Tag Archive: queer

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…)

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…)

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: