Political Prisoners and Prison Rebel Birthdays for January

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.]

Inspired by the spirit of the Political Prisoners Birthday crew, here’s a short listing of some rebel prisoners who have upcoming birthdays in January.

For an an introduction on how to write to prisoners and some things to do and not to do, go here. If you have the time, please also check IWOC’s listing of prisoners facing retaliation for prison strike-related organizing.

Wishing a very happy birthday to Jeremy Hammond, who will be celebrating in freedom this month! Please keep sending mail and books to Eric King, who’s off his mail ban for now but may end up being hit with another one soon. Chicano anarchist political prisoner Xinachtli is coming up for parole in the new year, you can find details on how to support his application at the end of this recent article he wrote. There are a number of ongoing clemency campaigns that could use some support, including ones for the aging political prisoners Russell Maroon Shoatz, Ed Poindexter, and David Gilbert. Two of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 have just begun prison sentences, with others expecting sentencing soon. Mumia Abu Jamal has won a victory in court against an attempt to replace his prosecutor with an even harsher and more vicious one, although his road to freedom remains long and difficult.

In international news, 22 anarchist groups from around the world have issued a joint statement in solidarity with the prisoners from the 2019 revolt in Chile. January 22nd is the Trans Prisoner Day of Action and Solidarity, so you may want to think about doing something for that.

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 my knowledge they currently include:

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal #70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
P.O. Box 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

David Elmakayes #77782-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Shawn Collins #69989-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Steven Pennycooke #69988-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Finally, much as I hate to see even more of our lives and communications being enclosed by tech companies, it seems inescapable at the moment, so for anyone who doesn’t want to leave their house to buy stamps/cards/envelopes or to send mail, a reminder that many prisoners can be contacted electronically, via Jpay or similar services.

Joseph “Joe-Joe” Bowen

Black Liberation Army (BLA) Prisoner of War, serving two life sentences for the assassination of a prison warden and deputy warden, as well as an attempted prison break which resulted in a five-day standoff.

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 “AM-4272”.

Birthday: January 15

Address:

In 2018, the PA Dept of Corrections instituted a restrictive mail policy where all mail to prisoners must be sent through a mail processing facility in Florida where all correspondence is scanned, copied and then the copy is mailed to the prisoner. There is an active campaign to get Gov. Wolf to repeal the restrictive policy so that friends and family members can send mail such as greeting cards again.

Smart Communications/PADOC
Joseph Bowen #AM-4272
SCI Fayette
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
United States

Police Scanner Transcription December 31, 2020

(Below is a message from someone who was listening to the scanner during the new year’s eve noise demonstration. It’s being published to give an idea of how police responded to the demonstration, hopefully we can learn from their response and better understand their tactics.)

Listened to scanner on two channels: city wide and 6th district, where the federal detention center is located.

At 8:27 PM, a report of a group of about 50 protesters outside the federal building at 7th and Arch.

Cop 1: Should I send for backup?
Cop 2: Yeah, we’re sending some bike officers from the 9th district your way.
Cop 1: Okay.
Cop 3: Yeah, these guys do this every year. They make a lot of noise and shoot fireworks. It doesn’t get violent.
Cop 4: Okay, we’re staging backup around city hall by 15th and market in case you need them.
Cop 5: It looks like an-teefa. Wearing all black, they got their faces covered, some of em carrying hammers.
Cop ?: You said hammers?
Cop 5: Yeah, they all got hammers.

About one minute later:
(All the cops are ? in this part so they are all labelled as cop without a number)

