*Please click here for court reports*
It is the eve of D's arrest date... Below is a letter from him, followed by one from jenny (his partner).
Stay safe & have fun finding Ur Joy
Tomorrow, January 13th, marks the 7th year of D's arrest. It's strange how life really does move in cycles. Glancing at the note I sent you all last year my eyes are greeted by good news. After his move to Terminal Island last year – right before the New Year – D and I were finally allowed to hold hands during our visits for the first time since his arrest. After 6 years. It was a reminder of how precious such seemingly insignificant acts can be – and to remember to never take them for granted.
On New Year's Eve this year I spent the day visiting D at Terminal Island. The visit started normally – a much awaited hug and kiss, slowly moving to our chairs, but letting our hands linger – fingers intertwined as we reached across the tiny table between us. That lasted about 30 seconds. They called D up to the podium where they sit and watch... I heard a flurry of voices with undertones of urgency, although never hostility. When he came back he told me they weren't allowing us to hold hands anymore. He tried once more to get them to check their own rules, but to no avail. After over a year of being granted this glorious privilege, it was yanked from underneath us.
So many things have been taken from us.
A million thoughts swim through your head at times like that. I knew this might happen. It's always in the back of your mind – what they can/might/will take one day. I'm more prepared for it now than I used to be – which is to say it's slightly less devastating when it happens.
I spent much of the car ride home thinking about loss. Sometimes it feels like my heart has broken so many times that the thing I am mending bears no resemblance to the original. That thought scares me. But then I think of the alternative. A friend recently told me that she always felt like love should be a safe space... I wish I could agree. But that has never been my experience. With love we throw our hearts wide open – which means everything gets in. The good, the bad, the ugly. And sometimes that means we hurt like hell. But other times that means we get to experience so much joy and beauty that we almost can't stand it. And that is what I have experienced with D. And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
D is an amazing individual. His heart is bigger than any i've ever known and his mind powerfully creative and beautiful... and his commitment to his friends, his family, and struggle is rock solid. Being his partner has been the most amazing, beautiful journey. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Even with all of the loss.
Sometimes my heart gets so heavy... but then I remember our friends and comrades who have followed similar paths. Many of whom are now out here with us, again. And then I remember all of you – who have been a part of this struggle. Who have been here with us every step of the way. And together we inch closer to that light at the end of the tunnel...
Tomorrow is the 13th. I'll be driving down to visit D again. He called me the day after our last visit to tell me they found the “memo” that allows us to hold hands. How strange that a piece of paper can dictate my interactions with my partner of 7+ years. And that someone misplacing that piece of paper can be such a cause for panic, sorrow and reflection. I'm glad they found it. But D has told me it doesn't seem to have fixed the problem... either way, I'm not holding my breath. Nothing is ever certain. And even if they don't have it fixed...I know that nothing can stop us. Because we have each other. And we have all of you.
To all of our friends and comrades who have experienced so much loss this year – our unending love, support, and solidarity. You are never alone.
And to our friends and comrades who have gained their freedom – or at least pieces of it – welcome home.
With love and solidarity,
Eric's 35th birthday is on October 7th! Please take a minute to send him a card or a letter. Let's make sure he knows he is still present here with us every day (but maybe especially so on his birthday...).
You can write to Eric at:
Eric McDavid 16209-097
If you would like more information on how to write Eric, please visit: http://www.supporteric.org/howtohelp.htm#Letters
Thank you all for your continued support!
We wanted to let you know that a beautiful new zine of writings by Eric is now available from the good folks at Because We Must. You can order it online here:
All of the proceeds from the zine will go to Eric's support fund.
A HUGE special thanks to the person who compiled the zine and put together the artwork. You know who you are... We think you're awesome.
The zine will also be available at all of the Never Alone Tour stops. For a complete schedule and updates, visit: www.neveralonetour.wordpress.com
We hope to see you all there!
Update March, 2012
National Long-Term Anarchist Prisoner Support Tour, April 2012
The nationwide Never Alone tour will be crisscrossing the country in April 2012, featuring the usual suspects speaking about long-term anarchist prisoner support. Focusing specifically on the cases of Eric McDavid and Marie Mason, the tour will mark the spots where the events of these cases unfolded, using multimedia presentations to bring the facts of these cases to light.
As well as raising awareness and support for Eric and Marie, the tour will also feature strategizing about how to more effectively grow a culture of resistance that can breach the prison walls and sustain us and our friends for the long term, a security culture beyond 101 workshop (updated for 2012, now with extra tech!) and some awesome guest speakers. Truly, you won’t want to miss this.
When our friends and loved ones are snatched from us and held captive by the state, we become all too aware that we are never alone. The eyes of the state are always upon us, attempting to silence our voices and still our hands. To keep us from doing the work we know must be done. We must act despite this.
Because we also know that it is imperative that our friends on the inside know that they, too, are never alone. That we will stand by them throughout their time in prison, and welcome them with open arms when they return. That the struggles they were involved in continue on, and that they are empowered to continue on in struggle from inside the prison walls.
And we know that we can’t do this alone. We need the active support of our communities to give us the strength and courage to struggle for our friends and their freedom.
Our friends remind us of what is possible. They remind us that we don’t have to wait for permission to do what we know is right. They remind us that we are not powerless. Like Marie and Eric, we are tired of watching all that we love be destroyed by all that we hate. We know what needs to happen.
We are in it for the long haul.
Find out more about the
About Marie Mason
About Eric McDavid
I am writing on the day that marks the 6th year of Eric's arrest and incarceration. I'm not quite sure why I always feel compelled to commemorate this day – the memories it awakens bring so much pain, anger and frustration. It is not something I really want to remember. It is also something I can never forget. That day forever altered the course of Eric's life – and the lives of all his loved ones.
