John Tucker Free, Releases Statement

John released this statement through New York City Anarchist Black Cross:

“These past 20 months have been an ordeal to say the least. From court drama to safety issues to just the woes of incarceration itself, this has been a trying process. Yet, even within the darkness of a cell, cut off from the world, some light could still be seen.  Your letters, donation,s and noisy solidarity were things of beauty to eyes forced to view the despair of a broken system day after day and eyes that could not help but watch as any glimmer of hope faded from so many youths as they were dehumanized by the tortuous conditions in which they were forced to dwell. Your zines brought much needed and often obscured information into a citadel of ignorance and fear, your books lifted the weight of monotonous oppression, and your donations aided in the welfare of so many with nothing but the state to care for them. A parcel of food here or some cosmetics there so often mean the difference between another night spent hungry or unclean and a good night’s rest, and never doubt the weight of one’s spirit in a time of need. Sadness, loneliness, and a lack of basic human needs often crush that vital spark necessary for a meaningful, productive, life and sadly press those “corrected” into a self-defeating cycle of unchecked violence or harsh drug use.

For so much I am thankful for the supporters, but of greatest importance was the solidarity. Your constant stream of letters and cards not only kept myself sane, but also gave tangible, physical proof of solidarity which revealed the tremendous weight of the conviction of people from the real world who likewise are willing to make a stand against the far too often accepted evils of the world, to an incarcerated populace who had often not heard of such people before. The attention brought by the constant stream of mail peaked curiosity and drove many to question what was going on. This in turn lead to discussions, which in turn lead to some longer discussions that I hope have made a difference in at least a few lives over the course of my stint of incarceration.

Now that I am free I am no less thankful for everything I have received from our amazing support network, which is in itself a testament to the will of a people willing to sacrifice to make a change. A support network populated by good hearted, noble people who have often suffered first hand under the weight of unchecked and unopposed malice. Thank you once again for everything you have done and continue to do; you are indeed an amazing people.

In Solidarity,
John Tucker”

While John is now out of prison, he undoubtedly needs the kind of support that those nearest to him can provide. At the same time, one of the Tinley Park Five remain imprisoned. Please take this time to write to him. Jason’s address is:

Jason Sutherlin M34023
East Moline Correctional Center
100 Hillcrest Road
East Moline, Illinois 61244

Reading Materials and Correspondence

abcThe Tinley Park Five are all pretty much settled into the facilities they’ll probably serve the duration of their sentences at. They’re all really happy to be out of Cook County and be in facilities where the inmates want nothing more than to do their time and get out. They’re all able to exercise, watch television, listen to music, and read in order to pass the time quickly.

We’ve also been told to make sure we give a shout out to Anarchist Black Cross (especially Denver, Chicago, NYC, and Bay Area) for their ongoing and continual support. Another big shout out to those members of the Anonymous collective who have supported #opValentine and #opPenPal (not to mention #opStormFrontRaid, #freeAnon, #opBlitzkrieg, and #opRacism). It means a lot to them to know that they’re not forgotten. They are continually amazed at how much suipport they’re receiving from all around the world.

I spoke with one of the Tinley Park Five on the phone a couple days ago. Apparently he has been getting so much mail that he raised the suspicion of one of the guards. This guard approached him, a “humongous beast of a man”, with a shaved head and white skin.

“Who the fuck are you? Why are you getting so much mail?”

He tried unsuccessfully to evade the issue. “My girl writes a lot…”

“Motherfucker I’m just going to go home and google your ass. Who’s ass did you beat to get this ‘mob action’ conviction?” the guard asked menacingly.

At this point, our young friend is pretty convinced that this guard is going to be giving him hell for the duration of his sentence, but there’s nothing he can really do. There’s nothing he can do to stop this guy from typing his name in a search engine. So what else can he do but step up and own his beliefs.

After he tells the guard just exactly what he’s in for, the guard smirks and shakes his head and starts reaching for what my friend thinks is the can of pepper spray the guards carry on their holster. It turns out though that the guard was just reaching for his wallet. He unfolds it and shows some pictures of his beautiful black wife and children.

“You’ll be fine in here…” He says as he chuckles and walks away.

Moral of the story: Don’t judge a book by it’s cover I guess.

Anyhow…

Prison Censorship

So there’s a little bit of a problem with mail and reading materials getting confiscated by the mail room. Typically when a prisoner’s mail is confiscated they get a slip saying that there was a package that was sent back for security violations and sometimes they give a lose explanation as to why. Apparently with the high volume of mail, one of the TP5 got about twenty of these confiscation notices in one week.

