[NEW YORK, NY] Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old political activist, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). The Ceremonial Courtroom at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York was filled today with an outpouring of support by journalists, activists and other whistleblowers who see Jeremy Hammond’s actions as a form of civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.
Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple
The hearing opened with arguments as to what sections of the court record will remain redacted after sentencing. While Jeremy’s attorneys initially erred on the side of caution in previous memorandums and kept large pieces of the record redacted, both the defense and prosecution agreed this morning that many of the sections should now be made available for public view. The prosecution, however took stiff exception to portions of the court record being made public that indicate victims, specifically foreign governments, that Jeremy allegedly hacked under the direction of Hector “Sabu” Monsegur, the FBI informant at the helm of Jeremy’s alleged actions. Judge Preska ordered that the names of these foreign governments remain sealed.
[NEW YORK, NY] The Sparrow Project is humbled to be supporting the award winning documentary THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE as it launches its Oscar qualifying run of screenings in major US markets [screenings & tickets here]. This visually arresting portrait follows photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur as she documents the lives held captive in the bowels of an ever-mechanized industry of animal use and her attempts to deliver her chilling images to the press.
“I feel like I’m a war photographer. I am photographing history and photographing changes in history right now, in terms of animal rights and where it’s going.” —Jo-Anne McArthur
In what at times feels like a quixotic endeavor, the film highlights just how hard it is to place hard-hitting documentation like McArthur’s in the pages of top-tier media outlets. It’s not just industry influence that shapes the editorial calendar, moreover it is a system of unwritten laws regarding the comfort of readers that dictate whether the ugly truth gets printed …no matter how relevant the content may be.
[NEW YORK, NY] Jeremy Hammond, a 28-year-old political activist, will be sentenced Friday, November 15 at the Federal Court for the Southern District of New York [500 Pearl St, The Ceremonial Courtroom on the 9th Floor] after pleading guilty to participating in the Anonymous hack into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). An outpouring of support by journalists, activists and other whistleblowers in the run-up to the sentencing hearing has focused on Jeremy Hammond’s actions as civil disobedience, motivated by a desire to protest and expose the secret activities of private intelligence corporations.
Jeremy Hammond’s attorneys have submitted a sentencing memorandum on his behalf asking for a sentence of time served, a call supported by 5,000 people in petitions hosted by Change.org and Demand Progress. Additionally, over 250 letters addressed to the Judge from friends, family, journalists, academics, the tech community, and prominent whistleblowers have been included with the memorandum. Among these is a letter cosigned by 17 editors and journalists representing international media outlets in fifteen countries with a combined audience of 500 million people.
VIEW EXCERPTS OF LETTERS OF SUPPORT HERE
[NEW YORK, NY] On Tuesday, Ecuadorean villagers from the Amazon rainforest region ravaged by Chevron’s oil contamination will join supporters for a large rally in Foley Square across from the courthouse where a trial will open in the California-based oil giant’s retaliatory R.I.C.O. (Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organization Act) lawsuit against the Ecuadorians and their U.S.-based legal advocates.
The Ecuadorians are representing 30,000 plaintiffs who won a landmark judgment against Chevron in an Ecuadorian court in 2011, wherein the company was ordered to pay more than $18 billion towards the cleanup of widespread contamination, as well as compensatory and punitive damages. The case, holding Chevron accountable for toxic dumping by its predecessor company, Texaco, has been upheld by appellate courts in Ecuador.
Nearly 20 years since the case was filed in 1993, Chevron refuses to pay for a cleanup, and is waging a scorched-earth legal, PR, and lobbying campaign to crush its victims and their advocates and supporters. The oil giant stripped its assets from the country, forcing the Ecuadorians to pursue enforcement of the judgment in countries where the Chevron still maintains assets. Chevron’s use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act when filing suit against the Ecuadorian victims [.pdf ] and their advocates is the latest chapter in their attempts to evade accountability and repress those trying to hold the company to task.
“This trial is merely Chevron’s latest cynical ploy to evade accountability for its crimes in Ecuador,” said Paul Paz y Miño of Amazon Watch. “Chevron’s legacy in the Amazon has caused enough environmental ruin and human suffering already; it’s time the company to pay for a cleanup, rather than for more abusive efforts to run from its responsibility.”
[NEW YORK, NY] The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) has formed a committee dedicated to the furtherance of animal liberation issues and defending those imprisoned while fighting for animal rights. This Thursday, October 3rd at 6pm the NLG Animal Rights Committee will host a launch event for this new committee, at the CCR offices located at 666 Broadway, 6th Floor. You can RSVP via facebook HERE.
As business-driven designer legislation is eroding what little legal protections are afforded to animals, and simultaneously eviscerating activist’s abilities to effectively organize and advocate for these animals, the NLG has stepped up to filled a much needed role. The NLG has long been on the cutting edge of social justice, among the first to defend targeted activists, and to broaden its anti-oppression vision. In this exciting new chapter, the NLG will hopefully expand the radius of their work beyond simply defending the human rights of marginalized voices but also the lending it’s resources towards defending the rights of voiceless non-human animals. Speakers at Thursday’s launch will include…