But I also know that it is our responsibility to remember. To remember why Eric was arrested in the first place – not because anything burned down or was damaged, but because he dared to think he could change things. And that he didn't have to wait for permission from those who would never give it. Eric was arrested – and sentenced to an inordinate amount of time – because of his politics
We also must remember what it really means to show solidarity – with Eric and all of our other comrades behind bars. We must remember that they are still here. They are all still a part of our movements and we need to act – every day – to include them. And, most importantly, we must carry on the struggles for which they have given so much.
And we need to remember that sometimes things do change overnight. Sometimes our loved ones are ripped from us. There is no way to really prepare for such a heartwrenching experience, but what we can do is remember to use the time we have now to be good to each other. Love fearlessly. Never take for granted the time we share with each other. It is a precious gift.
Recently, Eric and I had something returned to us that was taken 6 years ago. I have no one to thank. It should never have been taken in the first place. But I cannot tell you how overjoyed I was at its return. On November 21st, during our visit at Terminal Island, Eric reached across the “coffee table” sitting between us and grabbed my hands. Eric and I had not been allowed to sit and hold hands in almost 6 years. Human touch is such an integral part of leading a healthy, happy life. Not being able to touch the people you love is tortuous. It is cruel and inhumane. (Imagine watching a loved one cry and not being able to wipe away their tears, or hold their hand...) Touch deepens our connections with each other – it moves beyond language into a realm that words cannot contain or explain. Of course, the powers that be know all of this, which is probably why it was denied us for so long. We are acutely aware that it could be taken away again at any moment. But for now we are reveling in every second of it.
And so I remind myself of this, too – don't ever take these things for granted.
Eric and I both would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of you. It is abundantly clear that so many people have not forgotten. Eric continues to get mail from people all across the globe – please keep it coming! He loves hearing from you. You are his connection to the outside world – to the movements and places and ideas he cares about. Keeping those connections is incredibly important to him.
And to all of you who have donated to Eric's support fund – you have no idea how grateful we are. These donations not only help Eric with things like stamps, food and personal items from commissary and time on the telephone – they also help fund visits for him and his loved ones. These visits are key to keeping everyone sane. It would be impossible for us to visit as often as we do without your help.
Eric and I feel your support on a daily basis. “Thank you” could never be enough...
Eric is 6 years into an almost 20 year sentence. Sometimes that thought is almost overwhelming. But then I remember. I remember Eric and who he is and how he has held onto that throughout this whole ordeal. I remember all of you and how much love and support we have felt coming from all directions. And I remember that we can do this.
With so much love,
Eric has arrived at Terminal Island in Southern California. Terminal Island is a low-security facility and we are hopeful that this will mean some improvements in Eric's living situation. Please write Eric and let him know you are thinking about him. He can now be written at:
Eric McDavid 16209-097
We recently found out that Eric has been designated to be moved to a different facility. When he called today he told us he will be moved tomorrow. At this point in time we are unsure as to where he will be going, but as soon as we know anything more we will let you know! He is technically eligible to be moved to a low-security facility... We've got our fingers crossed, as this has the potential to be a better situation for him and his loved ones.
Please hold off on sending letters, cards, books, etc until Eric gets to where he is going.
Thanks for all your continued support!
Update September 2011
We wanted to let you know that new Support Eric shirts are available for purchase online at: http://plpress.bigcartel.com/product/support-eric-mcdavid-t-shirt
Proceeds from the shirts go to Eric's support fund.
A big thanks to our friends at P&L Press for their help and support!
International Day of Solidarity for Marie Mason and Eric McDavid!
June 11th began as an international day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoner Jeff "Free" Luers in 2004. At the time, Jeff was serving 22+ years. Infuriated by the environmental devastation he saw occurring on a global scale, Free torched three SUVs at a car dealership in Eugene, OR. The sentence imposed on him was meant to send a clear message to others who were angered by capitalism's continued war on the Earth's ecosystems – and to those who were willing to take action to put a stop to it. Free is, after all, not alone in his concerns about climate change, fossil fuels, pollution and genetically modified organisms.
After years of struggle, Jeff and his legal team won a reduction in his sentence and he was released from prison in December 2009. But in the years intervening Jeff's arrest and release, the FBI had carried out a series of indictments and arrests in an attempt to devastate the radical environmental and anarchist communities. Two of the people caught up in this maelstrom of repression were Eric McDavid and Marie Mason.
Eric McDavid was arrested in January 2006 after being entrapped by a paid government informant - "Anna" - and was charged with a single count of conspiracy. Eric – who never carried out any actions and was accused of what amounts to “thought crime” - refused to cooperate with the state and took his case to trial. After a trial fraught with errors, the jury convicted Eric. He was subsequently sentenced to almost 20 years in prison. More information on Eric's case can be found at www.supporteric.org
Marie Mason was arrested in March 2008 after her former partner – Frank Ambrose - turned informant for the FBI. Facing a life sentence if she went to trial, Marie accepted a plea bargain in September 2008, admitting her involvement in the burning of an office connected to GMO research and the destruction of a piece of logging equipment. At her sentencing in February the following year, she received a sentence of almost 22 years. More information on Marie's case can be found at www.supportmariemason.org
Marie and Eric now share the unfortunate distinction of having the longest standing sentences of any environmental prisoners in the United States.
Please join us in an International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners Marie Mason and Eric McDavid on June 11th. This is a time to remember our friends who are in prison – who are continuing their struggles on the inside. This is a time to continue and strengthen the very work for which Eric and Marie are now serving so much time - to struggle against capitalism, ecological devastation, and the ever more diffuse forms of control in this prison society.
Free Marie and Eric!
