Jeff Free Luers Prison Dispatch, March 2006
> Earlier this month, the Earth Liberation Front struck in Salem, Oregon.
>I doubt many people outside of Oregon heard about this action. However, in
>Oregon it was a hot news topic for days.
> What kind of daring action could garner such media attention ? The words
>"Stop building ant farms, ELF" spray-painted on a new housing development.
> The first headlines were "Eco-terrorists strike again". Then the
>speculations came. Was this an act of hardened terrorists or was it a
>prank ? The debate went on. The police didn’t know. The media could only
> The only thing that remained concrete was those three red letters :
>E-L-F. The difference came in how it was discussed. The media said "the
>police are unsure whether this is the work of teenage vandals or seasoned
>terrorists. If it was vandals they will be charged with criminal mischief.
>However, if it turns out the graffiti was actually done by terrorists they
>will be charged with federal anti-terrorist laws."
> The "crime" remains the same but if it was committed for political
>reasons the punishment is much worse.
> Recently, 3 college students were arrested in Alabama for the arson of
>half a dozen churches, for more than a week. The fires made national
>headlines. In some places burning a church is chargeable as a hate crime.
> The three stated it was a prank that got out of control and all three
>were released on $50,000 bail.
> Daniel McGowan, on the other hand, who was charged in two ELF related
>arsons, was only released after posting $1.6 million bail.
> This is what a police state looks like, when laws are passed punishing
>protest more severely than social crime ; when a person can be labeled a
>terrorist instead of a dissident ; when the media uses the same language as
>the rulers without question ; when allegiance to ones country means
>subservience to its rulers.
> I am a warrior. I have never denied what or who I am. I have engaged in
>actions contrary to the laws of the United States. However, before I ever
>participated in illegal actions I employed every legal method available to
> I have met with business leaders, mayors, and members of congress. I
>have had these people lie right in my face or tell me they were powerless
>to do anything. I have seen corporate interests trump public interests time
>and time again with government support.
> When people have no say in how they are ruled or what actions are taken
>on their behalf, they are not free. It is not freedom to choose your rulers
>if the method of rule remains the same. It is not freedom when your
>community lives in poverty, polluted by toxic and chemical waste and
>subject to abject police brutality, while your leaders and bosses live like
>royalty. It is not freedom when social order is maintained through fear and
> In the face of such truths it becomes the duty of all able bodied men &
>women to resist. It may be illegal but it is not wrong to fight injustice.
>It is not wrong to challenge corporate arrogance. It is not wrong to resort
>to force when diplomacy fails.
> For years I and other earth liberation prisoners have received your
>support. There have been letter-writing campaigns, fundraisers, protests,
>direct actions and international days of solidarity. I am honored and
>thankful for your love and support.
> Each of us know and believe our struggle is a legitimate one. We have a
>right to clean air, water, and land. We have a right to rein in corporate
>and government practices furthering climate change. We have a right to
> However, if we are to succeed our struggle must be recognized as being
>legitimate in the eyes of the world. Our resistance must be recognized as
> One of the first steps in accomplishing that is by demanding recognition
>of political status for our prisoners. All incarcerated and accused members
>of the Earth Liberation Front and other earth liberation prisoners are
>political prisoners. Our actions that brought us to prison are political in
>nature. Our trials are about our politics. Our sentences are increased
>because of our political motives.
> We need you to help us demand political status ; by writing and calling
>politicians, newspapers, and other media and demanding recognition ; by
>reaching beyond our borders to international organizations like Amnesty
>International and other human rights organizations, as well as the United
>Nations and other governments.
> The state says people like me are terrorists. They use the label to
>instill fear and justify their repression. Only you can change that.
> Jeffrey Free Luers
> March 2006
> Write to :
> Jeff Luers
> Oregon State Prison
> 2605 State Street
> Salem, Oregon 97310
> For more information :