Russell Maroon Shoats

Russell Maroon Shoats

Russel was transfered earlier this week. As of 1/17/14 his new address is:

RUSSELL MAROON SHOATS
#AF-3855
SCI Graterford
PO Box 244
Graterford, PA 19426 – 0246

Russell Maroon Shoats is a dedicated community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party and soldier in the Black Liberation Army.  He is serving multiple life sentences for an attack on a police station which resulted in an officer being killed.

Personal Background

Russell was born August 1943 in Philadelphia.  He was one of 12 children.  At the age of 15 he became involved in a gang and was in and out of reform shools and youth institutions until the age of 18.

As a young man he married twice and became the father of seven children.  In the mid 1960s Russell started becoming active in the New Afrikan liberation movement.  He founded the Black Unity Council, which merged with the Philadelphia Chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1969.

Tensions were high in Philadelphia in the summer of 1970 because Philadelphia Police Chief Frank Rizzo had ordered a crackdown on militant groups in the run-up to the national convention of the Black Panther Party in Philadelphia on September 5, 1970.

Tensions intensified when police killed a black youth in Philadelphia.  A retaliatory attack was carried out on a police station, killing officer Frank Von Coln and injuring one other.

The shooting of Von Coln prompted a 2 a.m. raid on the Black Panther headquarters in North Philadelphia. After the raid police officials allowed news photographers to take humiliating photos of the Black Panthers being strip searched on the street.

Russell and four others (who became known as the “Philly Five”) were immediately charged with the attack.  They went underground and continued to struggle for New Afrikan self-determination as part of the Black Liberation Army.

Legal Case

In January of 1972 Russell was captured.  He was convicted of the attack on the police station and sentenced to life.

Life in Prison

1977 Prison Escape

Russell escaped with three others from Huntingdon State Prison in 1977.  Two were recaptured and the third was killed during the escape.  Russell remained at large for 27 days, leading to a massive manhunt by local, state and federal forces, as well as citizen recruits from nearby white, rural areas.

From his capture in 1977 until 1989 Russell was shipped from state, county and federal prisons, kept in long term solitary confinement the entire time.  In 1979 he was forcibly transferred to the Fairview State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. While at Fairview he was forcibly drugged, which in one case lead to him being hospitalized when he was overdosed.

1980 Prison Escape

In March of 1980 he escaped prison with a fellow revolutionary after a New Afrikan activist smuggled a revolver and sub-machine gun into the institution.  Three days later all three were captured after a gun battle with local, state and county police, and FBI agents.

Camp Hill Prison Riot

In 1989, Pennsylvania prison Camp Hill erupted in a riot because of overcrowding and inhumane conditions. Despite being held in a Dallas prison and having nothing to do with the incident, Russell was implicated in it and as a result was transferred to the notorious Marion Supermax prison over 1,000 miles from friends, family and supporters.

Supporters fought to have Russell removed from solitary confinement in Marion and released into general population.  They were finally successful in December of 1989.

Russell Returns to Solitary Confinement

Unfortunately Russell was placed back into long term solitary confinement in 1991 at SCI Greene in Waynesburg, PA.  Despite still being held in 23 hour a day lockdown, Russell remains a committed New Afrikan freedom fighter.

Media

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11 Responses

  1. [...] RUSSELL MAROON SHOATS AF-3855 175 Proggress Dr. Waynesburg, PA 15370 August 23, 1943 (Black Liberation Army POW) More info on Russell [...]

  2. [...] past 21 years, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has recommended that BLA Prisoner of War Russell Maroon Shoatz be released into the prison’s general [...]

  3. [...] past 21 years, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has recommended that BLA Prisoner of War Russell Maroon Shoatz be released into the prison’s general [...]

  4. 
*UPDATE* Spoke with Maroon last night!!! Please call Secretary Of Department of Correction, Shirley Moore Smeal- as she has the final say.

    Phone: (717) 975-4918


  5. [...] recently published for Russell Maroon Shoats’ a new piece, titled “Liberation or Gangsterism: Freedom or Slavery.” We’ve been corresponding [...]

  6. The fight to have Harin removed from the hole must continue..and the struggle for freedom for all political prisoners must never cease…today the ignorant young drug dealer must be recognized as a political prisoner…as i was once ignornant..and awakened in prison by brothers like Russell and brothers like Wayne Musa Henderson who was killed that September 14 1977 night..outside the prison…that bastion of racist hell..wehat a night that was..i do remember it vividly..

  7. [...] Cinque MageeAbdul MajidSekou OdingaReverend Joy PowellRonald ReedKojo Bomani SababuDr. Mutulu ShakurRussell Maroon ShoatsGary TylerGeorge WrightAngola ThreeHerman WallaceAlbert WoodfoxMOVE 9Chuck Sims AfricaDebbie Sims [...]

  8. [...] Russell Maroon Shoats is a dedicated community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party and soldier in the Black Liberation Army. He is serving multiple life sentences for an attack on a police station which resulted in an officer being killed. [...]

  9. [...] Russell Maroon Shoats is a dedicated community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party and soldier in the Black Liberation Army. He is serving multiple life sentences for an attack on a police station which resulted in an officer being killed. [...]

  10. […] Russell Maroon Shoats  #AF-3855, SCI Frackville, 1111 Altamont Boulevard, Frackville, Pennsylvania 17931, USA. [Correct as of: 25/10/13] Maroon is a 68-year old political prisoner, community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army. He has spent the last twenty-one years in solitary confinement within the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC). During this time he has not violated prison rules, and has not been issued any misconducts in more than two decades. Despite his impeccable record, prison authorities continue to hold him in 23-24 hour lockdown at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Greene based on acts that occurred more than thirty years ago. For more background info see his Denver ABC page. […]

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