Archive for July, 2009

Bulletin April 2009

July 18, 2009

ABC Bulletin Autumn edition April 25 2009

Hello and welcome to the Anarchist Black Cross bulletin. Coming up in this issue:
Information about the Free Lex Wotton campaign:
A brief report on G20
Articles by three political prisoners, two from America and one from Germany.
Edited version of a special transcript interview from Nahanne and Leslie Spilett’s recorded interview prepared for 3CR’s prison radio show ‘doin time‘. These First Nations women from Canada discussed in detail issues such as police brutality, racial profiling and Aboriginal genocide and were in Melbourne in February 2009 These items and much more are in store, so please continue reading.

Lex Wotton campaign
Lex Wotton palm islander and respected community leader, has been sentenced to six years in jail and will be eligible for parole in 2 years. He was convicted of “Rioting with Destruction” for his role in community actions on Palm Island a week after Mulrunji Doomadgee was murdered in 2004 by the hands of the arresting officers. In collaboration with ISJA (Indigenous Social Justice Association) of Melbourne, in solidarity with Anarchist Black Cross along with 3CR community Radio have made a cd interview with Lex Wotton, prior to his imprisonment. Because trial had not yet commenced, the interview does not focus on legal strategy but rather documents Lex’s impressive community work, his views on genocide and Aboriginal sovereignty and a special tribute to Sorry Day. Please support the Lex Wotton campaign by buying a cd which is selling for 6 dollars. Write to Anarchist Black Cross Melbourne at: PO Box 300 Brunswick East 3057. or email abcmelb@yahoo.com.au Below is an urgent call out by his family needing financial support to go and visit him in prison. As well, Lex needs money for needs arising from his incarceration, including envelopes and phone.
ISJA Melbourne also advocate the following:
“You would all know by now that Palm Island man, Lex Wotton, is now a political prisoner and is serving a 6 year sentence (with 2 year non-parole period) in Townsville Correctional Centre.
This is an urgent call-out for financial assistance directly from the Wotton family . Lex’s wife, Cecelia, is hoping to visit him at Townsville Correctional Centre this weekend but needs our assistance to meet the costs of travelling from Palm Island to Townsville and for accommodation in Townsville.
Donations (big or small) can be made into the following account . It is hoped that some urgently needed funds will be raised by this Friday (24 April). (Editor’s note) Although 24 April has passed, it is even more imperative that funds be donated.
Melbourne University Credit Union Limited
Account name: Free Lex Wotton
cuscau2nessxxx (only if transferring from overseas)
BSB 803-143 A/C number: 13441 (all transfers)

All money from this account goes straight to the family. Please lend a hand!!
In addition to personally contributing maybe people could suggest that friends, family and work colleagues do likewise. It is outrageous that Lex is incarcerated and as a political prisoner we MUST support him and his family at this difficult time.
Thank you for your support”
Cheryl ISJA Melbourne.

G20 Arrestee Update
One person is taking their riot charges to trial. Two people are taking their aggravated burglary charges to trial, one of them is also charged with assault police which they also are taking to trial (and that person has also pled guilty to riot). These are most likely all dependent on further negotiations and could change in the next few weeks. One other person is being sentenced on Thursday, and the others have a court date then too, so things could change more next week. This means about 25 people have pled guilty to various charges, three people are still challenging some of them. Akin Sari is still in gaol and will be out by the end of the year if he is not paroled earlier. It is now 2 years and 5 months since the g20 protest.

Akin Sari
Mail to
Corrections Victoria
22/121 Exhibition St
GPO Box 123
Melbourne VIC 3001

Tel: (+ 61 3) 9321 4111

Radio Interview Interview transcript with Nahanne Fontaine and Leslie Spillett live in Melbourne in February 2009 in the Studios of 3CR Community Radio
In February 2009 ISJA Melbourne organised an event as part of a speaking tour with Nahanne Fontaine and Leslie Spillett. To add to the speaking tour, the two First Nations women along with Nahanne’s son appeared on countless radio shows at 3CR, including Women On The Line, Tuesday Breakfast and our own Robbie Thorpe who does Aboriginal programming at 3Cr with a show called Fire First airing on Wednesday mornings from 11 till 12 noon. This particular edited transcript interview with Nahanne Fontaine and Leslie Spillett appeared on ‘dointime’ time a prison show airing at 3CR between 5 and 6 every Monday evening. This show is hosted as a collective, who roster the show every week. Marisa Sposaro conducted this interview for ‘doin time’ broadcasting which aired on 23 February 2009 and then prepared this transcript which is below.
(Editor’s note), Because the transcript is edited, I have taken the liberty of including a brief summary of their work prior to the transcript. A shout out to ISJA and Tamar Hopkins principal solicitor at Flemington Legal service who made it possible for these First Nations women to come to Melbourne. Enjoy! Nahanne Fontaine is the Director of Justice for the Southern Chiefs Organization, a political Indigenous body representing 36 Southern First Nations in Manitoba. As an organizer exposing racial profiling and police abuse in Winnipeg, she has been dealing with many of the “Starlight Tour” police abuse issues and spoke out against the fatal tasering of an Indigenous 17-year old last year. Nahanne is also working towards holding Winnipeg police to account for their sexual assault and abuse against First Nations women.
Nahanne holds a Masters degree in Native Studies and Women’s Studies. She is currently enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program at the University of Manitoba. Her dissertation is entitled “Old Ladies,” Bitches and “Ho’s”: Deconstructing Aboriginal Female Gang Members. Nahanneis a mother of two boys. We’ll also be welcoming her 7-year-old son, Niniichaanis.
Leslie Spillett is, without question, one of Winnipeg’s foremost Aboriginal rights advocates, defenders and policy makers. As an Aboriginal woman reared in the 1950ness in Manitoba she was born into the struggle. She has led strikes of garment workers, fought an unfair dismissal and worked in mainstream social service organizations. This mother of two has represented First Nations organizations on the global stage.
Leslie campaigns for the rights of all globally colonized Peoples — Palestinian, Iraqi, African, South American, Aboriginal Australian — and draws the connections. She currently serves on the board of Grassroots Women Manitoba.

Here is the transcript:

