Hi, There will be a book packaging party this Saturday 2/9 from noon to 4pm. There are plenty of requests to fill and books to package so if you haven’t made it our new book space yet- feel free to come and bring a friend! We are located at 135 S. Sunset St. Fort Collins. You can also drop off book donations on Saturday as well.
Earth Liberation Front political prisoner and Rockaway native Daniel McGowan was released from the Communication Management Unit (CMU) in Terre Haute, Indiana this morning. He was driven by federal authorities to Indianapolis International Airport, where he met up with his wife.
Though the two have been able to visit during Daniel’s imprisonment, today marked the first time in years that they could hug, hold hands, or make any physical contact (save for a few month stint when Daniel was in general population in Marion, Illinois– between the CMU there and the one in Terre Haute). The two flew back to New York City together, where they were met by a small group of close friends at the airport.
From the airport, Daniel had one hour to make it to the halfway house, where he will be living for as long as the next six months. Though he has secured employment, it is unclear when he can start work (at the discretion of the halfway house, not his new employer). Until he has had time to settle in, there are more questions than answers.
After being released from the halfway house, Daniel will be under supervised release for three years.
Regardless, this is great news and we’re excited to see our comrade on the other side of the wall.
Please remember that prisoner support doesn’t end when a comrade is released. Through halfway houses, supervised release, parole, or probation, there is usually state supervision beyond the initial sentence. Also, prison is traumatic. And of course there is the stigma of being a former prisoner that effects nearly every aspect of one’s life. All of this adds up to the less obvious, but equally necessary, support needed when our loved ones come home.
Welcome back, Daniel! We love you!
This is an URGENT ACTION ALERT asking for a solidarity call-in to demand an investigation into abuses in the Secure Housing Unit of Wabash Valley Correctional Facility and to protest the recent torture of our comrade Shaka Shakur. We are asking people to make calls, starting at 830am EDT on Monday February 6th through 430pm EDT Tuesday the 7th.
Bruce Lemmon, Commissioner IDOC: (317) 232-5711, fax (317) 233-1474, firstname.lastname@example.org Richard Brown, Superintendent Wabash Valley Correctional Facility: (812) 398-5050 ext 4102., fax (812) 398-5032, email@example.com Jack Hendrix, Director of IDOC Classifications: (317) 232-2247, fax (317) 232-5728, firstname.lastname@example.org The SHU is Indiana’s most repressive Super Max Prison, and is modeled after the infamous Pelican Bay SHU. It holds many of Indiana’s most political prisoners in extreme isolation and sensory deprivation, many of them people of color. It is a prison within a prison, in the rural south of the state, and is imbedded with extreme racism and white supremacist organizing. In August of 2011, prisoners there staged a multi-day protest aimed at ending the state-wide lockdown that happened in response to a white supremacist gang member being murdered. Prisoners in the SHU weren’t allowed access to recreation, showers, hygiene products (including water) for their cells, and eventually had the power and water shut off completely. The protest was successful in regaining the basic necessities of life, but now it seems the administration is out to get those with a history of no-comproise struggle against their conditions.
On Saturday the 21st of January, our comrade Shaka was forcefully removed from his windowless cell, subjected to numerous invasive and humiliating searches and eventually moved to an isolated part of the prison.
His property was thoroughly searched, x-rayed, replaced and then searched again. He was placed in a 2ft x 3ft holding cell with only a toilet, stripped down to his boxers. Guards on duty said this order came directly from the Superintendent, Richard Brown. He was given water every 4 hours and was only allowed to flush the toilet after a thorough search of its contents.
Shaka immediately began a hunger strike, refusing all food and water from this point on, until his release from this holding cell back to his isolation cell. He maintained this hunger strike, even though the conditions severely aggravated a herniated disk and kidney condition. He remained in excruciating pain, in the 2x3ft holding cell until Wednesday morning (4 days later), with no medical attention.
He was released back to his cell and started to take food and liquids again on Wednesday, but his property remains gone. Political writings, books, magazines, legal resources, family photos, even his glasses. It is all presumed to be destroyed, as the prison officials have not presented him with a confiscated property form.
He has been on the SHU for nearly a decade, with the quasi-official designation of Administrative Segregation. He’s has a clean conduct record while there, but the state has refused to transfer him to population. Now they’re trying to kill him.
We’re asking for solidarity calls and actions aimed at getting the abuses on the SHU stopped, on getting Shaka off the unit before he’s murdered by the State.
