Bay Area Anarchist Black Cross – Support revolutionary Prisoners of War/Political Prisoners

Police State

Cleveland 5 : Doug Wright Begins Hunger Strike (USA) + letter

 

From cleveland5justice:

On July 11th the support group received a message from Doug stating that he began a hunger strike on Saturday (7.7.12). The transcribed message is below.

SHARE THIS LETTER WITH ALL!!
The Fascist Pigs here at Trumbull County Jail have thrown me in solitary confinement for some completely bullshit “charges”, including “having 2 or more books”. I never heard that rule, and I’ve asked for an inmate handbook on several occasions. Also, “hoarding Personal Hygiene”. I didn’t know you could have too much soap, too much being more than one bar. WTF??! I have sent a letter telling my lawyer of this and I want people to call him a lot till this injustice is righted! I’ve also let him know that I’m going to refuse my food until this is made right! When I refuse food they will take away phone calls and ability to write letters, someone thats been in here a while told me this before. So, this might be my letter for a while, until this is fixed.

-HUNGER STRIKING FOR JUSTICE-
Freedom or Death.
Down with the Fascist Pigs.

Doug Wright

 

“Prison Room Mail Worker Blues”

 

Posted On Mon, 07/16/2012 – 15:15

“Prison Mailroom Worker Blues”
[Connor Stevens]

every day of my life (sometimes even Sundays)

“the children can’t wait to hear from you. I’ll be waiting every day for your call”
“we both know you’re innocent – just hold in there, God will straighten this out”
“the bills keep stacking up & I don’t know how much longer I can go on Feeding the kids. Don’t mean to make it worse.”
“hey sweet thing, hopefully you’ll get transferred to somewhere we can get closer at…”
“you fucked up your life for 8 years but that wasn’t enough – now you’re dragging me & the kids into this?!”
“don’t blame me, and don’t expect to receive another letter. Don’t bother calling”
“I wish I could talk to you right now and be with you”
“do you know what time it is?”
“if you are the dreamer, I am what you dream”
“You’re easily one of the best dudes I’ve ever known. And I mean that. I really do.”
“”I hope you know you are not alone. I have heard from people all over the country who know for a fact you are all innocent and were framed by the FBI… Dare to struggle.”
“I only know you by the way you prayed in the Lodge. I know of your desire for a better world… your heart is good…you have suffered the pain from our collective world…choose that love & courage… make room…”
“The sun just slipped behind a cloud & it makes me wonder if you even have a window…”
“There is a crescent moon that’s almost blood red”
“make them fear the beard”
“Every moment of every day we, everyone, are talking, crying, and thinking of you boys.”
“political prisoners in a country that doesn’t recognize political prisoners… and yet that is exactly what you are.”
“letter from a private prison lead to a Green Revolution, From a Man Who Can’t Stop Laughing”
“…the ‘A’ word is evolving…”
“I never got back to you…you were asking for help, asking for a way out. I could have helped you.”
“you are truly my motication for getting out of bed…your strength is carrying me…”
“he understands that the men in the shadows are manipulative & power hungry, without any good intentions”
“I believe we have the ability to transcend. By the Grace of God!”
“he ‘cried like a baby for a long time’”
“(your niece) said to tell you “I love you with all my heart just like grandma does”
“he’s smart enough to know what’s going on in this world & it hurts him deeply”
“I hope you get this ASAP and it makes you laugh that goofy little laugh we all love.”
“writing may turn out to be your thin thread through the labyrinth to freedom”
“as you fell through the stone to the Earth itself, there will be on expansive warmth you will sense”
“last time I ran into you were handing out meals to needy people”
“you made me a card… written in your own blood”
“you seemed so sad…agitated…down…”
“your mind is free, your heart is free, your soul is free…what else matters”
“a billion stars go spinning through the night”
“blazing high above your head”
“But in you in the presence that will be when all the stars are dead”
and we will never meet, you in Solitary confinement,
me, confined to the solitude of the mail room-
but once, in passing, you looked into my eyes… You, shackled…
what did you see? I dare not ask, even if I were free
to. I’ve stopped caring. I know what you say, but
don’t I have to feed my children? Don’t I have to provide for
my house? That those who follow me may be free? …Free?…
So my eyes are cold, they no longer sparkle, that certain twinkle
In the eyes are cold, they no longer sparkle, that certain twinkle
In the eyes of every little girl, and so I haven’t wept in fifteen
Years- in twenty my family has not gone to bed hungry!
The money for their college fund is quickly looking like more than I ever had
They get straight As in grade school and their father hasn’t run out on my
And I only have a few glasses of wine in the evenings
(and even then I don’t come close to tears – sand cannot produce water)
but what more can one expect of me, in the toil of this world?
And who are you to judge me anyway? You’re probably a murderer
Or was found molesting innocent little girls, or some smack dealer
I never made those mistakes, committed those sins, and yet I
still have to work in this miserable job with low pay and no job security,
barely any benefits, because there can only be one used car salesman
between my husband and I, and the schools in Youngstown are closing
as quickly as the prisons are opening, and the prisons are filled
as quickly as they’re opened – and my little girls, and my
little Joseph aren’t growing up like this, in what this town’s
become since the drug dealers took over and the blacks shoot each –
other in the streets like animals, along with the spics (they’re even worse!) –
they should all be locked-up, then maybe there’s be some more decent jobs
for us decent folks and no one will have to cry again…
So maybe I don’t communicate with people on the level, to the depth,
Of all these in-and-out correspondences I read every day, but my
Husband knows where I stand, and our kids will understand
And I remember a certain rabbit saying something his brother taught him…
You can’t go about blaming “the world” for your problems
The auto industry left – so does that mean morality too?
See, ya’ll simply cannot function like the rest of is
Who follow the rules, and do our jobs, and hold back our tears
Until there are no more to hide
And nothing to say
And there won’t be a college
I’ll settle for a grave


The Political Prosecution of Alex Hundert ends in 13.5 month Prison Sentence


by Zach RuiterMegan Kinch

The Political Prosecution of Alex Hundert ends in 13.5 month Prison Sentence
Alex faced was re-arrested on trumped up bail violations twice.
Alex faced was re-arrested on trumped up bail violations twice.
A drop by environmental justice activists in solidarity with Alex Hundert and other G20 prisoners while he was being held on 'bail violations'
A drop by environmental justice activists in solidarity with Alex Hundert and other G20 prisoners while he was being held on ‘bail violations’
Alex with Flower, a 6 nations land defender who headed to her own courtdate later that day.
Alex with Flower, a 6 nations land defender who headed to her own courtdate later that day.
Share
DiggThis

(Watch this story’s associated Video by Zach Ruiter of the TMC with footage of Alex and supports at the Finch courthouse)

On June 26, 2012 Alex Hundert was sentenced to 13 and a half months in jail.  It was the last court date from the G20 ‘conspiracy’ case, a political case that involved long term undercover cops, 17 (21 at one point) people dragged into one lumped-together court case, unprecedentedly strict bail conditions and finally a reluctant plea bargain. I’m trying to write dispassionately to some extent, like a journalist, but I’m remembering last year on the G20 anniversary Alex and I were working together editing the last issue of The Spoke, the TMC broadsheet founded to cover the G20 protests, and the issue he helped write and edit but couldn’t help distribute as he wasn’t allowed anywhere near the protest due to his bail conditions.  Now his bail is over and he’s serving over a year a jail, mainly, in my opinion, for being an effective organizer who helped bridge the divide between the radical settler left and indigenous struggles, especially at Six Nations and Grassy Narrows.

Alex was arrested on an early morning house-raid in the wee hours of the morning of the Saturday of G20 two years ago. He was eventually released on extremely restrictive bail conditions, and then re-arrested twice.  One of the arrests was after speaking at an indoor academic panel at Ryerson University, which the state decided was ‘a public demonstration’. He was coerced through threats of solitary confinement  into signing extremely restrictive bail conditions including the infamous ‘no media’ interpretation of conditions. He was eventually granted bail and had some the no media restriction eased but remained at risk or re-arrest and sufferent frequent visits from the bail complicance unit.

The 2201 Finch courthouse is colloquially known as the ‘gangs and guns’ courthouse, not by coincidence located near Jane and Finch, a reminder that police repression is not an exceptional event but an everyday experience for many. Alex gave a press conference to reporters, than went through the metal detectors into the courthouse surrounded by a crowd of about 30 supporters, hugging some of them as he went.

Once inside the courthouse Alex bade goodbye again to his friends and family and went through the second metal detector into the special courtroom.  Supporters followed, but almost no one was allowed into the courtroom itself because of fears of disruption- this particular courtroom is set up with a TV in an ‘overflow room’ to make minimal pretense of open court while effectively closing off the ‘justice’ system to a closed circuit system. Myself and another reporter from media co-op were not allowed into the main courtroom, an aggressive court policeman told us that “you’d have to be the frikken Toronto Star to get in here.” A CBC reporter was also denied entrance to the actual courtroom. The anteroom was an emotional scene with friends of Alex and relatives, accused ‘co-conspirators’, some already having finished their jail sentences, some with charges dropped.

Alex’s statement was interrupted many times by the judge, it was like a political debate between a revolutionary theorist and the comment section of a right wing newspaper. The judge refused to accept that the case was political and many times interrupted Alex when he made political points, while making uninformed political points of his own.  At one point the judge compared the G20 protests to the famous Nazi anti-jewish pogram of Kristallnacht, especially offensive given Alex’s long history of anti-fascist organizing.

Alex began his closing arguments “It has been stated through the proceeding by judges and justice of the peace that this case isn’t about politics. What I want to suggest is that that’s ridiculous…This is so obviously political, and every time that a judge says this isn’t political it puts the justice system into disrepute. The best example about how the G20 is treated differently is to look at what happens when people do similar things.  In Vancouver [during the hockey riots] some guy smashed up some windows and a cop car and got one months. They are trying to give Kelly Pflug-Beck 20 months  for what is basically the same thing.”

The judge also claimed that Alex and the other G20 organizers were ineffective activists and that they should have organized something like “The Arab Spring was a social media protest which was a peaceful protest”.

Alex contradicted the judge “People were getting killed live on the CNN [in Egypt], it was a tremendously violent movement- but it had popular support and so it was called a peaceful movement. that’s what we do when we like something we call it peaceful, when we don’t we call them violent… as for the suggestion that I am willing to use violence to achieve political ends- I would suggest that when it comes down to it almost anyone is okay with using violence for political ends. If I refuse to leave court today ballifs will come and drag me away, that is violence and that is coercive. Canada is not some oasis in a messed up world, Canada is a huge part of the problem. The G20 was one of the few times in Toronto that protest looked like protest in the rest of the world.”

Separated from the actual proceedings, supporters cheered Alex’s statements and booed especially egregious statements from the judge, occasionally howling and yelling commentary.  Longtime organizer Tom Keefer commented outside the courthouse: “The judge has no understanding of history or of politics and reveals himself as a bafoon  as soon as he opens his mouth. Arguing that the Arab spring was a non-violent movement when it was started by a man who lit himself on fire, if you ask me that’s pretty fucking violent, obviously it is a violence directed toward his own body to draw attention to it, but literally hundreds of people have been massacred by security forces and to say nothing of however your analysis is of Syria or Libya, it is obviously connected to the Arab Spring and it is most certainly not non-violent. There’s literally hundreds of martyrs that died in Tahrir Square that died for freedom and democratic rights fighting against a US-backed government”

In his ruling at the closing of proceedings the judge called Alex’s actions ‘self centered and arbitrary’ and sentenced him to 13 and a half months in jail, in addition to the time he had already served in jail on and on severe bail restrictions. He also aruged that the State’s ‘rule of law’ is superior to a supposed ‘rule of force’ that he incorrectly thinks anarchists belive in (rather than mutal aid and community), ignoring the monopoly of force granted to the State and the immidiate presence of court officers with guns regulating everything that went on in the courthouse.

