Jeff's Work

Writings by Jeffrey 'Free' Luers

1,461

Powers changed hands but powers not changed
when the corrupt still rule and injustice remains
one thousand four hundred and sixty one days
is not a democracy when things stay the same
Another one thousand four hundred and sixty one days
‘til your next opportunity to vote freedom away

Yea, the people have spoken, yet haven’t said much
Disgusted with red voters re-elect blue
In a two party system you’ve the freedom to choose
Between asshole number one or asshole number two
And free dumb is right when you give yours away
Buy stock in apathy it’s the American way
Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska is melting
In Baghdad, Iraq innocent people are dying
in half of the world children are starving
while here in America obesity is killing

But thinner is better if you watch the TV
body images marketed to kids and preteens
and thousands of young girls succumb to the fantasy
There is something horribly, horribly wrong with a society
that encourages eating disorders and plastic surgery
while children kill children in rampant school shootings
and corporations get tax breaks for polluting the land
so much that babies are born already poisoned
by more than four-hundred chemicals and industrial solvents
Progress? Convenience? Or just ignorance killing us

Powers changed hands but powers not changed
when the corrupt still rule and injustice remains
one thousand four hundred and sixty one days
is not a democracy when things stay the same
Another one thousand four hundred and sixty one days
‘til your next opportunity to vote freedom away

-Jeffrey “Free” Luers, December 2006

Jeff “Free” Luers Statement for the International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (December 2006)

Around the world millions of people are suffering from the abuses of power that have become all too common in our human societies. In dozens of
countries, generations of people have chosen to fight injustice rather than submit to it.

We honor those people today. We raise our voices and our fists to salute those who have fought to free their homelands, who have struggled for
self-determination; those who have demanded human rights; those who have raided laboratories and liberated animals; and those who have fought to
defend our earth.

Today we shout our praises and offer our respect to those captured in the line of duty, serving their cause. We thank them for refusing to submit even
behind bars.

On this day we bow our heads in reverence to those people who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives for freedom. We remember the price
they paid and the loss that their family and friends still feel.

We offer more than our gratitude. We offer our solidarity. We make a promise to remember and honor those who have come before. We make a vow that the
struggle will continue until all are free.

Too many people have had to fight for the freedom they should have been guaranteed at birth; too many have suffered the cruelty of capitalist
exploitation.

The most important thing we can do today is to make a solemn oath: that ours is the last generation that will have to struggle; that we will apply
pressure from all angles until these systems of oppression crack; that we will settle for nothing less than victory.

With the memory of those who have come before us; in solidarity with those still standing behind bars; while honoring those who gave their lives: We
march forward to bring a new day with our heads high and our fists raised.

And I say to you that if we stand united with one voice and we act on our desire for liberation we will carry the day! We will win!

- Jeffrey “Free” Luers

State Repression

By now everyone knows about the arrests and indictments handed down to 11 people charged with ELF actions. The SHAC 7 have been convicted on all counts
for maintaining a website. Rod Coronado has been arrested for explaining how he committed his arsons. Activists have been arrested in Sacramento charged
with thought crime. Not to mention the various Grand Jury investigations around the country.

Like it or not, the radical movement has found itself in the middle of a war. The ELF, ALF, anarchists and other radicals have been declared the number one
threat to the state. The FBI devotes more time and energy to activists than it does Al-Qaeda.

For every article I write, I wonder if this will be the one that lands me back in the hole. The FBI, in connection with the Oregon Department of
Corrections, reviews all my outgoing mail. Some of my mail has been censored and not allowed to go out at all. I am banned from meeting with the media.
None of those who were arrested are allowed to contact me, or allowed to be contacted by me.

I’m beginning to feel a lot more like a P.O.W. than a political prisoner.

This crack down on radical activists, though it comes not unexpectedly, has begun to take its toll on me. Some of the charges stem from a solidarity
action for Craig "Critter" Marshall and me. I also know people involved with these cases.

Daniel McGowan is one of my closest and dearest friends. I owe so much of the support I’ve received over the years to him. At his bail hearing they used
his support and friendship for me against him. The prosecution used letters and pictures of us as if it were evidence of a crime.

I used to play in a band with Jacob Ferguson, a now known informant. I used to watch his kid. Alleged cooperating witness Sarah Harvey and I lived
together for a time. She helped build the first treesit at Fall Creek.

Convicted activist Josh Harper and I go back many years. I still have the article "In honor of Jeff Luers" he wrote after my conviction. He and I have
stood the line together many a time, and I do not know a more courageous and dedicated man.

It breaks my heart to see my friends falling subject to the state. I applaud Daniel, Josh and the others who have stood their ground with heads high. I am
sick and disgusted with Jake. I hope that anyone cooperating with the state will again find their courage and honor, and refuse to testify.

In these harsh times the role of prisoner support takes on a whole new meaning. And it’s not enough just to support those who have been arrested and
convicted. The struggle must go on the offensive. The movement can no longer sit back and let the actions of accused stand for the hearts of the many.

These arrests are not intended to target individuals anymore than my sentence was meant to punish just me. The state has declared war on dissent. Our
ideals, our dreams, our very existence as a movement has been targeted for eradication.

Detective Chuck Tilby, of the Eugene Police Department, created a report on anarchists for their journals. The content was focused on "Conflict and
Terrorism in 2005". The article detailed ways for law enforcement to create protest zones so far away from an event that it would be impractical or seem
unattractive to protesters who wanted their message heard. The article suggests that police use infiltration, grand juries and informants against
"above ground" activists in attempts to extinguish "under ground" activities.

Incidentally, Chuck is one of the detectives who had Critter and I under surveillance the night of our arrest. During my trial neither he nor any
other officer could recall the order being put under investigation, but it did not come from within the EPD.

This is not the first time the state has used tactics like these. Counter insurgency tactics were employed against the American Indian Movement (AIM),
and Black Panthers. Very few struggles have succeeded against the United States.

However, two very powerful movements come to mind: the Civil Rights movement and the struggle for the eight-hour workday. There was success because
whatever the state threw at them they refused to back down. They continued their struggles with their commitment and determination.

True movements support their prisoners by replacing them on the front lines. Real struggles challenge repression with resistance.

This is a state of emergency. Not only our success, but also our existence depends on your actions. The police state is here. Everything we’ve long
feared is coming to pass. This isn’t someone else’s fight anymore, it’s yours. What are you going to do about it?

-Jeffrey Free Luers

Climate Change: A People’s Choice

This January, members of the Asia Pacific Partnership (AP6) on Clean Development and Climate met in Sydney, Australia. The purpose of the
inaugural meeting was to discuss solutions to climate change in what organizers are calling a “compliment” to the Kyoto protocol.

The AP6 is made up of government and business representatives from China, India, South Korea, Japan, Australia, and the United States. Together, these
six countries account for nearly half of the world’s pollution and energy consumption.(1) The US alone contributes one quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.(2, 3) Interestingly, neither Australia nor the US have ratified the Kyoto protocol and refuse to participate.

The AP6 concluded their meeting with promises of voluntary participation in programs designed to reduce global emissions. No penalties were established
for those who failed to reduce green house emissions.

*

Recent studies have concluded that human induced climate change is indeed a very real and visible threat.

Global climate change is reaching a tipping point in which the melting of arctic ice and permafrost becomes a self-sustaining cycle. As permafrost
melts it releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere accelerating climate change resulting in more arctic melt.

This theory, long predicted, is now happening. Sergei Kirpotin at Tomsk State University and Judith Marquand at Oxford University warned in August 2005
that large expanses of Western Siberia have begun an unprecedented thaw. The area spans close to 400,000 square miles and is melting for the first time
since it formed 11,000 years ago. The thaw is releasing vast amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than Carbon Dioxide.(4)

Last summer (2005) the arctic ice cap shrank to its smallest size in a century. Business interests have been quick to point out that this trend could create summertime shipping shortcuts between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

However, the melting ice cap is in part responsible for an accelerated rise in the world’s sea level, threatening costal areas. The melting ice is also harming polar bears and other arctic species, destroying one of the earth’s last wild habitats.(5)

Scientists said the melting appears to be becoming self-sustaining as open water absorbs solar heat that would otherwise be reflected back into space by
white ice.(5)

*

The melting of icecaps and permafrost is cause for alarm. The trend is not limited to Polar Regions and is found in all glacial and snow packed regions on earth.

Most of North America and Asia, as well as parts of South America, are dependent on winter snow packs for water. In a warmer world, less precipitation falls as snow and melt occurs earlier in spring. However, even with no change in precipitation intensity, the shift in peak river runoff to winter and spring away from summer and fall, when personal and agriculture demand is highest, can lead to drought. Where storage capacity is not sufficient much of the water supply will be lost to the oceans.(6)

In 2000, the Accelerated Climate Prediction Initiative was launched to investigate the impacts of global warming on water supplies in the western US. Warming was found to significantly reduce snow pack and lead to substantial shift in seasonal stream flow. By 2050, spring stream flow maximums will come one month earlier. There is not enough storage capacity across most of the western US to handle the shift. For example, in the Columbia River system, by 2050 or earlier, a choice between summer and fall hydro power or spring and summer releases for salmon will have to be made.(6)

The study’s results suggest an even worse problem in regions that rely on glacial melt water. Unlike snow pack, once the glaciers have melted they will not be replenished by winter storms. There will be no water supply to replace melted glaciers.

If current levels of climate change persist, these changes will lead to a severe reduction in dry season water availability in many regions on earth within the next few decades.(6, 7) Severe drought not only would impact human health but could lead to a social upheaval.

In 2003, a report compiled for the pentagon, “Imagining the Unthinkable” described how reduced global water supply caused by global warming could become a national security issue. The report went so far as to suggest that wars could be fought over the resource we now take for granted.

*

In the fall of 2005, the National Center for Atmospheric Research created a computer simulation of the earth’s climate 251 million years ago. The study
demonstrated how levels of CO2 interfered with oxygen circulation in the oceans and raised temperatures on land. The subsequent climate change would
lead to the greatest mass extinction in history.(8)

The first comprehensive assessment of the effects of modern climate change was published in January, 2004. The report concluded that by 2050 more than
one million species would be driven to extinction, an “extinction rate unheard of in modern times.”(10) New evidence has been found that validates and confirms these findings.

