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

John Tucker of the Tinley Park Five Thanks Supporters

John Tucker Thanks #TinleyPark5 Supporters!

John Tucker, one of the defendants in the Tinley Park Five case, asked that we post this letter of gratitude to his supporters. John, like the other four defendants, is being held in Cook County Jail awaiting trial. His bail is $175,000, out of the reach of his friends and family. Defense motions to suppress the arrest are to be ruled on soon, but most likely the five antifascist activists will be held in Cook County Jail until the conclusion of what appears will be a lengthy trial.

The Indianapolis Star recently ran a gossip piece about the Tinley Park Five and the antifascist community in the midwest. They referr to the struggle against violent fascism as a “shadowy” endeavor. The same mainstream media that has tacitly condoned increased police violence against activist’s free speech is now incensed by any perceived violation of the free speech of neonazis, klan members, and other hate groups.

To our Supporters -

First off, I would like to thank all of our past, present and future supporters for any and all letters, donations, and internet support for our cause. Incarceration is difficult indeed, but your kindness helps ease our troubles in these trying times.

Secondly, I would like to thank our supporters and sympathizers for any and all kindness given to our friends and family, of which the media has often vilified. Those closest to us are oftentimes more affected by our tragedies than we ourselves are at the time.

Lastly, to all those who are reading this with an open mind, I would like to thank you for at least showing an interest in our struggle. Just know, we are by no means the dark figures much as the media has made us out to be. We are sons and brothers, workers and students, salt of the earth, flesh-and-blood people like everyone else. Though not as sensational as many new programs and papers make us out to be we are just people  (thankful people at that) for everything much of the populace has and continues to help us with. Without caring people in the world I’m not sure we could make it throught this.

Thank you all,
John Tucker

 

Wanna support the Tinley Park Five?

Call to Action: Pack the courtroom for June 12 appearance

The Tinley Park Five have a court appearance 9am June 12 at the Bridgeview Courthouse (10220 South 76th Avenue Bridgeview , IL 60455). The white supremacist community is threatening later violence against anyone in attendance as can be seen in this thread from Stormfront. The International Action Center has posted a short article about the court date located here. The Tinley Park Five and their support network hope to gather a large group of people to attend, in order to prevent their friends and family from being targeted by violent fascists.

We realize that many activists in the Chicago area might not be supportive of the tactics the Tinley Park Five are accused of. Keep in mind, they have not been convicted of anything at this time. We ask that you consider attending this court date even if you’re uncomfortable with militant actions as a show of support to their families. We need a large group of people for the families to be able to blend into. If you’re not comfortable showing solidarity with the Tinley Park Five, we ask that you consider attending as a show of solidarity to their families and friends who have never participated in any direct action and just want to be able to see their sons, brothers, and partners without fear of being murdered by fascist thugs.

Those willing to participate in this show of solidarity are asked to seriously consider the potential risks of walking into the cross-hairs of these racist lunatics.

If you are willing to come, we ask that you adhere to the following guidelines in order to protect the families and loved ones of the Tinley Park Five as well as to not jeopardize the legal outcome of the case:

  • Do not bring cameras.
  • If asked to comment by media, or anyone claiming to be a journalist, say only two words: “NO COMMENT
  • Be respectful and cooperative with all law enforcement and court officials
  • Do not engage in debate or discussion with any racist elements
  • Do not confront or posture against white supremacists at the courthouse. They will be there trying to provoke a response.
  • Do not assume that anyone you do not personally know is a supporter. White nationalists do have plans to ‘infiltrate’  their supporters as well as pose as journalists, bloggers, and curious activists
  • Do not wear any clothing that shows allegiance to any anti-racist or anti-fascist cause.
  • Be aware that the Chicago Tribune and other main-stream media outlets have already jeopardized the safety of Tinley Park Five supporters. They are desperate for any chance to portray the Tinley Park Five and their supporters as crazy fanatics. Don’t give them this ammunition, even though both reporters and white supremacists will be doing their best to bait you into behaving in a militant fashion.
  • This is serious business. If you don’t think you’re capable of holding your tongue when hearing Nazis and Klansman call supporters things such as “race-traitors”, “niggers”, “anti-white terrorists”, “mud-babies”, and every other ethnic slur imaginable we ask that you show your support in one of these different ways.

The overwhelming support the Tinley Park Five continue to receive has become a life-altering experience for those of us working on jail support. Thank you for considering to help. Solidarity.

Tinley Park Five doing great, humbled by international support they are receiving

Each and every member of the Tinley Park are in great spirits. They are getting along well with the other inmates at Cook County Jail. Their two biggest concerns at this time are the safety of their family and friends who are still receiving relentless threats of violence from the white supremacist community and the boredom and anxiety that comes along with being imprisoned, especially not knowing how long they have til they will be released. Their support network is capably handling security concerns. The Tinley Park Five support network is also doing everything they can to help with with the monotony of prison life, but you can also help by writing letters, visiting, or providing financial support. The various acts of solidarity being shown by the antifascist, anarchist, and activist communities across the world are the fuel that keeps us all going through these stressful times. Thank you to everyone who has given a few dollars, written a letter, retweeted a link, shared a news story, sent a book or zine, dedicated an action to or visited them, assisted with security, and have otherwise aided in this campaign to free the Tinley Park Five. It’s impossible to convey how much this means to both us and them.

The Tinley Five Park Five Need Your Support

https://www.wepay.com/donations/legal-defense-fund-for-the-tinley-park-five

Any financial help you can spare will be greatly appreciated and go directly to the Tinley Park Five.