Cop: We’re gonna need backup, they’re smashing windows. They busted out the windows of a cruiser.
Cop: Okay, where at?
Cop: Around 7th and Arch. They’re moving now.
Cop: Okay, see if you can follow them.
Cop: Yeah, they’re smashing more windows now. Storefronts.
Cop: All right move in on them.
Cop: Woowww…
Cop: All right, I’m giving an order to arrest on sight.
Cop: Where are they now? Does anyone have eyes on them?
Cop: Yeah, the split up. Most of em are headed westbound on Arch and some of them went north on 8th toward Chestnut.
Cop: Okay, I’m diverting all highway units to that area.
Cop: Can we get more cars in that area, see how many of them we can pick up?
Cop: Yeah, I’m gonna say between 7th and 10th and Arch and Chestnut, we want all nearby available units patrolling that area looking for them.
Cop: Can someone check social media too, start seeing if you can find anything about this?
Cop: I’m on it.
Cop: Does anyone have eyes on them?
Cop: Yeah, I’m following a few right now.
Cop: You can arrest on sight, go in.
Cop: All right.
Cop: I’m driving up Chestnut, I don’t see any sign of them.
Cop: Okay. Maybe we can get in touch with SEPTA, see if they got any reports of a large group of people in black enter a subway.
Cop: Yeah, there’s a subway entrance on 8th and Chestnut.
Cop: I got one arrested here. Male. Where do you want me to take him?
Cop: Just hold him there for now. Can someone get in touch with the federal building?
Cop: Did they damage done on federal property?
Cop: Yeah, two windows at the federal building smashed.
Cop: All right. Someone send an officer over there to talk with them, see what they wanna do.
Cop: We can pull footage from the city cameras around the area, see if we can get any video of them getting out of cars, get their plates…
Cop: Does anyone know where they are now?
Cop: I don’t see them.
Cop: My guys don’t see any sign of them.
Cop: SEPTA officer reported a large group of juveniles boarded the train at 8th and Chestnut. But they were headed eastbound…
Cop: (disappointed) Okay…
Cop: I just spoke with a very nice man from the federal building who said the they’ll handle the booking.
Cop: Okay, they wanna handle the booking. Take anyone you pick up to the federal building.
Cop: We got two prisoners here, two females. Taking them there now.

A few minutes later, approximately 8:45:

Cop: Any sign of them?
Cop: Yeah, I got three individuals detained in a lot over by 7th and Sansom now.

Got interrupted after that by a phone call and stopped listening.

New Year’s Eve vandalism of federal buildings in Philly leads to multiple arrests

from mainstream media

New Year’s Eve vandalism of federal buildings in Philly leads to multiple arrests

[Philly Anticap note: Everyone arrested has been released. See Up Against The Law’s post here]

Several people were arrested Thursday night after police and city highway patrol officers responded to reports of large unruly crowds and vandalism at federal buildings in Philadelphia.

Police observed a crowd on the 900 block of Market Street at about 8:50 p.m. Thursday, on New Year’s Eve. A 25-year-old man threw a brick through a window of the Robert Nix Federal Building, according to police.

The man, along with another man, age 24, and two 23-year-old women, all dressed similarly in black clothing, tried to flee the scene, but were taken into police custody.

The damage to the Nix building was estimated at $3,000.

Shortly after at 9 p.m., Philadelphia Highway Patrol officers were also in the area of 900 Market Street responding to reports of a large group of people breaking windows and spray-painting the federal building.

Officers stopped three individuals who had spray paint on their clothes, markers in their possession, and other suspicious materials.

A 25-year-old man had a glass jar with a fuse going into a bottle with a strong flammable odor, police said. He also had a container with a powder labeled “Fire Starter.”

A 22-year-old woman had bottles of liquids with chemicals and spray paint on her hands and clothes, police said.

And a 26-year-old woman had spray paint on her clothing.

The three individuals were taken into custody and charged with attempted arson, risking catastrophe, having an incendiary device, conspiracy and related offenses.

The materials they had with them will be examined by bomb technicians, police said.

Prison Break: 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.]

With The Marshall Project reporting that 1 in 5 prisoners in the U.S. have had COVID-19, we are beginning the new year with an intense struggle ahead. In the last few weeks it was announced that political prisoners Russell Maroon Shoatz, Mutulu Shakur, Eric King, Rattler, Jaan Laaman, and Joe Dibee have tested positive for COVID-19. Since April, other political prisoners including Marius Mason, Sundiata Acoli, Reality Winner, Jeremy Hammond, and Jalil Muntaqim have also contracted the virus. Elder political prisoners Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Ed Poindexter, David Gilbert, Chip Fitzgerald, Leonard Peltier and numerous others face acute risks due to their continued confinement.

Looking back at 2020, we welcomed home several political prisoners, including Chuck and Delbert Africa (the last of the MOVE 9 still imprisoned), Ramsey Orta, Chelsea Manning, Red Fawn Fallis, David Campbell, Jay Chase, Jeremy Hammond, and Jalil Muntaqim. We mourn the passing of Delbert Africa in June, though we are glad he was able to do so from outside the prison walls. Since the police killing of George Floyd in May, we have witnessed a rise in people willing to directly confront the system, many of whom are currently facing lengthy prison sentences if convicted. Providing support and solidarity to these groups and individuals will be paramount in the year ahead.

