Mumia Wins Federal Court Victory On Hep-C Treatment!

From Indybay:

mumia-2On January 3rd, a federal court granted Mumia Abu-Jamal’s petition for immediate and effective treatment for his Hepatitis-C infection, which has hitherto been denied him. The judge struck down Pennsylvania’s protocols as “deliberate indifference to serious medical need,” said Rachel Wolkenstein, lawyer for Mumia.

Bret Grote, of the Abolitionist Law Center, and associate attorney Bob Boyle led the case in court. “This is the first case in the country in which a federal court has ordered prison officials to provide an incarcerated patient with the new [Hep-C] medications that came on the market in 2013,” said Grote.

This is a rare and important win for innocent political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal in a court system that has routinely subjected him to the “Mumia exception,” i.e., a refusal of justice despite court precedents in his favor. Thousands of Hep-C-infected prisoners throughout Pennsylvania and the US stand to benefit from this decision, provided it is upheld.

But, it is up to us to make sure that this decision is not over-turned on appeal–something the State of Pennsylvania will most likely seek.

Hundreds demonstrated in both Philadelphia and Oakland on December 9th to demand both this Hep-C treatment for prisoners, and “Free Mumia Now!” In Oakland, the December 9th Free Mumia Coalition rallied in downtown and then marched on the OPD headquarters. The Coalition brought over two dozen groups together to reignite the movement to free Mumia; and now we need your support to expand and build for more actions in this new, and likely very dangerous year for political prisoners.

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (LAC) urges you to get involved and support the December 9th Coalition.

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More information: December 9th is the date in 1981 on which Mumia was shot by a cop, almost killed, and then framed for the murder of Officer Daniel Faulkner, which had already taken place before Mumia arrived on the scene. Mumia was an anti-racist activist and journalist, whose activities and radio reports on police brutality had made him a target of both federal and local cops and politicians.

Mumia’s trial before a racist judge was a crime scene in itself, with corrupted and lying “witnesses,” honest witnesses not called to appear, faked “evidence” and Mumia himself removed from most of his own trial! His State appeal was held before the same racist judge, and another man who confessed to the Faulkner killing was never called before any court.

Mumia contracted Hepatitis-C from a blood transfusion in the hospital in 1981 after his arrest. Decades later, this long-incubating viral infection exploded into a raft of debilitating secondary symptoms, and into the present threat Mumia faces of cirrhosis of the liver and likely death, unless he receives the newly-available curative treatment. While treating him for the secondary symptoms, the PA prison DOC has up to now refused the essential cure, due to its cost (while masking this in a litany of excuses).

In 1995, mass international demonstrations took place, which succeeded in stopping the threat of immediate execution which had been leveled against Mumia by the PA governor. And in 1999, Oakland teachers held unauthorized teach-ins on Mumia and the death penalty, and longshore workers in the ILWU shut down all West Coast ports to free Mumia. More recently, the LAC has organized demonstrations demanding treatment for prisoners like Mumia and against price-gouging by Gilead Sciences, the maker of the Hep-C drug Harvoni, which all Hep-C victims need.

Now, we must ramp up all this movement to demand: Treatment for all Hep-C infected prisoners, and Free Mumia Now!

http://www.laboractionmumia.org

URGENT: The Earth First! Journal Collective Needs $80,000 to Stay in Our House!

From Earth First! Journal:

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UPDATE: A huge thank you to everyone who donated yesterday! The response was incredible and has helped tremendously. All told, we raised over $4,000 in one day, which is just amazing. Thank you all. We also found some people interested in investing in the property. We met with the property owner yesterday, and though we are not sure whether or not we’ll be able to buy the house, it is now a possibility. Your donations are still helpful as we figure this out: If we are able to buy the house, money raised will go either towards purchasing it or repairing it (anyone who has visited our office can tell you it’s not in prime condition); if we aren’t, it will go towards the next Journal home.

