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.

Anarchist prisoner Eric King; NAABC Conference; Trouncing KKK in Columbia, SC

Airs on WSFM-LP 103.3 in Asheville / streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST on July 20th through July 26th, 2015, then podcasting at radio4all.net. Also airing this week on KOWA-LPFM in Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA, KXCF in Marshall, CA, and WCRS-LP Columbus Community Radio 98.3 and 102.1 FM. The show will later be archived at TheFinalStrawRadio.NoBlogs.Org. Drop us a line at thefinalstrawradio(aT)riseup(dooot)net for suggestions or comments.

We can be reached by snail mail at:
The Final Straw
c/o AshevilleFM
864 Haywood Rd
Asheville, NC 28806

This week we spoke with a supporter of Eric King. Eric is a 28 year old vegan anarchist in Kansas City, Missouri, who’s facing possibly life plus 20 years in federal prison for allegedly attempting to molotov a Senator’s office. No one was inside the building or in danger of direct injury. He has been held in Solitary confinement at CCA Leavenworth in Kansas for 6 months as a July 14th due to his potential life sentence. Eric’s trial has been pushed back to October 26th,

2015. More on Eric’s case can be found at support e r i c king.wordpress.com . We also speak about the upcoming North American Anarchist Black Cross conference which is currently in it’s fundraising phase. The NAABC conference brings together advocates of political prisoners, prison abolitionists and other troublemakers once a year in order to better share skills and network. More on fundraising for this event can be found at http://www.youcaring.com/north-american-political-prisoners-366217

Click here for a firsthand account of anti-KKK actions that occurred Saturday, July 18th in Columbia, South Carolina that we received and wanted to share.

Interesting video and pictures from this event can be found at It’s Going Down, a new anarchist news site focusing mostly on North American struggles.

Now, an update from the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee about the complaints of forced medicalization and medication of concerned prisoners at SECC outside of Charleston, Missouri. Sadly, time constraints made it so we couldn’t announce this in the episode, but here it is anyway:
“Update 7-15-15 ~ FINALLY!! A month and a half after receiving the first letter of complaint about psychological and medical torture, we received a letter from one of the people involved saying that things are getting better and they are working their way off the forced medication now. Many, many thanks to everyone who has participated in this calling campaign. This would not be getting better without all of your help. Please continue to stay in touch with us by liking the IWOC fakebook page here https://www.facebook.com/incarceratedworkers

Also from IWOC:
“You may be familiar with Ricky Kidd’s case of innocence and his request to have DNA from the crime scene tested is being considered in Jackson County Courts. To find out about his case you can go to http://freerickykidd.com

In the meantime, Ricky is fighting another battle with the MO Department of Corrections that could lead to losing a leg or even his death. Ricky is a diabetic and has a soft tissue sore that has gotten into the bone of his leg and created a condition that is potentially life threatening. He was diagnosed with Osteomyelitis about four months ago, a condition that if it had been properly treated at the time would have healed by now. The proper treatment is a 6 week course of very strong antibiotics administered via an IV. The DOC has been giving Ricky an Oral antibiotic every other week and now the infection has moved from the tissue to the bone and is putting him at risk of losing his leg. The medical personnel have told him his situation is dire and must be properly addressed immediately as there is not only the risk of amputation but a risk of death if this infection migrated to his bloodstream.

Please call the Missouri Department of Corrections at 573-751-2389 and request to speak to Adrian Hardy in the Medical Division. You must reference Ricky Kidd # 528343, he is housed at Crossroads Correctional Center. They probably will not transfer you and will tell you that Harriett Clark is the contact person for this case. Register your concern and then call again the next day. We cannot allow this innocent man to be maimed or killed by the DOC by neglect or malfeasance.

Please forward this to your friends, associates and State Representatives, as well as post to FB where you can. We need a flood of calls to help get Ricky proper treatment.