Marisa: Hello and welcome and I’m Marisa, I will be speaking with two inspirational first Nations Women, who are activists and they are from Canada Winnipeg Manitoba and I’ll just introduce them. They are Leslie Spilett and Nahanne Fontaine. It’s wonderful to have you here. When did you arrive?
Nahanne:Two days ago. We are doing a bit of a tour and then we’re off to New Zealand.
Marisa: So let’s start off the discussion by talking a little about your backgrounds, so first of all Nahanne can you just talk a little bit about where you’re from and some of the work that you do.
Nahanne: Right now I live in Winnipeg Manitoba as you indicated previously, I’m from southern Manitoba. I’m the director of justice for the southern chiefs organisation, and the southern chiefs organisation represents 36 southern first nations communities and their citizens. This is a political indigenous body. my duties are to work at advocating for our people with respect to the totality of the Canadian criminal justice system, community justice system, courts, probation all of those things. Advocating for my people who have interactions with policing agencies. The Mounted Police in Winnipeg. They police the first nations communities. There’s lots of issues there.
Marisa: fantastic and Leslie?
Leslie: I’m from Manitoba. I’m Cree. I have been living in an urban setting in Winnipeg since 1977 and working and active in a lot of different social justice groups, which includes justice for workers, women, indigenous peoples, environmental issues.
Marisa: And Leslie it sounds to me like you have been doing a lot of work not just around indigenous issues but global issues.
Leslie: Everything is interdependent. We can’t look at things in isolation. We need to draw the global lessons of colonisation, we to talk about the whole issue of anti imperialism, that happened to us in 1492 and it happened here in Australia also. We’ve been dealing with global issues for many centuries. We can learn from other struggles and apply them and work in terms of liberation struggles all over the world. You can do it locally and globally we do it on all levels.
Marisa: Absolutely. It’s so important to connect those things up. I know here in Australia there is police brutality here. You would have heard that a 15 fifteen year old boy was shot. Nahanne you’ve been doing work around police brutality, correct? Could you talk about that?
Nahanne: First off in Canada one of the issues for us is that all around the world, Canada is termed as a leader of human rights, one of the best countries to live. For indigenous populations, that’s not true. For us that’s one of the things that we try and challenge. Educate other communities. When you look at policing within that context, every day and for generations upon generations there are violations of human rights. People lose their lives in some instances when they come into contact with the police. I talked about Royal Canadian Mounted Police, what people don’t realise is that we had residential schools where children as young as 4, 5 and 6 were taken from their parents and were shipped off to one school for the next 10 years of their lives.
Marisa: Same with Australia.
Nahanne: the RCMP were actually used in that exercise so they would go into community and they would forcibly remove children. If parents or grandparents decided to assert their rights, and say no, you’re not going to take our children, they would hunt down these parents and grandparents and take the children, so we have this whole historical continuum or context when we talk about policing and indigenous people so that the first policing institution in all of Canada was used as an atrocity against our people and in my mind that’s extended to all the police in our country. Every day in the city of Winnipeg we have a very high visible indigenous population and every day the Winnipeg city police, police our community in the most inhumane way.
Marisa: Currently?
Nahanne: Yes.
Marisa: I had to mention the word currently because I think What tends to happen a lot of the time is that aboriginal population all over the world are romanticised. I want to make sure that I make the connections with listeners.
Nahanne: In Winnipeg we have an area which is a racially constructed space within Winnipeg. Predominantly it’s indigenous people that live in the north end. Little indigenous boys walking to school or work are constantly racially profiled. “HEY where are you going? why are you walking the streets? They want to see your id, push them up against the cop car. We’ve done research where we know that police have taken youth out of the community. Sometimes we get minus 50 weather here. Police force them to walk back. They take their shoes and clothes and make them walk miles.
Marisa: This is a violation of human rights.
Nahanne: Police will stop young girls and say “This isn’t your area.” Making assumption that women walking down the street are street workers. Every day in my job I get phone calls where people are arrested. They have gotten the living crap beaten out of them. A horrid picture. I worked on a file for 4 years. A young man 18 years old was walking down the street to start a new job. He was stopped and shot dead by the police. To this day they say they did nothing wrong, it was justified. If you’re indigenous and you happen to work in Winnipeg watch out.
Marisa: Leslie was talking about the global connections. It’s the same everywhere isn’t it really? We have the intervention over in the Northern Territory. They’ve taken away the Racial Discrimination Act over there. Is there one in Canada?
Leslie: No. I mean there are human rights codes and there is a part of that is that you can’t discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation etc but what we find in Canada is people don’t understand the complexities of racism and how it is so deeply conditioned in the consciousness of separate populations. Most people would say “I’m not a racist my best friend is” so you have people in positions of significant authority like judges, lawyers, they don’t believe racism exists as a factor. Canada has huge racial issues. Discrimination takes place on a continuous basis in all sorts of institutional settings, like police which Nahanne just talked about. Our people are marginalised in economic and political structures. We’ve had examples of police assaulting women sexually, trading sex for not being charged during arrest. There is brutality in terms of the physical brutality but there’s also the whole thing on name calling, intense racialised namecalling that takes place as well. We know that racism exists. The state does not give people access to those instruments, you need your own lawyer, a lot of people don’t have faith in the system.
Marisa: It’s very true Leslie and in our streets here in Smith Street, where we have our 3CR radio station you have racial profiling of aboriginal people. The council wish to pass laws where people don’t drink on the streets. Specifically Aboriginals are targeted. People are drawn to power spots in Smith Street which could have been sacred sites previously.
Nahanne: Racism is across the board. ISJA made the point that all populations have issues around alcohol. You don’t describe the whole group by that action. I’m afraid our Prime Minister who is very conservative, doesn’t learn from these kinds of things.
Marisa: Despite his apology.
Nahanne: The government wants to move people from the land because they are forced to shop miles from their homes in the Intervention. I can see Canada adopting the intervention. The same government that did not sign on to the declaration of human rights in Australia. Canada and Australia are very similar here.
Marisa: I believe you’re working for the justice of the southern chiefs organisation?
Nahanne: We represent 36 nations my grand chief was supposed to come here his mum got sick. We deal with a variety of issues, education, trying to ensure the best education system for our people. We do a lot of economic development work. The crux of the work is to ensure that first nations treaty rights are adhered to. One of the things in Canada is that we have treaties with the government that assure our people have certain rights. The settler population forgot what they signed. We try to bring that up all the time. At the crux of it that’s the work we try to do.
Marisa: There’s no treaty in Australia. What tends to happen a lot with white society it’s not where you come from it’s what you do. What I’ve tried to do today is highlight out where you come from. So I believe that you’re going to be attending an event. You’re going to be speaking in Melbourne at the Solidarity Saloon with ISJA.
Nahanne: we’re looking forward to that. We want to reach out in solidarity.
Marisa: What is the Starlight Tour?

Nahanne: Starlight Tour is when police take people to the outskirts of the city and take their coats and shoes and make them walk in minus 40 degree weather for miles back home. The Daryl Knight matter was investigated where it was found that police did take him to the outskirts of the city. Another case was documented where a man was found frozen. Police officers were found guilty and went to jail in that case. There’s a book called “The Starlight Tours“.
Like Leslie was saying, courts are not mandated to look into, nor do they understand or care about the race context that we operate in, in Canada. The judge blames young people for being shot and killed. The system is so resistant to hearing about racism. It’s so resistant you just wanna cry.
Marisa: When I lived in the United States, I did prisoner support work and collaborated with Copwatch Los Angles who are a thorn in the side of the police.
Nahanne: I want to send a shout out to Copwatch youth and they are a thorn in the side of the Winnipeg police. They have their cameras I just adore those guys and girls too.
Marisa: Are there any other comments that you or Leslie wanted to make.
Leslie: I want to acknowledge the sisters and brothers that are doing time. We know in some ways that people should not be doing time. In Manitoba for indigenous women who are incarcerated, non indigenous women wouldn’t be there. We know that women do harder time in some ways than in terms of going into segregation. There’s no programming for women in some of the prisons.
Leslie: They are separated from their children.
Leslie: Completely in a different culture, they cannot speak the language, they are alienated from the western culture. So I just want to acknowledge the women that are in jail.
Marisa: We do have a listenership in prison for ‘doin time‘. Leslie you’re also a first nations woman as well. Where are you from? exactly? Where’s your nation?
Leslie, I’m Cree. In Canada we have a completely another colonial instrument of genocide and at one point in the Canadian state the government wanted to assimilate all indian people or exterminate them. That was the social policy at the time. We are the only nation in the world that determines a person’s identity. Indian women who married non indigenous men or indigenous men that were not considered indian by the state lost their right to be indian. Whereas white women who married indigenous men got to become indians and their children too. But indian women lost status. Some indians do not have the same rights as other indians. We have white people who are indigenous in Canada and indian people who have lost their identity in terms of the Canadian government. It’s a complete part of the genocidal system in Canada.
Nahanne: In Canada we have communities who don’t have water. The houses that are built on the communities are so substandard that what ends up happening over the years is that that mould ends up on the houses. 80 percent of houses have mould. It makes everybody sick. Canada knowingly pollutes our forests. This is not human rights.
Marisa: Same with Australia. It’s absolutely deplorable isn’t it really? And that’s why I make it my business as a 3CR programmer to air a lot of indigenous issues, and in fact on breakfast show we do a critical analysis about what’s happening in the papers. I’m constantly saying there’s no quotes from aboriginal people and no mention of human rights in the mainstream media.
Marisa: Nahanne you’re doing some writing?
Nahanne: I’m actually doing my PhD right now on aboriginal women and girls particularly in context with research on aboriginal gangs. The way government is policing institutions is when women have experience within gangs, is that the sexy term is that women in gangs they’re not making healthy life decisions For indigenous peoples you can’t divorce our historical context of residential schools. We have generations that are still suffering these effects. we’ve been undertaking research on racial profiling and the police. We decided we are going to write a book. There is none on indigenous people and racial profiling. This will be the first in Canada of its kind of far as I know.
Marisa: Thank you Leslie and Nahanne for coming.

