Holiday Card Party for US-held Political Prisoners

from Philly ABC

Join Philly Anarchist Black Cross as we send holiday cards to political prisoners. We will send cards and warm wishes to our friends and comrades inside. Maintaining and building relationships with them is the crux of what we do, so we will be sending cards to as many PPs and POWs as possible.

North Philly Food Not Bombs will serve up dinner!

[December 4 at 6:30 at LAVA Space 4134 Lancaster Ave]

The City is a Canvas

Submission

Here are some photos from around West Philly and South Philly of things I was pleased to see. The bus photo is not recent, the rest are.



Frackville Prison’s Systemic Water Crisis

from The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons

Bryant-In-Prison.jpg
Bryant Arroyo, prisoner and “jailhouse environmentalist” at Pennsylvania’s SCI-Frackville.

by Bryant Arroyo / FightToxicPrisons.org

On September 19, 21, 24 and 27, 2017, we prisoners at Pennsylvania’s SCI-Frackville facility experienced four incidences with respect to the crisis of drinking toxic water. While this was not the first indication of chronic water problems at the prison, it seemed an indication that things were going from bad to worse. This round of tainted water was coupled with bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, sore throats, and dizziness by an overwhelming majority of the prisoner population exposed to this contamination. This cannot be construed as an isolated incident.

Frackville water notice
This notice appeared at the prison in August 2017, notifying prisoners of a water problem at SCI-Frackville

The SCI-Frackville staff passed out bottled spring water after the inmate population had been subjected to drinking the toxic contaminated water for hours without ever being notified via intercom or by memo to refrain from consuming the tap water. This is as insidious, as it gets!

SCI-Frackville’s administration, is acutely aware of the toxic water contamination crisis and have adopted an in-house patterned practice of intentionally failing to notify the inmate population via announcements and or by posting memos to refrain from tap water, until prisoners discover it for themselves through the above-mentioned health effects.

In general, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) knows it has a water crisis on it hands. The top agencies like the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and EPA know about this open-secret and have conspired to deliberately ignore most, if not all, of the prisoners’ official complaints. DEP has received four drinking water violations from the EPA. But the underlying problem is money, money, and more money.

Earlier this year, federal officials warned DEP that it lacked the staffing and resources to enforce safe drinking water standards. That could be grounds for taking away their role as the primary regulator of water standards, and would cost the state millions of dollars in federal funding.

In a letter dated December 30, 2016, EPA Water Protection Division Director Jon Capacasa stated, “Pennsylvania’s drinking water program failed to meet the federal requirement for onsite review of of water system operations and maintenance capability, also known as a sanitary survey.” He added, “Not completing sanitary survey inspections in a timely manner can have serious public health implications.”

One example in the City of Pittsburgh led to the closure of nearly two dozen schools and a boil-water order for 100,000 people. State environmental regulators had discovered low chlorine levels, after testing the city’s water as part of an ongoing investigation into its water treatment system. The city has also been having issues with elevated lead levels. The EPA also told DEP that the department’s lack of staff has caused the number of unaddressed Safe Drinking Water Act violations to go from 4,298 to 7,922, almost doubling in the past five years.

This leaves us with 43 inspectors employed, but, to meet the EPA mandates, we need at the least 85 full-time inspectors. That means Pennsylvania inspectors have double the workload, and this has resulted in some systems not being inspected. Logically, the larger systems get routine inspections, and systems that have chronic problems get inspected, but smaller and rural system like ours may not be because we are the minority that society doesn’t care about. Persona non grata!

To top it off, Frackville is in Schuylkill County, near a cancer cluster of the rare disease known as Polycythemia Vera (PV). While there is not definitive research on PV, it is believed to be environmental in origin and could be water borne. There’s no telling how many of us may have contracted the mysterious disease caused by drinking this toxic-contaminated water for years without being medically diagnosed and treated for this disease.

The DOC refuses to test the inmate population, in spite of the on-going water crisis. What would happen, if the inmate population would discover that they have contracted the disease PV?! Obviously, this wouldn’t be economically feasible for the DOC medical department to pay the cost to treat all inmates who have been discovered to have ill-gotten the water borne disease.

Many Pennsylvania tax-payers would be surprised to know that our infrastructure is older than Flint, Michigan’s toxic water crisis. Something is very wrong in our own backyard and the legislative body wants to keep a tight lid on it. But how long can this secret be contained before we experience an outbreak of the worst kind.

Silence, no more, it is time to speak. I could not stress the sense of urgency enough. We need to take action by notifying our Pennsylvania State Legislatures and make them accountable to the tax-paying citizens and highlight the necessary attention about Pennsylvania’s water crisis to assist those of us who are cornered and forced to drink toxic, contaminated water across the State Prisons.

If you want to obtain a goal you’ve never obtained, you have to transcend by doing something you’ve never done before. Let’s not procrastinate, unify in solidarity, take action before further contamination becomes inevitable. There’s no logic to action afterwards, if we could have avoided the unnecessary catastrophe, in the first place.

Let’s govern ourselves in the right direction by contacting and filing complaints to our legislative body, DEP, EPA, and their higher-ups, etc. In the mountains of rejection we have faced from these agencies as prisoners, your action could be our yes; our affirmation that, though we may be buried in these walls, we are still alive.

