Saturday, January 29, 2011

Thessaloniki 4 trial update, day #6

January 29, 2011 Occupied London

Wednesday 26 January 2011, 9am, Thessaloniki Courthouse.

With the prosecution having been completed and the defence witnesses
rather hastily examined, it was now the job of the prosecutor to outline
the reasoning of the laws being used to charge the defendants.

The charges were: causing explosions with the intent to endanger human
life, possession of materials or devices designed to cause explosions. The
point here is that possession can be proven even if the explosives were in
your possession for a second. Causing explosions was intricately linked to
possession, ie, you had to possess in order to cause, though they stood as
separate charges. Combining the act of possession and causation created
the offence of ‘Distinguished riot’.

So far so good. Or bad, depending on how you look at it.

He outlined what had happened in Genoa in 2001, and the expectation of
trouble at the June 2003 EU summit in Thessaloniki. The ‘Black Bloc’ was
expected to be present, and would be prepared, armed with a variety of
weapons with the intent to endanger life and property in defiance of
authority. In the event, shops, cars and offices were attacked, damaged or
burnt. 8 police were injured.

For Michalis, he demanded that he be convicted of causing continuous
explosions – more serious than causing a single explosion. He could not
believe that policeman today could be either mistaken in identification or
be lying: if the cops had wanted to fabricate evidence they would have
used more than one police witness against Michalis. He concluded that the
decision of the first trial was correct and that Michalis should be
convicted of causing continuous explosions, possession of explosives and
distinguished riot.

For Kastro, he said that he had thrown 10 molotovs, though without
endangering life. In that sense, the causation charge was dropped but he
demanded prosecution for possession of explosives, and of distinguished

For Fernando, both the possession and use of explosives was not proven due
to doubts about identification and the unreliability of the police
witnesses. He requested that all charges against Fernando be dropped.

For Simon, he was satisfied that he had caused one single explosion with
intent to endanger life (in the first trial it had been continuous
explosions), that the possession of 7 molotovs was proven by 9 witnesses
against him, and he could not believe that 9 cops would all be lying. He
concluded that he may well have been beaten, but these two charges
combined created the third charge of distinguished riot.

After a break, 5 of the lawyers made their closing speeches in favour of
their clients and as part of the broader picture that united all the
cases. However, as the clock ticked towards 15.00, Bakkellas, the lawyer
for Simon, asked that he delay his summing up as there would not be time
before the usual end of court business at 15.30. The judges wanted him to
go ahead and run over if necessary, and there was a certain amount of
shouting. Also, the clerk of the court pointed out that she didn’t want it
to overrun as she was not going to be paid overtime.

One of the three judges was already booked for another trial Thursday, and
Friday was going to be another strike day for the lawyers’ union. So the
presentation of Bakkellas’ summing up was delayed to be heard on Monday
morning, 31 January 2011. The judges would then trire to deliberate and
hopefully deliver their verdict later that day.

Court ended 15.30 GMT+2

#488 | Thessaloniki 4 trial update, day #5
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tuesday 25 January 2011, 9am, Thessaloniki Courthouse.

(Day 5: for clarity, the information below has been put in a simpler order
to help readers make sense of it: in reality, the day was disjointed with
first one witness for one defendant, then for another defendant, then for
another, then a break, then back to the first defendant etc. )

Two witnesses were called for the defence of Michalis. They had been with
him on the day of the demonstration and testified that he had not been
wearing a rucksack, as they could see him clearly from behind. Neither had
seen him thrown anything, and had lost him in the gas clouds. Both
testimonies were dealt with in 10 minutes each.

Three witnesses for Kastro were called. The first knew Kastro from Crete
for many years, and testified on Kastro’s personality, and that he had not
taken a rucksack that morning when he left their shared flat. He was asked
if it was possible that Kastro would have taken his residence permit with
him and left it in a rucksack – the witness replied that Kastro did not
have a residence permit. Kastro had applied for a permit in 1997 and had
been rejected. This alleged document was anyway not included on the list
of possession’s made by the arresting officer.

Kastro’s second witness was a doctor who had seen Kastro around 6pm at the
Venizelos statue (not, as according to the police, in a mob chucking
molotovs at them). He said that he had many discussions with Kastro at the
anti-racist festival held in Thessaloniki a week before the EU
demonstration and did not think he was in any way a violent person, and he
didn’t recall Kastro having a rucksack with him. Kastro’s last witness was
a professor from the university who knew Kastro from Crete, who testified
that Kastro was not a violent person, but was hard-working and had perhaps
been victimised due to his immigrant status. Again, these witnesses were
dealt with very quickly.

There was a 2 hour sequence where documents supporting each defendant were
presented to the judges, such as work and character references, letters of
solidarity and concern from various social, political and human rights
organisations. One interesting document was a newspaper report from Spain
on how some demonstrators had successfully sued the Barcelona police for
planting bags of molotovs on them at the earlier EU summit demonstrations
in 2002.

Also, the reasoning for dropping the charges against each defendant –
originally made in February 2004 – were read to the court. After the
charges were reinstated and brought to trial in 2008, dissenting minority
reports were made (ie, by those on the panel of 3 judges and 4 jurors who
believed the defendants to be innocent but who had been out-voted in the
deliberations) and were read out for each defendant. These minority
reports outlined many of the recurring features that would arise in appeal
trial: contradictions between officers, doubts about identification, lack
of evidence, lack of detail, problems with initial arrest statements etc.

The last 3 witnesses called were for Simon. The first knew Simon for many
years from London, and testified that the demonstration culture in the UK
did not include either tear gas or the use of molotovs, and that it was
not in Simon’s character to act in such a way as alleged by the police.
The last two had been with Simon on the demonstration up until only
minutes before his arrest, and both stated that Simon had only one
rucksack, a blue one with some clothes and some water. They knew this as
they had all checked they had enough water before heading off. They both
testified to feeling trapped in clouds of gas as the demonstration was cut
up into smaller parts by charging police on all sides. Again, these
witnesses were dealt with very quickly.

Then it was finally the turn of the defendants to give their evidence.
Michalis’ lawyer spoke on his behalf (Michalis is on remand for another
offence) against the criminalisation of those who identify themselves as
anarchists. All three defendants in court rejected the charges against
them. It was near the end of the day and the judges and jury were clearly
wilting in the afternoon sunshine pouring through the windows. After a few
questions from the prosecutor and the senior judge, the defendants
testimony was completed and court closed for the day. It all seemed top
have ended too quickly, almost as if the defendants’ evidence was

The next day, Wednesday 26 January 2011, would hear the prosecutor’s
accusations, followed by the defence lawyers’ summing up. Result was
expected for that afternoon…

Court ended at 15.15 GMT+2

#487 | Thessaloniki 4 trial update, day #4
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Monday 24 January 2011, 9am, Thessaloniki Courthouse.

Officer #15 arrested Michalis and alleged that he was carrying a bag
containing 3 molotovs, 4 masks and a powerful slingshot. He stated that he
had seen Michalis throw many molotovs over a period of 30 minutes. He
couldn’t remember if Michalis was wearing gloves, or if he was wearing a
mask. He didn’t know what happened to the bag after Michalis was handed
over to the arrest team.

The defence noted that it was strange that Michalis could not be seen
wearing a mask in the video footage presented at the first trial, but that
he had four gas masks in his bag: why would he have done that? Officer #15
either didn’t know or couldn’t remember the answer to a very large number
of questions, and was the sole prosecution against Michalis.

Next, a defence witness was called for Fernando: they had been together in
the demonstration, only losing Fernando in the clouds of tear gas. He said
Fernando had not thrown anything, neither stones nor molotovs, and had not
been carrying any type of rucksack with him, just a plastic carrier bag
with some water. He said that in Spain, if a demonstration was becoming
violent and illegal, the police would use megaphones to warn people to
disperse or face the consequences. This does not happen in Greece and
subsequently they did not understand the risks they were running. He gave
evidence of how Fernando was a hard worker and active citizen in Spain,
and that Fernando had lost his job there in order to be at this trial.

The next four police witnesses (Officers #16 – 19) were all giving
evidence against Simon, and all said pretty much the same things: they
could clearly identify Simon because of the orange arm padding he wore,
that he threw only one molotov, that he was wearing the blue rucksack on
his back and carrying the black one with his left arm. They all said they
didn’t beat Simon and didn’t know how he had come to be injured. They had
all given evidence after reviewing the video and the photos five months
after the initial arrest. Officer #18 made an interesting remark: that his
squad had been running around the city when they took Simon with them
(who, by their own testimony, was handcuffed, soaked in petrol, carrying a
bag full of molotovs). They had all admitted that there were continuing
confrontations in this 2-3 hour period. Officer #19 could remember
smelling petrol from one of the bags after Simon ‘had fallen over’, even
though he was wearing a gas mask.

This was the end of the prosecution evidence.

After a break, a more entire sequence of video of Michalis was presented,
and showed that, just after the point of arrest, no policeman near him was
carrying the alleged rucksack, and that there were none on the street in
view, as the camera makes a full 360 degree pan around the scene.
Michalis’ arresting officer (Officer #15) had testified in the first trial
and at this trial that he had the rucksack in his hand from the arrest to
the point where he placed Michalis in the arrest car. No such rucksack
could be seen, and was never subsequently identified, or presented in
evidence to the court.

The police witnesses against Simon were shown the video where cops are
placing bags all around Simon. One sequence was interesting – a black
rucksack, obviously leaking a large amount of fluid (petrol?) is placed
next to Simon. None of the cops present said they were that policeman. The
cops maintained that the safest place to store the bags they found in the
street was all around Simon.

After this, several trolleys of large cardboard boxes containing a variety
of rucksacks were wheeled into court. Police officer #6 had stated that
the bags being delivered to the police station had been labeled with the
arrestee’s names. None of the bags had any form of label or identification
on them.

The last witness of the day was for the defence of Kastro: she was a
worker’s union organiser who knew Kastro from his role in helping
immigrant workers’ organisations in Crete. She had been at the main square
from 5.30 until 6.30 and testified that there were no confrontations
between police or people in the square at that time. The police had
testified that Kastro was throwing molotovs at them during this period.
She had seen Kastro near the stage around this time. She had passed
through the square the following day and had not seen any scorch marks
where the police had alleged that Kastro had been throwing molotovs at

The day ended 14.45 GMT+2.
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#486 | Emergency Solidarity Demo for Thessaloniki 4, 11am Saturday Jan
29th // Greek Tourist Office, Central London
Friday, January 28, 2011

Emergency Solidarity Demo for the Thessaloniki 4 // 11am Saturday Jan
29th* // Greek Tourist Office, Central London

The saga of the trial currently taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece
continues with a judgement on the four now due on Monday January 31st.
It was always clear that the trial and the repression which preceded was
motivated and directed at the highest levels of the Greek State.

We do not think that justice is a value known to the courts, especially
when the police have taken upon themselves to enforce the repression
of the political establishments and continue to perpetrate lies to ensure

This Monday, January 31st, will see Simon’s lawyer give his final summary
to the courts after which the Judges and Jury will retire to consider
a decision.

We call on all comrades, sympathisers and freedom-lovers to show their
solidarity with the four defendants

Solidarity to Simon Chapman, Suleiman “Kastro” Dakdouk , Michaelis
Triakapis and Fernando Perez Gorraiz

We are with you all!

Everyone to the Streets!

+++ Spread the Word +++
Text this message to your friends:
“Emergency solidarity demo for the thessaloniki four, 11am Saturday Jan
29th at the greek tourist offices, 4 conduit st ( off regent st ), w1s 2dj
– pass it on”

Tweet using #solidarity and/or #demo2011

+++ Latest Updates +++
Latest Updates:

+++ Donate +++
Donate to the solidarity fund:

*Saturday January 29th is also the date for the next big anti-austerity
demonstrations which starts from 12noon at ULU, malet street.
We hope those travelling to the demo will come early to attend the
solidarity demo before hand. Please spread the word and let people
know they can do both.

FBI serves 40 warrants in search of WikiLeaks 'hacktivists'

By Mark Seibel | McClatchy Newspapers Jan. 27, 2011

WASHINGTON — The FBI said Thursday that it had served more than 40 search
warrants throughout the United States as part of an investigation into
computer attacks on websites of businesses that stopped providing services
in December to WikiLeaks.

The FBI statement announcing the search warrants was the first indication
that the U.S. intends to prosecute the so-called "hacktivists" for their
actions in support of WikiLeaks.

The search warrants were executed on the same day authorities in Great
Britain announced that they had arrested five people in connection with
the attacks, which temporarily crippled the websites of,
PaylPal, MasterCard, Visa, the Swiss bank PostFinance and others.

FBI officials were unavailable for comment, and the statement did not say
who was served or where the searches were conducted. The statement noted
that attacks, known as distributed denial of service attacks and which use
easily available software to shutdown a computer network by flooding it
with millions of requests for information, violate federal law and are
punishable by a prison sentence of 10 years.

The statement noted that a group known as "Anonymous" had claimed credit
for the attacks. Anonymous is also believed responsible in recent days for
attacks on government websites in Tunisia and Egypt.

British news reports said three of the five arrested were teenagers, aged
15, 16 and 19, and that the others were 20 and 26 years old. Dutch police
last month arrested two teenagers suspected of involvement in the online

The attacks were organized through social networking sites such as Twitter
in the days after WikiLeaks began publishing U.S. State Department cables
that apparently had been downloaded by an American Army private serving in
Iraq. Their first target was, which, at the behest of U.S. Sen.
Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., had stopped hosting the WikiLeaks website.

They spread to PayPal, MasterCard and Visa after those businesses declined
to process credit card payments destined to WikiLeaks.

PostFinance, a bank operated by Switzerland's postal service, also closed
an account that was registered to Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' founder. The
account number had been published on the WikiLeaks website with a
solicitation for donations. PostFinance said it closed the account because
Assange was not a resident of Switzerland, as Swiss law required.

The attacks did no long-term damage and in most cases only lasted a few
hours. But legitimate would-be users were unable to contact the sites
while the attacks were underway.

The FBI said it is working with several European governments and the
National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) to identify the
source the attacks, which the FBI attributed to a type of software it
identified as "Low Orbit Ion Canon" tools. It said major anti-virus
programs had been updated to block such software.

Previously, the only known criminal investigation stemming from WikiLeaks'
publication of thousands of U.S. State Department cables was one that
seeks to tie WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange to Army Pfc. Bradley
Manning, who is suspected of providing the cables to the website. In
December, a federal magistrate in Alexandria, Va., issued a search warrant
to Twitter demanding the records of five of its users, including Assange
and Manning.

It was not known late Thursday whether those records had been surrendered.

Egypt wakes to devastation as Mubarak refuses to quit

By Edmund Blair – Jan. 29, 2011

CAIRO (Reuters) – President Hosni Mubarak clung to power in Egypt on
Saturday after days of popular protests against his 30-year-old rule in
which at least 24 people were killed and more than 1,000 wounded.

Mubarak refused to bow to protesters' demands that he quit and ordered
troops and tanks into cities overnight in an attempt to quell
demonstrations that left a trail wreckage across Cairo.

The ruling party's headquarters were still burning on Saturday morning and
demonstrators were still out in the streets in the early hours in defiance
of a curfew. Daybreak revealed ransacked shops and burned-out buildings.

Mubarak promised to appoint a new cabinet on Saturday and called for
dialogue to avert chaos.

Medical sources said at least 24 people had been killed and more than
1,000 wounded in Friday's clashes in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.

"It is not by setting fire and by attacking private and public property
that we achieve the aspirations of Egypt and its sons, but they will be
achieved through dialogue, awareness and effort," the president said in a
midnight TV address, his first public appearance since the protests began
four days ago.

The unprecedented unrest has sent shock waves through the Middle East,
where other autocratic rulers may face similar challenges, and unsettled
global financial markets on Friday.

President Barack Obama said he spoke to Mubarak and urged "concrete steps
that advance the rights of the Egyptian people."

The protests bore many hallmarks of the unrest that toppled the leader of
Tunisia two weeks ago, although the arrival of army troops to back up the
police showed that Mubarak still has support of the military, the
country's most powerful force.

Protesters mocked his decision to sack his cabinet as an empty gesture.

"It was never about the government, by God. It is you (Mubarak) who has to
go! What you have done to the people is enough!" said one.

"The people want the president to fall," dozens of youths chanted to a
Reuters TV camera in the early morning in Tahrir square in central Cairo.

Some youths held up empty shotgun cartridges, teargas canisters and unused
live rounds.

Tanks stood on roads leading into the square. One army armored personnel
carrier was gutted by fire. The square was strewn with rubble, burned
tires and charred wood that had been used as barricades overnight.

The army's arrival had initially been welcomed by crowds, frustrated by
heavy handed police. But the damage to army vehicles showed that this
swiftly wore off and protesters overnight accused the army of taking the
same police line.

"What happened was a betrayal of the people...We were celebrating the
army's presence when they got to Tahrir, we let them through to take over
from the dirty riot police and then we got fired at again," Marzouq, a
protester, in his 20s, said.

Cars began returning to the streets and there were other signs of normal
life resuming but the wreckage was widespread.

In central Cairo, a petrol station was smashed and the burned-out shells
of three cars lay on the street nearby. Elsewhere, police trucks and
pick-ups still smoldered in the acrid air, filled with the smell of smoke
and teargas.

The ruling party headquarters in Cairo, set ablaze on Friday, was still

In Cairo's Mohandiseen district, jewelry shops were ransacked and emptied.
A Reuters team saw a gang of looters storm into a bank and carry out the
safe overnight.

More than half of the dead in Friday's clashes were reported in Suez, the
eastern city which was a focus of the most violent protests over the past
four days.


Some Egyptians expressed fear that more unrest would leave their country
in ruins, and hoped Mubarak would go quickly.

"We don't want this regime to leave this country in a state of
destruction. We want it to go away. We need to give them a safe haven to
leave this nation. Leave us, enough," Salah Abdel Maqsoud, a senior
official in the Journalists Union close to the opposition Muslim
Brotherhood, told Al Jazeera television.

Mubarak, 82, has been a close ally of Washington and beneficiary of U.S.
aid for decades, justifying his autocratic rule in part by citing a danger
of Islamist militancy.

The Muslim Brotherhood opposition, however, appears to have played a
backseat role in the unrest.

His government has largely shut Egypt off from the Internet, which
protesters used to organize. The mobile phone network in Cairo was still
out of action. Obama called for an end to interference with communications

"I want to be very clear in calling upon the Egyptian authorities to
refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters," Obama said.

Anthony Skinner, Associate Director of political risk consultancy
Maplecroft, said Mubarak's conduct was reminiscent of that of Tunisia's
ousted leader Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, who also fired his cabinet hours
before he was forced to flee.

"Mubarak is showing he is still there for now and he is trying to deflect
some of the force of the process away from himself by sacking the cabinet.
We will have to see how people react but I don't think it will be enough
at all."

Markets were hit by the uncertainty. U.S. stocks suffered their biggest
one-day loss in nearly six months, crude oil prices surged and the dollar
and U.S. Treasury debt gained as investors looked to safe havens.

(Additional reporting by Dina Zayed, Marwa Awad, Shaimaa Fayed, Sherine El
Madany, Yasmine Saleh, Alison Williams and Samia Nakhoul in Cairo, and
Alexander Dziadosz in Suez; Writing by Peter Graff)

Ex-worker at JBLM collected activist data

RECORDS: Law agencies still store addresses, names, other information

JEREMY PAWLOSKI; The Olympian | January 25, 2011

A former Joint Base Lewis-Mc-Chord employee who spied on war protests in
Olympia helped compile detailed information on protesters, including their
names, photos, addresses and, in some cases, Social Security numbers,
according to 133 pages of law enforcement records released by the City of

The records relate to a Pierce County detective’s recruitment and use of
John Towery, the former JBLM employee, as a confidential informant who
conducted surveillance of local protesters against the Iraq war.

The detailed information collected about the protesters continues to be
stored by area law enforcement agencies, said Tim Smith, who requested the

In December, Smith, chairman of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in
Tacoma, requested that the city give him copies of all of its documents
related to the use of Towery “as a confidential police informant” from
April 1, 2005, through Dec . 3, 2010.

The documents Smith received last week detail years of surveillance of
protest groups by Pierce County detective Christopher Adamson as part of
his work with the “South Sound Regional Intelligence Group.”

The documents contain information about how Adamson recruited Towery as a
confidential informant, and additional records of personal information
about antiwar activists, including former Olympia City Councilman T.J.

JBLM spokesman Joseph Piek declined to comment on the release of the
records during a telephone interview Monday, citing pending civil
litigation against Towery and Towery’s former supervisor at JBLM Force
Protection, Thomas Rudd. Towery no longer works for JBLM, but Rudd is
still employed with JBLM Force Protection, according to Piek.

Members of the Olympia anti-war group Olympia Port Militarization
Resistance, or OlyPMR, have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against
Towery and his former superiors at JBLM, alleging that Towery illegally
spied on them under an assumed name. The suit alleges Towery’s undercover
surveillance of the group violated the Posse Comitatus Act, a federal law
that prohibits the military from engaging in law enforcement activities
against U.S. citizens.

Smith said the records he obtained last week sound a disturbing alarm for
anyone concerned about a law enforcement “surveillance system that starts
to look at its citizens.” The use of undercover surveillance of people
that are engaged in First Amendment activities “is only lawful when there
is a criminal nexus or criminal predicate,” Smith said. “That surveillance
must cease when it is indicated that there is no such thing,” Smith added.

There are specific laws that bar federal money from being funneled to law
enforcement agencies that conduct surveillance of political activities
protected by the First Amendment, Smith added.

Pierce County Sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said Monday that the use of
confidential sources is nothing new, and is used in a wide array of
different types of criminal investigations. He said anti-war protesters
have assaulted officers, disrupted traffic and committed arsons during
protests in Tacoma. Identifying the protesters who cause such problems is
a legitimate goal of such investigations, Troyer added. Troyer said law
enforcement does not have an interest in identifying individuals who
engage in peaceful protest.

A redacted version of the documents obtained by Smith has been published

News of the documents detailing the surveillance of protest groups has
spread quickly in Olympia’s activist community.

Smith said the dossiers appear to have been compiled by Towery and Adamson
in his role with the South Sound Regional Intelligence Group, but they
were made available through a records request to the City of Tacoma, a
distinction Smith said means that the investigative files are being shared
among different governmental agencies. Smith emphasized that without an
ongoing criminal investigation or active court case, the detailed
information on protesters should be purged or destroyed. Such information
also should not have been made available to the public, he added.

Officials with the city of Tacoma, including City Attorney Elizabeth
Pauley, could not be reached for comment Monday.

According to the records obtained by Smith, Detective Adamson recruited
Towery in March 2007, as a “voluntary confidential source.” Adamson
describes his regional intelligence unit’s work as a response to
“increasing criminal acts associated with criminal anarchist groups and
anti-war demonstrators. The crimes are now being committed in support of
these issues and have grown to include anti-gentrification, immigration
and other environmental issues.”

Adamson said that he and Towery approached Rudd, Towery’s then-boss at
JBLM, and that Rudd agreed to allow Towery to work for Adamson during his
off-duty hours.

“Rudd expressed concern but both he and Towery understood Towery would be
working at my direction for my agency and not as an Army employee,”
Adamson wrote in a three-page document obtained by Smith and written on
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office letterhead. “Towery understood that he
would be working as a voluntary source during his offduty hours and at his
own expense to develop criminal information on individuals who were
committing criminal acts impacting our region.”

OlyPMR member Phan Nguyen said he thought it was “disturbing” to find a
photo of himself, along with his name, date of birth, and the description
“activist leader” in the records that were obtained by Smith. Nguyen said
the documents also contain handwritten notes of a confidential informant’s
description of mundane conversations during a goingaway party thrown for
an activist.

“I have been outraged by this,” Nguyen said. “I think it’s a waste of
resources to go after people that aren’t doing anything wrong, except for
exercising their rights.”

Reached by telephone Monday afternoon, former councilman Johnson said he
was disturbed to learn that his name and photo were included in the
dossier of antiwar activists maintained by the South Sound Regional
Intelligence Group, “but it’s not surprising. The militarization of
domestic law enforcement is one of the more disturbing trends in recent
years. I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not.”

OlyPMR member Drew Hendricks, whose activities are intermittently referred
to throughout the materials, said the ongoing suppression of peaceful
protest activity has been successful in chilling organizing efforts in the
movement by creating an atmosphere of mistrust that makes individuals wary
of infiltrators. The ongoing surveillance of the organization of peaceful
anti-war protests is not justified, he added.

“They’re acting like being a dissenter is a crime, which it is not,”
Hendricks said.

Read more:

Bradley Manning's Torture Commonplace In U.S. Prisons

Jan. 26, 2011

The corrosive, solitary confinement being inflicted upon PFC Bradley Manning in the Quantico, Va., brig is no exceptional torture devised exclusively for him. Across the length and breadth of the Great American Prison State, the world's largest, with its 2.4-million captives stuffed into 5,000 overcrowded lock-ups, some 25,000 other inmates are suffering a like fate of sadistic isolation in so-called supermax prisons, where they are being systematically reduced to veritable human vegetables.

To destroy Manning as a human being, the Pentagon for the past seven months has barred him from exercising in his cell, and to inhibit his sleep denies him a pillow and sheet and allows him only a scratchy blanket, according to Heather Brooke of "Common Dreams" ( January 26 th .) He is awakened each day at five a.m. and may not sleep until 8 p.m. The lights of his cell are always on and he is harassed every five minutes by guards who ask him if he is okay and to which he must respond verbally. Stalin's goons called this sort of endless torture the "conveyor belt."

Not surprisingly, Manning is attracting global attention to the Pentagon's sadism. If anyone did not believe the Pentagon's ruthless treatment of Iraqi prisoners when the Abu Ghraib torture photos were released, they believe it now that it is torturing one of its own. In this assault upon the body and mind of a 23-year-old American soldier, all of the Pentagon's arrogance and clumsiness is revealed to the world. Perhaps not even the French military---when its frame-up on treason charges of Jewish Colonel Alfred Dreyfus was exposed---attracted to itself the global searchlights of opprobrium now bathing the walls of the Marine Corps brig at Quantico.

