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Justice for Anthony Gay!

By Frank Chapman

Anthony Gay seated is in middle wearing white shirt.

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following May 20 statement from Frank Chapman, Executive Director of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

Anthony Gay is today a political prisoner. He first became a political prisoner while in prison. He went to prison for a petty larceny situation involving one dollar. While in prison, because of his defiance against the prison authorities, he was brutalized and placed in solitary confinement for 22 years.

During that time, he politicized himself mainly through struggling against the prison authorities for justice, but also by reading and familiarizing himself with movement literature such as George Jackson, Angela Davis, and Malcolm X.

He also became a brilliant and outstanding jailhouse lawyer on his own behalf. He survived his torture, and he won his release in an historic feat by convincing a new State’s Attorney that the law was violated when he was given consecutive sentences for acting out instead of concurrent sentences.

Since his release in 2018, he crafted a bill to limit the use of solitary confinement to 10 days within a 180-day period, based on the 8th Amendment of the United States Constitution, seeking to end the cruel and unusual punishment perpetrated against incarcerated people.

As a result of the victories he accomplished in struggle against the racist system of mass incarceration, Anthony was framed by the Rock Island police and accused of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The state of Illinois gave this case to the federal government, which then portrayed him as a career criminal.

In another historic win, representing himself, Anthony got a hung jury in that federal trial. The government was outraged when he out-lawyered them! They immediately pushed him towards a second trial with only 19 days to prepare. Anthony filed a very reasonable motion for continuation, but the judge denied the motion, openly collaborating with the prosecution.

They also picked the jury in a manner that was different than the way they did in the first trial. They made sure that only people who were pro police and had very conservative politics were on the jury.

In his opening statement to the jury, Anthony let them know he was not going to get a fair trial. He faced an all-white, conservative jury and a white supremacist judge working with white prosecutors.

Working with the Alliance for almost 50 years, I have never seen a case where the prosecution presented no evidence to the jury, but only explanations as to why they had no evidence. All the expert witnesses testified to why they didn't have fingerprints or DNA on the firearm or bullets they claim were in Anthony’s possession. They had only circumstantial evidence.

They showed a video to connect him with the gun, but it did not show him dropping the gun.

We sat through the entire trial watching the prosecution tell the jury what happened while showing a video that contradicted their claim; lecturing the jury about the forensic evidence, only to admit that there was no forensic evidence and why.

It was the most racist, kangaroo style prosecution I've ever seen.

Finally, the judge knew exactly when they were going to bring back the guilty verdict because he told us to be there by 9:45 am. Once we entered the courtroom, we could see by the way that the marshals were lined up surrounding Anthony, that there was going to be a guilty verdict. I think they knew this when the trial closed on Wednesday, the moment that they made the closing statements to the jury and the jury went out for deliberation, because it was 100% their jury.

As they used to do in the old Deep South, this is a classic frame-up case with the judge, the prosecution, and the jury lined up solidly against the Black defendant.

#ChicagoIL #PeoplesStruggles #NationalAllianceAgainstRacistAndPoliticalRepressionNAARPR #AnthonyGay