International Day of Action in Solidarity with the Autonomous Municipality
of San Juan Copala, Oaxaca June 2nd, 2011
May 30, 2011 NYC Indymedia
TO THE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD
TO THE INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND ORGANIZATIONS
TO THOSE IN SOLIDARITY WITH THIS JUST CAUSE
The Triqui people of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala in
Oaxaca, Mexico, make a call-out for international solidarity to all the
nations and peoples of the world, so that in the coming days solidarity
actions are carried out as far and wide as possible, to exert pressure on
the Mexican government and to shed light onto the situation that the
people of Copala have endured since 2007. This situation has culminated in
the events of the last days and in the Caravan of the Color of Blood, that
is happening now, and whose intention is for the people of Copala, who
were dispossessed and displaced because they exerted their right to
autonomy, to return to their homes.
The Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala declared its autonomy
January 1st, 2007, after members of the community had participated in the
Oaxacan uprising of 2006, and from that day onward the Mexican government
has maintained a politic of disrespect and destruction of that autonomy.
The Mexican government has carried out this process through two
political-paramilitary organizations which it has armed and financed; the
UBISORT-PRI and the MULT-PUP.
Since 2007 in this war against the autonomy of the Triqui people of San
Juan Copala there has been a death-count of more than 30 people - among
them young children, women, men, elders, traditional leaders, and
solidarity activists. Furthermore this war has made children orphans and
women widows and survivors of sexual assault.
On April 7th, 2008 two comrades from the community radio station “The
Voice that Breaks the Silence” were assassinated; their names were Teresa
Bautista and Felicitas Martínez.
On November 28th, 2009 the comrades of the Peoples Front in Defense of the
Land of San Salvador Atenco visited to share information on their
political prisoners, but their entrance was denied by the paramilitary
groups. It was on this date that the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan
Copala was put under a paramilitary siege. Consequently the water and
lights began to be cut, and the school was closed, rendering the whole
community without services.
After 5 months under siege national and international solidarity came
through the Humanitarian Caravan of Peace. On April 27th, 2010 the caravan
was ambushed just outside of Copala by the paramilitary group UBISORT, who
murdered Beatriz Cariño (human rights activist) and Jyri Jaakola (Finnish
internationalist). Other participants in the caravan were shot and wounded
and had to spend three days in hiding in the mountains. This is how the
camp of resistance and struggle began in the main plaza of Mexico City to
Later, on May 29th, 2010, MULT-UBISORT assassinated Timoteo Ramírez
Alexander, traditional leader and tireless promoter of the Autonomous
Municipality of San Juan Copala, along with his wife Cleriberta Castro,
leaving their six children orphaned.
On June 8th, 2010 the second Humanitarian Caravan, named after Bety Carino
and Jyri Jaakola, was organized to go to the MASJC (Municipio Autonomo de
San Juan Copala), with truckloads full of supporters, medical supplies,
and food, but could not enter, once again, due to the paramilitary and
military repression. From this moment the threats and repression
intensified. The women of the community were forced to traverse the
mountainside in search of food and supplies, and were often detained,
beaten, tortured, raped, sexually assauled, kidnapped or killed by the
paramilitaries if discovered. This is how the paramilitaries behave
towards the indigenous Triqui women.
On August 11th, 2010 comrades of the MASJC initiated a protest camp in the
main plaza of Oaxaca City to demand justice and punishment to the people
in charge of the attack on the sisters Selena (17 years old) and Adela
Ramirez Silvas (15 years old), who is now paralyzed after being shot by
On August 23rd, 2010 a caravan of widows and orphaned children had been
planned but could not leave because of an ambush of its organizers by the
paramilitaries. Three people were killed and two were injured with high
caliber guns; their names were Rigoberto González, Antonio Cruz and
Antonio Ramirez. The caravan would have arrived in Mexico City to denounce
the repression and its consequences.
On September 14th, 15th and16th, 2010 the MULT-UBISORT paramilitary
attacked the community with guns, leaving many families wounded and
several dead. Many went towards the mountains, which began the
displacement of the 700 families of the MASJC.
9 months of the protest camp have gone by in Oaxaca City and a year in
Mexico City. These camps have been comprised mainly of women and children,
living in the street in very difficult conditions, without bathrooms,
houses, school or medical attention, and sometimes lacking food. Due to
these factors the joint-decision was made by the displaced MASJC and its
Communitarian Assembly to reclaim their houses and the territory of which
they were displaced. To this end the Caravan of the Color of Blood was
organized. The caravan departed May 23th, 2011 from Oaxaca City for Mexico
City with the aim of recovering the territory on May 28th, 2011. However,
the caravan, formed by the people of Copala, and accompanied by social
organizations and national and international activists, has been called on
by the governor of Oaxaca, Gabino Cué, who was pressured through their
political work to personally arrive in Mexico City on May 27th, 2011. The
people were warned that the security conditions do not exist for the
return of the displaced to their community and were summoned to a meeting
in Oaxaca City, where it was proposed to them that in a maximum of 10 days
the necessary conditions will be fulfilled, conditions which the National
Commission of Human rights previously recommended on May 24th, 2011, on
the basis of recommendations by the Inter-American Commission of Human
Rights in Washington, D.C on October 7, 2010.
The Caravan of the Color of Blood and the MASJC, without trusting the
governor, grant this term to the government, thus to be able to enter in a
peaceful way and to secure the success of one of the objectives of this
Caravan, that is the return of the displaced to their community. We ask
the international community to be attentive to the events of the next 10
days, which are decisive, and that as far as possible to take diverse
actions as a show of solidarity with the autonomous movements of the world
and in particular with the autonomy of the Triqui people and the MASJC who
decided to exert their right to self-determination by their own free will
based on their traditions and customs.
We summon all in their respective countries to a day of mobilization and
action on June 2nd, 2011, or on any and all of the next 10 days:
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE AUTONOMOUS
MUNICIPALITY OF SAN JUAN COPALA, OAXACA, MEXICO
Organize demonstrations or telephone calls at Mexican embassies and
consulates in different countries, or any other action that with your
creativity or possibilities you can carry out to exert pressure on the
Mexican government as a show of international solidarity with the Triqui
nation and in defense of its autonomy.
The demands of the Autonomous Municipality of San Juan Copala are:
THE RETURN OF THE DISPLACED TO THEIR TERRITORY.
JUSTICE AND PUNISHMENT TO THOSE RESPONSIBLE (PHYSICALLY AND
INTELLECTUALLY) FOR THE MURDERS OF MORE THAN 30 COMMUNITY MEMBERS (AMONG
THEM CHILDREN, WOMEN AND TRADITIONAL LEADERS).
RESPECT FOR THE SELF-DETERMINATION AND THE RIGHT TO AUTONOMY OF THE TRIQUI
PEOPLE AND OF ALL THE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD.
send news of actions to cdefensayjusticiamasjcblogspot.com and
Monday, May 30, 2011
May 29, 2011 Anarchist News
Justice is Revenge...
On May 26th, NYPD officers Moreno and Mata were acquitted of raping a
woman in her East Village apartment. The cops in this city have a long
history of acting with total impunity while unleashing their brutality:
rape, torture, and murder on the city all without any serious response
from the rest of us. We are not naive enough to believe in the "justice"
system that the police are a part of, and furthermore, we were not
surprised that Moreno and Mata were acquitted despite overwhelming
evidence of their guilt. We, however, were and still are filled with rage.
Inspired by both the rowdy end to Friday's protest of the acquittals,
which saw hundreds facing off against the police, briefly blocking the
entrance to the Brooklyn bridge, and repeatedly pushing back police
attempts to corral protesters onto the sidewalk; we are also extremely
encouraged by anti-police actions in Seattle, Oakland, and Denver, and we
decided it was time to push back.
Saturday night we converged on the intersection of Bowery and Houston
street in Manhattan. The intersection was blocked and held for 15 minutes,
fireworks were set off, and hundreds of fliers were thrown into the air
while anti-police chants were screamed into the night and dozens more
leaflets were distributed to motorists and passersby. Traffic came to a
stop as Saturday night revelers gathered to observe the sight of masked
people holding a major intersection. Posters bearing photos of Moreno and
Mata with "NYPD Rapists" emblazoned on them were simultaneously
wheat-pasted on walls throughout the area. Eventually, feeling that our
point was made clear, we headed north up Bowery taking the entire street.
At this point trash cans and other debris were thrown into the street. A
garbage can was also sent through a plate glass window of a Chase Bank
before the crowd quickly dispersed into the night. We encountered no
police response to our actions and suffered no arrests.
This small, yet successful, action was only a beginning. We have had
enough of police terror in this city, the tide is turning.
This action is dedicated, in total solidarity, to Amelia Nicol, currently
in jail in Denver, Colorado facing trumped up charges for taking a stand
against police terror.
Below is the full text of the flier distributed last night:
Moreno and Mata: Pigs Let Out of Their Sties
We hate to say, that unfortunately, we're not surprised...
