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BK/NY – Sunday, September 17th – Running Down the Walls

WHAT: Running Down the Walls – 5k Run/Walk/Jog/Bike
WHEN: 2:00-7:00pm, Sunday, September 17th
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. In the last few years, we’ve had runs in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Boston (MA), Buffalo (NY), Chico (CA), Denver (CO), Elmore (AL), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), Minneapolis (MN) New York (NY), USP Navosta (TX), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), Seattle (WA), 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. NYC ABC‘s goal with this year’s run is $4,000. You can donate online by going to gumroad.com/nycabc

This year’s run will take place on Sunday, September 17th 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

To raise our goal of $4,000, we need your support.

* Promote – print and distribute this poster and/or this flyer to friends and local businesses, your doctor’s office, laundromat, food co-op, wealthy benefactor, et cetera.

* 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 online at gumroad.com/nycabc

* 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 5 Borough Anti-Repression Committee (5BARC).

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. Its 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. Over the last two decades, the ABCF warchest has dispensed over $85,000 to political prisoners in the United States. Currently, there are 13 imprisoned comrades who receive a monthly stipend as part of the program; they are:
David Gilbert
Hanif Bey

Herman Bell
Jaan Laaman
Jalil Muntaqim
Joseph Bowen

Malik Smith
Oso Blanco
Robert Seth Hayes
Ruchell Magee
Sundiata Acoli
Tom Manning
Xinachtli (FKA Alvaro Luna Hernandez)

For more information, visit: abcf.net/warchest-program

5 Borough Anti-Repression Committee (5BARC):
The 5 Borough Anti-Repression Committee (5BARC) is dedicated to defending NYC #DisruptJ20 defendants who were mass arrested on inauguration day in Washington D.C. while protesting against everything Trump stands for. Each defendant now faces at least 8 felony charges which amount to 75 years in prison. 5BARC aims to build a local coalition of organized supporters who will voice their opposition to these absurd charges. #DISMISSJ20

We will be starting here:

From the 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 one lap around what is known as the Main Loop, and will total five kilometers. For the curious, here’s what it looks like:

Main Loop

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail us at nycabc at riseup dot net.

See you there!

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BK/NY – Tuesday, June 20th – Letter-writing to Jaan Laaman and Tom Manning

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, June 20th, 2017
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
jaan and tom 2015The summer is officially here and what better way to kick it off than with some solidarity to US held political prisoners and POWs. This Tuesday’s NYC ABC dinner will focus on two Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoners– Jaan Laaman and Tom Manning. Both are imprisoned for actions carried out by United Freedom Front (UFF), a clandestine revolutionary organization active in the United States in the early 1980s. The group targeted government institutions and major corporations that had ties to the South African Apartheid system or right-wing paramilitaries in Central America. This included taking actions directly against the South African and United States governments. The UFF carried out targeted bombings of corporate buildings, courthouses and military facilities as well as bank robberies to fund revolutionary projects. Both men were deeply involved in anti-South African apartheid organizing.

Jaan has been in solitary confinement for over three months as punishment for releasing two statements in early March; one having to do with the Women’s Strike & the other having to do with our recently deceased comrade Lynne Stewart. We recognize that the State will only enforce the laws that suit them and in turn will also disregard them when it suits them, so this blatant denial of Jaan’s free speech comes at no surprise.  It is our hope that the flood of letters we send to Jaan at this time will not only lift his spirits in this time of repression but also show those who keep him locked behind the walls how little we think of their efforts to silence him.

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write letters to Jaan and Tom:
Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016

USP Tucson

Post Office Box 24550

Tucson, Arizona 85734

Tom Manning #10373-016
FCI Butner Medium II
Post Office Box 1500
Butner, North Carolina 27509

Stay up to date by visiting: 4StruggleMag

Read more…

Running Down the Walls 2016 – A Reportback

all_cats_are_beautifulRunning Down the Walls (RDTW) 2016 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 the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP is a collective Alternative to Detention (ATD), detention center visitation, direct service, and community organizing project that works with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Two Spirit, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, and HIV+ detainees and their families currently in detention centers, those that are recently released from detention centers, and undocumented folks in New York City).

The fear factory National Weather Service gave us pause and we considered rescheduling this year’s event with tropical storm Hermine looming just off the coast. As it turned out, we had no floods, no rain, no high winds, just perfect weather for running. Crisis averted!

We arrived early, to avoid getting beaten to a sweet spot in Prospect Park, Brooklyn, by the gaggle of goofs clawing to get to a food circus we refuse to name. This gave us time to set up our hand-painted RDTW banner and tables of literature & food. The aforementioned mall food court for the self-perceived well-heeled was dropped squarely in the middle of our run path last year, so we switched it up on ’em. This year, our 5k was more like 5.2k (sorry, distance nerds) and consisted of a single lap around what is known as the Main Loop.

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 Conditions of Confinement (writings by anarchist prisoner Casey Brezik), 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 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.

Of the 60-70 folks who came to RDTW 2016, about 45 participated in the 5(.2)k. The age range was 4-72 years old. Hashtag multi-generational. Several runners were serious, several were fast, and the venn diagram of those two categories resulted in the same few folks running the fastest laps this year as last.

