portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article oregon & cascadia

animal rights | political theory | prisons & prisoners

Bio of anarchist prisoner, Jeff "Free" Luers

The following is a biography of Jeff "Free" Luers. On June 11th, 2002 Free will have spent one year in the Oregon State Prison system (although he spent almost a year in Lane County jail awaiting trial).

For more information, see the below website or contact the address listed below.
Bio of anarchist prisoner, Jeff "Free" Luers
Bio of anarchist prisoner, Jeff "Free" Luers
My name is Jeffrey Luers. Most of my friends call me "Free". I have been active since 1996 fighting for a range of issues such as animal rights, gender equality, anti fascism, eco-defense and others. These issues are not separate they are one struggle, one fight. My story is only a small part of a greater whole. . .

In my lifetime I have witnessed an onslaught against the
inhabitants of this world lead by the greed of industrialized nations. It is my belief that the oppression of people is rooted in the oppression and exploitation of nature. A fundamental disrespect for life that began with the conquest of Mother Nature and has led to the conquest of humankind.

I struck back. In an act of resistance designated to raise
awareness and draw attention to a problem that affects every human being, every animal, every plant, and every form of life on this planet. I am speaking of global warming, air, soil and water pollution. We are in the midst of a global environmental crisis.

On June 16, 2000 I ignited a fire that would forever change my life. I torched 3 SUV's. I took extra care and used specific fuels to ensure no one would be injured.

Approximately 30 minutes after the fire was lit and extinguished, I was taken into custody by 3 undercover agents who had been following me, one of whom I would later learn to be a member of an anti-domestic terrorist unit. I was arrested on Criminal Mischief One,a charge that carries about one year. In the course of one week that charge would multiply into 10 felony counts, including 3 counts of Arson One.

Getting to trial took the course of a year. By trial I had
accumulated 13 felony counts, now including conspiracy with persons unknown. I was looking at a little over 100 years. I refused to take a deal.

Trial was a joke, literally. We proved evidence had been tampered with, officers had lied and that the prosecutor had manipulated evidence to get a legal search. On top of that the judge refused to allow me to separate the trial. I had been charged with two different fires. Law requires that upon request separate offences must be tried separately. The final blow came when the judge threw out the testimony of my expert witness.

In the end I was convicted of 11 felony charges. I was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months. I have no possibility of parole.

This is only a summary of events that took place in the course of a year. For more information contact me directly or my defense network at:

Jeffery Luers #13797671
2605 State Street
Salem, OR 97310

Free's Defense Network
PO Box 50263
Eugene, OR 97405

homepage: homepage: http://http:.//www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk
address: address: POB 50082, Eugene, OR 97405

smaller pic for feature 05.Jun.2002 15:41


smaller pic for feature
smaller pic for feature

Divided and Conquered? article by Jeff Luers 06.Jun.2002 09:40

NA-ELPSN naelpsn@tao.ca

[this is a new article by Jeff Luers]

Divided and Conquered?
by Jeffrey Luers
2605 State Street
Salem, OR 97310

For decades, people in this country have struggled and
fought against imperialism, colonialism, racism, sexism and
countless other forms of oppression. Each one of these struggles has failed. Why? Because all of these struggles have allowed themselves to be divided, not only division amongst their ranks, but separated by their causes.

The truth is that all of our struggles are interconnected.
On a deeper level all of us know this. Often we talk of community, mutual aid and solidarity. Yet where have these ideas manifested themselves?

I am not talking about the mass protests or direct action
camps. I am talking about our everyday lives. We have to live the revolution. All to often we allow ourselves to be divided into cliques. We can get so caught up in our own ideals that we may become unwilling to work with others who do not share the same ideological purity. At that point it becomes impossible to express ideas out of your own circle, and even harder to work with others for a greater good.

It would seem that we have dedicated more time to rhetoric
and debating ideology; more time is spent arguing: reds against greens, anarchists against socialists, pacifists against militants. Struggles are condemned as single issues, others are deemed as more important. And the "all important" struggle of smashing the state, because of course, once we do that everything else will just
naturally follow.

Every time I read one of our publications, whatever
struggle it deals with, I find a common theme; people slugging off others who could be allies.While we are so occupied arguing amongst ourselves about whose idea of the perfect world is better, the real world, the one
we all live in is going to shit.

We think we have all the answers, if only people would do
it our way, or my way, or your way. We are so caught up in
attitudes of superiority that we fail to realize we are losing.

People we know and love are going hungry. People we care
about are committing suicide and overdosing. People we know are being raped, beaten and abused. It is all around us, in every city, every town, every community. And we go right on writing our articles, putting out our zines, slugging people off and talking about the revolution.

What are we fighting for? Is there a goal? Because
apparently we are not fighting for each other, for our community - because it does not exist. Maybe we are fighting to protect the earth, but that must not be it either because we all still use electricity from dams, drive cars, and dumpster or buy food.We know there are alternatives, we talk about them all the time. Yet we never work together to create them.

The ideal world does not exist. Not everyone is going to be
an anarchist. Not everyone is going to be a vegan. And it is going to take a long long time to phase out mass production, pollution and become completely sustainable. That is just reality. We can't create the perfect world, but there is no reason why we can't work together to make the one we live in better.

