I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Monday, July 18, 2011

NLG Attorneys win Internet Free Speech Case

For Immediate Release: July 18, 2011

National Lawyers Guild Lawyers Victorious in Internet Free Speech Case

Contact: Jamie Munro, 212-679-5100 x12,

New York. In a case with precedential value for internet free speech, National Lawyers Guild members Larry Hildes of Bellingham, Washington, Devin Theriot-Orr of Seattle, and Mark Sniderman of Indiana successfully defended several activists who received subpoenas from Mt. Hope Baptist Church demanding they turn over their internet account records. Federal judge Richard A. Jones ruled that technology collective did not have to turn over the records. provides online communication tools for individuals and groups working for social change. Google received subpoenas in the same case and turned over its Gmail information without informing the individuals involved.

Mt. Hope Baptist Church subpoenaed the records of several users alleged to have taken part in a 2008 protest. They were members of the queer rights group Bash Back! which disrupted a 2008 Sunday Service at the conservative Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan. Months later, the church and the Alliance Defense Fund, a reactionary Christian nonprofit organization, sued Bash Back! and named 15 activists under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. The church and Alliance Defense Fund subpoenaed identifying information from dozens of emails addresses; was the only email provider to challenge the subpoenas.

“This was a major victory for the rights of those engaged in political action or supporting those who are to freely associate safe from the prying eyes of the government, corporations, and fundamentalist churches and law firms. We are proud to have successfully defended this challenge, which is essential to effective political organizing, and proud to have worked with Riseup to do so,” commented Larry Hildes after the victory.

Attorneys for the Alliance Defense Fund representing Mt. Hope Baptist Church claimed that the users did not deserve protection because their speech was not “patriotic” free speech.

“To assert that some speech is unpatriotic and therefore unworthy of full First Amendment protection is an affront to this nation’s venerated principles of fostering robust debate,” said NLG Executive Director Heidi Boghosian.

The National Lawyers Guild, founded in 1937, is the oldest and largest public interest/human rights bar organization in the United States. Its headquarters are in New York and it has chapters in every state.

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