Archive for April, 2016

FBI Arrests 2 Independentista Fighters

April 29, 2016
puerto-rico-political-prisoner-imageOn Wednesday Orlando Gonzalez Claudio, a former political prisoner who in 1985 was arrested for his participation in the 1983 expropriation of 7 million from Wells Fargo carried out by the Macheteros was detained by the FBI and forced to submit to DNA testing.

On Thursday Norberto Cintron Fiallo, Chairman of the Coordinadora Cariben-a y Latinoamericana of Puerto Rico and federal grand jury resister was detained and forced to submit to DNA testing.

On Friday Juan Segarra Palmer was also detained for the same purpose. Segarra Palmer is also a former political prisoner as a result of the Wells Fargo expropriation.

A federal judge has issued 16 warrants to force Pro independence fighters to submit to testing
None have been notified prior and the names on the remaining warrants are unknown. The 3 detained so far have been stopped while on the road with heavy FBI presence.  The 3 are known totally committed to the Liberation of Puerto Rico and known not to be vulnerable to intimidation and for this reason it is widely understood that the tactics used by the FBI are aimed at attempting to intimidate people in Puerto Rico to not support Puerto Rican Independence.

It is evident that a US government operation is once again at play in Puerto Rico.

It is widely believed that the investigation under which these acts are being carried out is to investigate a clandestine military operation carried out in Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico over 30 years ago which left 2 Navy men dead and 10 wounded.

via Panama Alba

*************************

http://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/tercerindependentistaessometidoapruebasdeadn-2190281/

(rough translation)

Third independentist is tested for DNA
By Frances Rosario and Mariana Cobián

A third former political prisoner, Juan Segarra Palmer, was subjected to forced DNA tests.

During the week, pro-independence organizations denounced the arrests of two other activists, Orlando Gonzalez Claudio and Norberto Cintron Fiallo by federal agents on the orders of federal Judge Jose A. Fuste to undergo DNA testing.

The spokesman for the FBI, Carlos Osorio, saying only that the case is not the FBI’s, rather the Criminal Intelligence Service of the Navy (NCIS, its acronym in English ) and with FBI support.

After contacting the NCIS staff, their spokesperson said that they neither confirm nor deny that there is an ongoing investigation.

This newspaper obtained a copy of the search warrant for Cintron Fiallo, which was received on April 18 and signed by Judge Fusté. It includes Fiallo’s social security number and physical description.

“I find that any allegations or evidence establishes probable cause to search for and seize a person or property and that the search will take tissue samples and saliva via buccal swabs.” The officers are authorized to use all reasonable efforts and / or force to ensure such samples if the person refuses to comply, read the order.  It does not specify whether the process is an ongoing investigation or precisely what it is.

It adds that the sample must be taken before May 9 between 6:00 AM and 10:00 PM.

Wilma Reveron, the National Hostos Independence Movement (MINH), said the three will meet with lawyers.

The orders are being carried out by the FBI. They are identifying when people are completely alone. They do not allow them to call relatives or lawyers. They are told that the order says they are authorized to use necessary force to comply with the court orders.

The MINH stated that this is the beginning of a wave of repression against the independence movement for their militancy against imperialist plans to impose a board of federal fiscal control, the refusal to recognize territorial power that can be exercised upon our nation by a foreigner and our rights to use civil disobedience, resistance and non-cooperation with the US foreign power. They call for the use of civil disobedience, resistance, non-cooperation and struggle.

Tests were done in a Medical Center.

The former president of the Bar Association and spokesman of the Committee for Human Rights, Eduardo Villanueva Muñoz, said that once the DNA tests were made at the Medical Center in Rio Piedras, he was freed.

“I do not know whether to say freedom. It must be said that the state has laid eyes on him … The action represents who have laid eyes on it,” said Villanueva, referring mainly to the case of González Claudio.

We’re very worried that these actions are to intimidate and deter the people of Puerto Rico, not only the independence movement, because there are many sectors that are becoming aware of the fiscal control board, which is a dictatorship legitimized byAmerican law, not by the people of Puerto Rico, and people have been talking about organizing resistance against the junta, according to Villanueva.

