walter bond is in solitary confinement

July 15, 2017

Walter Bond is in solitary confinement

From Support Walter

Walter was placed in the SHU on Monday because he is being investigated for an assault. He can’t discuss the incident because he is being investigated. He said he could be there for a few months. He would like to receive letters from you all, and include your address in the body of the letter even if you are already a correspondent, because he doesn’t have anybody’s address where he is now. He sounded okay. We can make his time in the hole go faster by sending him entertaining letters and cards. Jokes and funny stories and pictures are good.

Walter Bond #37096-013
FCI Greenville
PO Box 5000
Greenville, IL 62246

letter writing workshop at critical animal studies conference

July 13, 2017



learn about who to write to political prisoners  and gain knowadge about political prisoners world wide with a PRACTICAL LETTER WRITING WORKSHOP  HOSTED BY ANARCHIST BLACK CROSS MELBOURNE

Critical Animal Studies Oceania 2017:

Forging Alliances and Intersections.

15-16 July, Ross House 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne City.

Alliance building across social movement groups is an important aspect of social movement dynamics, contributing to their capacity to promote social change for both nonhuman and human animals. Within the Oceanic region of the animal liberation movement, forging alliances and building an awareness of intersectionality is crucial, yet remains scarce within activist communities. No one group an achieve liberation on its own, or emancipate other oppressed communities, making alliance building vital. This conference seeks to foster new discussions on how to forge alliances and raise awareness of intersectionality within a Critical Animal Studies framework. Understanding what inspires and facilitates collaboration and how movements form alliances, or fail to do so, is a crucial aspect of achieving social change at a broader level.

The ICAS Oceania conference venue is Ross House Located at 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

It is only 5 minutes walk from Flinders Street station and even closer from the trams that run along Elizabeth and Swanson Streets – the closest stops tram stops along both of these roads are at Collins Street.

Even though tickets will be available at the registration desk (cash only), we request you purchase in advance t
We have a progressive scale for tickets:


Tickets are available here (please note, there is a $2 booking fee)

Conference, session and workshop structure
The conference is designed to allow as much discussion time as possible. Each session will be chaired by a volunteer who will facilitate the discussion. Facilitators will keep a progressive speaking list. This means, people who have not already spoken will be prioritised.


This year we will only provide snacks. Ross House is in the center of the city. For vegan-friendly restaurants near the venue, type the location ‘247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne’ into to find many within walking distance. We’ll also be announcing some of the nearby options during the conference.
Accommodation and transport
There are a number of accommodation options available near the vicinity of the venue. We will try to house people when possible.

We suggest you take public transport, parking in the city will not be easy or cheap. Flinders St station is a 3-5 minute walk away and most trams are within a 5 minute walk.

All rooms are accessible.
Safer Space
The Conference for Critical Animal Studies promotes a safer space in which all must feel welcome, supported, and secure. No one should endorse or tolerate racism, sexism, anti-LGBTQIA sentiments, ableism, speciesism, or any other kind of oppressive behavior. In kind, this conference is a vegan space, and all should refrain from consuming or wearing animal products while taking part.
Sober Space
We encourage a sober space as well, so please do not drink, shoot, or inhale intoxicants into your body closely before or while in attendance at the conference.
Inclusive Space
All rooms and bathrooms are accessible and anyone can come and go as they wish from room to room. Please avoid wearing fragrances or strong scents, as the odors may cause allergic reactions. If you have any requests for assistance such as a translator, note taker, medication, childcare, or physical accessibility, please let us know by e-mailing (We understand this conference is not fully inclusive because of cost, but we do want to address these issues as they are needed to confront ableism).
Grievance procedure
A grievance officer will be available at the conference. Please speak with them if you feel an issue has been dealt with poorly, or if you feel unsafe in any way. If you do not feel comfort-able with this person, please approach a member of the collective.
ICAS Oceania unfortunately cannot offer child care at this stage as we do not have the funding to pay a qualified worker and to cover the insurance. However, children are more then welcome to attend for free. We apologise for this, and hope to be able to secure funding to offer this at future events.


