Saturday, September 22, 2007


A 1960'S BLACK ACTIVIST FIGHTS EXTRADTION TO THE U.S. WHERE HE FACES 30 YEARS IMPRISONMENT AT THE HANDS OF A JUDICIARY AND police department resposible for killing 11 unarmed Black men and its infamous Red Squad ending the year (60's) by murdering Black Panther leaders Mark Clark and Fred Hampton. Some of the same Chicago Police officers are still active and all have gone without reprimand!!

For more info
Friday, September 21, 2007
9:30 am
Osgoode Hall
130 Queen Street West (just east of University Ave)

Show your support for political prisoner Gary Freeman and his family. Gary
is currently incarcerated at the Don Jail, where he has been held for over
three years, facing extradition to the U.S. for a crime he did not commit.
Come out and tell the Minister of Justice to Stop the Extradition!

On Thurs. Sept 6, dozens of supporters came out to a Freedom for Freeman
vigil. This put the spotlight back on Gary’s case, and let the Minister of
Justice know that we will not sit down while Gary is facing extradition to
persecution and an unfair trial in the US. We need your support again.
This Friday, Gary will be in front of the Ontario Court of Appeal, arguing
once again that he be allowed to stay with his family in Canada, and that
his unjust extradition be stopped. Join us to show Gary and his family
that they are not fighting this battle alone, and to tell the Minister of
Justice that he must Stop the Extradition, and Free Gary Freeman!

Gary Freeman has lived the past 30+ years in Canada. Together with his
wife, they have raised a son and three daughters to be respected young
adults. A mentor and friend to the young and old, Gary has always promoted
social justice and viewed every human being as worthy of respect.

After 35 years, Gary, an African-American man who escaped the US after
facing racial persecution, is now facing a return to Chicago at the hands
of a police department recently implicated in torture by the infamous
Burge report. The report by special Chicago prosecutors belatedly
appointed to investigate charges of police torture in the Chicago South
Side district confirmed Chicago police tortured and brutalized
African-American men for more than 20 years.

Yet, despite the confirmation by internal investigators of horrific
atrocities committed against African-American men, none of the police
responsible for using illegal techniques like electrical shocks to the
genitals, Russian roulette, suffocation and mock executions (among others)
have been charged. Prosecutors claim these crimes against humanity cannot
be prosecuted because the cases are too old and the statute of limitations
has expired. Some of the police officers involved have even been promoted
and are still with the same Chicago police department.

Yet, Chicago seeks the extradition of Gary Freeman, a victim of racial and
political persecution, for an incident which took place in this same South
Side Chicago district in 1969. He has always maintained his innocence and
there is a litany of missing and mishandled evidence. He is a victim of
police brutality and he came to Canada because he didn’t want to die.

ACCOUNT follows:

1960s Black radical fights extradition to the U.S.Why they want to put Gary Freeman on trial
January 6, 2006 Page 2
JOE ALLEN reports on the struggle of a 1960s Black radical fighting against extradition to the U.S. for a show trial in Chicago.
JUST NORTH of the border, in the Canadian city of Toronto, African American Gary Freeman is fighting to stay in the country he fled to 35 years ago. Freeman is being held while a legal battle rages with the Canadian government, which wants to deport him to the U.S. to stand trial in Chicago for the 1969 shooting of a white police officer.
Prosecutors have announced that they plan to charge Freeman with attempted murder, which, in Illinois, can carry a sentence of up to 30 years. Freeman’s supporters and lawyers argue that it will be impossible for him to get a fair trial in a city notorious for its racist police force and corrupt judiciary.
If Freeman loses his appeals, the ensuing trial in Chicago will take us back to a year when the city’s police department killed 11 unarmed Black men and its infamous Red Squad ended the year by murdering Black Panther leaders Mark Clark and Fred Hampton.
Douglas Gary Freeman is the adopted name of Joseph Pannell. He fled to Canada after two years of pre-trial custody in the notorious Cook County Jail.
Gary is married and a father of four and has been a longtime union and community activist in Canada. Freeman was arrested at gunpoint outside the Toronto Reference Library in July 2004, where he has worked for the previous 14 years. He is currently being held in a tiny cell in Toronto’s Don Jail and is allowed only two 20-minute visits a week.
Gary’s family, friends and supporters have mounted a campaign to prevent his extradition back to the U.S. Separate appeals have been filed in the Canadian courts and to the Minister of Justice in the Canadian federal government to block his extradition.
“The question is whether the Canadian government is going to do the right thing and let this man--who has led a 35-year history here in Canada as a law-abiding citizen, an absolute pillar of the community--go on with his life or send him back to account for what amounts to civil liberties atrocities perpetrated by the United States of America in the late 1960s,” one of Freeman’s lawyers said.
However, Canada rarely, if ever, denies the U.S. government’s requests for extradition, especially when it comes to political activists--despite the long and well-documented history of political repression in the United States.
The most notorious example of this was in 1976, when American Indian Movement (AIM) activist Leonard Peltier was deported from Canada. He was subsequently falsely convicted of the murder of two FBI agents and has been languishing in federal prison for the last 30 years.
Freeman has already been convicted in the Chicago media, particularly the tabloid Chicago Sun-Times, and he has been relentlessly pursued by Terrence Knox--with critical help recently from Chicago Police Chief Phil Cline and the Fraternal Order of Police, the police “union.”
This is a story not just of a vengeful ex-cop, but a political establishment salivating at the prospect of using the possible trial of Gary Freeman to wash away years of revelations of police brutality, torture and false convictions. In 2005 alone, the city of Chicago had to pay out nearly $40 million to settle lawsuits related to police brutality and killings.
And this month marks the third anniversary of former Gov. George Ryan’s historic granting of clemency and pardons to all prisoners on Illinois’ death row--a number of them African American men who were tortured into confessing to capital crimes by members of the Chicago Police Department.
Knox, who portrays himself as the “victim” in the 1969 incident, says that he “wants his day in court.” He has been described in various media accounts as a “victims’ rights activist.” What the Chicago media won’t say is that Terrence Knox was a member of the Chicago Police Department’s Subversive Activities Section (later Unit)--better known as the “Red Squad.”
In the 1960s, the Red Squad--along with the Pentagon, National Security Agency (NSA) and FBI--targeted antiwar and antiracist activists, particularly members of the revolutionary Black Panther Party, which FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called the “greatest threat to national security.”
Lawyers connected to the case say that Knox was a “control officer” who paid off informants. It isn’t known if Knox was an active member of the Red Squad in March 1969 at the time of his confrontation with Freeman.
The City of Chicago lost a historic lawsuit in the mid-1980s over the activities of its Red Squad and signed a consent decree banning future surveillance of political activists. Its attempts to overturn the consent decree have so far failed.
These aren’t ancient issues. The recent revelations of the Bush administration’s spying on the U.S. public through the NSA and the Pentagon have again made many people aware of government repression. Hopefully, these revelations will help Gary Freeman and his family win justice.
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