June 11, 2015 : TRANSITION : The struggle’s not over…

From June11.org

j11_heart final

The last year has been full of changes and transitions for our imprisoned comrades and for those of us engaged in struggle on the other side of the walls. Now, solidly in the throes of spring, we feel compelled to celebrate these transitions and victories as new life and energy burst forth all around us. It is not often that we get a chance to truly mix celebration and struggle – but now is one of those times! On January 8th of this year the Eastern District Court of California ordered Eric McDavid released from prison. Our comrade Marius came out publicly as a man and began seeking resources for his physical transition. We believe these are both transitions worthy of celebration and reason for continued struggle. It is in this spirit that we bring you our thoughts about J11 2015.

First, a bit of housekeeping: We have a new email address: june11th at riseup dot net! If you sent something to the old address, it is likely we did not receive it. We would love it if there were many translations of this callout and other support materials (many thanks to ContraInfo and others for supporting translation over the years)! Please send information about the June 11th events you are planning this year, posters, zines, and any report backs to june11th at riseup dot net. We are looking forward to hearing from you and will post events as we receive them at June11.org Every year events happen in new cities, and we hope you’ll encourage your friends and comrades far and wide to join us this year.

This day is an annual day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners, including Marius Mason and Eric McDavid. In calling for the day, we aim to deepen ongoing support for comrades facing long sentences. They, in particular, risk being forgotten within a prisoner support model based on reacting to spikes in state repression and other emergencies. We are committed to building a model of solidarity that is both long-term and capable of flexibly responding to new developments. It is also vital to constantly build new links of solidarity between prisoners and between struggles, rather than fall back on static networks of personal links and contacts.

Originating as a day of solidarity for eco-prisoners, J11 remains anchored in a project of ecological defense and struggle against a society based on exploitation and confinement. As the focus shifted to solidarity with Marius and Eric, two eco-anarchist prisoners serving roughly 20-year sentences, people have expressed their solidarity through letter-writing nights, fundraisers, educational events, demonstrations and attacks. Any real effort to aid prisoners cannot be based simply on passive support, but must also include a commitment to build on their struggles before and after their imprisonment. More explanation about the context for and strategy of June 11th can be found here: http://june11.org/about/

Last year, while organizing J11 events, we addressed challenging questions about the relationship between ecologically oriented struggles and anarchist anti-prison struggles. It is clear to us that the world which requires prisons also requires the destruction of the environment; as anarchists, we despise both. We are heartened by the growing movements against the tar sands, LNG pipelines, fracking and the myriad other ecologically destructive projects. The escalation of eco-struggles across the globe is both necessary and exciting. Both Marius and Eric remain committed to these struggles, as we remain committed to them, all eco-prisoners, and the struggles that they all – we all – are engaged in. But this year we have been given cause for celebration – and we would like to emphasize that as we move forward.

This year Marius Mason publicly shared his new name and use of male pronouns that better reflect his masculine gender identity. To quote his lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen who is assisting with the legal aspects of his transition, Marius is someone “whose courage and integrity are made even more salient by the fact that his own liberation and autonomy have long been severely circumscribed.” In the face of a world that systematically subjects trans people to violence, isolation and abuse, we hope that everyone shows their support of trans liberation by supporting Marius and the many imprisoned trans folks. This struggle should extend beyond mere fundraising. Trans prisoners are struggling not only for the material necessities of existence, but are also struggling against systems of domination which will stop at nothing to prevent them from simply being who they are. Our solidarity needs to be as creative and varied as the state’s tactics are cruel and oppressive.

On January 8th of this year, Eric McDavid was released from prison after nine years of incarceration. Eric returned home to his friends and family after a federal court granted his habeus corpus petition, stating that the FBI withheld evidence during the trial phase of his case. Because of this, Eric was able to plead guilty to a lesser charge which carried a five year maximum sentence – four years less than the time he had already served in federal prison. Eric’s incredible determination and the awe-inspiring support from his family, friends and comrades have not only contributed to his emotional and physical well-being while behind bars but also to his eventual release. His release from prison after 9 years is a monumental change. Eric is now faced with building a new life after almost a decade of incarceration. This is a new phase of struggle for him, and we are committed to continuing our solidarity with him post-release.