Political Prisoner Birthdays

With four political prisoner birthdays in January, the new year is a great time to throw an online prisoner letter-writing party! The personal touch of a birthday card means so much to those inside, so write a letter, have people sign a card, and show your solidarity with those locked behind bars. Remember that prisoners at Federal prisons (USPs and FCIs) cannot receive cards, colored paper, or colored ink.

January 15th

Joseph Bowen*, #AM4272
Smart Communications / PA DOC
SCI Fayette
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
*Address card/letter to Joe-Joe

Ongoing Cases and Appeals

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has dismissed a petition to remove the DA’s Office from handling the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. What this means for Mumia’s case is yet unknown.

In Case You Missed It

 

  • 40 Years a Prisoner” is a new documentary exploring the MOVE 9, political prisoners connected to Philadelphia’s back-to-nature organization, which has faced police brutality and state repression since its inception.

 

What it’s like to get COVID-19 from a federal prison

from We Love Lore

Lore Elisabeth is among the hundreds of people who have contracted COVID-19 from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ federal detention center in downtown Philadelphia (FDC Philadelphia). She is recovering well and helping others to weather this storm wrought by the cruelty of a few and the incompetence of a great many more. The facility continues to obstruct information and preventative care to those who need it, but you know that’s when people like Lore can help the most 💕

Virus_syntethises.gif

Lore contracted COVID-19 some time between October 26 and November 6. She was especially ill with flu symptoms for about 10 days but maintained steady breathing throughout. During this time she received no medical attention save for a nasal swab test and a bottle of tylenol. She was not informed of her positive test result.

FDC Philadelphia imposed a strict lockdown on November 1 due to the rampant spread of COVID-19 throughout their building. Lore and others in the women’s unit were let out of their cells weeks later, by which time more than half of them had contracted the virus. Another detainee then informed Lore that a warning sign was hung on her cell door during the lockdown. A staff nurse eventually confirmed to Lore this meant that she’d indeed had the virus. As they continue to get sick, women are now moved into the special housing unit (SHU)—solitary confinement—for weeks at a time, a regular violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture committed by US federal prisons.

This is infuriating, but it is not surprising. FDC Philadelphia’s inability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep its detainees healthy has been known since the onset of the global pandemic. FDC Philadelphia’s own staff joined an OSHA complaint against the Bureau of Prisons in March, arguing that their facility constituted an imminent danger to all. A lawsuit filed in April finally succeeded by October to force the facility into at least performing regular COVID-19 tests. The case reports, the complete lockdown, and a communications blackout followed.

birdcage.gif

Hundreds of people at FDC Philadelphia have been infected since October, including dozens of staffers and correctional officers. Still, we cannot expect conditions to improve meaningfully in the near term because FDC Philadelphia’s correctional officers continue to flaunt even the most basic COVID-19 protocols, like wearing masks and social distancing. I observed this during the very brief time in October when outside visitations were allowed. COs demanded that I remove my latex gloves before entering, claiming that they attract the virus. They refused repeatedly to maintain even a reasonable distance from our mom, a senior with elevated risks of COVID-19 complications. Even with us in the meeting room, groups of 5-6 gathered closely and maskless to socialize. It is no wonder that they continue to infect people, the majority of whom are simply waiting for their day in court.

This didn’t have to happen. Since the virus took hold in the United States, public health experts have clamored for home confinement of pre-trial detainees, compassionate release of medically vulnerable and/or suffering seniors, and other provisions available to prison wardens around the country. Their pleas fall on deaf ears. Wardens have approved fewer than 2% of the compassionate release requests they’ve received. FDC Philadelphia has even less reason to worsen this crisis. The facility is primarily a pre-trial detention facility, wherein people like Lore are confined before they even get to mount a defense. This may be because they cannot buy their freedom through the abominable cash bail system or, like Lore, they are just too useful as political effigies.

Virus_2.gif

We are lucky to still have Lore. We warned the US Attorney’s office that they weren’t equipped or motivated to protect Lore’s health. They countered first by blocking Lore from signing the HIPAA releases that were necessary to share her heart condition, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirms puts her at elevated risk for COVID-19 complications. When that failed, they falsely claimed that FDC Philadelphia could take proper care of her. Lore has been denied her prescription medications for Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT) and other conditions since she was taken into custody. I’m relieved that we don’t currently need to call the facility every day, only to be denied any kind of proof-of-life, but we must now focus on the myriad potential near- and long-term effects of COVID-19 that FDC Philadelphia will not treat.

