In Contempt #18: June 11th; Political Prisoner and Uprising Defendant Updates; Prison Mail Digitalization

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.]

June 11th Roundup

June 11th, the international day of solidarity with Marius Mason and all long-term anarchist prisoners, was marked by direct action against a fake clinic in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, incendiary actions in the Chilean state, and sabotage of ATMs in Java, Indonesia. Other events that were organised to mark the day included a party for Marius Mason in Cincinnati, Ohio, a BBQ in Philadelphia, and letter-writing events in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with other events in the Basque Country/Euskal Herria, Utrecht, Netherlands, Richmond, Australia, London, UK, and Chile.

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. See Uprising Support for more info, and check out the Antirepression PDX site for updates from Portland cases. 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

Upcoming Birthdays

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 connectnetwork.com, 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 17

Address:

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

Philly June 11th BBQ Report

Submission

This year a BBQ fundraiser was organized for June 11th, in solidarity with anarchist prisoners and against all imprisonment. People got together to eat vegan foods and hang out. Suburbicide distro (http://suburbicide.keybase.pub/) came out with zines, stickers, and patches. At the end of the night the event raised $178 all of which is going to anarchist and political prisoners.

Fire to the prisons!

Fake Clinic’s Windows Smashed in Philly

Submission

We smashed out all of the windows of the “Hope” pregnancy center on Broad st. We are tired of your “family values” and you forcing families, and your values onto our bodies. This fake clinic spread lies and is part of a broader attempt to strip away body autonomy from hundreds of women and people. We are inspired by the actions of comrades in Wisconsin, Colorado, New York, and a growing list of places. If the attack on abortion does not stop our attacks will broaden. This is also intended as a small gesture of complicity with all those imprisoned by the state, in honor of June 11th.
-Anti Hope Brigade

In Contempt #17

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. See Uprising Support for more info, and check out the Antirepression PDX site for updates from Portland cases. 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

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 connectnetwork.com, 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

Address:

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

Anarchist Prisoner Solidarity Bar-B-Que

Submission

June 11th
6PM
Clark Park (45th St & Chester Ave)

On June 11th come enjoy a vegan BBQ supporting anarchist and political
prisoners!

There will be food, drinks, and zines available by donation. All
donations will be sent to Bloomington ABC’s Anarchist Prisoner War Fund
and Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s Warchest Program. No one will be
turned away for lack of funds.

6PM at Clark Park in the square near 45th St and Chester Ave. There are
benches and picnic tables nearby, a paved path leads into the square.

Tuesday May 31st: Letter-writing for Jessica Reznicek

from Philly ABC

jessica-reznicek-letter-writing.jpg

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

Diaries of a Terrorist: Poetry and Abolition with Christopher Soto and others

from Making World Books

A luminous poetry reading demanding the abolition of police & prisons—with Christopher Soto, Airea D Mathews, and Denice Frohman.

This debut poetry collection demands the abolition of policing and human caging. In Diaries of a Terrorist, Christopher Soto uses the “we” pronoun to emphasize that police violence happens not only to individuals, but to whole communities. His poetics open the imagination towards possibilities of existence beyond the status quo. Soto asks, “Who do we call terrorist—and why”? These political surrealist poems shift between gut-wrenching vulnerability, laugh-aloud humor, and unapologetic queer punk raunchiness. Diaries of a Terrorist is groundbreaking in its ability to speak—from a local to a global scale—about one of the most important issues of our time.

Christopher Soto will be joined for a reading by Airea D Matthews, and Denice Frohman for the launch of their debut poetry collection, which demands the abolition of policing and human caging.

Cohosted by our friends at Scalawag Magazine.

Advance registration is requested.

[May  5 6:00 PM 7:30 PM 210 South 45th Street]

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]

A Philly protester charged with setting cop cars ablaze during 2020 demonstrations has pleaded guilty

from Mainstream Media

A Philadelphia woman charged with torching police cars during the 2020 racial injustice protests in Philadelphia has struck an agreement with federal prosecutors that will spare her the seven-year minimum sentence she would have faced had she been convicted on arson charges.

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, 35, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of a lesser offense — obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder — each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Her attorney Paul J. Hetznecker called the deal “appropriate” after condemning the previous arson charges — and the harsh sentence they carried — as a ”political decision” and an overreaction to crimes he argued should have been pursued in state court.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to say whether the deal signaled a wider reevaluation of its stance on protest-related cases. In all, five other defendants are still facing federal arson counts in Philadelphia for setting squad cars ablaze during the heated protests that erupted May 30, 2020, outside City Hall after the police killing of George Floyd.

At the time of the arrests, Attorney General William Barr had urged federal prosecutors across the country to pursue stiff federal penalties against defendants who committed violence and property destruction during the unrest that roiled the country that spring.

