Solidarity for George Donnelly

(Via Fr33 Agents and Drunkenatheist 2010-05-14.)

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…

— GT 2010-01-01: Friday Lazy Linking

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.

— George Donnelly (2010-05-14): A Million Thankyous

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 a he said-she said case against a regular person; imagine being in a he said-she said against 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.

— Drunkenatheist 2010-05-14: Move it along, sir!

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!

See also:

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6 replies to Solidarity for George Donnelly Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Drunkenatheist

    Charles, thank you so much for spreading the word. You are the best! :)

    Unfortunately, we can’t donate cash to him at this moment, so I am concentrating my efforts into spreading awareness about the case. Within the next few days, I plan on sending out a huge round of emails to get George a more diverse audience. Like I said to him privately, I can’t guarantee that anyone outside of libertarian circles will feature the story, but it’s always worth a shot. Obviously, the larger the audience, the bigger the stink, and (hopefully!) the quicker the charges are dropped.

    Thank you so much once again. George’s case will likely be dominating my online activity for the foreseeable future. He was busting my stones about showing up to a FIJA event and I feel like I owe him at least a little bit of my time and effort. :)

  2. Darian

    Major media picked up on Bile’s lawsuit against the DHS for a similar, but less violent encounter. I’ve posted this link on George’s Facebook. http://blogofbile.com/activism/filming-julian-heicklen/

  3. Discussed at aaeblog.com

    Cops on Film | Austro-Athenian Empire:

    […] Cop violates freedom of guy filming cop violating freedom of other guy. […]

  4. Discussed at nocoercion.com

    Federal agents attack and kidnap liberty activist:

    […] nullification and the Fully Informed Jury Association. Summaries can be found here, here, here, here, and […]

  5. Discussed at drunkenatheist.com

    Updates about George’s case:

    […] Rad Geek People’s Daily: Solidarity for George Donnelly […]

  6. Discussed at aaeblog.com

    Cops on Film, Part 2 | Austro-Athenian Empire:

    […] for, as far as I can tell, being an inconvenient witness to police brutality. More info here, here, and […]

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