Ga. anarcist arrested

praxis (praxis@emma.unm.edu)
Sat, 14 Dec 1996 14:22:59 -0700 (MST)


Rise Above

In May of '96 a photo-copied magazine by the name Rise Above was
circulated in Morrow, GA and through other areas of Clayton county Georgia
with an official circulation of 33. However more copies were made and
passed out by others. Most of it's contents were excerpts from other
anarchist publications as well as quotes from anti-authoritarian activists,
authors and bands. On July 37th an explosion went off at the Centennial
Olympic park in Atlanta, killing two and wounding others. A few days later,
on the day Jason Moreland (the editor) returned from Florida, he was
informed that the police would like to "talk with him about his
publication." When Jason arrived at the police station he was informed that
there was a warrant out for his arrest and taken into custody - his mother
fainted.
The Clayton county police began investigating the magazine on July 8th
(two months after it been released) when officer Peabody received a copy of
the publication. However no arrest was made until after the explosion of
the 27th with Jason being charged with advocating the overthrow of the
Government of Georgia (O.C.G.A. 16-11-4), because of an obviously incorrect
recipe for making moltov cocktails and a tiny graphic that depicted a
person throwing a moltov at something the police felt resembled the capital
building of Georgia. During Jason's questioning the authorities asked him
about his beliefs, his publication, read him a list of names (to see which
he recognized), and about the bombing at the park. At this time he did not
have a lawyer present. He spent a week in jail and his bond was set at
$50,000 then later lowered to $25,000. He is now awaiting trial and is
faced with a $20,000 fine and a possible 20 years in jail; all for
recycling other people's work and expressing his fears and hopes for the
world in which he lives.
The media coverage of Jason's arrest was all but unbiased as the few
newspapers that covered the story turned Jason into a minor mad-man or a
mixed up kid or as AM 750 put it a "fascist." Stressing that his co-workers
thought he was weird as he had occasionally slept on the roof of his place
of employment, handed out literature dealing with various topics (police
brutality, racism, homelessness, etc...), and "didn't like authority." The
press also grossly exaggerated the contents of Rise Above. Claiming it was
filled with expletives, anti-government rhetoric and anti-police cartoons
completely skipping over such statements as "Anarchy & Peace," "love and
unity is the key," "Wake Up!," and a host of others about self-empowerment
and taking control over our own lives. One newspaper felt that Rise Above
encouraged mindless violence, because of a reprinted flyer about direct
action encouraging people to disrupt corporate america; and according to
Jason another completely created a quote from his mother. All in all Jason
hasn't been given a fair shake.
Since his arrest, Jason has been asked to appear on a radio talk show
about first amendment cases, has put together a benefit to help pay for his
court costs (with more benefits to come) and is attempting to put out
another issue of Rise Above or create a new 'zine all together. However, he
has been hindered in his political activities since he has basically become
a marked man. Also he has also become concerned about rumors that Officer
Peabody (the officer that began the Rise Above investigation) has been
spreading rumors about "those punks from Rise Above." Another disturbing
note is that GBI has been asking to talk to Jason about the bombing at the
Centennial Park.
I know this sounds ridiculous, but it is a sad truth. The state of
Georgia is prepared to send Jason to jail for 20 years for a tiny graphic
in his publication. And even though the Clayton county police don't believe
that Jason has anything to do with the bombing at the Centennial Park, they
have expressed their happiness in stopping "whatever he was up to." And in
the process ignoring Jason's right to freedom of speech.
Being that this case is an infringement of Jason's civil liberties the
ACLU has taken up his defense and is demanding that all charges against him
be dropped. However that will be not be enough to sway the District
Attorney, so we are asking for those that read this to write District
Attorney Robert E. Keller demanding that all charges against Jason P.
Moreland be dropped. As he had not advocated the overthrow of the State of
Georgia and these proceedings are in direct violation of Jason's
constitutional rights.

Contact: DA Robert E. Keller
Clayton County District Attorney
200 Annex, Clayton County Courthouse
Jonesboro, Georgia 30236

If you would like to contact Jason write to us at Circle A Magazine so we
can pass your letter along.

Circle A Magazine c/o Ignatz
PO Box 80967
Chamblee, Ga 30366


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Free thought, neccessarily involving freedom of
speech and press, I may tersely define thus:no
opinion a law-no opinion a crime.
Alexander Berkman