All of this could have been avoided. We begged for the opportunity to care for Lore safely at home until her trial, which still has no foreseeable start date. Sadly, the judge decided that Lore’s charges and treatment in confinement were too obviously political in nature and extent to grant her this safety, lest others take sympathy with her and join the movements for racial justice and against police brutality.

We need to step in for a broken criminal justice system. Lore is just one of the more than 275,000 people who were forced to contract COVID-19 in a prison cell —1 out of every 5 incarcerated people in the United States. I’m very grateful to the Marshall Project for collecting these statistics assiduously throughout the year, providing us some useful perspective on the scale of the crisis, and I encourage you to donate to their efforts. Likewise, the Amistad Law Project, who organize so well on the behalf of people incarcerated by the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The people incarcerated at FDC Philadelphia and other federal prisons nationwide deserve the same kind of support.

butterflies_flowers_md_wht.gif

At the moment, the women’s unit at FDC Philadelphia has Lore to help them 🌈 Since recovering from Covid, she has been absolutely tireless in collecting public health and legal information for them, quickly becoming a kind of unofficial librarian for the group in addition to its de facto therapist 😅 I’m so proud of her! I know you are, too. If you haven’t had a chance recently, please send her your love and let her know that she isn’t forgotten. (We’re using the free Ameelio app to send pics too, and it’s good!). Lore’s wishlist is also up-to-date with reading material to share with the whole unit. And if you’re feeling especially generous, donate to her fund via PayPal or Venmo. With a major fundraising goal met, this money can go to her commissary fund—mostly pre-packaged food to augment the typical meal of an apple and a peanut butter sandwich.

Please hold Lore and FDC Philadelphia’s detainees in the light with us 🙏☮️

rail interference

Submission

We halted freight train traffic on two different sets of tracks in Philly using the copper wire method to send a false signal. Solidarity with first nations people continuing to oppose colonial destruction of this continent and the rest of the earth. Solidarity with those facing prosecution for similar actions.

Political Prisoners and Prison Rebel Birthdays for December

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.]

Inspired by the spirit of the Political Prisoners Birthday crew, here’s a short listing of some rebel prisoners who have upcoming birthdays in December. For an an introduction on how to write to prisoners and some things to do and not to do, go here. If you have the time, please also check IWOC’s listing of prisoners facing retaliation for prison strike-related organizing, and keep an eye out for New Year’s Eve noise demos happening in your area.

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 my knowledge they currently include:

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal #70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
P.O. Box 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

David Elmakayes #77782-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Shawn Collins #69989-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Steven Pennycooke #69988-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Please do not write anything to pre-trial defendants that could in any way have a negative impact on their trial, and keep an eye out for changes in their status.

There’s an urgent call to free Russell Maroon Shoatz, the long-term Black Liberation prisoner and anti-authoritarian writer who has caught Covid while already suffering from cancer.

Dwayne “BIM” Staats of the Vaughn 17 recently wrote a report on psychological torture in the Pennsylvania prison system

Finally, much as I hate to see even more of our lives and communications being enclosed by tech companies, it seems inescapable at the moment, so for anyone who doesn’t want to leave their house to buy stamps/cards/envelopes or to send mail, a reminder that many prisoners can be contacted electronically, via Jpay or similar services.

Fred “Muhammad” Burton

Fred Burton is one of the Philly 5, a group of men accused of an alleged attack on a police station that left one officer killed. He was sentenced to a life term for murder. Burton has maintained his innocence since his arrest. His preferred name is Muhammad, but envelopes should be addressed to Fred Burton.

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 “AF3896.”

Birthday: December 15

Address:

Smart Communications/PA DOC
Fred Burton
AF3896
SCI Somerset
Post Office Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida
33733
USA

Alejandro Rodriguez-Ortiz

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Alejandro in relation to the uprising, all Vaughn-related prisoners continue to be targets for retaliation. More than three years later, 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 “NW2883”.

Birthday: December 17

Address:

Smart Communications/PADOC
Alejandro Rodriguez-Ortiz, NW2883
SCI Mahanoy
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733
USA

Jonathan Rodriguez

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Jonathan in relation to the uprising, all Vaughn-related prisoners continue to be targets for retaliation. More than three years later, 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 “NU0434”.

