Note: I've just updated at the bottom with some new information...from Denver ABCF via email.
The following is from Sketchy Thoughts.
Former BLA Prisoner of War Ojore Lutalo... In Prison Again
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.
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To keep in the loop, email MapachinABC@gmail.com
Please forward to anyone that needs or wants an update, so we can get some
-Charged with "interfering with public transportation"
-Bail at 30,000 (We had the money but the feds held up one of the
transfers, now 500 short)
-In La Junta, CO
-Was arraigned today at 11 AM
-Pulled off the train because someone heard him talking politics.
Politics, NOT illegalities, just politics.
-Class 3 Felony
Here's some stuff from Denver ABC:
So, that snag I was saying that we could hit? Happened.
So, apparently, due to the Patriot Act, there is greater monitoring of
large money wire transfers. One of our transfers of money was put on hold
by the Feds. It will be released by tomorrow, but there is nothing that
ensures it will be here tonight.
So... we're waiting to see what happens. But, as of right now, we're
officially 500 short. Anyone able to step up to the plate? And Western
Union is the only way to ensure it will be there in a timely fashion.
A full, transparent report on this situation:
Bail is indeed covered, but all the money is not yet in our hands. It
should be within the next 2 hours.
1500 of this amount was in the form of loans from two different comrades,
one from Portland, and another from Minnesota. They need to be paid back
as soon as we can get the money to them.
This money is to cover what has turned into a 4500 bond amount through a
bondsmen in the area. The house had to be put up as collateral. The actual
bond was a cash assurity bond, so only money could be put up, not
property. So, the bondsmen puts up the money, with our comrade's house as
collateral if Ojore does not show up.
So, none of the money is refundable from the state. Ojore and Bonnie both
know this and have both given the go ahead and asked for this process to
So, we're accounting for all the donors, loans, etc.. and will hold on to
this info if needed by folks.
We hopefully will be bonding him out in several hours. However, the story
of the day has been one of complications and setbacks. It's the nature of
dealing with a system in a tiny Colorado city in the middle of nowhere and
an arrestee with Ojore's history. He literally scares the shit out of the
system there. So, if something else comes up, and we hit some snags, we'll
let folks know.