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Friday, 31 August 2012

Pentagon threatens legal action over Osama bin Laden book

A former Navy SEAL who wrote a first-hand account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden could be taken to court by the Pentagon.

The US Department of Defense says they may charge Matt Bissonnette with publishing classified information in his book called "No Easy Day".

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Political Prisoner Radio - Free Chip Fitzgerald w/ Jenn Laskin - 8 PM EST

Guest Speaker
Jenn Laskin
Romaine Chip Fitzgerald is described as the longest held political prisoner who belonged to the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Chip as he is known, experienced trouble as a teenager but upon his release from the Youth Authority in early 1969, he joined the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party.

After joining the Panthers he became an assest to the community instead of a liability working in the Panther's community based programs like the "Party’s Free Breakfast Program, the tutorial program, selling Panther papers, political education classes and other projects."
Chip was also well liked by those in the communities he served.
Unfortunately, Chip like so many others in the Panthers became a victim of the illegal CoIntelPro program run the well known racist criminal heading the FBI.
Chip Fitzgerald has served 40 years for his alleged crimes against a racist state and should be set free.

Dinesh D'Souza targets Obama with ridiculous propaganda

Dinesh D'Souza has found a nice hustle telling racist white people what they want to hear. His propaganda film that is supposed to show that President Obama is "anti-colonial", what ever that nonsense is supposed to mean because everyone wants to be invaded by outsiders and have their resources stolen because it is good for them. However, if you look at what President Obama's administration has done over the past 3 1/2 years, it has been anything but "anti-colonial".

Don't expect any of this to matter to so-called Tea Baggers, most are intellectually incapable of critical thinking and/or don't care about truth because hatred for a Black President overrides everything else. Now before Tea Baggers and other hate mongers spam the comments section, this segment also makes the case why Black people should not be fooled by pro-Obama propaganda.


The loneliness that you all feel as individuals is slowly but surely leading you into darker and darker places. Aggression and ridicule that is being fired in your direction by the ones who practise or protect one of the worst crimes known to humanity i.e. paedophilia, carries no weight in the world of decency. This evil destruction will never be able to be fully transmitted within the written word. My message to you all is a message that promotes arrogance, disrespect and pity for the perpetrators; they must be shown no mercy within the law. The abuse of animals, in many cases, is punished more severely than paedophilia. When Cyril Smith MP was alive, he was accused of paedophilic crimes when David Steel MP came to his rescue with the statement: "All he seems to have done is spanked a few bare bottoms" - When disc-jockey Jonathan King was charged for paedophilic crimes Simon Cowell put up £50K towards his bail. - When prolific billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was released from prison after serving a sentence for paedophilic crimes Prince Andrew was seen walking with him in Central Park NY; Prince Andrew has had sex with underage prostitutes and his royal family were very close to the outrageously disgusting paedophile ‘SIR’ Jimmy Saville. Epstein had permission to fly his private jet into military bases in this country; at least one young girl, or boy always accompanied him. - The list is endless, there are many celebrities and back-room workers within the entertainment industry that are heavily involved in the abuse, torture and murder of children and distribution of snuff movies. Simple facts like these that appear spasmodically in our ‘so-called’ national media must tear your hearts out. To all victims I say: Leave the bottles and the drugs to one side – that is the main step for you all to take. This will clear your mind and give you the strength and clarity to follow through with your convictions, instead of being eaten by alcohol and drugs; an army cannot survive on alcohol and drugs! If you can all do this, then we shall spread our battle to the whole world. To all you paedophiles, I ask you to come forward, declare yourselves, your crimes and your associates, you will then close your eyes and travel towards the light more peacefully when you meet your end, however that may be. God is not a figment of people’s imagination; he is the light, the truth and the love of our blue planet. My advice to you comes in one-word “DISCLOSE”. God bless all victims & survivors. 
Bill Maloney.

Turns out THIS is who's eating your tax dollars

Our prison system is a beast, gobbling resources that should be going to communities. Watch this video to find out why. Then get involved at http://beyondbars.org.

This video was done in partnership with the ACLU, Equal Justice Initiative, All of Us or None, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, NAACP, A New Way of Life, Families Against Mandatory Minimums, Justice Policy Institute, Drug Policy Alliance, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the United Methodist Church, Justice Fellowship, and Partnership for Safety and Justice.

Bradley Manning faces maximum punishment

On Thursday pre-trial hearing for Bradley Manning is due to continue. The Army private is accused of leaking massive amounts of classified information to the whistleblowing website Wikileaks. Lawyers for both the prosecution and defence argued over the military withholding 14 hundred emails related to Manning's detention in Quantico VA. For more on the case RT's Liz Wahl talked to Alexa O'Brien - founder of USDayOfRage.org.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

911 Coincidences - Full Length Documentary

No agenda. No finger-pointing. Just the facts and the questions.

Perhaps the best 9/11 video on the internet, evidence and analysis is filled with eyewitness testimonials. Sometimes called "9/11 Mysteries", its point-by-point review of the official story set alongside clear science examines the questions that surround the event.

If you like this video, but sure the check out World Trade Center 7 Building falling into its own foot print, which wasn't hit by any airplane and was the command bunker for the mayor of NYC!

For more info, visit www.911truth.org, www.pilotsfor911truth.org, and many others.

This presentetion from 2007 is a detailed overview of the areas of evidence surrounding the events of September 11th, and the way that these observations clash with the official story. This presentation is not partisan, sensationalist or a means for presenting an alternative explanatory theory.

Nas Performance in NYC for iHeartRadio Live Series

Calls increase for LAPD to drop spying program

A coalition of community activists says the Los Angeles Police Department is trampling civil rights in the name of enforcing the law.

The Stop LAPD Spying Coalition says the department's so-called Special Order 1 allows police to engage in racial and religious profiling.

Fighting for truth Cj 2012

injustice being done to Curtis Jones at the hands of the Allen County Prosecutors Office! On December 01, 2008 Troy D. Phinezy confesses to the murder of Tracy Williams in Judge John F. Surbeck's courtroom! On December 01, 2008, witness testified that Troy confessed to him that he had done the shooting! April 27, 2012, eyewitness testifies in Judge Surbeck's courtroom that she saw the shooting and that Curtis Jones was not the person she observed running from the scene of thee crime! On April 27, 2012, witness testifies that he observes Troy Phinezy retrieve the murder weapon! On June 18, 2012, the same eyewitness identified Troy Phinezy in a photo lineup at the Allen County Prosecutors office

