Jeremy still in the SHU, now under investigation

From Free Jeremy:

As many of you know, Jeremy was placed in SHU (segregated housing unit) a little over a month ago as a result of a disciplinary infraction. He was told he would be in SHU for approximately 45 days, with his release date being on or around 20 August 2015.

For almost a week now, we have waited anxiously to hear that he has been released from SHU. Today, we got our answer, though it was not what any of us had hoped. In a letter dated 18 August that we received yesterday, he explained that he is still in SHU, and currently has no idea when he is going to be released. He had completed the time given to him for the disciplinary infraction and was preparing for release when prison officials informed him that he would be staying in SHU “pending SIS investigation.” “SIS” stands for “special investigative services,” and they function like an internal prison police unit. He was not told what they are investigating, nor how much longer he can expect to be there.

Prisoners can be held in SHU for up to 90 days without charge. If Jeremy is eventually charged with something as a result of whatever he is being “investigated” for, the time he spent awaiting charge will not count towards whatever punishment is handed down.

We are speculating that this new, mysterious “investigation” is in relation to another issue that has been ongoing for quite some time now. Shortly before he was sent to SHU in July, Jeremy’s phone and email privileges were taken away without warning and for reasons that, while not entirely clear, were obvious attempts to silence him. (His stay in SHU was not related to these issues, and, as stated, was the result of a disciplinary infraction.) While in SHU, his email privileges were reinstated just as mysteriously as they had been removed, and he was allowed to make a phone call, but the issue was never fully resolved. While no one but prison officials know for certain at this point, the vagueness with which this new SHU designation is being communicated to Jeremy is eerily similar to the vagueness with which his privileges were revoked, and could very well be related.

There is also a chance that Jeremy is being denied visits, as his grandparents report they were denied the opportunity to visit him several weeks ago for, again, unknown reasons. They have previously been able to visit him freely and without incident.

This is absolutely ludicrous and very discouraging. Jeremy has previously written about how time in SHU is always hell, but it’s at least easier to bear when you know you’re in there for something you legitimately did wrong. Holding Jeremy without charge, and without any firm end date in sight amounts to nothing short of torture. Please consider writing him a short letter of encouragement.

janonaddress

 

It is Time We Discussed Abolishing the Police

From CounterPunch:

“If I was an anarchist or even a regular protester,” explained the president of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Ron Smith, “I would probably not want to be infiltrated by the police… Just like the dope dealer on Third and Pike doesn’t want to get busted. That’s the price of doing business. It’s the whole package.” This startling bit of honesty from the Seattle police regarding their imperative to infiltrate and spy on social justice protests came as Ansel Herz, a reporter for the local newspaper The Stranger, questioned Smith regarding undercover cops at a Black Lives Matter protest last December.

For those involved in Left protest movements this is hardly news. I remember my early days in the antiwar movement at Texas Tech University. During the first rallies protesting the invasion of Iraq in 2003 local police with their crew-cuts, wraparound shades, and shirts tucked into Wrangler jeans would “blend effortlessly” into the crowd of college students. Campus police even intruded into a graduate student’s office—much to his surprise—in order to peruse our flyers and posters that were stored there. A year later an investigation by Salon revealed that police had infiltrated antiwar groups in Boulder, Fresno, Grand Rapids, and Albuquerque. A federal prosecutor even demanded Drake University turn over all of its records regarding an antiwar conference held there by the National Lawyers Guild.

Ahead of the Republican National Convention in 2008 Minnesota police in conjunction with the FBI raided the homes of antiwar activists “seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets” according to reports. One of the many police officers who infiltrated antiwar groups prior to the convention would later brag of how protesters “were herded like sheep at the hands of the riot cops.” Ultimately he determined that the “strategy, tactic, and deployments were well planned and extremely effective in controlling [protesters].”

Detective Wojciech Braszczok was one of many undercover cops infiltrating the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, a fact that came to light after his unrelated arrest following the release of a video of him violently assaulting a motorist. Braszczok’s participation in the movement went beyond monitoring protests as he insinuated himself deep into the personal lives of Occupy members even attending birthday parties—all the while collecting “intelligence” for the NYPD. Other undercovers in the Occupy movement worked as agent provocateurs “being paid to go to these protests and put us in situations where we’d be arrested and not be able to leave” as Occupy member Marshall Garrett discovered after his 2011 arrest.

