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BK/NY – Tuesday, August 16th – Support Recently Transferred New York State Political Prisoners

What: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
When: 7pm (sharp), Tuesday, August 16th, 2011
Where: 885 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (see below for directions)
Cost: Free

In the words of The Clash, London’s burning. Folks there have had enough of being bullied and murdered by cops and they are fighting back. It’s incredible to see how they’ve come together to drive out the police who have all of the crown’s resources and training at  their disposal. There is plenty to be learned from what is happening there, not to mention the uprisings that continue around the world. During times like this, it serves us to reflect upon those in the United States who have similarly struggled and, in turn, have been captured. With that, NYC ABC brings another of our political prisoner letter-writing dinners. This week we are writing to three folks in our own state, all recently transferred to other prisons. Please join us in writing to Herman Bell, David Gilbert, Seth Hayes, and Jalil Muntaqim.

While we expect to see you on Tuesday, if you can’t make it, please take the time to write letters to Herman, David, Seth, and Jalil:

Herman Bell #79-C-0262
Great Meadow Correctional Facility
11739 State Route 22
Post Office Box 51
Comstock, New York 12821-0051

David Gilbert #83-A-6158
Auburn Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 618
Auburn, New York 13021

Robert Seth Hayes #74A2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116

Jalil Muntaqim* (Anthony Jalil Bottom) #77-A-4283
Attica Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 149
Attica, New York 14011-014
9
*Note: Make sure to address the envelope to Anthony Bottom and the letter to Jalil.

The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the Anarchist Birthday Brigade.

DIRECTIONS:
Getting to 885 Park Avenue is simple:
From the J/M/Z:
Flushing Stop: Walk southeast on Broadway (toward Sumner Place, away from Thornton Street) and make a right on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block, on your right.
Myrtle Stop: Walk northwest on Broadway (toward Melrose Street, away from Troutman Street) and make a left on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block on the right.

From the G Train:
Flushing Avenue Stop: Walk south on Marcy Avenue (toward Hopkins Street, away from Wallabout Street) and turn left on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down on the left.
Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues Stop: Walk north on Marcy Avenue (toward Stockton Street, away from Vernon Avenue) and turn right on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down on your left.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, we’ll see you at supper.

This event is brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Anarchist Black Cross.–

NYC ABC
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211

nycabc[at]riseup[dot]net
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Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!

NYC Running Down the Walls 2011 – A Reportback

Running Down the Walls 2011 in NYC went amazingly well. The bird of good omen flew overhead as we arrived at Prospect Park and found parking in the slot closest to the entrance. Those who have tried to park in any of the five boroughs know what that means. We took to transferring everything from the car to the start/finish/picnic spot, while one of us walked and marked the run’s route. The route is commonly known as “The Inner Loop” by local runners and two laps around equals almost exactly 3.1 miles, or 5 kilometers.

Given that this was also a picnic– outdoors, breezy, and mildly unpredictable, we set up a scaled down version of our literature table. This meant selling only buttons and water-bottles and copies of “Fire to the Prisons” magazine, which were donated to us as a fundraiser. Free literature included tri-folds about the New York State political prisoners and prisoners of war; a palm card that addresses the existence of political prisoners and prisoners of war in the United States on one side and information about NYC ABC as well as a list of our Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner dates for the remainder of the year on the other side; and sign-up/sponsor sheets for the event.

We also had printed number plates for the participants. The flipside of the plates had information about NYC ABC and guidelines for writing to prisoners, making it both a memento and a useful reminder to write to folks.

RDTW 2011 was an inside job. Not really, you fucking wingnuts!

RDTW 2011 was an inside job. Not really, you fucking wingnuts!

Participants started arriving about 1:50 and it was clear that they were excited about Running Down the Walls and serious about their sponsorships and running.

We planned on having registration from 2:00-2:30, with a race start at 2:30. However, after a few comrades called to let us know they were on their way, we decided to wait. And while some showed up as much as an hour later and ran or walked the course, folks were stretched, warmed up, and ready to run down some damned walls! That those who showed up really late didn’t just kick down money, but also wanted to do the damned thing is a testament to the power of the event.

One NYC ABC collective member had been talking all this shit about winning last year and to expect the same for 2011. Unfortunately for that comrade, some folks brought serious running to the table. One of the participants actually got their college paid for on a track scholarship! So as a note to those looking to run down the walls in New York City– you better start training, because you WILL have real competition. A lot of folks had specialized road running shoes and a few had running shorts. And that gear was worn in and not for show.

By about 2:40, late-comers showed up and the run was on. Having the run consist of two laps gave folks an idea of the course, so they could strategize their second lap after finishing the first. The person who first crossed the finish line did so in under twenty minutes. It was the person who went to college on a track scholarship and hadn’t trained in years. The next person, maybe a minute or less off the lead, was from NYC ABC. For someone who hasn’t trained for a run since last year’s Running Down the Walls, that’s pretty impressive. Second place is FIRST runner-up, right? We’re all winners, it’s just for fun, this wasn’t a competition, et cetera– whatever it takes to make a comrade feel better, right?

The turnout was strong, with between twenty-five and thirty folks participating throughout the day and plenty of others who came to show their support. A fair number of park guests stopped at the table to get information about the prisoners, Running Down the Walls, and NYC ABC. A few runners garnered over $100 each in sponsors, and several others raised almost as much. All told, between the event and what was sold through our table, we raised a respectable amount of loot. Half of the funds will go the the ABCF Warchest Program, the remainder to the Safe OUTside the System Collective (SOS is an anti-violence program led by and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, and Gender Non Conforming people of color. They are devoted to challenging hate and police violence by using community based strategies rather than relying on the police.)

After folks cooled down and had group photos taken by Dequi (recently married to Sekou Odinga), we ate. It’s a good thing Rolling Down the Walls 2011 wasn’t a competition in regards to either the run (though the first five or eight runners certainly treated it as such) or the food. Hurt feelings are certain if anyone tried to compete with one collective member’s vegan pulled pork sandwiches. With thinly-sliced white onion and tomato on a bun…holy shit. We had sweet tea, lemonade, root beer, and ice cold water to keep us hydrated.

Folks sitting around, talking, having just shared the run, felt good. The group consisted of folks from diverse backgrounds, many of whom were new faces to our collective. Facebook friends brought IRL friends and comrades & allies turned up as well. South Brooklyn ABCF, Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan, NYC Jericho Movement, Leonard Peltier Defense/Offense Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and the Sekou Odinga Defense Committee were among the represented organizations that explicitly work on political prisoner support.

Most folks had left by 6:30 and those who stayed did so to help clean up and transfer everything to the car. So the event went as scheduled, almost to the minute.

Knowing the history of the run and the imprisoned comrades with whom we ran in solidarity elevated Running Down the Walls 2011 to an even more inspiring level.

And that’s how we get down (the walls).

NYC ABC

BK/NY – Tuesday, August 2nd – Come Support Canadian Revolutionary Joseph Clement

What: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
When: 7pm (sharp), Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011
Where: 885 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (see below for directions)
Cost: Free

Well hot damn if Running Down the Walls 2011 here in NYC wasn’t amazing. We had a good turnout, not much hassle from the cops, and perfect weather. A good chunk of loot got raised for the ABCF Warchest and the Safe OUTside the System Collective (SOS), some genuinely amazing picnic food was shared, and folks are already talking about next year’s run. If you couldn’t make it, but still want to donate to the warchest, e-mail us or send a donation to the NYC ABC post office box (both addresses listed below).

Never content to rest on our laurels, we’re heading back into the NYC ABC staple– our every-other-week Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner. Anticipate having your mind blown by the food this week, but come for the person to whom we’re writing– Joseph Clement.

Joseph is a Canadian comrade who, in late 2010, firebombed a bank. No one was injured and it is clear that was by design. Joseph has been an active organizer for decades and his imprisonment is a loss to his community.

Once arrested, along with two other folks, Joseph remained steadfast in his decision to neither give names, testify against others, nor cooperate with the state. Unfortunately, at this point in history, such a stance is noteworthy as we’ve seen seemingly committed folks turn to the most disgusting and treacherous acts in an attempt to shave a little time off of a potential sentence. As a direct result of Joseph’s strength of character, his co-defendants were not tried for the bombing.

While we expect to see you on Tuesday, if you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Joseph at:

Joseph Roger Clement FPS-666866F
Pittsburgh Institution
Highway 15, Number 3766
Post Office Box 4510
Kingston, Ontario
K7L 5E5
Canada

The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the Anarchist Birthday Brigade.

DIRECTIONS:
Getting to 885 Park Avenue is simple:
From the J/M/Z:
Flushing Stop: Walk southeast on Broadway (toward Sumner Place, away from Thornton Street) and make a right on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block, on your right.
Myrtle Stop: Walk northwest on Broadway (toward Melrose Street, away from Troutman Street) and make a left on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block on the right.

From the G Train:
Flushing Avenue Stop: Walk south on Marcy Avenue (toward Hopkins Street, away from Wallabout Street) and turn left on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down on the left.
Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues Stop: Walk north on Marcy Avenue (toward Stockton Street, away from Vernon Avenue) and turn right on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down on your left.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, we’ll see you at supper.

This event is brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Anarchist Black Cross.–

NYC ABC
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211

nycabc[at]riseup[dot]net
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Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!

Jaan Laaman’s Address to Running Down the Walls 2011

Long-term anti-imperialist prisoner Jaan Laaman has always been a great promoter and participant in Running Down the Walls. This year is no different and he’s given us an audio address for the event.

Jaan Laaman RDTW 2011 Address

BK/NY – Tuesday, July 19th – Come Support Operation Backfire Defendant Justin Solondz

What: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
When: 7pm (sharp), Tuesday, July 19th, 2011
Where: 885 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (see below for directions)
Cost: Free

If NYC ABC were a factory (obviously in which we’ve seized the means of production and offed every goddamned boss in sight), we would be upping our productivity. Between co-hosting an amazing roadshow that presented the history of the prison industrial complex via puppets and our upcoming solidarity run with U.S.-held political prisoners and prisoners of war, we are busy. Thrown into the mix is our cornerstone– the Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner. This week we are writing to recently extradited Operation Backfire defendant Justin Solondz.

According to federal authorities, Mr. Solondz made incendiary devices that destroyed a horticulture center at the University of Washington in Seattle in May 2001. Prosecutors also accuse him of burning down buildings and vehicles in Oregon that same day, and will attempt to link him to a later arson attack in California.

On the lam, Justin was eventually arrested in China in March 2009, when the Chinese police arrested him in the mountains of Yunnan Province after he was caught with drugs and fake Canadian identification. About a month later, he was tried and sentenced to three years in prison. Within the last month or so, Justin was released from prison in China and deported to the United States, where he was immediately arrested and taken into federal custody.

Please keep in mind that Justin is pre-trial and that the crimes with which is charged are all mere allegations. While we expect to see you on Tuesday, if you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Justin at:

Justin Solondz #98291-011
MCC Chicago
71 West Van Buren Street
Chicago, Illinois 60605

The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the Anarchist Birthday Brigade.

DIRECTIONS:
Getting to 885 Park Avenue is simple:
From the J/M/Z:
Flushing Stop: Walk southeast on Broadway (toward Sumner Place, away from Thornton Street) and make a right on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block, on your right.
Myrtle Stop: Walk northwest on Broadway (toward Melrose Street, away from Troutman Street) and make a left on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block on the right.

From the G Train:
Flushing Avenue Stop: Walk south on Marcy Avenue (toward Hopkins Street, away from Wallabout Street) and turn left on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down on the left.
Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues Stop: Walk north on Marcy Avenue (toward Stockton Street, away from Vernon Avenue) and turn right on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down on your left.

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, we’ll see you at supper.

This event is brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Anarchist Black Cross.–

NYC ABC
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211

nycabc[at]riseup[dot]net
blog
facebook
twitter
myspace
website

Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!

NYC – Sunday, July 31st – Running Down the Walls 2011!


WHAT: Running Down the Walls – 5k Run/Walk/Jog/Bike
WHEN: 2:00-7:00pm, Sunday, July 31th
WHERE: Prospect Park– Lincoln Road/East Lake Drive, east of the Terrace Bridge (see the below map for exact location)
COST: $10 registration (includes food and drinks afterwards)

Every year, prisoners and supporters of political prisoners organize solidarity events with Running Down the Walls. Last year, we had runs in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Boston (MA), Denver (CO), Elmore (AL), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), New York (NY), USP Navosta (TX), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), and Toronto, Ontario. This year we hope to expand the amount of runs in prisons and other cities, as well as increase the amount of funds raised for community projects.

