Jason’s 50th Day in Prison!

From: http://freejasonhammond.blogspot.com/

Greetings from Vandalia “Correctional” Center!

After the 24 hour lock down purgatory known as Stateville NRC, I’ve arrived at the joint where I will mostly likely do the rest of my time.

Basically, prison is a big waste of everyone’s time and resources! It angers me that the system would rather keep locking people up and give them practically nothing to do instead of putting energy and resources into social programs and schools that would enable people to do well in life. The evidence points to mass incarceration being the desired state, the wealth of empire and dependent on a class in perpetual poverty.

I am happy to say that my spirits are high and the fire in my heart is burning. I am very thankful and humbled by all the support that folks have given me through letters, books, donations and sharing my case with in their circles. I’ve already gotten into the flow of hitting the weights and books. Currently reading “Living My Life” by Emma Golden, “Feminism is for Everybody” by bell hooks and “Foundation” by Isaac Asimov.

Big shout out to all my homies in Chicago, ABC in NY and beyond, D.O.P.E. Collective, CrimethInc for reading my statement on their podcast, all of the Antifa crews and everyone else that has written me. (I am slow at responding because they only sell 10 stamps a month here) It is through efforts like organizing letter writing parties, benefit shows and spreading the struggle of incarcerated folks that give us hope and inspiration.

Jhammond1
I don’t see a way we can salvage any part of the PIC: is it for burning. We must start thinking in moving towards alternative models of community accountability, perhaps through restorative and transformative practices, instead of relying on the brutal and intrusive model of the pigs and prisons. I wish you all the best, be courageous and fierce!

“A movement that does not support their prisoners, is a sham of a movement!”

Love and Rage,
Jason!

– – – – –

Jason Hammond, M50190
P.O. Box 500
Vandalia, IL 62471

Jeremy Hammond’s statement on the plea and sentencing of his brother, Jason Hammond

Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee:

On January 22, 2015, Jason Hammond, Jeremy Hammond’s twin brother, was sentenced to 41 months in prison after accepting a non-cooperating guilty plea for his role in a militant direct action directed at white supremacists in the suburb of Tinley Park.

We at the Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee completely and unequivocally support Jason Hammond and all who choose to participate in militant direct action for a free an equal society.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“I am heart-broken that my twin brother Jason Hammond will have to do years in prison for his participation in the 2012 attack on a white supremacist gathering in Tinley Park.

I love my brother. Anyone who has ever met him knows he is the most charming, caring and passionate guy around. You would often catch him at street protests playing the trombone in the marching band, cooking food for the homeless, or teaching guitar to children.

For some, it may come as a shock to think he could have been involved in an armed attack against neo-nazis. But it’s a troubled world we live in – sometimes you pick up the trombone and picket sign, other times you gotta pick up the baseball bat and Molotov cocktail.

The prosecutors, police, and mayor of Tinley Park were so vindictive and eager to defend the nazis that despite already having sentenced the Tinley Park 5 to prison, they arrested my brother for the same action a year later. Setting a no-10% bail higher than Trayvon Martin’s murderer George Zimmerman, they would not settle for anything less than years imprisonment.

At the same time, prosecutors intentionally threw the case during grand jury proceedings against the cops who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner – police literally getting away with murder, again and again.

These are not isolated tragedies but more evidence of the inherently corrupt and racist nature of the prison industrial complex. The connections are obvious, from the police who armed the Klan for the Greensboro massacre, to the “New Jim Crow” of mandatory minimums, crack/cocaine sentencing disparities, and felony second-class citizen status. This system has no future for people of color and the impoverished: it’s a lifetime of starvation-wage servitude, imprisonment, or death.

The protests “must be peaceful” says Obama and other so-called “community leader” sellouts and establishment apologists. It’s a sick irony to hear the “hope and change” president call for non-violence while he escalates U.S. imperialist wars in the middle east and refuses to prosecute CIA torturers and Bush Administration officials who signed off on it. His phony promises to “end racial profiling” and “demilitarize the police” should be rejected as attempts to channel our anger into predictable, controllable, and ultimately ineffective reforms, when what we need is abolition and revolution.

The system’s got to go, and we have to be prepared to use any and all tactics to overthrow it. Burning, looting, flipping over cop cars. hacking websites, and beating up nazis.

I fully support my brother and those who engage in militant direct action to build a more free and equal society. I urge everybody to check out my brother’s statement explaining his motivations for participating in the Tinley Park action. Like Jason says, “these tactics could also apply to different avenues of struggle, directed towards exploitative bosses, racist cops, gentrifying landlords, sexist institutions, and fascist politicians”.

