Denver Former Political Prisoner Panel 9/24/15

From Unicorn Riot:

former-pp-panel1

On September 24, 2015, the Anarchist Black Cross along with other political prisoner support groups from across North America held an annual panel discussion called “Resisting Repression from the Inside Out: Former Prisoners Speak.”

https://livestream.com/accounts/12767816/events/4156501/videos/100187998/player?width=640&height=360&autoPlay=false&mute=false

Held at the Tivoli Student Union in Denver, the panel featured former U.S. political prisoners. The talks focused on clarifying what a multi-generational struggle for liberation looks like, the evolution of resistance to state repression, and the personal horror of living inside of the prison industrial complex.

former-pp-panel2

Jihad Abdulmumit shares a scenario on self-determination & self-defense.

“[Getting letters in prison] is what kept me human.” Panel of former prisoners speaks out in #Denver https://t.co/rptcLW6klU Live now!

— Unicorn Riot (@UR_Ninja) September 25, 2015

The freedom fighting former political prisoners who spoke on the panel are (taken from Denver ABC):

Lynne Stewart photo by Rochelle B.

Lynne Stewart photo by Rochelle B.

Lynne Stewart:
Lynne Stewart, a radical human rights attorney who has devoted her life to the oppressed – a constant advocate for the countless many deprived in the United States of their freedom and their rights. Lynne was falsely accused of helping terrorists in an obvious attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent, curtail vigorous defense lawyers, and install fear in those who would fight against the U.S. government’s racism, seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people. She was arrested in April 2002 and arraigned before Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl, who also presided over her trial in 2004. She was convicted, and received a 28-month sentence in October 2006. However she was free on bail until 2009, when the government appealed the sentence. In late 2009 Lynne was re-sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Due to declining health from stage IV breast cancer, Lynne was freed from prison on December 31, 2013!

Mark Cook photo by Rochelle B.

Mark Cook photo by Rochelle B.

Mark Cook:
In 1967, Cook became active in a growing leftist paramilitary underground in Seattle, which perpetrated a series of high profile bombings and robberies. In and out of prison, he was co-founder of the Black Panther Party chapter in the Walla Walla State Penitentiary and served as its Lieutenant of Information for many years. In 2000, he was released after serving 24 years in prison for his participation in a bank robbery and jail break associated with the George Jackson Brigade in Seattle. The GJB was a leftist urban guerrilla group in the Pacific Northwest that carried out bombings, bank robberies and other actions to overthrow the U.S. government.

Jihad Abdulmumit photo by Rochelle B.

Jihad Abdulmumit photo by Rochelle B.

Jihad Abdulmumit:
Jihad is a community activist, motivational speaker, author and playwright. As a youth he became intensely involved in the Black Liberation Movement and Vietnam War protests. He joined the Black Panther Party at sixteen and eventually went underground in the ranks of the Black Liberation Army. In the mid-seventies prior to his incarceration, Jihad was also the Coordinator of the Rochester Federation of Youth in Rochester, New York – a youth organization that sponsored community economic development projects and weekly political education and black history classes, and worked with juvenile delinquents and high school drop outs. Jihad was a domestic political prisoner and prisoner of war and served 23 years of his life in prison for his involvement in the Black Liberation Movement.

Kazi Toure photo by Rochelle B.

Kazi Toure photo by Rochelle B.

Kazi Toure:
As a member of the United Freedom Front (UFF), Kazi was imprisoned for his role in 20 bombings combating Apartheid in South Africa and United States Imperialism in Central America. The UFF has been called “undoubtedly the most successful of the leftist [guerrilla groups] of the 1970s and ’80s” and struck powerful blows to South African Airways, Mobil, IBM, Union Carbide, & various courthouses and US Military targets. Toure was convicted on federal charges of possession of firearms, and Seditious Conspiracy—conspiring to overthrow, put down, destroy by force and violence the US government. He is one of few, if any, New Afrikans to be charged of this act.

Eric McDavid photo by Rochelle B.