A recent study published in Nature has proven a link between global warming and a mass extinction of frogs in South America. As the earth warms, many
species are likely to go extinct because of changing disease dynamics. Many diseases are expected to spread or become more lethal.(12)

The frogs died when they became host to a parasitic fungus. The fungus, normally benign, became a lethal pathogen as temperatures changed. The
changing weather patterns and change in climate created an environment ripe for the pathogen to spread and grow.

The study concluded that “global climate change is already causing the extinction of species…climate driven epidemics are an immediate threat to biodiversity.”(12)

This finding is already being reproduced in other parts of the world. Climate change in arctic and sub-artic regions has altered the life cycle of parasitic worms of musk oxen. The worms can now complete their life cycle in one, instead of two years. The worms are now having a significant impact on the survival of musk oxen.(13)

In the mountain regions of the western US warmer climate conditions are also allowing the Mountain Pine Beetle to complete its life cycle in one, instead of two years. The beetles spread pine blister rust, as they become more abundant so too does the fungus, causing a serious impact on the health and number of pine trees.(13)

*

On April 28, 2005 the American Lung Association released its 2005 report on air quality in the US. The report documents how particle pollution (the same air pollution causes reduced snow fall and increased cloud cover causing warmer nights) poses a serious health risk to 152 million US citizens.

The report states that particle pollution takes months to years off a person’s life, and can kill people with severe respiratory problems. Most at risk are children, seniors, diabetics and those with asthma and lung or heart diseases. (14)

President and CEO of the ALA, John Kirkwood has this to say, “Some of the largest producers of dirty air are big energy companies, who have worked with
their friends in congress on legislation to change rules so they don’t have to clean up their pollution.”(14)

*

A few months later in July, 2005, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a study of newborn baby blood samples. The samples came from 10
babies born in US hospitals between August and September, 2004.

The samples were tested for 413 industrial and chemical product chemicals. The babies averaged 200 contaminants in their blood including mercury, fire
retardants, pesticides, and PFOA a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon. In all, 287 chemicals were found in the babies’ blood, 209 of which
have never before been detected in newborns.(15)

*

Study after study confirms the same result: Pollution is having a disastrous impact on the health of the planet and its inhabitants; whether it is melting
ice caps, extinct frogs, or a baby contaminated by toxins before her first breath.

Solutions exist but they are not being implemented or enforced, despite public desire for action. Nor will they be as long as corporations have more
rights and influence than the people.

The Independent (UK) recently reported that the Bush Administration attempted to gag James Hansen of NASA’s leading climate experts. According to Hansen,
the Administration is trying to censor him on his call for immediate cuts in green house gas emissions.

Hansen said, “Communicating with the public is essential because public concern is probably the only thing capable of overcoming the special
interests that have obfuscated the topic.”(16)

It is interesting to note that this story was not widely reported in US mainstream media.

The President of the United States refuses to even acknowledge the existence of global warming. Major industry and energy companies along with their
government conspirators continue to use slight of hand techniques, like the AP6. The use of greenwash is an increasing trend in a world of consumers
concerned with the environment. But behind the green façade governments continue to give corporations the green light to pollute.

These are not the people we can look to for change. We cannot put our future in their hands. This leaves us in a difficult position. If we cannot look to
those who should have our best interests in mind, where can we turn?

The ability to alter the course of climate change lies in the hands of regular people. It is not an easy task by any means. Nevertheless, it is a
task that humanity must begin to take; with or without our leaders.

The events in this essay and many others are happening now. They will impact the life of every human being on the planet from health problems to property
loss to regional and even national economic collapse.

If things are to change every individual has to play a part. There are enough things people can do there is no excuse not to be involved.

It can be as simple as consistently writing letters and making phone calls to your representative, or changing your lifestyle to using more mass transit
and buying local products. You can commit to riding a bike one day a week instead of using a vehicle. You can invest in alternative energies. Every
little bit helps. Everyone has to start somewhere.

The more active can start their own garden or plant trees in their neighborhoods. You can hold a community meeting on local solutions to
problems faced by climate change. You might even go so far as to organize a boycott of the biggest local polluter.

The adventurous can become radical and proactive in their approach; from the use of creative and media friendly acts of civil disobedience to other
extralegal activities.

Throughout history their have been leaders who threatened the wellbeing of their people and the peace of the planet. Hitler’s rise to power is an
obvious example. One I choose for this reason: if the governments of France and England had challenged Hitler’s early acts of aggression, the war may
have been much shorter and millions of holocaust victims might still be alive.

It is part of the human experience to sometimes have to challenge our leaders for the good of all people. This is one of those times. The US government has
seen fit to put profits and power before its people and the world. Every other industrialized nation (with the exception of Australia) and many
developing nations have signed the Kyoto protocol. Many are actively pursuing emissions reduction. Though many are proceeding far too slow, they have shown
an effort. The rest of the world has taken notice of the dangers posed by climate change. The US refuses to.

A free society is obligated to correct the wrongs of its government. If it cannot, then it is not free.

If a people refuse to right the wrongs of their government, their endorsements make them equally culpable, and ultimately, they too will carry the burden of responsibility.

By Jeff “Free” Luers

Footnotes:

1. Dennis, C., Promises to clean up industry fail to convince. Nature 439, 253 (2006)
2. Fisher, B., Costanza, R., Regional commitment to reducing emissions. Nature 438, 301-302 (2005)
3. Leahy, S., Climate talks survive US hassles. Asheville Global Report 361 (2005)
4. Earth Environment Service, Earth Week: Climate “tipping point”. The Oregonian (August 24, 2005)
5. Revkin, A., Artic ice vanishing at quicker pace, report says. The Oregonian (September 29, 2005)
6. Barnett, T., Adam, J., Lettenmaier, D. Potential impacts of a warming climate on water availability in snow-dominated regions. Nature 438, 303-309 (2005)
7. Leahy, S., World stands at a Crossroads. Asheville Global Report 346 (2005)
8. Environmental News Service, Warming led to pre-historic extinction. Asheville Global Report 346 (2005)
9. Roach, J., By 2050 warming to doom million species, study says. National Geographic News (January 7, 2004)
10. Environmental News Service, Species disappearing 100 times faster than ever before. Asheville Global Report 315 (2005)
11. Parmesan, C., Galbraith, H., Observed Impacts of global climate change in the US (November 2004)
12. Pounds, J. et al. Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming. Nature 439, 161-167 (2006)
13. Blaustein, A., Dobson, A., Extinctions: A message from the frogs. Nature 439, 143-144 (2006)
14. Environmental News Service, Dirty air poses health risks for 152 million US citizens. Asheville Global Report 329 (2005)
15. Environmental News Service, Hundreds of toxins found in newborns. Asheville Global Report 340 (2005)
16. Buncombe, A., Bush tried to gag environmental expert. Independent UK reprint in Asheville Global Report 368 (2006)


Free responds to letter in Eugene Weekly [July 2005]

After reading Lance Jacobs' letter to the editor (6/16), I feel compelled to respond. Mr. Jacobs contends that I am a violent individual who attempted to burn an entire lot of SUVs.

I have stated many times that the nature of the fire was largely symbolic, and that every precaution was taken to minimalize the risk to life that a fire can represent. As for the accusation that a much greater fire was intended, I can only say no intelligent person would believe they could burn an entire lot of vehicles with less than two gallons of gas.

Jacobs is correct that the action did not stop the use of SUVs. I was never under the impression that it would. The goal of the arson was to draw public attention to climate change and foster debate on the issue. Here we are, five years later and I would say the action was proven successful.

Finally, Jacobs is correct. Property destruction is a form of violence. It involves the smashing, burning or destroying of valued property. If that is violence, then we certainly must open the definition to include corporate destruction of forests, oceans, rivers and other ecosystems, for those certainly are not acts of love.

I continue to stand by my actions without apology. You may judge me or my actions. But, what makes an individual act of sabotage more serious than crimes committed by governments and transnational corporations? Why is the destruction of an SUV more noteworthy than climate change and the accelerated rate of extinction worldwide?

Let's put moral outrage in its proper perspective.

Jeffrey "Free" Luers
State Prison, Salem

Solidarity for Rob Los Ricos and Brian McCarvill [April 2005]

Rob and Brian are two of my very good friends. Rob was the first person to reach out to me when I arrived at OSP. I had just received a 22 year sentence. I'd only been in prison for a little more than a month and I'd already lost my visits for alleged ELF activity and had the shit kicked out of me.

When I got to OSP I was fresh out of the hole. My canteen had been destroyed and I couldn't go to store for 2 weeks. Rob gave me canteen. He helped get me out of the cell I was assigned to with a sexual predator. Rob showed me more than solidarity he showed me friendship.

During my time down Brian has been an invaluable friend and ally. He has helped me on legal issues. He has also helped me to grow by challenging me to improve myself. He has helped me hone my arguments and improve my solutions.

I've watched these two men continue to contribute to a movement and struggle that has largely abandon them. Because of my lengthy sentence I have been a high profile case. People call me a martyr or a hero. A title I do not claim, yet as the months pass I watch my support grow and for this I am eternally grateful. However, other prisoners are not so fortunate. As the months pass they may be forgotten. This is especially hard for people who have dedicated their life to this struggle.

Rob has given his life to this struggle for 33 years. Even after 5 years of prison enduring racial discrimination and harassment by the cops he has continued to agitate for a better world.

Brian is a man of honor. He is not selfish. His actions are not inherently politically motivated. He believes in freedom and when he sees something wrong he does his best to fix it. He lives by a code many of us profess to fight for and from prison he has struggled along side anarchists and suffered because of it.

These men deserve your support. Write them, work with them, honor their sacrifices as you have honored mine.

Jeffrey Free Luers


A Brief Description of Radical Environmentalism [April 2005]

There is a common misconception that radical environmental struggle is a relatively new form of protest. However, the history of eco-defense is nearly as old as the human race itself. Many indigenous cultures around the world held the Earth and their surroundings as sacred. Social rules prescribed how the land and water that gave life to the people were to be treated and honored.

It is only in the last several hundred years that human societies have moved away from these beliefs. The modern world has increasingly lost touch with its wild roots. This lack of understanding and respect for the Earth has allowed the wanton destruction of our planet. This tragedy no longer affects the wild but humans as well.

There is no human in the world that can pass a blood toxin test for dioxin-a carcinogenic or teratogenic by-products of most industry. There is no ocean fish uncontaminated by mercury or PCBs. There is no escape from global warming. That is the reality of the 21st century.

Over the years, the radical environmental movement has evolved not only in the escalation of tactics, but in political theory as well. Many radical environmentalists recognize the connections between capitalism, oppression and the destruction of the planet. Indeed, the connections are obvious to any student of globalization.

Wealthy nations use imperialist policies to gain access to developing poorer nations, stealing their resources and implementing sub-par industrial methods-which pollute and toxify far beyond the standards of rich countries. Back at home, the same practices are used. Dangerous factories, toxic waste dumps and incinerators are built in communities predominantly of people of color or low income. These communities often get little say in environmental impact reports or the decision making process. In fact, state and industry response to resistance of such noxious facilities is the age old excuse of providing jobs to those in need.

While I can not speak on behalf of the movement, it is my perception that it is motivated (in part) by a sense of deep ecology. The belief that all life is interconnected from plant to animal to forest to ocean to the world at large. It is this connection and interdependence that creates the Earth as we know it and allows life to flourish. When one habitat or species is affected by pollution or global warming, it creates a chain reaction that affects the entire network of life.

It is because of this belief that the majority of political and radical environmentalists work to bring communities together. Not only to challenge state and corporate practices but to learn to create alternatives to them. It is only by developing alternatives to capitalism and harmful industry that we can create a world not motivated by profit-rather, one based on sustainability and the amount of good we can bring all people, not just a handful of rich elite.

In the last decade, new international and clandestine organizations have stepped forward to challenge the might of industrialized nations. Groups like the Earth Liberation Front [ELF], Justice Department and Revolutionary Cells have taken the fight to the state and corporations directly, including the targeting of executive officers [of corporations] and their residences.

While the ELF maintains a code of non violence toward human and non-human life, the Revolutionary Cells and Justice Department support the use of political violence and have engaged in bombings and direct assaults.

There is an increasing tendency of these groups and like minded individuals to target class status symbols-the oil industry, banks and governmental agencies-as the destruction of the environment and the oppression of people are often tied together.

In February 2002, the Congressional Committee on Resources held a hearing on "Eco-Terrorism." Numerous politicians, corporate representatives and the Domestic Terrorist Section Chief of the FBI testified. The FBI defined the ELF as the most dangerous and prolific terrorist group in the United States. Despite the fact that in 13 years of activity, the ELF has never harmed a soul. However, they have caused close to $100 million in damages to property.

Congress has designated the above groups, specifically the ELF, as terrorist organizations using the same language to define the ELF as they have used to define al-Queada and enemy combatants. There are currently several bills before state and the federal government attempting to increase the punishment for acts of 'eco-terrorism', including the use of the death penalty. Several of these bills have passed into law.

However, even without these laws, excessive sentences are being handed down to those labeled as 'eco-terrorists'. [ed-Jeff himself has a 22 year, 8 month sentence for burning 3 SUVs]. In some ways, the labeling of underground radicals as terrorists has split the environmental movement. Some above ground activists, particularly groups like the Sierra Club have denounced direct action and condemned those involved.

However, there are many above ground supporters of direct action. More and more, there is a strong sense of solidarity between the above and underground networks. It would seem that legal and reform activists are recognizing the need for direct action. Perhaps, more surprisingly, the underground resistance is understanding the need for public outreach and education which can only be done by above ground activists.

There is also an increasing trend of social justice activists and environmental struggles coming together forming support support networks. People from all movements and struggles are beginning to see the connection between fighting for liberation, equality and the Earth.

While politics and ideal remain as diverse as life on the planet, most agree that freedom, as well as clean air, water and land and all the joys and wonders of the Earth are our birth-right. It is for this, we fight.

For more information about political prisoner Jeff 'Free' Luers, see www.freejeffluers.org There will be a June 10-12th 'Weekend of Resistance' for Jeff.

This article was published in 4 struggle, issue #4

About the release of my co-defendant, Craig 'Critter' Marshall [January 2005]

Ed note: Jeff's co-defendant, Craig 'Critter' Marshall, was released from prison after serving 4.5 of a 5.5 year sentence. For some reason, Jeff's sentence of over 22 years is still viewed as valid by the Oregon courts.

Yesterday, on January 6th, 2005, Craig "Critter" Marshall, my co-defendant walked out of prison after serving 4 and 1/2 years. I can only imagine what that felt like. Back in the day Critter was one of my closest friends, and while many are aware that he and I have had a falling out, I am truly glad his time is done and he has gone home. (My old friend if you are reading this, I wish you all the best.)

Now that Critter is out I can't help but wonder why I am still here. We were arrested at the same time, charged with the same offenses. Up until the very end he & I refused to cooperate with the state. Yet, the state in Critter's case decided that the exact same fire was only "conspiracy to commit arson" and "possession of destructive devices".

I've half a dozen theories as to why things played out the way they did. The one fact I know is not once did the state offer to treat my case as Critter's. I'm doing 17 years more for the same actions and same evidence. 22 years for actions that hurt no one and caused less than $50k in damages.

Critter is home now where he belongs.

I'm counting on this movement. I'm counting on you to bring me home. I can't win this fight alone. I need your support. I need your agitation. Make the impossible reality. Rise up and free all political prisoners and prisoners of war.

We are in prison because we believe in dreams. We are in prison because we believe in freedom. We are in prison because we believe these things are worth fighting for. Dare to believe. Dare to resist.

Jeffrey "Free" Luers

Lessons from the snitching of Billy Cottrell

Ed: For background on who Billy Cottrell is, see the Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network statement.

November 17, 2004 will be remembered as another sad day for the Earth Liberation front and the radical activist community. On trial for the ELF action of torching SUVs in Southern California, William 'Billy' Cottrell took the witness stand in his defense.

Accused of more than $2.3 million dollars of property damage, I can imagine the fear Billy felt facing decades in prison. Many activists, past and present, remember that feeling all too well. For some it was our finest moment, if also most painful, as we stood before the state proud and unwavering.

Perhaps, the truest test of our warrior spirit can be found in the courtroom. Undoubtedly, our movement's defining moment will be how steadfast we stand when facing the full repression of the state.

After Billy's arrest, we wrote me. His naivetŽ at the situation he was in shocked me. We discussed what he was facing and I warned him to avoid doing media before trial. Billy shared his fears and heartache with me as well as his gratitude for all the support he was receiving from people. In his last letter, Billy told me how much of an inspiration other warriors and I had been to him.

As Billy took the stand that day, I can't help but wonder if the sick feeling in his stomach was fear of imprisonment or if it was nausea at his betrayal. Billy testified that his friend lit the fire against his wishes. He stated that he was coerced into going along with them because he owed one person $200.

Despite all of his bravado to his supporters, the media and me, Billy tucked his tail and pissed down his leg. Sadly, this is not the first instance of betrayal. To date, the majority of ELF and ELF-style actions to go before the courts have had a defendant turn traitor. This fact devastates my heart, as it should every activist and revolutionary.

Illegal direct action is a dangerous path. The action itself is only a small part of the equation. Physical resistance once embarked upon is not a path easily abandoned. If it is a path you choose, you should be expecting to serve prison time or worse. If you cannot face the possibility of prison or you know you cannot accept the consequences with integrity and honor, do not pick up the matchbook.

The blame, however, does not solely lie with the weakness of individuals under pressure. The problem is one of our creating. This movement glorifies and romanticizes hardcore action. Crying out for salvation from would be heroes; writing stories and singing songs of faceless individuals who sab the dozers, raid the labs and who burned down Vail.

Honoring our warriors is good. But, the illusion fades when you are sitting in a jail cell. The once seemingly powerful movement bolstered by its own self-praise no longer appears so strong. The romanticized ideal of action and change remains. Yet, no revolutionary energy is directed at freeing our comrades.

That is our failure as a movement. If we expect our warriors to stand strong in front of the judge and jury with heads high and eyes burning with defiance, we must become realistic about what it means to be a revolutionary movement. We have to support those who have sacrificed their freedom with radical actions equal or mightier than their own.

For our movement to become more than a counter-culture, we have to stop mystifying direct action. We have to recognize direct action for what it is-a necessity. The support of the movement to its captured warriors must go beyond admiration and respect. It must extend into action and agitation for their release. We must never abandon our own. By any means necessary, we must see them free. Otherwise, we can expect more people to bow before the power of the state.

How do we go from romanticizing action to taking it? How do we go from accepting loss to preventing it? These are the obstacles in our path. If we cannot overcome them, then we are not trying hard enough.

There are always going to be Billy Cottrells. There just doesn't have to be more of them then there are true warriors. There is a hero in all of us-one just waiting to be given a voice. Find the courage to follow your heart and the pride to hold your head high and stand your ground. Because with that, this movement will go from a facade to a force.

Beyond Dissent

The United States has a long history of protest and dissent. Indeed, it could be argued that had the American Revolution not been co-opted by the rich and powerful this country might have been great.

However, even the failure of the revolution to accomplish real and true change was not enough to stop the tide of dissent and rebellion. In fact, there are notable rebellions as early as 1780 in which unpaid soldiers of the revolutionary war, poor farmers and laborers took up arms against the government.

Of course, little of this is mentioned in scholastic textbooks. Nor do the textbooks mention that in response to these uprisings by the poor and underprivileged, the new elite wrote and passed laws such as the Riot Act which suspended Habeas Corpus to keep the new insurgents in jail without trial. Also, the Sedition Act, passed under John Adams, in which it was a crime punishable by prison to speak or write against the government.

The true beginnings of this nation start with power and wealth. The rich were able to become the new ruling class having displaced the king and his royalty. The new elite then passed laws which would support their rise to power and establish their role as leaders.

It worked. Little has changed in this class society since its founding. Those in the upper class still maintain a stranglehold on power. Each successive new ruler has had enormous wealth. The Senate itself is a veritable who's who of millionaires and strangely enough, those who make the laws usually started in big business and usually go back there when their terms are up. So much for the separation of powers.

Oh, did I mention that the founding fathers were some of the wealthiest men in America when they took power? They also wrote property requirements into law for those running for office. They also required property or the monetary equivalent of such for voters. In essence, the United States has always been a county run by the rich for the rich. A plutocracy, not a democracy. The scheme goes much deeper though. From the very beginning, the United States was one of the richest nations in the world. This fact has given rise to a new kind of rule-bribery- buy the allegiance of the citizenry.

The enormous wealth in this country has created the richest ruling class in history with enough left over to pass out to the middle class, ensuring they act as a buffer between the have and the have nots. Is it any wonder that the presidential 'elections' revolve around middle class issues? All two of the recognized candidates are constantly seeking support from middle class America promising this or that in return. Meanwhile, the money to support campaigns comes in from corporate donations, ensuring that government policy is well paid for. Why is it no candidate ever reached out to the 50 million people struggling to get by? The middle class lends legitimacy to a well thought out fa�ade. But when all is said and done, a rich ruler is a rich ruler is a rich ruler.

Sadly, most Americas don't really care. Their allegiance has been bought. Never mind the suffering of their less fortunate fellow citizens. As long as the standard of living remains high, who cares how we got it, right? I used to believe that one could differentiate between those in power and those under control or brainwashed by that power. Now, more and more, I believe most Americans are a contributing part of the problem and not victims of it. Far too many have bought into the lies on absolute faith in their corporate run government. Unbelievably, the elite have become comfortably brazen in their tyranny having received such wide support.

The insidious nature of American culture is contributing greatly to the colonization of poorer countries and destruction of the natural world. It cannot be said that US based transnational corporations or the US government bear sole responsibility for these transgressions for they enjoy the support of many American people.

This is no longer recognizable as cause and symptom or even cause and effect. The whole dynamic has changed. The capitalist system (government and corporations) receives support either direct or indirect, for atrocities committed in the name of profits most of which goes unnoticed, but it matters not when the system goes unquestioned. The support comes even from the lowest in the pecking order as long as they benefit in some way or don't lose anything. This support, in return, feeds the system and encourages more of the same.

The old adage ' treat others how you wish to be treated' is replaced by a new golden rule, 'that which you can take and hold by force, deception or manipulation shall be rightfully yours.' An entire nation has been bought into compliance with blood money. The enemy of the world is a way of life that is being exported to every country foolish enough to take it.

No, Mr. Bush, I don't hate America's "freedom". I hate you. I hate America's oppression justified by your jingoism. I hate that 1% of America's population owns 40% of America's wealth. I hate that the majority of those left go along with that. I hate that greedy CEOs rip off working class people and get away with it, that corrupt officials let factories slide on pollution regulations. But, most of all, I hate that, because of my disdain for America and my resistance to its greed, that I am labeled a terrorist.

It seems that the word 'terrorist' has replaced the catch all phrase of McCarthy's "communist" and is quickly replacing the contemptuous "anarchist' of the 90s. However much the labels of the past, the word 'terrorist' serves a multifaceted use.

Hitler used to word 'Jew' to instill fear into the hearts of loyal patriotic Germans.. Hitler used this fear to rally people to his cause by giving them a common enemy to face. If any of his own people turned against him, they were easily labeled "Jews', not only to discredit them but to justify imprisoning or killing them.

Incidentally, Germany had it pretty good under Hitler, too. The economy improved, as did the standard of living. In fact, many Germans defended Hitler. Most did not question his decisions and under his rule, most Germans were proud to be German.

Do I really need to draw the comparisons? Black's Law Dictionary defines the right of revolution as:

The inherent right of a people to cast out their rulers, change their polity or effect radical reforms in their system of government or institutions, by force or general uprising, when the legal and constitutional methods of making such changes have proved inadequate or are so obstructed as to be unavailable.

I do not submit to the rule of the plutocracy. I do not recognize the authority of a state that holds corporations have the right as people under the constitution. If this is America, then I am unabashedly and unapologetically anti-American.

I love this land. I love my fellow citizens who do not submit to tyranny and oppose oppression. I am a patriot of the free states of America whether they be found in Cascadia or Maine and I support my allies in Chiapas, Brazil and Argentina. I believe in true freedom, not the freedom to participate in a consumer culture run by a rich elite. I believe treason to the United States is allegiance to humanity. That doesn't make me a terrorist. It makes me sane in a nation of fools ruled by one eyed kings.

Insurrection

The lines have been drawn, the way is clear.
To arms is the call, the enemy is here
Within this empire war is waged
Everyday means revolt for slaves
To the streets weapons in hand
all colors, all creeds united we stand.
One moment, one cause to free all the land.
An end to police who protect corporations
with fire and cheer we burn institutions.
From the buildings Molotov's fly
Damn the police we'll have no more lies
Fox News says "Chaos in the USA"
It's the IMC who will broadcast at the end of the day
"Popular uprising in all 50 States,
formerly known as the US of A."

Free's statement to the June 12, 2004 Eugene Solidarity Event

Note: This statement was supposed to be read by Free over the phone and recorded to be played at the event. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we were unable to record him reading the statement so a supporter read the statement at the event.

My name is Jeffrey Luers. Most of you know me as Free. I'd like to thank you for coming out tonight. Those of you just starting to explore new possibilities or just now becoming active, I hope tonight is the beginning of your involvement. For those of you already active and aware of the injustices being perpetrated I pray that you will step up your struggles and push your boundaries for the sake of us all.

Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed I want to lose hope, I see so much wrong and too little response to it. Right now the US is using war, murder and torture to force it's will upon the world. The US flexes its military and economic muscle to control poorer nations and intimidate US allies into complience. Meanwhile on the streets of America children are starving, an out of control police force continues to beat and kill civilians and over 2 million people are locked in jail.

Hidden deep in newspapers, behind the pentagon and white house press releases, small articles detail the melting of Antarctica, Greenland, Alaska, the Arctic and just about everywhere else with ice. A British paper recently published findings that strongly point to evidence the earth is entering its sixth mass extinction as animals, plants and insects are rapidly going extinct.

The last decade has seen the warmest temperatures the earth has know since records were kept. According to the World Watch Institute and the United Nations severe weather, a result of climate change, caused more than $608 billlion in damage in the 1990's. Thats more than the previous 4 decades combined.

As I speak the pentagon is preparing a defense plan to deal with a global environmental crisis. Already our world is so toxic that almost every ocean fish has traces of mercury and PCB's. Every Mother's breast milk contains traces of dioxin. Even in the face of all this injustice people still sit back watching and waiting for change. The so-called activist community rests complacent satisfied that holding signs and protesting the next big meeting of world leaders is enough. Enough perhaps to relieve the burden of guilt. But not enough to bring change. The majority of the world's population recognizes the danger of global warming and environmental degradation. I'm sure many of you are included in this number. Yet factored still pump out toxins. Industry still rules our lives. Humans are funny, in that they can recognize danger, know enough to fear it and yet still chose to ignore it.

How many of you are afraid of the cops? Frightened by their unchecked power, immunity to their own laws, or just the fact that they can do what ever they want to you and get away with it. Cops rape women in Eugene and they kill Blacks in Portland. And those are just two examples. Authority is a strange thing. It tends to do what ever it wants until someone stops it. The dangers are real, the urgency exists. The longer people wait to act the more damage that is done and the more we lose. Change doesn't happen by itself, it doesn't happen because people wish for it. Change happens when people care enough to put in the hard work, when they are dedicated and determined enough to see it through.

Look around you. The people you see are your hope. They are your community, they are your allies and they are your source of strength. One person in this room has the power to make a difference. Imagine the difference you can make by working together. You want to be free from the control of multinational corporations that only care about profit?You want to be free from a police force that protects the corrupt? Do you want an alternative to a society and civilization that is destroying its own world? Then take the initiative and create it, build it, and fight for it. Lead by example. If you want change then take it street by street, community by community until power has been reclaimed.

People rise up!

Some words on prisoner support (May 2004)

Prisoner support can be a very challenging issue. Any movement is only as strong as it's support for its fallen comrades. Any movement that fails to aid and support its political prisoners or prisoners of war will ultimately fail. Each prisoner's needs will vary depending on their case, length of sentence and where they are imprisoned. All prisoners, however, need emotional and monetary support.

Monetary support is an easy one. If you can afford to send a few bucks, it is always appreciated. Many prisoners have to pay for their own hygiene products, as well as food to supplement the prisoner's diet. These items are often 200%-300% more expensive than on the streets. So, every little bit helps.

Fundraisers (bake sales, shows, etc.) are an excellent way to raise money and spread information about prisoners and their cases. They are also a great forum for building support.Perhaps the hardest part of prisoner support is emotional support. It is never easy to write a prisoner for the first time. People are unsure of what to write and how their words will affect the prisoner.

As prisoners we experience the outside world through letters. There is nothing I love more than to get a letter describing a beautiful sunset or amazing wilderness someone saw. It is always great, whether you are a prisoner or not, to make a new friend. Getting to know someone through letters can be really fun. Sharing news from the outside, political ideas/views, personal experiencesÉreally just about anything is good. Just getting mail raises the morale of prisoners.

Remember not to over commit yourself though. It is easy to want to write a lot of prisoners. But it is better to pick one or two that you can write to regularly (every 1-4 months) than to not be able to keep up with your letters.

When it comes to supporting individual prisoners (e.g. long term prisoners fighting for their freedom or life), the support needs to be tailored to fit with their campaign goals. It is important to know things they support being done on their behalf. Communicating with them, or in some cases, their designated support people, and starting a support group in your area is a good way to start.

Obviously, needs will vary from prisoner to prisoner. Some will be raising legal funds as a priority, others may simply be asking people to write letters of support to governors or prison officials. Still others may be asking for solidarity actions and/or demos.

Strong support networks and visible discontent with a prisoner's sentence and/or conditions will be the number one factor in obtaining justice. It is only through the word and dedication of people on the outside that all political prisoners and POW's will gain their release.

Having said this, I do not know of any prisonerÑthough I can only speak for myselfÑthat would rather have energy directed toward us than to the causes for which we fought. The absolute most valuable support that any one person can do is to continue the struggle for which we came to prison. Never give up; never stop fighting until all are free: Earth, animal and human. Onward to a world without prisoners.

This article ran in No Compromise- a quarterly militant, direct action publication of grassroots animal liberationists and their supporters. Subscribe to No Compromise or become a local distributor! 740A 14th St. #125, San Francisco, CA 94114. nc-info@nocompromise.org

Message of solidarity to the the Solidarity Conference for Political Prisoners in the Basque Country (May 2004)

In the spirit of solidarity and unity I want to extend my hand in friendship to the freedom-fighters and people of the Basque country. I send also my revolutionary greetings to all the organizers and participants of the International Solidarity Conference. May your conference strengthen all of our struggles and unite us in a global movement for the freedom and self-determination of all people.

Real Struggle Means Refusal (March 2004)

On Saturday 3/13, Tre Arrow was arrested in Victoria, BC. At the press conference, the FBI along with the Department of Homeland Security, the modern day Gestapo, declared that a dangerous terrorist had been captured. They went on to state that Tre's arrest is proof that the system works and that the USA will not tolerate terrorism.

A few months back, the Department of Homeland Security gave 8 million dollars to Miami, Florida to defend against the terrorist threat posed by demonstrations protesting the FTAA meeting being held there. Riot police armed with numerous weapons including shotguns that shot pellets wrapped in cloth, fired indiscriminately into the crowds. I have seen abundant video clearly showing officers firing at people's heads, an incredibly dangerous violation of established 'protocol'.

At least one reporter had to have emergency surgery to remove a 'non-lethal' projectiles from his skull. Hundred of people were injured, some needing emergency medical attention. There were also several reports of sexual assault at the hands of police scum.

A recent military think tank report An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and its implication for United States National Security outlines the need for a detailed military plan to protect the rich from the poor in the event of global environmental crisis caused by global warming. It goes on to present the case of the stockpiling of food and resources as the world will be reduced to famine and lack of potable water.

If anyone still doubts that the lines have been drawn, you better get an eyewash because we are locking down the barrel of a loaded gun. The full might of the government has been hard at work from propaganda wars against dissidents to state sanctioned violence against protestors to secret planning to protect the elite from a crisis the Bush Administration denies exists.

What does it take to piss you off? When is enough enough? Is it when you get called a 'terrorist? Maybe when you get shot in the head or perhaps when you get raped by a pig? Maybe you'll wait until you have to kill for water?

Half my family lives in Germany. Even though I was born and raised in Amerikkka, I understand the dangers of failing to act. My relatives did nothing when Hitler took power, they obeyed and more than 12 million people were murdered. I love my family, but I know they failed to act because there are no stories of resistance passed down. Instead, as a kid when my relatives came to visit I was told not to talk about that because it was a 'bad time'.

I don't want to see history repeat itself. If we have learned nothing else from our past, we have learned that tyrant is best challenged early. Today, the threat is different than it was 60 years ago, nonetheless it is a dangerous threat. Still not enough people seem convinced; so they turn a blind eye-otherwise the streets would be filled day and night with people decrying injustice.

Human beings have been around for about 100,000 years. We have gone from a species that lives in nature to one that considers itself separate from nature. In the last 150 years alone we have 'advanced' so far we have created technology that chokes our air, pollutes our water and poisons our soil. We have created weapons of such destruction that combined they can annihilate and extinguish all life on this planet 12 times over. Already, our world is so polluted that it doesn't matter what continent you sample from, every mother's milk contains traces of dioxin,. Each day that passes, our problems get worse.

Why does this continue to happen? The answer is simple: we let it, everyday we do nothing we allow it to happen.

So, what if the G8 has to meet protected by 1,000s of cops. Bottomline: they are still meeting. They are still in control because we continue to define how we resist them based on the choices they give us. The global resistance fits neatly into their pocket. As long as we stay within the limits of the box they've given us, we are simply a control valve. A harbor for the disenfranchised, disillusioned and the dissidents-a stress relief figured into the equation. Our counter-culture exists as another means to keep the system functioning.

Nothing can change until we completely withdraw our consent . Only our absolute refusal will effectively challenge the state, We must build our communities, develop networks and mutual aid and we must be prepared to defend our communities. Then we shut it down. No more going to work, no more paying taxes, no more acknowledging the government's authority. Instead we become the alternatives to this society.

Our bodies are the cogs that make the machine work. Our obedience fuels the machines. Our inability to move beyond mere protests is the guarantee that the machine will work, Your absolute refusal is your monkeywrench. The Longshoremen have shut down international trade with their refusal to unload ships. That is the power of unified refusal. Imagine that refusal on a global scale. We have yet to show our true strength. We have given power a small taste if what we are capable of. We have ourselves tasted a piece of victory but a taste is not enough. It cannot satisfy our hunger.

We the people run the factories, not our bosses. We control the ports, not corporations. We teach the children, not established curriculum. Our labor keeps things functioning. Without us, the cities stop. Without our obedience, they have no rule. We are the masters of our own fate. Yet, we will not control our destiny until we fully grasp our lives in our own hands. Only when we no longer participate in the spectacle that has been created to keep us in line, when we cease to tolerate violence directed at us and when we decide that freedom does not mean the freedom to choose from their choices will we have stepped out of the cage that traps is. We will finally move forward. We will finally be creating the world we envision and not just challenging the one that exists.

The Problem with Anarchist Ego (March 2004)

It seems that more and more anarchist publications are becoming breeding grounds for self-promoting pompous drivel. Perpetuating a cycle of discord not only among fellow anarchists, but others who could be our allies if only our heads weren't stuck so far up our arses.

The problem is not so much a lack of ideas as it is a superiority complex. It is so easy to turn on those we disagree with because their view of a utopian society isn't like ours whereas it is much harder to actually challenge the state.

Anarchists, leftists and activists of various sorts all seem to have one thing in common these days: the ability to direct their energy at one another rather than focus their collective energy on the source of all our misery.

How easily do we forget? This is exactly what the state wants us to do-fight amongst ourselves. All the bickering has made us a stagnant and ineffective farce. We are so busy criticizing each other that we fail to challenge the state or even attempt to create an alternative, relegating ourselves to obscure political theory and unintelligible banter. Perhaps, most shameful of all: we fail to criticize ourselves.

I was very disappointed to read an article recently printed in Green Anarchy, called The left-handed path of repression". It was a case in point of how easy it is to completely dismiss others, and fail to even address an important issue-likely, because (gasp!) they were critical of anarchists, perhaps even the author of said article.

I happened to live in Eugene at the time the author refers to as when the "leftist emotional plague swept through the Eugene anarchist milieu... "I had a unique privilege to be accepted by all the different factions and circles of the Eugene activist scene. Thus, being able to drink beer and have discussions with the group of women and men that challenged the rhetoric and sexism inherent in the Eugene anarchist scene at the time and then going off to party with the ?hardcore' anarchist element-which I'm sure still includes some members of the GA collective. The ability to not be labeled by either side as "the enemy" gave me a unique perspective on the situation and also forced me into the mediator role on occasion.

There are 3 sides to every story-A, B and the truth.

Without getting into names or details, I was very involved with various elements of resistance in Eugene. Most organizing was done by a handful of white men with some rare exception. These men were outspoken and had a very dominant presence-which I don't necessarily believe is a bad trait.

On the other side, there was a group of women and men who were tired of the one-way slant of these men. They sought to focus attentions on issues of sexism, racism and other community issues. Let's be realistic-in a predominately white college town with a large activist community centered in the heart of the poor district and largely organized by a small handful of white men, the conditions are ripe for sexism, racism and elitism.

The issues these women and men raised were legitimate issues, echoed by me on more than one occasion. But, of course, there was bullshit coming from both sides, which created a dramatic season of Eugene 90210. But, progress was made, a couple of worthless pricks were run out of town, people grew and suddenly a community was trying to evolve. Women were empowered, men were frightened and nothing would ever be the same.

The allegations flew with cries of sexism from one side and allegations of infiltrator and provocateur from the other. Then, BAM, heads collided and we were left with an ineffective bunch of disorganized, disunified factions, Once again, the state is left standing.

I'm still in contact with both sides of this feud. Not a lot has changed over the years. It is disheartening and sad for such an advanced and amazing group of people to be disabled by in fighting. Sometimes, I think I'd rather live in prison than go back to Eugene.

Unfortunately, the problem is not limited to this one instance. It continues to play itself out in all of our politics. Green vs. Red. Anarchism vs. Leftism. So, I'm going to point out what I thought was obvious: It's a big world. So big, that not one of our political leanings has the solution for everyone, everywhere. At some point, if we actually succeed in our goal of smashing the state, each of us are going to have to decide how we want to recreate our communities. I'm sure that with a world as diverse as ours, each of our communities will be different.

However, there is something standing in the way of all this, and it isn't some red commie, lefty liberal or green caveman. It is a big, well armed, well organized, powerful and deadly state. I hope that faced with this reality, we will find better uses of our time. We are going to have to learn to agree to disagree because it is going to take all our collective efforts to stop this machine and bring down the beast.

We have a long way to go with so much at stake. If our publications actually focused on tactics, alternatives, what works, what doesn't... If we worked on building bridges instead of burning them... ?

I suppose this articles, like so many dreams will simply become another "what if... ". That's too bad because I'd really like to see us accomplish change and not just dream, about it.

I'm not sure what the future hold. I don't even know when I'm getting gout of prison. My sentence, much like our collective future, depends on what you do. It gets said over and over again, but we seem to all have thick heads. Only you can change tings. Every single one of us has the power and ability to bring change but too often, we don't recognize our own power or we allow it to be misdirected.

We have to start in our own communities and build from there. It isn't going to work from the top down. We have to learn to work together as a diverse community and build from the bottom up. How can we hope to smash the World Bank and bring the G8 to their knees if we can't get along long enough to do it?

If we are not willing to fight together, if we are not willing to fight for each other because she's not an anarchist or because his god is different or simply because we disagree about something, then we don't have anything worth fighting for. Our revolution can't be about politics anymore. It has to be about life. It has to be about living to the fullest, sharing joy, about building and bring together sustainable communities founded on equality, freedom and respect. If that talks doesn't start with you, who's it going to start with?