—————–

After initially receiving this article from Bryant, this update came in: On Oct 26, 2017, at or about 8 p.m., Frackville shut down the Schuylkill County Water Municipality’s water source and switched over to this facilities water preserve tank. Staff here, indicated the Schuylkill Municipality was conducting a purge to the repaired pipelines, etc.

Then on Oct. 27, a or about 11 a.m., Frackville’s staff passed out individual gallons of spring water due to the dirty, toxic, contaminated water flowing from our preserve tank water supply. Here we go again!

More about the author, Bryant Arroyo, can be found on PrisonRadio.org. Additional sources for this article came from State Impact (A reporting project of  NPR member stations) and the Washington Post.

November Letter Writing – Anti-Colonialism

from Philly ABC

On the forth Thursday of November every year, Americans gather to feast on turkey in honor of colonialism. While most Americans are busy stuffing their mouths and excusing themselves, since the early 70’s, indigenous activists have countered this holiday with the National Day of Mourning and Unthanksgiving Day to address genocide and continuing native struggles. See Leonard Peltier’s 2015 Day of Mourning statement discussing his case, his plea for support from Obama (who did not grant him clemency despite overwhelming support), and his health around that time which unfortunately continues to suffer due to inadequate medical care in prison. Also in 2015, Jason Hammond released his Don’t Eat the Fucking Turkey statement, where he announced his protest of Thanksgiving from inside prison by means of fasting and telling the stories of anti-colonial resistance movements. He encouraged all of us to do the same. If a prisoner can do it, so can we!

Philly ABC is hosting an anti-colonialist letter writing in solidarity with indigenous freedom fighters held captive in the Unites States. Join us Monday November 6th, 6:30pm at Lava! Brings your friends and send some love to Oso BlancoLeonard Peltier, and Red Fawn Fallis. We’ll also be sending birthday cards to Ed Poindexter (Nov. 1st) and Josh Williams (Nov. 25th).

From all of Philly ABC,
Fuck Thanksgiving!

October Letter Writing & Disrupt IACP

from Philadelphia ABC

When: Monday, October 2nd, 2017 . 6:30-8:30 PM

Where
: LAVA, 4134 Lancaster Avenue

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October is a significant month for the anti-police struggle. In June of 1996, a diverse coalition of organizers came together to strengthen the peoples’ resistance to police brutality. October 22 was the date selected for a National Day of Protest (NDP) against police brutality and the criminalization of a generation. O22 has been bookmarked for anti-police demonstrations ever since.

This year, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is hosting their annual conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia on October 21-24th. In response, opposition has called for mobilizations to disrupt the IACP conference.

Philly ABC endorses disrupting the IACP conference and supports diverse community resistance to police terror.

In the spirit of fighting back, we’ll be featuring anti-police struggle political prisoners at our upcoming letter writing event on October 2nd, at 6:30pm at Lava. Join us for tasty vegan treats, as we ensure our imprisoned comrades, Alvaro Luna Hernandez, Reverend Joy Powell, and Josh Williams, know they are not forgotten. We will also be signing birthday cards for political prisoners with birthdays this month – Skelly Stafford (October 3rd), Jamil Al-Amin (October 4th), Mike Africa (October 6th), David Gilbert (October 6th), Malik Smith (October 8th), Seth Hayes (October 15th), Jalil Muntaqim (October 18th), and Eddie Africa (October 31st). If you cannot make it to the event, consider dropping one or more of them a line this month. This time is also dedicated to the hundreds of lives lost to badge-wearing, uniformed gang members who kill with impunity.

Brick x brick – wall x wall – free them all!
Philly ABC

– –
Rest In Power Chris Monfort. We’ll never forget you.

9/9/17: First Philly ABC Letter-writing event on Anniversary of Prison Strike

from Philly ABC

When: Saturday, September 9th, 2017 . 2-5PM
Where
: LAVA, 4134 Lancaster Avenue

Join the newly formed Philly ABC for the first of what will soon be monthly prisoner letter-writing events!  Letter-writing supplies, stamps, and light refreshments will be provided — just bring yourself, friends and comrades.

We will be listening to a podcast featuring two of the prison strike organizers, Siddique Abdullah Hasan and Kinetic Justice.  Hasan is a prison Imam, a skilled writer, and a compassionate mentor and friend to fellow inmates. He was placed on death-row for his alleged leadership role in the 1993 Lucasville rebellion, which occurred shortly before his scheduled release, but he maintains innocence. Kinetic of the Free Alabama Movement has been locked up in solitary confinement for years for organizing, in his words, non-violence protests against the prison system in Alabama.  We will also be signing birthday cards for political prisoners who have birthdays this month: Brian Vaillancourt (Sept 5th), Leonard Peltier (Sept 12th), and Abdul Maumin Khabir (Sept 15th).

For reports and analysis of the 2016 prison strike see The Fire Inside.

