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]

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.”

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!

In Contempt #12: New Year, Same Struggle for Abolition

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.]

Happy new year! Welcome to 2022 and the first installment of In Contempt!

In today’s column, we have a lot of news to cover. From updates on political prisoners, to ways to support abolitionist projects, publications, and groups. There’s so much going on, so let’s dive right in.

Political Prisoner News

Perhaps the biggest piece of political prisoner news from the last month is that Russell Maroon Shoatz has died, after 49 years in prison and 52 days out on “compassionate release”. You can read a statement on his passing from his representatives at the Abolitionist Law Center here, and another from the New York Anarchist Black Cross.

Maroon’s passing has also been marked by a poem from fellow political prisoner Sundiata Acoli.

Vaughn 17

There are a number of updates to share around the Vaughn 17. Vaughn 17 prisoner John Bramble, who was recently transferred back to Delaware, and Ronald “Comrade Pound” Maxime have launched a hunger strike demanding to be moved out of Vaughn due to the retaliation they have been facing. At SCI Phoenix in Pennsylvania, Vaughn 17 prisoner Dwayne “BIM” Staats is calling for people to help pressure the prison administration, who are trying to provoke an incident that could sabotage his progress back into general population. The Movement Magazine, published by Pennsylvania’s Human Rights Coalition, has recently published a story by BIM and Jarreau “Ruk” Ayers, telling the story of deceased Vaughn prisoner Kelly Gibbs and his former co-defendant Keith Gibson. Issue 45 can be downloaded from their website.

Finally, supporters are continuing to fundraise for Kevin Berry, a former Vaughn prisoner who was recently released and needs support as he adjusts to the outside world.

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. 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

Phone Zap for John Bramble and Ronald Maxime: On Hunger Strike at James T. Vaughn Prison

from It’s Going Down

Comrade John Bramble (SBI 450202) and Comrade Pound, aka Ronald Maxime (SBI 646319), went on hunger strike at James T. Vaughn prison on Saturday, demanding to get transferred out to another facility. John Bramble was moved back to James T Vaughn prison after filing a successful lawsuit against PA a couple months ago, and has since been harassed by guards, moved to solitary confinement, under investigation, multiple times. Both he and Comrade Pound are both under investigation now in the hole by Lt. Dejesus who is seeking revenge for the 2017 prisoner uprising at C-Building in James T. Vaughn prison.

Both our comrades have not been told why they are under investigation. The guards lied to Ronald and told him he had a lawyer visit, then brought him to an interview room with Lt. Dejesus, where he was told he has a write up for “gang affiliation” (which is not news, and is well documented). Lt. Dejesus has never come to talk to Johnny, but he is supposed to. While under investigation, their mail has been tampered with and access to communication is limited.

Direct Calls:

Commissioner Monroe Hudson – (302) 739-5601

Jaime Young- (302) 857-5347;

Community Relations – (302) 857-5246

Shane Troxler at the Bureau of Prison – (302) 857-5221

Warden Robert May – (302) 653-9261

Governor John Carney – (302) 744-4101

Script:

“Hello, I am calling on behalf of two prisoners at James T Vaughn prison, John Bramble SBI 450202 and Ronald Maxime SBI 646319. They are both demanding to get transferred out of James T Vaughn to another prison facility, as they are not safe at James T. Vaughn since being held under investigation for over a week illegally. They have both been on hunger strike since Saturday. Ronald Maxime wants the warden to come speak to him. I urge you to transfer both of them to another facility.”

In Contempt #10: Anarchist & Antifascist Prisoner News, Political Prisoners Released, George Floyd Repression 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.]

Welcome to the tenth installment of In Contempt, your monthly one-stop shop for state repression news, political prisoners birthdays and updates, and information about how to support those being targeted by the State in the aftermath of the George Floyd rebellion.

With so much to cover, let’s dive right in!

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. 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

Dwayne Staats

One of the two Vaughn 17 defendants to be convicted for taking part in the Vaughn prison uprising of early 2017. Dwayne and his co-defendant Jarreau “Ruk” Ayers bravely admitted to their own parts in the uprising, and then, free to testify openly without fear of incriminating themselves any further, tore holes in the prosecution’s attempts to convict anyone else – as he put it, “we’d accept being stabbed in the chest to present others from getting stabbed in the back”. To learn more about Dwayne in his own words, you can read his account of the whole case here, check his writings on the Vaughn 17 site, his recent letter to the Kentucky Attorney General, or his contribution to the Vaughn zine, “Live from the Trenches.”

