Tag Archive: Nato 3

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For June 2016 Is Now Available

June Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for June.(11″x17″ PDF, 3.3MB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night.Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. Last year’s June poster included Abdul Majid, who passed away this past April. Rest in Power, Comrade.
  3. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Rio for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  4. It’s time to start putting the finishing touches on your plans for this year’s International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners. Whether it’s as small as an intimate letter writing night or movie showing with your affinity group or whether you have ambitious plans to upend all of this prison society, please make your June 11th something special. As we like to remind you monthly, anarchist prisoners are in there for us, we are out here for them.
  5. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  6. Do you have a couple of extra dollars laying around? Fire to the Prisons is raising money to freely distribute 10,000 copies of it’s 13th issue.
  7. The NYC-Anarchist Black Cross has come out with their yearly Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. This is a must-have manual for all political prisoner support groups. And don’t forget to check out their latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 367KB). There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Marius Mason, Leonard Peltier, the MOVE 9, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

The Final Straw: A chat with Eric McDavid on prison, post-incarceration, hope, ice cream & more

ericmcdavidFrom The Final Straw

Streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST on April 6th through April 12th, 2015, then podcasting at radio4all.net. Also airing this week on KOWA-LPFM in Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA, KXCF in Marshall, CA, and WCRS-LP Columbus Community Radio 98.3 and 102.1 FM. The show will later be archived at TheFinalStrawRadio.NoBlogs.Org. Drop us a line at thefinalstrawradio(aT)riseup(dooot)net for suggestions or comments.

This week we’re speaking with Eric McDavid, a recently released eco-anarchist and vegan. Eric and his two co-defendants (Lauren Weiner and Zachary Jenson) were entrapped by an FBI agent provocateur who went by the name of “Anna” and arrested for allegedly planning to blow up cell-phone towers, small dams & a lab researeching genetically modifying trees. Eric was arrested in January of 2006 during an FBI raid on the cabin that “Anna” was providing for the four.

During the court case, the government prosecutors were able to turn Zachary and Lauren against their slightly older co-defendant, Eric, with threats of spending decades of their life behind bars. So, Zachary and Lauren posed Eric as their “leader” and threw him under the bus. As a result, Eric was given a 20 year sentence for what was effectively the charge of being guilty of Thought Crime.

(more…)

The disappeared: Chicago police detain Americans at abuse-laden ‘black site’

 ‘They were held incommunicado for much longer than I think should be permitted in this country – anywhere – but particularly given the strong constitutional rights afforded to people who are being charged with crimes,” said Sarah Gelsomino, the lawyer for Brian Jacob Church.

‘They were held incommunicado for much longer than I think should be permitted in this country – anywhere – but particularly given the strong constitutional rights afforded to people who are being charged with crimes,” said Sarah Gelsomino, the lawyer for Brian Jacob Church.

From The Guardian

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead. (more…)

Introducing Maya Chase, formerly Jared Chase of the NATO 3

NATO-3-Banner-DropFrom FREE THE NATO 3

The prisoner we have been supporting as Jared Chase is ready to let her supporters and comrades know that she is a trans woman who prefers to be called Maya and uses she/her/hers pronouns. She also wants to go vegan, although she is currently not able to receive adequate nutrition in general, much less according to her ethical decisions.

She wrote us recently to say:

“I am writing to tell you all and the world that I am a TransGender woman. All of my life I have always identified as a woman. After 30 years I am finally done hiding, pretending to be something I’m not.”

Communicating with Maya has been difficult, in large part due to repression she is suffering on the inside. As such, we do not have an up-to-date report on her well-being at this time. We will keep you updated about how she is doing and about any opportunities to advocate for her as we learn more. (more…)

Jeremy Hammond: May Day Message of Solidarity with NATO 3

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

From Free Jeremy Hammond

Rebel greetings on this year’s May Day international worker and immigrant rights day, commemorated around the world with street marches, strikes, and sabotage against the system that oppresses and exploits us all. After the May 1, 1886 general strike in Chicago, in which workers fighting for the eight-hour day were shot by police, eight anarchist labor organizers were arrested and sentenced to death for a retaliatory bombing none of them had committed. 128 years later and the rich ruling class still maintain their wealth and power through a monopoly of violence, exemplified by the brutal repression of Occupy Wall Street and targeted prosecutions such as the NATO 3, who recently received lengthy prison sentences for yet another fabricated “bomb” plot.

True to the Chicago Police Department’s legacy, they sought to disrupt protests in advance of the 2012 NATO conference by passing city ordinances limiting free speech, spending millions on new “less lethal” crowd control technology, and sending infiltrators to entrap unsuspecting activists resulting in the arrest of the NATO 3. They hoped to demonize them as “terrorists” based on a molotov cocktail plot cooked up by the CPD itself, charges so trumped up and ridiculous even the feds wouldn’t pick it up. At trial, the jury did not go for the “terrorism” charges – a victory in itself against the post-9/11 hysteria – but they were sentenced to several years in prison anyway for possession of incendiary devices and mob action.

In sentencing the three, Judge Thaddeus Wilson lectured, “As a society, in the face of threats, we don’t wait for a building or property to be damaged … peaceful protest is not synonymous with rioting,” setting yet another precedent that you can be imprisoned for even thinking about committing a crime even if you were entrapped by an undercover cop. In crafting this spectacle, the authorities wanted send a message to protesters dictating which methods of protest are “legitimate” and if you think about crossing the line you could be charged as a “terrorist.” They hoped that Occupy Wall Street, which many wanted to brand as a “non-violent movement,” would join with the police and media denouncing those arrested for unapproved forms of resistance. It was a cheap shot, and it is terrible that our friends are having to do years behind bars so that the powerful can make a political point. Fortunately, their plan failed: most everybody rallied to support those arrested, and through solid legal defense and PR, were able to convince the jury to acquit of the most serious charges and sway the public against the prosecution. (more…)

NATO 3 Brent Betterly’s Sentencing Statement

nato3From Anarchist News

Today a member of the NATO 3 Defense Committee received a letter from Brent Betterly, which included a rewritten version of his sentencing statement. Brent ad-libbed his statement in court from notes, but says he is confident that what he has written is almost exact to what was said, save for a few grammatical differences and filler words.

***

I apologize in advance if this seems a bit long-winded and I’d just like to express my great relief and gratitude for the opportunity to utilize my own voice again after a frustrating two years. My goal in making this statement is to refute some of the negative assertions about who I am and what my intentions are.

Very briefly, I’d like to start by addressing these recent allegations of racially derogatory comments directed toward an officer with whom I’ve had virtually no contact with. It’s my position that this is a complete fabrication and is in keeping with this consistent pattern over these past couple years where I’ve been repeatedly accused of engaging in the same sort of senseless ideologies and acts of violence that I so vehemently oppose and are just antithetical to the sort of person I am. To engage in or plan out this supposed conspiracy would be to perpetuate the same cycle of fear and violence I have so desperately strived to expose and disrupt. Those who know who I really am know that I’m just not capable of harboring such ideals and intentions.

Now, I’m not a big fan of categorizations, but one label that has continuously been advanced by the State as if it was in itself a condemnation, somehow synonymous with a violent terrorist, and I will not shy away from is that of the so-called “self-proclaimed anarchist.” Without professing to be an expert in all the complexities of political philosophy, I will say that as one who identifies as an anarchist there are specific principles I strive to live by and those I choose to reject. I believe that within everybody lies the ability and the right, both individually and collectively, to responsibly govern themselves. I believe in empowering people to overcome the disadvantages and inequities imposed on them by others in power. I oppose the exploitation and degradation of human potential in every form, be it racism, sexism, homophobia, or classism, and these violently institutionalized injustices are deeply etched into the conscience of our society. Admittedly, I’m not a hundred percent sure how you completely dismantle and abolish such archaic institutions but I’m at least intelligent enough to realize that the reciprocation of these sort of violent ideologies is a historical failure and counter-productive. (more…)

Reportback: NATO 3 Sentenced to 5 to 8 Years, Receive Credit for Time Served

nato3From comrades from NATO 3 Support:

Today in the Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the NATO 3 were sentenced to between 5 and 8 years in prison. The prosecutors had argued that they should receive 14 years and serve their sentences consecutively, whereas the defense attorneys had obviously argued that they should receive light sentences, if not simply being sentenced to time served. Brian Jacob Church was sentenced to 5 years, Brent Betterly to 6 years, and Jared Chase to 8 years. They will all serve this time at 50% of the sentenced time (e.g., 6 year sentence equals 3 years served) and will receive credit for the two years they have served pending trial. Upon release, they will each have two years of supervised release as well.

Supporters packed the courtroom for the NATO 3 today despite the draconian restrictions placed on public attendance by the judge. While the prosecutors had plenty of cops lined up to smear the defendants on the stand during the sentencing hearing, their side of the courtroom was notably empty. Not even Anita Alvarez, the head attorney who has been so vocal about the defendants being terrorists, was around today. After the jury issued its verdict, Alvarez claimed in an interview that the prosecutors had not lost the case even though all of their terrorist claims had been rejected. She melodramatically asked if the reporters had forgotten about the Boston Marathon bombing. She even asked one reporter if he would like a Molotov cocktail thrown at him.

Predictably, the prosecutors continued this ludicrous line of reasoning by repeatedly comparing the NATO 3 to the Boston Marathon bombers—with the only difference being that undercover cops had found and stopped them before they did what the bombers had done. This comparison is, of course, absurd and offensive. The defense objected to this comparison but was, predictably, overruled. Also predictably, the judge promoted this twisted perspective in his explanation of his sentencing. (more…)

NATO 3 get prison terms ranging from 5 to 8 years

nato3From Corporate Media

Three out-of-state men were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 8 years in prison today for making crude Molotov cocktails in the days before the NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012.

Prosecutors had sought 14-year terms for each of the men, raising the specter of the Boston Marathon bombings during their arguments at the sentencing hearing.

The so-called NATO 3 — Brian Church, Jared Chase and Brent Betterly — were convicted in February of possessing incendiary devices but were acquitted of more serious terrorism charges, a fact stressed by their attorneys. Church was sentenced to 5 years, Chase to 8 years and Betterly to 6.

Chase’s attorney, Thomas Anthony Durkin, contended that prosecutors didn’t seem to understand they lost the terrorism case and were trying to “salvage a lousy, rotten case” with stiff prison sentences.

“They still don’t get that the whole world is laughing at them,” Durkin told Judge Thaddeus Wilson. (more…)