2012-06-18 "Urgent - Food Not Bombs volunteers and their friends need your support"
Please consider helping our Food Not Bombs volunteers framed by
the FBI just before the Occupy May Day events. The FBI targeted our
volunteers and their friends almost as soon as they set up the kitchen
at Occupy Cleveland. Brandon Baxter and Connor Stevens are just the most
recent Food Not Bombs activist to be framed. You may remember that I
was framed in 1994 accused of violent crimes in 1994 and faced 25 years
to life in prison. I am free today because of the support of people like
yourselves. Since I was framed we have witnessed attempts to accuse
Conner Cash, Josh Connole, and many other volunteers on false charges of
Food Not Bombs needs your help again. Please review the
press statement issued by our volunteers in Cleveland. Today we need to
raise funds to retain an attorney for their defense. We will be asking
you to join our campaign in other ways as well as soon as we have
secured legal support.
Thanks so much for your consideration.
co-founder of the food Not Bombs movement
2012-06-18 "Urgent Request -- Help Hire a legal team for the Cleveland 5!"
CONTACT: Hubert Cumberdale for The Cleveland 5 Justice Support Network [email@example.com] [cleveland5justice.org]
We are friends and family members of the "Cleveland 5," the five young
men from Cleveland who stand accused of trying to demolish a bridge, two
of whom (Brandon Baxter and Connor Stevens) were regularly active with
Cleveland Food Not Bombs. For this reason and because there seems to
exist a pattern of the FBI targeting Food Not Bombs activists, we would
request support from other Food Not Bombs groups, their friends,
families, and other supporters. We are working to support these young
activists, in whatever ways they need. Thus far, what stands out as
the most pivotal thing is that the boys need a good lawyer, who cares
about the case, has relevant experience and is willing to go the extra
mile. As it stands, they're all being represented by public defenders,
with varying degrees of interest in the case. We have been in
communication with a local attorney with an inspiring record of civil
rights work, but to hire him, we need to raise $20,000 immediately.
We're not going to lie -- this is a desperate situation. The trial date
is set for this September, only three months from now. This time frame
will make building the case (reviewing evidence, making investigations,
filing motions) incredibly challenging. Every day that we're not able
to hire a lawyer is a day closer to that deadline. Our friends are being
tried for charges that hold a maximum sentence of several lifetimes.
The government is making a case in the media that these are dangerous
anarchists, a word they equate with terrorism. However, many
journalists have questioned the nature of the government's
investigation, suggesting that the FBI might be instigating actions,
which they rope people into, rather than "catching people in the act."
We want to see our friends and family members go free, and believe that
it is criminal for the the government to take them away from us, to use
them as tools in their political theater. A link to donations can be
found through the website: cleveland5justice.org and
www.wepay.com/donations/cleveland-5-justice-legal-fund Thank you so
much. A couple of these kids really believe they have a chance, and are
so brave and resilient right now. They are staying positive and
embracing their roles in this trial. it's truly an inspiration. The
legal support group consists of people who hardly know what we are
doing, doing it because we know we must. Parents and friends and
activists. We desperately need help from the national community.
Thanks for your consideration,
The Cleveland 5 Justice Support Network
2012-06-18 "Update on the Cleveland 5"
After almost two months of imprisonment, repression and an intense
campaign of media demonization, the Cleveland five remain strong and
solid in their refusal to cooperate with the FBI. Two of the five -
Brandon Baxter and Connor Stevens - were regularly active with Cleveland
Food Not Bombs and have fallen victim to the pattern of FBI targeting
that many other Food Not Bombs activists have experienced.
remain in desperate need of our support. They are getting very little
contact from the outside world and four of the five defendants are
being re represented by public defenders. Although right now these
four say they are happy with their lawyers, they also have no access
to the funds necessary to offer them the legal options they so
desperately need right now. We all know that “justice” basically means
how much money you have.
Their support crew has been working
hard to hustle the funds necessary to hire a lawyer for Connor, the
defendant who was most unhappy with his legal representation. The
lawyer, who is taking on the case at a reduced cost, also plans to
hire an investigative team to work on the case. As of now, initial
legal costs exceed $30,000 and are expected to be much more than that.
Even though these costs are huge and may seem insurmountable, the
future of the five is riding on the efforts of small autonomous groups
of people contributing to the struggle for their freedom. There will
be no knights in shining armor in this case, just us and the support
we are able to muster.
We all know the risks of not supporting
fringe anarchists in moments of intense repression—when people feel
alone they are more likely to snitch or to look to reactionary belief
systems for solace. While they are remaining uncooperative with the
government at this point, the future is very uncertain if they do not
get more support than they are getting.
Please see the legal
update and the individual updates below and take a minute to send a
book or a zine or to drop a line on these comrades.
The five are being charged with “Use or Attempted Use of Explosive Materials” and “Conspiracy.”
have been incarcerated since May 1st and four of them are being held in
a private prison in Youngstown, Ohio. The fifth, Doug Wright, is being
held at the county jail in Trumbull County in Warren, Ohio.