© Copyright All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Greetings Authority, We are the citizens of the world. We are Anonymous. We are Occupy. We are the Victims. For far too long we have given our police the ultimate authority without questioning their abilities and reasoning. We have allowed our police to utilize military type weapons against their own civilians. We have allowed them to make decisions, often in error, without any accountability. We have watched the Rodney King videos (Goodnight Sweet Prince), we have seen the Robert Leone free-for-all. We are pissed, and we will no longer sit idle while our police forces use us as collateral damage for a political agenda.
We, the people, urge everyone to take action against this sort of abuse and to put an end to this decline toward a police state. We ask you to videotape and record the police during their daily duties. If you see an officer issuing a parking ticket, record him. If you see an officer holding a victim at gun point, record him. If you see an officer harrassing a fellow protester, record him. The police watch us with dash mounted cameras, street cameras, red light cameras and even remote mobile cameras. It's time the watchers become watched. It's time the abusers are held accountable. As the authorities say of us; "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.".
To the police officers who agree with our message and our urgent request for action, we thank you and applaud you. However, we ask you to do your part as well. Speak out against the abusive officers you encounter. Park your squad car in a spot that your dash cam can accurately record the scene. Work with your Internal Affairs department to prosecute and debadge these police bullies. You have been sworn to serve and protect the communinty. You were not sworn to harbor criminals and bullies. Do not allow your communities to suffer any longer. You too have the right to speak out against these criminals.
The Operation is simple; We watch the watchers.
Pick up a camera, do not hinder the job function of the police officer, do not cross police lines and do not interfere with any arrests, but make sure you're recording everything including badge numbers and name plates. The vast majority of states within the United States have made case law to uphold the citizens first amendmend rights to record the police, citing "No officer can have a reasonable expectation of privacy while fulfilling their duties to their communities.". This means the law is on YOUR side, not the police.
If you record an abusive officer, or a cop acting outside the scope of the laws he is to enforce, place it on YouTube with a tag of OpCopWatch. You can also host your recording however you wish and let us know on twitter @OpCopWatch and hashtag #OpCopWatch. We recommend you contact your local news agency and broadcast stations to report this abuse and provide them with a copy of your video. The more eyes you have seeing your video, the more pressure upon the offending officer to be held accountable.
Many cops will cite the Wiretap law as covering voice recordings and may ask you to stop recording audio. This is false, the wiretap law covers communications and telephony only. Recording video is media, and is protected under the first amendment right. Join with other like minded individuals and create groups, workshops, teach-ins and other means of letting the public know they too can become involved in their own national security. Yes, you too can take part in national security and be a good little patriot by bringing the true criminals to face judgment.

We are Anonymous
We are Legion
We do not forgive
We will not forget
You are being watched
We do not like what we see
Expect us

All the Emmett Tills Across America

Dr. Boyce Watkins speaks about the anniversary of the death of Emmett Till and the need to control gun violence across America

Bradley Manning's case: death penalty for speaking the truth?

After being detained for over a year, Private First Class Bradley Manning is in pre-trial hearings in which the focus will be the harsh conditions the alleged Wikileaks whistleblower was subjected to while in military detention.

Fault Lines - The abortion war

Fault Lines investigates the forces behind the so-called war on women in the US. Why is a medical procedure being reframed as a deeply divisive moral issue in the US?


Rough Justice - Northern Ireland

For downloads and more information visit: http://www.journeyman.tv/?lid=64168

Kneecapping by vigilantes sounds like something from the past, but in part of Northern Ireland it's being used against people suspected of dealing drugs. It's causing fears of a return to full on conflict.

"I was saying to him "Don't do it, man, don't do it." And he did it." Raymond Coyle says as he tells us about how RAAD (Republican Action Against Drugs) shot him multiple times for selling marijuana seeds. Petty criminals across Londonderry all now live in fear of the group who have declared their own law on the streets. A growing sentiment that the Sinn Fein Peace Process is not delivering economic progress or a united Ireland have given them a bedrock of support among local communities. But as always with vigilante justice the violence has overspilled into the settling of personal feuds. Young men in the area live in fear. "As soon as you hear your next door neighbour's door close and it's a bang, you jump out of bed. You think someone is coming for you." RAAD have also developed stronger political ambitions and joined with several other dissident groups to declare a return to arms. A frightening prospect, when you consider that all the groups together would constitute the same numbers as the provisional IRA had during the height of the conflict. "That's a major force. I believe you'll have an escalation of attacks on the British forces here."

Monday, 27 August 2012

Exposed: IDF abuses kids, uses children as human shield

Around 100 pro-Palestinian activists have been stopped by Israeli authorities on their way to the West Bank from Jordan. The group aimed to deliver aid to schoolchildren in Bethlehem refugee camps but were reportedly turned away without any explanation. This latest incident follows another scandal involving Palestinian children...

Notting Hill Carnival 2012 - The Best Ever

Enjoy Notting Hill Carnival 2012.

Europe's largest street festival has sneaked up on London this year. Not only have we been a bit distracted with all things sporting, there's been very little news from Carnival and not a lot of information available about it. But it's happening this weekend.

Rape Survivor Eve Ensler Responds to Akin’s “Legitimate Rape”

Rape Survivor Eve Ensler Responds to Akin’s “Legitimate Rape” Comments

by Ximena Ramirez

Missouri GOP Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin comments on his reasoning for opposing abortion even in cases of rape – or should I say “legitimate rape” – have deservedly received much criticism over the last few days.
Of all the commentary I have read, there is one piece that for me struck a real chord. Playwright and activist Eve Ensler’s response as a rape survivor brought me to tears while I simultaneously clapped and cheered as I read her powerful words. Here are the parts that meant the most to me.
Rape is Rape
“The underlying assumption of your statement is that women and their experiences are not to be trusted. That their understanding of rape must be qualified by some higher, wiser authority. It delegitimizes and undermines and belittles the horror, invasion, desecration they [rape survivors] experienced. It makes them feel as alone and powerless as they did at the moment of rape.”
Excuses, Excuses
“Did you honestly believe that rape sperm is different than love sperm, that some mysterious religious process occurs and rape sperm self-destructs due to its evil content? Or, were you implying that women and their bodies are somehow responsible for rejecting legitimate rape sperm, once again putting the onus on us? It would seem you were saying that getting pregnant after a rape would indicate it was not a ‘legitimate’ rape.”
Less Talking, More Doing
“I am asking you and the GOP to get out of my body, out of my vagina, my womb, to get out of all of our bodies. These are not your decisions to make. These are not your words to define…Why don’t you spend your time ending rape rather than redefining it? Spend your energy going after those perpetrators who so easily destroy women rather than parsing out manipulative language that minimizes their destruction.”
What did you think about Akin’s comments regarding rape? What about Ensler’s comments? Have you read any responses that really struck a chord with you? Please share in the comments!
Photo credit: Photo by MoBikeFed used under a Creative Commons license.
Related from Care2:

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/rape-survivor-eve-ensler-responds-to-akins-legitimate-rape-comments.html#ixzz24k7O8O2E

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Legitimate Rape

A lot of controversy over Todd Akin's comments on "Legitimate Rape" and the miracles a woman's uterus can do when it happens. But how does the uterus KNOW when the rape is legitimate? Finally, someone with answers - Me.


How can you tell if it's legitimate rape?
I'll tell you how to spot legitimate rape.
You're not sure if you got legitimate raped?
Well here's a little lesson for you.
Tell me if the following things are true:

I was a little drunk
Illegitimate rape!
I knew the rapist well
Illegitimate rape!
My skirt was kinda short
Illegitimate rape!
I'm married to the man
That's a husband's privilege!

How can you tell if it's legitimate rape?
I'll tell you how to spot legitimate rape.
You're not sure if you got legitimate raped?
Well here's a little lesson for you.
Tell me if the following things are true:

I let him take me out.
illegitimate rape!
I said I was 18.
illegitimate rape!
He didn't have consent.
I'm sure your eyes were saying yes.
I'm pregnant from the rape.
Clearly not legitimate!

So now we all know what's legitimate rape.
We all know who to trust to tell us what's rape.
Republicans who've never experienced rape.
They're the ones I want to decide
That I should keep the baby growing inside.
Because abortion's always wrong.
Glad things are so black and white.

