Just in time for the holidays, NYC ABC has added several posters, including the handsome one to the left, to our online store. Visit gumroad.com/nycabc to check out the posters, as well as t-shirts, tote bags, or to donate to project FANG. All posters will be sent via first class mail, in durable poster tubes. Make sure to enter the code “localpickup” if you want to get the poster(s) from us in person (maybe grab it at our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinner?) and save on shipping. All funds raised go directly to supporting U.S. held political prisoners and prisoners of war.
On Wednesday, August 12th, our comrade in the struggle for revolution, Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell was murdered. The context for his murder remains unclear, save for the fact that it happened in the midst of a prison riot. We have no faith that the state will do anything to determine how or why Yogi Bear was murdered and presume cops and corrections officers are relishing his death. We do not doubt the possibility that he was specifically targeted and those in authority did nothing to protect him.
In the early 1970s, while imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison, Hugo Pinell made contact with revolutionary prisoners such as George Jackson, one of the Soledad Brothers, and W.L. Nolen. On August 21, 1971, there was a prisoner uprising in Pinell’s housing unit at San Quentin, led by George Jackson. At the end of the roughly 30 minute rebellion, guards had killed George Jackson, and two other prisoners and three guards were dead. Of the remaining prisoners in the unit, six of them, including Pinell, were put on trial for murder and conspiracy. Together, they were known as The San Quentin Six. Three of them were acquitted of all charges, and three were found guilty of various charges. Pinell was convicted of assault on a guard.
Activists in prison to this day continue to mark the San Quentin prison rebellion and death of Black Liberation prisoners during Black August, often with fasting.
Although Pinell was convicted of assault, and another of the San Quentin Six had a murder conviction, only Pinell remained imprisoned at the time of his death. During his astounding 50 years of imprisonment, Pinell was primarily held in solitary confinement. Though not as active in his political organizing as in his youth, Pinell was part of the historic hunger strikes that spread throughout the California prison system in 2013 to protest the treatment of prisoners held in solitary confinement.
According to his attorney, shortly before the August 12th, 2015 riot, Hugo Pinell was transferred to general population, though the threat of harm and history of threats against him were known to prison officials.
In this month of Black August, we raise a fist for Yogi Bear and all prison rebels—you will have neither lived nor died in vain.
Comrades at Fire to the Prisons have released a new issue and it is available online. Check out the new issue, print your own copies, and view past PDFs at their new website: firetotheprisons.org (NOT to be confused with .com, which is hosted by unknown sources).
Fire to the Prisons is an insurrectionary periodical. It focuses on promoting a revolutionary solidarity between different struggles, prisoners, and existing social tensions that challenge capitalism and the state.
The publishers made 10,000 copies of this issue because they want to get them out as far and wide as possible. In order to create a publication with broad reach, and for free to comrades and the discontented general public, they forfeited their traditional magazine form and went with less costly newsprint. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this project and it shows.
If you would like to order bulk copies of the newspaper, please order from Little Black Cart (LBC) at their website. LBC will send out issues for the cost of postage.
All direct inquiries– ranging from questions, feedback, and requests for copies can be sent to email@example.com
The publishers are still looking to make back the $2,000 dollars in out of pocket expenses that went into printing the latest issue. If you are able to throw them some money – or better yet, organize a benefit, please get at them!
The publishers want to thank everyone who made this project possible – and all who have supported them in the past. Everyone that spent long hours looking at PDFs, those who built the new website, the friends that will help print and distribute the paper, all those who contributed to the publication, and everyone who has given encouragement along the way. Without you, this project would not have been possible.
For a borderless affinity,
For those that truly know the meaning of silence,
For all our comrades yet to be made free from the horrors of the State,
Fire to the Prisons
The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) has reopened the public comment period for the Communication Management Units (CMU). You may remember that the original comment period of 2010 netted 700+ letters and emails against the restrictions outlined in the proposal. The Department of Justice ended the comment period and have sat on their hands since then in terms of getting actual legal approval to operate and maintain the CMUs. As a prisoner at Marion CMU during that time, our comrade Daniel McGowan tells us, “knowing that people outside of prison cared enough to put their concerns in writing on our behalf was heartening and re-energized my effort to close the CMUs.”
First, a luxury automobile manufacturer recuperates revolutionary language and aesthetics. Then NYC ABC reclaims the footage in the name of the anarchist project.
On Tuesday, January 28th, anarchist grand jury resister Gerald “Jerry” Koch was released from the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan. Koch’s release comes over eight months after his imprisonment for refusing to testify before a grand jury convened under the auspices of investigating the so-called bicycle bomber case.
Judge John Keenan, the presiding judge over Jerry’s case, believes that taking the position of a government run amok, using grand juries as a witch hunt is, “a delusion of grandeur.” Judge Keenan goes on:
There is simply no evidence that the Government [sic], threatened by Koch’s subversive prowess, seeks to bring him before the grand jury on a pretext, either to gain access to the treasure trove that is his circle of friends or to send an ominous message to political dissidents.
In reality, the United States government was following a pattern of using grand juries as fishing expeditions in hopes of better understanding social and political networks of anarchists. This tactic has been recently seen in the Pacific Northwest and in California. Regardless, Jerry’s release does not come as a result of some hacky judge “seeing the light” and letting the barred door swing wide. It comes due to the diligence of his legal support in filing a strong Grumbles motion. Also from the judge’s decision:
Koch’s argument is straightforward. Because he continues to oppose the government in general and the grand jury process in particular, he urges that continued confinement will not induce him to testify. Indeed, he asserts that his tenure at the MCC has caused his views about government repression to congeal even further.
Imprisonment for civil contempt in order to coerce someone to testify is, according to the state, not supposed to be punitive. When it becomes punitive and loses any coercive power, the individual must be released (or so goes the argument). The content of the motion filed by Jerry’s legal support argues that the function of Jerry’s imprisonment—to coerce him to testify before the grand jury, was failing and in fact had become merely punitive. Based on the above quote, judge Keenan agreed. And this is the basis of the judge’s decision to release Jerry.
Judge Keenan’s decision also reveals the importance of outside support. Articles written about Jerry, letters written on his behalf, and even an online petition cumulatively added to the strength of the motion filed on his behalf. Strong solidarity from family and friends positively contributed to Jerry’s release.
In reading Judge Keenan’s decision, it is clear that the only joy he is able to squeeze out of his miserable life is in sophomoric barbs launched at Jerry and anarchists in general. And at the end of the day, none of the judge’s childish insults matter. What matters is that we have our comrade returned to us, unbroken.
Again in the words of Judge Keenan, Jerry “has chosen to remain in contempt– indeed he promises continued and endless contempt.” And for that, we applaud you, Jerry. Welcome home.
To read judge Keenan’s decision in its entirety, click here.