Join us on Tuesday, March 31st 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- Charles Africa (April 2) -In 1978, the Philadelphia police raided the Move house and an officer was killed in “friendly fire.” Charles and 8 other Move members were falsely convicted of the murder. For more info. on their case, check out: onamove.com Delbert Africa( April 2) -In 1978, the Philadelphia police raided the Move house and an officer was killed in “friendly fire.” Delbert and 8 other Move members were falsely convicted of the murder. For more info. on their case, check out: onamove.com Chip Fitzgerald (April 11) -Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald joined the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party in early 1969 as a teenager who had just been released from the California Youth Authority. In September of that year, as a dedicated and prominent member of the Party, Chip was arrested in connection with a police shoot-out and tried for assault on a police officer and related charges, including the murder of a security guard. freechip.org Kevin Oliff (March 27) – Kevin Oliff, along with Tyler Lang, has been charged in federal court for allegedly releasing animals from two different fur farms in rural Illinois. Kevin is being held in a federal detention center in Chicago, and Tyler is out on bail. For more info. on their case, check out: supportkevinandtyler.com -We Support You- Katie “Krow” Kloth- Krow recently began a 9 month county jail sentence after participating in a protest that disrupted the bore drilling into the Penokee Mountains in Wisconsin. To learn more about the fight to defend the Penokee Mtns, check out: penokeedefenders.wordpress.com Jason Hammond- On January 23rd of this year Jason Hammond began his sentence of 3.5 years for his role in the May 19th, 2012 attack on a group of Neo Nazis that were meeting at a restaurant in a suburb of Chicago. For more info on Jason Hammond, and his case, go to: freejasonhammond.blogspot.com Greg Curry- Greg Curry, along with other prison activists, has been in solitary confinement and/or Death Row for over (18) years. They are all held at Youngstown’s Super Max Prison facility. They were unjustly charged and convicted of murder in the Lucasville Uprising of April 11, 1993. They refused to help prison officials’ frame and send Siddique Hasan and Keith Lamar (Bomani Shakur) to Death Row. gregcurry.org Sean Swain – Sean is a politicized anarchist prisoner in a supermax facility in Lucasville, OH. Sean is currently being targeted by the prison authorities for his anarchist writings and ideology, and for fighting back when they take action against him (such as not allowing him visits). You can learn more about Sean at: seanswain.org
Krow is an environmental and indigenous rights activist who faced charges stemming from a June 2013 Penokee Defenders protest that disrupted GTAC (Gogebic Taconite) bore hole drilling at a mine site on the Penokee Range. On January 21, 2015 Krow was sentenced to 9 months (until 11-01-15) plus 5 years of supervised release, and may face additional charges for ‘bail jumping’ for allegedly entering a forest that was off limits while the case was pending. Krow is in jail with only one other person, so would love to receive mail.
Letters of support can be sent to:
Iron County Jail
300 Taconite Street
Hurley, WI 54534
To find out more about the struggle against the Penokee mine, check out: https://penokeedefenders.wordpress.com/
Krow’s Response to G-TAC’s ‘Withdrawal” (From Behind Bars in Iron Cty Jail)
After dedicating approximately five years of our lives to the struggle to stop the proposed ‘Taconite’ mine in Northern Wisconsin, and keep the Penokee Hills therein wild, myself and I’m sure many others are elated to hear that Gogebic Taconite (G-TAC) is closing their office in Hurley, Wisconsin; subsequently, they are withdrawing their ‘forces’ from the Penokee Hills. Due to insurmountable numbers of wetlands G-TAC has no economic desire to ‘mitigate post proposed-destruction, they are seemingly disengaging from the project for now…. As a botanist and participant of plant surveys conducted within the Bad River Watershed and Penokee Hills area, along with several others, the power of plants and their surrounding ecosystems astounds me! In conjunction with direct action and grassroots organizing, the mine proposal is at least temporarily stopped—for a good deal of years! My spirits are rejuvenated in seeing that people can really make a difference. We must stay vigilant and never stop fighting; striving and preparing to be more on the offensive is always a good plan.The Penokees are not truly saved from the threats of industrial resource extraction, just like anywhere, until they are intentionally set aside for something other than slated destruction (whether it be mining, logging, etc.), or permanently ‘looked after’ by some kind of protectors/Ogichida, etc.
It should be noted that the Penokees are not temporarily saved due to simply “manifesting” protection; that surely cannot hurt and can strengthen actions, I believe, but it does just that—strengthens actions, it does not create them. The Penokee Hills are not saved due to folks sitting idly by in the face of potential deadly resource extraction. We must thank grassroots organizing that derived from *Indigenous communities* and the will to survive as well as honor old traditions of living that are and were paramount in fostering a continued relationship with the forest, outside of economic gain.
We should extend many thanks to all those that helped establish Harvest Camp in the Penokee Hills (opposing the world’s largest iron mine proposal), those that have lived there and helped it survive, and/or those that continue to do so… It’s been a long road, and we are not yet at its end. We must continue to support each other, and try to help each other embrace methods of existing that require less mining, wherever possible, whist keeping in mind that the US military industrial complex will utilize more resources than any one individual and/or groups of people combined over multiple lifetimes… One cannot stop something such as a mine with the liberal guilt-trip idea of “voting with your dollar”l it is not that simple.
So, in the midst of this daunting and eventually forced paradigm shift (due to lack of certain ‘resources’), we must continue to oppose and disrupt business as usual for industrial resource extraction projects whenever possible, simultaneously recognizing *disparities between different groups and demographics of people* that effect their abilities to be involved with/help on certain issues… Whenever possible, resist by existing, never standing idly by—for those of you that have dropped off the face of the earth and started your “rad land project,” and just want to be “done with it all,” never forget all the folks that are less fortunate, and non-humyn creatures you’ve left behind. Use your privilege for “good”; and do not be a “rope puller.” Some day, they may come for your land—”community” is never obsolete. *Find balance between misanthropy and compassion for the currently living, humyn and non. It’s always a lovely and harsh reminder that we need the Earth, the Earth does not “need” us, though.
Solidarity in Struggle
Krow (Katie Kloth)
DEAR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND COMRADES
I JUST GOT OUT OF THE HOSPITAL TODAY, I HAD TWO OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES
ON MY FOOT. THANK GOD THAT THEY SAVED MY LIMBS. I AM ON THE MEND, WHICH
WILL TAKE ABOUT 3 MONTHS, PLEASE SEND OUT THE WORD FOR THOSE WHO HAVE
BEEN TRYING TO CONTACT ME BY EMAIL OR OTHERWISE.
WHAT HAPPENED, I WAS BITTEN BY A BROWN RECLUSE; UNBEKNOWNST I TOOK A
SHOWER AND CAUGHT A STAPH INFECTION. THE MEDICAL STAFF, LEANING TOWARDS
A DIABETES CONDITION OR GOUT, FAILED TO ADMINISTER ANTIBIOTICS UPON MY
FIRST EXAMINATION. IT TOOK THEM WEEKS TRYING TO ELIMINATE ALL THE
POSSIBILITIES TO THEIR SATISFACTION FOR THEM TO SEND ME TO THE HOSPITAL.
I SPENT APPROX. 18 DAYS IN THE HOSPITAL, THEY WERE LEANING TOWARDS
AMPUTATING MY LEG ABOVE THE KNEE. WE PUSHED FOR A 24 HOUR, 5 DAY
INTRAVENOUS REGIME. IT PUSHED THE INFECTION DOWN TO THE FOOT AND
OPERATIONS BEGAN TO SAVE THE FOOT.
I ALSO FOUND OUT WHILE IN THE HOSPITAL THAT I WAS BEING OVER MEDICATED
AND WAS MISDIAGNOSED ON THE STATUS OF MY DIABETES.
LIKE I ALWAYS SAY I AM AN ALLIGATOR, I LIVE IN MUD OR WATER, AND THE
FIRE IS STILL BURNING IN MY BELLY, BUT I CAN’T LIE THIS WAS A ROUGH ONE,
THIS IS ONE TIME THAT I THANK ALLAH FOR THESE SLAVE FEET(*_~)
Letters of support can be sent to:
DR. MUTULU SHAKUR
P.O. BOX 3900
ADELANTO, CA 92301
To all those still keeping the fire alive, my name is Dante Cano.
I was arrested by the pigs on Friday the 13th, at a march “Against the Police State.” It was an international call-out against militarization of the pigs and police repression towards black lives in so-called “America.”
I was also out there that night for all those killed in racist murders and the killing of a woman that was shot by the Emeryville police outside of Home Depot.
I was violently attacked for supposedly breaking a Men’s Warehouse window. I was tackled and beaten by OPD, then put in a van and taken four to five blocks away. I was then asked if a bat and a black bag was mind. I said, “Fuck no.” Police beat me once more in the van and then took me to jail.
I’m facing a felony vandalism charge and another for failing to disperse.
I have been here in Santa Rita for 28 days, as of March 12th, in medium maximum security. I am going to court on Wednesday the 11th.
I am an anarchist facing repression by the State.
It is hard dealing with the racial conditions in prison as well as the racist comments made by other white inmates. I have almost got into a fight several times. And if I do, I will be jumped by other inmates and moved to another unit segregated from others in the jail. Most likely I will get into another fight and get jumped, but ‘fuck-em.’
I mostly have been reading and making spreads with the money on my books and sleeping by myself.
I want to show my love and support to my house collective called, ‘LA IDEA,’ and the (ARC), Anti-Repression Committee.
There should be a fundraiser soon for me. I hope friends and comrades can go. The money will go back to the ARC.
Please write me. It takes 10 days for me to get any mail. I will update if I get moved to another unit. Future information will be posted on freedante.noblogs.org.
Keep the struggle alive!
Write to Dante at:
Santa Rita Jail
Dante Cano BIX230
5325 Broder Blvd.
Dublin, CA 94568
Jason’s 50th day in prison!
March 15th, 2014
Greetings from Vandalia “Correctional” Center!
Q&A: Jericho Movement’s Paulette D’Auteuil on U.S. political prisoners
The conference brings together political prisoners held in countries around the world. She told the conference that the U.S. is no exception to countries that lock up political dissidents on trumped up charges or deny parole to political prisoners who have already served the terms of their court-mandated sentences. During the conference, she spoke with FSRN’s Jacob Resneck.
FSRN: The issue of political prisoners is something we, as Americans, hear a lot about in other countries. But your organization argues that the U.S. is no different. Is the criminal justice system targeting individuals for lawful political activities?
PD: Um, yes. It’s been targeting them since Sacco and Vanzetti and it continues to target them today. We have many political prisoners: Leonard Peltier, Jalil Muntaqim, Herman Bell… and we also have some who are engaged in struggles against the state and have seen now that COINTELPRO situation which was a program, a counter-intelligence program, by the government was considered illegal. And after 9/11 and the PATRIOT ACT everything that was considered illegal in COINTELPRO has now been incorporated and is considered a legal government means to keep people from resisting and struggling for a better society.
FSRN: Tell us what the Jericho Movement and other legal advocates for these prisoners are doing to try and secure release for these prisoners.
PD: One of the things we are trying to do is that coming to the end of the Obama administration some of our prisoners have, or are in the process rather, are in the process of completing a set of documents for the Justice Department which will be turned over to a clemency lawyer that will be reviewed and then put on Obama’s desk.
This packet is an incredible listing of this person’s history from before they were incarcerated. If they were arrested or something happened to them in high school they have to start there and give them everything that they’ve done and then every infraction that they’ve been charged with within that.
FSRN: We’re here in Beirut hearing the testimony of former political prisoners and also their advocates. What message are you bringing to them from the U.S. and what message will you be taking back to the states?
PD: I’m going to take back this struggle that needs to be done to help build an anti-imperialist front. And that is we must take the struggles of other countries back into the United States to expose French imperialism, American imperialism and whatever and build the unity between our prisoners and their prisoners. We’ve done this with people in the Basque country, we’ve done it with Turkish prisoners, and so what I’ve brought is a group of statements from our prisoners Herman Bell, Jalil Muntaqim, Leonard Peltier, Mutulu Shakur all sent greetings of solidarity. For them this is a way for them to have their voices heard in other countries and so we have reciprocity, a revolutionary reciprocity, to support each other’s prisoners and to stand in solidarity against this capitalist class throughout the world.
FSRN: Finally, what can ordinary Americans do to support these political prisoners and what support networks exist to help people who think they or friends or family may be targeted by the criminal justice system for their lawful political activities?
FSRN: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
PD: You’re welcome. Thank you. Free the Land!
Related note: FSRN has long aired the commentaries of Mumia Abu Jamal, former Black Panther and radio journalist, via Prison Radio. In October of last year, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill, the Revictimization Relief Act, that could subject anyone convicted of a personal crime to legal action if they speak publicly. Last week Chief Judge for the U.S. Federal District Court in Harrisburg, PA heard opening arguments in Abu-Jamal vs. Kane on 2/26/2015. If he rules that the plaintiffs (Prison Radio & Mumia Abu-Jamal) have standing in federal court, a ruling which is expected shortly, the case will proceed on the merits of whether SB508 is a violation of the First Amendment, and an unconstitutional silencing of prisoners’ voices.
Free Maile Hampton! End Police Repression of the Black Lives Matter Movement!
Maile Hampton, leading chants on the megaphone
Statement from the ANSWER Coalition – Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
The Sacramento police have outrageously charged ANSWER Coalition activist Maile Hampton, a young Black woman, with felony “lynching.” After holding her initially on $100,000 bail, Maile is now out of jail but faces the threat of four years in prison on the charges. But we are fighting back!
Maile’s first court appearance is set for Monday, March 16, 10:30 a.m., at the Sacramento County Courthouse, 720 Ninth St, Dept. 8, 2nd floor. Join us to show your support!
- We demand that all charges against Maile be immediately dropped!
- We demand an end to the repression of the Black Lives Matter movement!
- We demand an end to police brutality and the war against Black and brown youth!
As the famous slogan of the Black Lives Matter movement correctly stated, “The whole system is guilty.” This reality holds from this case, to the cops who killed Mike Brown and Eric Garner, to the legal system and politicians who sanction this violence. This is the historical reality of the United States, a country that was built on the extreme brutality of slavery, indigenous genocide, racism, misogyny, and anti-LGBTQ bigotry. This is the country whose police today are charging a young Black woman with lynching!
Lynching is what mobs of white racists committed against thousands of Black people in the United States. They took Black people from the custody of the police with the tacit consent of the cops and state. The mobs then beat, mutilated, tortured and hanged them. This ironic plot to charge an anti-racist Black protestor with lynching screams arrogance on the part of the cops and the DA. The people see through these charges. We charge the state with lynching. We charge the state with attempting to lynch the Black Lives Matter Movement.
The police and county DA falsely claim that Maile is guilty of obstructing justice and removing a person from police custody (“lynching” under California law). In fact it is the police who are guilty of obstructing justice, in this case and historically. These charges against Maile are in reality “revenge” charges against leading activists of the Black Lives Matter movement. We in the ANSWER Coalition, along with a wide network of endorsing organizations, are mobilizing to fight back against this police repression.
The story that the police and DA present is entirely different from the facts of what actually happened. In reality, on Jan. 18, a peaceful march was disrupted by violent police who wanted to shut it down because of its political content. The police violated the protestors’ right to free speech and arrested several people. The police were the aggressors, not the activists. The police obstructed justice, not the protestors.
The state wants to repress the movement sparked by the killing of Mike Brown and the heroic uprising of the people in Ferguson, Mo. They want to repress this movement because it has swept the country, awakening the mainstream to what’s being described as the war against Black and brown youth. From the killer cops, to the school-to-prison pipeline, to the deportations, to gentrification and poverty, we are seeing the disenfranchisement of a generation. The Black Lives Matter movement was speaking about these truths. It embarrassed the state, which must deny reality and cling to cliche phrases about freedom and democracy.
While the police attempt to disrupt the movement, in part by singling out activists like Maile, we must continue the struggle. We will support our sisters and brothers in the cross hairs of the American legal system. We must continue to protest in the streets against police brutality and against all forms of racism. The movement cannot be extinguished. We invite all people to unite with us in this movement, to support Maile in her legal defense, and to join us in resistance until racism is finally eradicated.
What you can do:
2) Join the “Free Maile” protest this Sunday, 1 pm, 5th & I Sts in Sacramento
3) Help pack the courtroom for Maile’s court appearance, Mon., Mar. 16, 10:30 a.m., Sac. County Courthouse, 720 Ninth St, Dept. 8, 2nd floor.
Over the objections of a prosecution team that called for 5-7 years in federal prison, a harsh sentence with terrorism enhancements, Judge Gershwin Drain sentenced Rasmea Odeh, Chicago’s 67-year-old Palestinian community leader, to 18 months for Unlawful Procurement of Naturalization, of which she was convicted last November.
Almost 200 of Rasmea’s supporters filled two courtrooms in the Detroit federal courthouse, and left disappointed but not defeated. “This is a blow, of course, but we have to remember that the government wanted the judge to lock Rasmea up for half a decade or more,” said Muhammad Sankari of the national Rasmea Defense Committee. “Judge Drain had to weigh the outpouring of support that Rasmea has inspired from across the country. We made it impossible for the judge to justify an extended prison term, and now, we will stand with her in the fight to appeal the conviction itself, to make sure she doesn’t serve one day of that prison sentence.”
The decision came after her attorneys argued that she not be imprisoned at all. Seventy important leaders of unions and community-based, faith-based, civil rights, and student organizations, as well as prominent academics and activists, wrote letters to the judge in the past few weeks, urging him to issue a sentence with no prison time beyond the month Rasmea served in a county jail following the November verdict. They cited her invaluable service as a community leader in Chicago, as well as concerns for her age, poor health, and chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
One of the many letters of support came from Bishop Thomas J. Gumbleton of Detroit. He wrote, “I am asking for compassion in her sentencing. Rasmea has much to offer her community…keeping her out of prison would allow her to continue as a contributing and productive person, doing the work that is so critical to hundreds of refugee women.”
For their part, prosecutors called for Judge Drain to issue a sentence far beyond standard sentencing guidelines. While prosecutors had been barred from branding her a terrorist in front of the jury last year, today they were bound by no such court orders, asking that a terrorism enhancement be added to prolong her sentence.
Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression said, “The government showed their true colors today, making it clear this case was never about immigration, but rather, the political persecution of a Palestinian hero. What they didn’t bargain for is that Rasmea would defend herself, and that thousands would rally around her.”
During the trial last year, Rasmea was prevented from presenting evidence about the events that led to her conviction by an Israeli military tribunal 45 years ago. Judge Drain had ruled that the circumstances of conviction by Israel didn’t matter. “Not the illegal 1967 massacres and occupation – let alone the military ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians from the land and their homes when Palestine was partitioned in 1948 – not the midnight sweeps and kidnapping by the invading Army after the 1967 war, not the torture, not the kangaroo court and false confessions, not the prison time,” said her attorneys in filings to the court.
“Be strong whatever happens,” Rasmea said before speaking to the judge, “I am strong.”
After the sentencing, Rasmea was released on bond, as she sets out to appeal her conviction. Surprising many, the prosecution did not object, despite having pressed for her bond to be revoked after the guilty verdict. She credits the work of her supporters across the country for forcing the government’s hand.
Zena Ozeir of the Z Collective in Detroit said, “I have no doubt Rasmea’s freedom today is owed to the public outcry against her persecution. The government is still out to lock her up for years, but that is something they couldn’t win today. We have been with her at every hearing and trial date, we’ve held protests across the country, and flooded their phone lines and mail boxes, with people of conscience demanding an end to this prosecution, and an end to her unjust treatment in jail this fall. We will not stop until we win justice for Rasmea!”
