Running Down The Walls

from Philly ABC

Download posters and flyers

September 7th, 2019
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10:30)
FDR Park

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross presents our second annual Running Down The Walls (RDTW)! This year’s event is dedicated to Never Give Up! – a project to free the remaining incarcerated members of the MOVE 9, and sustain their long-term post-release support. Following the release of his parents, Mike Africa Jr. founded Never Give Up to alleviate the financial strain of rebuilding life after decades of imprisonment. When his uncle Chuck Africa beat colon cancer, the project actively aligned with the broader, ongoing fight against cancer.

The Move organization has never given up. Not after their house was flooded, gassed, and riddled with bullets. Not after the police deployed explosives and let them burn alive. Not after the PADOC murdered Phil and Merle Africa.

After 40 years in prison and never giving up on their beliefs or each other, Debbie was released on parole on June 16th 2018, soon after followed by Mike Africa Sr. on October 23rd. Janet and Janine were released on May 25th, 2019 and then Eddie on June 21st. Chuck comes up for parole this November, and Delbert currently awaits the outcome of an appeal to secure his next hearing date.

As we are among their supporters, we too never give up! Philadelphia RDTW 2019 is dedicated to amplifying their voices, lifting them up in their struggles, and maintaining material post-release support. Join us for another revolutionary 5K run/walk/bike/skate and day of solidarity. If you would like to participate in light yoga and warm-up stretches before, please arrive around 10:15am. Bring a mat if you can! If you cannot make it to the event or would like to make an additional contribution, please sponsor a participant either outside prison or inside or one of each. Contact us for more information on sponsoring!

Proceeds will be split between the Warchest Program and the Never Give Up project. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support during their imprisonment.

Register for the 5K

Thanks for your support by running/walking/biking/skating the 5K! Everyone must fill out the following form to register NO LATER THAN AUGUST 24TH  so that you receive your official shirt the day of the event. The registration fee of $40 confirms your place at the event and it is preferred that this be paid before the day of the event by using the Seeds of Wisdom Patreon link below. Cash can also be accepted at the event. Additional funds over the $40 base fee raised through sponsorships are more than welcome (see our fundraising tips below).

Monday, May 27th: Intro to Prisoner Letter-writing Event

from Philly ABC

Curious to write to prisoners, but not sure how to start or who to write to?

Join us for our monthly letter-writing event this month for an intro on how to get started and open discussion on political prisoners who might be seeking more mail or penpals. We will also be distributing our newly-printed Philly ABC guide to supporting political prisoners as a take-home reference, and sending birthday cards to political prisoners with birthdays in June: Matt DeHart (the 10th), Jay Chase (the 11th), and Tom Manning (the 27th).

We encourage folks who know of prisoners seeking more correspondence to come and spread the word to folks looking to write to people for the first time.

When: Monday, May 27th; 6:30-8:30pm
Where: A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Avenue

Snacks and letter-writing supplies provided!

April 22nd Letter-writing for BLM Prisoner Josh Williams

from Philly ABC

Where: A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Avenue
When: Monday, April 22nd, 6:30-8:30 PM
Snacks and letter-writing supplies provided!
Join us on Monday for the next letter-writing for political prisoners, this time for long-term BLM prisoner Josh Williams. On December 24, 2014, in the heat of a protest, Josh who was 19 at the time followed a group who had broken into a QuikTrip convenience store. He decided to use lighter fluid to set a fire to a garbage can outside the store. It was put out before causing damage, but police investigated the incident, and two days later, as he was walking to a Christmas party, cops surrounded and arrested him. He spent nearly a year in jail before his trial. The following December, a judge sentenced him to eight years for arson– a sentence that grossly outweighs his crime.
Josh apparently gets unfairly treated by guards in the prison because they see his actions in Ferguson as anti-police. He also recently expressed interest in getting more mail. He likes reading Thrillers and the Bible. When he gets out of prison, he’s hoping to open a youth center in Ferguson, to give kids who grew up poor like him a chance to build community. His plans are still vague, but he feels committed to doing something positive with children.
We will also be sending birthday cards to political prisoners with birthdays in May: Alvaro Luna Hernandez (the 12th), Kojo Bomani Sababu (the 27th), and Doug Wright (the 31st).

