[Ppnews] Earth Liberation Political Prisoners Sadie and Exile Punished for Being “Unrepentant”

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 28 12:43:43 EDT 2012

Earth Liberation Political Prisoners Sadie and 
Exile Punished for Being “Unrepentant”
28 Mar

by Leslie James Pickering


Earth Liberation prisoners Joyanna “Sadie” Zacher 
and Nathan “Exile” Block, who are a married 
couple, have been disallowed correspondence by 
their captors with the excuse that Sadie is “unrepentant” of her crimes.

Sadie and Exile are nearing the end of their 
seven-year-and-eight-month federal prison 
sentences for two million-dollar arsons 
prosecuted under the FBI’s Operation Backfire 
investigation into the Earth Liberation Front. 
Specifically, the couple has been convicted of 
the the $959,000 arson of the Romania Chevrolet 
dealership on March 30, 2001 and the $994,412 
arson of Jefferson Poplar on May 21, 2001.

For the past 4 years, the couple has been allowed 
correspondence between the Federal Correctional 
Facilities in Dublin, California (where Sadie is 
locked up) and in Lompoc, California (where Exile 
is imprisoned). However, shortly after Sadie 
released a public statement on her case, their 
correspondence ‘privileges’ were revoked. When 
Sadie’s lawyer wrote the sentencing Judge on the 
matter, the US Attorney’s Office in Portland, 
Oregon sent a rebuttal directing the Judge to an 
online video of the release of Sadie’s statement 
being read by former Earth Liberation Front Press 
Office spokesperson, Leslie James Pickering, at 
Burning Books in Buffalo, New York.

In the statement in question, Sadie wrote, “There 
have been some dark days in here, when the rage 
of being imprisoned boils over into tears of 
frustration – but never regret, not ever. Even 
knowing this would be the price to pay – seven 
years of my life here, I still would not change my actions in any way.”

This “unrepentant” tone is anything but new. 
Shortly after their sentencing, the two released 
a joint statement, which righteously criticized 
those of their codefendants who opted to 
cooperate with the state in their own 
prosecution. The statement made clear their 
“opposition to cooperation with, or apology to, 
the state” and read, in part, “Those who now work 
in collaboration (under the innocuous term 
‘cooperation’) with the same powers which they 
once felt compelled to raise themselves in 
opposition to, have in their wicked apostasy, 
desecrated the sacred covenant that exists 
between nature and those who align themselves 
with the very Element of Fire and the very 
Essence of Destruction in the defense of the 
 for in the hour when the struggle returned 
for them, when the predator had once again become 
the prey, they failed in spirit and resolve, 
cowardly breaking long held oaths and begging for 
mercy from their captors, hoping to gain leniency 
by offering as a sacrifice to the altar of a 
perverted ‘justice’ their former friends, trusted 
colleagues and any dignity they once held.”

It appears that what the government is really 
after is a 1984-style public apology, but when 
that isn’t forthcoming something less than 
repentance will suffice, so long as it is silent. 
However, when strong examples of outspoken 
resistance are set by prisoners they are punished 
for their thoughts and words. Daniel McGowan, the 
most vocal of the Operation Backfire targets, and 
who was the focus of the Oscar-nominated 2011 
documentary If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth 
Liberation Front, has been housed in a new, 
ultra-restrictive Communications Management Unit 
in response to his being continuously outspoken.

You can currently write Sadie at Joyanna Zacher 
#36360-086, FCI Dublin, 5701 8th St., Camp Parks, 
Unit F, Dublin, CA 94568 and Exile at Nathan 
Block #36359-086, FCI Lompoc, 3600 Guard Road, 
Lompoc, CA 93436. Sadie and Exile are due to be 
reunited at a halfway house this spring. The struggle continues

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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