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325: Issue #8

325 is a prison destruction working group that occasionally puts out the zine attached. What is particularly interesting about 325 is that they not only advocate on the destruction of prisons, but, the destruction capitalism/civilization as well. Definitely a good read!

Issue #8

Physical Manifestations of Solidarity for Chilean Anarchists (Part 2).

Taken from 325.

United Kingdom: Natwest Bank attacked in Bristol.

28 September 2010

“… in the early hours of the 28th of september we attacked the natwest bank on gloucester road, bristol with paint and bricks. windows were smashed, paintbombs thrown and ‘destroy all prisons’ was sprayed up on the wall. this action was taken in solidarity with the 35 mapuche prisoners, the 3 incarcerated in switzerland and the 14 imprisoned anarchists in chile – the majority of which are on hunger strike. natwest is owned by the royal bank of scotland, which is complicit in state repression in chile, the pillaging of the earth, and the financing of the prison machine. we send solidarity, love and rage to all those continuing the struggle in whatever way possible. until all prisons are burnt to the ground.”

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United Kingdom: Santander Bank attacked in London.

26 September 2010

“Solidarity action for the 14 accused anarchists in Chile and the 35 Mapuche prisoners on hunger strike. Sunday 26th September around 2:45am, Santander Bank, owned by Spanish bosses, attacked in Jubilee Way, Wimbledon, London. Windows smashed, cash machines damaged with glue. FREEDOM TO THE 14 ANARCHISTS IN CHILE! and SOLIDARITY TO THE 35 MAPUCHE ON HUNGER STRIKE! sprayed on walls. night owls.”

Milwaukee: Former corrections officer found guilty in sexual assault case.

Taken from Journal Sentinel.

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A former corrections officer has been found guilty of sexually assaulting female inmates and delivering contraband.

Paul Vick Jr., 51, was a sergeant at the Milwaukee Secure Detention Facility and was suspended in 2008 when allegations of his conduct first surfaced. He was charged in 2009 and again earlier this year with numerous counts related to improper sexual contact with inmates at the facility, delivering illegal articles and official misconduct.

After a trial that began last week, a jury on Monday convicted Vick on 22 of 24 counts. His sentencing is set for Nov. 29.

Vick was the second correctional guard convicted of sexual assault this month. Former Milwaukee County Jail guard James Howard, 30, was convicted Sept. 17 of two counts of sexual assault with one female inmate but acquitted of similar charges against a second inmate, also after a jury trial. His sentencing is set for Dec. 3.

Physical Manifestations of Solidarity for Chilean Anarchists.

Taken from Angry News.

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London: Solidarity with Chilean anarchists & Mapuche struggles.

LONDON – the passion for freedom knows no borders, the same for solidarity TODAY, Friday 24 September, around 2pm. a number of anarchists and sympathizers from various parts of the metropolis converged on the shopping centre in the middle of the busy intersection Elephant and Castle, chosen because of the thousands of people from Latin American countries living in the area. After dropping banners over the main entrance in solidarity with the Mapuche hunger strikers and the 14 anarchists arrested in Chile, they dispersed into and around the shopping centre and local market giving out hundreds of leaflets in English and Spanish. Unnoticed by the State and private security who were too intent on defending the bosses’ wares, the banners stayed in place for hours in full view of hundreds of bus passengers from almost every country on the planet on their way to and from their places of exploitation.

Today’s outing, chosen to coincide with the international solidarity date for our Chilean comrades, rather than being a fait accompli is a call to action everywhere, without delay. THE PASSION FOR FREEDOM KNOWS NO BORDERS THE SAME FOR SOLIDARITY.

– Random anarchists in london Chile.

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Mapuche Solidary: Direct Action in Vancouver.

September 23rd, 2010 – Early in the afternoon on September 23rd a small group of us here in Vancouver, Coast Salish Territory, responded to the call-out for international solidarity with the 34 Mapuche weichafes (warriors) in prison in Chile, who have been on hunger strike since July 12th and also with the 14 anarchist revolutionaries who have been in prison since the August 14th raids on squats and social centers in Santiago.

