won in 1994 were won by the
struggles of the people and that we, the poor, are part of the people.
Those victories are therefore also our victories. We are all agreed that
we can not and will not continue to suffer in the way that we do. We are
all agreed that we can not and will not give up our hopes for a better
life and a fair world.

We have had meetings in all of our areas to discuss this march. Each area
has developed its own set of demands which we are presenting to you. We
have also taken all the demands that are common to many areas and put them
together into this statement of our collective demands. We offer it to you
as a statement of our demands. We also proclaim it to ourselves and to the
world as a charter for the next phase of our struggle.

For too long we have been subject to evictions from our homes, be they in
shack settlements or farms. These evictions are often unlawful, they are
often violent and they often leave the poor destitute. Therefore we demand
an immediate end to all evictions so that we can live in peace and with

For too long our communities have survived in substandard and informal
housing. Therefore, we demand decent housing so that we can live in
safety, health and dignity.

For too long those of us living in shacks have suffered without enough
water and without toilets, electricity, refuse collection and drainage.
Therefore we demand decent social services in all our communities so that
we can live in safety, health and dignity.

For too long many of those of us who are formally connected to water and
electricity have not been able to afford the costs of these services and
face disconnection. Therefore we demand that these services be made free
for the poor.

For too long the promise of housing has been downgraded to forced removal
to a transit camp. These transit camps are more like prisons than homes.
If they are ‘delivery’ then they are the delivery of the people into
oppression. Therefore we demand an immediate and permanent end to all
transit camps so that the dignity of the people that have been taken to
the camps can be immediately restored.

For too long the housing that has been built has been built in human
dumping grounds far outside of the cities and far from work, schools,
clinics and libraries. Therefore we demand immediate action to release
well located land for public housing. Where necessary land must be
expropriated for this purpose. The social value of urban land must be put
before its commercial value.

For too long people that are already languishing in human dumping grounds
have been unable to access the cities. Therefore we demand the immediate
provision of safe and reliable subsidised public transport to these areas.

For too long there has been rampant corruption in the construction and
allocation of housing in transit camps, RDP housing and social housing.
Therefore we demand complete transparency in the construction and
allocation of all housing and an immediate end to corruption. We demand,
in particular, a full and transparent audit into all the activities of the
social housing company SOCHO – including its CEO, general manager and
board of directors. We demand a similar audit into all the activities of
Nandi Mandela and her associates.

For too long poor flat dwellers have suffered from unaffordable and
exploitative rents. Therefore we demand the writing off of all arrears and
the institution of an affordable flat rate for all.

For too long the poor have been forced to sign exploitative rental
agreements under duress and threat of eviction. Therefore we demand the
cancellation and collective renegotiation of all rental agreements signed
under duress.

For too long farm dwellers have suffered the impoundment of their cattle,
demolition of their homes, the denial of the right to burry their loved
ones on the land, the denial of basic service and brutality, and sometimes
even murder, at the hands of some farmers. The bias that the justice
system has towards the rich has meant that it has systematically
undermined farm dwellers. Therefore we demand immediate and practical
action to secure the rights of farm dwellers.

For too long a fair distribution and use of rural land has been made
impossible by the fact that land –a gift from God – has been turned into a
commodity. Therefore we demand immediate steps to put the social value of
rural land before its commercial value.

For too long the attack on our movement, its leaders and well known
members, their family members and its offices in the Kennedy Road
settlement in September last year has received the full backing of the
local party and government structures. Therefore we demand

• a serious, comprehensive and credible investigation into the attack and
its subsequent handling by the local party and government structures. This
must include a full investigation into the role of the South African
Police Services.
• the right to return for all the victims of the attack, including the
Kennedy Road Development Committee and all its sub-committees. This right
must be backed up with high level protection for the security of all the
residents of the settlement.
• full compensation for everyone who lost their homes, possessions and
livelihoods in the attack.
• a full and public apology by Willies Mchunu for the attack and its
subsequent handling.
• the immediate release of those members of the Kennedy 13 who are still
being held in detention.
• that immediate steps be taken to ensure that Willies Mchunu, Nigel
Gumede and Yakoob Baig are not allowed to interfere in any police or
judicial processes resulting from the attack.

