Monday July 26th: Letter-writing for Ronald Reed

from Philly ABC


Join us in Clark Park this coming Monday for the next letter-writing event. Snacks and materials will be provided! We will be writing letters to extend our solidarity to Ron Reed, long-time civil rights activist and Black revolutionary who is fighting his conviction for which he was framed and given a life sentence. His birthday is August 31st, so if you are writing to him from home, please send him birthday greetings as well.

Ron is a former 60s civil rights activist. In 1969, Reed was among the students at St. Paul Central High School who demanded Black history courses and organized actions against racist teachers. He was also instrumental in helping to integrate college campuses in Minnesota. During this period, Reed began to look toward revolutionary theory and engage in political street theater with other young Black revolutionaries in the city of St. Paul.

Reed went on to join the Black United Front. In 1970, he was convicted of shooting an off-duty police officer during a bank expropriation and served 13 years in prison. Twenty-five years later, Reed was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder after having a cold case of another police shooting pinned on him. He is now serving life in prison for the second conviction.

We will also be sending birthday cards to political prisoners with birthdays in August: Eric King (the 2nd), Bill Dunne (the 3rd), Hanif Bey (the 6th), Mutulu Shakur (the 8th), and Russell Maroon Shoatz (the 23rd).

Meditation on Accountability

from Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition

Abolition is truly a project that requires balance. It is a negative and positive project. It is presence and absence. Often, we lean one way to the detriment of the other way. Inside, we tend to focus on the dismantling, the negative aspect. We are captive in an oppressive system predicated upon anti-Blackness. We are trapped in a space maintained by racialized and gendered violence. The terror is quotidian. Everyday we are under the boots of people who see us as less than human. No wonder our focus is getting rid of this system.

But then what? What have we done while inside to prepare ourselves for a world without prisons? This is the struggle I am engaged in everyday. Each day, I am fighting against the death this system has prepared for me and my peers. Each day, I am struggling to not drink the PIC kool-aid that says we are unworthy. Each day, I am locked in battle with a system that is determined to isolate and alienate us, not only from you, but from each other. But there is another fight.

Over ninety percent of incarcerated folks have a release date. We are coming home. What are we doing to prepare ourselves for that date? The system is rigged. It is designed for us to fail, to recidivate. No DOC is really going to prepare incarcerated folks for successful reentry. No DOC is going to prepare any of us for a world without prisons. No DOC teaches accountability. Punishment, yes. But not accountability. And we desperately need to learn accountability.

In 2019, I was asked to speak at annual assembly on responsibility. I saw this as an opportunity to speak on accountability. I knew it would be the first time many incarcerated folks engaged in a discussion on this topic. I opened by citing a question from a Vera Institute report that asked crime victims what they wanted more than anything else to happen. Audience members guessed the answer would be long term sentences or corporal punishment for people who perpetrated harm. But that wasn’t the number one answer. What people wanted most: that it never happen again, to them or anyone else.

I chose this question because I wanted the audience to know that the police could not give these people want they wanted. They only become involved after the harm has occurred. Neither could the district attorney or the judge. The DOC and the parole boards definitely are powerless to give people who have been harmed what they want most. The only people who can give them what they want is us. We have the power to make sure the harm doesn’t happen again. And just as some of us had made a decision to harm another person, we could make another decision to not repeat our behavior.

From there, I was able to springboard into a conversation on accountability. On not just being sorry, but “doing” sorry. I focused on what we could do right now to make sure we didn’t continue to harm others. I spoke about the pillars of accountability. I spoke on what it means to really be remorseful and not just regretful. I spoke on making amends. But that was one day.

What we need is sustained study and practice. What we need is community where we can practice accountability. What we need are allies that support and encourage accountability practices. And we need it now. This is one of the things we need to build if we are to create a world we can all thrive in and that doesn’t use cages to remedy harm. It’s tricky. I have to keep everyone’s humanity in the forefront of my mind. No one is disposable. And I have to be firm and require accountability from my circle.

