Jacob Church of Nato 3 getting out of prison and needs your help!

brianchurch
http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/prison-release-fund-for-jacob-church/232093

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

Jacob is the first of the three to be released. He is scheduled to return to
us in early November! Please donate to his release fund to help ease the
transition after 2 and a half years behind bars. Donations are needed to help
pay for Jacob’s living expenses while he works to get back on his feet during
the immediate aftermath of his incarceration. – See more at:
http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/prison-release-fund-for-jacob-church/232093#sthash.Hhj2W2qs.dpuf

Background at https://freethenato3.wordpress.com/about/

Albert Woodfox’ Courtroom Battles Continue – October 29 and Beyond

From: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?ca=aece1683-bf3b-43c3-9927-e6bad33e0fbb&c=ddd0f320-356e-11e3-9e24-d4ae52754dbc&ch=de9861d0-356e-11e3-9eba-d4ae52754dbc

woodfox demonstrationPlease join us on the morning of Wednesday, October 29th, at the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit (600 Camp St.) in New Orleans for oral arguments about whether or not to uphold Judge Brady’s January 2014 ruling that put an end to the invasive, dehumanizing strip and cavity searches Albert had been tortured by since May of 2013.

As you may remember, this is the second of two outstanding appeals of rulings in A3’s favor that have frozen progress towards the final trial prep stages of the decade long A3 civil case, which seeks to establish long term solitary as the unconstitutionally cruel and unusual punishment the A3 know it to be.

The cruel and rather perplexing irony of this corner of the civil case is that it was a lawsuit that Albert himself filed and won in 1978 that put an end to the demeaning practice for decades, until two months after his conviction was overturned for a 3rd time.  It was then that prison officials at David Wade Correctional Center, where he is currently being held, inexplicably began to again routinely strip and cavity search Albert every time he left or entered his cell, even if he was shackled and had no contact with anyone besides prison officials.

In his ruling, Judge Brady found that these frequent, routine searches were not shown to be “necessary” or “justified” for security as is required constitutionally of such policies, and therefore “Woodfox’s human dignity [as] protected by his Fourth Amendment rights” outweighed any “legitimate penological interest.” The State disagrees and is fighting to reinstate the searches.

If you are in town and able to attend, the proceedings are open to the public.  Doors open at 8am and court convenes at 9am in the West Courtroom, room 265.  Although listed second on the schedule for the morning, there is no telling the exact time our case will begin, so it is better to arrive early, but be prepared to potentially stay all morning. Arguments themselves are expected to be very short–30 minutes or less per side. Seating is limited, and formal dress and conduct are both required and strictly enforced by Federal Marshals.

For those unable to attend, the hearing will be recorded by the Court and we will circulate a link to the proceedings as it becomes available.

13 Days in the Dungeon – Albert’s New Civil Suit

Last week Albert filed another civil action, separate from the larger A3 civil suit, seeking to hold the Louisiana DOC and prison officials at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center (which you may remember as the prison where Herman spent his last years) to account for the 13 harrowing days he spent in the dungeon there before, during, and after his May 2012 habeas hearing in Baton Rouge.

Officials ignored all transfer, classification, and disciplinary procedures required to justify such a harsh placement, and put Albert in the dungeon shortly after he arrived for the 3 day hearing that months later would result in his conviction being overturned for a 3rd time.  When Albert objected to the punitive placement without due process or review, he was told: “this decision comes from higher up.”

Albert’s complaint details multiple egregious violations of his 1st, 8th, and 14th Amendment during his stay at Hunt.  In addition to denying him access to yard time, TV, phone, visits, canteen, and confiscating the basic clothes and hygiene products he was allowed to bring with him; Albert was served inedible food, including at least one meal served still frozen in a block of ice, and forced to wear leg shackles without socks which caused severe cuts and bruises on his ankles that took months to heal.  Most importantly the harsh conditions, extreme heat, and continuous screaming and moaning from other inmates tortured by their punishment in dungeon cells nearby, prevented Albert from participating fully in the hearing that would determine his freedom, resulting in significant mental and emotional anguish on top of the very real physical suffering he endured.

We will keep you updated as this important new challenge moves along through the courts.

