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BK/NY – Tuesday, October 5th – Letter-Writing For Jessica Reznicek

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, October 5th, 2021
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

Aaaaaand…WE. ARE. BACK. After over 18 months of virtual events in support of political prisoners and prisoners of war, NYC ABC and Page One Collective are heading back to The Base, back to in-person events, and back to serving up some hot information on the folks we support. Speaking of hot, the world is on fire–figuratively and literally, largely the result of actions taken by greedy humans in pursuit of capital expansion and exploiting everything possible in the process. So it’s fitting that in our return to political prisoner letter-writing events, we focus on Jessica Reznicek, currently serving an eight year federal prison sentence for eco-defense.

Jessica Reznicek is a 40 year old land and water defender who has worked with and lived in the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community for the last 10 years. Jessica grew up in a small town in rural Iowa.

In 2016, Jessica took a stand against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa. Jessica attended public comment hearings, gathered signatures for valid requests for Environmental Impact Statements, and participated in civil disobedience, hunger strikes, marches & rallies, boycotts & encampments.

When the process failed, she concluded the system was broken, and it was up to individuals to take action and protect the water. She and a fellow Catholic Worker then spent the next couple months disabling construction machinery along the pipeline route.

In early 2021, Jessica pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Damage an Energy Facility and on June 30 was designated a domestic terrorist by the court and sentenced to 8 years in prison, followed by 3 years supervised probation, and a restitution of $3,198,512.70 paid to Energy Transfer LLC. More information at supportjessicareznicek.com

If you can’t make it out, but still want to support Jessica, you can write to her at:
Jessica Reznicek #19293-030
FCI Waseca
Post Office Box 1731
Waseca, Minnesota 56093

Read more…

Tuesday, September 21st – Letter Writing To Kamau Sadiki

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, September 21st, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

kamau

Fresh off of a return to in-person events with an outstanding Running Down the Walls, NYC ABC is back to our bread and (vegan) butter, generating direct support for Political Prisoners by encouraging folks to write letters.

This week, as part of our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinner, NYC ABC and Page One Collective 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.

Please take the time to write a letter to Kamau (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Kamau Sadiki* #0001150688
Augusta State Medical Prison
3001 Gordon Highway
Grovetown, Georgia 30813
*Address envelope to Freddie Hilton

Illustrated Guide Version 14.7 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 Kings Bay Plowshares 7 prisoners Patrick O’Neill and Mark Colville!

Tuesday, August 24th – Solidarity With International Anarchist Political Prisoners

22 August 2021 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, August 24th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

The Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) originally began as a channel for mostly Jewish anarchist emigres from the Russian empire to support revolutionaries locked up for struggling against Tsarism in the early 20th century. Known at first as the Workers Red Cross, then the Anarchist Red Cross, and eventually as the Anarchist Black Cross, the early ABC would raise awareness and funds, keep up correspondences and send money and food packages to their imprisoned comrades. After the Bolsheviks seized power the work remained to support non-Communist Party approved revolutionaries, re-imprisoned by the new bosses for continuing the fight against the old ones, and Alexander Berkman continued the work from exile in Berlin.

As the decades passed the increasing urgency of countering fascism and the great depression shifted priorities, and the ABC fell away as  an organization (though many comrades continued the work of supporting political prisoners). It was revived by Albert Meltzer and Stuart Christie in the 1960’s, and while originally focusing on veterans of the ongoing struggle against Franco’s regime, it expanded rapidly to other include other struggles and international chapters. Former political prisoner Lorenzo Kom’boa Ervin revived it in the belly of the ‘american’ beast, and today we see ABC chapters throughout the world.

Whatever the demands of time and place, the watchword of the ABC has always been solidarity. As Albert Meltzer said: “It is not intended to be a charity. It is to organize solidarity for victims of the class war.“ If by class war we mean the intersecting struggles against all forms of oppression—and we do—then we stand by Albert’s words. Regimes and pandemics come and go, but true solidarity is for ever.

As we have said before, it is matter of anarchist principle for us that we do not only support anarchist political prisoners, but all those engaged in struggles against oppression. But now, as has been the case for over a century, anarchist prisoners around the world are in need of solidarity.