Eric McDavid photo by Rochelle B.

Eric McDavid:
Eric McDavid is a green anarchist who was entrapped by an FBI informant and charged with a single count of conspiracy to use fire or explosives to damage corporate and government property. After serving nearly 10 years in prison his judgment and sentencing were vacated when it became known that the FBI had failed to disclose potentially
exculpatory evidence to the defense. Eric pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that carried a 5 year maximum sentence. He was released almost immediately. McDavid is a victim of a long history and concerted effort by federal and state entities in the United States to target anarchists and other radicals.

Jerry Koch photo by Rochelle B.

Jerry Koch photo by Rochelle B.

Jerry Koch:
Gerald “Jerry” Koch, a New York City anarchist and legal activist, was first subpoenaed in 2009, and again in 2013, to a federal grand jury investigating the same event. Jerry refused to testify both times and was found in contempt of court on May 21, 2013. He was imprisoned for eight months at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, and released on January 28, 2014, after his lawyers filed a “Grumbles motion” arguing that the sentence had become punitive and should be ended. The grand jury is a secretive tool of repression that aims to intimidate and punish those who refuse to collaborate with the State. Grand juries have been part of a new, escalating wave of repression against anarchists nationwide.

Resisting Repression from the Inside Out: Former Prisoners Speak

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

Lynne Stewart
Mark Cook
Jihad Abdulmumit
Kazi Toure
Eric McDavid
Jerry Koch

Thursday Sep 24th 7-9pm
Tivoli Turnhalle in the Tivoli Student Union on the Auraria campus 900 Auraria Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204

Former prisoner panel poster2015(3)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.

Donations are encouraged, and will go towards the 5th Annual North American Anarchist Black Cross Conference.

If you can’t make it and would like to help cover travel costs for the panel, please donate here!
https://www.youcaring.com/north-american-political-prisoners-366217

We’ll see you there!  

https://www.facebook.com/events/1469467923382453/

 

—————————————————————————————————————–

Bios
Lynne Stewart:
Lynne Stewart, a radical human rights attorney who has devoted her life to the oppressed – a constant advocate for the countless many deprived in the United States of their freedom and their rights. Lynne was falsely accused of helping terrorists in an obvious attempt by the U.S. government to silence dissent, curtail vigorous defense lawyers, and install fear in those who would fight against the U.S. government’s racism, seek to help Arabs and Muslims being prosecuted for free speech and defend the rights of all oppressed people. She was arrested in April 2002 and arraigned before Manhattan federal Judge John Koeltl, who also presided over her trial in 2004. She was convicted, and received a 28- month sentence in October 2006. However she was free on bail until 2009, when the government appealed the sentence. In late 2009 Lynne was re-sentenced to 10 years in federal prison. Due to declining health from stage IV breast cancer, Lynne was freed from prison on December 31, 2013!

Mark Cook:
In 1967, Cook became active in a growing leftist paramilitary underground in Seattle, which perpetrated a series of high profile bombings and robberies. In and out of prison, he was co-founder of the Black Panther Party chapter in the Walla Walla State Penitentiary and served as its Lieutenant of Information for many years. In 2000, he was released after serving 24 years in prison for his
participation in a bank robbery and jail break associated with the George Jackson Brigade in Seattle. The GJB was a leftist urban guerrilla group in the Pacific Northwest that carried out bombings, bank robberies and other actions to overthrow the U.S. government.

Jihad Abdulmumit:
Jihad is a community activist, motivational speaker, author and playwright. As a youth he became intensely involved in the Black Liberation Movement and Vietnam War protests. He joined the Black Panther Party at sixteen and eventually went underground in the ranks of the Black Liberation Army. In the mid-seventies prior to his incarceration, Jihad was also the Coordinator of the Rochester Federation of Youth in Rochester, New York – a youth organization that sponsored community economic
development projects and weekly political education and black history classes, and worked with juvenile delinquents and high school drop outs. Jihad was a domestic political prisoner and prisoner of war and served 23 years of his life in prison for his involvement in the Black Liberation Movement.