Scotty Reid

"Unemployment has always been higher in the Black community and we have always had to fight against racism and fight for our human rights and dignity. If we have lost anything under this Black President, it is our credibility in speaking out against the evil perpetrated by the United States here at home and abroad." - Scotty Reid 
Black Talk Radio Network

Corrections Corporation of America

Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for "challenging corrections budgets." In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Huffington Post. Read more @ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/14/private-prisons-buying-state-prisons_n_1272143.html

Police Brutality Worse than Rodney King - Robert Leone Story - Unedited ...

Actual state police dashcam video (unedited) and audio of brutal Pennsylvania State Police beating of detainee ( see http://www.worsethanrodneyking.com ). Other than not stopping when directed, this incident involved no serious traffic violations and was simply the low speed following of a car that would not pull over.
The documentary video of the story behind this dashcam video can be found at http://www.worsethanrodneyking.com
For more on this story and for media inquiries visit: http://www.worsethanrodneyking.com


Prison Indiana Extended

The Indiana State Prison is a maximum security Indiana Department of Corrections prison for adult males; however, minimum security housing also exists on the confines.

It is located in Michigan City, Indiana, about 50 miles (80 km) east of Chicago. The average daily inmate population in November 2006 was 2,200. The Indiana State Prison was established in 1860. It was the second state prison in Indiana.One of the most famous prisoners to be in the Michigan City prison was bank robber John Dillinger, who was released on parole in 1933.

of that well of reason

of that well of reason

in the well of my reason
that vast multidimensional expression of self
there are possibilities
without end
to assist me
that i may defend
the ground i claim
my own

within the realm
of the unknown
we play games
of “Convince and Deny”
as we vie
to not face the retributions
that comes with
our executions
in life
or the lack thereof

there is that
never aging child within
sin free
on a spree
who simply confronts
life’s stern dictates
with a seemingly
innocent and unattached

and then there is
the “woe is me” Me
who refuses to see
that it was he
who made that bed
he now
has to lie his head in . . .
and lyin’
is one of his many talents
he employs with a certain valiance
for he uses this gift
speaking fable
and folklore
to himself

and then
there is the “Word Wizard”
who can enact an acumen
with a zeal and a Zen
that can charm a snake
right out of his skin
and maketh him
feel guilty for being naked

and let us not forget
the “Cryer”
whose tears
keeps that well of reason
in supply
should the heat of the day
get too high

and that guy over there
he carries the world
on his shoulders
acting so much
telling himself
he is strong
while secretly he longs
to find a way out

where is the song ?

but my favorite one
with whom i have much fun
is the magician
who makes things disappear

yes he’s the one
with the queer
little idiosyncratic fears
he holds dear
just so he can smile at them

and all the vile gems
he has discovered
about self
through his digging
with a keen gleaned eye
he laughs at them
and him self
without reason
but because he can
and again
he realizes
the insignificance
of the significance
of that well of reason

© 25 August 2012 : William S. Peters, Sr.

i yield

i yield
there is a multitude of movement
about me
within me
life is in a constant flux
they say that all things have meaning
am i to spend countless aeons
to what end
or should i but become
the observant
of life manifest
am i the confluent point
where silence meets noise
where stillness meets life
where light meets dark
where dreams meet reality
am i that cross,
that fulcrum
that balances the polarities
held betwixt nothingness
and the absolute ?
in my midst
there is chaos ever prevalent
that which i can conjure
or quell
is it i that speaks into the void
that stirs these waters
with my spirit
where my abysmal self
is yet being defined
can words alone contain
our exponential-ness ?
to what descriptive analogy
do we cosign ?
is this but evidence
of the cyclic characteristics
of death yielding unto life ?
and the wheel spins
weaving gold from straw
the karmic command
is spoken in whispers
and soul takes heed
reflecting in microcosmic ways
the whole of our potential
that can never be grasped
but let
yes let it be
and our eyes shall be opened
and the light from within
shall pour upon the dark firmament
awaiting our touch
of consciousness
i yield
in reverence
© 25 August 2012 : William S. Peters, Sr.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Bombshell..... by Carol Leonard

