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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.


Letter from Fallon, anarchist imprisoned in Mexico City

I want to begin this letter with a huge hug for all the compxs who are on the run, all those who are fighting for their liberty, and all those who are locked up and for whom this world of domination is trying to quell their rage. There is no cell, no wall, no authority to whom I give enough power to quiet my rage and my desire for liberty. I’ve had these feelings since I was a little one and now, in my heart and my head, they are stronger than ever, and there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think of you guys, my friends. I can imagine, and they tell me as well, that the situation outside is very precarious. This doesn’t surprise me, as us deciding to be in conflict comes with repression. It isn’t simple, it isn’t easy, and there are many emotions that are all mixed up, but the specific emotion that we all have in common is our force; individually and collectively. No-one can cage this feeling—neither a prison nor a border. Friends, I am thinking of you all with much love, especially Marc, who is locked up in a prison in Kingston, and I’m thinking of the compxs from the Che who were tortured by the comite Cerezo, of the cumbia ballerina, and of Tripa, Amélie and Carlos. Let’s stay strong, regardless of the distance!

I feel a little weird writing a letter without any specific destination, I have the feeling that I’m writing to a galaxy that seems a little bit far away. I want to say one thing: I want to be clear that I am not writing this letter to retain support or to portray myself as the victim. My intention is to use the pen and paper to communicate with friends, and to share analysis.

I think that the situation of being imprisoned is a very special opportunity to get away from the ‘fetichisation’ of prison and to make it a reality in a contextual manner. Today, I am writing this letter from Santa Marta, but who knows what is next.

When we were arrested, January 5th 2014, to me, it was a bit of a joke, with the 7 cop cars blocking the street, it felt a bit like a scene from a play, and from this moment onwards, this feeling never left. Everybody has their role. I remember this moment, at 2 or 3 in the morning, when we were transported from the PGJ to the scientific centre for tests. We were three, in 3 different cars, with 2 cops on either side of us, and with a minimum of 10 cop cars with their lights flashing in the deserted streets of DF, and with the scientists who were still almost asleep when we arrived at the Centre. It was such a show; CSI Miami in Mexico.

And the Arraigo Centre, ouf!
This was the most theatrical thing I’ve lived through in my whole life. When we got there, the street had been closed off for our arrival. The men with their soap-opera muscles and machine guns were outside in the street, as well as inside the car with us. I couldn’t stop laughing—laughing at their authority that I don’t even have the smallest amount of respect for, laughing at the way they take themselves so seriously. “Ken and Barbie” with federal police uniforms. And the prisoners, who don’t have names but instead have the good luck of having a colour. Mine was orange. The worst was that the girls in my cell were taking on the roles of submission, of fear, and of authority between each other, so seriously, as if they were in an audition for a Hollywood movie.

Sorry to the people who think that I’m making everything seem absurd, but, this is the way it is! A joke, the playing of a role.

And here, in Santa Marta, there are many neighbourhoods from A to H, there is a ‘park’, apartments, and neighbours. There is a corner store, sex workers, drugs everywhere; there are people who reproduce the gender roles of ‘girls and boys’, and there are also tons of babies. There is a school, a doctor, a court. There are studies to classify us in Santa Marta, there is corruption, formal and informal power, schedules, and many emotions, many histories, lots of time to share together, rage, and definitely lots of cigarettes and coffee to share. If it isn’t already clear (here my spanish fails me a bit), but now, Santa Marta is my new city, ‘A’ is my new neighbourhood, 107 is my new apartment, and Amélie, my neighbour. For me, this is clearer than any theory.

And so, I end my letter.

A note:

First, I wrote this in spanish* because, it’s sometimes easier. So, I also want to give a big thanks to all those who do the translation, I will try to translate other letters into Français and English.

This is the first letter I’ve written in a long time because in the Arraigo centre it was very difficult; pens, like everything else, were prohibited!