Albert Woodfox #72148
David Wade Correctional Center
670 Bell Hill Road
Homer, LA  71040

Denver Demands Justice for Ryan Ronquillo | O25 March

Hey Denver,

Join the O22 international protest against  police brutality.

The community is marching tomorrow/Saturday (not sure when you’re reading this). Get your friends and family together and we’ll see you at 4pm at Barnum Park to demand justice for Ryan and all those whose lives have been destroyed and stolen by police terrorism! Denver ABC will be providing a legal line.

o25

300 miles north, the murder of Andy Lopez was heard in the SHU at CSP – Pelican Bay

From Sacramento Prisoner Support:

Andy Lopez was murdered by a Sonoma County Sheriff in Santa Rosa, California on October 22nd, 2013. He was only 13 years old. Andy’s murder was deeply felt all over the world. 300 miles north of Santa Rosa, Jose Villarreal was moved to write and create art in honor of Andy from his cell in the SHU at CSP – Pelican Bay.

Jose Villarreal is a prolific writer and artist who has spent the last ten years of his life in the SHU at Pelican Bay. He writes frequently for publications such as California Prison Focus and The Rock. Everything Jose does he does with purpose and commitment – including taking part in the most recent prisoner hunger strikes that occurred at Pelican Bay and elsewhere throughout the California Prison system. Jose has dedicated his life to struggling for Brown youth, Aztlan and oppressed people everywhere. He could not sit idle after hearing that Andy Lopez had been murdered and quickly created the following portrait and poem for and about him. He recognized that Andy’s struggle is one that we all share – the fight against repression and for liberation. When we fight for Andy, we fight for all of us.
andy“The poem Andy’s Fight I tried to write it in a way that not just captures how his death affected me but to also empower people to see how Andy has mobilized many as well.”

Andy’s Fight

You’re presence lives on in every struggle against brutality,

a precious life not spared the coarse nature of our reality.

A reflection of life under Amerikkka in these streets,

We yearn for the day youth need not worry about them folks wearing

them dam sheets.

You were not allowed to reach your 14th birthday,

This tragedy was felt all the way up in Pelican Bay.

I was in my windowless cell when I got the news,

mijito in our struggle for justice we will not lose!

Today we are born into a repressive state,

Yet the beauty of the people is shown resisting on your birthdate.

You’re precious life meant more than you would probably ever know,

Your small Brown fist has already dealt them a mighty big blow.

Transformation has started due to this pigs actions,

Look at the mobilization of people from so many factions!

Your fight began the day you were born,

Occupation will continue until struggle becomes the norm.

Today we rebuild with liberation in sight,

there is no way in hell we will abandon Andy’s fight!

By Jose Villarreal

#H84098

Pelican Bay – State Prison

SHU – C11 – 106

PO Box 7500

Crescent City, CA 95532

The Struggle for Independence – 7pm Denver, CO

s4i00

New Prisoner Listed: Eric King

From supportericking.wordpress.com

ericking

10/5/14
My name is Eric. I’ve been an anarchist since about the age of 17; of course developing and maturing my views as I have grown. I am very active in the LGBQT, Earth, Animal, Antifa and other communities. I have organized Food Not Bombs, rallies against the Klan, and many others in support of human rights, anti-capitalism, animal rights, etc! I am an insurrectionist now. I believe that revolution starts in our own minds and once you are personally ready, then everyone has something they can do.I value and support the solidarity and comradery received from the community now when I need it most. There is a warm feeling you get from knowing that you committed your life to something larger than yourself and getting warm wishes, kindness, and positive words which can really help someone out of a dark day. I am getting indicted this week and hopefully will be outside sooner or later. Books, stamp money, envelope money and letters would be greatly appreciated if your able and if not keep up the struggle. With love and support, EK (A) (///)

U.S. Attorney Trying to Jail Tortured Palestinian Activist Seeks Anonymous Jury

From HuffPost:

By Dima Khalidi, Director of Palestine Solidarity Legal Support and Cooperating Counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights

The U.S. Attorney filed an extraordinary motion this week in the controversial prosecution of Rasmea Odeh, seeking an order to empanel an anonymous jury and sequester jurors from protests occurring outside the Detroit courthouse so that they are not improperly swayed by Odeh’s supporters.