For too long our communities have been ravaged by the cruelest forms of
poverty. Therefore we demand the creation of well-paying and dignified

For too long the right to education has been reserved for the rich.
Therefore we demand free education for the poor.

For too long we have not been safe from criminals and violence. We are
especially concerned about the lack of safety for women in our
communities. Therefore we demand immediate practical action to secure the
safety of everyone and, in particular, the safety of women.

For too long the poor have been turned against the poor. Therefore we
demand an immediate end to all forms of discrimination against isiXhosa
speaking people (amamPondo) and people born in other countries.

For too long the legal system has been biased against the poor. Therefore
we demand serious practical action to ensure that access to justice is no
longer distorted by access to money.

For too long the councillor system has been used to control the people
from above and to stifle their voices. Therefore we demand the immediate
recognition of the right of all people to, if they so wish, organise
themselves outside of party structures in freedom and safety.

Furthermore, just as people from around the city, the province and the
country are uniting in support of our struggle we express our support for
our comrades elsewhere. We have stood with, and will continue to stand
with our comrades in Wentworth, our comrades in the Poor People’s Alliance
and struggling communities and movements across the country. We thank
everyone who has demonstrated solidarity with our struggle including
church leaders, students and our comrades in other countries. We will do
our best to offer the same support to your struggles.

Sunday, 21 March 2010 – Human Rights Day
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release

Sutcliffe’s Dirty Tricks Will Not Keep Us from Marching in Our City Tomorrow

Our political rights are always taken from us with technical arguments.

When we are evicted we are always told that it is because the land is ‘too
steep’, the soil is ‘not right’ and so on. Of course once our shacks are
demolished flats or businesses for the rich are quickly built on the same
land that we were told was ‘unsafe’ for us.

When we are denied bail we are always told that it is because the police
‘need time to complete their investigations’, or even to ‘type documents.’
This is how it goes.

Technical arguments are always used against us because it is assumed that
technical questions can only be answered by experts. The state has their
own experts on their payroll and so by making important social questions
into problems to be resolved by experts they seize the right to answer
these questions on their own – they expel the people from any chance to
debate these questions. The Freedom Charter said that ‘the people will
govern’. It didn’t say that the experts will govern. It didn’t say that
there will be democracy if the city managers decide to allow it.

Today we went to court to ask the judge to interdict Sutcliffe against his
attempt to limit our right to protest by keeping us away from the City
Hall and the main streets. We have won similar cases against Sutcliffe
twice before. But this time the City played a dirty trick. They told the
court that they could not allow us to march through the main streets and
to the City Hall because the City Hall is being repaired and it would be
‘dangerous’ for us to come too close to it. They argued that our basic
political rights could be stolen from us because of a technical issue.

Our lawyer pointed out that yesterday SADTU marched to the City Hall.
Their response was that Abahlali baseMjondolo is a mass movement and that
our march will be much bigger than the march organised by SADTU. This is
true but it remains clear that the repairs to the City Hall are just being
used as an excuse to prevent us from protesting freely in our own city. We
would have been happy to keep a safe distance from the building. Anyway
even if it was dangerous to come close to the City Hall that would not
make it dangerous for us to protest in the main streets.

Unfortunately the judge allowed the City to use a technical argument to
take away a basic democratic right. We have asked our lawyers to explore
the option of launching an urgent appeal first thing tomorrow morning.

But irrespective of the outcome of that legal process we will be marching
tomorrow. The marchers will decide, democratically, when we are all
together, how to respond to this attack on our basic political rights. But
one thing that we are very clear on is that amandla remains with us. We go
to court to confirm the rights that have been won in prior struggles but
we are very clear that the only real defence for these rights, and the
only way to win new rights, is through the power of the organised poor.
For example everyone can see that organised communities are not evicted.
Unorganised communities are evicted, illegally, every day.

