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by Sacramento Prisoner Support
Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 at 10:19 PM
After two years of isolation, Eric still needs your support...
Two years ago today our friend, our loved one, our comrade was snatched away from us by the state. They charged him with “conspiracy” (thought crime in the most literal sense) and threw him in total separation (isolation) – where he has remained ever since. Since his arrest, Eric has not had any physical contact with his loved ones. For two years we have been forced to communicate through pen and paper, through telephone wires, through thick plexiglass windows, with only our words and the light in our eyes to offer comfort. But even the cold, lifeless mediums we have been forced to utilize cannot repress or dampen the love we feel in our hearts, the joy and the pain all mixed up in our tears, or the courage and strength that we draw from each other every day. There are still some things they can’t take away.
Since his arrest, Eric has endured so much more than the “normal” grief associated with being ripped from one’s community and loved ones, stripped of all one’s freedoms, and thrown in a cage. He has endured the agonizing pain of betrayal, first as he discovered someone he loved and trusted was actually a government informant, and then later as two people he loved dearly also turned into collaborators with the state. He has endured two years of isolation, deprived of the essential humyn connections derived from the beauty of touch. He has endured two separate struggles to secure access to food he can eat, remaining true to the compassionate principles that drive not only his veganism, but the ways in which he lives all aspects of his life. Both times he underwent grueling two- week hunger strikes, and both times he was victorious against the seemingly endless power of the state and his captors. He has endured two separate bouts of pericarditis – a painful heart condition most likely caused by his total lack of nutrition – and the subsequent complete lack of medical care from the jail. He has endured two years of a concerted effort by the government to vilify and criminalize him, his lifestyle, and all he holds dear. This extended so far beyond the bounds of “government misconduct” – the outright lies and misinformation – that even the jury which ultimately convicted him saw through much of it, and commented to the press afterwards that they were ashamed of the FBI, and described their conduct as “scary.” And he endured a trial which, by all rational and legal standards, was fraught with blatantly unjust and erroneous legal rulings.
Now he faces 20 years in prison for a crime that was never committed- for falling prey to government intrusion, infiltration, and entrapment. The government is doing everything in its power to slap the label of “terrorist” on Eric – a label which is not only patently false and insulting to those who have experienced real terrorism (often at the hands of the state), but which also carries with it a great weight. The weight of social implications, and the much more concrete weight of time. If the government is successful in applying the terrorism enhancement to Eric’s sentencing, it could turn what could otherwise be a 5 year sentence, into a 20 year sentence.
Eric’s sentencing is currently set for February 21st. But this will not be the end of his struggle. Eric will be appealing his conviction – and we can honestly say that we feel he has a strong case (for more information on why, read the alert dated 10/04/07 at http://www.supporteric.org/updates.htm – particularly the section on the verdict. You can also read Eric's motion for a new trial at: http://www.supporteric.org/motion.pdf). However, regardless of the appeal, Eric will be spending much more time in jail and prison. The appeals process can take a very long time, and after his sentencing he will be moved to a federal facility. While we can hope that he is sent to a facility near his friends and family, we have absolutely no guarantee of that. The prospect of Eric being sent even further from us is not an easy one to accept. It will be a difficult time for everyone, and we will need all of you to keep supporting Eric and sending him all of your energy and love.
And, of course, appeals will cost money. A lot of money. As soon as sentencing is over we will need at least ,000 for Eric’s legal defense. We need help from all of you to cover these fees. We cannot stress this enough. Eric has consistently remained true to his principles and maintained his integrity throughout this ordeal. In choosing to fight the charges against him he incurred the complete and total wrath of the state. If we are to remain true to our principles, raising money for Eric’s defense is the least that we can do. Please start planning your next fundraisers now! We are more than happy to help in any way we can – just let us know what you need. Together we can make this happen – Eric’s freedom is hanging in the balance.
If you would like to make a direct donation to Eric's appeal fund, you can donate through PayPal at: http://www.supporteric.org/howtohelp.htm#Fundraising
or you can send a check or money order made out to Sacramento Defense Fund to:
PO Box 163126
Sacramento, CA 95816
If the check/money order is not made out to Sacramento Defense Fund, we will not be able to deposit it.
Just a reminder, the motion for a new trial/acquittal will now be heard on January 24. The sentencing hearing has been moved AGAIN – it is now on calendar for February 21st. Please consider coming to Eric’s sentencing to show your support.
Also – remember to write your letter to the judge, urging the lowest possible sentence for Eric. Information and suggestions on what to write can be found at: http://www.supporteric.org/updates.htm in the alert dated 1/08/08.
Thank you all for your continued support.
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