“Running Down the Walls” Event Highlights Prisoner Support

from Unicorn Riot

An annual 5K run/walk/roll benefit called “Running Down the Walls” aims to amplify “the voices of our comrades behind bars, lifting them up in their struggles,” and provide material support, according to Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross, the host of today’s event in South Philly’s FDR Park. After the participants finish their 5Ks, speakers will address the issues facing incarcerated people and the prison industrial complex.

This year’s run is in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal, a high-profile prisoner for 40 years who suffers from multiple health issues.

[Video Here]

Last year’s Philly RDTW was featured in a short documentary by hate5six:

[Video Here]

he proceeds from the event are split with the Anarchist Black Cross Federation “Warchest Program” which includes incarcerated people like Leonard Peltier, Eric King, and Mutulu Shakur.

Cover image via IGD News.

Support Kevin Berry of the Vaughn 17!

from Go Fund Me

Vaughn 17 member and politicized prisoner Kevin Berry is finally coming home after being locked down for 14 years. Kev was caught up in the system at an early age and has been in state prison since he was 18 years old. For the past four years, he’s been locked away in solitary in retaliation for standing up against the prison system in Delaware.

Kev is about to officially start his work-release program in Delaware, and we’re asking for help getting him on his feet. When he gets out of prison and starts his work-release job, he’s gonna have nothing — he needs clothes, food, and money as soon as possible. Your donations will literally go towards putting clothes on his back!

Kev has not only survived the so-called “justice system,” he’s also someone who has made significant sacrifices for our collective liberation. You can read his writings as part of the Vaughn 17 movement here and here .

If you would prefer to donate gift certificates or hotel vouchers (so he can save on rent while he’s trying to save up money), please do! You can email them to our riseup account (see below).

This comrade really needs and deserves our support right now. Thank you for showing up and showing your solidarity!

[Donate Here]

David Elmakayes, BLM defendant, Needs $ For Lawyer

from Go Fund Me

David Elmakayes, who is being charged for his participation in last summer’s George Floyd uprisings in Philadelphia, needs money to hire a new attorney. Currently, his public defender is trying to get him to snitch on other defendants to benefit his own case and David wants no part of it.

David is being charged for:

-Maliciously damaging property used in interstate commerce by means of explosive (1 count)

-Carrying explosives during the commision of a felony (1 count)

-Possession of a firearm by a felon (1 count)

You can also write David at:

David Elmakayes 77782-066

FDC Philadelphia

PO Box 562

Philadelphia, PA 19105

Thank you for your time and consideration! With love and rage, Matt B

[Donate Here]

Running Down The Walls

from Philly ABC

rdtw-2020

Download posters and flyers.

Sunday, September 12, 2021
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10am)
FDR Park

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross invites you to our fourth annual Running Down The Walls (RDTW)! Join us for another revolutionary 5K run/walk/roll and day of solidarity amplifying the voices of our comrades behind bars, lifting them up in their struggles, and maintaining material support. If you would like to participate in light yoga and warm-up stretches before, please arrive by 10am and bring a mat if you can.

Running is not required! You can also walk or roll. 5K is two loops around the park and at a walking pace will take about 45-60 minutes. Light refreshments and socializing will take place in the park afterward.

This year’s event is in honor of Mumia Abu-Jamal. Join us as we once again raise energy and funds for the freedom struggle of another Philly comrade and long-term Black liberation prisoner.

Very few people in prison have voices that go beyond the wall. It’s my job to do the work for them because they have no one.

– Mumia Abu-Jamal

Mumia has now spent 39 years behind bars as a voice for the voiceless. Due to multiple health issues from medical neglect, he needs our support now more than ever. We freed the MOVE 9 after 40 years – let’s do the same for Mumia!

Learn More

If you cannot make it to the event or would like to make an additional contribution, please sponsor a participant either outside prison, inside prison or one of each. Contact us for more information on sponsoring!

We will ship official shirts nationwide to people who register to participate remotely, pay online and leave their shipping address in the comment box!


Proceeds will be split between the Warchest Program and the campaign to Bring Mumia Home. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support.

