Daniel McGowan, environmental activist and former Earth Liberation Front prisoner, was taken into custody by federal authorities today in Brooklyn.
McGowan, who served five years in federal prison for his involvement in several ELF actions that destroyed property in Oregon, was sentenced as a “terrorist” and spent much of his sentence in federal Communications Management Units, secretive maximum security prisons which severely restrict the communications of inmates. McGowan, aided by the Center for Constitutional Rights, filed a lawsuit against the government in 2010, alleging that his imprisonment was due to his vocal advocacy and speech. In a piece he authored for The Huffington Post on April 1, he wrote that in documents obtained by the CCR by the Federal Bureau of Prisons that the government’s reasons for his detention in CMU’s constituted:
“My attempts to ‘unite’ environmental and animal liberation movements, and to ‘educate’ new members of the movement about errors of the past; my writings about ‘whether militancy is truly effective in all situations’; a letter I wrote discussing bringing unity to the environmental movement by focusing on global issues; the fact that I was ‘publishing [my] points of view on the internet in an attempt to act as a spokesperson for the movement’; and the BOP’s belief that, through my writing, I have ‘continued to demonstrate [my] support for anarchist and radical environmental terrorist groups.'”
McGowan had been released to halfway house as a condition of his early release last December. He received word last night that he would not be allowed to leave for work today and was not given an answer as to whether this meant that he would be taken into custody. The New York Anarchist Black Cross, a prisoner support and advocacy organization, says that McGowan’s re-imprisonment is a result of his writing the Huffington Post article. There is no word yet from the government as to their justification for taking McGowan back into custody. For updates, visit the NYC ABC.
McGowan’s address, at this point, is:
Daniel McGowan #63794-053
Post Office Box 329002
Brooklyn, New York 11232