UPDATED_ Less than 90 days to file Gabriel's MOTION TO WITHDRAW 'NO CONTEST' PLEA
Brothers & Sisters in the Struggle,
First of all, THANK YOU for taking an interest in this issue. It affects many people throughout Southern California, particularly folks in the Los Angeles area, such as Compton, Watts, South Central and East LA. The families of the people, many times youth, who are targeted and arrested often lack the basic legal knowledge to walk away when confronted by police who intimidate them into signing documents that are often used to log them into gang databases for official government classification of them as members of a criminal street gang. Even when one is merely associated to various members of a gang, through biological relations, they too are adversely targeted and oftentimes victimized. These victims aren't seen as such when polices and practices such as a "gang-injunction" turns people into suspects before any crime has taken place. Yes, many of these communities are plagued with gangs and gang violence, but criminalizing the people does not "reduce" crime, in fact it emulates the criminal element of unjustifiably attacking innocents as a form of retaliation.
Secondly, while I reluctantly use the word "victim" because in crimes victims of the instant offense are the true victims, at least in the immediate sense of the word. But in Gabriel's case, and that of his co-defendant, Emma Melchor, they didn't hurt anyone. They didn't confront anyone. They were charged for conspiracy to commit a crime, a crime they never committed, a crime they did NOT plan to commit. No, they were not physically victimized like the two victims in the attempted murders that their charges stem from, months after the fact, that is. But they were victimized when detectives decided to arrest them solely as attempt to put pressure on Gabriel's little brother Noe prior to putting him on trial for the second time. Yes, Gabriel wanted to help his little brother, and even contacted lawyers to potentially represent Noe Favela, who several months prior had been arrested for attempted murder along with four other suspected/documented gang members. As a documented gang member, it was a surprise that Noe did not get convicted along with his co-defendants at the first trial, and right when things were looking positive--that's when they arrested Gabriela and Emma, who is Noe's girlfriend and the mother of his two year old son, Sebastian. Gabriel would end up being represented by the attorney who he had approached for Noe prior to Gabriel's arrest. Mr. Factor believes in Gabriel's innocence and he has agreed to help lead the current action of filing the Motion to Withdraw the Plea. We are lucky to have him on our side and we should feel grateful for his ongoing work in this case. As a victim of the Hardcore GangDivision and the Gang-unit within the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, Gabriel Favela must be set free!!
Thirdly, since we do have a little more than two months to file this motion, let's keep pushing the petition and, if people are interested, since Facebook causes does not send the petition directly to the designated persons being address (unlike Change.org, where people can sign the petition in support of Gabriel's motion here: http://www.change.org/petitions/withdraw-illegal-involuntary-west-plea-by-gabriel-favela-dismiss-unfounded-gang-allegation), we encourage folks to print their petition and send physical copies to the DA's office with carbon copies sent to the offices of an elected official and/or a legal organization that might be willing to support this campaign and join the many others we hope to build with towards abolition of draconian "gang laws" written into the state's War on Gangs as a prescription for sweeping our youth from our streets. It is important that we remember the many others who've been victimized by this common approach of combatting gang-violence with state-violence, the results of which are the familiar faces of affected family-members I see out here and those we remember on the inside. Since Causes.com announced plans to UPDATE their ACTION section on August 15th, let's hold off on sending these hard copies till after in hopes that such a feature might be made available through this website. Please feel free to offer feedback and suggestions for making our consciousness-raising efforts more effective. For example, I am also writing to various representatives of local, city and state government as well as people like Aja Brown, the new Mayor of Compton, in hopes of engaging people who might feel compelled to act after seeing the injustices that are occurring in the margins of mainstream society.
Fourth and final main topic for now, one way to gain supporters for our cause is by supporting others. Sometimes petition leaders have contacted me personally to say thanks and express their interests in joining us in the multifaceted fight for fair and equal treatment by law enforcement officials and agents of the state and federal government. Web-based activism and the physical struggle in the community need our participation and support to truly have an impact. I encourage folks to reach beyond their immediate concerns and personal interests in hopes of establishing solidarity with others challenging social and economic injustices. Gun violence is also a public health crisis as well as an environmental atrocity in the context of extreme military and corporate government-sanctioned barbarism that manifests in the "crimes" that are not being prosecuted, those being committed with impunity against us, our family members, friends and children. In this case, three young parents sentenced to more than 10 years means the few Favela adults who remain "free" will carry both the emotional and economic burden of imprisoned parents who have no control, just the hope--in us--that their stories will be heard, and that their struggles will not be ignored.
We cannot let them down; the community must stand its ground. Long before George Zimmerman was acquitted for the killing of young Trayvon Martin, Red & Black Peoples were standing their ground against the genocidal war that has reincarnated in the form of our continuous struggles for dignity, liberty and justice generation after generation. If we jump beyond the shallow “Thanksgiving” edge of the pond known to most people as the history of the United States, we discover America’s real history submerged in a reservoir blood caused by four centuries of genocidal war. Indiscriminate violence against natives transpired in tragic form of massacre after massacre after massacre, retaliating against the natives who stood their ground and fought by clearing out entire villages, killing off the men, raping and torturing the women and proving themselves the true savages with their treatment of the children.
