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.

Monday November 28th: Letter-writing for Kojo Bomani Sababu

from Philly ABC

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Philly ABC is back with our regular letter-writing events this month featuring New Afrikan Prisoner of War, Kojo Bomani Sababu. He is currently serving time for actions with the Black Liberation Army, and later an attempted escape from prison.

Kojo was captured on December 19th, 1975 along with anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation. He was also charged with the murder of a drug dealer in his neighborhood. He was convicted of seditious conspiracy in 1981 and sentenced to 55 years in prison (until 2045). Then in 1988, he was convicted of conspiracy to escape from the federal prison at Leavenworth with Puerto Rican Independista Oscar Lopez Rivera. He is now scheduled to be released to state prison upon the expiration of his federal 55-year sentence to serve possibly an additional 15 years for this case. Notably, Ojore was paroled and Oscar was granted clemency by President Obama.

Join us this Monday at 6:30pm, at Iffy Books (319 N. 11th St. #3E) as we show Kojo that he is not forgotten! We continue to advocate for our elder freedom fighters serving time for their service to liberation struggles. Snacks and letter-writing supplies will be provided and we will listen to a few short audio recordings of Kojo.

We will also send birthday cards to U.S.-held political prisoners with birthdays in November & December: Josh Williams (November 25th), Muhammad Burton (December 15th), Casey Brezik (December 30th).

Monday October 10th: Reportback Mailing and Card-writing

from Philly ABC

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In lieu of our usual monthly letter-writing event, we will be mailing printed copies of our 2022 Running Down The Walls reportback to the political prisoners and prison rebels who participated from behind the walls, and to the 17 political prisoners supported by the ABCF Warchest.

Join us this Monday at 6:30pm, at Iffy Books (319 N. 11th St. #3E) as we package and mail the reportbacks. Snacks and supplies are provided. We encourage people who want to discuss ideas on how to support political prisoners and prisoners of war to come hang out, and sign cards for political prisoners with birthdays in October: Jamil Al-Amin (October 4th) and Malik El-Amin (October 8th).

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.

From Coast to Coast: Open Letter by Anarchist Prisoner Toby Shone

from Philly ABC

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I’ve previously written about the need to recreate an Atlantic bridge, based on international revolutionary solidarity and reciprocal knowledge, that moves towards affinity and direct action in support of our imprisoned comrades. Since then, I was recently visited by a comrade from Anarchist Black Cross Philadelphia here at the G4S facility in which I’m held. G4S is originally an American company, Wackenhut, which has pioneered the private prison and security industry all over the world. As part of our discussion between the comrade from ABC Philadelphia and myself, we spoke of the need to prevent our groups and commons becoming inward-looking and closing in on themselves in microscopic scenes and myopia. The anglophone world is particularly susceptible to this trend, although it is not solely confined to English-speaking territories. How can we translate rhetoric into practical activity? Words and deeds must coincide, and that is what?

For too long, a kind of one-way discourse has been in effect, breached by too few valiant individuals and groups. We can speak of a loss of solidarity flowing across the Atlantic between north and south, east and west. Without wanting to advocate any kind of anarcho-tourism or the colonial approach of the wholesale export-import political programs of the activist left, I’m in favor of strengthening our international networks in the face of an increased technocratic authoritarianism. To remain locked up in our local areas without considering the struggles elsewhere is self-defeating, as repressive operations seek to confine us and stem our anarchic contagion specifically to promote sterility. Can we renew an Atlantic bridge that connects our tendencies, that connects the uprisings in the North American metropolises to those in Europe, Latin America and Asia? Can we join together the struggles of the long-term COINTELPRO prisoners with those elsewhere in the global prison industrial complex?

As a very basic contribution with the small means I have, I’ll join the Running Down The Walls 5K run event organized by the comrades of the American chapters of the ABC, called for September the 11th-18th this year, during the time I have out of my cell on the yard or the gym. This event aims to create a sense of togetherness through athletics. Keeping our fitness and health is important outside, and money raised by the event will supply funds to the ABC Warchest.

The real challenge is to enable an evolution in self-organization, osmosis, decentralization and cooperation; critical and practical action. As a first principle and minimum start, we can mention the exchange of letters and postcards that break the isolation of the prison walls and national borders that separate us. Since I am forbidden a large part my correspondence, and especially that of political content, it is fair to say that this constitutes meaningful solidarity of a certain type. Then there is the collation and publication of the letters and updates of our imprisoned comrades, and the incendiary dialogues which are always breaking out and multiplying as written about by comrades Alfredo, Gabriel, and Gustavo. This dialogue between inside and outside is very important. We need to cut through the bars which divide us all to support our hunger strikes, to identify structures of repression, to raise funds, to carry out campaigns, to hold events and give a helping hand to those next to our side even though an ocean may seem to separate us. I hope certain comrades can forgive me for laboring the topic as I’m positive everything I’ve written about already exists to varying degrees over several territories, but I’m aware of the need occasionally to reiterate key aspects of our practices to spread them and create new connections.