Feb 25th, 6:30pm: Letter-writing Event for Sean Swain

from Philly ABC

We are at it again with a new location and we’ve switched from the 1st to the 4th Monday of the month; as always all letter-writing supplies & snacks are provided!

 

Where: A-Space, 4722 Baltimore Avenue

When: Monday, February 25th, 6:30pm

This month we are writing letters to Sean Swain, an anarchist prisoner and jailhouse lawyer who has been held by the Ohio DOC since 1991. Before his incarceration, Sean worked as a union organizer and journalist. A home invasion by the relative of a court official led to Sean’s killing that person in self-defense, within his own home. Nevertheless, Sean was convicted of first-degree murder in 1991. Even though the conviction was overturned in 1993, he has still been held ever since. In 2012, Sean was blamed for a disturbance by a group of prisoners calling themselves the “Army of the 12 Monkeys”, and since then, he has been held in “supermax” (aka solitary confinement) basically every day.

In spite of his circumstances, Sean has been a huge force for helping fellow prisoners with their cases, and fighting for more livable conditions within the prison walls. He wrote the book “Last Act of the Circus Animals”, and also has a semi-weekly segment on “The Final Straw” podcast. Because he dares to push back, Sean faces massive repression by his captors, including repeated harassment and outright assaults. He has had to go on hunger strike many times, just to obtain basic human dignities. In spite of this, Sean has not lost his spirit or his sense of humor, and loves getting mail from comrades on the outside. Drawings, jokes, and solidarity are particularly encouraged (all of his mail is read by the guards, though).

If you are unable to make it to the event, you can drop Sean a line at:

Sean Swain #243-205

Warren Correctional Institute

P.O. Box 120

Lebanon, OH 45036

 

We will also be sending birthday greetings to political prisoners with birthdays in February and March: Veronza Bowers (Feb 4th), Kamau Sadiki (Feb 19th), Oso Blanco (Feb 26th), Ana Belen Montes (Feb 27th), Joy Powell (Mar 5th), Andrew Mickel (Mar 13th), Ruchell Magee (Mar 17th), and Jaan Laaman (Mar 21st).

Legacy: A Martyr’s Ball

from Philly ABC

Inspired by anarchist balls of the beginning of the 20th century, Philly Anarchist Black Cross will be hosting the first annual “Legacy: A Martyr’s Ball.”

Join us for a night of music and fun as we honor freedom fighters of the past while raising funds for ABC’s work to support those imprisoned in liberatory struggles today.

In the first two decades of the 1900s, Russian immigrants organized parties in New York and Chicago to raise funds for comrades in Russian prisons. Hundreds attended these “Prisoner’s Balls,” which sometimes lasted upwards of ten hours. They included games, dancing and costumes, with attendees dressing as prisoners in a show of solidarity, or in satirical costumes of authority figures. Costumes encouraged– there will be a photo booth!

7pm- 11pm

@ Glitter Galaxy (49th and Locust)

~Come for bands~
NIGHTMOVES
DEMODEX

~and DJs~
Yung Nila
BB Basura

Take a swing at the Rizzo pinata between sets! Limited-edition screenprinted posters will be for sale, along with handcrafted herbal cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks!

$5-10 suggested donation; no one turned away for lack of funds

Jan 7th: Letter-writing to Eric King and Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

from Philly ABC

The new year has arrived! As we kick off 2019, let’s not forget about the struggles of our incarcerated comrades– those who did not get to celebrate, but instead faced increased scrutiny from the state and continue to be retaliated against for their political beliefs. Such retaliation often comes in the form of transfers to other prisons, providing correctional officials an opportunity to say ‘oops, we lost your property,’ in addition to an already torturous process of readjustment. In some cases, a transfer is just part of a three-pronged attack. This is where a prisoner has first been brutally beaten by guards, then gets transferred to special prison that will facilitate the next stages of retaliation, long-term isolation and restricted communication.

On Monday January 7th, 6:30pm at A-Space, join us in sending some extra love and support to Kevin “Rashid” Johnson and Eric King, whom are currently facing the hell described above. We’re going to let them know ‘We got your back!’

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a politicized prisoner, co-founder of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC), and prolific artist. In his own words, “Because I struggle to give a voice and human face to and to publicize abuses suffered by my imprisoned peers, help them challenge their mistreatment and work to educate them on their human rights and true role within Amerika’s overall exploitative, oppressive and racist political-economic system, officials have always aimed to isolate me from them.” On top of 18 years of solitary confinement, Rashid has also been subjected to several retaliatory transfers since 2012, each time meticulously documenting prison abuses so that outside supporters can better hold prison officials accountable for their actions against prisoners. On November 3, 2018 he was transferred yet again to Indiana where he now is. Let’s send him some love and show Pendelton CI how much outside support he has.

Eric King is a vegan anarchist who was arrested and charged with an attempted firebombing of a government official’s office in Kansas City, MO. Eric allegedly threw a hammer through a window of the building and then threw two lit bottles inside, though both failed to ignite. He was identified as a suspect by local police because he had previously come under suspicion for anti-government and anti-police graffiti, and is allegedly involved with the Kansas City Fight Back insurrectionist collective. Eric accepted a non-cooperating plea agreement to a federal felony charge that carries a sentence of 10 years in prison. He has since been attacked for his politics, taken from his family, and sent to Leavenworth. He has been in total isolation for months now without any disciplinary charges filed. The BOP wasn’t successful at trying to build a new case against him so they are enacting revenge trying to send him to a Special Management Unit (SMU) one of the most horrible programs in the BOP. Eric and his family can use all the love and support we can offer right now.

Please note: If you are writing from home, neither Rashid or Eric can receive letters on colored paper or in colored envelopes. We will also be sending birthday greetings to prisoners with birthdays in January: Fran Thompson (the 4th), Jeremy Hammond (the 8th), Abdul Azeez (the 9th), Sundiata Acoli (the 14th), Joe-Joe Bowen (the 15th), and Marius Mason (the 26th).

New Year’s Card Party: Monday Dec. 3rd 6:30pm

from Philly ABC

The December letter-writing event will be a New Year’s card-writing party for all US-held political prisoners. Rather than focusing on a specific set of prisoners, we will send a card to each of the nearly 60 US-held political prisoners sending them season’s greetings. This is a time we set aside annually to send short messages of solidarity to everyone recognized as being held in prison for their political beliefs or actions. This enables us to drop a line each year to prisoners that we have either already featured more in depth at letter-writing events throughout the year or those we will be doing events for in the future. We will also send birthday greetings to those with birthdays in December: Muhammad Burton (the 15th), Connor Stevens (the 17th) and Casey Brezik (the 30th).

While the circumstances of our comrades’ incarceration and the current political climate leave a lot to be desired, much good has also come out of 2018 including the freedom of Debbie and Mike Africa. Long-term prisoners Herman Bell and Seth Hayes were also release on parole this year to return to their families bringing the US-held political prisoner count to below 60. This event is an opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to free the remainder, stay strong and stay in the struggle.

Light refreshments will be provided. Please come join in the festivities!

[LAVA 4134 Lancaster Ave]

Letter-writing for Black Liberation Movement California Cases

from Philly ABC

It’s almost time for another monthly letter-writing for political prisoners! Join us Monday November 5th, 6:30pm at LAVA.

Our November event will feature Black Liberation movement prisoners with California cases. We’ll be sending our love and solidarity to Ruchell “Cinque” Magee and Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald.

Ruchell “Cinque” Magee is the longest held political prisoner in the U.S., having been locked up since 1963. Politicized in prison, he later participated in the Marin County Courthouse Rebellion, the attempted liberation of political prisoner George Jackson. Ruchell pled guilty to the charge of aggravated kidnapping for his part in the assault. In return for his plea, the Attorney General asked the Court to dismiss the charge of murder (Magee being the shooter of Judge Haley). Magee later attempted unsuccessfully to withdraw his plea, and was sentenced in 1975 to life in prison. He has lost numerous bids for parole. He has also worked tirelessly as a jailhouse lawyer, working on his own case and helping many other prisoners win their freedom.

Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, born and raised in Compton, California, joined the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party in early 1969 as a teenager who had just been released from the California Youth Authority.  He is currently serving 2 life sentences for the frame up of the murder of a security guard and attempted murder of a CHP officer.

We’ll also be sending birthday cards to Joshua (Josh) Williams (Nov. 25th). A staple of the Ferguson rebellion, Josh Williams was sentenced to 8 years in prison for his actions in attempting to light fires near a Quick Trip gas station, which others quickly extinguished, during a protest against the killing of Black 18 year old Antonio Martin by police in Berkeley, Missouri on Christmas Eve 2014. Josh, who was 19 at the time of the incident, was charged with first-degree arson, and second-degree burglary for allegedly stealing under $500.  He should be eligible for early release (in 2022) after serving six and a half years of his sentence.  He was transferred in 2017 to Jefferson City Correctional Center.

As usual, snacks will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there!

COMMUTATION CAMPAIGN FOR THE ‘VIRGIN ISLAND 3’

from Facebook

The campaign to free the Virgin Island 3 is kicking into high gear. Malik, Hanif and Abdul have been locked up for 46 years and have just applied for commutation of their sentences by Governor Mapp.

Like many aging prisoners, they are experiencing increasing health problems and pose NO RISK to the society they’ve been locked away from for nearly half a century. Because Governor Mapp’s term is ending and he is up for re-election on November 20th, now is the time to contact him and the other decision makers to urge for commutation of their sentences.

Because the Governor will be concentrating on the election until late November, we are reserving fax, email and calls until then, but letters can be drafted and mailed at any time before then. Please take a few minutes to alter the template below into a personalized letter and mail to both the Governor and the Lt. Governor. You can use the same letter to do the fax and email portion of this campaign. This is it; all hands on deck!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
1) Write a letter

Please start by writing a letter in support of the VI3’s application to both: Governor Mapp and Lt. Governor Potter. This is also a good time to urge folks you know who care about social justice to get on board with this campaign!

Suggested letter format:

Governor Kenneth Mapp
Government House
21-22 Kongens Gade
Charlotte Amalie
St. Thomas, VI 00802

Lt. Governor Osbert Potter
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
1131 King Street, Suite 101
Christiansted
St. Croix, VI 00820

Re: Warren Ballantine, Meral Smith, and Beaumont Gereau

Introduce yourself. This could include comments about your job, family or work in the community.

Explain how you know their cases and/or how you may know them personally.

Explain why you are concerned (if you are from the VI, explain how this affects your vote and if you are from elsewhere explain how commuting their sentences would positively influence society or your view of the VI).

Some Issues are:
1. Length of time in prison
2. Their deteriorating medical conditions
3. Aging and getting old
4. No community threat (example: while they were housed in the St. Croix, they were actually allowed to go out in the community to religious services and to speak to/mentor at-risk youth, sometimes unsupervised, with no issues)

Implore the Governor to commute their sentences. Explain that you understand that he eluded to this before he was elected and at the beginning of his term.

Respectfully end your letter.

2) Fax your letter [after November 20th] to:

The Governor’s office at: (340) 693-4374, and
The Lt. Governor’s office at: (340) 774-6953
If you do not have a fax machine, you can send a free online fax using faxzero.com.

3) Email your letter [after November 20th]:

https://www.vi.gov/contact.html

4) Call the three officials in charge of reviewing the commutation applications [as much and as often as possible after November 20th until further notice] to ask if they received your letter/fax/email:

Governor Mapp’s Office: (340) 774-0001
Lt. Governor Potter’s Office: (340) 774-2991
Attorney General Claude Walker: (340) 773-0295
Legal Counsel E. Henderson: (340) 712-2212
Leave messages letting them know you support the commutation applications for Warren Ballentine, Beaumont Gereau and Meral Smith.

A few talking points if desired, but feel free to keep it short and sweet:
• After 46 years of incarceration, they are of seriously ailing health and are extremely unlikely to re-offend… Warren alone is on 6 different types of medication after a massive heart attack a year ago.
• It is costing the state a TON of money to continue to house them and pay for medical care.