Rasmea Odeh, a beloved Palestinian-American community leader who has built an impressive program for hundreds of immigrant Arab women in Chicago with the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), was arrested last October and charged with immigration fraud. The charges stem from allegations that Ms. Odeh, who has been in the U.S. for 20 years and was naturalized in 2003, failed to indicate on her naturalization application that she was convicted by an Israeli military court and imprisoned for 10 years. At the age of 21 in 1969, Odeh was arrested, severely tortured, sexually and otherwise, into confessing to a crime she maintains she did not commit, and convicted by an Israeli military court system notorious for its violations of basic due process rights and its almost 100 percent conviction rate of Palestinian defendants. Despite having been vocal about her torture experience, testifying to a UN committee in 1979, and speaking publicly about it over the years, Odeh now faces another 10 years in a U.S. prison and de-naturalization if she is convicted.

The U.S. Attorney’s motion represents another startlingly repressive action in this continuing witch hunt of a respected Palestinian-American community member. Contrary to the U.S. Attorney’s characterization, Odeh’s so-called “hoard” [sic] of supporters do not seek to tamper with the jury or justice system. They seek, as is their constitutional right, to bear witness to another illegitimate targeting of a politically-minded Arab activist, scholar and community leader, and to communicate to all who will listen about a grave injustice. It is only from the U.S. Attorney’s warped perspective that these acts of conscience and solidarity — rather than its own prosecutorial overreach — can be deemed a threat to our justice system.

Anonymous juries are an extreme measure used to protect jurors from serious threats to their safety. They are often used in cases related to mob activities in which there is a history of real threats of juror intimidation and violence. The prosecutor’s motion in this case cites no such threats or prospect of violence; what is does do is attack Odeh’s constitutional rights to due process, an impartial jury, and the presumption of innocence. Courts view anonymous juries as exceptional measures because of their potential to paint the defendant as a dangerous person from whom jurors need protection and thereby undermine the defendant’s right to a presumption of innocence. Such a measure also denies the defense an adequate opportunity to screen jurors for potential biases during the voire dire jury selection process by denying the defense access to identifying juror information.

The fear-mongering attempt to portray Odeh’s supporters as an unruly mob or horde has racist undertones given the modest number of predominantly Arab and Muslim supporters that have appeared outside her hearings with signs, and that filled the courtroom for the first open hearing on October 2. Also troubling is the attack on a fundamental First Amendment right to free speech, which protects the right of individuals to gather and engage in such advocacy outside of courthouses within the bounds of the law — which her supporters have been careful to follow — and to attend public court proceedings. The insinuations in the prosecution’s motion that such activities by Odeh’s supporters are criminal not only rely on baseless conjectures about their intentions to improperly influence the jury, but are highly chilling to these speech rights as well.

As with innumerable other cases of government overreach and bias in prosecuting Palestinians and Muslims more generally, the public support for Odeh is vital to raising awareness about the case and about the overwhelming biases in the media and the judicial process that are weighted against her. All over the country, PSLS is documenting incidents of repression against Palestine solidarity activists who are being targeted by the government and Israel advocacy organizations because they are outspoken advocates for Palestinian rights. Odeh’s case is part of this pattern.

At her first open-court pre-trial hearing on October 2, the judge denied her motion to dismiss the case, which claimed that the prosecution was part of a larger effort to target and intimidate politically active Palestinian-Americans in the community, including the AAAN’s Executive Director, Hatem Abudayyeh. Odeh’s attorney, Michael Deutsch, said that Odeh’s indictment was the “fruit of an illegal investigation” by the U.S. government, tied to the subpoenas of 23 midwest antiwar activists in 2010, and that Odeh was selectively prosecuted because of her protected First Amendment activities advocating for Palestinian rights.

Supporters have been rallying to Odeh’s defense, calling in to the U.S. Attorney to drop the charges against her and gathering outside of the courthouse during her court appearances. This summer, the judge appointed to hear Odeh’s case recused himself after the defense requested that he do so because of his significant financial support of Israel and after it was found that the judge’s family had financial interests in Israel related to the case. Odeh’s trial is set to begin on November 4. Additional news, updates, and ways to support Odeh are available at stopfbi.net.

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