Month: December 2014

Two Recent Pieces by Jalil Muntaqim

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Hands Up – Don’t Shoot


Contrary to the refrain from the tragic Ferguson, Mo., shooting of Michael
Brown, we know that keeping your hands up does not mean you will not be
shot. Assata Shakur had her hands up when she was shot on the New Jersey
turnpike by a State Trooper, Oscar Grant was laying face down on a subway
platform when he was shot in the back by a Bay Area Transit cop, Sean Bell
was executed in a hail of bullets by a half dozen N.Y. city cops while
sitting in a car, and Trayvon Martin fought to defend himself when he was
murdered by a wanna-be cop just yards from his home. Obviously, I find
this plea for mercy sorely insufficient, in fact, indefensible when a
trained killer has a weapon pointed at you under the guise of Blue
authority. Needless to say, this passive posture generally supports the
inferior and superior paradigm, creating a social environment in which
Black lives do not matter. Brooke Reynolds, in an essay titled “Policing
Race,” informed:

“This “order” was created and protected by US law. From slavery to today’s
militarized ghettos, it is clear that racial violence has almost always
occurred explicitly or implicitly in cooperation with the law. William and
Murphy trace the relationship between the law and social order: “The fact
that the legal order not only countenanced but sustained slavery,
segregation, and discrimination for most of our nation’s history and the
fact that the police were bound to uphold that order sets patterns for
police behavior and attitudes toward minority communities that has
persisted until the present day.” (Parenti). In terms of the relationship
to the police themselves, “Government-sponsored racial discrimination and
segregation have deeply affected the organizing ethos and practices of US
policing.” (Parenti)—thus, it becomes clear that “... relationship between
police violence and social institution of policing is structural, rather
than incidental or contigent.” (Martinot, Sexton). Wielding an arsenal of
moralist rhetoric and trained over hundreds of years of historical
practice, the police work in conjunction with white society and its
government to keep white lawlessness understood as nothing other than
“public order,” enforcing “the law of white supremacist attack” with
determination and fervor.”

In response this reality, Robert Williams wrote the book “Negroes With
Guns,” reflecting on the institutionalization of State violence and the
inherent human rights of Black people to defend themselves, that was also
practiced by the Deacons for Defense opposing Klu Klux Klan violence.

Reynolds continues:

“By confronting the perpetration of police racial violence with the
maintenance of social order, it is rendered unidentifiable, ignorable, and
inarticulable. Having been so deeply written into our very conception of
social organization and policing, police brutality and racism becomes
invisible to white society (who also has an investment in denying the
reality of racial violence). Shocked by stories of police violence and
unmoved by the dehumanization of racial profiling, white people
simultaneously reveal their ignorance of and investment in the violent
inherent in the protection of white supremacy.”

Furthermore, Reynolds states:

“The ignorability and inarticulability of racist police violence to white
society is directly related to its historical and current impunity.
Authorized by the government end white society as a whole, the police are
given the freedoms necessary in order to guarantee the stability of white
supremacy and to continue constructing racialized identities. Within this
system, injustices done to people of color are not classified as
injustices, if they are recognized at all. Police murders, abuses, and
terrorization of people of color, no matter how gratuitous, are more often
than not met with legal indifference, public support, and are virtually
bereft of consequences. Martinot notes the relationship between modern-day
police impunity, slave patrols, and white supremacist law:

“Both the police and the impunity of slave masters belong to the same
paradigm of dual systems of law, sanctioned by the law, in producing the
subjection of people of color. What contemporary juridical procedure has
done, by valorizing police impunity, is regenerated the doubled system of
law of the slave system… Thus, both manifest the component elements of
white racialized identity paranoia…, violence…, and white solidarity…”
(Martinot).

