VoKu benefit for legal fees for Rodrigo Lanza

Monday 30 January 2023, VoKu benefit for legal fees for Rodrigo Lanza. Food served from 7pm, no reservation.

Here is the unfair story of Rodrigo Lanza, sentenced to 18 and a half years in prison.
Rodrigo, a Chilean, was arrested along with two other South American boys, Alex and Juan, in the street, in front of a squatted house where a party was being held, on 4F, February 4, 2006 in Barcelona. Four other young men were also arrested when they were leaving the house and two more people who had gone to a hospital because they had fallen on their bicycles. bicycle. During the arrest, the 3 South Americans were tortured, both by the urban guard and by mossos de squadra, which they denounced, but it was filed by the judge, who was the same one who was handling the case that accused them. The mayor of Barcelona at the time, Joan Clos, made a public statement saying that the injured policeman had been hit by a flowerpot that had been thrown from the building. As the three boys arrested in the street were not in the building, they changed that version to a stone thrown from the street and set up another story. Rodri was falsely accused of having thrown the stone at the policeman. He, Alex and Juan spent two years in custody awaiting trial. We took to the streets in demonstrations to demand explanations for the change of versions and to ask for parole, which ended with a hunger strike by the three boys and myself, to make ourselves heard, before the investigation was closed. It did not have result. Rodrigo was sentenced to 5 years in prison. Alex and Juan served a slightly lesser sentence and, after the appeal to the Supreme Court which ratified the sentence, Patri who had been detained at the hospital and who was not even at the scene of the crime, entered prison. During a prison leave, she committed suicide in 2011. The rage over the death of Patri and the discovery that the police officers who had tortured the boys had been convicted, in another case, for torturing the son of a diplomat, made that, with Patri’s friends, disassembly 4F was born and with this name a documentary was made, Ciutat Morte, which received, among others, even an award from the Barcelona City Council in 2014. The case became, then, very well known. Rodrigo was finally released from prison in December 2012.

Years later, in December 2017, Rodrigo goes to a bar at night, in Zaragoza, a friend tells him that a person who was there was a known Nazi, and when the group he was with saw that this person, they get scared and decide to leave the bar. While they were leaving, the man followed them and tried to stab Rodrigo, but a boy had warned him “watch out he has a knife” and Rodrigo turns around and defends himself, hits him and runs away. This person subsequently dies. Summarizing…. the police allow friends of the man to enter the place, they even give his phone to an unidentified girlfriend, the bartender who was the main witness to the accusation, leaves the bar and returns to enter …. we assume that the knife may have been his… the knife can’t be found, the cell phone is not known who has it… It was the time of the plebiscite for the independence of Catalonia and the news is in the media as “the crime of the suspenders”, because it was said that the man was wearing suspenders with the Spanish flag on them. It was even said that it was the first Catalan crime against a Spanish person. The media tore us to shreds, we received hundreds of threats and we were afraid to go out in the street. Politicians were happy to “prove” that Rodrigo is a criminal. Back in jail, this time in Zaragoza, he is put in solitary confinement for two years, until the trial. In this trial, with a popular jury and all the press against him, the sentence was 5 years for reckless homicide with the aggravating circumstance of ideological motives. The accusations appealed and, quickly to prevent him from being released on parole, the trial was annulled and repeated with a different jury, in the middle of the pandemic, without the presence of family members and the public, in a trial that was more of a circus than anything else, and with jurors who had already members of the jury who were already prejudiced against Rodrigo. The sentence was 20 years in prison for murder with malice aforethought, with the aggravating circumstance of ideological motives. This aggravating factor for racism, discrimination and gender was created to protect minorities and the weakest, and are distorting its function. Subsequently the Madrid Supreme Court upheld the conviction but rejected the ideological motives and lowered the sentence to 18 and a half years. For us, the role played by the press and the political power in this case has been a nightmare. the media campaign against him and also against me, full of lies and hatred, has condemned Rodrigo. Everything we said at the beginning, they turned it around to use it against him. to use it against us. At the end of last month the lawyer filed an appeal to the Constitutional Court. We are waiting for a response on whether they accept our appeal or not. Then we will go to Strasbourg. All this has been very long and difficult, both emotionally and economically. We still owe money borrowed for the first trial and in the second trial we couldn’t raise money because of pandemic restrictions. All of this has cost us dearly in every way. and, in spite of all the solidarity we have received, the help from Rodrigo’s friends in Zaragoza, from our friends in Barcelona, in Madrid, of people who come to us without knowing them, we still do have a lot to achieve! A year ago Rodri was transferred to Catalonia, he is well, he is strong and he knows that he has us. he has us. He is studying, working and doing many activities that keep him busy.
He answers all the letters he receives!