Birthday: December 31

Address:

Smart Communications / PA DOC
Jonathan Rodriguez – NU0434
SCI Houtzdale
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL, 33733
USA

Antoine Walker is on Hunger Strike

from Dreaming Freedom Practicing Abolition

Comrades,

Hello, my name is Antoine, better known as Indy. I’m a 28-year-old Black, Bisexual man, incarcerated in Pennsylvania. I am an LGBT activist and prison abolitionist. I’m serving an 8 to 20-year sentence and I’m 10 years into it. I have been in solitary confinement since September 26, 2017 on the allegation of assaulting a prison cop. Which is part of why I’m reaching out to you all. This officer attacked me days before. I reported it.

I will be going on hunger strike to bring awareness to the unconstitutionality surrounding this status of long-term solitary confinement in Pennsylvania, which is called “Restricted Release List” or RRL. I’m on this status because of the officer’s actions.

It seems I will be flying solo on this strike, which is why I’ll need as much outside pressure as possible.

Although there are a lot of issues in relation to solitary, I can only list a few of them in my demands because I am riding alone. My ultimate goal is to be released to general population, but I don’t see that happening by me striving alone and with little outside support.

My Demands:

  1. Access to my mandatory parole programs. I have been past my minimum, and therefore potentially eligible for parole since July 2018. I’m not given access to programs on RRL. So I will continue to be denied parole for not doing my programs. Although it’s not my choice.
  2. Work. I need to be allowed to come out of my cell and be able to work. I’ve sat in solitary for 3 years with no work, education, or psychology programming structure.
  3. RRL Review. My annual RRL review was supposed to be in December 2019. It never happened, which is a violation of my due process. And when I started filing grievances about it, I received a stream of false misconduct reports (starting in February 2020). All to justify keeping me on RRL. The duration of my time in solitary can no longer be ignored.
  4. Sufficient Food, Drinkable Water. The food we get while in solitary is less than 2,000 calories per day. The water is brown at random times.
  5. A real grievance process. We need a change in the grievance system because these problems never resolved and constantly recurring.

As I said, there’s more. But these are the simplest and most urgent demands. Your help and support is needed and appreciated. Please circulate this to as many as you know. Thank you.

Solidarity from Solitary,

Antoine

Image thanks to Just Seeds and artists Dey Hernández, Jorge Díaz Ortiz and Sylvia Hernández. Read more about it here: https://justseeds.org/graphic/if-all-lives-matter-cause-were-all-equal-why-are-some-lives-more-equal-than-others/

Ant’s Personal Statement About His Case

from instagram





Please read Ant’s personal statement on his case/release (also found on his IG and Facebook) in his own words . We ask that folks take note of and respect his boundaries about the case and how he moves in our community going forward and we are so grateful to y’all for your continued support for our man. Please continue to boost/share/ follow here for updates and keep donating at the PayPal account (clickable link found in bio). #FreeAnt #FreeEmAll #Dropthecharges

#AmnestyForAll and #FreeAnt Banner Communique from Revolutionary Anarchists and Abolitionists in Rockford, Illinois

from AMW English

To our comrades in Philadelphia, Rockford and across the settler colony known as the United States,

The struggle for black liberation has intensified since the anti-police uprising that began in Minneapolis in May. The rebellion spread like wild fire across the so-called United States. In Rockford, we witnessed a black led multi-racial revolt against the Rockford Police Department on May 30th. Many of our comrades were arrested on that day and throughout the rest of the summer.

Despite the apparent Biden presidency, the state repression of the abolitionist movement will continue. It does not matter who is in office. The Federal charges against Anthony Smith in Philadelphia and others across the United States are proof that the State is attempting to create a new generation of black political prisoners. Repression will continue regardless of who is in power.

We encourage all revolutionaries to organize their communities to defend people being targeted by the State for their participation in the rebellion and radical political action. A truly resilient movement must support people facing state repression for their actions and organization. Let us build anti-repression councils in every city. Say no to the new Cointelpro!

We hope with our banner to amplify the demands of Philly revolutionaries to #FreeAnt. Furthermore, Ant’s charges and the charges of all others in Philly must be dropped. We also uplift the demands of the Black Philly Radical Collective to for the immediate release of Mumia Abu Jamal, Major Tillery, Arthur Cetawayo Johnson, Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, Omar Askia, Joseph “Jo-Jo” Bowen, and all Black Political Prisoners. 
We cannot forget our revolutionary elders.

It is imperative that revolutionaries in Rockford understand links between state repression in our own city and the larger State strategy to destroy movements for Black liberation. The Rockford Police Department and the Winnebago County Sherriff Office actions to surveill, repress and detain organizers, anarchists and movement participants is not unique to Rockford.

We demand that all protestors across the United States must be granted amnesty. All charges must be dropped. We have unconditional solidarity to all rebels, radicals and revolutionaries facing State repression.

