Category Archives: prison

defending victims.. making prisons unnecessary

SEAN SWAIN IS ON HUNGER STRIKE

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January 12, 2017    From Free Sean Swain 

We received word recently from a friend of Sean’s that Sean is currently on hunger strike and has been placed in a suicide cell.

Although details are still murky, we know that Sean has been without food since December 26th. He was charged with extortion of a deputy warden and had begun a disciplinary process when he began his hunger strike and was placed in a suicide cell.

We know that the prison is recognizing his hunger strike and following the associated procedures, which include taking him to the medical unit every day and weighing him and taking his vital signs. It is unclear whether they are attempting to negotiate with him in any way. Continue reading SEAN SWAIN IS ON HUNGER STRIKE

Bid to Smuggle 8 Refugees to Euskadi fails. Mikel and Begoña now Free

ubn_5077-jpg_20161229192450greciafinal_32360_1Protests for freedom of the 2 rescuers.–Freedom for Bego and Mikel-  –No person is Illegal–.

from Diagonal and TeleSur..  translation by The Free 

Two basque activists were arrested  in Greece for attempting to smuggle eight refugees to Euskadi

The activists and eight refugees have been detained in Greece when they tried to access a ferry bound for Italy in an action of civil disobedience to European migratory policies organized and financed by social groups.

200 volunteers help l.oad a lorry with donated refugee aid in Euskadi
200 volunteers came to help load a lorry with donated refugee aid in Euskadi

Until now only a handful of refugees have made it to Spain due to government blocking.

Mikel Zuloaga and Begoña Huarte were seized by Greek police in the port of Igoumenitsa (Greece), when they were attempting to smuggle eight refugees from there to Euskadi, hidden in a camper van.. Continue reading Bid to Smuggle 8 Refugees to Euskadi fails. Mikel and Begoña now Free

Amnesty now!.. for Peltier, Mumia, Manning, Shakur, Lopez Rivera.. Obama’s last chance.

 Political Prisoners Obama Could Pardon Before He Leaves Office

BY SARA DAVID    shared with thanks, illustrations added…                    With limited time left in the White House, the pressure’s on POTUS to do as much good as he can before Trump’s Legion of Doom threatens the civil liberties of many. Now more than ever, Obama must take a stand to protect human rights activists, radical revolutionaries, and those disproportionately punished by government. Here are some of the political prisoners that Obama should and could pardon before he leaves office:

Mumia Abu-Jamal
mumia_0516Mumia Abu-Jamal was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner, according to Democracy Now, though he has always maintained his innocence. 

Abu-Jamal is a former member of the Black Panther Party, supporter of Philadelphia’s MOVE organization, and award-winning journalist whose writing from prison has reached worldwide audiences. Like the FBI’s obsession with the Black Panther Party, MOVE (a Philadelphia-based black liberation group that often demonstrated against police brutality) was targeted by the U.S. government to quash civil rights activists. In 1985, Philadelphia Police bombed MOVE headquarters, destroying 65 homes and killing 11 people, including five children.

“Because Mumia has for thirty years been subjected to torture on death row and because he is innocent, justice for Mumia will not be served by life imprisonment, but by his release from prison.”
“Because Mumia has for thirty years been subjected to torture on death row and because he is innocent, justice for Mumia will not be served by life imprisonment, but by his release from prison.”

Amnesty International says Abu-Jamal was sentenced to death “after a trial that failed to meet international standards.” Yet he’s spent 35 years in prison—almost all of which he says has been spent in solitary confinement on Pennsylvania’s Death Row.53ymyuo

Abu-Jamal’s demand for a new trial is supported by Nobel laureates Nelson Mandela (now deceased), Toni Morrison, and Desmond Tutu, as well as the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus. On Tuesday, the San Francisco Bay View published an open letter calling on NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to speak out in support of Abu-Jamal.

Leonard Peltier

Image via Getty/MPIleonard peltier

Leonard Peltier fought for Native American rights as a member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). According to Amnesty International, a 1975 confrontation involving AIM members left two FBI agents dead. Peltier was convicted of their murders, but has always maintained his innocence.

 add your voice here> Demand Clemency For Leonard Peltier (USA: UA 33/16) – Amnesty Native American activist Leonard Peltier has been imprisoned in the USA for over 40 years despite concerns over the fairness of his trial.

His case has long been “a flash point in the strained relations between federal law enforcement and Native Americans,” according to Mother Jones. The FBI agents’ deaths occurred on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, approximately 18 miles from Wounded Knee. Mother Jones reported:

In 1973, about 200 Sioux, led by members of the American Indian Movement, occupied Wounded Knee for 71 days to protest injustices against Native Americans and what they perceived as the corrupt leadership of the reservation’s president. By the end of the standoff, two Native Americans had been killed, 12 were wounded, and 12 were “missing” but suspected of having been killed by tribal leadership, according to Peltier’s petition.

