Give Through the Bars 2022

from Philly ABC

give-through-the-bars.jpg

The closing stretch of 2022 with its holidays and festive gatherings is in sight. No doubt, many of you are eager to gift the new Certain Days calendar to friends and loved ones. However, just because the year is winding down into sweater weather and hot cocoa, does not mean that the Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s struggle against repression will be taking a break.

On the contrary, we plan for 2023 to be full of solidarity, mutual aid, and freedom for political prisoners and we’d love it if you could help us get a head start on those efforts.

Tax Deductible Donations

The ABCF can now provide tax deduction receipts for donations of over $500 through our fiscal sponsor, IDAVOX/One People’s Project.

To take advantage of the tax deduction, make your check payable to “One People’s Project” with “ABCF” in the memo and mail it to: ABCF-OC, P.O. Box 4341, Santa Ana CA 92702. Be sure to include a return address (preferably email) where we can send your receipt back to you.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to contribute to the work the ABCF does– we can accept contributions of any amount through the normal CashApp, Venmo, PayPal and checks/money orders if no tax deduction is desired. You can also pick up some sweet Pushing Down The Walls and other merch from our Orange County chapter.

Looking Back and Planning Ahead

Speaking of “the work,” here’s an incomplete list of what we’ve been up to since our last year end round up:

Online and in-person letter-writing events hosted by various chapters, as well as our ongoing administration of prisonersolidarity.com.

ABCF Chapters and comrade organizations all over the US and Canada put together 12 Running Down The Walls 5K events which raised a combined $21,154.84 for the Warchest Program.

Regular, reliable disbursements to the 17 current Warchest Program recipients.

Additionally, we’ve provided mutual aid to comrade organizations internationally as well as individual political prisoner support committees here on Turtle Island. For example:

$2000 to Belarus Anarchist Black Cross to support political prisoners there.

$1500 to Moscow Anarchist Black Cross to respond to the repression of anti-war organizing against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. We were able to make this transfer before Russia was excluded from SWIFT banking systems.

$1000 to the Civil Liberties Defense Center to assist with their eventually successful representation of Eric King. The BOP’s bogus, retaliatory charges were designed to bury him decades beyond his original sentence.

$4000 to Sundiata Acoli’s post-release support fund.

$1000 to the housing fundraiser for Herman Bell, a former Black Panther and political prisoner who was incarcerated for 45 years.

$1000 to the support committee of Kamau Sadiki to help cover ongoing legal, medical, and visitation costs.

Now that you have some idea of what to expect from us in 2023, please consider making a contribution and inviting your friends to do likewise. As an organization made up entirely of volunteers, our ability to fight for the survival and freedom of imprisoned comrades is dependent on gifts from our community.

They’re in there for us. We are out here for them.

Raising funds

from Twitter

Running Down The Walls 2022 Reportback

from Philly ABC

We’re pleased to share the success and reportback from the fifth annual Philadelphia Running Down The Walls in support of political prisoners and prisoners of war.It was a consistent 70 degrees with intermittent rain showers on Sunday September 11th. Despite the soggy weather, around 150 participants began arriving around 10am. We kicked off the day with an inspiring Yoga warm-up led by Sheena Sood .

Did you say Yoga warm-up? In the rain?

That’s right! A crowd participated in a drizzly Yoga warm-up as the remainder were checking in and setting up tables. Sheena was on point as always bringing revolutionary intention to the day. She also shared inspiring quotes from Albert Woodfox who we were blessed to have join us last year, warming up our hearts and minds as well as our bodies.

Joining us again after emceeing the 2020 event, was hip-hop artist and organizer Blak Rapp Madusa of the Dignity Act Now Collective . Once the warm-up concluded, Madusa rallied the first group of mostly walkers, commencing the 5K at around 11:30am. A medium-paced group started shortly after, followed by a group of runners taking off 10 minutes later. Once all three groups completed the 5K, we gathered for a group photo on an adjacent hill, and then regrouped at the picnic area for refreshments and speeches.

