June 10-12 Weekend of Resistance for Jeff 'Free' Luers
June 2005 marks the five-year anniversary of the imprisonment of our friend and comrade: Oregon environmental political prisoner, Jeff "Free" Luers. Jeff was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for burning three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at a car dealership in Eugene, Oregon, and on trumped up attempted arson charges.
June 10-12 Weekend of Resistance for Jeff 'Free' Luers |
June 2005 marks the five-year anniversary of the imprisonment of our friend and comrade: Oregon environmental political prisoner, Jeff "Free" Luers. Jeff was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for burning three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at a car dealership in Eugene, Oregon, and on trumped up attempted arson charges. Jeff set fire to SUVs to call attention to climate change and to protest oil wars and environmental destruction. Jeff was motivated by compassion and a desire to protect life, not to harm it, despite what some might think of his tactics. Prior to his arrest, Jeff was a popular community activist in Eugene. He was well-known to law enforcement because of his involvement with national forest protection (starting an occupation of a controversial old-growth timber sale in 1998), anti-police brutality activism (documenting rampant police abuse in Eugene), free food programs in a local park and his teaching of self-defense to women. Since his imprisonment, Jeff has continued to be extremely active in prison and fight oppression with his words and inspiration.
On June 12, 2004, social and environmental activists in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Norway, Finland, Australia, and Russia participated in an "International Day of Action" with Jeff by organizing non-violent protests and community events to show their support for him and their disgust for his cruel sentence. The FBI responded by creating a real 'Green Scare', sending a memo to businesses, corporate media, and government agencies warning of planned "terrorist attacks" by the "Earth Liberation Front" on June 12. Of course, no "terrorist attacks" ever occurred. All of the events were peaceful and public, ranging from concerts and demonstrations, to video showings and dinner parties. Even some mainstream media outlets recognized the FBI memo for what it was - a manipulative, dishonest attempt to incite fear- and criticized them for that. Some participants in the June 12 day of action withstood intense harassment including being photographed, videotaped and questioned with one group actually being evicted due to the hysteria from the FBI.
Since the June 12, 2004 Day of Action, support for Jeff has continued to grow and strengthen. People all over the world see Jeff as a political prisoner and acknowledge that his sentence is meant as a deterrent to increased resistance to oppression. Overall however, the political climate in the US and abroad has become more corrupt and repressive. On the home-front, the prison industrial complex continues to expand, repressive laws and legislation continued to get pushed by lying politicians, political prisoners are denied parole as the real criminals receive little or no punishment, and the already weak laws that exist to protect the environment are quickly being eliminated by blood-thirsty industry and the Bush administration. On the international level, the Bush regime is intensifying military aggression in Iraq, planning future actions in Iran and the proposed Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales is attempting to undermine the Geneva Convention to justify the torture tactics used by US soldiers and prison guards at Abu Gharib and Guantanamo Bay. The conditions are ripe to expose the hypocrisy of the system. Opposition and dissent is needed now possibly more than ever before.
During the weekend of June 10-12th, 2005, social justice activists from across the world are called upon again to organize and show their outrage about Jeff's imprisonment and the continued abuse and isolation of dissident prisoners across the globe. State repression is meant as a deterrent to social and environmental movements all over. Jeff received a sentence of over 22 years for an action that harmed no one except for the pocketbook of a local car dealer. Typical arson charges in Oregon result in sentences less than five years. The Judge in Jeff's case sentenced a man to 18 years last year for child molestation. Charles Graner Jr, responsible for the brutal torture and sexual harassment of Iraqi Prisoners of War at Abu Gharib received only ten years! Every day in every city, cops receive little or no punishment for crimes against the public. This cannot be tolerated! Fight for the political prisoners because they have fought for you, against racism & poverty, war & imperialism, and the pillaging of the natural world. They're in there for us - we are out here for them!
June 10-12th, 2005, is a Weekend of Resistance with Jeff "Free" Luers. There is no central organizing body or group to check in with but the Jeff Luers Support Network can help by providing you with flyers, graphics, and merchandise such as videos, zines and stickers about Jeff and allies in the struggle. Begin planning your event now. Read more about Jeff's case at http://www.freefreenow.org. Read more about political prisoners at http://www.thejerichomovement.com. Plan an action that makes sense for your area: a demonstration, treesit, music festival, teach-in, stenciling campaign, rally, protests at an American consulate or embassy overseas or public forum. Circulate petitions. Write letters to the Governor of Oregon asking him to look into Jeff's case. Contribute to Jeff's legal defense. Do what you think is appropriate. But please remember when planning an action or event think about how it could affect Jeff's upcoming appeal. Ask yourself: does this help or hurt Jeff? Does this strengthen the movement or weaken it in the long-term? More ideas for action and updates for the June 10-12 Weekend of Resistance for Jeff 'Free' Luers will be posted to http://www.freefreenow.org/june2005.html
East Coast contact:
Friends of Jeff 'Free' Luers firstname.lastname@example.org
West Coast Contacts:
Break the Chains email@example.com
San Francisco Jeffrey Luers Support Network firstname.lastname@example.org
======================= Donate to Jeff: http://tinyurl.com/2uykh
Downloadable flyers at http://www.freefreenow.org/flyers.html
Write Jeff at Jeffrey Luers, #13797671, OSP, 2605 State Street Salem, OR 97310
address: Free's Defense Fund, POB 3, Eugene, OR 97440
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