Archive

Posts Tagged ‘political prisoners’

Tuesday, September 7th- Letter Writing to Ed Poindexter

7 September 2021 Comments off

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

As the empire crumbles, floods and fires wreak havoc around the world, and plagues linger on and on, not one of us is immune from the threats and challenges of our times. But let’s not let ourselves get too apocalyptic in our thinking. The times are always a-changing, and our analysis and practice of intersectional struggle against the politics of oppression and the hierarchies they serve remain cogent.  Our challenge is to keep our heads above the proverbial and literal water and do what we can to enact radical solidarity with our comrades on both sides of the walls.

So while we gear up for Running Down the Walls this coming Sunday, we don’t forget about the individuals we support that are still behind bars. In this spirit, please join NYC ABC and Page One Collective this week to write to Ed Poindexter, a Black Panther political prisoner in Nebraska.

Ed Poindexter and Mondo we Langa are commonly known as the “Omaha Two.” They were leaders of the Black Panther Party in Omaha in the late 1960s and, like others, were targeted both by the Omaha police and the FBI under its notorious COINTELPRO spying and disruption program.

In August 1970, the Two were framed on charges of killing an Omaha police officer, who died after being lured into a home where a suitcase bomb exploded. They were subsequently imprisoned. After a long illness, we Langa died in 2016 after 45 years in prison, while Ed Poindexter remains locked up.

Please take the time to write a letter to Ed (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):

Ed Poindexter #27767
Nebraska State Penitentiary
Post Office Box 22500
Lincoln, Nebraska 68542

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 – Sunday, September 12th, 2021 – Running Down the Walls

12 August 2021 Comments off

WHATRunning Down the Walls – 5k Run/Walk/Jog/Bike/Hang
WHEN: 2:00-7:00pm, Sunday, September 12th, 2021
WHERE: Prospect Park– Lincoln Road/East Lake Drive, east of the Terrace Bridge (see the below map for exact location)
COST: $10 registration (includes vegan BBQ afterwards served COVID precautions!)

Image

We’re excited to announce Running Down the Walls 2021, COVID permitting. After making the difficult decision to not hold last year’s event in person, we are very much looking forward to gathering as a community for the first time in a long time. Please stay tuned to our website, sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on tweeter (@nycabc) for updates.

Every year, prisoners and supporters of political prisoners organize solidarity events with Running Down the Walls. In previous 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 paypal.me/nycabc or venmo: @nycabc

This year’s run will take place on Sunday, September 12th, 2021 at 2:00 pm in solidarity and conjunction with runs that will take place in cities and prison yards across the country at the same time. Stay after to enjoy a vegan BBQ, served taking every COVID precaution!

REGISTER AS, OR SPONSOR, A PARTICIPANT

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

Promote – print and distribute flyers 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 hand out water, bike the route as street medics, and help chalk the route beforehand.

Donate online at paypal.me; venmo @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, local funds are going to recently released New York state political prisoners.

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 twenty five years, the ABCF warchest has dispensed over $100,000 to political prisoners in the United States. Currently, there are 18 imprisoned comrades who receive a monthly stipend as part of the program; they are Abdul Azeez, David Gilbert, Doug Wright, Ed Poindexter, Eric King, Hanif Bey, Jamil Al-Amin, Joseph Bowen, Kamau Sadiki, Leonard Peltier, Malik Smith, Mutulu Shakur, Oso Blanco, Ronald Reed, Ruchell Magee, Sundiata Acoli, Veronza Bowers, and Xinachtli (FKA Alvaro Luna Hernandez).

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

We will be starting here:

rdtw-2018-starting_meetup-point.jpg

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!

Tuesday, August 10th – Black August Letter Writing

8 August 2021 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, August 10th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

In an effort to maintain some semblance of normalcy we continue to encourage folks at home to write political prisoners every other week. As the pandemic surges yet again, we worry not only for our vulnerable communities on the outside but especially for those inside, forced to live at the mercy of their captors who have proven their disinterest in taking COVID seriously. Writing letters is a simple and effective way to connect our communities and remind those inside they are not forgotten.

In the spirit of Black August, NYC ABC and Page One Collective will be sending letters to Black revolutionary political prisoners, many of whom are elders and have survived COVID. There’s an easy way for you to help, just by writing from home. Black August honors fallen Black Freedom Fighters, calls for the release of all political prisoners, and condemns the oppressive and life-stealing prison system in this country. Black August was first observed in the 1970s to commemorate George and Jonathan Jackson’s assassinations and honor the centuries of Black resistance that preceded those events.

Please post a photo of your addressed envelope on social media and tag us (with your return address blurred out) and we will share it. Use Page One’s recent zine, “Current Political Prisoners of Black Liberation Movements,” for up-to-date addresses.

Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 – Letter-writing to Gage Halupowski

26 July 2021 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, July 27th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

On July 19th, 1936, right-wing authoritarian generals and their fascist allies revolted against the timidly left-leaning government of the Spanish Republic. Though no friends of the liberals in power, Spanish anarchists saw the existential threat to the working classes—and humanity—that fascism posed, and fought heroically not to save the government, but to repel the coup. What followed has been called revolution (as people in liberated cities and villages dramatically re-organized their social and economic lives), civil war, triumph, defeat, and folly, depending on who you ask and where their ethics lie. Whatever you call it, it was the first major international battle against fascism, and included some of the largest experiments in real-world anarchism the world had seen. This confluence is no coincidence, since every form of centralized government contains the seeds of fascism. As Buenaventura Durruti put it: “No government fights fascism to destroy it. When the bourgeoisie sees that power is slipping out of its hands, it brings up fascism to hold onto their privileges.” Y la Lucha continua…


July 25 is the International Day of Solidarity with Anti-Fascist Prisoners. In honor of this, NYC ABC and Page One are asking folks to write a letter to anti-fascist political prisoner Gage Halupowski.

Gage Halupowski was arrested along with two other protesters in the wake of clashes in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, later indicted on four criminal charges, including second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, attempted assault of a public safety officer, and interfering with a peace officer. In November 2019, Gage was convicted and sentenced to six years in state prison.

Please take the time to write a letter to Gage (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Gage Halupowski #21894460
Snake River Correctional Institution
777 Stanton Boulevard
Ontario, Oregon 97914-8335

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021 – Letter-writing to Xinachtli

11 July 2021 Comments off

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, July 13th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

Often when we write these updates we are conscious of trying to tie present conditions to the larger struggle, to contextualize (for ourselves at least) both the movement and the moment at hand. But sometimes stepping back a bit and looking through a more historical lens can be helpful for our sense of perspective.

For those of us concerned with supporting political prisoners in the belly of this particular beast, the month of July by the colonial calendar is instructive and offers several events to reflect on over the past century or so of struggle.  This is by no means a comprehensive list (as recent events have shown), and while the significance of random calendar dates can easily be overstated, the struggles and dedication of these comrades can not.

  • On July 18, 1918 Oaxacan-born revolutionary anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón was convicted of sending politically dangerous materials through the mail and sentenced to twenty-one years in prison.  He wrote that “a sentence of twenty-one years is a sentence of life for a man as old and worn out as I am.”  He died imprisoned in Leavenworth, Kansas November on 22, 1922, at fifty years old.
  • On July 14, 1921, a guilty verdict was announced in the murder trial of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti. Judge Thayer praised the jury for their “supreme American loyalty.” The two Italian-born anarchists were later sentenced to death, which was carried out in August 1927.
  • On July 11, 1983, New African anarchist Kuwasi Balagoon  delivered his opening statement in the infamous Brink’s Trial, in which he stated: “i am a prisoner of war and i reject the crap about me being a defendant, and i do not recognize the legitimacy of this court.”

On July 18, 1996 a Texas sheriff went to arrest Alvaro Hernandez—also known as Xinachtli—at his home on trumped-up charges without a warrant. When the sheriff drew his gun, Alvaro disarmed him and fled. After eventually being captured, he was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Which brings us to this week’s letter writing in which NYC ABC, in collaboration with Page One Collective, are encouraging you to write to Chicano political prisoner Xinachtli.

