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Tuesday, June 29th – Letter-writing to Russell Maroon Shoatz

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, June 29th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

One year and one month to the day of George Floyd’s murder the state sentenced his murderer to 22 1/2 years in prison. Are we supposed to be happy or feel relieved? Those of us engaged in prisoner support work know plenty of folks that spend much more time inside for much less, but also know prison is hell anyway you slice it (we don’t like to get caught up in the arguments of what constitutes a long sentence). Regardless, we trust he’ll be well cared for in there. And no, we’re not happy. And no, we’re not relieved. They sacrificed one of their own to take the fall for the rest still working their beats. Meanwhile, cops continue to murder, migrants are detained at an increasing rate, and Trump is still holding rallies. The uprisings of 2020 were a hopeful promise of what is to come, and now one year later we’re here wondering if anything has changed. All we can do is to continue our organizing projects, our mutual aid projects, and our solidarity work. For us at NYC ABC, that is supporting political prisoners through letter writing efforts.

This week, NYC ABC and Page One Collective ask you to write to a Black liberation political prisoner, the truly implacable Russell Maroon Shoatz, himself accused of taking action against the brutality meted out by cops on Black communities. Russell Maroon Shoatz is a dedicated community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party and soldier in the Black Liberation Army. In 1970, along with 5 others, Maroon was accused of attacking a police station, which resulted in a cop being killed. This attack was said to have been carried out in response to the rampant police brutality in the Black community. For 18 months Maroon functioned underground as a soldier in the Black Liberation Army. In 1972 he was captured. Twice he escaped—once in 1977 and again in 1980, but both times he was recaptured and today he is held in Pennsylvania where he is serving multiple life sentences. As with many of our imprisoned elders, Maroon faces health concerns and should immediately released. On June 17th 2021 there was an emergency action to get Russell his much needed chemo treatments which had been cancelled by DOC. Please stay tuned for more updates. 

Please take the time to write a letter to Maroon (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Smart Connections/PA DOC
Russell Shoats #AF-3855
SCI-Dallas
Post Office Box 33028
St. Petersburg, Florida 33733

Illustrated Guide Version 13.5 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.

Anarchist Book Fair Event – Prisoners Are Speaking: Are We Listening?

WHAT: Panel discussion on recent political prisoner writings
WHEN: 7:00pm, Saturday, April 6th
WHERE: Bluestockings Books – 172 Allen Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan
COST: $5, suggested donation

NYC Anarchist Black Cross, PM Press, and Resistance in Brooklyn present . . .

Prisoners Are Speaking: Are We Listening?

Whether in the medium of books or in other writing, letters, artwork, or through deeds themselves, prisoners in resistance are speaking out. Some are political prisoners and/or prisoners of war imprisoned for their political actions in social movements, including traditions of anti-imperialist national liberation; others are survivors of white supremacist capitalist mass incarceration and state control politicized by experience and solidarity.

They speak out against the prison system, against special control units and solitary confinement, against political imprisonment and political retribution. They act and speak to incite, to inspire, to leave movement legacies behind. Some speak out against oppression, silence, invisibility, and oblivion. Some speak to exist. They call out for solidarity in and outside of the walls.

For those of us who are not incarcerated: Are we reading? Are we listening? Are we hearing them? Are prisoner voices truly finding the eyes, ears, and hearts of anarchists and others on the outside in minimum custody? Are we responding? Are we carrying forward the visions we share?

An NYC Anarchist Bookfair discussion of

Maroon the Implacable: the collected writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz, Edited by Fred Ho and Quincy Saul
Oscar Lopez Rivera: Between Torture and Resistance, Edited by Luis Nieves Falcon
We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America, by Matt Meyer

Featuring panelists . .

Marina Ortiz
has drawn from her background as a stateside ghetto Rican to craft a versatile body of work that includes broadcast and print media, direct action, spoken word and other forms of cultural and political expression that call for social justice and liberation.

Russell Maroon Shoatz III 
Son of political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz who along with his sisters advocates for his father and for all political prisoners and prisoners of war.

And featuring facilitation and introductions by Matt Meyer, Author of books such as We Have Not Been Moved and more, Editor of Let Freedom Ring and more, and long-time writer and organizer for anti-imperialist, anti-military, and pro-political-prisoner movements.

Endorsed by:
Bluestockings Prisoner Letter Writing Group, Hell Gate Anarchist Black Cross, Machetero-Movie.com, #nothingtobegainedhere, NYC Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz, S. Brooklyn ABCF,  ThroughtheWalls.org