Well folks, I almost dont know what to say here, but I must address an ugly issue that I just now became aware of. Those who know me and my work KNOW that I have no tolerance for lying, and under handed dealings of any type. I was just made aware via a blog post by Dan Dailey of WanderVogel Diary and the Redemption Project for Kids about serious issues surrounding one of their FORMER advocates, Steve Sydebotham. Steve has been advocating tirelessly for James Prindle and Blade Reed. Many of us were enlisted by Steve to highlight these cases. Let me state that these cases are valid, true and any of us that have been spreading awareness about their cases was in the interest of the juveniles. Not anyone else or anything else. Rumors are swirling and all over the net at this time. Our only interest and intent are the children who are affected. There are always three sides to any story- his, hers and the truth. And the truth is what we are uncovering at this point. Here is what we know so far- and Steve has indicated that it is not entirely truthful- which leads me to think - WHY would something so damaging even be put out? I have contacted Dan Dailey and am awaiting a response. The following is copied from the Wandervogel Diary: the predator posted 8/25/12 By dandailey Lately things haven’t been right behind the scenes at The Redemption Project. In fact, there have been days when things seemed like they couldn’t be more wrong. Beginning with the “disappearance” on July 27 of evidence that was to have been provided to me to confirm the allegations of the mysterious informant I had been calling “Deep Throat,” I’ve been living with a growing sick feeling in my stomach that we have been played and taken advantage of. Stephen Sydebotham had claimed to be in possession of photographs and audio recordings which would prove beyond all doubt that the Deep Throat allegations he was providing to us were true. But the evidence never got into my hands. There had been a full week of frustrating delays, supposedly caused by technical difficulties created by cyber-attacks. Audio recordings were e-mailed to me, but the voices in them were electronically modified and there were puzzling inconsistencies in the content. Based on Stephen’s word, I had scheduled a Friday afternoon interview with a child sex trafficking investigator at Homeland Security to arrange for the turning over of this evidence as required by law. On the morning of the scheduled interview, Stephen called and said, “We have a problem.” The file with all the evidence in it had been stolen, he said. How convenient, I thought. As I discussed this strange turn with colleagues who have known Stephen longer than I have, we discovered many inconsistencies in the stories he had been telling us all along. We realized that Stephen had continually mediated contacts between us in such a way that we would have limited opportunities to compare notes. One of the first things I did was to send James Prindle a postcard suggesting that we begin communicating directly, and not through Stephen. I gave him my phone number and put $25 on a prepaid calling account. On July 29 I had all references to Stephen, the accounts he managed for Blade and James, etc. removed from The Redemption Project websites. After I received a message from the Homeland Security investigator that they would not be pursuing an investigation because they did not consider the audio recordings and other leads to be credible, I sent Stephen an e-mail on August 2 formally severing our relationship based on the fact that I no longer had confidence in him or the information he was providing. A copy of this e-mail was sent to James’ new attorney Mike Scholl. We launched an internal investigation of Stephen, his identity, background, claims, and practices. Background checks had been run previously but had turned up nothing to raise our suspicions. But this time we dug deeper, interviewed people who had previously worked with him, and we found troubling evidence of a pattern of lying and fraud. Our investigation is continuing, but on the basis of what we have already learned, we have concluded that we’ve been the victims of an elaborate deception which has endangered the welfare of the young people for whom Stephen has been advocating, as well as our other work. I have raised and disbursed a little more than $30,000 for Blade Reed and James Prindle (most of it paid directly to lawyers and other third parties) based in part on information provided to me by Stephen—information which I now believe to be questionable and unreliable. This is very serious, and I have informed our largest donors most directly affected. (The first donor I informed not only expressed his continuing confidence in The Redemption Project, but raised his commitment to James’ defense. This experience has been repeated.) On August 12 I finally received a call from James Prindle and I learned that at least one of my blog posts was based on reports that were not factually true, so I took down that post right after I got off the phone with James. I have also taken down two other July posts about which I no longer have confidence in their basis in fact. I now believe the very existence of “Deep Throat” was an invention, and that the revelations reported in the two posts titled “Allegations” 1 and 2 are a blend of fact, theory, and fiction which can now be sorted out only with great difficulty. All post deletions now appear as white dates on the July calendar appearing in the right-hand column of the blog. Because these allegations were revealed after the guilty verdict in James’ trial, I believe that Stephen’s motive must have been to create more “reasonable doubt” than had been available for James’ defense in the trial and to influence the actions of the judge through public pressure. But remember, Stephen has never admitted to me that Deep Throat and his revelations were an invention; in fact, Stephen has even tried to convince me that someone matching Deep Throat’s description was in Stephen’s Wisconsin hometown after July 27 making inquiries about Stephen. Lies buttressing lies—or so it appears to me. As I explained to James, the introduction of any falsehoods into his defense could undermine everything. Dishonest prosecutors regularly get away with spinning innocuous things into damning evidence. But for the accused, the truth is the only source of exculpatory evidence. It is bad enough when a kid who is wrongfully accused of a crime tries to lie his way to exoneration, but for an adult advocate to facilitate any deception for that purpose—well, that is simply beyond the pale. Now we have discovered that certain disbursements made directly to Stephen for the benefit of his kids were never used for their intended purposes. For example, nearly a year ago I sent him two payments totaling $1,650 that were have to been used to pay a paralegal named Torm Howse to prepare a writ of habeas corpus for Blade Reed. I was told by Stephen that the work was completed by Mr. Howse and utilized by Blade’s attorneys. E-mails from Mr. Howse were forwarded to me to pressure our prompt payment. Now we have doubled back on Stephen’s representations, checked with Mr. Howse, and are dismayed to learn that: “I recall the sporadic email conversation, but nothing really happened eventually, so I don’t believe an actual price or time required was even figured out. The guy writing about doing something for Blade never took it that far, as best I can remember–yes, clear back sometime last year.” Blade’s attorneys have also told me they never had anything to do with the presentation of a habeas corpus writ. In other words, Stephen tricked me into raising $1,650 to pay for legal work for Blade Reed which was never done. The money was deposited into a UGMA account ostensibly for Blade Reed’s benefit, but it was apparently not disbursed from that account for the purpose that Stephen said it was. This is likely not the only such instance. In the June 15-July 18 time period surrounding James Prindle’s trial and last two court dates, Stephen spent a little more than a month in Memphis on The Redemption Project’s dime. Originally Stephen was to have spent only about a week in Memphis and then returned for the sentencing hearing. However, with the appearance of “Deep Throat” and the revelations he was supposedly sharing, it seemed to make all the sense in the world to keep Stephen in Memphis if the information he was developing there might exonerate James, so I kept transferring cash to him through MoneyGram. Now we see that this hope—and the rationalization for sending him money—was a chimera. We provided Stephen with a total of $3,500 to cover his expenses, not including phone. While there, we calculate that his motel bill was only something like $1,000. He claimed to have been eating at Burger King and other modest venues, but because of car trouble and other purported problems, he kept running out of money. Now we have learned that Stephen also borrowed money from James’ grandparents and owes them about $300. Where did all our money go? I have asked for an accounting of Stephen’s expenses including receipts, but the deadline I set has come and gone. This is adding up to only one reasonable conclusion: that Stephen has likely been engaged in fraud. Instead of helping the kids for whom he has been advocating, it’s more likely he’s in fact been using them—and us—for his own personal gain and who-knows-what other nefarious purposes. The staff at the Shelby County Jail have nicknamed him “The Predator.” Indeed, the man does give every appearance of being a predator, and a smooth and cunning one at that—as long as he is working the phones and Internet. By all accounts, Stephen creates a much different impression when you meet or see him in person. People who observed him in the courtroom in Memphis have said that, based on his personal grooming habits and the way he was dressed, he looked to them like a “homeless person.” When James’ dad Sam Prindle and I discussed this recently, all Sam had to say is that Stephen seemed so caring, competent, and convincing. Sam was taken in, too. Stephen Sydebotham needs to be sidelined so he can never again do damage to the kids and families who trust him. I keep thinking about the profound disappointment and sense of betrayal James and Blade will experience when they learn the truth. Theft of money is a serious offense, but taking advantage of vulnerable kids is the worst of all possible sins in our work. Even if we never recover any of the money he has apparently stolen from us and from the kids we serve, it would be worth it to see this predator taken out of circulation. Or at least, that is how I am rationalizing it right now. We have reported all of this to the authorities in four states, and we will see (in this instance, at least) if the System is capable of dispensing honest and appropriate justice. Unfortunately, we are not off to a promising start. The sheriff’s department in Sauk County WI, for example, wants to see the financial fraud as a civil matter and has declined to pursue it as a criminal offense. The FBI declined to get involved because the amount of money involved does not cross a six-figure threshold. So far just about everybody says Sydebotham is another jurisdiction’s problem. Nobody seems to give a damn about the damage being done to the kids, who (to them) are seemingly of the throw-away variety. Only in Tennessee is there a shred of hope that law enforcement will open an official investigation. Several days ago we heard from someone close to Shelby County officials that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the Prindle Case and Stephen Sydebotham’s role in it. I contacted the TBI investigator I had spoken to earlier to check on this rumor. “At this time the TBI does not have an active investigation on the Prindle matter,” she said. “However, the information you provided has been forwarded to the proper authorities for review.” Looking at this from law enforcement’s perspective, the bottom line is that the amounts of money involved are relatively small and the complexity (because of the multiple jurisdictions involved) is high—and most people, even cops and prosecutors, are basically lazy. As I said to the agent I talked to at the FBI, it looks like we may just have to take matters into our own hands. There are plenty of perfectly legal things we can do. “Outing” Stephen as a wolf in sheep’s clothing through this post is one of them. We are taking concrete steps so that this will never happen again. One way or another, justice will be done. We will see to it. http://wandervogeldiary.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/the-predator/

Justice For Shaniya!!!

We will never forget this precious girl who was taken out of the world too soon. It’s time for the evil people responsible to face a judge and jury. MsTeri Kendle-Advocate

Friday, 24 August 2012

James Prindle: What will Come

James Prindle: What will Come | Why? | Scoop.it
Whatever is to become of James Prindle on Monday August 27th at his sentencing hearing, this is just the beginning. A movement has begun, and a voice will be heard, loud and strong, that James deserves the benefit of the doubt, with no DNA evidence supporting him having committed act, or anything physical either showing he did it, the DA's office and Judge Carter need to realize that this case needs to be reopened and a full investigation needs to be done. All the evidence collected, that was never tested (if properly stored) needs to be, plus the alibi James has, needs to be allowed to tell what he knows.
The Memphis Police Department completely dropped the ball on James case, testing some things, not others. There are several glaring mistakes made, and if done properly, James would not be sitting in Jail, for a sex crime, he did not commit, and possibly facing anywhere from 15 to 60 years in prison, and it would have to be served day-for-day, no parole.
We must all band together, and do the right thing, and give James a chance in life, and also help him to regain his freedom.
Your assistance is urgently needed by signing this petition
Please forward this to everyone who cares about children. If you can help in other ways, please contact me at steve.sydebotham@facebook.com
Thank You

Imam Jamil Al-Amino Audio Interviews from Behind the Walls

Interview With Karima El-Amin on Jamil El-Amin (Formerly Known as H. Rap Brown)

An Interview with Karima El-Amin (Part 1 & 2)

By Nadrat Siddique

The Fourth of July is my birthday. Each year, I seek an activity which expounds on Frederick Douglass' renowned musing "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July" and my social consciousness as a Muslim. This Fourth, I visited Atlanta to run the Peachtree 10K race, the nation's largest 10K (it boasts 50,000 participants) and to interview Karima El-Amin, wife of Imam Jamil El-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown).

