[Ppnews] Jeff Free Luers Prison Dispatch, March 2006
Political Prisoner News
PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 30 19:10:27 EST 2006
Free demands "recognition of political status for our prisoners. All
incarcerated and accused members of the Earth Liberation Front and
other earth liberation prisoners are political prisoners. Our actions
that brought us to prison are political in nature. Our trials are
about our politics. Our sentences are increased because of our
Agreed, but what about all of the other political prisoners in their
20+ or 30+ years?
Jeff "Free" Luers Prison Dispatch, March 2006
Earlier this month, the Earth Liberation Front struck in Salem,
Oregon. I doubt many people outside of Oregon heard about this
action. However, in Oregon it was a hot news topic for days.
What kind of daring action could garner such media attention? The
words "Stop building ant farms, ELF" spray-painted on a new housing
The first headlines were "Eco-terrorists strike again". Then the
speculations came. Was this an act of hardened terrorists or was it a
prank? The debate went on. The police didn't know. The media could only guess.
The only thing that remained concrete was those three red letters:
E-L-F. The difference came in how it was discussed. The media said
"the police are unsure whether this is the work of teenage vandals or
seasoned terrorists. If it was vandals they will be charged with
criminal mischief. However, if it turns out the graffiti was actually
done by terrorists they will be charged with federal anti-terrorist laws."
The "crime" remains the same but if it was committed for political
reasons the punishment is much worse.
Recently, 3 college students were arrested in Alabama for the arson
of half a dozen churches, for more than a week. The fires made
national headlines. In some places burning a church is chargeable as
a hate crime.
The three stated it was a prank that got out of control and all three
were released on $50,000 bail.
Daniel McGowan, on the other hand, who was charged in two ELF related
arsons, was only released after posting $1.6 million bail.
This is what a police state looks like, when laws are passed
punishing protest more severely than social crime; when a person can
be labeled a terrorist instead of a dissident; when the media uses
the same language as the rulers without question; when allegiance to
ones country means subservience to its rulers.
I am a warrior. I have never denied what or who I am. I have engaged
in actions contrary to the laws of the United States. However, before
I ever participated in illegal actions I employed every legal method
available to invoke change.
I have met with business leaders, mayors, and members of congress. I
have had these people lie right in my face or tell me they were
powerless to do anything. I have seen corporate interests trump
public interests time and time again with government support.
When people have no say in how they are ruled or what actions are
taken on their behalf, they are not free. It is not freedom to choose
your rulers if the method of rule remains the same. It is not freedom
when your community lives in poverty, polluted by toxic and chemical
waste and subject to abject police brutality, while your leaders and
bosses live like royalty. It is not freedom when social order is
maintained through fear and manipulation.
In the face of such truths it becomes the duty of all able bodied men
& women to resist. It may be illegal but it is not wrong to fight
injustice. It is not wrong to challenge corporate arrogance. It is
not wrong to resort to force when diplomacy fails.
For years I and other earth liberation prisoners have received your
support. There have been letter-writing campaigns, fundraisers,
protests, direct actions and international days of solidarity. I am
honored and thankful for your love and support.
Each of us know and believe our struggle is a legitimate one. We have
a right to clean air, water, and land. We have a right to rein in
corporate and government practices furthering climate change. We have
a right to resist oppression.
However, if we are to succeed our struggle must be recognized as
being legitimate in the eyes of the world. Our resistance must be
recognized as necessary.
One of the first steps in accomplishing that is by demanding
recognition of political status for our prisoners. All incarcerated
and accused members of the Earth Liberation Front and other earth
liberation prisoners are political prisoners. Our actions that
brought us to prison are political in nature. Our trials are about
our politics. Our sentences are increased because of our political motives.
We need you to help us demand political status; by writing and
calling politicians, newspapers, and other media and demanding
recognition; by reaching beyond our borders to international
organizations like Amnesty International and other human rights
organizations, as well as the United Nations and other governments.
The state says people like me are terrorists. They use the label to
instill fear and justify their repression. Only you can change that.
Jeffrey "Free" Luers
Oregon State Prison
2605 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97310
For more information:
The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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