Jeff “Free” Luers Freed!

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Fifth Estate # 382, Spring, 2010

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Since the punitive government witch hunt of the Green Scare has commenced, we usually have only apprehensions, snitching, and sentencing on which to report. But, this time it’s good news!

Jeff “Free” Luers, political prisoner and environmental activist, was released from prison in Oregon after serving nine and a half years. Luers was originally sentenced in 2001 to twenty-two years and eight months for the politically motivated arson of three SUVs at an auto dealership in Eugene.

However, after a long campaign by human rights groups and activists worldwide, an appeals court overturned Luers’ original sentence, and reduced it to ten years of confinement.

Luers’ final discharge follows what the Oregon Department of Corrections described as a “mistake” when he was given an early release in October. After a few short hours of freedom in Eugene, Luers was taken back into custody after a state agency reversed its decision and determined that he did not qualify under the terms of a new law.

This gross official incompetence and the emotional toll borne by his family and loved ones is just one of many examples of the distressing levels of bureaucratic misconduct that Luers has endured during his years behind bars.

Upon his release, Luers stated: “The last nine and a half years have been difficult at best. I have witnessed things in prison that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I have endured hardship and loss. Without a doubt, this experience has changed me. What hasn’t changed is my commitment to environmental and social justice.”

He thanked his supporters and pledged to continue his activism. During his time in prison, seven years of which were served in maximum security, Luers maintained his political commitment by writing about environmental and social justice issues, particularly human induced climate change, the cause that motivated him to torch the three SUVs in 2000.

Support for Jeff Luers and more information is at
freefreenow.org.

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