Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Olympia 6 (Oregon, 2009)

"Anarchist and SDSer Forest Student Serving 60 Days in Jail"
2009-03-07 by Badr [http://news.infoshop.org/article.php?story=20090307045540342]:
Anarchist, SDSer and community organizer Forest Student is currently spending 60 days in jail for crimes he did not commit on May Day 2008 in Olympia, WA.
Forest was rounded up along with five other anarchists on May Day in Olympia in 2008 during a march for a project initiated by SDS, MEChA, IVAW and the IWW to make Olympia a sanctuary city for both undocumented workers and war resisters.
Some participants of the march targeted US Bank and Bank of America during the march and the police came en force, arresting six anarchists, and brutalizing many others at the march.
During the trial, Forest took an Alfred plea bargain (saying he didn't commit the crime he was charged with but pleading guilty because there is a chance he would lose in court and he couldn't take that chance), pleading a felony and a gross misdemeanor down to two gross misdemeanors. Forest's plea did not implicate anyone else.
The court said that Forest ran alongside someone who stole a cop’s cell phone and then tried to trade clothes. Forest denies this. Forest maintains that he was running away from a cop who had pointed a gun at him.
At the sentencing Forest told the judge that he was a stable person, married and has a lease on a house. He talked about the work he does in his community, including but not limited to sexual assault prevention.
Forest’s lawyer asked the judge not to sentence Forest harder because he was protesting when the arrest happened and asked that the judge not silence and sentence political dissent. Which is what the judge did.
For two gross misdemeanors Forest Student was sentenced to 60 days in jail.
Forest was arrested for political reasons, charged for political reasons, convicted for political reasons, and sentenced for political reasons. This sentencing arises from a broader pattern of targeting and prosecuting anarchists in Olympia by the city and Thurston County.
Anarchist and SDSer Shyam Khanna also fell victim this fall during a trial where he was charged with two misdemeanors relating to the Port of Olympia demonstrations in 2007. The police lied to the jury to get him convicted and he too has to serve time.
Wally Cuddeford, another local anarchist was charged last month for felony inciting riot because he was standing on a sidewalk holding a bag filled with anti-police/police brutality signs.
Professional fighter and Wobbly Jeff Monson is another Olympia anarchist who had his passport taken from him by the court briefly because he was deemed a flight risk for “being an anarchist”.
Forest is an active community member, organizer, activist and revolutionary in Olympia. He works in support of anti-imperialist struggles and Iraqi self-determination, sexual assault prevention/destroying rape culture, prison abolition and political prisoner support, port militarization resistance, organizes against police and police violence, is an active member of the Northwest queer and trans community and is active in SDS.
Forest is also a trained street medic, a lover, a friend, a housemate, kind to children and animals, a great cook, a good neighbor and an all around good person to be around.
Forest has court fees (totaling $700) to cover and rent while he is in jail. If you can at all support monetarily it would be greatly appreciated.
If you cannot, your kind words and thoughts will be cherished just as much.
Support your community!

For questions or contributions please contact [FreeForestFund@yahoo.com]
If you would like to write Forest (and please do) you can write him at
FOREST A STUDENT c/o Lewis County Corrections 23 SW Chehalis AVE Chehalis WA 98532

He was originally serving his two months time in Thurston County Jail but was recently moved.
There’s always a possibility that he will be moved again.
He can also receive books in the mail but they must be sent by either a publisher or bookstore.
The books must be paperback.

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