Thursday, July 26, 2012

On the House Raids and Grand Jury Subpoenas

 As has been reported elsewhere, police, FBI, and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents raided three houses in Portland this morning, dressed like paramilitaries and using flash bang grenades. No arrests were made, but electronics--presumably cell phones and computers--were confiscated.

In addition, today five subpoenas were served throughout the Northwest: two in Portland, two in Olympia, and one in Seattle. These subpoenas demand that the recipients appear before a grand jury that will convene in Seattle at the Federal Courthouse on August 2nd.

Grand juries exist to coerce civilians into providing information about themselves and others to law enforcement and intelligence agencies. They operate in secret; no judges or defense attorneys are present, and neither Constitutional rights nor conventional evidence-gathering protocol apply. Grand juries are frequently used to harass activists and dissidents; for example, a grand jury forced independent journalist Josh Wolf to serve 226 days in a federal prison simply for refusing to turn over a videotape he had shot at a demonstration.

That being said, it is critical to understand that the best strategy for defeating a grand jury involves coordinated non-cooperation. In many cases of federal repression of activists and anarchists, cooperators have even wound up with similar sentences to those who have stood their ground. To put it simply: nobody talks, everybody walks.

There are also reports that law enforcement agents are still searching for specific individuals. If you are served with a subpoena, call the NLG National Hotline at 888-NLG-ECOL (888-654-3265) or call a criminal defense attorney immediately.

A support committee is forming and will soon announce how to get involved or donate to support funds.

Little else is known at this time, but updates will be posted as we receive them. It is best that in this stressful time, we resist the temptation to speculate and gossip.

Learn more and stay safe:
About grand juries
Great National Lawyer's Guild literature on grand juries, your rights and FBI harassment
How to crush a Grand Jury

Announcing Call-In Day and Petition for NC Hunger Strikers

July 23, 2012 Prison
First, we are announcing and encouraging people to participate in a call-in day to support NC prison hunger strikers on Wednesday, July 25th. You can find phone and fax numbers here. Because the strike may have spread to facilities we don’t yet know about, folks are especially encouraged to call the Division of Prisons HQ in Raleigh.

Second, the Asheville Prison Book Program has set up a petition for the strikers which supporters can sign here.

Third, a poster made for public distribution can be found here; feel free to put this up everywhere in your town, as a general reminder that prison struggles are happening.

Fourth, please write to if your group would like to be mentioned as supporting the strike. Feel free to also write your own statement of support like these folks. As soon as that list starts to come together we will post it.

Fifth, prisoners have called for solidarity actions and boycotts (the latter largely intended for other prisoners) against companies that exploit prisoners and their families via the canteen. A list of companies involved can be found here.

A weekly anarchist radio show out of Asheville, NC, called the Final Straw, recently did an hour long interview regarding this hunger strike. You can hear the interview here.

As soon as more news emerges from prisoners we will be sure to post it. Also, please send us by email or comments any news on your end about solidarity actions, demonstrations, etc.

Judge here rejects bid for FBI documents in 1975 slayings of two agents

Indian activist convicted in case loses
By Phil Fairbanks

News Staff Reporter Buffalo News
July 25, 2012

A federal judge has rejected Leonard Peltier's request for FBI documents about the man he was with when he was arrested in the killing of two agents in South Dakota in 1975.

After examining the documents, U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy ruled that they do not fall within the guidelines of what Peltier's lawyer had asked for as part of his lawsuit against the government.

Michael Kuzma, a Buffalo lawyer and member of Peltier's legal defense team, was seeking 900-plus pages of documents, once kept in Buffalo, related to a man Peltier was with at the time of his arrest.
"We're still going to press and push for the release of all documents related to the shadowy figure who used the name Frank Blackhorse," Kuzma said this week.

When Peltier was arrested in connection with the killing of FBI agents Jack R. Coler and Ronald A. Williams, Blackhorse was with him, but Blackhorse, whose real name was Frank DeLuca, was never charged and decades later remains a free man.

Peltier wants to know why.

"He's a mystery man," Peter A. Reese, a lawyer who is representing Kuzma in his efforts to get the Buffalo-related documents, said of Blackhorse. "It's pretty obvious this guy was an employee or informant of the FBI."

Kuzma said he has already filed new Freedom of Information requests about Blackhorse and Curtis A. Fitzgerald, the former FBI agent Blackhorse was accused of shooting at Wounded Knee, S.D., two years earlier.

Now 67, Peltier, an American Indian Movement leader in the 1970s, has maintained his innocence, and supporters have tried to get his 1977 murder conviction overturned.

As part of that effort, Kuzma asked McCarthy to release FBI documents he believes may help vindicate Peltier.

Even now, nearly 40 years later, the killings of Coler and Williams are a source of great passion among current and former agents. When Peltier came up for parole in 2009, the FBI was among those who pushed hard to keep him in prison. He is serving two life terms at the federal penitentiary in Coleman, Fla.

