Monday July 25th: Letter-writing for Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal

from Philly ABC

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A notorious Trump lackey targeted Lore in June 2020 to be a scapegoat for the demonstrations that empowered Philadelphians against constant police brutality. Lore is known for providing 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 provides regular outcalls to elders and clients who cannot leave their homes as a professional massage therapist. She is the irreplaceable rock of support to her family. Over the last two years, Lore has become a vital source for health information and care to the women hidden in the Bureau of Prisons’ Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia.

Join us online as we answer the call from her family and friends to send letters or postcards of support, share all your hope, well wishes, and your good news. Her support site also includes instructions on how to send photos and books .

If you are unable to make it, please drop Lore a line at:

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal
#70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
PO Box 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

We will also be sending birthday cards to U.S.-held political prisoners with birthdays in August: Daniel Hale (the 1st), Eric King (the 2nd), Bill Dunne (the 3rd), Hanif Bey (the 16th) and Ronald Reed (the 31st).

PENN STATE COMMUNITY ALERT: There is a Dangerous B1got on Campus!

from Medium

Content Warning/Trigger Warning

Community Alert! Those in the Penn State and State College community should be aware of a dangerous bigot on PSU campus who advocates for r*pe and wh!te supremacy named AVI RACHLIN. Rachlin uses the handles: resistpennstate (twitter) and avsterbone (reddit). The following report and photographs document only a few of the many instances where Rachlin has committed discriminatory harassment and violence. This info is already public: anyone can research Rachlin to find the same information. The images below have been censored. All community organizations in State College, thank you the work you do, please inform your networks!

Email PSU’s Office of Student Conduct, StudentConduct@psu.edu or call 814–863–0342 to demand Rachlin be held accountable for “discriminatory harassment.” Email PSU Provost Nick Jones (provost@psu.edu) to demand Rachlin be removed from Penn State.

SCHOOL SH*OTING , S*XUAL ASS*AULT, M*URDER

In a reddit thread, Rachlin alarmingly says that if he could get away with it or face no consequences, he wishes to do a school shooting. He says, “I’d definitely shoot up a school,” and “I’d then probably start driving around and shoot at random cars & pedestrians.” In this same fantasy, Rachlin says that he desires to r*ape and m*rder women, if he could get away with it.

G*N PERM*T

Recently, New Jersey police denied Rachlin a gun permit because they deemed him a threat. Police determined that Rachlin has a history of domestic harassment and unhinged, aggressive behavior. See Rachlin v Baumann where public court records detail the reasons New Jersey police consider Rachlin a threat. After he was denied a gun permit, Rachlin violently disrupted a PSU campus rally waving a sign with an image that threatened gun violence. The image depicted Alex Jones holding a pistol aimed at viewers. Over this image the sign said, “Shut the F*ck Up Liberals.” At worst, this image could be interpreted as depicting Rachlin’s fantasy of using gun violence to m*rder students and professors whom he sees as his enemies. At best, the image depicts the kind of gun violence that New Jersey police believe Rachlin might commit if he were to possess a handgun. In line with this, Rachlin has also repeatedly tweeted his unwavering support for armed white vigilantes who murder Black Lives Matter protestors.

WH*TE SUPREMACY & THE N* WORD

Rachlin is an avid white supremacist. He’s proud that people call him a n*zi. He believes “wh*tes should remain dominant.” In a public Penn State discord channel, Rachlin yelled the n-word. Fellow students reported Rachlin to Penn State’s Office of Student Conduct, but Penn State ignored the complaint and did nothing to hold Rachlin accountable. Rachlin also calls people the n word on his reddit account.

R*CISM, M*SOGNY, H*MOPHOBIA

Rachlin has a long history of being a r*cist, mys*gynist, and hom*phobe. Penn State admitted Rachlin as a student despite his public support for r*cism and r*pe. Penn State has also allowed Rachlin to remain on campus despite threatening and assaulting students, professors, and community members at a pro-vaccine campus rally in August of 2021.

S*XUAL IMAGES TO MIN*RS

Rachlin was removed from a gamer community after one its members who was a minor reported that Rachlin had sent them pornographic images. A moderator notified Rachlin he was being removed because he had sent pornographic images to a minor. Rachlin admitted to this and then bragged that he “was a deadass” for committing this violence to a minor.