After running, bronchial passages fully dilated, what sounds better than a plate of barbecue and potato salad?

The picnic consisted of Texas-style barbecued jackfruit sandwiches with fresh pickles; potato salad; a variety of chips & cold drinks; and some outstanding cranberry blondies. Yes, a lot of folks came just for the food.

Before we got too deep into socializing, we read solidarity statements written for the event by Bill Dunne, Kojo Bomani Sababu, Hanif Bey, and Xinachtli.

One participant garnered over $1,000 in sponsors, and several others raised hundreds of dollars each. All told, 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. Instagram followers brought IRL friends, and comrades & allies turned up as well. 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, the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar, and the campaign to Free the MOVE 9 prisoners were among the represented organizations that explicitly work on political prisoner support. There were also folks from NYC Animal Defense League, the NYC Anarchist Book Fair, Black and Pink NYC, Rojava Solidarity NYC, Incarcerated Worker Organizing Committee NYC (IWOC), WESPAC, and Books Through Bars, among others. We were also thankful for the presence of Sekou Odinga and Susan Rosenberg, former political prisoners and consistent examples 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 2016 to an even more inspiring level.

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

NYC ABC

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 – Tuesday, February 17 – Letter-writing to Jaan Laaman and Tom Manning

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, February 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
jaan and tom 2015Can you name one thing that’s more important than a celebrity publicly criticizing another celebrity? It’s as if cops weren’t indiscriminately murdering folks and landlords weren’t looking to kick folks out into the street to make a buck. Meanwhile the state fabricates legislation to repress dissent. But by all means, corporate media, distract us with what some musician rants about. The crew in NYC ABC sees through the bullshit and refuses to lose focus on supporting imprisoned revolutionaries.

This Tuesday’s dinner will focus on two Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoners– Jaan Laaman and Tom Manning. Both are imprisoned for actions carried out by United Freedom Front (UFF), a clandestine revolutionary organization active in the United States in the early 1980s. The group targeted government institutions and major corporations that had ties to the South African Apartheid system or right-wing paramilitaries in Central America. This included taking actions directly against the South African and United States governments. The UFF carried out targeted bombings of corporate buildings, courthouses and military facilities as well as bank robberies to fund revolutionary projects. Both men were deeply involved in anti-South African apartheid organizing.

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write letters to Jaan and Tom:
Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016

USP Tuscon

Post Office Box 24550

Tuscon, Arizona 85734

Thomas Manning #10373-016

FMC Butner

Post Office Box 1600

Butner, North Carolina 27509

Stay up to date by visiting: 4StruggleMag

Read more…

Jaan Laaman’s Message to Running Down The Walls 2013

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. Via prisonradio.org:

Jaan Laaman’s Message to Running Down The Walls 2013

UPDATE: We’ve also received, via Los Angeles ABCF, a report from Jaan on Running Down the Walls that happened in the prison that currently holds him captive:

Hello everybody – hope this has been/is being a good running day for all of you.  About 30 of us in here – young and old, Black, white and Latino, did a real nice RDTW this morning.  We got together before taking off, had some words about the meaning of Running Down the Walls and it’s origin and ongoing reality.  Then we took off and got a real decent 5k – some walked some laps, but most ran all the miles.  Afterwards we all drank a cold soda and talked about people running in other cities and towns, in other kamps too, some at that very moment.  So it was a positive morning and a good run and we hope and expect that all of you and many many others, even in Switzerland! I hope they had a good run today too.  Now let’s hope Obama does NOT launch a new war in the mid-east, in Syria and, of course, I know we will all do what we can — Freedom Is A Constant Struggle !  jaan

Jaan Laaman’s Organizing Announcement for Running Down the Walls 2013

It’s time to lace up those running shoes for Running Down The Walls 2013. Political Prisoner Jaan Laaman explains the history of the event and implores listeners to get organized for 2013’s run. Thanks go out to Prison Radio for recording this.

Jaan Laaman Organizing Announcement

Runners, walkers, Human Rights supporters and people of positive consciousness, it’s time to lace up your running shoes and get ready to participate in the 2013 Running Down The Walls.   Hello, this is Jaan Laaman, your political prisoner voice coming to you from the u.s. prison in Tucson, Arizona.  Let me tell you about this annual 5k run, that takes place in dozens of cities  and  towns, and behind   state and federal prison walls across the usa and in some Canadian cities too.

Running Down The Walls was started 14 years ago in Los Angeles by the ABC Federation, to support and bring attention to the reality of political prisoners in the United States.  More broadly this run helps to publicize the denial of Human Rights and abusive conditions, that so many men, women, and children locked up in american prisons, face daily.

In addition to the runs held in cities around the country, prisoners organize solidarity runs in prison yards, also across the country.  These solidarity runs allow us to join with and show our support for the folks running outside.  Also, this shows unity among ourselves, old, young, Black, white, Latino, Native and all prisoners, running together for a positive goal of justice and freedom.

This year Running Down The Walls will take place on Sunday, September 1st.

If there is no run in your area yet, why not pull one together yourself? Join in, with the thousands of runners — inside and out on September 1st.  We might be separated by miles and bars,  but we are united in our goals of Justice, Human Rights, and Freedom!

Until next time, remember, Freedom Is A Constant Struggle.