This is not the first time such a call has been made. Recently, Indiana based groups such as Decarcerate Monroe County, The City of Bloomington Human Rights Commission and The Progressive Faculty Coalition at Indiana University have called for an investigation into white supremacist organizing amongst guards in the SHU at Wabash Valley. The state has thus far dismissed such claims, and has made no effort towards explaining their complicity in such organizing.
Please call the following IDOC administrators. Please engage in solidarity actions. Please tell Shaka you stand with him!
Bruce Lemmon, Commissioner IDOC:
(317) 232-5711, fax (317) 233-1474, email@example.com Call him to express horror at the actions of the Superintendent and Staff of Wabash Valley Correctional Facility at the treatment of Shaka and to demand adequate medical treatment and review of his continued placement in isolation. Demand an investigation into practices of torture and denial of basic human necessities in the SHU. Express your outrage at the continued complicity of IDOC administrators in the known white supremacist organizing amongst guards at Wabash Valley.
Richard Brown, Superintendent Wabash Valley Correctional Facility: (812) 398-5050 ext 4102., fax (812) 398-5032, firstname.lastname@example.org Call him to express outrage at his treatment of Shaka, his orders to hold him for days on end without medical care in a holding cell, and demand the return of all of his property undamaged.
Jack Hendrix, Director of IDOC Classifications: (317) 232-2247, fax (317) 232-5728, email@example.com Call him to demand Shaka’s immediate release from Administrative Segregation and housing on the SHU. Shaka has many years of clear conduct and yet the IDOC refuses to release him to general population. His housing on the SHU is leading to extremely dangerous health and safety conditions for him.
Write to Shaka and let him know you’re behind him: Shaka Shakur #135647 WVCF PO Box 1111 Carlisle, IN 47838
Philadelphia prosecutors drop death penalty against Abu-Jamal
(CNN) — Philadelphia prosecutors have dropped their pursuit of the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of shooting a police officer three decades ago.
He will instead serve a life sentence in prison, prosecutors said Wednesday.
“The decision to end this fight was not an easy one to make,” said District Attorney Seth Williams. “There has never been a doubt in my mind that Mumia Abu-Jamal shot and killed Officer Faulkner, and I believe the appropriate sentence was handed down in 1982.”
Abu-Jamal was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1981 killing of Daniel Faulkner.
Witnesses testified that Abu-Jamal shot Faulkner in the back and head after the officer pulled over Abu-Jamal’s brother in a late-night traffic stop.
Once known as Wesley Cook, Abu-Jamal was wounded in the encounter and later confessed to the killing.
He’s been on death row at a state prison in southwest Pennsylvania, where he’s remained an outspoken activist from behind bars — claiming there were procedural errors during his capital sentencing, and that too few blacks were on the jury.
The case has attracted international attention, amid charges of prosecutorial misconduct.
Abu-Jamal, a onetime radio reporter and cab driver, has been a divisive figure, with many prominent supporters arguing that racism pervaded his trial.
Others counter that Abu-Jamal is using his race to try to escape responsibility for his actions. They say he has provoked community unrest for years with his writings and advocacy.
In April, Abu-Jamal was granted a new sentencing hearing by a federal appeals court, sparking a threat by the prosecutor to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
In its 32-page decision, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals accepted defense arguments that the jury instructions at Abu-Jamal’s 1982 murder trial were unclear.
The court’s decision did not grant Abu-Jamal a new trial; his conviction on the murder charge stands.
A 2008 appeals court ruling also had nullified Abu-Jamal’s death sentence and granted him a new sentencing hearing. But the Supreme Court tossed out that ruling and ordered the appeals court to revisit the issue. The high court last year denied Abu-Jamal’s separate petition for a new trial.
I know it seems like forever ago that Jordan Halliday was first called to a
Grand Jury which he resisted. In a way it was forever ago, he was first
approached by the FBI in 2008 regarding local mink farm raids in Utah. He
refused to cooperate with the FBI and was told he would face a subpoena to
testify in front of a grand jury. Six months later the FBI followed
through, Subpoenaing both Jordan and another ‘activist’ who chose to
testify. Jordan however chose to resist the grand jury in protest due to
its abusive and archaic nature.
Grand juries are called when the government lacks evidence to indict an
individual for a crime. Witnesses are subpoenaed to testify before the
grand jury in hopes of providing evidence to the prosecution. Little is
known about these secretive proceedings, because all information is
considered sealed and classified. A witness that is called before a grand
jury is not allowed to have a lawyer present with them in the grand jury
In recent years activists have seen an increase in subpoenas to grand
juries. These subpoenas are often used to harass and intimidate legal
above-ground activists, like Jordan feels is the case, in his situation.