While these notices aren’t supposed to carry any consequences, it does draw a lot of unwanted attention to our comrades. Since all of the TP5 expect to get parole immediately upon becoming eligible, we’re all just apprehensive about giving the State any excuse to extend the length of their incarceration.

Also, very concretely, they simply aren’t getting the materials. Please don’t stop sending them zines and political reading though! We’re just asking that if you send them things, try to avoid materials with inflammatory rhetoric, anything they’re going to try to say is ‘gang-related’, explicitly violent material, or get this… anything with a can or bottle of beer visible in the pictures. Once you start sending them stuff you can work with them to try to make sure that they’re getting as much of it as possible. Apparently a lot of these decisions are pretty arbitrary and depends largely on who’s working the mail room any given day.

Thanks for your continued support!

 

 

All of the Tinley Park Five Have Now Been Transferred

support your local antifa 7Now that John Tucker has finally been classified and transferred and Dylan Sutherlin has been transferred to a long-term facility, all of the Tinley Park Five have arrived at the prisons which they will most likely serve the duration of their sentences at. Jason, John, and Cody were all placed in minimum security facilities. Apparently due to space limitations Alex and Dylan were placed in medium security facilities.

All five are in very good spirits and are currently in the process of trying to take advantage of some of the educational opportunities offered. These classes and programs can also chip away at their sentences. It’s optimistic but we’re hoping on seeing Alex and John this year, Cody and Dylan in early 2014, and Jason by the end of 2014.

They’re all very fortunate to have been placed in relatively decent facilities. They’ve had no real problems with guards or other inmates thus far. They’re all planning on making the most of their circumstances and trying to pass their time quickly by taking GED and college course, working out, watching television, and reading.

All of their webpages are now updated with semi-permanent addresses, but here they all are in one place:

Alex Stuck M34020
2600 N. Brinton Avenue
Dixon, IL 61021

Cody Sutherlin M34021
13423 E 1150th Ave
Robinson, IL 62454

Dylan Sutherlin M34022
P.O. Box 7711
Centralia, IL 62801

Jason Sutherlin M34023
100 Hillcrest Rd
East Moline, IL 61244

John Tucker M34024
P.O. Box 900
Taylorville, IL 62568

Send them a letter! All out of stamps? Send them a letter online!

 

Tinley Park Five Getting Transferred, Letter from Cody

CodyInFieldWhile we’re still awaiting word about where Alex and Tucker are going to wind up, we’ve got addresses for Jason, Cody, and Dylan. We’re pretty surprised that it’s taking this long for them to get transferred.

The Tinley Park Five wanted to say thanks for all the wonderful letters they’ve been receiving and would especially like to thank those in Anonymous who worked on #opValentine. The letter writing parties and benefit shows make such a huge difference, they hope you all to know just how grateful they are. If you’re planning on doing a benefit show or letter-writing party, we’re beginning to accumulate some posters and tabling resources here.

We just received this letter from Cody Sutherlin that he asked us to post:

To my Family, Friends, Comrades, Supporters, and Fans,
Thank you! I appreciate all the cards and letters full of support. Through all of the turmoil over the last nine months, you all have helped me to weather the storm. Unless you’ve been through what we have, you can’t understand what it feels like to be incarcerated and have a nation of support out there. Hearing everything that has taken place has warmed my heart. From the fundraising to the protests, the benefit shows to the letter writing to the visits… I thank you all! I know that it was hard for people to hear that we were taking such unreasonable plea bargains, but the judge and prosecution would have done everything in their power to cook us had we not. Aside from it being an unfair playing field, we simply could not put our loved ones through the stress of the messy trial that it would have been. I also would like to thank our legal team for all of their hard work and time. Our lawyers went thorough so much with this case, including death threats, and did everything in their power to defend us. Again the State was just simply not playing fair, which made their job all that much harder. I want to let everyone know that personally, I am simply glad to have it all over with. The facility I am in now is like summer camp compared to Cook County Jail, and it is filled with opportunities to shave time off my sentence. I am currently working on enrolling in college courses, where i will receive a 1/2 day credit for every day I am enrolled. It’s looking like I can reasonably expect to be released between February and May of next year, maybe sooner if some more opportunities arise. If not though, between school and the gym, my time will go by in a flash. I wanted to let everyone know not to spend much money on books for me, because I have a library available to me here. If there’s something that I really want that I cannot get here, I will let people know. If people would like to contribute in some way, donate money to the WePay account or continue to write letters. Other than that, when I am released I expect a big welcome home party! Again, I want to thank everyone for all of their love and support and I look forward to seeing everyone on the outside.

-Cody Lee

 

We’ll continue to post any updates and change of status for the Tinley Park Five on their individual TP5 pages. Updates for John Tucker and Alex Stuck should be coming very soon.