The arrival of the first African slaves transported through ships across the Atlantic began in 1619, approximately 100 years after Hernan Cortez had begun to carry out the conquest of Mexico for the Spanish crown. When Texas rebelled against Mexico which led to the Battle of the Alamo from February 23 to March 6, 1836, the United States would soon make its Westward-bound imperialist military adventure that has never seen its end. And since the the invasion of California in 1846, the histories of Our Peoples parallel struggles against Colonial rule has also continued forward, up to the present day.
As the leading prison expansion state for three decades, California’s ongoing post-Cold War operations orchestrated by inter-governmental beneficiaries of the "war industry" can be said have picked up where Presidents Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Woodrow Wilson and more recent US Presidents left off. Subscribing to the White Supremacist ecologically-diabolical doctrine at the core of Western expansionism known as "Manifest Destiny, the California prison system emerges where X marks the spot.
If we continue to fail in addressing root causes growing out of the bloody soil described here, the end-result will be frightening. Projections aside, if we consider 'the aftermath' of thee doctrine-put-practice that we are living in today a foreseeable glimpse into the future cautions us to ACT NOW before the socio-cultural "genocide" of Our People reverts to the old American way of committing some of the most catastrophic crimes--crimes against humanity Hitler himself would not be able to stomach.
As is, our current prison system has already created a self-perpetuating cycle of crime on the streets due to higher representations of youth growing up without their parents or with a single parent. Many young people lack a strong enough foundation for youth to develop beyond their adolescence without the suppressive state-intervention that specializes in the systemic entanglement of youth of color in the web of confinement or county or state supervision. The nature of these colonial institutions that make up state apparatus that author Ruthie Gilmore called The Golden Gulag, has become clearer and clearer: brute force and military might the state will continue to unleash at will--when they see the opportunity, as we know, when others aren't looking (as in history and as in the present: STOPWATCHING.US!!!)
Two days ago I spent the majority of the day spontaneously writing a tribute to this struggle in honor of Trayvon Martin and dedicated to Trayvon’s parents. I will share this piece with you and hope we can also bounce forward after Our People’s unfortunate experience with the American justice once again.
We only have ourselves to rely on in the struggle against state-violence and the ceaseless violations of our inalienable right to associate, support, speak with and be there for members of our family, and members of our community. This is the only membership whose definition cannot be misconstrued in order to justify the illegal means employed to launch these ongoing assaults in cities like Compton, where socioeconomic status, demographics, power and privilege often become deciding-factors in arresting, prosecuting, convicting and sentencing our children and loved ones.
Fellow advocates would quickly dismiss, denounce or, maybe, defend my use of the word "genocide" to describe what I see as the outcome of Our People's colonial experience and the continuum of that experience today.
But maybe we must take a closer look at this outcome before we brush off language that, in comparison to the reality we are dealing, isn’t harsh whatsoever:
• Mass-imprisonment of Our People as a tool for social control;
• Intellectual-disengagement of Our People through cultural irrelevance in public education, an institution that does in fact serve as a "school-to-prison pipeline";
• The political apathy expressed towards members of our community by the upper- and upper-middle class majority in the expressed form of racial hate that makes way for the reactionary state-sponsored crusade culminating as a pinnacle of the ‘Manifest Destiny’ doctrine stemming form the confluence of
-the War on Gangs affecting generations of youth in our communities; and of
-the War on Immigrants bludgeoning what we can honestly call a Global Prison Industrial Complex at War with humanity.
If we don't protect the little we have left, we won't have much ground to stand on. The most important fight is the one you have set foot on the day you entered this reality.
Sincerely yours for the cause of Global Justice--
In solidarity and struggle,
FREE GABRIEL FAVELA AND INVESTIGATE THE CASE OF THE FAVELA FIVE!
COMPTON COURTHOUSE JUDGES SHOULD BE REMOVED!
ABOLISH THE GANG-INJUNCTION!
DISBAND ALL GANG-UNIT SWAT-STYLE POLICE UNITS! - STOP THE CRUSADE IN OUR COMMUITIES!
SUPPORT THE HUNGER STRIKERS IN PRISONS FROM CALIFORNIA TO CUBA (SHUT DOWN GITMO BAY & PELICAN BAY! )
ABOLISH THE SHU!
THE FIVE CORE DEMANDS ARE HUMANITY'S DEMANDS.
JUSTICE FOR TRAYVON MARTIN AND OSCAR GRANT!
INVESTIGATE POLICE KILLINGS IN ANAHEIM! The "Latino" community is under seige by Nazi MIckey and the Adolf Disney Corporation!
SUPPORT THE ONLY INDIGENOUS HIGH SCHOOL IN LOS ANGELES, ANAHUACALMECAC! (aho)