Indigenous Man In Arizona Imprisoned For Social Media satire.

Enough 14

Page, Arizona – Loren Reed, a 26-year-old Diné (Navajo) man, is set for trial on May 4, 2021 for a trumped-up federal charge of “Threats to Damage and Destroy a Building by Means of Fire” after he engaged in a heated debate over Black Lives Matter protest tactics[1] in a private Facebook chat group created to organize a local police brutality protest. Reed has been held in federal pretrial detention without bail for ten months after a prior high school acquaintance reported him to the police for a different satirical social media post about planning a protest or ‘riot’ at the courthouse that never actually happened. An undercover FBI agent then infiltrated the private chat group, and monitored numerous messages exchanged by Reed and his friends. After this intrusive monitoring of speech, and lacking any real evidence, Reed was quickly and violently arrested in his neighborhood on June, 2, 2020. Nothing incriminating was found during or after the arrest, despite officers thoroughly searching Reed’s home and even his housemates.

“This federal charge is unconstitutional because there was never a legally-justified ‘true threat’ contained in the posts that would remove the broad protections of the First Amendment that apply even to vitriolic or offensive speech,[2]” said CLDC Executive Director Lauren Regan, one of the attorneys assisting Loren Reed on the case. “The supposed “threat” was never communicated to any target or victim, there was no intent to act or any evidence of an intent to act, and there is no lawful basis to federally prosecute someone for speech only – much less an Indigenous organizer confronting racism in a very conservative region of Arizona.”

“Prosecuting someone in these circumstances takes us down the slippery slope of what is protected speech versus what is a ‘true threat’ justifying criminal prosecution. We must hold strong to the outer limits of the First Amendment or we all lose the right to freely speak our minds. Today the criminalized speech may pertain to Black Lives Matter protests, but tomorrow it could be religion, science, or other political beliefs.” Regan said.

Over the course of the next ten months, Reed was held without formal charge for a month in the Coconino County Jail, where he contracted COVID-19 and where his close friend had died the year before after being denied medical care.[3] He was later transferred to a private for-profit  federal detention center in Florence, Arizona, a polluted copper mining town turned prison industrial complex hub. Reed was not indicted with a crime until late September. His trial has now been delayed three times and is currently set for May 4, 2021.

The U.S. Attorney’s office blames the pandemic for the following nine months of additional detention in which Reed was denied a speedy trial –  or even bail –  and in which it filed three separate motions to ‘extend’ his case. However, that has not stopped the government from attempting to bury this miscarriage of justice by informally suggesting an oppressive plea agreement that would result in a felony conviction, and likely probationary sentence.

“For an Indigenous person who faces the reality of institutional racism in his daily life, being threatened with a conviction for a crime he did not commit is a precarious, life-devastating burden,” stated Klee Benally, a longtime Diné (Navajo) sacred lands advocate and organizer from Flagstaff, Arizona. “It is courageous of Loren to refuse to accept this atrocious deal. While it could free him from custody immediately, it would endanger organizers and activists in the future by further criminalizing speech. Loren is taking a powerful stand, and we need to stand right there with him.”

Reed, a rapper who is known as a sensitive yet enthusiastic jokester, adamantly denies that there was any threat implied in his posts. Anyone reading them[4] with an open mind would agree. And yet, the State wants to saddle a young Indigenous man with a felony conviction that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

“This is yet another attempt to control the speech and tone of a person of color amidst a year of heartbreaking – and increasingly fatal – racially-motivated police violence. Appallingly, in this situation the State has chosen to exploit a snitch’s biased complaint to police[5] in order to further perpetuate this cycle of violence,” said Regan.

“We are calling on the federal prosecutor to immediately dismiss the charge in the interests of justice. Mr. Reed has already served over 10 months in pretrial detention for speech that did not actually threaten anyone,” she added.

“As Indigenous justice advocates, we stand with Loren Reed. The criminalization of Loren — and his right to free speech — is an ongoing violation of Indigenous rights and overall justice,” said Morning Star Gali of the Pit River Tribe, a lifelong Indigenous rights advocate with Restoring Justice for Indigenous Peoples who is currently based out of Sacramento, California.