Letter to The Sun magazine. December 2003

When i was ninteen, I thought I could save the planet. Raised on anarchist punk rock, I set out to fight injustice and make the world a better place.

In a national forest near Eugene, Oregon, I climbed to a plywood tree stand two hundred feet up an ancient Douglas fir. (Julia Butterfly Hill had already been sitting in a redwood for more than four months.) For forty-five days I called the tree stand home. When I came down, another took my place.

The forest action grew, and I took many more turns up in the trees. I did my fair share of blocking bulldozers, and even had the opportunity to meet with some congresspeople.

After two years of struggle, though, I was fed up and frustrated with the system. I'd witnessed countless cases of police brutality, lying officials, and broken hearts as more and more forests were destroyed. I decided it was time for underground action.

A friend and I planned to set fire to three SUVs in a protest designed to raise awareness about global warming. We succeeded in our mission, and no one was hurt. That was three years ago. I've been in prison ever since. I'm doing twenty-two years for my idealism.

I've had a lot of time to think about the choices I made, and I'm proud of them. Maybe I didn't change the world, but from the letters I get, I know I helped open some people's eyes. We managed to save that old-growth forest, too.

Jeffrey Luers
Salem, Oregon

How I Became an Eco-Warrior (Fall 2003)

It is late February in Oregon. Several of us make our way down a logging road so old and overgrown that it looks like a small trail, with young trees standing nearly twice as tall as me in its middle. This area was logged once in the early 1900's when they came only for the giant Red Cedars. Then in the 1960's they came back for the rest, leaving only pockets of untouched old growth. Relatively untouched, that is; there are only two giant Red Cedars where we are going.

We bushwack through unit 36 of the Clark timber sale. "Clark" is a low elevation old growth forest, some of the last stands of old growth that checker the Willamette National Forest. There are 10 units in "Clark", the old growth is so patch worked that these 10 units are spread out over a four square mile area, for a grand total of 96 acres of old growth. The ferns grow higher than my waist, vine maple reaches for the sunlight, and there is a plethora of huckleberry. The 400-600 year old Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, and 2 Red Cedar tower over head. Standing before them is a humbling experience, like standing before a God or Goddess, it is breath taking. Hundreds and hundreds of years this forest has stood silent witness to the passing of time.

These trees were here before Christopher "Genocide" Columbus landed thousands of miles away. They stood as whites encroached further west. The protested "non-violently" in shocked silence as their fellow forest dwellers and protectors, the indigenous nations were massacred. They stood proud in defiance as their peers feel to the axe.

Now it is 1998, I look upon the markings that slate the boundary lines of the clear cuts to come and I shake my head. New lines must be drawn. There is a tranquil beauty here. My decision was made before I even stepped foot in this forest. Now, as I stand here in the presence of something far greater than myself, I realize there can be only one outcome. By any means necessary, I will save this forest.

I've never really been camping before, not real camping. I have the skills, don't ask me how because I grew up in the suburbs of L.A. But I do know how to build a fire and a shelter. I know how to surviveÉ.that's what I thought anyway. There were three of us who had committed ourselves to staying out there. Two other street kids and me. One was from N.Y., the other, like me was from L.A. (How we all found ourselves here is a different story all together.) The three of us are your run of the mill crusty squatter punks, of which I probably have the least experience and at 19 also happen to be the oldest.

The weather was hot and beautiful, blue sky and sunshine. The first morning I woke up early and grabbed my climbing gear. We were trying to be stealth so we had camped in a small clearing in a plantation forest about a quarter of a mile away. I hike in through the woods to Unit 36. I wanted to practice my climbing. I'd been taught the basics and knew how to be safe. There was already a line in a Doug Fir, set at about 120 feet up give or take. My job was to get that line set near the top of the tree where we would put the tree sit. ( If you are wondering, the tree turned out to be around 220 feet tall.)

By the second day I had climbed to about 200 feet. I make it sound easy, but the truth is that I was scared to death. There are a few different methods for climbing BIG trees, and by BIG I mean trees that at 200 feet still take 2 people to wrap arms around. I will only describe the one I was using. This method is called free climbing and when done with safeties it goes like this: You use two safety lines called leads. When you are climbing branches you anchor one lead to the branch you are on. The second lead is then anchored to a branch above you, undo the other one, climb and start over. This process is incredibly easy when there are enough branches to climb like a ladder.

However an old growth Douglas Fir does not have any branches for the first 60-80 feet. After that the branches don't get close enough to climb like a ladder until around 190 feet. And these branches can be as thick as my body. They contain soil and moos up to 6 inches deep and are an ecosystem all alone.

So, in this case what you do is anchor your lead to the branch you are on, then you balance yourself sitting or standing knowing if you fall you are safetied in, but that gives little comfort. From your balanced position you throw your second lead to the next branch. After several attempts you get it over the next branch that is 15 feet over your head. You secure your lead and climb. Then you do it again. (Note- this is by no means a detailed instruction. Get proper instruction before any kind of climbing.) Life was good the third day. The sun was hot, no clouds and I was on top of the world or 200 feet closer to it. Now we could get into other trees easy, even if our methods were still primitive. From this height in the tree I could throw a stick with heavy fishing line tied to it over a branch of a nearby tree. Then I would lover the stick to the ground, where my friends would tie the climbing line to the fishing line. I would pull up the climbing line and anchor it in my tree. Again I make this sound easy. Of course once you are already up, this is the easiest method to get into a new tree.

A new line set, I would now wait for the pros to come up from town. Because the way this works is the line is anchored in my tree, draped over a branch in the other tree and goes down to the ground where someone climbs up. (Believe it or not this is actually a standard set up.) Now, when I say pros, I mean exactly that. At some pint you get so good at climbing that you know all the tricks, you can literally swing from tree to tree. And because of it you become one of the people called to set-up tree sits. I wasn't there yet, and I was going to wait for backup before going any further. I was counting on the support of people who had done this before to both teach me and help me.

That night the three of us punks squatted under the beautiful starry sky. There is almost nothing better than the company of good friends, a warm campfire and the light of a billion stars. We shared tales of adventure, hopping trains, shop lifting and running from the cops or in some cases fighting them. We fell asleep in the fading light of a dying fire. We awoke to a rain storm in the middle of the night. ( Yeah go figure rain in Oregon in February.) Us three city boys were a little shocked by this. Hell in L.A. it was already spring if not summer. We grabbed everything and ran out of the small field into the forest. We hurriedly scrambled with the only tarp we had and made a dry, though cramped place to sleep.

The rain had not stopped my morning and showed no signs of letting up anytime soon. The pros came out though. A lot of them! They brought supplies and another tarp. First they set up the other tarp at the edge of the clearing so we could have a place for a fire. while some did this others stashed supplies and gear in buckets. The task may have been small, but their efficiency and coordination was amazing. These people had worked together and done this before. In ten minutes, the tarp was up, food and gear stashed, and a fire going!

After that I showed them the trail I had made, complete with landmarks. I was proud of myself, and they were too. Today we were going to get in that second tree. I climbed up my tree- the one I'd been climbing the last three days. At the top I shouted down to the others. there of them piled their weight on the line going into the other tree, while I observed how much the branch bent as the line was about four of five feet out from the tree. Satisfied that everything was secured and safe one of them started to climb. I can't describe the moment with the justice it deserves. The rain is coming down and I'm soaked to the bone. I'm huddled on a branch so high up there is no protection from the wind or rain and a sticks throw away from my friends grinning face staring back at me from the first tree I ever set a line in. It is one of those beautiful moments in life that you remember with absolute clarity. At that moment I had no doubt that we would save this forest.

We hiked back down to what was now called base camp. I dried off around the fire. I only had two sets of clothes, and no rain gear. I lived out of my back pack. I traveled light and fast. I was from the streets and not the woods. I was sorely unprepared for winter outdoors in Oregon and blissfully unaware.

Everyone went back to town that day, except for me. the other two kids who had been with me couldn't take the rain and it would be months before I would see my two friends again. I stayed to protect what I now considered my forest, and my home. I checked the lines everyday. I hiked around, learned the deer trails and made them my own. I got to know the area like the back of m hand. At the end of each day I would go back and build a fire, change into my one set of dry clothes and dry the others.

A week had gone by, no one had come back out. I was alone and comfortable with it. I'd made friends with the forest, the trees and the creatures. Now, when I hiked around the forest birds didn't treat me like an intruder. I didn't know it that day, but I was about to experience something amazing...

A freak storm blew in that evening. It had been raining harder than usual and I headed back to camp early. the temperature was steadily dropping and the wind whipped as it began to hail. I huddled around the fire drying my wet clothes when a sudden gust tore the grommets out of the tarp where it was tied. The tarp flew like a flag tied at only one corner. there was so much rain mixed with the hail that as I struggled with the tarp my fire was extinguished.

I was able to rescue the tarp. With a little effort I rekindled my fire, again I set about drying my clothes, now both sets. The hail became a heavy sleet, the wind picked up. This time it blew down instead of up. Under the weight of the wind and sleet my tarp collapsed on top of me, again putting out my fire. I managed to get the tarp up again. I struggled over my dead fire for the second time. All the wood was wet and it was difficult to get burning. I was able to get a small fire going, but it was a fraction of the fire I first had. I shivered as I tried to warm myself by its small flames.

As I shivered around my pathetic fire the temperature dropped even further. the sleet had turned to full on snow. It was really coming down. Every few minutes I had to knock it of the tarp. But the storm was determined to have my fire. the wind had come in so hard and fast that it split the tarp right down the middle. For the third time my fire went out. My hands and feet were numb, my clothes wet, and my body shivering uncontrollably. I knew It would be impossible to hike out and get to a warm, dry place at this time of night. I was simply to far away from the nearest town. the first time in my life I wondered if maybe I wouldn't make it though the night.

I crawled under my other tarp in the woods. the wind would have a harder time getting this one, though it still rattled it at times. slowly I set up the propane camping stove that was almost out of fuel. I fumbled with a lighter for about five minutes. When your hands are too numb to make a fist, flicking a bic is a hell of a challenge.

It worked, oh yeah I made it work. I warmed my hands over the low blue flame. when I could feel all ten fingers again I took off my boots and warmed all ten toes. I was still shivering but I could feel my hands and feet again.