Blumenthal’s case became a cause célèbre on both sides of the debate surrounding protests and policing.

Prosecutors described her as a danger to the community who put hundreds of lives at risk by setting fire to cars that could have exploded and endangered packed crowds of peaceful protesters nearby. Left-wing groups labeled her a “political prisoner” jailed for an act of dissent in response to police brutality. They vandalized the Federal Detention Center in Center City, where Blumenthal has been incarcerated since her arrest, calling for her release.

But Blumenthal — a massage therapist with a peace sign tattooed on her wrist — appeared to fit neither the profile of the violent firebrand nor the political martyr that she’s been made out to be as she stood meekly in court Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Barclay Surrick.

Hands clasped behind her back, she spoke slowly and deliberately as the judge ran her through a series of questions to make sure she understood the consequences of her guilty plea. She paused to shout “I love you” to her brother and mother seated in the courtroom gallery, as U.S. Marshals led her back to prison.

Federal agents have said they identified Blumenthal from surveillance photos and video of the chaotic scene that unfolded outside City Hall that day.

They showed a woman, dressed in a blue shirt and wearing flame-retardant gloves, grabbing a burning piece of police barricade that had already been used to set one squad car on fire and tossing it into a police SUV parked nearby.

More photos taken by amateur photographers at the scene helped them zoom in on the woman’s distinctive peace-sign tattoo and T-shirt she was wearing with the slogan “Keep the immigrants, deport the racists.”

Making Worlds Seminar: Abolitionist Alternatives to Police and Prisons By Any Other Name

from Instagram

Please join us on Friday, March 18th at Making Worlds for a community seminar on abolitionist alternatives to police and prison, and how we can shift narratives beyond reforms, with author and activist Victoria Law. We will explore histories and examples of police and prison narratives that use reforms to extend their powers to punish, and to subject more and more people to their control.

Victoria is author and co-author of two recent books that we will be using as the basis of our seminar, Prisons Make Us Safer: And 20 Other Myths about Mass Incarceration and Prison By Any Other Name: The Harmful Consequences of Popular Reforms.

Advance registration required at: https://bit.ly/3MBKmY1

[March 18 4-6pm at 410 South 45th Street]

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).

On “Freedom Reads”

from Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition

by Stephen Wilson

I recently saw an advertisement/announcement about Reginald Dwayne Betts’s Freedom Reads Project. I am truly disappointed. They state: “Recognizing the hunger for more books in prison and the community-building potential of libraries, we are collaborating with the leaders of the Departments of Corrections to bring Freedom Libraries I to multiple prison in every state in this country and Puerto Rico.”

This is one reason why I say formerly incarcerated is not a substitute for currently incarcerated. It is clear that Betts has forgotten why there is a hunger for more books in prison in the first place: censorship by the same people he is now collaborating with. He has forgotten that collectivity, community-building, is criminalized behind the walls. Prison administrators do not want prisoners to feel like they are part of any community. The purpose of prison is to isolate and alienate.

Betts should have created connections with prisoners in every state in this country and Puerto Rico. They would have told him what they want to read. They would have expressed their needs. Instead, he is depending upon prison staff to tell him prisoners’ needs. They will decide who gets access to books and when. They will decide what can be read. That’s freedom?

We know that censorship is widespread behind the walls. The very prison I am housed at has banned Toni Morrison! Nondistribution is also used by prison staff to make sure we don’t have access to books. Some jurisdictions have 10 book limits. Or softback only. Some prisoners, especially those in the hole, are outright denied access to libraries. Working to eliminate these onerous practices would get us closer to freedom.***

Betts’s intention is good. I don’t doubt that. But his method is wrong. He has given the departments of corrections another good public image story. That’s all. This project doesn’t move any of us closer to freedom. In the long run, it will most likely be used against prisoners. Let prisoners decide what we want to read. Give us access to information so we can dream our own freedom. Collaborate with us on educational programming. These things will get us all closer to freedom.

We also know the difference between freedom and escapism. Prison administrators wholeheartedly promote escapism. This is why we have PlayStations and Xboxes here. This is why the library is full of fantasy science fiction. This is why it is easier to get a ball (basketball, baseball, handball, etc.) than it is to get a book. We know some texts are mobilizing and others aren’t. Does Betts actually believe prison administrators are going to allow mobilizing texts inside? Does he believe prison administrators will allow George Jackson or Assata inside? Has he been formerly incarcerated so long now that he has forgotten what these guard and staff are like?

In Contempt #13: Hunger Strikes Spread; Eric King’s Mail Ban Ends; Florida Prisoners Launch Sit-In; Arrests in Atlanta

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.]