 

Tinley Park Five Accept Non-Cooperating Plea Bargain

JasonSutherlinPic

Jason Sutherlin, antifa anarchist, sentenced to six years for the beating of nazis in Chicago.

On January 4, 2013 all members of the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea bargain in which they each plead guilty to three felony counts of Armed Violence in exchange for “lenient” sentences and the guarantee of ‘day-for-day’ good behavior. Jason Sutherlin was sentenced to 6 years. Cody Lee Sutherlin and Dylan Sutherlin were sentenced to 5 years. Alex Stuck and John Tucker were sentenced to 3 1/2 years due to their youth and complete lack of criminal history. Each will be placed upon two years of supervised release upon release from prison.

Before the plea was accepted, the State offered the Tinley Park Five one last chance to betray their comrades in exchange for their freedom. What a waste of time! As anarchist and antifascists, the Tinley Park Five are no more capable of selling out the struggle than their broken system is capable of reforming itself! They laughed at the offer and bravely accepted their fate.

Credit was given for the 7 months already served in Cook County. They will receive ‘day-for-day’ good time credit which effectively cuts the sentences in half. The state of Illinois also offers several programs and classes which can chip away at sentences. Optimistically, Alex and John could be out before Christmas 2013. Dylan and Cody could be out my Autumn 2014. Jason could be out by Christmas 2014. This is all hypothetical and highly speculative of course.

On Monday January 7th, the Tinley Park Five will be transferred to Stateville for between one and three weeks. There the Illinois Department of Corrections will decide where they will spend the duration of their sentences. Until this decision is reached PLEASE HOLD ALL MAIL. If you wish to donate to the Tinley Park Five at this time we ask that you use WePay rather than money orders at this time, as we’re concerned that they will get lost or delayed as the Tinley Park Five are being transferred between facilities. We’re working on trying to quickly raise as much money as possible to ease this transition.

Make no mistake, it is with great sorrow that we accept just how long we’ll be separated from our dear friends, but they will not be forgotten nor will their struggle cease in their absence. This support crew will continue to advocate for each of them in whatever they decide to do until every last one of them is free. Communiques from several members of the Tinley Park Five to their supporters are expected soon and will be posted on this website.

The Tinley Park Five as well as their supporters, comrades, family, and friends would like to thank Aaron Goldstein, Sara Garber, Brian Barrido, James Fennerty, Stuart Smith, Matthew Dodge, and everyone else who assisted in their legal defense. They would also like to thank the National Lawyer’s Guild for connecting these attorneys with the Tinley Park Five as well as the People’s Law Office for consulting with us in the initial stages of this ordeal.

The Tinley Park Five also wanted to thank Chicago Anarchist Black Cross as well as South Side for their help in bringing people out to their most recent court appearance. Seeing so many supporters meant more than you could know to them. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it. Thanks to everyone on the interwebz for helping to get the word out about it so well.

I was able to speak with Jason this morning and Alex last night and both of them asked that there be a public acknowledgement of all the groups who have humbled us with their support thus far. Thanks to Denver ABC, Salt Lake City ABC, New York City ABC, Rose City Antifa, Southside Chicago Anti-Racist Action, Philly ARA, Lafayette HARM, Circle City ARA, One People’s Project, Bursts-o-Goodness, Political Fail Blog, Sacramento Prisoner Support, M1AA, IWW, VICE, Worker’s World (especially NYC and Detroit affiliates), the Btown crew, as well as anyone who’s attended a letter-writing party, a court date, or came to visit. Thanks to the countless organizations that I apologize in advance for forgetting to mention.

Thanks to all of you Anonymous gangsters that had our backs with #opStormfrontRaid. Dirty South, whoever you are, you’re a life-saver, literally. Thanks to anyone who has stepped up in any way they could whether that be sharing a link or donating a couple dollars.

Thanks to everyone that has helped, but please don’t forget… the Tinley Park Five aren’t going to be in the news headlines as often but they are still going to need just as much support. We ask that you not forget about the Tinley Park Five! Please keep the benefit shows, letter-writing parties, and other acts of solidarity coming as they’re needed now as much as ever.

We’ll leave you with this quote, nearly a century old, which still rings just as true today:

“Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” – Eugene Debs 1918

Yours in Solidarity,

Tinley Park Five and Support Crew

Nov 16 Court Date, Financial Struggles, and a Letter from Cody Lee Sutherlin

On November 16, the Tinley Park Five will be attending a 402 conference. This conference will determine whether a non-cooperating plea bargain can be reached for the five or whether the case will proceed to a jury trial. The lengthy jail time the five have already faced combined with the lost income for their households continues to be a burden to the Tinley Park Five and their families and friends.

