Mt. Hood Community College Black Student Union, Students for Environmental Justice and Chako Kum Tux Club present;
Freedom Of Speech Now!
Political Prisoners, Political Repression and the Prison Industrial Complex
Mt Hood Community College
26000 SE Stark St.
(Next to the Cafeteria)
-This event is free and open to the public.
-Free food and free musical performances by Nahko and the Medicine for the People.
"Freedom of Speech Now!" will feature several internationally recognized political prisoners & the movements they were and are apart of. From black liberation in the 60's, the American Indian Movement of the 70's and the environmental movement of today, they have all faced government repression as they confronted an oppressive status quo. In the end their struggles created lasting positive changes and inspiration for a continued struggle.
-Darrelle Dino Butler, "Indigenous Political Prisoners: The Case of Leonard Peltier and the American Indian Movement"
Darrelle Dino Butler is a member of the Seletz Nation in Oregon, poet, activist and member of the American Indian Movement (AIM). His involvement with AIM took him to many Native communities involved in the struggle against the U.S. Government's ongoing disregard for indigenous rights and sovereignty. On June 26, 1975, an FBI attack on the Oglala, South Dakota spiritual camp resulted in the deaths of two FBI agents and one indigenous man. He was arrested and charged with two counts of murder. The 1976 trial, in which he and co-defendant Bob Robideau were acquitted, drew national attention. In the late 1970's he participated in the Minnesota Citizen's Review Committee on FBI misconduct, working towards the release of Leonard Peltier, who was convicted for the deaths of the two FBI agents. Butler's 1979 request for political asylum in Canada was denied because he returned to the U.S. to testify for the defense in Peltier's trial.
-Jeff Luers, "The Green Scare: Earth and Animal Liberation"
Jeffrey "Free" Luers is an anarchist and environmental justice activist from Los Angeles, California. He was recently released from prison after a near 10-year sentence for setting fire to three SUV's in a car lot in Eugene, Oregon in 2000. Because his actions were politically motivated to make a statement about global warming he was targeted as an 'eco-terrorist.' He was tried with 13 felony counts with a cumulative sentence of over 100 years hanging over his head, but he refused a plea bargain. Even though the fires were quickly extinguished, he was found guilty of 11 felony charges and sentenced to nearly 23 years in prison. His sentence was eventually reduced after what The Independent described as an "international campaign for a more appropriate sentence for a crime in which no one was hurt." Free wrote extensively while incarcerated and his dedication to activism helps the struggle to continue.
-Ashanti Alston Omowali "Revolutionizing Freedom of Speech: Political Prisoner Amnesty and Prison Abolition in the 21st Century"
Ashanti Omowali Alston is an anarchist revolutionary, speaker, and writer, and former member of the Black Panther Party. He was also a member of the Black Liberation Army, and spent more than a decade in prison after government forces captured him (and the official court system convicted him) of armed robbery. Formerly a northeast coordinator for Critical Resistance and organizer for Estacion Libre, he is currently co-chair of the National Jericho Movement (to free U.S. political prisoners), a member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and on the speaker' bureau for the Institute for Anarchist Studies.
-Kent Ford, "From COINTELPRO to the PATRIOT ACT: The Legacy of Political Repression and Political Prisoners in the United States"
Long time local resident, and community organizer, Kent Ford was a founding member of the Portland, Oregon chapter of the Black Panther Party in the late 1960s. Forty years later his son Lumumba Ford, who graduated from Portland State University, was targeted for post-911 terrorist charges and sentenced to18 years in prison for seditious conspiracy as part of the "Portland Seven." Kent will discuss the historical linkages between political repression in the United States from the FBI programs of the 1960s and 70s crystallizing into Homeland Security and the PATRIOT ACT in the first decade of the 21st century.
The Jericho Movement for Political Prisoner Amnesty; ASWSUV; Education Without Borders; Students for Unity (PSU); Pan American Solidarity Organization (PSU); Student Animal Liberation Coalition (PSU); International Socialist Organization (PSU); Black Studies Department (PSU); Northwest Student Coalition; Portland Central America Solidarity Committee; Cascadia Rising Tide; Portland Animal Defense League; Students for Environmental Justice (MHCC); Black Student Union (MHCC); Black Student Union (WSUV); Social and Environmental Justice (WSUV);MHCC MECHA; E'Njonis Café; Chako Kum Tux Club (MHCC); Rose City Copwatch