Archive for the ‘Communication From Prisoners’ Category

Letter from Brandon Baxter

NOTE: The process Brandon is pursuing, the 2255, is the same one that Eric McDavid recently won.

Greetings,Letter from brandon baxter_28 jan 2015

Please consider echoing my appeal for solidarity.

I’d like to start by thanking everyone for their solidarity to this point. I’ve lived far more comfortably and with greater support than most others in prison. To be blunt, your constant insistence that I never feel forgotten has literally saved my life. I know that if early on I had not had that reassurance I would have committed suicide. So, thank you all for carrying me, kicking and screaming, throughout this.

Today I come to you with a dire need. When I plead guilty to the charges made against me I did so out of fear and ignorance. Since then I’ve grown wiser and educated myself in the law. My appeals are exhausted, and thus I am in the process of filing a 2255 writ of post conviction relief on the grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel, which I know as a matter of fact I will win. This will remand my case back to court for trial, and I intend to fight.

I will not fight though with a puppet of the state representing me against the state. I’ve learned my lesson in trusting public defenders and court appointed attorneys. This time around I will need a hired lawyer.

This request is for two specific forms of solidarity: The time and commitment of a trustworthy lawyer bent on social justice, and for funds for a defense. I have no set figure at the moment, but imagine it to be significant. More details can be found through my support committee once figures are developed.

What we will be fighting for is pivotal. The immediate goals is physical freedom from prison – which otherwise would last another 5-6 years – and a life time of federal supervised release (probation). The long term goal is to set legal precedence which can be utilized by others in prison under similar circumstances, currently and to come, to obtain their freedom, as well as to prevent similar episodes in the future. This goal will be much more difficult to achieve, but is far from impossible. The final goal will be financial retribution for the costs of the defense itself, and for the time I’ve currently spent incarcerated, along with the psychological toll that incarceration has taken upon me. If obtained, these funds will be dedicated to reimburse all of those who have supported the Cleveland 4 to this point, and to future prisoner support endeavors.

To get in contact with my support committee, go to:, or email:

In Love & Rage,
Brandon Baxter

A Letter From Connor Stevens (Cleveland 4)


I very much appreciate the letters. Despite my slacking on keeping up with correspondence, these letters, whether from groups or individuals, help me to maintain my focus and sense of perception. It is all-too-easy to go through life with blinders on, cutting ourselves off from our greatest sources of strength and purpose.

I am interested in learning how I can, in however small the contributions, offer more to our ongoing struggle.

I am currently engaged in the perpetual challenge of keeping up with the letter writing, as well as continuing my studies.

There is much I would like to mention, but for now I will limit this letter to an expression of my interest in being recognized as a political prisoner.

I hope my tardiness may be forgiven, as extenuating circumstances have until now caused me to be hesitant in pursuing both identification as a political prisoner specifically, and political engagement more broadly. But such silence must be broken.

With a gentle strength in a hard place, in living solidarity,

Connor Stevens

Abdullah Majid Parole Campaign Help Needed

majidA comrade recently received a letter from Abdullah Majid asking for help around his parole board visit in late January, 2015. Please help as you can.

Abdullah Majid  has been in prison for 33 years for a crime he denies committing. After three (3) trials over four (4) years he and Bashir Hameed (now deceased) were convicted for the murder and attempted murder of two NYPD officers in the county of Queens, New York. Mr. Majid is finally scheduled to make his first parole appearance January 2015, and he is asking for your support with letters to the parole board for his release. Mr. Majid is aware he will be faced with an uphill fight for his freedom due to the NYPD’s unparalleled influence over the parole board. Nonetheless, he has always been a fighter and is not discouraged in spite of the formidable forces he is up against.

Letters to the parole board should be sent to:
New York State Board of Parole
c/o Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Esq.
11  Park Place, Suite 914
New York, New York 10007

With your support and help we are looking forward to having Abdullah back on the outside after 33 years with his family, comrades and friends.

