"Bound and Gagged" by Jeffrey Luers
Anarchist and political prisoner Jeff 'Free' Luers has been sent to the hole for 120 days due to a letter he sent to the Earth First! Journal.
Bound and Gagged|
by Jeffrey Luers, #13797671, OSP, 2605 State Street, Salem, OR 97310.
[Disclaimer: This article is by no means intended to create, promote, recruit or participate in any security threat group, environmental, social or political movement and is purely for the purposes of conveying my situation here at Oregon State Penitentiary to the general public as is permissible under Oregon and US law.]
On June 13, 2003 my cell was rushed by four guards. I was immediately placed in handcuffs and taken to the hole. My offense: I had written a letter to the Earth First! Journal. This 'offense' had been under investigation for 3 weeks as part of a greater confidential investigation of me, I am unsure if this is a ODOC [ed-Oregon Department of Corrections] investigation or a criminal investigation. However, based on the following, I believe it is an investigation into my 'alleged' role in the Earth Liberation Front.
I have been classified by the ODOC as a known anarchist and member of the ELF. The Security Threat Group (STG) staff has gone on record stating that 'Luers... is an influential member of the radical ecology/animal/environmental movement. Luers was convicted for his radical anarchist activities and his conviction was condemned worldwide." [Ed-The full report is available here
The letter I wrote to the Earth First! Journal (of which I am unsure whether it was received) was in response to two articles in the Beltane (May) issue. In my letter, I spoke about direct action, prison and 'ratting' [Ed-snitching]. The misconduct report reads: "In his letter, I/M Luers exposes his belief system in writing... (blah, blah).This type of activity is a direct threat to the safety of the public and causes serious concern for the security, safety and orderly appearance of all ODOC facilities and employees".
At my hearing on this matter , I argued that my letter was in no way STG related, that I did not mention any group nor did I encourage illegal activity. I was told that the environmental movement is a STG and that by writing my views or by being involved in environmental political, I was actively promoting and recruiting for the ELF. As a 'known STG member' anything I write about the environmental, social or political movements can and will be considered STG involvement. No distinction will be made between my past experience, views, beliefs or opinions.
I have been sanctioned to 120 days in the hole, 21 days loss of privilege upon being released from the hole and they took 100 days of good time (I can only get 15 months) pushing back the end of my first 44 month sentence from this month to October.
The prison and the state are attempting to gag me in the hopes that I will no longer speak the truth. Political dissatisfaction is steadily rising in this country as years of apathy give way to conscience and perhaps after recent events in the Bush administration, the state fears it may be losing its hold on the people.
Numerous laws have been passed in the last few years greatly reducing people's rights. Again, Congress is considering making flag burning a crime and laws against protest are being encouraged. They have started in the prisons. First they will take away my voice. Next, they may take yours.
I am in need of First Amendment attorneys who can help me challenge this sanction and the others that are sure to occur. ("I will not go silently into the night"). One that can work for minimal fees or preferably, pro-bono.[Ed-contact email@example.com if you aid Jeff in this aspect of his defense].
I am also asking for letters as the hole is a lonely place. Due to my limited writing supplies, I can not write everyone back. I will be doing a regular update and responding to all letters to the best of my ability on my website www.freefreenow.org
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Write letters of support to Free (envelopes must contain a full name and return address): Jeffery Luers #13797671, OSP, 2605 State Street, Salem, OR 97310. USA
2. Contact Oregon Department of Corrections burecrats and demand that Free be immediately released back into general population. Remind them that Jeff still has a constituional right to express his opinions and that the environmental movement is not a security threat group.
Ben de Haan, Interim Director - ODOC
Oregon Department of Corrections
Central Administration Office
2575 Center Street NE
Salem, Oregon 97301-4667
Tel: 503-945-9090, Fax: 503-373-1173
Brian Belleque, Superintendent
Oregon State Penitentiary
2605 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97310-0505
Tel: 503-378-2445, Fax: 503-378-3897
Emails may also be sent to the Department of Corrections at: DOC.Info@doc.state.or.us
3. Fundraise for Free! Checks and money orders can be made out to "Howl for Freedom" and sent to Free's Defense Network, or to make a secure online donation, click here
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