Grand Jury Resister Jerry Koch is 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.

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.

jerry-2014_web

Discussion on Prisoner Support Projects in Winnipeg

Genderfest Winnipeg and the Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies present:

Prisoner Support Projects: a conversation with local organizers and out of town guests.

Featuring:

Syrus Marcus Ware
is a founder of the Prison Justice Action Committee (Toronto) and is helping to organize the International Conference on Penal Abolition in Ottawa, June 2014

Louise Wallwein
is the Writer-in-Residence at the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba

Kim Parry
is a volunteer with the Manitoba Library Association Prison Library Committee

Anne Wyman

University of Winnipeg, The Hive.
(Located on the first floor at the Ellice St. entrance)

There will be prison art calendars available for purchase (suggested $5-10) as well as copies of Inside Scoop (a quarterly issue of writings and art from the inside). http://www.johnhoward.mb.ca/inside-scoop/

Join us for conversation and free coffee and snacks.

Notes on the 1st Week of Trial for the NATO 3

The first week in the Trial of the NATO 3 concluded on Friday and it seems that they case they have is not that strong. The evidence was weak, and mostly pointed to coercion on the undercovers’ behalf. Publicly, the NATO 3 have been demonized for their attempted use of Molotov cocktails, however it’s been revealed that these were only brought up because of suggestion and encouragement by Gloves (one of the undercovers).

The state also used a GPS tracking device that had been installed in the car of Brian ‘Jacob’ Church (one of the defendants) as evidence of searching out targets downtown, and yet admitted that the tracking device does not show who was in the car at specific times or why the car was in motion.

For a much more detailed description of the trials happenings, read here.

One Last ABC Fundraising Brunch at Mondragon

After 18 years in business, Mondragon will be closing it’s doors for good this Sunday, January 26th. Come join us at the last ever Anarchist Black Cross brunch at there  and let’s show some love and thanks to the folks who let us use their space for fundraising so many times over the years!
We will be serving up beans, greens, hashbrowns, tofu scramble, toast, orange juice and coffee from 11 am until 2 pm.

$10-$15 sliding scale donation.

There will be music throughout the brunch, as well as a chance for people to come and share their favourite Mondragon stories.

91 Albert St, 11am-2pm

Dark Nights #39 Released

Dark Nights #39, an insurrectionary anarchist zine has just released their latest issue which features letters from many political prisoners across the world as well as statements of solidarity for those on the inside. the full pdf can be found here.

Moscow Anti-fascists Amnestied in Pre-Olympics PR Move

On Friday 10th of January Basmanniy district court of Moscow ceased criminal case against Alexey Olesinov, Alexey Sutuga, Alyon Volikov and Babken Guskasyan. All four were accused of “hooliganism”, a criminal offense which is included in the amnesty bill, approved as a PR stunt on initiative of Vladimir Putin himself in advent of the Sochi Winter Olympics – most known amnestied political prisoners being 30 detainees of the Arctic Sunrise ship of Greenpeace, and two imprisoned members of Pussy Riot. Four anti-fascists had also other, less severe charges which fall under statutes of limitations.

Full story and background at avtonom

Robert Seth Hayes Medical Update

Letter sent from Robert to supporters on the outside, including the link to a petition at the bottom to have him released after over 30 years in prison, for charges that he still denies. For a more full bio, check out the Toronto ABC page.

An open Letter to all of you.
To thank you for your engagement to render
Voice and Support and Your Love. In my hour of need.

First and Foremost, let me say, from my heart, I thank all of you. Through your efforts, today I can say, I am stronger, observing new results after waiting so long. I see changes being implemented and a more serious attitude from those who are held responsible for my health care. I am still waiting for an outside trip for the purpose of full diabetic work up towards stabilized control. This I am informed will occur, but I am not privileged to know when. Shortly after that acknowledgement, Dr. W. Sidorowicz suggested I agree to be admitted into the facility infirmary for diabetic assessment (?), treatment(?) of which I agreed. I did not want to appear to be refusing medical treatment made available to me. I am concerned though, “why now?” What stopped them 13 years ago to the present from accomplishing this same purpose? Anyway, I await any implementations of positive health care provision.

At the moment, I feel stronger, more focused and patient. Meanwhile, I continue to suggest that nutritious meal supplements (fresh fruits, vegetables, unsweetened and low sodium items) be made available in the commissary for purchase. Or at the very least allowed through the package room. DOCCS [New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision] has repeatedly refused to provide these valuable assets to the inmate and inmate patients population. The DOCCS excuse, stating its standard position that they provide adequate food substances. In short, one diet fits all irrespective of medical needs and concerns. Irrespective of the fact that it deprives some from medical services.

Happily, Lately, I had a visit on Sat. 12/28 with my daughter Crystal. And that in itself, enhanced my recovery stamina. Her smiles, love, compassion and concern lifter higher that I’d been for some time, so I wanted to than her herein as well.

To you Family, Comrades, Support Networks and Community Workers. Thank you for all your caring, sharing and continued interest in righting a wrong that corrections has allowed to fester for far to long. I also continue to have strong stamina in working towards parole release. We have strong points of law that demand compliance. We are circulating a public petition towards release after so long incarcerated: www.change.org/petitions/tina-m-stanford-free-robert-seth-hayes-74a2280

Again thank you so much for your continued faith and support. Much love to you and yours from PP/POW’s steadfastly engaged with you.

Respects!
Robert Seth Hayes