We face new questions about how to help Eric during this transition from a heavily controlled prison environment to a life in the open prison (the conditions that overlap between Eric’s parole and the society of control in which we all live). Although he is no longer living his life in a cage of concrete and razor wire, Eric still constantly faces the repressive apparatus of the state. His movements are restricted, his communications monitored, and his time is spent in ways that aren’t always of his choosing. All of this limits his interactions with the communities he has been away from for so long, the communities he wishes to engage with and be a part of. We must figure out how to lessen the impacts of these kinds of restrictions and how to enable as smooth a transition and homecoming as possible. We are thrilled to be facing these questions nine years earlier than we’d expected.

The focus of June 11th events this year will continue to include Eric by aiding him materially and emotionally during this transition and maintaining channels for political engagement concerning Eric’s entrapment. Eric’s case remains one of the most obvious examples of the state targeting and entrapping anarchists in this country. But we must always remember that his case is in no way exceptional. Muslim communities have borne the brunt of these kinds of attacks from the FBI. We should always be finding ways to work in solidarity. Post release support is a vital component to our struggle, and we’re obviously thrilled beyond words that Eric can walk and talk among friends and Earth according to his own desires again, and with every step we affirm that we want the destruction of all prisons.

The practices of ongoing solidarity should not solely serve as a soothing cultural custom: our actions carry potential for real material consequences — both positive and negative — for our imprisoned comrades. As we practice solidarity with imprisoned comrades and loved ones, our goal goes beyond simply supporting them; we aim to build social momentum against an entire system of domination and ecological destruction. These linkages add significance to all our gestures of solidarity, rendering them more potent tools on behalf of those inside, but also increasing the risks should these gestures be miscalculated or imprecise: as always, exercise care and sharp analysis when laying plans.

This reflection applies to the entire range of support projects, including fundraising. We hope though, that fundraisers also create spaces for discussion and struggle. A common anxiety among comrades facing long sentences is whether there will still be subversive projects and conversations underway when they get out. It’s up to all of us to make sure that there are, and that these projects and conversations are stronger, richer, and more vital. And it’s everyone’s letters to prisoners that ensure their ongoing connection to this process.

A specific element of this process is building our capacity for ongoing prisoner support. There have been both victories and setbacks over the past year as anarchist and other rebellious prisoners have waged struggles against their conditions, including both hunger and work strikes. Nikos Romanos’ hunger strike and the accompanying revolutionary solidarity reminded us of the subversive possibility of struggles coordinated across prison walls. But as anarchist prisoners, like Sean Swain in Ohio or Michael Kimble in Alabama, increasingly conduct similar fights in North America, the movement has frequently lacked the connections or strength required to offer meaningful solidarity. This is not a criticism of the dedicated support crews working with these rebel prisoners, but is directed to the rest of us, indicating the importance of generalizing active forms of solidarity with prisoners.

An important aspect of the long-term project of prisoner solidarity is maintaining old connections while building new connections with other prisoners in struggle. Recently released comrades Amelie and Fallon encompassed this idea well in their February open letter http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2015/02/17/mexican-prisons-open-letter-of<http://en.contrainfo.espiv.net/2015/02/17/mexican-prisons-open-letter-of-amelie-pelletier-and-fallon-poisson-february-14-2015/> Generalizing solidarity means escaping the space of the small “activist scene” to allow surprising new relationships to form. Part of our proposal this year is to build stronger relations of solidarity with trans prisoners in struggle, both to offer immediate personal and political support, and to prepare to offer more meaningful aid in future struggles for safety, hormones/other medical resources, and dignity. http://supportmariusmason.org/2014/07/07/free-marius-jacob-mason/ We were inspired by Chelsea Manning, who won access to hormones despite very adverse conditions, dramatically indicating the possibility of future victories for other trans prisoners.

We will continue to adapt to a changing landscape produced both by the victories won by our imprisoned comrades — including Eric’s release, Marius’ coming out, Nikos Romanos’ seizure of “room to breathe,” and just in the past few days, the amazing homecoming of Amelie, Carlos, and Fallon, — and by ongoing transformations of the repressive machinery. These transitions mark the expansion of the project and not any sort of stopping point.

