Reflections on June 11 and its Potential
From Earth First! Newswire/By Panagioti
Hopefully by now you’ve returned safely home from a quaint letter-writing potluck or an epic road blockade in solidarity with the incarcerated environmental activists and eco-revolutionaries of the world. Perhaps you’re now ready to sit and reflect, and maybe even start thinking about what we should do next year. If that sounds like you, please read on.
Let’s start with the history
It’s been 11 years since the first time that activists coordinated an international day of solidarity action around the case of environmental prisoner Jeff Luers. Luers was charged with a relatively small crime, damaging several SUVs in a car dealership lot, but sentenced to 22 years in prison with the explicit intention of sending a chilling message to the environmental movement. It’s a history that could easily be forgotten, given how quickly the webpages that document these things tend to come and go. It felt lucky to find an existing link on Portland IMC that so thoroughly captured that event (and it felt disconcerting that the majority of hyperlinks embedded in there were dead.) The date in that call-out was actually June 12, and people planned actions throughout mid-June in response to that call.
The article included reportbacks from 23 events including places as a far as Russia, Norway and Australia, with a focus on the event in Jeff’s hometown prior to incarceration, Eugene, OR. His parents showed up to greet a crowd of several hundred with this message:
Good evening… .Thank you all for coming… .Today is intended to be a day for public education and awareness about Jeff and his case… .The FBI, in it’s bulletin to law enforcement agencies, has chosen to make it sound like an ELF (Earth Liberation Front) call to action. That’s wrong, but it got Jeff and his case some good publicity in places such as Morgantown, West Virginia and Palm Beach, Florida that may not have developed otherwise….My wife, Judy, and I want to thank all of the organizers and attendees at this event and similar events around the world designed to bring attention to the injustice done to our son, Jeff “Free” Luers.
Russian anarchists tag ‘FREE JEFF LUERS’ on US embassy, 2004
Aside from getting Jeff’s parents to turn out for it, there were some other unique and important components to the first “June 11″ event. (more…)