During the 2010 protests against budget cuts and tuition hikes on West Coast college campuses university police sent a spy into meetings of the University of Washington based UW Student Worker Coalition. At UC Davis the administration worked with faculty and police to form the Student Activism Team, a taskforce charged with infiltrating and surveilling Left groups on campus. Even more disturbing, a lawsuit filed last year by the Evergreen State College chapter of Students for a Democratic Society revealed further details of a surveillance ring dating back to 2009 and built around John Towery a member of the Army’s Force Protection Service who had infiltrated the Olympia, Washington student group. According to emails Towery was trying to “develop a leftist/anarchist mini-group for intel sharing and distro” with campus police and police departments in Everett, Spokane, Portland, Eugene, and Los Angeles as well as with various branches of the military.

Last week documents obtained by The Intercept revealed that undercover officers for the NYPD regularly attended Black Lives Matter events. Pictures of activists are kept on file by the department and their movements are tracked. In a statement on these revelations the Metropolitan Transit Authority which has been using its counter-terrorism task force to also spy on Black Lives Matter justified the spying by equating protesters with terrorists. And this is not just the view of local police departments, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force have both been monitoring Black Lives Matter protests across the country showing the dangerous and unfounded link in the minds of police between social justice movements and terrorism.

It is notable that the problem of police infiltration is unique to Left-leaning political groups. Right wing organizations like the Tea Party, the Oath Keepers, and the Ku Klux Klan are more likely to have police as enthusiastic members than moles. Even the FBI’s oft celebrated infiltration of the Klan during the Civil Rights Movement led to more cheerleading for Klan activity than arrests of its members. While police frequently paint Left organizations as violent in order to justify the violation of people’s right to organize politically these right wing terrorist groups are regularly leftunmolested by the supposed keepers of the peace.

There are many people who think the police exist to fight crime. The reality is that the police exist to maintain the status-quo with the rich on top and everyone else fighting for scraps. During the uprising in Ferguson last year comedian Chris Rock commented, “If poor people knew how rich rich people are, there would be riots in the streets.” The police represent the first line of defense between the rich and the rioters. Those involved in the Black Lives Matter movement—the latest challenge to the racist status-quo—learn quickly the true function of the police as they are shouted at and insulted by police in riot gear who hem in their marches, as they have their photos taken by police surveillance teams for further investigation, as they deal with the never ending stream of plain-clothes cops intimidating, monitoring, sowing seeds of distrust. Knowing the political role of the police perhaps it is time to stop hoping for reform and start imagining a world without the police.

Chile: Update on anarchist prisoner Natalia ‘Tato’ Collado

From Insurrection News:

FreeTatoOn August 15th anarchist prisoner Natalia ‘Tato’ Collado was transferred from the S.A.R (High Security Section – the isolation module) back to the ‘Public Connotation’ module where anarchist comrade Nataly Casanova is also held. Tato had been in the isolation module since July 27th as punishment for her rebellious and defiant stance against the prison guards.

At this stage Tato has not been able to share a cell again with Nataly however she is out of isolation now and back in a module where the conditions are a lot less suffocating and restrictive.

Let’s not forget that the comrades Natalia and Maria Paz are still being held in the S.A.R., accused of the arson attack against a barracks of the Homicide Investigation Police.

Solidarity and insurgent affinity with the imprisoned comrades!

(via Publicacion Refractario, modified translation by Insurrection News)

A-Radio Interview: Week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners August 2015

cageFrom A-Radio Berlin:

In the following interview we ask about the „Week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners“ (August 23 to 30, 2015), who is promoting it and what it is about. For security reasons, this interview has been re-recorded using our own voices.

Length: 4:47 min

You can download the audio at: archive.org (wav | mp3 | ogg).

Here you can listen to it directly:

Letter from Anarchist Prisoner, Emma Sheppard, in support of the International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners

From Bristol ABC:

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Letter from Anarchist Prisoner, Emma Sheppard, in support of the International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners.