The FBI declined to comment on the judge's ruling.

Black Horse Lawsuit: No Files Released 7.24.12

donated by Robert Robideau (rip)


July 25, 2012
South Texas. July 23, 2012.  The secret to a human psyche, the truth of corrupt and global powers, are as elusive as peace in a world gone violent. As brutal as  a people gone cloud cuckoo with desire to enslave once wild. Beauty.  Women. People of "color" (is white a color), children, the "poor" and those living connected to the land: hippies, counter culture and traditional First Nations: we are all in this dirge on the River Styx, together. 

The efforts to be released, into some semblance of justice and chances to rebirth freedom become plagued by not enough gold coins on our eyes. 
On July  20,  2012, Judge McCarthy in Buffalo NY, ruled he could find "no public documents" in the 900+ FBI files, in the "Black Horse case":  Michael Kuzma vs. Dept of Justice. Subsequently releasing not one page.  To Kuzma and his legal team. Kuzma and the hopeful supporters of Leonard Peltier "lost" this round.  But there are more rabbits to pull out of the black hat of fate.   Kuzma's counsel, Daire Brian Irwin,  explains a "more complex response to all this" is pending.  Meaning, that he will "persist in challenging subsequent FOIA requests" if/as they are corrupted, or denied. As well as "framing the FOIA differently".  And Kuzma says  "new FOIA request (s)  have already been filed" with the Federal Courts. Requests. Regarding the alleged shooting of an FBI Agent Fitzgerald, by "Frank Black Horse" back in the 1970's.  Where that ride takes us, still begs a map. Maybe a "wanted" poster.  As Black Horse is not 'officially" known to be "dead or live" and privacy acts for the living, prevail.  Irwin suggests "Black Horse"  give them a call. Why not.  Irwin says.  "Let us know if he is alive. if he has nothing to hide he can let us know he is alive.  And waive the FBI privacy act". 

Yes. The current  "loss" in court was perhaps anticipated.  
Yet.  Irwin reassures the effort by insisting "we will not stop until Leonard is free". 
Current affairs warrant, as always,  another peek into the complexities of this historical, brutal mess. 


Trying again, various long time Leonard Peltier/ American Indian Movement (AIM)  supporters are rallying this summer. And Fall. The effort  includes a revived Clemency effort, the current Black Horse lawsuit and FOIA requests filed by Peltier's FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) lawyers, Kuzma. What initially seemed a fine and perhaps "expedited" Court ruling, is now potentially  become long and drawn out affair.  Down the river, with a couple lost paddies.  That initial effort, demanding FOIA information about potential operatives in AIM, which may impact Peltier's status as prisoner, has been quashed. All along it seemed  there were slim chances for a significant, favorable ruling  And. Most in Indian Country were/are prepared for  the Black Horse case to simply drag on.  

"Free Peltier" rally
 downtown Buffalo NY  Feb. 2012
(photo a. nora claypoole)
LIke a tar and feathered crook busted in a local 1890's saloon. 

The  May 2012 request for Black Horse files was at best. A wild card suit filed, a belated effort to nail the FBI to their own cheating ways.  Kuzma had tried for a few years to simply have access to "anything of public source" about Frank Black Horse, now a verified "operative or informant" for the FBI during the 1970's. Black Horse had  infiltrated the American Indian Movement, and could  possibly be implicated in the murder of Anna Mae Aquash, if ANY information about him, is made visible.  But the request was compromised from the onset, as Kuzma had narrowed his request for files, to mere "public documents",  news clippings, anything sourced from outside the FBI. 

 When Judge McCarthy perused the files he found nothing of "public" nature:    "I have found no documents fitting the parties’ definition of “public source documents…. Thereafter, Plaintiff’s motion for a Vaughn Index.. will be withdrawn and this action will be dismissed in its entirety without further action”. 

 McCarthy in his response explains that a public source document is defined as :   “….encompass[ing] public court records as well as material located within FBI records which originated with or was created by an outside, non- government or non law enforcement entity, e.g., a newspaper or magazine article, or other publications which can be released because they are not subject to copyright protection”. 
(source, Pacer: Report, Recommendation and Order 12-CV-00102(A)(M) filed July 20, 2012).


But a few years back the FBI said they did have more public documents for Kuzma in this pile of 927 pages, at hand  (he did receive various generic news clippings at one point, it seems, but not the entire motherlode).  A promise to release more news clippings and other public documents and then a change of the weather, is what seeded this storm of Black Horse activity. But. 

Why Kuzma focussed on mere public documents, is a quandary. And what his remedy is for this limited request, and it's dead end. Is complex. 

 Apparently it begins where it began: more FOIA requests to an agency whose signature sell point is "cagey". 

