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May 1st – May Day letter-writing for Anarchist Prisoners

30 April 2023 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: May 1st, 2023
WHERE: your home (or wherever you happen to be)
COST: Free

“Give flowers to the rebels who failed,
Their sight fixed upon the break of dawn,
To the bold rebel who fights and works
To the far-seeing poet who sings and dies”
from Primo Maggio (The First of May),
by Pietro Gori, 1890

May Day is historically an anarchist holiday, which honors the date called for a nation-wide general strike for the 8 hour day work day in 1886. The tumultuous days that followed in the mid-western states resulted in multiple skirmishes and several casualties on both sides, and ultimately led to the railroaded conviction of 8 known anarchists from the Chicago scene. On November 11th, 1887, four anarchists were hanged—Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, Adolph Fischer; Louis Lingg took his own life the night before to deny the state the satisfaction. Their sacrifice became symbolic of the sacrifices, struggles, and victories of anarchists the world over who have given their time, energy, and risked their lived and freedom for the Beautiful Ideal.

So this May Day NYC ABC is asking you to write letters to some anarchists and comrades currently held in U.S. prisons. Please drop them a line or send a card to let them know you are thinking of them. (Note: the addresses below are correct to the best of our knowledge as of the time of this posting, though in some cases links to info about their cases does not reflect this; ie, Casey’s address has changed due to new digitized mail protocols.)

Gage Halupowski #21894460
South Fork Forest Camp
48300 Wilson River Highway
Tillamook, Oregon 97141-9799

Alexander Contompasis 22-B-5028
Upstate Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 2001
Malone, New York 12953

Benjamin Varela #434577
Stafford Creek Corrections Center
191 Constantine Way
Aberdeen, Washington 98520

Eric King #27090-045
USP Florence ADMAX
Post Office Box 8500
Florence, Colorado 81226

Daniel Baker #25765-509
FCI Memphis
Post Office Box 34550
Memphis, Tennessee 38184

Marius Mason* #04672-061
FCI Danbury
Route 37
Danbury, Connecticut 06811
*Address envelope to Marie (Marius) Mason.

Xinachtli* #255735
W.G. McConnell Unit
3001 Emily Drive
Beeville, Texas 78102
*Address envelope to Alvaro Hernández

Casey Brezik #1154765
c/o Digital Mail Center- Missouri DOC
Post Office Box 25678
Tampa, Florida 33622-5678

Bill Dunne #10916-086
FCI Victorville Medium I
Post Office Box 3725
Adelanto, California 92301

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
X2204380
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


Tuesday, December 13th – Letter Writing To Eric King

9 December 2022 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, December 13th, 2022
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

We are very pleased that after years of restrictions, Eric King can finally get and send mail! While he is still being punitively isolated as reprisal for beating the most recent charges thrown at him—essentially being punished for defending himself from an unprovoked attack by a guard—he can at least get some love and light from his friends and supporters. So this week we are strongly encouraging everyone reading this to write Eric and tell him he has not been forgotten in the least. Send some nice stories and jokes and things to brighten the lonely days and nights inside. Here is a reading list as well if you’d like to send him books.

Eric King is a vegan anarchist political prisoner who has been imprisoned since 2016. Eric is also a dad, a poet, and a committed activist who has faced horrendous state violence for his principled stances. On March 3, 2016, Eric accepted a non-cooperating plea agreement to one count of using “explosive materials to commit arson” and on June 28, 2016 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. His estimated release date is December 27, 2023.

In August 2019 Eric was charged for assaulting a Federal officer and faced up to 20 more years in prison. He was found innocent by a federal jury. Despite this the BOP within 11 days transferred him and bumped his custody up to MAX as a response to his win. He is set to continue to be detained indefinitely in segregation.

Please join NYC ABC in a letter to Eric King:

Eric King #27090-045
USP FLORENCE ADMAX
PO BOX 8500
FLORENCE, CO 81226

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.

BK/NY – Saturday, June 11th – Sacco and Vanzetti Film Screening in Solidarity with Anarchist and Eco Prisoners

WHAT: International Day of Solidarity with Anarchist and Eco Prisoners
WHEN: 8pm, Saturday, June 11th, 2016
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, but we will pass the hat as a fundraiser for prisoners.
J11_2016
Join The Base and NYC ABC here in New York as a part of the celebration of resistance. We will be hearkening back to the history of anarchism and repression in the US, by screening an excellent documentary about anarchist revolutionaries Sacco and Vanzetti who were notoriously railroaded by the US state. The Italian heritage and anarchist political leanings of these two men spurred on the witch hunt against them, so that even though no evidence could be found, newspapers ran headlines such as ‘Hang Them Anyway!

Sacco and Vanzetti, just like Luigi Galliani, were all anarchist victims of the first Red Scare, which set the stage for the continual anti-communist rhetoric and policy that still influences the US state to this day. From the Palmer Raids to the Green Scare, anarchists have fought against the repressive appendages of the state; and on this day of solidarity we want to celebrate the thrust towards liberation and the rebellious actions of anarchist prison rebels internationally.

