prison

Yes to Grandmas, No to Drones

From the Syracuse Peace Council: Drone Resister Sentenced to One Year in Prison Base’s Order of Protection Begs Judgement:

On July 10, grandmother of three, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to one year in prison for being found guilty of violating an order of protection. A packed courtroom of over 100 supporters was stunned as she was led away, and vowed to continue the resistance.

These orders of protection, typically used in domestic violence situations or to protect a victim or witness to a crime, have been issued to people participating in nonviolent resistance actions at Hancock Air Base since late 2012. The base, near Syracuse NY, pilots unmanned Reaper drones over Afghanistan, and trains drone pilots, sensor operators and maintenance technicians. The orders had been issued to “protect” Colonel Earl Evans, Hancock’s mission support commander, who wanted to keep protesters “out of his driveway.”

Mary Anne began her sentencing statement with, “Your honor, a series of judicial perversions brings me here before you tonight.” She concluded that the “final perversion is the reversal of who is the real victim here: the commander of a military base whose drones kill innocent people halfway around the world, or those innocent people themselves who are the real ones in need of protection from the terror of US drone attacks?”

The orders of protection are being challenged on many legal grounds.

Mary Anne had been issued a temporary order in 2012. The next year, she photographed a nonviolent witness at the base, not participating herself because she did not want to violate the order. The irony is that those who actually participated in the action were acquitted, while Mary Anne was charged with violating the order.

Even though the pre-sentencing report recommended no jail time, Judge Gideon sentenced Mary Anne to the maximum of a year in prison. As he imposed his sentence, the judge referred to his previous Hancock decision. He had stated then and insinuated now, “This has got to stop.”

In addition, Mary Anne was fined $1000 plus a $205 court surcharge and a $50 fee to have her DNA collected.

Her verdict is being appealed.

How you can help

  1. Send letters of support to Mary Anne Grady Flores c/o Onodaga County Department of Correction, PO Box 143, Jamesville, NY 13078.
  2. Mary Anne’s lawyer is appealing this case and financial support would be gladly accepted. Make checks out to Ithaca Catholic Worker (with Mary Anne’s name in the memo) and send them to 133 Sheffield Road, Ithaca, New York 14850.
  3. Help spread this Democracy Now link around: Grandmother Sentenced to 1 Year in Prison After Protest at U.S. Drone Base — and ask your local media to cover this situation. Write something yourself if you can.

These suggestions are amended from a Facebook post by Ellen Grady. She can be reached at demottgrady6 at gmail dot com for more information on upcoming trials and related support efforts.

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Occupy activist assaulted by police, being charged with assaulting the police

Oh this is just too much. Really, NYPD?

Today – Thurs. February 13 – Jury Selection
Part 31, Room 1333 @ 100 Centre St., Manhattan

Tentative trial schedule:
Friday, February 14th – Opening Arguments & Prosecution case
Wednesday, February 19th – Defense begins
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Stop the Jail Expansion!

stop the jail expansion

STOP BUILDING NEW CAGES, WE WANT SCHOOL AND LIVING WAGES

Prison Abolition Workshop

Thursday 2/13 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
GIAC, 301. W. Court Street (Downtown Ithaca)

The move to close prisons in New York has come alongside the push to expand county jails across the state. Within this statewide shift, Tompkins has been one of few counties actively resisting their local jail expansion.

In our attempt to understand what exactly is going on in our state, we will work with Jack Norton, a geographer who studies prison closures in Upstate New York. Learning about the history and geography of mass incarceration in New York will help us better understand our current struggle. Join us in work-shopping abolitionist organizing in Ithaca as we brainstorm messaging for our campaign to stop the Tompkins County Jail expansion, effective tactics, and next steps.

RSVP on Facebook

“The Rhetoric of Criminality: Mass Incarceration and the Marginalization of People of Color

Students for Justice in Palestine, Cornell Black Student’s United, and Movemiento Estudiantil Chicano/Chicana Aztlan present:

The Rhetoric of Criminality: Mass Incarceration and the Marginalization of People of Color.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
6:00-8:00 pm
Uris Hall G01
Free and open to the public
Sponsored by the GPSAFC

As of 2013, there are approximately 2 million prisoners in the US today, constituting nearly a quarter of the worldwide prison population. Of these 2 million, a disconcerting proportion of inmates are minorities and persons of color. Why is it that one in three African American men in their twenties are incarcerated on any given day? How has the war on terror affected Arab and Muslim communities in the US? Have the new immigration laws led to an upswing in incarcerated immigrants? This student-run teach-in will not only address all these questions, but will also explore how the US government, private corporations and the justice system perpetuate and benefit from the mass incarceration of people of color.

RSVP on Facebook.

People, not Profits (or Prisons)

Do you agree that Tompkins County should invest in schools, social services, infrastructure, and other things that help people, instead of in locking people up in prisons? Then please make your voice heard! Sign this petition asking the 2014 Tompkins County Legislators to pass a resolution agreeing to a 1-year moratorium on Tompkins-County jail expansion decision-making. Please pass this on. Thank you!