Donate here

The house that the Earth First! Journal Collective has been renting for about four years in Lake Worth, Florida, has been sold, and we are now in dire need of money to make a counter offer by 4:00 PM today! With enough room and yard space for short and long termers to live and work, which is rare in this city and especially at this price, this house is ideal, and we really want to keep it. Unfortunately, we need at least 80,000 dollars to buy the property. If you have ever thought about making a donation of any amount to the Journal, now is the time!

If it turns out that our counter offer isn’t enough or we have to leave for any other reason, any money we raise now will go towards helping current Collective members transition to a new office situation and find storage space for journals, computers, and other supplies.

We hate to have to ask for so much, and realize that money is tight for a lot of people this time of year, but any contribution you make today could help the Journal thrive for years to come.

If you are planning on making a large donation, please contact us first! If you have questions about donating to this cause, feel free to contact us. Email: collective[at]earthfirstjournal.org. Phone: (561) 320-3840

Donate here

Sean is on Hunger Strike

From seanswain.noblogs.org:

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We received word recently from a friend of Sean’s that Sean is currently on hunger strike and has been placed in a suicide cell.

Although details are still murky, we know that Sean has been without food since December 26th. He was charged with extortion of a deputy warden and had begun a disciplinary process when he began his hunger strike and was placed in a suicide cell.

We know that the prison is recognizing his hunger strike and following the associated procedures, which include taking him to the medical unit every day and weighing him and taking his vital signs. It is unclear whether they are attempting to negotiate with him in any way.

Please take a moment to write a letter of encouragement to Sean and to call the following prison administrators and encourage them to negotiate with Sean and help him end this hunger strike as quickly as possible.

Deputy Director of Operations Casey Barr (513) 932-3388 ext. 2005

Warden’s Assistant Greg Kraft (513) 932-3388 ext. 2010

Ten Reasons to Go Hard on January 20

crimethinc-art01

From CrimethInc:

The inauguration of Donald Trump is right around the corner. Disrupt J20 is publicizing a wide range of demonstrations all around the US on January 20, including a call for an anti-capitalist and anti-fascist contingent in Washington, DC.

But why focus on this particular day, of all days? And why would it be worth driving across the country to a city crowded with reactionaries and police? Here are ten reasons why we think everyone needs to pull out the stops on January 20.

What is at stake here is not a single day of protest, but the paradigm of what it will mean to resist Trump. Right now, people around the US are outraged and terrified at the prospect of being governed by a megalomaniacal buffoon. This is an opportunity to expand the networks of people who are prepared to stand up to the government, but it won’t last long. If the demonstrations are basically a rerun of the anyone-but-Bush years in which protesters simply carried signs powerlessly expressing their disapproval, everything that currently feels intolerable about a Trump presidency will be normalized soon enough. On the other hand, if the demonstrations interfere with the inauguration and the maintenance of order, that will help to normalize the kind of resistance that will be necessary to prevent Trump from implementing his agenda.

Whatever happens on January 20 will shape the popular imagination about the era we are entering. It will help to determine what people feel entitled to do, what they expect of themselves and each other, and how they conceive of the long-term horizon of social change.

Trump has benefitted from being able to portray himself as a rebel against the political establishment, a sort of billionaire underdog. This narrative is laughable already, but after January 20, when he and the Republican Party control the federal government in its entirety, there must be no confusion in anyone’s mind that they are the establishment, and the real rebels are those who defy them.

The inauguration is an opportunity for a wide range of people to work together, building new networks that could act together for years to come. People from many different organizations and contexts are calling for demonstrations on January 20. For example, alongside Disrupt J20, Ungovernable 2017 is bringing together partisans of Black autonomy and many other groups around the US under the same principles of self-determination and combativeness that motivate anarchist opposition to Trump. If the actions on January 20 go well, new fighting formations might arise that could continue to act together as the Trump era gets underway. When we approach days of action like January 20, it is important to aim beyond the target, understanding such days as steppingstones in the long process of building powerful movements.