AGAIN ON S*XUAL ASS*ULT

On numerous occasions, Rachlin has advocated for the r*pe of women. Screenshots from his twitter and reddit accounts show him admitting to engaging in phone s*x with women without their knowledge or consent. He also claims that women who don’t dress conservatively deserve to be s*xually a*saulted. In December of 2021, Rachlin tweeted that “r*ape is good for your s*x life.” In 2018, Rachlin called a Wendy’s restaurant to demand he be allowed to masturb*te on the premises. He recorded this act of sexual harassment for his youtube channel.

AGAIN ON HOM*PHOBIA

In Oct. 2021, Rachlin proudly served as a volunteer for a f*scist and hom*phobic event on PSU campus titled “Pray the G*y Away.” The speaker of the event advocated for conversion therapy. Rachlin recruited other volunteers to join him to help make the event possible. Before the event, Rachlin tweeted a message that denounced LGBTQ+ students, saying support for LGBTQ+ students is “nauseating.”

THREATENING ACTIONS ON CAMPUS

In August of 2021, as mentioned above, Rachlin threatened people at a pro-vaccine campus rally. Several students and professors tried to deescalate Rachlin to protect themselves from his dangerous behavior. In response, Rachlin attacked these people. The Penn State police were called on Rachlin who removed him from the rally. Rachlin then lied to Penn State police, claiming his was victimized. Penn State police sympathized with Rachlin because they share the same anti-vax, white supremacist politics. Penn State police targeted one of the professors who protected students from Rachlin’s violent actions that day. Penn State police unjustly charged the professor for keeping the campus safe from Rachlin’s threatening behavior. The professor was innocent and was later cleared of all charges. The DA and a judge did not believe Rachlin’s lies. So far, though, neither Penn State police nor Penn State administration have held Rachlin accountable for his violent actions that day.

Currently, Rachlin remains on PSU campus. PSU Police have greenlit Rachlin’s dangerous behavior. Say no to white supremacists and r*pe promoters like Rachlin. Share this article to alert the Penn State and State College community. Demand Penn State remove Rachlin from the campus community. People aren’t safe with him around.

As mentioned above, email PSU’s Office of Student Conduct, StudentConduct@psu.edu or call 814–863–0342 to demand Rachlin be held accountable for “discriminatory harassment.” Email PSU Provost Nick Jones (provost@psu.edu) to demand Rachlin be removed from Penn State.

January discussion II: Theater and the plague

from Viscera

With our own plague raging, we’ve got another in-person, outdoor event to warm us all in these cold winter months. Come get exposed to something other than COVID-19 with our next discussion on Antonin Artaud, Hakim Bey and the Theater of Cruelty!

The theater, like the plague, is in the image of this carnage and this essential separation. It releases conflicts, disengages powers, liberates possibilities, and if these possibilities and these powers are dark, it is the fault not of the plague nor of the theater, but of life.

Join us Sunday, January 30th from 1-3 – we’ll be meeting in the same place as last time, so let us know if you need the address. In case of rain we’ll reschedule.

You can find the introduction to The Theater and its Double and Theater and the Plague here:

In addition we’ll be discussing two short pieces from Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z. – Poetic Terrorism and Communique #6.

This is a bit of reading, so we recommend allotting some time for it!

October discussion: Death

from Viscera

The crisp of autumn is in the air and the sun ceding ground to the long, long night, which means it’s time for a spooky reading!

Today, the man best protected against setting the stage for his own dying is the sick person in critical condition. Society, acting through the medical system, decides when and after what indignities and mutilations he shall die.

Join us on Saturday, October 30th in Clark Park (near the chess tables) from 1-3 pm for a discussion about Ivan Illich’s “Death against death” from the classic Medical Nemesis. You can read the chapter online with footnotes here or in pdf form below:

There might even be Halloween treats!

September discussion: anarchists respond to COVID (and its world)

from Viscera

oin us Sunday, September 26th from 1-3 pm for a discussion about anarchist responses to COVID! This is a subject we’ve talked about a lot, but with vaccines, new restrictions, and the limited economic support from the state being rolled back things look a lot different now – well, except for the growing number of infections!