Kazi Toure:
As a member of the United Freedom Front (UFF), Kazi was imprisoned for his role in 20 bombings combating Apartheid in South Africa and United States Imperialism in Central America. The UFF has been called “undoubtedly the most successful of the leftist [guerrilla groups] of the 1970s and ’80s” and struck powerful blows to South African Airways, Mobil, IBM, Union Carbide, & various courthouses and US Military targets. Toure was convicted on federal charges of possession of firearms,
and Seditious Conspiracy—conspiring to overthrow, put down, destroy by force and violence the US government. He is one of few, if any, New Afrikans to be charged of this act.

Eric McDavid:
Eric McDavid is a green anarchist who was entrapped by an FBI informant and charged with a single count of conspiracy to use fire or explosives to damage corporate and government property. After serving nearly 10 years in prison his judgment and sentencing were vacated when it became known that the FBI had failed to disclose potentially exculpatory evidence to the defense. Eric pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that carried a 5 year maximum sentence. He was released almost immediately. McDavid is a victim of a long history and concerted effort by federal and state entities in the United States to target anarchists and other radicals.

Jerry Koch:
Gerald “Jerry” Koch, a New York City anarchist and legal activist, was first subpoenaed in 2009, and again in 2013, to a federal grand jury investigating the same event. Jerry refused to testify both times and was found in contempt of court on May 21, 2013. He was imprisoned for eight months at Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, and released on January 28, 2014, after his lawyers filed a “Grumbles motion” arguing that the sentence had become punitive and should be ended. The grand jury is a secretive tool of repression that aims to intimidate and punish those who refuse to collaborate with the State. Grand juries have been part of a new, escalating wave of repression against anarchists nationwide.

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

—————————————————————————————

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

Repression in Denver

Defend Denver:

Over the last year there has been a strong resistance to police murder and terror across the city of Denver. This is only the most recent surge in resistance to police terror in our city, going back to the loss of Paul Childs in 2003 or more recently Marvin Booker in 2010.

Denver Police have been systematically targeting and arresting those actively involved in this organizing. Denver Community Defense Committee, a group which has organized extensive support for families of people murdered by police, has five of its seven members under prosecution or known to be under investigation by the Gang Unit of DPD. Prominent independent journalists, those with an expansive reach through social media, have been targeted and arrested while filming the police in Denver.

At a rally outside the statewide conference of Chiefs of Police on July 20th it was observed that DPD had a handbook with names, photos and details on local organizers or participants in demonstrations against the police. DPD has a history of this type of behavior with the “Denver Spy Files,” (http://articles.latimes.com/2002/sep/10/nation/na-spies10) where local law enforcement had kept files on those involved in social movements for decades. While it was found to be illegal by a federal court to compile such files on community organizers and activists, and while DPD settled with the ACLU and promised to cease politically motivated surveillance, it appears that they have picked up the practice once again.

Since Friday, August 7 at least three organizers in Denver have been visited at their residences by Denver Police officers. DPD has been asking for people by name and snooping around their homes. At least two activists have found out that police officers tried to enter their residences, without a warrant, while they were away from home. Others who have pending legal cases have had more charges added, many months later with no additional evidence, by the office of Mitch Morrissey, Denver District Attorney. It doesn’t seem to be a coincidence that after demonstrations were held in front of Morrisey’s home to protest his failure to indict killer cops, his office is maliciously adding false charges against police brutality protesters. There was also a petition to recall Morrisey as DA that garnered 20,000 signatures, a petition supported by the same protester community he is now targeting.

This morning two activists who have been targets of this harassment from DPD were taken into custody. A month ago they were detained while they were walking down the street and given a request to appear with a detective for an interview. They then were notified they were to be interviewed by the Gang Unit. Last Friday 8 officers came looking for them at a previous address. Today they chose to turn themselves in and are currently being held awaiting booking and the setting of bond. Please contribute to their bond fund at: Denver Anarchist Black Cross Bail Fund

Knowing your rights does not ensure that the police honor them. They do not care. They are legally allowed to lie to you, and will lie to you. However knowing your rights and methodically going through them might help you in your interacting with the police and might help you later if you end up having to go to court.

