Empty the Cages: Former Political Prisoners Speak Out

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https://www.facebook.com/events/754237618050159/

Join ABC and political prisoner support chapters across the continent in our annual panel discussion featuring former U.S. political prisoners:

Thursday October 13th
Doors open at 6:30pm
Speakers 7-9pm
Location: Whittier Community Center, 2900 Downing St.

Spanning generations of political struggle for liberation in the U.S., we are proud to help host this panel that will prove to be informative, inspirational and will help us build a stronger movement of support around resistance to repression by the State.

Speakers:
Sekou Kambui
Daniel McGowan
John Tucker
More TBA
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Sekou Kambui:
Sekou is a New Afrikan/Cherokee former political prisoner who survived 47 years of incarceration. Throughout the 1960’s, Sekou participated in the Civil Rights movement, organizing youth for participating in demonstrations and marches across Alabama, and providing security for meetings of the Southern Christian Leadership Council (SCLC), Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Sekou became affiliated with the Black Panther Party in 1967 in Chicago and New York. While in Detroit, he became a member of the Republic of New Afrika, before returning to Birmingham. Back in Alabama, Sekou coordinated community organization activity with the Alabama Black Liberation Front, the Inmates for Action (IFA) Defense Committee and the Afro-American People’s Party in the mid 1970’s. Sekou was also a soldier in the Black Liberation Army (BLA) during these years before his capture.

In 1975, Sekou was falsely arrested and charged with the murder of two white men: a KKK official from Tuscaloosa and a multimillionaire oil man from Birmingham. There was absolutely no evidence against him, only coerced testimony from individuals who subsequently recanted their statements. The judge refused to allow the recanted statements to be stricken from Sekou’s record. He continued the fight throughout his time in Prison. On June 30th, 2014, Sekou was released on parole.
———-
Daniel McGowan:
Daniel is an environmental and social justice activist from New York City. He was charged in Federal court on counts of arson, property destruction and conspiracy, all relating to two actions in Oregon in 2001, claimed by the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). McGowan was facing a minimum of life in prison if convicted when he accepted a non-cooperation plea agreement. His arrest is part of what the US government dubbed Operation Backfire; a coordinated, multi-state sweep of over 15 activists by the federal government who have charged the individuals with practically every earth and animal liberation action in the Pacific Northwest left unsolved. Many have considered this round up indicative of the government’s ‘Green Scare’ focus which has activists being arrested and threatened with life in prison. Many of the charges, including Daniel’s, were for crimes whose statute of limitations were about to expire. Daniel was released from prison on December 11, 2012.
———-
John Tucker:
John was one of five antifascists arrested in May 2012, after an altercation between white supremacists and antifascists in the Chicago suburb of Tinley Park that left ten injured fascists, three of which needed hospitalization. The case of the Tinley Park 5 received an overwhelming amount of public support. Despite the fact that the meeting was organized by violent white supremacist organizations including the National Socialist Movement, Council of Conservative Citizens, and Ku Klux Klan, the state showed their cozy relationship with white supremacy by refusing the accused antifascist activist bail or a plea deal comparable to any other criminal defendant in Cook County. In January 2013 the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea deal. John Tucker was released in February 2014. As of September 2014, all of the TP5 are released.
———-
Donations are encouraged, and will go towards the 6th Annual North American Anarchist Black Cross Conference.

If you can’t make it and would like to help cover travel costs for the panel and the conference, please donate here!
https://fundly.com/na-abc-conference?showsteps=1

We’ll see you there!

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Jay Chase Denied Care for Huntington’s Disease: Send Letters of Support

From POW Medical Justice:

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Political prisoner Jay Chase is currently experiencing rapid progression of symptoms from Huntington’s Disease as he is being denied a diet and supplements that are recommended for his condition.  Navigating any type of chronic health issue within prison is difficult, and HD is no exception.  The symptoms of HD can be described as having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – simultaneously, including:

  • Personality changes, mood swings & depression
  • Forgetfulness & impaired judgment
  • Unsteady gait & involuntary movements (chorea)
  • Slurred speech, difficulty in swallowing & significant weight loss

At this time, mail and letters to Jay are being requested so he knows he has the support of people who care about him.  Jay will probably not be able to respond to every letter, but it is anticipated that he will appreciate all mail and writing periodic letters, even if he does not respond initially, is welcome.

Support Parole for Eddie Africa

From the Move Organization:

eddie-africa-color-260x400pxIn October 2015 our Brother Eddie Africa is set to make another appearance before the Pennsylvania State Parole Board. Your letters of support is urgently needed. All of the information is below as follows:

We are asking for your support at this critical stage to secure the freedom Eddie deserves.  Feel free to use parts of the sample letter below. Please write in your own words and with your own experiences of/with Eddie.