Xinachtli (Nahuatl, meaning “seed”) is an anarchist communist community organizer and Chicano movement revolutionary, currently imprisoned in Texas. Formerly known as Alvaro Luna Hernandez, he worked diligently in the barrio on civil and human rights issues, known widely for his legal skills. Gaining international recognition as the national coordinator of the Ricardo Aldape Guerra Defense Committee, Xinachtli was instrumental in helping to free Mexican national Aldape Guerra from Texas’ death row, where he had been framed for the murder of a police officer.

In July 1996 Xinachtli was arrested after disarming a County Sheriff who was attempting to shoot him. After defending himself at trial, Xinachtli was sentenced to 50 years in prison for aggravated assault, a charge he vehemently denies. While imprisoned, Xinachtli continues to write frequently, has helped to organize multiple prison strikes, and has been held in solitary confinement for the last 19 years and counting. Xinachtli is a prolific jailhouse lawyer, as referenced by Mumia Abu Jamal in his book Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v the USA. Xinachtli assists many prisoners in seeking new trials, and filing suits against the repressive, inhumane Texas prison system. More information at https://freealvaro.net.

Please take the time to write a letter to Xinachtli (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):

Alvaro Luna Hernandez
#255735
W.G. McConnell Unit,
3001 Emily Drive,
Beeville, Texas 78102
*Address envelopes to Alvaro Luna Hernández, cards/letters to Xinachtli.

Tuesday, June 15th – Letter Writing for Imam Jamil Al-Amin

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday June 15th, 2021
WHERE: your home (or wherever you happen to be)
COST: Free

Sometimes it seems that the struggle for a free society is reduced to something so simple as the struggle to remember. The ruling class hates to be reminded that it wasn’t bootstraps but the ongoing violence of settler colonialism that bought them their Sunday brunch. Or that Stonewall wasn’t a commercial for a big box store, or an isolated event in the centuries of rebellions big and small by those on the losing side of patriarchal supremacy and its false binaries. And right now, as ‘we’ are ‘getting back to normal,’ the triumphalism that callously asserts the needs of domestic markets in the face of a still raging international pandemic insists that we forgot the suffering and wide scale preventable deaths that were all most of us could think about for the past year.  We are told to take off our masks, get back to work, and go to brunch, and to forget those who got sick and especially the hundreds of thousands who died. In a very similar way we are told that Black Panthers are comic book characters and fashion symbols to appropriate, safely ancient history if they were ever real at all; that Indigenous resistance to genocide is a thing of the past; that de-colonial freedom struggles were a ’boomer fad, and that the “united states” doesn’t have any political prisoners.

But what if we choose to remember?
What if we insist on remembering that those who resisted and fell, those who were captured, are human beings?
What if we got to know them as people with aches and pains and senses of humor and wisdom won through decades of principled struggle?
What would happen if we remember that the struggle continues?

This week NYC ABC and Page One Collective are asking you write to Imam Jamil Al-Amin (formerly known as H. Rap Brown). Jamil Al-Amin is a long time community leader and organizer, falsely imprisoned for killing a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia. He was convicted in 2002 and after some time in Georgia state prison, the state decided to bury him in federal custody at the notorious Florence Supermax in Colorado before being held in Arizona. The Imam has bone cancer and other health issues, so his family and supporters are currently pushing for an appeal to his trial and for his return to Georgia to receive better medical care and to be able to take a more active role in appealing his case. More information on what you can do is available at whathappened2rap.com

We are asking folks to take the time to write a letter to Jamil (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online). Please note that as it states on his support site “Imam Jamil is not receiving proper medical care and is now blind as a result.” We are suggesting to send typewritten letters in a large font (size 18 font and over) to let him and those holding him captive know that he is far from forgotten:

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin #99974-555
USP Tucson
Post Office Box 24550
Tucson, Arizona 85734

Tuesday, April 20 – May Day letter-writing for Anarchist Prisoners

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, April 20th, 2021
WHERE: your home (or wherever you happen to be)
COST: Free

NYC ABC is an anarchist collective that supports political prisoners captured in liberation and anti-oppression struggles from a wide range of political or spiritual traditions. In other words, though we subscribe to anti-authoritarian principles, we don’t only support anarchists behind bars. But the May Day season is one in which we focus on those who struggle for a world without borders or bosses.