After November 20th, keep up the pressure until further notice! If he does not win re-election, his last day to grant commutations is on January 4th, 2019.

When you can, drop one or all of the Virgin Island 3 a note telling them about the actions you took on their behalf. You can also read about the campaign in Malik’s own words.

Warren Ballentine #16-047
Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
415 US Highway 49N
Tutwiler, MS 38963

Beaumont Gereau #16-001
Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
415 US Highway 49N
Tutwiler, MS 38963

Meral Smith #16-024
Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
415 US Highway 49N
Tutwiler, MS 38963

Monday, October 1st: Letter-writing to Commute the Sentences of the Virgin Island 3

from Philly ABC

It’s time for our monthly letter-writing event again, but this time with a twist as the campaign to free the Virgin Island 3 kicks into high gear. Join us at LAVA at 6:30 pm for snacks and drafting letters to Governor Mapp and the Virgin Island 3, who have been locked up for 46 years. Like many aging prisoners, they are experiencing increasing health problems and pose NO RISK to the society they’ve been locked away from for nearly half a century. Because Governor Mapp’s term is ending and he is up for re-election this November, *now* is the time to contact him to urge for commutation of their sentences. This is it; all hands on deck!

 

How you can help:

1) Write a letter [ideally mail it the first week of October]

Please start by writing a letter to the Governor. This is also a good time to urge folks you know who care about social justice to get on board with this campaign!

Suggested letter format:

Governor Kenneth Mapp
Government House
21-22 Kongens Gade
Charlotte Amalie
St. Thomas, VI 00802

Re: Warren Ballantine, Meral Smith, and Beaumont Gereau

Introduce yourself. This could include comments about your job, family or work in the community.

Explain how you know their cases and/or how you may know them personally.

Explain why you are concerned (if you are from the VI, explain how this affects your vote and if you are from elsewhere explain how commuting their sentences would positively influence society or your view of the VI).

Some Issues are:
1. Length of time in prison
2. Their deteriorating medical conditions
3. Aging and getting old
4. No community threat (example: while they were housed in the St. Croix, they were actually allowed to go out in the community to religious services, sometimes unsupervised, with no issues)

Implore the Governor to commute their sentences. Explain that you understand that he eluded to this before he was elected and at the beginning of his term.

Respectfully end your letter.

2) Fax your letter [ideally the second week of October]:

Fax the letter you wrote to the Governor’s office at:
(340) 693-4374

If you do not have a fax machine, you can send a free online fax using faxzero.com.

 

3) Email your letter [ideally the third week of October]:

https://www.vi.gov/contact.html

 

4) Call the Governor’s office [as much and as often as possible until further notice] to ask if they received your letter/fax/email:

Phone: (340) 774-0001

Leave messages urging Governor Mapp to make good on his promise to free the Virgin Island 3 – Warren Ballantine, Meral Smith and Beaumont Gereau (these are the names the state recognizes them under)- by commuting their sentences and releasing them with time served.

A few talking points if desired, but feel free to keep it short and sweet:
• After 46 years of incarceration, they are of seriously ailing health and are extremely unlikely to re-offend… Warren alone is on 6 different types of medication after a massive heart attack a year ago.
• It is costing the state a TON of money to continue to house them and pay for medical care.

Keep up the pressure throughout November or until their sentences are commuted! When you can, drop one or all of the Virgin Island 3 a note telling them about the actions you took on their behalf. You can also read about the campaign in Malik’s own words.

Warren Ballentine #16-047
Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
415 US Highway 49N
Tutwiler, MS 38963

Beaumont Gereau #16-001
Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
415 US Highway 49N
Tutwiler, MS 38963

Meral Smith #16-024
Tallahatchie Correctional Facility
415 US Highway 49N
Tutwiler, MS 38963

At this event, we will also send birthday cards to political prisoners with birthdays in October: Skelly Stafford (the 3rd), Jamil Al-Amin (the 4th), Mike Africa & David Gilbert (both on the 6th), Malik Bey (the 8th), Jalil Muntaqim (the 18th), and Eddie Africa (the 31st).