Month: February 2015

Fire To The Prisons Issue Number 12 is Available Now!

fttp12

From Fire To The Prisons –

The new issue of Fire to the Prisons is now completed and available online. Check out the magazine, print your own copies, and view past issues at our new website at: www.firetotheprisons.org.

Fire to the Prisons is an insurrectionary periodical. It focuses on promoting a revolutionary solidarity between different struggles, prisoners, and existing social tensions that challenge capitalism and the state.

We made 10,000 copies of this issue because we wanted to get them as far and wide as possible. In order to create a publication for free to comrades and the general discontented public, we have forfeited our traditional magazine form and went with a less costly newspaper. We hope to spread this as far as it can go. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this project and we hope that it shows.

If you would like to order bulk copies of the newspaper, please order from Little Black Cart at their website. LBC will send out issues for only the cost of postage.

All direct inquiries, ranging from questions, feedback, to requests for copies can be sent to: firetotheprisons@riseup.net

Prisoner support groups such as the NYC Anarchist Black Cross (nycabc.wordpress.com) and East Bay Prisoner Support (eastbayprisonersupport.wordpress.com) have stepped up to help with distribution for prisoners via snail mail. Drop us a line if you are a prisoner support group looking do the same.

We are still looking to make back the over $2,000 dollars that was spent printing the publication, so if you are interested throwing us some money – or better yet, organizing a benefit event, please get at us!

We’d also like to thank everyone who made this project possible – and all who have supported us in the past. Everyone that spent long hours looking at PDFs, those that built our new website, the friends that helped us print and distribute this paper, all those that contributed to the publication, and everyone that has given us encouragement along the way. Without you, this project would not have been possible.

For a borderless affinity,
For those that truly know the meaning of silence,
For all our comrades yet to be made free from the horrors of the State,
Fire to the Prisons

Brent Betterly is set to be released in late April and his support team has begun raising him post – release funds!

screen-shot-2014-02-17-at-12-10-15-pm

https://freethenato3.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/campaign-to-welcome-home-brent-betterly/

Brent Betterly of the “NATO 3″ is scheduled to be released in late April
or early May so we’ve launched a campaign to raise money for his
release! Donate at https://www.youcaring.com/BrentBetterly to help
welcome Brent home!

On May 16th, 2012, just prior to the NATO summit in Chicago, three
Occupy activists were arrested and eventually charged with 11 felony
counts, including four under the never-before-used Illinois terrorism
statute. Brian “Jacob” Church, Brent Betterly, and Maya Chase (formerly
Jared Chase) came to be known as the NATO 3. The case went to trial in
January of 2014, and the NATO 3 were acquitted of all of the terrorism
charges. Unfortunately, the jury found them guilty of two felonies
each—possession of an incendiary device with the intent to commit arson
and possession of an incendiary device with the knowledge that another
intended to commit arson. They were given sentences ranging from 5 to 8
years.

Brent Betterly is the second of the three to be released. He is
scheduled to rejoin us in late April or early May. Please donate to his
release fund to help ease the transition after 3 years behind bars.
Donations are needed to help pay for Brent’s living expenses while he
works to get back on his feet during the immediate aftermath of his
incarceration. Brent is also the father of a small child who lives
several states away and needs funds to help remain in contact with him.
If you’d like to write to Brent before his release, please address
envelopes to:

Brent Betterly
M44724
4017 E. 2603 Road
Sheridan, IL 60551

And if you have any questions, you can email us at freethenato3 (a)
gmail (dot) com, or check out our website at freethenato3.wordpress.com.
If you’d like to write to Maya, whose release date is scheduled for May
of 2016, please address letters to Maya Chase and address envelopes to:

Jared Chase
M44710
2600 N. Brinton Avenue
Dixon, IL 61021

Support Dante Cano of the SF Bay Area

freedante

http://freedante.noblogs.org/

Dante Cano is currently being held in Santa Rita jail( Alameda county) for participation in a demonstration against police brutality and murder in the Bay Area and across the United States. At the time of his arrest, police in near-by Emervyville had just killed Yuvette Henderson in early February. At the same time, police also had just shot people in San Jose, East Oakland, and also the courts had exonerated the police that shot and killed Alex Nieto in San Francisco. This happened against a back-drop of ongoing police murder and violence across the US as well as a deep and furious revolt in the Bay Area against this repression.

