#SHUTEMDOWN2021

from It’s Going Down

Philadelphia, PA:

  • August 21st: 8pm, more info here. Demonstration in solidarity with prisoners.

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

Free Political Prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz

from AMW English

Free Political Prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz

Russell Maroon Shoatz is a founding member of the Black Unity Council, a former member of the Black Panther Party, and a soldier in the Black Liberation Army.

“Police brutality is the reason our people are inside,” says Russell Shoatz III, Maroon’s son. Maroon has been in prison since 1972 because he was a leader in the fight against police in the 1960s and ’70s. He’s an elder of the most powerful movement this country has ever seen.

Maroon was held in solitary confinement for nearly 30 years, after two escape attempts he made over 40 years ago in the tradition of the maroon communities that escaped enslaved Africans created throughout the Americas. In his book, Maroon the Implacable, he makes this history come alive for younger generations. During his almost half-century in prison, he has mentored dozens of fellow prisoners, some of whom have joined the movement on the inside and outside.

As COVID-19 surges through the state and tears through its prisons, loved ones of incarcerated people are asking for the immediate release all elderly and medically vulnerable people in prison, and simply for prison staff to wear face masks and be tested for COVID-19.

Amid the horror that is the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections right now, Black liberation movement political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz may be one of the best examples of how that horror is playing out for elderly prisoners and their families. Maroon is 77 years old and has been fighting stage 4 colon cancer for over a year. After testing positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 11, Maroon was held in a gymnasium with 29 other men—and only one toilet to share between them. His urgent surgery for the cancer is being denied.

According to Theresa Shoatz, his daughter, Pennsylvania prisoners have been unable to make phone calls to let people outside know how bad COVID is inside right now.

Maroon must attain freedom. In an act of solidarity, while suffering in innumerable ways, Maroon himself told his daughter to advocate for the other 29 guys left in the gym.

You can donate to support Maroon’s Global Network here: https://russellmaroonshoats.wordpress.com/donate/

Phone Zap for Maroon and Elderly Prisoners

from Instagram

COVID-19 poses a great threat to the lives of prisoners. We all know that the elderly are more at risk when it comes to COVID-19. Russell Shoatz who is 77 years of age has colon cancer and is COVID-19 positive. He’s being confined to a cubicle inside of a gymnasium with 30 other COVID-19 positive prisoners containing only 1 toilet for all of them to use. Maroon is being denied an urgent surgery to aid his colon cancer. Please call @governortomwolf now and demand his unconditional release, along with ALL elder prisoners with COVID-19 — (717) 787-2500.

[Video Here]

#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.

Running Down The Walls 2020 Reportback

from Philly ABC

We’re happy to report the success of our third annual Philadelphia Running Down The Walls in support of political prisoners, held on September 6th 2020.

On this beautiful sunny day, participants began gathering in FDR park to check-in for their t-shirts, make donations, set up tables, and hang banners. With a nice breeze coming off the lake, Sheena Sood led another amazing yoga warm-up – this time right on the boardwalk by the shore. Blak Rapp MADUSA with the Dignity Act Now Collective kicked off the event with an epic introduction to Maroon and his book, Maroon the Implacable.

Walkers left the start line around 11:30 am, followed by folks moving at a medium pace, and finally the runners around 11:50 am. Afterward, we gathered to hear from two former juvenile lifers who were mentored in prison by Maroon– Kempis “Ghani” Songster and Robert Saleem Holbrook. We were also blessed to have Chuck Africa – the last of the MOVE 9 to be released from prison – speak for the first time since he was paroled on February 7th of this year. Check out this video for highlights of these speeches.

We’d like to thank Solidarity Food Not Bombs, Mike Africa Jr., and Dadaji Odinga from Akbar Originals for refreshments. More big thanks to Hate5six, Unicorn Riot, and photographers Joe Piette and Clifford Smith for media coverage, and the campaign to free Mumia Abu-Jamal for the banners that decorated the stage area. It was a huge honor to have all of the remaining Move 9 participating in this event with us; they not only donated themselves, but provided an additional donation from the Move organization. It was also an honor that we were joined by former Black Liberation prisoner of war, Ojore Lutalo, a founding member of the ABCF. We would like to thank Saleem and Ghani for sharing their powerful experiences spending time with Maroon, and Chuck Africa for choosing our event as the outlet for his first speech back home. We thank the tablers – Socialist Rifle Association, Here & Now Zines, the Never Give Up project, Khalid with the political prisoner artwork, as well as the families of Eric Riddick and Omar Askia Ali. Of course, we also thank the comrades behind bars who ran with us, and the families of people in prison who came out.

Together we raised a total of $14,012! As described in the event announcement, funds are split between Russell Maroon Shoatz and the ABCF Warchest– a fund sending monthly stipends to 19 political prisoners with lacking, little, or no financial support. A full breakdown of Warchest funds in and out since 1994 is available here. In accordance with Warchest policies, any funds over the reserved amount needed to send the monthly stipends will be disbursed as one-time donations to other political prisoners who demonstrate financial need. Philly ABC contributed our organization’s savings to the production of the event t-shirts, lovingly hand-printed by the Reclaim Printshop.

We look forward to more successes in the next year as we further the struggle to free Maroon and abolish the carceral system!

Until all are free!
Philly ABC

#RDTW2020 Video and Chuck Africa’s Recommended Resources

from Philly ABC

[Video Here]

The 2020 Running Down The Walls official reportback is coming shortly. In the meantime, check out this amazing montage by hate5six.

If you missed the full version of Chuck Africa’s speech on Sunday, he is calling on the movement to support women in prison.

chuck-africa-rdtw-2020.jpg

A list of women serving life without parole (or sentenced to death by incarceration) is available through the Women Lifer’s Resume Project. He encourages everyone to pick one to reach out to and see how you can support them. He also recommends donating to the Avis Lee Decarceration Fund. While Avis was granted commutation on September 4th, this fund will lie on to provide support for other women who are released in the dcoming years. Finally, check out the work of the Dignity Act Now Collective that is struggling on behalf of women and trans people in prison.

Special Black August Birthday Event for Russell Maroon Shoatz

from Philly ABC

maroon-birthday.jpg

Sunday 8/23, 4:30pm
Malcolm X Park

This month’s letter-writing event will be a special Black August edition on Sunday August 23rd, the 77th birthday of Black Liberation prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. Join us in signing conscious birthday cards, talking about his case and history of struggle, and engage in political education through a raffle!

The PE raffle prizes are four pairs of Nike shoes that were donated in support of this event:

Nike Flight Legacy Men’s size 9 – white/black/red

raffle-shoes.jpg

Nike Air Max Excee Men’s size 8.5 – black/white/dark grey

raffle-shoes-1.jpg

Nike Fly By Low II Men’s size 11.5 – black

raffle-shoes-2.jpg

Nike Bendassi JDI Women’s size 10 – black/rose gold

raffle-shoes-3.jpg

If you win a pair of shoes in your size, great! Otherwise you can trade or give to someone that fits them. The raffle is a way to engage in Black August study, with each ticket containing information on related topics. We look forward to the discussions that carry on after!

We’ll also be making announcements about the upcoming 5K in Maroon’s honor, as the registration deadline is the following day (Aug 24). If you want to participate but haven’t registered yet, you can do it here! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and go over logistics. This will also be a good opportunity to submit tabling requests for the event, if you have material you would like to share.

We look forward to seeing you at this special, Black August edition card writing event for Maroon!

Statement from Anarchist Black Cross Federation Regarding “Running Down the Walls” 2020

from It’s Going Down

The following statement comes from United Freedom Front political prisoner Jaan Karl Laaman on the upcoming ‘Running Down the Walls’ events in 2020:

A loud revolutionary shout-out, to all the runners, joggers, walkers, and others coming together this September 6th, for Running Down the Walls 2020. In the midst of this deadly COVD pandemic and the even more deadly centuries-long racist pandemic, we need to come together across the country and on both sides of the walls, this year more than ever.

I believe this is the 21st Running Down the Walls. In 1999, we had a real good solidarity run in Leavenworth and lots of political prisoners and prisoners overall, have been running down the walls in prison yards, control units, and other seg cells ever since.

Here in USP McCreary and throughout the federal BOP prisons, we have been on a pandemic lockdown since March. Hard to say if yards will be open by September. If they are, I along with other conscious-minded convicts will be joining everyone else- outside and in, on September 6th. If I am still locked down, I will join you all in my cell, throwing hard, high and fast kicks for 45 minutes straight! Well, haha, probably with a few breaths in between, but I will be with you all, in strong spirit and focused activity.

OK, let’s kick it off – get to running. Let me finish by telling you about this button I used to always wear when I was a student in 1968 – “Less talk, More action, SMASH RACISM.”

BLM, Jaan Laaman
Ohio 7 political prisoner

Philly Running Down the Walls: September 6th

Sunday, September 6, 2020
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10am)
FDR Park
Register here.

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross presents our third annual Running Down The Walls (RDTW)! Join us for another revolutionary 5K run/walk/bike/skate and day of solidarity. In light of COVID-19, please bring a face mask and follow social distancing recommendations. If you would like to participate in light yoga and warm-up stretches before, please arrive by 10am and bring a mat if you can.

Running is not required! You can also walk, bike, skate or roll. 5K is two loops around the park and at a walking pace will take about 45-60 minutes. Light refreshments and socializing will take place in the park afterward.

This year’s event is co-sponsored by the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz — long-term Black liberation prisoner held in SCI Fayette. Join us as we celebrate the release of Chuck Africa earlier this year, commemorate the life of Delbert Africa, and raise some funds for the freedom struggle of another Philly comrade, Maroon.

After spending 48 years in prison, Maroon turns 77 on August 23rd while also battling cancer during a global pandemic. He needs our support now more than ever.

Fighting Stage 4 cancer, [I have] for 10 months been on various types of chemotherapy at SCI-Fayette, have watched 3 prisoners die of cancer, and my single cell was taken to make room for suspected COVID-19 prisoners, will be transferred to SCI-Dallas for another operation to remove a cancerous growth soon. The struggle continues!

– Political Prisoner, Russell Maroon Shoats/z

Philadelphia RDTW 2020 is dedicated to amplifying the voices of our comrades behind bars, lifting them up in their struggles, and maintaining material post-release support.

If you cannot make it to the event or would like to make an additional contribution, please sponsor a participant either outside prison or inside or one of each. Contact us for more information on sponsoring!

Proceeds will be split between the Warchest Program and the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support.

Register for the 5K

Thanks for your support by running/walking/biking/skating the 5K! Everyone must fill out the following form to register NO LATER THAN AUGUST 24TH so that you receive your official shirt the day of the event.

The registration fee of $40 confirms your place at the event and covers your t-shirt. We can accept credit/debit donations online or cash/check/money order on the day of event. Make checks and money orders out to ‘Tim Fasnacht.” Additional funds over the $40 base fee raised through sponsorships are more than welcome .

After submitting the following registration form, please allow 24 – 48 hours for your confirmation email. Check your Spam folder if the message does not appear in your Inbox. If you did not receive a confirmation email, please get in touch with us at phillyabc[at]riseup[dot]net.

Political Prisoner and Prison Rebel Birthdays for August

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.]

Political prisoner and prison rebel birthdays and updates for August 2020.

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

The month of August is commemorated as “Black August” by many radical prisoners in memory of George Jackson, August 10 is commemorated in Canada and some other countries as Prisoners Justice Day, and the week of August 23-30 is observed as an international week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners by a number of international ABC groups in memory of Sacco and Vanzetti, so you may wish to do something for some or all of those events.

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. Two incarcerated pre-trial defendants in need of support that I’m aware of are Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal in Philadelphia and Margaret Channon in Seattle, but there must be many others, possibly some near to you. [Philly Anti-Cap Note: Margaret Channon was released on bail.]

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal #70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
P.O. 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.

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.

Lawrence Michaels

A former Vaughn 17 defendant, and contributor to the Vaughn zine, ‘Live from the Trenches’. 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 Smithfield
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 Fayette
Post Office Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida 33733

Running Down The Walls

from Philly ABC

Download posters and flyers.

Sunday, September 6, 2020
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10am)
FDR Park

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross presents our third annual Running Down The Walls (RDTW)! Join us for another revolutionary 5K run/walk/bike/skate and day of solidarity. In light of COVID-19, please bring a face mask and follow social distancing recommendations. If you would like to participate in light yoga and warm-up stretches before, please arrive by 10am and bring a mat if you can.

Running is not required! You can also walk, bike, skate or roll. 5K is two loops around the park and at a walking pace will take about 45-60 minutes. Light refreshments and socializing will take place in the park afterward.

This year’s event is co-sponsored by the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz — long-term Black liberation prisoner held in SCI Fayette. Join us as we celebrate the release of Chuck Africa earlier this year, commemorate the life of Delbert Africa, and raise some funds for the freedom struggle of another Philly comrade, Maroon.

After spending 48 years in prison, Maroon turns 77 on August 23rd while also battling cancer during a global pandemic. He needs our support now more than ever.

Fighting Stage 4 cancer, [I have] for 10 months been on various types of chemotherapy at SCI-Fayette, have watched 3 prisoners die of cancer, and my single cell was taken to make room for suspected COVID-19 prisoners, will be transferred to SCI-Dallas for another operation to remove a cancerous growth soon. The struggle continues!

– Political Prisoner, Russell Maroon Shoats/z

Philadelphia RDTW 2020 is dedicated to amplifying the voices of our comrades behind bars, lifting them up in their struggles, and maintaining material post-release support.

If you cannot make it to the event or would like to make an additional contribution, please sponsor a participant either outside prison or inside or one of each. Contact us for more information on sponsoring!


Proceeds will be split between the Warchest Program and the campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support.

Register for the 5K

Thanks for your support by running/walking/biking/skating the 5K! Everyone must fill out the following form to register NO LATER THAN AUGUST 24TH so that you receive your official shirt the day of the event.

The registration fee of $40 confirms your place at the event and it is preferred that this be paid by PayPal before the day of, although cash and money orders to Tim Fasnacht can also be accepted at the event. Additional funds over the $40 base fee raised through sponsorships are more than welcome (see our fundraising tips below).

After submitting the following registration form, please allow 24 – 48 hours for your confirmation email. Check your Spam folder if the message does not appear in your Inbox. If you did not receive a confirmation email, please get in touch with us at phillyabc[at]riseup[dot]net.

[Register Here]

Tips to Get Sponsors for your 5K Participation

Many runners will pay the $40 registration fee on their own but if you would like to get sponsored instead, here’s a few tips and ideas to get you started.

  • Make a list of potential donors. Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors…think creatively and include everyone you can think of (it doesn’t hurt to ask). Who might be supportive? Who cares about similar causes? Decide to ask for a specific amount that you think will be within your prospective sponsor’s budget (for instance $1 for each kilometer or an even $40 to represent the Move prisoners’ years on the inside).
  • Make hand-written letters. Deliver them personally if possible. Write your letter in a genuine tone and reference your relationship. Email is faster, but many will be less likely to forget a letter (than an email in a crowded inbox) and they’ll appreciate the personal touch. Include a self addressed envelope for people to mail checks. Use email to follow up with those who don’t respond.
  • Make it personal and face to face. Ask for support from the people you see regularly, and ask in person. People respond to eye contact, assertiveness and passion. Tell them why you’re inspired to support political prisoners and their stories. Practice the conversation beforehand if you think it might be difficult to find words in the moment.
  • Use all communication tools available- Phone calls, text, social media, websites, and email to reach broader networks. If you’re trying to appeal to an organization, make it clear that the event can be a source of positive press for them. Ask them to match the donations of other groups if possible. You could even start a crowdfunding page for your run. Add quality images and tell a story to engage people. Share it on social media and encourage your friends to do the same. Use letters and other communications to direct people to your crowdfunding page.
  • Follow up, provide updates and say ‘thank you.’ Remember to reconnect to your sponsors with photos and stories from the event and thank them for their support.

