Bits of the World in Brief

by

Fifth Estate # 321, Indian Summer, 1985

Paul Jacob, the libertarian draft resister who went underground to escape prosecution, was convicted at a July 1 trial, sentenced and denied appeal bond. The penalty was six months imprisonment and 4-1/2 years of weekly community service.

The trial proved to be lively with Paul calling 1980 Libertarian Party candidate Ed Clark and former Congressman Ron Paul to testify on his behalf. Both explained the history of the draft and said that registration and the draft are unconstitutional. Paul also called Gen. Thomas Turnage, director of the Selective Service (SS), as a witness for the defense. Turnage testified that compliance with the registration law implied approval of the system which is one of the reasons that Paul refused to sign. Rhonda Allen, Libertarian activist and Paul’s wife, later described Turnage as a nazi.

Paul was allowed to testify at length about his own reasons for resistance. Other nonregistrants have been threatened with contempt of court charges for trying to do so. Paul told the packed courtroom, “The only reason to have a registration program is to draft. I’m in this not to weasel out of the draft…but to keep the draft from coming back.” He said he believes the law is unconstitutional and “felt a duty not to register.”

Judge Howard refused to instruct the jurors that Paul had not “willfully” refused to register if he believed in good faith that the law was invalid. The jury Still took almost two hours to find Paul guilty. Some jurors said later that they agreed with Paul and wanted to acquit him, but that they felt the judge’s instructions left them no choice but to convict.

After sentencing the judge refused to set bail for Paul’s release pending appeal, saying he was likely to flee since he had been a fugitive and had been apprehended with fake ID. Still, since his arrest, Paul has spoken in numerous cities, some of which, including Detroit, are near safe foreign borders, and he returned for trial and certain conviction. Also, his surety bond has his parents’ home up as collateral.

Paul was shuffled around to numerous county jails which included a harrowing experience before finally being placed in the Federal prison system. A county jail warden had tried unsuccessfully to set Paul up for assault by other prisoners. Paul’s cellmate, with whom he gets along well, told Paul that the warden took him aside and said, “I know you’re a Vietnam vet, and I’m going to put you in with that draft dodger. Whatever you do to him is OK by me, and I’ll make sure nothing happens to you for it.” The warden’s hostility seems only to have helped Paul’s relationships with other prisoners.

Paul’s wife and child are currently without support and his defense committee still needs funds. Contributions may be sent to: Paul Jacob Defense Fund, PO Box 15724, Little Rock, AR 72231, 501-370-0439.

Paul may be out of prison by Christmas or even Thanksgiving, but in the meantime he can be reached att: Paul Jacob No. 17429-009, Federal Correctional Institution, Seagoville, TX 75159. Send him letters, your papers, and your zines.

DON’T REGISTER! DON’T FIGHT!

The Clydeside anarchist group recently received fines totalling $4000 for their occupation, during the miners’ strike, of the offices of Price Waterhouse, the firm of accountants which carried out the sequestration of N.U.M. (the mineworkers’ union) money. Several Scottish libertarian groups are setting up a Clydeside Anarchists Appeal Fund, c/o Clydeside Press, 53, Cochrane St., Glasgow G1 Scotland. Checks should be made out to Autonomy Books.

The Polish Workers Solidarity Committee has initiated a campaign in support of Robert Chechlacz and Tomek Lupanov, two young Poles condemned in September 1982 to 25 and 13 years of prison, respectively, for acts of resistance against the martial law regime.

Shortly after the proclamation of a state of war in Poland, the two men tried to form a clandestine resistance group in the belief that armed insurrection was approaching. They began by distributing tracts, and disarmed two soldiers with the intention of freeing Solidarnosc prisoners held in Bialoleka jail. In February 1982 they accidentally wounded a militiaman while attempting to take away his weapon. Although the authorities declared the militia sergeant out of danger the next day, he died five days later, and Chechlacz and Lupanov were charged in his death. The amnesty proclaimed by the government in July 1984 only decreased Tomek’s sentence by one year. A movement for their liberation exists in Poland, even among the prisoners of the Bialoleka jail. Support for Robert and Tomek in North America is being organized by the Polish Workers Solidarity Committee, P.O. Box 284, Main Station, St. Catherines, Ontario L2R 6T7 Canada.

May 1986 will see the end result of two years of work by anarchists around Australia in the creation of the Australian Anarchist Centenary Celebrations to be held in Melbourne from May 1st to the 4th Conference organizers hope to illustrate the depth of anarchist ideas by holding this festival of film and culture and a forum for the development and exchange of ideas among the wide variety of people who identify themselves as anarchists.

While commemorating historical events such as May Day, the 50th anniversary of the Spanish revolution and the Haymarket Tragedy, the focus of the gathering is to be the relevance of anarchist ideas to our current lives and society.

The conference organizers are hoping to attract a large international attendance and you can reach them for further information at: AACCC, P.O. Box 20, Parkville, 3052, Melbourne, Australia.

Noel and Marie Murray, two anarchists framed for murdering a cop in Dublin in 1975 and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Irish state, have recently lost their case for conjugal rights in the Dublin court. (See FE Fall ’84)

Noel and Marie were married four months before their arrest and have spent the last few years incarcerated in Limerick Jail, Limerick, Ireland, able to see each other occasionally but not allowed their right to a family.

The Murrays now hope to take their case one step further on to a higher court and, if that fails, to the European Court of Human Rights.

Supporters wish to have their case widely publicized and urge others to write the Murrays, separately, at: Limerick Gaol, Limerick, Ireland.

The Twin Cities Anarchists have announced the opening of The Back Room Anarchist Center which is located at: 3200 Chicago Ave. S., Mpls, MN 55407.

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