Aishah Simmons’s new book is entitled “Love with Accountability”. That sums up what is required. Love has to be the motivation, the impetus. Accountability has to be the practice. Some days, I can keep all the balls in the air. Other days, I drop all of them. It’s tricky. But with practice, I am getting better. With comrades and allies, I am becoming more adept at loving with accountability.

Join me in this balancing act.

Hunger Strike Ends with Concessions from Pennsylvania Prison System

from Perilous Chronicle

Hunger Strike Ends with Concessions from Pennsylvania Prison System

By Lena Mercer, Perilous Chronicle

A hunger strike by prisoners in Pennsylvania came to an official end on Sunday, July 4 after 10 days on strike. 12 people housed in SCI Phoenix, a state correctional institution in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania initiated the hunger strike.

The strikers were all held in a long term isolation unit, commonly known as an intensive management unit (IMU), despite the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) having no official policy regulating the use of IMUs at the time. The strikers’ demands centered around the lack of accountability from the administration about segregation and programming policies in the IMU and the conditions associated with long term isolation.

“PA taxpayers are paying for a program that is really nothing more than a title,” said striker Abednego Baynes in a public statement. “There is literally nothing tangible in regard to an IMU program.”

The strikers also decried the lack of programming and lack of access to basic amenities like showers and phones. “We currently only shower 3 times a week,” wrote striker John Bramble in a public statement. “We have no mental health treatment whatsoever, and only 5 hours of recreation a week.”

In an interview with the Pennsylvania Capital Star this week, the PADOC acknowledged the existence of an IMU at SCI-Phoenix. Bret Grote, legal director for the Abolitionist Law Center, told the Capital Star that he believes this was the first time the department had publicly acknowledged the existence of the long term segregation program.

The PADOC said in a July 6 email to Perilous Chronicle that the “hunger strike was resolved Friday”, which counters the statements from both outside prisoner advocates and the prisoners themselves that the strike continued until Sunday.

“We look at the 10 day strike as a success,” said striker Alejandro “Capo” Rodriguez-Ortiz in a statement announcing the end of the hunger strike. “Now the world sees what the PADOC was doing.” According to the statement, several of the demands around conditions inside the IMU were addressed by the administration, including greater access to showers and phones, and that some prisoners were being moved off segregation status.

Those held inside the IMU were protesting not only the conditions but what they say is the lack of ability to be able to advocate for themselves. Without a clear policy on how the IMU operates, there is little to no ability to work inside the structure to transition out of the unit. In an email to Perilous, Maria Bivens, the PADOC Press Secretary said that “the ultimate goal of the IMU is to provide a path toward integration into general population for these individuals.” Prisoners, however, say that the lack of a clear policy regarding the use of the IMU makes that goal both misleading and impossible.

“We were told by PRC (Program Review Committee) that upon our arrival at Phoenix, we were here to be flown off of the Restricted Release list and that the IMU was meant for that, which was a lie” Bramble said in a June 25 public statement.  In a June 29 social media post, the Abolitionist Law Center, a non profit law firm and community based organizing project, stated “Incarcerated community members…were transferred to SCI Phoenix and promised a new program by the PADOC that would provide education and mental health resources – and way back to general population. That was a lie…”

Hunger striking prison John Bramble (Photo Source: Abolitionist Law Center, Twitter).

According to statements by both people held inside the IMU and the Abolitionist Law Center provided to Perilous Chronicle, showers were only available 3 times a week and there were no mental health resources or educational programming, and only 5 hours of available recreation per week. “Everything is up in the air. They make up rules on the fly because there is no policy,” Bramble said in regards to the policies inside the unit.

Press Secretary Bivens told Perilous Chronicle that everyone who is currently being housed in the IMU at SCI Phoenix was once held in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU), which she described as representing “the highest levels of security and/or behavior risks.” Some people held inside the unit contend that they have no disciplinary history in the Pennsylvania prison system that would warrant this type of designation.

