from It’s Going Down

[This post only contains information relevant to Philadelphia and the surrounding area, to read the entire article follow the above link.]

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

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

Political Prisoner News

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

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

Vaughn 17

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

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

Uprising Defendants

Everyone should support the defendants facing charges related to their alleged participation in the George Floyd uprising – this list of our imprisoned comrades needs to be getting shorter, not longer. See Uprising Support for more info. The status of pre-trial defendants changes frequently, but to the best of our knowledge they currently include:

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

You can donate to David’s legal funds here.

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