Imam Jamil El-Amin is one of America's foremost political prisoners, currently being held at the infamous high security prison in Florence, Colorado. I felt his case had received a degree of exposure, at least by independent Islamic media, but that far less was known about his wife and partner in the struggle, an activist in her own right.

Karima El-Amin graciously granted me an interview at short notice, even though it meant according me her scant leisure time (the holiday was one of those rare occasions on which she closed her law office). I was to meet her soon after my race. When I called to confirm the details of our meeting, she expressed concern for my condition. Was I too tired and dehydrated after the race, being unaccustomed to Atlanta weather? And did I require more time to rest before our meeting? I was reminded of Imam Jamil, whose self-less concern for his visitors to the prison even while he himself was being subjected to daily humiliation at the hands of prison guards was fabled. And she insisted she would drive to my hotel so that I would not have to attempt to navigate unfamiliar territory. We agreed to hold the interview in my hotel room.

She entered the room, a slender, bespectacled woman, with quiet manner and majestic bearing, dressed modestly in light green hijab. But, as she began to speak, I realized this was easily the most eloquent, self-confident, and politically aware Muslim woman I'd encountered. She was clearly very seeped in Islamic faith; indeed, it may have been what allowed her (and hence her family) to survive the incredible trials they'd experienced; yet she was not ostentatious with her Arabic, nor haughty or judgmental of me or others.

Q: How did you meet Imam Jamil, and what attracted you to him initially?


Audio Interview links:










Free All Political Prisoners!

James Prindle

I have just got off the fone with Steve Sydebotham, and he says that there is a 3 day reprieve. James Prindle will now be sentenced on Monday August 27th, 2012 at 9am

PLEASE take 1 moment to sign petition THANK YOU


4thWorldRadyo speaks with about 'Crime & Punishment' [podcast]

i gotta smile fa yall!!!

http://www.petitiononline.com/ freeleon/petition.html 

Get busy living, or get busy dying

Fighting for social justice. Seeking justice for those who were falsely imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. Born on the same day of Emmett Till.
standingupfortheinnocent2012: Johnnie Savory - Fighting On

Prisons, Profit and Immigrants in Arizona

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer defies President Obama on deferred deportation plan for undocumented immigrant youth

Anne Frank

Help to get Justice for Christoper Lee Ratliff

Where is the Justice for Christopher Lee Ratliff His Mom Geneva Maynard is wanting answers..Police say he died of a drug overdose...I think video shows a different story...Mayor Kim Wolfe is ignoring Geneva Maynard, please contact him......office, (304) 696-5540, and ask why?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

'Majority of Americans feel Police Discrimination'

Stop and Frisk.

It's a policy that the New York City Police Department has employed -- they say to get illegal guns off the street.

The numbers -- however -- say that it's aimed squarely -- disproportionately -- at New York's Black and Latino communities.

Stop and Frisk has changed New Yorkers' opinions about the way they're treated by cops -- beyond question.

A recent New York Times poll of one thousand New Yorkers found that four out of five blacks feel the NYPD favors white people over black -- and half of the white people polled agree.

How else would they feel -- when over the last ten years 85% of those stopped and frisked were black and latino -- according to the New York Civil Liberties Union?

Now nearly everyone that we spoke with acknowledged that police work in NYC is amongst the toughest of jobs. Relatives of police -- especially parents -- tell us that most of the cops doing that tough job are doing it very well.

Jack Weiner's son recently retired as an NYPD detective after 22 years on the job.

He adds -- as do others -- that different neighborhoods in New York demand different policing tactics.

NYPD recruitment has created a police force that matches the diversity of New York's neighborhoods.

Leadership positions in the department -- however -- continue to be held predominantly by whites.

Never let the past steal the show

“Never let the past steal the show and take away the spotlight from the present for sometimes the one person you have to upstage is your former self by taking off the mask worn in society’s masquerade and showing the most beautiful, genuine face you have, your own. Don’t take backstage or be the understudy in your life but raise that curtain, step out on that stage, take the lead, and give the best performance of your life that you can give by being passionate about this life you have as you live your dreams from your heart. For it is that spark of passion that captivates your audience, leaving them inspired, motivated, and awestruck.” — Jenna Kandyce Linch Copyright © 
Jenna Kandyce Linchhttp://www.facebook.com/j.k.linch

Political Prisoner Radio w/ Masai Ehehosi - 8 PM EST

Our featured speaker tonight is Bro. Masai Ehehosi. He is a citizen of Republic of New Afrika and a long time activist in the New Afrikan Independence Movement. A former POW who, along with Sis Safiya Bukhari, was captured in 1975 and held on Virginia plantation for working with the Black Liberation Army. He is currently working on efforts in support of political prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin aka H rap Brown and others being held by the United States of Corporate America. He is also a member of Critical Resistance, an organization committed to abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex.


Sis. Safiya Bukhari (PBUH), his former co-defendant and a horrific incident they both suffered in VA when police brutally murdered one of their comrades right in front of them.

Let's "Gang-Up" On Oppression: Youth Organizations And The Struggle For Power In Oppressed Communities

Political Prisoners

Brother Abdul Maumin Khabir is accused by the u.s. government of being an El Rukn general and "terrorist." Bro. Maumin spent about 9 years traveling, spending some time in Islamic and other countries outside of U.S. borders. A blatant miscarriage of justice took place when five men were convicted in federal court based on their alleged association w/an alleged 'street gang' the El Rukns, not because of any criminal activity. Maumin Khabir was initially offered a 30 year plea bargain, with a promise of no further indictments, if he would plead guilty to a charge of committing "terrorist" acts for the Libyan government. He refused because of his innocence.
Bro. Abdullah Malik Ka'bah (aka Jeff Fort) assembled a coalition of 21 gang leaders or 'generals' with about 5,000 members in the mid-1960's under a governing body called the "Main 21". He used his leadership ability to solve disputes and form alliances between different gangs and directed their activities toward community and political activism. Street organizations in Chicago had involved themselves with the Civil Rights and the Black Power/Nationalist movements and made great strides to become part of the revolutionary nationalist thrust of our people in the 1960s and early 1970s.

