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Prisons & Prisoners

Anonymous Comrade writes:

Kennedy Road Hunger Strike in Durban, South Africa

Kennedy Road is a shack settlement in Durban South Africa. Two years ago residents blockade a major road beginning a struggle that now includes close to 40 shack settlements across Durban and nearby towns like Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg. The movement of the shack dwellers', Abahlali baseMjondolo, has faced sustained repression from a rampantly criminal local state. Now key activists have been arrested on trumped up murder charges. This follows a similar pattern of repression in Johannesburg with the Landless People's Movement.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

“The Warrior Wind” Newsletter

The long-overdue third issue of “The Warrior Wind,” a newsletter against our society of confinement, is out now. This issue features a new half-page format and an increased page count. It is available as a.pdf file from the following locations:

Version for reading online: http://www.socialwar.net/.pdf%20files/warriorwind3 .pdf
Version for printing out and photocopy distribution: http://www.socialwar.net/.pdf%20files/warriorwind3 print.pdf

These files will eventually also be hosted at Impassioned Insurrection—www.impassionedinsurrection.info. Please feel free to add the files to your own site, too.

The mid-May newsletter’s 28 pages include: “Operation Backfire: Guilty Justice,” a lengthy article providing updates and analysis on the federal eco-sabotage cases in Oregon and Washington; an update on Auburn arrestee Eric McDavid plus a statement from Sacramento Prisoner Support concerning informant Zachary Jenson; an overview of the “San Francisco Eight” case of former Black Panthers facing murder charges based on torture-extracted confessions; an update on critical hearings for death row journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal; other US news shorts relating to Jeff “Free” Luers, the SHAC 7 and others; updates and documents concerning repression in the U.K., Germany, Italy and Belgium; information about “The Warrior Wind” newsletter project itself; and finally an announcement for the June 9 Day of Solidarity with Jeff “Free” Luers.

We continue to encourage participation in this publishing project, not only through making copies and circulating the newsletter, but also by offering us your feedback and writing for future issues.

As repression increases, we believe that it has become more, not less, important for radicals to raise their voices. “The Warrior Wind” newsletter is one small gesture towards broader efforts of resistance, solidarity, and refusal against a shoddy world system.

For a better world,
TWW Editors

Moorish Religious Leader Charges Police Brutality

Delores McCain, Austin Weekly News

A press conference was held at Wallace Catfish Corner (2800 W. Madison St.) Jan. 18 by attorneys Lewis Myers Jr. and Berve M. Power, who represent Sheik Clifford Jackson-Bey, divine minister of The Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc., since 1979.

On Saturday, Nov. 25, 2006, Sheik Jackson-Bey alleges he was brutally attacked by a Chicago police officer during a routine search for one of his sons, for whom the officers allegedly had an arrest warrant.

Attorney Myers introduced Sheik Jackson-Bey as a national leader of the Islamic community. Jackson-Bey made the following statement to the press: "My name is Sheik Clifford Jackson-Bey. I am the National Grand Sheik of the Moorish Science Temple of America. I oversee a number of small temples here and around the United States. Our principles are love, truth, peace, freedom and justice, and we teach basically the art of nationality, the science of nationality and divine creed. Professionally, I am a paralegal. I do murder and narcotics case preparation for criminal defense attorneys."

flies on the wall writes:

Notes from Oregon Eco-Sabotage Plea Hearings

Flies on the Wall

[Case background: ecoprisoners.org greenscare.org and cldc.org/green]

Today [Nov. 11, 2006] at the new federal courthouse in Eugene, Oregon, “Operation Backfire” defendants Joyanna Zacher, Nathan Block, Daniel McGowan and Jonathan Paul entered “guilty” pleas for several eco-sabotage related charges, as part of a global resolution agreement with prosecutors. Judge Ann Aiken presided over the hearings. The change of pleas from the four defendants resolves all current “Operation Backfire” cases in Oregon.

As part of this agreement, the four defendants have withdrawn their motion to obtain materials from possible National Security Agency surveillance. The global resolution agreement for the four defendants expressly indicates that Zacher, Block, McGowan and Paul accept their personal participation in crimes, but that these four have not and will not provide information on, inculpate or reveal the identities of anyone else. The four plea agreements are not sealed and are accessible to the public. The courtroom filled with supporters during these hearings; unfortunately, court staff turned away many additional people at the door. A press conference outside the court followed the four change of plea hearings.

friendsofdaniel writes:

"If They Come for You in the Morning"

Benefit Art Show for Daniel McGowan

The Show:

Thursday, July 27 & Friday, July 28, 2006, 5–10pm

ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St, Lower East Side, NYC

Co-sponsored by Visual Resistance and Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan

Contact: visual.resistance@gmail.com

On Thursday, July 27 and Friday, July 28, Visual Resistance will present If they come for you in the morning, a benefit gallery show featuring over 70 renowned and emerging artists at ABC No Rio in New York's Lower East Side.

The show will feature some of the most respected and prolific street artists working today, including the Barnstormer's David Ellis, Banksy, Swoon, Borf, Chris Stain, Arofish, Kelly Burns, GoreB, Josh MacPhee, and MOMO, as well as veterans of the landmark political comics journal World War 3 Illustrated, including Eric Drooker, Seth Tobocman, Peter Kuper, Nicole Schulman, and Christopher Cardinale, as well as dozens of other participating artists.

All proceeds from the show will benefit the legal fund of local environmental and social justice activist Daniel McGowan, who currently faces life plus 335 years in prison on federal charges of arson, property destruction, and conspiracy. Daniel was arrested during Operation Backfire, a multi-state sweep of environmental activists who have now been charged with virtually every unsolved earth and animal liberation case in the Northwest. Daniel has pled not guilty to all charges.

