Tag Archive: repression

Three Updates About Repression of Anarchist Prisoner Sean Swain

12_monkeysFrom Anarchist News

Update #1: Sean has been approved for transfer to level 5 supermax and according to officials at ManCI he’s “#1 on the list to go” but according to the ODRC website, he is still at ManCI. We expected Sean to be transfered to level 4B in Lucasville. Sean has faced two conduct reports for the same incidents. It appears they approved the transfer on the basis of the first conduct report, which recommended level 5, and was thrown out / redone by ODRC legal counsel Trevor Clark because it “relied too heavily on Sean’s ideology” I’m paraphrasing that quote, rather than citing the actual letter because i’m hundreds of miles away from Sean’s legal work and because…

Update #2: SeanSwain.org mysteriously went down following the posting of “Days of Teargas, Blood and Vomit” (see full text of that below). We’re investigating to make sure this wasn’t an accident or coincidence, and hope to have the site back up, in some form, soon.

Update #3: The ManCI mail room is acting up worse than ever. Mail from publishers / distributors appears to be thrown in the trash with no notice of withholding (a violation of prison rules) and personal letters from some people are returned with messages written on them by Sean. So they show / hand him the envelope but won’t let him open it. We’re not really sure exactly what is going on with that, but it seems like sending sean lots and lots of mail to swamp the fascists in the mail room is a direct way to intervene in the situation. Calling and complaining is another option. (more…)

The Strange Case of Barrett Brown

barrett_brown_screencap_img_0From The Nation

Amid the outrage over the NSA’s spying program, the jailing of journalist Barrett Brown points to a deeper and very troubling problem.

In early 2010, journalist and satirist Barrett Brown was working on a book on political pundits, when the hacktivist collective Anonymous caught his attention. He soon began writing about its activities and potential. In a defense of the group’s anti-censorship operations in Australia published on February 10, Brown declared, “I am now certain that this phenomenon is among the most important and under-reported social developments to have occurred in decades, and that the development in question promises to threaten the institution of the nation-state and perhaps even someday replace it as the world’s most fundamental and relevant method of human organization.”

By then, Brown was already considered by his fans to be the Hunter S. Thompson of his generation. In point of fact he wasn’t like Hunter S. Thompson, but was more of a throwback—a sharp-witted, irreverent journalist and satirist in the mold of Ambrose Bierce or Dorothy Parker. His acid tongue was on display in his co-authored 2007 book, Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny, in which he declared: “This will not be a polite book. Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession.”

But it wasn’t Brown’s acid tongue so much as his love of minutiae (and ability to organize and explain minutiae) that would ultimately land him in trouble. Abandoning his book on pundits in favor of a book on Anonymous, he could not have known that delving into the territory of hackers and leaks would ultimately lead to his facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison. In light of the bombshell revelations published by Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman about government and corporate spying, Brown’s case is a good—and underreported—reminder of the considerable risk faced by reporters who report on leaks. (more…)

Seattle FBI now targeting climate activists

fbiFrom Committee Against Political Repression

In the past 48 hours at least six Seattle climate activists have been approached by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation at their home or school. In light of recent revelations about the extent of state surveillance by federal agencies we feel it is important to share this information with the broader activist community in Seattle and nationwide.

Please show solidarity with the Seattle activists facing this investigation by sharing this statement. We will provide updates if the situation escalates.

It Makes More Sense to Just Burn Down the Banks

bankofamericaburnby Adam Jung / Huffington Post

Before we get any further in this article I want to first say “Hello” to the NSA. So, What did you have for breakfast? Second, I should probably be clear that I’m not advocating burning anything, including a bank. However, objectively, I’m not sure why someone shouldn’t.

Yesterday a judge ruled that Jeff Olson, a 40 year old man from San Diego, California will face thirteen years for using washable children’s chalk outside three Bank of America branches to promote credit unions over large banks. In making his ruling, Judge Howard Shore, who I can only assume has the same disdain for the Constitution that I hold for broccoli, ruled that Olsen’s defense was prohibited from “mentioning the First Amendment, free speech, free expression, public forum, expressive conduct, or political speech during the trial.” To be clear, the judge outlawed citing the constitutional law that protects Olsen’s actions in defence of his actions.