During the 1980's Bro. Ka'bah and members of the El Rukns organization were involved in a process of political transformation and each had engaged in actions which directly challenged U.S. interests, on local and/or international levels. In 1987, Fort was tried and convicted for conspiring with Libya to perform acts of domestic violence against the United States.
Ka'bah, Abdullah Malik (aka Jeff Fort) #92298-024
USP Florence ADMAX, P.O. Box 8500, Florence, CO 81226
Birthday: February 20, 1947

Khabir, Maumin (aka Melvin Mayes) #09891-000
MCFP Springfield, P.O. Box 4000, Springfield, MO 65801
Birthday: September 15
Help Keep Political Prisoner Thursdays on the AIR!
Donate to the Black Talk Media Project

Honduras: 'Murder capital of the world'

It's become known as the Murder Capital of the World.
A person is violently killed every 74 minutes in Honduras.

Citizens here have taken to arming themselves in self-protection.

And part of the problem is the growing number of criminals coming from abroad.

Free Marian Price

In 1971, the British Government introduced Internment to incarcerate Irish Republicans for simply believing they held Republican views and ideologies.This was vehemently opposed in Ireland and beyond.
40 years later,Marian Price,amongst others,finds herself a victim of the reintroduction of British Internment and is isolated in an all male British gaol as a result of a decision made directly from Westminster by a British Tory minister to have her summarily incarcerated.
Marian Price arrested and returned to a British prison for actions of resistance committed as a Provisional IRA volunteer in 1973.The reintroduction of Internment has and is once again being used as a tool by a British government to quell free spech and stifle Human rights.
The actions of British Tory minister Owen Paterson prove, if proof were needed, that the Good Friday agreement has failed, British direct rule is prevelant and the Stormont myth lies exposed.
Oppose British Internment in Ireland! Free Marian Price Immediately!!!

P3 This World The Shame of the Catholic Church

Part 4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFvKokHnNrQ
Decades of clerical abuse and cover up have left the Catholic church in Ireland at breaking point. Now Darragh MacIntyre reveals new evidence of a scandal that goes to the very top of the Irish church.

Taking a stand against violence

In a city where too many people are dying in violent crimes, the community is coming together to stem the bloodshed.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Do US Prisons Violate European Human Rights Law?: Interview with Hamja Ahsan & Aviva Stahl


Robert H. King of the Angola 3 and Hamja Ahsan in London.

Do US Prisons Violate European Human Rights Law?
--An interview with Hamja Ahsan and Aviva Stahl

By Angola 3 News

On April 10, 2012, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) issued judgement in the case of Babar Ahmad and Others v The United Kingdom, thereby making a landmark ruling on the legitimacy of solitary confinement, extreme isolation and life without parole in US supermax prisons (view ECHR press release and ruling). The ECHR denied the appeal filed jointly by six appellants, consisting of four British nationals (Babar Ahmad, Haroon Rashid Aswat, Syed Talha Ahsan, and Mustafa Kamal Mustafa—aka Abu Hamza), an Egyptian national (Adel Abdul Bary) and a Saudi Arabian national (Khaled Al-Fawwaz) who have been imprisoned in the United Kingdom, pending extradition to the United States for alleged terrorism-related activities.

This judgement is now being appealed to the ECHR’s Grand Chamber, with a decision expected in September regarding whether or not the appeal will be heard. Arguing against their extradition to the US, the six appellants have asserted that the risk of imprisonment in the United States (with specific citation of long-term isolation at the notorious federal prison in Colorado, ADX Florence—also the subject of both a June Senate Hearing and a recent civil rights lawsuit initiated by prisoners alleging human rights violations there) would breach their right under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights not to "be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment." Ruling against the appellants, the ECHR argued in their April 10 ruling that isolation in a US Supermax prison is “relative” and will become a violation of Article 3 ECHR (which prohibits torture), only if it extends indefinitely.

A third party intervention to the European Court of Human Rights in this case was jointly submitted in 2010 by INTERIGHTS, Reprieve, the American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School National Litigation Project, arguing that “U.S. legal protections against ill-treatment in imprisonment fall short of those provided under Article 3 ECHR.” Furthermore, “it is submitted that any protection the applicants will receive under U.S. law is speculative at best. The past two decades have seen a strong trend of limiting prisoner access to courts overall and restricting judicial oversight, particularly in the absence of overt physical harm. Moreover, the U.S. Constitution affords little in the way of real protections against the documented harms of prolonged sensory and social deprivation…To the extent the United States suggests that Petitioners will be adequately protected by administrative review, the record in cases involving ADX Florence is that such procedures are largely illusory.”

In this interview we speak with Hamja Ahsan and Aviva Stahl--two London-based activists working around this case. Aviva Stahl works as the United States researcher for CagePrisoners.com, a London-based human rights organization that is committed to defending the due process rights of detainees of the War on Terror. Her current work focuses on the criminalization of Muslim communities on American soil, and draws on the parallel past experiences of other communities of color. She also helps run a pen pal program in Britain that links folks across prison walls, with the aim of building relationships based on solidarity and mutual support.

An artist and curator by profession, Hamja Ahsan is the younger brother of appellant Syed Talha Ahsan, and leader of the Free Talha Ahsan Campaign. Declaring that Talha Ahsan, a British-born poet and writer with Asperger syndrome imprisoned since 2006 “deserves freedom or a fair trial in the UK," www.freetalha.org details how “Talha Ahsan was arrested at his home on 19 July 2006 in response to a request from the USA under the Extradition Act 2003 which does not require the presentation of any prima facie evidence. He is accused in the US of terrorism-related offences arising out of an alleged involvement over the period of 1997-2004 with the Azzam series of websites, one of which happened to be located on a server in America. He has never been arrested or questioned by British police, despite a number of men being so from his local area in December 2003 for similar allegations. All of them were released without charge. One of them, Babar Ahmad, was later compensated £60,000 by the Metropolitan police after a civil case in March 2009 for the violent physical abuse during his arrest. It was evidence from this incident which formed the basis of Talha’s arrest two and a half years later."

In this interview, Ahsan and Stahl discuss the extreme importance of the upcoming Grand Chamber ruling on a personal level for the six appellants fighting their extradition, as well as the ruling’s broader significance for all US prisoners and the communities around the world targeted by the US’ so-called “War on Terror.” Among the many prominent human rights activists speaking out is US author Noam Chomsky, who asserts that “with the sharp deterioration of protection of elementary civil rights in the US, no one should be extradited to the country on charges related to alleged terrorism…the prisons and the incarceration system in the United States are an international scandal,” and “the shallow and evasive charges” in Ahsan’s case “strongly reinforce that conclusion.”

Robert H. King of the Angola 3, released in 2001 after 29 years in solitary, recently met up with Ahsan and Stahl (read Stahl’s interview here) while touring the UK with Amnesty International, as part of their campaign demanding the immediate release of the Angola 3's Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace from solitary confinement, where they have now been for over 40 years (sign Amnesty’s petition here).

Angola 3 News: Hamja, how has Talha’s arrest affected you and your family?

Hamja Ahsan: The case is extremely disturbing and upsetting. In February of 2006 the police came and raided our family home at the behest of the United States. Neither I, nor my brother, nor my elderly mother or father, have ever been to the United States. How could a foreign country come and invade my house like that?

The police took everything – my diary, my mobile phone, my CD collection, my nephew’s cartoons, my camera, my university artwork and ridiculously, they even took my PlayStation 2 memory card. Six years later, other than our computers (which were returned the next day with all the content intact), we haven’t gotten anything back, despite a vocal assurance that we would. If there was anything dangerous or incriminating on those computers, why would they be returned intact? We still use those computers to this day.