Many of us spent today with our comrades in the Rural Network in eNkwalini
where farm dwellers who have been subject to a reign of terror by a farmer
called Mark Channel mourned Human Rights Day. Their homes have been
demolished, they have been shot and their cattle have been impounded. They
live on this land but they do not live in any Republic of South Africa.
They live outside of the protection of human rights and the law. We spent
the day listening as they shared their stories. It is clear that from the
flats to the shacks and the farms there is no place for the poor in this

Sutcliffe has decided to protect the name of the City Hall by using dirty
tricks to keep us away from it – to keep our protests as hidden as a
transit camp. But tomorrow we will be coming into the city from the
townships, the farms, the flats, the shacks and the transit camps. We will
be coming into the city from the townships of Inanda, KwaMashu and
Lamontville. We will be coming into the city from the farms in eNkwalini,
New Hanover, Howick, KwaMjolokazi, Melmoth, Utrecht, Baba Nango and
eShowe. We will be coming into the city from the flats of Hillary, Russell
Street, Mayville, Wentworth and Dunbar. We will be coming into the city
from the shacks of Joe Slovo, Foreman Road, Clare Estate, Palmiet Road,
Quarry Road, Motala Heights, Siyanda, Umkhumbane, New eMmaus, Pemary
Ridge, Arnett Drive and, yes, Kennedy Road. We will be coming into the
city from the transit camps of Richmond Farm, eNsimbini, Ridge View, Cato
Manor and New Dunbar. We will be joined by representatives of some
churches and NGOs. All of these struggling communities will bring their
own demands to Jacob Zuma. We will also issue our collective demands to
Jacob Zuma.

Many journalists have been phoning us and asking if our ‘service delivery
protest’ will be going ahead tomorrow. We appreciate the interest of the
media but we really want to stress that this will not ‘be a service
delivery protest’. We have never organised ‘a service delivery protest.’
In fact our first marches were to announce that we rejected top down rule
by the councillors and that we would, as we have done for the last five
years, begin to rule ourselves. The language in which people’s struggles
are turned into ‘service delivery protests’ is a language that has been
imposed on our struggles from outside – it is not our language. Of course
we are struggling for land and housing, water and electricity. But we do
not accept the limited way in which these ‘services’ are ‘delivered’.
Often an important part of our struggles is to reject that the way that
services are delivered. For example we do not accept transit camps. We are
struggling for the full recognition and realisation of our humanity in a
society that denies our humanity at every turn. We are struggling for real
equality. We are struggling so that the world that God gave to humanity is
shared fairly by all of us. To call our struggles ‘service delivery
protests’ is a way of making them safe for our oppressors.

We appeal to the media, and to other groups too, like academics, NGOs and
churches, to please exercise an important discipline when talking about
struggling communities and movements. That discipline is a simple one but
it is a very important one. That discipline is to speak to people before
speaking about them or for them. As we have said so many times before we
are poor in life, not in mind. If you want to know why we are struggling
just ask us and we will tell you. If you want to know why people are
protesting in Mamelodi, Orange Farm or anywhere in the country you don’t
need researchers or analysts or spies – you just need to ask them.

We have a clear message for all those who believe that they have a natural
right to rule the poor from above be they in government, civil society or
the left. We have a clear message for all those big men like Willies
Mchunu, Michael Sutcliffe or Ashwin Desai who believe that they have the
right to ruin any organisation of the poor that they cannot rule. Our
message is this:

We have been evicted, forcibly removed, beaten, slandered, publicly
threatened with death, arrested, jailed, tortured and driven from our
homes. Some of us have lost everything that we ever owned in this world.
But we will not give up. We will not be turned against each other. We will
work and work and work to unite the poor against the politicians and the
rich. The problem in this society is the deep political disempowerment of
the poor and we will solve this problem by organising ourselves to build
our political power. Struggle is hard and it is dangerous. But struggle is
the only way to defend our humanity and the humanity of our children. We
have a deep responsibility to continue with this struggle until we achieve
real equality and a fair sharing of this world.