“The racist police violence which pervades the landscape of US society
today is not incidental, nor [is it] the work of ‘rogue cops,’ [It is] an
essential part of the larger campaign of social re-racialization”
(Martinot). Historically rooted in a very real desire to subjugate and
control people of color in America, and operating in a way which inscribes
and deepens whiteness as an identity and a value, today’s police forces
operate along the same paradigm as their predecessors.” (Reynolds)

These lengthy quotes from Reynolds “Policing Race” establish the lens in
which we are to view the recent rash of police killings of unarmed Black
people. It is extremely important that conversations and national debate
about the relationship between the police and the Black community is not
the same as the relationship between the police and the white community.
The historical ramifications of this dynamic relationship today are
subject to the reality of the racist culture in law enforcement. Law
enforcement modus operandi, for all intents and purposes, are based on
outside armed forces, albeit white people, patrolling communities of
color, with all of its inherent racial implications.

Over forty years ago, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense raised the
e very same issues, establishing their patrols to ensure police officers
conducted their business in accord with the law. For their actions and
concerns for the welfare of the Black community, the BPP became the number
one target for extermination by law enforcement across the country. The
primary reason is because the BPP did not believe or practice passive
resistance, they were not in the streets chanting “Hands Up Don’t Shoot.”
Such passive pleas would be considered a misguided belief protesters would
be safe challenging a system of armed forces with innate disdain for the
well being of Black people’s lives. Rather, such modus operandi parallels
the racial attitudes of the slave patrols out of which the police system
evolved. (See, Hadden, Sally E., Slave Patrols, Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press, 2001) (Reynolds, pg. 3-8).

The task of young people today is to increase pressure and define the
national debate on the relationship between the Black community and
police. De-Militarization and De-Centralization must become the primary
demand. The call for community control of the police was what the BPP
fought to achieve, and that objective is what needs to be demanded now.
The police need to live in the community, not come from outside the
community. There must be more diversity in the command and structure of
the police, reflecting the composition of the community they patrol.

It is time to reverse the chant ‘No Justice No Peace’ to “No Peace Without
Justice,” it is time to ensure Black lives matter as much as white lives,
and that all people’s lives are as sacred as police lives.

The First Line of Defense IS power to the People!

Remember: We Are Our Own Liberators


Attica 12/5/14

WHEN POLICE DIE!

Once again, the nation is compelled to mourn the death of police officers. Rightly so, if such mourning changes the dynamics of the relationship between a para-militarized police and the communities in which they patrol. By no sense of the imagination should anyone be cavalier about the killing of a police officer, no more than they should be when a police officer wrongly kills a civilian, especially an unarmed civilian. But that is the point. When the valorization of the life of a police officer is raised to the level of hero-worshipping, what does that do to the psyche of the general population in respect to their own lives? Thus, the PBA’s demagoguery (presumably to enhance future contract negotiations) and self-righteous condemnation must be viewed in light of how it ultimately serves to improve police-community relationships.

In my previous blog, “Hands Up–Don’t Shoot,” I ended by stating, “…it is time to ensure Black lives matter as much as white lives, and that all people’s lives are as sacred as police lives.” So, that leads to the question, how is that possible when police lives are considered far more valuable than anyone else’s; they are more valued than a sanitation worker’s, a postal worker’s, the bus and taxi driver’s, all of whom serve the community.

Granted, police officers, like firemen, at times put their lives on the line to safeguard the lives of others. It is terrible that in our highly developed technological society, our humanity has yet to reach a point in which the police have not become obsolete. However, I am of the opinion that all of our humanity is challenged by the historical dynamic of racism and. capitalism (exploitation and profiteering). As was learned from OWS, 1% of the population controls and owns 99% of the country’s wealth. Unfortunately, more often than not, the police are used as tools of the capitalist class to protect financial interests over human interests. This is especially disconcerting as it pertains to the racialized disenfranchised and poor, such as racial profiling, In this regard, police violence represents the interests of the State. As I was once told, the police are the first line of defense for the maintenance of state power. If this is true, then it is extremely important the community-at-large recognizes how their lives are only as important as the state permits, for as long as they are exploitable/profitable.