All artwork in the show will be reasonably priced, with selected prints starting at $5. Don't go home empty-handed!

Preparing for Sentencing
Lynne Stewart

My Dear Supporters,

I want to thank all of you for standing by me for the past 4 years through the trial, conviction and my bout with breast cancer. Now I am preparing for sentencing on September 25, 2006. I have been fortunate to have gained strength through your support and although the strength of the "all mighty" government seems overwhelming we know we are on the right side of history.

Since the day in April 2002 when I was arrested, the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee was formed. We have accomplished great things through the committee and managed to raise awareness of my case and the issues it has raised. We have made connections to a broad base of people united at this time by the Bush/ Cheney attack on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Terror in Toronto or Tempest in a Teapot?

By John Chuckman

The arrest in Toronto of seventeen men, mostly quite young, for conspiracy to bomb places in Southern Ontario has raised a storm of comment. Unfortunately, much of it has been either premature or wrong.

A Congressman from Northern New York, uninformed but still generous with his opinions, declared that Canada was thick with al Qaeda cells owing to its liberal (a truly filthy word in the United States) immigration and refugee laws. Sadly, the Congressman’s big red-nose talents are appreciated only in Canada, his ignorance being taken for insight in many parts of the United States.

Pat Buchanan parodies are also taken seriously by some in Canada, particularly in Alberta, and there are people here eager for any opportunity to prove their anti-terror bone fides to America’s unsmiling leaders. This strain in our society should alert us to the possibility, however remote, of skewed investigations where terror is concerned.

Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan writes:

Call for Artwork
NYC Benefit Gallery Show for Daniel McGowan

June 23, 2006 at ABC No Rio
156 Rivington Street,
between Clinton and Suffolk Street in the Lower East Side

Co-sponsored by Visual Resistance and Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan
Deadline: June 1, 2006
Email Contact: visual.resistance@gmail.com

On December 7th, my friend was arrested at his workplace by federal marshals. The friend I know as a tireless activist and a funny, generous, caring person was ripped from his friends and family without warning and held without bail in federal prison, facing multiple felony charges and life in prison.

I met Daniel McGowan during the buildup to the protests against the Republican National Convention in New York. The Visual Resistance crew was organizing the No RNC Poster Project and Daniel was our first ally. In the time since, Daniel has been a personal friend to all of us in VR and to many more in the larger New York activist community. His constant smile and good humor belied his selfless devotion to making this world a better place.

And on December 9th, he was disappeared. Daniel was extradited to Oregon and held without bail for two months on charges whose statute of limitations were close to expiring. His arrest came as part of a massive government crackdown on the radical environmental movement which many are referring to as the “Green Scare.” His arrest left the community in shock.

Anonymous Comrade writes:

The Prison Industry:
Artistic Approaches to Activism
New York City, April 7, 2006

Film Screening and Discussion

Friday, April 7, 2006, 6:30PM

The New School
Theresa Lang Community and Student Center

55 West 13th Street
New York City

Admission: $10, free for students and alumni with valid ID

— Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Director, Program in American Studies & Ethnicity, Associate Professor of ASE and Geography, University of Southern California

— Ashley Hunt, artist and activist

— Trevor Paglen, artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley
Temporary Services, artist collaborative, represented by Salem Collo-Julin

One of the primary rationales in the punishment of crime has been the assumption that the prisoner can be rehabilitated. Today, however, the role of the prison as a place for rehabilitation, growth, and personal advancement appears obsolete. Since the privatization of the United States prison system in the 1980’s, the system has become a vast $40 billion-a-year industry, the most elaborate in the world. At a time when the U.S. has achieved the highest rate of imprisonment per capita in the history of the world—in which, for instance, one in four African American men are under correctional supervision—the American public is slowly awakening to an unprecedented crisis of mass incarceration.

Investigating notions of punishment and imprisonment, repentance and acquittal, this discussion addresses the prison industry, focusing on artistic approaches to activism and reform. The evening’s program will begin with a screening of "I Won't Drown on that Levee and You Ain't Gonna' Break My Back" (USA, 2005) by Ashley Hunt which uses the New Orleans prison crisis after Katrina as a case study and a point of departure for a larger crisis in incarceration and rehabilitation.

This event is presented on occasion of the Vera List Center’s year-long thematic cycle “Considering Forgiveness.”

TICKETS: Reservations can be made by email to boxoffice@newschool.edu. Tickets can be ordered by phone with a credit card (212) 229-5488; in person at The New School Box Office, 66 West 12th Street, main floor, Monday–Thursday 1–8 p.m., Friday 1–7 p.m.

INFORMATION: 212.229.5353,
Website: Here.

"Hey You! Stop!"

Dave Segal

NYC activist Dave Segal reported to prison Monday, March 13th, where he will serve six months for actions he took to protest the war in Iraq. These are his words about the experience that took him there.

"Hey you! Stop!"

Those words marked the beginning of a year and two month journey that will end in three days when I report to the Fort Dix Federal Prison. In the dark, early hours of January 31st, 2005, I found momentum pushing me to go ahead with an action that I had very poorly prepared for. I had come to the Bronx that night after having scouted out an Army recruiting station next to Westchester Square in the eastern part of the borough. With a few lighter fluid soaked rags, I hoped to put some small dent in the huge military machine. I failed pretty miserably.

I arrived that night with no lookout and a poorly thought out escape plan. The feelings in my stomach, which I should have seen as a warning to turn back, I interpreted as general nervousness. I would just go ahead with the action and any kinks would work themselves out. After hammering out a section of the glass door of the building, I took out one of the rags, lit it, and tossed it inside on the carpet. I like to think it was the adrenaline that made me think that lighting the carpet on fire would burn the place down. No matter the reason, I was very, very wrong.


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