Update January 14, 2011
Yesterday marked the 5th year of Eric's arrest and imprisonment. Every year, at this time, we are forced to reflect on all that has happened. It is never an easy process, but this year feels different. This year we know that Eric will be in prison for the duration of his sentence. All of his appeals have been exhausted. 5 years is a long time – but we aren't even halfway there...
Perhaps one other thing is striking about this 5 year milestone. Both of Eric's former co-defendants plead guilty to a lesser included offense. In doing so, the maximum amount of time they could possibly have gotten in prison was 5 years. Had the jury in Eric's trial been allowed to find Eric guilty of the same charge that Zach and Lauren plead guilty to (and more than one juror indicated that they would have...), Eric would now be free. But the judge in Eric's trial, Judge Morrison England, refused to allow this as an option for the jury.
Since Eric's arrest, the
FBI has continued its war against activists and any other groups that
they perceive as a threat. Indeed, it seems as if hardly a week goes
by without some new story of FBI shenanigans.
And their scheme worked.
Now it seems they are using Eric's case as a model of how things should
be done. If you need proof, don't take our word for it, check out:
We have watched in horror these last few years as more and more of these kinds of cases have appeared across the country. The state has been emboldened by their “success.” But their success is nothing more than the attempted destruction of countless lives and futures.
It is hard not to think of this as a time of mourning. So much has been stolen from us – from all of us - these past 5 years. But we have also learned a lot. We have learned (and continue to learn) more about how the state works. About how we can better protect ourselves and the people, places and creatures we love. We have learned how to make miles seem irrelevant. We have learned how to walk through walls and bend the bars. Perhaps most importantly, we have learned just how much strength and courage we can find in each other.
So maybe instead of a day of mourning, today can be a day of defiance. Of remembering all that we have lost – and figuring out how to get it back. Or how to keep it from happening again...
Today can be a celebration of thought crime.
Won't you celebrate with us?
Marie Mason and Sadie (Joyanna Zacher) both have birthdays this month. Please consider sending them a note of support.
Sadie can be written at:
Joyanna Zacher #36360-086
Jonathan Paul also has a birthday this month - but he was recently released to a halfway house and will soon begin the difficult transition back to a life outside of prison. Please keep him in your thoughts as well, and keep your eyes peeled for ways to offer him your support in the future.
Finally, we recently set
up a wishlist on Microcosm for Eric. If you would like to send him
something, please visit:
If you order something from this list, please contact us and let us know what you have ordered so we can be sure it is removed from the list. If you would like other suggestions about books to send Eric, please contact us.
For information on other ways to support Eric, please visit his website: www.supporteric.org
Update December 12, 2010
On Wednesday, December 8, the 9th circuit court of appeals denied Eric's request for a rehearing en banc. This means, in theory, that 11 judges reviewed Eric's petition for a rehearing and not a single one of them found any merit in the arguments detailed within. After nearly 5 years of political maneuvering on the part of the government and a complete and total lack of any sanity or logic in the court's decisions, this came as no surprise to Eric and his loved ones.
However, that fact does not lessen the blow of this cruel decision by the 9th circuit. This was, in effect, Eric's last available option in the appeals process (other than appealing to the extremely conservative supreme court). Hope has proven to be a fleeting, evasive creature throughout this whole process. Many of us knew better than to fall for its seductive overtures. But hearts are so often blind to what our minds know to be truth – even when we knew what the outcome would be, our hearts had trouble letting go. We wanted Eric out here, with us. Free to wander in ancient forests, to play in the swirling, roaring ocean. To live outside a cage. But now, whatever traces of hope may have remained have been scattered in the wind.
For some of us, our biggest mistake was believing that we ever had any options in the first place. It became all too easy to fall into their trap of successive illusory next-chances. Every time we lost bail, or a motion, or trial, or at sentencing, or at the appeal... there was always something waiting in the queue that could possibly save us from our imminent hell. But the state created that queue – not us. And it was set up to keep us on the hook – to keep us invested in a system (a system that many of us never believed in to begin with) that would never deliver what we most wanted = our friend, uncaged. As long as we believed that something might change somewhere on down the line, we had to keep putting time and energy into this behemoth of injustice.
When the panel for oral arguments on Eric's appeal was announced we immediately did some homework to figure out what we would be facing on August 9th. What we found was less than inspiring. Two of the judges were Bush (junior) nominees. One of the three was described as a legal conservative, who pursues a “tough on crime” approach. Another was mentioned in a 1998 review of local judges reported by the San Francisco Examiner. A poll of area attorneys rated him among the five worst judges among the 49 judges named. One experienced female attorney described Bea's attitude as "condescending and biased against women attorneys." He is also a member of the San Francisco chapter of the Federalist Society.
But most alarming of all was an article we dredged up on Consuelo Callahan which indicated that she and Judge Morrison England – the trial judge in Eric's case – were buddies. This was later confirmed by a lawyer who works in the Sacramento Federal Courts. Just in case you missed the significance of that – one of the judges who would be deciding Eric's appeal, which would mean reversing the decisions of the lower court, is friends with the very person who made those rulings to begin with. For a judge, having your decisions reversed is perhaps the worst kind of embarrassment. But surely Eric's fate wouldn't be decided by the rules of social etiquette?
Perhaps no one will ever know what actually went on behind closed doors (maybe we'll see it on wikileaks one day), but their written decision reflected nothing that had taken place during the oral arguments and was clearly written before they even occurred.
And so, by the time we arrived at the en banc process, most of us (Eric first among us) had absolutely no expectations that this would go in our favor. If anything, the court's decision is an affirmation of what we have known to be true all along. The “justice system” works only for the interests of it's creators. If it starts to falter in it's mission, it gets fine tuned (i.e. laws and rules get rewritten) to put it back on the proper trajectory.
