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Joel is free!!

On Thursday, September 11th 2014 Joel Bitar was driven to the border, where he was met with loved ones.  Below is his statement from his blog. Thank you to everyone who gave Joel support!! To the end of prisons!!

Joel’s Blog: Free at Last!

For folks who have been following my blog over the months you may have noticed that I hadn’t posted anything in a while. There was a reason. Back in mid-August my parole (parole for deportation) was granted!

A couple of days ago, 2 weeks after my parole eligibility day, I was driven to Niagra Falls by Canadian border police in handcuffs and dropped off on the U.S. side. U.S. Customs and Border Police then took my fingerprints, scanned my passport for outstanding warrants and eventually a door was opened and my freedom became official.

My parole conditions are basic: don’t associate with anyone with a criminal record, attend counseling and don’t attempt to return to Canada. If I return to Canada they can hold me for the duration of my sentence, which is September, 2015.

So it’s finally over, I can’t believe it. Getting out of jail is one of the best freaking feelings in the world. It’s also kind of overwhelming. Emotionally speaking, I got out of there relatively unscathed. I did pick up a bunch of scars, bumps and injuries (mostly all connected to jail soccer games, therefore totally worth it). All-in-all I feel the same. If anything the experience made me tougher, stronger and wiser. I hope to be a source of information and support for those who will inevitably be put through the prison system in the future.

I want to thank everyone who submitted parole letters on my behalf. The parole board received over 30 letters (they couldn’t believe it, they were shocked) and they read every single one. Each letter was integral in winning my freedom. Thank you to each of you who took some time to do that, I wouldn’t be free right now if it wasn’t for you.

I also want to thank everyone who corresponded with me over the past 7 months and I want to apologize to those whom I never replied. Each letter I received made my day a little brighter and allowed me to maintain emotional stability during dark times. My incarceration was a case study in how to do solid prisoner support work. The amount of solidarity I received throughout the process was outstanding and I wouldn’t be in such good shape right now without it.

So thank you, thank you, thank you folks. I can’t wait to give you all a hug when I see you. My heart is filled with so much joy right now.

Freedom is a must!!!

 

 

 

Posted in G20 Update, General.


George Horton in Jail Again for G20 Charges

George Horton, G20 Prisoner, has returned to jail after being released pending his appeal, which was recently denied.

George Horton is being held in Lindsay, ON at the Central East Correctional Facility. He is expected to do at least 4 months there, up to 8 months (at worst).

George participated courageously in the mass demonstrations against the G20 in June of 2010. He has remained courageous and intransigent in the face of the repression of the courts and jail.

Since June of 2010, he has supported G20 defendants and prisoners. Rather than seeking the state and corporate media’s mercy by condemning the diverse tactics of community-based resistance mounted against the G20 in2010, George has consistently condemned this repression.

If you wish to write to George send him letters at the following address:

George Horton
C/O Central East Correctional Centre
541 Hwy 36, Box 4500
Lindsay, ON K9V 4S6

Please use discretion and read the following about writing prisoners before writing George:

http://guelphabc.noblogs.org/letter-writing/

Stay tuned to George’s FB wall and Guelph ABC for further updates.

BACKGROUND:

In September 2010, George was arrested in connection with actionscconnected with mass demonstrations against the G20 on the weekend of June 25-27, 2010 in toronto.

After conviction, George was sentenced September 28, 2012 to 10 months for Assault Police, 10 months for Intimidation of “Peace” Officer, 2 months for being Masked with Intent and 2 months for 3 counts of Mischief over $5000, to be served concurrently. This meant that he was to serve 10 months in total.

After serving 2 months, George was released on bail, pending the resolution of an appeal of his convictions for Assault Police and Intimidation of “Peace” Officer.

On August 26, 2014, George’s appeal was dismissed and his convictions upheld. He has been returned to Central East Correctional Centre, Lindsay, Ontario.

Posted in G20 Update, Repression, Southern Ontario.

Tagged with , , , , , , .


