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Political Prisoner Speaking Event

Friday, June 10, 2005
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
scally wag
Location Details:
New College Cultural Center
766 Valencia St near 19th

Political Prisoner Speaking Event Friday June 10th 6:30pm New College Cultural Center 766 Valencia Street in San Francisco Donations requested –no one turned away. This speaking event will focus on the importance of prisoner support and what it means to be a political prisoner in the US. We will hear from former prisoners as well as prisoner support activists. This event is inspired by our fallen friend Jeff ‘Free’ Luers who is currently serving his 5th year of a 22 year and 8 month sentence for an action that did not hurt or threaten anyone. He burned 3 SUVs to make a statement about increased environmental destruction caused by fuel inefficient vehicles. It is believed and obvious that it is Jeff’s political beliefs that landed him this unjust sentence. Former Political Prisoner Speakers: Luis “Bato” Talamantez is a human rights activist and artist who speaks on the prison–industrial complex. A former political prisoner (one of the San Quentin 6 whose trial gained international attention during the 70s), Talamantez was acquitted and released in 1976. Drawing on his experiences of 30 years behind bars, he works to expose conditions at maximum security prisons like California’s infamous Pelican Bay, Corcoran State Prison and Valley State Prison for Women. Talamantez is co-founder of California Prison Focus and currently pens a column for their publication. He has published two books of poetry and is an accomplished visual artist. Rita ‘Bo’ Brown: Former political prisoner of the George Jackson Brigades, founder of the Out of Control Lesbian Committee to Support Women in Prison, Prison Activist Resource Center community advisor, and regional representative of the Eddie Hatcher Defense Committee. Claude Marks: Claude is the Project Director of The Freedom Archives, a political, cultural oral history project in San Francisco. He is a former political prisoner who served time for a conspiracy to break two Puerto Rican and Black political prisoners out of Leavenworth. Claude taught ESL, literacy, writing and history inside. Claude remains a prison activist and uses media to educate, advocate for prison abolition and the freeing of all political prisoners. Rahula Janowski: Rahula Janowski spent 4 and a half months in jail for her part in the pie-ing of then San Francisco mayor Willie Brown. Politicized in the anarchist community centered around Food Not Bombs in the early 1990’s, Rahula now works with the Heads Up Collective, a group of white antiracists whose focus is on anti-war and anti-imperialist organizing in the bay area. She has spent the past 10 years working for radical social change, writing and, more recently, raising an amazing child. Prisoner Support Speakers: Kiilu Nyasha: Kiilu Nyasha is a revolutionary artist, activist and journalist in the liberation struggle for over 35 years. A former Black Panther, she is a radio and newspaper journalist who has done much to keep political prisoners in the public eye. CAPS-California Anarchist Prison Solidarity: CAPS formed in September 2004 to support those who face incarceration as a direct response to their beliefs or actions which challenge the oppressive nature of the state, the injustices that exist due to class, racism, sexism, and homophobia, or the destruction of the earth and the species who inhabit it. We recognize that the plight of political prisoners is only a small part of the sprawling injustice of the global Prison Industrial Complex. We seek the abolition of prisons as part of a dismantling of all repressive state apparatus and also extend our solidarity to those imprisoned around the world. However, we have so far chosen to focus most of our limited resources on political prisoners in California and neighboring Mexico with the idea that if we do not fight locally for those who suffer as a result of our common struggle then our beliefs themselves become meaningless. Through corresponding with prisoners, fundraising on their behalf, and building public awareness by circulating information on their situations, we hope to remind those on the inside that they are not alone, while helping to break down the bars that separate us from them and inspiring those on the outside to continue their battle. There will also be a short speech written by Jeff ‘Free’ Luers. For more information: *************************************************************************************************************** June 10-12, 2005 "Weekend of Resistance" for Political Prisoner Jeff 'Free' Luers June 2005 marks the five-year anniversary of the imprisonment of our friend and comrade: Oregon environmental political prisoner, Jeff "Free" Luers. Jeff was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for burning three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at a car dealership in Eugene, Oregon, and on attempted arson charges. Jeff set fire to SUVs to call attention to climate change and to protest oil wars and environmental destruction. Jeff was motivated by compassion and a desire to protect life, not to harm it, despite what some might think of his