Register for the 5K

Thanks for your support by running/walking/rolling the 5K! Everyone must fill out the following form to register NO LATER THAN AUGUST 31ST so that you receive your official shirt the day of the event.

The registration fee of $40 confirms your place at the event and covers your t-shirt. We can accept credit/debit donations online or cash/check/money order on the day of event. Make checks and money orders out to Tim Fasnacht. Additional funds over the $40 base fee raised through sponsorships are more than welcome (see our fundraising tips below).

After submitting the following registration form, please allow 24 – 48 hours for your confirmation email. Check your Spam folder if the message does not appear in your Inbox. If you did not receive a confirmation email, please get in touch with us at phillyabc[at]riseup[dot]net.

[Register Here]

Onsite security strives to make Philadelphia RDTW a safer space event. If you experience harrassment or abuse at the event, or if someone who has engaged in such behavior is adversely affecting your participation, please come to a volunteer. Experienced advocates, medics and support people are available.


Tips to Get Sponsors for your 5K Participation:

Many runners will pay the $40 registration fee on their own but if you would like to get sponsored instead, here’s a few tips and ideas to get you started.

  • Make a list of potential donors. Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors…think creatively and include everyone you can think of (it doesn’t hurt to ask). Who might be supportive? Who cares about similar causes? Decide to ask for a specific amount that you think will be within your prospective sponsor’s budget (for instance $1-8 for each kilometer).
  • Hand-write request letters. Deliver them personally if possible. Write your letter in a genuine tone and reference your relationship. Email is faster, but many will be less likely to forget a letter (than an email in a crowded inbox) and they’ll appreciate the personal touch. Include a self-addressed envelope for people to mail checks. Use email to follow up with those who don’t respond.
  • Make it personal and face to face. Ask for support from the people you see regularly, and ask in person. People respond to eye contact, assertiveness and passion. Tell them why you’re inspired to support political prisoners and their stories. Practice the conversation beforehand if you think it might be difficult to find words in the moment.
  • Use all communication tools available- Phone calls, text, social media, websites, and email to reach broader networks. If you’re trying to appeal to an organization, make it clear that the event can be a source of positive press for them. Ask them to match the donations of other groups if possible. You could even start a crowdfunding page for your run. Add quality images and tell a story to engage people. Share it on social media and encourage your friends to do the same. Use letters and other communications to direct people to your crowdfunding page.
  • Follow up, provide updates and say ‘thank you.’ Remember to reconnect to your sponsors with photos and stories from the event and thank them for their support.

History

Since 1999, the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, incarcerated people and support organizations across the country participate in Running Down The Walls (RDTW) . This annual 5K run/walk/roll event is to show solidarity and raise funds for numerous political prisoners in North America. Funds raised are typically split between the ABCF Warchest and a community group chosen by the host group. Each year, incarcerated comrades participate by running inside prison. This event brings us closer together each year, strengthens our bond, and lets people behind bars know they are not forgotten! Read RDTW statements from current and former PP/POWs.

The Warchest program receives donations from ABC chapters and individuals and then disperses the funds to the recipients in the program. Since initiation in November 1994, the program has dispersed more than $140,000. The current Warchest recipients are:

In past years, Running Down the Walls was held in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Bloomington (IN), Boston (MA), Brooklyn (NY), Buffalo (NY), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Hamilton (Ontario), Elmore (AL), FCI Sandstone (MN), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), Middletown (CT), Minneapolis (MN), USP Navosta (TX), Oakland (CA), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Riverside (CA), Seattle (WA), Tucson (AZ), and Toronto (Ontario).

LAVA Fundraiser T-Shirts

from Instagram

Please share this far and wide! Excited to reveal three t-shirt designs and a preorder that just went live. If you live in Philly and don’t want to pay shipping, use PHILLYLOCAL in the discount field at checkout. If you live outside of the US, please send us a message to figure out shipping costs! A non-PayPal payment option will be available soon, and if you’d like to preorder with cash, please get in touch. • • We normally raise funds for the space via events, but due to the pandemic, we had to change that. Luckily we have some really talented friends! T-shirt preorders will be live for two weeks, and we won’t be making more than what gets ordered. Shout out to @lost.mirage @jim_shomo @crocodile___tears and @softhandscreenprinting for helping us with this. Can’t wait to see them when they’re printed up! Link in bio to order!

LAVA Broken Roof Fundraiser

From GoFundMe

The ongoing pandemic has greatly reduced our ability to raise money through events so we are beginning a monthly video series to help get the building together. Currently the roof, windows and walls leaking and it’ll take several thousand dollars to get it all sealed up.

Your donations will make sure that the space continues to host food and clothing distros as well as several radical community organizations that use office space at LAVA.

Check out the LAVA Broken Roof Sessions here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkqveabKmLv_JpVIiO_Pfpw

[Donate Here]

Running Down The Walls 2020 Reportback

from Philly ABC

We’re happy to report the success of our third annual Philadelphia Running Down The Walls in support of political prisoners, held on September 6th 2020.

On this beautiful sunny day, participants began gathering in FDR park to check-in for their t-shirts, make donations, set up tables, and hang banners. With a nice breeze coming off the lake, Sheena Sood led another amazing yoga warm-up – this time right on the boardwalk by the shore. Blak Rapp MADUSA with the Dignity Act Now Collective kicked off the event with an epic introduction to Maroon and his book, Maroon the Implacable.

Walkers left the start line around 11:30 am, followed by folks moving at a medium pace, and finally the runners around 11:50 am. Afterward, we gathered to hear from two former juvenile lifers who were mentored in prison by Maroon– Kempis “Ghani” Songster and Robert Saleem Holbrook. We were also blessed to have Chuck Africa – the last of the MOVE 9 to be released from prison – speak for the first time since he was paroled on February 7th of this year. Check out this video for highlights of these speeches.

We’d like to thank Solidarity Food Not Bombs, Mike Africa Jr., and Dadaji Odinga from Akbar Originals for refreshments. More big thanks to Hate5six, Unicorn Riot, and photographers Joe Piette and Clifford Smith for media coverage, and the campaign to free Mumia Abu-Jamal for the banners that decorated the stage area. It was a huge honor to have all of the remaining Move 9 participating in this event with us; they not only donated themselves, but provided an additional donation from the Move organization. It was also an honor that we were joined by former Black Liberation prisoner of war, Ojore Lutalo, a founding member of the ABCF. We would like to thank Saleem and Ghani for sharing their powerful experiences spending time with Maroon, and Chuck Africa for choosing our event as the outlet for his first speech back home. We thank the tablers – Socialist Rifle Association, Here & Now Zines, the Never Give Up project, Khalid with the political prisoner artwork, as well as the families of Eric Riddick and Omar Askia Ali. Of course, we also thank the comrades behind bars who ran with us, and the families of people in prison who came out.

Together we raised a total of $14,012! As described in the event announcement, funds are split between Russell Maroon Shoatz and the ABCF Warchest– a fund sending monthly stipends to 19 political prisoners with lacking, little, or no financial support. A full breakdown of Warchest funds in and out since 1994 is available here. In accordance with Warchest policies, any funds over the reserved amount needed to send the monthly stipends will be disbursed as one-time donations to other political prisoners who demonstrate financial need. Philly ABC contributed our organization’s savings to the production of the event t-shirts, lovingly hand-printed by the Reclaim Printshop.

We look forward to more successes in the next year as we further the struggle to free Maroon and abolish the carceral system!

Until all are free!
Philly ABC

Showing up for Lore

from We Love Lore

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The Trump regime hasn’t allowed incarcerated people to see their loved ones for five months and we’re sick of it. This weekend we showed up for Lore Elisabeth, the beloved community care worker and unconvicted political prisoner whom the government hides at Philadelphia’s Federal Detention Center.

[Video Here]

It was a joyous opportunity us to show our love and support for Lore (and for each other!). We will never stop fighting the cruel and violent intimidation tactics that are being used against Lore to chop down all of our rights, including free speech and the presumption of innocence. And we’ll do it dancing ???? Join us ????????