"Frank Black Horse" and FBI agent, circa 1972
The likelihood of a win that breaks open truth is like finding a pearl in a cracker jack box. In stacks of redacted, revisionist history. So. Even with a court win in this May 2012 lawsuit, there would still have been  subsequent briefs/hearings, to access the "real" FBI files regarding Black Horse. Kuzma  and his legal team, knew this going  into the arena. Nonetheless.   A  "win" in the May 2012 suit might have at least put the FBI, on guard.  Perhaps the  simple fact, that the Judge took pause, in this case, had that effect. 

Still, there was a hope. 

For  a release of something in those  927 pages (interestingly, and to the objection of the plaintiff, in  mid June 2012, the FBI reduced the count from 927, to  "919 pages").  Though not the crucial key to locked FBI files. Nor busting corruption of FOIA requests over the years.  A win this past week would have at least lead Kuzma and his team down a hallway to where the secrets, lie. 

Perhaps a Judge ruling that the FBI was corrupting FOIA requests by shuffling files, and taking three years to be forthright with Kuzma's efforts.  Would have been a ruler on the knuckles of government protected bullies: it didn't happen. 

 Now.  There is. An August 6th 2012, Federal Court deadline for "objections" to be filed. But that  is not going to happen. According to Irwin. And Kuzma, explains:  "No objections will be filed since Magistrate Judge McCarthy found that there were no public source documents.  I have already submitted new FOIA requests for documents pertaining to Frank Blackhorse and FBI S/A Curtis A. Fitzgerald (who is now deceased)." 

"Anna Mae and daughter"
painting by Robert Robideau (rip)
In an earlier interview with Kuzma, he explained that because Fitzgerald is deceased, the FOIA requests may not be blocked by the privacy act.  Black Horse was never indicted for the shooting, and Kuzma is hoping for clues. Somewhere in the Templar quest.  The belief is implied.  That with enough integrity and earnest,  consistency and unrelinquishing certainty. These demands for files will get so close to truth, that the FBI will stumble. But Kuzma is playing his cards close to the vest.  His strategy, not on the table, yet. And the fact is.  If a person is working for the FBI, and kills "in the line of duty", they are not necessarily charged with a murder (mob bosses who were double agents, used this defense, back in the day). 

This new Black Horse/Fitzgerald request is the next notch in a long road to accessing information which impacts not only Kuzma and his personal campaign to find out "who was this guy Black Horse", but more broadly impacting, perhaps, those men, Arlo Looking Cloud and John Graham. Serving life sentences for the murder of Anna Mae Aquash.  Both young AIM "footsoldiers" at the time of her murder (1975/6), they claim their innocence and have attorneys currently working on their behalf.  Perhaps Kuzma and Irwin's efforts will assist in revealing more key details in the role operatives played in her murder.  And at least it may help Leonard Peltier, in his current, efforts for Clemency.


The Peltier case is on the minds of many this late summer, especially since Delaney Bruce, Peltier's long time devoted, effective organizer  and executive director for his defense committee, has left her position.  For various, unforeseen and tragic reasons. Bruce is no longer with the Leonard Peltier Offense Defense Committee. In the interim, while the search for near impossible replacement ensue. Paulette D'auteill is stepping in.

She is first wife of Robert Robideau (rip), Robideau acquitted in the 1970's FBI killing for which his cousin Peltier is doing time. D'auteill is a warrior and organizer who goes all the way back to those "old AIM days" and she is  stepping in, to help keep the Peltier Defense Committee viable.  It is not an easy task, Bruce's shoes, "hard to fill", but a necessary effort.   Because in an election year, the United States President often "offers clemency" to prisoners who s/he feels warrant a release.  Peltier, and his supporters are once again rallying for Clemency.  The first serious Clemency effort, in 2000 with President Bill Clinton, came close, but ultimately failed.  

To the bystander, the  lookey  loo and Peltier People  hoping for Justice.  Anything that Kuzma and his team accomplish with regards to their  new FOIA request, anything Looking Cloud's lawyer--Barry Bachrach--can win in terms of injustice toward HIS client. Seem to come together in the case of requesting remedy for Peltier's railroaded and unjust incarceration. 

Yes. In this recent roundabout. The public access road to Black Horse and his role in old AIM, has been stalled.  But. The mystery of his complex tether to old AIM history prevails.  Information as  to his whereabouts has been under construction for years. And this post modern version of Buffalo Bill's Wild West show is far from over. Just like the ancient trek of dead across a river, we persist in pushing through, to truth. To the other side of fear.  



to be added this evening

a. nora claypoole

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FBI and JTTF Raid Multiple Homes, Grand Jury Subpoenas in Portland, Olympia, Seattle

by Will Potter on July 25, 2012 Green is the New Red

As I’ve been reporting on Twitter, there have been multiple homes
raided and grand jury subpoenas issued in Portland, Olympia, and

Three homes were raided in Portland, by approximately 60-80 police
including FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force. Individuals at the homes
say police used flash grenades during the raid.

Grand jury subpoenas have been served to individuals in all three
cities: 2 in Olympia, 1 in Seattle, and 2 in Portland. The grand jury is
scheduled to convene on August 2nd at the federal courthouse in Seattle.

