Month: July 2015

Charged under the Animal Eneterprise Terrorism Act – Nicole Kissane and Joseph Buddenberg are facing 10 years in federal prison



About the case

On July 24th, 2015, Nicole Kissane and Joseph Buddenburg were arrested and federally indicted for alleged Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act—Title 18, U.S.C., Section 43 (a) (1), (2) (c) and (b) (3) (A). A federal grand jury indictment alleges that Nicole and Joseph conspired to “travel in interstate and foreign commerce for the purpose of causing physical disruption to the functioning of animal enterprises, to intentionally damage and cause the loss of real and personal property, including, but not limited to, animals and records used by the animal enterprises, and caused economic damage in an amount exceeding $100, 000″ by allegedly releasing thousands of animals from fur farms and destroying breeding records in Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. The indictment also alleges that they caused economic damage to various retail and distribution businesses and individuals associated with the fur industry.

July 28th Court Update

Thanks to everyone for such an immediate supportive response to Nicole and Joseph’s indictment last Friday! Today they had a bail hearing at the Oakland Federal Courthouse, which was very well attended by supporters. About 30 folks joined Nicole and Joseph in solidarity. That’s great! Thanks to everyone who made it out! That kind of support is crucial and will remain so for the duration of this case. So be prepared to keep it up. Nicole was released from electronic monitoring (house arrest), which is good news. Unfortunately the Judge was unwilling to do the same for Joseph. Right now Joseph is still on 24/7 home lockdown. The next court date will be September 9th in San Diego. It is really important for the movement to continue to organize in solidarity with them. So please do whatever you can and plan on being available that day for more court support. Given the current situation, continued donations will be key. Please donate and please ask others to as well. Joseph will need help with basic living necessities while on lockdown.

Donate to the Defense Fund

Please donate towards Nicole and Joseph’s legal fund. The legal fund will cover important expenses related to the case, including attorney and court fees. Your solidarity is essential in making sure that Nicole and Joseph have strong legal support and the reassurance that they have a community to take care of them through this case. Thank you for donating and for your continued support

Beyond Innocence: US Political Prisoners and the Fight Against Mass Incarceration

President Obama’s recent statements about mass incarceration, together with his decision to commute the sentences of 46 people serving lengthy and life sentences in federal prison on drug charges, treat “nonviolent drug offenders” as the symbolic figureheads of America’s prison problem. This framing seems to imply that everyone else actually deserves to be in prison.

But the world’s biggest prison system is not filled with nonviolent drug offenders alone. Before and alongside the war on drugs, mass incarceration was built through the wholesale repression of radical movements – especially in communities of color.

Take, for example, the cases of two other people who have long sought commutations from Obama and other presidents before him: Leonard Peltier and Oscar Lopez Rivera. Both men are longtime activists who have each served more than 30 years in prison and garnered international support for their release from figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and organizations such as Amnesty International.

“We have to demand freedom for those who struggle for freedom.”

Peltier is an Anishinabe-Lakota former member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) serving two life sentences for the 1975 death of two FBI agents killed during a confrontation between FBI and AIM on the Pine Ridge reservation. Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican former community organizer from Chicago who is serving a 55-year sentence for “seditious conspiracy,” an outmoded charge that makes it illegal to plot against the US government.

Throughout the 20th century, the United States has tried dozens of Puerto Rican independence activists with seditious conspiracy – including 11 of Lopez Rivera’s codefendants, whom President Clinton freed in 1999 after a remarkable campaign for their release.

“We have to demand freedom for those who struggle for freedom,” said Alejandro Molina, a member of the coordinating committee for the National Boricua Human Rights Campaign, a prominent organization demanding freedom for Lopez Rivera.

Peltier and Lopez Rivera are two among dozens of people incarcerated for actions they took as part of radical social movements. Many are former members of the Black Panther Party – people such as Herman Bell, Romaine Chip Fitzgerald and Ed Poindexter – who have been in prison for more than 40 years. They are some of America’s political prisoners.

For some, the idea of political prisoners conjures images of far-off dictatorial regimes imprisoning opponents for their beliefs. Yet this country has a long history of imprisoning its dissidents. Political prisoners have included people incarcerated for nonviolent direct actions, such as sabotaging nuclear weapons facilities or participating in civil disobedience. But the ones who have received the longest sentences and the harshest treatment inside are people who have been convicted of violent offenses, typically against police, or conspiring against the government.

In fact, political prisoners have been the canaries in the coal mine for mass incarceration: Some of the most distinguishing features of the American prison state – aggressive policing, hefty charges, preventive detention, lengthy sentences, parole denial and prolonged solitary confinement – were first deployed as means to stop radical social movements beginning in the 1960s. Political dissidents and other oppressed communities remain guinea pigs for the intensity of American punishment.