If you can’t make it to the event but would like to write on your own:

Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos A. Sanders) #R130559
Ohio State Penitentiary
P.O. Box 1436
Youngstown, OH 44505

Kinetik Justice (In letter, use chosen name Kinetik Justice but address envelope to:)
Robert Earl Council, 181418
Limestone CF D69
28779 Nick Davis Rd.
Harvest, AL 35749

Brian Vaillancourt #M42889
Robinson Correctional Institution
13423 East 1150th Ave.
Robinson, IL 62454

Leonard Peltier #89637-132
USP Coleman I
P.O. Box 1033
Coleman, FL 33521

Abdul Maumin Khabir (aka Melvin Mayes) #09891-000
Federal Medical Center Rochester
P.O. Box 4000
Rochester, MN 55903

The Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement Announces RAM Philly

from It’s Going Down

The Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement has sought since its inception to spread nationwide, and create international connections to further the cause of abolitionism and revolutionary anarchism. Today, August 20, 2017, we are proud to announce the formation of the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement – Philadelphia Branch (RAM Philly). With the growth of each new branch we inch ever closer to the day when we can realize our revolutionary aspirations, live in a world of true freedom, and decisively eradicate the abhorrence of 21st century slavery.

The struggle in the US seems like an unrelenting weight being pushed down on revolutionary forces, but that same force has been bearing down on criminalized communities for decades with no reprieve. Mosques are being ruthlessly bombed, state agencies and vigilante groups are deporting Latino people with relentless vigor, LGBTQ people are being battered, and the destruction of black life continues unabated as millions languish in the plantations of the modern day slave system.

Immersed in these struggles, against the state and its white supremacist militias, we are developing the capacity to liberate ourselves and others. We fight side by side with those facing state and reactionary violence and with each person we free from captivity the stronger we grow. As demonstrated by our resistance in Charlottesville, we will not cede one inch of ground to racists. As each new collective forms, we begin to create new political realities and continue the march together against white supremacy and for a dignified world.

We continue in the legacy of Philadelphia’s rich revolutionary tradition, demonstrated by Mumia Abu Jamal, Russell Maroon Shoatz, and the MOVE organization.

We are now establishing a revolutionary political movement that can confront the challenges ahead of us, and together with Philadelphia based comrades, we are taking one step closer.

Victory to Those Behind the Barricades!
Victory to Those Behind Prison Walls!
Victory to Revolutionary Forces!

Long live RAM Philly!

Help get things rolling: https://www.gofundme.com/expanding-ram-to-philadelphia

Hit us up to join the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement in Philly:

Twitter: @RAM_Philly
Instagram: @RAM_Philly

Holding Together In the Face Of State Repression

from Facebook

A Conversation With Tilted Scales Collective, Human Rights Coalition and Philly J20 Defendants On How To Beat The Authorities When They Drag Us Into Court

In April of 2010 six prisoners at SCI-Dallas were charged with riot after a coordinated protest against abusive conditions in solitary cofinement durng which they covered their cell doors with sheets and bedding material. On January 20 2017 over two hundred protestors who attended a spirited ‘anti-fascist, anti-capitalist’ march were chased by police, assaulted with chemical weapons and mass arrested. They were initially charged with riot and conspiracy. Several months later those charges were expanded to include numerous other felonies and the 211 remaining defendants face up to 75 years in prison. The case against most defendants is not that they specifically commited a crime, but that they entered into a criminal conspiracy by covering their faces and wearing black. How do we defend our movements when the authoriteis attack? How do we work together to win in court and protect each other?

Join Human Rights Coalition (a group of prisoners families and supporters), Philly J20 defendants and The Titled Scales Collective (a Los Angeles based legal support collective) for a conversation about how we act together to keep each other safe. Tilted Scales will be in town discussing their ‘Tilted Guide To Being A Defendant’, a comprehensive guide to facing charges in the criminal legal system to help defendants not only figure out how to handle their legal cases, but also how to think about their cases personally, politically and legaly. People who have faced cases or who are currently caught up are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussion. Of course we will not talk about specifics about any case (what someone did or did not do that led to charges) in a way that could jeaporadize anyones legal defense. However, we will talk about ways we can act in solidarity in the courts and through the legal process and how we can build resilient movements that can withstand state repression. Come and be a part of the conversation!

Sponsored By Up Against The Law Legal Collecitve, Philly J20 Solidarity, Tilted Scales Collective, Human Rights Coalition, Irish Against Oppression and Decarcerate PA

[August 8 from 6:30PM to 8:30PM a Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N Broad St]

The Fire Inside: Reportbacks and Speaking Tours from September 9 and looking ahead

from The Fire Inside

There is a fire seething in US prisons. September 9th of 2016 saw some of the largest prisoner rebellions in history. This August, prisoners are calling to fan the flames up again.

Participants in last year’s mass mobilization and nationally coordinated prisoner protest are calling for another wave of actions starting on August 19th of this year. In order to succeed and combat the brutal repression prison rebels face there must be robust, visible, and widespread support on the outside. To that end, we’re putting out a reportback zine and organizing speaking tours to distribute it.

Read our tour announcement for more info.

Mon July 31- Philadelphia, PA

6PM at A-Space
4722 Baltimore Ave

More Wheatpasted Posters

from Instagram

from Instagram