We’ll be reading two recent pieces, one from some French anarchists who attacked a vaccination site and one less spicy (but still good!) piece from Canada!

About an attack on a vaccination centre

Health on a human scale

We’ll be meeting in Clark Park near the chess tables, as usual!

Rest In Power Consuewella Africa

from Philly ABC

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The news hit hard yesterday when we were informed of the passing of Consuewella Africa, nearly one year to the day when we lost Delbert Africa. Consuewella’s passing is heartbreaking, especially after the devastation the Move family has already been going through the past couple months.

We send our sincere condolences, love and solidarity to all of the Move family and supporters. #RestInPower Consuewella. You will never be forgotten.


Posted by MOVE:

Our beloved sister Consuewella Africa passed away June 16, 2021

The MOVE ORGANIZATION just wants to take the time to inform people that our beloved sister Consuewella Africa passed away today. Consuewella had been hospitalized these past couple of weeks due to health complications behind the stress of this situation with The University Of Pennsylvania and the remains of her Daughter Tree Africa.

Consuewella was a minister of confrontation for The MOVE ORGANIZATION, and a survivor of the August 8, 1978 Confrontation who spent 16 years in prison for refusing to renounce MOVE. Her Daughters Tree and Netta Africa were murdered by this Government on May 13, 1985.

We were advised by the University of Pennsylvania’s Anthropology Dept. that Tree Africa’s Remains were sent to Terry’s Funeral Home and are ready to be picked up. We hope that we can put Tree and Consuewella together. We will keep people posted on a memorial service.

Rest Easy Consuewella
Our Dear Sister, We Love you And Will Hold You In Our Hearts Forever
YOUR, MOVE Family

One year

from We Love Lore

It’s been a year since Lore Elisabeth was taken from us. She was apprehended violently in her home, tortured for weeks, infected with COVID, denied medical care throughout, and fights to this day for access to her case files. Federal authorities have shown no interest in proving their case against her, nor have they allowed her to defend herself.

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Thanks to you, she can still fight. In this past year, you have kept our beloved Lore going with your precious messages of love and solidarity; you kept the pressure on the Bureau of Prisons until she and her women’s unit got access to the vaccine; you showed your joy online and onsite where she could see and feel it; and you raised an absolutely essential fund for her legal defense.

Let’s show Lore that we still love and haven’t forgotten her. Please never stop supporting our friends and allies leading the fights against police violence and mass incarceration. Keep sending letters and photos! And you can always donate to Lore’s commissary fund via PayPal or Venmo @WeLoveLore for food, clothes, and essentials. We couldn’t do it without you 🌈🙏✨

Your questions answered ????

from We Love Lore

Thanks to everyone for your patience and generous offers of support during these last few quiet months ???? We want to keep everyone up-to-date and in touch with Lore while the government tries to hide her and slow her eventual release.

So! We’re offering a new option to subscribe to the latest updates as they come by email ???? and adding your FAQ’s, starting with the questions we’ve received the most below.

Don’t forget! you can always catch up with the latest on Instagram and Twitter, too.

What is Lore’s current status?

Lore is still detained at the Bureau of Prisons’ Federal Detention Center at 7th and Arch Streets in downtown Philadelphia.

Does she have a trial date?

No, neither the prosecutors’ office nor the courts have expressed any plans to hold a trial in the foreseeable future.

How is her health?

Lore is feeling fairly well after recovering from an untreated COVID-19 infection, but she now uses an inhaler daily and needs further testing to understand and manage her long-term breathing needs.

Is she vaccinated?

Lore has not received any COVID-19 vaccination at the time of writing and there is no timetable for her to receive one. She has expressed her desire to be vaccinated often and clearly.

How is her spirit?

All in all, pretty great! ???? Your support continues to reach and uplift Lore there daily.

Right now she is especially inspired to win more and better access to COVID-19 information and vaccinations on the women’s unit. In the meantime she is forming strong bonds with some amazing women in her unit, writing letters to everyone she can, and creating a lot of artwork.

How can I help?

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More than anything else, Lore wants us all to support our friends and allies leading the fights against police violence and mass incarceration.