“The struggle is not over … it assumes new forms. For no matter what the face, no matter what the name, it’s still war.”

Post-Release Fund for Eric McDavid!

bd6e8c38-7dba-410f-b721-6f12ae01ec96_profile

youcaring.com/EricMcDavid

Eric McDavid is an anarchist and environmental activist who was entrapped
by an FBI informant and charged with a single count of “conspiracy to use
fire or explosives to damage corporate and government property”. In May of
2008 Eric was sentenced to an outrageous 19 years and 7 months in prison.

On January 8th, 2015, after serving 9 years in prison his judgment and
sentencing were vacated when it became known that the FBI had failed to
disclose potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense. Eric plead
guilty to a lesser charge that carried a 5 year maximum sentence and was
released almost immediately.

This incredible victory occurred because we all refused to give up the
struggle to set him free. Thank you to all of you who have supported Eric
during these last 9 years. Despite the heavy-handed repression of the
state, Eric refused to compromise his politics or his integrity, just as
all of us who supported him refused to abandon the struggle to see him
free. But the struggle is not over. Though Eric is no longer held in a
prison cell he is faced with the difficult task of rebuilding his life
after a lengthy period of incarceration. We are hoping to aid him by
raising money so that he can go to school, get a job and begin the process
of physical and emotional healing from his time in prison. Below is a list
of Eric’s estimated expenses for the next 6 months. Your donations are
critical to helping Eric get back on his feet. Thank you for your
continued solidarity with Eric in his struggle to survive and thrive in
the face of injustice.

Yoga Teacher training – $2100
An hour of therapy or groceries for one week – $75
Books for class for one semester at the college he is already enrolled in
– $100
Car insurance for a month – $40
Computer – $250
Cell phone bill for one month – $40

For more information on Eric McDavid and the case itself, go to:
supporteric.org

If you are a pen pal of Eric’s or would like to send him a note of
encouragement you can now reach him at the PO Box below.

To: Eric McDavid
c/o Sacramento Prisoner Support
PO Box 163126
Sacramento, CA 95816

Yours in Solidarity,
Sacramento Prisoner Support

“A Victory For One Is A Victory For All” – A Letter From Anarchist Prisoner, Eric King to Sacramento Prisoner Support and Eric McDavid

Sacramento Prisoner Support:

ericmcdavid_ericking

Sat Jan 9th  ?

POW CAMP Leavenworth

Dear SPS,

What a feeling of victory and vindication that must be flowing through your ranks, as well as through all those who have offered prisoner support. The news of Eric’s release reached me Friday afternoon and it felt as if I myself had been set free. What a long, difficult road he has had to travel upon to finally reach freedom’s exit sign. As unjust as the sentencing was, is as sweet the release must feel! Just imagining the Joy his comrades, partner, family must all be feeling fills me with the same joy. A victory for one is a victory for all. Please send my kindest congratulatory message to Eric and everyone involved in his support team.

I have heard that his support team (many of you) has done well to make sure his rehabilitation into freedom will go as smoothly as possible. No one can undo the injustices suffered but many can make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible and I have a good feeling that the people around him will take full care of that. I am curious what, if any at this point, plans Eric has for the future? Work for prisoner support, continued environmental fight? I hope the suffering the state has put him through hasn’t diminished his belief in the causes he once (currently?) took solace in.

Most importantly though is the now, and the now is that our comrade is free, not just free but free substantially sooner than the state would have preferred. With the amount of comrades being released early, hopefully the tone will be set to prevent such vicious inhumane sentencing in any future cases. May this victory lead the way baring the torch of freedom, lighting the darkened path many of us still must thread. I am grateful that Eric had such brilliant support, that no one gave up hope. I am thankful that groups exist to be there for those of us who need it desperately. So congratulations to everyone involved, and to our beautiful cause as a whole. Please keep up the fight. Until All are Free.