After the rape and torture of Abner Louima; the years Officer Wilfredo
Rosario spent soliciting sexual favors with the threat of arrest; the
sexual attacks made by Officer Frank Wright; the sodomy of Michael Mineo
on a Brooklyn subway platform; the mutilated corpses of young women
appearing on the shores of Long Island being linked to current and former
cops; as well as the countless incidents of police brutality that don't
make it to the front pages; one can easily recognize a long history of
violence, sexual and otherwise, clearly attributed to New York State's
police departments. With this graphic record allowed to speak for itself,
the sexual assault committed by Officers Kenneth Moreno and Franklin Mata
is nothing less than the pitiful behavior that we have come to expect from
In societies such as ours, the most striking expression of the forces of
power and domination are the uniformed police on every corner. To uphold
their authority, police are allowed exceptional recourse to violence, and
earning a badge, in many instances, means acquiring an open license to
rape whomever one pleases. The prevalence of sexual violence by police
should not be understood in terms of sex, but is instead, a violent and
coercive act motivated by the urge for power and domination. It is only in
extreme cases, when police violence exceeds the threshold deemed tolerable
by public and legal standards, the Blue Shied is then quickly brandished
to absolve all culpability. The swift hand of “justice” at best, confines
the police to a sentence of cushy deskwork or a paid exile in their
suburban homes. More often, they are simply let out of their sties and
back into the streets to reconvene their terror. It need be said: that
these observations are not appeals for a fair trial by judge and jury, but
rather to implicate the judicial system’s role in this broader cycle of
State-institutionalized repression, which was constituted by violence, and
can only function by perpetuating it. And while the acquittal of Moreno
and Mata left many of us with a stinging sensation from a public slap in
the face, an adequate condemnation of their actions must also extend to
the entire police, judicial and prison system.
It is true that the State and its servile police uphold the patriarchy,
which is decisively shaped by other forms of domination. In this
contradictory society, where the property relation unquestionably rules,
women are deemed both public and private property. In relation to their
fathers and husbands, women are still thought of as possessions. Thus the
police, designated solely to guard the rights of property, half-heartedly
defend the well-being of women, not as living human beings, but in the
same way they would protect a proprietor’s car, house, or any other
inanimate and purchasable item. If on the other hand, a woman is thought
to have no discernible "owner," then she is considered to be an unclaimed
object readily available for use or plunder. With this in mind, we point
to the innumerable instances, in which women, most often poor and/or
working-class, report having been raped, and the police sardonically reply
with the question: "What were you doing walking around in a neighborhood
like that, alone?"
The very same State, that condones, justifies, and aptly promotes rape, is
given the chance to secure another reprehensible victory, when its said
critics fall prey to a limited political vision and confront it with a
single issue campaign. We feel the need to reprimand the false opposition,
in their various manifestations, for again proving to be astonishingly
inept in recent days. On the one hand, we are obliged to mention the
noticeable absence of the various anti-police brutality organizations and
consider this a clear indication that they have joined the other side. On
the other hand, we censure many of the feminist groups in New York City,
who talk a big game, always reassuring their comfortable existence within
their tiny and insignificant activist circles, yet seem quite happy to
give their silent consent to the police's activity by doing little to
nothing in response. To reduce the conduct and subsequent acquittals of
Moreno and Mata exclusively to a question of violence against women, or to
a question about police violence, leads us to a dead-end, always missing
our target, which left unscathed, wins again by default.
When more than half the population of living, breathing human beings is
inexorably regarded as things, no amount of legislative reform or
conclusive judicial rulings can cure the symptoms afflicting an ailing
society. In our present situation, we can therefore only rely on popular
justice. A justice, in which, there is no room for judge, jury and trial;
instead, there exist only the masses and their enemies with no mediating
body in between. Furthermore, the masses, when they perceive somebody to
be an enemy, and when they decide to punish this enemy, they do not rely
on an abstract universal idea of justice, the farce passed off in a court
of law, they rely only on their own experience, that of the injuries they
have suffered, that of the way in which they have been wronged, in which
they have been oppressed; and finally, their decision is not an
authoritative one, that is, they are not backed up by a State apparatus
which has the power to enforce their decisions, they purely and simply
carry them out.
We vehemently cite Stonewall in 1969, Los Angeles in 1992, Cincinnati in
2001, and Oakland in 2009. For justice to finally become a substantive it
requires that it take the form of an angry mob; aroused and incensed in
the middle of New York City, carrying with it an unmatched fury as it
stampedes down city blocks, to then finally descend upon One Police Plaza
with a tremendous impact, unleashing a carnage comparable only to the
devastating force of a natural disaster.
Justice is Revenge!
- May 28, 2011
By Cándida Cotto Claridad Puerto Rico
Published: Tuesday May 24, 2011
On Monday, May 9, 2011, the United States Parole
Commission denied parole to Puerto Rican
political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, who on May
29 will mark 30 years of a cruel imprisonment.
Already here in the Homeland, ex political
prisoner Carlos Alberto Torres is about to
complete a year since his release from prison.
Comrades from the same struggle, both from
Chicago, the experience of their years in prison
and facing the procedure before the Parole
Commission, make Carlos Alberto and Oscar López
Rivera two sides of the same coin.
Claridad talked with Carlos Alberto about his
reaction to López Rivera’s procedure before the
How do you face prison? is the question posed to
Carlos Alberto in view of the fact that Oscar
López is still in prison after 30 years. In a
low, serene tone, he described for us: "When
you're in prison, you're alone. Although there
are compañeros, you are alone because the
government made sure, with the exception of the
women, that all of us were going to be in
different prisons. They didn't want us together,
in part because their strategy was "we're going
to see how we can break this individual, change
his opinions, or extinguish his fervor." They put
you in a kind of isolation, not only separation
throughout the United States, but that isolation
... you feel it when you arrive at a place,
"wow," what am I doing in Alabama? Or what am I
doing in California? At the end of the day,
you're alone, you're surrounded by other people,
but they’re not your compañeros, they’re not your
family, they're people you don't know, maybe
people you are suspicious of. You make friends,
and even though there is support, a lot of
affection, it's always with certain caution ... separation."
The support you receive from the outside is what
makes the difference. "That strengthens you, but
at the end of the day you have to know who you
are, why you're there, and you have to have a
strong sense of yourself as a person who
struggles, and not allow the conditions to separate
you from that.
"With Oscar, I'm sure, knowing him, that he is a
person of verticality, his character, his
principles, he is one of the most generous people
you will ever know in your life. He is that type
of man who thinks of others, of the collective,
before thinking of himself. He's an individual we
all admire as a natural leader, a real man. His
conduct confirms it and affirms it every day. A
man of struggle, a man of conscience, brilliant,
of incredible intelligence."
The last time Carlos Alberto saw Oscar was April
4, 1980, the day he was arrested with the group
of then-members of the Armed Forces of National
Liberation (FALN). Oscar was arrested the
following year, on May 29, 1981, and has been in
prison ever since. "When I knew him, I already
had a mustache," recalls the current resident of Camuy.
He knew Oscar at the beginning of the "70's, when
he was at the University of Illinois. "He noticed
me because I was a young kid. He went to speak to
my parents about issues in the community. I was
already interested, had a social conscience. I
grew up thinking it was natural to integrate into
community work. That's the context in which I
started to work with Oscar. His influence over me
was total. I immediately recognized that he was a
person of conviction, commitment, with energy. He
reminded me and made me think a lot about my
concept of don Pedro (Albizu Campos) who put the
struggle and the people first. That's exactly how
Oscar was, putting the struggle and the people before
his own comfort."
Like a cruel game, the conditions imposed on the
Puerto Rican political prisoners didn't allow
Carlos Alberto to stay in contact with his eleven
compañeros freed in 1999, nor with Oscar during
the five years they were on conditions. The
compañeros, now free of all conditions, can
communicate among themselves and with Oscar.
In light of your experience, did you ever doubt
that Oscar López’ case would turn out the way it did?
"In Oscar's case, we were all hopeful. I was
really almost convinced because my experience in
prison taught me that if it's six in the morning
and time for sunrise, that's what will happen,
but also when you're in prison you always have to
have reservations, because anything can happen.
As for his reasons to be cautiously optimistic,
he commented that he was the only one who in 1999
wasn't offered a sentence commutation; Oscar was
offered release if he served 10 more years, which
would have been in 2009. "We already know that he
took a principled position, even though he told
everyone else to accept. I figured out that the
quarrel was with me. When I went for parole, they
treated me like any other social prisoner. There
was no extraordinary procedure. They conducted
themselves "well." I expected something like that
would happen with Oscar. I said, "well, obviously
there isn't such a strong resistance. The man
will have served 30 years." Under the law, any
person sentenced to more than 45 years, who has
good conduct, who hasn't been a risk to society,
has the right to parole. That was the criteria
they used with me, and it's the law."
He immediately questioned what it means to be, or
to not be, a risk to society. "In my case, from
what I know about how hearings go, I'd say with
few exceptions they treated me like they treat
everyone else, which is why I felt hopeful.
Obviously I assumed that they would see that
Oscar had served 30 years, there was no reason to
treat Oscar differently. I was in prison for 30
years. I've talked with hundreds if not thousands
of men who have been to parole hearings over the
years. I had more or less an idea how they were.
I've never heard of a case like Oscar's, where
they take you chain up. It was an Inquisition."
From a political perspective, he pointed out
that it wasn't anticipated that the right wing in
the United States would move in that way. He
called attention to the fact that one of those
who opposed the confirmation of the current U.S.
Attorney General Eric Holder, said during Oscar's
hearing that if they'd known that he " Torres "
were going to the Parole Commission, they would
have reacted in the same way.
"The Commission is an agency of the United States
government. They aren't sympathetic with us; they
are sympathetic with the system. There was truly
a lot of work done to demonstrate to the Parole
Commission that there was support among the
people, that there was support in the Puerto
Rican community from different interest groups
who supported Oscar's release. At the moment of
truth, they took sides. I think that the work
that was done this time was remarkable. The
difference was that now there was resistance from
the right, and that agency is going to respond to
the United States right before it will respond to
the Puerto Rican community or to the Puerto Rican
people in general," he reflected.
