March Letter Writing Night for Queer Prisoners

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A monthly letter writing night for queer Indiana prisoners! Come send letters to queer and trans people held captive in Indiana prisons. We will provide stamps, stationery, prisoner contacts, information on writing to prisoners, and snacks. All ages welcome.

Wednesday, March 11th
7-9 pm
Boxcar Books
408 E. 6th St
Bloomington, IN

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Demand condoms for Alabama prisoners!

On February 10, 2015, prisoners in Alabama need as many people as possible to call the prison officials below and demand that condoms be made available to prisoners through the medical healthcare unit and/or by adding them to the list of approved commissary items and products prisoners are allowed to purchase.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are rampant in the prisons and to minimize their spread, condoms are a necessity! This is a major health issue. One prison has already been placed on quarantine due to widespread STDs.

Commissioner Kim Thomas: (334) 353-3883
Governor Robert Bentley: (334) 242-7100

Spread the word!
We want condoms!

I’m calling in support of prisoners’ demand for condoms. As Governor/Commissioner, you have the power to allow prisoners access to condoms. It has been brought to my attention that STDs are rampant in Alabama prisons and that if prisoners are allowed access to condoms through the commissary and/or health care unit, it will minimize the spread of STDs and help save lives and medical costs.


  • Globally, 10 million people are locked up, with 6 countries locking up at least one of every 200 of their citizens.
  • HIV prevalence within prisons is estimated to be between 2 and 50 times those of general adult population. Prisons are a high-risk environment for HIV transmission with drug use and needle sharing, tattooing with homemade and unsterile equipment, and sex.
  • Overcrowding creates a breeding ground for opportunistic infections.
  • The reported rates of syphilis are higher in correctional environments than in the non-incarcerated population.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended the correctional systems to evaluate existing condom programs.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends condoms in prisons.
  • Over 80% of European Union prisons systems, the Correctional Service of Canada, and prisons in Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, and Iran provide condoms for prisoners.
  • In the U.S., Mississippi and Vermont state prisons have condom distribution programs.
  • Condom distribution programs exist in the Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA: New York City, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Washington D.C. county jails.
  • Released prisoners constitute 17% of U.S. population with AIDS
  • Released prisoners constitute 35% of U.S. population with tuberculosis
  • Prisoners constitute a high rate of Hep C infections
  • Studies in California with condom distribution programs in Solano State Prison concluded that condoms were effective in combating the spread of STDs among prisoners and at a low cost.

2. Evaluation of a Prisoner Condom Access Pilot Program Conducted in One California State Prison Facility

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The 29th of Every Month for Oscar Lopez Rivera!

p04-portada-web_lgOscar Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican Independista and political prisoner serving 70 years for seditious conspiracy. Oscar is currently imprisoned at FCI Terre Haute.  We here at Indiana Queer Prisoner Solidarity know that there can be no queer liberation without the destruction of colonialism. Solidarity means we must struggle together with other oppressed people(s) toward the goal of liberation. We hope others will join in this campaign to free a fighter from the jaws of the state.


From The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign

Inspired by the “5th of every month for the Cuban 5” campaign and the 33 x Oscar initiative in Puerto Rico, The ProLibertad Freedom Campaign has decided to dedicate the 29th of every month to Oscar Lopez Rivera!

On the 29th of each month, we’re asking all our allies and supporters to CALL THE WHITE HOUSE AND DEMAND THE RELEASE OF PUERTO RICAN POLITICAL PRISONER OSCAR LOPEZ RIVERA!

Call President Obama at 202-456-1111 and leave a message!  Let him know that Oscar Lopez Rivera has been in prison for too long and deserves to go home! 

We need to flood the voice mail with our united demands for freedom!

Sample Message for your phone call:

President Obama, I ask that you free Puerto Rican Political Prisoner, Oscar Lopez Rivera.  Since 1981, he has been in jail for fighting for Puerto Rican independence; he never committed a violent crime and has been a model prisoner.  I ask that you follow in the foot steps of Presidents Truman, Carter, and Clinton, who freed other Puerto Rican activists, and set Oscar free!

Call-in dates:
Thursday January 29th
Friday February 27th

Sunday March 29th
Wednesday April 29th
Friday May 29th
Monday June 29th
Wednesday July 29th
Saturday August 29th
Tuesday September 29th
Thursday October 29th
Sunday November 29th
Tuesday December 29th

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Remember Leelah Alcorn & Ashley Sherman! Trans Liberation Now!

Leelah flyer_Page_2Leelah flyer

Click here for a printable flyer [8.5×11]

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January Letter Writing + Birthday Card Night for Marius Mason


Marius Jacob Mason will be turning 52 in a few weeks! In solidarity with our friend and comrade, there will be a letter-writing and card-making night on January 14th.

