Give Through the Bars 2022

from Philly ABC

give-through-the-bars.jpg

The closing stretch of 2022 with its holidays and festive gatherings is in sight. No doubt, many of you are eager to gift the new Certain Days calendar to friends and loved ones. However, just because the year is winding down into sweater weather and hot cocoa, does not mean that the Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s struggle against repression will be taking a break.

On the contrary, we plan for 2023 to be full of solidarity, mutual aid, and freedom for political prisoners and we’d love it if you could help us get a head start on those efforts.

Tax Deductible Donations

The ABCF can now provide tax deduction receipts for donations of over $500 through our fiscal sponsor, IDAVOX/One People’s Project.

To take advantage of the tax deduction, make your check payable to “One People’s Project” with “ABCF” in the memo and mail it to: ABCF-OC, P.O. Box 4341, Santa Ana CA 92702. Be sure to include a return address (preferably email) where we can send your receipt back to you.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to contribute to the work the ABCF does– we can accept contributions of any amount through the normal CashApp, Venmo, PayPal and checks/money orders if no tax deduction is desired. You can also pick up some sweet Pushing Down The Walls and other merch from our Orange County chapter.

Looking Back and Planning Ahead

Speaking of “the work,” here’s an incomplete list of what we’ve been up to since our last year end round up:

Online and in-person letter-writing events hosted by various chapters, as well as our ongoing administration of prisonersolidarity.com.

ABCF Chapters and comrade organizations all over the US and Canada put together 12 Running Down The Walls 5K events which raised a combined $21,154.84 for the Warchest Program.

Regular, reliable disbursements to the 17 current Warchest Program recipients.

Additionally, we’ve provided mutual aid to comrade organizations internationally as well as individual political prisoner support committees here on Turtle Island. For example:

$2000 to Belarus Anarchist Black Cross to support political prisoners there.

$1500 to Moscow Anarchist Black Cross to respond to the repression of anti-war organizing against Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. We were able to make this transfer before Russia was excluded from SWIFT banking systems.

$1000 to the Civil Liberties Defense Center to assist with their eventually successful representation of Eric King. The BOP’s bogus, retaliatory charges were designed to bury him decades beyond his original sentence.

$4000 to Sundiata Acoli’s post-release support fund.

$1000 to the housing fundraiser for Herman Bell, a former Black Panther and political prisoner who was incarcerated for 45 years.

$1000 to the support committee of Kamau Sadiki to help cover ongoing legal, medical, and visitation costs.

Now that you have some idea of what to expect from us in 2023, please consider making a contribution and inviting your friends to do likewise. As an organization made up entirely of volunteers, our ability to fight for the survival and freedom of imprisoned comrades is dependent on gifts from our community.

They’re in there for us. We are out here for them.

Raising funds

from Twitter

In Contempt #21: Running Down the Walls, Alabama Prison Strike Kicks Off, Political Prisoner Updates

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.]

In this column, we present our monthly roundup of political prisoner, prison rebel, and repression news, happenings, announcements, action and analysis. Packed in as always is updates, calls to action, fundraisers, and birthdays.

There’s a lot happening, so let’s dive right in!

Uprising Defendants

Unicorn Riot has published a major report on the case of Khalif Miller, a Philadelphia defendant being held in Federal prison awaiting trial on charges related to the 2020 George Floyd uprising.

Abolitionist Media

Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity have released a new issue of their newsletter, The Opening Statement, and the fifth issue of Philadelphia prisoner zine IB64 has also just been published.

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
FCI McKean
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 8000
Bradford, PA 16701

 

In Contempt #20: Black August, Running Down the Walls, Prisoner Hunger and Work Strikes

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.]

Running Down the Walls

The Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s annual Running Down the Walls fundraiser will be taking place in mid-September. Events are planned for Chicago on September 10th, Philadelphia on the 11th, Austin and Richmond on the 17th, Portland, New York, Lowell and Pomona on the 18th. Statements in support of the event have been published by Dan Baker and Oso Blanco.

Prisoner News

Lore Blumenthal, a George Floyd uprising defendant from Philadelphia, has now been released.

