On January 22, 2015, Jason Hammond, Jeremy Hammond’s twin brother, was sentenced to 41 months in prison after accepting a non-cooperating guilty plea for his role in a militant direct action directed at white supremacists in the suburb of Tinley Park.
We at the Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee completely and unequivocally support Jason Hammond and all who choose to participate in militant direct action for a free an equal society.
I am heart-broken that my twin brother Jason Hammond will have to do years in prison for his participation in the 2012 attack on a white supremacist gathering in Tinley Park.
I love my brother. Anyone who has ever met him knows he is the most charming, caring and passionate guy around. You would often catch him at street protests playing the trombone in the marching band, cooking food for the homeless, or teaching guitar to children.
For some, it may come as a shock to think he could have been involved in an armed attack against neo-nazis. But it’s a troubled world we live in – sometimes you pick up the trombone and picket sign, other times you gotta pick up the baseball bat and Molotov cocktail.
The prosecutors, police, and mayor of Tinley Park were so vindictive and eager to defend the nazis that despite already having sentenced the Tinley Park 5 to prison, they arrested my brother for the same action a year later. Setting a no-10% bail higher than Trayvon Martin’s murderer George Zimmerman, they would not settle for anything less than years imprisonment.
At the same time, prosecutors intentionally threw the case during grand jury proceedings against the cops who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner – police literally getting away with murder, again and again.
These are not isolated tragedies but more evidence of the inherently corrupt and racist nature of the prison industrial complex. The connections are obvious, from the police who armed the Klan for the Greensboro massacre, to the “New Jim Crow” of mandatory minimums, crack/cocaine sentencing disparities, and felony second-class citizen status. This system has no future for people of color and the impoverished: it’s a lifetime of starvation-wage servitude, imprisonment, or death.
The protests “must be peaceful” says Obama and other so-called “community leader” sellouts and establishment apologists. It’s a sick irony to hear the “hope and change” president call for non-violence while he escalates U.S. imperialist wars in the middle east and refuses to prosecute CIA torturers and Bush Administration officials who signed off on it. His phony promises to “end racial profiling” and “demilitarize the police” should be rejected as attempts to channel our anger into predictable, controllable, and ultimately ineffective reforms, when what we need is abolition and revolution.
The system’s got to go, and we have to be prepared to use any and all tactics to overthrow it. Burning, looting, flipping over cop cars. hacking websites, and beating up nazis.
I fully support my brother and those who engage in militant direct action to build a more free and equal society. I urge everybody to check out my brother’s statement explaining his motivations for participating in the Tinley Park action. Like Jason says, “these tactics could also apply to different avenues of struggle, directed towards exploitative bosses, racist cops, gentrifying landlords, sexist institutions, and fascist politicians”.
Even though I am saddened it has resulted in his imprisonment, I am proud that he was willing to fight for his beliefs. We went to school together, played in bands together, protested together, and now both of us are incarcerated. We may be in different prisons, facing different charges, but we will always be together in the spirit of defiance.
FREE JASON HAMMOND!