The gallery exploded into consternation aimed that judges extremely unfair statement, which, given that Alex was pleading out and spending in order to spare his comrades jail time and possible deportation, is basically the opposite of the truth. As they escorted Alex out of the courtroom, people in the room watching on the T.V. screen pounded on the walls and cheered loudly, hoping that Alex would hear the commotion and know that they sent solidarity with him as he begins his sentence.

Outside the overflow room in the hallway and in the bright sunlight outside Alex’s friends, family and fellow organizers hugged each other, many with tears in their eyes. Supporters included former co-defendents, people from the April 28th movement, and Fran ‘Flower’ Doxtator, a land defender who was heading to her own political court date for defence of Six Nation’s land.

Alex’s call out for court support had made it clear that the his own political persecution is part of a general repression of dissent and called for activists to support Six Nations land defenders and arranged his own court callout to reflect his priorities. He wrote on the conspiretoresist website:

“Since 2006 there has been a particularly insidious wave of criminalization and demonization aimed at Haudenosaunee people who are asserting the sovereignty of the Six Nations Confederacy and defending the land. The tactics used in everyday policing operations against Six Nations, like those with other Indigenous nations, are exactly the type of oppressive state security that the rest of southern Ontario “activist community” got a taste of around the G20.”

Composing themselves, the small crowd dispersed, some heading to Flower’s courtdate in Cayuga, others to the rally for Mohammad Mahjoub held in Canada on security certificate for 12 years and never charged. This continued with the organizing work that Alex was so dedicated to, and would have been doing at that moment were he free and not being procced for incarceration.

Court cases continue in other G20 related trials, with Kelly Pflug-Beck and George Horton’s courtdates later this summer and others continuing into the fall.  Leah Henderson and Many Hiscocks, so called ‘co-conspirators’ are currently being held at the Vanier Centre for Women.  Alex is currently at Toronto West Detention centre and expected to be transferred to another prison shortly.  Check http://g20.torontomobilize.org/ , http://conspiretoresist.wordpress.com/ and http://april28coalition.wordpress.com/ for information on how to support political prisoners in Southern Ontario.


URGENT: Comrade injured by blast (Mexico)

Posted on June 28, 2012 by denverabc

from vivalaanarquia, transl waronsociety:

Two explosions in different parts of the south of Mexico City happened in the night hours. The first at 501 Picacho Ajusco, corner of Cartos (Ampliación Miguel Hidalgo neighborhood). An homemade explosive device went off at 11:37 PM Tuesday June 26 in a payment area of the Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE). The ceiling, furniture and windows were broken, and an ATM was damaged.

At 12:40 AM today (June 27), at the corner of Vicente Guerrero and Londres in the Carmen neighborhood, the compañero Mario Antonio López Fernández, 27 years old, was wounded when an incendiary device exploded on him. The compa sustained serious burns on his stomach and arms.

According to “official” versions, the devices ignited inside of the backpack in which he was transporting them. Then the subject received first aid then was transferred in an ambulance with police custody to the Rubén Leñero Hospital.

In Mario’s backpack they found another explosive device that was brought to the “Piraña Base” to be deactivated.

We are updating the situation of the compa according to learning of new details.

Always with Mauri!
Always with Tortuga!
Always with the rebels!
Solidarity with Mario López!

see also report at 325

https://denverabc.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/urgent-comrade-injured-by-blast-mexico/


Seattle: 6 arrested during Pride riot

From KOMO, via AnarchistNews:

Six people were arrested early Sunday after a large group of anarchists marched down the middle of several streets, clashed with police and damaged property during a noisy disturbance in the Capitol Hill area on Pride Weekend, police said.

