Earth Liberation Front political prisoner and Rockaway native Daniel McGowan was released from the Communication Management Unit (CMU) in Terre Haute, Indiana this morning. He was driven by federal authorities to Indianapolis International Airport, where he met up with his wife.
Though the two have been able to visit during Daniel’s imprisonment, today marked the first time in years that they could hug, hold hands, or make any physical contact (save for a few month stint when Daniel was in general population in Marion, Illinois– between the CMU there and the one in Terre Haute). The two flew back to New York City together, where they were met by a small group of close friends at the airport.
From the airport, Daniel had one hour to make it to the halfway house, where he will be living for as long as the next six months. Though he has secured employment, it is unclear when he can start work (at the discretion of the halfway house, not his new employer). Until he has had time to settle in, there are more questions than answers.
After being released from the halfway house, Daniel will be under supervised release for three years.
Regardless, this is great news and we’re excited to see our comrade on the other side of the wall.
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 effects 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.
"Green Scare" Defendants
The term "Green Scare," alluding to the Red Scare of the 1940s and ’50s, refers to legal and extralegal actions taken by the U.S. government against environmental and animal rights activists. Like the Red Scare, the Green Scare uses new laws and new arms of the state to harshly punish a few individuals in order to repress an entire movement.
In December 2005, government agents carried out a nationwide sweep of arrests, charging fourteen individuals with actions claimed by the Earth Liberation Front and/or Animal Liberation Front in the Northwestern U.S. dating back to the mid-90's. The actions include a 1997 fire that destroyed a horse slaughterhouse in Oregon (the plant was not rebuilt), and fires that destroyed pens and chutes at Bureau of Land Management wild horse holding compounds in Oregon, Wyoming and California (horses were also freed during the actions). Despite no injury caused to any living being, a judge determined that some of the arsons constituted "terrorism" under Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
In November 2006, Nathan Block, Daniel McGowan, Jonathan Paul and Joyanna Zacher entered non-cooperation plea agreements in which they accepted responsibility for their own roles in environmentally-motivated property crimes, but did not agree to provide information or testify against anyone now or in the future.
Unfortunately, other individuals admitted guilt after their arrests and proceeded to provide information to the government. In order to receive reduced sentences, these individuals agreed to cooperate with the state in ongoing investigations against the environmental and animal rights movements. Those individuals are not listed here.
In May 2012, Joyanna Zacher ("Sadie") and Nathan Block ("Exile") were released from prison and will complete their sentences at a halfway house.
In June 2007, Sadie and Exile were sentenced to 7 years and 8 months imprisonment each. For more information, please contact their support campaign: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daniel was released from prison in December 2012.
In June 2007, Daniel McGowan was sentenced to seven years in prison. Learn more about Daniel at the following websites: www.SupportDaniel.org, www.facebook.com/supportdanielmcgowan
Jonathan was released from prison in January 2011 and completed his sentence at a halfway house.
Jonathan Paul was sentenced to 51 months. He began his sentence in October 2007. Jonathan said as he reported to prison, "This is way bigger than us, this is for the animals and the planet, we will never suffer as much as they do."
Justin Solondz #98291-011
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1000
Loretto, PA 15940
In early 2009, Justin Solondz was arrested in China on local charges, more than three years after he was indicted on arson and conspiracy charges related to actions in the U.S. claimed by the ELF/ALF. In July 2011, Justin was taken into federal custody upon his expulsion from China, after completing a prison sentence. In March 2012, Justin was sentenced to seven years in prison.