People keep asking: what next? The truth is, there is no more next – at least not in the sense that most people mean. That is the trap we have been falling into all along. That question is misplaced and misdirected. It shouldn't refer to some obscure legal option, but instead it should refer to what we do as individuals and as a movement, as a community, to make things better and to move forward. We - not the state – should define what's next.
Eric has been held captive by the state for almost 5 years, now. He has known, more than any of us, what “next” really means. Next means right now. Next means making a life for himself in the middle of a storm. He has always created his own definitions. He has been moving forward all along.
And so, his struggle continues.
Eric would like to send his sincerest thanks to all of you. You have been instrumental in this fight. Your letters, your songs, your donations, your words of encouragement have kept Eric and his loved ones inspired and strong. Keep it coming! Eric has a long road ahead of him, but with your love and support he will press on. He remains strong in heart and mind. And he knows that dreams can never be caged.
Update October 22, 2010
Eric wanted us to pass this along...
found this pc roll'n @ the pod & thought it 2 good not 2 pass on; i don't have access 2 social networks but've heard they're pretty big out there, so figured it'd have an appreciative audience... … 2 much Love 4 all your support, would've been near impossible 2 get this far w/out you; do'n well N Heart, Mind, Body & Spirit... Stay Strong
From Victorville Medium
find your Joy
my curious nature has gotten the best of me concerning the continued use of online social networks – their impact on nurturing healthy relationships and security culture w/in communities. be'n that communication is the keystone of creating and maintaining relationships, the environment in which that communication takes place is of the utmost importance. by exploring those environments we play & create w/in, as well as the repercussions of their subtle and obvious aspects, we can live and play more consciously (read 'safely') throughout our lives = critical reflection is action. if we utilize a possible perspective remembering the Machiavellian intentions and foundations of the State, and ask the question = “How would the State use online social networks?” some of the parts for consideration might be the scores of data collection agencies, corporations, etc. which scour the internet for information in the interests of advertising, P.R., security, etc. (who regularly provide their databases to any requesting govt agency); not to mention the State agencies which are made for the same purposes. those aspects alone could possibly translate into these social networks being used to monitor my friends and myself; where my profile provides essential information for (you guessed it) profiling = routines, intents, development, etc.; and may be a platform where false profiles could be made to match up w/my friends and myself (to what ends would they be used?). but if we're doing nothing wrong, there's nothing to fear – right? perhaps the spectacular comforts we've grown accustomed to may end up be'n the very things that blind us from the warnings of our Hearts – one of the biggest barriers being how our minds dismiss that warning as happenstance, nothing, a fluke, coincidence (cultural programming is hard to reverse and even more difficult to recognize). we would do well to open our Hearts further to those feeling which arise from our depths. regardless of how muffled the voice of our Hearts has become amongst the blitzkrieg of stimuli surrounding us, it is quality that's rooted in the authentic – not the bombarding quantity we currently find ourselves be'n subjected to.
another question bubbles up from deep w/in = “what will we choose to nurture?”
Update September 29, 2010
We just want to remind everyone that Eric's birthday is on October 7. Please take some time to send him a card or a note of support. The prison has been on lockdown since his appeal was denied and he has not been able to call or receive visits from any of his family or loved ones since that time. This is probably a difficult time for him. Hearing from all of you could help brighten his days.
For more info on how to write Eric, please visit: www.supporteric.org/howtohelp
Update September 23, 2010
It is with heavy hearts that we write to tell you that Tuesday, September 21st, the 9th circuit court denied Eric's appeal of his conviction and sentencing. Given all that has happened these past 4+ years, this news isn't shocking so much as it is maddening and upsetting. The state has, from the beginning, used dirty tricks and lies to hold Eric captive. As many have said, they wished to make an example of him...
And in that, at least, they have been successful. But not in the way that they might have wished. Because for us, Eric has been a constant example of strength, courage and integrity. Of staying the course, even when the deck is totally stacked against him. And of not losing one's Self in the midst of potentially crushing adversity.
This is a very difficult time for Eric and his loved ones. Please send Eric a note of support to let him know he is not forgotten. For more info on how to write Eric, you can visit his website at: www.supporteric.org
If you would like to read
the 9th Circuit's decision, it can be found here:
Update August 10, 2010
Yesterday, August 9th, oral arguments for Eric's appeal were heard at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Most of the discussion focused on the incorrect written response to a question the jurors asked during deliberations at Eric's trial (the oral answer to a jury question was the complete opposite from the written answer - the jury reached a guilty verdict soon after). The presiding judge on the panel seemed particularly interested in this issue (she wrote a previous decision for the 9th circuit in which a case was reversed due to an erroneous jury instruction).
The opening brief in Eric's appeal contained 9 separate arguments. Yesterday the court focused primarily on one of those. It would be unfortunate if the court failed to consider these other issues, as they are all important and speak to the multitude of injustices that occurred throughout Eric's case (pre-arrest, through trial and sentencing). But while it is impossible and probably counterproductive to speculate about any possible outcomes for this appeal, we were encouraged by the panel's interest in this key issue.
The prosecution, lacking any solid arguments about why this issue was "harmless error," resorted (as they usually do) to their typical bag of tricks and lies. We know we probably don't need to go into detail here - but just keep this in mind if you choose to listen to the arguments.
If you are interested in
listening to yesterday's proceedings in their entirety, you can listen
Update July 10, 2010
We are excited to make available to you a new zine that Eric recently created.