Even though I am saddened it has resulted in his imprisonment, I am proud that he was willing to fight for his beliefs. We went to school together, played in bands together, protested together, and now both of us are incarcerated. We may be in different prisons, facing different charges, but we will always be together in the spirit of defiance.”

FREE JASON HAMMOND!

Anti-fascist Jason Hammond sentenced 3.5 years for Tinley Park action

Jason Hammond Support Network

Sentencing Statement

JasonHammondI write this statement after pleading guilty to state charges against me for my participation in an organized direct action taken against a group of white supremacists in May of 2012. I would like to share my thoughts about this action. First, major thanks and love to my friends and family who have supported me, for my amazing partner who kept me sane, my band for letting loose and my lawyer Sara Garber who has been ridiculously helpful in fighting this case with me.

While Chicago was in rebellion against the western military super-alliance NATO summit in 2012, a small group of racists organized their own ‘white nationalist economic summit’ in the nearby suburb of Tinley Park. They booked a restaurant to hold a luncheon under the guise of the “Illinois European Heritage Association.” For over six months this event was promoted on Stormfront.org, a very popular online forum where racists and neo-nazis converse. Being in a prolonged state of resistance against racism, this summit became known to organized anti-fascists throughout the Midwest. Through research, they had ascertained the time, location, and even some identities of the attendees of this meeting, some of whom were already known as being members of white supremacist groups such as the KKK, National Socialist Movement and Council of Conservative Citizens. Upon becoming aware of this  information, myself and others decided to confront the fascists at their meeting. A righteous melee ensued, many of the ten white supremacists were injured, and we left the scene in less than two minutes.

In the aftermath, the police was called and two of the fascist attendees were arrested one for being a fugitive of pedophilia charges in another state and the other for illegal possession of firearms in their car onsite. Unfortunately after leaving the restaurant, five comrades from Hoosier Anti Racist Movement were also arrested for their involvement by an off duty cop. They are known as the Tinley Park 5, all of whom spent time in Illinois prisons after taking a non-cooperative plea, and have since been released on parole. Please read about their struggles at their wordpress.

A year after the action, in July 2013, I was arrested outside my home by the FBI and Tinley Park Police. I was charged with armed violence and mob action,  the same as the other 5 anti-fascists. My indictment states the Tinley Park Police were given a report from the FBI stating that they had identified me from DNA gathered at the scene and a surveillance video from the restaurant where the meeting was shut down. I was held in Cook County Jail for two months but was fortunate to have friends who raised enough money to release me on bond. I have since been fighting these charges. The wheels of the bureaucratic judicial system moves deliberately slow and another whole year and a half passes. Now, even with the privilege of being able to examine all the evidence and evaluate all of my options while out on bond, I must accept the judge’s offer of 3.5 years. My chances of winning the case were very low, and if I lost, it could potentially mean a significantly higher sentence.

It is difficult to decide whether to plea or not when faced with gambling years of your life in prison, but I also completely detest the narrative of the state and their courtrooms. Their story is that they rightfully apprehended the criminal, tried, and put them away in prison;where they will learn not to do it again while separated from society where they cannot spread their infectious ideas. That system does not work and it never will. I abhor this monopoly of justice and violence; the reality is that the state wants people in their prisons especially people whose political interest are in conflict  to the “business as usual” violence that their police and armies perpetrate. My crime is standing up against the flag of hate and the violence against people of color that it represents. The state, in a petty act, went out of their way years later to prosecute me.

Furthermore, the state has always supported a white supremacist power structure. Even after the endless series of racist wars and hundreds of years of oppression on this soil, they don’t see it as a problem when neo-nazis get together and in fact grant permits and have lines of police to protect their free speech. In Ferguson, New York, Chicago and beyond, we see police use military grade equipment in conjunction with the National Guard to combat people protesting the unjust murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner at the hands of law enforcement. These are not isolated incidents, but rather symptomatic and indicative of a deliberate move to uphold the pillars of white supremacy in this country, which will not change unless we fight against it.

I went into this action following the principles of anarchy, equality and freedom which have guided my life. For many years I have been involved in different projects engaging social justice, from volunteering at social centers, community public libraries and food distribution programs.I have also supported and participated in anti-war, environmental and immigrant rights movements. Through these experiences I became more aware of how the system that governs this society depends on the mass exploitation of large parts of the population and in fact the Earth itself for the profit of the rich and powerful. I was inspired and motivated by the people I met in the movement to strive to make change at the root of the problem, even if it meant possibly sacrificing my own personal freedom. Throughout history, any movement that struggled to change this system was considered dangerous by the government and was met with immense repression and state violence. But there were successful moments within these movements not only because they were justified, but because people fought for them and despite how history is presented like a Disney movie, not all of their actions were non-violent.