So NYC ABC and Page One Collective answer the call for a Week of International Solidarity With Anarchist Political Prisoners. Learn their names and stories, write them letters, spread the word. Until All Are Free! 

Please note, the list provided above includes Joshua Stafford aka Skelly, who has been released to halfway house.

Illustrated Guide Version 14.6 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. Unfortunately, we are adding a prisoner to the guide this month–Water Protector Jessica Reznicek. We are thankful to remove Kings Bay Plowshares 7 prisoner Clare Grady (halfway house)!

Illustrated Guide Version 14.5 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 Earth Liberationists Wren and Acre (time served)!

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 – Letter-writing to Gage Halupowski

26 July 2021 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, July 27th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

On July 19th, 1936, right-wing authoritarian generals and their fascist allies revolted against the timidly left-leaning government of the Spanish Republic. Though no friends of the liberals in power, Spanish anarchists saw the existential threat to the working classes—and humanity—that fascism posed, and fought heroically not to save the government, but to repel the coup. What followed has been called revolution (as people in liberated cities and villages dramatically re-organized their social and economic lives), civil war, triumph, defeat, and folly, depending on who you ask and where their ethics lie. Whatever you call it, it was the first major international battle against fascism, and included some of the largest experiments in real-world anarchism the world had seen. This confluence is no coincidence, since every form of centralized government contains the seeds of fascism. As Buenaventura Durruti put it: “No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges.” Y la Lucha continua…


July 25 is the International Day of Solidarity with Anti-Fascist Prisoners. In honor of this, NYC ABC and Page One are asking folks to write a letter to anti-fascist political prisoner Gage Halupowski.

Gage Halupowski was arrested along with two other protesters in the wake of clashes in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, later indicted on four criminal charges, including second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, attempted assault of a public safety officer, and interfering with a peace officer. In November 2019, Gage was convicted and sentenced to six years in state prison.

Please take the time to write a letter to Gage (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Gage Halupowski #21894460
Snake River Correctional Institution
777 Stanton Boulevard
Ontario, Oregon 97914-8335

Tuesday, June 29th – Letter-writing to Russell Maroon Shoatz

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, June 29th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

One year and one month to the day of George Floyd’s murder the state sentenced his murderer to 22 1/2 years in prison. Are we supposed to be happy or feel relieved? Those of us engaged in prisoner support work know plenty of folks that spend much more time inside for much less, but also know prison is hell anyway you slice it (we don’t like to get caught up in the arguments of what constitutes a long sentence). Regardless, we trust he’ll be well cared for in there. And no, we’re not happy. And no, we’re not relieved. They sacrificed one of their own to take the fall for the rest still working their beats. Meanwhile, cops continue to murder, migrants are detained at an increasing rate, and Trump is still holding rallies. The uprisings of 2020 were a hopeful promise of what is to come, and now one year later we’re here wondering if anything has changed. All we can do is to continue our organizing projects, our mutual aid projects, and our solidarity work. For us at NYC ABC, that is supporting political prisoners through letter writing efforts.

This week, NYC ABC and Page One Collective ask you to write to a Black liberation political prisoner, the truly implacable Russell Maroon Shoatz, himself accused of taking action against the brutality meted out by cops on Black communities. 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. As with many of our imprisoned elders, Maroon faces health concerns and should immediately released. On June 17th 2021 there was an emergency action to get Russell his much needed chemo treatments which had been cancelled by DOC. Please stay tuned for more updates. 

Please take the time to write a letter to Maroon (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Smart Connections/PA DOC
Russell Shoats #AF-3855
SCI-Dallas
Post Office Box 33028
St. Petersburg, Florida 33733

Illustrated Guide Version 14.4 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. Unfortunately, we are adding a prisoner to the guide this month–Kings Bay Plowshares 7 defendant Mark Colville. We are thankful to remove whistleblower Reality Winner (halfway house)!

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. Unfortunately, we are adding prisoners to the guide this month–Yellow Finch Treesit eco-defense activists Wren and Acre. We are thankful to remove (take a deep breath) Carmen Trotta, Martha Hennessy, & Stephen Kelly (Kings Bay Plowshares 7); Jaan Laaman; Loren Reed; Skelly (Cleveland 4); and Water Protector Steve Martinez.