Abolitionist Media Projects

Mongoose Distro has online copies of the first few issues of IB 64, a new mini-zine produced entirely by Pennsylvania 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. 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
FCI McKean
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 8000
Bradford, PA 16701

Upcoming Birthdays

John Bramble

A former Vaughn 17 defendant and contributor to the Vaughn zines, “Live from the Trenches”, and “United We Stood.” While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize John in relation to the uprising, he, like all of the Vaughn 17, deserves respect and support for making it through the entire process while staying in solidarity with his co-defendants and refusing to co-operate with the prosecution.

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 “NT0282”.

Birthday: September 1

Address:

Smart Communications / PA DOC
John Bramble – NT0282
SCI Phoenix
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL, 33733

 

“Philadelphia Three” Political Prisoner Khalif Miller Languishes Pre-Trial in Federal Prison

from Unicorn Riot

August 30, 2022

Philadelphia, PA – Federal inmate in the Bureau of Prisons, Khalif Miller, says his rights are being violated while in prison awaiting trial on federal arson charges from the 2020 anti-police uprisings. Miller said he hadn’t had an attorney visit for his first 19 months incarcerated, that he was stabbed 10 times and almost killed in an attack, and has caught COVID-19 twice in prison while awaiting trial as part of a what he says was political targeting by former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain.

Miller was arrested on October 28, 2020, and charged along with three others, Carlos Matchett of Atlantic City and Anthony Smith, a prominent activist, for allegedly throwing flaming materials into a police car near Philadelphia’s City Hall on May 30, 2020, during the George Floyd Uprising.

Miller has dubbed them the “Philadelphia Three” and the federal government say they conspired together to burn the cop car. Yet, Miller said he’s never even “met nor spoken” to the other co-defendants of the alleged conspiracy and said he was simply taking a picture from atop the police car when it was set aflame.

“The same photo that should’ve set me free, the federal government used to create an elaborate plot in which I have become a political prisoner that I’ve termed the “PHILADELPHIA THREE”, because there are two other people that I’ve never met nor spoken with who the federal government has roped together and charged us with arson and conspiracy all in their endless effort to dismantle and alter the progress of the “BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT.”

Khalif Miller

Miller wrote to Unicorn Riot from his prison cell and called for support by sharing his story, writing him, and donating for legal support (full letter below with address). Miller is one of over 300 people across the United States who were federally charged during the height of the anti-police and anti-racist uprising of mid 2020. (This wave of prosecutions contradicts claims by supporters of January 6 riot defendants, who often falsely claim the government has declined to serious prosecute nearly anyone for rioting in 2020.)

Miller, a father and business owner, was only 25 years old when he was arrested.

The Philadelphia Three were indicted (pdf) on October 20, 2020, after a grand jury charged them with obstruction of law enforcement during a civil disorder and two counts of arson. If convicted, they face a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison with a maximum of 65 years, with three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $750,000.


Guilty Plea, Arson Charges Dropped, and Sentencing for Woman Who Set Police Cars on Fire

After the massive uprisings against anti-Blackness and police terror across the country in 2020, dozens of cities were left with millions of dollars in property damage. The federal government then levied arson charges and a rare 1960s vintage civil disorder charge in attempts to punish protesters with long federal prison sentences. For more on the recent use of civil disorder charges, see our 2020 report on an Illinois man charged with civil disorder by the feds for participating in the uprising in Minneapolis.

In Philadelphia, there were several other high-profile arson cases from activity on May 30, 2020. Directly related to the Philadelphia Three was the case of Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal, a 32-year-old white massage therapist. Wearing a bandana over her face along with goggles, Blumenthal was seen in photographs throwing flaming material toward a police car. Authorities traced the t-shirt she was wearing to an Etsy review and arrested Blumenthal within days.