LORE.png

How you can help Lore right now:

Donate here (or Venmo @WeLoveLore) to Lore’s support fund. Every penny supports Lore’s health, well-being, and legal defense.

Write or send books. Your love, solidarity, and support is critical.

⭐ Share this message, the website, our Instagram, and Twitter, with your communities. Help us spread the word and strengthen Lore’s safety net.

#RDTW2020 Video and Chuck Africa’s Recommended Resources

from Philly ABC

[Video Here]

The 2020 Running Down The Walls official reportback is coming shortly. In the meantime, check out this amazing montage by hate5six.

If you missed the full version of Chuck Africa’s speech on Sunday, he is calling on the movement to support women in prison.

chuck-africa-rdtw-2020.jpg

A list of women serving life without parole (or sentenced to death by incarceration) is available through the Women Lifer’s Resume Project. He encourages everyone to pick one to reach out to and see how you can support them. He also recommends donating to the Avis Lee Decarceration Fund. While Avis was granted commutation on September 4th, this fund will lie on to provide support for other women who are released in the dcoming years. Finally, check out the work of the Dignity Act Now Collective that is struggling on behalf of women and trans people in prison.

Special Black August Birthday Event for Russell Maroon Shoatz

from Philly ABC

maroon-birthday.jpg

Sunday 8/23, 4:30pm
Malcolm X Park

This month’s letter-writing event will be a special Black August edition on Sunday August 23rd, the 77th birthday of Black Liberation prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. Join us in signing conscious birthday cards, talking about his case and history of struggle, and engage in political education through a raffle!

The PE raffle prizes are four pairs of Nike shoes that were donated in support of this event:

Nike Flight Legacy Men’s size 9 – white/black/red

raffle-shoes.jpg

Nike Air Max Excee Men’s size 8.5 – black/white/dark grey

raffle-shoes-1.jpg

Nike Fly By Low II Men’s size 11.5 – black

raffle-shoes-2.jpg

Nike Bendassi JDI Women’s size 10 – black/rose gold

raffle-shoes-3.jpg

If you win a pair of shoes in your size, great! Otherwise you can trade or give to someone that fits them. The raffle is a way to engage in Black August study, with each ticket containing information on related topics. We look forward to the discussions that carry on after!

We’ll also be making announcements about the upcoming 5K in Maroon’s honor, as the registration deadline is the following day (Aug 24). If you want to participate but haven’t registered yet, you can do it here! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and go over logistics. This will also be a good opportunity to submit tabling requests for the event, if you have material you would like to share.

We look forward to seeing you at this special, Black August edition card writing event for Maroon!

LAVA Update

from Twitter

As you can probably imagine, the ongoing pandemic has dramatically affected LAVA’s ability to raise money for programming, bills and repairs. We are currently surviving through donations and the organizations that use the offices in the building, but those sources are also being stretched thin right now. We are asking folks to become sustaining members by setting up a small monthly donation. You can do this by visiting the LAVA website, and clicking where it says “Keep LAVA in the black!!” lavazone.org/ You can choose a monthly donation amount or set your own by clicking the Donate button and checking the box to set your donations to repeat every month. While the building will not be hosting large events until the end of the pandemic, your money will go towards housing the following projects:

Prometheus Radio Project (an organization that helps community groups set up radio stations and broadcast their own content)
Workers Revolutionary Collective (the group that has been working tirelessly to organize the ongoing James Talib-Dean Camp protest on the parkway)
DiVerse Entertainment (an arts and education project that helps young artists record and promote their work)
Weekly food distribution (Every Thursday beginning around 3PM)
Monthly clothing/toy distibution (2nd Sat. beginning around 9AM)

We are currently working to make the space available for community projects and organizations while keeping the space as clean and safe as possible. If you or your organization is interested in helping with LAVA or using the space in a safe way please contact lavaspace@riseup.net.

With your help, LAVA can survive this pandemic, and give us all a place to meet, perform, organize and rebuild when it’s over. THANK YOU and please share!

