Support The Vaughn 17!

from Go Fund Me

Support defendants in the Vaughn uprising trial as they face immense repression!

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After a series of peaceful protests yielded few results, incarcerated
comrades took over a building at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in
Delaware on February 1st, 2017. Citing the election of Donald Trump and
worsening prison conditions as reasons for the uprising, prisoners took
control of their unit for over 18 hours until the state used a backhoe
to demolish a prison wall. One of the correctional officers, Steven
Floyd, was found dead following the uprising.

The state of Delaware has since accused 17 prisoners of outrageous
offenses, including three counts of murder for each of 16 of those
inmates. Desperate to assign blame instead of acknowledging the
notoriously abusive conditions at Vaughn that led to the uprising, the
state has been doing whatever it can to put these people away for life,
despite having no hard evidence against any of them. Its case relies
entirely on contradictory witness testimony from prisoners who stand to
gain from testifying.

In spite of this, one prisoner has already been found guilty of all but
one murder charge, and another of kidnapping and assault. Since then,
one of the 17 defendants was tragically found dead in his cell; another
potential witness had died under mysterious circumstances the week
before.

The trial for the next four defendants will begin in mid-January, and
the defendants, their loved ones, and their other supporters expect a
long and difficult road ahead. We are raising money to distribute directly
among the 16 remaining defendants’ commissaries, as well as to put towards
purchasing clothes and legal supplies, so that those of them still facing trial
can be as prepared as possible.

Thank you!!!

Jan 7th: Letter-writing to Eric King and Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

from Philly ABC

The new year has arrived! As we kick off 2019, let’s not forget about the struggles of our incarcerated comrades– those who did not get to celebrate, but instead faced increased scrutiny from the state and continue to be retaliated against for their political beliefs. Such retaliation often comes in the form of transfers to other prisons, providing correctional officials an opportunity to say ‘oops, we lost your property,’ in addition to an already torturous process of readjustment. In some cases, a transfer is just part of a three-pronged attack. This is where a prisoner has first been brutally beaten by guards, then gets transferred to special prison that will facilitate the next stages of retaliation, long-term isolation and restricted communication.

On Monday January 7th, 6:30pm at A-Space, join us in sending some extra love and support to Kevin “Rashid” Johnson and Eric King, whom are currently facing the hell described above. We’re going to let them know ‘We got your back!’

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a politicized prisoner, co-founder of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC), and prolific artist. In his own words, “Because I struggle to give a voice and human face to and to publicize abuses suffered by my imprisoned peers, help them challenge their mistreatment and work to educate them on their human rights and true role within Amerika’s overall exploitative, oppressive and racist political-economic system, officials have always aimed to isolate me from them.” On top of 18 years of solitary confinement, Rashid has also been subjected to several retaliatory transfers since 2012, each time meticulously documenting prison abuses so that outside supporters can better hold prison officials accountable for their actions against prisoners. On November 3, 2018 he was transferred yet again to Indiana where he now is. Let’s send him some love and show Pendelton CI how much outside support he has.

Eric King is a vegan anarchist who was arrested and charged with an attempted firebombing of a government official’s office in Kansas City, MO. Eric allegedly threw a hammer through a window of the building and then threw two lit bottles inside, though both failed to ignite. He was identified as a suspect by local police because he had previously come under suspicion for anti-government and anti-police graffiti, and is allegedly involved with the Kansas City Fight Back insurrectionist collective. Eric accepted a non-cooperating plea agreement to a federal felony charge that carries a sentence of 10 years in prison. He has since been attacked for his politics, taken from his family, and sent to Leavenworth. He has been in total isolation for months now without any disciplinary charges filed. The BOP wasn’t successful at trying to build a new case against him so they are enacting revenge trying to send him to a Special Management Unit (SMU) one of the most horrible programs in the BOP. Eric and his family can use all the love and support we can offer right now.

Please note: If you are writing from home, neither Rashid or Eric can receive letters on colored paper or in colored envelopes. We will also be sending birthday greetings to prisoners with birthdays in January: Fran Thompson (the 4th), Jeremy Hammond (the 8th), Abdul Azeez (the 9th), Sundiata Acoli (the 14th), Joe-Joe Bowen (the 15th), and Marius Mason (the 26th).

Call for Court Support for Second Trial of Vaughn 17

from It’s Going Down

Call for Court Support as jury selection begins on Jan. 7, 2019 for second trial of Vaughn 17.

