Jason Hammond speaks out for political prisoners [VIDEO]

11.20.12 Free Hammond / NATO 5 rally (Chicago)

11.20.12 Free Hammond / NATO 5 rally (Chicago)

My name is Jason and I speak on behalf of my brother Jeremy. There are a couple things I want to say about Jeremy’s case for those that don’t know. First, Jeremy was raided by the FBI in early March for allegedly hacking into Stratfor’s website, a global intelligence company, obtaining emails and documents transmitted on their servers, and uploading them into Wikileaks, a website that is devoted to releasing information that exposes the corruption of governments and international corporations. Some examples of things dropped on Wikileaks are documentation of war crimes committed by US-funded NATO troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, detailing extrajudicial killings, torture, and protocol for detainees in Guantanamo Bay.

Jeremy is just one of many who are devoted to speaking out against these injustices and facing prison at the hands of the state. This country has a long history of infiltrating, derailing, and pacifying liberation movements. A very recent example of this are the raids and pre-emptive arrests of activists made prior to the the NATO summit in May, Chicago. They were set up by FBI infiltrators and are now facing terrorist charges. The story repeats with the Cleveland 5, occupiers who were also set up by the FBI and accused of allegedly planning to blow up government property and also face terrorist charges. The Tinley Park 5, a group of young men who were unlawfully searched and arrested for allegedly assaulting a group of white supremacists are being held behind these very walls. Bradley Manning, a US soldier who’s alleged to have uploaded all kinds of information on Wikileaks exposing US torture in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has been in jail over two years without trial, tortured, and charged with treason. There are many people all across the country who have been summoned to speak in front of a grand jury about their political activism. They are bold, refusing to speak and give in, and potentially facing indictments and arrests for noncompliance.

This style of repression is business as usual for the Chicago Police Department; there are dozens of people who have come forward to have their voice heard about the tortures committed by the former police commander Jon Burge under the knowing eye of the then-prosecutor Richard M. Daley. For 20 years they systematically tortured people to obtain confessions, targeting specifically African Americans. After 40 years, there are still people inside  fighting for appeals for their illegal and unjust convictions.

All these cases are connected. They are all intentional and tactical attempts of the state to hinder the activities of protesters by portraying them as violent agitators in the media, and use them as examples to scare others into submission. The alleged hacking and whistle-blowing of which Anonymous and Wikileaks droppers are accused of are proving themselves as invaluable and essential in a free society, because they expose the crimes and corruption of various states, which include systematic imprisonment, war, torture, and genocide. How long will it be until the war profiteers, the architects of oppression, the corrupt lawyers, judges and politicians get tried and convicted of these crimes?

It is important we continue to support these political prisoners. Their struggle is our struggle and we must continue to fight against their loveless world of prisons and tyranny.

People have been tremendous so far in sending Jeremy books, letters, postcards, all kinds of things to raise his spirits. It brings an incredible joy to know there are people on the outside who got your backs. Thanks to everyone coming out today and especially for those who traveled a great distance.

So, I leave you with the wise chants of a wild-eyed anarchist at a Halloween anti-capital march years ago:

Burn it down! Nothing Left! Everybody fun till death!
No more prisons, no more hate! Smash this fascist police state!

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