Marius is an anarchist and former Bloomington resident who is serving an almost 22-year sentence for acts of property destruction against ecocide and animal exploitation. He is currently held in a highly-restrictive prison and continues to struggle for his dignity amidst the dehumanization of imprisonment. This year, Marius publicly came out as transgender, and now faces a new terrain of struggle as he attempts to secure gender-affirming changes such as a legal name change, hormones, and surgery.

Sadly, Marius’s mother, Karin, died on December 3rd, 2014 at age 76. Being unable to be present with a dying parent is an excruciating experience and one of many ways in which prison attempts to impose its misery and isolation. Now, more than ever, Marius could use our love and support.

Wednesday, January 14th
7-9pm Boxcar Books
408 E. 6th Street

More on Marius at his support site.

[PDF of flyer]

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November Letter Writing Night for Queer Prisoners

letter writing night flyer 2

A monthly letter writing night for queer Indiana prisoners! Come send letters to queer and trans people held captive in Indiana prisons. We will provide stamps, stationery, prisoner contacts, information on writing to prisoners, and snacks. All ages welcome.

Wednesday, November 12th
7-9 pm
Boxcar Books
408 E. 6th St
Bloomington, IN

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Interview on repression of Indiana prisoners on The Final Straw


The Final Straw presents an interview with an anarchist living in Bloomington, IN about current and former instances of racist and institutional violence against inmates at the Pendleton Correctional Institution in Madison County, Indiana.


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Monday, 9/8: Call-in against racist repression and censorship in Indiana prisons


The Indiana Department of Corrections is taking cruel and racist actions in a number of their prisons.

A New Afrikan prisoner was recently transferred from New Castle (because of their intolerance of his political organizing) to Pendleton, where Internal Affairs are seeking revenge on him for past political organizing.  He is being threatened with state court for alleged weapons possession, while many members of the Aryan Brotherhood have recently been caught with upwards of 5 knives each and been only lightly penalized by comparison.

Another prisoner at New Castle dared to organize against the for-profit prison’s lack of transitional programming and transfer-to-population opportunities.  For this, he was transferred back to the Secure Housing Unit, where he’s now indefinitely locked up in solitary confinement.

These men are clearly being targeted and excessively punished by a chauvinist administration which allows racist groups to form and thrive within their walls while snuffing out any and all sparks of radical organizing.

New Castle’s mailroom is another venue for racism and subjugation; it’s standard procedure for them to throw away or deny prisoners access to anything of an explicitly political/revolutionary nature, as well as anything related to black liberation and/or black empowerment.  This blatantly racist repression will not be tolerated!

Additionally, Pendleton recently implemented a ludicrous new policy regarding the books prisoners are allowed to receive: they’re currently accepting publications from only three bookstores, two of which are religious (one Christian, one Islamic).  This is obviously a move to stifle political action, as radical reading materials are invaluable in fostering connections between prisoners and enabling political organizing in an isolating environment.

Today, Monday, September 8th, join us in protest: call in to the DOC office to demand that they abolish the stifling of radical politics/black empowerment through mailroom censorship, and allow inmates to receive books from any publisher they choose.

Call-in numbers:

DOC central office: #(317) 233-6984
Pendleton mailroom supervisor: #(765) 778-2107 extn.1264

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September Letter Writing Night for Queer Prisoners

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A monthly letter writing night for queer Indiana prisoners! Come send letters to queer and trans people held captive in Indiana prisons. We will provide stamps, stationery, prisoner contacts, information on writing to prisoners, and snacks. All ages welcome.

Wednesday, September 10th
7-9 pm
Boxcar Books
408 E. 6th St
Bloomington, IN

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From Let Luke Go

Today, Luke accepted a negotiated non-cooperating plea deal and was sentenced to two years in prison and eight years of probation. As a last minute addition to this plea deal, Judge Markle added that Luke was to be banned from the state of Georgia, save one county, for the duration of his probation. Luke was taken away from us to prison immediately after court.

This end to the case surprised many of us. It was only two weeks ago that we were alerted to the fact that Luke’s trial would begin this soon. After that notice, events continued to unfold rapidly and chaotically.  The prosecution officially offered Luke this plea deal last Thursday.  Luke was placed in a very difficult position, facing decades in prison if convicted by a jury. He decided not to risk such a long sentence, but rather to accept the manageable sentence of two years in prison, and eight years of probation.

For those who are unfamiliar with plea deals, the conditions of a plea are negotiated between the prosecution and the defense prior to court. The judge is expected to sentence the defendant according to those agreed upon conditions, but has the ability to alter that sentence once the defendant has entered a guilty plea. If the judge’s sentence is different from the agreed upon conditions, the defendant then has the opportunity to change his plea and take the case to trial.

