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Help Stop the Reign of Terror by Alabama Prison Officials

January 30, 2015

adoc(from Free Alabama Movement)

The Free Alabama Movement (FAM), composed of some of the men and women incarcerated in Alabama state prisons, along with their family members and friends, are in urgent need of your help. Currently, three Alabama maximum security prisons for men are on lockdown. At one of those prisons, St. Clair Correctional Facility (SCCF) in Springville, Ala., the men are daily being subjected to beatings by guards and other unprecedented violence.

Furthermore, the U.S. Dept. of Justice has just ended an investigation of Alabama’s Tutwiler Prison for Women, where the women have been habitually raped and sexually abused by the male guards and staff going back 20 years.

Please help FAM with its campaign to get the man fired who is responsible for the reign of terror at SCCF, Warden Carter Davenport, and to get Tutwiler’s warden, Bobby Barrett, fired. Send the letter below to Col. Jefferson Dunn, who (after retiring from the Air Force) will take office in March as the new commissioner of the Alabama Dept. of Corrections (ADOC). Read more…

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For February 2015 Is Now Available

January 29, 2015

lovecakeHello Friends and Comrades,

1) Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for February. As always, please post this poster publicly and/or use it to start a card writing night of your own.

2) On January 15, the underground publishing group CrimethInc. launched To Change Everything, a multimedia outreach project intended to introduce  anarchist ideas to the general public. The project consists of a free,  full-color 48-page print publication, a video by Submedia.tv, an  interactive website in many different languages, and a sticker and  poster campaign. Participating collectives in 19 countries across five  continents have prepared two dozen different versions of the project,  each tailored to their local context. To view the To Change Everything  website, video and text, see: http://www.tochangeeverything.com

Also, prisoner support groups may request copies postage-free while supplies last. Read more…

Supreme Court rules for Native American inmates in Alabama

January 27, 2015
Doug Dark Horns Bailey talks about trying to practice his religious beliefs during the more than 18 years he spent in prison.

Doug Dark Horns Bailey talks about trying to practice his religious beliefs during the more than 18 years he spent in prison.

From Montgomery Observer

The U.S. Supreme Court says a lower court must reconsider whether Native Americans in Alabama prisons can have longer hair.

The high court on Monday reversed an 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that had upheld an Alabama Department of Corrections policy saying Native American inmates had to keep their hair cut short, which Native Americans argue deny them their right to religious expression.

As is often the case, the justices did not issue an opinion with its ruling, but ordered the 11th Circuit to reconsider the decision in light of its ruling last week in Holt v. Hobbs. In that case, the court ruled that the Arkansas Department of Correction could not deny a Muslim inmate’s request to grow a half-inch beard in accordance with his religious beliefs, saying the state had failed to show a compelling reason to deny the request.

Bob Horton, a spokesman for ADOC, said in a statement that the decision was expected.

“Until the 11th Circuit has a hearing and offers a ruling, ADOC will continue to enforce its current policy,” the statement said.

Read more…

With No Google, the Incarcerated Wait for the Mail

January 26, 2015

reading-room-public-libraryFrom Newsweek

The New York Public Library recently started an Instagram series featuring questions that people posed to librarians in the days before Google. Apparently, librarians stored the more interesting queries for decades. So far, the series has featured etiquette questions (“When one has guests, who kisses whom first?” someone asked in 1946) and a health and science inquiry from 1962 (“What is the gestation period of human beings in days?”). As antiquated as this analog method seems, millions of people in jails and prisons with no Internet access still rely on librarians for answers that could be found in seconds online.

In an office building near the NYPL’s central library, with big windows looking out on the famous marble lions, a team of four people answers questions from inmates through the library’s Correctional Services Program. The program started decades ago and now runs lending libraries in prisons and publishes a guidebook to help people upon release. Responding to as many as 60 weekly letters isn’t an official service, but it seems to be growing in popularity. “By word of mouth we get more and more every year,” says librarian Sarah Ball, who supervises the program.

Most questions — 84 percent, responders say — come from facilities in New York state; the rest arrive from all over the country. Many have to do with life after incarceration, but others speak to the interests and curiosities of the more than 2.2 million people behind bars in the U.S. One, for example, wanted to know how to grow potatoes and start a farm. Another wanted to eventually start a diaper business and sought consumer data. There have been questions about the power of healing crystals, trumpet playing and Wiccan priesthood certification. There have also been many, many requests for baseball statistics, and one frequent writer always asks for rap song lyrics. Read more…

Barrett Brown sentenced to 63 months for ‘merely linking to hacked material’

January 24, 2015

barretbrownThe journalist and former Anonymous member says of prison term and fine in statement: ‘They’re sending me to investigate the prison-industrial complex’

From The Guardian

In a rebuke to a legion of online supporters and what the journalist and one-time member of Anonymous called a “dangerous precedent”, Barrett Brown was sentenced to 63 months in prison by a federal judge in Dallas on Thursday.

Brown’s backers from across the web had hoped he would be able to walk free with his 31 months of time served for what they insist was “merely linking to hacked material”. But the 33-year-old, who was once considered something of a spokesman for the Anonymous movement, will face more than twice that sentence. The judge also ordered him to pay more than $890,000 in restitution and fines.

In a statement released after his sentencing, Brown was sarcastically upbeat: “Good news!” he wrote. “The US government decided today that because I did such a good job investigating the cyber-industrial complex, they’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.” Read more…

Joseph Sledge freed after 37 years in prison

January 24, 2015

josephsledgeFrom WRAL

— A man who spent nearly four decades behind bars was freed from prison Friday after a three-judge panel found him innocent in the 1976 stabbing deaths of a Bladen County mother and her adult daughter.

Last month, the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission recommended the case of Joseph Sledge for judicial review after newly discovered evidence cast doubt on whether he had anything to do with the killings of Josephine Davis, 74, and Ailene Davis, 53, in their Elizabethtown home.

About an hour after the judges’ ruling – and after 37 years in prison – Sledge, 70, walked out of the Columbus County jail in Whiteville into the arms of family. Read more…

Anti-fascist Jason Hammond sentenced 3.5 years for Tinley Park action

January 23, 2015

jasonhammondFrom Jason Hammond Support Network

Sentencing Statement

I write this statement after pleading guilty to state charges against me for my participation in an organized direct action taken against a group of white supremacists in May of 2012. I would like to share my thoughts about this action. First, major thanks and love to my friends and family who have supported me, for my amazing partner who kept me sane, my band for letting loose and my lawyer Sara Garber who has been ridiculously helpful in fighting this case with me.
While Chicago was in rebellion against the western military super-alliance NATO summit in 2012, a small group of racists organized their own ‘white nationalist economic summit’ in the nearby suburb of Tinley Park. They booked a restaurant to hold a luncheon under the guise of the “Illinois European Heritage Association.” For over six months this event was promoted on Stormfront.org, a very popular online forum where racists and neo-nazis converse. Being in a prolonged state of resistance against racism, this summit became known to organized anti-fascists throughout the Midwest. Through research, they had ascertained the time, location, and even some identities of the attendees of this meeting, some of whom were already known as being members of white supremacist groups such as the KKK, National Socialist Movement and Council of Conservative Citizens. Upon becoming aware of this  information, myself and others decided to confront the fascists at their meeting. A righteous melee ensued, many of the ten white supremacists were injured, and we left the scene in less than two minutes.

Read more…

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