Who Qualifies as a Political Prisoner?

Focusing on the issue of political prisoners more broadly provides a fuller accounting of where mass incarceration comes from and how it works than does a narrow focus on nonviolent drug offenders. It also connects today’s movements to ones that came before.

“They are freedom fighters who stand as living reminders of the Black Freedom struggle, the criminalization of black resistance, and a Black Liberation Movement that started centuries before their birth,” activists déqui kioni-sadiki and Sekou Odinga wrote of Black political prisoners in a recent issue of the journal Socialism and Democracy. Kioni-sadiki chairs the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, which hosts an annual dinner in support of political prisoners. Odinga was paroled at the end of 2014, after serving more than 33 years in maximum-security prisons for helping free fellow Panther Assata Shakur from prison in 1979, among other charges. Shakur was granted political asylum in Cuba, where she has lived since 1984.

Defining who is a political prisoner is a challenge – especially in a country with a prison population so large, impoverished and disproportionately Black, Latino/a or gender nonconforming. Every aspect of the law, from policing to imprisonment, is shaped by complex political processes, and so everyone in prison is there, in some sense, as a consequence of politics.

“The vast majority of people in prison are there not so much for what they did but for who they were when they did it,” said Laura Whitehorn, who spent more than 14 years in prison for conspiring to bomb several government buildings in protest of police killings and aggressive US foreign policies in the 1980s.

Everyone in prison may be subject to what Whitehorn calls a “political system of ‘justice.’ ” But there is a difference between that and “someone who breaks the law or is treated unfairly because of their involvement in social struggle.”

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover described first the Black Panther Party and later AIM as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.”

Political prisoners are incarcerated not just for their beliefs or identities, but also for the actions they took in service of those beliefs. They are people who “commit a political act that has a criminal consequence,” said Lois Ahrens, director of the Real Cost of Prisons Project, which educates people about the American prison system and supports people within it. Some of history’s most famous political prisoners – Nelson Mandela, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. – all violated the laws of their nation in pursuit of social justice. That is why international law defines political prisoners as those who struggle against racist or oppressive regimes, including through force. Mandela, for instance, was imprisoned for his role in armed resistance to apartheid.

“I don’t think you can separate the issue of who is a political prisoner from the politics and movements for progressive social change and national liberation that exist around the world,” said Bob Boyle, an attorney in New York City who has represented several political prisoners.

FBI director J. Edgar Hoover described first the Black Panther Party and later AIM as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.” Many of America’s political prisoners began their activism in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s before joining above-ground organizations such as the Black Panther Party, the American Indian Movement, the Republic of New Afrika or underground organizations such as the Black Liberation Army, Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional, or the Weather Underground.

These and other revolutionary organizations at the time came under intense repression by various law enforcement agencies. Most famously, the FBI initiated its notorious counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) to spy on, intimidate, harass, imprison and even kill activists from the Black Power, Puerto Rican independence, indigenous sovereignty and antiwar movements.

“It was a movement that was attacked, not just individuals,” Boyle said.

Partly motivated by this repression, some people tried to continue their activism underground. They embraced more militant tactics. When they were arrested, they faced stiff charges and long sentences – longer than those faced by people with no political profile charged with similar offenses. Whitehorn, for instance, was held in preventive detention awaiting trial for nearly five years. During that time, Klan leader Don Black served two years for stockpiling weapons and explosives in a plan to invade the island of Dominica, and abortion clinic bomber Michael Donald Bray served 46 months for bombing 10 abortion clinics.

The criminal charges brought against these activists obscure the political nature of their arrests and ongoing imprisonment. They are doing collective time for the movements they come from. Some people from our movements may have taken “actions that you wouldn’t necessarily agree with,” Boyle told me. “But there needs to be a recognition that they are still part of the movement.”

According to Alicia Garza, cofounder of Black Lives Matter, America’s political prisoners remain incarcerated for their vision of universal social justice.

“So we have to ask ourselves, why is the state afraid of them,” Garza said in a recent talk. “The simple answer is that the state is afraid because of the fundamental challenges that the Black Liberation movement posed to the ongoing conditions of poverty and racism and patriarchy and privatization and on and on and on. So our fight must also be to free all political prisoners.”

Political Prisoners Post-9/11

To Diana Block, a longtime anti-prison activist and founding member of California Coalition for Women Prisoners, it is both “common sense as well as principle” to support people who are repressed for their activism. Otherwise, she said, it may have a chilling effect when the government inevitably responds to increasing radicalism with severe repression.