Demonstrators in DC can choose between a wide variety of tactics and points of intervention. Some are calling for blockades at the checkpoints around the parade route, in hopes that Trump will ride into office in front of silent, empty bleachers. Others are preparing to rove the city, supporting and defending other protesters and responding to situations as they arise. Still others are looking at blocking the transportation infrastructure. Washington, DC offers countless possibilities for self-organized groups to set their own goals and choose their own targets on their own time.

What happens in the United States on January 20 will have massive repercussions all over the world. Right now, nationalist politicians like Marine le Pen are hoping to ride Trump’s coattails to victory all around the world, while people in Mexico, Syria, and elsewhere fear for the policies Trump has promised to implement. If people outside the US see resistance directed against Trump from the first day of his term, that will renew their morale, set an example of what it means to fight back, and give them a reason not to fear or hate ordinary US citizens—which could save lives by discouraging terrorist attacks. It will also show the global ruling class that propelling the most explicitly reactionary and repressive candidate into office only creates havoc and disorder, discouraging them from supporting additional far-right nationalist parties.

The price of failure is dire. Imagine the worst case scenario, in which millions of fans cheer for Trump while fascist gangs beat up protesters around Washington, DC. That would embolden right-wing thugs all over the country, provoking a new wave of racist attacks and recruiting: it would make 2017 the equivalent of 1932 in Germany. At the very least, we owe it to those who are determined to demonstrate in DC to make sure that they are not alone.

On the other hand, if the demonstrations succeed, we shouldn’t let them be a missed opportunity. In the best-case scenario, Trump’s inauguration will be massively disrupted. Even in that case, however, it is still possible that the message that comes out of the protests will be the kind of reformism that failed so catastrophically under Obama, the same authoritarian liberal politics that set the stage for Trump to come to power in the first place. Everyone who has a thoroughgoing vision of liberation should be in Washington, DC to present it to the world.

This is our only chance to fight Trump under the laws and police protocol of the Obama era. Later, when the Trump administration introduces new laws and surveillance programs and government agencies and FBI operations, it will be too late to build up momentum to resist them. We have to do that right now, while millions of people are angry, before it becomes significantly more difficult to organize. Neither hiding out in secretive closed circles nor behaving passively and obediently will keep anyone safe. If no one puts up any resistance, the crackdown will hit everyone sooner or later. The only surefire guarantee of safety is a powerful movement that can support arrestees and impose material consequences for repression.

The DC police will have their hands full. At the turn of the century, DC police carried out a series of mass arrests in an attempt to suppress “anti-globalization” protests in the city; consequently, they were forced to pay out many millions of dollars in lawsuit settlements. (In one famous instance, two “black bloc anarchists” escaped from a mass arrest of over 500 people by crawling through the sewers, only to miss out on $18,000 each.) Since then, DC police have been much more cautious in their treatment of protesters. They may change their protocol for January 20—anything is possible—but in a crowded situation with many different protagonists in the streets, it will be difficult for them to isolate demonstrators or to use violence against them without creating a volatile situation. If they are forced to employ tear gas, LRADs, or other indiscriminate weapons with the streets full of rich Republicans, that will be a humiliating defeat for them. It will show the world that—contrary to his promises—Trump’s inauguration does not herald the return of order but a period of intensifying chaos, and that real peace can only come about on mutually agreeable terms, not through the suppression of dissent.

Anything that happens in DC will be worth 100 actions anywhere else. With all the police pressure concentrated on the nation’s capitol, it will be difficult indeed to pull off actions around the parade route—but with the eyes of the whole world fixed on Washington, DC, any effective action that takes place within the city limits will have a tremendous impact. Actions in other parts of the country may enable people to build ties locally, but they will likely be overshadowed in the nationwide narrative by whatever happens in DC. Indeed, if the demonstrations in DC go well, people in other parts of the country will likely be much more enthusiastic about getting involved with local organizing. Likewise, any new tactics that are demonstrated in Washington, DC will spread rapidly around the country.