The incident began just after midnight when a crowd began to assemble at the corner of 12th Avenue and Madison Street. The group quickly grew to about 40 people and then broke up about 15 minutes later, with most wandering north on 12th Avenue.

The group reassembled on 13th Avenue and began marching west on East Pine Street, then headed north on 12th Avenue, walking down the middle of the street, then east on Olive Way toward Cal Anderson Park, lighting off fireworks.

The group continued down the middle of Broadway, taking over the street, knocking over road signs and dragging garbage cans out into the street, said Seattle police spokesman Mark Jamieson.

At about 12:45 a.m. officers attempted to detain a woman who was in the process of dragging a trash can into the street, but she eluded officers and ran back into the crowd.

The group then continued east on East Pike Street, where they were met by a line of officers at 10th Avenue. The crowd of people stopped and began to dance and bang on drums. Several in the group yelled and screamed at officers while others placed bandanas over their faces.

After several minutes, the group began to move south along 10th Avenue to East Union, then east on Union to 11th, where officers reported seeing more members put bandanas on their faces. The crowd walked around, eventually ending up back at 12th and Madison, Jamieson said.

Shortly after 1 a.m., a police commander ordered the group to get out of the street and back onto the sidewalk. The group then left the street and assembled on the sidewalk.

At that point, a 25-year-old man who was on the sidewalk purposely stepped back into the street and proceeded to walk directly in front of the police commander. The man clicked his heels and stood at attention in front of the commander. The commander informed the man he was under arrest, and as officers took him into custody, the group grew agitated and began shouting verbal abuse and profanities.

Then the scene became chaotic as a man jumped on top of a parked car and begin to stomp and jump up and down on it. Officers ordered the man to get down off the car, but he refused and pepper spray was used.

Several members of the crowd surged forward and a 24-year-old man rushed forward and kicked the commander in the knee, police said. The man was pepper-sprayed and arrested on suspicion of assault.

As officers moved forward to assist in the arrest, a 30-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman who is well-known in the anarchist community immediately grabbed onto the man being arrested and attempted to pull him back into the crowd. Those two were both arrested.

As the disturbance continued, two other women, ages 22 and 29, were arrested for investigation of pedestrian interference and obstructing police.

All six suspects were taken to the East Precinct, where they were treated for the effects of pepper spray and later booked into the King County Jail.

https://denverabc.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/seattle-6-arrested-during-pride-riot/


My boys, The Cleveland 5

This rant I hope you’re about to read is an amalgamation of strong emotions and revelations regarding my comrades, the Cleveland 5, since this nightmare started. I would like to start by dispelling any misunderstandings folks may have of the boys. I call them boys because I’m quite a bit older than most of them. Except for Tony, most feel like sons to me. I never had the pleasure of meeting Tony but my entire family knows him well and vouches for him. Tony was going to fix my roof this summer. Tony, I’m going to just keep jamming old shirts in that hole in the roof. It will be waiting for you when you get out. Hurry.These boys are not the college educated anti-authoritarian types I’m guessing make up the fantastic groups like ALF, ELF, or what have you. They are not the highly organized ones who have carried out actions that have dumb founded the authorities for years. These boys aren’t editing any zines. The boys were raised by working class folks with all the hardship that entails. Many came to meet through Occupy, being exposed to new people, ideas, and sharing their own beliefs. They are the gritty Anarchists. They are my comrades. I’m with them until the end. Period. No exceptions.

My son met Doug at Occupy. Both volunteered and had their responsibilities. Doug would many times stay up late and help my son. They became friends. Doug told my wife he thought of Gus as a younger brother and that he had his back. And he did. In my letters to you, Doug, I refer to you as son. And I mean it.