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 “NT0000”.

Birthday: November 10

Address:

Smart Communications/PADOC
Dwayne Staats, NT0000
SCI Phoenix
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

 

FBI Raids Home of Philly Proud Boy’s Vice President Aaron Whallon Wolkind

from Philly Antifa

From The Inquirer:

Aaron Whallon Wolkind, Vice President of Philly Proud Boys, despite living in Delaware.

“The FBI raided the home of the vice president of the Proud Boys’ Philadelphia chapter on Friday, seizing his computer, phone, and other electronics to gather information on the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, his lawyer said Monday.

Aaron Whallon Wolkind, 37, woke up around 4 a.m. Friday to more than a dozen federal agents, dressed in riot gear and accompanied by an armored vehicle and battering ram, swarming his Newark, Del., home, and ordering through a loudspeaker that he exit with his hands in the air, his lawyer Jonathon Moseley wrote in a court filing…

Wolkind was not in D.C. during the Jan. 6 riot, Moseley said. He believes the search and seizure was to gather information in the case against Zach Rehl, the self-described president of the Philadelphia Proud Boys, whom Moseley also represents. Rehl was arrested in March on charges he conspired with other leading members of the organization to attack the Capitol and has been in custody in Philadelphia pending trial since.”

( click link for full story)


Wolkind is a longtime Proud Boy who participated with Rehl, Richard Schwetz and other PB’s/assorted racists who attacked Anti-Racists at the Columbus Statue in Marconi Plaza in the summer of 2020. Wolkind has been at nearly every Proud Boys demo in Pennsylvania since the group’s founding.

Zach Rehl continues to be held at FDC Philadelphia awaiting trial.

 

In Contempt #9: Running Down the Walls 2021; Eric King Trial, Hunger Strikes in Texas & Oregon

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.]

Vaughn 17

Vaughn 17 prisoner Kevin Berry is getting out, and Philly Anti-Repression are holding a fundraiser to help support him upon his release. You can read a previous statement from Kevin here.

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

You can donate to David’s legal funds here.

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

Upcoming Birthdays

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal is a community care worker from Philadelphia and pre-trial political prisoner facing charges connected to her alleged participation in the George Floyd Uprising.

Birthday: October 27

Address:

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

In Contempt #7: Charges Dropped, Charges Filed

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.]

A lot has gone on this month. From comrades like Loren Reed getting out (again!), to abolitionists in Florida getting their charges dropped, to Water Protectors like Jessica Reznicek now facing years in prison with a possible terrorism enhancement.

In this month’s column, we also bring you a whole roundup of news, prisoner birthdays, and updates on those facing repression in the wake of the George Floyd uprising.

Last up but not least, August is shaping up to be a busy month, with a call for people to organize #ShutEmDown rallies and much more! With so much to cover, let’s dive in!

Pennsylvania

A hunger strike involving several members of the Vaughn 17 has now been resolved, with hunger striker Alejandro “Capo” Rodriguez-Ortiz writing that “We look at the 10 day strike as a success… Now the world sees what the PADOC was doing.” The strike caused the PA Department of Corrections to publicly acknowledge the existence of their long term segregation program. According to the legal director for the Abolitionist Law Center, this had never happened before.

Mongoose Distro have published a short piece of writing by David Elmakayes, a Philadelphia defendant facing charges connected to last summer’s uprising. You can donate to help David’s legal costs here.

Upcoming Events

The month of August is commemorated as “Black August” by many radical prisoners in memory of George Jackson, and August 10 is commemorated in Canada and some other countries as Prisoners Justice Day.

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak are calling for abolitionist demonstrations under the slogan “Shut ‘Em Down 2021” on August 21st and September 9th. 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.

The annual Running Down the Walls solidarity event is scheduled for September 12th this year, with events confirmed for Austin, Lawrence, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia already so far. For a list, go here.

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
You can donate to David’s legal funds here.

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 Greene
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

Russell “Maroon” Shoatz

Anarchist/anti-authoritarian-leaning Black Liberation/Black Panther prisoner, held since 1970 for his alleged involvement in attacking a police station in response to a police murder. Maroon is the author of the classic text “The Dragon and the Hydra: A Historical Study of Organizational Methods,” among others.

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 “AF3855.”

Birthday: August 23

Address:

Smart Connections/PA DOC
Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF-3855
SCI Dallas
Post Office Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida 33733