I wasn't about to try and build a fire again. the tarp I was under was to low to the ground and would melt with a fire. And I was not at all confident that I could keep a fire lit without a shelter above it. Resigned, I decided my best bet was to get out of my wet clothes and get into my somewhat wet sleeping bag. I broke out my emergency space blanket and covered my sleeping bag with it. I was still cold inside my sleeping bag but I felt confident that if my tarp held I would be fine. And that I could hike out in the morning. The wind still rattled the tarp, but I was more worried about the weight of the snow. which I was regularly shaking off the tarp.

My body never got warm, but I did not stop shivering after a while. I decided to pack my pipe with some kindness left by a visitor the week before. I was celebrating life, mine and that of the 39 year old trees around me.

I knew that I needed to stay awake, not so much because I was worried about my body temperature, but I was worried about the storm and my tarp. To pass the time I talked with my favorite tree, the one that my tarp was tied to. I spoke out loud to hear my voice, but I was speaking with my heart. Now,, for some people this may sound crazy, to me I've spoken with trees and animals all my life. Intrinsic knowledge that all life has the ability to communicate with each other. I'd never gotten an answer until that night. I've had many since then.

On this night I distinctly heard, or rather felt the tree ask why I was scared. It was like this sensational feeling like instinct. You just feel it and if you ignore it , it goes away. If you pay attention a whole new world opens up.

Surprised, yet calm. I explained my situation. we actually talked like this for a while. It may have been my imagination but in my mind the young tree sounded like a child. It was astonishing. It came to light that the forest understood why I was there. that I was there to protect it. I understood that within this forest I would be safe. I felt this calm and peace wash over me, like a kind of magik. The snow still fell and the wind still blew. I knew I would be fine though. I sang a few songs and chanted until I fell asleep. When I awoke in the morning the snow was still falling. there was about three inches on the ground. However, there was no snow on my tarp. In fact there was a perfect circle of forest floor completely bare of snow around my tarp. I was amazed and humbled. I thanked the trees and forest for it's protection. I promised I would return soon. Of course the forest already knew.

I packed my gear and stashed what I would leave behind. I threw on my pack and started the 10 mile hike back to an asphalt road. About half way down the snow turned back to rain with a slight rise in temperature. when I got to HWY 18- the road that runs through the Willamette. I started the 20 odd mile hike to the nearest town. fortunately, I got a ride after about a mile. Unfortunately, it was in the back of a pick up in the pouring rain. When I got into Eugene I went to the only place I knew. a local coffee shop that is friendly to forest defenders. I sat in the corner drinking my free cup of coffee and shivering again. I was found there by a womyn (who is now one of my coolest friends_ she didn't know me, but she was friends with the pros, and she knew who I was. I wasn't really able to talk well, or explain everything right then. She knew right away that I had hypothermia. she took me to her home and took care of me.

Her home became a sort of in town base camp. The next month would find me going back and forth between town and the woods while I and friend climbed, measured and planned. Others built the treesit in town. I continued to talk to that young tree regularly. I also started talking to the trees I climbed and the one I would live in. I soon started calling this tree "Happy". It just fit.

I began to be able to feel the energy of the forest around me. My senses felt enhanced. I could smell rain half a day away. I could tell when I wasn't alone and others were somewhere in the forest. I learned how to use this energy, how to communicate with the forest better. I learned to use the magik of the forest to not be seen by freddies (forest cops) even when I was standing 3 feet in front of them. (That too is a different story) This forest was my home. I was prepared to die for it. I was more than prepared to fight for it.

On April 19th, 1998, I ascended into "Happy", the first treesit at what would come to be known as Red Cloud Thunder and the Fall Creek Treesit. I was joined by a veteran sitter, who was going to hang out for a few days to make sure I "knew the ropes" (quite literally, actually). On April 20th, we were discovered by the Freddies. They had caught our supply line on the ground and a tug of war ensued. Ultimately, we were forced to cut the line. It had begun.

The next day, we watched as giant trees were felled to build the road that would be used to haul them out. When a tree that big falls, it shrieks all the way down. It lands with a thud that rattles the earth up to a mile away. I wanted to rappel and stop them, but my friend wouldn't let me. He said in an unusually comforting way that this was part of it. Some trees will fall, others will stand. His kind demeanor could not stop my tears from falling.

He stayed with me almost a week. During that time we sat through miserable cold and wet rain, wind so strong that the center of gravity in the sit would change as the tree swayed, even two lightning storms. A lot of people will glorify tree-sitting as this warm and fuzzy experience. I did it for two years (on and off). I would sit for months at a time. I sat through frozen lines covered in icicles, snow, sleet, breaking limbs and lines, hovering helicopters, and just about anything else you can think of. It is a beautiful and horrible experience, any person who does it for any length of time does so out of necessity.

Still, after my friend left and I was the only one in the forest, all alone up in Happy, I was loving life sitting under a warm spring sun and blue sky. I felt this sense of belonging I'd never felt. I could feel the magik of the forest and of Mother Earth in my blood. I finally truly understood what it was to be a human being and be alive.

I climbed up to my perch, the branch above the sit. I sat cross-legged, my back against Happy, and I began to meditate. I went into a trance. I forgot that there was a plywood platform below me. I forgot that I was a single entity. I felt the roots of Happy like they were my own. I breathed the air like it was a part of me. I felt connected to everything around me. I reached out to Momma Earth and I felt her take my hand. I could feel the flow of life around me. I felt so in tune with the ebb and flow of the natural cycles. I asked Her what it felt like to have humanity forget so much, and attack her every day like a cancer. I told her I needed to know, I needed to feel it.

She granted my request. My body began to pour sweat. I felt the most severe pain all over, spasms wracked my body. Tears ran down my face. I could feel every factory dumping toxins into the air, water, and land. I could feel every strip-mine, every clearcut, every toxic dump and nuclear waste site. I felt my body being suffocated by concrete. I could feel every awful thing our "civilized" way of life inflicts on the natural world. The feeling only lasted a second, but it will stay with me for the rest of my life.

My life changed that day. I made a vow to give my life to the struggle for freedom and liberation, for all life, human, animal, and earth. We are all interconnected, we are all made of the same living matter, and we all call this planet home. I vowed to defend my home, I vowed to stand in defense of Mother Earth.

The Fall Creek campaign grew. I came down and others went up. I would still spend many months in the trees. At that point, though, I felt I was needed on the ground. We had a huge influx of anarchist street kids up for a punk gathering in the woods.

I helped organize road blockades, cat and mouse with the bulldozers, and security patrols. More importantly, I and some others helped keep the spectrum of tactics open. We would not allow the sometimes dogmatic adherence to "non-violence" rule the campaign. I'm not against non-violence, and we used it with great effectiveness at Fall Creek. But no matter what, we were not going to let this forest fall. The lines had been drawn. When the road workers buried a kid, who stood his ground, in dirt with a bulldozer and the Freddies stood by laughing, saying "We didn't see anything", we had had enough. The next day, armed with clubs and roadblocks, we stood our ground. When a kid was attacked with a machete, we fought back. When they sent in climbers to remove sitters, we chased them out. If a Freddy was in the woods we surrounded him and made him leave. If a Freddy was spying on camp and would not announce his presence in the woods, we threw rocks and made him show himself. When the Freddies pulled their pepper spray, we pulled ours.

Over the camp flew a banner: "If trees fall, blood spills." We were denounced in some circles of activists and applauded in others. The Freddies quickly realized we would not be bullied. If they pushed us, we pushed back. A strange level of respect was given to us by the authorities. I think they realized that with us their power meant nothing and that made them treat us as equals. (I also think they were afraid to piss us off.)

There are a thousand stories about Fall Creek and Red Cloud Thunder, and about all the people who lived there or passed through over the years. There were beautiful moments, like when the security guard hired to protect the big machines helped carry supplies to the camp, or when the loggers joined us for a beer to bitch about their boss and company practices. There was conflict, tragedy, and love. There was some violence and more than one brawl with the Freddies. There was also a family of devoted friends who together saved a forest that to us is sacred.

Today Fall Creek still stands. It was ultimately saved by some wonderful people who worked through the system. They found several red tree voles and nests, which the Forest Service conveniently hadn't looked for. They thus saved the forest with the Forest Service's own rules. However, if it was not for the hundreds of brave women and men who stood their ground, held the blockades, sat in the trees, brought out supplies, and fought off Freddies, climbers, and attacking road workers or loggers, Fall Creek would never have stood long enough for it to be saved by the law.

Our Mother Earth is a living being, the giver of life and our home. The places we defend are ecosystems that support all kinds of life, including ours. The struggle for the Earth, for animals and humyns, is not one of separate issues. It is not just one of the oppressed against the oppressors. It is a struggle for us to remember a different way of life, one forgotten by our society. Our very lifestyles have to change. We must learn to walk in harmony and balance with the world around us. We must teach these ways to our children so that they can build on them and teach them to their children.

We have also inherited the task of ensuring that there will be wild places and animals left for our children. That the world they grow up in is not one of pollution. We must fight to ensure that their world is free from oppression in all its forms. It is not our children's battle and we cannot leave it to them to fight.

That means we will have to use many tactics. We will have to use property destruction and sabotage. In some cases, like Fall Creek, people will be forced to defend themselves or others. We must support those people who make this stand, because they are fighting for so much, and they are risking their lives and freedom to do it.

There comes a point where if you are paying attention, you become aware of all the wrongs and injustices around you. You have to decide what is important to you - clean water, freedom? You have to decide if you are willing to be a part of something larger than yourself. And you have to decide if you are willing to fight for it. We have already lost too much, we can not lose any more.

If your answer is "yes", then it is time for you to pick up your spear, draw a line in the ground, and say: "You have come this far and you shall come no further. I have a voice and I will use it. I will speak for the voiceless, and if you will not hear my words then you will feel my actions. I will not let you rape, murder, and oppress any longer. I am a warrior and I will fight you." To all the brave womyn and men out there fighting with the ELF and ALF, fighting for humyn freedom, fighting for a better world with equality and justice, my heart and gratitude is with you. May you always live free. May you strike like lightning and disappear with the wind. May all our dreams come true.

