Tag Archive: Queer Liberation

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…)

Help Andy Raise Legal Funds!

andyFrom You Caring

Andy is a queer-identified 20 year old West Philly resident, environmental activist, and volunteer at LAVA community center.

On August 23rd Andy was arrested while attending a demonstration in solidarity with those protesting in Ferguson, MO following the murder of Michael Brown. While walking on the sidewalk during the protest, he was tackled to the ground and kicked by multiple officers, arrested, and non-consensually brought to the hospital for injuries that the police had inflicted. Because the police took away the bandages he had been given in the ER, he had to take care of his injuries on his own, while in jail. He has since been slapped with a large emergency room bill. He was held for around 28 hours with little food or water, and was subject to intimidation and threats of multiple felony charges and federal involvement. Instances like this are not unusual.  In fact, these circumstances – violent arrests, legal threats, withholding medical treatment and intimidation – are common in suppression of dissent against police brutality.

Andy now faces six misdemeanor charges, for which the DA’s office has already demanded at least $1,500 in damage.

In addition, the publication of Andy’s legal name and residence by local media outed him as transgender to the community, violating his privacy and potentially putting his safety at risk.

We have been making every effort to fundraise for Andy and have already raised some money.  However, we still have a large amount left to raise.  Please help us out to whatever extent you are able!  If you would prefer to mail a check, please contact us for a mailing address.  Thank you!

– See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/help-andy-raise-legal-funds-/253232#sthash.3TNYiNeA.dpuf

Luke O’Donovan and the Criminalization of Self-Defense

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Mask Magazine

My name is Luke O’Donovan. In the early morning of January 1st, 2013, I was attacked by a group of men at a party because of my sexuality. In an attempt to defend myself from the attack I thought could end my life I stabbed 5 of them, while also being stabbed 3 times myself. It is regrettable that anyone had to come to harm, but given the choice of whether to lose my life to a hateful attack or fight for the chance to live, I will always choose the ferocious refusal to go quietly into the night. This refusal was not fueled by hate for my attackers, but by my love for life. It is this passion for life that came in conflict with my attackers, and this same passion that was arrested by the cops and is being punished by the courts. It is this passion that they are trying to chain, to cage, to rehabilitate me away from, but it is this passion that will pull my gaze – always forward – through the dark. I can already glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll be home soon.

Statement from Luke posted on the Luke O’Donovan Support Committee website

On New Year’s Day in 2013, I was halfway across the world when I started receiving frantic messages from friends. Our mutual friend Luke was in an Atlanta jail,they said, being held without bond. He wasn’t my only friend to get arrested that week, and it’s not unusual for me to receive messages that someone I care about is going into or getting out of jail. But with Luke it felt different. The Atlanta metro media was circulating incendiary articles detailing a “stabbing rampage” that allegedly occurred on New Year’s Eve. Next to each article was a picture of our friend’s face, bruised and broken.

As we would soon learn, Luke was not, in fact, a “lunatic stabber”, but had fiercely defended himself in a terrifying situation. As he has been forced to retell countless times, Luke was at a New Year’s Eve party in Atlanta when he was called a faggot and attacked by a group of men, who continued to repeatedly call him a faggot while beating him. He defended himself using a pocket knife, and stabbed five of them. Luke was stabbed three times in the back that night, but the cops, courts, and their spokespeople in the media wrote off those wounds as “cuts” in what can only be understood as an attempt to skew the details of the event in favor of who they deemed to be victims. Luke was arrested while in the hospital being treated for the wounds he had obtained. Immediately upon recovery he was transported to the Fulton County Jail. (more…)

Students Express Support for Attack on Police Headquarters

durmcopbannerFrom The Daily Tar Heel

An anonymous group of local anarchists took responsibility for vandalizing Chapel Hill police cars last week.

Someone smashed in the back window of three Ford Crown Victoria cars parked at the Chapel Hill Police Department at 828 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, according to police reports .

Another car was spray-painted. Total damage was valued at $2,200 to the four cars, which ranged in years from 2008 to 2011, the police reports state .

The anonymous anarchists posted a blog taking responsibility for the vandalism on the Prison Books Collective website. (Prison Books Blog Editors’ note: the blog post referenced was reposted from anarchistnews.org and is not original content of the Prison Books Collective. We thought this was quite obvious, but local journalists seem to be having a problem with this.) The Prison Books Collective meets monthly at the Internationalist Books and Community Center to write letters to political and politicized prisoners in the United States .