No arrests have been made. Electronics were confiscated along with
additional personal items.

All legal documents related to the searches and grand jury are sealed,
but based on interviews with residents, and what police told them at the
scene, this is clearly related to the ongoing demonization of anarchists
and the Occupy movement.

I’ll continue updating as this develops; please follow me on Twitter,
will_potter, for the latest.

UPDATE: Here’s local press from the Oregonian:

1 Ohio bridge bomb plot suspect pleads guilty

July 25, 2012 Associated Press

 AKRON, Ohio (AP) — One of five men charged with plotting to bomb an Ohio highway bridge pleaded guilty Wednesday and agreed to testify against his co-defendants.

Anthony Hayne, 35, of Cleveland, who has a criminal record for theft and breaking and entering, pleaded to all three counts against him in U.S. District Court. His attorney, Michael O'Shea, said Hayne hopes to get leniency in return for his testimony.

Under the terms of the surprise plea deal, Hayne will have the chance to avoid a life prison term. With the plea and offer of testimony for the prosecution, he could face 15 years to nearly 20 years in prison.

"I don't think any of these guys intended harm to human beings," O'Shea said. "I think they just thought this was a way of making some sort of political statement. But I'm relatively confident none of these people had any desires to actually hurt anybody."

O'Shea said Hayne was a latecomer to the alleged plot and, as such, had the least standing to argue that he had been manipulated by an FBI informant as other defendants have contended.

Authorities have called the men anarchists, and investigators say the group planted what turned out to be a dud bomb provided by an FBI undercover informant on a bridge south of Cleveland and then tried to detonate it.

The defendants could face life in prison if convicted.

U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach said the government would now turn its attention to proving the case against the other four men. "We are pleased with today's guilty plea and are prepared to prove the allegations against the remaining defendants," he said in an emailed comment.

The five were charged with plotting to bomb a bridge linking two wealthy Cleveland suburbs by placing what they thought were real explosives at the site and repeatedly trying to detonate them using text messages from cellphones, according to the FBI affidavit.

The FBI said the suspects bought the explosives — actually fake — from an undercover employee and put them at the base of a highway bridge over the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, about 15 miles south of downtown Cleveland.

After leaving the park, they tried to initiate the explosives using a text-message detonation code, and they called the person who provided the bombs to check the code when it failed, according to the FBI affidavit.

The men also discussed other potential targets, including a law enforcement center, oil wells, a cargo ship or the opening of a new downtown casino, according to a prosecution affidavit.

The five had been associated with Occupy Cleveland, but organizers of the movement have tried to distance the group from the men. They say the five didn't represent it or its nonviolent philosophy.

UFree Network: Solidarity campaign with Akram Rikhawi succeeded

July 25, 2012 UFree Network 

UFree network said that it managed to conduct a solidarity campaign with 103-day hunger striker prisoner Akram Rikhawi since his hunger strike on 12 April.

Mohammed Hamdan, UFree chairman, said that ending Rikhawi's hunger strike is the result for congregation of efforts inside and outside prisons, which forced the Israeli occupation to refrain its situation and sign an agreement that stipulates on setting Rikhawi free before his release date.

Agreement contents

Israeli Prison Service (IPS) had a meeting with Rikhawi due to his deteriorating health condition. After a prolonged discussion and because of his determination, the occupation agreed on Rikhawi's demand to be released. It also agreed to unite him with his prisoner brother Shadi Rihkawi, who is sentenced for 12 years, at Isheel jail from the beginning of next week.

Rekawi's campaign

The solidarity campaign with Al Rikhawi, which lasted for 103 days, achieved a great success and introduced his case to all public and formal levels. UFree launched a campaign to support Akram  Rikhawi. Through emails and awareness campaigns on social networking websites, UFree managed to reach and contact European members of parliaments, politicians and human rights activists.

Illness and triumph

Hunger striker, Akram Rikhawi, who ended his strike, expressed his thanks and gratitude to those who stood beside him during his long strike. He added, "Without such support, I could not steadfast and force the occupation to refrain its situation".

"I did not start my strike to die or to have a permanent disability. Even when my body began to be feeble and illness surmounted me, I endured this adhering to my people's support as a weapon to strengthen me. That support I experienced led me not to surrender to my illness nor the stubbornness and arrogance of the occupation. All of my people and those who supported me deserve words of promise and faithfulness."  

Suicide in Solitary: The Death of Alex Machado

July 24, 2012 Solitary Watch
Alexis “Alex” Machado was a prisoner at Pelican Bay State Prison’s isolation units for nearly two years when he took his own life on October 24, 2011.

According to the autopsy report, Machado was last seen alive at approximately 12:15 AM “as he was examined and then cleared by medical staff for a complaint of heart palpitations.” Thirty minutes later, at 12:45 AM, an officer found Machado and reported that “….Machado [was] hanging inside his cell…” He was seen “sitting on the floor with a sheet tied to his neck and the sheet tied to the top bunk.”