Obviously, the dichotomy between the institution of police and society needs to be investigated and reevaluated, especially, when one is armed (militarized) and the other, for the most part, unarmed and vulnerable. The public perception and discourse imposed by corporate media shapes our collective thinking on the legitimacy of violence; state violence is legitimate, and any violence not sanctioned by the state is illegitimate. We then consciously accept the inevitability of the state, and thus the virtue of its violence.

Hence, community violence in inner cities is not sanctioned by the state, and therefore, it must be policed. Generally, we agree with this policing, when it saves lives and establishes social order. However, there is a causation for inner-city violence that is not readily considered for problem-solving, only managed by policing. Forty years ago, the Black Panther Party sought to challenge the causation of inner-city violence. The BPP attempted to rid the community of drug dealing, gang violence, and police brutality and murder, creating free breakfast programs, free community health clinics, supporting tenants’ rights, etc. In response, the BPP was confronted with the full force of state violence, essentially destroying a movement with the potential of de-criminalizing the community, forging a revolutionary future. Lest we forget, permit me to remind us all, the death of a movement for liberation serves to keep in place the status quo of state violence in all of its forms.

Again, we must loathe all those who fail to recognize the sanctity of life. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to reject corporate media efforts to confuse the valorization of police above and beyond deaths of unarmed civilians killed by police. The noble protest against police violence must not be undermined or in any way disputed; the communities’ grievances are real and must be resolved with justice. We cannot afford to continue to preserve the dichotomy that lends to inferior to superior social paradigm in class and race relationships, and we certainly should not seek to maintain socio-economic disparity that lends to inequitable distribution of wealth.

The De-Militarization and De-Centralization of police is the primary objective that will serve to ensure the safety of the community. The demand for community control of the police strengthens the capacity of the community to police themselves, ridding the community of outside armed and potentially racist forces occupying the community.

In this regard, Martin L. King, Jr. raised the following:

“The question is not whether we will be extremists but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice, or will we be extremists for the cause of justice?”

The First Line of Defense IS Power to the People!

Fist Up Fight Back!

Remember: We Are Our own Liberators!

Jalil A. Muntaqim

Attica 12/22/14

Anthony J. Bottom #77A4283

Attica C.F.

P.O. Box 149

Attica, NY 14011-0149


			

Help ReLaunch Fire to the Prisons!

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https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/fire-to-the-prisons-relaunch/x/9173919

We are going to re-launch Fire to the Prisons. In doing so, we will print thousands of copies of the publication and get it into the hands of every group and individual who wants one – absolutely free.

But we Need Your Help to do it The last Fire to the Prisons magazine came out in the Spring of 2011 as the Arab Spring was unfolding. Since then, we saw the rise and fall of Occupy, the unfolding anti-police rebellion in Ferguson, MI, as well as riots, strikes, and occupations from Hong Kong to Mexico, Brazil to Canada, France to Chile, Spain to Syria.

Our publication was born in a sea of insurrectionary possibility when many of us broke out of activism and sought to push the ideas of social war towards a physical reality. Now, we can feel something in the air. Across the globe, riots are continuing to break out in the wake of police murders. Prisoners are linking up together across racial lines and going on strike. Native communities block fracking pipelines and burn police cars. Strikers become uncontrollable to union leaders and occupy buildings and attack the police. People take over land and defend it against the construction of everything from airports to condos. They take up arms and fight ISIS. Rebels burn down the Presidential palace against State sanctioned murder. Rioters tell Jesse Jackson to get the fuck out of town. There is a feeling of possibility in the air again; against a set of apparatuses that seek to dominate and control all aspects of life.

At the same time, there is a grave feeling of what is coming. Civilization is breaking down. Some places are now without water and some are already under water. Meanwhile, governments across the world gear up for war and expand the surveillance State into every aspect of our lives. The Left rallies to manage the disaster. The Right attempts to shift the blame on everything from immigrants to infidels, while preparing the ground for fascism.