The first speaker was author of Free the Land and MXGM Philly member – Brother Onaci . He provided an overview on the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, and some of the current projects in motion both in Philly and within the broader movement. See Brother O’s speech from Unicorn Riot’s live stream here.

We are organized around defending the human rights of all Afrikan people. We are organized around freeing political prisoners, demanding reparations, ending genocide against Afrikan people, and ending sexist oppression. We have a number of programs nationally … including the New Afrikan Scouts, including community self defense, and including political education. And right now we’re trying to organize in Philly around these various principals, through these programs, alongside the Jericho Movement and our other comrades in the broader movement to free us all.

Next we read a condensed version of a longer statement from Toby Shone, an anarchist political prisoner out of the so-called UK. He was arrested by counter-terrorism cops in November 2020 as part of “Operation Adream” – an attempt by the UK government to silence dissent and criminalize anarchism. Toby and several other prisoners locked inside HM Prison Parc (a private G4S facility) ran down the walls with us, making it the first ever prisoner-organized RDTW event on the other side of the Atlantic ocean.

Madusa took the mic again to give a shout out to Toby and numerous other prisoners from several facilities that joined us in this solidarity 5K. The crowd repeated the names as the ones we had were read aloud . Some of the prisoners joining us this year were:

Jerome Coffey – SCI Pine Grove
Hector “Pica” Huertas – SCI Pine Grove
Paul Kali Hickman – Vaughn Correctional Center
Mumia Abu-Jamal – SCI Mahanoy
Toby Shone – HM Prison Parc (UK)
Hassan Tucker – SCI Phoenix
Alejandro Rodriguez-Ortiz – SCI Huntingdon
John Bramble – Vaughn Correctional Center
Lawrence Michaels – SCI Frackville
Jacob Busic – Halifax Correctional Center

The next speaker was former political prisoner and prisoner of war, Jihad Abdulmumit. Jihad became a member of the Black Panther Party at the age of 16 and eventually went underground in the ranks of the Black Liberation Army. He was later captured and incarcerated for 23 years for his involvement in the Black Liberation Movement. Jihad himself was recipient of the Warchest during his time, and we were thrilled to have him join us from Richmond, VA with his family this year. See Jihad’s speech here.

My name is Jihad Abdulmumit. I am a former political prisoner, member of the Black Liberation Army and the Black Panther Party, representing my comrades that are still in prison, captive, and all those that are not part of the party also. I am the Chairperson of the Jericho movement. I am on the Board of the Abolitionist Law Center. I see my comrade Saleem is here as well. I am part of the Spirit of Mandela coalition. If you haven’t heard of that, you need to google Spirit of Mandela. We had a tribunal last year charging the United States, again, for the genocide of Black, Brown and Indigenous people, which I will speak about just a little bit in a moment. And I am part of the Jama’at of Uthman dan Fodio, a Muslim community throughout the United States. … How long have we been running down the walls? Several decades. I came home in 2000. Right before that, because of the Warchest, I was able to get my paralegal degree. So I was able to get coffee– I am a coffee drinker, thank you. There’s something seemingly innocuous about that, and I was also able to pay for my books for my schooling. That’s the extent, breadth and scope of the Warchest.

The last speaker was former Black liberation soldier and anarchist prisoner of war, Ojore Lutalo. He was arrested in 1975 with Kojo Bomani Sababu after they attempted to rob a bank to fund revolutionary projects, which ended in a shoot out with police. During his 28 years of incarceration he was placed in Trenton State Prison’s Maximum Control Unit (MCU) – a special sensory deprivation unit reserved for political prisoners and prisoners of war. Ojore was also a co-founder of the ABCF , and is the person who initiated the Warchest program in 1994.