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You can also support Lore directly by writing and sending photos! Your love and solidarity make this fight possible.

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And you can always donate to Lore’s commissary fund via PayPal or Venmo @WeLoveLore for food, clothes, and all the other essentials.

Who’s Got A Hand In This Sh*t?

from Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition

By Michael “Safear” Ness

(Written January 22, 2021)

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections refuses to waste money on individual COVID-19 tests for the prisoner population, instead preferring to test each prison’s accumulated sewage for COVID levels.

An official PA DOC memo dated January 21, 2021 from Secretary of Corrections John E. Wetzel states, “Facilities will increase [prisoner cohort sizes] at different times, and in different amounts depending on their local infection rates, and the results of sewage testing.”

Recent sewage testing at SCI Fayette indicated increased COVID-19 levels, delaying an increase in prisoner cohort size until additional testing can be performed.

Prisoner cohorts, assigned groups for movement, are allegedly designed to limit the risk of exposure by reducing prisoner to prisoner contact. The theory is, if one person in the cohort is exposed to COVID-19, or tests positive, the entire cohort is quarantined to prevent spreading the virus.

In application, once a prisoner is exposed to, or tests positive for the virus, no other members of that cohort receive automatic COVID testing unless they register a fever. If a prisoner tests positive for the virus, their cellmate is not automatically tested, despite being forced to continue to live in close proximity to the infected person. Even if a prisoner is coughing or fatigued, they are not automatically tested.

By not testing these prisoners, the prison administration is allowed to keep the appearance of a low COVID-19 infection rate, choosing instead to test everyone’s feces collectively to see how many prisoners are actually sick.

Monday January 25th: Letter-writing for Kamau Sadiki

from Philly ABC

kamau-sadiki.jpgThis month we are asking that folks write letters of support to former Black Panther, Kamau Sadiki. Kamau has been held in the Augusta State Medical Prison for years and suffered medical neglect. Right now, Kamau is in danger of needing his left foot amputated and needs to see a wound specialist. Before you join us next Monday to write a letter, please take a minute to tweet at @GovKemp & call the Augusta State Medical Prison at (706) 855-4700 to demand he be taken to the wound care clinic ASAP. At the letter-writing event, we will have an update about the medical campaign and send words of solidarity directly to Kamau so that he knows, and the prison knows, this situation is getting wider public attention.

At age 17, Kamau dedicated his life to the service of his people working out of the Jamaica office of the Black Panther Party. Kamau worked in the Free Breakfast Program each morning and then went out into the community to sell the BPP newspaper later in the day. At nineteen, Kamau was a member of the Black Liberation Army (BLA). Several members of the BLA, including Kamau, left New York City and lived in the Atlanta area for a short period of time. On the night of November 3rd 1971, witnesses observed three black males run from a van where a police officer was murdered at a gas station in downtown Atlanta. The witnesses failed to identify Kamau from a photographic line-up and there was no physical evidence that implicated him. In 1971, the Atlanta police department closed the case as unsolved.

In 1999, the FBI in pursuit of collaboration in their attempts to recapture Assata Shakur (the mother of one of Kamau’s daughters), a political exile in Cuba, threatened him with life in prison if he did not assist them. When he did not comply, the FBI convinced Atlanta police to re-open the case and charge Kamau. He was arrested in 2002 in Brooklyn, New York some thirty-one years later after the murder. In 2003, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and ten years to run consecutively for armed robbery. Much of his sentence has been spent in a medical prison because he suffers from Hepatitis C, Cirrhosis of the Liver, and Sarcoidosis. February 19th will be his 68th birthday so send him some birthday love as well!

This event will be held on Jitsi – we’ll post the meet link on social media the day of. You can also message us to get the link beforehand.

If you can’t join us on Monday, send him a message of hope and healing at:

Freddie Hilton #0001150688
Augusta State Medical Prison
3001 Gordon Highway
Grovetown, GA 30813

We also encourage sending birthday cards to political prisoners with February birthdays: Veronza Bowers (the 4th) and Oso Blanco (the 26th).

