The Cuban Five are five Cuban men serving four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly convicted in U.S. federal court in Miami, on June 8, 2001.
They are Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González.
The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related charges. Instead, they were involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based terrorist groups, in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.
In 2004, several separate FBI investigations into the animal rights and environmental movements were combined into Major Case #220, also called Operation Backfire. On December 7, 2005, the FBI’s “Operation Backfire” revealed its public face. That day, seven people living in four different states— Chelsea Gerlach, Darren Thurston, William Rodgers, Kendall Tankersley (Sarah Kendall Harvey), Kevin Tubbs, Daniel McGowan, and Stanislas Meyerhoff—were arrested in connection with a variety of sabotage actions.
The Nebraska 2 were charged and convicted of the murder of Omaha Police Officer Larry Minard and given life sentences. Minard died when a suitcase containing dynamite exploded in a North Omaha home on August 17, 1970. Officer John Tess was also injured in the explosion. Both have insisted they never manufactured a bomb, and never instructed a 16-year-old to make a 911 call to lure police to a trap. So much evidence has come to light since their convictions to corroborates their story that Amnesty International and the Lincoln NAACP have called for their release, or for a new trial.
The Cleveland 4 were Occupy Cleveland activists, that were arrested on April 30th, 2012. They were accused of plotting a series of bombings, including that of an area bridge. However, the real story is that the FBI, working with an informant, created the scheme, produced the explosives, and coerced them into participating.
On May 16, 2012, Chicago cops raided an apartment in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago in an all-too-common attempt to scare people away from the imminent protests against the NATO summit. With guns drawn, the cops arrested 11 people in or around the apartment and quickly disappeared them into the bowels of the extensive network of detention facilities in Cook County, Illinois.
Over many years Philadelphia's power structure earned itself a reputation for brutal treatment of radical and revolutionary Black movements. In 1966 the Philadelphia police, under their notorious chief Frank Rizzo, raided four meeting places of the civil rights organization SNCC, planting dynamite in one of the locations to justify further repression. In 1970 Rizzo's men raided three offices of the Black Panther Party. Many people still remember with anger how Philly police beat the arrested Panthers, then forced them to strip off their clothes and line up naked in public.
On July 13th 2012, the Supreme Court of Cassation, the major court of last resort, upheld the conviction of ten Italian protesters, all sentenced to imprisonment for ‘devastation and looting’ during the 2001 G8 protests in Genoa. In particular, they were convicted of breaking shop windows, making barricades, and the alleged looting of a supermarket. The relevant Italian law, contained in the Rocco code, dates back to 1930: part of the penal code of Mussolini’s fascist regime, it has never been reformed since.
As a direct result of their BPP membership and progressive political views, Bashir Hameed and Abdul Majid were hunted, captured, framed and convicted of the 1981 murder and attempted murder of two police officers in St. Albans, Queens.
On the night of April 1981, two NYPD officers were fired on by two suspects during a traffic stop. Police claim that the stop in connection with several burglaries, while they also claim the van was pulled over because of its connection to the liberation of Assata Shakur from a New Jersey prison.
The Virgin Island Five (aka Fountain Valley Five) are group of men wrongly convicted of murdering eight people at the Rockefeller-owned golf course in St. Croix. They were all in their early twenties when they were rounded up with hundreds of other Black youth after the incident, and forced confessions were obtained through torture. Because now only three of the original five--Abdul Azeez, Hanif Bey, and Malik Bey-- are held in prison over 40 years later, they are referred to as the Virgin Island 3.