In immense Joy & Solidarity,

E K

Eric King 27090045
CCA Leavenworth
100 Highway Terrace
Leavenworth, KS 66048

ericking_lettersps

 

Exclusive: “Eco-Terrorist” Freed 10 Years Early After Feds Withhold Evidence on Informant’s Role

Former political prisoner Eric McDavid, his partner Jenny Esquivel from Sacramento Prisoner Support, and lawyer Ben Rosenfeld, on  Democracy Now!

An Update and a Note From recently released Political Prisoner, Eric McDavid!

From Sacramento Prisoner Support:

Dear friends and comrades!

We just wanted to send you a quick update from/about Eric. Below you will
find info about how to write Eric, how to donate to post-release funds,
and a note from Eric!

The outpouring of support we have received from all across the world has
been incredible. Thank you all so much. We are in tears several times a
day from reading your kind notes, emails and texts full of love and
solidarity.

So many of you have asked what you can do now to support Eric
post-release. Thank you for knowing and understanding the importance of
continued support!

If you would like to write Eric or send him care packages, you can send
them to:

Eric McDavid
c/o SPS
PO Box 163126
Sacramento, CA 95816

We are still accepting donations through the PayPal account on Eric’s
website. You can find a link at:
http://supporteric.org/howtohelp.htm#Fundraising

Thank you all for your continued love and solidarity!

Yours,
Sacramento Prisoner Support

And now…

i cannot begin this without an overflowingly gushing heartfelt thanks for
the amazing support, aid, and solidarity provided by so many people from
so many places – seeing me through these past 9 years to bring me home…
tears of release and joy will continue to wet my cheeks – i don’t wipe
them away… the folks at Sacramento Prisoner Support have never wavered
in going above and beyond while enduring all the pressures that come from
moving contrary to what the FBI had considered a closed case – i love you
all so dearly. to my habeas attorneys, mark and ben, your work on this
process certainly hasn’t changed my view of the legal system – but it has
proven to me that humyns can actually survive the bar with their strong
and beautiful hearts intact, still connected, and persevering as a guiding
force in their lives = ‘thank you’ will never be enough, i love you
both… surviving these last 9 years has brought me to a new
understanding of patience and how it can be passionate, thereby sustaining
the need for a longer view; one that will continue to help me as i move
into aiding those still held behind razor wire fences, concrete, and
steel… so many others have cases as ridiculous as my own – some much
worse, and have been in for decades; a number i met personally and others
i dream of meeting upon their release. thank you all so much for all of
your love and support as i begin to move into this next phase of my life.
i’ll be in touch again soon. for now i hope to focus on spending time
with my loved ones and reconnecting with the community that i love and
have missed for so long.

too much love.

find UR joy

d

Eric McDavid ordered release!

eircmcdavid
Dear friends and comrades,

It is with bursting hearts that we write to tell you some amazing news.
Today, January 8, Eric was ordered released from prison. It has been
almost 9 years exactly since he was arrested in Auburn, CA, on January 13,
2006.

Eric’s release came about because of the habeas petition that he and his
legal team filed in May 2012. Because the government withheld important
documents from the defense at trial, Eric’s original judgment and
sentencing were vacated and he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that
carried a five year maximum sentence. This means Eric has already spent
four years longer in prison than could have been required under the
statute for the charge he pleaded guilty to. He received credit for time
served and was ordered released.

Eric’s projected release date – until today – was February of 2023.

We are beyond thrilled that Eric will soon be back home with us, where he
belongs. But nothing can change the fact that Eric and his loved ones
have had 9 years stolen from them by the state. At times, this fight
seemed almost impossible. Eric endured hunger strikes, solitary, the
separation of hundreds of miles from everyone and everything he loved, and
the isolation and cold walls and wire of prison. These things were meant
to break him – but the state has utterly failed in this endeavor. Eric
remains steadfast and strong. Eric fought the charges against him 9 years
ago because he knew it was the right thing to do. He has maintained his
integrity all of these years by staying true to himself and to the things
he believes in. But he has not done this in a vacuum. Thank you to
everyone who has shown their love and support these last nine years. It
has made all the difference. To everyone who has ever written a letter,
sent drawings of dragons or pictures of fairies, or included pictures of
something as simple as a blade of grass… you have given Eric’s life
color, fire and connection these past 9 years. You have proven that our
solidarity is our strongest weapon.