“We also need to talk about the racism at play here,” said CLDC Attorney Sarah Alvarez. “Already, the feds are declining to prosecute, electing to charge petty misdemeanors, and/or negotiating lenient plea deals[6] for the white supremacists that assaulted the U.S. Capitol on January 6. They have also entirely turned a blind eye toward the hundreds of far-right individuals who threatened politicians and police via social media. Meanwhile, an Indigenous man has been sitting in jail without due process for 10 months – all over a tongue-in-cheek social media post where no violence or property damage ever occurred nor was ever intended to occur. It’s difficult to prove this in court, but Mr. Reed’s case is a textbook example of race-based disparate treatment, and it needs to end with an immediate dismissal of the charge against him.”

Reed is scheduled for a jury trial starting May 4 but there’s still time for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice to do the right thing and immediately drop the charge to let him return to his life.

Notes

[1] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss Due to Likely Presentation of Inaccurate, Incomplete or Misleading Information to Grand Jury at 4, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021).

[2] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss for Inadequate Indictment at 6, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021)

[3] “Jail footage shows Kyle Martinson yell for help before death,” Arizona Daily Sun, June 17, 2019. https://azdailysun.com/news/jail-footage-shows-kyle-martinson-yell-for-help-before-death/article_ea48524d-8991-50cd-91a9-8f67ae8ec3c8.html

[4] “Indigenous man faces 10 years for Facebook comments,” Al Jazeera, January 19, 2021. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/19/holdindigenous-man-faces-10-years-for-facebook-comments-during-b

[5] Defendant Mot. to Dismiss for Selective Enforcement & Selective Prosecution; Mot. for Discovery at 5, US v. Reed, No. CR-20-09098-PCT-SPL (ESW) (Dist. Ct. 9d Cir. Ct. Phoenix Div., Arizona. April 2, 2021)

[6] “Many Capitol rioters unlikely to serve jail time,” Politico. March 30, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/30/jan-6-capitol-riot-jail-time-478440

Protests Break Out Across US Over Police Shooting of Daunte Wright

Abolition Media Worldwide

The Minnesota police murder of Daunte Wright reignited impassioned protests across many US cities Monday night — with a riot in Portland, Oregon, as hundreds attacked cops.

A second night of demonstrations boiled in Brooklyn Park, where the murder occured, while protesters gathered in other cities in a show of unity. Researchers were able to locate and publicly post the address of the pig who murdered Daunte, driving her from her home.

“Burn the precincts to the ground, in every city and every town!” chanted marchers in Portland. Demonstrations happened in Los Angeles, California, while areas of Seattle, Washington, were covered in anti-cop graffiti as protesters repeatedly blocked main roads.

Protesters streamed through a Washington, DC, subway station, jumping over turnstiles, as hundreds gathered at the capital. In New York, marchers shut down a portion of the Manhattan Bridge on Monday night.

The strongest actions took place in Portland, Oregon, as revolutionaries tried to storm the Penumbra Kelly Building, which houses offices for multiple law enforcement agencies, including Portland police and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. People threw glass bottles, frozen water bottles, rocks, ball bearings and shot fireworks at the police and the building.

Elsewhere in the city, a group cut through a chain-link fence to access a parking lot at the historic building that houses Portland Police Bureau traffic offices at the same time as the riot was happening. They succeeded in smashing windows and slashing tires of several police vehicles.

Second Uprising in Two Months at St. Louis Jail

Abolition Media Worldwide

Prison rebels broke windows, set a fire and threw chairs and other items out of a third-floor window during the second significant uprising in two months at a downtown St. Louis jail.

Third-floor windows were destroyed; black charring from the fires lined the areas around the building.

During the uprising, up to 75 comrades on the ground shouted support for the prison rebels. The same jail was the site of a similar uprising on Feb. 6. Two smaller skirmishes also have occurred since December.

The latest uprising began just before 9 p.m. Sunday, and soon, prison rebels were breaking windows and tossing items to the ground below.

Then around 11 p.m., prison rebels broke windows on the other side of the jail and began throwing objects again.