Concluded the autopsy: “The decedent died as a result of asphyxiation due to strangulation by hanging.” Toxicology reports were negative.

As institutional records and letters from Machado in the year leading up to his death show, he had been suffering severe psychological problems in response to his prolonged isolation. Once a jailhouse lawyer whose writings were both clearly and intelligently composed, his mental state would decline at Pelican Bay.

Machado had been incarcerated since 1999 on a robbery charge and a related shooting. He was sentenced to an 80-to-life prison term. Described as an intelligent and thoughtful man with a warm smile by his sister, Cynthia, he generally experienced no problems in his initial 11 years of incarceration. For most of his time, he was held at Kern Valley State Prison.

Things began to change in late 2007, when a race riot took place. “The prison said he was the one who started the riot,” according to Cynthia, “when he really had nothing to do with it.”

His involvement in the riot would result in his being placed in Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) in December 2007. Though he was never officially found guilty for the riot, prison gang investigators would begin to build a case for his validation as a gang member. In December 2008, he was placed in the ASU again for “manufacturing a weapon”; in January 2009, a confidential informant was officially cited by prison officials as evidence of his gang activity.

He was finally validated as a gang associate, in large part due to the confidential informant, on February 4th, 2010.  In his appeal of the validation, he argued that the source items used in his validation were insufficient, saying that “these allegations are not true and I initiated nothing.”

Drawing by Machado of his niece
He further charged in his appeal that his validation as a gang member was in retaliation of his acquittal in the racial riot case.

He was sent to Pelican Bay to serve an indeterminate SHU sentence on February 17th, 2010 from the Kern Valley ASU.

Being screened into Pelican Bay, he reported no psychological problems.

Soon after arriving, however, he reported in letters that he was consistently harassed by the guards. In a letter dated March 10th, 2010, he wrote that “when I first got here an officer told me that he was being pressured to make a bogus psychologist referral on me…I guess they want to make it look like I am going crazy.” He reported that guards took him to debrief in an attempt to make him look like an informant. Further, he was told that a green light (hit order) had been placed on him; a claim that he didn’t believe.

An ASU classification document indicates that he received some mental health services in May 2010, and previously in October 2009.

A mental health chronos indicates his first significant problem at Pelican Bay surfaced on January 24, 2011 with a mental health referral from a correctional officer for paranoia.” Also beginning in January, he was noted to have decreased the number of showers he took, from a regular of three a week to only once or twice a week.

He received a 115 (rules violation report) on March 1, 2011 for  ”willfully resisting” officers after “fishing line” for communication with other inmates was found and he refused to “cuff up.” He told the health care worker who saw him after his extraction with pepper spray that “I want you to put down that they are denying my legal mail.”

On May 31st, a mental health referral reported that he “stated he is being watched, listened to, cell has bugs and cameras. He also stated he hears knocking on all his cell walls.”

Things would decline significantly in June. On June 5th, a mental health record reports that he was depressed, anxious, poor hygiene/grooming, hallucinations, paranoia and delusion. He reported that is presenting complaints were listed as “hearing voices, can’t sleep anxiety a ttacks, someone/something controlling thoughts, hasn’t cleaned cell in three days.”

Days later he would receive another referral for anxiety and reporting increased heart rate and breathing. On June 12th, he was placed in a crisis room for threatening to kill himself.
The following is from a Counseling Chrono dated June 21, 2011:
On Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 1440 hours I was summoned to the cell of Inmate Machado…by Registered Nurse…Upon looking in the cell window, I observed a noose hanging from the air duct. I observed the No-Tear Mattress lying on the cell floor torn apart. I ordered Machado to submit to handcuffs, to which he complied. After handcuffing Machado I placed him in holding cell #136 so Dr. N could speak with him. I returned to cell 188 and observed feces smeared on the right wall. It appears Machado had torn off the outer layer of the mattress, fashioned a noose from it, and tied the noose to the vent…
Just days after the incident, he was issued a notice that he would be placed in Pelican Bay’s Administrative Segregation Unit:
You were endorsed by the CSR on 02/04/10 to serve an indeterminate SHU term, due to your validation as an Associate of the …prison gang…On 06/22/11, your Mental Health Level of Care (LOC) was elevated to Correctional Clinical Case Management (CCCMS), PBSP-SHU Exclusionary; therefore, your placement in PBSP-SHU is no longer appropriate. Due to the above, on 06/22/11, a decision was made to place you in the PBSP Administrative Segregation Unit. Single celled due to prison gang validation.
By June 30th, he was deemed to have “active psychotic symptoms” but had a low risk of suicide.
On July 6th, he threw his breakfast through his food port and refused breakfast the next day. On the date of the incident a referral indicated ”inappropriate behaviors”, “hallucinating” and “poor impulse control.” The referral notes that he believed “electromagnetic pulses are interfering with his thoughts.”

A mental health document says later that “[he] is believed to be in a desperate situation with an equal amount of anxiety. During ICC in Ad Seg, he refused the debriefing process; hence his situation appears to be deteriorating possibly leading to [his] current state of mind.”

