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Home About Us Prisoners of Conscience 2001 - SOA 43 Updates on SOA 43 Prisoners of Conscience
Updates on SOA 43 Prisoners of Conscience PDF Print E-mail
click here for prison addresses

September 20, 2002--from Crisp County Jail
TO: SOA Watch
From: Toni Flynn and Jerry Zawada (?SOA 37?)

Gratitude to everyone who campaigned for better jail conditions at Crisp County Jail! Jerry and Toni consider the campaign to be exhausted at this point and request that you r all discontinue sending further letters/faxes/phone calls in their names to the sheriff, the B.O.P. and the judges. Sheriff Donnie Haralson meets regularly now with both Jerry and Toni to address their concerns and to explore ways to improve jail services to all inmates.

However, Jerry and Toni would still like to be transferred to Federal facilities closer to their homes, communities, and families, not so much for their own sakes as for the hardship it places on their family members, Jerry?s Franciscan Community, and Toni?s Catholic Worker Community. Jerry hopes for a transfer to Wisconsin or Indiana and Toni hopes for a transfer to California. Toni?s entire family resides in California and they cannot afford the flight and hotel expense of traveling all the way to Georgia for a one hour visit. She is awaiting news of the birth of her first grandchild whom she will not be able to see if not transferred. Additionally, both Jerry and Toni have severely restricted their calls to their families (collect, from jail)?each 15 minutes call adds up to $20-$25! For these reasons and the approaching holidays, they ask that you pray for a small miracle that might help them get transferred. If you wish to write letters on behalf of them, requesting for transfers, send them:
?To Whom it May Concern?
c/o Robert Phares
1105 Sapling Place
Raleigh, NC 27615
Bob will forward the letters to the correct officials.

Currently, Jerry and Toni are continuing to attend a weekly communion service together at the jail with a local priest presiding. Jerry is fasting and praying for peace in Iraq and praying for Bill Quigley who is on a peace mission in that region. Toni is praying a daily Rosary for peace and is writing reflections for future publication. In November, Toni?s daughter, Shannon Gossman, will be participating in the SOAW gathering at the gates of Fort Benning and is fundraising for that goal.

Jerry and Toni say to all their fellow ?SOA 37? co-defendants who have recently begun to serve their sentences: Courage Brothers! Courage Sisters! You do not walk alone?.They also want to thank everyone for the wonderful letters that they are receiving from across the national and beyond!

September 10th--Twenty-three report to prison

Send-off gatherings around the country celebrated the 23 prisoners of conscience who will be entering federal prison camps today. Five of the SOA 37 are currently serving time for the November, 2001 action at Fort Benning.

Stay tuned for contact information for all of the prisoners of conscience!

Letter from Peter Gelderloos, Crisp County Jail
August 26th, 2002

(Peter was recently moved from Crisp County Jail to a federal prison in Atlanta)

To SOA Watch
It is Monday evening as I sit down to write a letter from my cell, A2, in Crisp County Jail, Cordele, Georgia. It's almost 9 pm, EST. Among other things, my country is preparing to invade another that's so lawless, it has invaded other countries; so evil, it may possibly (though we have no evidence) to be developing weapons of mass destruction--we may, in fact, have to use weapons of mass destruction against them. But that's okay, the Pentagon is even now doling out money to build a nicer nuke. Somewhere, someone's water is being turned off because they can't pay the rates; somewhere, someone is washing their SUV; somewhere, a clever investor is excitedly realizing that water is the next black gold; everywhere, fresh water is being depleted, rivers are being dammed. Somewhere, a farmer is tortured for being an impediment to free market democracy. Somewhere, a well-meaning economist is using his Ivy League experience to plan out rules for the world to live by. Somewhere, a child died of diarrhea. But here, in Crisp County Jail it's 9 o'clock on a Monday, which means I'm digesting my dinner--bread and extra beans, the extra I got in exchange for my spaghetti and meat balls. There are now eleven people in my eight-person cell (they come in fast than they leave), but for a while these few hundred square feet are peaceful; it's football night and, on peripheral checkers game aside, all attentions are focused on the television. By my estimate, 60 % or more of the inmates are African-American, all of my cellmates are. The majority of them face drug charges or convictions (assault charges and traffic violations take second place), the majority of them have or had lawyers who worked for the prosecution, if they worked at all, and who certainly didn't take the system to task for violating its own rules, because apparently people cease to have rights once they commite a crime and being poor and black are treated as crimes. For these drug charges (a charge being the same as a conviction), my cellmates face losing one and a half, two, five, ten, and 22 years of their lives.

Meanwhile, I'm in for six months for protesting, out in January, and my friends are keeping me vital with bundles of mail everyday. So the question that faces me is the one that faces everyone: What to do with my time? I've been writing articles, editorials, poems; reading, wasting time pacing, moping, napping; helping my cellmates with their cases, trying to get them books and penpals; bemoaning how impossibly much work there is to do to stop, or even blunt, the oppression that mangles people's lives from Crip County to Iraq.

The door opens and we wheel in a mop and bucket to clean our cell. It's 9:30 now, and I wonder if anything has changed since I started this letter.

Nancy Gowen and Kathy Boylan have been called to report to Alderson Federal Prison in West Virgina on September 10th.

Sr. Kathleen Desautels has also been called to report to Pekin Federal Prison in Illinois on September 10th.

We will post the addresses where they can be reached on September 10th

Toni Flynn and Jerry Zawada can be reached at:

Crisp County Jail
196 South Highway 300
Cordele, GA 31015

Summer Nelson and Laura Mac Donald's address is still:

Harris County Jail
PO Box 286
Hamilton, GA 31811

Toni Flynn, Jerry Zawada and Peter Gelderloos are being moved from the Harris County Jail today. They are the three who have six month sentences. The transit process can go on for several weeks and during this time, they could have brief stays in a number of different jails and prisons before reaching their final destinations. They will have some opportunities to call their direct support people, but this can be sporadic while they are in transit. All information will be posted as soon as we get it, but everyone should feel free to call the office anytime to see if there is an update or to ask any questions. These three had been visited over the weekend and received a phone call this morning. Everyone was feeling strong and in good spirits.

Five of the SOA 43 were taken into custody immediately following the trial and were held at Muscogee County Jail. They have since been moved to Harris County Jail. Toni Flynn, Peter Gelderloos, Laura Mac Donald, Lisa Summer Nelson, and Jerry Zawada were detained following their sentencing on July 13. Letters of support to these five POCs should be sent to:

Harris County Jail
PO Box 286
Hamilton, GA 31811

These prisoners are only being held temporarily at Harris County Jail.

Please check this webpage frequently for updated addresses for these five and as the rest of the POCs begin their jail time.


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