NOTE: Please send all letters of support to Orie Ross, P.O. Box 575, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108-0575 so they can be reviewed and sent to the Board. The deadline for letters will be Wednesday September 30, 2015.

Sample Letter:

Board of Probation and Parole
Attn: Inmate Inquiry
1001 South Front Street, Suite 5300
Harrisburg, PA 17104

September  3, 2015

Regarding October 2015 Parole Hearing for: Edward Goodman #AM-4974

Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:

As a concerned citizen interested in helping Mr. Goodman successfully transition into life outside prison, I am writing to ask that you please grant him parole. He has served now 37 years of a 30-100 year sentence, even though the average sentence for his charges is 10-15 years. He is still in prison years after his minimum sentence despite having no major disciplinary problems in the last three decades. The notice provided to Mr. Goodman for his last parole denial lists the reasons for the denial as: “Your minimization/denial of the nature and circumstances of the offense(s) committed,” “Your refusal to accept responsibility for the offense(s) committed” and “The negative recommendation made by the prosecuting attorney.”

I understand the severe nature of the crime of which Mr. Goodman was convicted, however, I am concerned that Mr. Goodman maintaining his innocence is seen as an attempt to minimize or deny the nature and circumstances of the offense(s) or refuse to take responsibility, even while there is evidence that corroborates that the shot was fired from
a location where it is well known he was nowhere near. This phenomenon is referred to as “the innocent prisoner’s dilemma” implying that it is unfair and unethical to require someone who may have been wrongly convicted to provide false admission of guilt or remorse. Please take this dilemma into consideration.

I also understand that Mr. Goodman has not been recommended for parole by the institution where he is held despite having a clear disciplinary record for many years. In fact, the only time he received a disciplinary infraction in the last fifteen years was for not cutting his hair. He has completed all of the institutional programs he was asked to complete and has volunteered for others. Please take into consideration his good conduct as well as him having housing and employment secured upon his release. These factors, along with strong family and community support, make it very unlikely that Mr. Goodman will recidivate and I firmly believe that he is an excellent candidate for parole. I will personally help him acclimate in any way I can upon his release.

Mr. Goodman has now spent most of his life in prison, and the recidivism rate for people released at his age is very low. Please grant parole and allow him to be a part of, and contribute to, society as free citizen, a loving father and grandfather.

Sincerely,

[Name and signature]

 

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For September 2015 Is Now Available

From Prison Books Collective:

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Hello Friends and Comrades,

1) Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for September. As always, please post this poster publicly and/or use it to start a card writing night of your own.

2) We’ve put the text online of our new zine How To Start A Prison Books Collective. We hope that this humble contribution will help other prison books groups get started and expand the important work of sending political, legal, and self-educational resources to prisoners. You can find the text here.

3) The Prison Ecology Project has extended its online fundraiser. They are creating tools to dismantle toxic prisons. So far, they are the only group focused on the intersection of environment and mass incarceration. Currently they are building a database of the five thousand prisons and jails around the country, finding the weak points in the environmental realm, and providing tools to organize locally. You can donate here.

4) Michael Kimble is up for parole in December and we are trying to get people to write letters to the parole board on his account.

Michael is a gay, black anarchist imprisoned in Alabama since 1986 for murdering a racist homophobe. He has been active for much of that time in prison organizing and rebellion. In recent years, he has been involved in hunger and work strikes in Alabama, working with the Free Alabama Movement. Michael has suffered severe consequences for his uncompromising attitude, including numerous stints in solitary (where he currently is held). Despite this, he remains committed to struggle against prison and the state.

Please, if you can, write the parole board and help get Michael free. Also, please spread this information using whatever media have available to you. Here’s a link to Michael‘s website, with a write-up on how to support his parole.

5) On Wednesday, August 12th, long term political prisoner, Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell was murdered. The context for his murder remains unclear, save for the fact that it happened in the midst of a prison riot.

In the early 1970s, while imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison, Hugo Pinell made contact with revolutionary prisoners such as George Jackson, one of the Soledad Brothers, and W.L. Nolen. On August 21, 1971, there was a prisoner uprising in Pinell’s housing unit at San Quentin, led by George Jackson. On that date, Jackson used a pistol to take over his tier in the Adjustment Center. At the end of the roughly 30 minute rebellion, guards had killed George Jackson, and two other prisoners and three guards were dead. Of the remaining prisoners in the unit, six of them, including Pinell, were put on trial for murder and conspiracy. Together, they were known as The San Quentin Six. Three of them were acquitted of all charges, and three were found guilty of various charges. Pinell was convicted of assault on a guard. For more on Hugo Pinell’s life and death see this excellent article from the San Francisco Bay View.

6) Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update by the  NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown, Memorials for Hugo Pinell, poetry and more.