Image of Lore Blumenthal with flaming material directed toward a police car – Khalif Miller is seen standing on a police car in the distance – image taken on May 30, 2020 – source: U.S. District Court

In March 2022, Blumenthal pled guilty to two counts of interfering with law enforcement officers during a civil disorder in connection with what the feds state was “arson of two” police vehicles, the same vehicles the Philadelphia Three are charged for. Her arson charges were dropped in the plea deal. She was subsequently sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

In a key photograph, Miller is visible in the background standing on the police car, while Blumenthal is the right foreground with the flaming material in her hand. Miller is being charged with arson for the vehicles, yet, he maintains his innocence:

“As the protest started to take a turn, I was taking photos when suddenly mid-photo chaos erupted and the car that I was standing on (a government official vehicle) erupted into flames as it was firebombed. Eventually every vehicle in the area received the same fate.”

Khalif Miller letter to Unicorn Riot

Federal judge questions push to imprison trans activist found with a Molotov cocktail at 2020 protest

from Mainstream Media

A federal judge on Thursday questioned prosecutors’ push to imprison a trans activist who was arrested after a New Year’s Eve 2020 protest outside the Federal Detention Center in Center City.

Philadelphia police officers found Josie Robotin, 26, of Willow Grove, carrying a backpack filled with what they described as a Molotov cocktail, several firecrackers, lighters, and a container filled with flammable liquid near the demonstration, which had been organized to protest for the rights of trans prisoners.

She was federally charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device and later pleaded guilty to that crime.

But at her sentencing hearing Thursday, U.S. District Judge John R. Padova credited her story that she brought the incendiaries not to use at the protest but rather for a bonfire she and her friends planned to attend later that night to celebrate the New Year’s holiday.

He sentenced her to a day in prison — or time served — far less than the two years prosecutors were seeking.

“Isn’t it fair to say we have a defendant who was engaged at the time in a fair exercise of freedom of speech?” the judge asked Assistant U.S. Attorney Vineet Gauri before announcing his decision. He wondered aloud whether Robotin and her crime were “the time, the place, the person to make an example of.”

Robotin’s sentence is only the latest in a string of cases arising from the 2020 protest movement in Philadelphia in which federal judges have imposed sentences far less punitive than those sought by the government.

Last month, Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal, a Philadelphia-area massage therapist, was sentenced to 2½ years in prison for setting police cars ablaze during protests over the police killing of George Floyd. The government had asked for four.

That same month, another defendant charged with torching police cars during the demonstration — Ayoub Tabri, 25, of Arlington, Va. — received a prison sentence of 364 days. Prosecutors had pushed for three to four years.

But Padova was the first judge in those cases to explicitly question whether the Justice Department’s stance was overly harsh toward the defendant exercising their right to protest.

He noted prosecutors had presented no evidence that Robotin had planned to commit any crime with the incendiary device in her backpack.

Gauri, the prosecutor, stressed that Robotin had pleaded guilty and stressed that the Molotov cocktail she was carrying could very well have proved more dangerous than a gun.

“This is a destructive device,” he said. “It’s designed to inflict serious injury and casualties. It’s not designed for bonfires and parties.”

But ultimately, Gauri offered little pushback, acknowledging that the Justice Department had taken a “holistic view” of protest cases around the country when deciding on sentencing recommendations for the Philadelphia defendants.

In all, former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain charged six people with federal arson charges tied to the 2020 demonstrations, vowing to pursue the mandatory minimum sentence of at least seven years in each case — part of a wider Trump-era Justice Department strategy to crack down on property destruction tied to the protests.

But since Trump and McSwain left office, prosecutors have extended deals to many of the defendants, offering to drop the arson count if they pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of obstructing law enforcement during a civil disorder. That crime is punishable by up to five years.

In Robotin’s case, she hadn’t been charged with arson or accused of starting a fire, her attorney Marni Jo Snyder noted Thursday.

“My client was participating in the exercise of freedom of speech in the right way,” she said, adding later: “No one at that protest at the FDC tried to set anything on fire.”

Still, Robotin was arrested on Dec. 31, 2020, along with six others as part of what Philadelphia police described at the time as a “large group of 40 to 50 unruly antifa protesters” who broke windows and spray-painted buildings on the streets around the detention center.

The crowd set off fireworks, painted buildings with slogans such as “ACAB” — an abbreviation for All Cops Are Bastards — and smashed a Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office vehicle parked nearby.