Joel’s Blog: Dealing with Conflict

From http://lockedupyetliberated.noblogs.org/

June 18, 2014

Before I begin this post, I want to mention that although it’s wonderful
getting letters in here, it’s not so wonderful for some people who see me
getting them. Most of my fellow prisoners get no mail at all. When they
observe me receiving so much mail, it reminds them of how alone they are in
here. Some folks supporting me have sporadically offered to be pen-pals to
some of my fellow prisoners so I want to use this blog post to formally ask
you all who are reading this to write a friend of mine in here.

His name is Michael. He’s a 40 year old Jamaican guy who has a wonderfully
positive personality. He could pass for a Buddhist, so impressive is his
ability to make light of a terrible situation. Please send him a short
letter just to let him know that he’s not alone. It will make his day. He
told me he’s really interested in getting a letter from a woman. Like all
heterosexual males locked up, he definitely craves female attention. His
address is:

Michael Grant
1501 Fuller Ave
Penetanguishene, ON L9M 2H4, Canada

Back to the topic at hand. Conflict in life is inevitable when you have
various competing interests. Conflict in jail is a scientific certainty
because all the people with competing interests are trapped together. Walking
away isn’t an option because there is nowhere to go. If someone calls you
a “bitch” on the street, you can literally turn and walk in the opposite
direction. That privilege doesn’t exist here. There’s no walking away. Every
conflict needs to be resolved and this is usually a torturous and stressful
process.

Because of who I am – someone who is geeky-looking, educated, and generally
different – I have become the target of certain individuals. I attract
unwanted attention. So, in response, I am changing. I talk to people as
minimally as possible and avoid letting them see the real me. I keep them
guessing.

One verifiable truth about jail: people generally confuse kindness for
weakness. One of my theories is that some people have never been shown
kindness so they immediately assume that there must be something wrong with
a kind person. People here will abuse your kindness. If you give them
something – an item like a newspaper – they will begin to expect and even
demand more of the same in the future. Then, if you decide to cut them
off, they will immediately resent you and a conflict is born.

So, I’ve decided to learn how to fight. It’s imperative that I have some
idea of how to defend myself against the chaotic and hard to predict
violence of jail. Better to be prepared than not. Through some clever
jail engineering, I’ve managed to hang a rolled-up mattress off the top
bunk in my cell. Every other day I set it up, wrap my wrists and hands,
and go at it. I never punched with my left hand before – I’m developing a
quick jab. It’s great exercise and after 20 minutes, I’m shirtless in my
cell sweating profusely.

For anyone about to go to jail: take MMA, boxing, or some type of martial
arts training. Don’t sit around for months stewing in self-pity like I did.
Knowing that you can defend yourself will prove invaluable. It will give
you confidence and allow you to assert yourself. People will be less
likely to take advantage of you.

When I first came here, I met a young man who got half his ear bitten off
in a fight. He said to me, “People mistake kindness for weakness.” At the
time I shrugged him off but he was speaking truth and he learned it the
hard way. I came to jail with the idea that criminals are better than
everyone else: an enlightened segment of society. The truth is that
criminals are just people – some are good, some are bad, some are very very
bad, and they are the reason for my training.

Posted in General.


Rick is released!

Rick came home on the 17th of June. His partner and two friends went right to the border at rainbow bridge and picked him up! He is doing good, back to work already. He has to pay fines of $3000. He worked out a pay plan where he pays $400 a month. He also has to call his parroll officer once a month to check in.

Thank you to all who sent in letters to Rick and showed him your support!

Posted in G20 Update.


Statement from Kevin

My name is Kevin Chianella,
Since 2010 I’ve feared for my freedom in the outside world.  Now in 2014 sentenced for my crimes 4 years ago at the G20 summit in Toronto, Ontario I worry daily for those who stuck their necks out there to defend me.  My very close friend Evan Potts donated around 5000 dollars to help his friend pay his legal fees.  Without him I would not have had legal representation for my trial hearings and sentencing.  I would have been in prison longer and would not have had 37 of my 53 charges dropped.  He is not the only one that helped me through this.  My 90 year old grandmother stepped up to the plate.  She was the only family member that donated money to my cause.  She helped me and let me borrow 8000 dollars on top of all the other money she put into the cause.  There is nothing I can do in prison to try and pay them back.  I’m crying out for help in this situation I face.  Being the good friend Evan is I only have to pay him back half of the money that I owe him a total of 2500 dollars.  All together including both of them I need to raise 10, 500$.  This is a callout for help.  There’s nothing I can do in prison but as soon as I get out I’m going to work toward my goal everyday.  On top of all my worries I fear for my grandmother’s health and I don’t want her last memories of me being a prisoner who couldn’t keep his word.  My thanks go out to those who read this and to everyone who has helped even in small ways you know who you are.
                                                                                                             - Kevin Chianella

Posted in G20 Update.