Since the revolt against the police began in the Bay Area in the winter of 2014 – the State has specifically targeted young people, just like Dante Cano. We need to stand behind Dante and all others that fight for their freedom in the streets.

Dante was born and raised in San Francisco. Dante has not had an easy life and his battle against the system is mirrored by his own experiences growing up poor in the Bay Area. He has lent a hand in various struggles for liberation and has engaged in numerous projects that have involved the community and sought to build autonomy.

Please send letters to Dante at:

Santa Rita Jail
Dante Cano BIX230
5325 Broder Blvd.
Dublin, CA 94568

Books and magazines must be sent from a publisher

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

seanswain

 

http://seanswain.org/

“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 bus ride was unannounced, totally irregular, and it happened only hours after the phone call about an injunction that I had with counsel, which prison officials certainly didn’t monitor… yeah, right. The bus wasn’t gassed up. When it stopped at another prison to get gassed up, our bag lunches weren’t prepared. All indications that this happened spur of the moment.

When we rolled away from OSP, our property, packed in boxes on the pavement was still sitting there. It wouldn’t fit in the underside of the bus. Again, a total absence of planning. But the ODRC isn’t out to get me and this had nothing to do with responding repressively to anticipated legal moves by my attorney. Stop laughing.

Lucasville. The place stinks with malice, as though it’s very existence day to day is a personal revenge mission carried out against it’s captives. Built in the early seventies, it looks like a bad prison movie. The cells are roughly a quarter the size of my cell at OSP, big enough for a steel toilet, steel sink, steel bed and a steel desktop, and heated by a rusty steal radiator along the back wall, covered in forty years of colorful funk: encrusted food and unidentifiable stuff.

None of the windows close anymore. Mine has a beautiful view of the gun tower. Forty cells, two tiers of twenty on each side, facing forty cells on the other side. The cell fronts are made of bars from the waist up, painted baby poop green. There’s no privacy, but it’s like living in a community. It reminds me of tenement buildings, where poor folks built relationships across fire escapes. It’s like that.

The thirty eight as we transfers were dubbed by staff, didn’t even have hygiene given to us until Thursday. On Friday, everybody but me got changes of clothes and towels to get them through the weekend. Me, I’m still wearing the same underwear since Tuesday and there’s no telling when I’ll get my property, or if I’ll get it. I suspect this was done to make me suffer.

When I spoke to the major, DA Warren, he was sympathetic until he saw my name on the door. Then he said “oh, you’re Swain” and his demeanor changed. Clearly, the administration here has already been brainwashed to see me as an enemy and to repress accordingly. But interestingly, their selective deprivations have provoked something amazing. Other prisoners who do not even know me from a can of gray paint saw my situation. They don’t know why officials hate me, and they’ve never even heard this broadcast. First came a donation of a paper and pen, then a styrofoam cup and enough coffee to get me through the weekend. Then food: Ramen noodles, which are gold on the black market, and cheese sandwiches, along with a long john shirt, which has been a lifesaver. With just the clothes on my back and standard issue bedding, I’ve been sleeping on the floor with my mattress pressed against the raditor. Last: a pair of shoes.

Nobody asked for anything in return and told me to return what I could, when I could, if I could. One guy yelled across the range that he knew what it felt like to have nothing. Not to worry. Inspiring that in the darkest, most hideous hate factory the worst offenders show so much sympathy while the staff don’t.

I think it was Menken, maybe Lardner who said if you want to see the worst that humanity has to offer, come to a max security prison at shift change.

Welcome to Lucasville.

This is anarchist prisoner Sean Swain from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. If you’re listening, you are the resistance.”

WRITE TO SEAN:

His new address is:

Sean Swain
243-205
P. O. Box 45699
1724 St. Rt. 728
Lucasville, Ohio 45699

He likely won’t get any mail that was sent to OSP in the last week or two.

SUPPORT SEAN:

We know Lucasville is a particularly lawless and messed up prison. We don’t expect the warden or staff there to conduct themselves at all professionally or to care the least about our demands. So, we’re asking supporters to go over their heads and contact the South East regional director, Rob Jeffreys at 614-752-1104. If you’re feeling salty you can also remind Jefferies that he’s already a defendant in Sean’s civil suit for participating in the repressive shenanigans against Sean at ManCI.
Email: Rob.Jeffreys@odrc.state.oh.us
Mail: Rob Jeffreys, SE Regional Director, 770 West Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43222
CALL IN SCRIPT:

“Hello, My name is ____. I am calling with concerns about SOCF targeting and harassing a prisoner named Sean Swain, inmate number 243-205. I’m requesting that your office increase oversight of this prison and make sure staff at SOCF promptly return all of Sean’s property without damage and that Sean not be subject to further singling out, harassment, restrictions of access to communication or any other privileges to which he is entitled. Thank you.”

