We are excited to announce that Joel Bitar is free!
Joel was granted parole in mid-August and the Canadian authorities, in their infinite wisdom, waited until September 11th to drop Joel off at the border—where he left behind prison walls and jail cells on one side and joined his loving family and friends on the other.
Joel has been stalwart throughout his arrest, extradition, house arrest, and imprisonment and we have been inspired by his courage in facing the grinding gears of justice by not only one, but two nation-states, and remaining true to himself and his convictions.
Welcome home, Joel!
Read Joel’s statement here.
Richard Morano, one of the five individuals extradited to Canada for charges stemming from the 2010 Toronto G20 protests is free! Richard plead to six counts and was sentenced to 7 months in jail. He was released on June 17th, after serving half of his sentence, and was given 2 years probation.
Welcome home, Richard. May Joel and Kevin (another extraditee) follow you soon!
Read more at notorontog20extradition.wordpress.com
July 7, 2014
In a few days I will mark my 5 month anniversary. I’m finding the time
moves faster now that I have a constant routine. I’ve also gotten pretty
close with the main players on my range, and they’ve accepted me as one of
them. I genuinely enjoy spending time with these 4 or 5 guys, whether it’s
sharing meals, playing cards, watching movies, or working out.
New York City is a frustrating place for me because there is so much
emphasis on the individual. It’s hard to feel like you’re part of a
community in such a big city. Even though I managed to develop close and
important friendships before my incarceration, I felt surprisingly alone.
I think part of being human is the need to feel like you belong somewhere.
Living in such a massive capitalistic hub like NYC can be alienating
because of the difficulty of satisfying our communal needs.
Read the rest here!
It’s been three months since I last tasted freedom and I finally feel like I’m settling in to the bulk of my sentence. Fortunately, these early months have gone well and been without any major incident. It’s amazing to get so many letters of support from folks around the world.
Getting a letter while behind bars is an amazing feeling. Thank you to everyone who took some time out of their day to sit down and write. I’m doing my best to respond to each letter, so if you haven’t gotten anything from me yet, I haven’t forgotten. Also, for some reason, the mail censors keep tearing off return addresses so unless you include your return address in the body of the letter somewhere, I have no way of knowing where to send a response.
Read the rest here!
May 1, 2014
As I mentioned in my last post, after spending over a month on Unit 5 I was transferred to the education range on Unit 6. At that time I wasn’t happy about moving for a couple of reasons. A.) in jail being uprooted and then forced to adapt to a new environment is exhausting and often traumatizing and B.) Unit 5 is a good place filled with good people. Subjectively speaking it is a more down-to-earth, “real” jail experience with plentiful amounts of solidarity amongst prisoners.
Read the rest here!
Due to changes with our original donation service, the task of collecting donations for Joel has been taken on by the wonderful folks at Guelph ABC.
You can donate by sending checks made out to Guelph ABC to:
You can also donate to their PayPal account, visit http://guelphabc.noblogs.org and click on the PayPal icon on the right hand side.
Please email GABC to let them know you made a donation: guelphabc [at] riseup [dot] net
Joel’s Prison Blog has moved to lockedupyetliberated.noblogs.org! All the latest entries can be found there, in the format that Joel prefers. However, we will keep up with notifications of Joel’s newest blog posts, so you will never miss a single one!
In the meantime, please check out the latest two:
Weapons Search Lockdown
Carrots and Sticks