That chilling effect is especially disconcerting in this moment of renewed activism against prisons and police violence. Already, conservatives have tried to denigrate those killed by police as well as those who protest that violence as “criminals.”

“This new movement must prioritize our prisoners – our past prisoners and our prisoners to come,” Black Agenda Report editor Glen Ford told an audience in May at the Left Forum conference.

In recent years, the FBI has pursued its targets with a severity reminiscent of its actions 40 years ago. Recent victims include Muslim activists opposed to US wars in the Middle East, radical environmental activists and anarchists. Using informants or entrapment, the FBI has made political prisoners of several such people since 9/11. Once in prison, they have often been placed in solitary confinement as a result of their political beliefs and affiliations. Some, such as army whistleblower Chelsea Manning, have been held in solitary even prior to a conviction.

Take the case of Daniel McGowan, an environmental and social justice activist who was convicted in 2006 of conspiracy and arson charges related to actions he took with the clandestine Earth Liberation Front in the early 2000s. McGowan was arrested in a sweep of radical environmentalists that some activists have taken to calling the “Green Scare.” The government added a “terrorism enhancement” to his charges. He ultimately served six years in federal prison.

In August 2008, one year into his sentence, McGowan was transferred to a new isolation unit in Marion, Illinois. It is a prison with a long history of isolating political prisoners through long-term solitary confinement. In the 1970s, the prison was home to a permanent-lockdown unit that even the warden admitted was created to “control revolutionary attitudes in the prison system and in the society at large.” That control unit confined numerous political prisoners and inspired other isolation prisons, including a short-lived control unit for women political prisoners in Lexington, Kentucky, and the Administrative Maximum prison in Florence, Colorado, which has also housed dozens of political prisoners.

Marion’s new experiment in isolation is called a “Communication Management Unit.” (Another CMU opened in 2006 at the prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.) The prisoners there are kept under more intensive surveillance and less able to communicate with the outside world. The CMUs place extreme limitations on access to phone calls, mail or visits. People are not placed in CMUs for any disciplinary infraction and are given little explanation as to whether or how they might get back to the general population.

The majority of the men are there for their politics: 60 percent of those held in CMUs are Muslim, many of them are the victims of suspect Homeland Security dragnets. A group of CMU prisoners, including McGowan, has sued the BOP to close the unit. As a result of the lawsuit, Aref v. Holder, McGowan discovered that he was placed in the CMU because he wrote a series of political essays for The Huffington Post and activist newspapers, as well as the political tone of his letters.

Objections to the Discourse of Political Imprisonment

Mujahid Farid does not like the designation “political prisoner.” He did not even identify as a “prisoner,” even though he spent 33 years confined in maximum-security prisons across New York. He spent most of that time writing articles and filing lawsuits around prison conditions; he even cofounded the first comprehensive peer-education AIDS program inside a men’s prison. The group formed after Kuwasi Balagoon, a Black Liberation Army political prisoner serving a life sentence, died in prison from an AIDS-related illness.

“I’m against the whole label of people behind the walls as ‘prisoners,’ period,” said Farid, who is now coordinator of the Release Aging People in Prison campaign. “It’s a dehumanizing term. We should always refer to people as people, not by one single aspect of their condition. Sometimes it takes an effort, more words, but I think the effort is worth it.”

Other people object less to the terminology than to dividing people in prison. Are “political prisoners” more deserving of support than other people in prison? What about the people who become activists once incarcerated?

“There’s 50, maybe 100 political prisoners [in the United States], and the amount of attention they get, the resources some of them have versus others just toiling away unknown” is frustrating, said Ahrens. “My connection is to the 99.9 percent of other people who are incarcerated.”

Many of the most politically active people in prison are those who became activists to challenge the dire circumstances of confinement.

Ahrens suggests that people “doing the real work” inside deserve wide support and recognition, regardless of the offense for which they were convicted. The people she has in mind are filing lawsuits, protesting abusive treatment, forming civil and human rights organizations, educating other people in prison and the public about life in prison. This often includes people who only became activists once inside. Ahrens regularly communicates with more than 100 such people in prisons throughout the country, none of whom went to prison for politically motivated actions but who have become stalwart organizers.

“They are the ones telling us what’s happening inside,” Ahrens said. “They know what the fixes are.”

Indeed, many of these people have faced similar reprisals for their activism as those imprisoned for activism on the streets: they have been subject to solitary confinement and routinely denied parole. They too have become political prisoners.

Political Organizing Inside Prison Walls

Politics do not end at the prison wall. Prison organizing has simultaneously emphasized ameliorating abuse in prison while working for broader social change. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, for instance, political prisoners around the country conducted urgent life-saving work around HIV/AIDS that included peer education and protests against institutionalized homophobia.