But police investigators later walked back their claim that those charged had direct ties to antifa — a loose network of far-left groups often accused of an array of antigovernment misdeeds — saying instead that the vandalism and destruction that night appeared antifa-inspired.

Addressing the judge Thursday, Snyder sought to separate Robotin from the vandals. Aside from the unused incendiary device Robotin was carrying, the lawyer noted, prosecutors had presented no evidence that she had been involved in any of the other crimes that occurred after the protest.

Robotin, meanwhile, said the events of 2020 — from the pandemic to Floyd’s death, to a rise in bias-related crimes — had served as a “powder keg” that prompted her presence at the protest outside the FDC that night.

Still, she told the judge, she was not trying to minimize the crime to which she had pleaded guilty.

“My intention was to hand out firecrackers to partygoers [at the planned bonfire later that night] and to use what was described in the report as an incendiary device to light logs that would not light on fire on their own,” she said. “In hindsight, I can see how alarming that would be [for officers] to find.”

When it came time to impose his time-served sentence, Padova said he’d been persuaded that Robotin had learned her lesson and that he was impressed by her record of activism and volunteering in the trans community.

He responded: “I know that you don’t believe you’re being blessed for that criminal conduct. You have pleaded guilty to a very serious crime. Fortunately, no one was hurt.”

Of the seven protesters arrested that night, only Robotin was charged with a federal crime. The others faced state charges. Their cases have all since been dismissed, withdrawn, or resolved in plea deals resulting in only a court-imposed fine.

LORE IS FREE!

from We Love Lore

A message from Lore:

It’s Lore here! I am out of prison and safely in the arms of family! Thank you all for your two+ years of urgent work and generous donations that all built up to my liberation! These efforts sustained myself and my peers in FDC. You filled my heart, my hands, and kept my mind free.

I look forward to bringing you all in for continued support of the disproportionately affected Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people and parents incarcerated right now. If you can, please continue donating to my commissary drive, and keep your attention and action focused here for upcoming ways you can support those on the inside. Your sweet support in the future will swell my big dreams for those who remain stolen. Thank you all for being a light for punished people who need love, healing, accountability and liberation most of all.

Please stay in touch with me here and on email (freelore [at] protonmail [dot] com), if you have ever written to me please send me your address again, I’m excited to stay in touch!

We’ve got this!

Phone Zap for Vaughn 17 Prisoner John Bramble

from Twitter

URGENT: #V17 prisoner John Bramble is being retaliated against in Delaware and needs our help getting moved out of state. Please call in today, tomorrow, and any time next week!

Johnny is on Day 3 of fasting for #BlackAugust. Last time he went on an official hunger strike to protest retaliation in Delaware, they wrote him up for every meal he missed, for causing a “health, safety and fire hazard” and “failing to obey an order.”

Johnny is an anti-racist prison rebel who was indicted for alleged participation in the 2017 uprising at the same facility he is currently housed in. For more information about the #Vaughn17, see vaughn17.com and itsgoingdown.org/united-we-s…

Please send any info you receive when you call or questions about the phone zap to phlbailfund@riseup.net.

In Contempt #19: Fight to Free Mutulu Shakur, Civil Liberties Defense Center Victories, Call to Support Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

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 and Other Ongoing Cases

The Green and Red podcast recently published a new interview with someone working on the Uprising Support site. Philadelphia uprising defendant Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal has now been sentenced to 30 months in prison, which means she will be due for release shortly, having already served 25 months waiting for her trial.

Abolitionist Media Projects

Fayette Speaks is a new podcast that aims to amplify the voices of prisoners at SCI Fayette in Pennsylvania, with the first episode coming soon.

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
FCI McKean
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 8000
Bradford, PA 16701

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

Upcoming Birthdays

Lawrence Michaels

A former Vaughn 17 defendant, and contributor to the Vaughn zines, “Live from the Trenches” and “United We Stood”. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Lawrence in relation to the uprising, he, like all of the Vaughn 17, deserves respect and support for making it through the entire process while staying in solidarity with his co-defendants and refusing to co-operate with the prosecution.

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 “NW2894.”

