At 4:18pm on Tuesday, May 21st, local anarchist Gerald “Jerry” Koch was remanded into custody for his continued refusal to cooperate with a federal grand jury. It is presumed this grand jury was convened to investigate the 2008 “bicycle bombing” of a times square military recruitment center. It’s just as likely that the bombing is mere pretext for what the feds are really after– finding out more about anarchists in NYC, their networks, organizing, and varying philosophies.
In taking a principled position, Jerry has written the following statement:
“By the time you read this, I will be in the custody of the United States government for continuing my refusal to cooperate with a federal grand jury. This is the right thing to do.
I continue to believe that the government is using this federal grand jury in an abusive manner to force me to divulge information about my political associations and social networks.
If we mean what we say when we talk about radical politics, then we do not participate in witch hunts, inquisitions, or the assembly of black lists. As an individual, I will not lend legitimacy to government brutality and intimidation; I will not be used. As an anarchist, I will summon the courage to be stronger than the forces of the State’s all-too-real repression; I will not break.
Your show of truly powerful support has done nothing but strengthen my resolve in refusing to cooperate. We must not let ourselves be isolated by the government’s heavy-handed tactics. We must not give the state that last inch it tries to break in every one of us.
With Love, with Dignity, in Solidarity
Please take the time to write Jerry a card or letter, letting him know that he has support. His current address, at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn is:
Gerald Koch #68631-054
Post Office Box 329002
Brooklyn, New York 11232
For updates and more ways to help, visit jerryresists.net
Hard on the heels of our Mother’s Day Eve Noise Demo, NYC Anarchist Black Cross is back at it with another political prisoner letter-writing dinner. Though a couple of days early, this week’s event is our answer to the call for an International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5.
The “NATO 5” can be a confusing name because there are 3 separate cases involving 5 defendants: The NATO 3– Brent Betterly, Jared “Jay” Chase, Brian “Jacob Church”; Mark “Migs” Neiweem; and Sebastian “Sabi” Senakiewicz. The name “NATO 5” is used to highlight the common thread between these cases—all five of these activists were targeted by two undercover Chicago cops known as “Mo” and “Gloves”/“Nadiya”/“Nadia” for preemptive, politically motivated arrests prior to the 2012 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit in Chicago, Illinois. For more information on background and individual cases, visit nato5support.wordpress.com
If, for whatever reason, you can’t make it to supper, please take time to write some letters to these comrades NOTE: Brent, Jay, and Jacob are still pre-trial. DO NOT write about their case or alleged actions. In the past, we’ve seen how this has come back to negatively impact cases.
Brent Betterly 2012-0519001
Jared Chase 2012-0519003
Brian Church 2012-0519002
Cook County Department of Correction
Post Office Box 089002
Chicago, Illinois 60608
Mark Neiweem* #M36200
Stateville Correctional Center Pontiac Correctional Center
Post Office Box 112 h Post Office Box 99
Joliet, Illinois 60434 h Pontiac, Illinois 61764
*Address cards/letters to MIGS.
Sebastian “Sabi” Senakiewicz #M32870
Facing 15 years in prison followed by deportation to his native Poland after serving his sentence, Sebastian took a non-cooperating plea deal in November 2012. He is currently serving a four month sentence in boot camp, unable to receive mail.
You’ve probably been working too many hours a week to even notice the full-blown war being waged against you by the ruling class. It is real and it is continuing. And of course there is another war– the war against folks imprisoned for their political beliefs and actions. And here’s where we bridge the two. This week, NYC ABC will be hosting our sixth annual May Day card-writing night. We will be sending greeting cards to anarchist political prisoners and there’s an easy (too easy? POSSIBLY!) way for you to help. Just come by, eat some food, sign some cards, maybe meet folks you don’t already know, and show some base level solidarity with those behind bars.
Over the past few months, our comrade Jalil Muntaqim has both had his parole (again) denied and suffered a minor stroke. Though the parole denial is being appealed, allowing him to languish any longer behind bars is reprehensible. Please join us in a phone campaign to get Jalil free.
Jalil had a minor stroke in February. (He did not know that he had suffered a stroke, but had a tingling sensation in his left arm.) The first doctor he saw at Attica wanted to immediately send him to the hospital, but the head doctor, Dr. Rho, said that they first needed to get permission from Albany to take Jalil to the hospital.
So, finally, on Monday, April 8, 2013, Jalil was shackled and had the black box put on and was taken to ECMC in Buffalo, where he had a CAT scan. This all occurred in the morning, and he was back at Attica by about 10:30 a.m.
The neurologist who reviewed the CAT scan called Attica and requested that Jalil be admitted to the hospital. The CAT scan revealed that Jalil has damage to his upper right cerebral hemisphere. Shortly thereafter, an ambulance arrived. However, the escort team from Albany had already left.
Dr. Rho once again intervened, and said that the outside neurologist had told him that, since Jalil had no symptoms, he could be treated on an outpatient basis, once again requiring permission from Albany. Jalil is not sure that Dr. Rho is telling the truth about this. He thinks they are deliberately denying him adequate medical care.
At this time, Jalil has an Administrative Appeal pending in regards to his last parole denial. The Parole Board has until August 9, 2013 to make a decision.
Jalil is asking people to call the NYS Division of Parole in Albany at 518.473.9400 to urge the Parole Board to reverse its denial and immediately release him. We can also ask for compassionate release, since he is being denied adequate medical care.
When you call the parole board, you must refer to Jalil as Anthony Bottom #77-A-4283, currently at Attica Correctional Facility. Be polite, but firm and let us know what kind of response you receive.
If you are a doctor or work in the medical profession, we encourage you to write to Commissioner Brian Fischer at:
NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
1220 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12226-2050
Please request that Jalil get the medical attention he needs in order to adequately recover from the stroke.
Also, please cc NYC Jericho Movement Post Office Box 574, New York, New York 10018
NYC Anarchist Black Cross, PM Press, and Resistance in Brooklyn present . . .
Prisoners Are Speaking: Are We Listening?
Whether in the medium of books or in other writing, letters, artwork, or through deeds themselves, prisoners in resistance are speaking out. Some are political prisoners and/or prisoners of war imprisoned for their political actions in social movements, including traditions of anti-imperialist national liberation; others are survivors of white supremacist capitalist mass incarceration and state control politicized by experience and solidarity.
They speak out against the prison system, against special control units and solitary confinement, against political imprisonment and political retribution. They act and speak to incite, to inspire, to leave movement legacies behind. Some speak out against oppression, silence, invisibility, and oblivion. Some speak to exist. They call out for solidarity in and outside of the walls.
For those of us who are not incarcerated: Are we reading? Are we listening? Are we hearing them? Are prisoner voices truly finding the eyes, ears, and hearts of anarchists and others on the outside in minimum custody? Are we responding? Are we carrying forward the visions we share?
An NYC Anarchist Bookfair discussion of
Maroon the Implacable: the collected writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz, Edited by Fred Ho and Quincy Saul
Oscar Lopez Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance, Edited by Luis Nieves Falcon
We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America, by Matt Meyer
Featuring panelists . .
has drawn from her background as a stateside ghetto Rican to craft a versatile body of work that includes broadcast and print media, direct action, spoken word and other forms of cultural and political expression that call for social justice and liberation.
Russell Maroon Shoatz III
Son of political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz who along with his sisters advocates for his father and for all political prisoners and prisoners of war.
And featuring facilitation and introductions by Matt Meyer, Author of books such as We Have Not Been Moved and more, Editor of Let Freedom Ring and more, and long-time writer and organizer for anti-imperialist, anti-military, and pro-political-prisoner movements.
Bluestockings Prisoner Letter Writing Group, Hell Gate Anarchist Black Cross, Machetero-Movie.com, #nothingtobegainedhere, NYC Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz, S. Brooklyn ABCF, ThroughtheWalls.org