For me, it was important to write this letter with a touch of humour and sarcasm, not because I want to minimise the impact that prisons can have on people, but to minimise the impact prison can have on me. What I tried to express, in simple spanish (I hope to one day master it) (I also hope it’s understandable), is that since my imprisonment, the elements that have had the most impact on me have been the game of roles and city-prison, prison-city. I won’t lie to you—it isn’t always easy, we are surrounded by barbed wire, but there is one thing I am certain of and it’s that freedom starts in our heads, regardless of where we find ourselves. In mine right now, there’s a lot of rage, a lot of force, and yes, despite everything, there is more freedom than ever.

Thanks to the friends who came to visit! To those who took our collect calls. To those who are organizing, despite the tensions. And to those who nurture the fire and who attack this rotten society RAGE AND ANARCHY!! (A)

And solidarity with Marc, the compxs from the Che, Tripa, the witch cumbia dancer, Amélie, and Carlos.

–Fallon

Santa Marta, Mexico, March 14, 2014

And Happy March 15! (A)

*The letter was originally written in both spanish and french.

To write to Amélie and Fallon:

Centro Feminil de Reinsercion social Santa Martha Acatilla
Amélie Trudeau / Fallon Rouiller
Calzada Ermita
Iztapalapa No 4037
Colonia Santa Martha Acatitla
Delagation Iztalpalapa
C.P. 09560

Posted in General.


Mexico, 5E: Letter from Amélie

From: Sabotage Media (In French, Spanish, and English)

February 23, Santa Martha prison, Mexico DF

On the evening of January 5, I was arrested with my comrades Fallon and Carlos for allegedly attacking the office of the Federal Secretary of Communications and Transportation of Mexico, and also a Nissan dealership. Windows were broken and molotov cocktails were thrown inside the ministry, (according to what the evidence says) and inside the new cars of the dealership. Damages are evaluated to more than 70 000 pesos at the ministry and 100 000 pesos at Nissan.

Indeed, I’m an anarchist and live in Montreal, Canada. I was traveling in Mexico, and now my trip is being prolonged some time.

After being arrested, they locked us up for 96 hours, and then transfered us at the Federal Centre of Arraigo – without prior having seen a judge. We were held captive for 40 days. In a cell, 23 hours per day, a cigarette a day, smoked in 10 minutes; 3 meals per day, but with only 10 minutes to eat each time, without talking; not allowed to have a pencil; 9 minutes of phone per day… In short, it was a long wait, and there was nothing more than Mexican “telenovelas” playing on tv all day. Luckily our friends sent us some books! Thanks, I don’t know how I could have survived without.

On day 40, the General Prosecutor of the Republic (PGR – federal) transfered our files to the PGJ (state police) because they have no evidence to charge us of a federal crime. Thus, since February 17, Fallon and I are at “Santa Martha” State penitentiary for women in Mexico City, where we were transfered, and Carlos is at “Oriente” State penitentiary for men 20 minutes from us. Here, it’s a micro-society surrounded by cement and barbed-wire, but where you can do as you wish inside.

At the moment of writing this text, its 7:30 am. I’m in the yard and I’m looking at the sun rising behind the watchtower occupying the scenery. Actually, I almost feel like I’m in the yard of an apartment block when i look at the building with clothes hanging from windows without bars. There’s plenty of pigeons, garbagecans, yellowed grass, and barbed-wire. There’s also plenty of people with their own stories.

Prisons are necessary for maintaining social peace, as are cops. It is the domination and control that permits this sickening world to persist. Prison means fear, the unknown, shame, solitude, isolation. Society is the domestication of individuals into “good citizens”. Thus, my strength as individual takes root in the refusal of fear being a limit in my life. For sure I’m afraid, like everyone, of many things, but my desires of freedom are stronger. Fear is often constructed, and is deconstructed when we face it. What’s important is to see further, beyond the boundaries and borders, beyond the walls, mountains, rivers and oceans.

I don’t know how long I’m here for, but i don’t feel sorry for myself. I’m confident that outside the struggle goes on, and people meet, love each other, hate each other, live, dammit. In fact I’m not comfortable with people focusing on our case without engaging their own struggles in their own contexts. I believe that the best solidarity is built in the sharing of individual and collective strengths. The worst thing for me would be that nothing goes on outside while were held captive, but I know my friends continue despite the difficulties we must face. My reality as an anarchist in prison is a fact among others with which we have to adapt. The most difficult is often to maintain and protect bonds of trust with comrades whom we have affinity with, for long term thinking. When it is possible, unimaginable possibilities emerge.