Statement from Anarchist Black Cross Federation Regarding “Running Down the Walls” 2020

from It’s Going Down

The following statement comes from United Freedom Front political prisoner Jaan Karl Laaman on the upcoming ‘Running Down the Walls’ events in 2020:

A loud revolutionary shout-out, to all the runners, joggers, walkers, and others coming together this September 6th, for Running Down the Walls 2020. In the midst of this deadly COVD pandemic and the even more deadly centuries-long racist pandemic, we need to come together across the country and on both sides of the walls, this year more than ever.

I believe this is the 21st Running Down the Walls. In 1999, we had a real good solidarity run in Leavenworth and lots of political prisoners and prisoners overall, have been running down the walls in prison yards, control units, and other seg cells ever since.

Here in USP McCreary and throughout the federal BOP prisons, we have been on a pandemic lockdown since March. Hard to say if yards will be open by September. If they are, I along with other conscious-minded convicts will be joining everyone else- outside and in, on September 6th. If I am still locked down, I will join you all in my cell, throwing hard, high and fast kicks for 45 minutes straight! Well, haha, probably with a few breaths in between, but I will be with you all, in strong spirit and focused activity.

OK, let’s kick it off – get to running. Let me finish by telling you about this button I used to always wear when I was a student in 1968 – “Less talk, More action, SMASH RACISM.”

BLM, Jaan Laaman
Ohio 7 political prisoner

Philly Running Down the Walls: September 6th

Sunday, September 6, 2020
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10am)
FDR Park
Register here.

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross presents our third annual Running Down The Walls (RDTW)! Join us for another revolutionary 5K run/walk/bike/skate and day of solidarity. In light of COVID-19, please bring a face mask and follow social distancing recommendations. If you would like to participate in light yoga and warm-up stretches before, please arrive by 10am and bring a mat if you can.

Running is not required! You can also walk, bike, skate or roll. 5K is two loops around the park and at a walking pace will take about 45-60 minutes. Light refreshments and socializing will take place in the park afterward.

This year’s event is co-sponsored by the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz — long-term Black liberation prisoner held in SCI Fayette. Join us as we celebrate the release of Chuck Africa earlier this year, commemorate the life of Delbert Africa, and raise some funds for the freedom struggle of another Philly comrade, Maroon.

After spending 48 years in prison, Maroon turns 77 on August 23rd while also battling cancer during a global pandemic. He needs our support now more than ever.

Fighting Stage 4 cancer, [I have] for 10 months been on various types of chemotherapy at SCI-Fayette, have watched 3 prisoners die of cancer, and my single cell was taken to make room for suspected COVID-19 prisoners, will be transferred to SCI-Dallas for another operation to remove a cancerous growth soon. The struggle continues!

– Political Prisoner, Russell Maroon Shoats/z

Philadelphia RDTW 2020 is dedicated to amplifying the voices of our comrades behind bars, lifting them up in their struggles, and maintaining material post-release support.

If you cannot make it to the event or would like to make an additional contribution, please sponsor a participant either outside prison or inside or one of each. Contact us for more information on sponsoring!

Proceeds will be split between the Warchest Program and the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support.

Register for the 5K

Thanks for your support by running/walking/biking/skating the 5K! Everyone must fill out the following form to register NO LATER THAN AUGUST 24TH so that you receive your official shirt the day of the event.

The registration fee of $40 confirms your place at the event and covers your t-shirt. We can accept credit/debit donations online or cash/check/money order on the day of event. Make checks and money orders out to ‘Tim Fasnacht.” Additional funds over the $40 base fee raised through sponsorships are more than welcome .

After submitting the following registration form, please allow 24 – 48 hours for your confirmation email. Check your Spam folder if the message does not appear in your Inbox. If you did not receive a confirmation email, please get in touch with us at phillyabc[at]riseup[dot]net.

Register now to win Black Panther & BLM Gear

from Philly ABC

August is here! There will be a number of events taking place to commemorate Black August – established in the California prison system in the early 1970s to honor Black resistance and fallen freedom fighters.

“The month of August bursts at the seams with histories of Black resistance–from the Haitian Revolution to the Nat Turner Rebellion, from the Fugitive Slave Law Convention and the foundation of the Underground Railroad to the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, from the March on Washington to the Watts Uprising, from the births of Marcus GarveyRussell Maroon Shoatz, and Fred Hampton to the deaths of W.E.B du Bois and George Jackson’s own younger brother Jonathan killed while attempting to free the Soledad Brothers from prison.  We celebrate Black August, commemorating the anniversary of George Jackson’s death while understanding his life as a revolutionary in a long and unbroken line of resistance and sacrifice of Black people throughout history.”

Critical Resistance

Speaking of the birth of revolutionary Russell Maroon Shoatz, we’ll soon be announcing a special Black August edition letter-writing event for him on his birthday, August 23rd. The next day (August 24th) is the registration deadline for this year’s Running Down The Walls 5K in honor of Maroon. Commit yourself during Black August by registering for this fundraiser. This 5K happens only once a year to fund support for Black Liberation Movement prisoners year-round!

Don’t wait until the last minute! Register by the end of this week with an online donation, and you’ll be automatically entered into a raffle for Free the Panthers and Black Lives Matter gear. We have face masks/head-body scarfs, headbands, a flag, a femme watch, Black Liberation logo hat, and a Black Lives Matter beanie. Just indicate in the comments box your preferred item.

These items were donated to the Shoatz family, who wish to see them used for this year’s Running Down The Walls. Don’t miss out on this limited time offer! Register ASAP at: https://phillyabc.org/rdtw/#register

Note: Those who have already registered prior to 8/3/20 are already included, regardless of donation method. Any new registrations (after 8/3) must make their donation online to take part in the raffle.

What else is happening in August?

Help Community Care Worker Lore Elisabeth

from We Love Lore

Latest update, July 9: $33,388 raised by 405 donors.

[Donate Here]

We are the family, friends, and loving community of Lore Elisabeth (Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal), a community care worker in Philadelphia. Our beloved Lore has dedicated her entire life to serving people and making them feel better. She provides essential, life-sustaining services to the most vulnerable Philadelphians as a care worker. She supports community members who live with HIV and chronic illnesses to access medical and critical care, often at her own expense. She has maintained multiple studios in massage therapy and provides regular outcalls to elders and clients who cannot leave their homes. She is the irreplaceable rock of support for her family through health crises. We all love and depend upon her incredibly generous spirit every day. If you’re seeing this fundraiser, then you may be among the countless Philadelphians (and beyond!) whose lives have been improved or even saved by this selfless volunteer.

Federal authorities raided Lore’s home in the early morning hours of June 15, 2020, in a manner that was meant to intimidate her housemates and neighbors. It has now been publicly revealed that their surveillance and raid tactics are an attempt to discourage public demonstration. She is currently being held in custody pending a trial for charges with enhanced federal penalties despite hundreds of other protestors being charged with property crimes in state court.

All proceeds to this fundraiser will support Lore. Funds will be withdrawn exclusively to a single-purpose account owned and managed by Lore’s brother Karl, strictly for this support. We are all united in our ongoing support for her and for an end to police brutality. We look forward to welcoming her home to the family, friends, and community who love and depend upon her so much.

Running Down The Walls

from Philly ABC

Download posters and flyers.

Sunday, September 6, 2020
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10am)
FDR Park

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross presents our third annual Running Down The Walls (RDTW)! Join us for another revolutionary 5K run/walk/bike/skate and day of solidarity. In light of COVID-19, please bring a face mask and follow social distancing recommendations. If you would like to participate in light yoga and warm-up stretches before, please arrive by 10am and bring a mat if you can.

Running is not required! You can also walk, bike, skate or roll. 5K is two loops around the park and at a walking pace will take about 45-60 minutes. Light refreshments and socializing will take place in the park afterward.

This year’s event is co-sponsored by the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz — long-term Black liberation prisoner held in SCI Fayette. Join us as we celebrate the release of Chuck Africa earlier this year, commemorate the life of Delbert Africa, and raise some funds for the freedom struggle of another Philly comrade, Maroon.

After spending 48 years in prison, Maroon turns 77 on August 23rd while also battling cancer during a global pandemic. He needs our support now more than ever.

