Tag Archive: Green Scare

I ‘Got Snatched’: Daniel McGowan’s Bizarre Trip Through America’s Prison System

From Huffington Postdaniel_image002

Daniel McGowan was in the yard of the Federal Correctional Institution in Sandstone, Minn., when his name rang out over the loudspeaker. It had been eight months since he first reported to the low-security prison to start a seven-year sentence for conspiracy and arson. To pass the time, he worked as an orderly in the prison psychology department, took correspondence classes and exercised.

Sandstone, located nearly smack-dab in the middle of the country, was about as far removed as McGowan could be from his wife, Jenny Synan, in New York and from his former compatriots in the Earth Liberation Front in Oregon, with whom he had been caught in a national law enforcement sweep. But he still kept in touch with the outside world, writing passionate articles about the environment and prisons for publications like the Earth First! Journal. He was allotted 300 minutes of phone time a month. And on the rare occasions when Synan could get away from work, she would come see him. In the prison’s visiting room, they would hug and kiss and play board games together.

He was looking forward to such a visit when the loudspeaker told him to report to the prison’s shipping and receiving department. It was the day before his second wedding anniversary in May 2008, and he assumed that he was being called in for some routine matter. Perhaps the package full of books he had recently mailed to his wife had been returned for insufficient postage, he thought.

Instead, a prison staffer handed McGowan two boxes and told him to fill them up with his possessions. He was the one being shipped. When he asked his case manager where he was being taken, he was thrown in a cell.

He headed south the next day, still unsure of his destination. “When I got on the bus, they told me ‘Marion,'” McGowan says. (more…)

Campaign to Transfer Marie Mason from Special Isolation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFrom Support Marie Mason

The campaign to have Marie moved from her special isolation unit is underway! Please write a letter today.

You can download the “Move Marie” here:

trifold color brochure (smaller version, 600KB)

trifold color brochure (larger version)

The text version and a sample letter are available here.

Daniel McGowan Loses Lawsuit Against Bureau Of Prisons

daniel_mcgowan_FREE!By Matt Sledge / Huffington Post

A federal court has dismissed an environmental activist’s claims against the U.S. Bureau of Prisons over a restrictive prison wing he was housed in, but a lawsuit filed by other prisoners against the government over its restrictive communication management units continues.

Daniel McGowan, 39, served seven years in federal prison for arson connected with the Earth Liberation Front, four of them in the secretive communication management units, or CMUs, dubbed “Little Guantanamo” by critics.

Along with dozens of other mostly Muslim inmates, McGowan’s phone calls with the outside world and physical contact with his family were severely limited. Even after he was released to a halfway house, McGowan was briefly tossed back into prison this year for writing a Huffington Post blog entry detailing his case. (more…)

Seattle FBI now targeting climate activists

fbiFrom Committee Against Political Repression

In the past 48 hours at least six Seattle climate activists have been approached by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at their home or school. In light of recent revelations about the extent of state surveillance by federal agencies we feel it is important to share this information with the broader activist community in Seattle and nationwide.

Please show solidarity with the Seattle activists facing this investigation by sharing this statement. We will provide updates if the situation escalates.

Rebecca Rubin Has Been Moved Again

r-rubin-undated-photoRebecca Rubin has been transferred yet again. Please send Rebecca Rubin a letter or note of encouragement, being transferred can be quite jarring and it’s good for her to hear that people are keeping up with her. (Remember not to write to her about her case at all because she is pre-trial.)Rebecca is accused of being a member of the Earth Liberation Front. She is facing charges of arson and conspiracy for actions that occurred between 1996 and 2001.

Rebecca Rubin
#770288
MCIJ
11540 NE Inverness Dr.
Portland, OR 97220

Rebecca Rubin Has Been Moved

r-rubin-undated-photoPlease send Rebecca Rubin a letter or note of encouragement, being transferred can be quite jarring. (Remember not to write to her about her case at all because she is pre-trial.)Rebecca is accused of being a member of the Earth Liberation Front. She is facing charges of arson and conspiracy for actions that occurred between 1996 and 2001.

Her new address is as follows:
Rebecca Rubin #2013001108
Columbia County Jail
901 Port Ave.
St. Helens, OR 97051

June 11th Letter Writing @ I-Books

june11_final_webJune 11th: international day of solidarity with Marie Mason, Eric McDavid, and other long term anarchist prisoners

Tuesday, June 11th @ Internationalist Books @ 7pm

405 W Franklin St. in Chapel Hill

A Letter Writing night to long term anarchist prisoners.
All supplies provided. Including Snacks!!!

