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Tinley Park Five Accept Non-Cooperating Plea Bargain

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From Tinley Park Five Support Committee:

On January 4, 2013 all members of the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea bargain in which they each plead guilty to three felony counts of Armed Violence in exchange for “lenient” sentences and the guarantee of ‘day-for-day’ good behavior. Jason Sutherlin was sentenced to 6 years. Cody Lee Sutherlin and Dylan Sutherlin were sentenced to 5 years. Alex Stuck and John Tucker were sentenced to 3 1/2 years due to their youth and complete lack of criminal history. Each will be placed upon two years of supervised release upon release from prison.

Before the plea was accepted, the State offered the Tinley Park Five one last chance to betray their comrades in exchange for their freedom. What a waste of time! As anarchist and antifascists, the Tinley Park Five are no more capable of selling out the struggle than their broken system is capable of reforming itself! They laughed at the offer and bravely accepted their fate.

Credit was given for the 7 months already served in Cook County. They will receive ’day-for-day’ good time credit which effectively cuts the sentences in half. The state of Illinois also offers several programs and classes which can chip away at sentences. Optimistically, Alex and John could be out before Christmas 2013. Dylan and Cody could be out my Autumn 2014. Jason could be out by Christmas 2014. This is all hypothetical and highly speculative of course.

On Monday January 7th, the Tinley Park Five will be transferred to Stateville for between one and three weeks. There the Illinois Department of Corrections will decide where they will spend the duration of their sentences. Until this decision is reached PLEASE HOLD ALL MAIL. If you wish to donate to the Tinley Park Five at this time we ask that you use WePay rather than money orders at this time, as we’re concerned that they will get lost or delayed as the Tinley Park Five are being transferred between facilities. We’re working on trying to quickly raise as much money as possible to ease this transition.

Make no mistake, it is with great sorrow that we accept just how long we’ll be separated from our dear friends, but they will not be forgotten nor will their struggle cease in their absence. This support crew will continue to advocate for each of them in whatever they decide to do until every last one of them is free. Communiques from several members of the Tinley Park Five to their supporters are expected soon and will be posted on this website.

The Tinley Park Five as well as their supporters, comrades, family, and friends would like to thank Aaron Goldstein, Sara Garber, Brian Barrido, James Fennerty, Stuart Smith, Matthew Dodge, and everyone else who assisted in their legal defense. They would also like to thank the National Lawyer’s Guild for connecting these attorneys with the Tinley Park Five as well as the People’s Law Office for consulting with us in the initial stages of this ordeal.

The Tinley Park Five also wanted to thank Chicago Anarchist Black Cross as well as South Side for their help in bringing people out to their most recent court appearance. Seeing so many supporters meant more than you could know to them. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it. Thanks to everyone on the interwebz for helping to get the word out about it so well.

I was able to speak with Jason this morning and Alex last night and both of them asked that there be a public acknowledgement of all the groups who have humbled us with their support thus far. Thanks to Denver ABC, Salt Lake City ABC, New York City ABC, Rose City Antifa, Southside Chicago Anti-Racist Action, Philly ARA, Lafayette HARM, Circle City ARA, One People’s Project, Bursts-o-Goodness, Political Fail Blog, Sacramento Prisoner Support, M1AA, IWW, VICE, Worker’s World (especially NYC and Detroit affiliates), the Btown crew, as well as anyone who’s attended a letter-writing party, a court date, or came to visit. Thanks to the countless organizations that I apologize in advance for forgetting to mention.

Thanks to all of you Anonymous gangsters that had our backs with #opStormfrontRaid. Dirty South, whoever you are, you’re a life-saver, literally. Thanks to anyone who has stepped up in any way they could whether that be sharing a link or donating a couple dollars.

Thanks to everyone that has helped, but please don’t forget… the Tinley Park Five aren’t going to be in the news headlines as often but they are still going to need just as much support. We ask that you not forget about the Tinley Park Five! Please keep the benefit shows, letter-writing parties, and other acts of solidarity coming as they’re needed now as much as ever.

We’ll leave you with this quote, nearly a century old, which still rings just as true today:

“Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” – Eugene Debs 1918

Yours in Solidarity,

Tinley Park Five and Support Crew

January 4th: Pack the Courtroom for the Tinley Park 5!

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Five antifascists who are accused of attacking a meeting of Nazis in a Chicagoland restaurant last May have an important court appearance on January 4th at 11am.  This is a big, important date for these guys, so as many people who can should come up to Chicago to show them support.  More details below:

from A-news:

Mon, 12/17/2012 – 19:04

The Tinley Park Five were in court today to respond to the offer reached in the 402 conference. A continuance was issued today and the court will proceed with a previous motion to suppress the arrests of May 19, 2012. This motion will be heard on Jan 4, 2013 at 11 am at Bridgeview Courthouse. Our comrades are requesting that supporters and sympathizers try to make it to this court date if they can, so the court can see the defendants are supported by the community it claims our friends are a threat to.

