On Sept. 17, two important events took place in the Ramsey County Courthouse. Check out the word from our friends at TC Indymedia:
“Two decisions related to RNC protests came down simultaneously in Ramsey County Court Thursday afternoon. Eight demonstrators from the August 31, 2008 Vets for Peace march were found guilty of misdemeanor trespassing, but were sentenced to merely a $100 fine or 20 hours community service. They had argued their claim of right to enter the secured area around the Xcel Energy Center under international law and the Minnesota and United States Constitutions. Meanwhile, two floors above, Jesse James Forrey was sentenced to 120 days in jail after being found guilty weeks ago of felony damage to property. He’ll likely serve 75 with good behavior. The expected sentence was much higher.”
And check out the awesome support letter for Jesse James Forrey!
“Today, Jesse was sentenced to 120 days in jail by Judge Flynn. What this means in Minnesota is that he should get 1/3 of his sentence off for good behavior, and 5 more days off for credit from when he was arrested last year, for a total of 75 days in jail. So our educated guess is that he’ll be free on December 2nd. We’ll keep you posted, of course.
“During the sentencing, Richard Dusterhoft, the Prosecutor, argued for 6 months in jail and just over $10,000 in restitution. Jesse’s attorney asked for at most 60 days in jail. Jesse spoke eloquently on his own behalf. He mentioned how much he’s learned and changed in the past year, how he wants to move on in his life and do what’s really important to him: spend time with the children in his life, his friends and family, and return to his community. He said he’s already experienced distance from his loved ones, isolation, and had time to contemplate the seriousness of the situation, all things that imprisonment is supposed to make you experience. The desire most strongly articulated was that of returning home.
“For the first time in our collective court experience, Judge Flynn took a downward departure from what the prosecution recommended. She originally planned on sentencing him to 9 months, but it seem she was swayed by the massive amount of letters submitted in Jesse’s favor. Thank you so much to friends, family, and supporters for your articulate and emotional letters! They made all the difference. While appealing to authority doesn’t leave us very empowered, if we can take even a day off of a friend’s jail sentence, then we should in any way we can. 5 months off is even better!
“We were all nervous, sad, and scared before the sentencing. We couldn’t all fit into the courtroom, and the indimidating sherrifs, in uniform and plainclothes, took up all the standing room and rudely tried to stop us from entering. The weeks leading up to this have been stressful and emotional, and it seemed that our tension was coming to a head. But after hearing the sentence, many of us felt a weight lifted. Even though our dear friend is sitting in that terrible place, surrounded by unsympathetic guardians of law and order, we know he’s on his way home. The sentence was much less than we expected and were trying to prepare ourselves for. By no mean is this judicial stifling of our lives acceptable, but at least we know that Jesse will soon be free.
“Jesse called us this late afternoon, and while disappointed not to be with his friends and family, he seems to be doing well. He is still in the downtown Ramsey County Jail, which is different than his final destination, the Ramsey County Correctional Facility, a.k.a. the Workhouse. He says he should be transported there tomorrow, so if you want to send him letters as soon as you can, he should get to the jail before your letter does. Letters are immensely important to prisoners, to combat isolation and stay engaged with the world and your loved ones. Send him letters soon and often! Use your common sense with what you write, don’t say anything that could get Jesse in trouble. Photographs can be sent (but not polaroids), and photocopies are accepted, but avoid staples. Also, items with glue, glitter, markers, or general things the jail staff might find annoying won’t be accepted. Stamps, envelopes, writing supplies and money will all be rejected. If they don’t accept mail it should be placed in Jesse’s property and he’ll get it upon his release. This is a good basic guide to writing to prisoners. His address is:“Jesse Forrey “297 South Century Avenue “Maplewood, MN 55119
“Other ways you can help are by donating money via paypal, check, or money order. Contact us for an address and name, or use the paypal link on the lefthand side of this site. Jesse also would like to read the following books, which can only be sent via a publisher such as amazon.com or powells.com
- Custer Died For Your Sins – Vine Deloria
- Living My Life – Emma Goldman
- Any Derrick Jensen
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathon Saffran Foer
- Ward Churchill
- something about traditional/indigenous norwegian peoples
- Mary Oliver
- The Continuum Concept
- The Male Herbal by Jame Green
- The Ohlone Way
- Having Little, Being Much by Lorraine Perlman
- Conquest by Andrea Smith
“and related such and such….
“Tell us if you send any books, so we can take them off the list. Please get in touch with us regarding any concerns or questions, or if you want to schedule a visit. We’re here to help Jesse and all y’all. This is a hard time for many of us but together we’ll come out much stronger for it.
“I’ll leave you with some words written by Jesse on his house’s message board:
“‘Thank you so fucking much. I love you.’