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

Greece: Call in solidarity with Evi Statiri

From Act For Freedom Now:

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Inter Arma received and translated:

On September 3, the Judicial Council is going to decide on the extension of the pre-trial detention of Evi Statiri.

In the context of the nationwide call for action and solidarity which has been organized by comrades for the 2nd of September, we invite all anarchist individualities, direct action cells and comrades to sabotage normality and to destroy the clock of power. To brake the silence with counter-info actions (posters, flyers, banners, slogans) and to end the immobility of passivity with actions and sabotage.

On September 2, let us challenge the world of organized apathy with hostile gestures of insubordination.

NO REGRET

NO DEFEAT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF EVI STATIRI

2 SEPTEMBER NATIONWIDE DAY OF ACTION

individualities tending towards chaos

“Until we are free” a poem by Eric King

From Support Eric King:

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My wrists are chained cold

but my heart beats pure lava

waiting for your image to grace

the 12 inch screen that contains my dreams

fingertips graze the screen, can you feel me?

60 minutes until lights go out

why can’t I freeze time just once?

why can’t we both have what we want?

I want to live in your deep almond eyes

somewhere safe where we can always hide

where we can turn off the pain & turn off the lights

panic sets in, when the thoughts begin

what if I never see my love again?

every second separated is its own lifetime

trying to focus now on every expression

cause goddammit when you are gone I need to remember

before we’re staring at blanks and the clock reads zero

is your flight boarding to carry you away from me?

i’ll see you in my dreams

until we are free

International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners!

week-of-solidarity

TILL ALL ARE FREE:

International Week for Anarchist Prisoners

In summer 2013 members of several ABC groups discussed the necessity of introducing an International Day for Anarchist Prisoners. Given there are already established dates for Political Prisoners Rights Day or Prison Justice Day, we found it important to emphasize the stories of our comrades as well. Many imprisoned anarchists will never be acknowledged as ‘political prisoners’ by formal human-rights organisations, because their sense of social justice is strictly limited to the capitalist laws which are designed to defend the State and prevent any real social change. At the same time, even within our individual communities, we know so little about the repression that exists in other countries, to say nothing of the names and cases involving many of our incarcerated comrades.

This is why we have decided to introduce an annual Week for Anarchist Prisoners on August 23-30. We chose August 23 as a starting point, because on that very day in 1927 the Italian-American anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed in prison. They were convicted of murdering two men during an armed robbery at a shoe factory in South Braintree, Massachusetts, United States. Their arrest was a part of a bigger anti-radical campaign led by the American government. The State’s evidence against the two was almost totally non-existent and many people still today believe that they were punished for their strong anarchist beliefs.

WeekofSoliEnglish

Given the nature and diversity of anarchist groups around the globe, we have proposed a week of common action rather than a single campaign on a specific day making easier for groups to be able to organize an event within a longer target period.

Therefore, we call on everyone to spread the information about the Week for Anarchist Prisoners among other groups and communities and think about organizing event(s) in your city or town. The events can vary from info-evenings, screenings and benefit concerts to solidarity and direct actions. Let your imagination run free.

Check out the flyers in different languages. Please send reports of your activities to tillallarefree (A) riseup.net

Till all are free.

Translations:
Turkish
Russian
French
Spanish
Finnish

“325” anarchist counter-information group
ABC Belarus
CNA/ABC Bogotá
ABC Brighton
ABC Bristol
ABC Cardiff
ABC Czech Republic
ABC Denver
ABC Dresden
ABC Forssa
ABC Helsinki
ABC Hurricane
ABC İstanbul
ABC Kiev
ABC Latvia
ABC Leeds
ABC London
ABC Mexico
ABC Moscow
Nizhny Novgorod antirepression group
NYC ABC
Publicacion Refractario
ABC Rio de Janeiro
ABC St.Petersburg
ABC Tampere
ABC Vienna
ABC Warsaw

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Denver ABC Event:

vivir-la-utopiaJoin us for a very special movie night, as we engage with comrades world wide for the International Week of Solidarity with Anarchist Prisoners. Hosted by Denver Anarchist Black Cross at the Mutiny Information Cafe on Broadway and Ellsworth.

Wednesday 8/26 at 8pm we will be showing Vivir la Utopia
https://www.facebook.com/events/669951106482742/

Vivir la utopía es un documental de 1997, producido por TVE y dirigido por Juan Gamero, en el cual se describe la experiencia anarcosindicalista y anarcocomunista vivida en España que transformó radicalmente las estructuras de la sociedad en amplias zonas del bando republicano, evento denominado revolución española, durante la guerra civil de 1936-39.

Live the Utopia is a 1997 documentary, produced by TVE and directed by John Gamero, which describes the experience anarcho-syndicalist and anarcocomunista lived in Spain that radically transformed the structures of society in large areas of the Republican party, event called revolution spanish, during the civil war of 1936-39.

week of soli