Tag Archives: ABC

United States: Anarchist Jerry Koch Imprisoned for Refusing to Testify to Federal Grand Jury

via Jerry Resists

jerrysketch-webJerry was taken into custody of US marshals today at 4:18 PM. Throughout his hearing, he did not answer any questions; he remained silent the entire time.

Over a hundred people showed in support of Jerry. The court room was packed, and he knew as he was taken by the marshals that we support and love him. The crowd yelled out their support for him as he was escorted out of the room.

Jerry asked that we release this statement to his supporters after his incarceration:

By the time you read this, I will be in the custody of the United States government for continuing my refusal to cooperate with a federal grand jury. This is the right thing to do.

I continue to believe that the government is using this federal grand jury in an abusive manner to force me to divulge information about my political associations and social networks.

If we mean what we say when we talk about radical politics, then we do not participate in witch hunts, inquisitions, or the assembly of black lists. As an individual, I will not lend legitimacy to government brutality and intimidation; I will not be used. As an anarchist, I will summon the courage to be stronger than the forces of the State’s all-too-real repression; I will not break.

Your show of truly powerful support has done nothing but strengthen my resolve in refusing to cooperate. We must not let ourselves be isolated by the government’s heavy-handed tactics. We must not give the state that last inch it tries to break in every one of us.

With Love, with Dignity, in Solidarity

Jerry Koch

If you haven’t already, please sign up for a recurring donation so that we can ensure that Jerry has immediate access to his commissary and will be able to be in touch with his loved ones.

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United States: Daniel McGowan Released After Lawyers Confirm He Was Jailed For HuffPost Blog

via The Huffington Post

UPDATE: 5:25 p.m. — Lawyers for environmental activist Daniel McGowan said in a statement Friday afternoon that he had been returned to his halfway house in Brooklyn. They added that they had confirmed McGowan was jailed by federal marshals on Thursday for his Huffington Post blog post — on the basis of a prison regulation that was declared unconstitutional by a judge in 2007.

Their statement read:

Daniel McGowan has been released from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where he was taken into custody yesterday and is back at the halfway house where he has been residing since his release from prison in December. Yesterday, Daniel was given an “incident report” indicating that his Huffington Post blog post, “Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech,” violated a BOP regulation prohibiting inmates from “publishing under a byline.” The BOP regulation in question was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007, and eliminated by the BOP in 2010. After we brought this to the BOP’s attention, the incident report was expunged.

The Bureau of Prisons did not immediately return a request for comment.

The earlier story …

NEW YORK — The jailing of environmental activist Daniel McGowan is under review, a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) official said Friday morning.

McGowan, who pleaded guilty to arson linked to the Earth Liberation Front in 2006, was serving out the final months of his seven-year sentence in a Brooklyn halfway house when he was jailed by federal marshals Thursday morning, allegedly for writing a commentary on The Huffington Post critical of a harshly restricted federal prison unit in which he had spent time.

Tracy Rivers, a residential reentry manager for the BOP in New York, told HuffPost Friday morning, “We are reviewing this case to determine if the actions that were taken were appropriate.”

Rivers declined to say more about why McGowan was moved to the Metropolitan Detention Center, citing privacy issues. But she noted that a determination would be made in McGowan’s case by the end of Friday.

In general, Rivers said, prisoners can be punished for violating a BOP rule that prohibits giving interviews to the news media without official approval. But that rule says nothing about prisoners writing blog posts.

McGowan’s wife, Jenny Synan, told HuffPost that neither he, his lawyers nor a BOP official she talked to about the case had heard of a regulation prohibiting prisoners from writing blog posts.

In a statement Thursday, McGowan’s lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights said, “If this is indeed a case of retaliation for writing an article about the BOP retaliating against his free speech while he was in prison, it is more than ironic, it is an outrage.”

UPDATE: 1:25 p.m. — Daniel McGowan may soon leave jail. His attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Rachel Meeropol, told HuffPost Friday afternoon, “We have been told by the BOP that he will be sent back to the halfway house today.”

United States: Daniel McGowan: Court Documents Prove I was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for my Political Speech

via The Huffington Post

I currently reside at a halfway house in Brooklyn, serving out the last few months of a seven-year sentence for my role in arsons credited to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) at two lumber companies in Oregon in 2001.  My case, and the federal government’s rush to prosecute environmental activism as a form of terrorism, were recently explored in the Oscar-nominated documentary, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front.

What has received less attention, though, is what happened to me while in federal prison.  I was a low security prisoner with a spotless disciplinary record, and my sentencing judge recommended that I be held at a prison close to home.  But one year into my sentence, I was abruptly transferred to an experimental segregation unit, opened under the Bush Administration, that is euphemistically called a “Communication Management Unit” (CMU).  Since August 2008, when I first arrived at the CMU, I have been trying to get answers as to why I was singled out to be sent there.  Only now — three years after I filed a federal lawsuit to get to the truth — have I learned why the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) sent me to the CMU: they simply did not like what I had to say in my published writing and personal letters.  In short, based on its disagreement with my political views, the government sent me to a prison unit from which it would be harder for me to be heard, serving as a punishment for my beliefs.

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The role of prisoner support groups

At the London Anarchist Bookfair this coming Saturday, 23 October, Brighton & Bristol ABC groups are both running stalls, and are also holding an open meeting titled ‘What is the role of the Anarchist Black Cross?’

It is from 1pm to 1.50pm in Room 325, 3rd floor of the Engineering building. Here’s the text for the meeting:

‘What is the role of the Anarchist Black Cross? Comrades are invited to consider what is the role of the ABC in the current UK context? What can be done to build a militant prisoner solidarity network? There will be brief introductions to the history of the ABC, and the changes to its role in the UK over the last 20 years. Then let the debate rage!’

A comrade from Brighton ABC has also had the following article published in Freedom newspaper, 9 October issue (page 4). We hope it’ll get the discussion going. Have a read…

What is the role of the ABC? Continue reading