NATO 3 Sentenced to 5 to 8 Years, Receive Credit for Time Served

reposted from A news

Today in the Cook County Criminal Courthouse, the NATO 3 were sentenced to between 5 and 8 years in prison. The prosecutors had argued that they should receive 14 years and serve their sentences consecutively, whereas the defense attorneys had obviously argued that they should receive light sentences, if not simply being sentenced to time served. Brian Jacob Church was sentenced to 5 years, Brent Betterly to 6 years, and Jared Chase to 8 years. They will all serve this time at 50% of the sentenced time (e.g., 6 year sentence equals 3 years served) and will receive credit for the two years they have served pending trial. Upon release, they will each have two years of supervised release as well.

Supporters packed the courtroom for the NATO 3 today despite the draconian restrictions placed on public attendance by the judge. While the prosecutors had plenty of cops lined up to smear the defendants on the stand during the sentencing hearing, their side of the courtroom was notably empty. Not even Anita Alvarez, the head attorney who has been so vocal about the defendants being terrorists, was around today. After the jury issued its verdict, Alvarez claimed in an interview that the prosecutors had not lost the case even though all of their terrorist claims had been rejected. She melodramatically asked if the reporters had forgotten about the Boston Marathon bombing. She even asked one reporter if he would like a Molotov cocktail thrown at him.

Predictably, the prosecutors continued this ludicrous line of reasoning by repeatedly comparing the NATO 3 to the Boston Marathon bombers—with the only difference being that undercover cops had found and stopped them before they did what the bombers had done. This comparison is, of course, absurd and offensive. The defense objected to this comparison but was, predictably, overruled. Also predictably, the judge promoted this twisted perspective in his explanation of his sentencing.

If anything, the court’s blatant, unabashed explanation of this worldview shows all the more clearly how the NATO 3 were set up from the beginning. The undercovers entrapped them so that the case would exactly fit the prosecution’s designs, and the judge was more than happy to push this case along according to the desired script. This is no less of a conspiracy than what the defendants were charged with, albeit more nefarious because it is sanctioned by the spectacle of “justice” called the criminal legal system and enforced by the militarized policing apparatus that aids in the systemic oppression of the masses for the benefit of the elite. With this in mind, solidarity with the NATO 3 must necessarily include continuing to struggle against the economic and political forces that brought them to Chicago in the first place.

As the NATO 3 return to their cells to wait out the next few days before they are transferred to state prison, most of us will return to our homes and our lives. But we must not forget them or our other comrades behind bars. Stay tuned for updated addresses for the 3 so we can flood them with letters, postcards and books as soon as they are transferred. They have hard time yet to serve and we need to make sure they know that they are not alone.

In the near future, we will be sending out more detailed notes from today and updating our zine. In the meantime, check out our storify pages of tweets from the proceedings today.

* Post-trial motion hearing: https://storify.com/FreeNATO3/nato-3-post-trial-motions
* State’s witnesses at sentencing hearing: https://storify.com/FreeNATO3/nato-3-sentencing-hearing-state-witnesses
* Defense witness at sentencing hearing: https://storify.com/FreeNATO3/nato-3-sentencing-hearing-defense-witness
* Aggravation and mitigation arguments: https://storify.com/FreeNATO3/nato-3-sentencing-aggravation-and-mitigati…
* Statements by Jacob and Brent prior to sentencing: https://storify.com/FreeNATO3/nato-3-sentencing-defendant-statements
* The sentences: https://storify.com/FreeNATO3/nato-3-sentences

The defendants will all need support while in prison, so please donate to their support fund today! https://freethenato3.wordpress.com/donate/

Posted in General.


Cody Lee Sutherlin is getting out!!

