Tag Archive: repression

Police provocateurs, real and imaginary


From Libcom / By Scott Jay

There are ongoing efforts by law enforcement agencies to infiltrate, disorganize and destroy social movements. This creates a challenge for anybody who attempts to confront the state’s ability to carry out austerity and repression. To deal with this, we need to develop anti-repression strategies based on actual efforts and tactics by the police and not based on fantasies. It is challenging enough to deal with the efforts of genuine infiltrators, it does us no good to chase after phantoms or, worse, point the finger at somebody who is actually on our side.

Most radicals would agree, and yet for some there is often rampant speculation with no evidence for one type of supposed police provocation. Specifically, this is the occurrence when somebody at a protest throws a rock at the police, or breaks a window, or takes some other provocative action, which leads to uniformed police cracking down. “It must have been an undercover cop who threw that rock,” is the common refrain, even when there is no basis whatsoever for believing this. The idea, apparently, is that only a poorly planned rock-throwing would cause this or, from the liberal perspective, that the perfectly planned peaceful protest was ruined by the efforts of the state to make it look bad.

This assumption is made so often, with so little evidence, that it keeps being made because so many people are led to believe that it must happen all the time, because so many people say that it does, even though it probably never occurs the way many people claim that it does. (more…)

Sean Swain and Retaliatory Transfer to Ohio’s Most Notorious Prison

seanswainFrom Sean Swain

“I’ve been wearing the same pair of underwear since Tuesday. That night at three in the morning the warden at the super duper max, Jay “Lowdown” Forshay informed me that I was being transferred to Lucasville. Lucasville, home of the 1993 prisoner uprising, is a psychological September Eleventh for the Ohio prison system. It’s also the prison where ODRC officials attempted to put former prisoner writer Timothy “Little Rock” Reed in order to engineer his death until he gained asylum from Ohio in New Mexico, proving conclusively that Ohio prison officials attempted to murder him.

In the lead up to this transfer prison officials tried several times unsuccessfully to silence me. Blocking phone communication for eight weeks to keep me off the radio, intercepting intercepting postings for SeanSwain.org and communications with counsel who filed a civil action against prison officials on my behalf, and then blocking my video visits to stop me from generating video on the site, which is illegal, not that the laws matter to fascists.

In response I undertook a hunger strike until I was threatened with being tossed in the hole, which is illegal, not that laws matter to fascists. So I began a med strike, and then OSP physician James Kline held me incommunicado with medical isolation, in a torture cell, until I agreed to take blood pressure medication I had refused, which is illegal, not that they care.

So, before I could even finish writing the epic tale of those wacky shenanigans, I was told to hop on a prison bus for Lucasville. When I protested that this was selective, Jay Lowdown said, “we thought you’d say that, that’s why thirty seven others are going with you. So, to disguise prison fascist’s targeting of me, they tossed thirty seven other dolphins into the tuna net as collateral damage.


The Empire Hits! and an update on Bill Dunne

billdunneFrom Denver Anarchist Black Cross

Bill Dunne #10916-086
FCI Herlong
Post Office Box 800
Herlong, California 96113

– – – – – – – – – – – – –
The Empire Hits!

The U.S. Parole Commission conducted a hearing for a 15 year reconsideration of my case on 5 November 2014. The last 15 year continuance (“hit”) was set to expire in December. The hearing examiner went through the usual things:offender characteristics; the circumstances
of my 1979 offenses; a 1983 escape attempt; ancient disciplinary infractions. I was thinking a good outcome would be a one year date, a bad one, five years (and, having long experience with the agency of repression, expecting the worst!). Then the examiner went unusual. He unleashed a tirade about anarchist connections and anti-authoritarian views. He recommended another 15 year hit on the basis thereof. Four weeks later, I got a Notice of Action (NOA) from the commission adopting the recommendation and setting my next reconsideration for November of 2029.

The commission made much of the facts that I was on parole and the 1979 conspiracy included three armed bank robberies to finance the escape of a federal prisoner who had killed a customs agent. It also changed the assault of a Seattle police officer during the escape to attempted murder, using this change to raise my offense behavior category and guideline range. It did so notwithstanding that I was not at the scene of the shooting, the shooter was paroled ten years ago, and having established the old category in 2000 and defended it through seven hearings and appeals. The real reason for the higher offense behavior category is that its guidelines have no upper limit. I’ve already served more than the top guidelines under the previous, lower category.

