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Posts Tagged ‘political prisoners’

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…

BK/NY – Sunday, December 9th – Send Love Through the Walls 2018

WHAT: Send Love Through The Walls Holiday Card-Writing For Political Prisoners
WHEN: 3:00-8:00pm, Sunday, December 9th, 2018
WHERE: 263 Eastern Parkway, Apartment 5D (Direction Below) phone: 718.783.8141
COST: FREE (Donations to cover the cost of stamps greatly appreciated)
holidaycardparty2018_final-02-01In 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.

Directions:
Getting to 263 Eastern Parkway is simple:
From the 2/3/4/5 or Franklin Avenue Shuttle:

Franklin Avenue Stop: Walk west on Eastern Parkway (away from Franklin Avenue, toward Classon Avenue). We’re about half a block down on the north side of the street. When you go into the building, take the elevator to your left.

For more information, contact:
Resistance in Brooklyn– resistanceinbrooklyn07 at gmail dot com
NYC Anarchist Black Cross– nycabc at riseup dot net

BK/NY – Sunday, December 3rd – Send Love Through the Walls 2017

WHAT: Send Love Through The Walls Holiday Card-Writing For Political Prisoners
WHEN: 2:00-6:00pm, Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
WHERE: 263 Eastern Parkway, Apartment 5D (Direction Below) phone: 718.783.8141
COST: FREE (Donations to cover the cost of stamps greatly appreciated)
holidaycardparty2017outlines copyIn 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…

BK/NY – Tuesday, May 23rd – Letter Writing Dinner for Sundiata Acoli & Mutulu Shakur

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, May 23rd, 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

This week brought the much anticipated releases of both Oscar Lopez Rivera and Chelsea Manning. While it has been fun and exciting to watch them celebrate, be celebrated, and hit the ground running reclaiming their lives outside of prison walls, we must remember that there are still many more comrades and elders that remain behind bars requiring our relentless support.

This week NYC ABC will focus on Sundiata Acoli and Dr. Mutulu Shakur, a former Black Panther Party member and a former Black Liberation Army member who are serving time for charges connected to Assata Shakur and/or her successful 1979 prison break and escape.

A New York Black Panther, Sundiata Acoli endured two years of prison awaiting trial for the Panther 21 Conspiracy Case. He and his comrades were eventually acquitted on all the bogus charges. The case was historic and a classic example of police and government attempting to neutralize organizations by incarcerating their leadership. As a result of this political attack and because of the immense pressure and surveillance from the FBI and local police Sundiata, like many other Panther leaders went “underground.”  On May 2, 1973, Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur and Zayd Shakur were ambushed and attacked by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike. Assata was wounded and Zayd was killed. During the gun battle a state trooper was shot and killed in self defense. Sundiata was tried in an environment of mass hysteria and convicted, although there was no credible evidence that he killed the trooper or had been involved in the shooting. He was sentenced to thirty years. Sundiata was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court in New Jersey in September 2014 when the court ruled the parole board had “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” when it previously denied him parole. The State of New Jersey has appealed the decision. More information: sundiataacoli.org

In 1987 Dr. Mutulu Shakur was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment for his role in the Black Liberation Movement. In March 1982, Dr. Shakur and 10 others were indicted by a federal grand jury under a set of U.S. conspiracy laws called Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) laws. These conspiracy laws were ostensibly developed to aid the government in its prosecution of organized crime figures; however, they have been used with varying degrees of success against revolutionary organizations. Dr. Shakur was charged with conspiracy and participation in the Black Liberation Army, a group that carried out actual and attempted expropriations from several banks. Eight incidents were alleged to have occurred between December 1976 to October 1981. In addition, he was charged with participation in the 1979 prison escape of Assata Shakur, who is now in exile in Cuba. After five years underground, Dr. Shakur was arrested on February 12, 1986. While he was on the street, Dr. Shakur challenged the use of methadone as a tool of recovery for addicts. He believed in natural remedies instead and, based on those beliefs, founded the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America. Many people credit Shakur with saving their lives. Dr. Shakur has worked to free political prisoners and to expose government abuses against political organizers. While in prison, he has struggled to create peace between rival gangs. More information: mutulushakur.com

If for some insane reason you cannot join us Tuesday, please write them at home:
Sundiata Acoli* #39794-066
FCI Cumberland
Federal Correctional Institution
Post Office Box 1000
Cumberland, Maryland 21501
*Address envelope to Clark Squire

Dr. Mutulu Shakur #83205-012
USP Victorville
Post Office Box 3900
Adelanto, California 92301

Read more…

Over 150 in the streets for NYC ABC NYE Noise Demo

NYE 01.png2016 started strong as we welcomed home Albert Woodfox. Throughout the year, we saw more comrades released (Mohaman Koti, Jason Hammond, Rebecca Rubin, Gary Tyler, Kevin Olliff, Luke O’Donovan, Barrett Brown, and Maliki Shakur Latine). And yet, as more elders age behind the wall, we lost two true warriors, Mondo we Langa and Abdullah Majid (also, sadly, Mohaman Koti died just two months after his release). 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.

We 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 friends showed up with five gallons of 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 full-blown marching band roll through to keep this noise demo lit. The Rude Mechanical Orchestra kicked out the jams and the mood was jovial.

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.

NYE 02.pngThe 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, 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 Russell Maroon Shoatz.

We remember in every act of rebellion against the state, our deceased comrades Mondo we Langa and Abdullah Majid— your legacies will never be forgotten.

We hold in our hearts comrades soon to be or recently imprisoned.

YOU. ARE NOT. ALONE.

Illustrated Guide Version 11.10 Now 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 as well as removes Maliki Shakur Latine (time served!).