Jeremy Hammond, a member of the hacktivist network Anonymous is currently spending a decade in prison for disclosing information to Wikileaks about Stratfor which was published as The Global Intelligence Files. These revealed Stratfor was spying on human rights defenders on behalf of corporations and governments. Jeremy Hammond has just been found guilty of a bogus prison infraction of assaulting a guard. He has been placed in solitary confinement and faces being sent to a higher security prison.
A description of the incident leading to his conviction was posted on his support website run by the Courage Foundation freejeremy.net:
“The incident occurred either Monday, November 19th, or Tuesday, November 20th. Jeremy was exiting his unit and either pushed or bumped a door. The door he was exiting through did not have a window or any way to see through to the other side. There was an officer on the other side of the door, and, when the door opened, it allegedly bumped the officer. In response to being bumped with the door, the officer grabbed Jeremy, threw him up against the wall, and took him to the SHU (segregated housing unit), without placing Jeremy in handcuffs or calling for backup, as is prison protocol. Once in SHU, he was written up for “assaulting a staff member” for the original act of bumping the officer with the door.”
Unfortunately Jeremy has been found guilty of this offence in a hearing wherein he was not even able to defend himself in person Read the full report here. As it explains if he is sent to a higher security level prison Jeremy will not be able to complete the college degree he was undertaking, could be moved much further away from friends and family and could be targeted even more by authorities due to the assault conviction.
Jeremy is a brave fighter for justice. His jailing was part of the Obama’s administration’s war on whistleblowers and leaks which has been continued by the Trump Adminstration, not least through its escalation of the persecution of Julian Assange. It is part of a lurch towards austerity, dictatorship and war under conditions of capitalist crisis. The ruling class must make examples of people such as Jeremy as it desparately seeks to stop the working class learning the truth about both the crimes it has already committed and the larger ones they are planning.
After being threatened with 40 years to life in prison for his brave actions and suffering numerous injustices at the hands of the legal system, Jeremy accepted a non-cooperating plea deal to one count of violating the arcane and draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. After pleading guilty to the one count he was convicted on, Jeremy Hammond stated
“Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.”
Not only has Jeremy taken a brave stand in regards to the exposing of government/corporate spying but even whilst in prison he has continued to speak out on political issues including prisoner rights. The authorities targeting of Jeremy in jail are no doubt spurred on by his continuing resistance. You can read some of his prison writings at this link.
It is crucial that the international working class and youth make every efforts to publisize Jeremy’s plight and stand in solidarity with him. The fight to defend Jeremy is part of the broader against war and dictatorship and and ultimately the capitalism system itself which drives these processes.
Jeremy’s support network has issued the following call out for letters to be sent to Jeremy and the following update on his situation
“Calls are being made to Jeremy’s case manager and possibly to the warden to see what, if anything, can be done to help the situation. Please, at this time, we are asking that members of the general public do not call the prison. The situation is extremely delicate. However, you can write to Jeremy and we encourage everyone to do that!”
His address is:
Jeremy Hammond, #18729-424
Milan, MI 48160