Given the large population in the U.K. of Pakistani origin, the lack of serious media coverage of the overthrow and incarceration of Imran Khan, and the mass imprisonment of his supporters, is truly extraordinary. Imran Khan was last week sentenced to three years in prison — and a five-year ban from politics — for alleged embezzlement of official gifts. This follows his removal as prime minister in a C.I.A.-engineered coup, and a vicious campaign of violence and imprisonment against Khan and his supporters. It is currently illegal in Pakistan to publish or broadcast about Khan or the thousands of new political prisoners incarcerated in appalling conditions.
Monthly vigils — or even weekly vigils — for the closure of Guantánamo were a noticeable feature of the London protest scene for many years, while British prisoners were still held there, although, with the release of Shaker Aamer, the prison’s last British resident, in October 2015, it became impossible to sustain the impetus, and the Trump years, of course, were bleak for protestors, because Trump had tweeted, even before he took office, that “there must be no more releases from Gitmo,” and he was largely true to his word, releasing only one man in his nearly 1,500 days in office.
On October 10th, 2022 Andy was arrested taking part in a Declare Emergency blockade of a highway outside of Washington D.C. They sought to pressure Biden to declare a climate emergency and make good on his promises to address climate change. Since then Andy has attempted to utilize the Necessity Defense - that his actions were legally justified because the crimes he had committed were less harmful than the imminent global harm posed by climate change. Despite lining up expert witnesses, extensive documented evidence, and footage of the action- the judge denied Andy’s usage of these in court. In defiance, Andy left the courtroom and refused the terms of the judge.
Chelsea Manning was imprisoned in 2010 after leaking 750,000 military documents to the website WikiLeaks. Chelsea’s revelations exposed heinous war crimes by the US military. While the perpetrators of the atrocities she exposed have never faced justice, Chelsea herself spent seven years behind bars, including several months in solitary confinement before her trial. README.txt is Chelsea’s first full-length memoir detailing what led her to speak out, and her experiences in prison. In an event organized by Baltimore worker cooperative bookstore Red Emma’s, Chelsea Manning joins Baltimore-based activist and independent journalist Ryan Harvey for a special discussion on her memoir.
On Sunday, September 25, 30 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails started an indefinite hunger strike to protest the Israeli policy of administrative detention without charge or trial. The strike demanding an end to this policy has been organized under the slogan: “Our decision is freedom..our strike is freedom.” The prisoners issued a joint statement before the formal commencement of their strike which was read outside the Israeli Ofer prison by their family members along with members of Addameer and other prisoner solidarity groups. Some of the leading figures participating in the hunger strike are Nidal Abu Aker, Ghassan Zawahreh, and the French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri.
Washington, DC – On Tuesday, Jan. 11, twenty-nine national faith groups sent a letter to President Biden and all Members of Congress calling on them “to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and to ensure that all of the people held there are either released, agree to a plea deal, or receive a fair trial in a federal court.” Rev. Ron Stief, Executive Director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, released the following statement: “For twenty years our country has held people without charge or trial in Guantanamo. Some of the people we still hold there were tortured by the U.S. after they were captured. Others have been cleared to leave Guantanamo yet remain imprisoned there, indefinitely detained without trial.
Aguilera-Mederos, who was 23 years old at the time of the accident, was transporting lumber on Denver’s I-70 freeway when the brakes on his big rig truck failed on a downhill grade where he tried to hug the shoulder. His truck then slammed into stopped traffic that created an explosion and pileup. Governor Polis and the state’s political establishment were forced to respond to mass economic and political pressure by a powerful movement of truck drivers, who mobilized widespread support for Aguilera-Mederos within the working class. Since the December 13 sentencing, drivers refused by the thousands to enter the state of Colorado and deliver goods and circulated the issue widely on social media. Though little reported in the media, the powerful boycott shook the state’s economy to its core.
In the months since COVID-19 wreaked havoc inside California’s 35 prisons and claimed 240 incarcerated lives, practically nothing has been done to address the crowded and poorly ventilated housing units that have helped the virus spread. At San Quentin State Prison, COVID-19 infected three-quarters of its incarcerated residents and dozens required hospitalization. It killed 28 prisoners and a correctional sergeant, prompting a court to call the incident the “worst epidemiological disaster in California correctional history” last October. A near full-scale shutdown from March 2020 to May 2021 didn’t thwart the virus’ disastrous effect on San Quentin residents. The deaths took place while prisoners spent more than 23-hours-a-day locked inside their cells with two people assigned to each one.
