Prisons & Prisoners

Robert S. Finnegan writes:

U.S. Army Sergeant Charged with Desertion

Robert S. Finnegan, Southeast Asia News

The Army today charged Sergeant Kevin Benderman with two counts of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), for his refusal to re-deploy to Iraq in a case that has sparked a worldwide media feeding-frenzy and elicited condemnation of both the Bush administration and the U.S. Army.

Benderman, 40, charged with violating articles 85 and 87 after refusing to re-deploy to Iraq appeared before his commanding officer today who formally read the charges filed against him. Benderman has filed for Conscientious Objector status with the Army. His former commanding officer, now deployed, had recommended denial of his CO application even before it was acted upon according to military regulations. Benderman says his new commanding officer is following Army regulations to the letter and has been helpful in processing his request.

Robert S. Finnegan writes

AWOL 2-7 Infantry Specialist Plans To Surrender

Robert S. Finnegan, Southeast Asia News

Specialist David Beals of the 2-7 Infantry stationed at Ft. Stewart, Georgia has today decided to turn himself in after going AWOL from the Winn Army Hospital following his attempted suicide. Beals plans to return within 72 hours, after taking the time he said was necessary to ponder the few options available to him.

Beals, 25, has already served a tour in Iraq. After witnessing firsthand the killing of innocent civilians by U.S. forces he has decided to apply for Conscientious Objector status. He also stated that he would accept an honorable discharge from the Army.

"Moving Forward In Palestine: Free Marwan Barghouti"

Zeev bin Natan

Palestinian freedom fighter Marwan Barghouti is Arafat's likely popular successor. He has been Fatah Secretary-General since 1994 and played a key role on the street in both the first Intifada and the present Intifada al-Aqsa. Marwan sits in Nafha prison in the al-Naqab/Negev desert, sentenced last June 6 and now serving five life terms plus 40 years on trumped-up charges of 'complicity' in multiple murder. He is kept in solitary confinement, separated from all other prisoners in Nafha, most of them Palestinian freedom fighters like himself. Marwan has repeatedly denied any involvement whatsoever with the deaths. During the proceedings against him, which began in 2003, he denounced the "show trial" as illegal, the Israeli court without any right to try him.

Anarchist People of Color Legal Update

On November 16, 2003 a group of people of color
came together to celebrate, enjoy ourselves, and raise
money for Anarchist People of Color (APOC) to recoup
travel expenses. People through out the organizing
community in NYC and beyond were present. Mostly
people of color, mostly young, mostly folks who work
tirelessly in poor and working class neighborhoods
where the work we provide is appreciated and welcomed.
We came together at Critical Resistance, an
organization dedicated to eliminating reliance on the
U.S. prison system to solve social problems. We came
together and danced, talked, reading poetry, and
played music. Just as the celebration reached its
height the unexpected happened and it changed

The police violently attacked our gathering with no
reason or cause, except to terrorize and brutalize. It
made everything that we work for and believe in that
much more challenging; another obstacle had been put
in the way of achieving peace and justice.

"Anti-Death Penalty Lawyer Alice Lynd May Face Jail"

Mark Shaffer, Portsmouth Daily Times

An anti-death penalty lawyer was ordered to be
jailed on
contempt charges after she refused to testify before
Scioto County grand jury on Friday afternoon.
two hours after the hearing and before Alice Lynd
be jailed, a higher court stayed her sentence for
two weeks.

FBI Harrassment Alleged by North Carolina Progressives

To all progressives who value free speech without

Members of the progressive youth community of Raleigh,
NC ask for your support. Recently student anti-war
activists have been the target of harassment and
intimidation by the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.

"Guzman's Fist:

The Sendero's New Trial"

Gary Leupp, CounterPunch

He hadn't appeared in public in 12 years, this former professor and university provost, Marxist philosopher specializing in the thought of Kant, and Chairman of the Communist Party of Peru (PCP, popularly known as Sendero Luminoso or "the Shining Path"). From 1980 he had led what became the most powerful communist insurgency in the Western Hemisphere. By the time of his capture in 1992, U.S. intelligence analysts estimated that up to one-half of Peru was more in the hands of the Senderistas, fighting their Maoist People's War, than those of the Peruvian state. He was regarded by his followers as the "Fourth Sword" of Marxism, and by his foes and the mainstream press almost everywhere as a "terrorist" responsible for all 70,000 deaths in a long civil conflict. Abimael Guzman (aka Presidente Gonzalo) met the press and the people in a Lima courtroom November 5.

FBI Terror Task Force Raids "Hugs for Puppies" Headquarters in Philadelphia


According to activists from the Animal Defense League, at approximately 6 AM this morning a resisdence at 50-18
Ave, in Philladelphia, Pennslyvania was served a warrant and raided by sixteen
agents from The
FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The warrant was signed by United States Magistrate Arlander Keys of the
District Justice of Illinois. The warrant was served by Special Agent Jeremy
Ashcroft of the Illinios Terrorism Task Force and was directed towards
SHAC-USA and a
prominent Philladelphia-area animal rights organization, "Hugs For

National Lawyers Guild RNC Update

National Lawyers Guild

"Can I talk about my case?"
The NLG strongly advises people who were arrested during the RNC to not talk and to not write about the specific circumstances of their arrest if they have pending cases, without first speaking with a lawyer. This applies to the particular acts just before and during the arrest. Please be aware that statements made on the Internet, as well as videos/photos shared or posted, reside in the public domain, and are not private or privileged; they may be viewed by law enforcement. The NLG recommends having such material reviewed by a lawyer before making it public. Be aware that if you are talking to the media, posting emails, having phone conversations about your case or otherwise publicly speaking about your arrest or the arrests of others, you are potentially sharing that information with the police. It may result in problems if you have a pending case. If you assume the government may monitor telephone and email communications, even if the government's action may be illegal, yo
u will better protect yourself and others.

While you may want to comment on how you were treated after your arrest (e.g., experiences in custody, conditions at Pier 57, the length of custody until arraignment or release on a DAT), be sure to note and save what you say or write; if future statements differ, your prior statements may return to haunt you.

Jorge Martín writes

Hands Off Venezuela Peru Organiser Jailed in Bolivia

Cesar Zelada is a well known student activist in Peru. He is also a member of the Fuerza de Izquierda Socialista, a left wing group, and the organiser of the Hands off Venezuela campaign in Peru.

He was in Bolivia as part of a delegation of Peruvian student activists invited by the Youth wing of the Bolivian Workers' Union (COB - the Bolivian TUC) to show solidarity with the struggle of the Peruvian students, particularly those at the
Oruro Technical University.

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