Like what happens in hardball, this hasn't ended,
which is why Carlos Alberto insisted on how very
important it is that Oscar continue receiving
letters from friends, students, receiving calls,
publications, postcards, information about the
various activities. "That fills you up. You get
your perspective back. If you were feeling a
little depressed, in those moments you see
Claridad, information about activities in New
York, Philadelphia, Chicago, about the Grito de
Lares ... you say, "I'm ok; they're working on
it; we are struggling; they haven't forgotten
about me." That's what we have to do, to let the
government know that even though they made that
decision, we're going to keep struggling, we're
going to keep organizing, we're going to keep
inviting people who haven't participated to
participate, that we're going to be with this
compañero until he is release, period.”
Habla Carlos Alberto sobre Oscar López Rivera
Publicado: martes, 24 de mayo de 2011
El lunes 9 de mayo de 2011 la Junta de Libertad Bajo Palabra (JLBP) del Gobierno de Estados Unidos le negó una salida condicionada al prisionero político puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera, quien el 29 de mayo cumple 30 años de un cruel encarcelamiento.
Aquí ya en la Patria, el ex prisionero político Carlos Alberto Torres está a punto de cumplir un año fuera de prisión. Camaradas de una misma lucha, vecinos de Chicago, la experiencia de años de prisión y enfrentarse al proceso ante la JLBP, convierten a Carlos Alberto y a Oscar López Rivera en caras de una misma moneda.
Claridad conversó con Carlos Alberto sobre su reacción al proceso de López Rivera ante la JLBP.
¿Cómo enfrentar la prisión? es la pregunta a Carlos Alberto ante el hecho de que Oscar López continúa encarcelado ya por 30 años. En tono bajo y sereno nos describió: “Cuando uno está preso tú estás solo. Aunque hay compañeros, tú estás solo porque el gobierno se aseguró, con la excepción de las mujeres, de que todos nosotros íbamos a estar en prisiones diferentes. No nos querían juntos, en parte porque la estrategia de ellos es ‘vamos a ver cómo nosotros rompemos a este individuo, cambiar su opinión o apagarle el fervor’. Te ponen en una especie de aislamiento, no es solamente la separación a través de todo Estados Unidos, sino ese aislamiento… tú lo sientes cuando llegas a un sitio, ‘wao’, ¿qué yo hago en Alabama, o qué yo hago en California?’. En fin de cuentas, tú estás solo, estás rodeado de otras personas pero no son tus compañeros, no son tus familiares, es gente que no conoces, quizás gente de la que tú sospechas. Haces amistades y aunque hay apoyo, mucho afecto, siempre es con cierta cautela… separación”.
Es el apoyo que se recibe de afuera el que hace la diferencia. “Eso te fortalece, pero al fin de cuentas tú tienes que saber quién eres, por qué estás ahí y tienes que tener un sentido fuerte de ti mismo como un luchador y no dejar que las condiciones te separen de eso.
“Con Oscar yo confío, conociéndolo, que es una persona de verticalidad, su carácter, sus principios, es una de las personas más generosas que puedas conocer en tu vida. Es de ese tipo de hombre que piensa en los demás, en el colectivo, antes de en sí mismo. Es un individuo que todos nosotros admiramos como un líder natural, hecho y derecho, su comportamiento lo comprueba y lo afirma todos los días. Luchador, hombre de conciencia, brillante, una inteligencia increíble”.
La última vez que Carlos Alberto vio a Oscar fue el 4 de abril de 1980, el día que le arrestaron junto al grupo en aquellos momentos miembros de las Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional (FALN). A Oscar lo arrestaron al año siguiente, 29 de mayo de 1981, desde ese momento se encuentra en prisión. “Cuando lo conocí ya tenía bigote”, recordó el hoy camuyano.
Lo conoció a comienzos de los años ‘70 del siglo pasado, cuando estaba en la Universidad de Illinois. “Él se fijó en mí porque yo era un chamaquito joven. Fue a hablar con mis viejos sobre cosas de la comunidad. Ya yo tenía un interés, una conciencia social, yo me crié pensando que era natural integrarme al trabajo comunitario. En ese contexto comencé a trabajar con Oscar. Su influencia en mí es total. Yo lo reconocí de inmediato como una persona de convicción, compromiso, con energía. Me recordaba y hacía pensar mucho en mi concepto sobre don Pedro (Albizu Campos) que ponía la lucha y el pueblo primero. Así mismo fue Oscar, que pone la lucha y el pueblo antes que su comodidad”.
Como un juego burlón, las condiciones de la excarcelación de los prisioneros políticos puertorriqueños no permiten que Carlos Alberto pueda mantener comunicación con sus once compañeros liberados en el 1999, ni con Oscar, durante los cinco años de su excarcelación condicionada. Los compañeros hoy libres de toda atadura con la ley del imperio pueden comunicarse entre sí y con Oscar.
A la luz de tu experiencia, ¿dudaste alguna vez de que los resultados en el caso de Oscar López fueran los ya conocidos?
“En el caso de Oscar todos estábamos esperanzados. Yo estaba casi, casi convencido porque la experiencia en la cárcel me ha enseñado que si son las seis de la mañana y el sol va a salir eso va a ser así, pero también cuando estás preso siempre hay que tener reservas, cualquier cosa puede suceder”.
Sobre sus razones para un optimismo reservado comentó que a él fue al único que en el 1999 no le dieron el indulto, a Oscar le ofrecieron salir tras extinguir 10 años más, lo que hubiera sido en 2009. “Sabemos que tomó una posición de principios, aunque él le dijo a todo el mundo que aceptaran. Yo analicé que la riña obvio era conmigo. Cuando fui al “parole” me trataron como cualquier otro preso común, no hubo ningún proceso ordinario, se portaron “bien”, yo esperaba algo como lo que le hicieron a Oscar. Dije ‘pues obviamente no hay una resistencia tan fuerte, el hombre va a cumplir sus 30 años’. Bajo la ley, cualquier persona condenada a más de 45 años, con buena conducta, que no sea presentado como un peligro a la sociedad, tiene derecho a la libertad condicionada. Ese fue el criterio que usaron conmigo y es ley”.
Acto seguido cuestionó lo que significa ser, o no ser, un riesgo a la sociedad. “En mi caso, de lo que yo sé como son las vistas, diría con poca excepción que me trataron como tratan a cualquiera, por lo que me sentía esperanzado. Obviamente yo asumí que miraban que ya Oscar cumplió 30 años, no hay razón por qué tratar a Oscar diferente. Yo estuve 30 años, he hablado con cientos, sino miles de hombres que han pasao por esas audiencias a través de los años, tenía una idea más o menos cómo son, nunca había escuchado una como el caso de Oscar, donde lo llevan esposado, fue una Inquisición”.
En el aspecto político, apuntó que no se pensó que la derecha en Estados Unidos se iba a mover de esa manera y trajo a la atención que una persona que se opuso a la confirmación del actual secretario de Justicia de EUA, Erick Holder, dijo durante la audiencia de Oscar que si ellos hubiesen sabido que él – Torres- había acudido a la JLBP hubiesen reaccionado igual.
“La Junta es una agencia del gobierno de Estados Unidos. Ellos no son afines con nosotros, ellos son afines con el sistema. De veras que se hizo un trabajo fuerte para demostrarle al “parole” que había apoyo en el pueblo, que había apoyo en la comunidad puertorriqueña de diferentes grupos de interés, que apoyaban la libertad de Oscar. En el momento de la verdad ellos tomaron su parte. Creo que el trabajo que se hizo esta vez estaba al palo o más. La diferencia es que ahora había resistencia de la derecha y esa agencia va a responder a la derecha de Estados Unidos antes que a la comunidad puertorriqueña, al pueblo puertorriqueño en general”, reflexionó.
Como sucede en la pelota dura, esto no se ha acabado, por lo que Carlos Alberto insistió en que es sumamente importante que Oscar continúe recibiendo cartas de amigos, estudiantes, recibir llamadas, publicaciones, postales, información sobre las diversas actividades. “Eso te llena. Tú coges perspectiva otra vez. Si estabas sintiéndote un poco deprimido, en esos momentos ves Claridad, información sobre actividades en Nueva York, Filadelfia, Chicago, sobre el Grito de Lares… tú dices ‘estoy bien, se está trabajando, estamos luchando, no se han olvidado de mí’. Eso es lo que tenemos que hacer, dejarle saber al gobierno que aunque ellos tomaron esa decisión nosotros vamos a seguir luchando, vamos a seguir organizando, vamos a seguir a invitar a otras personas que no han participado a que participen, que vamos a estar con ese compañero hasta que salga, punto”.
Comentarios a: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Margaret Ramirez chicagotribune.com May 29, 2011
With prayer, song and calls for freedom, dozens of Puerto Rican
community members and human rights activists gathered today to mark
the 30th year in prison for Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar Lopez
Rivera and called for his release.
Lopez Rivera, now 68, is a gray-haired vestige of a long-gone era in
America, when a group known as the F.A.L.N. (Spanish for the Armed
Forces of National Liberation) fought for Puerto Rico's independence
from the U.S.
More than a dozen FALN members were convicted and imprisoned in the
1980s on various charges including seditious conspiracy and armed
robbery. In 1999, President Bill Clinton granted clemency to nearly
all the prisoners and released them.