Article by Jaan Laaman

Greetings From American Political Prisoner
Revolutionary greetings to all you good Australian peace, justice and freedom activists. In particular I want to salute the Aboriginal people in your struggle, your active supporters and especially all political prisoners held captive in Australian prisons.
I am a political prisoner myself, one in about 100 women and men imprisoned by US government. Many of us have been in captivity since the 1970’s and 80’s. We all come from the anti imperialist anti war, national liberation and social justice struggles within America. In recent years, many activists from the earth and animal rights movements have also been imprisoned. In the past year anti war campaigners and more Puerto Rican national liberation supporters have been locked up.
The struggle for justice liberation, peace, protection of our planet, economical survival and justice for a revolutionary future that we can be proud and relieved to pass on to our children and grandchildren is a world wide reality. The emergence of this global economical depression in capitalist countries but impacting the whole world is based not only on corporate greed, corruption and outright theft but also on inherent flaws within capitalism. This reality opens doors for popular grassroots multilayered revolutionary movements as well as creating great hardship for all us poor and working people one way failing capitalist powers try to recover is by launching war. We are, have to be vigilante for this too.
We political prisoners in the us and the movements we come from extend our solidarity to you resisters, radicals revolutionary activists, and political prisoners down under. We invite you to learn more about us, our politics and struggle by checking out one important voice of us political prisoners in the 4strugglemag. You can find this at: http://www.4strugglemag.org Freedom is a constant struggle!

Jaan Laaman anti imperialist political prisoner US Penitentiary Tucson. March 2009
If you would like to write to him:
Jaan Laaman
10372-016 PO Box 24550 Tucson. Az 85734 USA.

Fighting For Freedom
by Thomas Meyer Falk, Germany http://www.freedom-for-thomas.de

Lots of books, articles and statements are written about liberation and the struggles for freedom — but at the end it’s necessary to do something, to act.
I want to talk about acting behind the bars. Actually I am in jail since over 12 years most of the years I was kept in isolation (for security reasons, because they fear I could escape or damage their prison factory). In August 2008 there was an organized hungerstrike in a few german prisons and the comrades said that I was welcome to support their action. Well, I was full of solidarity but for my point of view, hungerstrikes are a wrong way to strike back. Oh I know that especially hungerstrikers have a lot of psychological power and could get much publicity. But for me it is too passive. — and much too autoaggressive! The wardens and all our enemies are still laughing if we damage ourselves. If we remember the heroical struggle of the comrades in the turkish prisons among 6/8 years ago : more than 20 comrades died their infinite hungerstrike in turkish gulags and the government clapped their hands and laughed about, and nothing fundamental has changed!
This theory isn’t my favourite — I know that we need theoretical discussions, , they are quite important but should do not forget to act not be passive.
Address to write to Thomas in prison: Thomas Meyer Falk C/O JVA – Z. 3117,
Schoenbornstr.32
D – 76646
Bruchsel
GERMANY

Sara Olsen What you voted for: Marsy’s Law.

In the 2008 election in the United States, when a vote for Barack Obama for President meant a vote for change and, for many people, a vote for hope, the voters of California delivered the victory to Obama and Lwop (Life without Parole) sentences to lifers in state prisons. Amid all the media hoopla about electing the Nation’s first African American president and, in California, outlawing court legalised gay marriage, few noticed the passage of Proposition 9, aka Marsy’s law.
California has a huge prison industry. Over 170,000 prisoners (a ll150 thousand per mainstream figures) reside in the state’s “hidden away hellrles”, most built in rural areas where average citizens, meaning average voters, never go. There are two current court challenges to the incompetently manage business of locking up predominantly poor people of colour. The Feds must address prison crises because the state has refused to do anything about wretchedly overcrowded conditions and substandard medical care in the places where only the powerless go.
Marsy’s law is a disaster for lifers who must face the reactionary state parole board (board of parole hearings of bph) in order to secure a parole date. While a few lifers were given parole dates before Marsy’s law, now lifer paroles could well become a relic of the past.
A lifer must appear many times before the bph before a date is granted. Next, a prisoner must wait for 150 days to find out whether or not or whoever the current governor will block it, an inherently policitised decision. In between parole denials inmates get rollovers. child rollover is the time between one parole hearing and the next. Before, rollovers were for one or two years. They could have been for five years if a prisoner was convicted of first or second degree murder but that was not usual. Marsy’s law allows for rollovers for up to 15 years.
Thus, a lifer can be sent to prison when in her early twenties. She has her first parole hearing at 40 years old and she is rolled over for 15 years. At 55 she gets rolled over for 15 years once again. True, Marsy’s law allows for rollovers from 3 to 15 years but prisoners and prison advocates know in which direction the pendulum swings.
The United States exports its mass incarceration policies and the commercial sales pitches that obscure these practices in plain sight to a world market. Isolation prisons and the policies followed within them in the United States have produced the gruesome operations of indiscriminate arrests of the innocent or guilty, extraordinary rendition and torture that are hallmarks of the War on terror. California’s prison industry is the jewel of America’s prison business. While the us has a thriving private industry, policies that lock up millions of its people that are those of government, state and Federal.
These policies encourage states to impose harsh penalties, chiefly via the war on drugs, on greater and greater numbers of people. In California, prisons are isolated by location. Within them, prisoners are isolated by a hopelessness intrinsic in a system that is set up for a recidivism rate of 70 percent with increasing numbers of lwop sentence and lifer sentence that now, with prop. 9: Marsy’s law, converted lifers to lwop.
In November, 2008, radio station KPFA in Berkeley (KFCF 88dda in Fresno) broadcasted the programme, “without walls”. Karen Shain from San Francisco’s legal service for prisoners with children and Keith Wattley from Oakland’s uncommon law, both attorneys, were interviewed about Marsy’s law. They said it was a disaster for prisoners especially lifers.
They pointed out that prop. 9’s passage will affect rehabilitation programmes in prisons for the worst. It eliminates hope and removes all incentive to rehabilitate. The potential for 15 years rollovers tells inmates’ families, “they’re never coming home”. It destroys family ties.
Shain and Wattley said that Marsy’s law states that the department of corrections cannot reduce sentences or call for early release of prisoners to reduce overcrowding. Governor Schwarzenegger had voted early release as a possibility to deflect the Federal court challenge to do something about unconstitutional levels of overcrowding in the State prisons. He never implemented it. He and the State legislators decided to increase bed capacity in existing prisons instead. Now, due ! budget woes, no additional beds can be added. There’s no money but neither can any prisoners get an early release. The three judge panel of the federal court is not bound by prop. 9 restrictions. Its final decision, per Shain and Wattley, could be more far reaching and cnly to the state than if Schwarzenegger had the courage to act premptively.
Both Shain and Wattley noted that ordinary people need to begin to organise to act against the long term effects of Marsy’s law. It needs to be overturned. People will be sent to prison with no hope of release. Other countries do not do this to their citizens, particularly in such massive numbers. It is costly to taxpayers, doesn’t make them safer and is morally unredemptive. Prisoners’ families must do something.
In the lead up to elections, prop. 9 was presented as a victims’ rights law. It didn’t so much expand victims’ rights as it solidified them. It does require that a notice of parole hearings to be sent to any victim of any felony for which the prisoner has been convicted, including any crime, leading to the life term as well as any other felonies. It increases the number of victims affiliates permitted to attend parole consideration hearings, eliminating the previous requirements that representatives have a specified relationship to the victim of the crime.
Besides allowing the bph to extend rollovers for as long as 15 years, prop. 9 sets strict standards in order to shorten the denial period. There must be “clear and convincing evidence” to prevent a judgement that 15 years or more of the prisoner’s life are necessary for public safety. If so decided, the board can require a rollover for only 3 (highly unlikely) to 5, 7, or 10 years.
Prop. 9 limits parolees’ rights, too. According to a Fresno Bee (12-1408) article: a federal judge has blocked enforcement of proposition 9 that amends the penal code to restrict or eliminate rights gained in a 14 year old class action lawsuit in Sacramento federal court. Attorneys for parolees filed a motion to stop implementation of portions of Marsy’s law, saying it “purports to eliminate nearly all due established constitutional law”. Lawyers argue that California declared its intention “! immediately put into practice the parole revocation provisions of proposition 9 despite 200 years of the precedent that precludes such action”. The motion states that prop. 9 “eliminates parolees’ guarantee of counsel except in narrow circumstances, eliminated the ability to confront certain witnesses at parole hearings, and restrict consideration of alternatives to prison”.
Marsy’s law was bankrolled to the tune of 5 million dollars by high tech industry billionaire Henry T. Nichollas III. It was named for his sister, Marsy, who was murdered years ago. Nichollas funded the television ads in the 2004 elections that led to the defeat of proposition 66, a 3 strikes reform bill, that was winning unil his admittedly decisive ads turned the tide.
In spring 2008 Nicholas was indicted by a Federal grand jury for backdating stock options. According to the Sentinel, (all articles in the Sentinel are written by Keith Chandler), a newsletter published by Sanders and associates in Sacramento, California.
This is the largest scam “among more than 200 companies ;which options practices have come under legal scrutiny. (he) is always accused of supplying customers with prostitutes and drugs and slipping ecstacy into the drinks of executives without their knowledge. A second indictment accuses him of maintaining properties for the “purpose of using and distributing controlled substances” which he apparently called “Party favours”. The indictment details Nicholas’s use and distribution of drugs, including coke and crack. (He, is alleged to have used death threats and payoffs to conceal his activities. It is alleged that in 2002 he reached a two million dollar settlement agreement with an unnamed employee who knew about his drug activities.
On a flight to Las Vegas aboard a private plane the indictment alleges Nicholas used and distributed drugs, “causing marijuana smoke to enter the cockpit and requiring the pilot flying the plane to put on an oxygen mask”.
(Assemblyman Woodd) Spitzer too nearly 5 million in donations to help pass Marsy’s law (prop. 9) while (state Senator george) Runner (took) over a million bucks to fund the signature drive that put prop. 6 (safe neighbourhoods’ act protect victims, stop gangs and street crime. It was defeated”. On the ballot. Neither of these initiatives would have made a ballot without Nicholas’ tainted money which almost completely financed both operations.
When a friend of mine went to her first documentation hearing before the bph, she went under a telling incident. The documentation hearing isn’t a date setting hearing. It’s a lifer’s first appearance before a commissioner who explains the function of the board and tells her what will be expected of her for actual parole consideration. The Commissioner looked at her central file. In it, he found a 115 which is a disciplinary writeup. He asked her, “what’s this?” he was very concerned. So was she. She never got a 115 Suddenly, she noticed that the name on the 115 wasn’t hers. She pointed this out to the Commissioner, he then asked “whaat? how did you get this in your file?” exactly.
Lifers say that attorneys’ attitudes are changing. They are giving up because of Marsy’s law. Why try when nobody the state appoints them to represent before the board will get a date? Prisoners with board hearing dates come into the prison law library and ask, “how do I replace my state appointed lawyer? He won’t help me. I can feel it.”
One lifer said that she heard an attorney say, “There’s no hope the board wants good girl chronos to show the prisoners join prison organisations and participate in projects or show up to work day after day, year after year. They want certificates of completion of Vocations and educational classes, a Ged, and on and on “all pretend” accomplishments, “pretend” in the sense that the Commissioner pretends that ever made a difference in granting the parole date. Soon there’ll be no AA or NA classes for lifers because they’re never getting out anyway but they’ll still be asked to do book reports for self help books to prove that they’re sincere about rehabilitation”.
One lifer I know at CCWF wrote, after realising how catastrophic Marsy’s law will be for her chance to parole, “the board wants you to prove you’re rehabilitated, to prove that you’re remorseful and to make amendments. They want you to change. How can you now? The victim’s family will never change. They don’t care if you do because they get to be your judge, jury and executioner thanks to prop. 9″.
Sara Olson # W94197
506-10-04L
C.C.W.F. PO Box 1508
Chowchilla, CA 93610-1508 1

