Posts Tagged ‘daniel mcgowan’

BK/NY – Friday, June 17th – Democracy or Freedom?

WHAT:  Anarchist Discussion with CrimethInc. ex-Workers’ Collective
WHEN: 8pm, Friday, June 17th, 2016
WHERE: The Base1302 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11221 (directions below)
NOTE: The Base is on the ground floor, is wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral toilet.
COST: Free
vote nobody
We are starting a very full weekend with a discussion of the distinction between anarchy and democracy, freedom and oppression. Central to this weekend is the party/fundraiser organized by our buddy Daniel McGowan. He is fresh off paper, no longer under supervised release, and as free as any of us can be. Of course Daniel couldn’t simply celebrate, so he’s  organized the party into a benefit for his imprisoned co-defendants. Get all the details by clicking here. To end the weekend, we will be tabling at the 2016 Punk Island— a free, DIY, all day punk festival on Governor’s Island. Now back to how we are kicking it off…

What’s the difference between democracy and anarchy? In an election year, the failings of the political system are obvious enough. But is the problem too little democracy, or too much?

From the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to David Graeber and Noam Chomsky, nearly everyone claims to be democratic. In this provocative presentation, we will discuss what ties all these different understandings of democracy together and what sets anarchism apart. Reviewing how the movement of the squares, Occupy, Nuit Debout, and other recent upheavals have been shaped by democratic rhetoric and practices, we’ll discuss other ways to understand what we are doing together when we make decisions.

This discussion builds on a series exploring the anarchist critique of democracy, recently published by CrimethInc. To make this a more developed discussion, consider reading the following:

Read more…

BK/NY – Friday, February 13th – “If A Tree Falls” Benefit Screening for Kevin Olliff and Tyler Lang

ifatreefallsWHAT: Benefit for AETA defendants Kevin Olliff and Tyler Lang
WHEN: 8pm sharp, Friday, February 13th, 2015
WHERE: The Base1302 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11221 (directions below)

NOTE: The Base is on the ground floor, is wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral toilet.
COST: Entrance is free but we will be requesting donations for Kevin and Tyler’s legal defense fund.

Tyler Lang and Kevin Olliff are two animal rights activists who, in 2014, were arrested in Illinois for “possession of burglary tools.” After a traffic stop, cops allegedly found bolt cutters, muriatic acid, ski masks, and camouflage clothing in the car. Tyler pleaded to 3 months time served while Kevin received a 30 month sentence in state prison. In July 2014, both were indicted under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) and are accused of liberating animals from fur farms in 3 different states. They face up to 10 years in prison.

We will be screening If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, a film that focuses on our friend and New Yorker, Daniel McGowan. He was arrested in 2005 by federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front– a group the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.” The ELF operates in separate anonymous cells without any central leadership and launched spectacular actions against dozens of environmentally destructive businesses: timber companies, SUV dealerships, wild horse slaughterhouses, and a $12 million ski lodge in Vail, Colorado.

After the film, there will be time for questions and answers with special guests, including Rachel Meeropol (Center for Constitutional Rights attorney on Kevin and Tyler’s legal team) and Jenny Synan. NYC ABC will have a table with information and merchandise on political prisoners.

For more information, go to

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March 10-24: Bureau of Prisons to Reopen Comment Period on Communication Management Units

daniel mcgowan_apr 2013The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has reopened the public comment period for the Communication Management Units (CMU). You may remember that the original comment period of 2010 netted 700+ letters and emails against the restrictions outlined in the proposal. The Department of Justice ended the comment period and have sat on their hands since then in terms of getting actual legal approval to operate and maintain the CMUs. As a prisoner at Marion CMU during that time, our comrade Daniel McGowan tells us, “knowing that people outside of prison cared enough to put their concerns in writing on our behalf was heartening and re-energized my effort to close the CMUs.”

Read more…

BREAKING: Daniel McGowan Back in Prison

daniel mcgowan_apr 2013UPDATE (5 Apr): Thanks to some great work by Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) attorneys Alexis Agathocleous and Rachel Meeropol, the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) blinked and have allowed Daniel McGowan to return to the halfway house. Make no mistake, without  media coverage, radical attorney intervention, and the attention from folks on the streets, all over the world, Daniel would still be at MDC and would likely have spent the remainder of his sentence there. Through negligence, ignorance, or malevolence (or, as we presume, a mix of the three), the BOP targeted Daniel with an outdated regulation that has been struck down by the court as unconstitutional and allegedly removed from the BOP in 2010. Maybe they thought no one would notice.

While Daniel is going back to the halfway house, if you haven’t already seen it, you should watch this news report. The reporter for the Huffington Post puts it best: “Absolutely, this story is crazy.”