Lopez Rivera, who is serving a 70-year sentence in a federal prison
in Terre Haute, Ind., is now the last remaining Puerto Rican prisoner.
In recent months, the National Boricua Human Rights Network and other
activists have launched a national campaign to urge President Barack
Obama to commute his sentence. In addition to a prayer vigil and
rally in Chicago, events were also held in New York, Los Angeles,
Cleveland, Philadelphia and Puerto Rico.
At the Sunday prayer service held at Lincoln United Methodist Church
in Chicago, the prisoner's sister, Zenaida Lopez, said her brother
has done his time and should be allowed to come home.
In addition to his sister, Lopez Rivera has a daughter, Clarissa, who
lives in Puerto Rico and a granddaughter, Karina, who is a student at
the University of Chicago.
"There's one thing that's forgotten in this struggle -- and it's that
Oscar is human," Zenaida Lopez said. "He's a brother. He's a father.
He's a grandfather. He's a son. He's loved deeply by his family.
"We have to struggle to see that he is released, so that he becomes
part of the family once again. It is our dream. It is our hope. It is
something that we talk about every single day.
Also at the prayer service, two activists, Michael Reyes and Matt
McCanna arrived after completing a 10-day, 200-mile walk from the
federal prison in Indiana to Chicago.
The FALN was involved in a series of bombings in New York and
Chicago, including the 1975 bombing of the Fraunces Tavern in
Manhattan that killed four and injured more than 60 others.
Lopez was not convicted for a role in the Tavern incident.
In the Puerto Rican community, Lopez Rivera, a Vietnam War veteran
and community organizer, is widely regarded as hero. But, others view
him as an unrepentant terrorist.
Those opponents said his release would send the wrong message about terrorism.
In February, the U.S. Parole Commission denied Lopez Rivera parole
and released a statement that said: "We have to look at whether
release would depreciate the seriousness of the offenses or promote
disrespect for the law, whether release would jeopardize public
safety and the specific characteristics of the offender."
Even so, his attorney Jan Susler, remains hopeful of his release. She
noted that three previous U.S. presidents have commuted sentences of
Puerto Rican prisoners including presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy
Carter and Clinton.
Khimki hostages (http://khimkibattle.org/?p=2435&lang=en). Maxim is one
of the anti-fascists, accused of having organised radical protest
against construction of Moscow-St. Petersburg toll road through Khimki
forest. Read more from http://khimkibattle.org
Biography of Maxim Solopov
Maxim Solopov is one of the most famous anti-fascists in Russia. Born in
Moscow in 1989, he considers himself a social activist. He is currently
completing a degree in Spanish and Latin American studies in the
Department of History, Political Science and Law of the Russian State
University for the Humanities , RGGU.
Maxim’s interest in social problems and processes is not limited to the
academic and historical point of view. He formed many of his opinions
while he was still in highschool, as he witnessed the changes taking
place in his country, and became aware of the social forces at play
wrangling for the ‘trophy of the popular conscience.’ It was as a
consequence of these experiences and observations that his anti-fascist
and humanitarian world views developed, alongside a readiness to fight
for social justice and civil liberties.
In this context, it is of no surprise that Maxim took part in several
anti -fascist celebrations on the 9th of May, Victory Day, the
organizing of benefit concerts for World War II veterans, and the
“Russians against fascism” street concert, organized on the 4th of
November 2009, which has since become a significant counter-event to the
annual Nazi march that takes place on the same day.
However, Maxim’s interests range further than anti-fascism to a wide
spectrum of social issues, connected to various initiatives he has
participated in. In his political activism, Maxim has come head to head
with the authorities more than once. He has participated in the campaign
against police brutality and the campaign to reform the police force, a
collaborative project amongst various social initiatives. In November
2008 he helped organize a protest rally against the terrorizing of
social activists and journalists, the main focus of which was protesting
the assault committed against the editor-in-chief of the Khimki Pravda
newspaper, Mikhail Beketov.
Maxim has also participated in campaigns against the illegal hunting of
protected Argali sheep by high-level state officials in the Altai
region, as well as against attempts by Christian hardliners to close
down the 2×2 TV-channel for airing South Park. He was one of the
organisers of the campaign against the revision of the Russian copyright
law, and for the free distribution of information on the internet. In
the framework of this campaign, a major street party was organized in
Pushkin square in the center of Moscow on the same day as the start of
court proceedings against Pirate Bay in Sweden.
Maxim is one of the activists, who has initiated and organised some of
the major left-wing events that have raised raised the most relevant and
important questions in contemporary Russia: freedom of speech and
conscience, corruption, education, clericalization, counter-cultural
alternatives, the global economic crisis, the raise of the ultra-right
and so on.
As an active participant in the anti-fascist movement, Maxim has
constantly been putting his own life on the line, and faced threats and
attacks from Neonazis. For some of his comrades, these threats turned
into action, putting Max in the position of having to organize
commemorations of dead comrades, or setting up solidarity campaigns,
such as the one in support of Alexey Olesinov, who was framed for his
anti-fascist beliefs in 2008. Maxim also collaborated with the 19th of
January Committee, which was initiated to commemorate the murders of
lawyer Stanislav Markelov and journalist Anastasia Baburova, who were
assassinated by neo-Nazis in 2009.
Due to his balanced and well-argued position, public speaking and
rhetorical skills, never hiding his face in spite of the danger to his
life, he has become a public figure and face for the anti-fascist
movement. He has often been invited to and appeared on TV and radio.
TV-Channels Sovershenno Sekretno, BBC, TVC, NTV, Ren-TV, Stolica, ARTE
and radio channels Echo of Moscow, RSN, Reuters, BBC, Radio Free Europe,
Deutschland Radio Kultur and numerous print media have all interviewed
him, viewing him as a link to the anti-fascist subculture, which Maxim
attempts to open up and make easier to understand for the general public.
Currently, and due to the fact that he is a public figure, Maxim Solopov
is being persecuted by authorities, who are attempting to make him pay
for the action which took place against the Khimki city council on the
28th of July. This action was organized by anti-fascists in reaction to
the ultra-right attack against defenders of the Khimki forest.
Anarchist Black Cross Moscow
abc-msk A riseup D net
P.O. Box 13 109028 Moscow Russia
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Today, when the sentence was passed on Belarusian anarchists, Anarchist
Black Cross-Belarus considers it a must to say the words of gratitude
that had accumulated during the 8.5 months of waiting and struggle.
Out experience has proven that really ‘a friend in need’s a friend indeed’.
First of all we would like to express gratitude to all the people,
groups, collectives and organisations which responded to our calls for
solidarity with Belarusian anarchists.
We got support from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Omsk, Novorossiysk,
Irkutsk, Vladivostok, Ekaterinburg, Ufa, Kazan’, Cheboksary, Nizhniy
Novgorod, Volgograd, Voronezh, Belgorod, Rjazan’, Smolensk, Simferopol,
Mariupol, Donetsk,whole, within 8 months 74 solidarity actions of all
kinds took place, from info-meetings and leaflets spread to radical
actions (the blockade of the Moscow-Minsk road, attacks on KGB, police
stations and detention facilities). Kyiv, Lviv, Chishinau, Minsk,
Bobruisk, Gomel, Grodno, Bereza, Zhlobin, Vilnius, Riga, Lublin, Warsaw,
Szczecin, Budapest, Prague, Sofia, Vienna, Tirol, Berlin, Rostock,
On the whole, within 8 months 74 solidarity actions of all kinds took
place, from info-meetings and leaflets spread to radical actions (the
blockade of the Moscow-Minsk road, attacks on KGB, police stations and
After some actions our comrades got sentenced to 7 (arson of KGB in
Bobruisk) and 8 years of prison (Ihar Alinevich – the attack on the
detention facility with the demand to set free the arrested anarchists).
Just imagine how important was EVERY action, any news from outside that
nobody is forgotten and nothing is forgiven, for the guys behind the
bars. We took every opportunity to pass all the information about your
concern to them.
*You can view the solidarity map here:
The same words of gratitude we want to say to those who helped us
financially (gathered money in the concerts, organised benefit-gigs and
info-meetings, passed money from collectives and individuals). With your
help the arrested got timely lawyer’s help and all the necessary things.
We’d like to point out those who helped organise the ABC-tour.
We also grateful to any person that helped in spreading information
about the repression in Belarus by all means, to every journalist that
took interest in our case and was unbiased covering the events. We’d
like to mention reporters from “Belsat”, “Nasha Niva”, Radio “Freedom”,
“Euroradio”, “Belgazeta”, “Novaya gazeta”, “ORT”. Without your support
the situation wouldn’t get so much publicity.
We are gratefull to right-watch organisations, such as “Spring96″,
“Belarusian Helsinki Committee”, “Amnesty International” for legal,
financial and informational support.
But still the warmest greetings go to the law-enforcement authorities.
We know that you read out web-sites so this message is especially for you.
Thanx for being the so-called sanitation force who picked out those who
doesn’t deserve to be called an anarchist. Now each of them is less free
than any o the guys who sentenced to prison terms because of them. Thanx
for opening our eyes of to them and we saw who is who.
Thanx for teaching us how to behave in your presence and under pressure
and for reminding us the importance of legal education.
Thanx for changing the outlook of our parents who were so vehemently
standing for us, that we were shoked ourselves. Now they are angry with
you, not with us.
Thanx for putting all kinds of pressure on us, that helped to finally
figure out the most important things in life and practice the will power.
We are grateful for this lesson. But we will mend our ways. For we have
just started our struggle.