The commission then added a specific amount of time to my parole guidelines for each disciplinary infraction I’ve had. That came to (erroneously, but ad arguendo) 32-132 months. Next, it singled out five of those infractions from 31, 31, 30, 25, and 19 years ago (attempted escape, knife, handcuff key, “uncompleted” handcuff key, escape paraphernalia — the second and last bogus) as indicative I was a more serious risk than my parole prognosis showed. These infractions, the commission alleged without saying why, further justified exceeding the guidelines by so much as the 15 year hit. It thus used the infractions to both raise and exceed the guidelines contrary to its own rules. (more…)

Army of the 12 Monkeys Update

12_monkeysFrom Sean Swain.org

Update on the A12M Frame Up
The state has filed an answer to the lawsuit, which far as we can tell, summarily denies every allegation without evidence or argument, claims that Sean is not allowed to sue them, and requests that the court charge Sean extra fees for even trying. At the same time, the paralegal at OSP is making up reasons to not give Sean access to legal materials he needs to work on his response. A total coincidence, we’re sure. See Sean’s correspondence below for details on that.

In summary, the prisoncrats are scared, belligerent and desperate. As usual.

Wanna help ratchet up the pressure?

If so, you can:
1. Call OSP at 330-743-0700 and request to speak with Darnell Brady, politely ask them why Sean is being denied access to legal materials while working on a lawsuit against the ODRC.
2. Call the Warden at the above number plus extension 2600 and politely ask why Darnell Brady is refusing to give legal materials to prisoners. Remind the Warden that he and other OSP staff are currently not parties in Sean’s lawsuit, because, up until this point, we don’t have evidence that they have participated in the coordinated targeting and violation of Sean’s rights.
3. Call the ODRC legal services boss Stephen Gray and politely ask him (or his secretary) if Trevor Clark, the key orchestrator of  repression against Sean Swain is still working there. If they say “yes,” then ask “why?”  Stephen’s number is 614-752-1765.
4. Contact the Ohio Attny General, (614) 466-4986 and politely request that they demonstrate the thinnest pretense of  respecting constitutional rights or the rule of law by getting their pants sued off fair and square. Tell them that you enjoy the game where we pretend this is a democratic country and that, by breaking all the rules of that game they are making your feelings hurt. If they ask what you’re talking about, you can say something like… “well, everything you do really, but particularly how you’re cheating at SWAIN v MOHR, ET AL. Case #4:14-cv-02074.”

Whatever you do, don’t email anything unpleasant to thomas.miller@ohioattorneygeneral.gov from an anonymous email account. That would be rude, and we know the rules of the game are we’ve always gotta be polite while communicating with our oppressors.

Enjoy Sean’s correspondence on the subject… (more…)

Durham protests slam police repression

Protesters at Durham police headquarters use flashlights to shine light on police repression.

Protesters at Durham police headquarters use flashlights to shine light on police repression.

From Fight Back News

Durham, NC – About 60 people marched to the Durham police headquarters, Dec. 19, to protest attacks by Durham riot police on peaceful protesters in recent weeks. The march kicked off with the chanting of Assata Shakur’s words, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love each other and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains!”

Led by organizers with Southerners on New Ground (SONG), demonstrators brought with them over 500 petition signatures demanding an end to police repression of activists.

In response to the lack of indictments of police in Ferguson, Missouri and New York in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, organizers in Durham have led several demonstrations over the last month, the largest of which saw hundreds occupy the streets of central Durham for hours. In several of these demonstrations, Durham police have reacted with force and deployed riot police to suppress the protesters. Adding insult to injury, the Durham police chief has also blamed “outside agitators” for the way protests have unfolded in recent weeks. (more…)

Jeremy in solitary: here is what we know

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

From Free Jeremy

We received word last night that Jeremy had been placed in the Segregated Housing Unit (SHU), also known as solitary confinement. He had previously been placed in solitary confinement during pretrial detention. Details are spotty, but this is what we know so far:

  • He was placed in the SHU on 10 October.
  • The prison, FCI Manchester, claims that Jeremy stole clothing, but we don’t know whether they allege that he stole from a guard or another inmate. Jeremy denies this accusation unequivocally, and it goes against his character.
  • We have been in contact with Jeremy’s lawyers, who are in contact with the prison to see if anything can be done to appeal his placement in the SHU.