The kind of isolation torture Manning is enduring in recent years has spread itself quietly throughout U.S. correctional facilities like a deadly gangrene. According to one reliable report, by 2003 between five and eight percent of the prison populations of Arizona, Colorado, Maine, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia were rotting in isolation. In some federal prisons the cells are referred to euphemistically as "Communications Management Units" and are, incidentally, "disproportionately inhabited by Muslim prisoners," according to an American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) law suit challenging them. In another suit, the ACLU has accused the Texas Youth Commission of "throwing children (girls) into cold, bare solitary confinement cells..." and told the TYC bluntly its "reliance on solitary confinement has to stop."

Dr. Stuart Grassian, a veteran of 25 years on the faculty of Harvard Medical School, wrote in a law school journal of his interviews with prisoners in solitary. He said almost a third of them experienced impaired brain function. They "described hearing voices, often in whispers, often saying frightening things to them." In an article published in "The Long Term View" magazine of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, Grassian wrote that about a third succumbed to "acute psychotic, confusional states" in which they saw objects "becoming larger and smaller, seeming to 'melt' or change form." And this was only one of the syndromes experienced.

In a related article published in the same issue (Volume 7, No. 2), Dr. Atul Gawande of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, cited the findings of psychology professor Craig Haney of the University of California at Santa Cruz on isolation's impact. Some inmates in the Pelican Bay supermax, Haney found, even after just months of isolation, suffered "Chronic apathy, lethargy, depression, and despair often result...In extreme cases, prisoners may literally stop behaving, becoming essentially catatonic." This, of course, is what the Pentagon apparently seeks to inflict on Manning. In June, 2006, the Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons recommended ending long-term isolation of prisoners but the so-called "House of War" wasn't listening.

In the 2008 presidential race, Gawande wrote, both Obama and McCain came out firmly for banning torture and closing Guantanamo Bay prison where hundreds have been held in years-long isolation, yet neither "addressed the question of whether prolonged solitary confinement is torture." McCain spent two of his five years as a POW in Viet Nam in solitary, later stating: "It's an awful thing, solitary. It crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment."

The U.S. willingness to hold prisoners in isolation for years "made it easy to discard the Geneva Conventions prohibiting similar treatment of foreign prisoners of war, to the detriment of America's moral stature in the world," Gawande wrote, adding, "In much the same way that a previous generation of Americans countenanced legalized segregation, our (generation) has countenanced legalized torture. And there is no clearer manifestation of this than our routine use of solitary confinement---on our own people, in our own communities, in a supermax prison..."

" This conduct (solitary confinement) by the U.S. Federal and State governments constitutes torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which are treaties to which the United States is a contracting party," says international legal authority Francis Boyle, professor of the subject at the University of Illinois, Champaign.

Boyle believes, "As citizens of America and human beings in the world, we must do all in our power to terminate such illegal and criminal practices that are daily perpetrated by our own governmental institutions in our name against our fellow citizens and human beings." Boyle is the author of "Defending Civil Resistance Under International Law"(Amazon).

Those supporting Manning need to recognize he is an icon for the bizarre, systemic destruction of tens of thousands of other human beings locked away in perpetual silence by their tormentors, often for mere infractions of prison rules, without the review of any judge or jury. As the ACLU told the TYC, this must be stopped. What action will you take in your community to put an end to it?#

(Sherwood Ross is a Florida-based public relations consultant for good causes and director of the Anti-War News Service. Disclosure: he was editor of "The Long-Term View magazine cited in this article and is a media consultant to the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.)

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Please protest the torture of PFC Bradley Manning and enact legislation to ban this torture nationally.

Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers

Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Solidarity gatherings with the hunger strikers in Athens, Chania, Thessaloniki, Volos, Mytilene, Kozani, Iraklio, Xanthi.

To the streets! For solidarity, for dignity

Jan. 27, 2011 Occupied London

#484 | Solidarity gatherings with the hunger strikers in Athens, Chania,
Thessaloniki, Volos, Mytilene, Kozani, Iraklio, Xanthi. To the streets!
For solidarity, for dignity.

10pm GMT+2 Negotiations are taking place the last two hours. The hunger
strikers set several conditions in order to leave the Law School but the
government does not seem ready as yet to agree with all of them so the
huger-strikers and several hundred of supporters incl. some university
teachers, students, human rights groups and activists are ready to defend
the academic freedom by the police. Cops have surrounded the School and
do not allow to people to approach.

The hunger strikers in the Law School

People who gathered in solidarity to the hunger strikers and the rest of
the people in the Law School

Cops in front of the Athens Law School gate, behind them activists.

As the police operation against the migrant hunger strikers in the Athens
Law school seems imminent, impromptu solidarity gatherings have been
called at the following Greek cities (list to be updated). All gatherings
at 7pm GMT+2

* Athens (Exarcheia Square)
* Chania, Crete (Agora)
* Thessaloniki (Labour Union)
* Kozani (main Square)
* Xanthi (Polytechnic)
* Volos (Migrant Haunt, 9pm)
* Mytilene (Bineio, 8.30pm)

#483 | Decision by the assembly of the 300 hunger strikers of the Law School

Rough translation of the full text of the migrant hunger strikers’
assembly which has triggered, as it seems, the immenent police operation
in the Law school.

Greek original


Us, the 250 hunger strikers

Who are already on the 3d day of hunger strike in the Law School,
demanding the legalisation as our given right, have been hearing about the
discussions around our demand, the inaccuracies, lies and intentional
distortion of the truth. We do not know if it is the government or mass
media responsible for this situation, however it is unacceptable for such
lies to be told since we have issued press releases, we had made the site
of the hunger strike accessible to journalists from day 1 and we have sent
representatives of ours to the university community and the government.
And so, wanting to restore the truth, we declare the following:

* · We are not what the media present us to be, that is the poor
migrants who are penniless, without houses, work, clothes and so on.
We have homes, relatives, work in the cities we left behind. We were
not looking for shelter here in Athens but rather, we came to struggle
(for as long as our bodies can take it) for our legalisation, our
rights and for dignified life conditions.
* We did not wish to bother anyone. From the beginning we knew that
the site we had chosen in the Law School was not used for educational
purposes. We respect and protect the site hosting our struggle and
were very happy to hear that the school is operating as normal once
* · We decide on our own and unaffected by anyone, through our
assemblies (the assembly of the hunger strikers). There is no-one
hiding behind us, neither in front of us. And we will not take
guidance [orders] by anyone! We asked for help and from the beginning,
Greeks and foreigners stood in solidarity, a fact for which we thank
them very much. We will never forget how much they aid our struggle.
* We declare our solidarity to all the migrants who are on hunger
strike demanding their legalisation (in Propylea and the Athens
Polytechnic) and we ask the government to meet their demands.
* Today we were offered a relocation under given conditions. The main
reasons for which this relocation is not possible are the following

a) the proposed site would only be accessible by the hunger strikers
and not those in solidarity

b) that site would be guarded by police, a fact that would not only not
only solve any problems but create further tension too.

c) The suggested solution is temporary and offers no permanent solution.

Us, the migrants, who are forced to wander around the entire world, do not
want to be forced to wander around during our hunger strike too.

We nevertheless declare we remain open to suggestions that will however
meet our struggle’s demands.

Also, we know there is no Asylum issue. We therefore ask the Government
not to deal with this matter but rather to focus on our just demand and
meeting this.

Finally we ask all those in solidarity who wish so, to attend tomorrow’s
solidarity assembly at 6pm outside the Law school.

#482 | Police completely cordon off Athens Law School; raid is imminent;
people gather in Exarcheia and Propylea in Athens; Leftist party
Synaspismos denounces the hunger strikers

19.15 GMT+2 There are approximately 300 hunger strikers and another 300
people in solidarity in the Law School of Athens which is now completely
cordoned off by heavy police forces who are only awaiting, it seems, the
final signal to start off their raid operation.

People have also gathered in solidarity behind the police cordons and also
in Exarcheia and Panepistimio in Athens and in Thessaloniki.

Unconfirmed reports that the riot police have already entered the building.

#481 | Riot police encircle the Law School in Athens in apparent
preparation for a raid as migrant hunger strikers vow to stay – constant

At this moment (17.45 GMT+2) heavy riot police forces have encircled the
Law School building in Athens, immediately after the decision by the 300
migrants in hunger strike to stay in the building. The migrants’ assembly
decided they would stay despite the demand by university authorities and
the government that they move out. The assembly justified the decision
based on the fact that the building used by the migrants is unused by the
university (under construction) and that the building proposed for the
transfer does not meet basic huigenic conditions.

It is very likely that the riot police will now attempt to violate the
academic asylum and raid the Law School.

More updates as they come.

#480 | Call for solidarity to the 300 migrants hunger strikers in Greece

Call for Solidarity to the 300 Migrants Hunger Strikers in Greece

On January 25, 300 migrant workers went on hunger strike in Athens and
Their main demand is to be legalized.

At this moment, when the financial crisis has violently erupted and
ultra-right political forces have come to the fore, this may sound as a
maximalist demand.

For this reason, we need to pay attention to their demands so as to create
symbolic cracks in the system and achieve political victories.