Supreme Court Denies Appeal for Death Row Prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal

The Supreme Court has denied an appeal from the journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal. On Monday, the court rejected without comment Abu-Jamal’s bid to overturn his conviction for the 1981 killing of a white police officer following a controversial trial before a predominantly white jury. Abu-Jamal contends the case was marred with racial bias, including the deliberate exclusion of blacks from the jury. “It shows you that precedent means nothing, that the law is politics by other means” Abu-Jamal said in response to the ruling.

Press Release
For Immediate Release
Mae Sot, Thailand, 21 April 2009
Over 250’000 signatures secured for Burma’s political prisoners We must show them they have not been forgotten,,” says the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams.
A global petition campaign for Burma’s political prisoners has secured over a quarter of a million signatures. Campaign activities are taking place across five continents in 32 countries around the world, from the Czech Republic to South Africa.
The campaign — which launched on 13 March Burma’sHuman Rights Day — aims to collect 888’888 petition signatures before 24 May 2009, the legal date that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi should be released from house arrest. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jody Williams today called for increased support for the global campaign to free all of Burma’s political prisoners, including fellow Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. She is the only Nobel Peace Laureate currently imprisoned, and has been under house arrest for 13 of the past 19 years.V Williams won the Peace Prize in 1997 for her work to secure an international treaty to ban anti-personnel landmines. Speaking on behalf of the Nobel Women’s Initiative, founded in 2006 by six of the seven living women Nobel Peace Laureates, she said, Many of us struggling for peace around the world can use our freedom to express our views. But the people of Burma risk prison to do this. We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with those democracy activists who have been locked up in the dark. We must show them they have not been forgotten. Please embrace our fellow Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues as heroes for freedom, peace, and democracy, and sign the petition.
The petition calls on the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to make it his personal priority to secure the release of all political prisoners in Burma, as the essential first step towards national reconciliation and democratization in the country. The target symbolizes 8/888, the day the junta massacred some 3’000 people who courageously protested in Burma’s largest democracy uprising.
To sign the petition, visit http://www.fbppn.net

Subject: [masn] mass arrests at palestine demo in Oaxaca, Mexico
http://www.masn.org.au

Alert: mass arrests in Oaxaca
At noon today, Saturday January 3, 2009, more than 20 comrades were arrested in a peaceful march to the United States Consulate in Oaxaca, in repudiation of the genocide perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinian people.
According to information received, the arrests occurred as demonstrators were en route to the Consulate, located in the Santo Domingo de Guzmán area of the city of Oaxaca. Without mincing words, the police forces attacked them with extreme violence that was totally unjustified when the march had barely begun. At first, those arrested were taken to the Metropolitana, and it would seem that they were later transferred to San Bartolo Teontepec. Among those arrested are: Alebrije, Chucho, Cosme, Monty, Emo, Lallanta, Gabi, and two comrades from Chiapas whose names we don‘t yet know. We‘re still waiting to receive the complete list of the people arrested.
The undersigned collectives and spaces fear for the treatment that our comrades are now receiving and state that the politician ultimately responsible for these arrests, as well as any act of sexual torture or attempt against the physical and psychic integrity that these comrades may be subjected to, is Ulises Ruiz Ortiz.
We call on all social organizations, news media, and the peoples of Oaxaca, México, and the national and international civil society to stay on the alert for incoming news and to act so that the impunity that enjoyed by the government will not be silenced, demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all people arrested.
Immediate and unconditional freedom for the people arrested outside the United States Consulate in Oaxaca
Freedom for all political prisoners of Oaxaca, México and the world
And end to Israel’s genocide against the Palestinian people
An end to the invasion of Gaza. Israeli army out of Palestine
Undersigned collectives and spaces:
— VOCAL,
— Todas Somos Presas,
— CASOTA,
— Brigadas 94,
— Dignidad Rebelde,
— Colectivo La Voz del Cenzotle.

News July 2009

July 18, 2009

ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS
AUSTRALIA

SUPPORTING POLITICAL AND CLASS STRUGGLE PRISONERS WORLDWIDE!!
Who Are We And What Do We Stand For?

The Importance of Supporting Prisoners
By Harold H. Thompson

First, it is important to stress that none of us is immune from arrest and prosecution for any number of alleged crimes. Especially once we have placed ourselves into the eye of the storm of struggle against the masters of capital, who believe their station in life gives them the legitimate power to enslave us in whatsoever form they choose, to use us up, throw us away and profit by the blood and sweat we shed in their wage slave shops, factories and mills of capitalism. Once we step out in any form of protest then the power of the state may fall upon us with unrelenting force. We are subject to arrest and imprisonment at any time, most of us, simply because we choose to be who we are because we want to live the lives we choose in spite of the plans others make for us, because we dare to be different or because our eyes are open to the realities of our likely future, wearing the yoke of capitalism around our necks like beasts of burden, not equal human beings, unless we throw off the weight on our back to stand in the sun in our rightful place. Look at the person beside you, across the way from you and then fully realize that individual may one day be arrested and so may you because you dare to be different, threatening to those who seek to control us, especially your life is governed by the principles of anarchism or you believe in / have undertaken direct action against your oppressors. Getting arrested is no joke so without getting too paranoid, find out what to do in such a situation and also wise up about the police. I am often blunt to the point of pain so I do apologize if my words have made anybody uncomfortable but I think one sobering thought really needs to bring a wake-up call, feeling of discomfort with it. That thought is I am here today sitting in a steel and concrete, tomblike cage writing these words to you but sometime in the future it might be you behind prison walls, writing comparable thoughts to the outside. If they come for you in the mornings…

The “system”and mainstream media portrays those of us within the ever increasing number of jails and prisons as being the equivalent of the proverbial biblical “unclean people”, to be feared, less than humans, and not to be bothered with or worthy any degree of outside concern or support. It amazes me how many intelligent people, including anarchists, active in political struggles, have to varying degrees bought into the disinformation put out by the system. The majority of the unfortunate residents of the gulags are for the most part just like other working class people on the outside, only through a twist of their destiny they were arrested, stood trial and were imprisoned. The system provides the sensationalist image of those behind gulag walls being a bad lot, best steered clear of because the system fears association between those inside and outside.

Inside is a potential army waiting to happen, which needs education, direction and support. The system desires nothing more than to maintain a wall of silence around the gulags isolating prisoners to break their minds and spirits. I have seen bodies broken and minds fragmented forever by the brutal hands of the keepers and their clever use of weaksuck, inmate lackeys. I have seen many men reach out to the struggles outside with heartfelt letters, eager for information about the various movements, education about them. Prisoners seeking compassion and comradeship. I have seen only a few of those who make contact, who are encouraged to learn, to grow, to realize who they are, their potential value to themselves and to the communities outside gulag walls. I have seen far many more give up and sometimes even gravitate towards the hate groups which are now in abundance within the gulags as they are out there. These eventual recruits to the ranks of the extreme right could have been soldiers within our ranks but those who claim to be revolutionaries outside chose to ignore their very existence.

I myself tried in vain for over a decade “inside” to make contact with like-minded people embracing anarchist politics. I was determined to reach out and refused to give up, unlike a lot of other prisoners around me. I reached out at every opportunity and continued to reach out when there was no response, though many letters requesting political literature and anarchist books but above all, comradeship with other anarchists. My unanswered letters began in the late seventies, continued throughout the eighties and into the early nineties. Finally a first anarchist solidarity letter was handed to me by a faceless clone of a guard at a Tennessee gulag in 1992! That letter and letters since has been like a welcome breeze of fresh air blowing through a place where the air and life stands dormant. The mere fact a fellow anarchist bothered to write brought tears to my eyes, eyes I was long convince would never feel tearful moisture again. I’ve worked hard since tat first communication to break down the walls between us, you and I, to reach out, to show those who write I’m not different except for my circumstances of being within the belly of the beast.

I am not saying the gulags do not hold their face share of social predators but many prisoners do become politicized within gulag walls due to their own learning efforts. Through direct experience of the system itself, which generally treats prisoners with such blatant injustice that many soon feel only resentment, contempt and anger towards it. Repression breeds resistance. I am merely trying to point out the obvious pitfall of not supporting those seeking the tools to become politicized.

Sadder still than these social prisoners ignored by the revolutionary movements are those should captured during direct or other political actions only to discover once in captivity that they appear to have somehow not been deemed worthy of support and are hence soon forgotten by their so called “comrades”. One conceptual truth screams out in my heart to be voiced so I will state it now. Any political movement or peoples struggle, which fails to provide support to fallen comrades is doomed to failure as certain as day follows night. Prisoner support should be considered as a top priority within all political movements and with all activists, as we, you or I, never know when gulag gates will slam shut behind us or when those gates to the outside will open again to allow our passage back out once the system has us in it’s grasp.

I have endured many hard years, over a decade and a half, within the gulags of this state. As I’ve already said I spent the first decade banging my head and heart against a wall of silence, attempting to reach out to ears that appeared to be deaf and eyes which appeared to be blind to my existence in hell. I never gave up and have earned the right to point these issues out now. I have earned the right to speak out with the shedding of my blood, the pain of this, in past beaten, tired body and my spirit of anarchism has never been broken by my keepers and never will be! It has only been in recent years that I have been acknowledged by ma anarchist brothers and sisters out there. From my heart I state to you that I love you all! I will close now with these final words. Take care of each other, keep each other safe in the struggles which you face and never forget those in captivity because tomorrow’s captive of the monsters of this earth may well be you. Our common enemies are the same from country to country being only different in name and face. They represent the same ideology, which sees this planet and it’s populace as throwaway commodities. They threw away their humanity in exchange for power and profits. Stay strong and know in your hearts I am with you in revolutionary spirit in every act you undertake against those who oppress us. We only want the earth, they will never get us all!

18 April 1995

Harold H. Thompson is an anarchist prisoner serving life plus sentences in Tennessee, USA. He was sentenced in 1979 for the killing of a police informer who killed Harold’s partner and robbing a jewelry store. Plus 21-75 years for another shooting incident in Ohio. He was later also been given an extra 32 years for a failed armed escape attempt, is active as a jailhouse lawyer in prison. Harold has also written several articles and pamphlets.

Harold H. Thompson #93992
N.W.C.C. Site 1 Route 1, Box 600
Tiptonville, TN 38079-9712
USA

anarchist blackcross melbourne sadly will miss harold thompson was an inspiration to all activists he was jailhouse lawyer & activist on the inside , he passed away in nov 08 dieing of a heart attack abcmelb was a close friend to harold his website is still running in his memory r.i.p

www.haroldhthompson.uwclub.net

statement supporting g20 arrestees
this statement is in solidarity with the the g20 arrestees. the crack down on political protests has been happening for years in europe ,the usa , people being targeted becouse of profile groups punks, heavy metal fans, earth liberations , animal liberationists, greenies, extra, greenscare in the us a turm that refers to the red scare in the 70s. where communists where targeted by the fbi & locked up we are living in a time of fear & oppression of the state suppressing freeedom of speach political protest setting activist against each other, such fellow activist friends in the northern terrortiry , network agaist probition, in darwin 2 people have done time 4 roit & affrey now by law they cant associate with each other in 2002 fedral police were at our door step and interogated a member of anarchist black cross who just came back from the us visiting an expolitical prisoner in the usa asking her questions about abcmelbourne & her involvnent with the elf now these laws cracking down on dissent have come to the g20 & apec protesters dragging people from the streets breaking into squats surveilling peoples moves a fellow activists is rotting in prison now , its time to fight against this silencing of our voices for a better world & throw away our differents also more people are likely to be locked up for so called acts of violence in the near future go to afterg20.org or send donations to abcmelb po box 300 east brunswick 3057 australia legal fees genral fees for serviving in prison extra is needed

support akin sari
akin sari pleaded guilty to 9 charges icluding riot ,aggravated burglary, & was sentenced to 28 months in goal with a minimum of 14 months

clearly this is attempt to crimalise dissent & protest akin was transferred to barwon prison please write urgent letters to akin sari
locked bag 7
lara vic 3212
australia

details of the barwon prison bacchus march rd lara ph 52208222

to make a donation to akins defence fund write to
abcmelb BR>po box 300
east brunswick 3057
pls note akins funds or email abcmelb@yahoo.com.au

Update about police repression in Slupsk

On March 29, a large demo was held against the installation of a US missile base in Poland. Early the next morning, a person’s house was raided and 23 people were arrested. Here are some of the details.

A group of people were at an after-party / concert. They returned back home at 4:30AM. They had been followed by the police. At about 5:40 they came to the flat. Most of the people were sleeping. The people in the flat refused to let the police in because they had no warrant and there was no reason to do so. The police refused to go away so the resident of the flat went out to the corridor. After much insistance, he suggested that he could let one cop in the flat, just to see that people were sleeping and everything was OK. The cop instead was screaming something like “what the fuck are you telling me who can go in and who can’t” and the resident of the flat was forced away from the door, knocked on the ground and handcuffed. The cops then started forcing their way in, using tear gas. The people in the flat tried to get the door shut and insisting that the cops identify themselves, but they were gassed.

The police came in, stomping over people who were still sleeping or lying on the floor. Some people were beaten, others handcuffed while still lying on the floor. Some of the people who were sleeping in another room when the police arrived were charged with disturbing the peace at night and assaulting an officer.

The people arrested were not informed of the charges against them for 12 hours, despite repeated requests. They were not allowed to contact anybody (like a lawyer or parent) or see a doctor. Most of them were not offered anything to eat or drink for almost the whole day.

During questioning, police had information about other demonstrations printed out. They asked people about the demonstration and also about some previous ones. They were (falsely) told that if they complained or appealed their arrest they would spend the entire period waiting for a court decision in detention. The cops also used typical manipulation tactics like telling people that their friends already snitched on them. In the end, 15 people were charged with disturbing the peace and 8 people were charged with offending and assaulting an officer. Each of those eight are forbidden to leave the country, have to be on parole and had to but up bail of between $120 and 200 USD. In Poland, court cases can take years, so it is a harsh punishment.

It’s clear that this is just typical bastard behaviour from the cops and these people were made scapegoats. We will not let them get away with such an outrageous injustice!

At least $1400 is needed for initial legal fees. Anarchist Solidarity, Anarchist Black Cross and the Campaign Against Militarism are appealing for help in the form of donations or other shows of solidarity. (Spreading and translating this news, sending nasty faxes, etc.)

Bank Account:
Jakub Gawlikowski
PL05 1140 2004 0000 3702 4238 2269
BRE Bank S.A. Retail Banking, al. Mickiewicza 10, 90-050 Lodz
BIC/SWIFT: BREXPLPWMUL
SORT CODE: 11402004
Write: M29

More info:
anarchistsolidarity@yahoo.com

ack-wawa@o2.pl
campaignagainstmilitarism@gmail.com

Eric McDavid

Dear friends

ELP has just learnt that American activist, Eric McDavid, may have his sentencing put back YET AGAIN!!! This is an outrage. This is a total outrage.

As ELP has repeatedly said, awaiting for your sentencing is a time of uncertainty and stress. This added delay will again be an agony for Eric. So please send Eric urgent letters of support to remind him he is not forgotten and that we are all 100% behind him. Eric’s address is:

Eric McDavid X-2972521 4E231A
Sacramento County Main Jail
651 “I” Street
Sacramento
CA 95814
USA

NOTE: Eric is awaiting sentencing having been found guilty of THINKING of about possibly carrying out an ELF action. Eric has never carried out any ELF actions.

For his “thought crimes” Eric faces a sentence of between five to twenty years imprisonment. Eric follows a vegan diet.

Below is an e-mail from his support campaign
> From: sacprisonersupport@riseup.net> > > Dear friends,> > It looks as if Eric’s sentencing is getting pushed back once again.

It is> currently on the court’s calendar for this Thursday, April 10, but we> expect it to be pushed back at least a week.

Please stay tuned – we’ll> let you know as soon as we have a new date.

Our thanks to everyone for> sticking with us through all the frustration and delays.

Please keep Eric> in your thoughts as we enter this difficult phase.> > Yours,> SPS> >

4strugglemag

Free free rally

OCTOBER UPDATE

ABC MELBOURNE STATEMENT ON THE IMPRISONMENT OF REFUGEES

Anarchist Black Cross Melbourne strongly opposes detention centres of any form. Asylum seekers are put behind bars when escaping war and torture. This is a form of racism, fascism, classism and imperialism. We oppose all forms of detention and we believe in abolition. Prisons are the real crime.

Many men, women and children are locked away for harmless, victimless ‘crimes’ such as shoplifting and drug use. These so-called crimes are crimes of poverty. Opposing detention centres is just part of the struggle against all forms of institutionalization.

ABC MELBOURNE: PO BOX 300/EAST BRUNSWICK/VIC/3057/AUSTRALIA

Port Hedland Update

Protestors prevent deportation of seriously ill refugee in Brisbane

Up to 100 protestors and almost as many police attended an impromptu action to prevent the deportation of Hazara (Afghani) asylum seeker Ali Juma Ahmadi in Brisbane on Sunday evening.

Up to 100 protestors and almost as many police attended an impromptu action to prevent the deportation of Hazara (Afghani) asylum seeker known as Ali in Brisbane on Sunday evening. Ali was being held in an Ascot hotel awaiting deportation back to the detention centre on Nauru, after recieving treatment for deep vein thrombosis, from which he was not fully recovered. Another asylum seeker recently died on Naru of this same condition.

Activists demanded further medical treatment for Ali, as well as recognition for his refugee status. Police eager to remove Ali from the premises ran over the leg of one protestor in Ali’s transport vehicle at about 8pm. Four people were arrested, but released from custody at the scene.

The Refugee Action Collective succeeded in securing further medical attention for Ali, through negotiation with supportive lawyers and doctors. At about 8:30pm an ambulance took Ali to Wesley hospital where protestors keep vigil.

Hassam Gulam, a recognised refugee, president of the Hazara Ethnic Society and refugee activist in Brisbane vouched for Ali refugee credentials by offering to be his guarantor.

The Nauru detention centre, reputedly built on a phosphorus mine, has had numerous cases of illness as a result. Medical treatment is inadequate and provided out of a shipping ‘container’ due to the inability of the local public hospital to treat them. The asylum seekers held on Nauru are primarily those who arrived on the infamous ‘Tampa’ over a year ago, and are still awaiting assessment.

Audio from the event including interview with Hassam Gulam at:
radio.indymedia.org/front.php3?article_id=1470&group=webcast

THE HORROR THAT IS WOOMERA

I went to Port Arthur, before the massacre had happened, and walked around the ruins of the penal colony. It was cold and still; there was a dull cold pain inside me as I connected with the earth, the stone, the place. It was a silent, old hardness that I felt.

I went to Cork City Gaol, in Ireland. I walked through an entranceway that was once gallows. I tried to get a sense of the inmates feelings left on the old bars and cell walls – an audio tour prompted me with voices, stories, soundtracks – but I didn’t feel a connection until I saw the graffiti and recognised my own handwriting. These political prisoners were in fact sent out to Australia when the gaol closed down. It was a cocky and triumphant feeling residing in that place.

I went to Alcatraz – famous and foreboding as the ferry neared the island. The long trek up to the prison revealed an amazing view across the bay to San Francisco. I stood on the bleak concrete landing of the exercise yard, wondering how it must have felt to see and hear a beautiful city so nearby, yet so out of reach. I expected to feel resentment, danger, seething discontent as I pressed against the walls. Instead, I felt an authoritative calm, wisened and respected.

I went to Klong Prem, a living breathing prison in Bangok. Guards showed me down rows of concrete and steel enclosures to reach the inmates we were visiting. The men were meters away, separated by bars and slabs of cement. We sat opposite, shouting to be heard and straining to listen. Desperation and drugged resignation: these feelings saturated the air as the men spoke of brutality, daily deaths of boredom and the adaption to long-term prison life.

I went to Woomera. I found myself in a desert so vast and flat, that it was difficult to make out the detention centre from the endless landscape. The country was beautiful – but incredibly exposed and harsh. As we walked towards the fences in the distance, I thought how bizarre to cage and restrict people on such wide open land, stolen land. The detention centre materialised in the distance and suddenly I felt it like a slap. Emanating from the structure was an urgent, hysterical anguish; a feeling of traumatised oppression – shocking in its pitch and volume. My chest filled with fear and sadness as the living, screaming pain reached out to me and seeped into my soul. I walked through the red dust with tears bloating my eyes. Never before had I felt such tangible desperation and grief. Woomera was still remote, but its horror was radiating powerfully. Up at the bars men, women and children screamed, cried, poured out their stories. Their pain was so intense I had to tune out.

I am strongly opposed to all forms of incarceration. Prisons by any name are institutionalised state violence.

Lara.

For background check Melbourne IndyMedia Woomera Archive

Cops To Act On New DNA Laws

Victorian police have announced that they will be forcibly collecting DNA from almost 4000 ex-offenders living in the community. Under draconian new laws that were passed in May, those ordered to give their DNA will be arrested if they fail to do so once a four- week deadline has expired. Once in police custody they will be given a second chance to provide a sample.

If they still refuse, the police are now legally entitled to use so-called ‘extraction teams’ to remove prisoners from their cells and forcibly restrain them while a nurse takes a blood test. All testing will be videotaped and the police are banned from taking samples, apparently this has to be done by a nurse. But the testing will be conducted at police stations in the presence of police. Apparently the samples will then be placed in ‘tamper-proof’ containers and sent to the Victorian Forensic Science Centre where they will be matched against the Victorian DNA database of unsolved crimes before being passed on to the Federal Government’s ‘CrimTrac’ system.

People who will be forced to comply with this violation of their human rights are any persons who have been convicted of a list of 36 serious offences. What all of these offences actually are has not been made public yet; what is known so far is that anyone convicted for murder, arson, burglary, serious assault, rape and drug offences will be forced to give DNA.

Information has not yet been provided as to what type of ‘drug offences’ the new laws will target.