Anarchist Black Cross Moscow
abc-msk A riseup D net
P.O. Box 13 109028 Moscow Russia
On the 27th of May, judge Zhanna Khvoynitskaya sentenced the Belarusian
anarchists Ihar Alinevich, Mikalaj Dziadok, Aliaksandar Frantskievich,
Maxim Vetkin and Yeveni Slivonchik. The young men were accused of a
number of political actions, amongst which was the attack against the
Russian embassy in Minsk in August of 2010.
Ihar Alinevich was accused of attacks against the Russian Embassy and
Belarusbank ("Property destruction with intent", statute 218 paragraph 3
of the Belarusian Criminal Codex), an attack against the remand prison
of Minsk (also statute 218, paragraph 2), an attack against a Casino and
an illegal demonstration at the military headquarters ("Aggravated
hooliganism", statute 339 paragraph 2 of Belarusian criminal codex). The
prosecutor asked for a 9 year sentence in hard regime, eventually he
received 8 years of hard regime (1).
Mikalaj Dziadok was sentenced for actions against a Casino, the military
headquarters and a yellow(2), state-controlled trade union, all
considered "aggravated hooliganism". The prosecutor demanded a 6 year
sentence of hard regime, he received 4.5 years of hard regime.
Aliaksandr Frantskievich was sentenced for actions against
state-controlled trade union, military headquarters and a police station
at Soligorsk, all considered "aggravated hooliganism", and also against
defacing website of city of Novopolotsk ("Electronic sabotage", "Illegal
access to electronic information", "Development, using or spreading
malware" (statute 349 paragraph 2, statute 351 paragraph 2, statute 354
of Belarusian criminal codex). Prosecutor demanded a 5 year sentence,
eventually he received 3 years of hard regime. Screenshots of the
action are available here:
Maxim Vetkin was sentenced for the actions taken at the BelarusBank and
the Russian Embassy in Minsk. He has been cooperating with the
investigation and giving testimony against the others. He was given a 4
year sentence in a low-security prison according to the prosecutor's
demands. He has been temporarily released.
Yevgeni Silivonchik was sentenced to 1.5 years in open regime prison for
the attack in Soligorsk. He has also cooperating with the investigation
and giving testimony against the other accused.
The accused have to compensate 100 million Belarusian rubles (around 20
000 dollars) in criminal damages to the respective institutions.
Alinevich, Dziadok and Frantskievich have been denying their
involvement, with the exception of the action at the military
headquarters. They are considering appealing their sentences, but the
appeal court may hand out even more severe sentences. The Strasbourg
court is not an option for the Belarusians, as Belarus is excluded from
the Council of Europe.
Valentina Alinevich, mother of Ihar, said "Yesterday someone else's
children were arrested, and we thought it was not our problem. Today
they arrest our children. Tomorrow they will arrest someone else's
children. People, be aware! Do not let it happen!". She also noted the
role of Russian Federation in the case of Ihar: "Russia accepted the
kidnapping of a person on its territory. It is an outrageous violation
of human rights, which took place in compliance with the Russian
authorities." Keep in mind, that on the 28th of November Ihar Alinevich
was kidnapped from Moscow by agents of an unconfirmed special service,
and illegally transferred across state borders to the remand prison of
the Belarusian KGB in Minsk.
Aliaksandr Dziadok, the father of Mikalaj and an experienced lawyer, who
has also worked as a judge, made the following statement to the press:
"There were plenty of violations during the court process. The
prosecution's case was not proven. The sentence is unjust and illegal.
An objective, law-abiding court would have dropped all charges against
the accused". Aliaksandr Dziadok made a comparison between the case
against the anarchists, and the case brought against those arrested
after the 19th of December (court cases against the latter, who
protested against the falsification of the general elections, which have
attracted sizeable international attention).
Anarchist Black Cross of Belarus considers the sentences politically
motivated, and the charges unproven. Besides this, all of the actions
for which the accused were sentenced, may be considered non-violent. No
living being was hurt as a consequence of the actions. Most of the
attacks were merely symbolical, and material damage was insignificant.
Reports from each day of the court are available on Belarussian
Indymedia and at http://www.avtonom.org/en/freebelarus.
"Defying the law", a documentary on the investigation and the court
cases against the Belarusian anarchists is available here:
A version with English subtitles will be available in few days.
1. hard regime means less allowances in terms of visits, mails, and
packages and other "privileges"
2. yellow unions reject class struggle, oppose strikes and favor the
collaboration between capital and labor
Anarchist Black Cross Belarus
Addition from ABC Moscow:
On the 18th of May, another “Anarchist case” ended in Belarus – Yawgen
Vaskovich, Paval Syramalotaw and Artsyom Prakapyenka were each given 7
year sentences for a direct action against the KGB building in the city
of Bobruysk. A problem with this case has been that although media
perceived the three as anarchists, none of them had any connections to
the existing anarchist movement and thus attempts to contact someone
close to them and provide them with support prior to the court dates
failed. Hopefully, support may be provided during their lengthy prison
Anarchist Black Cross Moscow
abc-msk A riseup D net
P.O. Box 13 109028 Moscow Russia
May 29, 2011 NY Times
AUSTIN, Tex. — A fat sheaf of F.B.I. reports meticulously details the
surveillance that counterterrorism agents directed at the one-story house
in East Austin. For at least three years, they traced the license plates
of cars parked out front, recorded the comings and goings of residents and
guests and, in one case, speculated about a suspicious flat object spread
out across the driveway.
“The content could not be determined from the street,” an agent observing
from his car reported one day in 2005. “It had a large number of
multi-colored blocks, with figures and/or lettering,” the report said, and
“may be a sign that is to be used in an upcoming protest.”
Actually, the item in question was more mundane.
“It was a quilt,” said Scott Crow, marveling over the papers at the dining
table of his ramshackle home, where he lives with his wife, a housemate
and a backyard menagerie that includes two goats, a dozen chickens and a
turkey. “For a kids’ after-school program.”
Mr. Crow, 44, a self-described anarchist and veteran organizer of
anticorporate demonstrations, is among dozens of political activists
across the country known to have come under scrutiny from the F.B.I.’s
increased counterterrorism operations since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Other targets of bureau surveillance, which has been criticized by civil
liberties groups and mildly faulted by the Justice Department’s inspector
general, have included antiwar activists in Pittsburgh, animal rights
advocates in Virginia and liberal Roman Catholics in Nebraska. When such
investigations produce no criminal charges, their methods rarely come to
But Mr. Crow, a lanky Texas native who works at a recycling center, is one
of several Austin activists who asked the F.B.I. for their files, citing
the Freedom of Information Act. The 440 heavily-redacted pages he
received, many bearing the rubric “Domestic Terrorism,” provide a
revealing window on the efforts of the bureau, backed by other federal,
state and local police agencies, to keep an eye on people it deems
In the case of Mr. Crow, who has been arrested a dozen times during
demonstrations but has never been convicted of anything more serious than
trespassing, the bureau wielded an impressive array of tools, the
The agents watched from their cars for hours at a time — Mr. Crow recalls
one regular as “a fat guy in an S.U.V. with the engine running and the
air-conditioning on” — and watched gatherings at a bookstore and cafe. For
round-the-clock coverage, they attached a video camera to the phone pole
across from his house on New York Avenue.
They tracked Mr. Crow’s phone calls and e-mails and combed through his
trash, identifying his bank and mortgage companies, which appear to have
been served with subpoenas. They visited gun stores where he shopped for a
rifle, noting dryly in one document that a vegan animal rights advocate
like Mr. Crow made an unlikely hunter. (He says the weapon was for
self-defense in a marginal neighborhood.)
They asked the Internal Revenue Service to examine his tax returns, but
backed off after an I.R.S. employee suggested that Mr. Crow’s modest
earnings would not impress a jury even if his returns were flawed. (He
earns $32,000 a year at Ecology Action of Texas, he said.)
They infiltrated political meetings with undercover police officers and
informers. Mr. Crow counts five supposed fellow activists who were
reporting to the F.B.I.
Mr. Crow seems alternately astonished, angered and flattered by the
government’s attention. “I’ve had times of intense paranoia,” he said,
especially when he discovered that some trusted allies were actually
“But first, it makes me laugh,” he said. “It’s just a big farce that the
government’s created such paper tigers. Al Qaeda and real terrorists are
hard to find. We’re easy to find. It’s outrageous that they would spend so
much money surveilling civil activists, and anarchists in particular, and
equating our actions with Al Qaeda.”
The investigation of political activists is an old story for the F.B.I.,
most infamously in the Cointel program, which scrutinized and sometimes
harassed civil rights and antiwar advocates from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Such activities were reined in after they were exposed by the Senate’s
Church Committee, and F.B.I. surveillance has been governed by an evolving
set of guidelines set by attorneys general since 1976.
But the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 demonstrated the lethal danger of
domestic terrorism, and after the Sept. 11 attacks, the F.B.I. vowed never
again to overlook terrorists hiding in plain sight. The Qaeda sleeper
cells many Americans feared, though, turned out to be rare or nonexistent.
The result, said Michael German, a former F.B.I. agent now at the American
Civil Liberties Union, has been a zeal to investigate political activists
who pose no realistic threat of terrorism.
“You have a bunch of guys and women all over the country sent out to find
terrorism. Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of terrorism in many
communities,” Mr. German said. “So they end up pursuing people who are
critical of the government.”
Complaints from the A.C.L.U. prompted the Justice Department’s inspector
general to assess the F.B.I.’s forays into domestic surveillance. The
resulting report last September absolved the bureau of investigating
dissenters based purely on their expression of political views. But the
inspector general also found skimpy justification for some investigations,
uncertainty about whether any federal crime was even plausible in others
and a mislabeling of nonviolent civil disobedience as “terrorism.”
Asked about the surveillance of Mr. Crow, an F.B.I. spokesman, Paul E.
Bresson, said it would be “inappropriate” to discuss an individual case.
But he said that investigations are conducted only after the bureau
receives information about possible crimes.
“We do not open investigations based on individuals who exercise the
rights afforded to them under the First Amendment,” Mr. Bresson said. “In
fact, the Department of Justice and the bureau’s own guidelines for
conducting domestic operations strictly forbid such actions.”
It is not hard to understand why Mr. Crow attracted the bureau’s
attention. He has deliberately confronted skinheads and Ku Klux Klan
members at their gatherings, relishing the resulting scuffles. He claims
to have forced corporate executives to move with noisy nighttime protests.
He says he took particular pleasure in a 2003 demonstration for Greenpeace
in which activists stormed the headquarters of ExxonMobil in Irving, Tex.,
to protest its environmental record. Dressed in tiger outfits, protesters
carried banners to the roof of the company’s offices, while others wearing
business suits arrived in chauffeured Jaguars, forcing frustrated police
officers to sort real executives from faux ones.
“It was super fun,” said Mr. Crow, one of the suits, who escaped while 36
other protesters were arrested. “They had ignored us and ignored us. But
that one got their attention.”
It got the attention of the F.B.I. as well, evidently, leading to the
three-year investigation that focused specifically on Mr. Crow. The
surveillance documents show that he also turned up in several other
investigations of activism in Texas and beyond, from 2001 to at least
For an aficionado of civil disobedience, Mr. Crow comes across as more
amiable than combative. He dropped out of college, toured with an
electronic-rock band and ran a successful Dallas antiques business while
dabbling in animal rights advocacy. In 2001, captivated by the philosophy
of anarchism, he sold his share of the business and decided to become a
Since then, he has led a half-dozen groups and run an annual training camp
for protesters. (The camps invariably attracted police infiltrators who
were often not hard to spot. “We had a rule,” he said. “If you were burly,
you didn’t belong.”) He also helped to found Common Ground Relief, a
network of nonprofit organizations created in New Orleans after Hurricane
Anarchism was the catchword for an international terrorist movement at the
turn of the 20th century. But Mr. Crow, whose e-mail address contains the
phrase “quixotic dreaming,” describes anarchism as a kind of locally
oriented self-help movement, a variety of “social libertarianism.”
“I don’t like the state,” he said. “I don’t want to overthrow it, but I
want to create alternatives to it.”
This kind of talk appears to have baffled some of the agents assigned to
watch him, whose reports to F.B.I. bosses occasionally seem petulant. One
agent calls “nonviolent direct action,” a phrase in activists’ materials,
“an oxymoron.” Another agent comments, oddly, on Mr. Crow and his wife,
Ann Harkness, who have been together for 24 years, writing that “outwardly
they did not appear to look right for each other.” At a training session,
“most attendees dressed like hippies.”
Such comments stand out amid detailed accounts of the banal: mail in the
recycling bin included “a number of catalogs from retail outlets such as
Neiman Marcus, Ann Taylor and Pottery Barn.”
Mr. Crow said he hoped the airing of such F.B.I. busywork might deter
further efforts to keep watch over him. The last documents he has seen
mentioning him date from 2008. But the Freedom of Information Act exempts
from disclosure any investigations that are still open.
“I still occasionally see people sitting in cars across the street,” he
said. “I don’t think they’ve given up.”
by Robert Meeropol / May 28th, 2011 Dissident Voice
Aside from my parents’ case, United States v. Dennis is perhaps the most
famous McCarthy Era Red Scare legal action. In that case the government
convicted the leaders of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA)
of conspiring to organize a revolutionary movement. Once the hysteria
abated, the Supreme Court decision upholding that conviction became one of
the more embarrassing episodes of our judicial history. CPUSA leaders went
to prison for coordinating the teaching of the principles of
Marxist-Leninism, despite the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of
assembly and speech.
Fast forward to the 21st century. Today we have the Animal Enterprise
Terrorism Act (AETA) passed in 2006. AETA is a beefed up version of the
Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA) that was passed in 1992.
Under AETA, “Whoever travels in interstate commerce…. for the purpose … of
interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise, intentionally…
causes the loss of any … personal property [or] intentionally places a
person in reasonable fear … of serious bodily injury … by a course of
conduct involving … harassment or intimidation or conspires or attempts to
do so” shall be subject to massive fines and many years in prison. In
plain English, if you organize a group of people to take action that
results in a financial loss to an animal enterprise or scares the
employees of that company then you can go to prison for a very long time.
That’s today’s law, and so far, the one prosecution I’m aware of that the
government initiated under it, was dismissed without its constitutionality
However, seven people went to prison for organizing against Huntingdon
Life Sciences under the AEPA, the older, “gentler” version. AEPA created
the new crime of “animal enterprise terrorism,” but you had to cause
physical disruption to violate this law. It was designed to counter the
growing underground movement of animal rights and environmental activists
who damaged property to disrupt the activities of corporations that
tormented animals and despoiled the environment.
But the young people who organized Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC),
and have become known as the SHAC 7 were not part of an illegal
underground campaign. Instead they organized a very public and successful
effort to shame and harass a large corporation, Huntingdon Life Sciences.
In post-9/11 America, prosecutors developed a new legal theory by
expanding the “physical disruption” language in AEPA to include loss of
profits. The SHAC 7 were convicted of being animal enterprise terrorists
under that interpretation of physical disruption. In 2006 the judge
sentenced the “conspirators” to up to six years in prison.
This movement isn’t about being nice to kittens and puppies. It’s about
torture of animals on a massive scale, in pursuit of corporate profit.
Huntingdon Life Sciences kills at least 71,000 and possibly as many as
181,000 animals annually to test cleaners, cosmetics, drugs, pesticides
and other ingredients. Hidden camera videos have recorded employees
beating animals and dissecting live monkeys.
Will Potter, in his new book Green is the New Red, describes a
particularly horrific experiment at another laboratory: “[O]ne infant
primate [was] named Britches. Experimenters had taken Britches from his
mother on the night of his birth and sewn his eyes shut with thick black
sutures. They attached a sonar device to his head that let off a
screeching sound and placed him in a steel cage, alone; the isolation and
sensory deprivation caused neurological disorders. Britches would lurch
and shake, shrieking.”
What’s this got to do with United States v. Dennis? Just as in Dennis, the
courts in the SHAC 7 case have criminalized organizing. And if that can be
done under AEPA, you can imagine the result under AETA, which could be
considered as AEPA on steroids!
I know there are RFC supporters who feel that fighting for animal rights
is a somewhat trivial pursuit compared to trying to prevent the horrific
crimes against humanity carried out by multi-national corporations and the
many governments they influence or control. But the behavior against which
these activists are organizing, is part of the same culture that permeates
the military industrial complex, the energy companies, the private prison
corporations, and so on. These are the same foes we all face every day.
The rights the corporations and their political flunkies seek to curtail
belong to us all. And the sensibilities these heroic young militants seek
to spread are the same values to which other progressives aspire.
Let’s not look down our noses at a new generation of activists whose
causes vary from our own and who are doing things a little differently
from what our generation did. Instead, let’s emphasize our points of
convergence. We need as much solidarity as we can get in taking on the
Robert Meeropol is an activist, author, and attorney, and the younger son
of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. In 1990 Robert started the Rosenberg Fund
for Children, a public foundation that helps children in the U.S. whose
parents are targeted, progressive activists, and also youth who themselves
have been targeted because of their own activism. Read other articles by
By BRADLEY BROOKS, Associated Press May 28, 2011
SAO PAULO – They watched as the Amazon rain forest fell around them.
Instead of staying quiet, as so many people in the lawless region do,
environmentalist leader Jose Claudio Ribeiro da Silva and his wife, Maria,
They reported illegal loggers to police and federal prosecutors. They
confronted powerful interests that destroy the forest for the quick
economic gains to be made from selling timber, or from clearing land to
raise cattle or soybeans.
This week, like so many Amazon activists before them, the Silvas were
On Saturday, police confirmed that yet another rural activist was killed:
Adelino Ramos, a land reform leader in the Amazon state of Rondonia, which
borders Bolivia. Like the Silvas, he also denounced those who illegally
cut the rain forest.
He was shot by a gunman or gunmen Friday morning. Fifteen years ago, he
survived one of the deadliest land conflicts in Brazil, when police killed
10 of the so-called landless activists in an encampment on land they had
The Silvas were killed Tuesday near the sustainable reserve on
government-ceded land were they led about 300 families working the forest
in the Amazon state of Para, one of Brazil's most violent and lawless.
Federal police said Friday that they were investigating, but had not made
Authorities say there is little doubt the couple were assassinated for
their work. They faced numerous death threats, nothing was stolen off
their bodies and Silva's ear was cut off, likely as proof that he was
Three more names were tacked onto an ever-growing list of more than 1,150
rural activists who have been slain in land conflicts across Brazil in the
past 20 years, murders mostly carried out by gunmen hired by loggers,
ranchers and farmers to silence those who protest illegal cutting in the
So many die because so few face punishment.
Of all those killings, fewer than 100 cases have gone to court. About 80
hired gunmen have been convicted. Only 15 or so of the people who have
ordered killings faced charges. And just one of them one is known to be in
Impunity rules among the 23 million people spread across the vast Amazon
because Brazil's judicial system is weak and corruption among local
officials is endemic, activists and federal prosecutors say.