Skelly, you came to my house once to help my son with his bike. I know you mostly through photos and stories. Stories of your reputation to drop everything and help someone in need. My favorite story is the one where you were walking to an event and were jumped by two men. You single handedly fought off your attackers and continued on to your event. Black eye and all. Word is Skelly that you are not doing well in jail. I have no idea what you are going through. We need to get you help.

Connor, the poem writing, giggling young man who is apparently giving beards a bad name. You are an extremely talented young writer. Thank you for agreeing to attempt to write an ABC of Anarcho Primitivism with me. Though it now looks like it will be more of a Letters from Prison with a little Black and Green swirled in for good measure. It will be an entertaining read if nothing else. I will always be amazed about the time you giggled through an entire plate of salad greens. I can see giggling through a carrot or a radish. But an entire salad!? Love.

Brandon, I’ve known you the longest. I remember the first time I met you. Walking into my kitchen and seeing this giant, shirtless young man sweating all over my counter top. You immediately shook my hand and engaged me thoughtful and enlightened conversation. Brandon, you always ate my experimental casseroles without complaint. And even had seconds. You’re wonderfully extraverted, energetic, and it’s an honor to call you comrade.

Brandon, I also want to take a moment to apologize to you. I have a lot of guilt. I’m not sure of the dates but there was that period of time where I was mad at you for a reason that seems quite silly now. I pushed you away and had nothing to do with you. I know now the FBI was pulling that Security Culture in reverse shit on you, but I feel that if I would have stayed in contact with you instead of pushing you away, I could have maybe picked up on something not being right. I’m so incredibly sad and angry all the time now. Please forgive me, Brandon. You’re a good boy. You don’t deserve this shit. Leftovers in the fridge.

I strongly advise folks reading this to think hard if they know of anyone who has recently drifted away. Anyone they have lost contact with who falls into the same category of these boys. If so, touch base with them. See how they’re doing. How are they financially? See if they have made any new friends. And without being too intrusive, maybe just inform them of the thousands of provocateurs out there. That if someone pushy comes along promising them something that is too good to be true, advise them to just walk away.

The FBI and other agencies are actively entrapping the gritty ones (for now). And they are good at it. The FBI has to legitimize an 8 billion dollar a year budget. When Occupy was in full swing it was reported that the FBI sent out roughly 15,000 agents to infiltrate. There will be more Cleveland 5’s .

The State is pushing hard and fast. They will not stop. The world is quickly running out of resources and we are witnessing the final feeding frenzy of what’s left of it. Anyone or any group that is perceived as a threat to profit and or privilege will be prosecuted as a terrorist. Guaranteed.

My boys were entrapped to send a message. They were entrapped to further an agenda. That agenda includes the Final Empire’s last desperate grab of what is left of planet earth.

What do we do now? What do I do now? All I want to do is scream. Scream for my boys. Scream for vengeance.

http://anarchistnews.org/content/my-boys-cleveland-5


Letter from Connor C. Stevens to everyone.

 

Transcript:

One who, in the days of April, enjoyed such simple Freedoms as sitting by a Flowing stream of water, smiling in the sun, or relaxing under a bridge with a friend under a bridge in Cleveland, drinking a beer, now, in May, has been thrown in solitary confinement. Here, in solitary confinement, I have never felt more connected to the People, whom I Love and am willing to lay down my life for.

As we band together, talk, debate, and organize, we are already moving closer to the world we are struggling to create. Who among us has not has the strong impression that this is but a dream, that these days and nights since April 30th are not but a nightmare? Yet who can deny that this dark dream that has been case, not upon the May Day 5, but upon our whole community, and indeed the world, has not been pierced by overwhelming rays of Love, of solidarity, of strength – in this warmth I do not require “hope” because here and now I am witness to and participant of the timeless Power of the People.