Calling for abolitionists and activists to show up in the courtroom as the second trial of the Vaughn 17 gears up. Jury selection is slated to start on January 7th, 2019. This trial group includes Kevin Berry, Abednego Baynes, Obadiah Miller and John Bramble. The trial will take place at New Castle County Courthouse, 500 N. King St., Wilmington, DE.

Background

On February 1, 2017, inmates incarcerated at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center took control of C-building in a prison uprising, and for a moment were liberated from the carceral state. In the course of the uprising, they released a set of modest demands to improve their living conditions. One prison guard was killed. The state responded with intense repression. The Vaughn 17 were subsequently indicted on blanket charges of riot, conspiracy to riot, kidnapping, assault on an officer, and murder. The state’s case against those charged has no basis in reality and relies heavily on the testimony of a prison snitch. Check out Live from the Trenches: The Vaughn 17 Speak for in-depth background.

The first trial concluded in early November. Of the three on trial, Jarreau Ayers and Dwayne Staats went pro se, or represented themselves. The biggest victory came when Deric Forney was found not guilty of all charges. Ayers was acquitted of the 3 counts of murder but found guilty of the other charges, and Staats was convicted on all but one count of murder. Shortly after the trial, one of the inmates, Kelly Gibbs, was found dead in his cell. Attention on this case is crucial to check the Delaware D.O.C. on the rampant violence committed against inmates.

Dwayne Staats and Jarreau Ayers both wrote about the importance of court support in the fight for liberation:

“‘Actions’ speak louder than words and I heard you loud and clear. Y’all definitely was a source of strength that was heavily relied upon… So your collective spirits are harmoniously in accord with the synergism that enables us to purify our conscious and strengthen our beings with every inhale.” -Dwayne Staats

https://www.instagram.com/p/BriPf-SBrOP/

“Every day the energy y’all provided through your support and letting your presence be known is as much a part of what took place in that courtroom as me and my comrade Staats were!!! The fight behind these walls is often lonely and thankless even by other oppressed prisoners whose minds haven’t yet opened up to their reality!!… The fact that y’all stood in solidarity with us speaks to the truth comrade George Jackson spoke to when he explained the need for (us) those of us behind the wall and those of y’all on the outside to stand in unity! I’m a firm believer in the saying that steel sharpens steel and that the origin of that steel is forged and molded through/in fire! I force that mind frame on my comrades every day and I want y’all to know that we acknowledge that y’all stood in that fire with us! That steel that was forged in those moments helped keep us sharp at every turn!… I ask that y’all stay strong with each other on hard times and continue to force integrity on each other, on us, and most importantly on this system!” -Jarreau Ayers

Vaughn 17 Need our Support!

Court support is meaningful in and out of the courtroom as we show strength in solidarity against state oppression! Organize a crew to hold a banner outside the courthouse. Bring food or hot drinks with information about the case to share on the street outside. Share updates on facebook, instagram, twitter, or other social media. Write letters to those on trial. Inside the courtroom, demonstrate positive energy and strength for the defendants. Connect with friends and families of the defendants and offer support. Let them know they are not alone in the struggle! Raise a fist in solidarity!

To write to the Vaughn 17, check out the addresses listed here.

ANTI BLUELIVESMATTER ARRESTEE FUND

from Go Fund Me

A few months back, a group of people were arrested for allegedly protesting a “blue lives matter” demonstration in Philadelphia.

The same night as the arrests, the alleged protesters were told their charges had been dropped and were released.

In October, one of them was re-arrested, for no reason other than to receive charges for the same prior incident.

At the protest, the police were physically abusive and used their fists on people they were arresting. People were injured and traumatized and are now being vindictively harassed, hunted down and re-arrested because of the nature of the protest.

Other people who were detained or alleged to be involved with that demonstration may also find themselves facing retroactive arrests or charges.

Please chip in what you can and share with your networks to help the person who was re-arrested make their bail back, which was $1200.

Again, other people who were alleged to be involved with that demonstration may find themselves facing retroactive arrests soon, so we will need to raise funds for them as well.

Thank you so much for your support!

[Donate Here]

A comrade got picked up today by the cops and needs our support NOW.

from Facebook

A comrade got picked up today by the cops and needs our support NOW. If you can, please donate to their bail fund on venmo @ liberationproject

Help Our Memaw!

from GoFundMe

HELP OUR MEMAW!!

