“Today is the day my nephew, Jerry Koch, will most likely be sent to federal prison WITHOUT charge or conviction. Jerry is refusing to cooperate in a federal investigation of the so-called “bicycle bombing” that occurred in NYC five years ago. Jerry has stated that he knows nothing about the events that resulted in a broken window-no injuries or death-and does not know anyone involved. Despite this, he’s being coerced to name his activist friends. Jerry has refused.
It is expected that the judge will send Jerry to federal prison this afternoon. He could be held for up to 18 months.
My heart is heavy and I can’t stop crying. I’ve known Jerry all his life. I’ve watched him play pirates, heard him name every genus of Dinosaur, helped him collect and organize rocks and applauded when he scored a perfect SAT. I’ve listened to him explain the Napoleon family-tree, outline the philosophy of Nietzsche and analyze the circles of Dante’s Inferno, all before he was 17. His keen intelligence never made him only a brainiac. Jerry has been a fierce defender of those in need and a fighter for the oppressed. I’ve watched him grow into a resolute, determined and principled man.
The fact the Jerry believes in the philosophy of anarchy makes people crazy. They think he’s a Somali pirate or a violent revolutionary. In face, they are wrong. Jerry believes that power must rise from the people; not be imposed by the hierarchy above. When he talks about his beliefs, he is passionate, deliberate, clear and sincere.
Today Jerry will do what few of us have the courage to do. He will remain resolute and silent. He will not be part of a system that subverts justice by engaging in threats and intimidation. In the tradition of other activists who will not bend, he’ll go to prison.
I’ll cry, yes. And I’ll be angry. But I’ll also be proud. Proud to be Jerry Koch’s aunt and friend.”
- From Jerry’s aunt Claire.