My parents are average, middle class Asian parents--often excessively concerned about school grades, and stereotypically displaying little emotion. Now they regularly break down crying in public and on media. Julia O’Dwyer, the mother of British student Richard O’Dwyer, who is also fighting his extradition to the US, says it’s a punishment for the whole family, and you’re punished before you’re even found guilty.

During these last six years we’ve lived in uncertainty and fear. I didn’t think that being detained without charge, trial or evidence would last this long.

A3N: Can you please tell us about who your brother, Talha Ahsan, is as a human being and a member of your family?

HA: Talha had a job interview to be a librarian the day of his arrest in July. That’s the type of person he is, an academic type of librarian. He is diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, much like in the film My Name is Khan, which has become part of our campaign work, and the cause celebre for hacker Gary McKinnon. Talha is a published poet who has drawn the sympathy and acclaim of many other distinguished novelists, poets, and musicians, including Michael Rosen, Shailja Patel, Tariq Mahmood, Zita Holbourne, Avaez Mohammad and Riz Ahmed. The two most beautiful pieces written in support of Talha were by novelist A.L. Kennedy in the Guardian (1,2).

Talha is as much a threat to the American and British public as an average librarian is. His published book of poetry in prison was launched by A.L. Kennedy in Edinburgh in 2011, and it keeps selling out and having to be reprinted. Many people are touched by his words and a young filmmaker made a documentary based around his prison poetry called “Extradition.” Like so many others who write to him, Amrit Wilson, winner of the Martin Luther King award, said that despite her differences in age, religion, and gender, she found through correspondence that he was a deeply caring person.

Despite the psychological anguish of being detained without trial, he manages to care about other British causes such as Black deaths in police custody and environmental issues.

A3N: What is your response to the argument made by the European Court of Human Rights court that isolation in a US supermax prison is ‘relative’?

Aviva Stahl: First off, I want to quote from the statement released by Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan’s lawyers, Binberg Piece and Partners: “It will come as a considerable surprise to the inmates of ADX Florence, the prison in question, and their lawyers who struggle fruitlessly to challenge in the US courts their continuing solitary confinement for 8, 10, or 16 years, that the prisoners’ grim isolation could be considered only ‘relative’ and its continuance as justiciable. It will be equally surprising to international lawyers, who may include the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, that the view of the European Court as to what constitutes isolation is apparently in conflict with their own.”

Secondly, it’s important to note that the European Court of Human Rights made that ruling based partially on the (mis)information provided to them by the Bureau of Prisons in the United States. In its submission to the Court, the BOP maintained that supermax prisons did not constitute extreme isolation on the basis that prisoners are able to shout to each other through ventilation systems – a claim which the Court readily accepted. The BOP also claimed that prisons are able to “step-down” within 3 years, even though there are many prisoners in ADX Florence who have been in solitary for over ten years.

If you doubt whether ADX Florence treats inmates humanely, read about the treatment of mentally ill patients on the inside. Two lawsuits were recently brought against the BOP for their failure to treat prisoners with mental illness, which in one case resulted in a suicide.

HA: As referred to in the statement, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan Mendez, wanted to intervene in the judgement to say it amounted to ill treatment. He hasn’t been allowed to visit the United States to examine the international scandal of its prison system, particularly “supermax” prisons such as ADX Florence. Amnesty International has also frequently campaigned against the use of long-term solitary confinement, for example they are staunch supporters of the Angola 3.

There was such extensive support for Bradley Manning when he faced 11 months in solitary – but what about people who face that for a lifetime?

A3N: What are the key arguments of your campaign against extradition?

HA: To start with, the extradition treaty was introduced in 2003, a few months after the Iraq war and at the height of the George Bush-Tony Blair partnership. It’s part of the authoritarian, excess legislation introduced by the new Labour administration. David Blanket, the Home Secretary who introduced the legislation, now regrets it. It removes the need to have prima facie evidence.

A simple way of exposing the dangers of the new removal of this evidence bar is the case of Lotfi Raissi, an airline pilot accused of training the 9/11 hijackers. After the United States requested his extradition, he was held in Belmarsh prison; after five months, a British court ruled that there was no credibility to the charges against him and ordered his release. He was eventually awarded over £2million in a government payout, and also won an undisclosed sum from the Mail on Sunday newspaper in a civil suit for printing false information about the charges he faced

The extradition treaty removes the most elementary civil rights such as habeas corpus, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, access to family, and protection from torture. And above all, the very first duty of government, which is to protect its own citizens.

It’s not just a Muslim issue, as we’ve learned from a number of high profile cases where the accused were white, such as Christopher Tappin, and the NatWest3 (who have been actively supporting our campaign, even though they’re from a more conservative establishment background). David Birmingham wrote an excellent book called “The Price to Pay,” outlining the cost of this legislation. The most ludicrous case is that of Richard O’Dwyer, a 23 year old student who ran TVShack, which isn’t even a crime in Britain. There are close family relationships between all the families affected by this legislation. In sum, a bad piece of legislation bites back at all British citizens.

Aside from reforming the legislation, there is also an immediate action point for these campaigns. Babar and Talha have never even been to the United States, so why should they be tried there? We want the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, to review the evidence against Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan in full – something he has never done. In November 2011, the Criminal Prosecution Service admitted they had never even seen the evidence seized from Babar’s home! The case of Regina v Sheppard & Whittle (2010) clearly established that a person should be tried in the jurisdiction in which a substantial measure of activity took place. So even according to case precedence, the most appropriate forum for Babar and Talha’s trial is in the UK, if there is indeed enough evidence to charge them.

We want a reform of the law to include a forum bar, meaning a judge rather than a prosecutor decides the best place that a trial should took place – similar to Ireland’s extradition treaties, and also an evidence bar – an incredibly important protection that was lost when the Extradition treaty was passed, as the case of Lotfi Raissi demonstrates. Even Lithuania has better protections for its own citizens in relation to extradition than Britain. In context, France doesn’t extradite its citizens at all. And within Holland, a foreign sentence is served on home ground.

A3N: What is it about being tried by the US criminal justice system that these six appellants before the European Court of Human Rights object to?

AS: In their appeal to the ECHR, Babar Ahmad & others argued that being extradited to the United States would violate the rights under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human rights, namely that “no one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”, based on the conditions they’d face once on the inside. For example, some terrorism suspects in the States have faced up to three years of solitary confinement even prior to their trial - for example Fahad Hashmi (hear about what he went through here). Fahad was also one of many people subject to “Special Administrative Measures,” which are special conditions imposed on people (both pre and post trial) if the Attorney General deems it necessary. John Walker Lindh (“the American Taliban”) for example, was barred from speaking Arabic.

But it’s not only the conditions on the inside that we object to. The criminal justice system is incredibly flawed, especially for people facing charges of terrorism. There’s an immense amount of pressure to plead guilty once you get to court – in fact over 98% of people plead guilty in federal cases. Also, as many people here are aware of, the criminal justice system doesn’t treat all people equally. It’s racist, pure and simple, as is utterly evident from the case of the Angola 3.

It’s not just against African Americans – it’s also incredibly racist against Muslims, especially those facing charges for terrorism. As I documented in a report published last year, Muslims face systemic due process improprieties in the American criminal justice system, from start to finish. Just think about how widespread Islamophobia is today, how purported terrorists are put on trial by the media even before they arrive in court, and then the kinds of attitudes towards Muslims held by the American public, who are Talha and Babar’s potential jurors. As a Muslim facing charges for terrorism, it’s impossible to get a fair trial today because you’ve essentially been found guilty before the trial even begins.