But we need to wage a struggle not just on the ground – but in terms of ideas.

Our project is still the same. We seek to get organized and expand, popularize, and spread subversive and insurrectionary ideas across the social terrain, between struggles, and across territories. We seek to build bonds and strengthen affinities and get news and analysis of revolt to those outside of the radical ghetto. Ours truly is a borderless affinity.

A big part of this project will continue to be the tireless work of supporting those on the inside and providing information on anarchist and political prisoners. Your support will not only get copies of the publication inside, but also connect people with information and support groups.

Now is the Time to ReLaunch This Publication

There is no better time than now to re-launch this publication. All around us, new struggles break out and there is growing interest in radical ideas against domination. We seek to produce our own publication that we can get into the hands of thousands of people throughout the world. Our new issue will feature original content on ongoing struggles and revolts, interviews, and all the prison news, political prisoner updates, and resistance reports you have come to love and depend on.

Help Us Reach Our Goal

But we need you to make this project happen. By reaching our goal of $1,400, we will cover our printing costs for this issue. By reaching $2,000, we will make copies of this publication available to the wider public completely free through our friends at Little Black Cart (LBC) in Berkeley, California. Once we reach this goal, anyone will be able to order a bundle of this publication to distribute through LBC to give out.

We want to put a weapon into the hands of anyone who is interested. This will go into every corner and liquor store and break room and infoshop; every anarchist distro; and every affinity group at every demonstration and riot.

If you ever picked up a free copy of Fire to the Prisons in the past, got a stack and tabled with them, or just enjoyed the magazine existing, linking people, ideas, struggles, and those behind bars together; if you supported us fundraising thousands of dollars for those locked up and sending hundreds of copies into prisons – please donate now. Help us continue this project.

Still in it for the long haul,

– Fire to the Prisons

To view back issues of the publication, go here: http://firetotheprisons.com/

firetotheprisons@riseup.net

Dan Berger Illustrates Centrality of Prison to Civil Rights Struggle

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http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/27958-dan-berger-illustrates-centrality-of-prison-to-civil-rights-struggle

Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era, by Dan Berger, University of North Carolina Press, 416 pages with 28 illustrations, $34.95 hardcover. (Release date: November 14, 2014). 

Dan Berger’s exhaustively-researched study of the ways prison, and the threat of incarceration, impacted the nationalist politics of the 1960s and ’70s zooms in on what he calls “the intersection of black protest and state repression.” Much of the narrative is focused on George Jackson and his effect on activists both inside and outside of lock up. In addition, while the book is steeped in the hyperbolic language of the era, it offers an inspiring glimpse into the lives of men and women who were willing to risk everything for equity, freedom and justice.

Berger situates the development of prisons squarely within the history of the American republic. “The United States has been a leader in carceral violence because of its roots in settler-colonial racism and its egalitarian distrust of state power, which, paradoxically upholds degrading punishment over beneficent state action for those deemed ‘criminals,'” he writes. Skin color, of course, is key.

“Chattel slavery initiated a racial regime rooted in confinement,” he adds, and even when slavery was officially ended, bondage became a tool of authoritarian displeasure, with those deemed guilty of unlawful behavior sentenced to a period of enforced separation from their associates.

“Throughout American history,” Berger continues, “the idea of criminal justice has been bound up with anti-black racism: Black communities have been disproportionately harassed, policed, arrested, tried, convicted, confined, killed and generally thought to be deserving of punishment.”

Needless to say, the recent killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley and Tamir Rice by police, to say nothing of the many young African Americans who are routinely stopped and questioned for no reason, underscore the veracity of this conclusion. The 2.3 million people currently in US prisons – nearly two-thirds of them of color – further illustrates Berger’s point.