Today there still is police brutality, a massive prison industrial complex, there are presidents waging endless wars for profit and power, and there is violence, alienation and marginalization at the crossroads of gender, sexuality, race and class.  It would be naive to think that all of these problems could only be solved through pacifism; working with or within the system, following dogmatic and assimilative reformist agendas that take over and sell out movements; the answer lies in creative resistance that utilizes a wide diversity of tactics. I think some people have always known this but more need to reject the privileged tendency to reject destruction of property, or of the bodies protecting the state as taboo violence instead of as a legitimate form of resistance. As our collective patience is constantly being worn away by failures of government to address people’s actual needs, it is up to our own communities and individuals to decide for themselves what is an appropriate form of self-defense.

But I would also like to note that the hyper-spectacularization and priority of violence amongst folks in the movement might also be folly, because I believe it in itself is not sufficient for a real radical transformation of society. People need to look within to make the change they want to see in the world as well as raise hell in the streets. People are improving their communities through their own support, healing circles, discussion groups, rallies, speak-outs, prisoner support, popular education, community health projects and asking hard questions and challenging oppressive thoughts however they manifest.

The ideas and actions that these white supremacists are pushing are dangerous and poisonous and is unfortunately still deeply rooted within the fabric of this society. Racism manifests itself in a number of ways and none can be ignored; from the blatant and overt bigots like those at the meeting in Tinley Park but also the subtle micro-aggressions that people experience on a daily basis. We are all obligated to confront the dead old ways of these oppressive ideologies using every means possible. My actions were in the spirit of continued resistance against racism and fascism and for the rights of people to live without fear of racist attacks. Those in struggle know the risk of jail, pain or death when trying to radically change the structure of society but it is a struggle we cannot ignore and we intend to win!

After the interruption of the meeting in Tinley Park, the organizing group for their economic summit disbanded and the individual who booked the event said that they were “stepping away from white nationalist organizing.” When a comrade is arrested the movement bears a high cost but actions like these can prove affective as they dissuade people from joining hate groups and preventing the work that they do. I feel these tactics could also apply to different avenues of struggle, directed towards exploitative bosses, racist cops, gentrifying landlords, sexists anywhere, and fascist politicians.

Some people have speculated my arrest was part of some revenge plot of the FBI because of the hacking and whistle-blowing my brother Jeremy Hammond has done against various sectors of the government and the private intelligent corporations they work with. While I love and support my brother and his actions 1000% and condemn the FBI and the US government for their own cyber wars they wage, I think it is unlikely that was the reason why I was held in custody. As stated earlier, the FBI did provide a report to the local police putting some of their pieces together which raises questions to why they would consider a bunch of neo-nazis getting beat up a matter of national security. Regardless, my brother and I were both apprehended because our actions were not carried out with absolute precision and every precaution made to disguise our identities and ensure we would not be busted.

However, it is absolutely true that we live in a vulnerable society with extreme governmental overreach, where anyone could be subject to surveillance, entrapment, targeted prosecutions and trumped up treason and terrorism charges purely for ideological reasons. It is a context deliberately cooked up by politicians and the national security complex to create fear and distrust amongst activist circles, as we can see looking at the huge number of dissidents who have been jailed or killed. Again, I’ll state my respect for political prisoners in any country who are staying strong and struggling to fight the power. I would encourage anyone who considers taking direct action to know why they are doing it and do so carefully as to not jeopardize themselves, their comrades, or the movement itself. A person in prison is another person we have to free.

To those whose worlds were shaken and who are angry or displeased at my actions, remind yourselves humbly of the atrocious history of violence that white supremacy has done and continues to do so to this  society and ask yourself, do I support it? Do I benefit from it? Will this be my legacy? Or do I want to change it?

I have set up a blog where I will post updates regularly that will also include my mailing address and visiting hours. Also I will have set up an Amazon Wish List where people can send me some love through books. This will be set up once I arrive at the state prison where I will likely carry out the majority of my sentence. While I am here I intend to make the most of my time staying positive and motivated through reading, working out, and meditating. I am interested in continuing communication and having discussions with people through letters, so please write me when you have the chance!

Yours for the struggle!

With love and rage,
Jason Hammond

freejasonhammond.blogspot.com

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Jason-and-Jeremy-Hammond

TP5: Support for John Tucker’s release

john tuckerJohn Tucker is getting out soon!

John Tucker of the Tinley Park 5 is due to be released from prison in February of 2014. So, Bloomington ABC , NYC ABC , and Sacramento Prisoner Support have launched a campaign to start a release fund for John.

By the time John is released he’ll have been locked up for just under two years, will have a felony on is record, and certain things just won’t be the same. Lets help him make a smooth transition! Lets raise some money, and secure a release fund that will welcome him upon his release.

