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Mark Cook Freed

On April 3, 2000, PLN contributing writer Mark Cook was released from the Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington. Mark was imprisoned for more than 24 years in Washington and federal prisons after being captured and charged in 1976 with carrying out action on behalf of the George Jackson Brigade (GJB). The GJB was a leftist urban guerrilla group in the Pacific Northwest that carried out bombings, bank robberies and other actions to overthrow the U.S. government.

Mark was convicted of participating in a GJB bank robbery and securing the release of GJB member John Sherman by shooting Sherman's police escort. A longtime prisoner rights activist and member of the Black Panther Party before his 1976 imprisonment, Mark continued his activism on behalf of prisoner and human rights throughout his captivity.

Mark will remain on Washington parole for three years. Mark was one of the longest held political prisoners in the United States. Former GJB member Ed Mead was also PLN's co-founder and co-editor from 1990 through 1993.

The Washington Prison Project raised $7,000 for Mark, which will ease his transition back into minimum security society. We wish Mark and his family the best after the last quarter century of captivity and struggle.

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