More Information about June 11th:

The state stole Eric McDavid and Marie Mason from us in 2006 and 2008 respectively. In the years since their arrests, repression has come to feel less like a specific event and more like an inescapable, ongoing nightmare. Sentenced to 22 years and 20 years, respectively, Marie and Eric remain in cages to this day, and know this nightmare more intimately than most. (more…)

NYC ABC Update on Daniel McGowan’s Reimprisonment

dm

UPDATE (5 Apr): Thanks to some great work by attorney Rachel Meeropol (CCR), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) blinked and have allowed Daniel McGowan to return to the halfway house. Make no mistake, without  media coverage, radical attorney intervention, and the attention from folks on the streets, all over the world, Daniel would still be at MDC and would likely have spent the remainder of his sentence there. Through negligence, ignorance, or malevolence (or, as we presume, a mix of the three), the BOP targeted Daniel with an outdated regulation that has been struck down by the court as unconstitutional and allegedly removed from the BOP in 2010. Maybe they thought no one would notice.

While Daniel is going back to the halfway house, if you haven’t already seen it, you should watch this news report. The reporter for the Huffington Post puts it best: “Absolutely, this story is crazy.”

NYC Anarchist Black Cross:

We got word late yesterday that Daniel McGowan was told he wouldn’t be issued a pass to go to work the next day. According to his keepers at the halfway house, this denial came at the direction of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). When he followed up, Daniel was told that it wasn’t merely a denial of a work pass, but a restriction on all movement. When asked if that meant federal marshals were coming to get him the next day, the halfway house administrators told him they didn’t know.

The state, and its for-profit halfway house minions, were clearly in collusion. This is just another way that opacity is used to mindfuck folks left to twist in the wind, not knowing what the future holds.

From our understanding, the reason for his re-imprisonment is directly related to an article Daniel recently wrote for the Huffington Post. An attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights has been to visit Daniel at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Once we know more, we’ll pas the information on.

For now, take time to send Daniel a card or letter. Let him know that regardless of how the state treats him, we have his back.

Write to Daniel at:Daniel McGowan #63794-053
MDC Brooklyn
Post Office Box 329002
Brooklyn, New York 11232

“Court Documents Prove I was Sent to Communication Management Units for my Political Speech”

dmby Daniel McGowan, Huffington Post

I currently reside at a halfway house in Brooklyn, serving out the last few months of a seven-year sentence for my role in arsons credited to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) at two lumber companies in Oregon in 2001.  My case, and the federal government’s rush to prosecute environmental activism as a form of terrorism, were recently explored in the Oscar-nominated documentary, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

What has received less attention, though, is what happened to me while in federal prison.  I was a low security prisoner with a spotless disciplinary record, and my sentencing judge recommended that I be held at a prison close to home.  But one year into my sentence, I was abruptly transferred to an experimental segregation unit, opened under the Bush Administration, that is euphemistically called a “Communication Management Unit” (CMU).  Since August 2008, when I first arrived at the CMU, I have been trying to get answers as to why I was singled out to be sent there.  Only now — three years after I filed a federal lawsuit to get to the truth — have I learned why the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) sent me to the CMU: they simply did not like what I had to say in my published writing and personal letters.  In short, based on its disagreement with my political views, the government sent me to a prison unit from which it would be harder for me to be heard, serving as a punishment for my beliefs. (more…)

Daniel McGowan Spring Update

daniel_mcgowan_FREE!From NYC Anarchist Black Cross

It has been some time before we sent out a proper update about Daniel. The last 3 months have been busy with helping Daniel adjust to life outside of prison. His support crew recently sent a comprehensive update.

We wanted to thank everyone for the supportive emails we have received since December. Not only has Daniel seen and read all of them but we are all appreciative of the support that people have continued to show him since 2005.

How is Daniel doing since release?

This is the question we get the most and its a tough one for a few reasons. We want to protect Daniel’s privacy and his desire to move forward but he also wants people to know he is doing well. As you may know, Daniel is working for a law firm in NYC and started two days after he got to the halfway house. He is working full-time, seeing his wife Jenny, family and friends on weekends and counting the days until he comes home for good. He is not doing media interviews nor can he attend public speaking events at the moment. We will continue to share emails sent to friendsofdanielmcg@yahoo.com with Daniel. (more…)