If you can’t make it to DC, there are plenty of models for organizing where you are: student walkouts, wildcat strikes, demonstrations, and more. You could decorate your city in advance, or pick a target and carry out an offensive strike to shut down business for the day. Everywhere in the US and around the world, January 20 will be an opportunity to connect with people on the basis of opposition to the regime. Go into the day ready to promote plans for the next action, so you can build from one event to the next. Any actions that take place before January 20 will help to build up enthusiasm for it, just as actions immediately after the 20th will help continue momentum. Aim beyond the target!

If you find all this persuasive, you can find considerable information on the Disrupt J20 website about how to prepare for the demonstrations in DC and elsewhere around the US. Good luck and hope to see you soon.

Jalil Muntaqim has been in the SHU since December 6th for teaching Black History

From Free Jalil:

Jalil Muntaqim has been in the SHU since December 6th for teaching Black History – a course approved by the administration. He’s taught Black History for almost 2 months, now teaching about the 1960’s, anti-Vietnam War movement and the Black Panther Party.

We believe Jalil was written up because the authorities didn’t like what he was teaching, so he was placed in the SHU with 5 charges.

This is part of an ongoing program to censor Jalil, which escalated this year after he beat charges for writing a letter to an outside organization and was denied newspapers from the outside.

Following is Jalil’s letter detailing what occurred:

December 14, 2016

Dear Anne:
 
As you probably heard, I’ve been placed in SHU with a penalty of 8 months, suspending 4 months for 6 months, having to do 4 months. The charges were: 105.13 Gangs, 105.11 Unauthorized Addresses, 105.14 Unauthorized Organization, 104.11 Violent Conduct, 104.12 Demonstration.
 
This all stems from a class on Black History that I was approved to give and had been teaching for a couple of months, starting in 1861-62 with the Confiscation Act, and now in the 1960’s dealing with the Black Panther Party. During the course of the lecture I presented the 8 Points of Attention:
 
1. Speak Politely; 2. Pay Fairly for What You Buy; 3. Return Everything You Borrow; 4. Pay for Everything You Damage; 5. Do Not Hit or Swear at People; 6. Do Not Damage the Property or Crops of the Poor Oppressed People/Masses; 7. Do Not Take Liberties with Women; 8. If We Take Captives, Do Not Ill Treat Them.
 
This was presented discussing the ethics of the Panthers and how these Points of Attention engendered good relationships with the people in the community. I should have known they would ignore everything but Point 8.
 
Also, I offered an analogy, comparing and contrasting the BPP with the Bloods, stating they need to get organized, get away from criminal behavior and tribal warfare. If they did they could be a large army for the people. I was asked how to make that possible, and I answered they need to get a universal newspaper together that they could collectively contribute to. They interpret this that I was trying to organize them.
 
The Tier III hearing officer, Mr. Marche, dismissed the charge of 105.11 Unauthorized Addresses and 105.14 Unauthorized Organization, finding me guilty of 105.13 Gangs, 104.11 Violent Conduct, and 104.12 Demonstration.
 
I’ve written to Prisoners Legal Services in Buffalo asking them to consider representing me on appeal. If they agree, I’ll still be sitting here for 60 days waiting for a decision.
 
As you know, I have been suffering intense harassment, first messing with my mail, trying to put me in SHU for writing to I Am We Prison Advocacy Network, then denying me receipt of The Militant newspaper, now succeeding by taking comments out of a 1 and a half hour lecture and cobbling them into a narrative to fit rule violations, removing them from the original context and intent. Given the recent NY Times newspaper articles exposing the racist practices of both disciplinary hearings and parole board decisions, it is apparent the harsh penalty in this case coincides with the findings of the NY Times articles.
 