The documentary Ciutat Morte was screened at Joe’s Garage in 2018, also gives an account of the story: https://joesgarage.nl/archives/14011

Volkseten Vegazulu is a people’s kitchens existing since the very beginning of Joe’s Garage, June 2005. Your donations are welcome. Food is vegan, no reservation. All benefits go to social & political struggles. Joe’s Garage is a space run by volunteers. Without a collective effort, without your active participation, we’re remaining closed. Get in touch in you feel like giving a hand. We’re always looking for cooks. Any help is welcome in the kitchen. Experience not required. If you want to know which days are still available, mail us.

Lebanese movie night: Capernaum (Nadine Labaki, 2018)

Sunday 29 January 2023, Lebanese movie night: Capernaum (Nadine Labaki, 2018), 126 minutes, in Arabic with English subtitles. Doors open at 20:00, film starts at 20:30.

Zain, a 12-year-old, living in the slums of Beirut ends up in the Roumieh Prison after a stabbing. Capernaum is told in flashback format, focusing on Zain’s life, including his encounter with an Ethiopian immigrant Rahil and her infant son Yonas, and leading up to his attempt to sue his parents for child neglect, “for giving him life in such a chaotic world. He’s actually not only suing his parents, he’s suing the whole system because his parents are also victims of that system — one that is failing on so many levels and that completely ends up excluding people” according Labaki.
Like her past movies, Capernaum features a cast of mostly nonprofessional actors, and tackles societal ills. Capernaum is fiction, but its portrayal of Lebanon’s rampant poverty and treatment of undocumented populations is very realistic. “Capernaum is a biblical village that was doomed by Jesus. Later on, the word started being used to signify chaos.”
“Some critics are very cynical of the film and say this is not really happening because they don’t see it around them… All I can tell them is: “Get real. Get out of your cafe where you’re writing your critique and go out into the world and see what’s happening around you.” What you see in the film is nothing compared to reality. We should wake up to how many children are suffering in the world. It’s unbearable suffering; I didn’t put rape scenes in the film, I didn’t put real abuse in the film — because I couldn’t.”

Film night at Joe’s Garage, cozy cinema! Free entrance. You want to screen a movie, let us know: joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net

Benefit & info in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal

Monday October 14th 2019, Benefit & info in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Volkseten Vegazulu, 7pm.

Freedom is Now in Sight

New evidence, recently found, and surpressed for decades, could be the key to relief for Mumia Abu-Jamal. Joe McGill and Ed Rendell, trial prosecutor and DA, respectively, manipulated evidence and framed Mumia Abu-Jamal for first degree murder in 1982. Six boxes of undisclosed case files labeled “Mumia Abu-Jamal” were found in a furniture closet last December by new DA Larry Krasner. Here is the exculpatory “Brady” evidence that was inside:
• A letter from awitness demanding his money.
• Memo after memo to and from Joe McGill tracking the open cases of another key witness.
• Handwritten notes on original files, closely tracking the race of jurors.
Now we know that for 37 years the District Attorney’s office actively lied. They scrubbed clean every single document production, during multiple appeals, for years. It is cliché and almost predictable: evidence “lost” in a storage closet for 37 years by evil, absent-minded hoarders. Make no mistake– this evidence would have directly challenged the only “witnesses” at trial who identified Mumia Abu-Jamal as the shooter of officer Daniel Faulkner on Dec. 9, 1981.

The testimony of these two witnesses was compromised, something the jury was kept from knowing. One witness had as many as 35 prior convictions and 4-5 open cases. Now we know the DA was monitoring those cases very closely and asking to be advised when they were in court. The other witness to the shooting was driving a cab on a suspended license and was on probation for throwing a Molotov cocktail into a school for pay. The jury never heard this. This information certainly would have challenged prosecutor Joe McGill’s statement to the jury that they had nothing to gain from lying. Remember, this is a jury who asked for re-instruction on the charges and were wavering on a finding of 1stDegree Murder. Remember Albert “I am going to help them they fry the nigger” Sabo, was the judge. And Alfonso “I retired with full pay and was indicted” Giordano, a commander, was the highest ranking officer on the scene that night.