After today’s hearing, Rasmea returns to Chicago, where she will continue her important community activism and work with her attorneys on an appeal of the verdict. If Odeh loses her case on appeal, she will have to serve the full sentence, and then lose her citizenship and be subject to immediate removal from the United States.
Rasmea Defense Committee
By Angela Y. Davis, March 4, 2015
For one hundred and six years working class and progressive men and women over the entire world have been marching and demanding equal rights for women on March 8. This is a cornerstone of the unity that we all know is required if we are to win the liberation of the people from exploitation, white supremacist racism, and grinding poverty that afflicts a fourth of the world’s people, according to the World Bank. It is outrageous that four days later, on March 12, 2015, in a Federal Court in Detroit Michigan, the U. S. Justice Department will be asking Judge Gershwin A. Drain to sentence Rasmea Odeh, a courageous activist for women’s rights and human rights, to five to seven years in prison, according to news reports. This is far beyond the federally recommended guidelines of 12-21 months.
Rasmea Odeh has been a naturalized U. S. citizen for over ten years. What is her crime? Her arrest and prosecution are politically motivated and are clearly designed to disrupt the Palestine human rights community. Only now, when the Chicago activist community has effectively raised awareness of Israel’s apartheid system and its violation of international laws, have immigration authorities decided to challenge her status as a citizen. In light of success of the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment campaign, this case reeks of political payback. Federal authorities allege that Odeh did not disclose her arrest in Palestine 45 years ago by an Israeli military court, an institution that has a long record of human rights violations. At that time of her arrest in Palestine, Odeh was forced into a confession while being subjected to physical and sexual torture, some of it perpetrated in front of her now deceased father. Odeh never committed a crime, and her arrest and conviction by an Israeli military court was unlawful.
For decades, Odeh has been an upright and contributing member of her community. She has worked with the Chicago-based Arab American Action Network, an advocacy and social service agency, supervising programs and coordinating its Arab Women’s Committee, a 600-member group that actively defends civil liberties and immigrant rights. Targeting a person who has been such an active proponent for positive change is a serious setback for civil rights and militates against democracy and justice.
As a person with first-hand knowledge of the devastation wrought by politically motivated prosecutions — during the era of COINTELPRO, I was falsely charged with three capital offenses — I see Rasmea Odeh’s case as a continuation of the embarrassing history of decades of suppression of social justice activists in the U.S. The courts are being used to retaliate against Palestinian activism. As many people in Chicago and Detroit once joined the call to “Free Angela Davis,” I hope they will now join the campaign to “Free Rasmea Odeh.”
On January 9, 23 year old Sharod Kindell was driving home from dropping off formula to his brother-in-law’s house. After leaving the house, Denver police officers, affiliated with the Denver Gang Unit, pulled over Sharod. When officers demanded Sharod vacate the vehicle, Sharod instead stated his rights, and offered officers his identification through a lowered window. Police instead forced the doors of the car open, engaging in a physical altercation and pulling Sharod out of the car.
The melee caused Sharod’s foot to leave the brake of the car. Sharod’s car had not yet been put into park, so the car rolled backwards, with the doors open, toward the police cruiser parked behind the car. Officers, including Jeffrey DiManna, an officer at the center of three shooting incidents of unarmed suspects in the last seven months, opened fire on Sharod, striking him multiple times, even as Sharod put his arms in the air to surrender and show he was unarmed.
Although he survived the police bullets, Sharod now faces several felony charges and prison time for the incident.
On February 14th, two people were arrested after a march of hundreds against police terror turned confrontational outside the Denver Police Administrative Headquarters in downtown Denver.
Robert Guerrero and Matthew Goldberg were both arrested, accused of vandalism to the Police Headquarters and to a nearby police monument. Both face felony charges and prison time for the alleged acts.
As the Denver Police continue to wage war on the local population, and resistance to this violence mounts, local costs for legal support are also mounting. We need your support to continue to support the survivors of police terror in our communities, and those brave enough to stand in resistance to that same violence.
All funds generated from this effort will be used to pay for the legal fights ahead for these and others who might find themselves in similar situations. Please donate. Any amount no matter how large or small is appreciated and will go a long way.