June 5, 2013
Last Tuesday morning, as storm clouds formed outside the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, Jeremy Hammond pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. His crime was publicizing internal emails from the private intelligence agency Stratfor which revealed that the company had been spying on human rights activists at the behest of major corporations and the U.S. government. For that he is facing up to 10 years in prison.
In a statement explaining his actions Jeremy wrote, “I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.”
That afternoon, Jeremy’s twin brother, Jason, launched an online petition calling for the judge to grant Jeremy a sentence of time served. Jeremy has already spent 15 months in prison, including weeks in solitary confinement. Three of his Irish and British co-defendants are walking free today and none of the remaining three will spend more time in prison than Jeremy already has pre-sentencing.
Jason is pushing against the entire weight of the federal criminal justice system—the same system that drove Aaron Swartz to suicide—and he can’t do it alone. If you haven’t already, please join Jason in saying that Jeremy has spent enough time in jail by signing the petition at Change.org. If you have already signed, please tell your friends, family members, and co-workers to sign.
If you’re in the New York City area this weekend, you can support Jeremy by joining a solidarity demonstration outside of the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Friday night, June 7. A gathering will form outside Pace University just after the opening session of the Left Forum at 9:15 p.m. and proceed to MCC. Attendees are encouraged to bring musical instruments and noisemakers.
The Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee will be tabling throughout the three days of the Left Forum (June 7-9) and people interested in learning more about the context of Jeremy’s prosecution are encouraged to attend a Sunday, June 7 panel entitled “Information Activism: the Fifth Estate.” The panel will take place from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Pace University and feature anthropologist Gabriella Coleman, independent journalist Will Potter, defense attorney Grainne O’Neill (a member of Jeremy’s legal team) and National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Coordinator Abi Hassen. For more information click here.