He noted that “the fundamental right such as association and expression, are violated when state power is used to frighten and intimidate people being searched in front of others and made to take samples without being charged.

Segarra Palmer was imprisoned on charges of conspiracy and transportation of money related to the expropriation and transport of funds from Wells Fargo Securities in Hartford.

González Claudio is former political prisoner in the same case with two of his brothers, Avelino and Norberto, and other members of the Boricua Popular Army, better known as Los Macheteros, for stealing $ 7 million from Wells Fargo on September 12, 1983 . he was arrested on 30 August 1985 and sentenced to five years in prison.

Cintron Fiallo was arrested February 2006 by federal authorities for alleged links with the Macheteros.

**********************************************
http://www.aporrea.org/ddhh/n289491.html

Puerto Rico: FBI Arrests 2 Independentista Fighters

by: Prensa Latina (Cuban media outlet)

Homegrown Witch Hunt”: My Brother, the US Government and the “War on Terror”

April 29, 2016

ehsanul-islam-sadequee-capitol_main_0

On February 8, 2016, HBO produced and released a 90-minute documentary calledHomegrown: The Counter Terror Dilemma. The film follows several families affected by the “war on terror” and includes interviews with CIA, FBI and Joint Terrorism Task Force agents who question the role of the US government in the surveillance and incarceration of “potential terrorist threats.” My family is one of the stories documented.

My brother, Shifa Sadequee, a 19-year old college-bound youth and US citizen, was convicted in 2009 on four counts of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorist groups. He was kidnapped in Bangladesh 10 years ago. He went missing for four days right after his wedding in 2006. The FBI brought him to Brooklyn, New York, aboard a “secret” CIA rendition aircraft. Since his conviction, he has been segregated in a Communications Management Unit (CMU) for six years, in a facility where communications between Muslim prisoners and the outside world is restricted and religious and spiritual observations are controlled. He is currently serving a 17-year sentence after enduring three-and-a-half years of torturous solitary confinement before his trial even began.

Due to the hidden realities of many families like mine and the overwhelming media bias that accompanies cases where the word “terrorism” is used, my family decided to share the real story of the violence of counterterrorism policies in this high-profile film.

During the filming of the documentary, my family and I met with people like former CIA Deputy Director Philip Mudd to understand why my brother was targeted. Mr. Mudd apologized to us for his role and for what the US counterterrorism machine did to my brother. We learned in great detail about the methods with which the FBI targets Muslims for investigation and how they profiled my brother over time. The interviews revealed that officials were under immense pressure to find a “terrorist” to avenge the country’s worst national tragedy, September 11. The pressure to justify inordinate government spending on finding and capturing “terrorists” created a dynamic that required surveillance, targeting, trials and incarceration, though no violence or attempt at violence was committed. Based on loose and manufactured evidence, my brother was a victim of their need to find an easy target to identify as a scapegoat.

Though not shown in the film, Philip Mudd admitted to us that my brother’s sentencing was particularly harsh. He even admitted that he believes that our country needs to find a way to provide alternatives to young Muslims. There needs to be more options than preemptive prosecution and incarceration.

The last question of the film showcased the “dilemma” of political officials within this machine. Given the pressure to “prevent” a terrorist act, “What would you have done?” Mudd asks us, Shifa’s mother and two sisters. The idea that there is no other alternative to unjust and unconstitutional persecution and incarceration is very offensive. Legal justification of preemptive prosecution is directly related to today’s political climate, which allows notions of religious persecution and fear of Muslims, refugees and immigrants to dominate the national conversation.

The film ends without allowing our answers to be heard. There are many things we can do that increase safety and address the root causes of violence. The US should stop targeting Muslim lands with drones. We should free prisoners from Guantánamo Bay. We should free all political prisoners. We need to stop the surveillance, profiling and targeting of Muslims, both at home and abroad. We need to stop racial and religious profiling that targets children. We need to stop conflating Islam with violence. We need to stop using unsubstantiated radicalization theories targeting innocent Muslims for vengeance. We need to stop funding the Zionist regime of Israel and all tyrant regimes.