On July 3rd, 1982, this was not an open and shut case. The petition to the Superior Court also raises the reinstated appeal issues from the Castille decision handed down by Judge Tucker. These include claims of improper jury selection (Batson Claims), Ineffective assistance of counsel, and errors of law made by the court in previous appeals.

Every time you see Joe McGill in the courtroom or at an FOP event, or you see Ed Rendell at a party or a campaign event, remember this- they were stepping on the scales of justice from the beginning.

Mumia came within 10 days of being executed because of this misconduct. I was there. I got that call from the strip cell. Mumia had nothing but an orange jump suit, a half a sheet of paper and the cartridge of a pen (so he could send another prisoner as a proxy to the law library). Before and after his two death warrants he was held in solitary confinement on death row for decades!

Fast forward to 2017: Common Pleas Court Judge Leon Tucker admonishes the District Attorney to produce all of the requested material from their files. Finally, having no faith in their review, he demandst hat they deliver all of their files to his chambers. There he found documents revealing the bias of PA Supreme Court Judge Castille that the DA had somehow “missed” – or willfully suppressed. After all of that, in 2018, newly elected DA Larry Krasner comes across six boxes of original trial material labeled “Mumia Abu-Jamal” in a storage closet. A week later they find hundreds of more boxes in that “storage cavern.”
Please know that the road ahead may still be rough. But there is hope.
Freedom is more possible than it has ever been before. Join Judith Ritter & Sam Spital, of the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, his criminal defense team. Join Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center and Robert Boyle the legal team on his medical treatment case.

Joe’s Garage is always looking for cooks. Any help is welcome in the kitchen. Experience not required. If you want to know which days are still available in the schedule, mail us and book yourself the night. You can, of course, also participate by rolling up your sleeves and doing the dishes.

Benefit for anti-ICE activists in Arizona

Thursday May 16th 2019, Benefit for anti-ICE activists in Arizona, Volkseten Vegazulu, 7pm.

Benefit for three students at the University of Arizona in Tucson, who face criminal charges and potential imprisonment for confronting ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents on campus. Come for delicious vegan food, with fresh veggies and lots of protein!


Joe’s Garage is always looking for cooks. Any help is welcome in the kitchen. Experience not required. Enjoying it is a must. If you want to know which days are still available in the schedule, send an email to joe [at] lists [dot] squat [dot] net net and book yourself the night. You can, of course, also participate by rolling up your sleeves and doing the dishes.

Benefit voku for imprisoned Russian activists

Thursday 29 November 2018, Benefit voku for imprisoned Russian activists. Volkseten Vegazulu, 7pm.

On the eve of the presidential elections and the World Cup, repressions began in Russia. Activists are being kidnapped, beaten up, electrocuted and forced to sign and learn investigative evidence and false confessions by heart. Besides tortures and battery, detainees are threatened to be imprisoned for a long time: the secret service FSB are accusing the jailed anarchists and antifascicts in participation in a mythical terrorist organization called “Network”.

There are currently eleven people behind bars. Their investigation period was just extended until January of 2019 by court decision. The cases need international attention and support – the situation is unbearable. Repression of anarchists and antifascists needs to be stopped.

Come for a delicious three-course solidarity dinner at joe’s on the 29th of November to support the detainees!

For more info and updates on the cases –> https://rupression.com/
All donations for the dinner will go to Rupression, a collective that is working on spreading information about the cases and is helping them with legal costs. […Lees verder]

A solidarity voku for Russian antifascists

Monday 8 October 2018, A solidarity voku for Russian antifascists. Volkseten Vegazulu, 7pm.