Looking back to the 1960s, however, it is not surprising that civil rights organizers not only questioned prevailing concepts of law-and-order, but also boldly challenged the abuses perpetrated by prison administrators and police forces in every state. Berger reports that a wide swath of groups, including the NAACP, the Nation of Islam, the Republic of New Afrika and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, participated in the prison movement; interestingly, he notes that while some of these organizations advanced integrationist policies, when it came to prisons, it was the ideology of “revolutionary nationalism” that held sway.

“Revolutionary nationalism helped black prisoners contest white domination in prison – domination by an almost all-white staff of guards and by white prisoners – by appealing to an imagined community that extended well beyond the prison and well beyond the American nation-state,” he explains. In fact, radicalized prisoners began to refer to themselves as members of a “captive nation,” an idea that kick-started numerous rebellions in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Early on, though, Berger notes that civil rights pioneers, many of them middle class, saw short periods of incarceration as a “rite of passage, a form of community and a tool for political mobilization.”

That said, as nonviolence lost favor among activists eager to quicken the pace of change, an awareness of the brutal conditions facing those behind bars became fodder for public discourse. King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail is one example of a document used to educate mainstream Americans about the conditions of confinement.

But while Berger concludes that “imprisonment gave King power,” he also concedes that it produced a white backlash. Concomitantly, despite early pride in risking incarceration, many civil rights activists tired of presenting jail as “a step on the way to grander freedom.”

Black Panther Stokely Carmichael captured the mood when, in 1966, he declared that “I ain’t going to jail no more . . . What we gonna start saying now is Black Power.”

Carmichael was not alone in making such dramatic pronouncements. Malcolm X spoke of racism as a prison and the Black Panthers continually referred to cities as occupied territories, concentration camps and colonies and pointed out the many ways that criminal “justice” had been racialized.

Meanwhile, as urban unrest manifested in Detroit, Newark, Watts and other metropolitan centers, police departments began to expand their power, with the first Special Weapons and Tactics – SWAT – Teams rolling out in 1967. The Omnibus Crime Control Act of 1968 added millions of dollars to law enforcement budgets, much of it specifically targeted at suppressing “black rage,” especially when expressed by imprisoned activists like Panther cofounder Huey Newton and communist professor Angela Davis.

In addition, by 1967-1968, many Panther recruits had had their own brushes with the law, including stints in juvenile detention.

“As black men of working class origins, their experiences with confinement were more typical than the experiences of southern civil rights activists who deliberately sought out the jail cell in protest. Even more than their civil rights counterparts, Black Panther activists used the prison to illustrate the ways that race and class conspired to prevent democratic access. The prison, therefore, was a critical institution in the rise of Black Power as something connected to and separate from the civil rights movement,” Berger writes.

Few exemplify this better than George Jackson, who was incarcerated in San Quentin Prison when his book, Soledad Brother, was released in October, 1970.

Jackson had been sent to prison in 1960, at age 18, and sentenced to one year-to -life for robbery. While inside, he was radicalized and found his voice as a writer and organizer. According to Berger, Jackson “led political education sessions in the San Quentin yard about racism and political economy.” He also talked about socialism and emphasized prisoner unity against the guards.

These words came back to haunt Jackson after prisoners caused the death of a 26-year-old guard in January 1970. “Prison officials focused on Jackson and two others known to be sympathetic to Black Power,” Berger writes. Jackson, alongside Fleeta Drumgo and John Clutchette, were put in isolation for 21 days. Although the three reportedly barely knew one another, they were formally charged with the guard’s murder in February, 1970, and dubbed the Soledad Brothers by supporters.

“The Soledad Brothers case became a valuable prism through which to make sense of the growing connection between race and incarceration,” Berger continues.

In the midst of this political firestorm, Jackson’s lawyer, Fay Stender, came up with the idea of publishing Jackson’s letters in a book; in her mind, Soledad Brother would humanize her client and publicize the prisoners’ grievances.

She was partially right, but although the book went on to win numerous awards and accolades, it could not serve as a protective shield for its author. On August 21, 1971, two days before the Soledad Brothers were scheduled to go on trial, an armed standoff between Jackson and prison personnel led to his death. He was one month shy of his 30th birthday – and an instant martyr.

