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new prison Dispatch from Jeff Free Luers

Jeff Free Luers is a political prisoner currently serving more than 22 years in the Oregon State Penitentiary for setting a small fire that burned 3 SUV's. His latest Dispatch from prison is posted below.
June 2005 rally for Jeff in Eugene
June 2005 rally for Jeff in Eugene
Jeff "Free" Luers Prison Dispatch, March 2006


Earlier this month, the Earth Liberation Front struck in Salem, Oregon. I doubt many people outside of Oregon heard about this action. However, in Oregon it was a hot news topic for days.

What kind of daring action could garner such media attention? The words "Stop building ant farms, ELF" spray-painted on a new housing development.

The first headlines were "Eco-terrorists strike again". Then the speculations came. Was this an act of hardened terrorists or was it a prank? The debate went on. The police didn't know. The media could only guess.

The only thing that remained concrete was those three red letters: E-L-F. The difference came in how it was discussed. The media said "the police are unsure whether this is the work of teenage vandals or seasoned terrorists. If it was vandals they will be charged with criminal mischief. However, if it turns out the graffiti was actually done by terrorists they will be charged with federal anti-terrorist laws."

The "crime" remains the same but if it was committed for political reasons the punishment is much worse.

Recently, 3 college students were arrested in Alabama for the arson of half a dozen churches, for more than a week. The fires made national headlines. In some places burning a church is chargeable as a hate crime.

The three stated it was a prank that got out of control and all three were released on $50,000 bail.

Daniel McGowan, on the other hand, who was charged in two ELF related arsons, was only released after posting $1.6 million bail.

This is what a police state looks like, when laws are passed punishing protest more severely than social crime; when a person can be labeled a terrorist instead of a dissident; when the media uses the same language as the rulers without question; when allegiance to ones country means subservience to its rulers.

~

I am a warrior. I have never denied what or who I am. I have engaged in actions contrary to the laws of the United States. However, before I ever participated in illegal actions I employed every legal method available to invoke change.

I have met with business leaders, mayors, and members of congress. I have had these people lie right in my face or tell me they were powerless to do anything. I have seen corporate interests trump public interests time and time again with government support.

When people have no say in how they are ruled or what actions are taken on their behalf, they are not free. It is not freedom to choose your rulers if the method of rule remains the same. It is not freedom when your community lives in poverty, polluted by toxic and chemical waste and subject to abject police brutality, while your leaders and bosses live like royalty. It is not freedom when social order is maintained through fear and manipulation.

In the face of such truths it becomes the duty of all able bodied men & women to resist. It may be illegal but it is not wrong to fight injustice. It is not wrong to challenge corporate arrogance. It is not wrong to resort to force when diplomacy fails.

~

For years I and other earth liberation prisoners have received your support. There have been letter-writing campaigns, fundraisers, protests, direct actions and international days of solidarity. I am honored and thankful for your love and support.

Each of us know and believe our struggle is a legitimate one. We have a right to clean air, water, and land. We have a right to rein in corporate and government practices furthering climate change. We have a right to resist oppression.

However, if we are to succeed our struggle must be recognized as being legitimate in the eyes of the world. Our resistance must be recognized as necessary.

One of the first steps in accomplishing that is by demanding recognition of political status for our prisoners. All incarcerated and accused members of the Earth Liberation Front and other earth liberation prisoners are political prisoners. Our actions that brought us to prison are political in nature. Our trials are about our politics. Our sentences are increased because of our political motives.

We need you to help us demand political status; by writing and calling politicians, newspapers, and other media and demanding recognition; by reaching beyond our borders to international organizations like Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, as well as the United Nations and other governments.

The state says people like me are terrorists. They use the label to instill fear and justify their repression. Only you can change that.

Jeffrey "Free" Luers
March 2006


Write to:

Jeff Luers
#13797671
Oregon State Prison
2605 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97310
USA

For more information:
 http://www.freefreenow.org

Please help organize the Weekend of Resistance Against the Green Scare:
 http://www.freefreenow.org/june.htm

homepage: homepage: http://www.freefreenow.org
address: address: Free's Defense Fund; PO Box 3; Eugene, OR 97440

gotta start proofing 30.Mar.2006 16:51

Friends of Jeff Free Luers

sorry, I goofed on the above link to Weekend of Resistance:

 http://www.freefreenow.org/june2006.htm

jeff's sentence 01.Apr.2006 05:27

g

In June 2001, 23 year-old forest defense activist Jeffrey "Free" Luers was sentenced to 22 years and 8 months in prison for the burning of three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV's) in Eugene, Oregon. To make a statement about global warming, Jeff and his codefendent, Craig 'Critter' Marshall, set fire to 3 Sport Utility Vehicles at a Eugene car dealership. Their stated purpose was to raise awareness about global warming and the role that SUVs play in that process. No one was hurt in this action nor was that the intent. An arson specialist at trial confirmed that the action did not pose any threat to people based on its size and distance from any fuel source. Despite the fact that this action hurt no one, caused only $40,000 in damages and the cars were later resold, Jeff was sent to prison for a sentence considerably longer than those convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape in Oregon state. Jeff is a political prisoner and continues to write and agitate for his release while imprisoned at Oregon State Penetentiary. His appeal was filed in January 2002 and oral arguments before the Oregon Court of Appeals were heard on November 30, 2005. The judge has not yet issued his opinion.

truth 03.Apr.2006 19:07

?

Why isn't the truth left here, he was also convicted of trying to blow up gas trucks.

tyree 05.Apr.2006 17:09

g

a few days after Jeff and his co-defendant Craig were arrested for the SUV fire, they were accused of an attempted arson at Tyree Oil-a gas facility located in the Whitaker neighborhood, home to many activists that reside in Eugene. Although there was no proof of their involvement at Tyree Oil - and fingerprints did not match either Jeff or Craig - the state manipulated evidence and as a result Jeff is serving 6 years as part of his 23 years for a crime he did not commit.

Jeff admitted in court that he set the fire that burned the 3 SUV's but has always maintained his innocence about the Tyree attempted arson.