Published Jun 8, 2012 9:04 PM
The Tinley Park Five — Jason W. Sutherland, Cody L. Sutherland, Dylan J. Sutherland, Alex R. Stuck and John S. Tucker — are currently imprisoned in Cook County Jail in Chicago. The Five, white anti-racist anarchists, were arrested on May 19 for allegedly physically breaking up an “economic summit” by members of the Illinois European Heritage Association at a restaurant in Tinley Park, a Chicago suburb. The Five are facing major felony charges, including “mob action, criminal damage to property and aggravated battery.”
Two of the IEHA members were also arrested at the scene. One was charged with Internet child pornography. The other was charged with unlawful possession of a semiautomatic weapon in his car, which was parked near the restaurant. Bail for the latter charge is $25,000. The bonds for the Five, who reportedly possessed no guns, are $175,000, $200,000 and $250,000!
The IEHA is part of a worldwide network of white supremacist neofascists known as “Pioneer Little Europe,” which is connected with Storm Front. This network promotes the outright extermination of people of color and Jewish people. The “summit” was one in a series called throughout the Midwest over the past several years. White supremacists have ratcheted up their racist demagogic organizing, especially in the economically hard-hit Midwest region.
The Five are being defended by the Hoosiers Anti-Racist Movement, based in Indiana. HARM has been monitoring and exposing the activities of the neofascists for many years. Thirteen other anti-racist activists allegedly took part in the breakup of the IEHA meeting and are still being pursued by the police.
When this WW reporter asked Chandra Vanvliet from HARM about the well-being of the Five, she explained, “They have a wonderful legal team representing them. They are in great spirits. They’re looking forward to their day in court and are humbled by the shows of solidarity that they’ve received, especially from people they’ve never met. They’re getting along fine without any problems whatsoever from fellow inmates and guards. Their support network has been doing all they can to make sure that they’re as comfortable as possible and have reading materials to keep their minds occupied.”
June 12: Pack the courtroom
The Five are scheduled to have an initial court hearing on June 12 at 9 a.m. at the Bridgeview Courthouse, which is located at 10220 S. 76th Ave. in Bridgeview, Ill.
HARM is urging supporters to pack the courtroom. Vanvliet’s message to the progressive movement, which she conveyed to WW, is the following: “At the arraignment, the mainstream media decided to take pictures and hound a few personal friends of the defendants after they made it clear they weren’t interested in talking to the press. These unaffiliated friends have since received death threats because of the recklessness of the Chicago Tribune, despite the fact that they were clearly warned about the potential consequences of releasing identities of family and friends when a member of HARM gave an interview to Stacy St Clair.”
Vanvliet went on to say: “What we’re trying to do, is to gather a large enough group of supporters at the courthouse and in the courtroom that the white supremacists will be unable to ascertain who actually has ties to the Tinley Park Five and who is simply there to support. We wish to stress that this show of support still carries some degree of risk, but we encourage those that might come out to support not to allow themselves to be intimidated by white supremacy.
“We’re hearing stories about other groups all over the country raising funds to help their families and legal defense by having benefit shows and bake sales. The Tinley Park Five and their friends and families are so moved by the support they’ve received, especially from the anarchist community. I can’t tell you how much any show of solidarity means to both them and us.”
WW wrote in a recent editorial called, “Tinley Park Five: Fight Fascism,” which is posted on HARM’s website: “What the Tinley Park 5 did on May 19 was to carry out a preemptive strike to help expose the real danger that extremist groups pose to the movement and the masses here and worldwide. The Five heroically showed that these groups have to be crushed sooner than later. Free the Tinley Park 5!” Go to indianaantifa.wordpress.com for information on the case. To send letters of support to the Tinley Park Five along with reading materials, go to tinyurl.com/88a5rkw.