In isolation, in the Management Control Unit, we created the Anarchist Black Cross Federation [and] created the Warchest program. … Since then, the ABCF has been supporting political prisoners… Drugs are a major problem in our communities and in the prison system. … That’s one of the reasons they kept me in the control unit for 22 years [is] because I was teaching against that. I was teaching that we had a right to rebel. I was teaching that we were oppressed, and we don’t have to remain oppressed.

We were honored to have former political prisoners and prisoners of war, Ojore Lutalo, Jihad Abdulmumit, Daniel McGowan, Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, Mike and Debbie Davis (Africa) join us in person this year. We’d like to thank Unicorn Riot for live streaming and Hate5six for filming the event.

We thank Food Not Bombs Solidarity for the snacks and refreshments, Here & Now Zines, IWW, Socialist Rifle Association, and Mobilization for Mumia for tabling, and to Latziyela and Come On Strong for printing the shirts. We thank Blak Rapp Madusa for emceeing, Sheena Sood for leading the Yoga warm-up, and Philly Muslim Freedom Fund for their contribution to the Warchest.

Many thanks to MXGM Philly for supporting and co-sponsoring the event, and the ~200 people who participated in person or remotely – inside or outside prison – from California, Bridgend (UK), Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Tokyo (JP).

Together we raised $11,607 to be split between MXGM Philly and the ABCF Warchest that sends monthly stipends to 17 political prisoners and prisoners of war with little or no financial support. A full breakdown of Warchest funds in and out since 1994 is available here (updated July 2022). Funds available beyond the reserved amount needed for the monthly stipends will be disbursed as one-time donations to other political prisoners who demonstrate financial need, or to the release funds of the next comrades to come home.

We look forward to more successes in the next year as we further the struggle to free all political prisoners and abolish the carceral system! As an extension of last year’s focus, a meeting was held after the event to organize support for Mumia’s upcoming court date. Mumia’s attorneys are litigating the six boxes of previously undisclosed evidence that were illegally withheld from Mumia’s prior trial and appeals, and could potentially reverse the conviction.

On October 19th, a judge said she will issue a ruling on the petition to remand the case back to the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. It is critical that we pack the court on this day, which is the 3rd Wednesday in October. Save the date in your calendar!

We also want to take the opportunity to invite you to the Memorial for Maroon and 6th Annual Prisoners’ Families Brunch on Saturday, October 8, 2022. The event is taking place from noon to 4pm at One Art Community Center (1435 N. 52nd St.) and it’s completely free! That includes free food, drinks, entertainment, speakers, and information. Join us as we celebrate the legacy and memory of freedom fighter Russell Maroon Shoatz, and show support for family and friends of our community members who are or have been incarcerated.

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We want to close this out by commemorating former Angola 3 political prisoner – Albert Woodfox. After serving 43 years in solitary confinement, longer than any prisoner in US history, he was released on his 69th birthday – February 19th, 2016. We were honored that Albert traveled all the way from New Orleans to join us in person at last year’s Running Down The Walls. The energy and perspective he brought was inspiring and resonating.

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Albert joined the ancestors on Thursday August 4th, 2022. Our hearts go out to all who were close to him, and we will keep fighting in his honor. #RestInPower comrade.

Until all are free,
Philly ABC

Hundreds Take Part in Running Down the Walls Events, Raising Thousands for Political Prisoners

from It’s Going Down

[This post only contains information relevant to Philadelphia and the surrounding area, to read the entire article follow the above link.]

Report from the Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABC-F) about Running Down the Walls events across the so-called US and Canada.

In early September, various Anarchist Black Cross chapters held the annual Running Down the Walls 5K events. Since 1999, prisoners and supporters throughout North America have participated in Running Down the Walls (RDTW) often running or walking simultaneously in many cities and prisons at once. This is a non-competitive 5K run/jog/walk/roll in order to raise awareness and funds for political prisoners. Over the years, we have raised thousands of dollars and lots of awareness around the struggle to free political prisoners. Below is the run down of Running Down the Walls 2022. Feel free to donate here.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (September 11th)

Running Down the Walls in Philadelphia, PA

A little drizzle didn’t stop the people from coming out for Running Down the Walls 2022 in Philadelphia on September 11th. A group of about 150 came together in FDR park, along with 50 or so participating remotely – inside and outside prisons – to raise funds and strengthen solidarity with political prisoners. This year, proceeds were split between the ABCF Warchest and the Philly chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Together we raised $11,607, with $5,803.50 going to each.