Here is the website that was created for folks to donate to John Tucker’s Release Fund online: https://www.wepay.com/donations/john-tucker-prison-release-fund. If for whatever reason you’d rather donate to John offline, please go ahead and make the check out to John Tucker, then mail the check to:

Sacramento Prisoner Support
PO Box 163126
Sacramento, CA 95816

If you’d like to write to John to let him know you’re thinking of him and that you’re glad he’s getting out soon, I’m sure he’d love to hear from you. His current address is as follows:

John Tucker M34024
Lincoln Correctional Center
Post Office Box 549
Lincoln, Illinois 62656

in solidarity,

Bloomington ABC, NYC ABC, SPS

Chicago: Another arrest linked to Tinley Park antifa actions

jason hammondDABC Note: Other capitalist media outlets are making the connection between Jason Hammond and his brother, imprisoned Anonymous Hacker, Jeremy Hammond. More information on Jeremy and his case can be found here.

From the capitalist press:

A 28-year-old Chicago man has been charged for his role in a bizarre mob attack on a group of alleged white supremacists dining at a Tinley Park family restaurant in May 2012, officials said.

Jason Richard Hammond of the 3300 block of South Morgan Street was charged with armed violence, aggravated battery and mob action on Thursday, Tinley Park Police Chief Steve Neubauer said. He is the sixth defendant to be charged in connection with the melee.

On May 19, 2012, a group of 18 masked men charged into the Ashford House in the 7900 block of West 159th Street to confront a group of alleged white supremacists who were said to be at the eatery.

The masked men, all from the Bloomington, Ind., area, are members of the Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement. Hammond belonged to same group, Neubauer said.

Security video shows the men in masks carrying batons and other clublike objects. Within minutes, a melee broke out between the two groups, and several bystanders were injured.

Brothers Dylan, Cody and Jason Sutherlin and two other men, Alex Stuck and John S. Tucker, were arrested by an off-duty police officer shortly after the attack and have since each pleaded guilty to three felony counts of armed violence in connection with the attack. Their sentences range from 3 1/2 to 6 years in prison.

The case is a high priority for the police department, Neubauer said. The attack occurred on a Sunday afternoon and disrupted a graduation party and a bridal shower, he said.

“These people came in masked with weapons and created mayhem in the place,” Chief Steve Neubauer said. “It was surreal.”

“You just can’t have those kinds of things going on, so we have worked on this thing relentlessly,” Neubauer said. He declined to discuss how the police department tracked down Hammond, noting that there are still 12 suspects who have yet to be arrested.

Nick Cardinal, the manager at Ashford House who was also on the scene at the time of the attack, said he was pleased by the latest arrest.

“They’re getting to the bottom of it and we’re happy to see results,” Cardinal said.

All of Tinley Park 5 now transferred

From Support the Tinley Park 5:

Now that John Tucker has finally been classified and transferred and Dylan Sutherlin has been transferred to a long-term facility, all of the Tinley Park Five have arrived at the prisons which they will most likely serve the duration of their sentences at. Jason, John, and Cody were all placed in minimum security facilities. Apparently due to space limitations Alex and Dylan were placed in medium security facilities.

All five are in very good spirits and are currently in the process of trying to take advantage of some of the educational opportunities offered. These classes and programs can also chip away at their sentences. It’s optimistic but we’re hoping on seeing Alex and John this year, Cody and Dylan in early 2014, and Jason by the end of 2014.

They’re all very fortunate to have been placed in relatively decent facilities. They’ve had no real problems with guards or other inmates thus far. They’re all planning on making the most of their circumstances and trying to pass their time quickly by taking GED and college course, working out, watching television, and reading.

All of their webpages are now updated with semi-permanent addresses, but here they all are in one place:

Alex Stuck M34020
2600 N. Brinton Avenue
Dixon, IL 61021

Cody Sutherlin M34021
13423 E 1150th Ave
Robinson, IL 62454

Dylan Sutherlin M34022
P.O. Box 7711
Centralia, IL 62801

Jason Sutherlin M34023
100 Hillcrest Rd
East Moline, IL 61244

John Tucker M34024
P.O. Box 900
Taylorville, IL 62568

Send them a letter! All out of stamps? Send them a letter online!

Tinley Park 5 accept plea deals

From Chicago ABC:

The TP5 accepted the plea deal today
Jason 6 yrs
Cody 5 yrs
Dylan 5 yrs
John 3.5 yrs
Alex 3.5 yrs

Day for day good time, so half off. Plus 233 days credited.

More info as it becomes available. Always be sure to check tinleyparkfive.wordpress.com/ for more updates and case information.