We taped the Mapuche flag and dumped red paint on the front door of the Chilean consulate’s offices which is located on the 16th floor on 1185 West Georgia Street in Vancouver.

The Mapuche and anarchist comrades give us much inspiration in their determined struggle against the government and corporations of Chile. We hope that this small act reach the hearts of the resistance fighters and contribute to their will to persevere.

This struggle is international!

We are with you.

Marichiweu (ten times we will win).

Coast Salish Territories (Vancouver, Canada)

Greece: 4 comrades from EU-Saloniki 2003 frame-up face trial again.

Taken from 325.

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Statement of the London Thessaloniki Solidarity Group – September 19th, 2010 version

The solidarity group was formed in 2003 soon after the arrests at the EU summit demonstrations in Thessaloniki.

The entire basis of the arrests in 2003, was and still remains, an arbitrary attack upon the demonstrations, where culpability was placed upon those that the Greek authorities sought to make examples of. From the beginning of the process of detention it was clear that evidence of guilt would not even be based upon recognition of legal facts or evidence but by association. In Thessaloniki during those days everyone was guilty, and for the Greek authorities, it was merely the case of charging those either unfortunate to be detained ( then beaten and tortured ) many of which coming from outside of Greece. The 7 which were detained, know as the Thessaloniki 7, consisted of 3 Greeks ( 2 of which were teenagers ), 2 Spanish, 1 Syrian and 1 British. In response to their continued incarceration, a hunger strike began in early September 2003, lasting 56 days and finally leading to the release of all 7 prisoners for humanitarian reasons. The embarrassment of negative publicity, along with the many solidarity demonstrations and actions throughout greece and the world, forced the hand of the Greek state in averting a greater problem of creating martyrs for a burgeoning movement. After the successful release and dropping of bail conditions for the 7, rumours of a re-emergence of the trials again began circulating. This time in late 2007 the initial confirmation for the start of a trial being 8th January 2008.

For this story continues. Simon Chapman from London, UK was found guilty of the following charges in 2008

• Culpable of repeated explosion from which there could result common danger for a human being
• Repeated construction of explosive bombs
• Possession of explosive bombs
• Distinguished riot/rebellion
• Distinguished cases of damages in confluence

He was then sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison in his absence, with others receiving 5 years, most either being found not guilty or guilty of lesser non-imprisonable charges. Since 2008 the trial has left a legacy with 5 outstanding appeals to the conviction and inflated prison sentences. These appeals – now reduced to 4 defendants after the outcome of an earlier appeal hearing of one of the defendants – again sees 3 of the 5 hunger strikers of 2003 appear in court including Simon Chapman.

At this stage, with just under a week left before the beginning of the trial (the trial begins on September 24th in Thessaloniki ) , the fact remains, that what we are fighting now is the same process of repression that we fought successfully in 2003. In Simon’s case especially, documented video and photo evidence clearly shows MAT riot police plant molotov cocktails in black bags and strap them to his body. Simon has maintained, and which photographic evidence illustrate, that he was carrying a light blue rack sack with nothing more than water bottles. This blatant attempt to artificial manufacture culpability remains a reflection of the nature of these trials.

We therefore express our solidarity to the 4 defendants facing the courts and prosecutors of the Greek state, and reaffirm our commitment to fight in solidarity with them.

Our commitment for the freedom of the Thessaloniki 4!

Solidarity and dignity against repression!

London Thessaloniki Solidarity Group – September 19th, 2010

For Contact Please email us at: thessalonikisolidarity@gmail.com

Data Practices Act Reveals 300 Pages of FBI Investigations of 2008 RNC Organising Efforts.

From Des Moines Register

The FBI’s surveillance of a protest group in Iowa City prior to the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., two years ago was far more extensive than initially reported, newly obtained FBI documents show.

Agents staked out the homes of political activists, secretly photographed and shot video of them, pored through their garbage, and studied their cell phone and motor vehicle records, according to records detailing the FBI’s counterterrorism investigation.