In that sense, my ideas and analyses remain the same as outside. That’s why I don’t feel like changing my discourse to get peoples support. I greatly appreciate the efforts of solidarity that have been done till now, although, I distance myself from certain initiatives that have been taken in solidarity with us. In Montreal: during a demo that took place in front of the Mexican consulate, the speech denounced torture and human rights violations by the Mexican State. The UN was mentioned in a reformist and progressive tone. Honestly, I appreciate that many people feel concerned with our case, but I refuse to use that illusory reformist discourse. As I see it, injustice, torture and human rights violations are integral parts of the world as it is. Rights are regulated by the State and are suspended at any moment as needed. Furthermore, it promotes democratic ideology (rights for citizens), the biggest of illusions. And most of all, to support our ideas with references to instances of power like the UN cannot build a strong anti-authoritarian struggle. It’s not by trying to influence public opinion with reformist discourse that we will build strong foundations for an struggle impossible to recuperate.

I must say I honestly have nothing to do with student and worker unions, and that even in the “syndicalisme de combat” [transl. combat unionism] very fashionable back home, in Montreal. Those organizations are formal and bureaucratic. They reproduce “direct democracy”. Those are the same structures I want to destroy, which impose distance between individuals, and the way they relate to the world and to the living. Formality, bureaucracy, law, and institutionalization transform the relationship between people. They immobilize the constant possibilities of transformation, exactly as political parties do. They try to organize and lead the “formless masses”

Therefore, there is an obvious contradiction: we’ve received support from student associations in Quebec. For my part, I have no problems with accepting money which will without doubt help us out of prison. But I must say that these organizations have nothing revolutionary about them. They’re rotten to the core. They’re based on Maoist organizational structures and are totally formal, with their politicians procedural code. This language is incomprehensible. Charismatic speakers manipulate the votes of the masses by expressing what the majority wants to hear rather than speaking from the heart. Crowds of 100 000 people march like zombies, sing and repeat the same reformist slogans and then return home, to their daily routine.

In the situation in which I find myself, waiting for my sentence or my release, to express openly that I am an anarchist can put me in a precarious situation. I chose to do so anyway. Many times, I felt the need to communicate with other anarchists who have experienced similar situations. When confronting State repression, there are several ways to react. I think that using a moderate discourse provides privileges, such as getting out of jail faster, obtaining financing or social acceptance. But I think as long as the words and deeds will be moderate, it will be difficult to spread insurrectional and anti-authoritarian practices. That is why it is important to communicate my ideas openly and knowingly.

I do not know how long I will be locked up here, but one thing is certain: it will not be for a lifetime. I am fortunate to have great friends and comrades in struggles, and I do not feel alone. The strength and courage are found first in oneself. There is a universe of possibilities, here as elsewhere. All forms of domination are to be fought, those that create the structures and institutions as much as those who interfere in our relationships. There is no heaven or perfect world. Freedom is the permanent movement and conflict, in confrontation with the world of images, symbols and appearances. Freedom is the destruction of the structures of domination over our lives. In Mexico, Montreal, France, Vancouver, United States, Spain, Greece, Chile, Egypt, Belgium, Italy, Germany, England, Holland, I greet my friends and comrades of struggle. For total freedom, I wish for links to be forged in the struggle.

In solidarity with Carlos “Chivo” and Fallon

With love, down with all the prison walls

Amélie

To write to Amélie and Fallon:

Centro Feminil de Reinsercion social Santa Martha Acatilla
Amélie Trudeau / Fallon Rouiller
Calzada Ermita
Iztapalapa No 4037
Colonia Santa Martha Acatitla
Delagation Iztalpalapa
C.P. 09560

Posted in General.