From A news

In May of 2012 five anti fascists were arrested and later that year convicted of taking part in emphatically, stopping a meeting of white supremacists at a restaurant in Tinley Park, which is a Chicago suburb. tinleyparkfive.wordpress.com/about

Cody Lee Sutherlin is one of those 5 and is due to be released from prison by the beginning of June. So , Bloomington ABC , NYC ABC , and Sacramento Prisoner Support have launched a campaign to start a release fund for Cody Lee.

By the time Cody Lee is released he’ll have been locked up for just over 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 Cody Lee Sutherlin’s Release Fund
online: youcaring.com/welcomehomecody. 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 Cody 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:

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

In Solidarity,

Bloomington ABC, NYC ABC, Sacramento Prisoner Support

Posted in General.


Toronto G20 prisoners update

Here are some updates about Kevin, Rick, and Joel, three americans serving time in canada for toronto g20 convictions. Please note their current addresses (they have moved since the last update), writing letters is a great way to make sure incarcerated comrades feel connected.

Joel Bitar

On February 13th Joel pled guilty to 12 counts of mischief over $5000 (originally facing 26 counts) and was sentenced to 20 months. He is keeping up a blog while he is inside: http://lockedupyetliberated.noblogs.org/ You can read his statement to the court here His current address is:

Joel Bitar
Central North Correctional Centre
1501 Fuller Ave.
Penetanguishene, ON Canada
L9M 2H4

 

Kevin Chianella

On February 13th Kevin pled guilty to 16 charges (originally facing 53 counts) and was sentenced to 24 months in a penitentiary, the only G20 prisoner to be sentenced to federal time. He is currently being held at Joyceville in Kingston. His address:

ATTN Kevin Chianella
Joyceville Institution
Highway 15 PO Box 880
Kingston, Ontario
K7L 4X9

 

Richard Morano

On February 3rd Rick pled to 6 counts (originally facing 14) and received a 7-month sentence in jail, and 2 years probation. He is required to pay $3,000 in restitution. Morano was ordered to pay Staff Sgt. Queen $1,000 in restitution and $500 each to CIBC, Tim Hortons, American Apparel and All Leather. He is being held in Lindsay, his address is:

Richard Morano
Central East Correctional Centre
541 Hwy 36, Box 4500
Lindsay, ON
K9V 4S6

If you want to help out with support, please contact guelphabc(at)riseup.net

Solidarity, GABC

Posted in General.


Grand Jury Resister Steve Returns Home!

from A news

Hi, my name is Steven Jablonski. I am anarchist and Grand Jury Resister. After living in exile in Canada for about a year and a half, I returned to United States about a month ago. My return was not meant to be secretive but I felt the need to take some time for myself to collect my thoughts and decompress before I releasing an official statement. I now feel ready to break the silence and clarify some of the confusion around me being subpoenaed for the Seattle Grand Jury investigating May Day 2012 in Seattle.

In July of 2012 several people in the northwest received subpoenas to testify for a Grand Jury investigating anarchist activity and property destruction that occurred at the 2012 Seattle May Day Anti-Capitalist Demo. In late July I received a phone call from someone claiming they were an FBI agent who stated that I had been subpoenaed to testify in front of Grand Jury and how they could deliver that subpoena to me. A subpoena only goes into effect once it is “served” to a person, which means the physical subpoena must be hand delivered to the person. I made the decision to resist the grand jury by leaving the country rather than risk being served and testifying in front of the Grand Jury.

I was and still continue to be firm in my belief of noncooperation with the State. I was fairly certain that if I refused to answer the Grand Jury’s questions that I would be held in civil contempt and placed in prison. Without passing any judgment on the decisions other Grand Jury Resisters have made, I did not feel comfortable presenting myself to the State for a prison sentence. I understand that jail and prison are a fact of life for many people in this world and I also understand that by engaging in anarchist activity one can also risk imprisonment. I want do everything possible to resist cooperation with the state and I also refuse to willingly walk into my own prison cell.