You can write Abdullah at :
Abdullah Majid #83-A-0483
Five Points Correctional Facility
State Route 96
Post Office Box 119
Romulus, New York 14541

Post-release Statement From Cody Lee Sutherlin (Tinley Park Five)

cody_2013Here is Cody Lee Sutherlin’s post-release statement. Please keep in mind that two of his brothers are still locked up and that there is an active fundraising campaign for Dylan Sutherlin’s post-release. To donate, visit

When it comes to thanks, I don’t know where to begin. Do I mention certain individuals or organizations? Do I start with the cards and letters full of love and support? How about the amount of donations that came in for the book drive back at Robinson’s library? Or, do I lead off with all of the fundraising that kept money in the commissary and continues to pour in for help post-release? I should probably lead off with the lovely lady in my life that has sacrificed and endured so much for me and our relationship the last couple of years. Maybe it should be the amazing legal team that stepped up and have continued to help to this day. I can’t forget my new friend that has opened his home and heart to me in my greatest time of need. I must mention all of the people that used to flood the courtroom in solidarity every time they would walk us in there. With so many wonderful people, faces old and new, doing so many amazing things, it’s impossible for my thanks to have a beginning or an end. The thanks that I have for all of you is so deep and infinite that it can’t be measured or explained. Any act of kindness, no matter how big or small, has meant the world to me, as well as the other four. Thankfully, we’re down to just two, and in a few weeks it’ll just be one. Let’s show my brothers our love, support, and appreciation for them. Thank every last one of you for all you’ve done and continue to do!

With the deepest gratitude and unconditional love,
Cody Lee

A Letter From The Old Man


Artwork by Joe-Joe Bowen

A comrade of ours, who does support work for Joe-Joe Bowen, aka The Old Man, recently asked him about working with the anarchist black cross. Here’s what Joe-Joe had to say:

Concerning the Anarchist Black Cross people. I first met these soldiers through one of my people who is in a different section of our infrastructure, about 20 years ago. Remember what I told you before, up until I met the soldiers from ABC, we in my section of the People’s Struggle against state oppression did not deal with people from the streets. The other section chief told me to get with these soldiers from Anarchist Black Cross and talk with them. I did that, and I like what they were talking about. After that first meeting, we’ve been operating ever since. We in my section of the People’s Struggle against state oppression like the way the soldiers in ABC takes care of the struggle business. They’ve been operating a long time in the struggle, and we in my section respect them for their work in the struggle.

A letter from Cody Lee Sutherlin

With the fundraising campaign initiated by Bloomington ABC, Sacramento Prisoner Support, and NYC ABC a recently-completed success, we want to make sure folks see what your support for political prisoners like Cody Lee Sutherlin means. We’ve been lucky enough to work with Cody Lee on projects that he organized while inside, including a book drive that generated about 300 books for the prison library. Since the support we’ve been able to give Cody Lee is via organizing with folks like you, this letter is as much to you as to our collective.

From Cody:
What’s up Brooklyn?!
I am ecstatic to say that one month from today I will be a free man! I want to thank y’all for the amazing support you’ve shown throughout this ordeal. Words can not express how much it means to me. At this point, I am just waiting on my interstate compact to be approved so that I can parole back home to Indiana. Aside from that, I’m finishing up my last module of school, saving what money I have left on my books, lining it up job opportunities back home, and finding potential back up parole sites here in Illinois. The weather has been amazing the last few days and definitely has helped to keep my spirits lifted. On a side note, the book drive has gone pretty well and by my estimates, we have collected roughly 300 books for the inmates and library here! Thank you for your help. Not long from now I’ll be done with this legal shit and be able to head east so you all could show me a good time out there in NY. Thank you again for all your love and support over the last couple of years.

Cody Lee

Tom Manning – For Love and Liberty

ForLoveAndLiberty_pitchWe want to call your attention to an exciting new project that is in the works by Political Prisoner Tom Manning. Tom, with the help of outside supporters, is creating a book of his paintings. If you have not seen his art, we highly recommend you check it out and show solidarity by helping Tom finish and publish this work. The years of work to produce this beautiful book and important document are nearing their end and we need your help to fund the last phase of production!

The book, For Love and Liberty, will feature:

–     86 full color reproductions of Tom’s Paintings
–     Preface by Robby Meeropol
–     Article, “In My Time” by Tom
–     Poem by Assata, “Affirmation”
–     Autobiography of Tom Manning
–     Afterword by Ray Levasseur
–     Notes from photographer Penny Schoner

Who is Tom Manning?

Thomas Manning is an anti-imperialist revolutionary who was active in the United Freedom Front, a clandestine anti-imperialist organization that carried out targeted bombings of corporate buildings, courthouses and military facilities and also carried out bank robberies to fund revolutionary projects.  He was unjustly sentenced to 80 years in prison for killing a New Jersey state trooper in self-defense. He is a freedom fighter, political prisoner and prolific artist. His paintings are stories that jump off the page, revealing the outlook of people who struggle for liberation around the world. His paintings are about life and his landscapes recall times of importance.

All proceeds, after production costs, will be donated to the Rosenberg Fund for Children

From the Preface by Robby Meeropol:

“Tom’s been incarcerated for 34 years.  But even before he received his current life sentence he was trapped by the limited choices left to an impoverished child surviving in Boston’s infamous Maverick Street Projects. The military during the Vietnam era seemed like a way out, but that too became a hellish form of confinement. Tom broke free, he revolted.  He became a revolutionary.  He committed the unforgivable sin of confronting today’s great imperial empire, the United States, on its home turf.  For that, I expect the prison industrial complex will do its best to keep him confined for as long as it can.”

More info at:

For additional questions please contact Penny Schoner:

Update Letter From Zolo Azania

zolo_azaniaAfter a recent letter-writing dinner by NYC ABC for Zolo Azania, we received the following update.
“A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.” –Kahlil Gibran

Dear Good Brothers & Sisters,

A firm clenched fist salute to you! Greetings to you and all the good people there. i hope and trust when these few lines come to hand they will find you, and all the hard-working people, in the best of purposeful energetic health and positive, progressive spirits. For many of you, it is been quite sometime since you have heard from me directly but well-wishing thoughts of you have been with me constantly.

On March 6, 2012, i was transferred to the Miami Correctional Facility because prison officials said that my security level had dropped. That is their way of saying that i am less dangerous. Nevertheless, i hated being at that camp. It was a highly petty place, far away from my home base of support. i was not allowed to do any painting while there. In fact the administration officials took all of my canvases and paints, but they gave my brushes to me. So what sense did that make?

On October 17, 2013, i was transferred from the Miami County prison to this minimum security unit called Indiana State Prison Outside Facility (I.S.O.). It is located outside the walls of the state prison in Michigan City. i had not received prior notice that my transfer from Miami to I.S.O. was approved at Indianapolis D.O.C. [Department of Corrections] central office before it happened. In theory I.S.O. is supposed to be a minimum security unit, but it is actually a type of work-release facility. i have not obtained a time-cut since 2011. Had college not been taken out of the prison system i would have been getting out of prison on February 8, 2014. Nevertheless, the fact of my presence here is a clear indication that i am closer to walking out the door to physical freedom to continue to struggle for total liberation and a higher meaning of justice. It is about time that i should be freed after more than three decades in these death chambers called ‘prisons’ and confinement.

My federal habeas petition is still pending. i have been waiting for a ruling for three years. Judge Mooty is taking his time and in the meantime i am still doing time– serving out this illegal sentence. i am serving the 14 year term now.

Recently, last year, an electrified, barbed wire chain link fence, topped with coils of razor wire was erected around the building where i am held. I.S.O. not only has a fence around it, but the back of the outer perimeter is marked by a 30 foot wall and gun towers! This brick building is a two-story dormitory with a prisoner population of nearly 400. i think that something is illegal about the fence, because, according to statutory law Ind. Code § 35-38-3-6(d), “a minimum-security assignment constitutes an assignment of a convicted person to a work-release center or program, to intermittent service of a sentence, or to a program requiring weekly reporting to a designated official. Assignment to minimum-security need not involve a penal facility.”

Take good care.
Zolo Azania #4969
State Prison Minimum Unit
1 Park Row
Michigan City, Indiana 46360

New Greeting Card From Malik Smith (Virgin Island 5)

Malik Smith_New Year Greeting_2014For over five years, NYC ABC has joined forces with the anti-imperialist affinity group Resistance in Brooklyn to host “Send Love Through the Walls,” a card-making party for the political prisoners we support. The handmade cards go out in mid-December and we get replies throughout the year. We consistently hear that this is an event prisoners anticipate and occasionally get handmade cards in return. Such is the case with the card we received from Virgin Island 5 prisoner Malik Smith. For more information on Malik and his co-defendants, check out the NYC ABC “Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War.”

Greeting from Marie Mason

Marie_CardWe recently received a great handmade card from Earth Liberation Front prisoner Marie Mason. Toward the end of her note, she thanks us for our patience in maintaining correspondence. The thanks is likely due to the persistent problem Marie has with receiving and sending mail. Though ostensibly held in a Federal Medical Center (FMC), Marie is actually in a restrictive unit within the FMC that greatly limits her communication with the outside world.

You can support Marie by joining the campaign to move her from FMC Carswell to a prison where she can be in general population. Check for details.

From: Marie Mason #04672-061
FMC Carswell
Post Office Box 27137
Fort Worth, Texas 76127

Dear folks at NYC ABC,
Hope this simple ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ gets to you ok (maybe post cards are better, maybe not). Thanks you so much for your support and well wishes. I was glad to get the newsletter last week, to be inspired and informed by Mumia is always a gift. Your project means so much to me and so many others— and I especially want to thank you for your patience in keeping in touch.

Stay strong, be well, until all are free!