The march will be supported, with a physical presence, by the Rural
Network and the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance. It will
also be supported, without a physical presence, by our comrades in the
Poor People’s Alliance – Abahlali baseMjondolo Western Cape, the Western
Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign and the Landless People’s Movement in Gauteng.

For more information on the march please contact:

S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo President: 083 547 0474
Troy Morrow, Chairperson of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Hillary Branch and
march convenor: 071 511 8446
Zodwa Nsibande, Abahlali baseMjondolo General Secretary: 082 830 2707

Representatives of the following organisations that will be in solidarity
with Abahlali baseMjondolo can also be contacted for comment:

Reverened Mavuso Mbhekeseni, Rural Network: 072 279 2634
Des D’sa, South Durban Community Environmental Alliance: 083 982 6939
Ashraf Cassiem, Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign: 082 337 4514
Mzonke Poni, Abahlali baseMjondolo of the Western Cape: 073 256 2036
Maureen Mnisi, Landless People’s Movement (Gauteng): 082 337 4514

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Release
Friday, 19 March 2010

Sutcliffe Continues His War on the Poor

The notorious Michael Sutcliffe continues to launch illegal attacks on our
basic democratic rights.

He has now given in to our pressure and removed his illegal ban on our
right to march but he has issued a permit that only allows us to march
from Botha Park to Albert Park. Our march on Jacob Zuma, scheduled for 22
March 2010, was planned to go from Botha Park through Pixley KaSeme Street
and to the City Hall. But Sutcliffe’s unilateral imposition of
unreasonable restrictions on our right to protest means that we will only
be able to march about 600m and that our march will be kept far away from
the centre of the city – it will be hidden away, just like a transit camp.

Our members from across this city – from Lamontville, to Pinetown and
Umlazi – are determined to march because it is essential that we
demonstrate our dignified anger and our mass support in public. We are the
people who are being swept out of the cities like dirt. We are the people
who are being hidden away in transit camps. We are the people who are
supposed to suffer in secret in the human dumping grounds like Park Gate.
If our protest also has to be hidden away and contained on the outskirts
of the city then there is no point in having a march. The whole point of
having a march is to show our power and our determination to assert our
right to the city in the city. We cannot and will not accept that we must
hold our protests in secret.

It is clear that we who are from the jondolos have to pay a very high
price for our rights. When we ask for what is promised to all citizens we
are attacked, driven from our homes, slandered, beaten, tortured and
jailed. A simple procedure like arranging a legal march becomes a
complicated game that takes all of our time and energies. Now it is clear
that we will have to go to court to ask a judge to defend our basic rights
against Sutcliffe. We are briefing a lawyer right now. But why do we have
to pay such a high price to realise our basic rights? The only logical
answer seems to be that these rights are no longer intended for us – that
we are the people that don’t count and who must be silent as we are driven
out of the cities.

When the media first reported on Sutcliffe’s illegal ban of our march the
police spokesperson said that all marches would be banned due to the World
Cup. If it is true that our basic democratic rights are being removed as a
result of the World Cup then we say, very clearly, that the World Cup is a
new kind of colonialism that every person who is right in their mind must
reject and resist with all their force in their mind and in their muscles.

Sutcliffe insults Human Rights Day, he insults our democracy and he
insults Pixley KaSeme and the memory of the struggle for our democracy
when he bans us from marching down Pixley KaSeme Street and taking our
anger to its rightful home - the City Hall - on the national public
holiday to celebrate Human Rights Day.