In June and July, he was variously diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder and Brief Psychotic Disorder. According to his sister, though he was officially granted a vegetarian diet for religious reasons, he would primarily subsist on an unhealthy cheese-only diet due to his being allergic to peanuts, the other primary component of a prison vegetarian food tray. This is believed by his sister to have been one of the factors that contributed to the already physically and mentally stressful environment.

Alex Machado’s Suicide Note
Machado’s sister noticed her once coherent and seemingly adjusted brother decline in his time at Pelican Bay. “I noticed he started writing strange things, about seeing things,” she says. Around this time, she and her mother called Pelican Bay after receiving a despondent letter from Alex. “I’m afraid for my sons life,” Machado’s mother told one of his mental health counselors.
Though CDCR has previously gone on the record to say that he was not a participant in the hunger strikes, the Machado family believes that he in fact did participate in the strikes. He reportedly mentioned the strike many times in letters sent to his family.

In late July or early August, he sent a letter to his sister claiming that he saw “someone I know and I saw another in pieces and demons…I don’t know the significance of it…I hope it was a hallucination.” He wrote that was taken to the infirmary for leg pains, where he further wrote:
I was handcuffed in a cell and was being watched by two officers I never seen before…I was handcuffed for what seemed like an eternity. I felt like I was in that room handcuffed for days but it was only an hour…the shooting in my case flashed in my mind and they suggested I died that day in the shooting and that I was now in ‘purgatory’ or in ‘Dantes Inferno.’ I felt trapped. I thought I was condemned to be handcuffed in that cell forever. They made me believe I was killed in real life. I thought I was caught in another realm. I saw insects in the cell and demons. It was way out I don’t know what happened…
Also written while at Pelican Bay, Machado reflected on his decade long incarceration, writing ”I wish my life was different and that we could all be out there together…I don’t know what to do. I’m stuck and I have been away from home for a long time now.”

In the final months of his life, he would continue to spend over 22 hours a day in a small cell. His letters came less and less frequently. During his time at Pelican Bay, he told his family not to make the over 700-mile trip to visit him. He didn’t want them to see him in chains.

Though his letters in the two months leading to his death were increasingly distorted, he did have some glimmer of hope. He had secured a lawyer who was in the process of challenging his original criminal conviction.

His sister describes his plight this way,

“It takes one inmate informant to report you falsely. Then you are in solitary confinement. When you want to fight to get out it is impossible because of all the torture that goes on in there physically and mentally.”

After years of isolation, paranoia, and gradual deterioration, he took his life.

“He was a loving brother, son, and uncle…raised by a single mother and got lost in the system,” says Cynthia. “He wanted to be treated fair.”

The Machado family welcomes any assistance in getting Alex Machado’s story out. If you’d like to contact the Machado family email the author of this article at:

LA-ABCF’s Annual Running Down The Walls 5K Run/Walk/Bike

Anarchist Black Cross Federation LA

On Sunday, September 2nd, 2012 at 10 a.m., the Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross will host a 5K Run/Walk/Bike around MacArthur Park. This Run is designed to raise much-needed funds for the Anarchist Black Cross Federation's Warchest program and for Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC).

We are attempting to reach the goal of $3,500 with the run. Funds will be divided between the two programs:

ABCF Warchest:

The ABCF Warchest program was created in November of 1994. Its purpose is to send monthly financial support to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (PP/POWs). The Warchest funds are divided and distributed through monthly stipends to political prisoners who receive little or no financial aid. Prisoners use this money to cover the basic necessities of everyday living. These funds have been used by prisoners to pay for stamps, shoes, clothes, as well as assisting their families with what little they can.

Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC):

In the aftermath of the May Day 2007 police riot targeting migrant workers who dared stand up for our human rights, members of the MacArthur Park area and others joined together to support those with no papers and those with no means. RAC-LA came forward to aid the community in self-organizing such that with the help of each other we might make an inhuman way of living a bit more bearable while at same time acquiring the means to one day transform this system into an image of our own humanity.

Solidarity Runs:

Every year, prisoners and supporters of political prisoners organize solidarity runs with Running Down the Walls. In Sync with each other, we will collectively pound the pavement with our feet and bike tires as we exhibit our strength and stamina as examples of our tireless effort to free our imprisoned comrades. In past years we had runs in:

Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland, (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Boston (MA), Connecticut River, Dannemora (NY), Denver, (CO), Detroit (MI), Elmore (AL), Guelph (CAN), Inez(KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), Mexico City (MEX), New York City (NY), USP. Navosta (TX), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Sandstone (MN), Tucson (AZ), USP Tucson (AZ), and Toronto (CAN)

Support the Struggle:

We must remember that many of those arrested in the past or present are not far from us. Many of them were and are community and labor activists, queer, and environmental activists; people who decided to speak out against various forms of oppression and paid the price of their freedom for their actions. We must remember that anyone of these people could have at one time stood beside us in a demonstration, at a speak-out, or even at an organizing meeting. At any given moment it could be us who finds ourselves in this situation, so it is imperative that we ensure that a strong enough community of support exists for these people as well as ourselves. The strength of our movement is determined by how much we support our fallen comrades. As Anarchist and former POW Ojore Lutalo says, "Any Movement that does not support its political internees, is a sham movement." So please help us, help them! Help us help you!

