Tuesday, March 7th – Letter Writing To Ronald Reed

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, March 7th, 2023
COST: Free

Trust us when we say our take on what’s happening in Atlanta right now isn’t the hot one or breaking new intellectual ground, but PAY ATTENTION to how folks engaged in what the state would otherwise consider “legitimate” protest are RIGHT NOW being charged with domestic terrorism. It’s not a stretch to think that if you’re reading this, you are either part or a movement or share affinity with one that opposes the police (or at bare minimum the expansion of police power); one that is environmentalist in one form or another; one that agitates for liberation; or one that seeks to limit the ability of government to run roughshod over all in its path. Hell, maybe you’re on board with all of it. Wherever you find yourself, understand that if the state is successful in convicting folks in Atlanta of domestic terrorism, they will eventually come for the movement to which you belong. You are needed now to make sure what’s being pushed there is not allowed to pass. As urgent as this is, with all of the arrests and folks held without bail, there are also still folks who’ve served decades for political activity and they, too, need your attention. Bridging the gap between movements is crucial for pushing toward a revolutionary future.

One great way to build those bridges is to write letters to political prisoners! Engage with them, have a respectful dialogue; we all have things to learn from and teach each other. lf they don’t have the capacity to respond, be understanding, stay in the loop, offer your help to their public support crews, learn about the context of their cases, and spread the word. You can start this week, by joining NYC ABC and Page One Collective in writing to Black liberation struggle political prisoner Ronald Reed.

Ronald Reed is a former 60s civil rights activist. In 1969, Reed was also among the students at St. Paul Central High School who demanded black history courses and organized actions against racist teachers. He was also instrumental in helping to integrate college campuses in Minnesota. During this period, Reed began to look toward revolutionary theory and began to engage in political street theater with other young black revolutionaries in the city of St. Paul.

Reed went on to join the Black United Front. In 1970 he was convicted of shooting a St. Paul police officer. Twenty-five years after the killing, Reed was arrested and convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree-murder. He is serving life in prison.

Please take the time to write a letter to Ronald:
Ronald Reed #219531
Minnesota Correctional Facility-Lino Lakes
7525 Fourth Avenue
Lino Lakes, Minnesota 55014

Illustrated Guide Version 16.1 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, February 21st – Letter-writing for Ben Varela

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: Tuesday, February 21st, 2023
WHERE: from wherever you happen to be
COST: Free

“I greatly appreciate letters and your words of solidarity.” That’s from a recent letter we received from Ben Varela, who NYC ABC is encouraging folks to write this week, and we will write more about Ben below. For now, though, re-read that initial quote. It’s the same sentiment we hear time and time again from the political prisoners and prisoner of war we support. It seems really obvious, we know. Now think of the absence of those letters and words of solidarity. Think about being locked away for acting on your revolutionary desires or for being framed as a result of the wrong cops, from local to feds, deciding those desires and ideas are too powerful. As a collective, we organize support for those with whom we share affinity and those who come from many of the same movements and communities that we ourselves are a part. And, thankfully, we are but one collective in a broader universe of crews, collectives, organizations, cadres, formations, and individuals organizing similar support. All of that organizing only matters when reduced down to the individual reading this deciding that they, too, should act, in this case by writing a letter. So consider both the positive of writing to someone and the negative of letting another moment pass by without offering this lifeline of support.

Ben Varela is currently serving a three year sentence for shooting notorious Proud Boys member Tusitala “Tiny” Toese after Toese and other Proud Boys attacked a group of anti-fascists when counterprotesters failed to appear at an anti-vaccination event for which they were providing “security.” As the Proud Boys chased folks with baseballs bats, clubs, and maces, Ben made the decision to defend himself and others from being attacked, drew his pistol, and shot. Toese was hit, but suffered an injury that was only enough to stop the attack, not life-threatening. You can support Ben by writing a letter and by contributing to his commissary fund.

Please take the time to write a letter to Ben (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Benjamin Varela #434577
Stafford Creek Corrections Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, Washington 98520

Tuesday, February 7th – Letter Writing for Forest Defenders

7 February 2023 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: Tuesday, February 7th, 2023
WHERE: from wherever you happen to be
COST: Free

As everyone reading this likely knows, several folks have been arrested and are facing ludicrous terrorism charges for putting their bodies on the line to protect Weelaunee forest land in and around Atlanta from being cleared and turned into a counter-insurgency police training facility and movie studio. These arrests happened in the weeks before and soon after forest defender Tortuguita was murdered by cops firing at least a dozen bullets at their body during a raid of a forest defenders’ camp on January 18, 2023.

