BK/NY – Tuesday, March 1st – Letter-Writing for Veronza Bowers
What: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
When: 7pm (sharp), Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Where: 885 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (see below for directions)
How about those Oscars? So many surprises, right? Okay, okay, clearly you don’t care about the Academy Awards and neither do we. The wealthy and attractive praise each other while the world is on fire. Revolutions are brimming abroad and even municipals unions are starting to assert themselves. Folks are on the streets, challenging state power, capital, and the cops. It’s in this environment that we host another Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner. This week we’re focusing on Veronza Bowers.
Veronza Bowers, Jr. is a prisoner at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a former member of the Black Panther Party incarcerated in federal prison for over 37 years, making him one of the longest held political prisoners in United States history.
Veronza was convicted for the murder of a U.S. Park Ranger. His conviction came as the result of testimony provided by two government informants, both of whom received reduced sentences by the Attorney General’s office for unrelated crimes. There were no eye-witnesses and no evidence independent of these informants to link Veronza to the crime. At his trial, Veronza offered alibi testimony which was not credited by the jury. Also not credited was testimony of two relatives of the informants who insisted that the informants were lying. In addition to having charges reduced in unrelated cases, the informants had all charges against them in this case involving Veronza dropped; one was given $10,000 by the government according to the prosecutor’s post-sentencing report. Veronza has consistently maintained his innocence, even at the expense of having his appeals for parole denied — an admission of guilt and contrition is virtually required if a prisoner has any hope of being granted parole.
What’s unique about Veronza’s case is that he has had the legal right to be released on what is known as “mandatory parole” since April 7, 2004. This is due to the fact that the Parole Commission failed to find that (1) there was compelling evidence he was likely to commit crimes upon release, or (2) he had frequently violated the rules of the prison system or (3) he had committed serious violations of prison rules during his incarceration. Only by making one of these three findings could the Commission lawfully deny him parole as of that date. What happened instead was that only a few hours before Veronza was to be released on April 7th, 2004, the Commission ordered the Bureau of Prisons to cancel his parole and indefinitely hold him in prison. This order was made without any explanation, justification or finding whatsoever.
Veronza has long passed his mandatory parole date, now by almost eight years.
For more information, visit:
In case you aren’t able to make it to dinner, here is Veronza’s address so you can join in from home:
Veronza Bowers, Jr. 35316-136
Post Office Box 150160
Atlanta, Georgia 30315
The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the Anarchist Birthday Brigade.
Getting to 885 Park Avenue is simple:
From the J/M/Z:
Flushing Stop: Walk southeast on Broadway (toward Sumner Place, away from Thornton Street) and make a right on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block, on your right.
Myrtle Stop: Walk northwest on Broadway (toward Melrose Street, away from Troutman Street) and make a left on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block on the right.
From the G Train:
Flushing Avenue Stop: Walk south on Marcy Avenue (toward Hopkins Street, away from Wallabout Street) and turn left on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down on the left.
Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues Stop: Walk north on Marcy Avenue (toward Stockton Street, away from Vernon Avenue) and turn right on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down on your left.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, we’ll see you at supper.
This event is brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Anarchist Black Cross.–
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211
Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!