Federal agents and other law enforcement officers also watched and documented the protesters’ comings and goings at such places as the Iowa City Public Library; the New Pioneer Co-op natural foods store; the Red Avocado restaurant and the Deadwood Tavern; and the Wesley Center campus ministry of the United Methodist Church. The FBI’s nine-month investigation in 2008 is detailed in more than 300 pages of documents obtained through the federal Freedom of Information Act by David Goodner, a former member of the University of Iowa’s Antiwar Committee, and provided to The Des Moines Register. The heavily redacted records indicate the FBI believed the Iowa City activists were part of a national network of radicals intent on disrupting the Republican convention in St. Paul, as well as the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The agency apparently learned of the Iowa City group, known as the Wild Rose Rebellion, by monitoring its Internet site. Names of most of the activists were deleted from the documents before they were released. Goodner, 29, of Des Moines, who participated in the St. Paul protests and who is named in the documents, said the records show the federal investigation was a waste of time and taxpayer money. “There’s no evidence presented in hundreds of pages that anybody with either the University of Iowa Antiwar Committee or the Wild Rose collective had any plans for anything other than a nonviolent, if confrontational, direct action street protest at the 2008 Republican National Convention,” Goodner said. Most of the Iowa City activists did not attend the Democratic convention in Denver. About 25 members of Iowa City activist groups participated in the St. Paul demonstrations, but Iowa organizers said they were aware of only one Iowa City demonstrator who was arrested. Those charges were subsequently dropped. Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York, cautioned that law enforcement faces a balancing act in monitoring political activist groups. There is a legitimate need for law enforcement to be aware of groups that can potentially cause violence and disruption, said O’Donnell, an ex-prosecutor and former New York City police officer. But at the same time, some law enforcement agencies have had a history of overreaching in such investigations, gathering information on groups that had neither the capacity nor the intent to use violent means, he added. “Hindsight is 20-20 on these things. When the threats turn out to be empty threats, there is a tendency to say, ‘Why did law enforcement go in there with such urgency and dedicate such resources?’ But should there be a failure by law enforcement to protect the public, then some folks will be screaming bloody murder about their ineptitude and that they were asleep at the switch.” The FBI documents showed the Iowa City investigation began in March 2008 and was closed in December 2008. The probe ended after agents said they had identified an “association with other anarchist extremist networks” but found no involvement in “specific criminal activities.” The Register reported last year that the FBI infiltrated the Iowa City protest movement in 2008 by planting a paid informant who attended meetings and hung out with activists. In addition, confidential FBI documents obtained by the newspaper showed an undercover deputy from the Ramsey County, Minn., sheriff’s department traveled to Iowa City to attend an anti-war conference in April 2008. The Iowa City investigation, directed by the FBI’s Omaha office, was conducted with the knowledge of then-U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker of Des Moines. His office stated its support for opening a criminal investigation of the Iowa City political activists “with the use of all appropriate investigative techniques to identify any criminal activity,” according to an FBI document. The FBI agents conducting the surveillance were assisted by officers from the University of Iowa Department of Public Safety, the Iowa City Police Department and the Coralville Police Department, FBI records show. As many as six agents and officers were involved in some surveillance operations. Weysan Dun, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Omaha field office, issued a statement today defending his agents” handling of the Iowa City investigation. “Adherence to the U.S. Constitution and respect for the exercise of activities protected by the First Amendment are the foundation upon which the FBI conducts its investigations. The FBI initiates investigations only when there are allegations or information that indicates possible criminal activity or threats to national security. “In this instance, the FBI Omaha Field Office initiated an investigation into allegations that certain individuals were possibly going to engage in criminal activity to disrupt the national conventions of one or both major political parties. Every investigative technique that was employed was authorized under the attorney general guidelines and was deemed necessary to resolve the allegations,” Dun said. Whitaker, now in private law practice in Des Moines, said last week that he was aware the FBI was looking into potential criminal acts relating to the 2008 Republican National Convention, “but I don’t remember any specifics at all.” “We worked very closely with the FBI on a lot of different things and interacted. They would ask us if we would work with them to investigate potential crimes. That happened all the time,” Whitaker added. Asked whether the FBI’s Iowa City investigation amounted to overkill, he declined to comment, saying he was not involved on a day-to-day basis in the investigation. Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine said last week that Minnesota authorities contacted him in 2008 before the undercover sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to the anti-war conference. But he said he was not aware of the FBI’s extensive investigation of the Wild Rose Rebellion and other Iowa City activists. He also disputed an FBI report stating that one of his officers assisted FBI agents during more than four hours of surveillance on a Tuesday night, and said he didn’t think anyone from his department took part in the operation. Chuck Green, the university’s public safety director, didn’t respond to a request for comment. But Lt. Shane Kron, a spokesman for the Coralville Police Department, said his department routinely cooperates with other law enforcement agencies and does not judge the nature of the request. The Wild Rose group, which the FBI described as an “anarchist collective,” was planning to help organize street blockades to disrupt the convention, at which Republicans nominated the presidential and vice presidential ticket of U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona and then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. Robert “Ajax” Ehl, an Iowa City anti-war activist who was a Wild Rose contact person, said last week that the newly released documents show the FBI doesn’t understand “either anarchy or the protest movement … if they think it’s worth going through our garbage.” He said most people who were members of the group remain involved in social and political causes, but not under the Wild Rose banner. Goodner said he obtained and released the FBI records because he thought the public had a right to know about the extent to which the government was spying on its own citizens. He described the surveillance in Iowa City as overly broad, unnecessary and expensive. About 3,700 police officers – many in riot gear and some on horses – used tear gas, pepper spray and other methods to control protesters and quell disturbances outside the St. Paul convention. Some protesters shattered windows at retail stores, and others threw urine and feces at police, authorities said. About 800 demonstrators were arrested, although most charges were subsequently dismissed. However, four members of a group known as the RNC Welcoming Committee still face criminal charges and are scheduled to go on trial in October in St. Paul. None is from Iowa. Randall Wilson, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, said the new batch of FBI documents shows that anti-terrorism forces continue to misdirect their efforts at peace activists rather than true terrorists. The Iowa City protesters never tried to hide their activities, meeting at the Iowa City Public Library, the University of Iowa’s Memorial Union and other public places. “There probably isn’t a group more opposed to terrorism than these people. Any self-respecting terrorist would not try to bring attention to himself by engaging in the type of activities that these people do,” Wilson said. “The only conclusion is that this is just the U.S. government using its investigative powers for political suppression.” The Rev. Paul Shultz, executive director of the Wesley Center in Iowa City, said last week that he found it “laughable” to learn that surveillance documents show five FBI agents and another officer spent nearly 12 hours on a Saturday in 2008 staking out visitors to the campus Methodist center. He said he was not aware of anyone gathering there to plot illegal activities. “We have had a variety of lecturers and speakers here. Sometimes anti-war people use our building. We have no political stances officially, but our building is a resource to the community,” Shultz said. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20100920/NEWS/9200318/Iowa-activists-drew-FBI-scrutiny

Update: Marie Mason at Carswell.

Taken from Marie’s support blog:
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We have some updated news on Marie Mason.

First, Mason urgently asks that all supporters STOP sending money directly into her commissary account. Money for her commissary should be sent directly to her mother, Karin Mason, at: PO Box 352, Stanwood, MI 49346. Money sent there is put into her commissary as needed. If you know anyone who may be sending money directly to her commissary, please contact them IMMEDIATELY and ask them to stop doing this.

Second, the lawyers have hold us that the feds have consistently denied that Carswell is a CMU. However, the wing Mason is in is clearly a special control unit, and the conditions there are also very restrictive. At least one other political prisoner is being held there, Helen Woodson.

We are extremely happy to report that Mason’s food situation has improved significantly compared to Waseca prison. She is also no longer held in solitary all the time; as of her last communication, she has been let out occasionally, but has not been released into general circulation in her unit yet.

Mason asks that people hold off sending any books for the time.

The hearing for her appeal for re-sentencing is set for October 19 in Cincinnati. Mason will not be there, but it will be open to the public to attend.