Free Them All.

Fire to the Prisons.

Fuck 12.

Black Liberation Now.

A West Philly activist facing arson charges in the burning of a police car is released from jail

from Mainstream Media

A West Philly activist facing arson charges in the burning of a police car is released from jail

Anthony Smith, a prominent West Philadelphia activist charged with arson in the burning of a Philadelphia police car during a racial injustice protest in May, was released from jail Monday while awaiting trial.

U.S. District Court Judge J. Curtis Joyner granted Smith, 29, release after hearing arguments from Smith’s lawyer and a federal prosecutor.

Smith, a social studies teacher at the YouthBuild Philadelphia charter school and one of the organizers of the Philadelphia Coalition for Racial Economic and Legal Justice (Philly for REAL Justice), was arrested at his home on Oct. 28. He was one of three defendants charged with arson and obstructing law enforcement after a police car was set ablaze outside City Hall in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

On Friday, the judge had agreed to keep Smith behind bars after federal prosecutors filed an emergency motion seeking to reverse an earlier ruling by U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry Perkin, who had ordered Smith released to his home under electronic monitoring and a curfew. Perkin also said Smith should continue teaching. Joyner’s new order affirms the release conditions.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Reinitz has said that although the government doesn’t know who set the police car aflame, Smith added “fuel to the fire” by throwing paper and cardboard into the car in actions captured on helicopter video.

Smith’s lawyer, Paul Hetznecker said the evidence against his client was “a piece of paper” thrown into a car “already engulfed in flames.” He has argued that Smith is not a danger to the community or a flight risk.

Smith, who was being held at the Lehigh County jail, was released Monday evening, Hetznecker said.

Smith “is facing a seven year mandatory minimum penalty for allegedly torching a police car and endangering those around it,” U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain said in a statement Monday, adding: “If you engage in this type of criminal activity, it doesn’t matter who you are — you will face the consequences.”

In response, Hetznecker said he and Smith “intend to vigorously contest the charges in court.”

Sign the petition! Share/Boost! Eastern District of PA, United States District Court : Bring Ant Home!

from Instagram

Anthony Smith was arrested by federal officers and taken from his home in the early morning hours of October 26th based on his alleged involvement in the arson of a police vehicle during a Black Lives Matter protest on May 30th, 2020. Instead of charging him locally, the Justice Department made the decision to charge him under federal law. If convicted of the arson, he will face a mandatory minimum of 7 years in prison. Following his arrest by federal officers, Anthony received over 70 character letters attesting to his selflessness and dedication to serving his community. After Anthony Smith’s detention hearing on November 6th, 2020, the presiding judge ordered his release on his own signature with certain conditions; however, the federal prosecutors, determined to keep him incarcerated pending trial, appealed the judge’s order of release. This requires Anthony to remain in custody until the appeal hearing takes place. As we await his second detention hearing, we urge the community to recommit to standing by Anthony as we continue the fight for his release. Anthony has always fought for the equitable treatment of the members of our community, and now it is our duty to stand up and fight for him. Show your support by signing this petition requesting his release.

Can you join us and take action? Click link in bio or write out this link: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/bring-ant-home/

It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support one another. We have nothing to lose but our chains. #FreeAnt

Political Prisoners and Prison Rebel Birthdays for November

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.]

Inspired by the spirit of the Political Prisoners Birthday crew, here’s a short listing of some rebel prisoners who have upcoming birthdays in November. For an an introduction on how to write to prisoners and some things to do and not to do, go here. If you have the time, please also check IWOC’s listing of prisoners facing retaliation for prison strike-related organizing.

Congratulations to Jalil Muntaqim and David Campbell, who were both finally released in October. You can donate to David’s post-release fund here. Wishing a happy birthday to former antifascist prisoner Jock Palfreeman, who was released from the Bulgarian prison system over a year ago but is still barred from leaving the country and going home. November 1st marks the first anniversary of antifascist prisoner Gage Halupowski’s incarceration, so Portland ABC are suggesting people write to him to keep his spirits up, and Trans Day of Remembrance is on November 2020, so you may want to do something for that, which could include showing solidarity with trans prisoners.

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 my knowledge they currently include:

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal #70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
P.O. Box 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

David Elmakayes #77782-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Shawn Collins #69989-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Steven Pennycooke #69988-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Please do not write anything to pre-trial defendants that could in any way have a negative impact on their trial, and keep an eye out for changes in their status.

You may also wish to check out the fundraiser for Trey Quinn, a defendant facing heavy charges in Colorado. Beyond that, if you have any money to spare, consider checking out Eric King’s defence fund, or the Fire Ant shirts being sold as a fundraiser for him, the ongoing fundraiser for Sundiata Acoli’s parole bid, Greg Curry’s fundraiser masks, and the fundraiser for the Bay View, a vital piece of prison movement infrastructure that also serves as Comrade Malik’s welcome home fund.

Much as I hate to see even more of our lives and communications being enclosed by tech companies, it seems inescapable at the moment, so for anyone who doesn’t want to leave their house to buy stamps/cards/envelopes or to send mail, a reminder that many prisoners can be contacted electronically, via Jpay or similar services.

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 Albion
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

Anarchists prisoned in Belarus

Submission

Hello, dear comrades!

Anarchists Dmitry Dubovsky, Igor Olinevich, Sergei Romanov and Dmitry Rezanovich were detained at the Belarusian border. Firearms, ammunition, grenades and pepper spray were found in their belongings. Everyone is accused of art. 289 (terrorism) and art. 295 (illegal arms trafficking) of the Criminal Code. The punishment under article 289 is up to the death penalty.

Now everybody is in a KGB jail in Minsk. They are accused of attacks on regime facilities in Soligorsk and Mozyr.

You can support them financially via ABC-Belarus – https://abc-belarus.org/?page_id=8661&lang=en

You can write letters of support via our online form – https://abc-belarus.org/?page_id=8682&lang=en

____________________________________________________________________________________

What’s happened?

On October 22 in Soligorsk (Belarus) administrative building of State committee of forensic examination was attacked and cars were set on fire at the parking lot of Soligorsk district prosecutor’s office. On the night of October 28 the building of traffic police department of Mozyr district police department was set on fire. Soon a group of anarchists-revolutionaries: Ihar Alinevich, Dmitry Dubovsky, Dmitry Rezanovich and Sergey Romanov were detained by a mobile group of Mozyr border detachment near the Ukrainian border in Zabozye village of Yelsky raion (Belarus). The detainees are currently held in a KGB remand prison in Minsk. They were charged under part 3 of article 289 of the Criminal Code (act of terrorism committed by an organized group).

Anarchist Revolutionaries

Each of the detainees had been an opponent of the fascist state for many years and had regularly experienced its repressions.

Ihar Alinevich – an anarchist from Minsk, former political prisoner of the Belarus regime. In November 2010 he was captured by the special services in Moscow and in May 2011 was sentenced to 8 years in a reinforced regime colony under Art. 218.3 (intentional destruction of property) and Art. 339.2 (hooliganism by a group of persons). He was pardoned by presidential decree on 22 August 2015. In prison he wrote a book “Going to Magadan”, which was translated into several languages. In 2013, the book was awarded by Belarus PEN Centre with the Frantishk Alekhnovich Award for the best work written in prison. In 2016 Ihar was awarded the Victor Ivashkevich Prize. After his release, Ihar lived abroad and participated in the anarchist movement.

Dzmitry Dubouvski – an anarchist from Soligorsk. In 2010, he was put on the wanted list in connection with the “case of Belarus anarchists. In November of the same year, Dubovsky managed to escape in Moscow when the FSB tried to detain him and Ihar. For 10 years, Dima was hiding in Russia and Ukraine, published diaries of his travels and participated in the anarchist movement.

Dzmitry Rezanovich is an anarchist from Gomel. He was detained on March 16, 2014 after crossing the Ukrainian-Russian border in Kursk. He had his brother’s documents with him. He was detained on suspicion of committing sabotage on Russian territory. The FSB failed to find sufficient evidence for this version and opened a criminal case under Article 332 part 1 of the Russian Criminal Code (crossing the state border of the Russian Federation without valid documents for the right to enter the Russian Federation). He was kept in a deportation center in Kursk region. On July 3 the court ordered to deport Dmitry from Russia and also sentenced him to pay a fine in the amount of 15,000 roubles. On 25 July Dmitry was deported to Belarus. He remained an active participant in the anarchist movement.

Sergey Romanov is an anarchist from Gomel. In 2013 he was sentenced to two years in prison with a suspended sentence for keeping 14 grams of gunpowder at home. (Article 295.2 of the Criminal Code). In 2014 he was sentenced to 6 years in prison, after complaints they reduced the sentence to five years. (Art. 295.3 of the Criminal Code). He was released in July 2019 and was sentenced to preventive surveillance restrictions, such as a ban to leave the city and change his place of residence, a ban to visit bars, restaurants, stores and other places where they sell alcohol, a ban to leave the place of residence between 22:00 and 6:00 without a valid reason, the obligation to visit the inspection once a week.

