February 13th, 2017
When I was first arrested and remanded to the U.S. Marshals a year ago, I expected quite a journey through the federal justice system. Still nothing could have prepared me for the actual odyssey ahead.
After starting out by spending a couple weeks at FDC Miami, followed by a week at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City, my second flight on “ConAir,” landed me at MDC Brooklyn. There, packed into a tiny holding cell, two members of violent street gangs quickly discovered each other among the rest of us dozen or so human sardines and a brutal fist fight broke out in a tightly enclosed space. Then, after being moved to a housing unit, I found myself sleeping right next to a cell that seems perpetually corded off by crime scene tape. What exactly happened in there and how long ago those events transpired are sources of speculation, controversy, and gossip among federal inmates across the Northeast; the prison equivalent of camp fire stories. I didn’t tell my wife about the altercation, nor the mystery cell at the time, as I didn’t want to worry her.
Though much of the facility was in an obvious state of disrepair, I wasn’t at MDC Brooklyn long enough to run into the grave issues recently uncovered there by journalists. Nor did I know that late last year a judge would refuse to order a defendant held there pending trial, but rather would summon the local US Attorney to answer for its squalid conditions. Instead, I boarded a bus, shackled and chained as we always are, bound for the private Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island.
I would spend the next 9 months at “Wyatt,” where I would begin my 100-day hunger strike on behalf of abused children and victims of political prosecutions, like the late Aaron Swartz. Before I arrived, I was already aware of the ACLU’s detailing of the tragic abuse and preventable death of fellow technologist and whistleblower Hiu Lui “Jason” Ng at the facility. I also knew that underpaid and overworked officers had sued Wyatt over unfair Employment Practices. Like Ng, I had to fight much too hard to go to the hospital, and worse yet, my attorneys were told I had not requested such care when in fact I had done so repeatedly, even on video.
April 4th, 2017
Had you heard of Aaron Swartz, the last activist the previous administration pursued on hacking charges in Boston? Did you know the Boston U.S. attorney’s office brutally persecuted him until he took his own life in 2013, and that the two main people in charge of that travesty, Carmen Ortiz and Steve Heymann, are now considered notorious, as over 61,000 people signed whitehouse.gov petitions to have them fired? Did you know they dishonestly compared Aaron to a rapist? Did you watch the congressional oversight hearings that resulted? Did you know Carmen Ortiz and Adam J. Bookbinder, another prosecutor who was around during the Swartz tragedy, were the ones to indict me under the same law, and there are untruths in sworn paperwork used against me as well?
Is it true that the real reason you pursued Swartz was political payback for his work for WikiLeaks and PACER alternatives?
When your prosecutors told my attorneys they have planned to move to block me from even arguing, that I acted “ in the defense of others, ” was that in the interest of justice? Is justice really what the Obama administration was pursuing in my case and Aaron’s, or were they simply furthering the goals of political allies? Are you aware of the implications for the Second Amendment of stopping juries from considering “the defense of others”?
A true story, Martin “Marty” Gottesfeld and his new girlfriend Diana have just moved in and started a life together. Diana mentions her youngest brother, Mitch, has run away in order to escape the draconian Logan River Academy. Upon his capture and return, she tries to contact her brother repeatedly, but the school will not allow them a phone call, nor will his therapist return her increasingly concerned messages.
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Imprisoned activist explains how hunger strikes can bring change.