What it’s like to get COVID-19 from a federal prison

from We Love Lore

Lore Elisabeth is among the hundreds of people who have contracted COVID-19 from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ federal detention center in downtown Philadelphia (FDC Philadelphia). She is recovering well and helping others to weather this storm wrought by the cruelty of a few and the incompetence of a great many more. The facility continues to obstruct information and preventative care to those who need it, but you know that’s when people like Lore can help the most ????

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Lore contracted COVID-19 some time between October 26 and November 6. She was especially ill with flu symptoms for about 10 days but maintained steady breathing throughout. During this time she received no medical attention save for a nasal swab test and a bottle of tylenol. She was not informed of her positive test result.

FDC Philadelphia imposed a strict lockdown on November 1 due to the rampant spread of COVID-19 throughout their building. Lore and others in the women’s unit were let out of their cells weeks later, by which time more than half of them had contracted the virus. Another detainee then informed Lore that a warning sign was hung on her cell door during the lockdown. A staff nurse eventually confirmed to Lore this meant that she’d indeed had the virus. As they continue to get sick, women are now moved into the special housing unit (SHU)—solitary confinement—for weeks at a time, a regular violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture committed by US federal prisons.

This is infuriating, but it is not surprising. FDC Philadelphia’s inability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep its detainees healthy has been known since the onset of the global pandemic. FDC Philadelphia’s own staff joined an OSHA complaint against the Bureau of Prisons in March, arguing that their facility constituted an imminent danger to all. A lawsuit filed in April finally succeeded by October to force the facility into at least performing regular COVID-19 tests. The case reports, the complete lockdown, and a communications blackout followed.

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Hundreds of people at FDC Philadelphia have been infected since October, including dozens of staffers and correctional officers. Still, we cannot expect conditions to improve meaningfully in the near term because FDC Philadelphia’s correctional officers continue to flaunt even the most basic COVID-19 protocols, like wearing masks and social distancing. I observed this during the very brief time in October when outside visitations were allowed. COs demanded that I remove my latex gloves before entering, claiming that they attract the virus. They refused repeatedly to maintain even a reasonable distance from our mom, a senior with elevated risks of COVID-19 complications. Even with us in the meeting room, groups of 5-6 gathered closely and maskless to socialize. It is no wonder that they continue to infect people, the majority of whom are simply waiting for their day in court.

This didn’t have to happen. Since the virus took hold in the United States, public health experts have clamored for home confinement of pre-trial detainees, compassionate release of medically vulnerable and/or suffering seniors, and other provisions available to prison wardens around the country. Their pleas fall on deaf ears. Wardens have approved fewer than 2% of the compassionate release requests they’ve received. FDC Philadelphia has even less reason to worsen this crisis. The facility is primarily a pre-trial detention facility, wherein people like Lore are confined before they even get to mount a defense. This may be because they cannot buy their freedom through the abominable cash bail system or, like Lore, they are just too useful as political effigies.

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We are lucky to still have Lore. We warned the US Attorney’s office that they weren’t equipped or motivated to protect Lore’s health. They countered first by blocking Lore from signing the HIPAA releases that were necessary to share her heart condition, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirms puts her at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications. When that failed, they falsely claimed that FDC Philadelphia could take proper care of her. Lore has been denied her prescription medications for Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) and other conditions since she was taken into custody. I’m relieved that we don’t currently need to call the facility every day, only to be denied any kind of proof-of-life, but we must now focus on the myriad potential near- and long-term effects of COVID-19 that FDC Philadelphia will not treat.

All of this could have been avoided. We begged for the opportunity to care for Lore safely at home until her trial, which still has no foreseeable start date. Sadly, the judge decided that Lore’s charges and treatment in confinement were too obviously political in nature and extent to grant her this safety, lest others take sympathy with her and join the movements for racial justice and against police brutality.

We need to step in for a broken criminal justice system. Lore is just one of the more than 275,000 people who were forced to contract COVID-19 in a prison cell —1 out of every 5 incarcerated people in the United States. I’m very grateful to the Marshall Project for collecting these statistics assiduously throughout the year, providing us some useful perspective on the scale of the crisis, and I encourage you to donate to their efforts. Likewise, the Amistad Law Project, who organize so well on the behalf of people incarcerated by the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The people incarcerated at FDC Philadelphia and other federal prisons nationwide deserve the same kind of support.