In this regard, it is important that folk know this seemingly unrelenting harassment is consistent with the NYS Correctional Officers Association’s alliance with the PBA’s opposition to my release on parole. With the growing and mounting campaign to persuade Gov. Cuomo to grant my application to commute the sentence, these entities are mounting a campaign to thwart any possibility for success at the parole board. We must vigorously condemn this disciplinary sanction and demand that it be reversed. But just as importantly, we need to further expose the racist nature of the disciplinary process and correctional guards/administrators persistent efforts to prohibit my release on parole.
 
In this regard, I also ask you to try to contact the writers of the NY Times articles and urge them to investigate this disciplinary sanction. They can get a copy of the video tape of the class and audio tapes from the hearing.…
 
Until next time.
 
Revolutionary Love and Unity,
Jalil

– – – – –

Write to Jalil:
Anthony J. Bottom #77A4283
Southport C.F.
236 Bob Masia Drive
P.O. Box 2000
Pine City, NY 14871-2000

If you want to help
Jalil A. Bottom with commissary, send a Postal money order to his address above.

Memorial Fund Launched: Help us Honor Michael Israel, Fallen YPG Volunteer

Posted on Rocky Mountain Antifa, original post by Sacramento Antifa:

michael_israelUpdate from Sacramento Antifa: Thanks to Rojava Solidarity NYC we now have t-shirts, books, stickers, and tote bags available to support Michael Israel’s memorial fund! More info here.
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On November 24th, 2016, beloved community organizer and committed antifascist Michael Israel was killed serving the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. Michael was from Motherlode California, and was on his second tour in Syria as part of an effort to fight fascist powers there, including ISIS- he planned on staying for several months as an international volunteer before returning home. He died alongside fellow international brigade member Anton Leschek and several Kurdish YPG defenders after being targeted by Turkish airstrikes in western Manbij. He was just 27 years old. The community that Michael left behind is a broad one- in addition to his volunteer work in Rojava, Michael was also involved throughout the years in local groups such as the Motherlode Progressives, Occupy Sacramento, Sacramento IWW, the Anti-War Movement, SEIU, and the Democratic Socialists of America. He was a shining example of virtue in his community, and a comrade to many. His friends and family grieve him deeply, and remember him tenderly. Michael was hell-bent on changing the world for the better, and hell-bent on giving back more than he took at the end of the day. Though his time was short, his success is evident in the impact he made on those around him and the causes he was dedicated to. We, like much of the Sacramento radical community, have been deeply affected by Michael’s passing. In honor of him and in support of his family, Antifa Sacramento has taken on the work of putting together a memorial fundraiser. At his family’s request, all funds left over from memorial expenses will be donated to the Kurdish struggle in Rojava that Michael so selflessly sacrificed for. May he rest in power, and may his contribution and character never be forgotten.

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You honor us, and now we honor you.

Donate Here!

Eric King is in Florence Co awaiting transfer to an unknown facility

From Support Eric King:

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On Friday, January 6th we learned that Eric had been moved to another federal prison in Colorado where he is awaiting  transfer to an unknown prison. This was an unexpected move and we are unsure how long he will be in prison there. The support team has become aware that Eric is being held in the Special Housing Unit, otherwise known as ” the hole”.  While Eric is there he will not be able to access his email and will only be allowed one phone call every 30 days. Not being able to contact his family and friends and being so unsure about his future has to feel pretty terrible for him right now. At every juncture, we arrive at with Eric along this journey there will be times where we may have to step up our support efforts and this is one of them.

Please join us in spreading this message far and wide. Take some time to send letters, cards or printed off articles that you think he might find interesting, and encourage others to do the same. Also, please print off and pass out the support flyer to continue getting the word out about Eric’s plight.

So, here is EKs new address:

Eric King
#27090045
FCI Florence
PO Box 6000
Floence, CO 81226

And here is the support flyer.

Thanks everyone! Lets keep up the fight!

-EK Support  Crew