portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative global

green scare

A Humble Appeal For Intervention in The Case of Eric McDavid

We anarchists are your caged canaries. When the free speech and association of anarchists goes, it will soon follow for the rest of society.
A Humble Appeal to the Intellectual and Literary World For Intervention in The Case of Eric McDavid

We anarchists are your caged canaries. How the government treats us has, throughout modern history, been a sign of their reluctance to grant true freedom of speech. In 1886, when eight anarchists were put on trial in Chicago, the prosecution and judge were quite clear in stating that those menórespected leaders of organized laborówere on trial simply for the crime of being an anarchist. There was no evidence to connect them to the Haymarket bombing, nor has any ever surfaced. Five of the eight, refusing to admit to a crime they did not commit, died as a result.
And the outrage from all corners of the country was deafening. Eventually, the three remaining defendants were pardoned, and the names of the martyrs were vindicated.
In 1927, Boston anarchists Sacco & Vanzetti were tried, convicted on the flimsiest evidence, and killed. Only later did their inescapable innocence come to light. But throughout their trial, they were defended in the media by none other than H.G. Wells, Upton Sinclair, and Albert Camus, none of whom were anarchists themselves.
To suffer an anarchist to exist is perhaps the ultimate test of free speech. The FBI, the CIA, even the very concept of international policing were formed to keep track of anarchists. But we count among our ranks a wide range of people who have faith in a wide range of tactics and beliefs. Tolstoy, Wilde, Blake, Ba Jin, Shelley; all anarchists. Ought they have been locked up for their beliefs?
Once more, the State has chosen to imprison an anarchist on the flimsiest of evidence. Eric McDavid, a traveling activist, was entrapped when he met the mysterious "Anna", an FBI agent who convinced Eric and two others to make ambiguous plans of sabotage. For two years, Anna plotted. She paid for everything; the car, the cabin, plane-tickets. Gas. She provided bomb recipes. And when the trio of innocent anarchists protested and shied away from Anna's plans, she strong-armed and emotionally manipulated them into keeping going. Then, of course, they were all arrested.
Faced with lengthy sentences, Eric's two co-defendants quickly took plea agreements and agreed to turn state's evidence in exchange for lessened terms (blackmail, it's been called). Eric maintained his innocence; they had all been framed.
He was found guilty when the judge ruled that the jury could not consider Anna a provocateur. The holes in the government's case against him are astounding, but what it boils down to is that, without Anna, there would have been no case, and there would have been no conspiracy.
So I ask you, where is your outrage at this gross abuse of power, your support for the imprisoned innocent? This unpopular government is cracking down on thought, sending people to jail for decades for a crime that was never committed that was planned by one of their own employees. The canary in the cage is dead. Please, then I ask you, investigate the case of Eric McDavid and lend your support.