News July 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

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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**

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