COBP denounces the paramilitary police state and its political repression: March 15 2014

COBP denounces the paramilitary police state and its political repression: March 15, 2014

Translated from:
<https://www.cobp.resist.ca/documentation/15-mars-2014-le-cobp-d-nonce-l-tat-policier-paramilitaire-et-la-r-pression-politique>

It is without surprise but rather an enormous amount of rage and
indignation that the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality (COBP/Mtl)
denounces the mass arrest that ended the 18th annual demonstration
against police brutality mere moments before it began. The montreal
police (SPVM), with the help of the quebec police (SQ) encircled the
demonstration before it even really begun. According to our initial
information, about 250 people were arrested using article 2.1 of the
municipal bylaw P-6 that prohibits all protests where the route is not
given to the police ahead of time. (Must we remind them that the
constitutionality of bylaw P-6 is currently being contested in court?)
Many targeted arrests happened, many of which were carried out quite
brutally. One demonstrator was sent to the hospital after his head was
smashed by police nightsticks.

The SPVM countered their reputation of intolerance by declaring the
demonstration illegal 2 days before March 15th under the pretext that
the route had not been submitted ahead of time. Undercover police
working for the SPVM also visited many activists in the days prior,
intimidating them and discouraging from participating in the 2014
March 15th demo. As demonstrated arrived at the gathering point of
Jean-Talon metro they were greeted by a veritable army of police on
foot, on horses, on bicycles, in cars and in helicopters.

After a brief but energetic speech by the organizers, which was
interrupted by a cop who shouted incomprehensibly, the crowd tried to
go west on Jean-Talon road. A line of riot cops was deployed
immediately, blocking their route. The people turned right around and
took Châteaubriand road towards the south - the only direction that
was not blocked by SPVM. On Châteaubriand, between Jean-Talon and
Bélanger, the majority of people were arrested when the SPVM did not
give them a chance to disperse, contradicting their own "instructions
to demonstrators," published on March 12th on their website.

Many other arrests were more or less targeted and took place several
blocks away from the kettle. The SPVM's "Urban Brigade" pursued,
provoked and brutally arrested several people for banal reasons such
as "impeding sidewalk traffic" and "emitting an audible noise outdoors."

The COBP denounces the fact that the SPVM has proven once again that
it is incapable of tolerating demonstrations against its own brutality
and police impunity. Many demonstrations that did not reveal their
route to police were tolerated in 2013, without counting the
innumerable "illegal" demonstrations in 2012. The repressive
demonstration on the afternoon of March 15th demonstrates again that
no matter what government is in power, liberal or otherwise, it's
always the police who decide who has the right to demonstrate and
when, just like in a veritable police state.

The COBP invites all arrested persons to contest their tickets and
charges, and to contact us in order to organize a collective defence
and seeking of recourse.

WE CONTINUE THE FIGHT TOGETHER!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Collectif Opposé à la Brutalité Policière/Collective Opposed to Police Brutality 
(514) 395-9691 cobp [at] riseup [dot] net (NEW ADDRESS) http://www.cobp.resist.ca
Montréal, Québec, Canada

Posted in ACAB News, Repression.


Keep up with Joel’s Blog!

Joel is keeping a blog while he is inside, you can find it at:

http://supportjoel.com/

Here is his most recent blog post:

We are locked in today. Lock-ins are typically done randomly and arbitrarily. The justification is that the guards are understaffed. It’s a nice break from the drama and tension of the range (all though my range is pretty calm and free of drama). I’ve been working out pretty hard since I’ve gotten here. I view self-care in here as a form of rebellion and resistance. This place is designed to destroy our bodies and minds via atrophy so anything you can do to stay physically and emotionally healthy is a counterattack. I’ve been preparing for this experience by learning bodyweight exercises, yoga, and meditation.

Since we were locked in, I invented a cardio-based routine to get the heart pumping. I literally ran in place for about an hour, mixing in jumping jacks, gate lunges, and a couple of other things. I then did 30 burpees and an ab-workout (nothing too crazy because this is a light day). I got satisfaction knowing I was more productive than all the guards in this place.

Later, before bed, I will do some yoga and meditation to relax my mind. I’ve also been acquiring threads from various places to floss since the jail has deemed it – floss – a banned item. Every tooth crevice I clean is a victory and every time the thread breaks, I curse under my breath.

Escapism is also a helpful tool in passing time. I’ve been reading magazines and watching some movies on the common TV. Yesterday, the entire range was watching “Blue Streak” where Martin Lawrence is a jewel thief who poses as a Los Angeles Police detective. A movie that makes nonstop fun of police is a pretty big deal in a place like this.

