Illustrated Guide Version 11.7 Now Uploaded!

We’ve finished the latest version of the NYC ABCIllustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War” and it’s available for viewing (and download) by clicking on the tab at the top of this page. This update includes updated mini-bios, photos, and address changes for several prisoners.

BK/NY – Tuesday, September 27th – Countering Prison Strike Retaliation

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
WHERE: The Base1302 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11221 (directions below)
NOTE: The Base is on the ground floor, is wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral toilet.
COST: Free
2016-prison-strike-banner
Let us never become desensitized to the violence perpetuated by the State in their effort to maintain white supremacy in this country. It is trying given the frequency at which Black folks are gunned down by police for the whole world to see. Turning on the news, one may think that those folks, like the recently murdered Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott, leave us with just their memory and a hashtag, but if you have seen the streets in Charlotte, then you have seen there is a groundswell of revolt brewing.

Revolt is also spreading behind prison walls as the largest prison strike in United States history continues. And as is to be expected, prison rebels are being targeted as “ringleaders” and “organizers,” often only for their political beliefs. To show these prisoners, as well as their captors, that the struggle for liberation has support on this side of the walls, NYC ABC will be sending cards and letters to folks who have been subjected to repression as a result of their perceived connection to the ongoing strike.
Read more…

BK/NY – Tuesday, September 13th – Letter Writing Dinner for Chip and Cinque

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
WHERE: The Base1302 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11221 (directions below)
NOTE: The Base is on the ground floor, is wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral toilet.
COST: Free

We hope you all are recovering nicely from the amazing noise demo and march in solidarity with #PrisonStrike and #BX120. If you missed last night, we feel sorry for you. The amount of love and energy that goes through prison walls during a noise demo is indescribable. There were hundreds of people there making noise in solidarity with those nationwide who were kidnapped from their daily lives to be chained and forced to work by the State. The folks inside were participating by flickering their lights and banging on their windows. For an hour, that love and energy continued onto the streets, where folks burned an american flag and chanted “Attica!” throughout the prison’s neighborhood and to oncoming traffic on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE). There was no shortage of solidarity in Brooklyn last night.

NYC ABC will be continuing our every other week letter writing dinners this week by writing to two political prisoners, Chip Fitzgerald and Cinque Magee, located in California State system, which has a notorious history of prisoner resistance and rebellion.

romaine-chip-fitzgerald-1996Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, born and raised in Compton, California, joined the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party in early 1969 as a teenager who had just been released from the California Youth Authority. In September of that year, as a dedicated member of the Party, Chip was arrested in connection with a police shoot-out and tried for assault on police and related charges, including the murder of a security guard. He was sentenced to death.
ruchellcinquemagee

Commonly regarded as the longest held political prisoner in the U.S., Ruchell “Cinque” Magee has been imprisoned since 1963. He was politicized in prison and participated in the August 7, 1970 Marin County Courthouse Rebellion— the attempted liberation of political prisoner George Jackson and the Soledad Brothers by Jackson’s younger brother Jonathan. Magee was seriously injured in the incident and subsequently pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced in 1975 to life in prison and has been denied parole numerous times.

 

hugoIt is with great sadness that we remind people that in the past there was a third person, Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell on the list of California political prisoners that we would have written to this evening. Yogi Bear died on August 12th, 2015. Rest in Power, Yogi Bear.

If you are unable to join us for our homecooked vegan meal, you can write them from the comforts of your ABC-less home at:
Romaine Fitzgerald* #B27527
Kern Valley State Prison
Post Office Box 5101
Delano, California 93216
*Address card to Chip

Ruchell Magee* #A92051
California State Prison – Los Angeles County
Post Office Box 8457
Lancaster, California 93539-8457
*Address card to Cinque

Read more…

Running Down the Walls 2016 – A Reportback

all_cats_are_beautifulRunning Down the Walls (RDTW) 2016 was a success in building relationships, feeling the solidarity of running as our imprisoned comrades did the same, and raising funds for the ABCF Warchest and the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP is a collective Alternative to Detention (ATD), detention center visitation, direct service, and community organizing project that works with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Two Spirit, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, and HIV+ detainees and their families currently in detention centers, those that are recently released from detention centers, and undocumented folks in New York City).

The fear factory National Weather Service gave us pause and we considered rescheduling this year’s event with tropical storm Hermine looming just off the coast. As it turned out, we had no floods, no rain, no high winds, just perfect weather for running. Crisis averted!

We arrived early, to avoid getting beaten to a sweet spot in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, by the gaggle of goofs clawing to get to a food circus we refuse to name. This gave us time to set up our hand-painted RDTW banner and tables of literature & food. The aforementioned mall food court for the self-perceived well-heeled was dropped squarely in the middle of our run path last year, so we switched it up on ’em. This year, our 5k was more like 5.2k (sorry, distance nerds) and consisted of a single lap around what is known as the Main Loop.

Given that this was also a picnic—outdoors, breezy, and mildly unpredictable, we set up a scaled down version of our literature table. This meant our ubiquitous red wire rack of free literature, including copies of the recently published Conditions of Confinement (writings by anarchist prisoner Casey Brezik), the NYC ABC Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoner and Prisoners of War, and all of the tri-fold pamphlets about many of the prisoners we support.

We had printed bib numbers for the participants. The flipside of the bib numbers had information about NYC ABC and guidelines for writing to prisoners, making it both a memento and a useful reminder to write to folks.

A few serious runners arrived as early as 1:30pm, though the announced time of the event was 2:00-7:00pm and we typically use the first half hour to register folks and take sponsor forms from those who hustled to get sponsors. Even with this schedule in mind, anarchist time prevailed and the run actually started closer to 2:45, following a group photo around the RDTW banner.

Before the run, an NYC ABC collective member went over some basics, while also kicking facts about political prisoners and state repression. We then played a greeting from Jaan Laaman, recorded specifically for the event.

Of the 60-70 folks who came to RDTW 2016, about 45 participated in the 5(.2)k. The age range was 4-72 years old. Hashtag multi-generational. Several runners were serious, several were fast, and the venn diagram of those two categories resulted in the same few folks running the fastest laps this year as last.

After running, bronchial passages fully dilated, what sounds better than a plate of barbecue and potato salad?

The picnic consisted of Texas-style barbecued jackfruit sandwiches with fresh pickles; potato salad; a variety of chips & cold drinks; and some outstanding cranberry blondies. Yes, a lot of folks came just for the food.

Before we got too deep into socializing, we read solidarity statements written for the event by Bill Dunne, Kojo Bomani Sababu, Hanif Bey, and Xinachtli.

One participant garnered over $1,000 in sponsors, and several others raised hundreds of dollars each. All told, we raised a respectable amount of loot.

Folks sitting around, talking, having just shared the run, felt good. The group consisted of folks from diverse backgrounds, many of whom were new faces to our collective. Instagram followers brought IRL friends, and comrades & allies turned up as well. Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP), NYC Jericho Movement, International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, Family and Friends of Maliki Shakur Latine, the campaign the Bring Mumia Home, Marius Mason’s support crew, the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar, and the campaign to Free the MOVE 9 prisoners were among the represented organizations that explicitly work on political prisoner support. There were also folks from NYC Animal Defense League, the NYC Anarchist Book Fair, Black and Pink NYC, Rojava Solidarity NYC, Incarcerated Worker Organizing Committee NYC (IWOC), WESPAC, and Books Through Bars, among others. We were also thankful for the presence of Sekou Odinga and Susan Rosenberg, former political prisoners and consistent examples of solidarity through action.

Most folks had left by 6:30 and those who stayed did so to help clean up and transfer everything to the cars. So the event went as scheduled, almost to the minute.

Knowing the history of the run and the imprisoned comrades with whom we ran in solidarity elevated Running Down the Walls 2016 to an even more inspiring level.

And that’s how we get down (the walls).

NYC ABC

BK/NY – Tuesday, August 30th – Solidarity With International Anarchist Political Prisoners

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
WHERE: The Base1302 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11221 (directions below)
NOTE: The Base is on the ground floor, is wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral toilet.
COST: Freecirlce a

We won’t let our excitement for this year’s Running Down the Walls (Sunday, September 4th) get in the way from having our every other week letter writing dinner for political prisoners.  We won’t let our sharing of the sponsorship form, promotional flier, and updated online donation spot stop us from being psyched as always to see you all this Tuesday.  For sure we couldn’t allow ourselves to remind you the importance of sustaining the ABCF Warchest Program, the 22 year long running fund that currently gives money to ten US held political prisoners on a monthly basis, in our announcement for our biweekly gathering.  Have we mentioned the amazing work that the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) is doing and how happy we are they will also be benefiting in this year’s Run?  We have and we will again this Tuesday as we participate in the week of International Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners by sending cards to anarchist prisoners internationally.

Many imprisoned anarchists will never be acknowledged as ‘political prisoners’ by formal human-rights organizations, because their sense of social justice is strictly limited to the capitalist laws which are designed to defend the State and prevent any real social change. At the same time, even within our individual communities, we know so little about the repression that exists in other countries.

Here in the states, folks are being persecuted for possibly even associating with anarchists or animal liberationists. Around the globe, the state and capital collude in much the same way, and as a result rebels are imprisoned for acting on their desire for a free world. Please join us in sending cards to these imprisoned comrades. We’ll see you at supper! Read more…

Illustrated Guide Version 11.6 Now Uploaded!

We’ve finished the latest version of the NYC ABCIllustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War” and it’s available for viewing (and download) by clicking on the tab at the top of this page. This update includes updated mini-bios, photos, and address changes for several prisoners and removes Luke O’Donovan (TIME SERVED!).

BK/NY – Tuesday, August 16th – Black August Card Writing Dinner

WHAT: Black August Card Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, August 16th, 2016
WHERE: The Base1302 Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11221 (directions below)
NOTE: The Base is on the ground floor, is wheelchair accessible, and has a gender neutral toilet.
COST: Free
black_augustHopefully you’ve been training in preparation for Running Down the Walls 2016. The competition will be fierce, the food at the after party will be delicious, and the solidarity with our imprisoned comrades will be infinite. Please take this opportunity to get more folks to sponsor you as a participant and help build the ABCF warchest and the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project. As a lead in to this year’s run, we are hosting another of our every other week Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinners. This week, NYC ABC will be hosting a Black August card signing.

Maybe you’ve been working too many hours a week to even notice the full-blown war being waged against you by cops and 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.  We will be sending greeting cards to Black revolutionary 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.
Read more…

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