One Year In: A Letter from John Tucker

May 19, 2013 – Lincoln Correctional Center

Dear Supporters ~

Looking back on this crazy year since our arrest in Tinley Park, it occurs to me just how fortunate I am to have such an amazing support network. From letters to donations, your constant aid has eased the burden imposed upon us by the state. Ultimately though the greatest gift we have received has been the camaraderie  from both near and far, given freely by those who are unable to remain inactive in this volatile political environment and who willingly shoulder the weight of the state alongside their comrades. Truly you have shown us the meaning of the word solidarity in both speech and action.

With (A) humbled red and black salute,

John Tucker

tucker

April 2013 Communique from Jason Sutherlin

Friends & Comrades,

As a community and as individuals you never stop amazing me. The support and solidarity I have felt from all of you is nothing less than overwhelming and amazing. I have been receiving a steady stream of mail and books since being placed in my current institution. Y’all are bad asses!! To all my birthday well wishers and all of you who decided “/b/ my valentine”, I love you all.

JasonSutherlinPic

To everyone who just writes to let me know I’m supported and remembered, either at letter parties or on your own, thank you. I love your letters and appreciate each one. Whether you are telling me about your pets, passions, interests, views, hopes, trumpets, or arm wrestling tactics (that wrist thing is cheating btw)…  I find them all interesting and often hilarious. I am unable to respond to all of you every time, but I want you all to know I value every word and you make my week every time I get a letter. Also I am not able to send letters out of the US right now. I do want to send some love to Queensland, Australia. Your letter was awesome and I wish I could write back. Much love to the French Resistance and a certain comrade in Germany. You’re rad K.

So I feel as though only the Cook County Jail could ever make a person “ready to get to prison”. Needless to say my conditions have improved greatly. I can purchase stuff like dental floss. I can workout. and I now have a walkman. Yes. A real walkman with real, or should I say, reel tapes. I am probably the only person in any prison with a Bjork tape! I’m also in classes which helps pass my time and I can earn days off my sentence. I have been treated professionally and the same as every person around me.

So before I close I want to touch on a subject that has come up over and over again in radical circles and radical causes. It’s time to ask yourself some hard questions when thinking about taking direct action. Are you prepared to be locked up? Are you willing to stay locked up to protect your comrades and community? Solidarity is a gift and a responsibility. Please ask yourself and be honest. If you don’t believe you can commit to the safety of your comrades and community, take a different path. We can all use the skills we have in the ways we are comfortable. There is so much work to do. So many ways to push for the world we hope to see. Please be safe, think tactically, and keep standing for what you know to be right.

I want to close with love and thanks to all of you. You all give me hope and remind me that some people actually care and that not everyone is a racist, sexist, homophobe… just most of the people that surround me at this moment in time. I still have hope for so many reasons and all of you contribute to that.

I want to publicly thank all my hometown heroes and all the folks holding down rad bookstores from North Carolina to Indiana to Sacramento working on prison support. To my own “dream team” doing research on how to mitigate the damage of mass incarceration and to my own light, who guides me everyday. I would be lost without you. To my crew, love y’all to death!! I’ll be home before too long.

With Love and Rage,

Jason W Sutherlin

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!

 

Send the Tinley Park Five Letters Online!

SupportLocalAntifa

Stamps, envelopes, post offices, delivery times… such a pain just to send your favorite antifa POWs a letter. But alas, no more! The website JPay.com offers online letter writing services to inmates. For just $5 you can buy a “book of stamps” with five stamps. Each stamp allows you to send an email up to a couple pages long. JPay then prints out your email and delivers it as a letter for you. As an added bonus, not only will this enable you to avoid the hassles of snail mail, but will also get your letter delivered quicker.

Philly Antifa Create Online Shop to Support Tinley Park Five

ursaDistroSome of our amazing comrades associated with Philly Antifa have put together an awesome online shop to help raise funds for the Tinley Park Five. Their convenient online store is offering some super cool (and cheap!) anti-racist, anti-sexist, and anti-homophobic gear. Get your superfly buttons, patches, hats, shirts, etc. with all the proceeds going to your favorite antifa POWs. Buy some stuff!

Jason Sutherlin and John Tucker Birthdays Coming Up

JasonSutherlinPicOn March 17, Jason Sutherlin will turn 34 years old while serving a six-year sentence at East Moline. You can write Jason a letter at:

Jason W. Sutherlin M34023
100 Hillcrest Rd
East Moline, IL 6124

tuckerOn March 20, John Tucker will turn 27 years old while serving a 3 1/2 year sentence in the Illinois State Department of Corrections. John is currently at Stateville Correctional Facility awaiting a placement at a long-term facility. While classification typically takes 2-6 weeks, John has already been at Stateville for two months. Unfortunately, prisoners awaiting classification at Stateville are unable to receive mail. We’re hoping that John will get transferred any day now and as soon as that happens we’ll get his address posted up here.

Send a Birthday Toast!

We’re collecting pictures for birthdays and other celebrations. We’ll be raising a glass for our imprisoned comrades. If you’d like to send a toast Jason and John’s way for their birthdays, take a picture of you and your crew toasting Cody on your phone anytime. 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” in the subject line. When they get out, we’ll show them all the photos of their friends and comrades all over the world raising a glass. Hopefully this way we can replace a piece of their stolen birthdays.