NATO 3 Updates

From their support team:

Brent, Jacob and Jay have all now been transferred! Please take a few moments today and drop them a card, letter, or postcard to let them know that we have their back and have not forgotten them now that they have been sentenced. The more mail they get as soon as they arrive, the easier their transition will be because the other other prisoners will be able to tell that they are important people who have a lot of support on the outside. And the mail will lift their spirits too, of course. You can also send them paperback books to help them pass the time while they await transfer to the prison where they will be serving their sentences. You can send them new or used paperbacks either directly yourself or through a bookseller.

Also, The NATO 3 trial zine has been updated and expanded to recount what happened to

Brent, Jacob and Jay last Friday when they were sentenced. Check it out

http://freethenato3.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/nato-3-trial-zine-color-screen3.pdf

 

 

 

Brent Betterly
M44724
PO Box 112
Joliet, IL 60434

Brian Jacob Church
M44717
PO Box 112
Joliet, IL 60434

Jared Chase
M44710
PO Box 112
Joliet, IL 60434

 

 

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“Free Alabama Movement” – Statement from IWW’s Incarcerated Workers Org. Committee

We in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) have been approached by a
group of hundreds of people currently incarcerated in Alabama who are
launching a nonviolent prison strike beginning this Sunday April 20th to
demand an end to slave labor, the massive overcrowding and horrifying
health and human rights violations found in Alabama Prisons, and the
passage of legislation they have drafted.

This is the second peaceful and nonviolent protest initiated by the brave
men and women of the Free Alabama Movement (F.A.M.) this year building on
the recent Hunger Strikes in Pelican Bay and the Georgia Prison Strike in
2010. They aim to build a mass movement inside and outside of prisons to
earn their freedom, and end the racist, capitalist system of mass
incarceration called The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and others.
The Free Alabama Movement is waging a non-violent and peaceful protest for
their civil, economic, and human rights.

The conditions in Alabama prisons are horrendous, packing twice as many
people as the 16,000 that can be housed "humanely", with everything from
black mold, brown water, cancer causing foods, insect infestations, and
general disrepair. They are also run by free, slave labor, with 10,000
incarcerated people working to maintain the prisons daily, adding up to
$600,000 dollars a day, or $219,000,000 a year of slave labor if inmates
were paid federal minimum wage, with tens of thousands more receiving
pennies a day making products for the state or private corporations.

In response, the Free Alabama Movement is pushing a comprehensive "Freedom
Bill" (Alabama's Education, Rehabilitation, and Re-entry Preparedness
Bill) designed to end these horrors and create a much reduced correctional
system actually intended to achieve rehabilitation and a secure, just,
anti-racist society.

While unique in some ways, the struggle of these brave human beings is the
same as the millions of black, brown, and working class men, women, and
youth struggling to survive a system they are not meant to succeed within.
We advance their struggle by building our own, and working together for an
end to this "system that crushes people and penalizes them for not being
able to stand the weight".

The Free Alabama Movement is partnering with the IWW's Incarcerated
Workers Organizing Committee to ask you to:

Create a Incarcerated Workers Solidarity Committee in your area to raise
money, take action, and spread the word of this struggle, including to
local prisons.
Amplify the voices of incarcerated workers by posting this and future
updates to your website, facebook, email lists, and so on
Join our email list so as to be kept up to date and amplify future
updates. Contact us at iwoc@riseup.net and like us on facebook:
www.facebook.com/incarceratedworkers
Donate money to the Free Alabama Movement & Incarcerated Workers
Organizing Cmt:
https://fundly.com/iww-incarcerated-workers-organizing-committee-support-the-free-alabama-movement
Join the IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee
Contact us at iwoc@riseup.net. Solidarity and be in touch!

 

Launch of the International Mobilisation in Solidarity with Italian Anarchist Prisoners : May 16-22

manifestosolidarietainglese

NATO 3 Sentenced to 5-8 Years

from the NATO 3 Support Team:

 

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.

 

Support Alabama Prisoners on Work Strike

 

Anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble recently sent out a letter calling for outside support for the prison strike happening at Holman Prison in Alabama. Prisoners are mainly striking for better living conditions, citing crumbling infrastructure, cold winter conditions, inadequate access to medical care, nutritious food & gym time, and harassment of family members during visitations.

He states in his letter  “We expect retaliation, possibly including beatings of prisoners who are labeled as agitators.” 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

We ask that you make phone calls to the Warden, the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Correction, and the Governor of Alabama, to check on the situation, our condition, demands, and welfare. Or write him a letter of support at the address below.

Please call:

Warden Gary Hetzel (Holman Prison): (251) 368-8173

Commissioner Kim Thomas (Alabama DOC) (334) 353-3870

Governor Robert J. Bentley: (334) 242-7100

 

Michael Kimble
#138017 / B-107
3700 Holman Unit
Atmore, AL 36503

 

Full letter from Michael here: http://anarchylive.noblogs.org/post/2014/04/03/message-from-michael-on-the-alabama-work-strike/

Support Jailed Mi’kmaq Warriors

new-brunswick-dec-2-fire-flag-drum

The Mi’kmaq Warriors, Germaine Jr Breau & Aaron Francis who have been held in custody since the day of the raid on Oct 17th, are now facing trial in Moncton courts. They are currently facing indictable charges for being true to their inherent responsibilities as L’nu people by protecting the lands and waters against corporate imperialists, SWN. We are unsure how much longer Aaron & Jr will have to sit in jail, having already served over 5 months without conviction. The financial burden of supporting imprisoned warriors has been carried solely by the family and loved ones and it’s time that changed. Again we are uncertain as to the outcomes of sentencing, but Jr & Aaron have plead to a number of charges. Support funds will be used for canteen, phone calls (which are both collect & long distance), gas for visits, etc. Please donate here http://www.gofundme.com/jailedwarriors Thanks to everyone for their ongoing and continued support!! 

April Political Prisoner Birthday Calendar

It’s now out and you can find it here: http://prisonbookscollective.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/political-prisoners-birthdays-april.pdf

apologies, hyperlink is not working. thanks to the good folks at chapel hill prison books collective