In this issue of Green Politics we are putting the spotlight on the Justice system, or should we call it the incarceration system. We have highlighted 3 political prisoners along with the Cuban 5 to illustrate how our political system continues to punish radical thinkers. We have not even begun to scratch the surface on injustices that the US government has perpetrated here and abroad. A case in point, was the March 17 anniversary march of Occupy Wall Street by a peaceful reoccupation of the park. Thirty two people were arrested and at least two protesters were hurled against vehicles or had their heads bashed against the ground.
The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The US rate is about 500 prisoners per 100,000 compared to 100 prisoners per 100,000 for countries comparable to the US. Incarceration rates are significantly higher for Blacks and Latinos.
Most of the 168 detainees at Guantanamo have been imprisoned for nearly a decade without charges and with no end in sight to their captivity. Some die at Guantanamo without ever having had the chance to contest accusations of guilt.
We round out this issue with an article on a historical perspective on the situation in Ukraine.
We are always interested in your comments and ideas. You can reach us at http://www. greenparty.org/newsletter/contact_us.php
The Print Collective
Phil Ardery, Jr
Mumia Abu-Jamal, an internationally celebrated black writer and radio journalist, author of six books, hundreds of columns and articles and organizer and inspiration for the prison lawyers movement was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner on December 9, 1981.
Read more: WHO IS MUMIA ABU-JAMAL?
Marie Mason is a mother of two and a long-time activist in the environmental and labor movements. In March 2008, she was arrested by federal authorities for charges related to two acts of property destruction that occurred in 1999 and 2000 – damaging an office connected to GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) research, and destroying a piece of logging equipment. No one was injured in either act. She faced a life sentence before accepting a plea bargain in September 2008.
Mason was sentenced on February 5, 2009 in federal court in Lansing, Michigan. She received almost 22 years – the longest sentence of any Green Scare
prisoner. An appeal for a reduction in her sentence was denied in 2010.
Read more at the Free Marie Mason Site.
Leonard Peltier was a leading member of the American Indian Movement (AIM), an organization which seeks to promote and uphold Native American Indian rights. On 26 June 1975, during a confrontation involving AIM members on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, FBI agents Ronald Williams and Jack Coler were shot dead. Leonard Peltier was convicted of their murders in 1977 and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. Leonard Peltier does not deny that he was present during the incident. However, he has always denied killing the agents as was alleged by the prosecution at his trial.
Read more at Campaign to Free Leonard Peltier.
The Cuban Five
The Cuban Five are five Cuban men who are unjustly imprisoned in the United States after being arrested by the FBI on Sept. 12, 1998 and convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami in 2001, in a political prosecution by the U.S. government.
They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González.*
The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related charges.
The Five’s actions were never directed at the U.S. government. They never engaged in nor planned any conspiracy against the government.
As the Cuban Five pointed out in their defense, they were on a mission in Miami, beginning in 1990, to monitor the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent those groups from carrying out attacks on their country of Cuba.
They never harmed anyone nor ever possessed nor used any weapons on their mission. Their objective was simply protecting people from terrorism.
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Green Social Thought
: A magazine of synthesis and regeneration (the new name for Synthesis/Regeneration) is produced in St. Louis and sent to members of the Greens/Green Party USA. GST-S/R No. 65 is titled "Digging Up the Future"
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On March 17, several hundred members of Occupy Wall Street celebrated the six month anniversary of their first camp at Zuccotti Park by a peaceful reoccupation of the park which was broken up within hours by police with 32 arrests. Almost no march goes by without one or two protesters being hurled against vehicles or have their heads bashed. The message here is clear. Anyone who engages in Occupy Wall Street related activity should know they can be arrested for any reason at any time.
The West Marches East: The US-NATO Strategy to Isolate Russia
, By Andrew Gavin Marshall, The Hampton Institute
In early March of 2014, following Russia's invasion of Crimea in Ukraine, the New York Times editorial board declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "stepped far outside the bounds of civilized behavior," suggesting that Russia should be isolated politically and economically in the face of "continued aggression
John Kerry, the U.S. Secretary of State, lashed out at Russia's " incredible act of aggression
," stating that: "You just don't in the 21st century behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on [a] completely trumped up pre-text." Indeed, invading foreign nations on "trumped up pre-texts" is something only the United States and its allies are allowed to do, not Russia! What audacity!