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Issue 25 updates: 2015 Releases

October 16, 2015

December 2014: Cuban 5 Released


From the speech of Gerardo Hernandez to the international solidarity movement for the Cuban 5 at the Palace of the Conventions, Havana, May 2, 2015:


“We still face the battle to free Oscar López too, so that he can enjoy freedom as we do today. We still have Mumia Abu-Jamal. We still have Leonard Peltier. We still have other compañeros who are political prisoners. The committees in solidarity with the Five that supported us so much must see what we can do to end these injustices, too.


We want Oscar and the other compañeros to know that the Five, now that we are free, will continue remembering you and supporting you.


See: “The organizers who never gave up on the Cuban Five” on page __.


2015 Releases:


1/8: After serving nearly 10 years in prison, the judgment and sentencing against green anarchist Eric McDavid was vacated when it became known that the FBI had failed to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence to the


1/15: Norberto Gonzalez Claudio was released from prison, and began his journey back home to Puerto Rico. When he arrived he was welcomed by a crowd of supporters.


1/16: After spending nearly two decades in federal prison, Tsutomu Shirosaki was released to an immigration facility, and later deported to Japan.


1/27: Marissa Alexander, a survivor of domestic violence from Jacksonville, FL, spent 3 years behind bars for defending her life from an abusive husband. She is now sentenced to two years of house detention while being forced to wear and pay for a surveillance ankle monitor.


3/13: Anarchist prisoners Carlos López, Amélie Pelletier and Fallon Poisson were released from Mexico City (Amélie and Fallon deported back to Canada)


4/16: Brent Betterly was the second of NATO 3 to be released. Prior to the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago, three Occupy activists were arrested and eventually charged with 11 felony counts. See update on Maya Chase below.


5/16: Plowshares prisoners Megan Rice, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed were released. Eighty-five year-old activist nun Rice told Mother Jones that it felt “Not that much different, because none of us is free… and it looks like we are going to go on being un-free for as long as there is a nuclear weapon waiting.”


6/1: Kevin Chianella (from Queens, NY) was released after a 2 year prison sentence for his participation in the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010.


Please remember that prisoner support doesn’t end when a comrade is released. Through halfway houses, supervised release, parole, or probation, there is usually state supervision beyond the initial sentence. Also, prison is traumatic. And of course there is the stigma of being a former prisoner that affects nearly every aspect of one’s life. All of this adds up to the less obvious, but equally necessary, support needed when our loved ones come home.

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