Many on the left saw Jackson, Drumgo and Cluthchette as political prisoners – symbols of resistance against oppression, torture and tyranny. Groups including the George L. Jackson Assault Squad of the Black Liberation Army, the George Jackson Brigade, the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee and the Republic of New Afrika formed to continue Jackson’s work and to publicize the existence of other political prisoners locked inside.

Nevertheless, as Berger notes, the violent encounter at San Quentin – in concert with the Attica rebellion less than a year later – ended the public’s “brief, popular romance with the radical prisoner.” As is now obvious, a far more conservative set of ideas would soon gain traction, “viewing prisoners as part of an intellectually inferior, preternaturally violent substratum of society that deserved nothing but force from the American state. From this perspective, prisoners neither needed nor deserved rehabilitation; they needed to be removed from society.”

And there you have it. That 2 percent of US children – most of them black or brown – have at least one parent in prison is staggering. That this fact does not jolt us – or our elected representatives – into reconsidering our views on crime, punishment and safety proves the extent to which racism and classism still impact US politics.

Captive Nation highlights these facts of present-day life. It also addresses gender and the ways prison promotes hyper-masculinity and brings attention to Jackson’s comrades, many of whom have been languishing in cages for more than 40 years.

It’s an important history.

Berger holds out hope that new anti-racist movements will arise to win freedom from violence for all disenfranchised communities. “From poverty and unemployment to mass incarceration and health discrimination, from educational inequity and police violence to diverse forms of disenfranchisement, blackness in the United States remains a marker of premature death, of the ‘poor-butchered half-lives’ of which George Jackson spoke in 1971,” Berger concludes.

Isn’t it high time to say “enough” and demand better for ourselves and our friends and neighbors?

Monday, December 15th , 7 pm at Time Tested Books in Sacramento

Kristian Williams presents:

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Fire  The Cops!

A Collection of Articles on Policing

Monday, December 15th 7pm at Time Tested Books (1114 21st St, Sacramento)

Kristian Williams will read from his new collection Fire the Cops, and discuss police violence and the possibilities for resistance. Q+A to follow.

Kristian Williams has written extensively about policing and state violence, most recently in the collection Fire the Cops! His other works include Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America, American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination, and Hurt: Notes on Torture in a Modern Democracy.

This Wednesday, December 10th – Screening of: “Mumia – Long Distance Revolutionary”

Long Distance Revolutionary

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Wednesday, December 10th 7pm at the Sol Collective (2574 21st St, Sacto)

On December 9, 1981, Mumia Abu-Jamal was arrested and accused of killing a Philadelphia cop in an incident in which he himself was severely wounded. He was subsequently convicted in a trial that provoked international outcry for it’s unfair and unjust proceedings.  Mumia was then held in isolation on Death Row for the next 30 years.  Mumia is no longer on death row – but remains in prison under a sentence of life without parole.  He has remained a steadfast voice for social justice and revolution from within the prison walls.

Join us for a screening of ‘Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal’ on December 10th.

The film is “an inspiring portrait of a man that many consider America’s most famous political prisoner – a man whose very existence tests our beliefs about justice and freedom. Through prison interviews, archival footage, dramatic readings, as well as a potent chorus of historic voices, this riveting film explores Mumia’s life before, during and after Death Row.”

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Speaking:
Staajabu of Straight Out Scribes will be speaking about Mumia and his
fight for freedom

Sacramento Prisoner Support will be speaking about the work they do
locally to support political prisoners

 

Rasmea Odeh in prolonged solitary confinement in Michigan jail

 

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Lawyers and friends of Rasmea Odeh are increasingly worried about the jailed Palestinian American community leader’s condition, as she has been held in solitary confinement for twelve consecutive days.

Odeh, 67, from Chicago, has been held in St. Clair County Jail in Port Huron, Michigan, since her 10 November conviction on immigration fraud charges.

