WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
WHERE: The Base – 1302 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.
As the laziest form of “politics” is finally drawing near its end for another four years and your racist aunts and uncles stop pretending to think about the world outside their tiny bubble and go back to filling up your social media feed with cat memes and candy crush invites, you are invited to come support political prisoners and prisoners of war against the white supremacist State with us this Tuesday.
This week we are writing to local newly incarcerated Copwatcher and anti-police activist Ramsey Orta. Cops targeting and murdering people in an effort to decimate communities of color is a practice as old as the institution of police itself. It is not new. However, now that technology has progressed and more people have video recording devices in their pockets ready to film in an instant, some cops are being caught in the act and documented.
In July 2014 Ramsey was in front of a corner store on Staten Island when vicious murdering pig David Pantaleo wrapped his arm around Eric Garner’s neck and squeezed until his final breath. Having dealt with police before Ramsey had the forethought to grab his camera phone and start recording. He captured the final moments of Eric Garner’s life, in which he uttered the now infamous phrase and rallying cry, “I can’t breathe.” Ramsey released the video, which instantly went viral and inspired folks to hit the streets across the country against the police. Given the State’s goals of maintaining white supremacy it should come as no surprise that the only person who both walked away from the scene of Eric Garner’s death alive and faced any real consequences handed down by the State is Ramsey. Since the uploading of the video, Ramsey has been harassed non-stop by the NYPD and was arrested numerous times. On one occasion when the police were targeting and arresting him, they even pulled out their phones and said “You filmed us, now we are filming you.” One of these charges stuck and Ramsey surrendered himself to begin a four year sentence on October 3rd.
For more information, visit ramseyorta.info
Last year, we hoped that the release of Lynne Stewart on New Year’s Day would usher in a year of political prisoner releases. It did. We welcomed 20 of the prisoners in our Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War back to the world and, on the eve of 2015, also welcomed Lynne as she joined us at our annual New Year’s Eve noise demo.
The night was cold, but not exceptionally so. Regardless, hot cocoa supplied by comrades from Stop the Anarchist Witch-hunt (SAW) kept revelers from freezing as the crowd grew larger. Noise being the operative term, we had a complete miss-mash of sound as radical marching band Rude Mechanical Orchestra competed with a mobile sound system and a host of air horns, whistles, and vuvuzelas.
For those unfamiliar, the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC New York) is a brick and steel monolith in one of the small corners of Manhattan not filled with residential buildings. As we arrived, there were very few cops or federal prison guards. Once our numbers swelled to over 100, that changed. They kept their distance, perhaps as part of the alleged NYPD union work slowdown, but it was clear that they were prepared to bust skulls if given the chance. Later that night, cops unleashed their pent up feelings of inadequacy on an impromptu in-the-streets dance party not far from where the noise demo ended.
The mood was festive and celebratory, but it was clear that the crowd, eventually peaking at around 150 noisy rabble rousers, was also full of rage as evidenced by the signs and banners, including a wanted sign for cops involved in the murder of Eric Garner.
Shortly before the crowd started to break up and head out, the following statement was read as a call and response, ensuring that our comrades inside could hear it:
“To many it feels like we live in a time like no other with surveillance and repression at every turn, but also resistance, rebellion, and open revolt. This is neither the new golden nor dark age, it is simply another moment in time where we can collectively force conflict with a fucked up system.
Every day there are revolts of varying scale, most of which you never hear about. For those captured in revolt, we come together in protest and celebration. Through the din of revelry and rage, we tie ourselves to those who suffer systematized white supremacy and war against the working class, behind steel bars and safety glass.
Prison is a means of social control to be absolutely destroyed.
Here’s to the total destruction of a prison-based society!
Tonight we bring with us the courage of Sundiata Acoli, the ferocity of Joe-Joe Bowen, the wisdom of Mutulu Shakur.
We hold in our hearts comrades soon to be or recently imprisoned: Greg Boertje-Obed, Kevin Chianella, Eric King, Luke O’Donovan, Megan Rice, and Michael Walli.
YOU. ARE NOT. ALONE.”
Rebels are getting wild in the streets, fed up with the abuse and brutality regularly meted out by cops. We in NYC ABC say up the rebels, including those comrades behind bars. And how do we support those imprisoned revolutionaries? One way is through our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinners. This week we are a little early in answering the call for solidarity with international anarchist political prisoners.
Many imprisoned anarchists will never be acknowledged as ‘political prisoners’ by formal human-rights organizations, because their sense of social justice is strictly limited to the capitalist laws which are designed to defend the State and prevent any real social change. At the same time, even within our individual communities, we know so little about the repression that exists in other countries.
Here in the states, folks are being persecuted for possibly even associating with anarchists or animal liberationists. Around the globe, the state and capital collude in much the same way, and as a result rebels are imprisoned for acting on their desire for a free world. Please join us in sending cards to these imprisoned comrades. We’ll see you at supper!