It's a big hurdle for the Brazilian government's efforts to preserve a
rain forest the size of the U.S. west of the Mississippi River. More than
20 percent of the forest already has been cut down. On the same day that
Silva and his wife were slain, Brazil's lower house of Congress passed a
bill that would weaken the nation's cornerstone environmental laws,
changes that environmentalists fear will lead to more destruction if the
measure passes the Senate.
Those on the ground in the Amazon say that until the violence stops, the
forest will keep falling, because most people in a position to denounce
illegal clearing keep quiet out of fear.
Threats against anyone who stands in the way of those who want to clear
the Amazon are so routine, the Catholic Land Pastoral watchdog group known
as CPT keeps a running list of activists whose lives have been threatened.
Silva, who publicly predicted his own death just six months ago, was on
the list, along with 124 other environmentalists. His wife and Ramos were
"The impunity for killing us is getting worse by the day," said Leonora
Brunetto, a 65-year-old Roman Catholic nun and activist in the Amazon who
is on the death-threat list. "We can cry out, denounce what is happening
to the forest, but it continues. I see no end to it."
Activists like Brunetto can be guarded by police, if they request it and
if the threats against them are deemed real. She briefly took advantage of
the protection years ago, but realized she was safer among the poor,
small-scale farmers she counsels.
"You have no way of knowing if the policeman who is guarding you today
will be bought off tomorrow by the same forces that hire the gunmen who
kill Amazon defenders," she said.
Brunetto, like many activists, leads a cloak and dagger life, rarely
sleeping in the same place on consecutive nights. She travels furtively,
frequently changing from car to truck to car, handed off like a sacred
baton from one poor farmer to the next, visiting jungle settlements across
Mato Grosso and Para states.
During her decades of work, at least 15 of her close friends have been
murdered in the Amazon, Brunetto said.
And, she said, there will be no security until the underlying problem of
land titles in the Amazon is settled. The lack of clear ownership in the
region drives its violent conflicts — and much of the deforestation.
A report last year from the environmental watchdog group Imazon said that
on average, proper titles are held for only 4 percent of the land in the
states that comprise Brazil's Amazon, excluding federally protected zones.
Nearly 45 percent of the Amazon lies within protected zones, but even
those are encroached upon illegally.
The result is that loggers, for instance, can simply claim huge chunks of
land with the power of a gun and authorities have little way of knowing
who is responsible for the destruction left behind by clear-cutting of
Two years ago the government started an aggressive campaign to register
landowners in the Amazon. In its first year officials registered more than
74,000 plots totaling 20.7 million acres (8.4 million hectares), an area
the size of Panama. But that still leaves more than 50 percent of the land
While much of the Amazon remains up for grabs, those backed by guns will
continue to kill activists who stand in their way, said Edson Souza, a
federal prosecutor in Para state.
Souza last year put in prison rancher Vitalmiro Moura, one of the men
found guilty of ordering the 2005 slaying of 73-year-old U.S. nun Dorothy
Stang. Moura is the only person known to be in jail for ordering an
Another rancher convicted of ordering the killing of Stang, who also was
shot down in Para state, is free pending an appeal.
"The killing of Silva and his wife was what we call an 'announced death,'"
Souza said. "You could see it coming. A couple fighting against illegal
logging in this part of the Amazon are targets, sadly. There is too much
Silva and his wife pioneered the creation of the 54,300-acre
(22,000-hectare) sustainable reserve where they were slain. The reserve
specializes in the sustainable harvesting of Brazil nuts, which come from
huge jungle trees.
Silva filed numerous complaints with local police and prosecutors about
loggers illegally entering the reserve and chopping down trees for
He and his wife received many death threats, but they pushed on with the
Silva's sister Claudelice dos Santos said she has handed over to police a
list of names of people she suspects killed the couple.
"We will march in protest against the killings and for the environmental
cause," she told a local newspaper. "We are certain they were killed
because of their environmental work."
Ramos, the other activist slain this week, spent years fighting against
illegal loggers, reporting them to officials. According to the CPT, he was
a survivor of a bloody 1995 dispute in Rondonia, when about 300 police
stormed a landless workers encampment near the Amazon town of Corumbiara,
firing wildly and killing 10 activists. Two police also died in the
While the killings are meant to spread fear among the activists who work
in the Amazon, the nun Brunetto said each death, while unwelcome,
strengthens her convictions.
"I'll keep fighting. It won't do to give up," she said. "These events wake
more people up, they make people more conscious of what is at stake here."
By MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press May 28, 2011
BENGHAZI, Libya – At first, the responses to the questionnaire about the
trauma of the war in Libya were predictable, if tragic: 10,000 people
suffering post-traumatic stress, 4,000 children with psychological
problems. Then came the unexpected: 259 women said they had been raped by
militiamen loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.
Dr. Seham Sergewa had been working with children traumatized by the
fighting in Libya but soon found herself being approached by troubled
mothers who felt they could trust her with their dark secret.
The first victim came forward two months ago, followed by two more. All
were mothers of children the London-trained child psychologist was
treating, and all described how they were raped by militiamen fighting to
keep Gadhafi in power.
Sergewa decided to add a question about rape to the survey she was
distributing to Libyans living in refugee camps after being driven from
their homes. The main purpose was to try to determine how children were
faring in the war; she suspected many were suffering from PTSD.
To her surprise, 259 women came forward with accounts of rape. They all
said the same thing.
"I was really surprised when I started visiting these areas, first by the
number of people suffering from PTSD, including the large number of
children among them, and then by the number of women who had been raped
from both the east and west of the country," Sergewa said in an interview
with The Associated Press.
Rape has been a common weapon of war throughout the ages, most recently in
conflicts from the Balkans in Europe to Sri Lanka in Asia and in
sub-Saharan Africa, where Congo has been described as the epicenter of
Across the world, rape carries a stigma. But it can be a deadly one in
conservative Muslim societies like Libya, where rape is considered a stain
on the honor of the entire family. Victims can be abandoned by their
families and, in some cases, left in the desert to die. Speaking to a
journalist is out of the question.
Sergewa's questionnaire was distributed to 70,000 families and drew 59,000
"We found 10,000 people with PTSD, 4,000 children suffering psychological
problems and 259 raped women," she said, adding that she believes the
number of rape victims is many times higher but that woman are afraid to
report the attacks.
The women said they had been raped by Gadhafi's militias in numerous
cities and towns: Benghazi, Tobruk, Brega, Bayda and Ajdabiya (where the
initial three mothers hail from) and Saloum in the east; and Misrata in
Some just said they had been raped. Some did not sign their names; some
just used their initials. But some felt compelled to share the horrific
details of their ordeals on the back of the questionnaire.
Reading from the scribbled Arabic on the back of one survey, Sergewa
described one woman's attack in Misrata in March, while it was still
occupied by Gadhafi's forces.
"First they tied my husband up," the woman wrote. "Then they raped me in
front of my husband and my husband's brother. Then they killed my
Another woman in Misrata said she was raped in front of her four children
after Gadhafi fighters burned down her home.
"She ran away with her children and tried to escape to the port, but then
they started shelling the port. In the chaos, she was separated from the
children," Sergewa said.
"She was distraught when I interviewed her, not knowing if her children
were dead or alive. I wish I knew the end of her story, but I don't know
what happened to her."
Doctors at hospitals in Benghazi, the rebel bastion, said they had heard
of women being raped but had not treated any. The first international
airstrikes on March 19 saved the city from falling into the hands of
Gadhafi forces who were advancing in columns of tanks.
However, a doctor in Ajdabiya, 100 miles (150 kilometers) south of
Benghazi, said he treated three women who said they were raped by Gadhafi
fighters in March when the town was invaded.
"These women were terrified their families would find out — two were
married, one was single," Dr. Suleiman Refadi said. "They only came to me
because they also were terrified that they may have been infected with the
AIDS virus." He said they had tested negative but doubted they would
return for follow-up tests.
Gadhafi's fighters were forced out of Ajdabiya weeks ago and the town now
is largely deserted but for the rebels.
In a highly publicized case in Libya, Iman al-Obeidi burst into the hotel
housing foreign journalists in Tripoli in March and accused pro-Gadhafi
militiamen of gang-raping her because she is from rebel-held eastern
Libya. Her anguished disclosure was captured by Western cameras and shown
around the world.
Earlier this month, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in
The Hague, Luis Moreno-Campo, said he has "strong evidence" of crimes
against humanity committed by Gadhafi's regime, including serious
allegations of "women arrested and gang raped."
One of Libya's leading psychiatrists, Dr. Ali M. Elroey, told the AP that
he has set up three mobile teams to treat trauma victims of the war in
their homes or in temporary shelters: one for PTSD, one for other
psychological problems and one for rape survivors.
Elroey said they need to reach out to people in their homes because the
stigma associated with psychiatric care is leaving large numbers of
His outpatient clinic at Benghazi's psychiatric hospital has treated more
than 600 patients in two months, many responding to radio and newspaper
advertisements offering psychiatric help for war trauma. He said most were
women, though none had acknowledged being raped.
Sergewa said she has interviewed 140 of the rape survivors in various
states of mental anguish, and has been unable to persuade a single victim
to prosecute. None would speak to the AP about her ordeal, even with a
promise to hide her identity.