Birthday: August 14

Address:

Smart Communications / PA DOC
Lawrence Michaels – NW2894
SCI Frackville
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733

Pedro Chairez

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Pedro in relation to the uprising, he, like all of the Vaughn 17, deserves respect and support for making it through the entire process while staying in solidarity with his co-defendants and refusing to co-operate with the prosecution. You can read some of Pedro’s words here.

Illinois uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: Illinois, Inmate ID: Y35814”.

Birthday: August 17

Address:

Pedro Chairez Y35814
Pontiac C.C.
P.O. Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764

 

LORE IS COMING HOME!

from We Love Lore

Hello fellow Lore supporters and friends! We are thrilled to announce that Lore will be home no later than the end of this year.  Thank you all for contributing in so many different and meaningful ways to make this happen. This could not have happened without each and every one of you holding Lore in the light for more than two years of darkness and uncertainty. The work to make Lore, her family, and her community whole again will continue, but this is a time to look forward to that work with gratitude and hope.

On Thursday, July 28, Senior Judge R. Barclay Surrick of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania sentenced Lore to serve 30 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release (aka – probation), and to pay restitution for two counts of civil disorder (18 U.S. Code § 23). Because Lore has already served over 25 months at FDC Philadelphia, and with credit for good behavior that she has earned during that time, this ruling means that Lore could be released from detention as early as this fall 2022.  We will let you know when we have a firm date for that release. It will be a time for great celebration with Lore, her family, and community.

Judge Surrick’s sentence falls far below the four years sought by government prosecutors and even below the minimum time suggested by federal guidelines for Lore’s charges. His decision was informed by 50 letters of support from Lore’s community, witness testimony to Lore’s life and character, an impassioned defense by her attorneys, and ultimately by a stirring allocution statement by Lore that brought many of her 40 supporters attending in the gallery to tears.

Earlier this year, Lore entered into a plea agreement with the government that would reduce her charges significantly, from arson charges that carried mandatory minimum sentences of seven years each. In a 2021 report, the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) project at the City University of New York called Lore’s charges a shocking example of prosecutorial overreach to disrupt and suppress the movement against police violence. We will continue to work in solidarity with others facing charges and repression from the summer of 2020.

We are profoundly grateful to Lore’s attorneys Paul J. Hetznecker and Marni Jo Snyder, to the 700+ donors who raised funds for Lore’s defense and well being, and to the countless people who wrote letters of solidarity and support to sustain Lore during this excruciating ordeal.

While we are taking this as a win and allowing ourselves to breathe and celebrate, support needs are not over. Lore and her family and community will need support to raise funds for the restitution she is required to pay which exceeds $96,000. We will be sending updates and starting a fundraising blast for that in the near future. Additionally, please continue to share and donate to Lore’s commissary fund via PayPal, Venmo, and Cashapp, send letters and photos, and support our peers in ending the persecution of activists and community builders. In her statement to the judge, Lore observed that prisoners like her were all capable of tremendous growth if just given a little support. She gets that support from you. Inside the FDC, she has quickly become an advocate for other incarcerated women and we look forward to her leadership in their support for years to come.

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

Kristian Williams @ Wooden Shoe (In-Person Event)

from AK Press

On Sunday, July 3 at 7pm, join Kristian Williams for a book launch event at Wooden Shoe Books to celebrate the release of Gang Politics: Revolution, Repression, and Crime.
Registration not required!

In Gang Politics, Kristian Williams examines our society’s understanding of social and political violence, what gets romanticized, misunderstood, or muddled. He explores the complex intersections between “gangs” of all sorts—cops and criminals, Proud Boys and Antifa, Panthers and skinheads—arguing that government and criminality are intimately related, often sharing critical features. As society becomes more polarized and conflict more common, Williams’s analysis is a crucial corrective to our usual ideas about the role violence might or should play in our social struggles.

Kristian Williams is the author of six books, including Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America. Williams has been actively writing and leading discourse on anarchism in historical and present-day contexts, social inequalities, and critiques on police and political force since the 1990s. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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

What it means to dismantle and abolish the War on Terror: A dialogue

from Making Worlds Books

It’s been two decades since the 9/11 attacks and the onset of the War on Terror. Addressing its catastrophic impact, Dr. Maha Hilal will share her insights on the last twenty years of the War on Terror including the role of official narrative in justifying the creation of a sprawling apparatus of state violence rooted in Islamophobia and in addition to outlining just how vast the War on Terror’s apparatus is and has become. Centering the War on Terror’s impact on Muslims and Muslim Americans, Dr. Hilal will also shed light on how some have internalized oppression, perpetuated collective responsibility, and how the lived experiences of Muslim Americans reflect what it means to live as part of a “suspect” community.

In dialogue together, Maha Hilal and Nazia Kazi will reflect on what it means to dismantle and abolish the War on Terror.

Dr. Maha Hilal is a researcher and writer on institutionalized Islamophobia and author of the book Innocent Until Proven Muslim: Islamophobia, the War on Terror, and the Muslim Experience Since 9/11. Her writings have appeared in Vox, Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, Newsweek, Business Insider, Truthout, and Vox among others. She is Co-founder of Justice for Muslims Collective and was previously the inaugural Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hilal is also an organizer with Witness Against Torture and a Council member of the School of the Americas Watch. She earned her doctorate in May 2014 from the Department of Justice, Law and Society at American University in Washington, D.C. She received her Master’s Degree in Counseling and her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Nazia Kazi is an anthropologist and author of Islamophobia, Race, and Global Politics, out now in an expanded second edition. The book is required reading in a number of undergraduate classes across the US. Her work considers the connections between American racism, Islamophobia, and the War on Terror. She is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Stockton University, where she is also an officer in the union, SFT2275. Her work has appeared on The Nib, Al Jazeera, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. She has also been a guest on Chris Hedges’ program On Contact and on The Socialist Program with Brian Becker.

Cosponsored by the Philly Muslim Bail Fund.

Advance registration is requested.

[May 12 6:00 PM 7:30 PM 210 South 45th Street]

The Anarchist Inquisition with Mark Bray

from Making World Books

The Anarchist Inquisition explores the groundbreaking transnational human rights campaigns that emerged in response to a brutal wave of repression unleashed by the Spanish state to quash anarchist activities at the turn of the twentieth century. Mark Bray guides readers through this tumultuous era―from backroom meetings in Paris and torture chambers in Barcelona, to international antiterrorist conferences in Rome and human rights demonstrations in Buenos Aires.

Advance registration required. Click here to join us!

Anarchist bombings in theaters and cafes in the 1890s provoked mass arrests, the passage of harsh anti-anarchist laws, and executions in France and Spain. Yet, far from a marginal phenomenon, this first international terrorist threat had profound ramifications for the broader development of human rights, as well as modern global policing, and international legislation on extradition and migration. A transnational network of journalists, lawyers, union activists, anarchists, and other dissidents related peninsular torture to Spain’s brutal suppression of colonial revolts in Cuba and the Philippines to craft a nascent human rights movement against the “revival of the Inquisition.” Ultimately their efforts compelled the monarchy to accede in the face of unprecedented global criticism.

Bray draws a vivid picture of the assassins, activists, torturers, and martyrs whose struggles set the stage for a previously unexamined era of human rights mobilization. Rather than assuming that human rights struggles and “terrorism” are inherently contradictory forces, The Anarchist Inquisition analyzes how these two modern political phenomena worked in tandem to constitute dynamic campaigns against Spanish atrocities.

MARK BRAY is a political organizer and historian of human rights, terrorism, and politics in Modern Europe. He earned his BA in Philosophy from Wesleyan University in 2005 and his PhD in History from Rutgers University in 2016. He is the author of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook (Melville House 2017), Translating Anarchy: The Anarchism of Occupy Wall Street (Zero 2013), and the coeditor of Anarchist Education and the Modern School: A Francisco Ferrer Reader (PM Press 2018). His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, Salon, Boston Review, and numerous edited volumes. He is currently a lecturer at Rutgers University.

[April 16 5pm – 6:30pm at Making Worlds Books 410 South 45th Street]