Margot is a dear comrade and community organizer residing in West Philly, after moving here from Louisiana a couple months ago.
This summer the PPD beat her up a couple times while she was lending her talent and efforts to the #EndPARS movement.
As a result of this, she was fired from her job.
Luckily, she’s been hired again, but now we need help!!

Margot’s car needs ~$700 worth of repair.
She needs this car to go back and forth from her new job, which is her sole source of income right now.
Everything from this fundraiser will go directly to Margot and help her survive and thrive during her first winter in Philly.

[Donate Here]

Vaughn 17 Court Support

from Twitter
Banner supporting Vaughn Uprising prisoners seen over Christopher Columbus Blvd during morning commute in Philadelphia, PA. Participants in Feb 2017 uprising at Vaughn Correctional Center in Delaware face trials this month thru next yr. Jury selection for 1st trial starts today


On February 1, 2017, prisoners revolted & took over Building C at the maximum security prison in Smyrna, Delaware. 4 prison employees were taken hostage & one died after a police raid retook the facility. Prisoners’ demands included better living conditions & access to educationPrisoners involved in the Vaughn Uprising also cited Trump’s inauguration as one of the reasons for their revolt – they believed the new presidency would inevitably embolden prison officials, whose unions endorsed Trump, to intensify neglect & brutality towards incarcerated ppl

Courthouse doors just opened here in Wilmington, Delaware where jury selection for the first trial is scheduled to begin today. Four of the prisoners involved in the uprising – Jarreau Akers, Dwayne Staats, Ramon Shankaras and Deric Forney – make up the 1st trial group


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A Food Not Bombs chapter is providing free breakfast and tea to approximately a dozen supporters of the who have gathered outside the courthouse.




Wilmington Police have arrived and are telling Food Not Bombs they can’t serve food on the sidewalk by court without a permit. supporters told police a recent federal court ruling means Food Not Bombs is protected First Amendment speech that doesn’t need a permit



Police seem to have backed off ordering the Food Not Bombs table to leave the area by the Wilmington, DE courthouse after reportedly checking with their law department- the officer in charge just apologized to the people that minutes ago he had been ordering to leave.

We have been told that jury selection in the first trial is closed to the public, so we are unable to report from inside the courtroom today. The first batch of 4 defendants from the February 1, 2017 prison uprising in Smyrna, Delaware will begin trial on October 22.

Call for Court Support With the Vaughn 17

from It’s Going Down

Call from the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement (RAM) and Vaughn 17 Support Philly to show solidarity with the Vaughn 17.

Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement’s RAM-NYC, RAM Philadelphia and Vaughn 17 Support Philly are organizing court support for the brave comrades inside the walls: The Vaughn 17. We are calling on prison abolitionists and revolutionary comrades to attend the trial in a strong showing of solidarity in Wilmington, Delaware.

The first group starts trial Oct. 8, 2018, and the final group starts Feb. 11, 2019. We are now calling for volunteers for the trial starting Oct. 8, for jury selection starts Oct. 8 and the trial Oct. 22. We will be holding banners outside the courthouse, attending the trial and, as the main supporters in that room, taking notes on the proceedings. Join this orientation to schedule a date to come and find out how to do court support. Come show the prison rebels they are not alone!

Get in touch with us for any questions about court support, at revolutionaryabolitionistmovement@protonmail.com.

Background

The state’s ability to criminalize Black and Brown people and railroad people into a life of torture and submission continues unabated. Yet we are living in a historic moment where many inside and outside the prison walls have committed themselves to the struggle for prison abolition and liberation.

On Feb. 1, 2017, after a series of peaceful protests yielded no results, incarcerated comrades took over a building at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Delaware to demand slight improvements in their treatment. After a 20-hour stand-off, the prison’s response was to literally bulldoze their barricades and figuratively bulldoze their demands, retaliating with constant beatings, destruction of prisoner property, and denial of food and medical care.

Furthermore, the state has accused 17 of the incarcerated with egregious offenses even though these charges have no basis in reality. The state’s response shows once again that any prisoners standing up for themselves, to regain dignity and achieve decent treatment, is a threat. And the state will collectively punish everyone and anyone to hide its barbarism. The only role of prison guards, wardens and the Department of Corrections (DOC) is the perpetuation of slavery and subjugation.

