Ten years ago today, I was finishing up stuffing holiday cards for my
employer when 2 beefy men asked me if i was indeed, Daniel McGowan. Once I
was handcuffed and being frog-marched through the office, I knew what it
At the same time, 6 of my codefendants were getting arrested at the same
time. Others were receiving grand jury subpoenas as well. Sadly, all the
people arrested that day became cooperating witnesses save for William
Rodgers, who I knew as ‘Avalon’, who took his life in a county jail on the
Winter Solstice, two weeks after we were arrested.
Of course, other arrests followed in the months after that, with a handful
of codefendants refusing to play the game. We came together in solidarity
to fight the charges and reduce the potential sentence as much as
For that, I will always have gratitude to Jonathan Paul, Nathan Block and
Joyanna Zacher (though it would be disingenuous for me to not point out
the latter two peoples’ identification with esoteric fascist movements
I was bonded out of jail, fought my case on house arrest for a year and
months after that, worked out a plea that did not involve naming names or
becoming a witness against anyone. It had repercussions for me including
more time and no protection from grand juries (and surely, two years
later, I was called before one as a witness and put on civil contempt of court).
That said, I cannot have seen it going any other way. My regrets with the
case is that more of my co-defendants did not stick with us and move
forward together-something that had been the idea when worst case
scenarios had been discussed years prior.
10 years later, its obvious to me every time I go to any activist event
that many younger activists do not know this history. I suppose it is the
struggle we all face-how to remember and memorialize, but not live in the
past and nostalgia. I can tell people to watch If a Tree Falls or read
Green is the New Red (thanks, Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman & Will Potter) but that is an incomplete picture.
How then, do we, move forward in our fight for justice and pass on to
others what we learned? Its a longer question.
I use the word “I” often in this post and perhaps others as I am talking
about the past but at no point have I ever felt alone and not connected to
others. Without these stalwart, loyal and amazing people in my life, I
know with certainty that things would have gone a totally different way:
Jenny Malone – my former partner and best friend. The rock. The Wizard of Oz behind every aspect of the support campaign and the ‘trying to keep me sane’ campaign. G.O.A.T. EXES4EVAH!
My family especially my sister Lisa who funded my legal defense, let me
live with her while on house arrest and did not waver or flinch one time.
These people taught me loyalty.
Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan better known as FAF.
This small group worked their asses off, put on so many shows, sold a
zillon t-shirts, made my court dates, wrote articles, supported me
mentally, emotionally and financially, put their lives on hold for some
time to make sure I would have a life to come home too. So much gratitude
to all of them. I am not even in touch with all of them, which to be
honest, saddens me but I have nothing but lifelong gratitude for all of
them. Shoutouts to Andrew,Ainsley Belle Bowman, Eliza Brooklyn, Kitty, Corey Eastwood, Sideshow,Cin Dee, Marianne Maeckelbergh and Ryan DC