Odeh has been in total segregation, locked up for twenty-three and a half hours a day. She is not allowed to receive visitors or mail, speak to other prisoners, or use the commissary.

Most worryingly, she is suffering from back and dental pain, which makes it difficult for her to eat, as well as other health problems exacerbated by a lack of ability to care for herself with adequate exercise.

Total isolation

Michael Deutsch, Odeh’s lead attorney, said that no reason has been given for this prolonged, punitive isolation.

“Originally she was put in isolation due to some dispute with an officer,” Deutsch told The Electronic Intifada. “I don’t know the nature of that argument. I’ve seen no paperwork.”

Odeh was given six days of solitary confinement, “but when the six days were up, she was told she’d have to stay for another three days and we’ve had no explanation,” Deutsch added. After those three days were up, the period was extended again for three days.

Deutsch said that a Michigan lawyer who has been working with the legal team visited Odeh yesterday and that she was still in segregation.

A letter from Odeh’s lawyers is being sent today to St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon, who is in charge of the jail, demanding that Odeh be released from segregation and that she be provided with immediate medical care.

Deutsch suspects that the US Attorney’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security could be instigating the harsh treatment Odeh is receiving.

“I can’t say for sure, but it seems to me that they are targeting her because of who she is and what she stands for,” Deutsch said.

The immigration fraud charge against Odeh stems from her failure to disclose in an immigration form a 1969 Israeli military court conviction for alleged involvement in two bombings in Jerusalem.

Odeh has always contended that the conviction was forced out of her after weeks of torture and sexual assault in Israeli detention.

The trial judge himself said he found Odeh’s account of her torture “credible,” but forbade her from mentioning it in front of the jury. At the same time, government prosecutors were allowed to repeatedly refer to the Israeli accusations against her.

Government delay

Odeh’s immediate detention after her conviction surprised her legal team, who had not expected the judge to revoke the bond that had allowed her to stay free since she was charged in October 2013. Odeh’s sentencing is scheduled for 10 March.

Odeh’s lawyers have filed a motion urging US District Judge Gerswhin Drain to reconsider his decision and allow Odeh to return home to Chicago until sentencing.

The filing includes letters of support from community leaders refuting government claims that Odeh is a flight risk. Some community members have offered to put up their homes, valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars, as a guarantee. One of her attorneys, Jim Fennerty, has offered to host Odeh in his home until she is sentenced.

But Deutsch now sees the government trying to delay the judge’s ruling. All the motions were filed by 24 November, including an amicus or “friend of the court” brief supporting Odeh from the National Lawyer’s Guild (NLG).

“Now, the government is asking for more time to respond to the NLG amicus brief, which is unheard of,” Deutsch said. Typically, as an intervention from an outside entity, an amicus brief may be something a judge takes into account, but would not delay a case over, Deutsch explained.

“But the government is using this to delay [the judge’s] ruling, which is going to be delayed at least until Monday.”

In the meantime, Deutsch says, “We’re just waiting, and as we wait and they delay, she suffers, in particular in a county jail, which doesn’t have proper facilities.”

Odeh’s supporters have issued an urgent action alert urging members of the public to contact Sheriff Donnellon to demand that Odeh be let out of solitary confinement.

Thursday, Dec. 4th – A Letter Writing Night With SPS!

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A Letter Writing Night with SPS!

Join us on Thursday, December 4th from 7-9 pm at the Coffee Garden(2904
Franklin Blvd, Sacto). We’ll be sending birthday cards to 4 political
prisoners and a ‘We Support You’ card to 5 others to remind them that
we are out here thinking of them. We’ll have plenty of cards that we can
fill with individual notes from everyone. If there are other prisoners
you’d like to write, we’ll have envelopes and paper for that, too.

Hope to see you there!

-Sacramento Prisoner Support
-Happy Birthday

Zolo Azania (Dec.12th) – Zolo Azania is a former Black Panther convicted
of a 1981 bank robbery that left a Gary, Indiana cop dead. He was
arrested miles away from the incident as he was walking unarmed down
the street. The prosecution intimidated witnesses, suppressed favorable
evidence, presented false eyewitness and expert testimony, and denied
him the right to speak or present motions in his own behalf.

Muhammad Burton (Dec.15th) – Muhammad Burton is an innocent man who has
diligently attempted to prove his innocence to the courts for the past
37 years. Prior to his incarceration, Muhammad worked for a phone
company, was a well respected member of his community and his wife was
preparing to have twins, his third and fourth child. In 1970, Muhammad
was accused and then convicted of participating in the planning of the
murder of Philadelphia police officers. While the plan was allegedly to
blow up a police station, what occurred was that a police officer was
shot and killed allegedly by members of a radical group called “the
Revolutionaries.”

Chelsea Manning (Dec. 17th) -On April 4, 2010, whistle-blowing website
WikiLeak published a classified video of a United States Apache helicopter
firing on civilians in New Baghdad in 2007. In late July 2010, the U.S.
Military alleged that Manning was the chief suspect in the “Afghan
Diaries” leak of U.S. Military combat and incident reports from the
occupation of Afghanistan. The Afghan Diaries is the largest collection
of leaked intelligence records in U.S. history, and details what
Wikileaks and others have described as “countless war crimes” by U.S.
and NATO forces. On August 21, 2013, Pvt. Manning was sentenced to 35
years in prison. chelseamanning.org

Connor Stevens (Dec. 17th) – Connor is one of 4 anarchists from
Cleveland, OH, who were entrapped by an FBI informant. After being
threatened with decades in prison, Connor plead guilty and was sentenced
to 8 years in federal prison for conspiracy.
http://cleveland4solidarity.org/

-We Support You-

Rebecca Rubin – Rebecca Rubin is serving a 5 year sentence for her role
in a series of Earth Liberation Front (ELF) actions, including the arson
of the Vail Ski Resort Expansion and US Forest Industries. She also
participated in the liberation of horses and the arson of Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) Wild Horse Facilities in Litchfield, California and
Burns, Oregon. ecoprisoners.org

Norberto Claudo Gonzalez – Norberto was sentenced to 5 years in
federal prison in late 2012 for his involvement in an armored car heist
back in 1983. The robbery was carried out by Macheteros, a militant
group dedicated to Puerto Rican Independence. The robbery brought in 7
million dollars, 19 defendants were charged, and one is still on the
run. Norberto was just recently moved to a higher security prison, and
put in solitary once he arrived. To learn more, please check out:
http://www.prolibertadweb.org/norberto-denied-release

Jeremy Hammond-Jeremy Hammond is an anarchist computer hacker from
Chicago. In November 2013, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal
prison for leaking the personal information of 860,000 customers of
private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) through the
whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. This information revealed that
Stratfor spies on activists, among others, at the behest of corporations
and the U.S. government. freejeremy.net

Rasmea Yousef Odeh – On October 22, 2013 the Department of Homeland
Security arrested Rasmea in her home for alleged immigration fraud as
part of an ongoing witch-hunt that targets Arabs and Muslims who
criticize U.S. and Israeli policy and labels them “terrorists.” On
November 10th, 2014 Rasmea was found guilty of one count of Unlawful
Procurement of Naturalization.
stopfbi.net

Jalil Muntaqim – Jalil became affiliated with the Black Panther Party
at age 18. Less than 2 months before his 20th birthday he was captured
with Albert Nuh Washington in a midnight shootout with San Francisco
police. He was subsequently charged with a host of revolutionary
activities including the assassination of two police officers in New York
City. It is for this that he is currently serving a 25 years to life
sentence in New York State. His case is known as the New York 3 case as
his co-defendants include Nuh and Herman Bell. He was also implicated in the
San Francisco 8 case, and pled guilty to a lesser offense. freejalil.com