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!

 

 

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