Today, as Ahrens suggests, many of the most politically active people in prison are those who became activists to challenge the dire circumstances of confinement. Several of them were mentored or inspired by political prisoners of the 1960s and 1970s.

Robert Saleem Holbrook was just 16 years old when he was sentenced to life without parole in 1991. Once inside Pennsylvania’s state prisons, he met veterans of the Black Panther Party and other Black radical movements. They taught him and other younger prisoners to challenge both their own self-destructive behaviors and the violence of the government.

“Prisoners like myself and countless others who came to prison for offenses unrelated to political activity, that have been influenced and inspired by the example of Political Prisoners, have used their examples to transition ourselves out of the criminal behavior and thought process,” Holbrook wrote about the mentorship he received in prison.

The men mentoring Holbrook included former Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz and Joseph Jojo Bowen, a one-time gang member who killed a warden and deputy warden in 1973, allegedly in retaliation for the intense repression of Muslim prisoners. Both tried to escape prison several times in the 1970s and early 1980s. Shoatz escaped in 1977 and 1980, and Bowen led an ambitious but failed escape attempt in 1981. Pennsylvania authorities have kept both men in solitary confinement for decades. Bowen has been in solitary since 1981, while Shoatz was released into the general population in 2013, after his family campaigned to end a 22-year stretch of isolation.

Each book and zine shared is a small act of resistance.

Even prolonged isolation, however, failed to stop their organizing. Holbrook points to Shoatz and Bowen as inspirations for his own activism inside prison. Holbrook has been a prodigious author, an advisor to Decarcerate PA and the Human Rights Coalition and cofounded an innovative correspondence course program for Pennsylvania prisoners in solitary confinement.

Holbrook’s example is telling. Much of today’s organizing inside prison is being done by people compelled to action because of their dire circumstances, regardless of what offenses led to their incarceration. Since 2010, people in several prisons and immigrant detention centers across the country have staged dramatic labor and hunger strikes to protest their conditions. The biggest took place in California, where 30,000 people refused food in 2013 to protest long-term solitary confinement. The leaders of the strike, a multiracial group, explicitly drew on the history of radical Black and Irish nationalism in coming up with their plan. They also issued “An Agreement to End the Hostilities” that urged multiracial and anti-racist unity in California’s notoriously divided prison system.

On a daily level, political prisoners serve as mentors – both for people in and out of prison – and work to chip away at the prison system through legal or legislative reform efforts, writing, art, and other means. Being a political prisoner often means sharing resources, whether books, food, or access to legal resources or outside supporters.

“The [Federal] Bureau of Prisons technically prohibits sharing and actively creates boundaries between people, so basically, each book and zine shared is a small act of resistance,” said McGowan, who estimates that upwards of 20 people would read the publications he received.

Being a political prisoner entails a long-term focus on education and empowerment. Political prisoners have participated in several innovative projects, including The Jericho Movement, which campaigns for the freedom of US political prisoners, and the Certain Days calendar, a collaboration between prisoners and artists throughout North America. Many political prisoners try to educate people on the outside through books, articles and artwork.

They also work with other people in prison. Tyrrell Muhammad described himself as a “19-year-old wayward young man” when he went to prison in 1979. He turned his life around inside, thanks in part to the mentorship of Albert Nuh Washington, a political prisoner from the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army.

“His dedication to people like me was like water to a thirsty man,” Muhammad said tearfully at a recent panel.

Washington was imprisoned since 1971. He became a well-respected imam throughout the New York Prison system. Muhammad said Washington tutored him in everything from Mark Twain and the history of slavery to the geopolitics of the African continent. Muhammad credits him with inspiring him to better his life and work for release.

Muhammad was paroled in 2005 and works at the Correctional Association of New York. Washington, however, died of liver cancer in prison on April 28, 2000. His deathbed appeals for compassionate release were denied.

Recent Victories

While the government still refuses to admit the existence of political prisoners, the last 18 months have seen some victories for several long-held political prisoners: Lynne Stewart, a New York attorney who has defended several political prisoners and who was serving a 10-year sentence for violating a gag order placed on one of her clients, was granted compassionate release with stage 4 breast cancer. Former Black Panthers Marshall Eddie Conway, Sekou Kambui and Sekou Odinga were each granted parole after serving more than 30 years in prison.

The last three members of the Cuban Five were freed as part of the move toward normalized relations between the United States and Cuba. Green anarchist Eric McDavid was freed in January after it was revealed that the FBI withheld evidence during his trial that showed that the FBI had entrapped McDavid, leading him to receive a 19-year sentence.