This drastic increase of the level of repression is not unknown historically in these so-called ‘united states’–think about COINTELPRO and the murders of Black liberation activists in the 1960’s-1970’s, or the Green Scare that began in the late 1990’s which targeted Earth and animal defenders with terrorism enhancements–but it does point to an alarming ramping up of recent state and federal attacks against those practicing effective direct action. It seems the intersection of eco-defense, environmental justice, anti-police-state, and corporate accountability movements, is a frightening portent for the forces of reaction. As has been said many times, we can tell we’re onto something when they show how frightened they are. Unfortunately the powers that be show their fear through incarceration and police violence aimed at activists, often with devastating effects on the lives of our comrades and their loved ones.

So this week, NYC ABC is joining the call to show some of the recently arrested Forest Defenders our love and solidarity. Write them letters!

Names and current addresses of some of the imprisoned comrades are below; we will update here if and when these addresses change.

Please remember that these folks are pre-trial, and your letters will be monitored; don’t write anything that could get them–or yourself or our communities–into trouble. Also note that jails and prisons have various draconian rules, so it’s easiest to stick to writing in black ink with nothing from a grade school art class–glitter, stickers, crayon, et cetera–inside or on the envelope. As always, please refer to the “Write a Letter” section if it’s your first time writing someone inside.

Emily Murphy #2300000841
5NE Room 213
Atlanta City Detention Center
254 Peachtree Street SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Nadja Geier #2300000842
5FE Room 207
Atlanta City Detention Center
254 Peachtree Street SW
Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Christopher Reynolds
Dekalb County Jail
4415 Memorial Drive
Decatur, Georgia 30032
(Pre-metered postcards only, blue or black ballpoint ink)

Three additional forest defenders whose names are withheld at their request can be written to c/o:
Atlanta Books to Prisoners
Post Office Box 5390
Atlanta, Georgia 30307

For more info on this important struggle, check out defendtheatlantaforest.org and stopcopcitysolidarity.org

Illustrated Guide Version 16 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–anti-racist Alex Stokes.

Tuesday, January 24th – Letter Writing for Alex Stokes

22 January 2023 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: Tuesday, January 24th, 2023
WHERE: from wherever you happen to be
COST: Free

We are living in a time in which there is more to keep up with than is seemingly possible, both in terms of repression, but also resistance. As everyone reading this probably knows, forest defender Tortuguita was shot and killed in a raid by multiple armed police forces just days ago, on January 18th. There have also been several more arrests, with ‘terrorism’ charges being levied at even more protestors opposing Cop City. As horrific as this repression is, it points to the serious challenge posed to the Cop City project by the Forest Defenders, and the strength of the intersectional movements supporting them.

This brings to mind other recent episodes of heavy repression against those resisting oppression and fighting; the abolitionist uprising following the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, and the anti-fascist resistance surrounding the attempted coup of January 2021. Fortunately, good people did what they could to help expose the murderous nature of racial policing in the United States in the former, and to help defend their communities against fascist violence in the latter. Unfortunately though, good comrades are being locked behind bars for both, sometimes with brutally long prison sentences.

One of these is Alex Stokes, who we are asking everyone to write to this week. From Alex’s support site:
On January 6, 2021, protestors gathered outside the New York State Capitol in Albany, NY in support of the Stop the Steal rally in Washington DC. A handful of counter protesters spoke out against them and a melee broke out after a Proud Boy tased a Black man in the neck. Alex was watching from the sidelines and ran to help others. Police did not intervene until the violence had ended and ultimately arrested three Black activists. Alex was charged with several violent felonies. The Proud Boys that engaged in the violence were not arrested at the scene.

Alex’s family and friends maintain that he was railroaded by the system. He was a journalist under a court-ordered gag-order for over a year. His previous work and experience with dangerous hate groups were inadmissible for his defense, but the prosecution picked apart his social media accounts and portrayed his actions as premeditated. He was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison, despite the fact that no one died and neither of the victims received life-altering injuries.

In addition to being a journalist and an activist, Alex is also a talented artist with an interest in graphic novels if anyone wants to send him some reading material. There is also a donation page set up to help with Alex’s legal bills to help overturn the horrendously long sentence he is serving. More information at freealexstokes.com

NYC ABC is asking you to please help send Alex some love and solidarity. Write him a letter!
(As always, please refer to the “Write a Letter” section if it’s your first time writing someone inside.

Please take the time to write a letter to Alex (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Alexander Contompasis 22-B-5028
Upstate Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 2001
Malone, New York 12953

Tuesday, January 10th – Letter Writing for Kojo Sababu

10 January 2023 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: Tuesday, January 10, 2023
WHERE: from wherever in the Matrix you happen to be
COST: Free

This week NYC ABC is asking you to join us from wherever you are in writing a political prisoner whose sense of solidarity and community we greatly admire, Kojo Sababu.

