It has been just four months since Ojore Lutalo left the prison gates, “free” after over a quarter century behind bars. A combatant with the Black Liberation Army, Lutalo (like so many other POWs and political prisoners) had been subjected to isolation-torture, an attempted depivation of all social contacts meant to drive a person insane. Yet throughout it all he remained steadfast.
Just so recently released, this past weekend Lutalo was in Los Angeles, attending the LA Anarchist Bookfair, and speaking on a panel about political prisoners in the united states. A rarity in a movement that was predominantly Marxist-Leninist, Lutalo has been an anarchist for decades, and his leadership from behind bars was in fact instrumental in bringing together many anarchists to do PP/POW support work in the 1980s and 1990s.
On his return home from LA, something happened. In La Junta, Colorado, Lutalo’s Amtrak train was stopped and police boarded to arrest him, charging him with “interfering with public transportation.” Nobody – including Lutalo himself – had any idea what provoked this arrest, or what the implications might be.
This morning Lutalo was arraigned in the La Junta City Courthouse, and formally charged. Bond was set at $30,000. At the arraignment, the prosecutor claimed that two people on the train overheard a telephone call in which they believe Ojore “made terroristic threats.”
The prosecution asked for a $50,000 bond citing Lutalo’s previous “criminal” background and imprisonment as well as him being an out of state resident. The defense argued for a $1,000 bond citing Ojore’s links to the Denver community and housing available to him as well as his previous imprisonment being politically biased.
The judge ruled that Ojore’s bond would be set at $30,000, justifying this amount because Ojore is an out of state resident, and in 1982 Ojore was convicted of a failure to appear charge and presently posed a flight risk due to this history.
Denver Anarchist Black Cross Federation members were present for the hearing and are presently in La Junta working to bail him out. A bondsmen has been secured that will post bond for Ojore at the cost of $3,010.
Donations can be sent via paypal to: timABCF@aol.com
To keep in the loop, email MapachinABC@gmail.com
Please forward to anyone that needs or wants an update, so we can get some
Jan. 29th UPDATE: OJORE IS OUT, BUT IN NEED OF FUNDS!
From the Anarchist Black Cross Federation:
As of 9:30pm Mountain Time, Ojore is out and on his way to Denver. Thanks to everyone that helped make that possible.
Bond was posted at the cost of $4,500. This cost has been fronted by
various amazing folks from across the country,
but much of this money is being loaned. Ojore is in major need of
donations to help pay these loans back!
The Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross Federation is accepting donations
for this effort. Donations can be sent via paypal to: timABCF@aol.com
Ojore’s court date will be February 5th.
In 2003 this video interview was produced with Ojore by comrades from the Anarchist Black Cross Federation; you can view it here: