At AfGJ we support Prisoners of US Empire by campaigning for their freedom, both because it’s essential to take care of our own, but also because calling attention to emblematic cases highlights the repression that activists face by the United States government, even in other countries.
What is US Empire? As Noam Chomsky puts it, it’s an “integrated policy of US military and economic supremacy” that functions to exploit the world. Prisoners of US Empire are political prisoners who have been incarcerated because of their activities for liberation from and/or resistance to US empire, or because they are for some reason or other considered obstacles to US empire and its designs. Their activities may be characterized as anti-war and anti-militarist, pro-democracy, anti-nuclear, ecological, whistleblower and journalist, First Nations Liberation, Puerto Rican liberation, and more.
There are many Prisoners of US Empire in mainland United States and around the world. These are some of the Prisoners of US Empire in whose campaigns for freedom AfGJ participates:
Edwin Robelo Espinal
Edwin was detained on Trumped up charges in January 2018. Honduras has been the site of large demonstrations due to the November 26, 2017 presidential election that Honduran popular movements and international observers have widely denounced as rigged. Edwin has a long history advocating against the Honduran government that came into power as the result of a right-wing coup in 2009. He is a staunch defender of the Honduran people’s human and voting rights. Because of this history, he has been the target of threats and intimidation by state security forces and of slander in the media. He has been receiving protective measures since July 2010, when they were requested by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. Espinal has been framed on charges of arson and property destruction during a January 12, 2018 protest in Tegucigalpa.
According to Victoria Cervantes, member of the Honduras Solidarity Network and the AfGJ Board of Directors, “Edwin Espinal Robelo is a well-known activist since the 2009 coup; part of the motorcycle riders that have escorted all the protests since then and a community organizer activist in his neighborhood in Tegucigalpa. His fiancée, Wendy Avila was killed by the massive tear gas attack against protesters supporting President Zelaya’s return to Honduras in front of the Brazilian Embassy in September 2009. He has been harassed, detained, threatened, had his home arbitrarily searched, and been the target of numerous social media slanderous campaigns organized by the government and its hired trolls.”