We encourage people to participate in helping us raise funds for the Warchest, which can be done in the following ways:

Be a runner:

We are asking people or groups who are running to collect as many sponsor for the run as possible. Remember the money received is going to help imprisoned comrades who need your help. The person who collects the most amount of funds will be given a prize for their involvement and dedication to helping our fallen comrades.

Sponsor a runner:

This can be done through a flat donation to the runner of your choice, each flyer is a sponsor sheet. We ask from those who wish not to run to actively support those who are running in hopes of collecting as much for our comrades as possible.

Sponsor Running Down the Walls:

Any amount helps. Contact the Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross if you wish to simply donate money to the cause.

Donate to:

-The Warchest:

Send funds directly to the Los Angeles ABCF (PO Box 11223, Whittier, CA 90603) or to the Philadelphia ABCF (PO Box 42129, Philadelphia, PA 19101) Make checks or money orders out only to Tim Fasnacht.

-Revolutionary Autonomous Communities (RAC):

Get involved in the planning of Running Down the Walls:

We always need help with organizing the event and we encourage people to contact us if they would like to get involved. You can do this by contacting the LA Anarchist Black Cross,,

-Jaan Laaman, UFF Political Prisoner
Statement of Solidarity

October 19th 2002 My Brothers,

"Thank you for running at this special event that means so much to many of us all over the world, both free and imprisoned. In a relative way, we are all political prisoners because it is the politics of this system of things that is exploiting, crushing, imprisoning, and destroying the masses all over the world and the earth itself. Then there are those who know this and take actions against those who seek to deny us our rightful place on earth as common human brethren. Those are the ones we run for and seek to help... whom sacrificed their family, freedom and lives, so that our lives may be better! The fact that you ran with us is a sign that when the red-hour comes, you will not be caught asleep. You are conscious and you too are willing to represent. The potential in you is great. Thank you
for running for the cause!"

"As we ran we were thinking and talking about all the runners in Los Angeles and how we'd love to be out there running with them. We also spoke about the other political prisoners who were running with us in at least some other prisons."

Down the Walls 2012

When: Sunday, September 2nd,
2012, 10 am - 2 pm

Where: MacArthur Park,
(West corner), 2230 W. 6th St., Los Angeles,
CA 90057

Registration fees: $12
preregistration; $15, the day of the run. (Make checks out to Tim Fasnacht)

Or for paypal:

Log in to your PayPal account and send your donation online to the email address "" (Tim Fasnacht). Make sure to add in the notes section that your donation is for RDTW 2011. If you'd prefer to stay anonymous or are donating in the name of an organization, let us know.

For more information contact the Los Angeles Branch Group of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation

PO BOX 11223

Whitier, Ca 90603

Addameer: Hunger Strike Ends for Akram Rikhawi after 102 days

July 23, 2012 Samidoun

Ramallah, 23 July 2012 – Following a visit today by Addameer lawyer Mona Nadaf, Addameer can confirm that Palestinian hunger striker Akram Rikhawi has ended his hunger strike after reaching an agreement with the Israeli Prison Service. Akram ended his hunger strike yesterday evening after 102 days.
As part of the agreement Akram will be released on 25th January 2013, which is six months prior to his original release date. Addameer’s lawyer visited Akram in Ramleh prison, where he remains in critical condition. It was agreed that upon his release he will return to his home in the Gaza Strip.
Addameer’s lawyer also visited Hassan Safadi, who is on his 33rd day of hunger strike. Hassan’s health continues to deteriorate with recent tests indicating that he has developed kidney stones as a result of his hunger strike. He remains extremely weak and is currently taking only water and vitamins.

Voices from Solitary: “A Sort of Solitary Psychosis”

July 22, 2012 Solitary Watch
The following comes from an inmate at Utah State Prison, Draper’s Uinta 1 facility. Uinta 1 serves as Utah’s death row, long-term supermax, as well as the Draper institution’s disciplinary segregation unit. The writer wrote over a period of days detailing a particularly violent few days in his unit requiring multiple cell extractions following several inmates covering their windows and flooding their cells. –Sal Rodriguez


3:00 PM
It’s around 3:00 PM Saturday here. Last night my neighbor flooded his cell by flushing his toilet a lot with socks in toilet so it flooded the whole section, except my cell (I plugged it off with plastic and towel). Then another neighbor slipped in his cell on water, hit head on sink, had seizure, and was extracted, then returned to cell. I notice that a lot of these guys have seizures. I don’t think this is a faked issue. You can tell a true seizure by just listening to their head bounce off the cement floor.