Finally, a New Jersey appeals court ruled that the state had unfairly denied parole to Sundiata Acoli and that the former Black Panther should be released on parole. The 77-year-old former NASA employee has been in prison since 1973, with many years in solitary confinement. He remains in prison as New Jersey authorities appeal the decision.

Aging in Prison

Meanwhile, several others continue to be incarcerated in stark conditions. Albert Woodfox, the last incarcerated member of the Angola 3, remains in solitary confinement after 43 years, despite a judge’s order that he be freed. Transgender environmental and labor activist Marius Mason continues to serve the longest sentence – 22 years – of any Green Scare defendant and remains isolated in “administrative detention” without cause.

Many who go to the parole board fare little better. Former Black Panthers Herman Bell and Jalil Muntaqim, among others, have faced repeated parole denials based on their convicting offense, whipped up by intensive campaigns by police unions and conservative media. In 2005, then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez canceled the mandatory parole for Veronza Bower. He remains in prison.

Prison adds undue stress to the process of aging, leading to increased rates of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Perhaps the biggest concern for longtime political prisoners is that of all long-term prisoners: aging in prison and the atrocious state of prison health care. Since Nuh Washington died in 2000, at least six political prisoners have become ill and died either in prison or within weeks of compassionate release – Richard Williams, Marilyn Buck, Teddy Jah Heath, Bashir Hameed, Herman Wallace, and, in January, Phil Africa.

That history has supporters today concerned about the fate of former Black Panthers Mumia Abu-Jamal, the outspoken journalist imprisoned since 1981 who has been struggling with adult-onset diabetes and related conditions since he fainted in diabetic shock in March, and Robert Seth Hayes, battling diabetes, hepatitis C, and some as-of-yet-undiagnosed ailments. Hayes has been in prison since 1973.

Much as prisons try to foreclose the radical imagination, political prisoners animate alternate horizons.

The poor quality of prison health care affects everyone in prison, especially people serving lengthy sentences in maximum-security facilities. Prison adds undue stress to the process of aging, leading to increased rates of high blood pressure and diabetes, among other ailments. Those problems are exacerbated by routine parole denials for many people serving long sentences, especially those convicted of violence against police officers. Blocked parole flies in the face of ample evidence demonstrating that even people who may have committed antisocial acts tend to age out of crime.

These problems – poor health care, punitive isolation, long-term sentences and politically motivated parole denials – provide one arena where the issue of political prisoners connects directly to the overall problem of prisons. That is why, under the slogan of  “if the risk is low, let them go,” formerly incarcerated people and their advocates launched the Release Aging People in Prison campaign in New York. Similar efforts have formed elsewhere, including Pennsylvania’s Coalition Against Death by Incarceration.

The focus on elderly people in prison challenges the way political prisoners have been among those who, as RAPP coordinator Farid put it, have been “treated as sacrificial lambs,” first by a punitive state and now by a narrowly construed prison reform. It gets to the core problem of mass incarceration. “Talking about long-term prisoners, why they’re in for so long and the politics they have, exposes the structure of permanent punishment,” said Whitehorn, also a member of RAPP.

Around the world, countries have often released political prisoners in an attempt to heal past wounds and address current injustices. But the punitive culture of the United States – still unchallenged in mainstream debates about mass incarceration – has yet to excise its demons of repression. As Whitehorn told me, permanent punishment tries to deny “that there are such deep problems in the system that there are movements dedicated to changing them by any means necessary.” Much as prisons try to foreclose the radical imagination, political prisoners animate alternate horizons. Their freedom remains a necessary part of the fight against mass incarceration.

The Final Straw Radio Show -Anarchist prisoner Eric King; NAABC Conference; Trouncing KKK in Columbia, SC


Anarchist prisoner Eric King; NAABC Conference; Trouncing KKK in Columbia, SC

Posted by Bursts O'Goodness

The Final Straw

Airs on WSFM-LP 103.3 in Asheville / streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST
on July 20th through July 26th, 2015, then podcasting at
Also airing this week on KOWA-LPFM in Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA,
KXCF in Marshall, CA, and WCRS-LP Columbus Community Radio 98.3 and 102.1
FM. The show will later be archived at  TheFinalStrawRadio.NoBlogs.Org.
Drop us a line at thefinalstrawradio(aT)riseup(dooot)net for suggestions
or comments.