Lt. Josh Mecimore, a spokesman for the Chapel Hill Police, did not return requests for comment.

Jesse Gardens , a member of the student anarchist group UNControllables, said his group wasn’t affiliated with the damaged cars, but he supports the demonstration.

Gardens said after Chapel Hill police, armed with assault rifles, arrested eight people who were occupying the Yates Motor Company building on Franklin Street, it’s good for police to know residents are watching .

“People here have a good reason to want to disable the weapons and equipment police here have,” Gardens said. “The smashing of the police cruisers sends the message that people are watching.” (more…)

Luke Needs Our Help!

judgepostcard-copy judgepostcard-copy2From Let Luke Go

At sentencing, Judge Markle added the condition of criminal banishment to Luke’s probation.  For all eight years of his probation, Luke will be exiled from the state of Georgia, with the exception of one judicial district – that of Screven county, and in turn, his family and closest friends.  For more information on criminal banishment and the unusual nature of its inclusion in Luke’s sentence click here.

All of Luke’s supporters are encouraged to print and fill out one of these postcards, or hand write their own, and mail them to Judge Markle, demanding that he remove the condition of banishment from Luke’s probation.

You can also download the postcard here.

Luke Accepts Plea Deal – Two Years in Prison, Eight Years Probation and Exile

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Let Luke Go

Today, Luke accepted a negotiated non-cooperating plea deal and was sentenced to two years in prison and eight years of probation. As a last minute addition to this plea deal, Judge Markle added that Luke was to be banned from the state of Georgia, save one county, for the duration of his probation. Luke was taken away from us to prison immediately after court.

This end to the case surprised many of us. It was only two weeks ago that we were alerted to the fact that Luke’s trial would begin this soon. After that notice, events continued to unfold rapidly and chaotically.  The prosecution officially offered Luke this plea deal last Thursday.  Luke was placed in a very difficult position, facing decades in prison if convicted by a jury. He decided not to risk such a long sentence, but rather to accept the manageable sentence of two years in prison, and eight years of probation. (more…)

Free Marius Jacob Mason

From Free Marius Mason

We would like to let everyone know that Marius Jacob Mason will no longer be using the name Marie, and will be using male pronouns. We hope that you will all join us in supporting Marius through this transition, which will no doubt be extra challenging within the prison system. Until his name is legally changed, any mail sent to Marius in prison will still need to be addressed to ‘Marie Mason’ on the envelope. This goes for donations also. Please write to Marius at this time! Receiving supportive and friendly mail makes a world of difference. Below is a statement read out by Moira Meltzer-Cohen, one of Marius’ legal representatives, at a solidarity event organized by New York City ABC recently.

“My name is Moira Meltzer-Cohen. I’m an attorney working with a person of immense courage and integrity, someone who struggles for liberation and self-determination on behalf of other people, non-human animals, and life on Earth itself. This is someone whose courage and integrity are made even more salient by the fact that their own liberation and their own autonomy have long been severely circumscribed.

Even more than most people in prison, my client and those in their unit face rigid, arbitrary constraints on communication and expression that impact every part of their lives. But even more – I want you to imagine how difficult it would be if all your struggles toward liberation and autonomy were taking place not only in a prison, but in a world that always targets trans people for further violence, confinement, and abuse. (more…)

Luke Self-Defense Hearing Set for July 1st

Luke-is-the-fucking-greatest-300x300From Let Luke Go

Luke had a status hearing at the courthouse today where we learned that his self-defense hearing will be held on July 1st at 9am. Everyone who can show up to court should, as this will be an important date for Luke. His legal team will be arguing that he should be immune from prosecution because he was acting in self-defense. If you are able to come please show up dressed for court. It will be held at:

Fulton County Superior Court

185 Central Ave

Atlanta, GA 30303

Courtoom 5B

Final Straw: Tranzmission Prison Project presents on LGBTQQIA realities in prison

cropped-unicorn-jumpingFrom The Final Straw

Streaming at AshevilleFM through May 25 2014, then podcasting later at radio4all.net and airing 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

This week’s episode features a presentation by members of Tranzmission Prison Project, an Asheville-based group. TPP is described on their tumblr as “Prison abolitionists against Queer & Trans* incarceration “. This is a recording of group members presenting their LGBTQQIA Prisoner Realities workshop recently at Warren Wilson College.

Trigger warning: This episode discusses sexual assault, solitary confinement and other torturous punishments.

For more info on this project, check out: