Philly ABC is back at it this month with another monthly letter-writing event for political prisoners. This event will be online – join from anywhere! We hope to return to outdoor in-person events next month.
This month we will be checking in with Xinachtli, a Chicano-Mexicano anarchist political prisoner serving a 50-year sentence after being targeted for his Chicano rights and anti-police brutality activism.
In 1976 he was falsely accused of murder, for which he narrowly escaped the death penalty, destined instead to serve a life sentence. He was released after media highlighted his unfair trial and proof of his innocence, but then later suffered a brutal beating at the hands of several police officers.
In 1996 Xinachtli became the target of the most massive police manhunt in recent West Texas history after disarming a sheriff who tried to shoot him on a warrantless arrest, and fled to a nearby mountain. For days Xinachtli eluded police helicopters, bloodhound tracking dogs, armed vigilante groups, and other state and federal police agencies before they surrounded him after returning to his mother’s house to eat and change clothes.
Without identifying themselves, police began shooting indiscriminately at the house, at cars parked in front, and at the public street lights. To back them off their murderous intent, Xinachtli returned fire in self-defense but never shot nor injured anyone. During the police barrage, Sgt. Curtis Hines was shot in the left hand by a ricocheting police bullet.
Xinachtli surrendered and was charged with two counts of aggravated assault; one count for disarming the sheriff and one count for Sgt. Hines’ wound. His elderly mother was charged with “hindering apprehension” and jailed.
Prior to his incarceration, Xinachtli also advocated for human rights of framed and political prisoners, and he continues to help other prisoners assert their legal rights. Join us as we show Xinachtli some love and get the latest updates on the struggle to free him. His birthday is also May 12th if you are writing from home and want to send him birthday greetings.
We will also be sending birthday greetings to the other U.S.-held political prisoner with a birthday in May: Kojo Bomani Sababu (the 27th).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 21, 2022 From Lauren Regan, Director and Senior Staff Attorney, Civil Liberties Defense Center
On April 21, 2022 at 12:30 pm, Joseph Dibee had his federal change of plea hearing with Judge Ann Aiken by telephone only.
Dibee is one of the final individuals indicted in what is known as the “Green Scare,” the largest round up of animal and environmental activists who engaged in economic sabotage against government and private environmental destruction and animal abuse from October 1996 through December 2005. The original indictment was filed on January 19, 2006. Most of the individuals involved were arrested and prosecuted between 2006 and 2008, but Dibee was taken into custody in Cuba while traveling in 2018 and was initially arraigned on the charge on August 10, 2018. See https://cldc.org/green-scare-defendant-apprehended-in-cuba-after-12-years/. He remained in custody in Portland, Oregon until he was released on conditions on January 8, 2021.
Today, April 21, the Court indicated that as a result of a recent judicial mediation, a plea agreement had been reached between the US government and Joseph Dibee. Dibee pled to a total of 3 counts. In the District of Oregon he pled to count 1, conspiracy to damage or destroy government property and property used in interstate commerce by fire, which carries a maximum of 20 years, a minimum of 5 years, plus fines, probation, and restitution. Also in Oregon, he pled to count 6, arson of the Cavel West horse slaughterhouse facility near Redmond, Oregon, which also carries a max sentence of 20 years, and a minimum of 5 years in prison, as well as fines, probation, and restitution. Cavel West, a Dutch owned corporation, was heinously slaughtering wild mustangs rounded up from US public lands, as well as other horses, and then exporting their flesh to China. The local Redmond community attempted to shut down this atrocity for years due in part to the stench of insufficient stormwater facilities that caused horse blood to come out of storm drains into the streets. After the arson, where no living things were injured or killed, the Dutch corporation closed up and never re-opened. This preceded a nationwide ban on horse slaughterhouses from 2007-2018, which has since been allowed by congress to expire. The videos that were part of the discovery in this case (some of the worst I’ve seen in my career), showed the horrific and brutal automated killing of extremely scared horses who were not quickly and painlessly killed on an assembly line and were then dismembered whether dead or alive.
Finally, Dibee pled to count 1 in the Eastern District of California, conspiracy to commit arson, for the 2001 arson of the Bureau of Land Management Litchfield Wild Horse Corrals in Susanville, California—a government funded facility where wild mustangs were rounded up from public lands, forced into capture facilities, and then trucked to slaughterhouses like Cavel West to be turned into dog food. This count carries the same penalties as those listed above.
The Assistant US Attorney, Quinn Harrington, read the highlights of the 20-paragraph plea agreement filed with the court. He stated that the advisory sentencing range is between 87 and 108 months, and the government was recommending the low end, at 87 months. Based upon the telephonic hearing today, the deal appears to be in line with other Green Scare non-cooperation plea deals, and there was no indication that cooperation (aka snitching) was part of the plea bargain.
Please note that CLDC does not represent Joseph Dibee, has not been part of his legal team, nor do we have any private information about the negotiations underlying this deal. In my experience, there are certain terms and clauses, certain non-public aspects of a plea deal, as well as the number of downward departure levels that often indicate cooperation. None of those usual indicators were present in today’s hearing.
The sentencing hearing in this case is scheduled for July 27, 2022.
Second Annual Burpee Marathon Fundraiser for the Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s Warchest Fund.
The Warchest has been providing reliable monthly financial support to political prisoners since 1994. These funds allow our comrades to buy postage, phone calls, extra food and clothing, etc. Show up, give whatever donation you like and then do as many burpees as you like or your friends and family pledge to give $1 per burpee. However much money you raise, is how many burpees you do on September 18, 2022.
Start training! Start stretching and get some rest!
This is a group message to let everyone know that I ended my short vow of silence after a week. In other news the cops are still executing black men in the streets, and getting caught on camera doing it.
I am also happy to spread the word that our anarchist YPG comrade who was on a hunger strike in France has been released to the hospital after 37 days of refusing to eat in protest for their indefinite detention without charges. They are a YPG International combat veteran. This highlights the current campaigns of harassment that nation states are making against YPG and YPJ International Volunteers. This is happening in France, Italy and the U.$., all countries with grim histories of colonialism, fascism and slavery. We are being rounded up worldwide and held on trumped up charges because we are freedom and democracy loving anarchists and friends of the noble Kurdish people. I admire our friends who go on hunger strike. Having fasted many times in my life I understand how difficult and dangerous a hunger strike is. Here in the United $tates of Amerikkka the cops will force a feeding tube down the throats of those on hunger strikes, which can itself lead to deadly injuries, as we have seen in the case of Irish political prisoners.
Right now anarchist political prisoner Eric King is facing further harassment after beating his charges of assaulting a lieutenant who trapped him in a closet and assaulted him, then tried to destroy the evidence. The jury dropped the charges (ED. note: they found him not guilty) but the prison staff retaliated by destroying his legal papers, personal pictures and books and then sent him to a higher security prison. He has been threatened by the staff at this prison and has been assaulted by prison staff and prison staff have locked him in areas with neo-nazis and fascists in order to have him attacked by racist skinheads. My situation and suffering is nothing compared to his. Please consider looking into his situation by reading the articles distributed online by the Anarchist Black Cross of New York City and then use the information provided to write to officials who can take action to protect Eric from white supremacist police and their gang allies. They are again restricting his ability to call and write to friends and family and he is not allowed to have books. Frankly, they are torturinghim and trying to drive him insane.
I have experienced isolation in a similar special housing unit in Tallahassee, Florida, as well as “diesel therapy”, where they ship a prisoner around the country, bouncing them around to various prisons for months at a time instead of sending them to one prison for their sentence. In my experience it is psychologically more straining than war to be alone in a cell for months at a time, without being able to call friends, or read books besides the colonizers bibles, or talk to lawyers who can protect you, not being allowed outside for sunlight and fresh air, without music, colors, art or anything beautiful or pleasant. I still experience traumatic memories and emotional thought patterns as a result of my six months in isolation. What saved me from throwing my life away was the support of friends on the outside who sent me books, mail, and the Certain Days Political Prisoner Calendar, which is full of beautiful art and poetry and helps one keep track of the passage of time, the moon cycles and historical days and holidays. Guards have a policy of denying calendars to isolated prisoners, telling lies about the time and date and access to constitutionally protected resources and actively trying to drive people in captivity to violent acts by threatening them, assaulting them, humiliating them and depriving them of sleep by leaving lights on at night, making lots of noise by banging on the doors and opening cell doors in the middle of the night to make threats. They also tamper with peoples food and refuse religious and medical diets, causing easily avoidable medical conditions, hunger and despair. My lawsuits regarding this harassments was shot down by unscrupulous judges, so the only way to help people like Eric is to take direct actions yourself.
