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Tuesday, June 30th – Letter-writing to Russell Maroon Shoatz

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
WHERE: YOUR HOME

COST: Free
russell maroon shoatz 2019Typical of the state broadly, and this city specifically, the response to an uprising against the cumulative white supremacist history of policing has been harsh repression. Folks are being held at MDC Brooklyn and are facing LIFE IN PRISON for allegedly destroying property. If we have to repeat it, we will: NO PIECE OF PROPERTY IS EQUIVALENT TO THE ONGOING RACIST MURDER OF BLACK FOLKS BY COPS! NYC ABC will provide support as needed and appropriate. If you decide to write to someone recently arrested, please remember they are pre-trial and everything you write to them will be scrutinized and could wind up in a courtroom, so take extra care.

The most consistent way we collectively support comrades held captive by the state is via letter-writing. We didn’t stop for the novel coronavirus and we won’t stop as folks continue to take to the streets to voice their rage over indiscriminate cop killings. Though we remain quarantined from our in-person communities, the work continues, again in collaboration with our comrades in Page One Collective. Therefore, we ask that folks participate in keeping prisoners from being more alienated than they already are, by writing from home. Please post a photo of your addressed envelope on social media and tag us (with your return address blurred out) and we will share it, building digital community as best as possible. This week, our every-other-week letter-writing is focused on 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.

Please take the time to write a letter to Maroon (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Smart Communications/PA DOC
Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF3855
SCI Fayette
Post Office Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida 33733

Illustrated Guide Version 13.3 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.

Tuesday, June 16th – Letter-writing to Imam Jamil al-Amin

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, June 16th, 2020
WHERE: YOUR HOME

COST: Free
from h. rap to imam jamilTo say it’s heating up in NYC is an understatement, and we don’t mean the late spring heatwave. Folks in their neighborhoods have been rising up against the fundamentally white supremacist NYPD. In NYC ABC, we organized a noise demonstration outside MDC Brooklyn, where prison cops killed Jamel Floyd and continue our work to support U.S. held political prisoners and prisoners of war. Though we remain quarantined from our in-person communities, the work continues, again in collaboration with our comrades in Page One Collective. Therefore, instead of coming together at The Base in Brooklyn, we ask that folks participate in keeping prisoners from being more alienated than they already are, by writing from home. Please post a photo of your addressed envelope on social media and tag us (with your return address blurred out) and we will share it, building digital community while our analog community stays indoors and washes its hands. This week, our every-other-week letter-writing is focused on Black liberation political prisoner Imam Jamil Al-Amin.

We were recently reminded of the quote ‘violence is as American as cherry pie’ with the choking murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by cops there. That prescient quote is from Imam Jamil Al-Amin (then known as H. Rap Brown).

Jamil Al-Amin is a long time community leader and organizer, falsely imprisoned for  killing a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia. He was convicted in 2002 and after some time in Georgia state prison, the state decided to bury him in federal custody at the notorious Florence Supermax in Colorado. Due to a concerted and strong effort on the part of his supporters, Imam Jamil was transferred to the medical facility at Butner after having been diagnosed with bone cancer. Family and supporters are currently pushing for an appeal to his trial. More information is available at whathappened2rap.com

Please take the time to write a letter to Jamil (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin #99974-555
USP Tucson
Post Office Box 24550
Tucson, Arizona 85734

Tuesday, June 2nd – Letter Writing for Marius Mason

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020
WHERE: YOUR HOME

COST: Free
marius 2020_1
Are there things worth dying for? For going out into the world, mid-pandemic, and risking infection for? Of course there are! But going back to work early to please a boss or pushing folks into work to salvage a crumbling capitalism aren’t two of them. Standing up to systems of oppression in the face of murderous cops is worth it and over the last week, we’ve seen brave folks get together to say cops won’t murder Black folks with no response. The state’s reaction will likely be harsh, the punishments draconian, and still folks rise up. In NYC ABC, we focus work on those living under repression in prison for actions taken in the ongoing quest for justice. Although we remain quarantined from our in-person communities, the work continues. Therefore, instead of coming together at The Base in Brooklyn, we ask that folks participate in keeping prisoners from being more alienated than they already are, by writing from home. Please post a photo of your addressed envelope on social media and tag us (with your return address blurred out) and we will share it, building digital community while our analog community stays indoors and washes its hands. This week, collaborating with comrades from Page One Collective, in an early reply to the call for June 11 actions, we focus our every-other-week letter-writing on eco-anarchist political prisoner Marius Mason.