A full report is coming soon from Philly ABC. You can also view coverage from the event from Unicorn Riot here:

[Video Link]

‘Running Down the Walls’ Marathon Benefit for Prisoners in Philly

from Unicorn Riot

September 11, 2022

Philadelphia, PA – An annual 5K run/walk/roll benefit called “Running Down the Walls” aims to amplify the voices of political prisoners and provide material support, according to Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross, the host of today’s event in South Philly’s FDR Park. Organizers say this year’s event will “benefit the ABCF Warchest and the Philly chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.

Watch our live coverage below:

[Video Link]

Unicorn Riot streamed last year’s speeches at the same location (video below). Unicorn Riot also recently covered the destruction of swaths of the “Meadows” at FDR Park, west of the marathon site.

[Video Link]

The 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.

Running Down The Walls

from Philly ABC


rdtw-2022.png

Download posters, flyers, and quarter sheets for sharing.

Sunday, September 11, 2022
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10am)
FDR Park

RDTW 2022

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross invites you to our fifth 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, roll, or cheer. 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 will benefit the ABCF Warchest and the Philly chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Join us as we once again raise energy and funds for the freedom of long-term political prisoners and the struggles they are serving time for.

Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression, because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action.

– Malcolm X

This year marks a milestone in the Warchest program as we surpassed $205,000 in funds raised! Due to the abominable conditions that political prisoners and freedom fighters are subjected to, and the prevalence of health issues from medical neglect, they need our support now more than ever. Join us as we celebrate our successes this last year and build momentum for the struggles ahead!

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 Philly chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support.

Running Down The Walls

from Philly ABC


rdtw-2022.png

Download posters, flyers, and quarter sheets for sharing.

Sunday, September 11, 2022
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10am)
FDR Park

RDTW 2022

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross invites you to our fifth 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 will benefit the ABCF Warchest and the Philly chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Join us as we once again raise energy and funds for the freedom of long-term political prisoners and the struggles they are serving time for.

“Power in defense of freedom is greater than power in behalf of tyranny and oppression, because power, real power, comes from our conviction which produces action, uncompromising action.”

– Malcolm X

This year marks a milestone in the Warchest program as we surpassed $200,000 in funds raised! Due to the abominable conditions that political prisoners and freedom fighters are subjected to, and the prevalence of health issues from medical neglect, they need our support now more than ever. Join us as we celebrate our successes this last year and build momentum for the struggles ahead!

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 Philly chapter of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support.

Philly June 11th BBQ Report

Submission

This year a BBQ fundraiser was organized for June 11th, in solidarity with anarchist prisoners and against all imprisonment. People got together to eat vegan foods and hang out. Suburbicide distro (http://suburbicide.keybase.pub/) came out with zines, stickers, and patches. At the end of the night the event raised $178 all of which is going to anarchist and political prisoners.

Fire to the prisons!

Anarchist Prisoner Solidarity Bar-B-Que

Submission

June 11th
6PM
Clark Park (45th St & Chester Ave)

On June 11th come enjoy a vegan BBQ supporting anarchist and political
prisoners!

There will be food, drinks, and zines available by donation. All
donations will be sent to Bloomington ABC’s Anarchist Prisoner War Fund
and Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s Warchest Program. No one will be
turned away for lack of funds.

6PM at Clark Park in the square near 45th St and Chester Ave. There are
benches and picnic tables nearby, a paved path leads into the square.

Running Down The Walls 2021 Reportback

from Philly ABC

We’re pleased to share the following reportback of our fourth annual Philadelphia Running Down The Walls in support of political prisoners and prisoners of war.