We strongly recommend that journalists and the police familiarise
themselves with the legislation governing the right to march. The system
whereby permits had to be granted for marches to be legal was struck off
the statute book in 1993. These permits have had no basis in law since
then. And the Gatherings Act prohibits the authorities from imposing
unreasonable conditions on our right to protest. Our right to protest is
not negotiable. There is a good summary of the Gatherings Act available
online at:

For further information and up to the minute updates on the legal battle
to have Sutcliffe’s attack on our basic democratic rights overturned
please contact:

S’bu Zikode, Abahlali baseMjondolo President: 083 547 0474
Troy Morrow, Chairperson of the Abahlali baseMjondolo Hillary Branch: 071
511 8446
Zodwa Nsibande, Abahlali baseMjondolo General Secretary: 082 830 2707

Abahlali baseMjondolo Press Statement
11 March 2010

Mike Sutcliffe Bans another Abahlali baseMjondolo March

The notorious Mike Sutcliffe has banned another Abahlali baseMjondolo
march. We have, as always, scrupulously followed the laws that govern
protest and we have informed the City in good time that we intend to march
on Jacob Zuma on 22 March 2010. Yesterday the march convenor, Troy Morrow
from the Hillary AbM branch, was verbally informed that permission to
march has been denied. The excuse that has been given this time is that
the City does not have enough police officers to be able to ensure
security at our march.

We know that all decisions about marches in Durban pass through
Sutcliffe’s office. We also know that he has a long history of illegally
banning our marches and of endorsing violent police attacks on our
peaceful marches.

As always the excuse that has been given this time has no legal basis. The
Gatherings Act does not allow City Managers to ban marches. In fact it
does not even allow them to issue permits for marches – that was only
allowed under old apartheid legislation. The Act only requires us to
inform the City of our intention to march. They have no right to ban our
march. Public protest is a cornerstone of democracy and democracy is not
negotiable. It is a permanent and non-negotiable right for everyone. The
job of the City is in fact to facilitate our right to march.

The City uses all kinds of tactics to undermine our right to march. They
create long delays before responding to us when we inform them of our
intention to march. Often they only issue their permits (a practice that
has no basis in law) the day before a march or on the same day of the
march. This is a tactic that is used to undermine our mobilisation.

Using verbal bans is another tactic that they use to try and demoralise
us. By issuing verbal bans they hope to set us back without committing
their illegal action to paper.

We have taken Sutcliffe to court before after he issued an illegal ban of
an AbM march. We won that court battle. We are prepared to return to court
again and to, once again, ask a judge to interdict Sutcliffe from his
ongoing and systematically unlawful attempts to deny us our basic
democratic rights. We are also prepared to engage in serious and sustained
political mobilisation against Sutcliffe and in defense of what is left of
our democracy.

We are calling for Sutcliffe’s immediate dismissal from his post on the
grounds that he has made himself a determined and ruthless enemy of our
democracy. We are calling on our alliance partners, the movements with
which in are in soldarity around the world, all progressive organisations,
and anyone who feels that our democracy should be defended, to join the
call for Sutcliffe’s immediate removal from his position. We are calling
for our comrades to picket any meeting or organisation that hosts
Sutcliffe if he visits their city - whether it is Johannesburg, Cape Town,
Rio, Istanbul, London, Miami or New York. Let there be no shelter anywhere
in this world for the enemies of democracy. We are very clear that the
enemies of democracy are also the enemies of the poor.

After the violent state backed attack on our movement last year this
banning of our right to march makes us wonder if we are now a banned

Our memorandum of demands is attached to this statement.

For more information please contact:

Troy Morrow, march convenor: 071 511 8446
Mnikelo Ndabankulu, Abahlali baseMjondolo spokesperson: 079 745 0653

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

International Call in Day Against Pacific Rim March 24, 2010

From cispes


Que viva Romero!