June 15th, a “motion for detention” was signed by the judge in the case,
preventing supporters from bonding them out before trial.
judge in their case seems to be tough and unsympathetic and is refusing
requests for continuance by the lawyers. Although they have not had
nearly enough time to prepare an adequate defense, the judge continues
to insist that the trial will begin in early September. Although it is
extremely unlikely to happen, it demonstrates the added pressure the
five and their lawyers are under.
As of now, Connor, Brandon,
Anthony and Josh are being held at a private prison in Youngstown, Ohio
called the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center [http://www.NOCC.com/facility/northeast-ohio-correctional-center/],
run by the Corrections Corporation of America. Doug is currently being
held the Trumbull County Jail
[http://www.co.trumbull.oh.us/tc_sheriff.html] in Warren, Ohio.
four being held at NOCC are in solitary confinement (23 hours of lock
down a day with one hour of “recreation” in a small outdoor cage), can
make phone calls only once every fifteen days and are permitted one
legal call per day. Despite these rules, no one has been consistently
able to make calls as their requests are repeatedly ignored. They are
allowed two visits per week, but they are only twenty minutes long and
visitors have to check in by 7am.
is incarcerated at NOCC where he is cell mates with his co-defendant
Tony. Because the two are together, they seem to be doing well
emotionally. He is in need of a decent legal dictionary, any criminal
defense books, and would like to be sent news articles that are being
printed about the five. He’s spending time documenting the case and
doing legal research as much as possible given the restrictions. He
really wants letters and visitors.
Tony is doing well
emotionally and wants letters and visits. He is cellmates with Brandon
at NOCC. He is working hard doing research to prepare for his case and
has really offered a lot of emotional support to Brandon and Connor,
helping them stay strong.
Josh’s situation is potentially the
most urgent. He is having a very hard time mentally and emotionally and
is getting very little support or outside contact. He is also, for
unknown reasons, not allowed to have any contact whatsoever with the
other three comrades at NOCC. He has a history of mental health issues
that have already been made public in the case, and which are not be
effectively addressed by his captors. He is not getting adequate
nutrition, is losing weight and feels constantly hungry. He usually does
not take the hour of rec. available to him because he is too physically
weak. He is in urgent need of support and letters.
Connor is in
high spirits and is looking forward to working with the new lawyer. He
continues to be frustrated with the limitations of visitation and phone
use and, sometime in June, went on hunger strike to protest these
conditions. He is clear in his commitment to not cooperating with the
government. He is also incarcerated at NOCC where he can sometimes have
contact with Brandon and Tony.
Doug is being held at Trumbull
County Jail in Warren, Ohio where his lawyer requested he be transferred
in hopes of improving his conditions. Like Josh, he is totally
disconnected from any contact with his co-defendants and feels very
isolated. His lawyer has been urging him to take a plea, but so far he’s
remaining strong. He’s getting very little support or outside contact
and has no support from his family. He is usually out of touch because
of the conditions of his incarceration and lack of support and
usually has no idea what’s going on about the case, when court dates
are, etc. He is also suffering from lack of sufficient food and is
also dealing with harassment from guards.
Please write to them at:
Last Name, First Name
ID #, NEOCC
2240 Hubbard Rd
Youngstown, OH 44505
Here are their ID numbers:
Stevens, Connor # 57978060
Baxter, Brandon #57972060
Hayne, Anthony #57975060f
Stafford, Joshua #57976060
You can write to Doug at:
Douglas L. Wright**
150 High Street
Warren, OH 44481
*Letters must be in pre-stamped envelopes from the Post Office. No
glitter/sparkles/confetti/stickers/etc. Plain lined or unlined paper is
acceptable. Photos are okay.
**Please be sure to include Doug's
middle initial, L., when addressing letters to him as there are two
Douglas Wrights at Trumbull County Jail in Warren.
A note on
security: As we know, all our letters to these comrades will be read,
photocopied, and maybe even mailed to the FBI field office in our
city. Therefore, we should be aware of what we write, the address we
write from, and the name we use. Please, do not mention the facts of
the case, anything at all illegal, or anything you do not want the FBI
to know. Please write to them simply to show them they are not
alone, and that you are thinking about them. Send them an article you
think they might like, or a poem, picture, drawing, etc. We should
know the risks, but not let them deter us from supporting our friends.
Donations to Legal Fund:
If you would like to make donations via check or money order, please make the check out to Conveyor Belt Collective, who is handling donations.
Send checks to:
Cleveland 5 Justice
P.O. Box 602117
Cleveland, OH 44102
Please separate any donations over $3000 into multiple contributions.
Your identity will be kept confidential unless you would prefer otherwise.
Thanks so much, your help is greatly appreciated!
For more info and updates about their case, check out their support group’s site at [cleveland5justice.org]
To read the affidavit in the case check out [http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/05/01-4]