I’m expecting a visit from a wonderful friend on Tuesday so I’m excited about that. The food here at Toronto West Detention Center is excellent because there’s a legitimate kitchen. I’ve gotten comfortable here, but I’ll be moved soon. I’ll definitely be writing about that experience when it happens.

Posted in General.


Solidarity with the 5E3

On Sunday, January 5th, two groups of people threw rocks and molotov
cocktails at the offices of the Ministry of Communications and Transport
and at the vehicles of a Nissan dealership in Mexico City.
The same night, Carlos, Fallon, and Amelie were arrested in downtown
Mexico city for these attacks. Initially detained by the Ministry of
Public Safety for the Federal District (Mexico City), their case was
shortly thereafter transferred to the federal jurisdiction.

On January 9, the comrades were placed under arraigo, a special
investigative measure, based on a allegations from the Prosecutor’s
Office of federal crimes, including terrorism, sabotage, organized
crime, and damage to public property. The arraigo allows the
Prosecutor’s Office to hold any suspects up to 40 days pending
investigation without appearing before a judge and without formal
indictment.

At the end of the arraigo, Amelie and Fallon were transferred to the
Centre de Réadaptacion Santa Martha, a women’s prison where they are
still detained, and Carlos was transferred to Oriente, a men’s prison.
Both are state-level prisons.

On the 20th of February, the comrades appeared before a judge. In
light of a lack of evidence, the federal charges for which the arraigo
was granted were not pursued. Amelie, Fallon, and Carlos are now
facing: breach of peace, and damage to property while acting as a
group. The comrades appealed the charges, and are currently faced with
the possibility that Nissan will accept a restitution of $10 000 for
the damages to their property. This would mean that Carlos, Amelie,
and Fallon would be able to get bail for the charge of breaching the
peace. The bail amount is not known at this point.

If Nissan refuses the restitution offer, the judge then has 15 days to
decide whether to release the three accused or not. If the judge
refuses, they will stay in prison until their trial, which could take
between six months and a year.

In Mexican prisons, all services and needs are paid for out of pocket.
This includes calling cards and personal effects, as well as water,
food, a place to sleep, etc. Thus, while Amelie, Carlos, and Fallon are
detained, there is a significant need for money.

Money fundraised at this point will go to pay the restitution and bail
amounts for all three comrades; if the restitution and bail are
ultimately denied, the money raised will continue to support the three
while they are detained.

To contribute financially to support efforts, make donations online via
CLAC: http://www.clac-montreal.net/mx#_1

Write a cheque to: Convergence des lutes anti-capitalists (PLEASE INDICATE MEXICO IN THE SUBJECT LINE) and send to:

CLAC-Montréal c/o QPIRG Concordia
1455 de Maisonneuve O
Montréal, Quebec
H3G 1M8

 

Freedom for Carlos, Amelie and Fallon !

Freedom for Mario, Salvador and Fernando !

Posted in General.


G20 American Extraditee update

We have addresses for Richard Morano, Kevin Chianella and Joel Bitar. Please write and visit them!

Richard Morano / Kevin Chianella / Joel Bitar
Toronto West Detention Center
111 Disco Rd. Box 4950
Rexdale, Ontario
M9W 5L6

Background:

http://notorontog20extradition.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/support-kevin-joel-and-richard/

Last winter. five americans were extradited to canada on charges stemming from the protests: Kevin, Richard, Joel, Dane, and Quinn.

Kevin Chianella

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 at Metro West but will likely be transported to a federal facility in the near future. Stay posted for an address change.

Joel Bitar

February 13th: Joel pled guilty to 12 counts of mischief over $5000 (originally facing 26 counts) and was sentenced to 20 months in a provincial jail.

Richard Morano

February 3rd: Richard 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.

Dane Rossmann pled guilty in the summer and was sentenced to time served plus a day, after serving many months in custody in the US fighting extradition. He is now back home with his loved ones.

Quinn has not been in touch with supporters in NYC or southern ontario.

In love and Rage,

GABC

Posted in G20 Update.