We are anxious to celebrate! But we also must remember that Eric’s case
is just one among many – and it is by no means the most egregious. Since
9/11 the state has engaged in political prosecutions of hundreds of people
in this country – the majority of them from Muslim communities – for their
religious and political affiliations. And our comrades continue to be
targeted and arrested for daring to dream. We are overjoyed that Eric is
coming home. But we also know that we must never rest until all are free.

Eric will soon be released from Sacramento County jail in a matter of
hours, but his struggle is far from over. He received two years of
supervised release and will be under their watch during that time. Coming
out of prison is a complicated and difficult journey, but it is one that
we are excited and ready to begin.

Thanks again to all of you – and a big shout out to Eric’s lawyers – Mark
Vermeulen and Ben Rosenfeld – who have worked tirelessly and passionately
on his case for years, pro bono.

We will be in touch in the coming weeks. Until then – celebrate!
Struggle! And as Eric would say…Find UR Joy!

So much love to you all.

Until all are free!

SPS
sacprisonersupport.wordpress.com

Plea Agreement 1-8-15 (EMD)-1

McDavid_Release_Order

Joint Status Report 1-5-15 (EMD)

June 8th: Denver J11 Solidarity Event: scott crow on Infiltration, Repression, and Political Prisoners

Saturday June 8th
27 Social Centre
2727 W. 27th Ave Unit D
Denver, CO 80211

For the last several years, June 11 (june11.org) has been commemorated as an international day of solidarity with long term anarchist prisoners, and specifically Eric McDavid (http://supporteric.org/), and Marie Mason (http://supportmariemason.org/).

This year, in solidarity with June 11th events across the world, the Denver Anarchist Black Cross will be hosting an evening event with scott crow, a long term anarchist community organizer from Austin Texas. (More on Scott below).

Dinner will be provided, as well as various educational materials. We’re also going to be encouraging some participatory after events, so, if possible, come prepared for a late night!

PLEASE NOTE! WHILE THIS EVENT IS IN SOLIDARITY WITH JUNE 11TH EVENTS, IT IS TAKING PLACE ON SATURDAY JUNE 8TH!!!!


scott crow is a community organizer, writer, strategist and speaker who advocates the philosophy and practices of anarchism for social, environmental, and economic aims.

He is the only son of a working class mother who started his political journey in the anti-apartheid, political prisoner and animals rights movements during the Reagan years. In the late 80s he fronted two political electronic industrial bands and through the 90s ran a successful antique/art cooperative business.

For over two decades he has continued to use his experience and ideas in co-founding and co-organizing numerous radical grassroots projects in Texas, including Treasure City Thrift, Radical Encuentro Camp, UPROAR (United People Resisting Oppression and Racism), Dirty South Earth First! and the Common Ground Collective, the largest anarchist influenced organization in modern U.S. history to date.

In addition to grassroots organizing, he has worked for regional and national organizations, including Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network, Ruckus Society and A.C.O.R.N. With his partner, he produced the documentary film Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation. These political activities lead to him being labeled a “domestic terrorist”by the FBI beginning in the late 90’s with investigations that continued for almost a decade.

He has appeared in various media outlets including the New York Times, CNN, Democracy Now!, Texas Observer, Infoshop, Left Turn, Anarchist News, Z Magazine, Austin Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, Pacifica Radio and AlterNet as well as the documentaries Welcome To New Orleans, Better this World, and Informant. Public Radio’s This American Life called him “a living legend among anarchists” and the New York Times characterized him as “anarchist and veteran organizer… that comes across as more amiable than combative…”.

His writings have appeared in the anthology What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nation ( 2006 South End Press), his book Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective (2011 Pm Press) as well as various radical print magazines and online sites over the last decade.

From his home in Austin scott recently worked at Ecology Action an anarchist worker-run recycling center cooperative, consults in building worker cooperatives, travels for speaking, and organizes projects. In his spare time, he and his partner bike around town, raise a barnyard of funny animals and dream of sustainable futures.

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