In response to the just demands of the protest, the state is trying to convict 17 people with trumped up charges. Despite the most insidious intentions of the state, the co-defendants charged are standing strong together in solidarity and are jointly and sincerely proclaiming their innocence.

We can make a huge difference supporting the Vaughn 17! The co-defendants have expressed the positive impact of the support they have been getting already. This is an opportunity to stand by them in an even more meaningful way: to look into their faces in the courtroom and show them that comrades will stand by everyone facing state repression.

We will be organizing people to attend their trial, to hold banners outside the courthouse and to take notes on the proceedings, so their lives won’t be shoved into the darkness without a fight!

Read the statements and letters of the defendants: https://itsgoingdown.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/VAUGHN-READ.pdf.

Write a letter of support to the defendants: https://itsgoingdown.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/vaughn-update918.pdf.

The trial will be held at New Castle County Courthouse, 500 N. King St., Wilmington, DE 19801.

Support the Vaughn 17 in court!

from Facebook

In 2017, a large scale uprising was launched at the Vaughn Correctional Institution in DE. 17 prisoners are being accused of orchestrating the uprising, 16 of which are facing murder charges for the death of a corrections officer during the riot.

On October 8th the first trial will begin at the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center in Wilmington, DE. Let’s pack the court, write letters, and show support for the Vaughn 17 as they face state repression in the wake of a recent hunger strike and as they face trial.
All prisoners are now being held at the Sussex Correctional Facility, a poster with updated addresses can be found here;
https://itsgoingdown.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/vaughn-update918.pdf
Trial dates are currently scheduled as follows (but are subject to change, check back for updates);
Oct. 8/ Nov. 5/ Dec. 3/ Jan. 7/ Feb 11

Solidarity and Healing in the Revolutionary Movement

from Friendly Fire Collective

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On a rainy Sunday afternoon in early September we came together to reflect on the trauma that we experienced at the hands of the State this summer (and in general). All of us have been involved in the turbulent street protests that happened over the summer and so far this fall, including the Occupy ICE encampments, the Anti-Blue Lives Matter march, actions in solidarity with the prison strike, etc. Although we all knew each other–some before this summer, others as a result of this summer–there was one person, experienced with therapeutic practice, who most of us met for the first time. This person facilitated the discussion and did a great job doing so. It’s important to have people with this kind of expertise.

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Besides talking about and processing our personal experiences with state violence, we also talked about how to foster a political culture that prioritizes mental health care alongside other kinds of work–legal, medical, food, study, writing, research, agitation, street tactics, intelligence gathering, etc. To this end, there should be a collective of people with skills in the mental health field who make their expertise available to those experiencing post-traumatic stress. And this collective should not just be providing their skills, but helping people develop these skills themselves, so that the skills can generalize. We talked about how at a leftist camp for children this summer, for example, there was the concept of the Care Commune, in which caring for each other was meant to be part of everyday camp life, which was primarily devoted to intense theoretical discussion and debate. This included collectivized childcare, artistic activities, meditation sessions, live action role playing, a talent show, and a general spirit of the Care Commune.

It’s crucial to cultivate a space where people are encouraged to be intentionally vulnerable and to reflect on state violence in a freely associative manner. It wasn’t until some of us took part in this meeting that we even began to think about the trauma we had experienced, which we tend to repress and disassociate from. One person didn’t even realize that they had had a panic attack at a protest earlier that week, until they started to share what they were feeling.

Regularly checking in with each other before, during, and after actions, not only about mental health, but also to consider the effectiveness of our strategy and tactics, is all connected. Mental health shouldn’t be an afterthought, but a central part of what we do as revolutionaries. A revolutionary movement will inevitably experience violence and trauma from the police, prison guards, and other armed agents of Capital. If such a movement is to succeed, it will need to address and process the question of trauma and the mental-health problems that arise from it, simultaneously as it challenges state-power.

So where do we go from here?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. This group should meet regularly to engage in such a practice and open up homes for meals/social gatherings not necessarily centered around an action or specific political goal.
  2. Hangouts/check ins before and after actions. Establish post demo space for anyone not wanting to be alone.
  3. Probe personal connections for community care resources in effort to offer them to people coping with mental/physical distress related to political actions.
  4. Reach out to elders who have experienced state violence in order to learn skills and to normalize trauma affects in relation to state violence.

Let us work together to begin this work of Liberation in ourselves and in our communities!
Let us hold our comrades close! A new world is possible!
Solidarity – and healing – forever!