A more appropriate question is: Do we want the media and legal systems to shape and control our lives and experiences with erroneous hyped messages designed to create fear and terror, or do we want to control and shape our own lives? The media sensationalism and bias and the climate of fear and Islamophobia it creates all need to be challenged if we are to shape our country into a moral and ethical collective community.

We need a new vision of who we are and where we are headed that revives our core existential values as a collective human family. My family and the diverse community that supports us call for Shifa’s release. Ten years is enough. Despite the trials and torture, we still believe in humanity’s possibility for justice. It’s time for the United States to set my brother free.

Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.

SHARMIN SADEQUEE

Sharmin Sadequee is Shifa’s older sister and lives in New York City. She is an adjunct lecturer at a NYC college and an Anthropology PhD candidate studying impact of national security policies, subjectivity, Islam and social movement. She is also a member of board of directors of the Aafia Foundation, Inc. and a steering committee member of No Separate Justice that organizes public campaigns and support individuals and families affected by the war on terror in the US. She regularly speaks to highlight patterns of counter terror violence and Islamophobic state practices that impact US Muslims. The full background of Shifa and the legal case can be found at www.freeshifa.com.

source: http://www.truth-out.org/

This is a new letter by longtime Political Prisoner David Gilbert published in a pamphlet of US political prisoner writings for a recent delegation to Palestine.

April 26, 2016

800px-Flag_of_Palestine.square

This is a new letter by longtime Political Prisoner David Gilbert published in a pamphlet of US political prisoner writings for a recent delegation to Palestine.

Solidarity was forged as former political prisoners in Palestine and former US-held political prisoners in our delegation discussed parallel experiences. Palestinian audiences at both conferences were moved by the messages we brought with us in a collection of letters from currently incarcerated US political prisoners, some of whom have already served 40 years and more, ”to their Palestinian sisters and brothers. Our colleagues at Birzeit University’™s Institute for Women’™s Studies translated the letters into Arabic. The solidarity was palpable during the final plenary of Birzeit’s conference, when the phone rang, and we heard the voice of US political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal. Mumia was calling from Pennsylvania to express solidarity with and love for the people of Palestine.

The entire pamphlet can be read here 

The Palestinian struggle is a matter of the most urgent and fundamental solidarity

As a Jew born at the end of World War II, the event that loomed over the very formation of my consciousness was the Holocaust. For me, for many of us, there was a paramount lesson carved deeply into the twin tablets of morality and history: racism is the greatest evil that leads to the most hideous inhumanity. Others drew the opposite conclusion and embraced Zionism on the basis that Jews need a state of our own regardless of the cost to others. While Jews had good reasons to build a foundation for survival and development, the necessary concessions were due from the imperial anti-Semitic powers. Never should such security be achieved by oppressing other people. Never. Identifying with the West, Israel, from its inception, has served as an aggressive forward military base for U.S. imperialism in the oil-rich Middle East—a spearhead for keeping reactionary regimes in power and promoting chaos and divisions throughout the region.
 
Zionism has been an ongoing process of occupation and colonization of Palestine. As the examples of the U.S. and apartheid South Africa show, settler colonialism generates the most fulsome forms and practices of racism. For Palestine that includes the over 5 million persons, half of their nation, living in exile; the thousands of people killed and wounded by the Israeli military; the criminal strangulation of the Palestinian economy and public health infrastructure; the turning of Gaza into essentially an open-air prison for 1.8 million people; the widespread illegal practice of preventive detentions; and more.
 
I can’t even begin to grasp the results in terms of pervasive and mounting humanitarian crises that are so horribly painful. At the same time Palestine is an incredible inspiration as people have found creative and courageous ways to build resistance, including the brave resilience of the youth; the local demonstrations to tear down the apartheid wall erected to cut off Palestinian villages; and the resonating call by some 175 organizations of Palestinian civil society that initiated the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (EDS) of Israeli colonialism. This now global campaign includes demands to stop Israeli racism, end the occupation, and uphold the right of all Palestinians to return to their homeland.
 