Some imprisoned people were heard yelling demands for court dates. Proceedings have been delayed, supposedly due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, prison pigs regularly break COVID-19 protocols inside the jail, spreading the virus to imprisoned people, who already deal with poor conditions inside the jail. The same concerns were at the heart of the February uprising, which involved more than 100 prison rebels and sent a prison pig to the hospital.

In the face of the barbarity of the white supremacist prison enslavement system, these imprisoned comrades are courageously fighting back against oppression in St. Louis.

Announcing: The Northeastern Young Anarchists Network (NYAN)

Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS)

by Eric Fleischmann

It is with great excitement that I announce the formation of the Northeastern Young Anarchists Network. Formed by libertarian socialist members of several broadly leftist student activism groups on college campuses in the American northeast, NYAN (yes, like that nyan) seeks to be a lateral connecting point between anti-authoritarian leftists to discuss the finer points of anarchist theory and debate without the feeling that we must necessarily band together homogeneously to debate or counter authoritarian leftist views within activism groups. We represent a broad range of ideologies ranging from anarcho-communism to communalism to left-libertarianism to what Nathan Schneider identifies as “anarcho-curiosity” and beyond.

We are beginning as a reading/discussion group—starting with Emma Goldman’s “A New Declaration of Independence” and then, in our second meeting, a combination of Roger White’s “Post Colonial Anarchism” and a section of Twin Rabbit’s video “Stolen Anarchy”—but hope this will also become a communal space in which to share our various ideas and projects, enjoy ourselves, as well possibly transition into an action-oriented network at some point. If you are a young—define that as you will—anarchist based in the northeast as your permanent base of operations, here for school, originally from here, or even just have connections—strong or loose—to the region, consider joining our network by filling out the form HERE.

Corona comment number six, from the South of England: Gulag archipelago, by Mal Content.

Since my last comment the bourgeois state has ratchet-tightened its grip on all aspects of life, with the apparent acquiescence of a large section of the British population – Leaving out the six counties, who seem most preoccupied with not being able to buy vegetables. The demagogues of the devolved administrations* crazed with a little power, vie with each other to boss their subjects about.

* Scots nationalists have blown their best chance of independence in a century with all guns pointed at their own feet, I wonder if MI5 had a hand in that.

As I have observed elsewhere, ‘Lockdown’ is a measure taken by prison governors to facilitate searching of inmates for contraband, apprehending a fugitive or putting down disorder. Doors are all locked forcing each prisoner to remain wherever they find themself. It is predicated on the idea that prisoners have no agency, they do not ‘own’ their flesh, their time or their productive and creative abilities. Incarceration in the United States is an extension of chattel slavery as permitted by the thirteenth amendment; in Britain it originates from the custom of holding a person hostage pending payment of a debt. Other cultures find their own justifications. The first use of this term in respect of the corona virus epidemic was in the People’s Republic of China, which is of course nothing but a giant gulag. It will be deeply offensive to many of our Class who have suffered such abuse.

The latest regulations blatantly reserve overseas travel for the rich, and whilst it will amuse us to watch entitled posh people treated like common prisoners there is a serious point. Jewish workers, whose recent ancestors fled Nazi Germany and other European pogroms find it disturbing to need “permission” to leave the country. We have refugees from the former Soviet bloc and other totalitarian regimes. They know what it means to have papers out of order.

The middle class, the stodgy, flabby rump of totalitarianism, continues to twitch its curtains on full pay, brags about attending ‘zoom meetings’ from the bath or not getting out of bed at all. They quibble about how many times they are “allowed” to walk the dog or whether to have their mum over for lunch. Whilst they sit around their computers knocking themselves off like safari-park chimps, the Working Class must run the gauntlet of crowded workplaces, dodgy PPE and weirdoes who thing it’s clever to gob in their faces.

Gulag:
Acronym of Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-Trudovykh Lagerey.
Russian: “Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps”

People are afraid, for sure, not just of the virus but of starvation and homelessness, of their kids condemned to the scrapheap, their parents dying alone. Rumours abound, of the cops using number plate recognition to clock how far a vehicle has travelled from its registered address. There are despicable class traitors who will grass on their neighbours. Although there is no stop and search power that requires anyone to answer questions*, we hear of people being threatened with arrest for refusing to identify themselves. Call their bluff I say, you waste my time I’ll waste yours.