  • Anything you say will be held against you. Do not answer questions. Do not talk to the police.
  • If police come to your door, you do not have to let them into your house if they do not have a search warrant. You do not have to answer any questions. You can exercise your right to remain silent and to speak to an attorney. Videotape them from inside your home.
  • If you are stopped on the street ask if you are being detained. If the answer is no, ask if you are free to leave. If the answer is yes that you are free to leave, leave immediately. Get as far away as you can, call friends and comrades who you trust.
  • If the police are searching your belongings or home, say out loud “I do not consent to this search.” Keep repeating “I do not consent to a search without a warrant.” It will not stop them from searching necessarily but it may impact what is admissible in court.
  • If they do have a warrant ask to see it(they can show it through the screen or glass, or slide it under the door) verify that it has been signed by a judge. Make note of the items listed on the warrant of what they are allowed to search. If they attempt to search or take any additional items say out loud that you do not consent to items being searched that are not on the warrant.

Let’s keep our heads up and hearts strong. And remember always, Mitch Morrissey’s dog is an anarchist.

If you are an organizer or activist being harassed, detained or have officers come to your home let folks know at defenddnvr@gmail.com and people can be in touch as quickly as possible! 

Repression only makes us stronger! Haters make us love harder! 

Denver: Running Down The Walls 2015!


Please share the promo video: https://youtu.be/mPwWnPRuVSM

It’s time again for Denver’s annual Running Down the Walls 5k benefit. This will be our seventh run/walk in solidarity with U.S. held political prisoners and prisoners of war. Last year was the best year, and we need your help to make this year’s even bigger!

Join us Sunday September 6th at Hungarian Freedom Park (901 E 1st Ave). Meet by the Hungarian uprising memorial at 11am with the run starting at 12pm sharp, taking place at the same time as runs in other cities and in prisons across the country! Please be sure to get there early to sign in and get your t-shirt. Food will be provided afterwards. Vegan options included. Bring everyone!

Every year prisoners and ABC chapters organize Running Down the Walls events to raise awareness and funds for political prisoners in further need of support. Additionally, extra funds raised will go to support the 5th annual North American Anarchist Black Cross conference.

This year’s radical 5k is dedicated in loving memory of the revolutionary Phil Africa (died in prison 1/10/2015) and every slain, maimed, and brutalized victim of police terror.

Sign up to run, roll, walk, bike, or volunteer by emailing us at denverabc@riseup.net ♥

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/714840768659289/

To donate please visit our youcaring fundraiser here: http://www.youcaring.com/u-s-political-prisoners-406831

rdtw-2014

Click image to view report from last year.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
From NYC ABC:

The Warchest Program:
The Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF) has initiated a program designed to send monthly checks to those Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have been receiving insufficient, little, or no financial support during their imprisonment. The Warchest program was initiated in November 1994. Its purpose is to collect monthly funds from groups and individual supporters, and send that money to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (PP/POW) via monthly checks. Over the last two decades, the ABCF warchest has dispensed over $75,000 to political prisoners in the United States. Currently, there are ten imprisoned comrades who receive a monthly stipend as part of the program; they are:
Joseph Bowen
Russell Maroon Shoatz
Alvaro Luna Hernandez
Herman Bell
Robert Seth Hayes
Maliki Shakur Latine
Ruchell Magee
Sundiata Acoli
Hanif Bey
Oso Blanco

For more information, visit: abcf.net/warchest-program

Family and Friends of Maliki Shakur Latine:
Maliki Shakur Latine is a political prisoner, held in New York state. A former Black Panther, Maliki directly faced state repression and, after a 1979 incident with NYPD cops, was sentenced to 25 to life. We are raising funds to aid in the campaign to secure parole for this elder. For more information, visit justiceformaliki.org