So, in remembrance of the Haymarket Martyrs—in whose honor May Day became known as an international workers’ day—we focus this week’s letter-writing on anarchists imprisoned for their beliefs and actions. Instead of getting together to sign and send May Day cards as we have in previous years, this week NYC ABC and Page One Collective are asking folks to to write letters or send books to one or more of the anarchist political prisoners we currently support, including Bill Dunne, Casey Brezik, and Gage Halupowski.

Unfortunately, anarchist political prisoner Eric King is currently on mail ban, so can’t receive letters. But he can receive book and magazines! Here is the link to Eric’s book wish list: tiny.cc/EK_Books

Casey Brezik #1154765
Jefferson City Correctional Center
8200 No More Victims Road
Jefferson City, Missouri 65101

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

Gage Halupowski #21894460
Snake River Correctional Institution
777 Stanton Boulevard
Ontario, Oregon 97914-8335

Over 100 in the streets for NYC ABC NYE Noise Demo

2019 started strong as we welcomed home water protector Dion Ortiz. Throughout the year, we saw more comrades released (Janet, Janine, and Eddie Africa; Little Feather, Connor Stevens, and Nina Droz Franco). And yet, as more elders age behind the wall, we lost a true warrior, Tom Manning. To close the year, NYC ABC organized a noise demo outside of Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in order to protest, celebrate, and let folks on the inside know they are not forgotten.

04We got there a little after 8:30 and others were there waiting. We greeted old comrades and folks we’d yet to meet and by 9:00pm, a decent crowd had formed. The night was relatively warm by winter standards, but comrades from the Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council (MACC) showed up with tea and hot chocolate to make sure everyone’s vocal cords stayed nice and toasty as we yelled and sang upward, into the steel and cement monolith that is MCC.

There were all manner of noise makers, most folks brought their own. Hell, we even had a makeshift drum corps to keep this noise demo moving.

01

Photo by NYC RAM

And while folks were there to celebrate and reach through the walls, signs and banners also expressed the brimming rage of the crowd. A crew from The Base showed up with black flags and banners to make sure all inside knew there were anarchists organizing in solidarity with them.

The demo lasted a couple of hours, but not before folks broke out sparklers and fireworks. And not before a fair amount of cops came to observe. They didn’t have riot gear or visible plasitcuffs, so the threat was more in what a bunch of preposterous goons they are than in any potential for arrest.

We’ve been told before, by comrades who were once held in MCC, that the noise demos light up the whole place and get through to the prisoners. If you’re thinking about organizing a noise demo in your town, do it.

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

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 Bill Dunne, the ferocity of Joe-Joe Bowen, the wisdom of Mutulu Shakur.

We remember in every act of rebellion against the state, our deceased comrades Tom Manning and Robert Seth Hayes your legacies will never be forgotten.

We hold in our hearts comrades soon to be or recently imprisoned—David Campbell, Joseph Dibee, Gage Halupowski, Chelsea Manning.

YOU. ARE NOT. ALONE.

BK/NY – Sunday, December 15th – Send Love Through the Walls 2019

WHAT: Send Love Through The Walls: Holiday Card-Writing For Political Prisoners
WHEN: 4:00-8:00pm, Sunday, December 15th, 2019
WHERE: 263 Eastern Parkway, Apartment 5D (Direction Below) phone: 718.783.8141
COST: FREE (Donations to cover the cost of stamps greatly appreciated)
holidaycardwriting2016 with outlinesIn what many prisoners have told us is their favorite event of the year, Resistance in Brooklyn and NYC Anarchist Black Cross again join forces to bring you the annual holiday card-writing party for U.S. held political prisoners, prisoners of war, and prisoners of conscience. This event is always a lot of fun, the food outstanding, the camaraderie lively, and the handmade cards flat out amazing. This year will be no different. So plan to bring your friends, your creativity, and a healthy appetite. We’ll have updates on the pp/pow campaigns as well as paints, markers, crayons, and envelopes. Read more…