As you can imagine, it's a bit difficult getting a perfect copy from the bowels of a prison. But what did come through is a beautiful message from Eric. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Update June 23, 2010
This is just a quick note to let you know that a date has finally been set for oral argument of Eric's appeal. The date is August 9th in San Francisco. This is the last major step that has to happen before a decision is issued on the appeal. However, it could be another 6 months to over a year after oral arguments before the appeals court issues a decision. We still have many months of anxious waiting. Please keep Eric in your thoughts during this time.
To find out more about how to support Eric- including information on how to send him letters – please visit: www.supporteric.org
Update February 24, 2010
On Friday, February 19, the government filed their reply brief to Eric's appeal. The document they filed was 90 pages long - 90 pages of lies and slander in their continued effort to demonize Eric and justify their own inhumanity in locking a person in prison for 20 years for "thought crime." The document is full of continued attacks on Eric's character as well as misrepresentations and lies about the actual unfolding of events. All of this, combined with outrageous distortions of the law, make the government's reply a rather distasteful read. But, for those of you who are interested in such sour fare, we are posting a copy of the reply brief on Eric's website in the documents section. We recommend keeping something sweet nearby. Or perhaps something to settle the stomach.
As painful as this document was to read, we are incredibly relieved that it has been filed. Eric's lawyer now has 2 weeks to file his final response. We are hopeful that this will happen on time, as every delay means that much more time that Eric spends in prison unnecessarily. This response will be the last document that needs to be filed for the appeal. Then we begin the wait for the court's response. Unfortunately, this could be a very long wait.
In the meantime, we want to urge you all to please not forget about Eric! He still needs your support in his struggle for freedom. One of the most important ways you can support Eric is to donate to his support fund. We have some money set aside in case we have expenses to cover in the event of a new trial, but the money that we use to keep up the website and help pay for my visits with Eric are quickly running out. These visits are incredibly important to us and help us maintain some sanity in this insane situation.
Eric is currently being held in Victorville, CA - which is almost 7 hours from where I live. Renting a car and paying for gas is incredibly expensive, and it's a cost I just can't carry on my own. The support Eric has received from all of you over the last four years has been amazing, and we are more than thankful for all you have done. Eric has shown a steadfast, unwavering commitment to do the right thing and fight the outrageous charges against him, despite facing severe repercussions for that decision. Please consider making a donation to support him, however small. Every tiny bit helps. Keeping our connections with each other in situations like this is absolutely essential. The state has tried to sever Eric's connections to his family and communities. They know that this is where our strength lies. Our visits together are a very powerful tool in fighting the isolation and loneliness that prison can bring and in keeping each other strong. Please consider donating to help us keep these connections with each other.
To donate to Eric's support fund, you can visit the "Help" section on his website and use the PayPal link to donate online. If you would rather not use PayPal (which we completely understand), please email us and we will let you know how to send a check or money order.
Thanks to everyone for staying with Eric these last four years.
jenny (Eric's partner)/SPS
Update January 13, 2010
Today marks the fourth year of Eric's incarceration. These are not the kind of milestones we would like to be writing about to you. While other people have been celebrating the New Year, we have been incredibly conscious of the passage of time in an entirely different way. For four years, New Years has served as a reminder to us – as it probably does to millions of others - of how long we have been separated from our loved one. While others are celebrating new beginnings, we are faced with the reality that, so far, there has been no new beginning as far as Eric's physical freedom is concerned. Some things remain painfully the same. Eric is still locked away by the state.
Please remember that this time of year can be particularly difficult for folks who are locked up. Take a minute to write Eric – or another political prisoner – and let them know that folks on the outside are still thinking of them and supporting them.
How to Help
If you cannot donate money, there are other ways you can help. Eric is locked away from his loved ones and his communities and he doesn't have access to a lot of information. Receiving news from the outside helps him feel a little more connected to the issues he cares about. If you run across a good article from an independent media source that you think Eric might like, please send it his way. Just keep in mind that Eric is still in the appeals process, and everything he receives is read by the authorities. Even unsolicited mail can result in sanctions against prisoners. Be prudent with your choice of material.
Our thanks to everyone for all of your support these last 4 years.
Update October, 2009
This is just a quick note to let you know that we were finally able to update the site. The appeal brief has been posted in the Court Documents section, as well as the transcripts from both Zachary Jenson and Lauren Weiner's sentencing hearings.
The government has asked for a 60 day extension for filing their response to Eric's appeal. Their response is now due on December 18.
Also, we mentioned a while
ago that Eric might be getting transferred soon to a low security
facility. Eric has since been informed that because of his "management
variable" he will not be getting moved..
Update September 2009
We are incredibly relieved to finally be able to tell you that the opening brief for Eric's appeal was filed on September 17. This is only the first step in a very long process, but after over a year's worth of delays, it was a welcome development. The government's response to Eric's brief is due on October 15 - although it is quite possible there will be more delays. We will post the opening brief on Eric's website soon (we're currently dealing with some technical difficulties).
We also want everyone to know that after a recalculation of his points (what the BOP uses to determine in what security level prison to place someone), Eric realized he qualifies for a low-security facility. He has put in a request to be moved and is awaiting a response. We will let you all know as soon as we hear anything.
Eric's birthday is on October 7. It would be great if everyone could send him a quick note of support to remind him we haven't forgotten about him. You can send cards and letters to:
Eric McDavid 16209-097
Please remember that everything you send and write to Eric is read by the authorities. For more information on how to write Eric, please visit the how to help section of the website.
There are a few things we would like to share with you in this update. Below you will find information on Eric's current situation, the tour in June, site updates, and the status of the appeal. Eric sends his hellos to you all. Thanks so much for your continued support. We hope to see many of you soon!
The Mail Situation
The Northwest in June
The presentation will be followed with amazing musical performances by folks from the Anarchozarkian Music Collective - Spokepants of the Flowering Skillet and Nora and Gnoll. Other local musicians will be joining us along the way. You don't want to miss it!