History

Since 1999, the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, political prisoners and support organizations across the country participate in Running Down The Walls (RDTW). This annual 5K run/jog/walk/roll/bike event is to show solidarity and raise funds for numerous political prisoners in North America. Funds raised are typically split between the ABCF Warchest and a community group chosen by the host group. Each year, incarcerated comrades participate by running inside prison. This event brings us closer together each year, strengthens our bond, and lets prisoners know they are not forgotten! Read RDTW statements from current and former PP/POWs.

The Warchest program receives funds from ABC chapters and individuals every month and then disperses the funds to the prisoners in the program. Since initiation in November 1994, the program has dispersed more than $75,000. The current Warchest recipients are:

In past years, Running Down the Walls was held in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Bloomington (IN), Boston (MA), Brooklyn (NY), Buffalo (NY), Chicago (IL), Denver (CO), Hamilton (Ontario), Elmore (AL), FCI Sandstone (MN), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), Middletown (CT), Minneapolis (MN), USP Navosta (TX), Oakland (CA), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Riverside (CA), Seattle (WA), Tucson (AZ), and Toronto (Ontario).

Healing & Justice – Honoring Dr. Mutulu Shakur – Philadelphia

from Facebook

Book an appointment for acupuncture, massage or an herbal consultation for yourself or as a gift for someone who deserves it. Through his revolutionary work with Lincoln Detox, Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America and the Harlem Institute of Acupuncture, Dr. Shakur utilized acupuncture to not only heal but also empower. In honor of this legacy, licensed acupuncturists, massage therapists and herbalists will come together at Six Fishes Neighborhood Acupuncture to provide care for sliding scale donations of $25- $50.

Donations are tax-deductible & support Dr. Shakur’s legal defense, commissary essentials, and projects promoting justice for the Black community. In solidarity with long-term political prisoner from Philadelphia who is battling cancer, Russell Maroon Shoatz, a portion of proceeds from the event will go to his support fund. Cash is accepted or for a tax deduction, bring check or money order made out to CAD.

Since space is limited, use the form below to schedule an appointment: http://mutulushakur.com/site/2019/11/healing-justice-philadelphia-2019/

[December 7 from 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM at Six Fishes Acupuncture,  Chinese Herbs & Massage 2308 Grays Ferry Ave]

Maroon Sues DOC and Wins! Settlement Reached

from Free Russell Maroon Shoatz

Settlement reached in Shoatz v. Wetzel

July 11, 2016: Pittsburgh PA —A settlement has been reached in the case of Shoatz v. Wetzel, which challenged the 22-year solitary confinement of Abolitionist Law Center client and political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. This brings an end to litigation begun in 2013. In February 2014, following an international campaign on behalf of Shoatz, he was released from solitary confinement.

In exchange for Shoatz ending the lawsuit the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) has agreed that it will not place Shoatz back in solitary confinement based on his prior disciplinary record or activities; Shoatz will have a single-cell status for life, meaning he will not have to experience the extreme hardship of being forced to share a cell following decades of enforced isolation; a full mental health evaluation will be provided; and the DOC has paid a monetary settlement.

Russell Maroon Shoatz had the following to say about the settlement: “I have nothing but praise for all of those who supported me and my family for all of the years I was in Solitary Confinement, as well as helped to effect my release. Since joining the struggle for Human Rights in the mid 1960s, I have always chosen to fight! Frederick Douglass was right when he said ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ So have no doubt that I see this Settlement as anything but the latest blow struck, and you rest assured that I will continue in the struggle for Human Rights. Straight Ahead!”

Prison Officials Denying Russell Maroon Shoatz Treatment for Prostate Cancer

from facebook

Action Alert –Prison Officials Denying Russell Maroon Shoatz Treatment for Prostate Cancer – Call Prison Today

Political prisoner and former Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF3855 was informed that he had prostate cancer on December 9, 2014. Prison medical staff has not provided any treatment to date. Cancer does not wait for the prison bureaucracy. Maroon’s health, his life, and his rights are being violated every moment he is denied necessary cancer treatment.

Call SCI Graterford and PADOC Secretary Wetzel today and demand that Maroon be provided immediate, necessary medical care for his prostate cancer.