In a June 26 email, striker Rodriguez-Ortiz said that he has not been “written up,” another term for receiving an infraction from the DOC administration, while incarcerated in Pennsylvania. “My last significant issue in Delaware was in February 2014” he said.

Ortiz, along with several other strikers participated in the uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware in 2017 and were later transferred to Pennsylvania through interstate compact. These prisoners, known collectively as the Vaughn 17, were charged with crimes following the uprising and have since organized jointly in their own defense. Many of them now being held in the IMU at SCI Phoenix, including Ortiz, feel they ended up there because of their past activism and commitment to collective defense.

In the statement from the Vaughn 17 concerning the end of the strike they are clear to acknowledge that this strike was a continuation of their collective efforts inside various facilities. “Our sole purpose is to tear down every last brick until every last prisoner is free” they said.


from Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition

We were in the small block yard. I was talking to another prisoner and suddenly remembered I needed to ask another prison a question. As I walked over to the circle of prisoners he was in, I noticed how animated two of them were. As I reached the circle, one of the two guys turned to me and asked if I had watched Dateline the night before. I hadn’t. He went on to tell me how the topic was the police murder of a young man in West Philly who was experiencing a mental health crisis. I remembered the Wallace case.

The animated discussion was about solutions. One prisoner had suggested the solution offered by the state, equipping all of Philly police with tasers so their encounters could be less deadly, was the right thing. The other prisoner asked: why call the police at all? It was obvious he was winning the crowd over. Another younger prisoner summed up the problem as people not having other options when they experience emergencies. He suggested another number for mental health crisis. Don’t call 911.

I was loving this. None of these men have ever called themselves abolitionists. But they have abolitionist ideas. And only one of the five men in the circle has studied with us.

I wanted to share this because this incident reminds me that:

Sometimes all we have to do is listen. Abolitionist thought is here. People don’t always call it that. But it is abolitionist. Instead of focusing on teaching, we need to listen and learn sometimes.//

More and more people are realizing that things cannot continue the way they are. Something has to change. And people are discussing and looking for answers.//

Practicing abolition means being among the people and listening to them. And being willing to provide support for their growth and transformation.//

Political education is happening behind these walls at all times. It comes in many forms. Will we support it?//

In Contempt: June 11th Roundup; Analysis of Biden’s New Domestic Terrorism Document

from It’s Going Down

It’s been a busy month and there’s a lot to catch up on.

In this month’s column, we roundup what all went down on June 11th, offer an analysis of the Biden administration’s recent report on countering domestic terrorism, a roundup by state across the so-called US of repression news, info on current George Floyd rebellion prisoners, prison rebel birthdays, and more news.

Let’s dive in!

Repression Roundup by State


We Love Lore have provided a few updates on Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal, who’s now been incarcerated for a year awaiting trial on charges connected to last summer’s uprising. You can see some of her recent art here, and her family were able to visit her for the first time in eight months.

David Elmakayes, another Philadelphia defendant, is trying to raise money for a new lawyer, as the public defender allocated to him is trying to get him to inform. You should be able to donate to his funds via his mother’s CashApp, $NaughtNelly. Contact addresses for both Lore and David are listed below.

Vaughn 17

The Vaughn 17, the collective of prisoners who came together in the wake of the 2017 Vaughn uprising in Delaware, have issued a statement on abuse, neglect and solitary confinement at Pennsylvania’s SCI-Phoenix prison, and have also put out a new zine of their writings and analysis. A hunger strike aiming to address the issues highlighted has now begun at SCI-Phoenix, with some of the Vaughn 17 being among the participants.

Upcoming Events

Occupy ICE PDX have called for July 17th to be a nationwide day of actions against ICE and for the freedom of all immigrant prisoners. July 25th is observed internationally as a day of solidarity with antifascist prisoners.

Further ahead, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak are calling for abolitionist demonstrations under the slogan “Shut ‘Em Down 2021” on August 21st and September 9th. As mentioned above, reach out to Oakland Abolition and Solidarity if you’d like to get stickers to promote the events. Also, various international ABC groups observe August 23rd-30th as a week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners.

Uprising Defendants

Everyone should support the defendants facing charges related to their alleged participation in the George Floyd uprising – this list of our imprisoned comrades needs to be getting shorter, not longer. The status of pre-trial defendants changes frequently, but to the best of our knowledge they currently include:

David Elmakayes 77782-066
FDC Philadelphia
PO BOX 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

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


Corey Smith

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Corey Smith in relation to the uprising, the Vaughn 17 have faced continued retaliation. Years after the uprising, these prisoners are still being abused for staying in solidarity with one another against the state.

Birthday: July 14


The most recent Vaughn 17 zine just gives Corey Smith’s address as “Wilmington, DE”, suggesting that his current location is unknown – please feel free to reach out if you can confirm his address.

Kevin Berry

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the court found Kevin Berry not guilty on all charges in relation to the uprising, the Vaughn 17 have faced continued retaliation. Years after the uprising, these prisoners are still being abused for staying in solidarity with one another against the state.

Kevin Berry is a contributor to the Vaughn 17 “Live From the Trenches” zine, as well as the newer “United We Stood” zine, and also wrote a June 11th statement for the 2019 day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners.

Pennsylvania uses Connect Network/GTL, so you can contact him online by going to, selecting “Add a facility”, choosing “State: Pennsylvania, Facility: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections”, going into the “messaging” service, and then adding him as a contact by searching his name or “NT0583.”

Birthday: July 17th


Smart Communications/PADOC
Kevin Berry, NT0583
SCI Phoenix
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733


Running Down The Walls

from Philly ABC


Download posters and flyers.

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

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

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

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

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

– Mumia Abu-Jamal

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

Learn More

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

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

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

Register for the 5K

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

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

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

[Register Here]

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

Tips to Get Sponsors for your 5K Participation:

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

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


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

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

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

Pennsylvania prisoners start hunger strike against isolation practices

from Perilous Chronicle

Pennsylvania prisoners start hunger strike against isolation practices

By Lena Mercer, Perilous Chronicle

On June 23, 20-30 prisoners at SCI Phoenix, a 3,800 bed state prison facility near Philadelphia, began a hunger strike. The strikers are protesting against the use of an Intensive Management Unit (IMU), or segregation unit, inside the facility. They hope to bring attention to the use of these segregation units that they say most people do not fully understand. Inside these restricted release units, prisoners are held in isolation without programming and with no redress to remove themselves from the enhanced detention.

Several of the strikers participated in the uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna, Delaware in 2017 and were later transferred to Pennsylvania through interstate compact. These prisoners, known collectively as the Vaughn 17, were charged with crimes following the uprising and have since organized jointly in their own defense.

In a June 1 statement written in coordination with Philly Anti-Repression, a Philadelphia-based organization that helps people organize against state repression, the Vaughn 17 group decried the conditions inside the facility. “Here, we are housed in our cells with only 5 hours of recreation per week, no programs, no schooling, no jobs, or anything else involving rehabilitation. We have been housed in this way (some completely misconduct-free) with no way out” they said in the statement.

Philly Anti Repression posted a call-in campaign on Twitter to be held on June 24 and 25. The intention of the call-in campaign, according to a participant, is to bring attention to the fact that while people are being sent into the Intensive Management Unit, no official protocols about the IMU exist. This leaves no possibility for people to administratively challenge their detention inside the restrictive housing.

“There is nothing productive or humane about locking up a human being in a box and letting them out for 5 hours a week,” the strikers said in the statement. “If PA DOC chooses to go into rehabilitating people and help them to become better human beings, then long term solitary confinement has to go.”

As of the evening of June 24, the strike was ongoing.

Lena Mercer is a journalist based in the Pacific Northwest and a member of the Perilous Editorial Collective.

Hunger Strike at SCI Phoenix

from twitter
CALL IN: as of yesterday 20-30 prisoners at SCI Phoenix are on hunger strike bc Phoenix is getting funding for a new program (the IMU) that doesn’t actually exist. The IMU (Intensive Management Unit) is for prisoners on the Restricted Release List, an instrument of torture…

pecific to the state of Pennsylvania that allows the state to throw politicized/rebellious prisoners, and anyone else they don’t know what to do with, in the hole indefinitely. SCI Phoenix’s IMU is supposed to be a program to get prisoners off RRL and out of solitary.

But there’s no programming (education, rec, etc) or path off RRL, despite the facility having govt funding for it. The strikers are demanding the programs they were promised + a way out of solitary confinement, which is considered torture by even the UN’s questionable standards.

Some of those on strike are revolutionaries who are on Restricted Release as retaliation for having physically fought the prison system. Supporting the strike is a way to get them better treatment & show we haven’t forgotten them and the sacrifices they made for liberation.

Please CALL IN TODAY AND TOMORROW at 717-728-4109 and ask to speak to PA DOC Sec. John Wetzel. Ask if they are aware of the strike and make sure their demands are being addressed. The strike will only work if they know people on the outside are watching. #FTTP #FTP

You can also call the Deputy Secretary of the PA DOC, Christopher Oppman, at 717-728-4122, or Executive Secretary Tabb Bickell’s office at 717-728-4025. @freevaughn17 @phillyabc @IWW_IWOC @UR_Ninja @OaklandAboSol @IGD_News

United We Stood: Writings and Analysis from the Vaughn 17

from It’s Going Down

Announcing a collection of new writings and analysis from the Vaughn 17, a group of prisoners who faced charges following an uprising at the James T. Correctional Center in Delaware. Most of the Vaughn 17 are still being held indefinitely in solitary confinement in Pennsylvania. The following text is from the preface of the new publication.

PDF For Reading
PDF For Printing

On February 1, 2017, prisoners in Cbuilding at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Delaware took control of the building and held guards hostage in an uprising that lasted over 18 hours. That morning, several prisoners had put on masks and rushed the guards who were letting them back into the building from yard, while another prisoner ensured that the counselor on duty was kept safe and held off a CERT team that sought to retake the building.

The prisoners leading the uprising called the media and released a list of demands; the prison eventually retook the building by breaching one of its walls with a backhoe. One prison guard, Steven Floyd, was killed by prisoners during the uprising.

The Vaughn 17 are seventeen of the eighteen prisoners who were subsequently indicted on charges including multiple counts of murder, kidnapping, assaulting an officer, and conspiracy, by the state of Delaware. The eighteenth person charged, Royal “Diamond” Downs, a notorious Black Guerrilla Family leader, turned state’s witness and provided much of the State’s case against the prisoners.

Despite that, the indicted prisoners, most of whom did not know or deal with each other prior to the uprising, organized their own defense and almost completely beat the State’s case at trial. Dwayne Staats and Jarreau “Ruk” Ayers represented themselves at court and took responsibility for their part in planning the uprising and with assisting with keeping everyone safe during the takeover itself, respectively. Both were already serving life sentences.

The other prisoners in the first two trials Deric Forney, Kevin Berry, Abednego Baynes, John Bramble, and Obadiah Miller were acquitted in court of all charges (the last two had a hung jury on charges of assaulting an officer, which were later dropped). Roman Shankaras, who had helped organize nonviolent protests prior to the uprising and whom the State hoped to frame as the “mastermind” behind the prison takeover, was tried separately and acquitted on all charges. The State was forced to drop the remaining charges against the rest of the defendants.

