Comment on this article |
Email this article |
News :: Human Rights
Eric McDavid Update
by Sacramento Prisoner Support
20 Jun 2007
A brief update
Things here seemed as if they were slowly coming to a head. After almost a year and a half, Eric finally had a trial date set for early July. It's easy to write that sentence, but when we think about the meaning of it, and the struggle and pain that has colored the days during that time, it's completely overwhelming. Then we found out that the trial was going to be pushed back, yet again, to late August. Then this week it was pushed back yet again, to September 10. This was devastating news, as it means Eric will have to suffer through two more months of solitary confinement at Sacramento County Main Jail. This, after a year and a half of waiting...
A year and a half of Eric suffering through health problems and poor nutrition with no proper medical care and a complete lack of care and concern from the people responsible for his well-being. A year and a half of total separation - a category of custody at the jail that means Eric has been confined to his cell almost 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with no contact with the outside world - not even other prisoners. He rarely even gets to step foot outside, and when he does it's on the 4th floor of a building, with nothing but concrete under his feet. A year and a half of threats about Eric spending 20 years in jail.
And then we think about Eric and his courage and strength and we're completely amazed. He has remained true to his principles - compassion and love and integrity - in the most dire of situations. A grueling two week hunger strike to gain access to vegan food. His stories about his interactions (very limited) with the other prisoners - sharing books and stories and helping each other in the small ways that must seem so huge in that cold, dead place. The letters he writes - which are somehow still full of joy and beauty and compassion. He has chosen life.
With only a few months left until trial, we still have to raise $6000 for Eric's legal defense. His family has been paying his legal fees, but finally had to ask for help. We couldn't let the government continue imposing this huge financial drain on Eric's family, and so have been trying to fundraise the remaining $15,000 for them.
We're right at $9000, but with only a few months left, we are in dire need of everyone's help and support. The response from around the world has been truly amazing and inspiring. People from across the globe have been writing Eric, sending him books, and donating money. But this final push is proving to be quite difficult.
PLEASE, send whatever you can. We need to ensure that Eric gets the best representation possible, and unfortunately we can't do that without money. If you don't have time to organize a fundraiser (vegan bbq? art auction? bake sale? movie screening? show?), just send whatever you can. Every penny helps.
Please keep in mind - this is about our civil rights being snatched from us. This is about government surveillance and cointelpro and the targeting of political dissidents. (If you haven't read the criminal complaint against Eric, we urge to you do so. It's very...insightful.) And this is about Eric - a beautiful, amazing, inspiring individual. Eric is a non-cooperating defendant, which means he has chosen the difficult path. He knew this would not be easy - very few people take their cases all the way to trial. But Eric felt that this was the only principled decision - to fight these outrageous charges against him and the government repression from which they stem.
You can make checks out to "Sacramento Defense Fund" and send them to:
PO Box 163126
Sacramento, CA 95816
or you can visit www.supporteric.org (which you should do anyway) and donate through paypal.
We know some of you have already donated, and for that we are forever grateful. The outpouring of support from everyone has been amazing and inspiring, and has helped all of us through the last year and a half.
Please keep Eric in your thoughts these next few months. And please check the website for updates.
Thanks to some amazing supporters in New York, any donations sent in right now (up to $600) will be matched. This means that you can double the impact of every dollar you donate to Eric's legal defense. Please take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. And our most sincere thanks to our friends in New York!
Trial set for September
After a month of gearing up for a July trial date, we recently found out that trial will be moved back to September 10. This was very difficult emotionally for everyone, but now we have to refocus on the new dates. If any of you are going to be in the area in September, please consider coming to the trial. We're trying to get the courtroom packed with supporters for Eric. The court has slated two and half weeks for trial. If you are planning on coming, please make sure you come dressed appropriately for court. If you have any questions, please let us know.
Eric has been receiving your letters and sends everyone his love. Please keep them coming! However, he wanted us to let you know that the next few months are going to be a bit crazy for him and he more than likely will be unable to respond to everyone's mail. Please don't let this discourage you. He loves getting mail and needs to hear from you - just don't take it personally if you don't hear back from him.
This work is in the public domain