We can be reached by snail mail at:
 The Final Straw
 c/o AshevilleFM
 864 Haywood Rd
 Asheville, NC 28806

This week we spoke with a supporter of Eric King. Eric is a 28 year old
vegan anarchist in Kansas City, Missouri, who's facing possibly life plus
20 years in federal prison for allegedly attempting to molotov a Senator's
office. No one was inside the building or in danger of direct injury. He
has been held in Solitary confinement at CCA Leavenworth in Kansas for 6
months as a July 14th due to his potential life sentence. Eric's trial has
been pushed back to October 26th,

2015. More on Eric's case can be found at support e r i c . We also speak about the upcoming North American
Anarchist Black Cross conference which is currently in it's fundraising
phase. The NAABC conference brings together advocates of political
prisoners, prison abolitionists and other troublemakers once a year in
order to better share skills and network. More on fundraising for this
event can be found at

Click here for a firsthand account of anti-KKK actions that occurred
Saturday, July 18th in Columbia, South Carolina that we received and
wanted to share.

Interesting video and pictures from this event can be found at It's Going
Down, a new anarchist news site focusing mostly on North American

Now, an update from the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee about
the complaints of forced medicalization and medication of concerned
prisoners at SECC outside of Charleston, Missouri. Sadly, time constraints
made it so we couldn't announce this in the episode, but here it is
 "Update 7-15-15 ~ FINALLY!! A month and a half after receiving the first
letter of complaint about psychological and medical torture, we received
a letter from one of the people involved saying that things are getting
better and they are working their way off the forced medication now.
Many, many thanks to everyone who has participated in this calling
campaign. This would not be getting better without all of your help.
Please continue to stay in touch with us by liking the IWOC fakebook page
here "

Also from IWOC:
 "You may be familiar with Ricky Kidd's case of innocence and his request
to have DNA from the crime scene tested is being considered in Jackson
County Courts. To find out about his case you can go to

In the meantime, Ricky is fighting another battle with the MO Department
of Corrections that could lead to losing a leg or even his death. Ricky is
a diabetic and has a soft tissue sore that has gotten into the bone of his
leg and created a condition that is potentially life threatening. He was
diagnosed with Osteomyelitis about four months ago, a condition that if it
had been properly treated at the time would have healed by now. The proper
treatment is a 6 week course of very
 strong antibiotics administered via an IV. The DOC has been giving Ricky
an Oral antibiotic every other week and now the infection has moved from
the tissue to the bone and is putting him at risk of losing his leg. The
medical personnel have told him his situation is dire and must be
properly addressed immediately as there is not only the risk of
amputation but a risk of death if this infection migrated to his

Please call the Missouri Department of Corrections at 573-751-2389 and
request to speak to Adrian Hardy in the Medical Division. You must
reference Ricky Kidd # 528343, he is housed at Crossroads Correctional
Center. They probably will not transfer you and will tell you that
Harriett Clark is the contact person for this case. Register your concern
and then call again the next day. We cannot allow this innocent man to be
maimed or killed by the DOC by neglect or malfeasance.

Please forward this to your friends, associates and State Representatives,
as well as post to FB where you can. We need a flood of calls to help get
Ricky proper treatment.

Find out more about Osteomyelitis at this link - Osteomyelitis: Symptoms,
Causes, and Treatment at"


Here is that account of the KKK getting trounced in South Carolina on July
 "Yesterday in Columbia SC the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
assembled in order to protest the removal of the Confederate flag from
the state house. I'm told that their permit was originally set to
accomodate 100-200 people. However, this pathetic organization has
dwindled in numbers since its heyday in the 1920s, and there were fewer
than 75 klan present at any given time. This event happened on the same
day as an anti-colonial and antiracist event was held in Tuscon to
protest an islamophobic and white supremacist group, and is happening in
the wake of a resurgence of white supremacist rhetoric and actions in
this country. People came out in droves and showed the racists that they
are not welcome in Columbia, or anywhere!

Despite the almost 100 degree weather and at least the 100 cops,
paramilitary, and state troopers swarming the grounds, I'd say that there
were at least 2,000 anti racists, anti-fascists, and community members
present ranging from concerned clergy to the much maligned out of town
anarchists of all races. I was in a group of caucasian folks and non black
people of color, and it felt vibrantly good to show our faces in the midst
of this crowd, which I'd say consisted primarily of black people of all
ages and the remaining third were folks of other races. The solidarity in
the crowd was palpable, with people starting conversations with strangers,
helping others out with water, and looking out for each other in the face
of police violence.

When I rolled up to the event, the anti conf flag counter rally on the
other side of the state house was starting to wrap up. This seemed to be
mostly made up of New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam members. The
KKK harrassed these people with racial slurs when they themselves paraded
up minutes later through a funnel of their cop protectors, brandishing
confederate flags and Nazi swastikas and screaming "white power".