8:30 PM
Cells 1, 2, 3, 4 have all proceeded tonight (8:30PM–it’s almost 10:30pm) to pull all their sprinklers, cover all their windows, and flood cells by running sink and flushing toilets repeatedly. The damn sprinklers emitted no water for some reason. This means if there was truly a fire the captive would burn to death. They are going to fight the SWAT teams. So pepper spray/blood/maybe death is on the roster tonight. Water’s barely seeping into my “house” but it’s plugged off pretty good. I don’t mean to sound like a sportscaster. This shit’s not cool one bit. People die fucking around doing this shit.
A sort of solitary psychosis, no person can stop these guys.
Guess they are now shitting and pissing into the water. We now wait for SWAT. Pretty soon they’ll become hip to the skip and shut off the water. I’m going to fill juice bags with water to drink! Almost forgot.

10:35 PM
SWAT called cell 1 and 3 “unresponsive.” Could be hanging from the sprinkler. Cells 2 and 4 aren’t going through with it. Negotiator didn’t work. Just sprayed a grip of pepper spray…Cops are scared to go in! They sprayed each cell five or six times then they both cuffed up. Both alive. It’s over for today–or not.


5:00 AM
The cops put them back in the cells at 5:00 AM on “strip cell” and now cell 3 is going to pull his sprinkler again. The cells were soaked when they put them back in them. They are complaining of not being able to see from pepper spray. They were “put on a wall”–handcuffed behind back this whole time 8:45 to 5:00 AM. Both had to just piss on themselves. I’m tired from just watching, not as young as I used to be, and those dudes got three/four days of strip cell to look forward to. Hateful shit.
One of them had a seizure when “put on the wall.” They’ve refused him medical attention for this. The cops haven’t fed them today. This is what I mean by subtle abuse. The “blowers” (big fans) are on in section. This trips temperature a good ten degrees. They do this to make these two on strip cell suffer. The blowers are off all other times.

Cells 2 and 4 are preparing to battle here Wednesday.

Hours later
It’s been decided. I wouldn’t say we do these things for attention. It’s more “getting back at them the only way possible.” And the cops have to scrub our shit, squeegee the water up. Actually work.

8:30  PM
Cell 4 is unresponsive. Windows covered. Guards are talking of using “C.S.” gas, which is a grenade. We had the Sgt. admit that he cannot be the man in charge of extraction because he used too much O.C. gas on the two yesterday.

9:30 PM
The true SWAT tream came in on cell 4. Last night it was just staff in bio-hazard suits. They deployed the gas grenade. I can’t breathe or see right now. Whole section, all cells, are smoked up. There’s a big fan blowing the shit, supposedly out of our section. But it’s just blowing it around and its coming in the cells.

3:00 AM
Fans still blowing. Smokes still burning face, eyes, throat. Seems like we’re in for a long smokey couple days. The CS gas is so strong it leaves black smudges on the cell door frames. Got a pain in my left lung or heart. The smells lingering here in my cell but can’t pinpoint exactly where its coming from.


4:45 PM
Cell 3 is “unresponsive” again. Cell windows covered. Cells flooded. Sprinklers pulled. SWAT team has been called again. Negotiators negotiating. Its a standoff. They took Cell 3 to medical center after standoff  to remove staples. I’m going to try and mail this to you. I’m tired.
Welcome to my world.

8:30 PM
Cell 2 covered window. Officers brought a stick (stick used to push mattresses away from door) and opened cuff port to see into the cell to make sure he isn’t dying. SWAT called and we just barely got rid of the CS gas from earlier.

Cell 3 has been moved to Section 4, which has cameras in the cells. Now we wait.
They CS’d him (Cell 2) and he had a seizure…Its pretty bad in here…

You know, I didn’t realize…Now that I’ve read it all back to myself I see…this shit isn’t cool. What is it thats caused me to become used to all this? I remember as a boy growing up wanting to be cool with a burly Raiders jacket and tattoos with a cool bowl cut. I wanted to emulate an older kid named Steve. Now Steve is dead. He hung himself with a string in his trailer closet in my hometown with a power extension cord.

It’s now 1:00 AM Thursday.

I made a list once of all those I’ve known and grown up with and most have died horribly and they never went through this type of hell. My family considers me crazy. So do my captors. So do my fellow captives. So do I at times but I must be crazy to make it. Strong crazy not weak crazy. I’ll turn thirty in four months. Can you see the isolation I’m drowning in?

I remember as a boy I loved to play in the stream behind our house. Chase “water-skeeters.” Pile rocks and dam up the river to play in. Lie on the grass. Build little huts out of old discarded wood. Play spin the bottle with the neighbor girls. Drink homemade root beer and eat homemade ice cream with my grandma.

I’ve never killed anyone, and I won’t. I’ve never hurt a soul and I will not. I slipped my handcuffs while drunk and got caught with two grams of dope and now I’m here. Punished…