tactics. Prior to his arrest, Jeff was a popular community activist in Eugene. He was well-known to law enforcement because of his involvement with national forest protection (starting an occupation of a controversial old-growth timber sale in 1998), anti-police brutality activism (documenting rampant police abuse in Eugene), free food programs in a local park and his teaching of self-defense to women. Since his imprisonment, Jeff has continued to be extremely active in prison and fight oppression with his words and inspiration. On June 12, 2004, social and environmental activists in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Norway, Finland, Australia, and Russia participated in an "International Day of Action" with Jeff by organizing non-violent protests and community events to show their support for him and their disgust for his cruel sentence. The FBI responded by creating a real 'Green Scare', sending a memo to businesses, corporate media, and government agencies warning of planned "terrorist attacks" by the "Earth Liberation Front" on June 12. Of course, no "terrorist attacks" ever occurred. All of the events were peaceful and public, ranging from concerts and demonstrations, to video showings and dinner parties. Even some mainstream media outlets recognized the FBI memo for what it was - a manipulative, dishonest attempt to incite fear- and criticized them for that. Some participants in the June 12 day of action withstood intense harassment including being photographed, videotaped and questioned with one group actually being evicted due to the hysteria from the FBI. Since the June 12, 2004 Day of Action, support for Jeff has continued to grow and strengthen. People all over the world see Jeff as a political prisoner and acknowledge that his sentence is meant as a deterrent to increased resistance to oppression. Overall however, the political climate in the US and abroad has become more corrupt and repressive. On the home-front, the prison industrial complex continues to expand, repressive laws and legislation continued to get pushed by lying politicians, political prisoners are denied parole as the real criminals receive little or no punishment, and the already weak laws that exist to protect the environment are quickly being eliminated by blood-thirsty industry and the Bush administration. On the international level, the Bush regime is intensifying military aggression in Iraq, planning future actions in Iran and the proposed Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales is attempting to undermine the Geneva Convention to justify the torture tactics used by US soldiers and prison guards at Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay. The conditions are ripe to expose the hypocrisy of the system. Opposition and dissent is needed now possibly more than ever before. During the weekend of June 10-12th, 2005, social justice activists from across the world are called upon again to organize and show their outrage about Jeff’s imprisonment and the continued abuse and isolation of dissident prisoners across the globe. State repression is meant as a deterrent to social and environmental movements all over. Jeff received a sentence of over 22 years for an action that harmed no one except for the pocketbook of a local car dealer. Typical arson charges in Oregon result in sentences less than five years. The Judge in Jeff's case sentenced a man to 18 years last year for child molestation. Charles Graner Jr, responsible for the brutal torture and sexual harassment of Iraqi Prisoners of War at Abu Gharib received only ten years! Every day in every city, cops receive little or no punishment for crimes against the public. This cannot be tolerated! Fight for the political prisoners because they have fought for you, against racism & poverty, war & imperialism, and the pillaging of the natural world. They’re in there for us - we are out here for them! June 10-12th, 2005, is a Weekend of Resistance with Jeff "Free" Luers. There is no central organizing body or group to check in with but the Jeff Luers Support Network can help by providing you with flyers, graphics, and merchandise such as videos, zines and stickers about Jeff and allies in the struggle. Begin planning your event now. Read more about Jeff’s case at Read more about political prisoners at Plan an action that makes sense for your area: a demonstration, treesit, music festival, teach-in, stenciling campaign, rally, protests at an American consulate/embassy overseas or public forum. Circulate petitions. Write letters to the Governor of Oregon asking him to look into Jeff's case. Contribute to Jeff's legal defense. Do what you think is appropriate. But please remember when planning an action or event think about how it could affect Jeff’s upcoming appeal. Ask yourself: does this help or hurt Jeff? Does this strengthen the movement or weaken it in the long-term? Download a PDF of this call here. East Coast contact: Friends of Jeff 'Free' West Coast contacts: Break the Chains-PO Box 12122, Eugene, OR 97440, San Francisco Jeffrey Luers Support Network- European contact: Brighton Anarchist Black Cross- PO Box 74, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4ZQ, UK,
Added to the calendar on Thu, Jun 9, 2005 12:08PM
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