-The political establishment and mainstream media in Greece have already
started putting pressure to the migrants’ struggle and to those in

It is urgent to vow now the broadest support possible!

Below the call for signatures.

Those that wish to sign are welcome to send their name and profession in
the following address:

Solidarity to the struggle of the 300 hunger strikers

How many times do they have to risk their lives in order to confirm their
and our existence?

In order to have the right to live with dignity and hope, in a country
that seeks for scapegoats in those who are the most vulnerable and weak.

For the migrant who, with his/her own blood, his/her poorly paid work and
his/her creativity, make the country’s economic machine move on.

For those who’re seeking for freedom and fleeing from neediness, war or
some other short of «peaceful» occupation, cross the borders in search of
a better life.

For the migrants who lost their lives at the national borders of the
European countries, for the 13.000 certified victims of the security
doctrine since 1993 and the thousands of persons still missing.

For the migrants’ children who from their early age grow with legal and
social constraints and exclusions.
In order to bring forward and establish to the common consciousness, as
struggle and cause, the joint social interests of Greeks and migrants who
produce the social wealth in every short of services, in constructions, in
factories, in the fields, in domestic works – as well as the common social
interests of the unemployed people.

For the reasons mentioned above and other unmentioned here:

- We express our solidarity to the 300 migrants, hunger strikers
- We demand the unconditional legalization for all migrants
- We support the migrants’ demands for equal political and social rights
and duties with the Greek workers

January 2011

Solidarity Assembly to the Migrants Hunger Strikers

It is also important that individuals, assemblies, groups and
organizations express their support through letters of support, press
releases and actions of solidarity.

Greece: Hunger strikers end campus occupation

By DEREK GATOPOULOS, Associated Press Derek Gatopoulos, Associated Press –
Thu Jan 27, 9:49 pm ET

ATHENS, Greece – More than 200 immigrants on hunger strike ended a
five-day occupation of Athens University's Law School early Friday,
following a tense standoff with police that underscored the country's
ongoing illegal immigration crisis.

The immigrants, on hunger strike since Tuesday, were joined by scores of
Greek demonstrators and left the university building before marching
across the city center to a private building rented by pro-migrant

The hunger strikers, most from north African countries, are demanding
legalization — an appeal that was flatly rejected by the country's
Socialist government, which is grappling with a growing illegal
immigration problem.

Scores of police — included special forces — had surrounded the central
Athens campus building during more 10 hours of negotiations that finally
ended at 3:30 a.m. Friday (0130 GMT) when the immigrants walked out
carrying rolls of blankets and thin mattresses. They filed past police,
raising their arms to make the victory sign, as onlookers chanted slogans
against the government and police.

Some protesters briefly attacked photographers and reporters outside the
campus, accusing them of siding with police in the dispute.

Under Greek law, police are barred from entering university campuses, but
academic authorities had lifted the university asylum Thursday, handing
police the rarely granted power to intervene.

Several hundred protesters gathered outside the police cordon, chanting
"Greek and foreign workers are united," while the standoff chocked evening
rush-hour traffic in central Athens.

Greece is the European Union's busiest transit point for illegal
immigration, and it has promised to take a tougher line against
trafficking. About 90 percent of immigrants caught entering the bloc
illegally are apprehended in Greece, according to European Union figures.

The country is planning to build a fence along a 12.5-kilometer
(eight-mile) section of its northeastern border with Turkey, and use old
army bases to detain illegal immigrants.

On Thursday, Greek Public Order Minister Christos Papoutsis had ruled out
using force to end the Law School occupation.

"A political decision has been made — my decision — that under no
circumstances will we contribute to the tension, clashes or even bloodshed
that certain people may have wanted," Papoutsis said after meeting with
French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, who was visiting Athens.

Hortefeux said his government is backing Greece's border fence plan.

"We support the creation of obstacles to counter immigration pressure," he
said. "Of course this cannot be compared to the Berlin Wall or anything
like that."

But the proposed fence has been met with criticism by human rights groups
and a lukewarm response from the European Union.

Hortefeux said he also discussed a recent spike in violence by far-left
groups in European countries.

France is seeking information on violent groups before hosting G-8 and
G-20 summits later this year, he said.

"Traditionally, these summits attract protests ... We are looking into
ways of sharing information and various preventive measures," Hortefeux


AP writers Elena Becatoros and Nicholas Paphitis contributed.

Statement on Lynn Watson

January 23, 2011 by Activist Security |

The following is a statement from the collective
following discussions with individuals involved in the expose of 'Lynn
Watson' as an undercover police infiltrator. The original of this,
including photographs, can be found at their website
Lynn_watson_html_42568a26-thumb Lynn_watson_html_m5f4721ce-thumb

Click on any picture for a Slideshow view

Earlier this week it was reported in The Guardian [1] that the Leeds based
activist known as "Lynn Watson" had been an undercover police officer
serving with the CIU/NPIOU - the police unit that places infiltrators in
protest movements. As the only public report of this came from a
mainstream newspaper and had no follow up statement there has been doubt
expressed in some quarters as to whether she was an undercover policewoman
or not.

Recently, our collective have had a chance to speak to various individuals
involved with the story in order to understand and confirm it.

It is not our intention to give a full account of Lynn's activities,
though it is now known that she was involved between 2004-2008, including
groups such as Trident Ploughshares, Clown Army, the mobilisation around
the G8 at Gleneagles, the Drax Climate Camp and The Common Place social
centre [2]. The email address she used was and
possibly - these are now known to be active until
relatively recently at least.

Lynn was not ostentatiously present in the way that other infiltrators
were, and provided considerable practical help to groups. She lived in
outer Leeds before moving to the more central location of Hyde Park. This
house was privately rented. She claimed to be a care worker, temping
through an agency, so she was a way for several weeks at a time.

In 2008 Lynn left Leeds, moving to Coventry with her partner "Paul". At
the time friends were not suspicious and thought that this was simply her
moving on to another stage of her life. She continued to be in regular
contact. In May 2008 she said she was moving to Lithuania with Paul who
had a job there. She would be there for several months before planning to
move once more, this time to the US for two years, again due to Paul
supposedly getting work there.

It was after the supposed move to Lithuania that contact dropped off
dramatically and suspicions began grow. Initially, people who had
considered her a close friend were worried that she was in trouble and
tried to contact her. Lead after lead turned up negative. Paul, supposedly
a photographer in Coventry, could also not be contacted or identified,
despite considerable effort being expended on this. Likewise the story of
another boyfriend, a locksmith from Northampton could not be confirmed.

It was only at this point that people's suspicion were aroused that she
might have not been all that she seemed to be. An analysis of what was
known about her indicated circumstantial evidence that her story was
leaking in quite a few places. However, in all of this, there was no
definitive piece of evidence that she was a police officer. Thus, there
was a decision not to go public. Where it was known that those who had
been involved closely with her could were potentially at risk, they were
informed of the suspicions.

Lynn was subsequently twice encountered by chance in the South West of
England. She was friendly enough and indicated that she was still with
Paul though he may have been in some sort of trouble. Attempts to keep in
touch with her continued to fail.

The collective believes that in the light of the
evidence the group had at the time that this was the correct approach to
take. There was no way to be certain, and while there was some
circumstantial evidence warranting suspicion it was all indirect and
constructed from holes rather than concrete events. That is not sufficient
to justify a formal statement, being little better than rumour-mongering.
Warning people who might be at risk that there was a question to be asked,
but keeping the rumour mill in check was responsible behaviour.

When Mark Kennedy / Stone was exposed, he was asked about Lynn and he
replied that she was in the same unit as he was. Mark was one of those who
knew of the suspicions around Lynn, and given that he had just spent seven
years lying to people it was not known if his word could be trusted or
not. ActivistSecurty concur, in that while it added weight to the body of
suspicion, the word of a copper against another should not be taken at
face-value. While there has been various reports in the media of Mark
having 'gone native' with the implication that his word could be relied
upon, that is pure speculation.

It seems that The Guardian had independent knowledge of Lynn as well, but
not enough to go public without risk of libel. This changed with the
collapse of the Ratcliffe 6 "deniers" trial and the subsequent media
furore. The Guardian appears to have then obtained the confirmation they
needed from the police, gave her the time to be extracted and then named
her alias with a photo of her. Her career as an undercover is now
effectively over, something we have no problem with. We are told that a
leading police officer went to the journalists house to ask that her
identity was not immediately released to give time for her to be
extracted, would also, if true, add strength to this.

As well as Lynn, people have had suspicions in regards to her last known
partner, "Paul". While, again, is no definitive proof, his continued role
in Lynn's cover story for her 'extraction', his untraceability and given
that people did actually have suspicion of him at the time he was
introduced to them as her partner, we believe that enough of a cloud hangs
over him that his photo should be published. If someone knows who he is we
are interested in hearing more. If they wish to dispute why his photograph
should be removed published we will listen to arguments and re-consider
our decision if necessary.

