Since the collapse of the Iron Curtain, it’s fallen to the Western nations to take up the banner of the War on Photography, formerly a stereotypically East German sort of preoccupation for the Securitate…
A few days ago, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the United States government’s Marshals attacked, arrested, and imprisoned my friend George Donnelly, an Anarchist based out of Philadelphia. They attacked him because he was filming the Marshals attacking somebody else, Julian Heicklen, who was peacefully distributing pamphlets about jury nullification in front of a federal courthouse. When Marshals got up in Heicklen’s face, he started arguing with them; like most government cops, the Marshals are happy to gang up on old men, and like most government cops, they believe they have the right and duty to use physical violence in order to put an end to purely verbal arguments. When the Marshals started attacking Heicklen, some of them went after George for filming what they were doing. Since he wouldn’t stop filming or hand over his camera on command, the Marshals tackled him, planted a knee on his face and pried the camera out of his hands. Then they arrested him for resisting arrest, and forced into a Federal jail for about 2 days before he was finally released, after a concerted effort by George’s friends at Fr33 Agents to make calls demanding his release.
He is safe at home for now with his wife and child. But the bullshit charges are still pending. Here’s George:
Thank you so much to everyone who noted my disappearing by federal agents and took steps to aid me. I am blessed and grateful to have such dear friends and comrades. Thank you. I will post more when I can. I’m currently recuperating from the relatively mild torture tactics deployed against me (and many other peaceful individuals I had the pleasure of meeting) in the local federal prison.
I’m currently seeking a criminal defense attorney who can assist in defending me against the federal onslaught. I am infinitely grateful for any assistance you can render. Thank you.
Here’s Vicki Moore’s call for solidarity with George. I couldn’t agree more.
As you can imagine, the next few months (or years, however the hell long it is for him) are going to be rough for George and his family. It’s hard enough being in ahe said-she saidcase against a regular person; imagine being in ahe said-she saidagainst the government with only two libertarians backing you up! He is going to be under a crazy amount of stress until these charges are (hopefully!) dismissed.
This is where your help is needed.
George needs a good criminal defense attorney who is well versed in first amendment cases and doesn’t mind taking on the federal government. He will also need a legal defense fund; he’s got a wife and a young son at home, let’s try to help ease the financial pressure on them. As of right now (Friday, May 14th, 2:46 am EST), George is taking donations through his paypal account (link located here). I will update if I find out anything else regarding a legal defense fund for him.
I know that the internet regularly sucks my will to live, but incidences like these are one of the few times I feel like I can have faith in the ‘tubes. This whole situation kills me. Admittedly, it’s in part because even though we haven’t met (yet), George and I run in some of the same circles and have several shared acquaintances/irl friends. Please help him in whatever way you can; even if you can’t donate money right now, just spread the info around and maybe you know someone who can.
She also has a good round-up of links to the reporting on the police riot at the courthouse. I don’t have much to add, except my best wishes and solidarity for George and his family, and my hope that y’all will spread the word about this police assault and what we can do to help George get through this.
Solidarity with George Donnelly! Free all political prisoners!