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Illustrated Guide Version 11.8 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, October 25th – Come to a Green Scare(y) Halloween Card-Writing

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, October 25th, 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

Free Them All!It is 2016 and the US government’s war on environmental activists and animal liberationists is still being waged. NYC ABC and Sacramento Prisoner Support have responded with project FANG, a travel fund for earth and animal liberation prisoners.

With Tyler Lang and Kevin Olliff recently moved to halfway houses, the imprisonment of Joseph Buddenberg, and the impending trial of Nicole Kissane, we are reminded of the backwards and arbitrary logic the State uses to deem who are “terrorists.” The truth is, those in power will always villainize those who seek to liberate and valorize those who seek to carry out real destruction.

In light of the coming holiday, we are sending Halloween cards to targets of the Green Scare as part of our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinners.

Since the early 1980s, public relations hacks have been working to reify the term “eco-terrorism.” By 2004, they became successful and a phrase that a decade earlier had no real meaning was now defined by the United States government and used to introduce legislation. In the face of global ecologic destruction and animal torture, those who try to end the suffering are the ones labeled terrorists. Join us in letting the ones who have ultimately been captured know that they have not been forgotten. Read more…

BK/NY – Tuesday, October 11th – Letter Writing Dinner for Kamau Sadiki

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, October 11th, 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: FreekamauThis week, as part of our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinner, NYC ABC will be writing to Kamau Sadiki, former Black Panther Party member and Black Liberation Army (BLA) soldier who is currently serving a life plus ten years sentence for the murder of an Atlanta cop in 1971. He was arrested and convicted over 30 years after the cop was killed based solely on the testimonies of former BLA comrades-turned-snitch that were not even present at the time of the action.

This should not come as a surprise as the State has never ended their war against Black people and continue to divisively target Black communities. An increased interest in what the State labels terrorism is what led to the increased interest of Kamau in 2002 when he was brought in for questioning on an unrelated matter. They were aware of his former relationship with the perennially Most Wanted Assata Shakur, with whom Kamau has a daughter. They attempted to extract information from him about Assata and tried to recruit him to lure her away from Cuba or else he “would die in prison.” When he refused to turn his back on his principles and his community, the state of Georgia vindictively moved forward with charges of the decades old crime.

Before Kamau’s time in the BLA, he was a New York City teenager who was deeply moved by the principles and organizing efforts of the Black Panther Party. At age 17 he joined up in Jamaica, Queens and volunteered in the Free Breakfast for Children program in the morning, hit the streets with BPP newsletters in the afternoon in an effort to organize his neighbors, and took part in political education classes at night. Once the FBI’s CoIntelPro was in full swing, decimating the Party and their ability to progress, Kamau and many others went underground to the more clandestine BLA for fear of being entrapped, framed, or murdered.

For more info on Kamau Sadiki, check out freekamau.com which gives an account of Kamau’s life from two former political prisoners, Safiya Bukhari and Claude Marks (freedomarchives.org).

Here is an excerpt of Kamau’s 2003 sentencing statement:
My joining the Black Panther Party and consequently the Black Liberation Army was a response to the oppressive climate that existed in America at the time. The struggle of people of color evolved out of the legacy of slavery and the subsequent Jim Crow laws of the reconstruction period. Following decades of oppression, people of color in this country recognized they had to negotiate their liberation through armed resistance and it was during this period of history that the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army were major players.

If you are unable to attend in person, but would still like to write to Kamau:
Kamau Sadiki* #0001150688
Augusta State Medical Prison
3001 Gordon Highway
Grovetown, Georgia 30813
*Address envelope to Freddie Hilton

Read more…

Categories: What We Do Tags: , , , ,

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