On sunny September 12, 2021, a light breeze persisted from off the lake in FDR park as participants gathered to check-in for their t-shirts, make donations, set up tables, and hang banners. For the fourth year in a row, the day kicked off an amazing yoga warm up lead by  Sheena Sood  to uplift the energy for the rest of the day. Our comrade Spiritchild from the  maroon party for liberation  emceed the event getting participants amped and queued up. Walkers left the start line around 11:10 am, followed by folks moving at a medium pace, and finally the runners around 11:30 am.

After the 5K, the crowd gathered as Spiritchild performed a song for the spirits of political prisoners, fallen comrades and ancestors, followed by pouring libations. Then we acknowledged the prisoners who were sponsored for and participated as part of the Philadelphia event: John Bramble and Paul Kali Hickman (Vaughn Correctional Center), Hector “Pica” Huertas and Jerome Coffey (SCI Pine Grove), Jacob Busic (Halifax Correctional Unit), Alejandro “Capo” Rodriguez-Ortiz and the 9 others participating with him (SCI Phoenix).

The first speaker was Mumia’s grandson, Jamal Jr. He started with the chant he’s heard his whole life – “Free Mumia!” – to remind everyone what the goal is, and then continued to share his raw emotions with us. Jamal spoke on how hard it was to see Mumia’s incision wounds from the recent open heart surgery, but his words come from more than just that. They come from a lifetime of fighting to free his grandfather. His call to action is for all of us to do one revolutionary act a day. See Jamal’s full speech from  Unicorn Riot’s  live stream  here.

I wish my grandfather was here to address you today. We have a puppet in his stead. I wish he was here, lending his voice for the liberation of others like he always does. I wish he was here laughing and telling stories, flanked by his wife, children, grandchildren, and other family. … He’s been abducted longer than most of us have been alive. Just think of that. … They intended to kill him, but the people had something to say about that. … They took him from me, and they still intend to hold him. I’m pretty sure we got something to say about that. They took him from my children, and they intend for him to die in there– to die behind enemy lines. … Freeing political prisoners is personal to me, because my grandfather has been a political prisoner all my life. He’s been a political prisoner most of my dad’s life. Bringing him home is the goal. You guys hear that? We got to bring him home. We have to.

We all got work to do, so I am going to require one revolutionary act a day. One revolutionary act could be sharing a revolutionary story. One revolutionary act could be joining in on a conversation of political prisoners and injustices that we need to challenge. There’s many ways we can do one revolutionary act a day… . When I’m asking you guys to voluntarily do one revolutionary act a day– don’t just do it because it makes you feel okay, you know it makes you feel right, makes you feel whole, makes you feel good, you know supporting political prisoners– do it because, you know, a lot of us, we don’t have a choice… In supporting political prisoners, and supporting revolutionaries, in a lot of ways you’re supporting the family members, you know, of revolutionaries … the ones who didn’t sign up for this.

The next speaker was former political prisoner,  Kazi Toure,  who was imprisoned for over ten years for his role in bombings carried out by the United Freedom Front (UFF) to combat Apartheid in South Africa and US Imperialism in Central America. Kazi traveled down from Boston to participate and share his wisdom, solidarity for Mumia and all political prisoners, as well as his experiences with Running Down The Walls both inside and outside prison. See Kazi’s full speech here.

Each year I see this [Running Down The Walls] growing and growing, more and more. And you know it’s something we really need to do because of the double standards that they have on this land. Where Mumia would already be out, and a lot of other political prisoners would be out. So we have to double our efforts.

As brother [Jamal] spoke before … [where] he was talking about doing one revolutionary act a day, I think the self-discipline plays into that. Just like where we start the day off with yoga, and then went on our walk and our run… we have to incorporate all that and study revolutionary movements, and who the political prisoners are. People should know them. They are in there because they made a choice. People made a conscious choice to fight against this government, and it’s racist, sexist, homophobic policies.