June 29, 2017

NYC Anarchist Black Cross
U.S. Political Prisoner and Prisoner of War Listing
Edition 12.4, June 2017
Mumia Abu-Jamal #AM8335  aMumia03
SCI Mahanoy
301 Morea Road
Frackville, Pennsylvania 17932
Birthday: April 24
Mumia is an award winning journalist and was one of the founders of the Black Panther Party chapter in Philadelphia, PA. He has struggled for justice and human rights for people of color since he was at least 14 years old ~ the age when he joined the Party. In December of 1982, Mumia, who moonlighted by driving a taxi, happened upon police who were beating his brother. During the melee, a police officer was shot and killed. Despite the fact that many people saw someone else shoot and then runaway from the scene, Mumia, in what could only be called a kangaroo court, was convicted and sentenced to death. During the summer of 1995, a death warrant was signed by Governor Tom Ridge, which sparked one of the most effective organizing efforts in defense of a political prisoner ever. Since that time, Mumia has had his death sentence overturned, but still has a life sentence with no opportunity for parole. More information:
Sundiata Acoli* #39794-066
FCI Cumberland
Post Office Box 1000
Cumberland, Maryland 21501
*Address envelope to Clark Squire.   sum
Birthday: January 14
A New York Black Panther, he endured two years of prison awaiting trial for the Panther 21 Conspiracy Case. He and his comrades were eventually acquitted on all the bogus charges.
The case was historic and a classic example of police and government attempting to neutralize organizations by incarcerating their leadership. As a result of this political attack and because of the immense pressure and surveillance from the FBI and local police Sundiata, like many other Panther leaders went “underground”. On May 2, 1973, Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur and Zayd Shakur were ambushed and attacked by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike. Assata was wounded and Zayd was killed. During the gun battle a state trooper was shot and killed in self defense. Sundiata was tried in an environment of mass hysteria and convicted, although there was no credible evidence
that he killed the trooper or had been involved in the shooting. He was sentenced to thirty years. Sundiata was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court in New Jersey in September 2014 when the court ruled the parole board had “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” when it previously denied him parole. The State of New Jersey has appealed the decision. More information:
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin #99974-555
USP Tucson
Post Office Box 24550
Tucson, Arizona 85734 hqdefault (12)
Birthday: October 4
Formerly known as H. Rap Brown, the Imam came to prominence in the 1960s as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party. He is perhaps most famous for his proclamation during that period that “violence is as American as cherry pie”, as well as once stating that “If America don’t come around, we’re gonna burn it down.” He is currently serving a life sentence for homicide.
Herman Bell #79-C-0262
Great Meadow Correctional Facility
11739 State Route 22
Post Office Box 51
Comstock, New York 12821-0051 download (63)
Birthday: January 14
Herman Bell moved to Brooklyn as a boy. He was a talented football player and won a scholarship to UC-Oakland. While in Oakland, Herman joined the Black Panther Party and became active around human rights issues in the Black community. In 1971, due to relentless FBI attacks on the Party, Herman went underground.
While underground, Herman joined the Black Liberation Army, and in September of 1973 he was captured and extradited to New York on charges of having killed 2 New York City police officers—a case for which other Panthers were serving time. No witnesses were able to put Herman at the scene of the crime. The first trial ended in a hung jury, but Herman was convicted at his second trial and sentenced to 25 years to life.
In 1990, he earned his B.S. degree from the SUNY-New Paltz. Herman remains a prison activist, having coached sports teams inside the prison system, as well as mentoring younger prisoners. More information:
Joe-Joe Bowen* #AM4272
SCI Coal Township
1 Kelley Drive
Coal Township, Pennsylvania 17866-1020
*Address envelope to Joseph Bowen.

