Update on Ojore Lutalo

Please forward to anyone that needs or wants an update, so we can get some funds raised.

Ojore had an arraignment this morning, Thursday January 28, at 11 am in the La Junta City Courthouse. Ojore was formally charged with “Interfering with Public Transportation,”a class 3 felony, based on allegations from train passengers that  Ojore made “terroristic threats against the train” while on a personal phone call while he was a passenger the Amtrak train. Ojore has said that he was having a political conversation with a friend at the time.

The prosecution initially asked for a $50,000 bond citing Ojore’s previous “criminal” background and imprisonment as well as him being an out of state resident.

The defense argued for a $1,000 bond citing Ojore’s links to the Denver community and housing available to him as well as his previous imprisonment being a “politically biased imprisonment”.

The judge ruled that Ojore’s bond would be set at $30,000, justifying this amount because Ojore is an out of state resident, and in 1982 Ojore was convicted of a failure to appear charge and presently posed a flight risk due to this history.

Denver Anarchist Black Cross Federation members were present for the hearing and are presently in La Junta working to bail him out. A bondsmen has been secured that will post bond for Ojore at the cost of $4,500. This cost has been fronted by various amazing folks from across the country, but much of this money is being loaned. Ojore is in major need of donations to help pay these loans back!

The Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross Federation is accepting donations for this effort. Donations can be sent via paypal to: timABCF@aol.com

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URGENT: Anarchist and former Black Liberation political prisoner, Ojore Lutalo arrested in La Junta Colorado!

OjoreOjore Lutalo is an anarchist and black liberation warrior that was a member of a Black Liberation Army formation. He was imprisoned in 1977 for expropriating funds from a bank for revolutionary activities. He was paroled in 1980, and was re-arrested in 1982 for allegedly assaulting and robbing a drug dealer to also fund revolutionary activities. He was widely recognized as a political prisoner and prisoner of war.

This is what supporter and longtime comrade Bonnie Kerness of the recently founded Newark ABCF, of which Ojore is a member says:
“Ojore won release via a court order in August of 2009. He is not under any parole supervision. He took an Amtrak to Los Angeles on January 19th, arriving on the morning of January 22nd. He spent four days there, beginning his return trip home to New Jersey on Amtrak on Monday evening, January 25th. He was arrested Tuesday night, January 26th while aboard Amtrak and taken to a facility in La Junta, Colorado. He was charged with “endangering public transportation”. When he called me the afternoon of January 27th, he said he had no idea of the basis of the charges. He had already been on the train for over 24 hours. His court hearing will be tomorrow on January 28th at 11 a.m. in La Junta, Colorado. One officer told him that his bail would be $10,000.00 and he would need a place to stay if he could make bail. (Denver ABCF has committed to housing him after his release and through this process.)

“I am not exactly sure who arrested him, but this isn’t an immigration case. He is physically okay. In my 24 years of monitoring his situation, since 1986, harassment for his radical belief system has been constant. Any help would be deeply appreciated.”

If you can help with donations for Ojore’s bail, please contact Denver ABCF ASAP at denverabc@rocketmail.com, or call Dave from the Denver ABCF at 785-840-5080. We are sending a delegation to his arraignment tomorrow, and need to scrape together any funds that we can before then. However, if you are receiving this message late, or can’t donate for a couple days, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Every dollar will help.

Howard Zinn: historian, organizer, dissident dies at 87

Howard ZinnBy Mark Feeney, Globe Staff

Howard Zinn, the Boston University historian and political activist who was an early opponent of US involvement in Vietnam and a leading faculty critic of BU president John Silber, died of a heart attack today in Santa Monica, Calif, where he was traveling, his family said. He was 87.

“His writings have changed the consciousness of a generation, and helped open new paths to understanding and its crucial meaning for our lives,” Noam Chomsky, the left-wing activist and MIT professor, once wrote of Dr. Zinn. “When action has been called for, one could always be confident that he would be on the front lines, an example and trustworthy guide.”

For Dr. Zinn, activism was a natural extension of the revisionist brand of history he taught. Dr. Zinn’s best-known book, “A People’s History of the United States” (1980), had for its heroes not the Founding Fathers — many of them slaveholders and deeply attached to the status quo, as Dr. Zinn was quick to point out — but rather the farmers of Shays’ Rebellion and the union organizers of the 1930s.

As he wrote in his autobiography, “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train” (1994), “From the start, my teaching was infused with my own history. I would try to be fair to other points of view, but I wanted more than ‘objectivity’; I wanted students to leave my classes not just better informed, but more prepared to relinquish the safety of silence, more prepared to speak up, to act against injustice wherever they saw it. This, of course, was a recipe for trouble.”
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