It is worth pointing out that the last time mass DNA testing took place in Victoria that it took place in the prison system. This testing was done illegally however the government moved swiftly to change the law and to backdate it meaning prisoners were left without a legal leg to stand on. A great majority of the prisoners who were forced to provide DNA were not ‘serious offenders’ as the police and media would have us believe but mainly those convicted of drug-related crimes against property. No doubt this will be the case once more.

Anarchist Black Hammer ad hoc organising committee

The Anarchist Black Hammer (Southern Africa) is a new support group for jailed class war prisoners, including revolutionaries, activists, dissidents, workers, peasants and the poor formed today in response to the dirty tricks campaign of the SA authorities. The ABH will draw on almost a century of proud history, starting with the formation of the Anarchist Red Cross in Russian-controlled Poland during the 1905 Russian Revolt. The ARC spread around the world and renamed itself the Anarchist Black Cross in 1919 following the Russian Revolution and ever since has worked for the relief and release of prisoners jailed for their political activities. We use the name Anarchist Black Hammer both to remove any possible religious bias that could be inferred by the word “cross” and to symbolise the demolition of all prison walls.
Our aims are to:
1) publicise the plight of class war prisoners;
2) support them in jail to the extent we can;
3) network with other concerned organisations to try and win their release; and
4) demonstrate anarchist mutual aid in action.

FREE JAIME, JUSTICE FOR ANN, JUSTICE FOR ALL SMI/LPM DETAINEES!

more on anarchism in Southern Africa

Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Faces Lethal Injection

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco, has cleared the way for the execution of Stanley ‘Tookie’ Williams, a convicted murderer who helped found the Crips street gang of Los Angeles. Williams, 48, could be executed by lethal injection as early as next year for four murders in 1979. He has been twice nominated for a Noble Peace prize for his efforts from prison to end gang violence. (read more)

GEORGE KARAKASIAN SENTENCED

Yesterday, September 4, anarchist comrade George Karakasian was sentenced by the main court of Nicosia, Cyprus, to 7 months prison for ‘assaulting a police officer’ on the demonstration outside the Israeli ambassador’s home on the occasion of a party to celebrate the anniversary of the Israeli State on 18/04/02. He was also fined 120 pounds for ‘possession of an explosive device’ – an old bullet which was found when his home was raided following the demo. (see previous communications) George had declared in court that he did not intend to apologise, and that he did not feel guilty for his actions because the cop is the henchman of authority and Zionism and declared he was not asking for leniency from the court. He did not mention the fact that he had been severely beaten following his arrest and taken to hospital to have his wounds treated, and that the next day his medical case notes ‘disappeared’ from the hospital records. The judge announced that George supported an ‘ideology of violence’, that the ‘crimes’ he had committed, were ‘extremely serious’, and that he had no other option but to send him to jail. This is the first time an anarchist has been on trial in this island, and it is clear that this is the true reason why the judge had to keep him in prison. We have no doubt as to who the real criminals are: judges like Michael Papamichael who dish out years of prison as though they are sweets; the guard dogs of capital like those on the demo who unleashed their psychotic violence on those who were present to express their indignance and disgust at this outrageous feast of death; the screws and all those involved in the construction and management of prisons; the media who distort reality, supplying pre-fabricated opinions to maintain passivity and resignation; the soldiers who obey orders and massacre defenceless men women and children.. The list is endless. The most beautiful moment is when the clash against all the things that oppress us expresses our passion for equality and solidarity. This passion cannot be destroyed. The insurrectional flame, the will for life, will pass through the rubble of prisons and courts…. Because they can’t capture a free man because they put him in a cell. Even the most inhuman power of authority is not enough to erase what we have in us. It cannot crush what we are fighting for, what pushes us and what we are pushing for, all of us: the social revolution, when the free expression of human nature won’t be just an abstract concept but will take life from the same passion that fires us to fight. Freedom for George Karacasian! Solidarity with anarchist comrade Sotiris Marangos, due to go on trial for the same demo with similar charges on September 19! Destroy all prisons!

comrades of the anarchist group of Cyprus.

Support The Baltimore Anti-Racist 28!

On the morning of August 24, 2002, twenty-eight anti-racist activists wentto the Baltimore Travel Plaza to protest the neo-nazi organization “TheNational Alliance.” Some two hundred racists were gathering there to meet before caravanning to their march and rally in Washington, D.C. later that day.
As the activists entered the parking lot of the Travel Plaza, it began to storm and the group was confronted by several police cars. The twenty-eight attempted to return to their cars when suddenly they were surrounded by dozens of police cars and wagons. Held in the pouring rain for nearly an hour, they were eventually cuffed and brought to the Southeast District police station. After hours of shivering on the floor of a conference room without being charged, they were transferred to Central Booking and held for almost twenty-four hours before receiving their papers. When they finally were allowed to see commissioners, some of the twenty-eight were released on their own recognizance while others received bail amounts upwards of $10,000.
None of these twenty-eight activists had committed any crime, nor were they told what they were being charged with until after they had been interviewed. Bail was raised and all activists are now out of jail, but the legal battle is just beginning.

Later that night…
Baltimore police carried out a raid on a community centre, the activists were using to coordinate jail solidarity, without a warrant. They confiscated pamphlets, magazines and other literature. Immediately afterward, police surrounded a progressive activist centre and they attempted another warrant-less search. The activists inside refused to talk to police and instead called the media. The police left the scene when the media showed up.
Police then followed and pulled over cars travelling to and from these locations without providing reasons for the stops. Several people were pulled over at gunpoint for trying to reach these safe spaces.
The Baltimore Police Department is going forward with their trumped up charges. Once again the police are protecting violent racists over the interests of our communities.
In addition to funds, the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 are also in need of legal support. Any legal resources you can provide will be greatly appreciated and are desperately needed.
It is clear that the charges against the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 and the harassment of the Baltimore Anti-Racist community are part of a larger attempt to silence the voices of committed activists. Due to the scale of media coverage and the various regions represented by the defendants, this case is important to everyone continent-wide who is opposed to racial and other nazi prejudices.
Accurate information on the charges and the police tactics and response to anti-racism must be disseminated. Corporate media accounts are based on the statements by the police and the National Alliance. Please spread the true message as far and wide as you can. Flyers, benefits, teach-ins, demonstrations, etc. are needed to assist the Anti-Racist 28 through their court cases.
The Results:
Twenty-six activists have each been charged with:
One count of rioting (unlimited penalty)
Three counts of second degree aggravated assault (punishable by up
to 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine)
One count of possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure
(punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a $1,000 fine)
One count of malicious destruction of property valued over $500
(punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine)
One count of disorderly conduct (punishable by up to 60 days in
prison and/or a $500 fine)
The twenty-seventh activist, a minor, received the same charges plus an additional 20 counts of Second Degree Aggravated Assault. The twenty-eighth activist, a representative of the National Lawyers Guild, was also arrested while he attempted to protect the rights of the activists. He was charged with one count of failing to obey an officer (punishable by up to 60 Days in prison and/or a $500 fine).
The National Alliance claimed to police that they were confronted by anti-fascists in the morning. If so, they had been there and left well before the twenty-eight had arrived. The police decided to round up anyone in the parking lot and are attempting to pin any real or imagined crimes the National Alliance racists complained of on these innocent activists.
These anti-racist activists need your assistance as they are facing a combined total of about 1,177 years of jail time.
Please donate to the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Legal Defense Fund. Many thousands of dollars will be needed by these brave and dedicated activists to fight these bogus charges. Much thanks to all of the great people who sent money for bail, but the serious costs will begin now. Every little bit counts.

Please send legal support donations to:
Black Planet Books
1621 Fleet Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21231-2931 USA
Phone: 410.537.5005 E-Mail: antifalegal@hotmail.com

Personal checks or money orders should be made out to Black Planet Books.
If sending cash, please conceal it well. Please note in envelope that
your donation is for the Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Legal Defense Fund.
In solidarity, The Baltimore Anti-Racist 28 Defense Committee
Silence Is Approval!
Demand Justice Now!

LEONARD PELTIER

Dear Friends and Supporters of the LPDC,

Below is a commentary recently published in the widely-read newspaper Indian Country Today. We hope you enjoy it, and forward it widely. We are encouraged by such strong sentiments in such a noteworthy publication. The Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, under Leonard’s direction, has been developing a plan of action for the coming year, which we will release shortly. A number of legal efforts are underway, and we have just received an historic release of 30,000 pages of declassified documents from FBI Headquarters. A number of Congressional committees are investigating past and current FBI misconduct.