Here is a quick list of what we've got so far:
June 5: Reno, NV
More dates are in the works.
Eric has been in jail or prison for 3 1/2 years now. His strength and courage continue to remind us all of what it means to stay true to ourselves and the things we hold dear. Our sincerest thanks to all of you who have helped make this journey more endurable.
Update 3/20/09: Support Eric Tour Headed to the North West - Your Help Needed!
We've almost made it through Winter and now we're itching to get back on the road and continue our tour. Eric has been locked in a cage for over three years now, and we refuse to remain silent about his case and the wider implications it carries for anyone engaging in dissent. Eric has suffered enormous injustices at the hands of the state – and we want to do everything we can to make sure that people don’t forget about Eric, that they understand how his case was created, and to ensure that people learn what they can from our experiences these past 3 years.
To that end, we will be heading to the northwest to educate folks about Eric’s case, which we will use as a lens through which to study the basic concepts of entrapment, the use of informants, and government repression in general. Unfortunately, the use of these tools by the state is becoming more and more prevalent, and it’s imperative that people understand how they work.
In addition to the presentation itself, we will be accompanied by friends who will bring us some beautiful musical catharsis. Nora & Gnoll and Spoke Pants of the Flowering Skillet, from the Anarchozarkian MusicCollective will be touring with us, straight from the bowels of the midwest. We assure you, you won't be disappointed. (See below for links to music)
If you are interested in scheduling a presentation in your community, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be on the road during the month of June. Below is a rough estimate of when we’ll be in specific areas.
For background information about Eric and his case, please click here.
We hope to see you soon!
(Very) Tentative “Schedule”
San Francisco, CA: June 5-7
Arcata, CA: June 8-10 (OR July 1-2)
Eugene, OR: June 11-13 (OR June 29-30)
Portland, OR: June 13-16 (OR June 25-28)
Astoria, OR: June 16-17 (OR June 23-24)
Olympia, WA: June 18-20
Seattle, WA: June 20-22
of the Flowering Skillet
Update 3/2/09: Eric Moved Back to Medium II
Just a quick note to let you know that Eric was moved back to the Medium II facility on Saturday. His address is:
We'll keep you posted as we get more info.
Update2/25/09: Prison on Lockdown and Eric in the Hole After Alleged IED Discovered
On Friday, February 13, Victorville's Medium II facility went on lockdown. Media reports indicated that an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated upon detection, but that no injuries were reported. The reports originally claimed that the device was found at the penitentiary at Victorville, but later reports indicated that the incident actually occurred at the Medium II facility. We have just received a letter from Eric detailing his experiences following these incidents. What follows is based on that letter.
At around 1pm on Saturday, the 14th, the prison began blocking out the windows on the cells so that inmates couldn't see into the dayroom. Shortly after the water to the toilet in Eric's cell was turned off. Ataround 2 pm they pulled the cardboard from Eric's window, revealing squads of cops in full riot gear waiting outside of the cell. Eric and his cellmate were made to strip down to boxers and shower shoes. His cell mate was thrown in the hole, and Eric was escorted to a van. He and two others were taken to the hole at the Medium I. Eventually he was escortedinto a room where two FBI agents were waiting to question him. They claimed that an IED had minorly harmed a staff member at the Medium II (contrary to media reports which claimed no one was injured) and that theywould need to take DNA samples as part of their investigation. Eric denied their request and they threatened to get a court order. At thatpoint he gave them his lawyer's information and they stopped questioning him and escorted him back to the cell. There is a sign taped to the door of the cell saying that he has a "3 man hold" - which apparently means hemust be escorted by three guards anytime he leaves the cell.
At this point in time we have no way of knowing how long this"investigation" will take. We are also uncertain if Eric can receive visitors during this time. Since he currently has no phone or email access, we must wait for letters to get any updates about his situation. Unfortunately, he also has no access to commissary - so he may not be able to send letters because he is out of stamps. This is a difficult time for Eric and his loved ones. Please keep Eric in your thoughts and take a minute to write him a letter of support. Information on how to write Eric and his current address can be found here. Remember that he more than likely cannot write you back right now.
Thank you all for your support. We'll keep you updated as more news becomes available.
Update 2/16/09 Eric Update - Lockdowns, Moves, and New Address
Last month marked the 3rd year that Eric has spent behind bars. His arrest and imprisonment were a direct result of government infiltration and entrapment - Eric has spent the last three years of his life in a cage for what amounts to thought crime. Those years have been full of challenges and struggle, but Eric has met all of them with the utmost courage and integrity.
Most recently, Eric has been enduring lockdowns at the prison, the loss of phone and internet access, and a move. On December 23, a "riot" broke out at Victorville, sending 6 inmates to the hospital and forcing 17 to be treated at the prison for injuries ranging from stab wounds to blunt trauma. We waited for two weeks to hear from Eric - not knowing whether or not he was ok. On January 5 he was finally able to call and let us know he was ok. Victorville remains on lockdown, but they were easing up on restrictions and he was able to receive visitors two weeks ago (although that has changed yet again...).
During the lockdown it became difficult for Eric to get vegan food. Normally this is not a problem for him - chowhall has plenty of vegan options, and he can supplement this with items from the commissary to round out his diet. But during the lockdown, prisoners only had access to the food brought to them in their cells. This greatly limited Eric's diet. Fortunately, after trying various avenues for redress, the food situation improved and Eric is now (last we heard) receiving enough food.
However, as part of the attempt to get vegan food, an "illegal" (according to the prison) phone call was made. As punishment for trying to get himself food, Eric's phone and email access was turned off for 60 days. Other than letters and face to face visits, which are difficult and costly for friends and family (and as a result, they don't happen very often), phones and email are Eric's main lifeline outside the prison.