Joel Bitar Sentenced to 20 months

Today, February 13th 2014, Joel Bitar was sentenced to 19 months plus 17 days for his participation in the 2010 G20 protests in Toronto.  As soon as we have his address we will publicize it, and Joel welcomes letters and visits. GABC is also collecting funds for his canteen and to help folks to visit him. Joel – our hearts are with you!

Here is his statement:

Hello,

I have not been able to speak much since my arrest last February so I appreciate the opportunity to make a statement today. I only plan on taking a small amount of your time. At the end of my statement I am going to to issue an apology to some of the individuals who were affected by my actions. It is my hope that this statement better contextualizes the choices I’ve made that have led me to this courtroom.

I came to Toronto four years ago for many of the same reasons as the tens of thousands of other people who marched on the streets that day. These are many of the same reasons why hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated in Seattle against the World Trade Organization, in Genoa against the G8, in Quebec City against the Free Trade Area of the Americas, in Gothenburg against the EU summit, in Rostock against the G8 and in Pittsburgh against the G20. They are many of the same reasons why people are now protesting in the streets of New York, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain. It is only really possible to understand the events that took place in Toronto in the context of the global movement against neoliberalism and the corporatization of the planet. It is my belief that this movement is best explained as an individual and collective response to various forms of domination and exploitation. My politics are inseparable from my own life experiences, which I would like to briefly speak about now.

I grew up in an environment where I had access to many of the things required for conventional success. I had – and have – an extremely loving family, I played tennis competitively and had a working-class, but generally supportive upbringing. I graduated from high school with honors and then got my bachelors degree in Economics from the City University of New York. My plan in college was to work on Wall Street with the goal of making a lot of money. That goal was widely reinforced and encouraged by society at large. Trying to get rich and focusing on my own personal comforts seemed right when everyone else was chasing the same thing. However, two events occurred during this time that fundamentally changed the way I now see the world.

The first event was the global financial crisis of 2008. During this time, banks that engaged in predatory lending practices were given billions of dollars to keep their businesses afloat while millions of people lost their homes. It was shocking how closely government officials who once worked on Wall St. collaborated with the financial sector to organize the bailout. It seemed profoundly unjust to me that those who precipitated the crisis were rewarded, while masses of people were literally tossed to the street. I came to the conclusion that Wall Street’s obsession with profit comes at the expense and detriment of the majority.

The second event took place in December, 2008, when Israel launched an invasion into the Gaza Strip that resulted in the deaths of 800 civilians (many of whom were women and children). This destruction was carried out with weapons manufactured by U.S. Corporations and was paid for with U.S. taxpayer money. During this invasion, banned weapons like White Phosphorous (made in the U.S.) were fired at Palestinian schools and hospitals in contravention of international humanitarian law. I saw images of innocent children killed by missiles, tank shells and bullets. At the same time many of these people suffered, weapons manufacturers and government officials profited from their obliteration.

From these two events I developed an opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have died in these wars while corporations like Halliburton and Lockheed Martin have secured billions of dollars in government contracts. George Bush erected a worldwide torture regime, that Obama has only expanded, and has since been immune to any prosecution for his crimes. It is evident that those who commit crimes at the top levels are government are immunized while someone like Chelsea Manning, who revealed the extent of government criminality, is banished to a cage for decades. It is apparent to people, all throughout the world, that the real motivations for these wars is rooted in the economic interest of a few and that masses of innocent people have needlessly suffered as a result.

This led me to see more and more about the world that I could not unsee, including how the continued exploitation of the environment is connected to the same economic interests mentioned above. One notoriously brutal example of environmental exploitation is happening here in Canada at this moment. In Alberta, pristine boreal forestland the size of Florida has been turned into a toxic wasteland for the extraction of oil. James Hansen, a professor of climatology at Columbia University believes that the tar sand project is “game over for the climate.” He says: “If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now. That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities.” It should not be acceptable to us that private corporations and western governments regularly exploit natural resources for profit while simultaneously destroying the environment and injecting pollutants into our air and water.