“In the run-up to presidential elections and the FIFA World Cup, repressions against antifascists and anarchists started in Russia. In Autumn 2017, 6 people were arrested in Penza; several of them had weapons and explosives planted on them. FSB officers then tortured the antifascists right in the detention facility: they applied naked wires to the activists’ various body parts and turned the electricity on, they beat them up, hanged them upside down. While torturing them, the agents made the activists learn by heart the story the FSB needed: they were supposed to confess of having founded and belonging to a terrorist organization called “The Network”. In late January 2018, two more antifascists were arrested in Saint-Petersburg. They, too, were beaten up, tortured with electric current, and forced to incriminate themselves by confirming they were members of the ‘Network’.” [https://rupression.com/]

Currently, eleven people are behind bars and facing long sentences. Most of them are accused of being members of a non-existent terrorist organization and planning violent attacks against the state. It is clear, that the crimes the imprisoned people are charged with, are fabricated by the Federal Security Service. By inventing the story about the “Network” and torturing people to the point that they have no other option, than to make false confessions, the secret police are aiming to frame Russian anarchists as terrorists. The imprisoned antifascists and anarchists need support with legal costs and with drawing attention to the cases – the repression they have faced needs to stop.

Come express solidarity with the Russian antifascists and eat at Joe’s garage on the 8th of October! There will be more information available about the cases and a chance to write postcards or letters to the prisoners if you wish. All donations for the food go directly to rupression – a collective, that has been active in spreading information about the “Network” cases and supporting the tortured antifascists.
[…Lees verder]

Benefit the Moria 35

Thursday April 12th 2018, Benefit the Moria 35, Volkseten Vegazulu, 7pm.

Soon the Moria 35 trail will begin on Chios! Lesvos Solidarity raises awareness, that in ten days, on 20th April, the trial of the so called Moria 35 will start. “On 18 July 2017, 35 people were arbitrarily arrested during a violent police raid in the “African Section” of Moria camp after a peaceful protest”, the volunteers remember. Still, the policed crashed it using tear gas and arrested 35 people, who were not involved in the following clashed. They highlight: “There seems to be no individual evidence against them. They now risk up to 10 years in prison and could be excluded from the right to international protection. There is evidence of police violence during the arrests, and in the police station.”

Four of the defendants receive assistance from Lesvos Solidarity, including the payment of lawyers and court fees. To support them, you can donate on this fundraiser:

Bank: National Bank of Greece
AN: 762/001341-20
ΙΒΑΝ: GR06 0110 7620 0000 7620 0134 120

Solidarity actions are also welcome!
No one is free until all are free!
FreeMoria35 https://vimeo.com/264394077 […Lees verder]

Benefit Dinner Volkseten Vegazulu for Pan-European meeting for practical solidarity

Monday March 5th 2018, Benefit Dinner, Volkseten Vegazulu, 7pm.

Today’s Voku in Joes Garage is dedicated to the “Pan-European meeting for practical solidarity” that is going to take place in Cologne on the of the 17th and 18th of March, around the day of the prisoner.

Doors open at 7 pm. We will prepare a nice soup, vegan dishes and dessert, play canned music and distribute some information about the practical solidarity weekend in March.

From the invitation for the weekend in March:

In 2017, one comrade from Barcelona was sentenced to seven and a half years of prison in Aachen. She is now in Willich prison.

During our work of mutual solidarity that extended throughout Europe, we quite often realized that there is a common wish for better getting to know each other and to jointly express our solidarity with those affected by repression. This led to the idea to make use of the weekend around the day of the prisoner, on 18th of March 2018, for collective activities in Cologne and Willich.

Herewith we would like to invite you for a day-long discussion with comrades from various radical-left movements in Europe on 17th of March and a rally in front of the prison in Cologne on the 18th. A solidarity concert takes place on the evening of the 17th.

We want to broaden our perspectives across national borders, to oppose Fortress Europe with our radical-left perspective, far away from nationalism and the state. The trial in Aachen showed once more that European countries and their agencies do closely cooperate when prosecution and repression is pursued. On day-to-day social, economic and political levels, we do experience the devastating effects of that pan-European cooperation.

However, this might also lead to solidarity and friendship and the desire for gaining consciousness about the various European realities. We are very much interested in making practical transborder solidarity a matter of fact, by talking and discussing about common and diverging experiences and positions of social struggles, with repression and prison.

More Infos:
E-Mail: solidarity1803 [at] riseup [dot] net
All Infos on squat.net RADAR: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/tag/solidarity1803
Complete invitation as pdf: English Version |  German Version […Lees verder]