If you feel like calling more people, you can also contact SOCF Warden Donald Morgan.

Address:
Warden Morgan
P. O. Box 45699
1724 St. Rt. 728
Lucasville, Ohio 45699

Phone
(740) 259-5544; Fax (740) 259-2882

Email for General Inquiries
Larry.Greene@odrc.state.oh.us

A Letter Writing Night with SPS – Feb. 24th at 7pm

hugoosoblancolukejoyp

Join us on Tuesday, February 24th from 7-9 pm at the Coffee Garden(2904Franklin Blvd, Sacto). We’ll be sending birthday cards to 4 political prisoners, and a ‘We Support You’ card to 4 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

Oso Blanco(Feb. 26th) – Oso Blanco was arrested after an informant reported that he was robbing banks to acquire funds to support the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico from 1998-99. osoblanco.org

Luke O’Donovan(March 2nd) – Luke O’Donovan – Luke is currently serving a 2 year prison sentence in the state of Georgia after defending himself during a homophobic attack. Letlukego.wordpress.com

Reverend Joy Powell(March 5th) – Reverend Joy Powell was working in Rochester, NY against police corruption and police brutality when she was given warnings about her work by the police. She was very clearly railroaded when she was convicted of 1st Degree Burglary, Assault and sentenced to 16 years in prison. freejoypowell.org

Hugo(Yogi Bear) Pinell(March 10th) – Yogi Bear is a politicized prisoner who has been in prison since 1964 and declares his innocence for his original conviction. He was given more time for a rebellion that took place in his unit back in the 70s. hugopinell.com

We Support You

Douglas Wright – Doug Wright is one of 4 anarchists from Cleveland, OH,who were arrested on terrorism charges in May of 2012 after being entrapped by an FBI informant. He is now serving 11.5 years in a federal prison. Cleveland4solidarity.org

Eric King – Eric King is an anarchist who was arrested and charged with an attempted firebombing of a government official’s office in Kansas City, MO. Eric is currently in the hole at the pre-trial detention facility he’s being held in due to allegedly taking part in an unsanctioned boxing club there. supportericking.wordpress.com

Janine Africa – In 1978 the Philadelphia police raided the Move house and an officer was killed in “friendly fire.” Janine and 8 other Move members were falsely convicted of the murder. Janine Africa’s husband, Phil Africa died in prison on January 10th, 2015. onamove.com

Alvaro Luna Hernandez -Alvaro is a Chicano political prisoner. He was sentenced in Odessa, Texas on June 2-9, 1997 to 50 years in prison for defending himself by disarming a police officer drawing a weapon on him.The trial evidence clearly showed Alvaro was the victim of “witchhunts” and a police-orchestrated conspiracy to frame or eliminate him. freealvaro.net

An Update on Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3

AlbertQuote-ai

Today, February 19th is Albert Woodfox’s birthday. Here is his address to send him a birthday card and letters of support:

Albert Woodfox #72148
West Feliciana Parish Detention Center
PO Box 2727
St. Francisville, LA 70775

from –  http://angola3news.blogspot.com/

James Gill, The Advocate

On February 11, the State of Louisiana took the first step toward a retrial and announced that a grand jury has re-indicted Albert a third time for the murder of Brent Miller.

Though we continue to hope that the State will stop wasting taxpayer money on the prosecution and torture of this innocent man, Albert looks forward to being able to prove to the world once and for all that he is innocent.

We will update you as more information becomes available, and in the meantime urge you to join over 16,000 people in the US alone (and thousands more abroad) in signing Amnesty’s new petition calling for Albert’s immediate release.

Amnesty USA Responds to the Indictment

In response to today’s announcement of the indictment of Albert Woodfox, Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven W. Hawkins issued the following statement:

“Attorney General Caldwell has made it clear that he is hell-bent on keeping Albert Woodfox behind bars-despite the fact that his conviction has been overturned three times, and an appeals court has affirmed that decision. He should stop pursuing a campaign of vengeance by trying to re-indict a man who has already spent more than four decades in cruel confinement, after a legal process tainted with flaws.

“Visions, not blueprints: an open letter from an anarchist prisoner”

imagesKEAPNVBN

http://cleveland4solidarity.org/

“We are an image from the future.”
— graffiti in greece, 2008

Rebellion has ruptured the placid suffering of yesterday.
Those of us who have acknowledged the ongoing class war in this society, siding with the oppressed, have seen these moments before. Moments where the police are turned back, overran; where anything becomes possible after they have been routed. But always these moments were brief glimpses of what we are capable of — always control reestablishes itself and snuffs out the many worlds we are creating. Never before in my lifetime has rebellion been so far-spread, capable of sustaining itself for so long.
Through the flames and the clamor of street fighting we embody our collective strength, sustaining our visions of those worlds we carry in our hearts. Control was shattered, and the enemy took too long to regroup. Now youths from Brooklyn to the Bay Area have glimpsed the overwhelming possibilities of revolt.
Spontaneity ruptures all attempts at control.
The oppressed have burned the illusions of helplessness. History has returned, and we, the masses, are giving birth to the future. But birth is not simply a matter of blood and pain. We must create communities of resistance, the fertile soil for the worlds we desire. We must strive for complete autonomy — by means of growing our own food, being able to heal one another, organizing community defense groups, establishing our capacities to harness energy, to educate our people, to carve out territories where we can regroup, learn, grow, and intensify the struggle.
This is the infrastructure of resistance necessary to transform rebellion into sustained insurrection.
The streets of the united states have recently resembled the streets of Greece or Argentina, or any of dozens of other countries in which the oppressed, the poor, fight back. The wave of unrest embodied in the Occupy movement reached its high-water mark in late 2011. The current wave is far more intense, as people in this country are learning, almost from scratch, how to fight back. We are quickly arriving at that crucial chasm between riot and insurrection. We must not repeat our mistakes. We must prepare for the intensification of struggle.

“We are not in the least afraid of ruins.”
— Durrutti

The path forward must be made by walking.
All the theory, the critique, the commentary and analysis imaginable will not keep the fires burning, neither in our hearts nor in the streets. That being said, theory has its place, as does memory, and storytelling.

“As there are many demons with men’s faces
It is wrong to join hands with everyone.”
— Rumi

In October 2011 we watched the events in Oakland and elsewhere unfold on laptop screens at Occupy Cleveland. Some were shocked and horrified in the face of such overwhelming violence. i was anxious and hopeful. The police forces were cracking down on Occupy encampments across the country, and the violence in Oakland and the Bay Area more broadly had captivated many. Few in this country had ever experienced anything like that — hence the shock and horror.
But i had already come to terms with the inevitability of this struggle.
I anticipated a spiraling confrontation with the state and corporate powers due to the global manufactured economic crisis and the resistance to it. At that moment it seemed the spiral was moving from shouting and marching to property destruction and unleashing spontaneous collective power, overwhelming buildings, bridges and highways with our bodies, among other tactics. Perhaps i was a few years too early, but i may have been correct about the Occupy experiences being a process of maturation for many people. Alas, the barricades did not last and the wave was broken.

For many more, the incessant violence of the paramilitary forces against them and their relations has made it abundantly clear that murder will continue to be the daily status quo, largely with impunity — except for the consequences we inflict. The police gun people down every day. The real question is how has it taken this long for resistance to echo the gunshots and fight back against the police.
Anyone with a decent grasp of the situation overall could easily predict such forms of rebellion. i believe various state forces anticipated this, as evinced by the response of the national guard and higher-ranking forces. ne does not have to be possessed to genius to see the stormclouds.
We do not say we welcome the flood, but we are not afraid of ruins.

What we must consider is our overwhelming lack of organizational capacity to commit to intensified levels of struggle, logistically, in terms of experience, or in terms of preparedness overall. In point of fact, we cannot even give a rough estimate of our numbers.
So we must use this to our advantage. We must do without far-flung organizations and focus on our strengths, in mass revolt and spontaneity. But these do not fuel themselves, being only a point of contact in the broader struggle. A movement without teeth will still starve if it cannot feed itself.