Unfortunately, this is not the only thing... Over the weekend, an incident at one of the facilities at Victorville (it is unclear which facility) caused both the Medium I and the Medium II facilities to go on lockdown, which means visitation has been canceled until further notice. After discovering this, we checked to make sure that Eric was still at the Medium II facility and found that he has, in fact, been moved to the Medium I at Victorville. This is difficult news for a variety of reasons.
We are left wondering why Eric was moved in the first place, but also it means that Eric's life has been uprooted and scrambled once again. It is doubtful that he got to take much - if anything - from his previous cell with him. It's possible he lost letters, addresses, pictures, etc. Eric now has to start all over in a new environment, which can be extremely complicated and stressful when that environment is a federal prison.
We will keep you updated on this situation as we find out more.
The appeals process has been delayed multiple times. Eric's opening brief is now due March 5. He has multiple strong arguments on appeal, and we look forward to getting the process moving. If all goes well, everything could be filed for review by the appeals court sometime this summer.
Thank you all for your continued support. Eric has been receiving your letters and they have definitely helped him through these winter months - especially during these lockdowns when he has not been able to have contact with his loved ones.
Please remember that Eric has been moved - which means he has a new address:
We'll keep you updated as things moved forward with the appeals.
Update 11/5/08: Update and Writing from Eric
We also just want to remind everyone that Eric’s appeal is still moving forward, and he continues to need your support during this time. Eric has been standing his ground since the day of his arrest, refusing to give in to the ridiculous charges against him – even in the face of a 20 year prison sentence. Please do not forget about him – there are still things you can do.
One of the most helpful things for Eric at this time is donating to his commissary fund. He uses this money to pay for vegan food to supplement what he can get at the chow hall, and to pay for things like stamps, paper, and phone calls to loved ones. These are two of his few remaining connections to the outside world, and as such are extremely important for his sanity and health. Information on how to donate to Eric’s commissary fund can be found here.
You can also donate to Eric’s general support fund. This will help pay for things like hiring an investigator, ordering books for Eric, and helping cover travel expenses for loved ones to visit Eric. To make a donation to Eric’s support fund, please send a check or money order to:
Please make sure that the check/money order is made out to “Sacramento Defense Fund” – otherwise we will not be able to deposit it.
Thank you all for your support!
Below is a piece that Eric recently wrote. He has asked us to send it to you with an invitation to take a look, if you like…
brought up here have been with me for some time, & forgive
i ran into
an exceptional writer’s creation (Baldwin’s No Name on
be redundant but i’ve just got to get it out of me or i’m
familiar with debates, it’s known that when one side establishes
this following bit of constructive criticism may be hard for some
aspect of this undoing feels like it’s been manifesting itself
at large, smiling a sigh of relief & giving a knowing nod,
And where do the costs arise?
what choices we make, we’re always allowed back into the fold.
perspective the type of Death we’re Dancing with here is the
the definitions which define your reality?
How do you wish to Live your Life?
10/01/08: News and Letter from Eric
Our apologies for taking so long to get this to you…
First of all, we would like to thank everyone who helped us with the tour during the past month. It was an amazing success, and it would not have been possible without all of your support. Finally getting to meet so many folks who have been working for Eric these past few years was inspiring and rejuvenating in more ways than you know. Our deepest, most heartfelt thanks to all of you.
For those of you who don’t already know, we learned earlier this month that Eric received an “infraction” for “unpermitted contact with the media.” This apparently stems from a phone call Eric made to his family's home during which he spoke with a journalist who was at the house. Leaving aside the inherent absurdity of the charge itself, the ramifications for Eric have been quite real. His phone and email access were immediately cut off, leaving him with no real ties to the outside world other than letters (which can sometimes take weeks to reach their destination) and visits. This has been difficult for him and his loved ones, to say the least. Unfortunately, he will be without phone and email indefinitely. It could take weeks for the issue to be resolved, and even afterwards there is no guarantee that he will regain access to either ofthese “privileges.” We will keep you updated as things progress.
Eric’s birthday is October 7th! We realize this is right around the corner – and as mail tends to take its time reaching the prison, you should drop your birthday note in the mail as soon as possible. Please keep in mind that Eric might not be able to write you back… read more about that in his note below. (And for more information on how to write Eric, please click here)
Finally, Eric asked that we send out the following letter to you all:
it’s presently a
Pisces Full Moon so i’m running on Intuition while
Update 7/5/08: Documents, Interviews & Commissary Update
Click here to listen to a recent and very informative interview with Eric's attorney, Mark Reichel
Click here to read Reichel's cross examination of "Anna" during Eric's trial
Click here for an online version of the recent Elle article which featured an interview with "Anna"
Please click here for information on donating to Eric's commissary
Thank you for your continued support!
6/19/08: Word from Eric
Yesterday we finally heard from Eric. He is settling in at Victorville, and adjusting to his new surroundings. He applied for a job assignment at the library and is waiting for the paperwork to be processed. In the meantime, he's playing softball (they put him in left field, which kept him busy), guitar, and readjusting to the feeling of stepping foot outside without shackles on. After 2 1/2 years of not feeling the earth and grass beneath his feet, he is excited to be experiencing these new sensations (apparently there are also many huge crows in the area, and Eric has been enjoying their presence as well). He is hopeful that soon he will also have access to email. The prison seemed prepared for his dietary needs, and he has been receiving vegan food since his arrival.
For some unknown reason, his commissary account has not followed him to Victorville (it's possible that this is because all prisoner's commissary accounts are processed through an office in Des Moines, which is currently experiencing massive flooding). If you would like to donate to Eric's commissary account, you can do so through Western Union. For information on how to deposit funds, visit:
You will need Eric's name and registration number (16209-097). Please read the instructions carefully, as there are a number of specific steps you need to take when calling or making payments online.