The Palestinian struggle for self-determination and sovereignty is a matter of the most urgent and fundamental solidarity; it is also a front-line struggle for justice for all of us.
 
David Gilbert
(anti-imperialist political prisoner)

The Delegation statement can be read here.

__._,_.___

Posted by: info@freemumia.com

anarchist black cross melbourne autumn bulletin part 3

April 17, 2016

 continued

Gender diverse people and the Prison System part 3 

and yet they will inevitably suffer physical and sexual violence while incarcerated.

Among the many incarcerated are are a significant number of people whose gender does not conform to conventional social stereotypes. People can end up in prison for a wide range of reasons, however in some countries of the world, people whose sexuality and/or gender identity can in itself be a punishable offence. Such people may be placed in solitary confinement for months or years, simply for the ‘crime’ of being themselves. In some of the worst scenarios, forced sterilization and non-consensual sex reassignment surgery is applied to non-conforming prisoners.

The reasons trans and gender non-conforming people can find themselves in prison often relate to their lack of access to basic social resources and their socio-economic marginalization. A paper by the North American activist centre Sylvia Riviera Law Project (SRLP), Its War in Here, reports that:

As a group, transgender and gender non-conforming people are disproportionately poor, homeless, criminalised, and imprisoned. Discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, healthcare, education, public benefits, and social services is pervasive, pushing transgender people to the margins of the formal economy.’

(SLRP 2007: 11) Many are denied access to transitional medicine (i.e.,medicine relating to gender transition such as hormone treatments). Once inside, they have to go through the humiliating process of de-transitioning against their will in a hostile environment.

It is also common for gender diverse people to be placed in isolation ‘for their own good’. However, a report by Solitary Watch, an activist group dedicated to raising awareness about the abusive nature of solitary confinement, stated that ‘sometimes, the “crime” that lands transwomen in isolation is simply appearing feminine, and therefore more vulnerable to physical or sexual violence in the general prison population’ (Stahl 2014).

Trans men and those whose gender does not conform to conventional binary standards are also victimized in these institutions. The SRLP paper on New York prisons reports that: ‘trans men and gender diverse people, many who identify as butches, studs, and aggressive femmes, receive particularly forceful treatment and neglect by correctional officers.’ The SRLP paper further reports that ‘a person who identifies as an aggressive femme lesbian describes repeated incidents in which male correctional officers harassed transgender and gender non-conforming prisoners, questioning why they “think they’re men”. Also, “Butch and aggressive women get messed with the most. They’re the ones who get written up, harassed. They do this to isolate and quarantine people—it’s all motivated by hate.” (SRLP 2007: 33)

In this country, as is found in prisons worldwide, prisoner segregation is conducted on conventional sex-binary criteria. Because of this criteria, gender diverse people have suffered additional cruel and unnecessary punishment by a system which places them in inappropriate facilities. Australian laws on prisoner placement differ from state to state, but in all cases are only superficially sympathetic to the gender identities of prisoners. Ultimately wardens and prison officials get to decide who gets placed in which prison. For example, trans women who have not had SRS (sex reassignment surgery) are often placed by default in male prisons, frequently with catastrophic consequences.

Information about the lived experience of Australian trans and gender non-conforming prisoners is scarce, however one report by the Australian Institute of Criminology relates anonymously the tragic story of one trans woman in a Brisbane prison:

After an appearance at a local court, bail was refused and Ms M was remanded in custody. Late on 22 December she was transported to a remand and reception centre where that night and into the morning of December 23 she underwent induction assessment. She was identified as transgender by the welfare officer and it was determined she should go into “protection wing” Having spent December 24 in court, Ms M spent December 25 and 26 in “strict protection”. During this time she was brutally raped at least twice during daylight hours. The attacks were so vicious that two other prisoners took the unusual step of reporting the incidents and giving sworn evidence. On December 27 Ms M was found dead in her cell hanging by a shoelace.’ (Blight 2000: 6)

Of particular concern is the fact that in the Northern Territory, indigenous trans women continue to be regularly placed in male prisons, where they are of course subject not only to all kinds of gender based and transphobic violence, but also are subject to further vilification on account of racism by male inmates and prison guards. There are many suffering violence right now on a daily basis and some of those, sadly, will die in prison, if not by assault, then as the result of self-harm.