The shared mission of the Vaughn 17 is to disrupt, dismantle and destroy the prison industrial complex. Many of the V17 are revolutionaries or insurrectionaries taking up the incendiary and bloodsoaked tradition of figures like Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, and George Jackson. The rest stuck together when indicted and made enormous sacrifices in the process.

Prisoners were physically tortured following the uprising and experienced extreme pressure from the state to cooperate. After Delaware failed to beat the collective in court, most of the Vaughn 17 were shipped to Pennsylvania, where the state could continue to keep them in solitary indefinitely with no way out. They have now all been in solitary for at least four consecutive years (most for much longer).

We support the Vaughn 17 because as aspiring insurrectionaries, we are inspired by their physical struggle against prison and systemic oppression and by their unflinching refusal to cooperate with the State. The writings in this zine come from captive revolutionaries whose analysis, experience, and abilities extend far beyond what most radicals on the outside have dared to explore. Struggles out here against authority have a lot to learn from prisoners’ experiences on the inside. Bringing these two very different insurrectionary currents together has the potential to enrich us all in unimaginable ways, open up our vision, threaten the State, and bring us closer to collective liberation.

Monday June 28th: Letter-writing for Fidencio Aldama Perez

from Philly ABC

fidencio-aldama-perez.jpgFidencio Aldama Perez is an indigenous Yaqui land defender and political prisoner from the northern Mexican state of Sonora. He was arrested on October 27, 2016, and later sentenced to fifteen years and six months in prison on trumped-up charges related to a death in the community of Loma de Bácum, Sonora. It is believed that he was targeted due to his support for the indigenous community’s opposition to a gas pipeline that was to pass through Yaqui territory.

Before his imprisonment, Fidencio loved playing soccer with his children and the community. His favorite team is C.F. Pachuca. He is a talented singer and musician, playing the guitar, bass, accordion, and flute. He has long been involved in practicing, teaching, and strengthening the culture and traditions of the Yaqui people, including playing guitar in traditional Yaqui ceremonies and participating in communal dances. For Fidencio, his identity as indigenous and Yaqui is extremely important, something he has passed on to his children. His vision is for a Yaqui territory that fully belongs to the Yaqui people and from which no one can be displaced.

Please join us this coming Monday in Clark Park (stone platform near 45th and Chester) for letter-writing and art-making in participation of the international week of letter-writing and artwork in solidarity with Fidencio Aldama Perez!

We will also send birthday cards to a political prisoner with a birthday in July: Gage Halupowski (the 1st).

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.


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 🌈🙏✨

Statement from the Vaughn 17

from Abolitionist Law Center

The following statement was issued in coordination with Philly Anti-Repression on June 1, 2021 by members of the Vaughn 17 and other incarcerated community members subjected to abuse, neglect, and solitary confinement at SCI-Phoenix.

For those who are new to the Vaughn 17’s struggle for self-liberation, here is some context: On February 1, 2017, incarcerated community members confined in Delaware’s largest prison, the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center, staged an uprising and took over Building C. Prisoners took guards hostage and called the media, bringing international attention to the prison’s overuse of solitary confinement and demanded humane living conditions, rehabilitation, and education programs. Phone negotiations lasted 18 hours between prisoners and prison officials.

One correctional officer died during the uprising and 18 prisoners were charged with multiple counts of murder, rioting, conspiracy and kidnapping. One of the original eighteen suspects in the rebellion turned and became the State’s star witness; another committed suicide.

Since 2017, participants of the Building C takeover, now known as “the Vaughn 17”, have endured ongoing retaliation by the State. This has included transfers across state lines to Pennsylvania and long-term solitary confinement under the euphemistic measures of “Intensive Management Units” and “Restricted Release”. Prolonged solitary confinement (more than 15 days) is considered torture by the United Nations.

To learn more about the Vaughn 17 visit: and follow their supporters and defense group on Twitter and Instagram.

June 1, 2021

– The Vaughn 17

In Contempt #5: The Ongoing Fight to Support the Rebels One Year After the Rebellion

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.]

Uprising Defendants

Everyone should support the defendants facing charges related to their alleged participation in the George Floyd uprising – this list of our imprisoned comrades needs to be getting shorter, not longer. The status of pre-trial defendants changes frequently, but to the best of our knowledge they currently include:

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal #70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
P.O. Box 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

David Elmakayes #77782-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Shawn Collins #69989-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Steven Pennycooke #69988-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

When writing to pre-trial prisoners, do not write about their cases or say anything that you wouldn’t want to hear read out in court. If you have any updates, either about status changes meaning that people should be removed from this list, or about names that are missing and should be included, please reach out.

Upcoming Birthdays

Jarreau Ayers

Vaughn Uprising prisoner, one of the only two prisoners from the Vaughn 17 to be convicted. As one write-up put it, “Jarreau Ayers and Dwayne Staats, already incarcerated under the hopeless sentence of life without parole, took it upon themselves to admit to involvement to prevent the rest of their comrades being found unjustifiably guilty, which led to success – not guilty verdicts or their charges being dropped.” You can learn more about Jarreau in his own words here and here.

Pennsylvania uses Connect Network/GTL, so you can contact him online by going to, selecting “Add a facility”, choosing “State: Pennsylvania, Facility: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections”, going into the “messaging” service, and then adding him as a contact by searching his name or “NS9994”.

Birthday: June 15


Smart Communications / PA DOC
Jarreau Ayers – NS9994
SCI Huntington
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL, 33733

Monday May 24th: Letter-writing for Ruchell Cinque Magee

from Philly ABC

ruchell-magee.jpgRuchell Magee is one of the longest-held California prisoners who has been dubbed a political prisoner due to his spontaneous participation in the Marin Courthouse rebellion– the famous incident that spawned Black August. He is serving a sentence of 7 years to life for a nonviolent disagreement that landed him the wrongful charge of ‘kidnapping to commit robbery.’ Years later, he happened to be in the courthouse for unrelated reasons when Jonathan Jackson entered to free his brother and Black Liberation icon George Jackson. According to a sworn affidavit from one of the jurors, the jury voted for acquittal on charges from the Courthouse rebellion, however, this acquittal has been obscured and he continues his fight to expose this.

Ruchell is now 82 years old, and has spent more than 58 years in prison. From behind bars, he has been a positive force by helping many people with his tireless work as a jailhouse lawyer. He currently has a pro se motion pending review by the Supreme Court as well as a commutation application to be reviewed by the Governor. He is also parole eligible. Please join us Monday at Clark Park (stone platform near 45th and Chester) as we reach out to Ruchell to connect, offer solidarity, and see what all can be done to free him this year so that he can finally reunite with his family.

Because we are not aware of any political prisoners with a birthday in June, instead of birthday cards we will pass around cards for Palestinian freedom political prisoners: Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, Dr. Issam Hijjawi Bassalat, Khalida Jarrar, Layan Kayed, Ahmad Sa’adat, and Khitam Saafin.

#PalestineStrike and Day of Action

from Philly ABC


Joining the #PalestineStrike and day of action today, Philly ABC extends solidarity to the people of Palestine in their struggle for liberation. Israel’s ongoing policies of apartheid and ethnic cleansing demonstrate to the world that settler colonialism is alive and well and needs to be condemned and confronted in every way possible. We vehemently support the rights to self-determination and self-defense for Palestinian people, and denounce Israel’s militarized police and egregious imprisonment practices including ‘administrative detention.’ We urge people to support organizations on the front lines of defending people from imprisonment for their actions and beliefs in freedom for Palestinian people – Addameer (IG:@addameer_pal T:@Addameer) and Samidoun (IG:@samidounnetwork T:@SamidounPP), as well as the people behind bars including Ahmad Sa’adat, Layan Kayed, Khalida Jarrar, Khitam Saafin, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, and Dr. Issam Hijjawi Bassalat.