We’ve got a jam packed installment of In Contempt this month! From updates on political prisoners, George Floyd uprising defendants, to news of prisoner resistance across the so-called US, along with birthdays, news, and ways to support those facing repression.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive in!

General Prison News

An update has been published on Vaughn 17 defendant Jarreau “Ruk” Ayers, who is continuing a legal battle with the State of Delaware for his freedom and against the retaliation he’s been subjected to.

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. See Uprising Support for more info, and check out the Antirepression PDX site for updates from Portland cases. 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

You can donate to David’s legal funds here.

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

Upcoming Birthdays

Deric Forney

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While Deric was acquitted in court of all charges in relation to the uprising, he is facing continued retaliation, as he has been moved out of state to Pennsylvania, where many Vaughn defendants are being held on lockdown indefinitely (via placement on PA’s Restricted Release List) on vague and questionable grounds. Years after the uprising, these prisoners are still being abused for staying in solidarity with one another against the state.

Pennsylvania uses Connect Network/GTL, so you can contact him online by going to connectnetwork.com, 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 “NS2698”.

Birthday: February 6

Address:

Smart Communications / PA DOC
Deric Forney – NS2698
SCI Coal Township
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL, 33733

Luis Sierra (Abdul-Haqq El-Qadeer)

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Luis in relation to the uprising, Vaughn defendants continue to face retaliation. Luis is also a contributor to “Live from the Trenches,” the Vaughn 17 zine.

Delaware appears not to have an inmate email system.

Birthday: February 19

Address:

Luis Sierra #00455723
James T. Vaughn Correctional Center
1181 Paddock Rd
Smyrna, DE 19977

 

Monday January 31st: Letter-writing for Toby Shone

from Philly ABC

toby-shone-letter-writing.jpg

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).

Vaughn Defendant Jarreau “Ruk”Ayers Fights to Overcome Illegal Conviction While Enduring Retaliation from the State

from It’s Going Down

An update on Jarreau “Ruk” Ayers, a defendant in the Vaughn 17 about his illegal conviction and the State’s subsequent retaliation through denial of medical care. To read more about the background of the Vaughn 17 case, go here.

One of two defendants illegally convicted in the Vaughn Prison uprising on Feb 1, 2017, Jarreau “Ruk” Ayers finds himself locked into a civil and criminal battle with the State of Delaware over his freedom and medical neglect. As part of his refusal to be submissive to an oppressive system, Mr. Ayers chose to represent himself at trial and skillfully discredited state witnesses. The prosecution, unable to definitively place him inside the building during the riot, attempted to attack Mr. Ayers’ character citing his confident demeanor during his pro se representation of himself in his case.

During closing arguments, the prosecutor stated, “You spent the better part of the last month with Jarreau Ayers. What about Mr. Ayers suggests that he is that person? That he is not going to do exactly what he wants to do, which is to go inside and join in what’s happening in there?” This statement under Delaware and federal law is a violation of the defendant’s 6th and 14th amendment rights. It’s illegal to use a person’s Constitutional privilege to represent themselves as evidence of guilt! The prosecutor essentially told the jury: “If he’s not afraid to stand up against this court, then he must be guilty of attacking these officers!” This statement erroneously insinuated that simply choosing to represent himself was a criminal act within itself.

The Delaware Supreme Court acknowledges that the prosecutor’s statement’s violated Mr. Ayers constitutional rights, but still refuses to vacate his sentence. In retaliation for his audacity to represent himself at his trial and in an apparent attempt to silence him, Mr. Ayers has been denied medical treatment. He was scheduled to have complete left knee reconstructive surgery back in 2017 but has not yet been provided this urgent medical procedure. He was locked down in Pennsylvania’s Restrictive Housing Unit and denied care. In September 2021, a federal court judge gave a memorandum opinion declaring the former DOC Chief Medical Director liable in stating: to prove deliberate indifference in the denial of medical treatment, all that needs to be established is that the delay or denial was a non-medical reason was the cause of Mr. Ayers not receiving his surgery. The judge concluded that Mr. Ayers’ security classification—a clearly non-medical reason—was driving the state to deny his surgery.

The federal court acknowledged that the denial of his medical care violated Mr. Ayer’s right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the 8th Amendment. Five years later, still no one has been held accountable for the abuse nor has his sentence been vacated for the violation of his constitutional rights that resulted in his illegal convictions. To submissively accept that the law can pick and choose what class of society the Constitution protects is to forfeit one’s own self-respect. Therefore, Mr. Ayers is seeking the assistance of the people to aid in the pursuit towards his freedom, whether through legal assistance, bringing awareness to his fight, or financial support. Ruk firmly believes that his freedom will come from the actions and demands of the people, not the integrity of the State!