When Luke and more than fifty of his supporters entered court together this morning, we expected Luke to be taken away on the negotiated conditions. The prosecution began with an articulation of the incident from their point of view, which included equating the word “faggot” with the “non-offensive” sentiment “babies”, and painting Luke as a malevolent aggressor. Following this, Luke’s attackers and their family members were given time to speak. Three of the attackers spoke extensively about their medical conditions following the New Year’s incident. Their mothers then went on the stand to appeal to the judge for a harsher sentence. Throughout, the prosecution indignantly dismissed the portrayal of the incident as a queer-bashing. The crux of this trial centers on whether or not Luke was queer-bashed. While the prosecution maintains that Luke’s attackers aren’t homophobic, a recent video showing one of the “victims” standing by, laughing, while a transwoman was beaten in Little 5 Points reveals their true character.

When the time for sentencing came, Judge Markle revealed what side he was on: not ours. He went so far as to explicitly state that he was “having second thoughts” as to whether he should have allowed the plea deal at all.  The two years of prison time that Luke will serve is remarkably low given the 110 years of prison he faced.  The judge said that he allowed the plea deal only because he had previously stated that he would back whatever agreement the defense and prosecution made.  Judge Markle then sentenced Luke to the pre-negotiated plea, but added several conditions: According to Judge Markle, following his prison time, Luke will be banned from the state of Georgia, with the exception of Screven County; his probation cannot be terminated early at any point; he is not eligible for non-reporting probation; any probation violations are to be referred to Judge Markle; and Luke will be forced to undergo weekly drug and alcohol tests for the full eight years. While Luke could have chosen at this point to change his plea and move on with a trial, he chose to enter into the prison system under Judge Markle’s stipulations.

We understand Judge Markle’s addition of harsher conditions as a direct attempt to intimidate Luke out of the plea deal and into a trial, which would have carried with it the risk of 110 years of prison time.  We understand Luke’s acceptance of the plea deal and his admission of guilt as the direct result of coercion by the State.  Furthermore, we understand the banishment from the state of Georgia as a direct attempt by the judge to separate Luke from the power and strength of his supporters.  The fact that Luke is surrounded by an impressive community of support was absolutely obvious to anyone in court today, including the judge.  There wasn’t a single spare seat in the sections set aside for Luke’s supporters.  It is the role of the state to separate each of us from one another, and the judge was clearly interested in extending his reach as far into Luke’s life as possible — not only will Luke be separated from us in prison, he will be separated from those of us in Atlanta for many years after his release.

We are deeply saddened by the fact that Luke was taken away from us.  As always, we believe that Luke is not guilty of the crimes with which he has been charged.  Nevertheless, as Luke remains strong on the inside, we will do our best to remain strong on the outside.  For us, this means that we will continue to support Luke in every way possible, including continuing the struggle against the greater social context that allows events like the attack on Luke to occur daily. He has asked that we publish the following statement on his behalf:

My name is Luke O’Donovan. In the early morning of January 1st, 2013, I was attacked by a group of men at a party because of my sexuality. In an attempt to defend myself from the attack I thought could end my life I stabbed 5 of them, while also being stabbed 3 times myself. It is regrettable that anyone had to come to harm, but given the choice of whether to lose my life to a hateful attack or fight for the chance to live, I will always choose the ferocious refusal to go quietly into the night. This refusal was not fueled by hate for my attackers, but by my love for life. It is this passion for life that came in conflict with my attackers, and this same passion that was arrested by the cops and is being punished by the courts. It is this passion that they are trying to chain, to cage, to rehabilitate me away from, but it is this passion that will pull my gaze – always forward – through the dark. I can already glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. I’ll be home soon.

Luke will enter the prison system first at Fulton County Jail in Atlanta, GA, where he will spend the first thirty to sixty days of his sentence. He will then be transferred to Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson, GA for between thirty and sixty days, during which his long-term location will be determined. Luke will serve out the remainder of his sentence — between twenty and twenty two months — at a location that is yet unknown to us.

Going forward, our support and yours will be needed in a number of ways:

We need to raise a large amount of money over the next two years.  Because he has chosen to remain vegan while in prison, Luke will need as much commissary as possible in order to purchase extra food. He will also need money for telephone calls, stamps, and other amenities. We encourage everyone to choose a recurring donation, as we will need to send him money every week. You can donate here.

Please, please, please write to Luke. One of the worst parts of prison is the isolation, so we must do everything we can to keep him as connected to his community and supporters as possible. We encourage folks to organize letter writing nights so they can write to Luke (and other prisoners if they so choose) together. He will appreciate all supportive communication he gets. We will release his address at Fulton County Jail as soon as we get it. Please keep in mind that he will be transferred twice in the next six months, so his address will change. We will post updated addresses as soon as we get that information.

Luke has compiled a list of books that he would like to receive. [We will link to this list as soon as it is online.] These books must be sent from a publisher, so you can order them on Amazon or an online publishing/bookselling site. Please keep in mind that Luke may not be able to take his books with him during his transfer from one facility to the next, so we will need to send him books at various points over the next two years.

Thank you for all of your support. We will continue to update everyone with all new information we receive.

In love and in rage,
the support luke defense committee

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