A Brother wrote me, saying, “I feel they have taken my Freedom with yours.” And this is why we struggle – the fascists (federal government and corporations) have not merely imprisoned the May Day 5. The have, in effect, declared war on any life, which even questions, their hegemony. This is not the first case of this nature, nor will it be the last. As they accumulate their watch lists, tap phones, dispatch informants, rip apart families, friends, lovers, passing even more (unnecessary) legislation (NDAA for fiscal year 2012) in preparation for martial law, we must never forget we the people are infinitely more wise, more beautiful, more passionate, and more Powerful. When we fight, we do so in defense of all life, here and to come. The journey before us will be arduous, but we have run out of alternatives: if we chose life, we can no longer remain spectators and consumers. So, my great big glorious family, let is jump up and live again! Let us chose life!

ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE, IN ARMS,

From a Love that can only be expressed in action, your brother, comrade, Connor C. Stevens.

http://www.cleveland5justice.org/blog/letter-connor-c-stevens-everyone


Update on the Cleveland 5

The Bay Area Anarchist Black Cross would also like to mention that at least a few of The Cleveland 5 also need help in finding lawyer. See the previous post. These guys are in deep shit for something they clearly wouldn’t have planned without entrapment. FUCK THE STATE.
=============================================================
Posted on June 19, 2012 by denverabc

After almost two months of imprisonment, repression and an intense campaign of media demonization, the Cleveland five remain strong and solid in their refusal to cooperate with the FBI.

They also remain in desperate need of our support. They are getting very little contact from the outside world and four of the five defendants are being re represented by public defenders. Although right now these four say they are happy with their lawyers, they also have no access to the funds necessary to offer them the legal options they so desperately need right now. We all know that “justice” basically means how much money you have.

Their support crew has been working hard to hustle the funds necessary to hire a lawyer for Connor, the defendant who was most unhappy with his legal representation. The lawyer, who is taking on the case at a reduced cost, also plans to hire an investigative team to work on the case. As of now, initial legal costs exceed $30,000 and are expected to be much more than that.

Even though these costs are huge and may seem insurmountable, the future of the five is riding on the efforts of small autonomous groups of people contributing to the struggle for their freedom. There will be no knights in shining armor in this case, just us and the support we are able to muster.

The five also need encouragement, expressions of solidarity with their refusal to cooperate, and letters of support. So far, responses along these lines have been disappointing. It’s not news that the five are mostly inexperienced and are not well known within our networks of affinity. And it’s possible that this is why they were targeted. But we cannot let these be the reasons we do not support them. They may not be a friend of a friend, maybe no one you know can vouch for them, but so far they have stood up to the State with courage and integrity—one of them, Connor, has even gone on hunger strike to protest the conditions of his imprisonment—and it’s time they get some unambiguous expressions of solidarity in return.

We all know the risks of not supporting fringe anarchists in moments of intense repression—when people feel alone they are more likely to snitch or to look to reactionary belief systems for solace. While they are remaining uncooperative with the government at this point, the future is very uncertain if they do not get more support than they are getting.

Please see the legal update and the individual updates below and take a minute to send a book or a zine or to drop a line on these comrades.

Legal update:
The five are being charged with “Use or Attempted Use of Explosive Materials” and “Conspiracy.” They have been incarcerated since May 1st and four of them are being held in a private prison in Youngstown, Ohio. The fifth, Doug Wright, is being held at the county jail in Trumbull County in Warren, Ohio.

On June 15th, a “motion for detention” was signed by the judge in the case, preventing supporters from bonding them out before trial. The judge in their case seems to be tough and unsympathetic and is refusing requests for continuance by the lawyers. Although they have not had nearly enough time to prepare an adequate defense, the judge continues to insist that the trial will begin in early September. Although it is extremely unlikely to happen, it demonstrates the added pressure the five and their lawyers are under.

As of now, Connor, Brandon, Anthony and Josh are being held at a private prison in Youngstown, Ohio called the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center [http://www.NOCC.com/facility/northeast-ohio-correctional-center/], run by the Corrections Corporation of America.

