Author Archive

Running Down the Walls 2019: A Reportback

Running Down the Walls 2019 in NYC started in the same way many things start out here, with arriving at the crack of dawn to squat choice real estate in a public park and yelling at some yuppie asshole because he doesn’t know the basics of parallel parking. As we set up for the day, passersby stopped to check out the goings on, peruse our display of free literature, and inquire about the 5k. We have noticed year in and year out that setting up in public, with a lot of foot traffic, draws attention and helps begin great conversations with folks who, until that moment, might have never considered that there are political prisoners and prisoners of war in the United States.

By about 1:30 pm, folks started arriving to register for the 5k, as we blasted old episodes of Burning Cop Car to get the people hyped. There were plenty of participants showing up, including many comrades we see once a year, at this event, and a bunch of folks we hadn’t met before. If you want to know what makes a day like this amazing, imagine seeing Sekou Odinga riding up on his bicycle as a comrade’s toddler wanders after a dog, and a black banner of a clenched anarchist black cross fist blows in the background.

steady mobbin'

Have you ever seen so much Sun in your life?

Operating on anarchist time, the 5k started closer to 2:30 than the publicized 2:00 pm, but only after taking a photo around the Running Down the Walls banner, giving folks the rundown on the route, and reading a statement by anarchist political prisoner Jeremy Hammond. With that, folks were off. Thanks to comrades from NYC Action Medical for being at the ready in case anyone needed medical attention during the event.
Jeremy Hammond Statement
After around 23 minutes, the first participant had made the slightly over 5k circuit and was ready for water. After cooling down and catching their breath, they told us that partway through the run, the thing that pushed them to run harder was the knowledge of what folks on the inside go through every day and how participating in this event renewed their strength in supporting imprisoned comrades.

After all of the folks participating in the 5k made there way around the circuit, we enjoyed a huge spread of unspeakable vegan delights. When Sekou Odinga came up to the table, one of his comrades pointed at one of the dishes and implored him to quickly try it, saying, “that one, there…that one’s special.” But where did he get his protein?!?

In the end, NYC ABC came close to reaching our goal of $4,000. If you’d like to help push us over the hump, you can still donate at or check the original event listing for other ways to donate.

The remainder of the day was spent socializing and enjoying a great day in the park, surrounded by comrades old and new. Later that same night, NYC ABC tabled a music night and fund raiser for the anarchist book fair. While there, we talked to a couple of folks who told us that the reason they love Running Down the Walls so much is that it’s a reminder that there is revolutionary community in NYC and that it is one of the few times in the year they know they will see a wide-ranging group of folks coming together to have fun, see each other, all while staying focused on those who are still inside. That’s what’s up and that’s how we get down (the walls).


BK/NY – Tuesday, June 11th – Letter Writing Dinner for Eco and Anarchist Prisoners + Prison Abolition Discussion

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, June 11th, 2019
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
NYC ABC isn’t big on screaming that the sky is falling. That said, THE SKY IS FUCKING FALLING. More and more folks are standing up and resisting impending ecological collapse, protesting unpopular and devastating petro-pipelines, and putting their bodies on the line for their communities and the environment. They are typically confronted by cops, known enemies of working folks and property defenders of the ruling class, and arrested. As a collective, we support those arrested and imprisoned for taking action to protect and defend the planet and part of that support comes in the form of our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinners. This week we respond to the June 11th call for solidarity with long term anarchist political prisoners, while recognizing the history of this day by including earth and animal liberation prisoners. We will also join a discussion with other revolutionaries about prison abolition, as theory and practice.

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Illustrated Guide Version 14.3 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. We are thankful to remove MOVE 9 prisoners Janet and Janine Africa (paroled!).

BK/NY – Tuesday, May 28th – Letter Writing Dinner for Sundiata Acoli & Dr. Mutulu Shakur

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, May 28th, 2018
WHEREThe 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.
COST: Free

This week NYC ABC will focus our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinner on Sundiata Acoli and Dr. Mutulu Shakur, a former Black Panther Party member and a former Black Liberation Army member who are serving time for charges connected to Assata Shakur and/or her successful 1979 prison break and escape.

A New York Black Panther, Sundiata Acoli endured two years of prison awaiting trial for the Panther 21 Conspiracy Case. He and his comrades were eventually acquitted on all the bogus charges. The case was historic and a classic example of police and government attempting to neutralize organizations by incarcerating their leadership. As a result of this political attack and because of the immense pressure and surveillance from the FBI and local police Sundiata, like many other Panther leaders went “underground.”  On May 2, 1973, Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur and Zayd Shakur were ambushed and attacked by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike. Assata was wounded and Zayd was killed. During the gun battle a state trooper was shot and killed in self defense. Sundiata was tried in an environment of mass hysteria and convicted, although there was no credible evidence that he killed the trooper or had been involved in the shooting. He was sentenced to thirty years. Sundiata was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court in New Jersey in September 2014 when the court ruled the parole board had “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” when it previously denied him parole. The State of New Jersey has appealed the decision. More information:

