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Posts Tagged ‘Mumia’

Illustrated Guide Version 13.9 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. Unfortunately, we are adding two prisoners to the guide this month–Green Scare target Joseph Dibee and whistleblower Reality Winner. We are thankful to remove water protector Ellen Sue Gerhart (completion of sentence!) and Mike Africa (Parole!).

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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

BK/NY – Tuesday, April 14 – Letter-writing to Seth Hayes and Abdul Majid

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, April 14th, 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
abdul majid and robert seth hayesIn the announcements for our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinners, NYC ABC typically tries to draw attention to something not directly tied to our work in supporting political prisoners. Maybe it’s a commentary on something trending in corporate media or the ridiculousness of pop culture. However, with the consistent attack on Black folks by cops, direct or indirect, we are unable to focus on much else. Whether it is a murder and attempted cover up by cops in South Carolina or the attempted murder by medical negligence of our comrade Mumia Abu-Jamal, the system and institutions of white supremacy are as strong now as they were seven years ago, seventy years ago, and since the inception of this country. With that in mind, we are writing to prisoners who resisted white supremacy as it bore down upon them– Robert “Seth” Hayes and Abdul Majid.

You won’t want to miss this letter-writing– we have the Jericho Movement‘s Mogadishu as a guest speaker.

In 1973, following a shootout with police, Seth Hayes was arrested and convicted of the murder of a New York City police officer, and, while maintaining his innocence to this day, sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Imprisoned for nearly forty years, Seth has long since served his sentence. Seth has ongoing health issues, including diabetes, that continue to be poorly managed by the Department of Corrections.

On April 16th, 1981 a van was pulled over by NYPD. Two occupants exited the van and fired upon the cops—one was killed, the other injured. Despite claims by the police that the van was pulled over for connections to burglaries, the folder of “suspects” circulated by the cops exclusively consisted of former Panthers, not burglary suspects. Abdul Majid and his co-defendant, Bashir Hameed were arrested and tried three times. The first trial ended in a hung jury. The second trial was declared a mistrial by the judge immediately after the jury rendered a decision that acquitted Bashir on the murder charge. At a third trial, the state finally got its way—Abdul was convicted of murder and sentenced to 33 years to life. Abdul is expected to go before the parole board for the first time later this month.

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write letters (and send books) to the prisoners:
Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116

Abdul Majid #83-A-0483
Five Points Correctional Facility
6600 State Route 96
Caller Box 119
Romulus, New York 14541

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