Following came a legal update from Nia Holston of the  Abolitionist Law Center,  on the current status of medical parole for political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. Maroon has been imprisoned for 48 years and suffers from stage 4 cancer, to the point at which he is eligible for compassionate release into to hospice. However that didn’t stop a Judge last month from asserting this 78 year old man is an “undue risk of escape or danger to the community,” and denying his release. Nia and others from ALC are still fighting for his release, and they believe he will come home. See Nia’s full legal update  here.

I definitely want to acknowledge the family of Russell Maroon Shoatz that’s here today, and that we stand in solidarity with them. In August we filed a petition for compassionate release in his case, because of the illness, because of what he’s been going through, because he spent so long incarcerated. We’ve been working to file that petition to get him released. Now I have to say that unfortunately, Judge Scott of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas did deny that petition in August of this past month, but we are still working. We are still preparing the litigation to continue that fight, and we believe that we will win.

But I will say, as you all know here, we know that we can’t rely on the legal system to do what’s right. We know that we can’t. And so, all of the work that you are doing, all the good work you’re doing to organize this event, and all of the work that the Free Maroon Now coalition is doing to support the litigation is so, so important.

Next up, we were again joined by Robert Saleem Holbrook. Saleem is a former juvenile lifer who was released in 2018 after spending over two decades in prison. He spoke at last year’s event about the political education and mentorship he received from Maroon and  Joseph “Joe-Joe” Bowen  while incarcerated with them. This year he spoke on the history of Jericho and their new Philly chapter that formed a few months ago. He also echoed the strength and victories of our movements to free political prisoners. See Saleem’s full speech here.

Jericho was founded in 1998 after a call was made by  Jalil Muntaqim … for all national organizations that support the Black liberation movement and support radical things in this country, to come together and march on Washington demanding the release of political prisoners who were casualties of this country’s war against the Black liberation movement, and this country’s war against the social protest movement of the 60s and 70s. … Since 1998, I’m proud to say that we have brought home a lot of political prisoners. Something that at one time seemed impossible. Jalil Muntaqim, the political prisoner who made that call, is now home. However not only is Jalil home, his comrades are also home. … A lot of times when you’re in the trenches fighting, you sometimes forget our victories … but we have victories that we need to uplift, and I think as a movement we need to uplift these victories a lot more… . There are so many who are released that gave inspiration to us that we need to acknowledge when we’re in their presence.

We have a lot more work to do. We got bring home Mumia Abu-Jamal … Russell Maroon Shoatz … Fred “Muhammad” Burton … Joseph “Joe-Joe” Bowen … Sundiata AcoliMutulu ShakurLeonard Peltier … You know today is his birthday, so we need to uplift Leonard Peltier’s presence [and] his fighting spirit today. Philly Jericho is part of this movement, this mass movement to liberate our political prisoners.

The final speaker was longtime ABCF member, Tim Fasnacht. Since 2005, Tim has been the person dispersing the monthly Warchest stipends to political prisoners and prisoners of war. He gave a brief update and history of the program. See Tim’s full speech  here.

Right now we’re up to 18 political prisoners [that] we send $50 a month. We also provide occasional legal money if someone needs help with legal fees. And [what] we also started over the past couple years as the Warchest has really grown, is a release fund. So we’re giving political prisoners who have been released over that last couple years anywhere from maybe $500 to maybe $3000 to help them get on their feet when they get out.

The Warchest started in 1994. It came about from comrades up in Patterson, New Jersey. They started writing and visiting different political prisoners. The first one they wrote to was Ojorie Lutalo … he’s been a huge inspiration to the formation of the ABCF in all different aspects, and he’s the one who coined the term “Warchest.” So you can thank him for it, you can thank Sekou Odinga and Sundiata Acoli – they’re the ones that kind of put together the list of people that we should get in touch with who were in need of financial assistance. We’ll just keep on doing this every year until they are all free.