Special Call-In Day TODAY
National Monseñor Romero Day: March 24, 2010

El Salvador’s mining resistance
and tell Pacific Rim Mining to get out of

Today is National Romero Day in El Salvador, the very first official
government recognition of the pueblo’s revered martyr for social justice –
Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the archbishop of El Salvador.
While conducting mass on March 24, 1980, he was assassinated by State-linked
paramilitary forces for openly denouncing and defying the U.S.-sponsored
Salvadoran government’s bloody war on the poor. Monseñor Romero
believed, “If they kill me, I will be reborn in the Salvadoran of the
people.” Thirty years later, Romero continues to live on in the fighting
spirit of the Salvadoran people, who have advanced the cause of social
justice in the face of U.S. intervention and destructive economic
policies, like the U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
imposed by the Washington Consensus and El Salvador’s right wing.

Today, transnational companies are clamoring to extract El Salvador’s
gold, which would bring severe environmental, social and economic
consequences for rural communities. Since 2005, community organizing
efforts have successfully blocked Pacific Rim Mining Corporation’s
application for gold mining permits in the department of Cabañas, El
Salvador. In
response to this effective resistance, death threats, kidnapping attempts
and assassinations against activists who oppose mining continue.
Pacific Rim has retaliated by filing a $77 million dollar lawsuit against
El Salvador for denying gold mining permits, using CAFTA’s investor
protections provisions. The present-day struggle against mining addresses
the very same issues – human rights, land and self-determination –
as the popular struggle that drew violent repression from the Salvadoran
State during the Civil War from 1980-1992, which robbed the lives of
Monseñor Romero and 70,000 Salvadorans.

Take Action Today! In honor of National Romero Day, call Thomas Shrake,
President and CEO of Pacific Rim Mining and tell him that the company has
the moral responsibility to leave Cabañas immediately. To speak with Mr.
Shrake at the Reno, NV office, dial 1-(775) 852-5888. (Sample script

Background: On December 20, vice-president of the Environmental Committee
of Cabañas, Ramiro Rivera, was gunned down in front of his daughter,
despite being under 24-hour police protection. On December 26, Dora
“Alicia” Sorto Recinos was shot to death as she was walking home from the
river; she was eight months pregnant. Both were leaders in the
Environmental Committee of Cabañas, which has been extremely active in
educating and mobilizing the local community against gold mining. In June,
anti-mining activist Marcelo Rivera (no relation to Ramiro) was found
tortured and murdered in an empty well in San Isidro, Cabañas, after his
disappearance eleven days prior.

Pacific Rim has denied any connection between its proposed mining projects
and the recent assassinations, chalking the violence up to common crimes
or a family feud. According to recent declaration by over 30 community
organizations and churches in El Salvador, “Crimes like this did not
happen in Cabañas before the arrival of Pacific Rim.”

It’s time for Pacific Rim to heed the message of the Salvadoran and
international communities: drop the lawsuit and withdraw from Cabañas!

TAKE ACTION! Call Thomas Shrake, President and CEO of Pacific Rim Mining
TODAY (see sample script below). Dial 1-(775) 852-5888 and ask to speak
with Mr. Shrake.


“Hello. I have been following Pacific Rim’s proposed mines in El Salvador
and am extremely disturbed by the news of assassinated community members in
Trinidad, all of whom were part of local groups organizing against mining
since 2005. Today, El Salvador is celebrating National Monseñor Romero
Day to commemorate the life of this human rights martyr. Just as
Monseñor Romero gave his life to the struggle for land and
self-determination in El Salvador, Marcelo Rivera, Ramiro Rivera and Dora
Alicia Sorto Recinos have also given their lives to this struggle. In the
name of these martyrs for social and economic justice, I call on you, as
the CEO and President, and on Pacific Rim’s Board of Directors to make the
moral decision to:

Immediately withdraw from Cabañas and cease all efforts to mine gold from
the El Dorado site. The company applied for mining permits and was
rejected by the Salvadoran people and government. Pacific Rim
has no business remaining in Cabañas.

Immediately withdraw its lawsuit against the government of El Salvador.
It is disgraceful for a company to sue an impoverished nation like El
Salvador, especially when the Salvadoran people and government have every
right to prevent cyanide gold extraction from destroying their lands and
their communities.