Marius Mason is an anarchist, environmental, and animal rights prisoner. In March 2008, he was arrested by federal authorities for charges related to two acts of property destruction that occurred in 1999 and 2000 – damaging an office connected to GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) research, and destroying a piece of logging equipment. No one was injured in either act. He faced a life sentence before accepting a plea bargain in September 2008.

Mason was sentenced on February 5, 2009 in federal court in Lansing, Michigan. He received almost 22 years – the longest sentence of any Green Scare prisoner. An appeal for a reduction in his sentence was denied in 2010.

Marius was quarantined starting April 25, when he tested positive for the corona virus. Marius has underlying factors that make him vulnerable to COVID 19, and legal options are being pursued, thanks to his attorney. More information at supportmariusmason.org

Please take the time to write a letter to Marius (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Marie (Marius) Mason #04672-061
FCI Danbury
Route 37
Danbury, Connecticut 06811

Tuesday, May 19th – Letter Writing for Jeremy Hammond & Eric King

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, May 19th, 2020
WHERE: YOUR HOME

COST: Free
eric king_jeremy hammond_FBAs COVID 19 continues to rear its ugly head and capitalism continues to exploit vulnerable communities made even more vulnerable in the wake of the pandemic, we have no choice but to continue our work as well. Although we remain quarantined from our in-person communities, our friends behind the walls are experiencing a level of isolation and danger to which our chosen social isolation cannot compare. Therefore, instead of coming together at The Base in Brooklyn, we at Page One Collective are (virtually) joining our friends at NYC ABC to maintain some semblance of a bi-weekly letter-writing tradition. We ask that folks participate as well, so we can do our best to keep prisoners from being more alienated than they already are, by writing from home. Please post a photo of your addressed envelope on social media and tag us (with your return address blurred out) and we will share it, building digital community while our analog community stays indoors and washes its hands.

This week we are focusing on two anarchist folks who have both had particularly rough years, even by the standard of the hell that is prison. Please join us in sending them some much needed love and support as they navigate their respective situations amidst the pandemic.

Jeremy Hammond is an anarchist computer hacker from Chicago. In November 2013, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for leaking the personal information of 860,000 customers of private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) through the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. This information revealed that Stratfor spies on activists, among others, at the behest of corporations and the U.S. government. In early September 2019, Jeremy was transferred to Virginia and called against his will to appear before a grand jury. He was jailed at the same spot as Chelsea Manning, who was also being held for grand jury resistance, until March 12, 2020. Because of COVID, he is now stuck at Grady County Jail awaiting transfer back to a federal facility to resume his original sentence. For more information visit freejeremy.net.

In May 2019 Eric King was indicted by a grand jury in the District Court of Colorado for a new federal felony charge of Assaulting a Federal Official. This charge is based on what the government says happened during the interview in the Florence storage room with a Lieutenant. Eric now faces up to 20 additional years in federal prison and is fighting this charge while still in the custody of his accusers. Eric is pre-trial, do not mention his current charges.

Eric is a vegan anarchist prisoner serving a 10 year sentence for an attempted firebombing of a government official’s office in Kansas City, Missouri in September 2014. Eric was charged with throwing a hammer through a window of the building, followed by two lit Molotov cocktails. The criminal complaint states that both incendiary devices failed to ignite. We encourage folks to send him a card or letter and spread the word about him if not already doing so. More information can be found at supportericking.org.

Please take the time to write a letter to Jeremy and Eric (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Jeremy Hammond #151960859
Grady County Jail
215 North 3rd Street
Chickasha, Oklahoma 73018

Eric King #27090-045
FCI Englewood
9595 West Quincy Avenue
Littleton, Colorado 80123

Tuesday, May 5th – Letter Writing for Sundiata Acoli & Dr. Mutulu Shakur

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, May 5th, 2020
WHERE: YOUR HOME

COST: Free

 


Normally around this time of year, NYC ABC would be printing May Day cards for our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinners. Clearly, times have changed.  We are also excited to be collaboratively organizing letter-writing nights with Page One Collective. And while the events will be collaboratively organized, instead of coming together at The Base in Brooklyn, we are asking folks to keep letter-writing on your minds and keep prisoners from being more alienated than they already are by writing from home. Please post a photo of your addressed envelope on social media and tag us (with your return address blurred out) and we will share it, building digital community while our analog community stays indoors and washes its hands. This week we turn our focus to Sundiata Acoli and Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Black Panther Party members 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 appealed the decision and won. More information: sundiataacoli.org

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: mutulushakur.com

Please take the time to write a letter to Sundiata and Mutulu (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
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
FMC Lexington
Post Office Box 14500
Lexington, Kentucky 40512

Tuesday, April 21st – Letter Writing for Bomani Shakur

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, April 21st, 2020
WHERE: YOUR HOME