Covering commissary costs has been a struggle recently. Unfortunately it’s been a couple of months since we’ve been able to justify spending donations on reading materials because keeping up with the cost of food, stamps, phone cards, and writing materials has been a struggle by itself. Any reading materials they received would be appreciated now more than ever.

Thanks to all of you who have thrown parties and benefits for the five. The letter-writing parties provide them with the human interaction they need to keep their heads and hearts in healthy places. Thank you to everyone who’s shared a link, given ten dollars, took time to write a letter, planned or attended a benefit, etc. The support received from so many diverse passionate communities continues to inspire both our imprisoned comrades and those working towards their freedom.

Hello World!

I want to start off by thanking everyone for the solidarity we’ve been shown. I can’t begin to explain what it feels like to be stuck in an institution such as this one, though everyday is made easier by the love, letters, and donations we are receiving out there in the world.

Thanks to all of you that have shown support through benefits and actions in our name. It is rather heart-warming to know that people care about us to the extent of organizing events. I want to thank everyone who has sent a letter or card telling us to keep our head held high and we are not forgotten.

My life has become a series of waiting for letters, commissary  and court dates. If you have written me and not gotten a reply, know that the system is toying with our mail and I probably have not received it. I do my best to respond to every letter. even if it’s just to say “thank you”.

The feeling I receive when a letter comes from somewhere across the country is near overwhelming. From coast-to-coast and everywhere between, thank you. Likewise, thank you to every person who has donated money to the fund.

It is very expensive to be jailed. Multiply that by five and it could put much hardship on our loved ones. It is very costly to order from commissary, but it’s the only way to not go hungry. All of what we eat in a day could be considered a meal and a snack to others, and that’s if those people could even stomach the “food” they serve us. Besides food, we have hygiene and stationary supplies to keep up on as well.

On top of that, phone calls run nearly $7 for a fifteen minute call. If we are forced to call our loved ones without phone cards or a contract in place, that call becomes $10! Thankfully, our lawyers are amazing people, and are only taking money for gas and print quotas. Those are just the day-to-day costs of being a prisoner. In the future, we could have to worry about clothes for trial and possible fines pending the outcome of our case.

So again… thank you to everyone who has been able to donate! If you find it possible to contribute anything, we do and will greatly appreciate it. If you simply can not afford to, we understand and know that your thoughts, letters, and actions are very much appreciated as well.

Lastly, but certainly not in the least. I want to thank all of our loved ones out there to all of the friends and family out there missing us, waiting with open arms, we love you! Thanks again for all of the love and support. Hopefully we can see each other sooner than later on the outside.

Sincerely,

Cody Lee
“Tinley Park 5″

Thanks again for your continued support.

Happy Birthday Cody Lee Sutherlin!

On December 2, 2012 Cody Lee Sutherlin will turn twenty-four years old. While we’re all hoping that a plea agreement can be reached between now and then, the bitter reality is that Cody may be spending his birthday in the Cook County Jail. As friends of Cody we will miss the chance to relax, enjoy a beer, and reflect upon years past. Though we think of the sacrifice he’s making everyday, the thought of spending birthdays in jail is particularly painful. That said, the last thing Cody would ever want would be people moping around on his birthday.

We do want to make sure that Cody has as good of a day as is possible. In order that he should hopefully receive it by his birthday, letters and other packages should be sent as soon as possible. PLEASE! If you’ve got an extra fifteen minutes just send Cody a short letter to wish him a happy birthday! It’ll mean a lot to him.

To put a couple extra dollars directly on his commissary fund use Moneygram Bill Pay, which can be found at most drug and grocery stores. Use the code #1750 for Cook County Department of Corrections and send the money to inmate code:

20120521148CSUTHERLI 

Cody will receive the money instantly and maybe this way he can have a birthday feast of tuna fish and ramen noodles! You can also continue to get money to Cody and the rest of the Tinley Park Five via WePay.

Wanna Send Cody a Birthday Toast?

If you’d like to send a toast Cody’s way for his birthday, take a picture of you and your crew toasting Cody on your phone anytime between now and December 2. Send the funniest, sexiest, sweetest, proudest, drunkest or smartest picture you can come up with for your toast and send it to

TinleyPark5@Yahoo.com

with something along the lines of “Happy Birthday Cody” in the subject line. When Cody gets out (hopefully soon), we’ll show him all the photos of his friends and comrades all over the world raising a glass to him. Hopefully this way we can replace a piece of his stolen birthday.

We miss you Cody Lee Sutherlin! Solidarity! Happy Birthday!