[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 
political motives."

Agreed, but what about all of the other political prisoners in their 
20+ or 30+ years?
cm

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 
development.

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
March 2006


Write to:

Jeff Luers
#13797671
Oregon State Prison
2605 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97310
USA

For more information:

<http://www.freefreenow.org/>www.freefreenow.org

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
www.freedomarchives.org 
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