The Bank of America, indicted so far in the LIBOR scandal, the SIOR scandal, and the robo-signing foreclosure scandal, is playing the victim, claiming it cost them $6,000 to clean the sidewalks of chalk. One assumes they cleaned the sidewalk of the offending speech with a sandblaster using diamonds. (more…)

Surveillance of Occupy Movement

Fdissentorterrorrom Source Watch

On May 20, 2013, DBA Press and the Center for Media and Democracy 
released the results of a year-long investigation: “Dissent or Terror:
 How the Nation’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, In Partnership With 
Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street.”

 The report, a distillation of thousands of pages of records obtained
 from counter terrorism/law enforcement agencies, details how
 state/regional “fusion center” personnel monitored the Occupy Wall
 Street movement over the course of 2011 and 2012.

The report also examines how fusion centers and other counter terrorism entities that 
have emerged since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have
 worked to benefit numerous corporations engaged in public-private
 intelligence sharing partnerships. 

While the report examines many instances of fusion center monitoring
 of Occupy activists nationwide, the bulk of the report 
details how counter terrorism personnel engaged in the Arizona Counter
 Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC, commonly known as the “Arizona fusion center”) monitored and otherwise surveilled citizens active in
 Occupy Phoenix, and how this surveillance benefited a number of 
corporations and banks that were subjects of Occupy Phoenix protest 
activity.

While small glimpses into the governmental monitoring of the Occupy Wall Street movement have emerged in the past, there has not been any reporting — until now — that details the breadth and depth with which the nation’s post-September 11, 2001 counter terrorism apparatus has been applied to politically engaged citizens exercising their Constitutionally-protected First Amendment rights.

REPORT Dissent or Terror: How the Nation’s ‘Counter Terrorism’ Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate America, Turned on Occupy Wall Street

REPORT APPENDIX open records materials cited in report.

PRESS RELEASE “New Report Details How Counter Terrorism Apparatus Was Used to Monitor Occupy Movement Nationwide”

SOURCE MATERIALS almost 10,000 pages of open records materials are archived on DBA Press.

PRWATCH ARTICLE “Dissent or Terror: How Arizona’s Counter Terrorism Apparatus, in Partnership with Corporate Interests, Turned on Occupy Phoenix”

(more…)

FBI Billboards not about Assata Shakur, it is about politically repressing the Black community

assataFrom Black Talk Radio Network

By Scotty Reid
Following the ludicrous announcement that the Obama administration has placed Assata Shakur on its “most wanted terrorist list”, the FBI has erected billboards in Newark, New Jersey announcing its recently increased $2 million dollar reward. However, any critically thinking person knows that these billboards are not about capturing Assata Shakur but sending a message to the rest of us. Interestingly, perhaps just a coincidence or not, Newark, New Jersey is the place where a theater co-owned by Shaquille O’Neil, recently reneged on an agreement to show a popular independent film about the life of another former member of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Is Assata Shakur in New Jersey? No, she is not and the FBI and the Obama administration know exactly where she is, in Cuba where she has lived since being granted political asylum by its government in 1979 after escaping from prison. This is not about Assata Shakur, it is about sending a message to the Black community and those that live within it who stand up to police violence, oppression and murder of residents, one of the very reasons for the formation of the Black Panthers. It is about the political repression of those who advocate on the behalf of the many political prisons being held by the United States government often in torturous conditions. It is about sending a message to anyone who would take up arms in defense of life, liberty and true freedom in a country that is home to the largest prison population in the world which the federal government and various corporations use as slave labor. It is about sending a message to those that would dare stand up and point out that the US government is the most violent entity on the planet and one that commits acts of terrorism against non-white people and nations on behalf of maintaining the American imperialist status-quo. (more…)

Angela Davis and Assata Shakur’s Lawyer Denounce FBI’s Adding of Exiled Activist to Terrorists List

From Democracy Now

One day after the exiled former Black Panther Assata Shakur became the first woman named to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list, we’re joined by another legendary African-American activist, Angela Davis, as well as Shakur’s longtime attorney, Lennox Hinds. Davis, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is the subject of the recent film, “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners.” She argues that the FBI’s latest move, much like its initial targeting of Shakur and other Black Panthers four decades ago, is politically motivated. (more…)

Iraq War Resister Kimberly Rivera sentenced to 14 months

kimandmario250From Courage to Resist:

On Monday afternoon, during a court-martial hearing at Fort Carson, Colorado, Kimberly Rivera was sentenced to 14 months in military prison and a dishonorable discharge after publicly expressing her conscientious objection to the Iraq War while in Canada. Under the terms of a pre-trial agreement, she will serve 10 months of that sentence. (Photo: Mario and Kim Rivera moments before Kim was taken away in chains. She is currently in the local county jail awaiting transfer to a military prison.)