Make no mistake: We firmly believe Jeremy has been placed in solitary confinement as retaliatory punishment for filing complaints against the prison for withholding his mail. The prison had begun rejecting books and even legal material related to Jeremy’s own case. Jeremy had written that he was willing to take his grievances to the highest possible level in order to see them resolved. (more…)

On the Alabama Prison Labor Strike: Repression of a Movement and It’s Aftermath

WMRWCCAerial1WebAs most readers of this newsletter know, in January 2014 prisoners in Alabama went on work strike. This work strike was called for by the Free Alabama Movement (FAM), and began on January 1st and ended on January 15th, 2014. The strike was ended because the message was given that our free world supporters (ACLU, the Ordinary People Society, etc.) were in negotiation with State legislators and that these same legislators had committed to addressing the issues put forth by FAM that prompted the strike.

Then on January 15th, a special session of the Alabama legislature was called that was supposed to address these issues, and the free world supporters asked that the strike be suspended until the end of the session. The FAM in turn asked the striking prisoners to stand down. On the 15th we suspended the strike and the legislators put our issues on the back burner until a later unknown date. (more…)

UPDATE: Sekou Kambui Facing Continued Retaliation

sekouFrom Denver Anarchist Black Cross

Sekou Cinque T. M. Kambui, after having his cell ransacked, has been written up by Bibb County officials on  an alleged contraband violation. For this he faces at least forty-five days in a disciplinary unit (it is unclear whether this is SHU or some other high-security wing of Bibb County Correctional). He cannot receive visitors for the next 145 days, meaning of course that he will be lacking crucial support before and after his parole hearing. This is simply the latest in a long list of retaliatory actions taken against Sekou for his political activity behind bars, and reflects a history of transfers, write-ups, and mail-tampering preceding upcoming parole dates.

This ploy to silence Sekou at a crucial moment in his fight to be free is nothing new, but it must be met with resistance. For now, Sekou simply requests continued support through the petition for his freedom and letters to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles. The link to the online petition is below. Freedom to Sekou Kambui and all political prisoners!


Then They Came for the Juggalos

Juggalo-Mask-Article-400x266By Doug Lyfe /From Mask Magazine

“This ain’t no civil war. We ain’t civilized no more!”

“The time has come for the blood to run into the streets paved with gold. We have lived in the zoo of the ghetto for so long. We must move into the suburbs and punish the rich for their ignorance. For the horror of death that is part of our life in our neighborhood and give them a taste of the same.”
—Insane Clown Posse

“The FBI just came to talk to you,” my friend deadpanned over the phone. My heart immediately started beating faster. “Fuck,” I thought, “I always thought this day would come.” I was at my girlfriend’s house — she had already left to go to school and I was getting ready for work. As I sat down to collect myself, my friend told me that two FBI agents had come by my former home looking for me. When my friend asked who they were, they responded that they were with the FBI and gave him a card. He told them I wasn’t there, so they got back into their black SUV and left.

After we hung up I rushed out of the house and headed over to the home of a former member of the Black Panther Party — someone that had lived through the FBI’s COINTELPRO program, which targeted revolutionary groups in the 1960s and 1970s. With the help of a lot of nicotine and some encouraging words, I talked to several friends and lawyers and got an appointment to see an attorney. Fearing that the feds would be coming to my parents’ house next, I called them and broke the news. They were just as shocked as I was, but also not that surprised.

The next morning, my dad called — the FBI was at his house. I gave him the number to an attorney and told him to tell the feds to suck it. (more…)

Despite Retaliation, Menard Inmate Urges Further Solidarity

cantwontFrom Anti-State St. Louis

The following is a letter from one inmate at the High Security Unit (HSU) at Menard Correctional, encouraging continued acts of solidarity despite retaliation.

I am sorry to report that the guys here at Menard, HSU have again been subjected to oppressive, retaliatory acts at the hands of these evil, sadistic pigs.

On April 12, 2014 at approx. 8 a.m. a construction crew showed up outside of our windows w/ large, metal square boxes with slots in the front. By 11 a.m. they were attached to our windows. We can not see outside anymore, nor do we get any sunlight, or air circulation. These taken in conjunction with our solid steel cell doors are going to make it unbearable this coming summer.

These shutters were placed on our windows specifically for our communication with you brothers and sisters during our “peaceful protest.” DO NOT let this retaliatory act prevent you from future protest, though we can’t see you, we will still be able to hear you and “that type” of support motivates the brothers in here like nothing else! (more…)