COST: Free
Bomani ShakurWe are deep enough into this pandemic to see how power is exploiting both it and the folks considered disposable–essential workers (delivery drivers, grocery workers, et al) and prisoners. Prisoners are being infected and dying at a rate far higher than those on the outside. At the federal level, the bureau responsible for their well being (yes, we understand it’s an oxymoron), keeps blaming underlying health conditions instead of taking responsibility and freeing those with high risk factors for infection. To keep the focus on prisoners, NYC ABC  continues our support via every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing events. We are also excited to announce that starting with this event, we are organizing collaborative letter-writing nights with Page One Collective. And while the events will be collaboratively organized, due to where we are in history, and the importance of keeping everyone safe, those events will be organized here. That means we are asking you to take on the work of writing letters from home. Please post a photo of your addressed envelope on social media and tag us (with your return address blurred out) and we will share it, building digital community while our analog community stays indoors and washes its hands. This week, we respond to the call for a month of action in support of Bomani Shakur.

Bomani Shakur went to prison in 1989, at the age of 19, sentenced to seventeen years to life for defending himself during a robbery in which he was shot in the legs. At the time, Bomani was, by his own account, selling drugs to survive and it was not until his imprisonment that he became politicized. While in prison, Bomani read authors like Frantz Fanon and Noam Chomsky and developed his politics into those of a revolutionary. In 1993, the prison in which Bomani was being held rose up after the implementation of rules and sanctions by a new warden who was likely looking to incite violence to justify plans to expand the prison’s supermax wing. The uprising lasted eleven days and in the end nine prisoners and a guard were killed. Bomani was among those framed for the killings, probably due to his political organizing prior to the uprising. There is abundant evidence that runs contrary the the state’s contentions. For more information, check out keithlamar.org

Please take the time to write a letter to Bomani (and share a photo of your completed envelope with us online):
Bomani Shakur* #317117
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, Ohio 44505
*
Address envelopes to Keith LaMar.

Tuesday, April 7th – Letter Writing for Ramsey Orta

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, April 7th, 2020
WHERE: YOUR HOME

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. 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 events. Due to where we are in history, and the importance of keeping everyone safe, those events will be organized here, but you will have to take on the work of writing letters from home. Please send us a photo of your addressed envelope (with your return address blurred out, which we can also do for you) and we will share this via social media, building digital community while our analog community stays indoors and washes its hands. This week, we focus on Ramsey Orta, currently locked in solitary confinement without basic safety measures in place to curb coronavirus, as it enters New York state prisons.

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.

Please take the time to write a letter to Ramsey (and send us a photo of your completed envelope):
Ramsey Orta 16-A-4200
Mid-State Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 2500
Marcy, New York 13403-0216

Illustrated Guide Version 13.2 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 Chelsea Manning (judge’s order).

Tuesday, March 24th – Letter Writing for Sherrie Andre

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
WHERE: YOUR HOME

COST: Free
Sherri AndreWell, folks, this is a rarity and, for now, the new reality. Every other Tuesday, for well over a decade, NYC ABC has organized letter and card writing nights for political prisoners. We’ve hosted events in four of the five boroughs and, by best guess, have served over 300 meals. That’s not to congratulate ourselves, but to illustrate our commitment to keeping our imprisoned comrades at the forefront of our efforts as anarchists. To maintain that commitment while also making sure to keep ourselves and our communities as safe as possible in the midst of a pandemic, we will suspend in-person letter-writing events for the immediate future. What we will not do is abandon folks who are at this second being denied visits and enduring the added stress of facing a virus outbreak in a place where they have no ability to “self-quarantine.” We are encouraging folks to take the same time they would normally use to come to one of our letter-writing dinners and write a letter to the focus of this week’s event–Sherrie Andre. Please send us a photo of your addressed envelope (with your return address blurred out, which we can also do for you) and we will share this via social media, building digital community while our analog community stays indoors and washes its hands.

SHERRIE ANDRE, a member of FANG collective, was arrested at a protest in August 2018 at the Bristol County House of Corrections. The action was carried out in solidarity with people detained by ICE at the facility who launched a hunger strike to demand better conditions. During the action Sherrie was brutalized by the Bristol County Sheriff’s Department. On March 9th, Sherrie was found guilty of trespassing and disturbing the peace and was sentenced to THIRTY DAYS in jail, the maximum possible penalty. They were immediately remanded to serve the sentence.

Please take the time to write Sherrie a letter (and send us a photo of your completed envelope):
Sherrie Andre #193414
Cell DWC-C4
Bristol County House of Correction
400 Faunce Corner Road
North Dartmouth, Massachusetts 02747