A3N: In the cases of both the Angola 3 and these six appellates, they are appealing to the international community about human rights abuses in US prisons. What other similarities do you see regarding these two cases?

HA: I met Robert King at one of his Amnesty International public events. He expressed strong solidarity and support for Talha and Babar, and gave my family’s campaign the last word. I asked him about what I could say to Talha as words of solace as he was about to face solitary. Robert talked about the strong grassroots campaign within America against extreme forms of solitary confinement. Robert signed a book in solidarity with Talha, that I will give to him when he’s freed. Talha has also shown a great deal of solidarity for the Angola 3. On the day of the Angola Three’s 40th anniversary, Talha had me express solidarity on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

AS: I think there are several similarities between the two cases. The first and most obvious similarity, of course, is the issue of solitary confinement. Both the lawsuit being brought by the Angola 3 in the federal courts in the States, and the arguments made by Babar and Talha in arguing against their extradition, say essentially the same thing: that being held in solitary confinement or supermax prisons is torture. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. It doesn’t matter what you’re accused of or who you are. No human should suffer through that.

But I think there’s another really important parallel between these two cases - the way in which racism and racial paranoia are used to sustain dominant power structures. Consider the case of the Angola 3. Robert King has commented many times that they were convicted – not for any crime they committed – but because they were Black Panthers. Why might a jury convict them on those grounds? Well, in 1968, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover described the Black Panthers as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”. How many of us would hear that now and think it was preposterous?

Today, when someone is accused of supporting terrorism – most of all a Muslim man –the details of the crime are insignificant. Just like we were socialized to fear Black men on the street, we’re taught to fear Muslim men on our planes. Certainly that aspect of racial fear is present. Men of color (whether Black or Brown) have been sites of fear, thought to embody some kind of evil. That fear is integral to justifying dominant white power structures, both at home and abroad.

A3N: The April 10 ruling by the European Court of Human Rights is now being appealed to the Grand Chamber of the Court and we are awaiting a decision about whether the appeal will be considered. In the meantime, how can our mostly-US-based readership best support the fight against extradition?

HA: We’re expecting to hear in September about whether or not the appeal will be considered by the Grand Chamber. In the meantime, it would be great if folks could write to Talha.

AS: The most important is to get involved with folks in the States campaigning against supermax prisons, solitary confinement and the prison industrial complex. Remember that Senate hearings about the legitimacy of solitary confinement happened just a few weeks ago. This is a crucial time for all of us to push back against the injustices happening on the inside. Please listen to some incredibly moving testimony here. Whether it’s with Amnesty, the Angola 3, theStopMax campaign, or other prisoner solidarity work…. Get involved!

A3N: In an interview conducted prior to the April ruling, SACC activist Richard Haley argued that “if the court blocks the men's extradition it will send a signal to the US that the harshness of the US penal system is damaging its international relations. On the other hand, a ruling in favor of extradition could open the door to harsher prison conditions in Europe.” If affirmed by the Grand Chamber, what do you think is the significance of the Court ruling for the US, UK, and Europe?

AS: Well, of course if it stands, the ruling will give greater legitimacy to the practice of solitary confinement and the conditions inside supermax prisons. The Court has essentially ruled that these conditions “aren’t that bad”.

But I think it’s also important to recognize the broader context, which is that the ruling will simply strengthen ongoing trends on both sides of the ocean – of increased criminalization, imprisonment and privatization. As I’m sure your readership is aware, the prison industrial complex has reached epic proportions in the United States – over 2 million people and counting are now held on the inside. But the same things are happening here in the UK. The prison population in England and Wales has hit a record high. After the uprisings (“riots”) of last summer, we saw kids being imprisoned for long periods of time for very petty theft, and the importation of policies from the US, including gang injunctions. With regards to privatization, G4S already operates several prisons in England and is bidding to run many more. We need only look at the wealth of evidence from the Olympic security debacle that privatization is a bad idea.

On the other hand, I think it’s important to recognize that the ruling has given us the impetus to generate new kinds of alliances. This case represents just how important it is for different communities to work together in challenging the prison system, especially in its most pernicious incarnations. The ruling draws new links of potential solidarity across the globe - from Pelican Bay Prison, to ADX Florence, to the Communication Management Units of Terre Haute and Marion, to Guantanamo Bay, to Bagram, to HMP Long Lartin, where Talha and Babar are held.

HA: A lot of the British right wing media failed to grasp that the ruling was about prison conditions and used a lot of racist, Islamophobic language referring to Talha and Babar as “unwanted guests” and “Muslim fanatics”, despite not having been found guilty of anything. This was a very terrifying and painful time for the family. I didn’t sleep or eat properly for many days.

A3N: What is the ruling’s significance for the communities targeted by the so-called “war on terror,” led by the US?

AS: I think that for Muslims in the US and the UK, this ruling just legitimizes the human and civil rights abuses they already experience - surveillance in their homes, mosques, and schools, entrapment from undercover agents, harassment by cops and border police, even criminal convictions for activities that should be protected – like bookselling! It’s to the point where Muslims’ very religious and political beliefs are being criminalized.

HA: The 2003 US-UK extradition treaty effectively gives a dangerous level of extraterritorial jurisdiction to the United States. If the websites in question did have a US server, it shows that most of us living outside the US can go home, check out emails (Google, Hotmail, Facebook, Twitter) and be on a US server. Most .com, or .net addresses work the same way. Effectively most emails in the world pass through a US server. So people are no longer being picked up on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but from their bedrooms and family homes, in our case, in South London. This is a frightening precedent for all of us. In Richard O’Dwyer’s case, the charges don’t even have to constitute a crime under British law. Entrapment and sting jobs which form part of Christopher Tappin and Nosratollah Tajik’s cases, are illegal and unacceptable under British law.

AS: Consider this: just before the ECHR released its decision, John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, said that a ECHR veto against extradition would call “into question the ability of Europe as a whole to be an effective partner in the war against terrorism.” Given the amount of pressure the US can exert on the rest of the world, are we really that surprised that the Court ruled the way it did?

The US has expanded its drone strikes into Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It’s passed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which essentially allows the US to detain anyone, anywhere, if the US alleges that they have links to Al Qaeda or associated organizations. This is just more evidence of the US government and military’s broad reach, justified in the name of the War on Terror.

A3N: Anything else to add?

HA and AS: There is an event in London on Saturday, September 8, entitled “Extradite Me I’m British.” It’s an evening of film, prison poetry, talks, drama, comedy, talks, nasheeds around the notorious 2003 US-UK extradition treaty currently affecting British citizens Talha Ahsan, Babar Ahmad, Richard O’Dwyer and Gary Mckinnon.

Hamja tweets on @hamjaahsan and @freetalha
Aviva tweets on @stahlidarity

Learn more about Talha and Babar’s case! Write to them! Stay up to date with the best way to support them.

Talha Ahsan’s support site: http://freetalha.org/
Babar Ahmad’s support site: http://www.freebabarahmad.com/

--Angola 3 News is an official project of the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Our website is www.angola3news.com, where we provide the latest news about the Angola 3. Additionally we are also creating our own media projects, which spotlight the issues central to the story of the Angola 3, like racism, repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture, and more. Our articles and videos have been published by Alternet, Truthout, Black Commentator, SF Bay View Newspaper, Counterpunch, Monthly Review, Z Magazine, Indymedia, and many others.


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