Between speeches, we read aloud Running Down The Walls solidarity statements from political prisoners Oso Blanco and Bill Dunne, former political prisoner Jaan Laaman, and Capo on behalf of the Vaughn 17 prisoners who participated with us. Many people also signed up to join the Free Mumia listserv, which can also be subscribed to here. All the while, were accompanied by powerfully symbolic 18 ft. Mumia puppet in the background. If you appreciated the puppet, please donate to sustain that project. The speeches wrapped up with some short announcements of upcoming events and another reminder of the many political prisoners we’ve brought home, followed by a group photo on the pavilion steps.

We’d like to thank Food Not Bombs Solidarity for the snacks and refreshments, to Unicorn Riot for the full  livestream  of speakers, statements and announcements, and photographer Joe Piette for yet another collection of amazing photos. We were honored to be joined by former political prisoner Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3, who traveled all the way from New Orleans to be a part of the event. In that same vein, we were honored to be joined by and Kazi Toure and former Anarchist prisoner of war, Ojorie Lutalo,  as well as recently released Pennsylvania prisoners Arthur ‘Cetawayo’ Johnson (August 11, 2021) and Eric Riddick (May 28th, 2021).

We thank Prison Radio, Mobilizaton for Mumia, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home, and International Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia Abu-Jamal for all the support in promoting and making this event the success that it was. We would also like to thank Spiritchild for emceeing the event, Sheena Sood for leading the Yoga warm-up, Latziyela and Come On Strong  for printing the shirts, and people who tabled for Mobilization for Mumia, Here & Now Zines, IWW, Socialist Rifle Association, and a Black Panther support crew.

We thank the 200+ people who attended in person or remotely from Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Vermont, Illinois, New York, Virginia, Washington, Texas, Minnesota, Ohio, Arizona, Massachusetts, D.C., Malmo (Sweden), and Tokyo (Japan). Together we raised a total of $10,505 to be split between Mumia Abu-Jamal and the ABCF Warchest  that sends monthly stipends to 18 political prisoners with little or no financial support. A full breakdown of Warchest funds in and out since 1994 is available  here.  Funds available beyond the reserved amount needed for the monthly stipends will be disbursed as one-time donations to other political prisoners who demonstrate financial need, or to the release funds of the next comrades to come home.

We look forward to more successes in the next year as we further the struggle to free Mumia and abolish the carceral system! We encourage folks to donate what they can to the Ant Smith Defense Committee. An outspoken supporter of Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners, Ant is a beloved educator, community member, and organizer who participates in Running Down The Walls. Since October of 2020, he has been the target of trumped up, politically motivated charges related to protest during the George Floyd uprising. Follow the #FreeAnt  Linktree,   Twitter,  and  Instagram.  Make donations to freeantphl on  Cashapp or PayPal.

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We want to close this out by commemorating former political prisoner and long-time friend and comrade of Philly ABC, Chuck Africa. After nearly 42 years in prison, on February 7th, 2020, Chuck was the last of the surviving Move 9 to be paroled. His cancer had already reached stage 4 by this time, but Chuck remained strong and optimistic.

Chuck spoke at  last year’s Running Down The Walls,  to which he called on the movement to take immediate action in supporting his imprisoned comrades Joseph Bowen and Steven Northington, and a list of women serving life without parole (or sentenced to death by incarceration).

chuck-africa-rdtw-2020-1.jpg

It was Chuck’s first and only public speaking engagement since his release. He was excited to attend the event again this year, and possibly speak again, but his health declined too rapidly in the month prior.

Around 3:00am on Monday September 20th, Chuck joined the ancestors after his four year battle with cancer that clearly worsened through incarceration. His family and close friends know him as a bold and selfless warrior, always standing up and fighting for everyone else before himself. He will forever be remembered as someone who loved with all his might, and we will keep fighting in his honor. #RestInPower comrade.

Until all are free,
Philly ABC

“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!