They were instantly met with jeers and heckling from their numerous
enemies, which reached such a pitch that it made one of the racists burst
into tears. At one point, one racist got separated from his group and was
surrounded by the crowd, which screamed at him to go the fuck home and
things like that. One man got arrested at this point and carted off to the
crowd yelling "let him go".

The KKK then stood in the baking sun on the steps of the state house for
about an hour. They roasted in the heat and waved their flags behind a
phalanx of their pig handlers, all the while making pitiful attempts to
engage the antiracist crowd, which had them outnumbered almost 27 to one.
Some of their sympathizers who were dressed in confederate flag apparel
were chased off the premesis during this time, including one homophobic
preacher and one Nazi peace police who was attempting to verbally shame
people into leaving the racists alone. Several of the klan passed out from
heatstroke during this time, including one old racist who had to be
carried away by the cops wrapped up in a confederate flag.

The police cut their flag waving rally short by an hour due to the numbers
of antiracists, which were growing steadily. The real fun began when the
klan began to move out to the parking garage where their vehicles were
being guarded by even more police. The cops attempted to hoodwink the
crowd into focusing on one exit of the garage, while the klan was exiting
out of another around the back. When the crowd got wind of this, we took
to the streets and ran around the building to confront the klan as they
drove out of town. They mostly had their windows up, staring forward and
looking beaten. One klansdude however became so enraged at the verbal
attacks he was recieving that he drove his SUV into a pole, crushing the
front end of the car which leaked radiator fluid all over the pavement.
The cops were unprepared for this, and the car was surrounded by
antiracists who pounded on the windows and hurled rocks at the damaged
vehicle. The cops then forceably surrounded the car and drove the
antiracists back. Several people got detained briefly by the police and
then violently unarrested by their comrades at this point. After about
half an hour of tussling between cops and antiracists, a perimeter was
established around the car and it drove away amid more heckling.

After this time the crowd marched back up to the state house, where the
few remaining klan supporters were confronted and driven out of Columbia.
I'm not sure how many people got arrested, but I think it was at least 5
people, for disorderly conduct and assaulting an officer. I'd urge people
to keep up with that news, and help with people's bail however they can.
Since this happened on a Saurday, I think people should be out by Monday.

Throughout all of this, it seemed very clear that the crowd had pinpointed
their real enemies as being the police. While people were mad about the
klan they were even angrier at the cops for protecting these Nazi racist
scum. The weak attemts by cop sympathizers on the AR side to focus the
crowd's anger at solely the KKK were entirely unsuccessful. I think that
this event will be one in a series of many active and vibrant displays of
anti racist and anti white supremacist actions in this country. I hope
that people are staying safe and keeping their friends close.

Toward a world without racism, without police, without jail cells, and
without the klan.
 Solidarity from a comrade in Columbia, South Carolina."

Robert Seth Hayes Medical Justice Campaign


As previously noted, Seth Hayes finally began to receive medical intervention for both his Hepatitis C and poorly-managed diabetes roughly a month ago. This development is no doubt thanks to many people who made calls on his behalf. Unfortunately, Seth is still suffering from undiagnosed and untreated chronic bleeding and abdominal growths. Many calls have been made to Health Services in regards to these conditions that warrant urgent assessment, and there has been no response. Please join in calling and faxing Health Services this week, stating that you are calling about Robert Seth Hayes, #74-A-2280, at Sullivan Correctional Facility, and requesting:

For coughing up blood, that he be given the results of the chest Xray he was given in May, as well as a PPD (TB skin test), and (if chest Xray was unrevealing) a chest Cat scan. Additionally, if there is any concern about heart failure from the chest Xray, that he be given an ECHO.

For the lump on his abdomen, an abdominal ultrasound or Cat scan. For the ones on his chest wall, a Dermatology consult where they do a biopsy if it is appropriate next step or advise Seth as to what the lesions are.

We must be persistent, insistent and consistent in order for Seth to get his needed medical care, so please continue to call and fax:

On Monday 7/20, Tuesday 7/21 and Wednesday 7/22 please call:

Dr. Carl J. Koenigsmann, Chief Medical Officer, DOCCS Division of Health Services at (518) 457-7073

Holly, Health Services Supervisor, at (518) 445-6176

On Thursday 7/23 and Friday 7/24, please fax (you can use a free online fax service like if needed):

Dr. Carl J. Koenigsmann M.D. at Fax: (518) 445-7553

Holly at Fax: (518) 445-6157

To contribute to ongoing efforts supporting Robert Seth Hayes, please donate online at:

Write to Seth and let him know he is in our hearts and on our minds.