Private First Class Kimberly Rivera deployed to Iraq in 2006 and sought asylum in Canada in 2007 because she decided she could no longer be complicit in the war. A mother of four young children—including two who were born in Canada—she was forced back to the United States of America by the Conservative government after receiving a negative decision on her pre-removal risk assessment. A Federal Court judge denied her request for a stay of removal, finding the possibility of her arrest and detention in the U.S. to be “speculative.” Rivera was arrested three days later, on September 20, 2012, as she presented herself at the U.S. border.

“Kim is being punished for her beliefs and for her comments to the press while she was in Canada,” said James M. Branum, the defense attorney who represented Rivera during the court-martial proceedings. “Because she spoke out against the Iraq War, Kim’s sentence is harsher than the punishment given to 94 percent of deserters who are not punished but administratively discharged. In the closing arguments, the prosecutor argued that the judge needed to give PFC Rivera a harsh sentence to send a message to the other war resisters in Canada and their supporters.” (more…)

NYC ABC Update on Daniel McGowan’s Reimprisonment

dm

UPDATE (5 Apr): Thanks to some great work by attorney Rachel Meeropol (CCR), the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) blinked and have allowed Daniel McGowan to return to the halfway house. Make no mistake, without  media coverage, radical attorney intervention, and the attention from folks on the streets, all over the world, Daniel would still be at MDC and would likely have spent the remainder of his sentence there. Through negligence, ignorance, or malevolence (or, as we presume, a mix of the three), the BOP targeted Daniel with an outdated regulation that has been struck down by the court as unconstitutional and allegedly removed from the BOP in 2010. Maybe they thought no one would notice.

While Daniel is going back to the halfway house, if you haven’t already seen it, you should watch this news report. The reporter for the Huffington Post puts it best: “Absolutely, this story is crazy.”

NYC Anarchist Black Cross:

We got word late yesterday that Daniel McGowan was told he wouldn’t be issued a pass to go to work the next day. According to his keepers at the halfway house, this denial came at the direction of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). When he followed up, Daniel was told that it wasn’t merely a denial of a work pass, but a restriction on all movement. When asked if that meant federal marshals were coming to get him the next day, the halfway house administrators told him they didn’t know.

The state, and its for-profit halfway house minions, were clearly in collusion. This is just another way that opacity is used to mindfuck folks left to twist in the wind, not knowing what the future holds.

From our understanding, the reason for his re-imprisonment is directly related to an article Daniel recently wrote for the Huffington Post. An attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights has been to visit Daniel at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Once we know more, we’ll pas the information on.

For now, take time to send Daniel a card or letter. Let him know that regardless of how the state treats him, we have his back.

Write to Daniel at:Daniel McGowan #63794-053
MDC Brooklyn
Post Office Box 329002
Brooklyn, New York 11232

“Court Documents Prove I was Sent to Communication Management Units for my Political Speech”

dmby Daniel McGowan, Huffington Post

I currently reside at a halfway house in Brooklyn, serving out the last few months of a seven-year sentence for my role in arsons credited to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) at two lumber companies in Oregon in 2001.  My case, and the federal government’s rush to prosecute environmental activism as a form of terrorism, were recently explored in the Oscar-nominated documentary, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

What has received less attention, though, is what happened to me while in federal prison.  I was a low security prisoner with a spotless disciplinary record, and my sentencing judge recommended that I be held at a prison close to home.  But one year into my sentence, I was abruptly transferred to an experimental segregation unit, opened under the Bush Administration, that is euphemistically called a “Communication Management Unit” (CMU).  Since August 2008, when I first arrived at the CMU, I have been trying to get answers as to why I was singled out to be sent there.  Only now — three years after I filed a federal lawsuit to get to the truth — have I learned why the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) sent me to the CMU: they simply did not like what I had to say in my published writing and personal letters.  In short, based on its disagreement with my political views, the government sent me to a prison unit from which it would be harder for me to be heard, serving as a punishment for my beliefs. (more…)