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

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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!

 

 

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.