Also, in our prison state’s offshore prison network, there are those who are being held in Australian run detention centres in countries where gender non-conformity and same sex relations are illegal. These members of our community are surviving in a living hell, and stories of abuse from fellow inmates and guards have begun to trickle through to the outside world. For example, Manus Island Detention Centre in Papua New Guinea is subject to that country’s laws prohibiting homosexuality, and condoms are forbidden inside prisons, increasing the likelihood of STI transmissions.

The paper interviews several gay male asylum seekers who have been assaulted, and reports that ‘People who are lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex (LGBTI), sex workers and HIV/AIDS workers in Papua New Guinea are often vulnerable to stigmatisation, harassment, violence and discrimination, including by service providers and the police. During our visit, Amnesty International was informed of a recent case of an LGBTI sex worker who was gang raped by police’ (Amnesty International 2013: 73).

In December 2015, it was decided that from 2016 onward, the La Trobe Queer department, GSDC and Transgender Circle will hold a regular annual vigil for the Transgender Day of Remembrance. All are welcome to attend these events, and those wanting to attend in 2016 should keep November 20 free in their diaries, and watch the those groups’ web pages for announcements. Those interested in finding more about prison issues generally should tune into Doin’ Time on 3CR community radio, 855AM, every Monday at 4pm.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2015. Prisoners in Australia Report. http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/4517.0

Amnesty International 2015. This is breaking people: human rights violations at Australia’s asylum seeker processing centre on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. (Sydney: Amnesty International)

Blight, Jake. 2000. Transgender Inmates. (Australian Institute of Criminology: Canberra)

Stahl, Aviva. 2014. The Horrors Endured by Transgender Women in prison. http://www.alternet.org/horrors-endured-transgender-women-prison

16

anarchist black cross Melbourne

email abcmelb@yahoo.com.au

write to PO Box 1364 Collingwood

Victoria

Australia 3066

also listen to 3cr doin time show mondays 4 to 5 pm

855am on line www.3cr.org.au

anarchist blackcross autumn bulletin 2016 part3

April 17, 2016

Gender diverse people and the Prison System, part 1

By Karen Parker (aka Karen d’Konyak),

e7f4165e-57dd-4269-b679-fd0363d95488

Centre for Research in Language Diversity

November 2015, members of three La Trobe student groups, the Queer Department, the Gender Sexuality and Diversity Collective and the Transgender Circle, held a memorial to mark the Trans Day of Remembrance. It was an intimate gathering of gender diverse people and allies, where the names of some of those in our community who did not survive 2015 were read out.

We also paid tribute to those who continue to survive oppression despite the odds. A special mention was made of those of our community who are incarcerated in prisons here and around the world. This is a largely unknown story of oppression. In Australia, the true

number of gender diverse people who are currently inside or who have died in prisons is unknown because the department of corrections does not make this information available to the public. Indeed, little information is made available about the lived experience of people in prisons generally, and even less is known about life inside for queer people.

What is the function of prisons? An abolitionist view of prisons recognizes they are oppressive institutions historically linked to class rule and slavery, and that they enable a context where an internal hierarchy of brutality flourishes. Colonial rule in this country was predicated on the concept of a ‘prison state’ as a means of the British Empire dispensing with its lowest socio-economic classes. To this end, white colonists invaded this land, and murdered, kidnapped and enslaved many indigenous people in their attempts to establish their prison state. The transition from empire-based prison to commercial venture came about in the late 20th century, so that many prisons are now privately operated. In contemporary Australia, the penal industry continues to grow and expand rapidly, with record rates of imprisonment of women and vastly disproportionate rates of incarceration of indigenous people, including minors. The most recent wave of expansion of the prison state is in the form of offshore detention centres for asylum seekers.

