BK/NY – Tuesday, February 16th – Letter Writing Dinner for Joe-Joe Bowen and Muhammad Burton
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, February 16th, 2016
WHERE: The Base – 1302 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.
No number of killer pigs thrown in prison will stop the rest from continuing to carry out the racist will of the State. One killer pig being found guilty of murder isn’t going to end the harassment Black people face on a daily basis. This doesn’t end the era of the State ripping apart communities and families as a method of destabilization. The tools of the State sure as shit aren’t going to stop the seemingly endless murder of Black people with police-issue bullets. This is no revelation. The struggle against the State and their armed thugs, as well as the defense of Black communities by the communities themselves is steeped in radical history. Joe-Joe Bowen and Muhammad Burton are a part of this history.
A native of Philadelphia, Joe-Joe was a young member of the “30th and Norris” street gang before his incarceration politicized him. Released in 1971, his outside activism was cut short a week following his release when Joe-Joe was confronted by an officer of the notoriously brutal Philadelphia police department. The police officer was killed in the confrontation, and Bowen fled. After his capture and incarceration, Bowen became a Black Liberation Army combatant, defiant to authorities at every turn. In 1973, Joe-Joe assassinated Holmesberg prison’s warden and deputy warden as well as wounded the guard commander in retaliation for intense repression against Muslim prisoners in the facility. In 1981, Bowen led a six-day standoff with authorities when he and six other captives took 39 hostages at Graterford Prison as a freedom attempt and protest of the prison conditions.
Muhammad Burton was also charged and convicted in the murder of the Holmesburg deputy warden. Muhammad is a member of what was known as the Philly 5, the group of black Philadelphians, including Russell Maroon Shoats, charged in the murder of a cop during a retaliatory attack on a Philly police station in 1970.
If you will not be able to join us this upcoming Tuesday, you can still write to Joe-Joe and Muhammad:
*Address envelope to Joseph Bowen.
*Address envelope to Fred Burton.
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 PP/POW Birthday Calendar.
Getting to The Base is simple:
From the M Train:
Central Avenue Stop: Walk east on Myrtle Avenue (away from Hart Street, toward Cedar Street). We’re about two blocks down on the south side of the street.
Knickerbocker Avenue Stop: Walk west on Myrtle Avenue (away from Harman Street, toward Himrod Street). We’re about three blocks down on the south side of the street.
From the L Train:
DeKalb Avenue Stop: Walk south on Stockholm Street (away from Wyckoff Avenue, toward Irving Avenue). We’re about four blocks down, at the intersection of Stockholm Street and Myrtle Avenue.
From the J Train:
Myrtle Avenue Stop: Transfer to the M train and follow the above directions.