June 2005 marks the five-year anniversary of the imprisonment of our friend and comrade: Oregon environmental political prisoner, Jeff “Free” Luers. Jeff was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for burning three Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) at a car dealership in Eugene, Oregon, and on trumped up attempted arson charges. Jeff set fire to SUVs to call attention to climate change and to protest oil wars and environmental destruction. Jeff was motivated by compassion and a desire to protect life, not to harm it.
On June 12, 2004, social and environmental activists in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Norway, Finland, Australia, and Russia participated in an “International Day of Action” with Jeff by organizing non-violent protests and community events to show their support for him and their disgust for his cruel sentence. The FBI responded by creating a real ‘Green Scare’, sending a memo to businesses, corporate media, and government agencies warning of planned “terrorist attacks” by the “Earth Liberation Front” on June 12. Of course, no “terrorist attacks” ever occurred.
Since the June 12, 2004 Day of Action, support for Jeff has continued to grow. People all over the world see Jeff as a political prisoner and acknowledge that his sentence is meant as a deterrent to increased resistance to oppression. Overall, however, the political climate in the US and abroad has become more corrupt and repressive. The conditions are ripe to expose the hypocrisy of the system. Opposition and dissent is needed now more than ever.
During the weekend of June 10-12th, 2005, social justice activists from across the world are called upon again to organize and show their outrage about Jeff’s imprisonment and the continued abuse and isolation of dissident prisoners across the globe. State repression is meant as a deterrent to social and environmental movements all over. Jeff received a sentence of over 22 years for an action that harmed no one except for the pocketbook of a local car dealer. Typical arson charges in Oregon result in sentences less than five years.
There is no central organizing body or group to check in with but the Jeff Luers Support Network can help by providing you with flyers, graphics, and merchandise such as videos, zines and stickers about Jeff and allies in the struggle.
Read more about Jeff’s case at www.freefreenow.org. East Coast contact: Friends of Jeff ‘Free’ Luers firstname.lastname@example.org; West Coast Contacts: Break the Chains email@example.com; San Francisco Jeffrey Luers Support Network firstname.lastname@example.org