Let your voices be heard in protest from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Maine to Mexico. Serve notice upon the murderous capitalistic class that you will not again stand idly by and see your brothers made victims because they so will it, and they will dare not do it!

– Lucy Parsons, The Proposed Slaughter, 1905

Everyone to the streets,
Toby Shone
19 August 2022

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).

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.

Tuesday July 5th: Letter-writing for Karla & Magda

from Philly ABC

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Join us as we write to Magda and Karla, feminist political prisoners in so-called Mexico. This past April 15th, a spectacular operation with more than 200 police officers occurred outside of the property of Okupa Cuba Casa de Refugio in Mexico City. At this eviction, the authorities took women that were in Casa as refugees– women who had to leave their homes, run away from the violent femicide that plagues Mexico, and took refuge to save their lives in Okupa Cuba Monumenta Viva.

Okupa Cuba is a self-managed and autonomous space that developed as a form of permanent protest because we had enough, a protest against the impunity, the indolence and the re-victimization by the patriarchal institutions of the Mexican state. Family, victims, and, feminist allies, in an uncounted event in the history of our country, they took over the facilities of Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission building. This was a wake-up call directed toward the authorities.

A series of irregularities and violations of their human rights have been mounting since they were detained– they were assaulted and threatened, at not one moment were they shown an arrest warrant, they were not told about the charges brought against them or told where they would be detained. They have since been charged with fabricated charges of possession simply to incriminate them. The women that are now imprisoned in Santa Martha are feminist activists, militants of the movement of victims of femicide in this country, they have volunteered their time and energy to build a shelter for women, for children, to denounce all forms of violence that we face every day in this country.

If you cannot join us in person and would like to send letters of solidarity to Karla and Magda, they can be emailed to: libreslas3@gmail.com .

We will also be sending birthday cards to political prisoners with birthdays in July: Gage Halupowski (the 1st) and Jessica Reznicek (the 25th).

Tuesday May 31st: Letter-writing for Jessica Reznicek

from Philly ABC

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With the weather cooperating, we are back to in-person events! Our next letter-writing will be at Clark Park on Tuesday, May 31st at 6:30 pm. Snacks and letter-writing supplies will be provided.

Jessica Reznicek is a land and water defender who has worked with and lived in the Des Moines Catholic Worker Community for the last 10 years. In 2016, Jessica took a stand against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Iowa. Jessica attended public comment hearings, gathered signatures for valid requests for Environmental Impact Statements, and participated in civil disobedience, hunger strikes, marches and rallies, boycotts and encampments.

When the process failed, she concluded the system was broken, and it was up to individuals to take action and protect the water. She and a fellow Catholic Worker then spent the next couple of months disabling construction machinery along the pipeline route. No one was injured by their actions, and the land was protected from the flow of oil for an additional six months. In 2021, Jessica pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility, was designated a domestic terrorist by the court and then sentenced to 8 years in prison, followed by 3 years supervised probation, and restitution of $3,198,512.70 paid to Energy Transfer LLC.

On May 13th, her legal team presented oral arguments to appeal her sentence and the use of the terrorism enhancement. The verdict may take a few weeks, but if successful the enhancement would be removed she would be re-sentenced. Jessica has a deep love for nature, camping, swimming, hiking, theology, music, gardening, laughter and eco-sustainability, as well as a commitment to self-discovery and intentional community living. Join us while we send her notes of encouragement in this time of uncertainty while waiting on the results of the appeal.

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

Jessica Reznicek #19293-030
FCI Waseca
P.O. Box 1731
Waseca, MN 56093

Monday April 25th: Letter-writing for Xinachtli

from Philly ABC

xinachtli-letter-writing.jpg

Philly ABC is back at it this month with another monthly letter-writing event for political prisoners. This event will be online – join from anywhere! We hope to return to outdoor in-person events next month.

This month we will be checking in with Xinachtli, a Chicano-Mexicano anarchist political prisoner serving a 50-year sentence after being targeted for his Chicano rights and anti-police brutality activism.

In 1976 he was falsely accused of murder, for which he narrowly escaped the death penalty, destined instead to serve a life sentence. He was released after media highlighted his unfair trial and proof of his innocence, but then later suffered a brutal beating at the hands of several police officers.

In 1996 Xinachtli became the target of the most massive police manhunt in recent West Texas history after disarming a sheriff who tried to shoot him on a warantless arrest, and fled to a nearby mountain. For days Xinachtli eluded police helicopters, bloodhound tracking dogs, armed vigilante groups, and other state and federal police agencies before they surrounded him after returning to his mother’s house to eat and change clothes.

Without identifying themselves, police began shooting indiscriminately at the house, at cars parked in front, and at the public street lights. To back them off their murderous intent, Xinachtli returned fire in self-defense but never shot nor injured anyone. During the police barrage, Sgt. Curtis Hines was shot in the left hand by a ricocheting police bullet.

Xinachtli surrendered and was charged with two counts of aggravated assault; one count for disarming the sheriff and one count for Sgt. Hines’ wound. His elderly mother was charged with “hindering apprehension” and jailed.

