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Posts Tagged ‘Running Down The Walls’

Running Down the Walls 2019: A Reportback

Running Down the Walls 2019 in NYC started in the same way many things start out here, with arriving at the crack of dawn to squat choice real estate in a public park and yelling at some yuppie asshole because he doesn’t know the basics of parallel parking. As we set up for the day, passersby stopped to check out the goings on, peruse our display of free literature, and inquire about the 5k. We have noticed year in and year out that setting up in public, with a lot of foot traffic, draws attention and helps begin great conversations with folks who, until that moment, might have never considered that there are political prisoners and prisoners of war in the United States.

By about 1:30 pm, folks started arriving to register for the 5k, as we blasted old episodes of Burning Cop Car to get the people hyped. There were plenty of participants showing up, including many comrades we see once a year, at this event, and a bunch of folks we hadn’t met before. If you want to know what makes a day like this amazing, imagine seeing Sekou Odinga riding up on his bicycle as a comrade’s toddler wanders after a dog, and a black banner of a clenched anarchist black cross fist blows in the background.

steady mobbin'

Have you ever seen so much Sun in your life?

Operating on anarchist time, the 5k started closer to 2:30 than the publicized 2:00 pm, but only after taking a photo around the Running Down the Walls banner, giving folks the rundown on the route, and reading a statement by anarchist political prisoner Jeremy Hammond. With that, folks were off. Thanks to comrades from NYC Action Medical for being at the ready in case anyone needed medical attention during the event.
Jeremy Hammond Statement
After around 23 minutes, the first participant had made the slightly over 5k circuit and was ready for water. After cooling down and catching their breath, they told us that partway through the run, the thing that pushed them to run harder was the knowledge of what folks on the inside go through every day and how participating in this event renewed their strength in supporting imprisoned comrades.

After all of the folks participating in the 5k made there way around the circuit, we enjoyed a huge spread of unspeakable vegan delights. When Sekou Odinga came up to the table, one of his comrades pointed at one of the dishes and implored him to quickly try it, saying, “that one, there…that one’s special.” But where did he get his protein?!?

In the end, NYC ABC came close to reaching our goal of $4,000. If you’d like to help push us over the hump, you can still donate at paypal.me/nycabc or check the original event listing for other ways to donate.

The remainder of the day was spent socializing and enjoying a great day in the park, surrounded by comrades old and new. Later that same night, NYC ABC tabled a music night and fund raiser for the anarchist book fair. While there, we talked to a couple of folks who told us that the reason they love Running Down the Walls so much is that it’s a reminder that there is revolutionary community in NYC and that it is one of the few times in the year they know they will see a wide-ranging group of folks coming together to have fun, see each other, all while staying focused on those who are still inside. That’s what’s up and that’s how we get down (the walls).

BK/NY – Tuesday, May 14th – Letter Writing Dinner for Russell Maroon Shoatz

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
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
cropped-maroon_b-earthdayWe are one month away form Running Down the Walls 2019! The event is great socially–we see comrades we might not have seen for months, and it allows us to organize with those locked up to build inside-outside relationships. It is also the single biggest fund-raising event of the year for the Anarchist Black Cross Federation‘s warchest program, which sends funds directly to prisoners and has, to date, mailed out over $100,000. Locally, NYC ABC has set a goal of $4,000 and as ambitious as that is, we are asking you to help us get there. Organize a run in your community; get family, friends, and comrades to sponsor you as you run, bike, walk, or roll the 5k; or directly donate at paypal.me/nycabc (make sure to note who, if anyone, you are sponsoring). Beyond the warchest program, NYC ABC is consistently active in our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinners and that doesn’t stop due to Running Down the Walls preparation (or anything else, if we are being honest). This week we are writing to the truly implacable Russell Maroon Shoatz.

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.

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Maroon:
Smart Communications/PA DOC
Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF3855
SCI Dallas
Post Office Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida 33733

Read more…

BK/NY – Sunday, June 9th, 2019 – Running Down the Walls

WHATRunning Down the Walls – 5k Run/Walk/Jog/Bike
WHEN: 2:00-7:00pm, Sunday, June 9th, 2019
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)

poster_web

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 paypal.me/nycabc

This year’s run will take place on Sunday, June 9th, 2019 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.

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 staff a registration/literature table, hand out water, bike the route as street medics, and help chalk the route beforehand.

Donate online at paypal.me

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 New York state political prisoners released within the last year.

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 13 imprisoned comrades who receive a monthly stipend as part of the program; they are Eric King, Hanif Bey, Jaan Laaman, Jalil Muntaqim, Joseph Bowen, Malik Smith, Mutulu Shakur, Oso Blanco, Ruchell Magee, Sundiata Acoli, Tom Manning, 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!

BK/NY – Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 – Running Down the Walls

WHATRunning Down the Walls – 5k Run/Walk/Jog/Bike
WHEN: 2:00-7:00pm, Sunday, June 3rd, 2018
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)

RDTW_2018_Outlines.jpg

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 paypal.me/nycabc

This year’s run will take place on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 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.

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 staff a registration/literature table, hand out water, bike the route as street medics, and help chalk the route beforehand.

Donate online at paypal.me

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 the Revolutionary Liberation Bail Fund.

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:
Veronza Bowers
David Gilbert
Hanif Bey

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

Revolutionary Abolitionist Liberation Fund:
The Revolutionary Abolitionist Liberation Fund is a project of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement-NYC (RAM NYC), committed to freeing those in bondage by bailing out people who are incarcerated inside Riker’s Island. RAM is a political movement dedicated to freeing people from bondage and building resistance in the United States.  The requirements for the program are simple. RAM requests the defendant’s name, age, bail amount, and the total amount of time they were incarcerated. In turn, they focus on those with bail amounts of $500 to $1000, folks age 25 and younger, and those who have been in the longest.

For more information, visit: ramnyc.org/projects/liberation-fund.html

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!

BK/NY – Tuesday, September 12th – Letter Writing Dinner for Xinachitli

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, September 12th, 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

alvaro luna hernandezJust last month the “left” was in agreement that fighting fascists was a good thing. Apparently, that sentiment was short lived, as centrist liberals and progressives are now taking the same stance as Trump in comparing antifa to the nazis, with their status quo, zero analysis critique of qualifying all “extremism” as bad. Meanwhile, it is antifascists and anarchists who are taking up direct action in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, creating a system of mutual aid while the state proves itself useless to those who are struggling.

Speaking of fighting fascists, this week NYC ABC is focusing on Xinachitli (formerly known as Alvaro Luna Hernandez), a Chicano-Mexicano political prisoner sentenced to 50 years in prison for aggravated assault on a cop when he disarmed a sheriff attempting to shoot him.

This will be our last letter-writing dinner before Running Down the Walls coming up on September 17th in Prospect Park! You can donate at gumroad.com/nycabc. This year’s local beneficiary is the 5 Borough Anti-Repression Committee (5BARC). 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

Deeply impacted by witnessing the murder of one of his friends by a known racist cop, Xinachitli dedicated his life to fighting police brutality, especially as it was manifest against the Chicano community. From 1976 through 1990, Xinachitli was falsely accused of murder (and after public outcry eventually released) and severely beaten by police, all the result of his work to end police brutality in Houston, Texas.

In 1996, Brewster County Sheriff Jack McDaniel came to his house, allegedly to arrest him for robbery. The cop didn’t have an arrest warrant and when Xinachitli, unarmed, questioned the cop’s abuse of power, the cop pulled his gun. Before he could shoot, Xinachitli disarmed the cop without injuring him, and fled. Upon his capture, Xinachitli was found guilty and sentenced to 50 years in prison for the bogus charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Xinachitli is going 15 consecutive years in prolonged solitary confinement in supermax prison, and has been repeatedly denied treatment for life-threatening Hepatitis C.

As Xinachitli would say, La Lucha Continua! The struggle continues!

If you can’t make it out on Tuesday, take a minute to write from home:
Alvaro Luna Hernández #255735
James V Allred Unit
2101 FM 369 North
Iowa Park, Texas 76367

Read more…

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!

Running Down the Walls 2017

RDTW2017 copy

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, August 18th– Letter-Writing for Black August

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, August 18th, 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

BlackAugustHopefully you’ve been training in preparation for Running Down the Walls 2015. The competition will be fierce, the food at the after party will be delicious, and the solidarity with our imprisoned comrades will be infinite. Please take this opportunity to get more folks to sponsor you as a participant and help build the ABCF warchest and help the Family and Friends of Maliki Shakur Latine. As a lead in to this year’s run, we are hosting another of our every other week Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinners. This week, NYC ABC will be hosting a Black August card signing.

As Black August began in remembrance of fallen Black liberation prisoner, George Jackson, and the San Quentin prison uprising of 1971– a prison uprising that included recently murdered San Quentin Six member Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell, we honor Yogi with this dinner.

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