Cooperate fully with the official investigations surrounding the murders
of Alicia Sorto Recinos, Ramiro Rivera and Marcelo Rivera, providing full
disclosure on all the people the company has contracted in the region and
any other monetary transactions it has conducted among community members,
organizations and local government officials. Violence is tearing apart
Cabañas, and Pacific Rim has every obligation to offer its full support to
bring to justice the perpetrators of these murdered community members, all
of whom have openly opposed gold mining in the area.

Thank you.”

Visit the CISPES website for the latest
news and information

Watch the Real
News Network video here on Pacific Rim’s
multi-million dollar CAFTA suit

Watch the Democracy
Now! interview with CISPES Executive Director, Alexis Stoumbelis

Check out recent articles by Jason Wallach and Hector
Berríos on Upside Down World

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© 2008 CISPES - The Committee in Solidarity with the
People of El Salvador

CISPES National Office | ph.
202-521-2510 | 1525
Newton St. NW, Wash. DC 20010|

March 29; Drop the charges!: Call-in In Support Of Minneapolis Fur Protesters

As fur protesters and avid animal lovers Isaac Peter and Michael Lawson stood
chanting anti-fur slogans on the sidewalk outside of Ribnick's Furs in downtown
Minneapolis on March 2, neither expected to be spending their evening undergoing
booking at the Hennepin County jail.

They had been protesting in the same location, using the same chants for over 5
months --why would March 2 be any different? Officers (including sargents) had
often assuring them "You can chant as much as you want, scream to the top of your
lungs for all I care, just don't block the sidewalks".

But (date of arrest) took a turn for the worst; when two Minneapolis police
officers who Peter and Lawson had never seen before arrived on the scene, entering
into the storefront without attempting to engage in dialogue with either

After speaking with owner Bill Ribnick, they exited, informing both protesters
they were being charged with disorderly conduct for being "too loud".

Both protesters attempted to tell the officers of the circumstances, and that
previous officers had given them assurance that they were acting within their

The male officer's response was immediately that he "wasn't interested".

Peter and Lawson were taken to the Hennepin County jail until bail was posted.

When it came time for their arraignment, it became clear that this was not an
ordinary "disorderly conduct" charge. Bill Ribnick, owner of Ribnick's Furs – who
was not even a party to this case -- was in attendance with a very expensive and
affluent attorney by his side, talking with a city prosecutor, as she hugged him
and gave him her condolences.

In a disgusting attempt to curb free speech, and a shocking example of a
prosecution pandering to the interests of a wealthy businessman – the city offered
to drop the charges in exchange that Isaac and Michael not be allowed to exercise
their right to protest at Ribnick's Furs for a year.

Both Isaac Peter and Michael Lawson refused the deal, citing outrage at the
back-room bribery that had taken place and a undeterred dedication to the mink,
fox, chinchilla, and other animals killed for fur .

Defendant Michael Lawson released this statement after the arraignment;

"If Ribnick thinks he's the only person that can pressure the prosecutor; he's wrong.

We may not have the money or political connections that Bill Ribnick has, but we
have a broader network of people committed to free speech and compassion towards
animals than he could ever hope to have. The voice of the people will always beat
back-room scheming"

Peter and Lawson can't beat Ribnick in money, but they intend to beat him in
community support.

That's why we need compassionate folks to call prosecutor Susan Segal and tell her
that scheming with Ribnick Furs and other businesses to criminalize
legally-protected boycott and protest is unacceptable"

They are now asking people to call the city prosecutors office and tell them to
"Drop the Charges against Isaac Peter and Michael Lawson" immediately.

Call-in for Isaac and Michael

When? Monday March 29th, all day

Who? Susan Segal, city attorney 612-673-3272

What? Demand she drop the the charges against Isaac Peter and Michael Lawson and
tell her that we won't standby while our rights to free speech and peaceful
protest is being thrown out the window. Please keep calls polite but insistent.