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(en) US, Oregon - Anarchist Prisoners Settle Suit

From weneversleep@ziplip.com
Date Wed, 30 Apr 2003 12:43:19 +0200 (CEST)


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COMBAT FIGHT, CONTEND: To struggle or work against: OPPOSE Dispatch 104
Anarchists Settle Oregon Department of Corrections Repression Suit
Salem, Oregon - 22 April, 2003 - Oregon Anarchist's
federal lawsuit against the Oregon Department of
Corrections (ODOC) has been settled by
compromise.

Filed pro se by Anarchist prisoner Brian McCarvill,
personally, and on behalf of others similarly
situated, versus Ben DeHaan, Acting Director
ODOC; Mike Beagen, Inspector, Security Threat
Groups, ODOC; Jacy Duran, Central Mail Rule
Administrator; and seven other ODOC employees,
McCarvill v DeHaan et al, USDC OR, Case No.
02-1167-KI, was settled by contractual compromise
on April 22, 2003. The Lawsuit alleged that the
ODOC was unconstitutionally rejecting Anarchist
and other publications, simply on the basis that they
portrayed the Anarchist circle-A symbol, the
Anarchist Black Cross symbol, the Anarchist Black
Flag, and the terms "Anarchism" and "Anarchist",
without any substantive review towards determining
whether or not the rejected publications constituted
an actual "security threat" or "detriment" to Oregon
prison facilities.

The lawsuit further alleged that Anarchists were
being unconstitutionally "documented" (ODOC's
verbiage) as a "gang" and a "security threat group"
(STG), a documentation that allowed ODOC to
characterize Anarchist symbols as "STG
Paraphernalia." The Oregon mail rule, OAR 291-131,
contained a provision that allowed ODOC to reject
mail and publications for displaying "STG
Paraphernalia." Plaintiff contended that ODOC had
unconstitutionally constructed a shortcut - the
simple appearance of an Anarchist symbol - means
of rejecting mail and publications that ran afoul of
even state-friendly Thornburgh v Abbott, 490 US
401 (1989).

The lawsuit further alleged that ODOC had an
unconstitutional pattern and practice of rejecting
Anarchist mail and publications for "unrecognized
publisher," on an ad hoc basis, for Anarchist
publications only; as well as mischaracterizing
Anarchist zines as magazines and / or pamphlets, at
will, depending upon which classification would earn
the zine a rejection.

After conducting massive amounts of written
discovery, the parties agreed to settle the dispute by
contractual compromise. Plaintiff attributes ODOC's
willingness to settle to a combination of the massive
amount of support from the Oregon, US, UK and
Eire, Anarchist diaspora, in the form of affidavits,
declarations, and positive statements. The Anarchist
Prisoners' Legal Aid Network (APLAN) of Portland
Oregon provided financial, moral and campaign
support from the beginning, allowing the initial filing
and prosecution of the lawsuit. Break the Chains
prisoner support Anarchist collective of Eugene
Oregon, and the Anarchist Black Cross Network of
Austin Texas, rounded out collective organizational
support for Plaintiff. Green Anarchist newspaper of
London England, Green Anarchy collective of
Eugene Oregon, and Mishap zine of Eugene
Oregon, all provided in depth position statements.
Individual Anarchists from everywhere contributed,
and continue to contribute, documentation in
favor of Plaintiff's position.

In the course of prosecuting the lawsuit, Plaintiff
and his cellmate, Anarchist Rob los Ricos, were
placed in Disciplinary Segregation at Oregon State
Penitentiary, for "unauthorized organization I". Both
individuals earned 120 days "hole time" for their
efforts. Almost all of the written discovery was
conducted from the DSU environment despite
ODOC's intent to hinder. As part of the settlement
agreement, Plaintiff agreed not to divulge the terms
of the agreement without ODOC permission.
Negotiations as to what can be divulged by Plaintiff
are currently taking place. However, in an April 13,
2003 communication to Plaintiff, los Ricos stated:

"Just before lights out, correctional officer Birch
[ODOC STG] came by for a chat. He says you're
about to win your lawsuit... It looks like they are in
the process of re-writing the mail rules, so that we
can have most anarchist literature regardless of
circle-A's."

The compromise settlement gives Plaintiff and
similarly situated persons the relief that they could
reasonably have expected from the US District
Court. Being a contractual compromise, the
settlement is revocable should one or the other of
the parties default from the agreement. There were
no monetary damages sought in the lawsuit.

The success of Plaintiff and similarly situated
persons here provides twenty-first century proof of
the viability of the viability of the decentralized,
individualist, and collective Anarchist ideal. Viva la
revolucion!

23 April
Brian McCarvill
51st Volunteers

Combat is an open forum. Takes and discussion on
the foregoing dispatch are not only welcome but
encouraged. Dispatches are encouraged from the
front lines everywhere in the revolutionary diaspora,
on any subject that is calculated to move the
revolution forward. Please write:
Brian McCarvill 11037967
Oregon State Penitentiary
2605 State Street
Salem, OR 97310

Anarchist Prisoners' Legal Aid Network
818 SW 3rd Ave. PMB 354
Portland, OR 97204 (USA)
weneversleep@ziplip.com


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