The prosecutor can ask any question and if you refuse to answer or if you
lie, you could be held in contempt of court or perjury. With no lawyer
present for the witnesses, prosecutors can often ask for information not
relevant to a crime in hopes to harass, intimidate or ‘fish’ for
information, in a secretive manner which many consider a modern day witch
hunt. Jordan said he was mainly asked information about his friends,
family, and general life and refused to answer any of them.
Jordan refused to answer any of the questions he was asked, the 3 times he
was subpoenaed. He was incarcerated after his second appearance for “civil
contempt of court”. He eventually was granted immunity. Yet still refused
to cooperate and stayed in jail until the term of the grand jury expired 4
months later. Upon release he was indicted with “criminal contempt of
court”, and was released on pre-trial pending trial, eventually he took a
non-cooperating plea deal, and was sentenced to 10 months plus 3 years
probation under the guidelines low-end range for “obstruction of justice”,
which has a 10-16 months recommended range. He was ordered to report to the
federal custody early January, 2011. Although he was able to stay out on a
release pending his appeal, just days before he was due to present himself.
Jordan and his lawyer filed an appeal arguing that a guideline range for
“failure to appear” which has a 0-6 month recommended range, was more
fitting for Jordan, who still to this day claims he has no knowledge of any
illegal underground activity or actions. In fact the individuals Jordan was
allegedly called in to testify against, have both already been indicted,
convicted, sentenced and have served their time already, without the help
of a testimony by Jordan.
On November 15th, 2011, Jordan’s attorney argued their final arguments
before the court of appeals in Denver, Colorado. Jordan says he felt a bias
and hostility from the beginning and although his lawyer did an excellent
job, felt the judges already had their minds made up. Jordan’s lawyer also
said he wasn’t very optimistic about the outcome. It typically takes 3-6
months before a ruling comes back.
Although we remain optimistic that Jordan might still win his appeal and
get the low-end sentence of 0 months, we are also confronting the reality
that he is more likely going back, than staying out. With the possibility
of prison coming soon for Jordan. We have decided to start accepting
donations again. Currently he is now only around $350 in legal debt,
although we will continue collecting donations in case of incarceration. If
Jordan wins his appeal and doesn’t end of having to serve any additional
time, we will be distributing the remaining donations to other political
prisoners and activists in need.
You can donate by PayPal by visiting “supportjordan.com”, or you can send a
donation or letter of support to:
PO BOX 601
West Jordan, Utah 84084
This is an important case for the future of all activists, radicals and
dissidents. If his appeal is not heard, he will be going back to prison for
an additional 10 months, this is on top of the 4 he already served. With a
total of 14 months and 3 years probation, he will be serving more time than
the individuals he was called to testify against, who were convicted under
the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. Jordan is also the first dissident in
decades and only the 3rd known case to be convicted of “criminal contempt
of court” after already serving time for “civil contempt of court”.
Jordan needs our support now more than ever. Let him know he hasn’t been
forgotten in this long period of legal battles.
We are all proud of Jordan. Please re-post this to as many places as you
can. He needs our support.
-Jordan’s Support Committee
We have only one person still being held captive at the Van Cise- Simonet Detention Center at this moment. We are in need of another $650 to bond him out. We really need donations at this moment! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help! Donations can be sent to a sympathetic paypal account at email@example.com.
Please help us get our last prisoner home to his friends and family!
A brief breakdown on what’s been happening: There have been 50 arrests during Occupy Denver. 46 individuals have been arrested (4 were repeat arrestees who were arrested on both Friday morning and Saturday night). 24 folks were arrested on Friday during the mass eviction of Occupy Denver, and 26 were arrested during the street occupation of Broadway that escalated into a confrontational street demonstration on Saturday evening and night.
All those arrested were charged with misdemeanor offenses. No one has been charged with felonies or any serious or violent offenses.
One person was confirmed hospitalized after the police attacked the crowd on Saturday. Many, many others reported injuries, mainly from pepper spray, pepper balls, and batons/blunt trauma. Street medics treated many people for a variety of injuries inflicted by Denver Police.
A video produced by West Denver Copwatch on police actions during the Saturday night demonstrations can be found here: http://westdenvercopwatch.wordpress.com/2011/10/16/video-from-o15-denver/
Solidarity in the class struggle! Denver ABC