Bulletin April 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 cApril 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.
Nahane: 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 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
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.
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.

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