* Unless you’re driving, then it’s name and address only.

Bosses are taking advantage of the ‘furlough’* to shed workers with protected characteristics, and the super-rich, as always, are making money hand over fist. The sums may seem abstract, but the only value of wealth is the expectation that someone, somewhere will labour to acquire it. This is achieved by limiting access to the product of our own labour. As Heywood put it: “if a man has a dollar he didn’t work for, someone else worked for a dollar he didn’t get”.

* Another prison term. ‘Furlough’ is temporary release. As most prisoners in the U.S. are no threat to anybody but themselves, should they become logistically inconvenient, or if there is no work for them to do, they can be put out to save the state the expense of feeding and housing them.

For years we were offered a false dichotomy between state control and free market – either way is unregulated aggregation of economic power. Somehow the state has been rehabilitated without ever lifting a finger on our behalf, and to contradict its nonsense is to be aligned with cranks with their own set of authoritarian delusions.

Now having had the ‘rona twice I don’t consider it a hoax, it was like sleeping sickness with a loss of mental focus and bodily appetites. The cough only set in after a week but it never quite went away. It tends to magnify symptoms you live with normally, in my case headache, joint pain and irregular digestion. But everybody’s different, some test positive with no symptoms at all, some clearly have it but test negative or inconclusive.

We hear a lot these days about “imagining new futures” but no-one has any answers beyond more of the same, with a bit of technological wizardry thrown in. You cannot “unite” a society built on domination and abuse that refines its exploitative mechanics with every crisis it visits on our Class. The idea that there is an alternative to the status quo that is still military-industrial capitalism is irredeemably stupid. It wasn’t too much of a surprise that fucking idiot Hancock is influenced by Hollywood films, he could have just read his government’s own report on preparing for a pandemic, published in 2016, if he were serious about becoming health secretary. Are we really going to let wankers like that get the better of us?

You cannot compromise with the ruling class because they won’t compromise with you. They will maintain their privilege at all costs – and it costs them nothing. Black people, and other disadvantaged groups will need to take matters into their own hands because the liberals and the reformists can do nothing for them. They will need to fight their oppressors with the same ferocity with which oppression was imposed on them. Compliance will eventually cost more of our lives than any pandemic. The proper response to the Colston situation was for a hundred thousand Bristolians to turn out on the streets and tell the ruling class we will not allow it to try these comrades, precipitate a real insurrection, there’s never been a better time.

There are no broad sunlit uplands on offer, only a brutal, vicious war with the prospect of the means of production finally under control of the producing Class – it’s got to be worth a fight, stuff your prison logic, let’s put our heads together and have a serious discussion about how to fuck shit up.

Red and Black Telly roundup.









Red and Black Telly roundup.





Red and Black Telly roundup.






“The Rank and File Strategy”: A Syndicalist View. By Tom Wetzel

Black Rose Anarchist Federation – Federación Anarquista Rosa Negra

Veteran activist and writer Tom Wetzel enters the wide ranging debate on the left around the “rank and file strategy” orientation to the labor movement. This piece is based on material is his forthcoming book from AK Press, Overcoming Capitalism.

Kim Moody’s writings on “the Rank and File Strategy” have gained a broad hearing within a variety of socialist groups, such as Democratic Socialists of America and smaller socialist groupings. His original pamphlet from 2000 talks about the strategy in terms of both rebuilding socialist influence in the labor movement and as a way to build a more worker-based socialist movement in the USA.

Recently Moody encapsulates the point to building rank-and-file worker organizations in the context of the unions this way:

“Building rank and file power to fight for the independence of unions from capitalist influence, in part transmitted by the bureaucracy, is an important task in building a class-conscious workers’ movement—something without which socialism remains only a set of ideas.”

Why is worker control of the union organization important? Here I think it is important to look at the process of class formation — the more or less protracted process through which

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Four from Mal Content.

Chapters 22 – 25 of The Authority of the Boot-Maker

(C.W. racism, torture, sexual violence)

The fear of violence.

The state is prison.

The Iva Valley Colliers.

Britain’s Gulags.