Thanks to everyone for their continued support.
This morning Eric was moved to what should be his final destination - Victorville, Medium II in southern California. This is a huge relief to Eric and his loved ones - while he is now housed 6.5 hours from his family, everyone is relieved that he did not end up across the country.
Please start sending those letters! Eric's new address is:
We'll send more information about how Eric is doing when we hear from him.
Thanks to you all!
Update 5/17/08: Eric Moved & T-Shirts
Eric is still awaiting his move to a federal facility, but they recently moved him to a new cell (again) in Sacramento County. His new address is:
Eric x-2972521 7E113
Please keep sending Eric your letters of support during this difficult time.
Also, the wonderful folks at In Our Hearts are still making t-shirts for Eric. See the info below to order one.
I am writing to promote t-shirts to support political prisoner Eric McDavid. They are available in four colors and four sizes (orange on dark brown, green on dark brown, green on blue, or black/brown on blue in small, medium, large or extra large). Small and medium shirts are $15 each as they are printed on organic and fair trade t-shirts, and are printed brown on blue. Large and extra large are $12 each, as they are from the last batch printed on standard cotton shirts and are printed black on blue. Shipping is an additional $3. All proceeds from the sale of these shirts go to Sacramento Prisoner Support to cover Eric's legal and commissary expenses. Contact the In Our Hearts Anarchist Network at inourhearts[at]gmail.com to place an order for yourself or a bulk order (10 or more shirts) for your group or area, or for any additional information.
Yesterday was a difficult day. We all knew what Eric was facing, and we understood the vehemence with which the government was pursuing this case. But nothing could ever fully prepare us for the kind of heinous sentence that Eric received. It is clear from the reports in the media and the statements made by the US Attorneys that Eric was entrapped and used as an example to anyone who dares to dream of how things could be different in this world.
After passing through the metal detectors downstairs, everyone attending Eric's sentencing was required, by order of Judge England, to pass through a line of Marshall's outside the courtroom and undergo the metal detector wand, as well as a complete search of any bags. This ridiculous spectacle was clearly an attempt to harass Eric's friends and loved ones who came to show their support.
The courtroom was nearly full of Eric's family and friends. There were not enough seats behind the defense table to accommodate everyone, forcing others to spill over into the prosecutor's side of the court. Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday.
It was clear from the first few sentences spoken by the judge that his mind was already made up. The same lies that were used at trial to convict Eric were repeated over and over again throughout the sentencing hearing. The government even had the audacity to claim that Eric had never had a re-ocurrance of pericarditis - despite the fact that his lawyer filed a memo with the court in November detailing Eric's worsening condition. Despite the fact that the jail received so many phone calls from Eric's supporters during that time that they posted a note on their website specifically asking people to stop calling. They had the audacity to claim that Eric was at no risk of harsh treatment in prison - despite the fact that he has ALREADY undergone 2 1/2 years of isolation at the Sacramento County Main Jail.
Despite the fact that probation recommended a sentence of 156 months (13 years), Judge England deferred (as usual) to the government's recommendation of 235 months (19 years and 7 months). The length of Eric's sentence was due largely to the application of the Terrorism Enhancement. The government has argued quite vociferously all along for this enhancement. The basis of their argument is that Eric's targets included government facilities (such as the IFG) - a point which was never proven during trial, and was, in fact, denied by the government's own witnesses. But the judge applied the enhancement anyway. The judge ordered 3 years of supervised release after Eric's sentenced is served, the collection of a DNA sample and registration as an "arson offender".
Now is the time to be outraged and make noise. The government just sentenced Eric to 20 years for a crime that was never committed. This is the longest sentence we have heard of in an American environmental case. Eric's case and sentence have illustrates the lengths the government goes to , and how much they can get away with, in their pursuit of those who voice their dissent - who maintain their integrity and stay true to their principles and all that makes them human. Please help spread the word about Eric, his case, and it's implications for everyone who cares about effecting real change.
Eric says he can feel all the love being sent his way. Please keep it up. Take a moment to send Eric a note of support during this difficult time. His address is:
McDavid, Eric x-2972521
Eric could be moved any time in the next month or two to a federal facility, but please don't let that deter you from writing! We will let everyone know as soon as we get word that he is being moved. Until then, keep the letters coming.
Eric will now be appealing his conviction. Unfortunately, this can be a very long process. Please don't forget about Eric during this time. He will continue needing your support throughout his time in prison. When he reaches a federal facility we will send out a statement about his support needs at that time.
Thanks again to all of you. The amount of love and support you have given has been truly amazing. We are so thankful to have all of you helping us through these difficult times.
Sentencing is taking place tomorrow at 1:30pm at 501 "I" Street, Courtroom no. 7. Please consider attending to show your support for Eric! If you're able to join us, please come dressed for court. The government is pushing for a 20 year sentence. It goes without saying that we are in for a tremendous battle tomorrow. Below are the documents filed by Eric's attorney in preparation for sentencing:
We will post the outcome of tomorrow's hearing as soon as we're able to. We ask that you keep Eric in your thoughts and hearts. This will be an immensely difficult day for him and everyone who loves him (and there are many).
Thanks to some great folks in New York (and the fellow who designed them!), Support Eric shirts are available for purchase online. Orders or inquiries can be sent to nyc.infoshop[at]gmail.com. They are selling them for $10 in person, $15 national mail order and $10 wholesale for orders over 10 shirts. Money from these shirts will go to Eric's legal defense.
Let's all keep breathing...and keep fighting.
Please click here for older support updates