Robert Seth Hayes #74A2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116

Charles Brennan superivsed COINTELPRO against Omaha Two


July 13, 2015 10:25

Charles Brennan supervised COINTELPRO operations as Assistant Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Brennan was a protege of William Sullivan, the architect of COINTELPRO under FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. COINTELPRO was a massive, clandestine counterintelligence program targeted against political activists with its most lethal secret operations directed against the Black Panther Party.

The Omaha Two, Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa (formerly David Rice), were leaders of a Black Panther affiliate chapter, the National Committee to Combat Fascisim when an Omaha police officer was killed by a booby-trap bomb. Hoover wanted the two men convicted for the murder and a plan was hatched the day of the bombing, August 17, 1970, to withhold a FBI Laboratory report on the identity of the annonymous 911 caller that lured Patrolman Larry Minard, Sr. to his death.

A dictabelt copy of the 911 recording was sent to J. Edgar Hoover to forward to the FBI Laboratory by Omaha Special Agent in-Charge Paul Young, however, a formal laboratory report was not requested. A memorandum prepared by the Administrative Division that supervised the FBI Laboratory outlined the crime and scheme to withhold a lab report. Fifteen year-old Duane Peak, who confessed to planting the bomb, claimed he made the phone call upon instructions from Ed Poindexter.

The reason the FBI wanted no report issued was that the 911 caller had a deep, gravelly voice while Peak had a soft, higher-pitched voice. Peak’s credibity was at issue and according to an October 1970 memorandum to Hoover from Omaha, the tape would be “prejudicial” to the prosecution of Poindexter and Mondo.

Charles Brennan was in command of the Domestic Intelligence Division and oversaw all COINTELPRO actions. Brennan was on the distribution list of the memorandum to Laboratory Director Ivan Willard Conrad and initialled the memo beside his name indicating he read and approved the document. Brennan had earned a reputation as an aggressive administrator and had received commendation letters from Hoover for number of counterintelligence operations.

Brennan, one of Hoover’s most dedicated henchmen, was demoted to the field after Hoover’s death, and had been the Special Agent in-Charge of the Alexandria, Virginia FBI office five weeks when a local policeman was killed in a bank robbery. Brennan jumped on the Octoer 25, 1972 murder of Patrolman Israel Gonzalez and worked the case closely, a sharp contrast to the flawed investigation and withheld information of Patroman Larry Minard’s murder.

An Internal FBI memorandum described the case: “Investigation from inception and throughout was conducted jointly by the FBI and ACPD. Information obtained throughout was exchanged freely and fully on a daily basis.”

Brennan was disciplined with a letter of censure by Acting FBI Director Mark Felt, an old foe, for the release of an investigative report to an Alexandria County detective. “Bureau instructions are explicict regarding such matters and you are hereby censured for failing to adhere to prescribed procedures in this instance. I will expect you to be more alert to your responsibilities in discharging your future functions so that there will be no repetition of a dereliction of this nature.”

A memo outlined the rationale for punishment of Brennan: “We should not permit the action by the SAC, Alexandria to go unchallenged, for to do so, would give tacit approval to field offices to disseminate FBI reports to their local departments. The potential scope of such dissemination is beyond estimation, since in nearly all of our criminal investigations, local agencies have concurrnet interests. If FBI reports were indiscriminately funished to police departments, they could very possibly become parts of police records which are made available to members of the press, and there is no end to speculation as to what use could be mde of informaiton from such reports. It is also pointed out that FBI reports, if allowed to be given to police agencies, would be available to local prosecutors, many of whom are politically oriented and would be very happy to quote FBI information for whatever purpose best suited them.”

Charles Brennan got transferred to the Salt Lake City FBI office in Utah where he served several months before resigning with one week notice. The glory days were over for the man who once ran counterintelliegence operations.

In April 1975, Charles Brennan was interviewed by staff of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Church Committee, about COINTELPRO. Brennan did not have much to say. A FBI report on the interiew summarized the exchange.

“Relative to the COINTELPRO, Brennan advised the Staff Members he couldn’t be very specific regarding COINTELPRO inasmuch as he did not pay too much attention to it. They questioned him about this statement and Brennan stated that when you would compare COINTELPRO to such activities as the Bay of Pigs and the Glomar Explorer, COINTELPRO was “peanuts.” Brennan was asked why he didn’t recommend COINTELPRO be discontinued to which he replied “If City Hall wants it, you give them what they want.”

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa were convicted in April 1971 in a controversial trial. The jury never heard the 911 tape of a killer’s voice and never learned that Duane Peak had made a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony. Peak was found guilty of juvenille deliquency and walked free when he became an adult. The Omaha Two remain incarcerated at the maximum-security Nebraska State Penitentiary where they continue to proclaim their innocence.