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At the moment, the women’s unit at FDC Philadelphia has Lore to help them ???? Since recovering from Covid, she has been absolutely tireless in collecting public health and legal information for them, quickly becoming a kind of unofficial librarian for the group in addition to its de facto therapist ???? I’m so proud of her! I know you are, too. If you haven’t had a chance recently, please send her your love and let her know that she isn’t forgotten. (We’re using the free Ameelio app to send pics too, and it’s good!). Lore’s wishlist is also up-to-date with reading material to share with the whole unit. And if you’re feeling especially generous, donate to her fund via PayPal or Venmo. With a major fundraising goal met, this money can go to her commissary fund—mostly pre-packaged food to augment the typical meal of an apple and a peanut butter sandwich.

Please hold Lore and FDC Philadelphia’s detainees in the light with us ????☮️

Two Missives from a PA Prison, from Comrade Elliot

from Dreaming Freedom, Practicing Abolition

ONE:

What’s so sad now a days these young men would rather fight someone over $5 then peacefully stand up for their rights and what they believe in. I must specify because these devils are crafty that everything I am doing and attempt to do in the future is PEACEFUL so I do not care if they read it or know its from me. I would like to put certain information on these social media sites such as what’s going on in the prison as well as the individual it is occurring with. Sci ***** is EXTREMELY corrupt! They plant drugs and weapons on inmates, the guards bring in phones and drugs. In other facilities when the inmates get caught with these things they’re usually transferred. Not here. They sweep it under the rug and keep it in house because then it will prove the corruptness of this institution. They took away our mail and visits so please explain why and how the drugs are still entering the facility at an all time high after all the jails having NO VISITS for over 8 months!! I was transferred from SCI+++++ for no reason 200 miles away from my family because of grievances and a lawsuit I was filing. They kicked me out and said I was a high ranking gang member calling shots and I was a threat with no misconduct, no proof or anything. Placed me in the hole up here for two weeks telling me welcome to *****. That was September of last year. In this past year I’ve seen staff abuse both physically and verbally, officers lying on misconducts, racism and bigotry at an all time high and basic corruptness. The racism even lies with the officers and their co workers smh. I would appreciate pen pals and any literature you may be able to share. I believe we need a social media site where we can expose not only the institutions but the individual staff as well.

TWO:

CW: Racist, homophobic slurs and violence

There’s this one sergeant who is not only racist, a bigot and disrespectful but also abusive physically, verbally and mentally! His name is Sergeant HATER. The staff below him are intimidated because of his stripes and those above him are intimidated because of the union. He’s assaulted inmates and wrote misconducts stating the inmate assaulted him but once video is reviewed it is seen to be a lie; dusted under the rug. He’s lied on numerous misconducts; dusted under the rug. He’s been assaulted due to his behavior after he was put on suspension and wasn’t allowed to work on any blocks! Dusted under the rug. Now I’ve dealt with racism, belittling sexual context (Mexican cocksucker and I’m not even Mexican!), retaliation for placing numerous grievances and complaints on him and all that happens is grievances are denied and/or rejected. He’s continuously denied me showers, phone calls and the opportunity to clean my cell all on his watch during a pandemic. Continuous racist and derogatory remarks. I’ve had one lieutenant attempt to assist me by the name of [FRIENDLY] but honestly NOTHING has changed it continues to get worst! Today he once again denied me a phone call which I was signed up for as well as a shower and when I asked the other guards who was working with him why I wasn’t allowed the response was “I’m not getting in between you and HATER’s gang war.” Just like in the street when an officer is doing something wrong, instead of his partner or fellow coworkers letting him know he’s doing things wrong they turn a blind eye or condone in his actions. There needs to be a way that we expose these guards and those actions to society and the public. We must let everyone know what goes on even if that means we start a webpage and post all grievances up as well as the answers to the grievances so EVERYONE is held accountable for their actions. I understand the job of a correctional officer but the racist undertone and continuous abuse can not be acceptable! Thank you

Image thanks to Just Seeds, created by Roger Peet, available here: https://justseeds.org/graphic/prison-pandemic-1/

December virtual anarchist discussion: lockdown and isolation

from Viscera

Join us Sunday, December 13th from 1 pm-3 pm EST for our next discussion! With the lockdown upon many of us once again and the pandemic continuing to rage, we figure even hardened anti-social @s might be bouncing off the walls at this point. In that light, we’ve decided to revisit a few texts written at the beginning of the first wave of all this that touch on the subjects of lockdown and social isolation, plus an older one on solitude.