In 1987 Dr. Mutulu Shakur was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment for his role in the Black Liberation Movement. In March 1982, Dr. Shakur and 10 others were indicted by a federal grand jury under a set of U.S. conspiracy laws called Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) laws. These conspiracy laws were ostensibly developed to aid the government in its prosecution of organized crime figures; however, they have been used with varying degrees of success against revolutionary organizations. Dr. Shakur was charged with conspiracy and participation in the Black Liberation Army, a group that carried out actual and attempted expropriations from several banks. Eight incidents were alleged to have occurred between December 1976 to October 1981. In addition, he was charged with participation in the 1979 prison escape of Assata Shakur, who is now in exile in Cuba. After five years underground, Dr. Shakur was arrested on February 12, 1986. While he was on the street, Dr. Shakur challenged the use of methadone as a tool of recovery for addicts. He believed in natural remedies instead and, based on those beliefs, founded the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America. Many people credit Shakur with saving their lives. Dr. Shakur has worked to free political prisoners and to expose government abuses against political organizers. While in prison, he has struggled to create peace between rival gangs. More information:

If for some insane reason you cannot join us Tuesday, please write them at home:
Sundiata Acoli* #39794-066
FCI Cumberland
Federal Correctional Institution
Post Office Box 1000
Cumberland, Maryland 21501
*Address envelope to Clark Squire

Dr. Mutulu Shakur #83205-012
USP Victorville
Post Office Box 3900
Adelanto, California 92301

Read more…

BK/NY – Tuesday, May 14th – Letter Writing Dinner for Russell Maroon Shoatz

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
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
cropped-maroon_b-earthdayWe are one month away form Running Down the Walls 2019! The event is great socially–we see comrades we might not have seen for months, and it allows us to organize with those locked up to build inside-outside relationships. It is also the single biggest fund-raising event of the year for the Anarchist Black Cross Federation‘s warchest program, which sends funds directly to prisoners and has, to date, mailed out over $100,000. Locally, NYC ABC has set a goal of $4,000 and as ambitious as that is, we are asking you to help us get there. Organize a run in your community; get family, friends, and comrades to sponsor you as you run, bike, walk, or roll the 5k; or directly donate at (make sure to note who, if anyone, you are sponsoring). Beyond the warchest program, NYC ABC is consistently active in our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinners and that doesn’t stop due to Running Down the Walls preparation (or anything else, if we are being honest). This week we are writing to the truly implacable Russell Maroon Shoatz.

Russell Maroon Shoatz is a dedicated community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party and soldier in the Black Liberation Army.

In 1970, along with 5 others, Maroon was accused of attacking a police station, which resulted in a cop being killed. This attack was said to have been carried out in response to the rampant police brutality in the Black community. For 18 months Maroon functioned underground as a soldier in the Black Liberation Army. In 1972 he was captured. Twice he escaped—once in 1977 and again in 1980, but both times he was recaptured and today he is held in Pennsylvania where he is serving multiple life sentences.

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Maroon:
Smart Communications/PA DOC
Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF3855
SCI Dallas
Post Office Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida 33733

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BK/NY – Tuesday, April 30th – Letter Writing Dinner for Ramsey Orta

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, April 30th, 2019
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
ramsey_ortaFor well over a decade, NYC ABC has organized around the idea of keeping anarchists involved in political prisoner organizing and political prisoner support communities working with anarchists. This weekend, we are co-sponsoring a talk by Lenny Foster about Leonard Peltier, while also supporting fund raisers for Books Through Bars and Ramsey Orta. We are one part of a movement to free our folks and see the end of prisons. Until those days come, we provide every other week support via political prisoner letter-writing dinners. This week, we focus on Ramsey Orta.

Ramsey Orta filmed the killing of Eric Garner by NYPD cops. The video traveled far, but it wouldn’t get justice for Ramsey’s dead friend. Instead, the NYPD has exacted their revenge through targeted harassment and eventually imprisonment — Orta’s punishment for daring to show the world police brutality.

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Ramsey:
Ramsey Orta 16-A-4200
Groveland correctional facility
Post Office box 50
Sonyea, New York 14556

Read more…

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NYC – Sunday, April 28 – Lenny Foster: Native American issues and Leonard Peltier

04-28-19 Lenny Palms-2WHAT: Discussion and Presentation
WHEN: 2:00pm, Sunday, April 28th
WHERE: The People’s Forum320 West 37th Street New York, New York 10018

Lenny Foster of the Diné Nation is the former Director of the Navajo Nation Corrections Project and the Spiritual Advisor for more than 2,000 Native American inmates in ninety-six state and federal prisons in the Western U.S. He has co-authored legislation in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado allowing Native American spiritual and religious practice in prison and resulting in significant reductions in prison returns.

He is a board member of the International Indian Treaty Council, a sun dancer and member of the Native American Church. He has been with the American Indian Movement since 1969 and has participated in actions including Alcatraz, Black Mesa, the Trail of Broken Treaties, Wounded Knee 1973, the Menominee Monastery Occupation, Shiprock Fairchild Occupation, the Longest Walk and the Big Mountain land struggle. Lenny Foster has received many accolades and honors for his groundbreaking work with Indigenous prisoners’ human rights and has testified many times at the United Nations on both Indigenous issues and Political Prisoner Leonard Peltier.

Sponsors: NYC Free Peltier, NYC Jericho, ProLibertad, NYC ABC