We’d like to celebrate the anarchist revolutionaries in the past who we draw inspiration from, and who’s traditions we are carrying to the present. From the insurgent heart of Kuwasi Balagoon or Nestor Makhno, or the oratory of Emma Goldman, or the zeal of Johann Most, we recognize the tradition we are espousing and understand the necessity of struggle.

Today we see the same passion from comrades in Revolutionary Struggle in Greece, the anarchist prisoners in Chile and Spain, the daily war going on in Alabama prisons with Michael Kimble, or the growth of a new International Brigades with anarchist fighters on the frontline in Rojava. In these struggles our traditions continue and we will struggle until the trappings of capitalist society and world of states crumbles.

In this struggle prison is always potentially around the corner. As Alfredo Bonanno warned us, you’re not doing your actions right if you don’t go to prison occasionally. Prison is not to be taken lightly. It is the threat of ultimate oppression and a reality that is all too real for revolutionaries. The anarchists serving prison sentences for their contributions deserve our complete engagement in the struggle.

As the call for this day has stated, “In the weeks since we put out our text for this year, anarchists in Chile, the Czech Republic, Spain, Poland, Azerbaijan, and elsewhere have faced repression by the state for their refusal to submit to this world of exploitation and hierarchy. For us, this only makes more clear the importance of solidarity. If we hope for our comrades to not fall into the oblivion of prison, we must manifest daily, and in every way, our complicity with their struggles.”

More at june11.org

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BK/NY – Saturday, February 27th – The Spaces Between

WHAT: The Spaces Between
WHEN: 7:00pm, Saturday, February 27th, 2016
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: FreePrintAll too often anarchists in the United States look to places like Oakland or New York for cues of how to get it done, though most of us don’t live in those cities.

This tour features friends from Denver, Colorado and Richmond, Virginia coming to talk about what it looks like for anarchists outside cities with longstanding institutional left bases. We think there is a lot to learn from the less glamorous towns and small cities where anarchists continue fighting in spite of it all. Sharing our experiences of building, failing, rebuilding, fucking it up and sometimes winning, we hope to strike up conversations with friends. Let’s talk community defense work, anti-police struggles, combating gentrification warfare, how not to let the liberals get us down and more.

Read more…

Running Down the Walls 2015 – A Reportback

tofu face 2015Running Down the Walls (RDTW) 2015 was a success in building relationships, feeling the solidarity of running as our imprisoned comrades did the same, and raising funds for the ABCF Warchest and Family and Friends of Maliki Shakur Latine (Maliki is a New York state held political prisoner whose support crew is currently raising funds for his parole campaign). We arrived early, to avoid getting beaten to a sweet spot in Prospect Park (Brooklyn), which gave us time to set up our hand-painted RDTW banner, tables of literature and food, and mark turns along the route of the run. 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 our ubiquitous red wire rack of free literature, including copies of the recently published Battle Tested, After Prison, the NYC ABC Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoner and Prisoners of War, and all of the tri-fold pamphlets about many of the prisoners we support. We also sold our ASL All Cops Are Bastards (ACAB) t-shirts.

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

A few serious runners arrived as early as 1:30pm, though the announced time of the event was 2:00-7:00pm and we typically use the first half hour to register folks and take sponsor forms from those who hustled to get sponsors. Even with this schedule in mind, anarchist time prevailed and the run actually started closer to 2:45, following a group photo around the RDTW banner.

Before the run, an NYC ABC collective member went over some basics, while also kicking facts about political prisoners and state repression. We then played a greeting from Jaan Laaman, recorded specifically for the event. Jaan recommended we dedicate RDTW 2015 to the memory of our fallen comrade Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell. As a special treat, Dequi Kioni-Sadiki started the race with the drop of a red bandana.

At this point, it’s impossible to write about the event without mentioning that squarely in the middle of the Inner Loop, our run path, sat the inaugural installation of a foodie event that shall not be named. Our participants had to run through a sea of yuppies, starving for local micro-butchery, artisanal ice cubes, and whatever other contrived bullshit passes for authenticity to the ruling class. On the upside, this drove a lot of folks to our literature table and put us in the position to talk to individuals who would likely never otherwise approach us. Of course anarchists won’t be happy until the last capitalist is hung with the guts of the last bacon-infused mustache wax-wearing yuccie, but until then it was good practice to talk to strangers about our political prisoners. A fair number of park guests stopped at the table to get information about the prisoners, Running Down the Walls, and NYC ABC.

Of the 60-70 folks who came to RDTW 2015, about 45 participated in the 5k. The age range was 3-71 years old. Hashtag multi-generational. Several runners were serious, several were fast, and the venn diagram of those two categories resulted in the same person running the fastest laps this year as last.

After running, bronchial passages fully dilated, through clouds of meat smoke and whatever cologne investment bankers wear, what sounds better than a plate of barbecue and potato salad? Chorizo tofu empanadas? You’re right.