Financial crises, war and environmental degradation share a common thread. They are born of the prevailing economic system, which is only interested in maximizing profit and increasing growth. This system is predicated on maintaining vast levels of inequality, where a small number of people have incredible amounts of wealth while the masses are locked in poverty. A recent report published by Oxfam International states that the 85 richest people possess the same wealth as the poorest 3.5 billion people combined. Rather than providing wealth and opportunity, or having a trickle-down effect, the current system enriches the few at the expense of the many. This is not a particularly radical analysis, this is the only rational interpretation of how society is structured. Even such a mainstream figure as the Pope recently said: “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems.” Rather than addressing these structural causes, Western governments do everything they can to foster the status quo that leads to the problems.

The current situation in the world is urgent and much needs to be done. I truly believe we can build a new system that puts human need and the needs of the environment ahead of the interests of business. At some point, we need to decide if profit, innovation and economic growth are more important than the long-term sustainability and well-being of our species and planet. I understand that this proposition might not sound so good to someone who is financially benefiting from the current system but we are running out of time. We have enough resources to make sure every person on this planet has health care, food, an education and a place to live. There is no reason why people should be homeless and begging on the streets while food is thrown away en masse and foreclosed houses remain empty. There is no reason why such massive levels of inequality should persist in the modern age. These systems are antiquated and must be fundamentally transformed.

It was not, and has never been, my intention to scare or hurt anyone. I want to build a world based on the values of love, compassion and understanding; not fear and intimidation. I take responsibility for my actions and apologize to anyone who felt fear as a result of them. Before closing, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my family, friends and supporters. This process has taken an incredible toll on myself and especially my loved ones. It means the world that they have stood by me through it all.

 

Thank You

 

Joel Bitar

 

 

Posted in G20 Update, General.


Grand Jury Resister Jerry Koch is Free!

from http://www.anarchistnews.org/content/grand-jury-resister-jerry-koch-free

On Tuesday, January 28th, anarchist grand jury resister Gerald “Jerry” Koch was released from the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Koch’s release comes over eight months after his imprisonment for refusing to testify before a grand jury convened under the auspices of investigating the so-called bicycle bomber case.

Judge John Keenan, the presiding judge over Jerry’s case, believes that taking the position of a government run amok, using grand juries as a witch hunt is, “a delusion of grandeur.” Judge Keenan goes on:

There is simply no evidence that the Government [sic], threatened by Koch’s subversive prowess, seeks to bring him before the grand jury on a pretext, either to gain access to the treasure trove that is his circle of friends or to send an ominous message to political dissidents.

In reality, the United States government was following a pattern of using grand juries as fishing expeditions in hopes of better understanding social and political networks of anarchists. This tactic has been recently seen in the Pacific Northwest and in California. Regardless, Jerry’s release does not come as a result of some hacky judge “seeing the light” and letting the barred door swing wide. It comes due to the diligence of his legal support in filing a strong Grumbles motion. Also from the judge’s decision:

Koch’s argument is straightforward. Because he continues to oppose the government in general and the grand jury process in particular, he urges that continued confinement will not induce him to testify. Indeed, he asserts that his tenure at the MCC has caused his views about government repression to congeal even further.

Imprisonment for civil contempt in order to coerce someone to testify is, according to the state, not supposed to be punitive. When it becomes punitive and loses any coercive power, the individual must be released (or so goes the argument). The content of the motion filed by Jerry’s legal support argues that the function of Jerry’s imprisonment—to coerce him to testify before the grand jury, was failing and in fact had become merely punitive. Based on the above quote, judge Keenan agreed. And this is the basis of the judge’s decision to release Jerry.

Judge Keenan’s decision also reveals the importance of outside support. Articles written about Jerry, letters written on his behalf, and even an online petition cumulatively added to the strength of the motion filed on his behalf. Strong solidarity from family and friends positively contributed to Jerry’s release.

In reading Judge Keenan’s decision, it is clear that the only joy he is able to squeeze out of his miserable life is in sophomoric barbs launched at Jerry and anarchists in general. And at the end of the day, none of the judge’s childish insults matter. What matters is that we have our comrade returned to us, unbroken.

Again in the words of Judge Keenan, Jerry “has chosen to remain in contempt– indeed he promises continued and endless contempt.” And for that, we applaud you, Jerry. Welcome home.

To read judge Keenan’s decision in its entirety, click here.

Posted in General.