Find out more about Osteomyelitis at this link – Osteomyelitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment at http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/osteomyeltis-treatment-diagnosis-symptoms”

Playlist: http://www.ashevillefm.org/node/13059

Here is that account of the KKK getting trounced in South Carolina on July 18th:
“Yesterday in Columbia SC the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan assembled in order to protest the removal of the Confederate flag from the state house. I’m told that their permit was originally set to accommodate 100-200 people. However, this pathetic organization has dwindled in numbers since its heyday in the 1920s, and there were fewer than 75 klan present at any given time. This event happened on the same day as an anti-colonial and antiracist event was held in Tuscon to protest an islamophobic and white supremacist group, and is happening in the wake of a resurgence of white supremacist rhetoric and actions in this country. People came out in droves and showed the racists that they are not welcome in Columbia, or anywhere!

Despite the almost 100 degree weather and at least the 100 cops, paramilitary, and state troopers swarming the grounds, I’d say that there were at least 2,000 anti racists, anti-fascists, and community members present ranging from concerned clergy to the much maligned out of town anarchists of all races. I was in a group of caucasian folks and non black people of color, and it felt vibrantly good to show our faces in the midst of this crowd, which I’d say consisted primarily of black people of all ages and the remaining third were folks of other races. The solidarity in the crowd was palpable, with people starting conversations with strangers, helping others out with water, and looking out for each other in the face of police violence.

When I rolled up to the event, the anti conf flag counter rally on the other side of the state house was starting to wrap up. This seemed to be mostly made up of New Black Panther Party and Nation of Islam members. The KKK harrassed these people with racial slurs when they themselves paraded up minutes later through a funnel of their cop protectors, brandishing confederate flags and Nazi swastikas and screaming “white power”.

They were instantly met with jeers and heckling from their numerous enemies, which reached such a pitch that it made one of the racists burst into tears. At one point, one racist got separated from his group and was surrounded by the crowd, which screamed at him to go the fuck home and things like that. One man got arrested at this point and carted off to the crowd yelling “let him go”.

The KKK then stood in the baking sun on the steps of the state house for about an hour. They roasted in the heat and waved their flags behind a phalanx of their pig handlers, all the while making pitiful attempts to engage the antiracist crowd, which had them outnumbered almost 27 to one. Some of their sympathizers who were dressed in confederate flag apparel were chased off the premises during this time, including one homophobic preacher and one Nazi peace police who was attempting to verbally shame people into leaving the racists alone. Several of the klan passed out from heatstroke during this time, including one old racist who had to be carried away by the cops wrapped up in a confederate flag.

The police cut their flag waving rally short by an hour due to the numbers of antiracists, which were growing steadily. The real fun began when the klan began to move out to the parking garage where their vehicles were being guarded by even more police. The cops attempted to hoodwink the crowd into focusing on one exit of the garage, while the klan was exiting out of another around the back. When the crowd got wind of this, we took to the streets and ran around the building to confront the klan as they drove out of town. They mostly had their windows up, staring forward and looking beaten. One klansdude however became so enraged at the verbal attacks he was recieving that he drove his SUV into a pole, crushing the front end of the car which leaked radiator fluid all over the pavement. The cops were unprepared for this, and the car was surrounded by antiracists who pounded on the windows and hurled rocks at the damaged vehicle. The cops then forceably surrounded the car and drove the antiracists back. Several people got detained briefly by the police and then violently unarrested by their comrades at this point. After about half an hour of tussling between cops and antiracists, a perimeter was established around the car and it drove away amid more heckling.

After this time the crowd marched back up to the state house, where the few remaining klan supporters were confronted and driven out of Columbia. I’m not sure how many people got arrested, but I think it was at least 5 people, for disorderly conduct and assaulting an officer. I’d urge people to keep up with that news, and help with people’s bail however they can. Since this happened on a Saturday, I think people should be out by Monday.

Throughout all of this, it seemed very clear that the crowd had pinpointed their real enemies as being the police. While people were mad about the klan they were even angrier at the cops for protecting these Nazi racist scum. The weak attempts by cop sympathizers on the AR side to focus the crowd’s anger at solely the KKK were entirely unsuccessful. I think that this event will be one in a series of many active and vibrant displays of anti racist and anti white supremacist actions in this country. I hope that people are staying safe and keeping their friends close.

Toward a world without racism, without police, without jail cells, and without the klan.

Solidarity from a comrade in Columbia, South Carolina.