Ideally a statement would have be put out at the same time as the
Guardian's initial expose. This is perhaps a lesson to be learned from. In
a number of cases, those investigating have been a small, ad hoc group of
people formed for the purpose rather than a formal group with an
established identity. This has meant that the main repository for stories
and release has been Indymedia UK, something which leads to difficulty in
verification of how true things are - the same occurred with Matthew
Gibbons, Mark Stone, etc.

It is also important that a vacuum is not created in which all sorts of
disinformation and dangerous speculation takes place. This is a short
coming of the protest movement as a whole. ActivistSecurity is interested
in examining this issue further and is interested in receiving comment on
how this might happen.



Thursday, January 27, 2011

Police Violence Is Not An Accident

Jan. 27, 2011 Puget Sound Anarchists

There are gaping holes in the efforts of police spokespeople, community
members, and city officials to apologize and rationalize the ongoing
violence of the Seattle Police Department. What we hear repeatedly are
sentiments like, "They are just doing their jobs, which are stressful and
dangerous," as well as, "These are isolated incidences." Dialogue around
how to correct overt force demonstrated by SPD revolves around reform and
"making the police remember who they work for."
While police accountability is certainly an issue that many communities
rally behind for good reason, it also neglects the reality of the history
of the modern day police force in the United States as well as who
constitutes its body. You cannot apologize away an insitution that was
formed to protect capital and the rich, nor can you deny the pattern of
abuse in the SPD as being "isolated." In fact, a culture of violence
intiated the police force and maintains it's power today.

The Modern Day Police Force

While the modern day police force has had several incarnations (including
the commonly corrupt sherriffs and constables of days past), the system of
policing as we know it today was never intended to protect citizens from
one another: it was intended to provide insurance to slave owners who felt
that their minority status in the South was a threat to their estates.

"Faced with the difficulties of keeping a major portion of the population
enslaved to a small elite, Southern society borrowed from the practices of
the Caribbean...There, slaveowners used professional slave catchers and
militias to capture runaways, while overseers were responsible for
maintaining order on the the 1680s, the militia began
making regular patrols to catch the runaways, prevent slave gatherings,
search slave quarters, keep order at markets, funerals, and festivals, and
generally intimidate the Black population." ("Our Enemies In Blue,"
Kristian Williams)

The modern day police force is modeled after these slave patrols and their
job is to protect the social mechanisms of capitalism. Cops, SPD included,
do not serve the public, they serve private interests. This is what is
happening as they meticulously pick off the homeless, people with
disabilities, and other marginalized communities who do not have the
resources to fight back, and why they are so often not prosecuted.

The Culture of SPD

Recently the Stranger and the Seattle Times both reported on the newspaper
written and distributed by the Seattle Union Police Officer's Guild, The
Guardian. The Guardian is a monthly publication written by cops, for cops.
The content in the SPD paper that both publications reported on include an
open disdain for civilian insight into the way the SPD is run as well as
flaming critiques of the racial and social justice programs implemented in
the last 5 years. Editorialists in the Guardian go so far as to call
Seattle city officials "socialists," as well as promoting the idea that
social rights advocates are "enemies."
The Stranger spotlights Officer Clayton Powell's editorial, "Reality or
Ignorance: the State of Being Out of Touch" (November 2010). Powell writes
that cops should have access to racially and sexually charged words in
order to relate to the communities that police are trying to develop
credibility with. It is unclear at what point he believes using the "n"
word in a community of color will "connect" his whiteness to their
systematic oppression by the police and State. Disturbingly, Powell
recommends that other officers watch the movie "Kings of Comedy,"
particularly what Bernie Mac has to say about using profane language such
as "Motherf****r," in order to appreciate officer's abilities to utilize
problematic language.
It should be no surprise then that Powell, unable to understand the racism
behind a white cop using the "n" word, was also investigated by the SPD in
2000 for threatening and stalking his ex-wife. The Seattle PI reported in
an article on July 23, 2003 ("Cops who abuse their wives rarely pay the
price") that these charges were not taken seriously by the department and
Powell was not disciplined.
The Times reported that City Councilmember Tim Burgess said, of the
Guardian editorials, "[the comments are] not consistent with the values of
the police department or the rules of behavior the department sets for our
officers." Taking a brief look at SPD's history of recent violence could,
however, prove otherwise.

SPD's (Incomplete) Recent History of Violence

-May 2009, Christopher Sean Harris was chased down a street in Belltown by
unidentified men. In reality, Deputy Matthew Paul, who was not
identifiable as a member of the sherriff's department, shoved Harris' head
into a wall and crushed it, resulting in a catastrophic brain injury that
only recently won Harris a $10M settlement.
-November 2009, 15 year old black youth Malika Calhoun was slammed into a
wall and punched twice while being detained in a holding cell by King
County Sherriff's Deputy Paul Schene.
-April 17th, A group of Hispanic men are pulled over near Lake Union.
Officer Shandy Cobane asserts: "I'm going to beat the f***ing Mexican piss
out of you homey. You feel me?" and stomps one of the men.
-June 14th, two black youths crossing MLK are stopped by the cops for
jaywalking and one is punched in the face by officer Ian Walsh.
-September 2010, 6 people shot in one week, 5 killed, including John T.
Williams. Williams, a Native woodcarver holding a 3-inch closed blade, was
shot by Ian Birk within four seconds of being accosted and ordered to drop
his wood carving knife.
-January 2011, a man is handcuffed and forced onto the ground, punched,
and spit socked by two officers on Rainer Ave. S. after wandering into the
street. Witnesses report excessive force

It shouldn't be a surprise that SPD invests time and energy holding
community meetings intended for public relations outreach and then defames
critics of the department in their private union paper. The Stranger
reports, "'The intended audience is the police department,' says [Sean]
Whitcomb. 'It's very police-y. It's specific jargon. They are writing to a
specific audience.'"
The two faces of the SPD are meant to soothe the public while protecting
private interests. They cannot accept money from the state if they are
open about the internal culture they are cultivating. As author and police
investigator Kristian Williams has said, "The main function of the police
has very little to do with crime or enforcing the law and is more directed
toward maintaining existing social inequality, especially those based on
race and class."
It is a mistake to believe that the police can be reformed. If we wish to
take our lives back from the chokehold of the prison industrial complex,
we must abolish all its servants--including the police-- and end our
enslavement to capitalism and its enforcers.


Marco Camenisch has been transferred again (Switzerland)

From 325

The anarchist prisoner Marco Camenisch has been transferred to another
prison already a second time in half a year. This time he has been moved
to Lenzburg in Aargau. We don’t yet know the reason for this. But it is
clear, that for prisoners each transfer means great stress: new situation,
new regime, new harassment. Marco needs our solidarity! He is doing time
as a political prisoner for almost 20 years.

Send your letters in solidarity to:

Marco Camenisch
Justizvollzugsanstalt Lenzburg
Postfach 75
5600 Lenzburg

For a society without prisons!

Friends and Supporters of Marco Camenisch, January 2011

American presses attempted murder charges against Delta Police for beating in demonstration

Jan. 26, 2011 Occupied London

Noam Chomsky and Judith Butler are amongst 170 internationals to denounce
Delta Police and call for investigation

Athens, Greece

This morning in Athens, an American anarchist has pressed attempted murder
charges against Delta and Dias motorcycle police, as well as the relevant
commanding officers, for a beating she suffered at the intersection of
Patision and Stournari streets, while demonstrating against the IMF on
November 15th, 2010. Meanwhile, over 170 members of the American and
European scholarly community, including Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, and
Immanuel Wallerstein, have denounced the behavior of the Delta police
towards demonstrations and specifically the beating of the American
demonstrator, calling the attack on her “nearly fatal”.

The November 15th Beating

On the night of the 15th of November, the 27 year old, 48 kilo protester
was rushed bleeding and semi-conscious to the Erythros Stavros emergency
room, where she was diagnosed as multiply- injured and having been
brutally beaten by S. Marianou, a forensic surgeon. She was released after
three days. Among multiple injuries to her head, neck, back, and abdomen,
she suffered from a skull fracture, blood hemorrhaging, and permanent
damage to her inner ear. She also received stitches on the side of her
head where she was injured by the first blow from the police by what
surgeons in the hospital called a “blunt object”- the impact of which had
rendered her immediately unconscious.

The demonstration took place on the first day of anniversary celebrations
of the historic 1973 Polytechnio uprising, and was attended by thousands
of people ranging from base unions to student organizations to left
parties and anarchists, protesting the arrival of IMF officials in Athens
that day.