"Some I diagnosed with acute psychosis; they are hallucinating," Sergewa
said. "Some are very depressed; some want to commit suicide. Some want
their parents to kill them because they don't want their families to bear
Some already have been abandoned by their husbands and fear seeking
treatment could get them ostracized or cast out of their communities.
Others have kept the rapes a secret for fear of retribution from spouses.
"They fear their husbands will take them out to the desert and leave them
there to die," Sergewa said.
It is likely more rapes could occur as the conflict drags on, Sergewa said.
"They are using rape not just to hurt women but to terrorize entire
families and communities," Sergewa said. "The women I spoke to say they
believed they were raped because their husbands and brothers were fighting
"I think it is also to put shame on the tribes or the villages, to scare
people into fleeing, and to say: 'We have raped your women,'" she said.
Sergewa says women will continue to be targets of the militiamen, and this
makes it all the more urgent to finish her study and get it published.
"We must throw light on what is really happening in Libya and fight to
bring justice for these women, to help heal them psychologically," she
Associated Press writer Mike Corder contributed to this report from The
by Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken / May 26th, 2011 Dissident Voice
Police officers who murder citizens in our communities are more likely than not to get off scot-free. The odds are that they will not be prosecuted at all, and if they are, they will be offered a plea bargain to misdemeanor assault or manslaughter, at worst. The reasons that police can kill at will are found in the laws themselves.
The disparity in how police officers who kill are treated, as compared to citizens who kill, lies in the way the state deals with the two groups. A citizen who is accused or suspected of killing another citizen, is immediately arrested, held without bail, and subjected to sustained and often brutal interrogation. The threats that police make to murder suspects are the subject of books, television dramas and newspaper articles. The pressure applied by police officers to murder suspects borders on the illegal in most situations, and can even constitute the sort of torture we’ve come to expect from our lawless government. The treatment of “enemy combatants” at Guantanamo is only marginally less horrific than the treatment of prison inmates and gang members suspected of committing serious offenses. Threats to “throw the book” at a suspect, if (s)he doesn’t confess, threats to arrest and/or deport family members, threats of beatings and worse, are the every day grist of police interrogations. The justification is that suspects are “bad” people, and deserve what they get. Naïve principles about presumptions of innocence go out the window when the interrogation room door closes.
Within hours, if not days, of a citizen suspect’s arrest, the police will have gathered incriminating evidence, a confession, or leads to witnesses who can assure a conviction in the case. Only the most street-wise defendants will assert their right to remain silent, or speak with a lawyer in the face of the kind of bullying that goes on in these situations. Those charged with murder will not be released on bail, and only the wealthy will have access to an attorney who will have time to spend with them before their first court appearance.
Compare that situation with that of a police officer who kills a citizen. In San Francisco, the officer will first be placed on “paid administrative leave.” [See SFPD General Order 8.11, entitled “Investigations of Officer Involved Shootings and Discharges.”] The officer will then be asked to participate in an internal police investigation, where (s)he is represented by an attorney, and provided with all of the rights set forth in the “Police Officer’s Bill of Rights.”
The trail of obfuscation begins the day of the killing when the police officer is hustled into the custody of the police and away from public scrutiny. The police officer then becomes the property of the internal police agencies and their chain of command.
Initially, there are two investigations for police officers. One is a criminal investigation, which is conducted separately by the Homicide Detail and the Office of the District Attorney (DA). The other is the Administrative Investigation conducted by the Management Control Division. Then, the Emergency Communications Division, and the immediate supervisor or platoon commander where the crime took place, take command. This agency notifies the Field Operations Bureau Headquarters (Center), who notifies at least nine more internal police agencies. Also, the DA’s and Office of Citizen Complaints are notified as well as the police Legal Division.
The victims’ family members, their attorneys, and the media are not allowed to interview the officer; and, no public bodies have access to the officer while the police investigation is proceeding. This period of grace affords the officer the opportunity to work with his/her colleagues and attorneys to assure that no damaging version of the offense is publicized or pursued. A cynical individual might surmise that it also gives the police department an opportunity to destroy inculpatory evidence, or “turn” witnesses who might have damaging testimony or versions of what occurred.
The police officer is escorted from the crime scene to the Bureau Headquarters (department facility) where the officer will be interviewed by the Homicide Detail Inspectors. Officers shall not return to regular assignment for a minimum of 10 calendar days. “This reassignment is administrative only and in no way shall be considered punitive.”
Within 5 business days, the Chief of Police shall convene a panel to discuss whether it is appropriate for the involved member to return to duty. There is a mandatory debriefing (per DGO 8.04, Section 1.A), where a written report is made and sent to the Police Commission and Director of the OCC. The written report “shall not be disclosed to any member of the public except by court order.” Then the Police Commission meets with the Chief of Police to review the Chief’s findings and decision. The officer is also debriefed by the Crisis Incident Response Team.
It is both the Homicide Detail and the Management Control Division that respond immediately and conduct an investigation into every officer-involved shooting. Within 45 calendar days the Firearm Discharge Review Board shall receive the Homicide Detail Investigation report. Within 60 days, the Management Control Division findings shall be completed and submitted to the same Firearm Discharge Board, which must convene within 30 days. It then has 120 days to complete its investigation and issue its findings.
After these months of delay (and cover-up?), the police officer might be charged with an offense by the DA’s office. Picture how many murder prosecutions there would be for citizens who were provided the same protections as police officers before being arrested and interrogated. The state would never be able to charge anyone with murder if citizens were secluded and protected the way the police are.
This disparate treatment is a blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clauses of our state and federal Constitutions, and defense attorneys should challenge this outrageous contradiction at every stage of the criminal process. The reasons police get away with murder in our society, while citizens are often convicted of crimes they didn’t even commit, is simply because of the differing way the laws are written and designed. Our society doesn’t mind cops who kill, only citizens who do.
Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law. Marti Hiken is the director of Progressive Avenues. She is the former associate director of the Institute for Public Accuracy and former chair of the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force. Read other articles by Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken, or visit Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken's website.
June 11 International Day of Solidarity with Marie, Eric and Long-term Anarchist prisoners (USA, Global)
Received from the USA collective June 11th Solidarity. In this time of ecological
collapse and social repression let’s show solidarity with our prisoners of
resistance, who have paid a high price for their ideals, as well as all those who
deny to legitimate the demands of authority, – it’s time to attack again the
concepts, symbols and structures of the cruel and exploitative capitalist system.
June 11th Reminder and Event Suggestions
May 27, 2011
The Day for Solidarity with Long-term Anarchist Prisoners is now two weeks away.
June 11th is an open invitation to demonstrate support for Marie Mason and Eric
McDavid, who are each serving 20 years. This date provides an opportunity to build
links of affinity and solidarity towards the destruction of the prisons and
As anarchists, this occasion to support Marie and Eric has been exciting – it’s a
practical basis for solidarity, for linking together anti-repression and anti-prison
struggles in many places. Currently there is a substantial list of June 11th events
occurring across the US and internationally. And there are more to come!
This occasion for solidarity—as an open invitation—can to be responded to however
people want, according to their own ideas and contexts. But many people have written
asking for suggestions so we wanted to share a quick list of ideas for people who
wish to plan events:
*Organize an info-night. Prepare a presentation on these two cases, or about
repression more generally and other examples of anarchists who have faced the
state’s wrath. Include a movie, such as in San Francisco, or a practical workshop on
resisting grand juries and supporting prisoners, such as in Cincinnati. We are happy
to help prepare presentations and provide materials if desired.
*Throw a benefit party/show/pancake breakfast/barbeque/picnic, such as in New York
City. Both Marie and Eric have serious ongoing legal and logistical costs even
though they’ve already been convicted. If you’re facing repression locally and have
fundraising needs, we’d invite you to still throw a benefit in conjunction with June
11, to make clear the practical links of solidarity against the state’s conspiracy
to wipe out resistance. (Please keep in mind, when organizing food events, that both
Marie and Eric are vegan.)
Though Marie and Eric’s cases cannot be simplified to a lack of support, we
understand that the state succeeded in imposing such long sentences on Marie and
Eric in part because it was able to isolate them, both politically and socially.
In the wake of these long-term sentences, support for Eric & Marie—and for other
Green Scare and anarchist prisoners—has relied on the consistency and commitment of
their respective families and support crews.
To prevent further repression against them in prison and to break out of the current
lull, we need to respond with an upsurge in both ongoing material support AND an end
to the political isolation and invisibility experienced by anarchist prisoners. As
anarchists, we think there are many ways to improve their visibility that don’t rely
on the mass media, but rather on organizing and face-to-face interactions in the
“No one should be able to walk down any street . . . without seeing the prisoners’
names written on the walls. And the songs that are sung about them must be heard by
Thus, in particular we encourage people to:
*Organize microphone demos and other very public events. A microphone demo means
occupying a corner or a busy park, setting up banners and a sound system, and
passing out materials about Marie and Eric and against repression. Switching between
music and reading statements over the microphone helps create a good atmosphere, but
of course adapt it to your local resources and constraints.
*Put-up posters, and drop banners (only with permission, of course!). Full-color
posters were just printed that can be sent your way. Just ask!
*Operas, plays, ballet, like Redbird Prisoner Support in Colombus, OH! They are
performing Dario Fo’s Nobel Prize-winning “Accidental Death of an Anarchist.”
*Other, wholly-new and original plans that we’d be excited to promote and spread for
June 11, 2012, and until every prisoner is free,
-Mid/east June 11 Crew
Expect two more lead-up missives before June 11, including a longer strategy
statement! Get organized, and get in touch with us if you need to!