Doug is currently being held the Trumbull County Jail [http://www.co.trumbull.oh.us/tc_sheriff.html] in Warren, Ohio. The four being held at NOCC are in solitary confinement (23 hours of lock down a day with one hour of “recreation” in a small outdoor cage), can make phone calls only once every fifteen days and are permitted one legal call per day. Despite these rules, no one has been consistently able to make calls as their requests are repeatedly ignored. They are allowed two visits per week, but they are only twenty minutes long and visitors have to check in by 7am.

Individual updates:
Brandon is incarcerated at NOCC where he is cell mates with his co-defendant Tony. Because the two are together, they seem to be doing well emotionally. He is in need of a decent legal dictionary, any criminal defense books, and would like to be sent news articles that are being printed about the five. He’s spending time documenting the case and doing legal research as much as possible given the restrictions. He really wants letters and visitors.

Tony is doing well emotionally and wants letters and visits. He is cellmates with Brandon at NOCC. He is working hard doing research to prepare for his case and has really offered a lot of emotional support to Brandon and Connor, elping them stay strong.

Josh’s situation is potentially the most urgent. He is having a very hard time mentally and emotionally and is getting very little support or outside contact. He is also, for unknown reasons, not allowed to have any contact whatsoever with the other three comrades at NOCC. He has a history of mental health issues that have already been made public in the case, and which are not be effectively addressed by his captors. He is not getting adequate nutrition, is losing weight and feels constantly hungry. He usually does not take the hour of rec. available to him because he is too physically weak. He is in urgent need of support and letters.

Connor is in high spirits and is looking forward to working with the new lawyer. He continues to be frustrated with the limitations of visitation and phone use and, sometime in June, went on hunger strike to protest these conditions. He is clear in his commitment to not cooperating with the government. He is also incarcerated at NOCC where he can sometimes have contact with Brandon and Tony.

Doug is being held at Trumbull County Jail in Warren, Ohio where his lawyer requested he be transferred in hopes of improving his conditions. Like Josh, he is totally disconnected from any contact with his co-defendants and feels very isolated. His lawyer has been urging him to take a plea, but so far he’s remaining strong. He’s getting very little support or outside contact and has no support from his family. He is usually out of touch because of the conditions of his incarceration and lack of support and usually has no idea what’s going on about the case, when court dates are, etc. He is also suffering from lack of sufficient food and is also dealing with harassment from guards.

Please write to them at:
Last Name, First Name
ID #, NEOCC
2240 Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, OH 44505

Here are their ID numbers:

Stevens, Connor # 57978060
Baxter, Brandon #57972060
Hayne, Anthony #57975060f
Stafford, Joshua #57976060

You can write to Doug at:

Douglas L. Wright**
150 High Street
Warren, OH 44481

*Letters must be in pre-stamped envelopes from the Post Office. No glitter/sparkles/confetti/stickers/etc. Plain lined or unlined paper is acceptable. Photos are okay.

**Please be sure to include Doug’s middle initial, L., when addressing letters to him as there are two Douglas Wrights at Trumbull County Jail in Warren.

A note on security: As we know, all our letters to these comrades will be read, photocopied, and maybe even mailed to the FBI field office in our city. Therefore, we should be aware of what we write, the address we write from, and the name we use. Please, do not mention the facts of the case, anything at all illegal, or anything you do not want the FBI to know. Please write to them simply to show them they are not alone, and that you are thinking about them. Send them an article you think they might like, or a poem, picture, drawing, etc. We should know the risks, but not let them deter us from supporting our friends.

Donations to Legal Fund

If you would like to make donations via check or money order, please make the check out to Conveyor Belt Collective, who is handling our donations.

Send checks to:
Cleveland 5 Justice
P.O. Box 602117
Cleveland, OH 44102

Please separate any donations over $3000 into multiple contributions.

Your identity will be kept confidential unless you would prefer otherwise. Thanks so much, your help is greatly appreciated!

For more info and updates about their case, check out their support group’s site at cleveland5justice.org
To read the affidavit in the case check out
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/05/01-4

https://denverabc.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/update-on-the-cleveland-5/#more-6851