Fighting Stage 4 cancer, [I have] for 10 months been on various types of chemotherapy at SCI-Fayette, have watched 3 prisoners die of cancer, and my single cell was taken to make room for suspected COVID-19 prisoners, will be transferred to SCI-Dallas for another operation to remove a cancerous growth soon. The struggle continues!

– Political Prisoner, Russell Maroon Shoats/z

Philadelphia RDTW 2020 is dedicated to amplifying the voices of our comrades behind bars, lifting them up in their struggles, and maintaining material post-release support.

If you cannot make it to the event or would like to make an additional contribution, please sponsor a participant either outside prison or inside or one of each. Contact us for more information on sponsoring!


Proceeds will be split between the Warchest Program and the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support.

Register for the 5K

Thanks for your support by running/walking/biking/skating the 5K! Everyone must fill out the following form to register NO LATER THAN AUGUST 24TH so that you receive your official shirt the day of the event.

The registration fee of $40 confirms your place at the event and it is preferred that this be paid by PayPal before the day of, although cash and money orders to Tim Fasnacht can also be accepted at the event. Additional funds over the $40 base fee raised through sponsorships are more than welcome (see our fundraising tips below).

After submitting the following registration form, please allow 24 – 48 hours for your confirmation email. Check your Spam folder if the message does not appear in your Inbox. If you did not receive a confirmation email, please get in touch with us at phillyabc[at]riseup[dot]net.

[Register Here]

Tips to Get Sponsors for your 5K Participation

Many runners will pay the $40 registration fee on their own but if you would like to get sponsored instead, here’s a few tips and ideas to get you started.

  • Make a list of potential donors. Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors…think creatively and include everyone you can think of (it doesn’t hurt to ask). Who might be supportive? Who cares about similar causes? Decide to ask for a specific amount that you think will be within your prospective sponsor’s budget (for instance $1 for each kilometer or an even $40 to represent the Move prisoners’ years on the inside).
  • Make hand-written letters. Deliver them personally if possible. Write your letter in a genuine tone and reference your relationship. Email is faster, but many will be less likely to forget a letter (than an email in a crowded inbox) and they’ll appreciate the personal touch. Include a self addressed envelope for people to mail checks. Use email to follow up with those who don’t respond.
  • Make it personal and face to face. Ask for support from the people you see regularly, and ask in person. People respond to eye contact, assertiveness and passion. Tell them why you’re inspired to support political prisoners and their stories. Practice the conversation beforehand if you think it might be difficult to find words in the moment.
  • Use all communication tools available- Phone calls, text, social media, websites, and email to reach broader networks. If you’re trying to appeal to an organization, make it clear that the event can be a source of positive press for them. Ask them to match the donations of other groups if possible. You could even start a crowdfunding page for your run. Add quality images and tell a story to engage people. Share it on social media and encourage your friends to do the same. Use letters and other communications to direct people to your crowdfunding page.
  • Follow up, provide updates and say ‘thank you.’ Remember to reconnect to your sponsors with photos and stories from the event and thank them for their support.

History

Since 1999, the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, political prisoners and support organizations across the country participate in Running Down The Walls (RDTW). This annual 5K run/jog/walk/roll/bike event is to show solidarity and raise funds for numerous political prisoners in North America. Funds raised are typically split between the ABCF Warchest and a community group chosen by the host group. Each year, incarcerated comrades participate by running inside prison. This event brings us closer together each year, strengthens our bond, and lets prisoners know they are not forgotten! Read RDTW statements from current and former PP/POWs.

The Warchest program receives funds from ABC chapters and individuals every month and then disperses the funds to the prisoners in the program. Since initiation in November 1994, the program has dispersed more than $75,000. The current Warchest recipients are:

In past years, Running Down the Walls was held in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Bloomington (IN), Boston (MA), Brooklyn (NY), Buffalo (NY), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Hamilton (Ontario), Elmore (AL), FCI Sandstone (MN), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), Middletown (CT), Minneapolis (MN), USP Navosta (TX), Oakland (CA), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Riverside (CA), Seattle (WA), Tucson (AZ), and Toronto (Ontario).