Kojo Bomani Sababu is currently serving a 55 year sentence for actions with the Black Liberation Army and attempted prison escape with Puerto Rican Independista Oscar López Rivera. Kojo was captured on December 19, 1975 along with anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation. He was also charged with the murder of a drug dealer in his neighborhood. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy in 1981 and sentenced to 55 years in prison. In 1988, Kojo was convicted of conspiracy to escape along with Jaime Delgado (a veteran independence leader), Dora Garcia (a prominent community activist), and Oscar López Rivera (Puerto Rican Independista) from the federal prison at Leavenworth, where he was held.

Here is an interview with Kojo from some years back to hear him in his own words:

1: How did you come by your current name and how old are you?
The name Kojo comes from my comrades in arms. It means unconquerable, my full name is Kojo Bomani Sababu which means “unconquerable warrior, one who takes the people to heart”, our names, derived from African roots were adapted as inspiration. I am currently 54 years old, born May 27th 1953 in Atlantic City New Jersey.

2: What caused you to accept revolution in a country where so much is offered?
I grew up in a turbulent time in America where racist oppression and repression of New Africans was in vogue, and a great deal of political agitation occurred in the New African communities. Thus I heard speeches by Malcolm X, Elijah Mohamed and so forth and listened intently to their words. As a result I made a transition in my young life as I began to understand what was taking place around me from a nationalistic perspective. The deeds of the Black Panthers pushed me to act.

3: Was your life hard or difficult?
With the exception of the loss of my parents, life was not so difficult, in 1962 my father died coming home from work, in 1964 I was devastated with the murder of my mother. She was a guide for me, emphasizing education as a tool with which to change society, so her death caused me a pain I still experience. However her advice, that I learn all that I can, still resides within me.

4: How long have you been incarcerated?
I was captured on December 19th 1975 along with the anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation, subsequently other charges were added in relation to the elimination of social parasites from New African communities, ie drug dealers were killed, so I have been interned since that time. The war on drugs was started by New African liberation forces not the US government.

5: Your incarceration over all these years has lead you to see many changes in the struggle, what do you now think of the struggle in America?
The struggle lost its popularity because the contradiction between the oppressed and their oppressors became blurred, people think everything is resolved by having money, so it was made available by the oppressor. Now the torch bearers who articulated the logic of struggle against the oppressor nation have either been confined in prison cells for a long time or have a comfortable job. This is no indictment against the movement itself, because just as rapidly as it declined, it can experience a great resurgence given the right opportunities. However we must make great strides, reorganizing ourselves to embrace the difficulties we face. I have no solutions but I will say this: There are some great political minds contained in America’s prisons, which are growing old as their era of life departs, this resource needs to be tapped before it expires. Do not abandon the political prisoners and POW s, they are still insightful with their knowledge and experience.

6: Is there a statement or message you would like to pass on?

Yes! Immerse yourselves in learning to apply current technologies to organizing. Your problems, your advances, your struggles can become international in seconds so blog constantly, equip our movement with a new voice, use admirably what is used against you. We have had setbacks due solely to our arrogance, our refusal to change and modify our approach. We have to rebuild our resources by seeking effective new ideas, if we commit to that, I believe we will be successful.

7: Would you do it all over again?
Of course, anytime. Free the land, build to win!

Please take the time to write a letter to Kojo Sababu (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):

Kojo Sababu* #39384-066
USP Canaan
Post Office Box 300
Waymart, Pennsylvania 18472
*Address envelope to Grailing Brown

Categories: What We Do

BK/NY – Saturday, February 4th 2023 – Dope is Death film screening

8 January 2023 Comments off

WHAT: Dope is Death film screening
WHEN: Saturday, February 4th, 2023 at 8pm
WHERE: P.I.T. Brooklyn – 411 South 5th Street, Brooklyn, New York 11211 (Directions below)
COST: Free, but we will have information to donate to Mutulu Shakur’s release campaign

Join NYC Anarchist Black Cross for our first installment of a winter film series. We’re starting off with a screening of Dope is Death, the 2020 documentary.

From IMDB: In 1973, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, along with fellow Black Panthers and the Young Lords, combined community health with radical politics to create the first acupuncture detoxification program in America. This form of radical harm reduction was a revolutionary act toward the government programs that transfixed the lives of black and brown communities throughout the South Bronx. Dope is Death utilizes an abundant archive while giving us insight into how the acupuncture clinic rose to prominence and, despite funding challenges, still functions to this day. Some of those who benefited from the program became acupuncturists themselves. Dr. Mutulu’s legacy is cemented within this profound story of community healing and activism.