The picnic consisted of Texas style barbecued jackfruit sandwiches with fresh pickles; potato salad; pasta salad; empanadas; chocolate-coconut cream layer cake; and plum-peach lemon almond polenta cake. Yes, a lot of folks came just for the food.

Before we got too deep into socializing, we read a statement written for the event by Maliki Shakur Latine, and then gave prizes. Oh yeah, RDTW had prizes this year. Friends from AK Press and Combustion Books donated prizes that were given for the three folks who raised the most money in sponsorships as well as for the person who made the single largest donation at the event. We also had a laser cut acrylic “ACAB” plaque for the runner who completed the 5k in the least amount of time.

One participant garnered over $1,300 in sponsors, and several others raised hundreds of dollars each. All told, between the event and what was sold through our table, we raised a respectable amount of loot.

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. Twitter followers brought IRL friends and comrades & allies turned up as well. South Brooklyn ABCF, Release Aging People in Prison (RAPP), NYC Jericho Movement, International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, Family and Friends of Maliki Shakur Latine, the campaign the Bring Mumia Home, Marius Mason’s support crew, and the campaign the Free the MOVE 9 prisoners were among the represented organizations that explicitly work on political prisoner support. We were also thankful for the presence of Sekou Odinga, former political prisoner and consistent example of solidarity through action.

Most folks had left by 6:30 and those who stayed did so to help clean up and transfer everything to the cars. 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 2015 to an even more inspiring level.

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

NYC ABC

BK/NY – September 16th – The Promise Of Anarchism: An International Panel Discussion

WHAT: To Change Everything
WHEN: 7:00pm, Wednesday, September 16th
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
To Change EverythingClimate change, economic crisis, unrest from Baltimore to Brazil: the prevailing order is unsustainable in every way. Today even the most entrenched authorities admit that it is necessary to change everything. But all the solutions they offer rely on the same structures that produced this mess in the first place. How do we change everything?

This panel brings together organizers from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and the US to discuss what anarchist ideas and strategies have to offer in the 21st century. Comparing experiences in the social movements and uprisings of the past decade, they will explore questions about reform, democracy, and self-determination. Read more…

BK/NY – Friday, April 17 – To Change Everything: An Anarchist Appeal

WHAT: Discussion On Anarchy, International and Local WHEN: 8pm sharp, Friday, April 17th, 2015 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 TCEJust one night before the 2015 NYC Anarchist Book Fair, NYC ABC is hosting an event to encourage anarchy in our city. It’s happening at Brooklyn’s only anarchist social center– The Base. Today, even the entrenched representatives of the status quo admit that it is necessary to change everything. But the best they can come up with is to appeal to the same authorities and values that caused these problems in the first place. What will it take to make a clean break? In this discussion, a participant in the CrimethInc. Collective will explore the most provocative themes in their international multimedia outreach project To Change Everything, tying them into struggles taking place around the world and in New York City today. Please join us for a lively conversation! Read more…

NYC – Tuesday, July 8th – Letter-writing to Alvaro Luna Hernández

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
WHERE: CAGE83A Hester Street (UPSTAIRS) New York, New York 10002 (directions below)
COST: Free
alvaro luna hernandezNYC ABC has been very fortunate lately. We’ve been invited to table at some great events and have hosted talks by close comrades. This kind of community building really gives us the momentum to work on our core projects, including the upcoming every-other-week letter-writing dinners.

This week we are focusing on Alvaro Luna Hernández. Alvaro Luna Hernández is a Chicano-Mexicano political prisoner sentenced to 50 years in prison for aggravated assault on a cop when he disarmed a sheriff attempting to shoot him.

Deeply effected by witnessing the murder of one of his friends by a known racist cop (yes, it’s redundant), Alvaro dedicated his life to fighting police brutality, especially as it was manifest against the Chicano community. From 1976 through 1990, Alvaro was falsely accused of murder (and after public outcry eventually released) and severely beaten by police, all the result of his work to end police brutality in Houston, Texas.

In 1996, Brewster County Sheriff Jack McDaniel came to Alvaro’s house, allegedly to arrest him for robbery (side note: the robbery charge was summarily dismissed). The cop didn’t have an arrest warrant and when Alvaro, unarmed, questioned the cop’s abuse of power, the cop pulled his gun. Before he could shoot, Alvaro disarmed the cop without injuring him, and fled.

Upon his capture, Alvaro was found guilty and sentenced to an unbelievable 50 years in prison. Since his imprisonment, he has been denied access to library materials, faced increasing censorship of his mail, and had to deal with retaliation from prison staff over his filing of grievances.

If for some bizarre reason you can’t make it to dinner, please write to Alvaro from home. His address is:

Alvaro Luna Hernández #255735
James V Allred Unit
2101 FM 369 North
Iowa Park, Texas 76367

For more information, visit freealvaronow.blogspot.com

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