Monday, March 5th: Letter-writing for Cleveland 4 Prisoners

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We’re back on our normal first Monday of the month schedule in March and will be writing letters to Josh “Skelly” Stafford, Connor Stevens and Doug Wright of the Cleveland 4.

These Occupy Cleveland activists were arrested on April 30th, 2012 and accused of plotting a series of bombings, including that of an area bridge. However, the real story is that the FBI, working with an informant, created the scheme, produced the explosives, and coerced these four into participating.

Connor and Doug took non cooperating plea deals and pled guilty to all charges. The judge applied a “terrorist enhancement” charge to each of them, elongating their sentences as well as subjecting them to harsher prison conditions. Doug is serving 11.5 years, and Connor 8 years 1 month.

Skelly took his case to trial. He went pro se and acted as his own lawyer. The FBI offered him a non cooperating plea deal with a 3 year sentence, if he would have plead guilty. Josh refused to plead guilty to something he wasn’t guilty of doing. He was found guilty on all counts by his jury and sentenced to 10 years. Even though Skelly had the most minimal role, he got the second longest sentence because he took his case to trial.

They all continue to fight against the government’s attempt to brand them as terrorists and to expose the techniques of entrapment employed by the FBI and their informants.

Dinner will be served by North Philly Food Not Bombs and we will sign birthday cards for Joy Powell (the 5th), Andrew Mickel (the 13th), Cinque Magee (the 16th), and Jaan Laaman (the 21st).