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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience 2001 - SOA 43 Peter Gelderloos Held in Spain Awaiting Trial on Trumped Up Charges
Peter Gelderloos Held in Spain Awaiting Trial on Trumped Up Charges PDF Print E-mail
On April 23, Virginia activist and author Peter Gelderloos was arrested by Spanish police at a demonstration at La Rambla in Barcelona, Spain.

Peter was acting as a witness for the arrest of Javier Mazas when he was detained by police under suspicion of setting off a “petardo” - a device used to scatter flyers into the air. Police accused Peter of being a "terrorist", and he and Javier are being charged with illegal demonstration and public disorder, the latter carrying a prison sentence of between THREE AND SIX YEARS because it was allegedly committed with explosives.

On April 25, Javier was released pending trial, and Peter was given a 30,000 Euro bail and sent to Modelo prison. Local community activists raised the bail in only two days and Peter was released. Peter must remain in Spain, however, as he is required to check in at court every two weeks until his court date – which could take up to two years!


Peter's lawyers believe that with even minimal pressure from activists in the U.S. through political pressure and media attention, we can have a very real effect in getting the charges dropped.

Please take a few minutes out of your day on July 26 to make a call, email and/or fax on Peter's behalf. The point of this action will be to let the Spanish Embassy know that Peter has a large base of support in the U.S. who will not sit silent while the government of Spain attempts to push these charges against Peter.

Please spread the word and encourage others to call, email and fax!


“I am calling regarding the case of Peter Gelderloos, a U.S. citizen who is unjustly facing charges in Barcelona. I urge you to drop the charges immediately so that Peter may return to his life in the United States.

“It is appalling to see Peter's case as an example of how Spain treats tourists, and that Spain allows visitors to be treated this way. The details of this case are being relayed to media outlets and numerous human rights organizations in the U.S., and if proper action is not taken, if charges are not dropped and if arresting officers go uninvestigated, then further actions to alert the media and public to this horrible situation will be taken.”

Points to stress:

1. Drop the unjust charges against Peter Gelderloos and his co-defendants now.
2. Allow Peter to return to the United States immediately.
3. If the Spanish Government does not remedy this situation immediately, public pressure will only increase.


Members of the affinity group that delivered the indictment at the SOA:
Front (L to R): Brigid Conarchy , Abi Miller , Jenny Schockomoehl, Anna Mitchell and Elspeth Gilmore. Back (L to R): Jamie Miller, Dave O'Neill, Lee Sturgis, Brandon Passmore, Peter Gelderloos, Summer Nelson.

Peter Gelderloos is an activist and author from Virginia. Whenever he is allowed to be in the good ole U.S., he is active supporting prisoners and participating in the movement for prison abolition. He works with groups such as Copwatch, Anarchist Black Cross, Food Not Bombs, and the local infoshop. He has written a number of articles and pamphlets, and two books, “How Nonviolence Protects the State,” and “Consensus: A New Handbook for Political, Environmental, and Social Groups.” He is currently stuck in Spain awaiting trial.

In 2001, Peter was arrested on Ft. Benning with a group of seven protestors who presented the base with an indictment for violating federal and international law. Peter was one of the 43 human rights advocates who were arrested on November 18, 2001 during the Vigil to Close the SOA/WHINSEC and received a six month sentence in federal prison.


-- An article by Peter about his arrest -

--Peter's support email - shigmagism(at)yahoo.com

--Support Peter Page on MYSPACE -

--Peter's bio page as part of the SOA 43 -


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