Read more here:  In the Spirit of Crazy Horse! Leonard Peltier calls for Solidarity with Standing Rock from 40 year Prison Cell

The three years after the Wounded Knee occupation became known within Native American circles as the “Reign of Terror,” a period during which dozens of Native Americans were murdered and hundreds were assaulted by a private militia that was aligned with Oglala Lakota Souix chairman Dick Wilson and known as the “GOON squad.”18354_52a51b86a2e079-83472534-big

There has been zero recourse for law enforcement responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Native Americans, and Amnesty International has said when it comes to Peltier, it “is concerned about the fairness of proceedings leading to his trial and conviction,” and calls on citizens to write to Obama to request clemency on humanitarian grounds. Peltier has exhausted all legal resources, spent 40 years in jail, and is in poor health. At 71 years old, Peltier suffers from diabetes and was recently diagnosed with an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

He is not eligible for parole again until 2024.

see also> Former Attorney Whose Office Prosecuted Leonard Peltier Now Wants Him Freed 01/05/2017 ● 4:16 am


Chelsea Manning

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Military whistle-blower and democracy advocate Chelsea Manning (known as Bradley Manning until 2013) gave information to the public that exposed unjust detainment of innocent people at Guantanamo Bay. 

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read more HERE:  Appeal: Freedom for Chelsea Manning: Exposing War Crimes is NOT a Crime

According to her website, Manning revealed the following via WikiLeaks:

  • the Collateral Murder video that exposed the killing of unarmed civilians and two Reuters journalists by a US Apache helicopter crew in Iraq
  • the Afghan War Diary that revealed uninvestigated civilian casualties and contractor abuse
  • the Iraq War Logs that revealed civilian casualties, and uninvestigated reports of torture
  • the US diplomatic cables that revealed the role that corporate interests and spying play in international diplomacymanning_sticker_deal

There is no evidence that anyone died as a result of Manning’s leaked info. For her actions revealing the U.S. government’s crimes against humanity, Manning has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times—and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

And Manning’s abuse didn’t even begin with her trial or sentencing. Though soldiers are promised fair treatment and a speedy trial under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, PVT Manning was arrested in 2010 and “waited in pre-trial confinement for over three years before her trial finally began.” According to Manning’s website:

Additionally, during the first 10 months of her incarceration she was subjected to solitary confinement at the Quantico, Virginia, Marine Corps brig. During this time,  Manning was denied meaningful exercise, social interaction, sunlight, and on a number of occasions was forced to stay completely naked.n0prkejw_400x400

Pre-trial punishment is clearly illegal under US military law, and these extreme conditions were unique to Manning. In March 2011, chief US State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley called Manning’s treatment “ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid.” Following his immediate resignation, he has stated that the prosecution’s heavy-handed persecution of Manning has undermined the government’s credibility.

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Furthermore, Manning’s treatment caused an investigation by the United Nations special rapporteur on torture, Juan Mendez. Mendez’s requests to visit Manning were repeatedly denied, and after 14 months of investigation, he issued a statement concluding Manning’s treatment was “cruel and inhuman.”


Assata Shakur

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Black Panther activist Assata Shakur was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a New Jersey State Trooper. She spent six and a half years in prison in what she calls “brutal circumstances” before escaping from the maximum security wing of the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey in 1979 and moving to Cuba in 1984. According to Shakur, she was pulled over by the New Jersey State Police, shot twice, and then charged with murder of a police officer.

The FBI itself has admitted that COINTELPRO—a Counterintelligence Program launched in 1956 to disrupt Communities Party activity that was later expanded to include domestic groups including the Black Panther Party—was “rightfully criticized by Congress and the American people for abridging first amendment rights and for other reasons.”

The FBI has also admitted to enlisting the cooperation of local police departments to disrupt and “neutralize” the Black Panther Party. With micro- and macro-government vendettas against prominent black activists (which is still very much alive today), how could Shakur rely on the U.S. Department of Justice to give her a fair trial?

She writes on her website that she’s a “20th century escaped slave”:

Because of  government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984. I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party.assata shakur

By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists.

In 2015, musician Common was pulled from a commencement speech at Kean University because of police complaints against “A Song for Assata.” Also that year, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza wrote: “When I use Assata’s powerful demand in my organizing work, I always begin by sharing where it comes from, sharing about Assata’s significance to the Black Liberation Movement, what its political purpose and message is, and why it’s important in our context.” Today, there’s even a Chicago-based collective of radical Black women called Assata’s Daughters.

Earlier this year, Obama said Cuba had agreed to “help resolve the cases of several U.S. fugitives living in Cuba,” including Shakur, the Independent reported.


Oscar López Rivera

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Oscar López Rivera has become the longest-held political prisoner in the history of Puerto Rico, after being sentenced to 70 years in prison in 1981. López Rivera was a Chicago-based activist fighting discrimination and police brutality in Puerto Rican communities in the ‘60s.oscar lopez rivera

He was not convicted of killing or harming anyone, but rather “seditious conspiracy”—plotting “against the U.S.” to further Puerto Rican independence. In reality, López Rivera was fighting for the very American principle of no taxation without representation. Puerto Rico is neither a sovereign country nor the 51st state, so its people are U.S. citizens that could be drafted into the military—but can’t even vote for president or Congress representatives.