On a lighter note, and to provide contrast for my situation compared to Eric’s, I just received many books and letters last week as well as money on my account to supplement the poor diet they have been giving me here as a Buddhist and political vegan with lactose intolerance. The quality of my life has improved as a direct result of people organizing on the outside to give me support. Please provide even more support for Eric King. He needs it more than I do at this point. In fact I would appreciate it if my defense committee would send some of the money sent to me to Eric King.
Thanks again for everything, thanks for not forgetting us! Dan
Write Dan at: Daniel Baker, 25765-509 FCI Memphis P.O, Box 34550 Memphis, TN 38184
As of this morning, Eric is still at USP Atlanta and en route to maximum security USP Lee in Virginia despite being threatened there by white supremacists. The Bureau of Prisons on every level is aware of this risk and is sticking to the “inmate must be returned to the parent institution’ narrative.
Last week, the Amnesty International USA Deputy Director of Research noted in a letter to BOP Director Michael Carvajal Eric’s recent acquittal and the known threats to Eric’s life calling his transfer “retaliatory and punitive rather than necessary.” Read and share this letter.
We need people to contact the BOP and federal representatives every day. Please see contact information for emails, phone calls, and mailing addresses below.
Eric was moved from Grady County yesterday and ended up at USP Atlanta. We are not sure whether he is there or at USP Lee yet. USP Lee is the maximum security prison where he spent 2 weeks in the segregation unit before being sent to Colorado for his case two years ago. On the way to USP Lee last time, Eric was threatened by white supremacists and told to not go in general population. His life is in danger due to this move.
Yesterday, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of Research Justin Mazzola wrote a letter to Bureau of Prisons director Michael Carvajal about Eric’s situation. In it, he wrote,
“ Transferring Eric King to a maximum-security facility across the country, far from his family and loved ones when he has such a short amount of time remaining on his sentence seems to be more retaliatory and punitive rather than necessary due to specific security concerns”
“The BOP must revisit the issues within Eric King’s security profile which allow his eligibility to be at a maximum-security facility and the decision for him to be placed so far from where his family resides and where he intends to settle upon release”.
Now that Eric’s arrival at USP Lee is imminent, we are asking you to finish the week strong and contact staff at USP Lee and the Bureau of Prisons.
Urge them to them to: 1- Transfer Eric out of USP Lee immediately by dropping his maximum management variable.
2- Not force Eric to choose between the SHU (23-24 hours a day in cell, no books, no phone, no email, no visits) and walking the yard with an active death threat against him.
3- Assess his situation immediately. The threat against his life is already documented. There is no need to prolong this process. Eric has 18 months left and needs to prepare for release, not fight for his life against white supremacists.
Eric was tested for COVID-19 yesterday at Grady County Jail and is likely being moved this morning. We believe he will be sent to USP Lee- a maximum security prison where he spent 2 weeks in the segregation unit before being sent to Colorado for his case two years ago. On the way to USP Lee last time, Eric was threatened by white supremacists and told to not go in general population. His life is in danger due to this move.
We are asking you today to contact staff at USP Lee and the Bureau of Prisons and urge them to:
1- Transfer Eric out of USP Lee immediately by dropping his maximum management variable. 2- Not force Eric to choose between the SHU (23-24 hours a day in cell, no books, no phone, no email, no visits) and walking the yard with an active death threat against him. 3- Assess his situation immediately. The threat against his life is already documented. There is no need to prolong this process. Eric has 18 months left and needs to prepare for release, not fight for his life against white supremacists.
Be sure to call/fax/email the staff at USP Lee as well as Regional BOP, DSCC & National BOP.
Eric is currently at Grady County Jail in Oklahoma City and we want to keep him there and stop him from being sent to a dangerous situation at USP Lee. We also want to make sure that if the BOP does send him to USP Lee, that he not be placed in solitary confinement indefinitely and he be transferred immediately to a low or medium security prison. We won’t let Eric be buried in USP Lee’s segregation unit and be forced to do his last 18 months in solitary.
Today, we are asking you to call/fax and email YOUR U.S. Senator and Congressional Representative. You can find out who your reps are at here. Write and call them asking for help for Eric since YOU are their constituent. There are some good tips on this at https://ahuehuete.substack.com/p/freaking-free-king?s=r
Of course, keep up the pressure on the Bureau of Prisons. New contacts have been added below. If you have the time to reach out to other Reps, their info is below too.
FREE ERIC KING! Templates and all contacts are here.