While there is great reason to hope for Leonard’s freedom, ultimately, it will depend on the continued commitment of individuals like you. Read these words below, and pause to consider what time you can find in your life to help bring an end to the unjust imprisonment of Leonard Peltier. Consider who you can ask to join in.

We look forward to your continued support and participation. Thank you.

LPDC

from http://IndianCountry.com/?1028293644

Leonard Peltier: man, soldier and symbol

Posted: August 02, 2002 – 9:01am EST

Some Native observers have lately jumped on the federal bandwagon to demean the condition of Leonard Peltier, the American Indian Movement (AIM) activist imprisoned for double life sentences in the killing of two FBI agents in South Dakota in 1975. Peltier was the only person convicted of the killings in what was from all accounts a horribly unfortunate incident that also caused the death of Joseph Stuntz, a Native man. The violent incident came in the midst of hundreds of acts of violence, a dozen or more murders of American Indians and major political mayhem on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation during the 1970s.

It is easy now to diminish the Peltier case. Perhaps it provides just the right positioning for any Native pundit seeking a trendy “devil’s advocate” label. Or maybe it provides an easy way to ingratiate oneself with federal agencies. But it is not right. It is less fair at this time in history than even the trial that Peltier received in 1977. That prosecution process and trial was as blatant a railroad as has ever been produced by American law enforcement and allowed by the legal system. As a result, Peltier is going on some 26 years in federal prisons, with very long stretches in solitary confinement and harsh physical conditions that have impaired his health. At the mere possibility of a pardon or parole, FBI agents and their relatives march by the thousands to oppose it, so prediction is against the likelihood of the world’s most famous American Indian prisoner ever going home to his family.

Peltier is hugely well-known — at home, in Europe, Japan, Russia, Africa — because his particular case illustrates well the issues surrounding the virtual state of war that existed between American Indian defenders supported by many Native and non-Native professional people, against some powerful institutions including several federal agencies. In general, this was an explosion by Indian communities and emerging professionals against deeply entrenched corruption and paternalism which continued to impose themselves on Indian life. It was a scream of pain and defiance and brought forth commitments from all kinds of people throughout the world — not a few who have since gone on to help rebuild Indian country.

To contend that Peltier is simply a murderer, or to further indict or criticize him with hearsay assertions from interviews, taped or untaped, conveniently ignores the sordid history of FBI abuses at Pine Ridge. It was during that time that infamous raids were conducted against the homes of elderly Lakota and the homesteads of many traditional people whose only crime had been to hang on tenaciously to their language and spiritual culture and to seek a better way forward. Many traditional elders also supported the young men and women who had taken to the barricades against the many perceived injustices taking place in the 1970’s.

While liberal romantics feasted for a decade on the heroics of AIM, particularly in its fight against the administration of Richard “Dickie” Wilson and the BIA at Pine Ridge, seasoned Indian observers are quick to point out the foibles and mishaps of AIM. Nevertheless, all agree that FBI agents on the reservation during those years behaved reprehensibly, seriously mistreating Indian people in their persecution of AIM leadership and its rank-and-file. The FBI directly backed the infamous “Goon Squads” that instigated and directed a lot of the violence. Not a few AIM people, of course, also instigated incidents of violence, but the federal agency was acting within the government’s “Garden Plot” program, with a mandate that included illegal “dirty tricks” against so-called “subversive” social movements. AIM, with its penchant for brandishing weapons, soon qualified. To put down the “subversives,” federal agencies supported and distributed weapons to semi-deputized groups of toughs. When push came to shove, in trial after trial, FBI heavy-handed tactics were exposed. The 1974 so-called “Wounded Knee leadership trial” of AIM leaders Russell Means and Dennis Banks, flagship of the government’s prosecution, ended in dismissal of all charges, with the presiding judge scathingly tongue-lashing the FBI for manufacturing of witnesses, tampering with evidence and other misdeeds.

Leonard Peltier stepped into that time. Many who knew him then recall his quiet, serious demeanor and his willingness to work for elders. Like most leaders and participants in the American Indian Movement, he came from the hard-knocks school. He pledged as a soldier at a time when events were exploding. Indian country was under severe political and economic pressure and for many hope was but a fleeting idea.

The fateful events of June 25, 1975, at the Jumping Bull Homestead, when an FBI raid turned into a firefight and cost the lives of three men, disrupted the personal histories of many people. No one can but mourn for all the victims. All involved did their duty that day — FBI agents, AIM activists, women andd children who fled to safety through ravines and arroyo creeks, medical personnel. Two other AIM activists, Robert Robideau and Dino Butler, also brought to trial on the death of the two agents, were freed on grounds that they had acted in self-defense. A great deal of evidence seriously damaging to the prosecution in Peltier’s case was suppressed out of hand. Incorrect ballistics tests, recanted testimony that originated under duress, an extremely hostile judge — all coalesced to force the case on the shoulders of the last possible suspect, Leonard Peltier.

The case is complex, and many were the victims of the time and its circumstances. Three men are dead; one is encased by steel. Four families mourn. The hearts of people and peoples, and a piece of American justice, lie shattered on the ground. It is cruel form for those who now, 26 long years later, kick this one around and look for salt to be rubbed into Peltier’s wounds. Despite the mode of deconstruction popular these days, most American Indian people have a clear memory of that time. It is that common memory about this particular case, at Pine Ridge and throughout, that sees Peltier as a symbol of the injustice of that time, and, of all times, against American Indians. In that context, Peltier represents a Native resistance to conquest, even to a recent era where repeated attempts at direct repression of American Indian sovereignty could easily spawn strident advocacy and resistance. Certainly he is all that. And like the two agents, Jack Coler and Ron Williams, like Joseph Stuntz, Peltier is also a victim. He too lost, big time, while so many others from different sides, equally involved in actions and tumults and violence from those days, walk in freedom today.

We wish the best of health and strength to Leonard Peltier, his family and relatives. We wish the best of spirit and health as well to the families of the lost agents, and to the relations of Joseph Stuntz. May healing forces and peaceful reconciliation, rather than obfuscation, hostility-making and hatred, prevail to set the tone in public discussion of this case.

Until Freedom Is Won!
The New Leonard Peltier Justice Campaign

Leonard Peltier Defense Committee
PO Box 583
Lawrence, KS 66044
785-842-5774
http://www.freepeltier.org

To subscribe, send a blank message to lpdc-on@mail-list.com
To unsubscribe, send a blank message to lpdc-off@mail-list.com
To change your email address, send an email to lpdc-change@mail-list.com,
with your old address in the subject line

http://www.freepeltier.org/

CONTACT US!!

LINKS:

Anarchist Black Cross International
Melbourne IndyMedia
All People Equal (Anarchist Anti-Racist Site)
Food Not Bombs
No One Is Illegal!
Anti-Terror Laws Info
Art Crimes
Raise The Fist!
Spare Rooms For Refugees
Anarchist Youth Network
Infoshop News
Radical History Of Australia
Justice Action Australia
Stop Prison Rape!
Inside Port Hedland
Earth Liberation Front

***Printed and disc versions of this update are available on request**

Hello world!

July 18, 2009

black_cross2THE ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS

The Anarchist Black Cross is an international network of groups that gives practical support to prisoners of the class war. We give support to:

People imprisoned for resistance to capitalism: from strikers to revolutionaries
People framed by the police for ‘crimes’ they haven’t committed
Working class people locked-up for resisting the violence and exploitation in our daily lives, from people jailed for fighting back against abusive partners to people stealing back from the bosses
People imprisoned for the ‘crime’ of escaping from persecution and torture overseas
People resisting the prison system on the inside and out.

Our activities range from practical assistance such as financial and other material aid to solidarity actions and campaigns on behalf of prisoners. We keep in regular contact with prisoners through visits and/or letter writing as well as publishing information about prisoners, the reality of prisons and the class system which creates them.

Although we fight for changes that makes prisoner’s lives a bit easier, we know that prisons will never benefit us as working class people: they must be torn down along with the rest of the framework of repression that the ruling class uses against us. In all of what we do we are revolutionaries; we work towards the creation of a class based movement that will destroy capitalism and build a new world in it’s place…a world where we control our own lives, based not on profit and violence but on co-operation and community.

We welcome contact and support from prisoners, their families and friends and anyone interested in what we do. We have active groups in many countries worldwide. If you would like to contact us then email
abcmelb@yahoo.com.au

Or you can write to us at:
PO BOX 300
BRUNSWICK EAST
VICTORIA 3057
AUSTRALIA