Eye-witness say that as the demonstration was coming to end at Polytechnio
at approximately 8pm, up to 15 Delta police on motorcycles charged a
student block at the back of the demonstration on Patision street,
throwing concussion grenades into the crowd and sending people into a

According to eye-witness accounts, one of the Delta police ran towards the
American woman and hit her from behind with a blunt object, immediately
knocking her unconscious and causing her head to gush blood. Then multiple
officers beat her with batons and kicked her before dragging her to an
adjacent sidewalk, where she was beaten again by multiple officers. The
officers attempted to handcuff her, but because of her condition they
decided to leave her. She later recovered her consciousness. – “When I
woke up I was surprised because I was in a different place than I had last
remembered when the police first hit me. I could not hear anything from my
right ear, and I could not turn my head or move my right arm- I thought my
neck was broken. I saw blood on the sidewalk all around me and on the
column in front of me. I was incredibly dizzy and it was difficult to
remain conscious.”

The American demonstrator was brought to the hospital by ambulance after
being given first aid in the Alpha theater on Patision by members of
EEK(Workers Revolutionary Party).

Eleytherotypia reported, “We saw her in the ambulance full of blood. She
was bleeding from her head, her ear, and her nose.”

The doctors said that she had multiple injuries and admitted her for care.
She was also screened for internal bleeding, as she had lost urine during
the beating as a result of being kicked directly in the kidneys. Four
police officers had followed her to the hospital, where they repeatedly
tried to intimidate her and interrogate her throughout the night despite
her debilitated condition. However, people who showed up in solidarity as
well as the doctors prevented them from approaching her bed well into the
late hours of the night.

Attempted Homicide Charges Against the Delta

Her lawyer, Giota Massouridou, claims that the police’s actions were
intentionally lethal given that she was beaten for a prolonged amount of
time while clearly bleeding from the head and unconscious, and that the
medical reports show that the police targeted the most vulnerable parts of
her body- repeatedly beating her on the head, neck, and mid-section. The
fact that the officers dragged her limp body several meters to the
sidewalk evidences that they were aware that she was completely
unconscious and unresponsive, and yet they continued the beating on the
sidewalk- as witnesses say- for up to two minutes. Massouridou also says
that given the American woman’s petite size, it obviously would have been
difficult for her to sustain such an attack from multiple policemen, and
that it is by pure luck she is alive.

Additionally, the officers left her unconscious on the sidewalk,
indicating that they wanted to avoid responsibility for the extent of her
injuries, especially in the case that she would not survive.

Along with attempted murder, the American woman is also charging the
police with continuous and collective use of illegal violence, breach of
duty, and abuse of authority.

In light of the beating of the American anarchist, an international
denouncement of Delta police was made by over 170 professors, journalists,
legal scholars, and university students from the United States and Europe,
including several well-known academics and writers such as Noam Chomsky
and Judith Butler.

“There is a long history of complaints against Delta police for physical
brutality, as there are several other cases of demonstrators being
hospitalized with severe injuries after receiving beatings from Delta
police, ” the statement reads. “We urge a full disclosure of information
regarding the identity of the Delta unit responsible for the excessive
attack on the night of the 15th of November. ”

There are other indicative charges which have been brought against the
Delta police for brutality towards demonstrations. Charges were brought by
Professor Aggeliki Koutsoumpou, who was seriously injured on the 6th of
December 2009, when a Delta police officer rammed her with his motorcycles
during a demonstration. On January 4rth, the political organization
‘Dikaioma’ sued the DELTA and DIAS for an assault on their block during a
December 15, 2010 general strike demonstration.

In a press conference the lawyer for Dikaioma, Kostas Papadakis, said, “It
is only a matter of time before the Delta police kill someone.”

The american anarchist, who still suffers from a fractured skull and
permanent hearing loss, said in reference to the actions of the police:
“What happened to me is not an isolated incident, it is a daily occurance
because it is the very role of the police in co-operation with state and
capital. This beating will not make me afraid, it does not stop me or
anyone else from going to demonstrations – although it’s true that the
police came close to killing me that night, we go into the streets because
capitalism murders us everyday.”

Fight Grand Jury Repression - National Call-in Day, Tues. Feb. 1

Committee to Stop FBI Repression
to Fitzpatrick, Holder and Obama
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Over 50 cities, hundreds of groups, and thousands of people protested
against FBI and U.S. Grand Jury repression on Tuesday January
25. The protests are a response to ongoing and expanding repression
originating from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's office in
Chicago. On September 24th, the FBI raided anti-war and solidarity
activists' homes and subpoenaed fourteen in Chicago, Minneapolis, and
Michigan. All fourteen decided to not appear before the Grand Jury
in October. The Grand Jury is a secret and closed inquisition, where
the U.S. Attorney controls the entire proceedings, hand picks the
jurors, there is no judge, and the activists are not allowed a lawyer.

The following month, three Minneapolis women had their subpoenas
reactivated and they are still waiting in limbo. Then nine more
Palestine solidarity activists, most Arab-Americans, were subpoenaed
to appear at the Grand Jury on January 25, 2011, launching renewed protests.

Now we are asking you to call those in charge of the repression aimed
against anti-war leaders and the growing Palestine solidarity movement.
We want your help in promoting the national call in day to demand:
-- Call Off the Grand Jury Witch-hunt Against International
Solidarity Activists!
-- Support Free Speech!
-- Support the Right to Organize!
-- Stop FBI Repression!
-- International Solidarity Is Not a Crime!

Three calls:
1. Call U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald at 312-353-5300. Then dial
0 (zero) for operator and ask to leave a message with the Duty Clerk.
2. Call U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder 202-353-1555
3. Call President Obama at 202-456-1111

Suggested text: "My name is __________, I am from _______(city), in
______(state). I am calling U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (Eric
Holder, President Obama) to demand he call off the Grand Jury and
stop FBI repression against the anti-war and Palestine solidarity
movements. I oppose U.S. government political repression and support
the right to free speech and the right to assembly of the 23
activists subpoenaed. We will not be criminalized. Tell him to stop
this McCarthy-type witch hunt against international solidarity activists!

**Please sign and circulate our new petition at

Visit or write or call 612-379-3585.

Thank you,
Tom Burke,
for the Committee to Stop FBI Repression
StopFBI mailing list

Guantanamo inmates protest their imprisonment

Jan. 27, 2011 Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Dozens of Guantanamo inmates are protesting their
imprisonment with a sit-in and signs to mark the ninth anniversary of the
prison camp's opening.

The Center for Constitutional Rights says the prisoners are refusing to
return to their cells for the required nightly lockdown and that they are
sleeping in the recreational yard and other areas.

The defendants' attorneys say their clients at the prison on the U.S. Navy
base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba have not received due process.

The center said in a statement Thursday that the peaceful protest at Camps
5 and 6 began nearly two weeks ago. A spokeswoman did not return calls
seeking comment.

Guantanamo once held nearly 800 detainees, mostly suspected terrorists.
About 170 remain.

Ugandan gay activist slain after photo published

By MAX DELANY and GODFREY OLUKYA, Associated Press Jan. 27, 2010

KAMPALA, Uganda – A prominent Ugandan gay rights activist whose picture
was published by an anti-gay newspaper next to the words "Hang Them" was
bludgeoned to death. Police said Thursday his sexual orientation had
nothing to do with the killing and that one "robber" had been arrested.

Activists were outraged over the death of David Kato, an advocacy officer
for the gay rights group Sexual Minorities Uganda. His slaying comes after
a year of stepped up threats against gays in Uganda, where a controversial
bill has proposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts.

Kato, who had received multiple threats, was found with serious wounds to
his head caused by an attack with a hammer at his home late Wednesday in
Uganda's capital, Kampala. Kato later died on the way to the hospital.

"We are horrified and saddened by the murder of prominent human rights
activist David Kato in Uganda yesterday afternoon," Assistant Secretary of
State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson posted on Twitter.

Human Rights Watch called for an urgent investigation, saying that Kato's
work as a prominent gay rights campaigner had previously seen him face
threats to his personal safety.

"David Kato's death is a tragic loss to the human rights community," said
Maria Burnett, senior Africa researcher at HRW. "David had faced the
increased threats ... bravely and will be sorely missed."

A Ugandan tabloid newspaper called Rolling Stone listed a number of men
they said were homosexuals last year, including Kato. Kato's picture was
published on the front page, along with his name and a headline that said
"Hang Them."

Kato and two other gay activists sued Rolling Stone over claims that it
had violated their constitutional rights to privacy and won the case
earlier this month. A judge issued an injunction banning the publication
of the identities and personal details of alleged homosexuals.

A police spokesman, Vincent Sekatte, said Kato was killed by robbers who
have so far killed more than 10 people in that area in the past two
months. He said there was no indication the death was connected to any
anti-homosexual sentiment. Kato was hit by a hammer that has been
recovered by police, Sekatte said.

Police arrested one suspect, a driver for Kato, Sekatte said. A second
suspect is being hunted. That suspect had been hired as a house helper and
had recently been released from prison, Sekatte said.

Kato's lawyer told The Associated Press on Thursday that his client had
become noticeably more worried about his safety in the wake of the Rolling
Stone publication.

"He was conscious that something could happen," said John Francis Onyango.

Family, friends and neighbors gathered to mourn at Kato's house on
Thursday. Several women lay on the floor of the living room. The room
where he had been killed was closed off by the police. A funeral is
planned for Friday.

