Before it was the Cleveland 4, it was the Cleveland 5 -- but the fifth defendant, Anthony Hayne, cooperated with the government against the others in order to get a reduced sentence and so was dropped from receiving community support. Hayne has now been released from prison into a halfway house.
While people should know to be cautious of Hayne and remember that it is never safe to let him back into our communities, the real focus should be on Brandon, Connor, Doug, and Josh -- and the continued support they deserve.
As Hayne walked out of prison, the Cleveland 4 still have years left: Brandon has 3 years 9 months, Connor has 2 years 4 months, Doug has 5 years 3 months, and Josh has 4 years 7 months. These years that they still have left are because they chose to not cooperate with the government -- they instead chose to stay on the side of their friends, to not be pressured into turning their backs on their community. In return, they deserve community support.
Let Hayne's release from prison be a reminder that every day that Brandon, Connor, Doug, and Josh have left in prison should be a day that they feel our support. They're still in there because of their dedication to solidarity with others; we have a responsibility to show solidarity with them.
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported Brandon, Connor, Doug, and Josh since their arrest, and thank you to everyone who is new to supporting them. These past years have been rough ones for them as they've dealt with harsh prison conditions, periods in solitary confinement, transfers between prisons, and being away from their loved ones and communities. But support has been a beacon of light through the darkness -- the letters and books they've received, donations to their commissary funds, and efforts to raise awareness about their case have meant so much to them. It's their connection through the walls of prison.
And they need that support to continue. As the years pass, their case may fade in memory -- but we cannot let them be forgotten, and we cannot let the government's manipulation and use of "terrorism" prosecutions go unchallenged. Please continue to do what you can to show support for the Cleveland 4, whether that's writing a letter, making a donation, or sharing information about them. Every day that each of them is in prison is a day that they should know people care about them.
Write to them:
Brandon Baxter #57972-060 FCI Terre Haute PO Box 33 Terre Haute, IN 47808
Connor Stevens #57978-060 FCI Manchester PO Box 4000 Manchester, KY 40962