We must learn to take this rage in our chests and transform it also into life, into gardens and dwellings and forms of energy that flow with nature, with all our relations. i am not advocating so-called “green” technologies as a solution in themselves, but rather for our capacity to exist on our own terms, to live without being dependent on the system in any way. And it is what allows us to do this that must be protected with our strengths. If the flames of revolt lack the fuel of autonomy, they will fizzle out and leave us as though castrated. And if the our fuel, our soil, our capacity to exist on our own terms, lacks flame and the capacity to harness fire, then anything we create will be easy to kill, as we constantly bear witness to.

Our greatest teachers are among the indigenous of the earth — those who live with the rest of life and not against it. They are engaged in life-or-death struggles, refusing the quiet death of assimilation of the agonizing death of starvation. We must follow their examples, creating our own ways of being that can co-exist, and defending them with our lives.

In my life i have tasted, however sparingly, the immense beauty of simply living with the flow of life, “living off the land.” If we live in harmony with the intimate web of life we develop deep, powerful bonds — a deep-rootedness vital to struggles against overwhelming odds. And we must acknowledge that we are engaged in a life-or-death struggle.

We have what it takes to finish this dying way of life and replace it with 10,000 blooming worlds.
Neither fear nor coercion will paralyze us. We refuse to forget, to die quietly.

In these passionate nights we brush against the future.

With a gentle strength from a hard place,for the next seven generations,
connor stevens

Connor Stevens#57978-060

FCI McKean
PO Box 8000
Bradford, PA 16701

The Latest Statement From Leonard Peltier

leonard

Greetings My Friends, Relatives and Supporters:

I know that many of you have concerns about the status of my situation and have been wanting an update about what is going on.  A lot has been happening in the last few months and I am sorry I have not written in a while.  The deaths over this last year have been hard to accept, including the recent loss of my Sister Vivian.  I want to deeply thank everyone for your loving words, prayers and also for helping my son Chauncey pay for her funeral expenses, I am humbled beyond what my words can express.

We are coming up on 40 years of my being in prisons.  Sometimes, I honestly cannot believe it, sometimes I just don’t want to believe it.  You have been here with me through many dark times.  It is not possible for me to respond to each of you personally, I sure wish I could.

The reality is that I am not getting any younger, I feel my body every day.  My hip hurts, I cannot see very well, my body aches and my diabetes makes me feel uneasy a lot of the time. I do not say these things so you’ll feel sorry for me, I just want to share because I would like for you to understand where I am at in my life. When I put the losses of my friends and family together in my mind with the way my body feels, I feel a hunger to go home like I have never felt in all these long years.

It is time.

If only for a while, to feel the grass under my feet, to paint with the wind on my face while I listen to the laughter of my grandchildren in the yard, to smell some apple pie cooking in the air.  Some simple things is all I need.

I hear there are many of my Native Brothers and Sisters who are much younger than I who are doing some great work and it gives me great peace to know that the struggles our people face will always be addressed with honor and spirit.  I know about the problems we are all facing, and I want to encourage you to never give up on the things you know are right.

I am not giving up either.

Being in prison is a lot like being given a terminal diagnosis, and with that in mind, I am pleased to announce that I have retained a new legal team to represent my needs and best interests.  Together we have developed a careful “treatment plan” to hopefully gain the freedom and balance we have all been working for.

I do not know what the future will hold, but you should know that I am confident I have the best team I could have ever asked for.  I want to say that I am finding hope and slowly letting it find me. Take it from this old dude, life is different at 70.

I have been strongly advised, and I agree, that in order for this process to have a chance to work, the details and inner working of our plans must remain confidential. I am placing my very life in the hands of my legal team.  We cannot have any entity or person outside of my legal team speaking for me, acting on my behalf, or representing me. I am asking all of you to honor and respect this decision.  Much like a surgeon who performs a lifesaving operation, it is critical to my freedom that they be allowed to do what they are highly skilled at, without any outside interference.

You will still hear from me, as we all know, I am not going anywhere yet.

I want you to continue to support what you know is right. Be active, take an active role in our world and support the things you know need to be supported. Stand up for those that need to be stood up for, teach and take care of our children and our Mother Earth. Help one another to be strong and honorable, keep and carry on the traditions, languages and culture of our people. Be kind and caring toward each other.

I will continue to need your support, prayers, your love, and your understanding as I walk on this final path toward my freedom.

We will share as much information as we can as the process moves forward.  In the meanwhile, if you have any questions or concerns, please direct your inquiries to the website as that is the only official point of contact for myself and my team.

In the Spirit of Crazy Horse

Leonard Peltier
Mitakuye Oyasin

www.leonardpeltier.info
freedom@leonardpeltier.info

Leonard Peltier
http://www.leonardpeltier.info/

Leonard Peltier Freedom Campaign · 255 Primera Blvd, 160, Lake Mary, FL 32746, United States

A Chelsea Manning Update!

http://www.chelseamanning.org/featured/chelsea-to-begin-gender-related-medical-care

Chelsea to begin gender-related medical care

February 13, 2015 by the Chelsea Manning Support Network

“It is … concerning that private medical information about Chelsea’s care
was again leaked by government officials despite clear protections in
federal law and the existence of a protective order.”
 –Chase Strangio, ACLU attorney representing Chelsea Manning on gender
related issues


After fighting for years to receive necessary gender-related medical care
from prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea
Manning will finally begin hormone therapy. The Department of Defense’s
approval of Manning’s care comes after Chelsea’s initial request for
treatment in August of 2013 and a subsequent Sept 2014 lawsuit filed in
conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) after her
medical needs continued to be ignored.

Manning’s treatment will mark the first time the military has administered
such care, as transgender individuals are currently not allowed to serve.
Since Chelsea cannot be discharged until her 35-year prison sentence is
complete, it is up to the Army to see to her medical well-being while
imprisoned.

Hormone therapy, “is an important first step in Chelsea’s treatment
regimen and one that is in line with the recommendations of all of her
doctors and the basic requirements of the Eighth Amendment,” confirms
Chase Strangio, attorney with the ACLU.  “We are thrilled for Chelsea that
the government has finally agreed to initiate hormone therapy as part of
her treatment plan.”

However, Stangrio notes, “The military continues to refuse to let Chelsea
grow her hair like other female prisoners, a critical part of her
treatment plan that has been recognized by her doctors. The resistance to
meeting Chelsea’s full treatment needs is a reflection of the deeply
entrenched stigma associated with transgender health care… we will keep
fighting for Chelsea’s health needs until she is treated fully and
adequately.”

Chase Strangio, attorney with the ACLU:


“Chelsea has waited years to receive basic medical care that she needs to
treat her gender dysphoria. Since she arrived at the United States
Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in August of 2013, advocating
for her medically necessary health care has been Chelsea’s priority. She
has fought her whole life, and particularly over the course of the past
few years, to be seen and affirmed as who she is–as Chelsea. We are
thrilled for Chelsea that the government has finally agreed to initiate
hormone therapy as part of her treatment plan. This is an important first
step in Chelsea’s treatment regimen and one that is in line with the
recommendations of all of her doctors and the basic requirements of the
Eighth Amendment. But the delay in treatment came with a significant cost
to Chelsea and her mental health and we are hopeful that the government
continues to meet Chelsea’s medical needs as is its obligation under the
Constitution so that those harms may be mitigated.

Meanwhile the fight continues. The military continues to refuse to let
Chelsea grow her hair like other female prisoners, a critical part of her
treatment plan that has been recognized by her doctors. The resistance to
meeting Chelsea’s full treatment needs is a reflection of the deeply
entrenched stigma associated with transgender health care. There is no
transgender exception to the requirements of the Eighth Amendment and we
will keep fighting for Chelsea’s health needs until she is treated fully
and adequately. It is additionally concerning that private medical
information about Chelsea’s care was again leaked by government officials
despite clear protections in federal law and the existence of a protective
order.”

Introducing Maya Chase, formerly Jared Chase of 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.

She will need even more support than before as she tries to get her needs met as a transgender, vegan political prisoner with serious medical needs. An easy way to support her is to write to her (note that her state name will need to be used on the outside of the envelope):

Jared Chase
M44710
2600 N. Brinton Ave
Dixon, IL 61021

Donations to support Maya and Brent Betterly, the other defendant still incarcerated, can be made at:

http://www.payitsquare.com/collect-page/29941

Brent Betterly could use some letters of support as well:

Brent Betterly
M44724
4017 E. 2603 Road
Sheridan, IL 60551

Jacob Church was released to a half-way house last November and continues to search for housing and employment while facing harassment from the probation system. Donations for his support can be made at https://www.youcaring.com/JacobChurch. If you have any insight into jobs or housing opportunities in the Chicago area, please contact us at free.the.nato3(A)gmail.com.