Original Story:
We got word late yesterday that Daniel McGowan was told he wouldn’t be issued a pass to go to work the next day. According to his keepers at the halfway house, this denial came at the direction of the Bureau of Prisons (BOP). When he followed up, Daniel was told that it wasn’t merely a denial of a work pass, but a restriction on all movement. When asked if that meant federal marshals were coming to get him the next day, the halfway house administrators told him they didn’t know.

The state, and its for-profit halfway house minions, were clearly in collusion. This is just another way that opacity is used to mindfuck folks left to twist in the wind, not knowing what the future holds.

From our understanding, the reason for his re-imprisonment is directly related to an article Daniel recently wrote for the Huffington Post. An attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights has been to visit Daniel at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. Once we know more, we’ll pass the information on.

For now, take time to send Daniel a card or letter. Let him know that regardless of how the state treats him, we have his back.

Write to Daniel at:
Daniel McGowan #63794-053
MDC Brooklyn
Post Office Box 329002
Brooklyn, New York 11232

For more information, visit

Daniel McGowan released from prison!

daniel_mcgowan_11_dec_2012_LGAEarth Liberation Front political prisoner and Rockaway native Daniel McGowan was released from the Communication Management Unit (CMU) in Terre Haute, Indiana this morning. He was driven by federal authorities to Indianapolis International Airport, where he met up with his wife.

Though the two have been able to visit during Daniel’s imprisonment, today marked the first time in years that they could hug, hold hands, or make any physical contact (save for a few month stint when Daniel was in general population in Marion, Illinois– between the CMU there and the one in Terre Haute). The two flew back to New York City together, where they were met by a small group of close friends at the airport.

From the airport, Daniel had one hour to make it to the halfway house, where he will be living for as long as the next six months. Though he has secured employment, it is unclear when he can start work (at the discretion of the halfway house, not his new employer). Until he has had time to settle in, there are more questions than answers.

After being released from the halfway house, Daniel will be under supervised release for three years.

Regardless, this is great news and we’re excited to see our comrade on the other side of the wall.

Please remember that prisoner support doesn’t end when a comrade is released. Through halfway houses, supervised release, parole, or probation, there is usually state supervision beyond the initial sentence. Also, prison is traumatic. And of course there is the stigma of being a former prisoner that effects nearly every aspect of one’s life. All of this adds up to the less obvious, but equally necessary, support needed when our loved ones come home.

Welcome back, Daniel! We love you!

BK/NY – Friday, December 7th – Holiday and Homecoming Party for Daniel McGowan

WHAT: Holiday Party
WHEN: 7:00pm-11:00pm, Friday, December 7th
WHERE: The Commons388 Atlantic Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11217
COST**: Free, with reasonably priced refreshments and snacks. danielsanta

Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan have marked the anniversary of Daniel’s arrest on December 7, 2005, with a variety of events in the past.

This December, Daniel is finally getting released from prison and coming to a halfway house in Brooklyn. To celebrate, we are having a straight up PARTY.

Please come join our celebration the evening of Friday, December 7, 2012, 7:00-11:00 pm at The Commons.

We’ll have music, snacks, and drinks, and lots of fun holiday surprises. Whether you’re a long-time supporter or joining us for the first time, you’re more than welcome and you don’t want to miss it! We are accepting cash donations and gift cards.**Please also consider helping Daniel by contributing towards some of the things he will need for his transition back home. We have created a special online registry for those items needed.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer to give a gift card, please choose from the following stores: Read more…

BK/NY – Tuesday, October 23rd – Come to a Green Scare(y) Halloween Card-Writing

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm (sharp), Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
WHERE: Tiny Cup, 279 Nostrand Avenue Brooklyn, New York (see below for directions) PLEASE NOTE THE NEW LOCATION
COST: Free

Free Them All!With grand jury resistance in the Pacific Northwest, blockades against the Keystone XL pipeline down in teXas, and the lesser known campaigns and projects across the country, anarchists have their hands full. The work that’s happening on these projects and others is in many ways inspiring. With that inspiration, there are plenty of reasons to become directly involved. It is in the spirit of direct involvement (and the magick of Halloween) that we host another Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner. And what could be more ghoulish than the Green Scare?

Since the early 1980s, public relations hacks have been working to reify the term “eco-terrorism.” By 2004, they became successful and a phrase that a decade earlier had no real meaning was now defined by the United States government and used to introduce legislation. Now we have comrades serving decades for economic sabotage and allegations of thought crime. With several recent animal liberation actions, and Justin Solondz sentenced to seven years, it is clear that Earth and animal liberationists are both still active and still in the cross-hairs of the feds. Join us in letting them know they are not forgotten.
Read more…

Did the Bureau of Prisons Acknowledge the Existence of Political Prisoners in the United States?

Not long ago, we reported on the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) rejecting packets of updates and announcements that we send to prisoners every other week. One prisoner in particular, Daniel McGowan, has consistently been denied these packets. As a result, NYC Anarchist Black Cross receives rejection forms from the BOP. These are typically boilerplate forms, with some note about the correspondence being “detrimental to the security, good order, and discipline of the institution.” However, in June, the form was slightly different and so was the reasoning for the material being returned.