This event comes on the heels of Dr. Shakur’s release December 16, 2022 from federal prison after serving 37 years. From Family & Friends of Mutulu Shakur:
Today, the morning of December 16th, 2022, Dr. Mutulu Shakur was released from prison on parole! The decision to grant parole is based on federal law guidelines for “old law” prisoners, finding that Dr. Shakur poses no threat to the community, taking into consideration his exemplary conduct in prison, his medical condition and how much time he has served. Mutulu is now with his family. This victory was secured by the steadfast support of his legal team, his family and his community comprised of all of you.

Family & Friends of Mutulu Shakur (FFMS) is greatly appreciative of everyone’s support over the course of Mutulu’s decades in prison. We ask that everyone respect Dr. Shakur’s privacy while he spends the holidays with his family and concentrates on his health and healing.

Support Dr. Mutulu as he adjusts to life on the outside by donating to his support crew directly.

Letters and packages may be sent to:
Dr. Mutulu Shakur c/o
Hirano Acupuncture Clinic
1139 North Brand Boulevard, Unit B
Glendale, California 91202

Getting to P.I.T.:
J/M Train – Get off at the Hewes stop walk south on Broadway for ~half a block, turn left on Hewes Street. It will be on the corner of South 5th Street and Hewes.

G Train – Get off at the Broadway stop and walk north on Union Street to South 5th Street, take a left on South 5th Street and it will be at the end of the block on the right.

Tuesday, December 27th – Letter Writing To Nikki Hubbard

27 December 2022 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, December 27th, 2022
COST: Free

There are always ebbs and flows in every aspect of the intersecting avenues of liberation struggles and supporting political prisoners is no exception. Actually this work that we do together might be a bellwether for both the state of our movements and social/political trends of society at large. It is certainly a better barometer than election cycles for instance. And we are unfortunately entering a time in which the trend of seeing a few comrades be able to come home over the past few years (while others have been sadly left to die inside) is being reversed, as harsh charges and sentences are being meted out to several activists for organizing against police brutality, standing up to right wing violence, and defending what is left our natural spaces. But it is important to remember that as much as we are heartbroken that our comrades are forcibly caged and kept separated from their lives and loved ones, we must also honor and celebrate their courage and determination to actively resist harm to their communities and our shared planet.

This week, we are encouraging you to join us in writing to Nikki Hubbard. Nikki is a BLM activist who was recently sentenced to over 4 years for counter-protesting a Pro-Trump “Patriot’s March” in Pacific Beach, CA. According to her supporters, none of the Pro-Trump protesters were detained however Nikki and many other defendants were arrested for conspiracy, assault, and unlawful tear gas (for having pepper spray). Nikki is trans femme and is currently being held in a men’s facility despite her legal Driver’s License gender being changed to Female. Her partner has set up a link tree for her where you can find social media, mutual aid, and donation links related to Nikki’s case and causes. From what we hear, Nikki is interested in psychology, viking-era fantasy fiction, and history.

Also, Nikki’s birthday is January 7th, so please wish her the happiest of birthdays possible while inside!

Note: The prison system is inhumane and cis-heterosexist, so envelopes must be addressed to Nikki’s State/deadname (below). Address the letter itself to her actual name, Nikki. (A petition to get her moved to a women’s prison will be set up in the near future.)

Free Nikki! Free Them All!

Please join NYC ABC in a letter to Nikki Hubbard:

Erich Yach #BU6682
Wasco State Prison Recpetion Center
701 Scofield Ave.,
P.O. Box 5500,
Wasco, CA 93280
*address letter to Nikki*

As always, please refer to the “Write a Letter” section if it’s your first time writing someone inside.

BK/NY – NYE – Noise Demo Against the Prison Industrial Complex, In Solidarity with PPs and POWs

WHAT: Noise Demo
WHEN: 9:00pm, Saturday, December 31st
WHERE: Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC, the federal prison in Brooklyn); 29th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, Brooklyn, New York 11232 (D/N/R to 36th Street or R to 25th Street).
NOTE: we are not encouraging folks to take public transit or other risks. Please recognize your comfort level with attending this event)
BRING: Noisemakers, air horns, drums, anything that is loud!

On the noisiest night of the year in New York City, come help us remind folks locked up that they are not alone. NYC Anarchist Black Cross, in response to an international call for noise demonstrations outside of prisons, is asking folks to join us outside of the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Come, not to appeal to authority, speak truth to power, or any other contrivance, but rather to stand with comrades, at a safe distance, and show direct solidarity to those on the other side of the wall.

The state, writ large, is targeting anarchists all across the United States and abroad. This will be both protest and celebration.