Denver Former Political Prisoner Panel 9/24/15

From Unicorn Riot:

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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.

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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/

 

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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.

Hey Denver, join us next week for a radical series of events!

We’re inviting everyone to join Denver ABC and friends for three very special events on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week. Please spread the word and bring your neighbors, friends, and families. We’ll see you there!

Monday April 27th,
Black Flags and Windmills

https://www.facebook.com/events/1576721502591867/
NOTE EXACT LOCATION: Science Building Room 1067 University of Colorado Auraria Campus 80204
blackflagsandwindmills

This visual and engaging presentation will show what ordinary people can do to change their own worlds and create power from below without coercion. How the ideas of anarchism have shaped and influenced modern political movements from the post-Seattle alternative globalization movements to the Common Ground Collective after Hurricane Katrina, the Occupy uprisings and beyond. It will also cover the rise of the surveillance state and the implications of activism being labeled ‘terrorism’ .The presentation which is equal parts personal story, radical history and organizing philosophies asks questions about how we engage in social change, the real and perceived challenges presented by the state and power and dares us to rethink how we engage in creating our futures.

Organized by CU Denver’s Social Justice Minor with co-sponsorship from Auraria Climate Justice Coalition

scott crow is an international speaker and author. He has spent his varied life as a coop business owner, political organizer and educator, strategist, and underground musician who is a proponent of the philosophy and practices of anarchism.
He is the author of the acclaimed book Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective (PM Press). He’s a contributor to the books Grabbing Back: Essays Against the Global Land Grab (AK Press), The Black Bloc Papers (LBC), Witness to Betrayal (AK Press /Emergency Hearts) and What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race and the State of the Nation(South End Press) as well as within radical and alternative publications He appears frequently in international media including the New York Times, Democracy Now, CNN, NPR, RT News, Mother Jones, Rolling Stone, Der Spiegel and Vice as well as in the political documentaries and Informant (Music Box), Better this World (PBS)and Welcome to New Orleans (Fridthjof Films). . He was under surveillance by the FBI as an alleged domestic terrorist threat for a decade without charges being brought. The New York Times characterized him as “anarchist, veteran organizer and an aficionado of civil disobedience”, the FBI noted in a memo “…crow is a puppet master involved in direct action. “ and NPR’s This American Life called him “a living legend among anarchists”. He can be found at www.scottcrow.org

Tuesday April 28th,
Political Prisoners and the Perpetual Amerikan Conquest

https://www.facebook.com/events/820648224692843/
political.prisoners.PRINT13x19

From three former revolutionaries, an illuminating analysis of the current Amerikan police state, and how to fight it. Three former political prisoners and longtime activists, Ashanti Alston, Sekou Kambui, and Ricardo Romero, will share their perspectives on the ongoing repression in the U.S. in relation to political prisoner support and mass incarceration, and will take a look towards the future, at what is needed in the fight for a free society.

What has been done to free Amerikan political prisoners in the past that can be repeated? How can those tactics be adapted and added to in the fight against mass incarceration? What are the psychological, emotional, and spiritual demands on a revolutionary? How can we, in short, work to free our political prisoners first and foremost, and realize the revolutionary potential in ourselves and our communities? Three experienced activists and former prisoners speak out.

Organized by Denver ABC and Auraria Climate Justice Coalition.
Endorsed by Denver Community Defense Committee.

Wednesday April 29th,
Anarchist Movie Night: Historic Denver Protest Footage

https://www.facebook.com/events/1577277932555801/
copcarflip

Wednesday 4/29, at 8pm we will be showing footage from Denver actions of the past:

-1992 MLK protests against against the Klan
-Riots following the murder of Marvin Booker
-2006 Columbus Day protests
-2011 O22 March Against Police Brutality
-Various footage from current day Denver actions

Hosted by Denver ABC at the Mutiny Information Cafe on Broadway and Ellsworth(2 S. Broadway).