For months, business owners and corporate media pundits in the US have complained about a “labor shortage,” claiming that businesses are struggling to find new employees because “no one wants to work.” Rather than enticing applicants with more competitive wages and stronger benefits and protections, though, many businesses are opting to exploit prison slave labor.
There are common ways in which the prisoner is stymied in his attempt to file a complaint. The filing of every form is time sensitive. So the warden and others will withhold their responses, backdate them, and then send the responses to you so that you only have a day or two to respond. You can’t possibly get it done in time, so it’s dismissed as “not responsive in a timely fashion.” You have no recourse because the federal courts have ruled that a prisoner must exhaust the “administrative complaint process” before going to the courts. But if the complaint is dismissed by the BOP as “not responsive” because of time, you’re out of luck. And those people who violate the Prison Rape Elimination Act get off scot free.
A society that prohibits the capacity to speak in truth extinguishes the capacity to live in justice. This why we are here tonight. Yes, all of us who know and admire Julian decry his prolonged suffering and the suffering of his family. Yes, we demand that the many wrongs and injustices that have been visited upon him be ended. Yes, we honor him up for his courage and his integrity. But the battle for Julian’s liberty has always been much more than the persecution of a publisher. It is the most important battle for press freedom of our era. And if we lose this battle, it will be devastating, not only for Julian and his family, but for us. Tyrannies invert the rule of law. They turn the law into an instrument of injustice. They cloak their crimes in a faux legality.
It wasn’t long after Matthew Reed shoplifted a $63 set of sheets from a Target in upstate New York that the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to a standstill. Instead of serving a jail sentence, he stayed at home, his case deferred more than a year, as courts closed and jails nationwide dramatically reduced their populations to stop the spread of COVID-19. But the numbers have begun creeping up again as courts are back in session and the world begins returning to a modified version of normal. It’s worrying criminal justice reformers who argue that the past year proved there is no need to keep so many people locked up in the U.S. By the middle of last year, the number of people in jails nationwide was at its lowest point in more than two decades, according to a new report published Monday by the Vera Institute of Justice , whose researchers collected population numbers from about half of the nation’s 3,300 jails to make national estimates.
A massive pandemic risk factor has been hiding in plain sight across the United States, growing exponentially in scale over the last four decades with the support of trillions of dollars spent by federal, state, and local governments. But, inexplicably, the current national policy conversation about rebuilding public health, pandemic preparedness, and biosecurity has entirely ignored it. What is this epidemic engine that multiplies harm and then distributes it to every corner of the country? In a cruel irony, it is the very system that both Republicans and Democrats have built and defended for decades as the centerpiece of a misleading concept of “public safety“: mass incarceration. Evidence has long shown that America’s unparalleled system of human caging does not effectively deter crime, and that US residents are no safer than peer nations, whose governments on average incarcerate at only 15 percent the US rate.
Small vigils have been held in cities across the world to mark the second anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being detained in prison after he was dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Supporters demanding his release joined events on Sunday in countries including Australia, the UK, Belgium, Germany and the United States. Protests were held in London outside the Ecuadorian embassy, at Westminster Magistrates' Court, and at Belmarsh prison where he is being held. Messages saying "Bring Assange Home" and "Journalism Is Not A Crime" were also projected onto buildings in the capital. A small gathering of supporters held up similar banners in Sydney Harbour, calling for the Australian to be released.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is coming under fire again from Democratic lawmakers, as well as from the American Postal Workers Union, who are calling for President Joe Biden to pave the way for DeJoy’s removal after the Trump-appointee announced higher mailing fees and logistical changes that could further slow down mail. The US Postal Service (USPS) has already suffered a more than 50% drop in on-time arrivals for first-class mail deliveries, according to the service’s own data. Nevertheless, thanks to the ubiquitous presence of high-speed internet, the personal communications of most Americans don’t seem to be fundamentally affected by the problems at USPS. Excluding the mail-in-ballots controversy leading up to the 2020 presidential election, the majority of the country remains little more than a...