All the four are mature individuals with strong moral principles and well-established views. Each of them is a convinced anarchist, each of them is an idea-oriented and worthy person. Each of them is a fighter for a new, free Belarus, where there is no place for brutality of police and paramilitary units and other law enforcement agencies, where there is no place for violation of freedom in all its manifestations.

Federal Agents Arrest Outspoken Philadelphia Activist Amid Rising Repression of the Black Lives Matter Movement

from Instagram

For Immediate Release
***Contact Info***
Phone: 267-566-7671
Email: phillyforrealjustice@gmail.com
Facebook: PhillyforREALjustice
Twitter: @PHLRealJustice
Federal Agents Arrest Outspoken Philadelphia Activist Amid Rising Repression of the Black Lives Matter Movement
Philadelphia, PA (October 28, 2020)Early Wednesday morning, federal agents raided the West Philadelphia home of Anthony Smith, an outspoken community activist and a leader in the movement for Black lives in Philadelphia. Smith, 29, was arrested and is being held on multiple Federal charges several hours away from his home at the Allenwood Jail as he and his community struggle to pull together his legal defense. Smith’s arrest comes after nights of community uprising in West Philadelphia after the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. There have yet to be any charges brought against the officers involved in the shooting and as of yet the community has not even been told the names of the officers.

“After two nights of mass arrests and police brutality against community members calling for justice for Walter Wallace, seeing Federal charges brought against a movement leader like Anthony is sickening,” said longtime friend James Miles. “All this makes you wonder, ‘Is the Federal government arresting and charging movement leaders to try to scare the rest of us?”

Anthony Smith has been the victim of police brutality on multiple occasions throughout his life. His first encounter with police violence was being stopped and frisked by Philadelphia Police officers at the age of 10. Over the years, as he became more outspoken about the injustices Black people face at the hands of police, he has become an explicit target at protests. Earlier this summer, Smith was arrested while peacefully protesting in West Philadelphia in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd. He was held without charges and threatened with violence from the police before being released hours later and forced to walk 3 hours home in the middle of the night.

“We’re tired of Black Philadelphians being targeted and held on trumped up charges for having the audacity to stand up for their community, ” said Philly for REAL Justice steering committee member Kamau Mshale. “Whether it’s Mumia 40 years ago, or Anthony Smith last night, Black people are being thrown in prison for speaking truth to power.”

Smith is a beloved social studies teacher at YouthBuild Charter School, where he is known for the genuine connections he builds with his students inside and outside of the classroom. In his free time, he is an organizer and volunteer with multiple organizations throughout Philadelphia. He is a fixture at 60th and Market each Friday, where he serves free food to the community with Food not Bombs Solidarity. In addition to being a valuable asset to his workplace and a standout organizer, Smith is a beloved community member with a passion for making sure that everyone around him is protected at all times.

“Anthony is one of the most selfless people I know,” says college classmate Dr. Jasmine Peake. “Anything that he’s ever done has been in defense of his community. It really hurts to see him ripped from his family and friends in the middle of the night and thrown in jail.”

For years, Smith has organized with Philly for REAL (Racial Economic and Legal) Justice, an organization which just been recognized as being at the forefront of the movement to take #RizzoDown, has called for an end to stop and frisk policies in Philadelphia, and has supported the families of victims of police murder in calling for accountability for their loved ones. Philly for REAL Justice is also one of the convening organizations of the Black Philly Radical Collective which has released 13 demands calling for an “End to the War on Black People.” Smith’s arrest comes on the heels of mass arrests across Philadelphia over the last few nights and in the wake of federal charges being brought against Black Lives Matter movement leaders across the country.

We demand that these baseless, politically-motivated charges be dropped,” said fellow REAL Justice steering committee member Felicia Teter. “We demand the immediate release of Anthony Smith and all others who have been arrested for their participation in the Black Lives Matter movement We will not let Anthony become yet another political prisoner at the hands of this fascist government”
Up Against the Law Legal Collective is supporting Anthony Smith and all those on the streets protesting against Walter Wallace’s murder.

If law enforcement, federal or otherwise, approach you on the street, come to your home, or contact you in any way, do not speak to them without a lawyer present. You have the right to remain silent, exercise that right.