I arrived in Canada on August 4th, 2012. By November I had started living in Montreal, Quebec. Throughout my time spent in Montreal I was fucked with by both CSIS(Canadian Security Intelligence Service) and the SPVM (Montreal City Police). Over the course of my time in Canada I was routinely followed and approached by name on the street and outside of my house. During these interactions I was told to go back to my home country and that they were just waiting to deport me. I was placed in a SPVM car multiples times including been picked up by cop car a block away from my house at 2 in the morning and driven to the outskirts of the city where they took my phone, cash, shoes and jacket. A couple months later I was suspiciously jumped by two unknown people 2 blocks from my house that made no effort to take any of my belongings, but kept calling me an “American Faggot”. In each of these interactions it has been clear that these people knew of my legal situation.

Despite all of the harassment I was also able to have the love and friendship of great people in Montreal. I essentially showed up in Montreal not knowing anybody and people made sure that I had everything that I needed. Quickly through both highs and the lows these relationships transformed into bonds that I am sure will be long lasting.

Clearly the State is not happy with my and others decisions to not cooperate with this investigation. Despite this, all except one of the people involved in the investigation have maintained strict noncooperation with the investigation. But the investigation is now coming to a close. The past year and a half has most certainly been the most interesting and difficult year of my life. With the help of both old friends and new friends, anarchists both near and far, and the inspiration I have felt from my fellow Grand Jury Resisters and comrades, some things are finally coming to a close.

My exile has also turned out to be rather expensive but due to the financial support I received from a whole lot of people I was taken care of very well. I want to specifically thank the Committee Against Political Repression and comrades in Vancouver BC and Guelph ON and friends in both the Bay Area and New York. I also want to thank my friends in the Puget Sound, the closest friends I have in the world. Their support and encouragement has been insurmountable in my resistance, mental health and emotional health. I also want to speak about how inspired I have been by the countless solidarity actions that took place all over the world, as well as anyone else who has offered any gesture of support.

I also want to be clear that I stand in full solidarity with those anonymous vandals who attacked the William Kenzo Nakamura Courthouse in Seattle on May 1st 2012. There are few things I desire more than to see institutions of power targeted and attacked. I strongly identify with the insurrectionary anarchist tendency and believe that those acts of crime and rebellion that occurred on that day in Seattle serve as a small example of how people can physically attack institutions of Capital in their never-ending quest for liberation.

As excited as I am to be home, like most things in life the experience is bitter-sweet. I have had some wonderful experiences over the past year and a half and returning home has not been an easy thing to do. As frustrating as the past nineteen months have been, I know I am coming out of this experience as a stronger person with stronger bonds, and clearer idea on what affinity, friendship, and anarchy actually mean to me. But ultimately, I’m just glad to finally be home.

Solidarity with all other Grand Jury Resisters and those in Exile!

Freedom for Amelie, Carlos, and Fallon! (The 5E3 Prisoners)

Long Live Anarchy!

*If you have any questions/concerns/comments for Steve, he can be reached by email at nothingleft@riseup.net .

Posted in General.


April 6: Vigil to commemorate Fredy Villanueva’s birthday (Montreal)

A vigil to commemorate Fredy Villanueva's birthday will take place 
April 6 at 6pm in Montreal.

Fredy Villanueva was born April 6th twenty-four years ago, and his
memory is still alive today.

Proof of this is the fact that Fredy Villanueva never stopped living in
the hearts of those who loved him.

That his memory lives on proves that love for Fredy Villanueva is stronger
than police bullets.

This is why on April 6, 2014, the Villanueva family and their allies
will celebrate the 24th anniversary of the birth of Fredy Villanueva.

This is to remind ourselves and each other that Fredy Villanueva was,
above all, a young brilliant man who had his whole life ahead of him.

This is an invitation at all of those who empathize with the
Villanuevas' cause to come support this vigil, to help commemorate
the 24th birthday of Fredy Villanueva.

Sunday, April 6th at 6pm
In the parking lot of the Henri-Bourassa Arena
12004 Boul Rolland, Montreal North
Metro Henri-Bourassa, bus # 69 Gouin or # 49 Léger East

This is an invitation from the Support Committee for Dany Villanueva
FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/475371179259251/

Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (514) 395-9691 cobpATriseup.net
(NEW ADDRESS) http://www.cobp.resist.ca Montréal, Québec, Canada

Posted in ACAB News.