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Benefit For Sherman Austin In Santa Ana
Jam 'da Old Skool (and Raise Your Fist) Funk Dance Party

Saturday, March 20, 2004, 6:00-11:30 PM
At Centro Cultural de Mexico
1522 S. Main St., Santa Ana

All ages, $5.00 gets you in
Featuring: DJ music and dancefloor
For more info, e-mail overthecounterintelligence@hotmail.com



It's never the hardware that has value, but the data on the hard drives. That's what activists are learning, whether it's the IMC being subpoenad for log files, Josh Connole's home being raided and having computers seized, or the most famous case of all, Sherman Austin.

After great effort, Jennifer Martin, Sherman's mother, sought to recover the computer equipment seized during the January FBI raid against Sherman. She got the computers back, but the hard drives were missing. The FBI went to the trouble of removing the hard drives: this involved opening each computer, unscrewing, and removing each hard drive.

What might be on the hard drives that the police might want so bad as to delay their return? Will she ever get the drives back?

Read it all....



Approaching FCI Tucson from desert Wilmot Road, I immediately noticed the surrounding barbed-wire chains that separate Sherman from the "free" outside world. I sighed at the thought that within minutes I would be able to see him, but within hours I would have to leave the facility without him. I pondered what our reactions would be. more...



A Strange and Tragic Legal Journey
SHERMAN UPDATE: Counterpunch Releases New Article About Sherman\\\'s Case
A Strange and Tragic Legal Journey
The Case of Sherman Martin Austin By MERLIN CHOWKWANYUN

On Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2003, Sherman Martin Austin began serving one year in federal prison under terms of a plea agreement for which he was sentenced on Aug. 4, 2003.

Austin, the 20-year-old African-American founder and former webmaster of the anarchist website www.raisethefist.com, pleaded guilty to "distribution" of information about making or using explosives with the "intent" that the information "be used for, or in furtherance of, an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence." Such was deemed illegal under a relatively obscure federal statute, 18 U.S.C. 842 (p)(2)(A), pushed through Congress by Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the late 1990s. The offending material, which Austin repeatedly has emphasized he did not author, was housed on an isolated section of Austin's web server, and a small portion of it contained amateurish instructions on how to assemble simple explosives.

Now, as Austin and the increasing number of people analyzing his case count down the days to his freedom, new facts about his case are coming to light. Gathered from court records, law enforcement documents, and interviews, these new details reveal a sloppy federal investigation of Austin, one of inconsistencies and dubious evidence that nonetheless resulted in an armed raid of Austin's 950-sq. foot Sherman Oaks, CA home, a nightmarish 13-day detention in two cities, and ultimately, a year-long federal prison sentence handed down by a Reagan-appointed federal judge.

The new details also show the egregious politicization of Austin's case by federal prosecutors and the judge who sentenced Austin. They show the FBI, during its investigation, engaging in questionable conduct that make parallels to COINTELPRO quite apt. And above all, the new information elevates Sherman's case beyond its obvious--and obviously important--free speech implications and demonstrates just how low the bar is for authorities to cobble together an affidavit for easy approval (and a warrant) from a judge. Read ENTIRE ARTICLE. Visit the new FREE SHERMAN Website.



Jennifer Martin is asking people to write in repudiation of Diane Feinstein's promise to enforce the provisions of the PATRIOT act used to railroad her son into prison. Click the title to find out how, and write a letter.


SHERMAN WAS TRANSFERRED TO OKLAHOMA, PENDING PERMANENT PLACEMENT IN A MEDIUM SECURITY FACILITY IN ARIZONA
The San Bernadino Detention Center was flooded with phone calls, letters, e-mails, and faxes requesting Sherman's transfer to a permanent facility. Prison officials commented on the overwhelming amount of support that he was receiving--they seemed surprised that he had such a large and diverse support group on the outside. He still needs legal assistance and funds to pay for it! The family and friends of Sherman are asking that folks write letters to Dianne Feinstein in response to her rather nasty press release about Sherman, issued the day he turned himself in. Read more! Or contact jmi46@sbcglobal.net for more information.


Attorney General John Ashcroft doesn't have enough to do, hunting down terrorists. With the help of a rollover Congress, he now has a new and bigger club to go after federal judges who impose lighter sentences in criminal cases than he would like. Read full story.

CMU Professor's Web Site Causing Controversy
Controversy is brewing over a web site at a Carnegie Mellon University. Some people say the site promotes terrorism because it includes instructions for building a bomb. Read full story.

Ashcroft's Memo and Sherman Austin: Coincidence?
Attorney General John Ashcroft distributed a memo on on July 28, 2003. He wants prosecutors to closely monitor which judges impose more lenient sentences than federal guidelines recommend, a step some critics say could limit judicial independence. Sherman Austin had a hearing scheduled on July 28, 2003, that the CLERK FORGOT TO ENTER ON THE JUDGE'S SCHEDULE. On August 4, 2003, Sherman returned to court and Judge Wilson gave him 12 months in prison. Coincidence?