The form had a list of unauthorized materials with boxes next to each to be checked. According to the BOP, we sent in “Other (specify below).” In the notes section read the following:

Of course this struck us as odd, considering that the BOP, and the entire United States government for that matter, consistently denies the existence of political prisoners in this country. You can download the entire document here.

So which is it, BOP? Are you imprisoning our comrades based on their politics and political actions? Or does the Bureau regularly hire incompetents like Correctional Systems Officer J. Gregg, who signed off on this rejection? We’re guessing it’s a little from column A and a little from column B.


So local friend, comrade, and all around good guy Daniel McGowan gets released to a halfway house in December. To raise funds for his release, Book Thug Nation and Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan are organizing a book sale. For this thing to work, you have to donate books. NOW! The details are below.

WHAT: 7th (and LAST!!!) Annual Benefit Book Sale for Daniel McGowan
WHEN: 11am to 7pm, Saturday, September 29th, 2012 [rain date: Sunday, September 30]
WHERE: Bedford Ave & North 6th Street (NE corner), Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York 11211
COST: There will be books priced for any budget

This will be the FINAL Benefit Book Sale for Daniel McGowan!!!

Daniel is going to halfway house in December which is wonderful news. However, he is not out of the woods yet. This book sale is your chance to help with prison expenses such as overpriced phone calls and prison necessities as well as the expenses of transitioning back to life on the outside— the car ride back to New York, rent, clothes that might fit him now, and all the other little things that he’ll need to live halfway in, halfway out of the criminal injustice system. Prisoner support does not end with release but this will most likely be the last book sale to happen in support of Daniel while he’s in prison. We’ve had great success and good times with these book sales in the past and with your help, this last one will be EPIC.

On Saturday, September 29thBook Thug Nation and Family & Friends of Daniel McGowan will be having an all-day book sale to raise money for Daniel’s legal defense, commissary, and coming home fund. The sale will be held at the Book Thug Nation book tables on Bedford Avenue and North 6th Street in Williamsburg Brooklyn.  Along with great books at inexpensive prices, there will be music, a table with Daniel t-shirts, merchandise and literature and maybe even some free food! If you can’t make it to the book sale, please consider donating to Daniel today (

To make the sale happen we NEED your book donations— preferably ahead of time.  Please see the list of guidelines below for what to donate. The best way to donate is to bring your books to the Book Thug Nation storefront at 100 North 3rd Street (between Berry and Wythe Streets) from 12-9pm any day before the sale. Please be sure to tell whoever is working that the books are specifically for the Daniel McGowan Benefit Sale. You can also bring books to North 6th Street and Bedford Avenue the morning of September 29th or contact to make specific arrangements for donating.



  • Contemporary and Classic Literary Fiction (e.g. Murakami, Nabokov, Plath, Safran Foer, Hemingway, Didion, Poe, Bolano, et cetera)
  • Non Fiction on topics such as:
  • History
  • Sociology
  • Women’s Studies
  • African American
  • Latino/a
  • Art
  • Eastern Religion
  • Alternative Health/Nutrition
  • Dictionaries and Thesauruses (these books will be donated directly to NYC Books Through Bars)

Books we DON’T want:

  • Pulp fiction (a.k.a drug store paperbacks, best-sellers, e.g. Danielle Steele, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, Tom Clancy, et cetera)
  • Cook Books
  • Self Help

Books that aren’t sold on the day of the sale will be held for future benefits or donated to NYC Books Through Bars.

Brought to you by Book Thug Nation,

THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE to donate books before Daniel come home, so DO IT!

Daniel McGowan having some mail rejected

Folks from NYC Anarchist Black Cross have heard from Daniel McGowan regarding the every-other-week collection of updates and announcements we compile. These updates are typically about U.S. held political prisoners and prisoners of war and add up to 25-35 pages each time. They are available online and are also sent by our collective to nearly a dozen prisoners. Daniel has received about thirty of these compilations, rarely having them denied. Until recently, that is.

Daniel tells us that he got another mail rejection dated July 10th, most likely related to the July 3rd set of updates. It is obvious that they are quickly rejecting any/all mailings from NYC ABC at this point, as it only took 2 days to reject. This is the fifth rejection in a row. Daniel spoke to the warden about this on July 10th and gave him a pages long detailed “cop out”– a regularly used standardized form filled out by prisoners to make a written, formal request to a prison staff member. To Daniel, it seems they are rejecting things without the warden’s review and that is against policy. Daniel filed a BP-8, or cop out, about the latest rejection, too.

NYC ABC will appeal the rejections, though we don’t expect much as we’re dealing with the state on its terms, under its rules.

This is one example of the seemingly small, but persistent ways by which the strategy to keep prisoners disconnected from their communities is carried out.

Show Support for Daniel McGowan and all political prisoners and prisoners of war.