Monday, February 22, 2010

Ojore Lutalo to Sue Amtrak for Bogus Bust

As detailed previously on this blog, a month ago Ojore Lutalo was arrested and accused of making terrorist threats while traveling home on the train from an anarchist bookfair on the west coast where he was speaking. The story floated was that someone had overheard him having a suspicious phone conversation on the train, so the cops were called.

The details of this can be viewed on this blog here, and there was a good follow-up article on the liberal Huffington Post here. Ojore was released within a couple of days after supporters raised thousands of dollars to pay his bond, and subsequently the District Attorney declined to pursue the case, citing insufficient evidence.

It stinks of harassment. Ojore is a former prisoner of war with the Black Liberation Army. He spent decades in prison, much of it subjected to isolation-torture, and was only finally released last fall. He has been "free" for just a few months, and this certainly looks like someone sending him a message that he's being watched, and the state is none too pleased that he has jumped into political activity.

Ojore has decided to pursue a lawsuit against Amtrak. The following from the Philly Anarchist Black Cross Federation gives the details,. and details how you can help:

On January 26th, while returning home from the Los Angeles Anarchist Bookfair on Amtrak, Ojore was detained at gun point and charged with endangering public transportation in La Junta, Colorado after several passengers allegedly heard Ojore make threatening remarks against the train while talking on his cell phone.

After 2 days in jail, Ojore was released on bail, after $4,500 was raised from people from all over the country, who rose to the occasion and donated funds and property to secure his release.

The ensuing investigation revealed that the steward on the train never heard Ojore make any threatening remarks and the passengers, after being reinterviewed said they never heard him make any specific threats. In light of this information, the district attorney dropped the charges against Ojore.

Throughout this week long ordeal Ojore and his comrades were steadfast in refuting the charges and media smear campaign. Many threats were made online against him on various news websites.

While Ojore is free and back home in New Jersey, he intends to pursue a civil liability suit against Amtrak. He will be seeking monetary compensation for all the expenses incurred such as the bail, which was non refundable, the cost of having to fly home after Amtrak denied him the right to return home on the train and other legal expenses. In pursuing this lawsuit, more funds are needed for legal and travel expenses.

Please donate whatever you can!

You can send checks or money orders (payable to Tim Fasnacht) to:

Tim Fasnacht
Philadelphia ABCF
P.O box 42129
Philadelphia, pa 19101

Or paypal donations to:

Thank you for your support!

Philadelphia ABCF

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