Enjoying the hospitality of Jennifer Martin's cozy Sherman Oaks apartment, and the playful affections of her spotted dog, with its radiantly pleasant disposition, was a warm beginning for this somber occasion. Martin's twenty year old son, Sherman Austin was recently unjustly convicted for posting bomb making information on his website, RaisetheFist.com, with intent to further an act of violence. We were there to get their side of the story...

Read New Feature by LA Indymedia Correspondents.

UPDATE: Read in-depth interview with Sherman from Counterpunch.

UPDATE: Benefit Show for Sherman with Special Guest Zack De La Rocha, RESCHEDULED for Fri. Aug 29 @ Che Cafe.

Listen to the Killradio.org interview with Sherman from August 13, 2003.
Listen to the Killradio.org interview with Sherman from August 6, 2003.
Listen to two Radio4All interviews with Sherman Austin, 7/10/03 and 8/8/03.

See Photos: Portraits of a Gentle Fighter.
See Cartoon: Sherman Austin Railroaded.

From the Newswire: News.com Interview with Sherman.
From the newswire: Sherman DID NOT Author the Reclaim Guide.
From the newswire: Lady Liberty Shot in the Foot...Again.
From the newswire: A Message About Sherman.
Press Release From: Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Press Release From: Online Policy Group.
Background Information: Cryptome.org.
Background Information: What the FBI Doesn't Want You to Know About RaisetheFist.com.



Enjoying the hospitality of Jennifer Martin's cozy Sherman Oaks apartment, and the playful affections of her spotted dog, with its radiantly pleasant disposition, was a warm beginning for this somber occasion. Martin's twenty year old son, Sherman Austin was recently unjustly convicted for posting bomb making information on his website, RaisetheFist.com, with intent to further an act of violence. We were there to get their side of the story...

Read New Feature by LA Indymedia Correspondents.

UPDATE: Read in-depth interview with Sherman from Counterpunch.

UPDATE: Benefit Show for Sherman with Special Guest Zack De La Rocha, RESCHEDULED for Fri. Aug 29 @ Che Cafe.

Listen to the Killradio.org interview with Sherman from August 13, 2003.
Listen to the Killradio.org interview with Sherman from August 6, 2003.
Listen to two Radio4All interviews with Sherman Austin, 7/10/03 and 8/8/03.

See Photos: Portraits of a Gentle Fighter.
See Cartoon: Sherman Austin Railroaded.

From the Newswire: News.com Interview with Sherman.
From the newswire: Sherman DID NOT Author the Reclaim Guide.
From the newswire: Lady Liberty Shot in the Foot...Again.
From the newswire: A Message About Sherman.
Press Release From: Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Press Release From: Online Policy Group.
Background Information: Cryptome.org.
Background Information: What the FBI Doesn't Want You to Know About RaisetheFist.com.



The Long Beach Anarchist Community continues to prosper in spite of police repression. Tonight there is a benefit at the Long Beach Infoshop for an Anarchist Anti-war Conference that is scheduled for late October. Back on August 3rd in Long Beach, there was demonstration and march against police repression. Photos from August 3rd: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Since the brutal LBPD riot on May Day 2001, numerous anarchist activists associated with the Long Beach infoshop have been unjustly persecuted by the Southern California Police State Apparatus. Matthew Lamont is still being held in Orange County, where he is facing four felony charges relating to possession of a destructive device. He was merely transporting gasoline in his car. Sarah Roberts has been released from LA County prison. She was arrested on May 1, 2001, and was convicted on May 21, 2002 of unlawful assembly and wearing a mask with the "intent to commit a crime." At Robert's sentencing on May 23rd, she was handed down a six month sentence and a $1,000 fine. Ruckus, also arrested at the 5-01-01 police riot, is still in jail. Ruckus was coerced by the judge to take a three-year plea bargain, lest he face a 17-year sentence. Once he took the plea, he discovered that he could be facing another felony charge and that under California's inhumane three-strikes law he could now serve 20-years-to-life.

The case against Cerritos College Mathematics instructor Hasan Hasan has been thrown out of court. However, Hasan had already been fired from his job and was arrested minutes thereafter without explanation.

Raise the Fist's Sherman Austin is still facing two federal felony violations steeming from the U.S. Secret Service, FBI, LAPD, and County Sheriff's raid on his home on Febuary 24, 2002. Raise the Fist is an open-publishing website (like indymedia), and, yet, one of the charges against him is "DISTRIBUTION OF INFORMATION RELATING TO EXPLOSIVES..." On August 26th, Austin refused to take a plea bargain offering him one month in jail, 5 months in a halfway house, and 3 years supervised release. However, the Judge then decided to keep the offer on the table, which is where things stand presently.

Read a recent recap of the repression in Long Beach; or, if you prefer, a detailed summary from Long Beach CopWatch, or go to the website Stop Long Beach Repression.



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