Statement to Break the Chains Conference (Summer 2003)

I've been asked to write something for this conference Ð and I find myself not knowing what to say. There are over two million prisoners in the USA, and that number grows daily. Presently, hundreds and maybe thousands of Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent are illegally imprisoned, denied basic human rights and civil rights in the name of freedom. It is startlingly reminiscent of the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II.

The war against terrorism will be much the same as the war on drugs. Thousands of people will be placed in prison - only under new rules you don't have to be charged with a crime to be held indefinitely.

The USA is flexing its muscles, daring anyone to challenge its power. From without it threatens with overwhelming military power. From within it threatens with fascist laws designed as much to intimidate as punish. The Ògreat land of freedomÓ has gone from a genocidal nation to a fascist superpower. This lesson was already learned once in history. If the German citizens who opposed Hitler would have challenged him early on, the Holocaust may have been avoided.

In this dangerous age of nuclear threat, if we do not challenge this fascist system the world could face disaster. Change must come from within, and by any means necessary.

I urge everyone in attendance to go back to their homes and start building community. Develop programs to feed children and educate them. Create independent news to educate adults. Reclaim space to grow food and build/create housing. It is only by building a broad movement supported by the people that change can occur.

This broad base can then support our militants that take the fight to the front lines. They must have your support. There must be funds for attorneys ready to go before they are needed. People who risk their lives and freedom to challenge oppression in its many forms must know that they have support. We must never leave anyone to face prison time alone.

We must build a strong prison support network that can challenge the system on every level. Much of this can be learned from countries such as Ireland, Spain and England. When injustice is done there must be no silence. The system must be hounded every day and every night until all political prisoners, and all prisoners of war are free.

In the spirit of total resistance Ð
Jeffrey Luers



Let Us Organize to be Free (Summer 2003)

I am issuing this call to action in the hopes that there are enough dedicated people out there, willing to organize an effective radical grassroots campaign to Òfire a shot heard round the world.Ó Let us show the world and the United States Government what we truly think about democracy in the USA.

Many people may at first scoff at this idea. Please hear me out before passing judgement.

Every one of us knows that our country and its policies, foreign and domestic, are dominated by the rich and their business interests. A strong case can easily be built to present these facts, and most non-radicals would agree.

Every four years, we get to choose a new CEO, er, ÒpresidentÓ, of the USA. Of course, the new ruler without fail comes from the same aristocracy and class that has ruled this country since its founding. During the campaign for the presidency many of the candidates will exploit the desires of the middle and lower classes by promising to address issues pertinent to us. However, time and again the reforms are purely cosmetic, designed to appease the concerned public while keeping business as usual.

This popularity contest among rich politicians must end. We have been tricked into believing that we have a democracy, tricked into believing we have open elections where anyone can run. Yet, the Green Party candidate, Ralph Nader, was not recognized by the political system. He was not invited to the debates. The truth is, only a certain archetype can win. White, rich, business-minded, male Republicans or Democrats. In the case of Bush, Jr, you do not even have to be elected.

I'm a firm believer that nothing will change in this country without direct action. I also know that it will take far more that that if we are going to accomplish real change. We are going to need mass organization and a lot of public support.

All too often, any progress we would make is stifled by differing beliefs and tactics. For once, let us set our politics aside and come together for one campaign that can help us all. The US Government is corrupt to the core and is a threat to free people everywhere. Before any real change can occur, be it reformist or radical, one thing has to happen. We must successfully establish our opposition to this rigged political system run by and for the benefit of the ruling elite.

What I propose is that we start a nationwide campaign to express our dissatisfaction with (and expose the truth behind) presidential elections. Let us organize to vote ÒNo one for president in 2004Ó. We could coordinate a write-in campaign for ÒNo oneÓ

Only half of the adult population elegible to vote is registered. Of that, only à to 2/3 actually do vote. Which means that the majority of the population does not vote. Some do not vote because they are too apathetic to care. Others, including many activists, do not vote because they believe the vote changes nothing.

Next year will be different. Next year our vote will carry a message to the world. Imagine the international reaction if just 1% f the vote in this country was for Òno oneÓ. And we could easily get that if every anarchist voted. Now imagine if we could organize our campaign so well that many others joined our vote. Because we had registration booths set up to register people for the ÒNo One PartyÓ (or some other name). And at these booths we had information explaining the history of the vote in this country, how it started with only those who owned property being allowed to vote, and how it has continued that way today with the location of the polls, or lack thereof, in poor neighborhoods. We could show the history of presidents, the corporations they work(ed) for, their finances.

Imagine what would happen if we were so successful that Òno OneÓ got the majority of the votes.

Now, many readers may be thinking that this is a ridiculous idea. However, it serves many valid purposes. First, a campaign of this size would require a national grassroots organization, for a long period of time. This would build a foundation and infrastructure that could be used for other campaigns. We could build a massive network of individuals and groups, that structured correctly would allow for autonomy and cooperation.

Second, with this campaign we could achieve a level of outreach never before accomplished. By getting out on the streets, engaging in dialogue, and encouraging people to vote for Òno oneÓ, by sharing the truth of our political system, we could stop Òpreaching to the choirÓ and bring the truth to the people. Which would, hopefully, get more people to at least pay attention, if not get involved.

Third, with enough hard work and fundraising, we could buy ads in newspapers, perhaps even on the radio and TV. Getting enough media attention to discuss our position on the air would then make this perhaps the most public political dissent ever. Because it could go beyond massive protest in the streets to civil unrest in the polls.

Finally, it is a starting point. It is so small, it is huge. The message is the clearest and loudest we can speak. We are Telling the world that in 2004 we are voting for no one because we have no faith in a political system that is ruled by the aristocracy.

The idea is still crude in its form. But I will work with any and all individuals or groups who are interested. Together we can make this campaign happen. Please reprint and distribute. Talk about it with your friends and political groups. Lets start sharing ideas.

Bound and Gagged (Summer 2003)

[Disclaimer: This article is by no means intended to create, promote, recruit or participate in any security threat group, environmental, social or political movement and is purely for the purposes of conveying my situation here at Oregon State Penitentiary to the general public as is permissible under Oregon and US law.]

On June 13, 2003 my cell was rushed by four guards. I was immediately placed in handcuffs and taken to the hole. My offense: I had written a letter to the Earth First! Journal. This Ôoffense' had been under investigation for 3 weeks as part of a greater confidential investigation of me, I am unsure if this is a ODOC [ed-Oregon Department of Corrections] investigation or a criminal investigation. However, based on the following, I believe it is an investigation into my Ôalleged' role in the Earth Liberation Front.

I have been classified by the ODOC as a known anarchist and member of the ELF. The Security Threat Group (STG) staff has gone on record stating that ÔLuersÉis an influential member of the radical ecology/animal/environmental movement. Luers was convicted for his radical anarchist activities and his conviction was condemned worldwide.Ó

The letter I wrote to the Earth First! Journal (of which I am unsure whether it was received) was in response to two articles in the Beltane (May) issue. In my letter, I spoke about direct action, prison and Ôratting' [Ed-snitching]. The misconduct report reads: "In his letter, I/M Luers exposes his belief system in writingÉ(blah, blah).This type of activity is a direct threat to the safety of the public and causes serious concern for the security, safety and orderly appearance of all ODOC facilities and employees".

At my hearing on this matter , I argued that my letter was in no way STG related, that I did not mention any group nor did I encourage illegal activity. I was told that the environmental movement is a STG and that by writing my views or by being involved in environmental political, I was actively promoting and recruiting for the ELF. As a Ôknown STG member' anything I write about the environmental, social or political movements can and will be considered STG involvement. No distinction will be made between my past experience, views, beliefs or opinions.

I have been sanctioned to 120 days in the hole, 21 days loss of privilege upon being released from the hole and they took 100 days of good time (I can only get 15 months) pushing back the end of my first 44 month sentence from this month to October.

The prison and the state are attempting to gag me in the hopes that I will no longer speak the truth. Political dissatisfaction is steadily rising in this country as years of apathy give way to conscience and perhaps after recent events in the Bush administration, the state fears it may be losing its hold on the people.

Numerous laws have been passed in the last few years greatly reducing people's rights. Again, Congress is considering making flag burning a crime and laws against protest are being encouraged. They have started in the prisons. First they will take away my voice. Next, they may take yours.

I am in need of First Amendment attorneys who can help me challenge this sanction and the others that are sure to occur. ("I will not go silently into the night"). One that can work for minimal fees or preferably, pro-bono.

I am also asking for letters as the hole is a lonely place. Due to my limited writing supplies, I can not write everyone back. I will be doing a regular update and responding to all letters to the best of my ability on my website www.freejeffluers.org

Midnight Rant (Summer 2003)

I wonder sometimes as I sit in my cage. How did all this happen? How did things get to be like this? How did we forget?

How did we forget where we came from, what gives us life? We bury it in concrete and asphalt. We dam it and tame it. We do everything in our power to domesticate it. But still it is there wild and free.

It flows in our blood. All life is interconnected. We knew this once. Once upon a time our languages were based on this knowledge. Our cultures and lifestyles honored the life around us. Because we knew that it fed us and nourished our bodies as well as our spirit.

Life is sacred. Living is sacred. We must remember this. Life is about living to enjoy the experiences of life. It's about giving back what we take in order to continue the cycle.

This civilization is not life. It is not life affirming. Are you happy? Honestly? The structure of society today does not even provide for basic human needs. How many are homeless, hungry and in need of warm clothes? Before civilization this never would have happened. These needs would have been met by the community and by the abundance of life around it.

Now, I know we've far too many human beings and far too little space to ever go back to that. We have evolved, we have expanded and developed in ways never thought of 1,000 years ago. But we've lost sight of what we are. We are loving, compassionate human beings. That is what we need to remember. That is what we need as the moral base of our culture Ð NOT consumerism, expansionism or capitalism.

The world is far too small for us to not think like a global community. Yes, separated by thoughts, beliefs and languages. But does that make us different?

We need to build community. We need to provide for the needs of that community. And then once that is done we need to reach out to other communities.

You say impossible, in today's world it would never happen. And I say what if cruise missiles delivered food instead of warheads? We have the technology, why don't we use it for good