In the wider society, two contradictory opinions seem to be in popular currency: prisons are widely acknowledged either as inhumane, and even in the most rational terms, as counterproductive responses to crime and justice issues, or they are regarded as ‘leisure centres’ with ‘hotel-like facilities’. The latter view is far from the truth, as anyone who has been inside, or ever visited anyone in prison can verify. The facts that are incarceration rates continue to rise. A recent report from the Australian Bureau of statistics reported its key findings that Australian adult prisoner numbers continue to rise:

The number of prisoners in adult corrective services custody increased by 7% from 33,789 prisoners at 30 June, 2014 to 36,134 at 30 June, 2015. ..The national imprisonment rate was 196 prisoners per 100,000 adult population, a 6% increase from 186 prisoners per 100,000 adult population in 2014.” (ABS 2015)

Many inmates are non-violent offenders, for example, the largest increase in imprisonments in 2014-15 was for illicit drug use, up 17% (ABS 2015) and many of those imprisoned are survivors of violent crime themselves,

1

Thanks to Jessica Ison for comments.

 

anarchist blackcross melbourne autumn bulletin part 2

April 17, 2016

( a picture of ray standing in front of an aboriginal flag )1430273305492

Dad’s Tribute by Carolyne Jackson 
Never will you meet a greater man, a man who more faithfully lived his values. My father was a teacher of all things. Dads method was simple. Dad taught by example. At any age, when faced with an ethical dilema, after reflection, study, or even rationalisation I found myself coming back to one question. What would Dad do? His character is the foundation of my conscience. Dad to this day, has always been my moral compass, he always wanted me to be a self sufficient and independent woman. Dad was adamant that we learn the values behind respecting others as he wished to be respected and to know the difference between right and wrong so this is one of my earliest remembered teachings.. Dad wanted to make sure our values and morals were aligned with his teachings. Those values and morals will always be with me as you Dad will always be with me I love and miss you dearly my best friend.

3

( picture of a banner that states how many people 0f color have to be killed by cops before

you hate the state )

25th Anniversary Since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths In Custody

Anarchist Black Cross Melbourne is in solidarity with our by indigenous brothers and sisters who have died in custody. Indeed, we acknowledge all deaths in custody. 15 April was declared a National day of Emergency because the 339 recommendations of the Royal Commission have not been upheld. Ms Dhu’s death in 2014 is a living testimony of this, as are many more. Rallies and actions happened all over the country. 

Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: Grieving families lament lack of reform
By Lauren Day

Maxine Bennell
As a little girl, Maxine Bennell watched her father Eddie – boxer, playwright and the chair of the National Aboriginal Consultative Committee – fight for Aboriginal rights and against deaths in custody.
By the time of his death in 1991, just months before Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody handed down its final report, Ms Bennell said her father thought his job was done. 4


“I believe that my dad would have thought that this would have been all finished, looked after properly,” she said.
He was wrong.
Two decades later, his grandson, Maxine’s son Jayden, died behind bars.
“I think my father would have felt very angry and I think my dad really would have never imagined it would have impacted his grandchildren, never,” she said.

Ms Bennell admits her son was “a bit naughty”; he had been in trouble with the law from a young age and was in jail for stealing cars.

But she thought he had come out of prison a better young man. Instead, he died inside.
“I’ve not been able to move forward in three years, I’ve not been able to,” she said. 
“My little sister says ‘you’re angry all the time’. Of course I’m angry – my son shouldn’t be dead.”
Jayden was in custody on a mandatory sentence under Western Australia’s three strikes policy for burglary offences.
One of the key principles of the royal commission’s report was that imprisonment be used as a sanction of last resort.
A report commissioned by Amnesty International found that mandatory sentencing erodes that principle.

The royal commission’s report also recommended prisons be screened to eliminate or reduce the potential for harm..
There were at least half a dozen hanging points in the room where Jayden was found.
Statistics show worsening problem
Jayden’s death is one of around 340 Indigenous deaths in custody since what was supposed to be that game-changing report – almost one death to each of its 339 recommendations.
The statistics paint a damning picture of a situation much worse than when it was identified as a crisis 25 years ago.
At the time of the commission’s final report in 1991, Aboriginal people were 8 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Aboriginal people.