This year’s run will take place on Sunday, July 31st at 2:00pm in solidarity and conjunction with runs that will take place in cities and prison yards across the country at the same time.

REGISTER AS, OR SPONSOR, A PARTICIPANT

For this to be a success, we need your support.

* Run/walk/bike/roll in the 5k – We need participants who can run/walk/bike/roll the 5k and are able to collect financial pledges to offer as donations to the run. Download the brochure, complete with registration and sponsor form right here.

* Volunteer for the run – We need folks who are willing to staff a registration/literature table, hand out water, bike the route as street medics, and help chalk the route beforehand.

* Donate to the run/sponsor a participant – If you are not able to attend, but want to support this fundraising effort, please mail donations to:

NYC ABC
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211

Your donation of $10 or more entitles you to the celebratory picnic after the event.

Each year, we split proceeds between the Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s Warchest Program and a local organization. This year’s partner group will be the Safe OUTside the System Collective.

The Warchest Program:
The Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF) has initiated a program designed to send monthly checks to those Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have been receiving insufficient, little, or no financial support during their imprisonment. The Warchest program was initiated in November 1994. It’s purpose is to collect monthly funds from groups and individual supporters, and send that money to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (PP/POW) via monthly checks. For more information, visit: http://www.abcf.net/abcf.asp?page=warchest

Safe OUTside the System:
The Safe OUTside the System (SOS) Collective is an anti-violence program led by and for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Two Spirit, Trans, and Gender Non Conforming people of color. We are devoted to challenging hate and police violence by using community based strategies rather than relying on the police. For more information, visit: http://alp.org/community/sos

We’ll be starting here:


Directions:
From the B or Q train, get off at the Prospect Park stop. Walk to Lincoln Road and turn right into the park. We’ll be about 700 feet away.

The event will be two laps around what is known as the Inner Loop, and will total five kilometers. For the curious, here’s what it looks like:

Of course, if you have any questions, e-mail us at nycabc at riseup dot net

BK/NY – Tuesday, July 12th – Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army at Book Thug Nation

WHAT: Puppet Show History of the Prison Industrial Complex
WHEN: 7:00-9:00pm, Tuesday, July 12th
WHERE: Book Thug Nation [100 North Third Street, Between Berry Street and Wythe Avenue, Brooklyn]
COST: Free, but we’re passing a hat (Roadshows need loot to travel. Otherwise, they’re just shows).

Join NYC ABC and Book Thug Nation as we welcome a traveling puppet show of a history of the Prison Industrial Complex from slavery to where it is today. There will also be some other road show elements and presentations as well as a few anti-capitalist fairy tales using rod puppets. The roadshow is a product of the Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army, whose past work highlighted security culture in the midst of the feds and cops working to destroy our movements and communities.

The tour will raise awareness about the Prison Industrial Complex and the ways in which police and policing hurt our communities.

“Our goal in this tour is to use art to explore these relationships and brainstorm with our audiences how we can fight this brutally racist system,” said Mysterious Puppeteer Michael Snacks.

The United States currently imprisons nearly 3 million people. About 6.5 million people are presently under some form of supervision within the criminal justice system. Racism continues to be a major factor in the United States, illustrated by policies and programs that sustain white supremacy. Racism, as it is used through criminal laws that target people of color, is essential to prisons, not accidental. The Prison Industrial Complex is also fueled by dramatic and racist reporting about “crime,” “delinquency,” and “rebellion,” creating a culture of fear. As a result, people (primarily people of color, youth, and the poor) are locked in cages for longer and longer in the interests of “public safety.” The way the many parts of the Prison Industrial Complex interact is exactly what makes it so powerful and destructive. In order to fight this system, we have to recognize what drives and shapes it.

These shows are child-friendly and we greatly encourage you to bring younger folks to this event. The focus is not sub-culture specific, in an attempt to make it more appealing to a larger number of folks.

For more information, please visit:
Mysterious Rabbit Puppet Army: mrpuppetarmy.wordpress.com
NYC Anarchist Black Cross: nycabc.wordpress.com
Book Thug Nation: bookthugnation.com