"I feel very lonely," said John Mulumba Wasswa, Kato's older twin brother.
"My brother was a very brave person, very courageous."

Homosexuality is illegal in Uganda and gay men and women face regular
harassment. The controversial bill introduced in 2009 and still before the
country's parliament would see the death penalty introduced for certain
homosexual acts. The bill prompted international condemnation and hasn't
come up for a vote

Human Rights Watch called on the Ugandan government to offer gay people in
the country sufficient protection.

In a statement, the group said that witnesses had told police that Kato
was hit twice on the head by an unknown assailant who had been spotted
entering his property. The assailant was then seen leaving by vehicle, the
statement said.

Frank Mugisha, the chairman of Sexual Minorities Uganda, said he has asked
religious and political leaders and media outlets to stop demonizing
sexual minorities in Uganda.

"Across the entire country, straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender
and intersex Ugandans mourn the loss of David, a dear friend, colleague,
teacher, family member and human rights defender," said Mugisha.

The introduction of the anti-homosexual bill in 2009 followed a conference
in Kampala that was attended by American activists who consider
same-gender relationships sinful. The U.S. evangelicals believe gays and
lesbians can become heterosexual through prayer and counseling. Some gay
Ugandans still resent that American intervention.

"David's death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S
evangelicals in 2009," said Val Kalende, a Ugandan gay rights activist.
"The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S evangelicals must take
responsibility for David's blood."


Associated Press Writer Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.

A Wall Is Just A Wall..:" Night of Poetry and Prison Abolition 2/2/2011 Denver, CO

Wednesday, February 2 · 6:30pm - 8:00pm

6th Avenue United Church of Christ
3250 East 6th Avenue

Denver ABC's monthly political prisoner writing night is being subverted in February.

Its the same time and place: 6:30 at 6th ave UCC on the 1st Wednesday of the month...

And its still child friendly and comes along with a free delicious dinner...

This month though we are celebrating creative writing as a tool towards prison
abolition. Poetry is a weapon of ours, whether that be keeping people on the inside
sane or keeping us on the outside angry.

To honor the legacy of poetry and revolution, we will use this letter writing night
as a space for sharing soulful words. It can be poetry that you wrote, verses
written by political prisoners, or stanzas by poets on the front lines of social
struggle. Anything that personally inspires your abolitionist spirit is welcome!

A Wall Is Just A Wall..:" Night of Poetry and Prison Abolition 2/2/2011 Denver, CO

Wednesday, February 2 · 6:30pm - 8:00pm

6th Avenue United Church of Christ
3250 East 6th Avenue

Denver ABC's monthly political prisoner writing night is being subverted in February.

Its the same time and place: 6:30 at 6th ave UCC on the 1st Wednesday of the month...

And its still child friendly and comes along with a free delicious dinner...

This month though we are celebrating creative writing as a tool towards prison
abolition. Poetry is a weapon of ours, whether that be keeping people on the inside
sane or keeping us on the outside angry.

To honor the legacy of poetry and revolution, we will use this letter writing night
as a space for sharing soulful words. It can be poetry that you wrote, verses
written by political prisoners, or stanzas by poets on the front lines of social
struggle. Anything that personally inspires your abolitionist spirit is welcome!

The People’s Hearing on Racism and Police Violence Fe. 19 and 20 Oakland.CA


The People’s Hearing on Racism and Police Violence will take place on February 19th
and 20th from 9am to 5pm.
Each morning will start with a keynote speech, which will be followed by two
sessions of testimony.
Day 1 (Feb 19th) will feature the following two sessions:
-Police Killings (featuring testimony by people who’ve witnessed police killings as
well as family members of people killed by police)
-Racial Profiling
Day 2 (Feb 20th) will feature the following two sessions:
-COINTELPRO and State Repression
-Organized Resistance to police violence
For further clarity, please note that for the purposes of this Tribunal Hearing we
are making distinctions between three different types of testimony.
The testimony types and distinctions are as follows:
1. Direct Victim’s testimony: someone sharing her or his direct experience with a
human rights violation at the hands of a government authority or institution.
2. Eye Witness testimony: someone sharing her or his direct experience witnessing a
human rights violation.
3. Expert Testimony:
a. Testimony which details the effects of human rights abuses (police
brutality, murder, etc.) on affected individuals and communities.
b. Testimony which details state frame-ups, cover-ups, suppression of
evidence, and systemic government repression.
c. Testimony which details the grassroots and organized resistance to racism,
sexism, homophobia, exploitation and state repression.
Organized Panels and Public Testimony

The fundamental purpose of the People’s Hearing on Racism and Police Violence is to
allow people’s experiences to speak for themselves. Organizers of the event hope
that it will facilitate space for those experiences to be exposed and explored.
The organized testimony panels will follow this format:
Each testimony will be 10 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes for questions and
answers from the jurors. At the end of each session, there will be at least 30
minutes allotted for questions and answers from the public.
People invited to give testimony have been asked to start from the following facts
of their experience, and are invited to expand far beyond these limitations (given
time constraints):
o Who (law enforcement agency, officers/officials involved, etc.),
o What (type of abuse, false arrest, illegal detention, gendered
discrimination, etc.)
o When (date and time), where (specific location)
o Why (reason provided by agency or official involved)
o How (manner in which abuse was executed)
People offering testimony are also asked to provide copies of any corroborating
evidence relating to their experience/testimony.
The program committee for the Hearing on Racism and Police Violence has invited
jurors to play a vital role at and after the event. The juror panels, made up of
lawyers and activists who have strong histories of involvement in supporting victims
of police harrassment, will play a variety of roles.
Jurors will hear all the testimony given during the event, and for each person who
speaks, there will be allotted time for the jurors to ask follow up questions, so
that each experience is fully described and can be strongly documented.
Beyond the Hearing
After the hearing, jurors are being asked to write summary opinions of the testimony
they heard and to produce their summary within three months of the Hearing.
The juror summaries and raw testimony will be used to advocate for Federal
intervention on the recommendations produced from the Hearing to address the human
rights violations raised and to press the demand that the Executive Branch adhere to
its obligations under the CERD Treaty and create a National Plan of Action to
Eliminate Racism and Racial Discrimination.
Additionally, the program committee along with the jurors will publish and
disseminate the findings of the Hearing to a mass domestic audience and to advocates
and experts in the international community.
Finally, Hearing organizers will submit the findings and opinions of the Hearing to
several international human rights monitoring bodies and institutions, including the
Inter-American Commission, the International Committee on the Elimination of Racial
Discrimination, and several United Nations Special Rapporteurs.

Lynne Stewart on FBI Witch Hunts


I began my career as a political movement lawyer. The government was
rounding up the last of the die hard militants, many of whom had been
underground, and prosecuting them as a part of the pincer movement.

They also subpoenaed anyone with any tangential relationship to those who had
been arrested. I am talking about their daters, their lovers, their
teachers, their religious leaders, their estranged relatives, those who had
attended meetings, rallies etc.

All of these activities centered upon an expropriation in suburban NY of a
Brinks armored truck and the people who were arrested then and later. Their
purpose?? To intimidate that branch of the movement that could be counted
on to support militancy and troll for even the most insignificant crumbs of
information that might be fitted together to enmesh suspects.

What happened? Most people who had been taped by the government lawyered
up with movement lawyers, guided in part by the legal work of Bob Boyle and
Guild lawyers who had written legal representation before Grand juries which
remains the standard on what to do and when to do it. A person subpeonaed is
in the unenviable position of having only the vaguest idea of what the
government may want, and is faced ultimately with the choice of testifying
against comrades or spending long months in jail.

They may even face a possibility of being indicted for contempt and facing a
sentence that is completely up to a judge. In the face of this challenge in
that day, I can only say that most people chose not to testify and to wait
out the government. They gave up an existence as they were living it--
jobs, relationships, and all that constitutes daily life, and they went to
jail. And they stayed in jail for many months and they didn't give in.

Now we are in another era- - one that was not born from the euphoria and
idealism of the 60's, and the government is once again arresting, subpoenaing,
and tormenting movement people, hoping they will become informants. And the
reaction of the movement? We resist.

We stand strong with the resisters who elect not to become part of the same
prosecution team that has terrorized the world. Now the so-called
Department of Justice [ha!] has decided to focus on support groups of the
world's peoples and also on eco-terrorism. Why? Because they can! It
sends a message to the people that it's dangerous, don't join, don't resist.
That message must once again be shouted down, first by the resisters who
will go to jail, and second by us, the movement who must support them by
always filling those cold marble courtrooms to show our solidarity, and by
speaking out so that their sacrifice is constantly remembered.

Our principle of non-collaboration has so far proved robust. There has been
no wavering. Our support must continue to convince everyone involved that
these are issues of principle. There can be no compromise. Resisters must
be defended to the utmost of our strength and abilities.


Lynne Stewart
Carswell Federal Prison

Write to Lynne:

Lynne Stewart #53504-054
FMC Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX 76127