5

They are now 15 times more likey
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men are twice as likely to be in prison than university.
‘Stain on our so-called progressive nation’
As Australia marks the 25th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, The Law Report hears the situation is worse than ever, in what advocates call an “international embarrassment”.
And despite representing only 3 per cent of the population, Indigenous Australians now make up 27 per cent of the prison population – almost double their representation in 1991.

Aboriginal lawyer and deputy chair of the Deaths in Custody Watch Committee, Hannah McGlade, said it was sad to see the situation worsening.
“Incarceration has only increased but what we’ve seen in the particular incarceration increasing of Aboriginal women,” she said.
“Aboriginal women are now recognised as the fastest growing prison population of Australia.
“In our state of Western Australia, Aboriginal women are making up at least 50 per cent of the prison population, and have done so for many years now.”
She said many of the reasons behind this trend were poverty related.
“We’ve seen an increase from 3 per cent to 16 per cent for Aboriginal women being incarcerated for fine default,” she said.
“Anyone knows if you have good employment, access to monies, paying fines is not a problem. If you’re very poor and living on the poverty line, fines and payments becomes a very big issue and you can end up in jail in Western Australia for it.”

Miss Dhu’s family ‘will not stop fighting’

The issue of imprisonment for fine defaulting was highlighted in the recent case of Miss Dhu, who was locked up at WA’s South Hedland Police Station for unpaid fines.
She died two days later from a fatal infection stemming from a cracked rib.
6

Miss Dhu died in police custody in Port Hedland in WA in August 2014

Her uncle Shaun Harris said it never would have happened if the royal commission’s recommendations had been implemented.
“No-one deserves to die over $1,000 worth of fines, unpaid fines, let alone any amount of unpaid fines,” he said.

“It’s a blatant breach of human rights. The whole system needs to be held accountable.”

Another of the royal commission’s recommendations – an ongoing amnesty for long outstandi unpaid fines – arguably could have saved her life.

The inquest into Miss Dhu’s death has just wrapped up and Mr Harris said her family was now anxiously, but warily waiting for answers.
“We don’t want recommendations to come out of the inquest that will not be acted upon, just as the recommendations from the royal commission, there’s 339 – roughly about only 20 per cent have been implemented Australia-wide,” Mr Harris said.

He said the fight for justice would continue.

“It’s angering, very angering, we’ve had to hold our anger back and direct it to the cause which is what we’ve done to our best, we will not stop fighting,” Mr Harris said.

anarchist black cross bulletin august 2016 part 1

April 17, 2016

images (1)

(anarchist black cross logo)

https://abcmelb.wordpress.com/

Hello and welcome to the autumn Edition of the Anarchist Black Cross Melbourne Bulletin. In this edition, we pay tribute to the upcoming Anniversary of Ray Jackson, Indigenous warrior and activist who passed away on 23 april, 2015 We have some messages from Ray’s Daughter Carolyn and also from Debbie Brennan from Radical Women. There’s also a wonderful article about prisons and gender diversity written by Karen, a Transgender woman. There’s much more, so happy Reading.

( photo of prison raiser wires with aboriginal flag in the back ground )

Radical Women Tribute to Ray Jackson

Ray Jackson was Radical Women’s close friend and collaborator, both in  Australia and the United States. We met him 20 years ago through the fight of the Bundjalung people of Baryulgil NSW against James Hardie, and we’ve fought side-by-side ever since.

Ray was a leader who believed in the leadership of those oppressed many times over, namely women. He looked to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women as the most implacable warriors against this racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic and barbaric capitalist system. 

Ray insisted that the struggle for Koori Justice is interdependent with the struggles of everyone under the boot of capitalism, worldwide. He fought for reproductive justice and justice for trans people, refugees and workers as hard as he did for global indigenous justice. He never stopped saying that justice for those at the bottom will lift us all. He wanted nothing more than to see global capitalism demolished and replaced by an equal, just, socialist, feminist world.

Radical Women will miss our Brother Warrior. But Ray’s fighting spirit and example will always stay with us. And when the revolution he fought for finally comes, we’ll feel his smile. And his raised fist will join ours. 
Debbie Brennan, For Radical Women.