In 1999, then-president Bill Clinton used his final days in office to grant a presidential pardon to 11 Puerto Rican independence fighters under the condition that they renounce violence, according to the Washington Post. López Rivera was offered a lesser deal; he renounced violence but ultimately refused the deal because he said he had no faith in the U.S. government “sticking to its side of the bargain,” the Guardian reported. According to the publication:

Two decades ago he and his fellow Puerto Rican independence fighters renounced violence and embraced peaceful political reform. The last year in which the militant group to which he belonged committed a violent act was 1983.puerto_rico_oscar-jpg_1718483346

Yet López Rivera still sits in prison.

Prominent supporters of pardoning López Rivera include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former president Jimmy Carter, and Pulitzer Prize-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda, who confronted Obama about López Rivera face to face during a recent White House visit.

US police kill over 1000 people in 2016 .. 2,300,000 in jail

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The State as a monopoly on violence

Marchers numbering nearly 1,000 take to the streets to protest against the recent fatal shootings of black men by police Friday, July 8, 2016, in Phoenix. Freeway ramps were closed and pepper spray and tear gas were used Friday night during a protest in downtown Phoenix following the killings of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, at the hands of police and the deadly sniper attack on police officers in Dallas. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Marchers numbering nearly 1,000 take to the streets to protest against the recent fatal shootings of black men by police Friday, July 8, 2016, in Phoenix. Freeway ramps were closed and pepper spray and tear gas were used during a protest in downtown Phoenix following the killings of black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and suburban St. Paul, Minnesota, at the hands of police and the deadly sniper attack on police officers in Dallas. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Continue reading US police kill over 1000 people in 2016 .. 2,300,000 in jail

MEXICO: ANARCHIST PRISONER LUIS FERNANDO SOTELO RESENTENCED


From Enlace Zapatista  Translation submitted to It’s Going Downfreedom-fernando-sotelo

The modification enacted by the Superior Court of “Justice” on the sentence of our compañero Luis Fernando Sotelo is a joke. The reduction of the sentence to 13 years [from 33 years], is not to serve justice, but is a mockery of it. The irregularities in the process have been denounced innumerable times. Evidence doesn’t exist to incriminate him and during the trial the only eyewitness, the driver of the metro-bus, said he did not recognize our compañero.

Why is he still in prison? It is not for judicial reasons, but political ones. It is punishment for social protest. They want to keep him imprisoned as an example. Our compañero is detained under the command of the government of Mexico City, lead by Miguel Ángel Mancera. Or perhaps also the rumors of corruption of the Fourth Chamber of the Superior Criminal Court are more correct?libertad-sotelo1

Continue reading MEXICO: ANARCHIST PRISONER LUIS FERNANDO SOTELO RESENTENCED

IV Marcha de antorchas contra la carcel de Ponent y los centros de reclusion del estado; concierto La chispa.

by Cruz Negra Anarquista

MARXA DE TORXES

Hace mas de 500 años que la prisión existe, y en todo este tiempo no han dejado de haber robos, tráfico de drogas, de personas y mucho menos se han acabado los maltratos, asesinatos o violaciones y esto es así, aparte de porque somos una sociedad enferma, porque la prisión, que fue creada para reeducar a las personas que han roto la ley, no ha cumplido ni cumple esta función, porque la prisión no es ninguna solución sino que es parte del problema.

Y decimos que es parte del problema porque nosotros queremos señalar los verdaderos intereses que se esconden detrás de las instituciones penitenciarias: por un lado mantener este sistema social y económico injusto y por el otro hacer que nos creamos la mentira de que las prisiones son necesarias.

El col·lectiu okupant tem que "aquest procés judicial acabi derivant en un desallotjament que posi fi a aquests nou anys de lluita en defensa de l’horta de Lleida i l’okupació política d’espais socials" Dànae Quiroz
El col·lectiu okupant tem que “aquest procés judicial acabi derivant en un desallotjament que posi fi a aquests nou anys de lluita en defensa de l’horta de Lleida i l’okupació política d’espais socials” Dànae Quiroz


Continue reading IV Marcha de antorchas contra la carcel de Ponent y los centros de reclusion del estado; concierto La chispa.

Support Ana Belén, now jailed 15 years for Leaking US terrorist plans for Cuba

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Comite Amigos Puerto Rico: Solidarity with Ana Belén Montes, political prisoner in the USA

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from redlatinasinfronteras with thanks

Greetings.
In the present goes the postal and electronic address Ana Belén Montes, from Puerto Rico, who for 17 years from the National Security Agency of the United States of America leaked information to the Cuban government of the terrorist acts that were planned against the Cuban people.

Cuba Mourns Anniversary of Terrorist Bombing of Cubana Flight 455
Cuba Mourns Anniversary of US state Terrorist Bombing of Cubana Flight 455
Ana, in an act of great courage, told the sentencing judge that she did not regret what she had done because she did it consciously because she understood it to be an injustice that the government of the United States of America wanted to impose on Cuba its system of government and economy.

Continue reading Support Ana Belén, now jailed 15 years for Leaking US terrorist plans for Cuba