We have to use every tool in the toolbox. If that means we
gotta work with the unions to accomplish something we do it. If we have to work with the church to feed hungry children we do it. If we have to vote to change something we do it. If we have to take direct action to stop something we do it.

Because if we don't do it no one else will and 15 years
from now you can read in Green Anarchy, The Earth First! Journal, Clamour Magazine (or whatever the fuck you read) how activists are fighting for the last acre of old growth, how the indigenous nations of the world have lost all their land, how 1 in 4 are in prison or under supervision. You will be able to read how we lost every single battle because we were to stubborn, to egotistical or to ideologically pure to work together.

We have a choice, we can shoot for the stars and accept
nothing less or we can aim for the stars and take every step that gets us closer.I would compromise almost anything if it meant we could actually change the world and not just talk about it.

Beautiful Free 06.Jun.2002 12:58

wishful thinker

Free's words are true, grounded and beautiful. I think they need to be thought about in our daily lives. Such honesty and dedication is the only way we'll be able to work together and make a difference. Down with the word, up with the act.

UNJUSTICE 06.Jun.2002 20:11


Free you certainly have been made an example of and that is wrong. Although from this short piece it is clear on why you were made an example of. The symbolic nature of your action obviously struck a serious chord. The piece does speak directly to the fact that if there is a similarity to focus on that. Than to worry about the petty differences is almost like playing into there hand. You truly are looking in from out and that is difficult. Unjustices certainly occour everyday everywhere.

Your message was one that people would get really quick and that scared people. Hope that you find energy in making the action the smallest least educational part of this wrong event.

In touch,

Free serves us all 08.Jun.2002 09:17

Roger Lodger plurality@hotmail.com

Free, you are serving all humanity by your witnessing for your wonderful beliefs. It is vital that you stay in prison as a visible rebuke to the horrible system that destroys People and Nature. Are you appealing your case? I think that would be wrong, it would defeat your purpose. But if you get out sooner, I and many others will be there to welcome you.
Meantime, stay well, brother.

update 11.Jun.2002 11:32


To answer your question, Free is appealing his case. He would be the best person to answer amy questions regarding that-you can write him at that address.
Want to help Free? Write to the Governor of Oregon on his behalf. Sample letters to the governor are available at
 http://www.spiritoffreedom.org.uk under Free's profile.


write to the governor 11.Jun.2002 11:39


a sample letter to send to the governor's office for Free:

Honorable John Kitzhaber, MD
Governor of the state of Oregon
State Capitol Building
900 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301-4047

Dear Governor Kitzhaber,

I am writing you today as the Governor to express my concern over the case of Jeffrey Luers. As you are probably aware, Jeffrey was sentenced to 22 years and
8 months by Lane County Circuit Court Judge Lyle Velure under Oregon's harsh measure 11 guidelines. The charges broke down as follows:

*17 years (15 of which are 2 measure 11 charges) for a fire that occurred at Joe Romania auto dealership in Eugene damaging 3 vehicles, two of which were
repaired and sold.

*5 years and 8 months for an attempted fire at Tyree Oil Co. that did not ignite.

Jeff admitted to starting the fire at Romania, noting that precautions had been met to safeguard life; all life, any life. In his own words, "I fight to protect life, all
life, not to take it. I took every precaution to insure that no one would be injured by this fire. If I thought for any reason that anyone- be it Mr. Kelly or any
responding firefighter or police officers- would be injured, I never would have set this fire. It was not my intention to hurt anyone or place anyone at risk." Should
his punishment for this have been 17 years?

Allow me to contrast for a moment. In August 1998, 600 firefighters were deployed to the Umpqua National Forest to put out fires caused by a serial arsonist.
Later, Forest Service Fire Safety Specialist Tamera L. Meredith was arrested on 35 counts of arson. She was convicted on 2 counts and sentenced to 3 years at
a trial in Roseburg. Her motive for those fires was a self seeking one, to gain overtime.

Mr. Kitzhaber, something is very wrong here. Why is it that despite the damages in her case being far greater and done, in my eyes, out of far more malicious
reasons, that Jeff's sentence is so much longer? Mandatory minimum sentencing of 90 month, with no good time earned is wrong. I urge you to look into this
matter. I also urge you to push for the rewriting of Measure 11.

Tyree Oil Company, on the other hand was an incident that did no damage. The conviction was done entirely on circumstantial evidence. In fact, the fingerprint
on the device did not match those of Jeffrey Luers or his co-defendant Craig Marshall. There was much talk at the trial by prosecutor Caren Tracey that in
Oregon, circumstantial evidence counts as concrete evidence. How is that possible? How is it that Jeff was convicted of this crime because he may have had
access to bolt cutters that may have cut the fence to get in?

This case has been very hard emotionally and financially on the friends and family of Jeffrey Luers. An appeal has been filed and will be handled by the Public
Defender's Office. I hope that a decent attorney has been appointed to this case. I believe that a higher court will see through the harsh sentencing and the
lack of evidence in the Tyree case. If not, I fear I will lose all faith in this system once and for all.

In the meantime, I will continue to miss my friend and will mourn that loss. You see, Mr. Kitzhaber, it is not just Jeff who is being punished, it is his friends and
family as well. I would appreciate a response and any information you could send me to help resolve the questions I have brought up in this letter.