This one’s gonna be online as we anticipate unpleasant sitting outside weather, so we’ll be back on jitsi in room viscerapvd. E-mail us for the password at viscerapvd@gmail.com.

Readings for discussion:

Marcello Tari – Letter to Friends of the Desert
Dabtara – Against Social Distancing
Novatore – Noontime Songs

Free Political Prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz

from AMW English

Free Political Prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz

Russell Maroon Shoatz is a founding member of the Black Unity Council, a former member of the Black Panther Party, and a soldier in the Black Liberation Army.

“Police brutality is the reason our people are inside,” says Russell Shoatz III, Maroon’s son. Maroon has been in prison since 1972 because he was a leader in the fight against police in the 1960s and ’70s. He’s an elder of the most powerful movement this country has ever seen.

Maroon was held in solitary confinement for nearly 30 years, after two escape attempts he made over 40 years ago in the tradition of the maroon communities that escaped enslaved Africans created throughout the Americas. In his book, Maroon the Implacable, he makes this history come alive for younger generations. During his almost half-century in prison, he has mentored dozens of fellow prisoners, some of whom have joined the movement on the inside and outside.

As COVID-19 surges through the state and tears through its prisons, loved ones of incarcerated people are asking for the immediate release all elderly and medically vulnerable people in prison, and simply for prison staff to wear face masks and be tested for COVID-19.

Amid the horror that is the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections right now, Black liberation movement political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz may be one of the best examples of how that horror is playing out for elderly prisoners and their families. Maroon is 77 years old and has been fighting stage 4 colon cancer for over a year. After testing positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 11, Maroon was held in a gymnasium with 29 other men—and only one toilet to share between them. His urgent surgery for the cancer is being denied.

According to Theresa Shoatz, his daughter, Pennsylvania prisoners have been unable to make phone calls to let people outside know how bad COVID is inside right now.

Maroon must attain freedom. In an act of solidarity, while suffering in innumerable ways, Maroon himself told his daughter to advocate for the other 29 guys left in the gym.

You can donate to support Maroon’s Global Network here: https://russellmaroonshoats.wordpress.com/donate/

Dwayne “BIM” Staats on Psychological Torture at S.C.I. Albion

from AMW English

“The job is never over; it simply changes from one task to the next. What I’m looking for, I suppose, is balance, and that is a moving target. Balance is not a passive resting place – it takes work, balancing the giving and the taking, the raking out and the putting in.”

-Robin Wall Kimmer

Peace & greetings!

The administration at S.C.I. Albion has empowered corrections officers and the psychologist who works in the RHU (Restricted Housing Unit) to deny our meals, showers, recreation and mail as a means of punishment, retaliation, and psychological torture.

Back in April/May 2020, my neighbor Rufus Davis committed suicide, and in July, another one of my neighbors Phillip Root attempted suicide, but was saved by a C/O named Nolan. Sadly, Nolan was chastised in front of the whole pod by Captain Campbell who said, “Don’t go in there saving nobody. If they want to hang, let them hang!” That statement underscores the total disregard for the lives of RHU inmates at S.C.I. Albion. The same tactics used on Rufus, Phillip and countless others who’d rather kill themselves instead of facing the mental torment, are still in place. It’s upsetting to see how desensitized guards have become towards denying prisoners meals, showers, recreation and mail. The RHU psychologist condones their behavior, the grievance system is useless, and once again, it’s looking like we’ll have to take matters into our own hands (which comes as no surprise).

The reality is we “the incarcerated” are unable to capture footage of excessive force, abuse of discretion, physical, psychological and emotional abuses, cruel and unusual punishment and any other acts of immorality committed by civilian staff, officers, and administrators inside these facilities. Therefore, the dissemination of our truths must be conveyed through word of mouth, writing, communiqués, articles, protesting and uprising.

Power is the people,

BIM

#Vaughn17