Chicago Anarchist Black Cross will be posting updates via this facebook group.
https://www.facebook.com/events/179475548863446/

Transportation will be available if needed. If you are driving yourself try to arrive 15 minutes early and we will meet in front of room 110. Free parking is available.

Google Maps for courthouse: https://plus.google.com/112242116144356542505/about?gl=us&hl=en

For more information about the case visit: http://tinleyparkfive.wordpress.com/

Thanks for doing your best to make it.

Five Indiana Antifascists Arrested in Chicagoland – Help needed

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Five antifascists were arrested Saturday in Tinley Park, IL (outside Chicago) on charges of allegedly assaulting a group of white supremacists who were holding a gathering in a restaurant.  A car that the accused were riding in was pulled over several minutes after the attack occurred, and the 5 men were arrested.Police are allegedly still searching for 13 more individuals involved in the attacks.

Despite garbled claims by the media that paint the group at the restaurant as innocuous, or claim that they were simply “touring around different Irish festivals,” the meeting was advertised on white power websites and forums.  Ten nazis were injured in the attack, several of whom were hospitalized and required staples to close head wounds.  Two of the injured men were arrested as well; one had an outstanding warrant for child pornography and another was arrested for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Donations for their legal support can be made here.  Every little bit helps.  Many of the accused live and work in Bloomington, and all money raised will go toward bail, legal fees and supporting their families.

More details should be forthcoming; gestures of solidarity are necessary and urgent.

Early days of summer / Days of solidarity

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Earlier this week, two small but important expressions of solidarity were organized here in Bloomington.  20 people took the streets on Tuesday demanding that all charges be dropped against Occupy participants, antifascists, and anarchists in the half-dozen ongoing local prosecutions.  Copies of the “1000 Paper-cuts” flyer were distributed and the streets were held for half an hour before the marchers settled in for a stationary demo at Kirkwood and Walnut.  Later that night, four bands played a benefit show for Pax, an anarchist arrested in Portland on the allegation that he had participated in sabotage against banks.

In the same spirit, we’re posting a new version of a poster that was just sent to us, signaling support for prisoners in struggle in the state prison system.

And for tabloid-size printing:  forgettingdownload.

Reportback: Anti-KKK Demo, Saturday 4/7

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The KKK and their affiliated political front, the Knight’s Party, announced last week their intention to organize a demonstration on the lawn of Bloomington’s county Courthouse for Saturday, April 7.  Their stated goal was already repugnant – honoring Confederate war dead and the legacy of the Confederacy – but it was also clear they hoped to contribute to an already high level of racial tension here, stoked by the media, police, and a flurry of far Right organizing and actions, including anti-Semitic graffiti.  Just making their announcement was already effective towards that goal, and most people around Bloomington doubted the Klan would dare to follow that up with a public appearance, but antifascists and anarchists in particular began organizing a response anyway.

The announced plan was to occupy the Courthouse lawn downtown before the Klan showed up at the announced start time of 11 am on Saturday.  This way, even if they didn’t show up, there would still be an opportunity to demonstrate how unwelcome scum like them are.  A sound system was set up, thirty or forty people gathered, mostly wearing black hoodies and masks, and began flyering the area.  Just before 11, four Klanspeople actually appeared on the Courthouse square, while a few others hung back across the street.  A fight broke out almost immediately, and while we can’t say for certain what happened, one Klansmen did pepper spray a comrade but he was then knocked down and along with another Klansmen, beaten by antifascist demonstrators.

Most of the Klanspeople left after this, but cops showed up in significant numbers to protect the one remaining Klan demonstrator.  By this time, many more people had arrived in response to the violence, including some other anarchists who had previously been at the Really Really Free Market organized two blocks away, swelling the numbers to perhaps 80 at the most.

For at least another hour, the crowd continued to angrily confront the remaining Klansman who, despite police protection, lost both his hat and his sign during this period.  When he attempted to leave, the crowd followed him until police whisked him away in a cop car for his own protection.

A note on the coverage:

Despite our already strong hatred and contempt for the media, it’s worth noting briefly how the events have been covered by the Bloomington Herald-Times in the following days.  While journalists almost always play down the numbers who participate in actions, often accepting the police estimates at face value (which is predictable given how openly the media are allied with police), the H-T massively inflated the number of antifascist demonstrators present on Saturday.  Their claim was specifically that 200 antifascists attacked a single Klansman, instead of 60-80 demonstrators taking on 4-10 Klanspeople (still hardly a fair fight, but we came to win not to fight fair).  The goal here is obviously to contribute to a narrative of a “counter-lynch mob” irrationally bent on attacking a harmless (white) man exercising his free-speech rights.  The media is committed to erasing the locally-strong context of Klan terror and violence and instead reinforcing the lie of the “marketplace of ideas,” in which everyone has the right to express their equally empty and decontextualized opinions.  Thanks to the H-T and the police spokesmen, there’s been an outpouring of sympathy for the poor Klansman who had his pressure rights trampled on.

Against all this, we assert that the KKK’s ideas are bound up with their ongoing practice of racial terror inflicted on people of color, and that this terror isn’t an excess produced by this society, but is instead a small but integral part of an entire network of repression and domination. When we stop the Klan from organizing publicly, it is not because their racism is worse than the structural racism of the cops and the economy, both of which claim many more victims, but because we want to deny the KKK and fascists the chance to become strong enough to become effective tools in the hands of the State.  The repressive role played by the lying media is both less directly violent and more diffuse than that played by the far Right, but the media’s efforts to legitimate the Klan’s public presence drives home the point that they are ultimately part of the same apparatus.

The struggles against the Klan, the cops, and the media, among many other arms of exploitation and repression, are all part of the same struggle.

-A few anarchists in Bloomington

The text of one of the fliers distributed during the demo:

The point of The KKK’s demonstration today is to celebrate and whitewash a disgusting history of slavery and racial oppression. this program is nothing new for the KKK, but it is now being modernized. Increasingly the Klan and the whole far Right understand that racism is not something to be nostalgic for, but is a modern institutional reality that they can tap into and reinforce. So while the KKK and fascists continue to re-enact their glory days of racial violence, lynching, and terror, they are seeking to become relevant in today’s insidious organization of societal white supremacy. They demonstrate this through: 

A) Their pathetic attempt at building political power through The “Knight’s Party.”

B) Their participation in and support for groups dedicated To terrorizing undocumented immigrants, and people of color more generally, such as the minutemen. The xenophobic Right, including the Tea Party, have proven to be fertile recruiting grounds for every brand of racist and fascist.

C) Their efforts to stoke racial hatred in cases such as the murder of Trayvon Martin by a vigilante. The fascist Right has been repeatedly caught attempting To slander The slain black youth, using the case to normalize racist stereotypes, and extend them into a justification for murder. 

The KKK and far right claim to a supposed “libertarian” position is completely bogus, especially in their fake-historical celebration of the confederacy as a force against the federal authority. the far right will never be a force for opposing authority, but always act as snitches and aids for the police and the state.

During situations of great strain, such as the economic crisis since 2008, the State becomes more open to accepting support from the fascist Right, as politicians scramble to find racial scapegoats for their own failures. The clearest example is Arizona, where the large-scale participation of neo-nazis and far Right activists involved in the minutemen and anti-immigrant movements is treated as completely commonplace by scum like sheriff Joe Arpaio. This is the window that the KKK is hoping to take advantage of as it modernizes itself. 

Fascists and the KKK have always acted as allies to the police and authorities. They are currently a tiny minority, but they are also the foot soldiers of a system which is racist down to its roots.  Even in Bloomington’s “diverse” police department, the ongoing prevalence of police brutality and murder is evidence of a inherently racist and critically flawed system. As the economic crisis drags on, the danger is imminent and growing that the far Right will become stronger itself and find a legitimized niche within the political spectacle.  For this reason, it’s more important than ever to deny them the political and physical space they need to organize, and to reclaim spaces for struggle against racism, the police, and the economy which depends on the protection of both.

Love and Solidarity to Trayvon Martin and his family, and to every victim of racist repression! 

Down with snitches of every stripe, especially the ones in white hoods!

For a borderless struggle against authority in every form!

Tomorrow – CeCe McDonald Benefit Show

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H.A.R.M. (Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement) is hosting a benefit tomorrow night for CeCe McDonald, a transwoman from Minneapolis who is being charged with murder for defending herself and her friends against racist attacks.  Here’s the scoop:

Max’s Place – 108 W. 6th St, Bloomington, IN

Starts at 8PM

Featuring:

Austin Lucas
Mark West-Bookwalter
Vincent Vibbert

Dance Party to close out the night with…
D.J. The Holy Reverend Hot Sauce
D.J. Gwaii (hiphop/reggae from Tanzania)
$5-$15 suggested donation at the door

All proceeds going to benefit CeCe McDonald defense & Anti-Racist Action network

http://supportcece.wordpress.com/