Prior to his incarceration, Xinachtli also advocated for human rights of framed and political prisoners, and he continues to help other prisoners assert their legal rights. Join us as we show Xinachtli some love and get the latest updates on the struggle to free him. His birthday is also May 12th if you are writing from home and want to send him birthday greetings.

We will also be sending birthday greetings to the other U.S.-held political prisoner with a birthday in May: Kojo Bomani Sababu (the 27th).

[6:30-8PM]

Monday February 28th: Letter-writing for Veronza Bowers

from Philly ABC

veronza-bowers-letter-writing.jpg

Join Philly ABC this 2022 Black Futures month to send letters of solidarity to one of the longest-held political prisoners of the Black Liberation struggle, Veronza Bowers. Veronza is a former Black Panther Party member framed for the murder of a U.S. Park Ranger on the word of two government informants, both of whom received reduced sentences for other crimes by the federal prosecutor’s office. Because Veronza’s case falls under “old law” guidelines, he was supposed to be granted mandatory parole after serving 30 years. That day was in 2004, but due to the intervention of a former aid of President Bush, he continues to be held unlawfully.

In Veronza’s own words :

After 30 years of being denied release on parole, despite the fact that your conduct has been exemplary for over 20 years and you have long since met the criteria to be released on parole, finally your Mandatory Release date rolls around: April 7th, 2004. Everything is set, viz: your daughter, who was 5 years old when you were taken away to prison and is now 36, sent you a top-of-the-line fashion suit of clothes so that you would be properly dressed to ‘step in the name of freedom with love.’ She, along with 3 of your sisters fly in from across the country to be there at the prison gate to pick you up. …

You’re sitting outside in the Sweat Lodge area with your two closes friends just enjoying each other’s company in SILENCE. A loud announcement over the loud speaker ordering you to “report to your unit-team immediately” beak your peace. You know that something is not right. …

“You won’t be leaving tomorrow.”

You already that, but you didn’t know why…so you breathe deeply…1 full breath, 2 full breaths – a strange silence fills the room, and since it’s quite obvious that some reaction is expected of/from/by you, you just continue focusing upon the Breath. “Why?”

“Well, all we know is that the National Parole Commission called the institution and ordered that you not be released tomorrow. …

Just like that! A simple phone call from a National Commissioner in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and all of the plans for you to be “Steppin’ in the Name of Freedom, with Love” are cancelled, wiped out, voided until further notice.

Now almost 20 years have passed since his mandatory release date – we have to show Veronza some love ❤️!

Veronza Bowers, Jr. #35316-136
FCI Butner Medium II
P.O. Box 1500
Butner, NC 27509

If you can, please also drop a ‘happy birthday’ note in the mail to prisoners with birthdays in March: Joy Powell (the 5th), Andy Mickel (the 13th), and Ruchell Magee (the 17th).

Monday January 31st: Letter-writing for Toby Shone

from Philly ABC

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In November 2020 a series of coordinated raids against anarchist website 325.nostate.net were executed by Counter-Terrorism cops in the UK as part of “Operation Adream.” Several properties in the South-West of England were searched and one person, Toby Shone, was arrested and charged under the Terrorist Act. Toby was originally charged with providing a service enabling others to access terrorist publications contrary to section 2 of the Terrorism Act 2006, fundraising for terrorist purposes contrary to section 15 of the Terrorism Act 2000, and two counts of possession of information likely to be useful to a terrorist contrary to section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000. He pleaded not guilty to these charges earlier last year and was due to stand trial at Bristol Crown Court on October 6th, 2021. However, with no evidence to put before the court, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) was forced to drop these charges on October 1st, 2021.

The attack on 325.nostate.net is a landmark attempt by the state to silence dissent and radical critical thinking. It can be seen as part of the general crackdown in the UK against protest, counter-information and alternative thinking and lifestyles as evidenced by the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 (which resulted in the Kill the Bill protests), and the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act 2021, which extends the powers of spy cops and the reforms of the Judicial Reviews procedure. The investigation into 325 continues and cops continue to harass and attempt to intimidate people.

Toby was sentenced to 3 years 9 months in prison for 8 drug offences at Bristol Crown Court on October 13th, 2021 after Terrorism charges were dropped. The ‘drugs’ were psychedelics and medicinal plants (LSD, DMT, cannabis, THC oil, MDMA and magic mushrooms) found at two of the four properties raided by counter-terror cops in the UK South-West on November 18th, 2020 in their hunt for the administrator of 325.nostate.net.

Toby is in good spirits and remains strong. Join us in sending him notes of solidarity at this month’s online letter-writing event on Monday, January 31st at 6:30 pm! We will play an audio recording from Toby in his own words. If you are unable to make it, please drop him an email via emailaprisoner.com or send letters to:

Toby Shone A7645EP
HMP Bristol
19 Cambridge Road
Bishopston
Bristol
BS7 8PS
UK

Note: The current cost of postage from the U.S. to the UK is $1.30 if mailing from home.

We also encourage sending birthday greetings to political prisoners with birthdays in February: Veronza Bowers (the 4th), Kamau Sadiki (the 19th), and Oso Blanco (the 26th).