For more info on Emma’s case see: https://bristolabc.wordpress.com/support-emma/

“The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings for freedom”
– Maya Angelou

Our fearful trill is the combination of frustration, despair, indignation and defiance. The “Incentives and Earned Privileges” scheme that dominates prisons today goes a long way to silencing our songs through its passive coercion and pastoralism, but they always erupt sporadically.

“We count ourselves among those rebels who count storms, who hold that the only truth lies in perpetual seeking”
– Madya Tulokonnivan (Pussy Riot)

Being in prison has made me feel humble. My fixed-term sentence is short, and unlike many, I have a release date. I am humbled by the fire and conviction which fuels long term anarchist prisoners, and the many rebels in prison who are “perpetually seeking” in their own ways, free from (and often unknown to) the anarchist subcultures. Quietly rejecting and challenging authority everyday in a way to keep sane inside. These rebels and actions give me hope.

“Tigers are more beautiful than sheep but we prefer them behind bars”
– Bertrand Russel

I do not consider myself a tiger! But as Michael Gove said in his first speech as ‘Justice Minister’: “Civilisation depends on clear sanctions being imposed by the state on those who challenge the rules”. So they put us behind bars and try to drown us in petty regulations. But being here has just made me stronger and given a depth of my understanding of concepts such as privilege and solidarity. They labelled us ‘criminals’ and try to shame us into compliance, or rely on other prisoners to do their work – policing, pandering and grasping of imagined rewards and “earned privileges”. But knowing I am not alone in my struggle gives me strength and vigilance.

Gove has begin to change the rhetoric surrounding prisoners: we are now potential assets, we are to quote him, “a literally captive population”. He is promising early release for those who ‘show their chained attitude that they wish to contribute to society’.

We are led through our time by those benign dictators, our ‘Offender Managers’, who calmly construct our sentence plans and ‘therapeutic’ programmes (also known as prisons-within-prisons). The Prison “Service” is like an abusive partner: offering calming reassurances whilst deliberately alienating, excluding, and physically and mentally controlling us. This can never be a therapeutic environment.

Martin Luther King said we are all “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. What affects one directly affects all indirectly”. These networks bear down on us in biased and relentless ways. Prison is often the final step for those who have been excluded and controlled by the wider mechanisms of the state their whole lives. The numbers of deaths (at the hands of the screws, filth and suicides) in custody and on the streets continue to rise, discussed and minimized. Self harm is rife within women’s prisons.

The Ministry of Justice plan to sell off many parts of the prison estate, its so called ‘dark corners’ (many of which happen to be in prime locations). Gove claims that it is this cleansing desire and economic, which is driving the developments. But whether its the Queen or rich landlords who will benefit, or the Ministry, is irrelevant… It’s all capitalist expansion.

“Whoever has passed by the front of a court house or prison and his look didn’t darken at the thought that he could be there as a culprit, then he did not live his life with integrity and dignity”

– Quote from Greece, unsure of author

I hope that I can serve the rest of my time and license with integrity. I mourn the loss of my anonymity every day. Writing can be terrifying, especially with limited resources, but I will finish with a quote from Audre Lorde:

“When we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
or welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it’s better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive”

Solidarity to all anarchist prisoners and everyone harmed by the prison system.

With love and rage,

Em

Chile: Anarchist prisoner Sergio Alvarez transferred to new wing

From Insurrection News:

chile-prisoner-solidarity

Insurrection News received and transmits (edited for clarity):

Anarchist comrade Sergio Alvarez was transferred to the 33rd. wing of ‘Santiago 1’ prison, after staying for more than a week in a temporary wing.

In that wing, he can not have contact with other anarchist prisoners, who are kept separated in different wings of the same prison.

Anarchist comrade Sergio Alvarez was arrested on Wednesday, July 15 in the context of clashes between police and encapuchados (hooded ones) outside the University of Chile in Santiago. He was formalized for possession of an incendiary device, disorder and aggression against the police.

Sergio´s posture is not about “young student victim of a frame-up”, but he has positioned himself as an anarchic/anti authoritarian individual in confrontation with Power.

You can get more info and leave messages of solidarity for Sergio via this email:  laguerracontinua@riseup.net

Solidarity with all comrades in prison!