Birthday: January 15
Joseph “Joe-Joe” Bowen is one of the many all-but-forgotten frontline soldiers in the liberation struggle. A native of Philadelphia, Joe-Joe was a young member of the “30th and Norris” street gang before his incarceration politicized him. Released in 1971, his outside activism was cut short a week following his release when Joe-Joe was confronted by an officer of the notoriously brutal Philadelphia police department. The police officer was killed in the confrontation, and Bowen fled. After his capture and incarceration, Bowen became a Black Liberation Army combatant, defiant to authorities at every turn. In 1973, Joe-Joe and Philadelphia Five prisoner Fred “Muhammad” Burton assassinated Holmesberg prison’s warden and deputy warden as well as wounded the guard commander in retaliation for intense repression against Muslim prisoners in the facility.
In 1981, Bowen led a six-day standoff with authorities when he and six other captives took 39 hostages at Graterford Prison as a freedom attempt and protest of the prison conditions. Much of his time in prison has been spent in and out of control units, solitary confinement, and other means of isolating Joe-Joe from the general prison population. These include three trips to Marion Penitentiary, where he met Sundiata Acoli and other BLA members. He is legendary to many prisoners as a revolutionary. “I used to teach the brothers how to turn their rage into energy and understand their situations,” Bowen told the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1981. “I don’t threaten anybody. I don’t talk to pigs. I don’t drink anything I can’t see through and I don’t eat anything off a tray. When the time comes, I’ll be ready.”
Veronza Bowers, Jr. 35316-136
FMC Butner
Post Office Box 1600
Butner, North Carolina 27509

Birthday: February 4
Veronza was a member of the Black Panther Party and was convicted in the murder of a U.S. Park Ranger on the word of two government informants, both of whom received reduced sentences for other crimes by the Federal
prosecutor’s office. There were no eye-witnesses and no evidence independent of these informants to link him to the crime. At his trial, Veronza offered alibi testimony which was not credited by the jury. Nor was testimony of two relatives of the informants who insisted that they were lying. The informants had all charges against them in this case dropped and one was given $10,000 by the government according to the prosecutor’s post-sentencing report. Veronza has consistently proclaimed his innocence of the crime he never committed, even at the expense of having his appeals for parole denied for which an admission of guilt and contrition is virtually required. He insists on maintaining his innocence. More information:
Muhammad Burton* AF3896
SCI Somerset
1590 Walters Mill Road
Somerset, Pennsylvania 15510-0001
*Address envelope to Fred Burton.

Birthday: December 15
Frederick Burton is an innocent man who has diligently attempted to prove his innocence to the courts for the past 37 years. Prior to his incarceration, Fred worked for a phone company, was a well respected member of his community and his wife was preparing to have twins, his third and fourth child. In 1970, Fred was accused and then convicted of participating in the planning of the murder of Philadelphia police officers. While the plan was allegedly to blow up a police station, what occurred was that a police officer was shot and killed allegedly by members of a radical group called “the Revolutionaries.”
Chip Fitzgerald* #B-27527
California State Prison – LAC
Post Office Box 4490
Lancaster, California 93539
*Address envelope to Romaine Fitzgerald.

Birthday: April 11
Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, born and raised in Compton, California, joined the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party in early 1969 as a teenager who had just been released from the California Youth Authority. In September of that year, as a dedicated member of the Party, Chip was arrested in connection with a police shoot-out and tried for assault on police and related charges, including the murder
of a security guard. He was sentenced to death. More information:
Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116 1280x720-JRz
Birthday: October 15
After the assassination of Martin Luther King and the social upheaval which followed it, Robert Seth Hayes joined the Black Panther Party, working in the Party’s free medical clinics and free breakfast programs. Like many other activists, Seth was forced underground by FBI and police repression of the Panther movement. Once underground, Seth joined the Black Liberation Army.
In 1973, following a shootout with police, Seth was arrested and convicted of the murder of a New York City police officer, and, while maintaining his innocence to this day, sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. Imprisoned for nearly forty years, Seth has long since served his sentence.
Seth first came up for parole in 1998, but prison officials have refused to release him, focusing on his involvement with the Black Panther Party and his knowledge as to the whereabouts of Assata Shakur and not his conduct while imprisoned. While in prison, Seth has worked as a librarian, pre release advisor, and AIDS counselor, mentoring younger prisoners and continuing to struggle for his people.
More information:
Cinque Magee* #A92051
California Mens Colony
Post Office Box 8103
San Luis Obispo,California 93409
*Address envelope to Ruchell Magee.

Birthday: March 17
Commonly regarded as the longest held political prisoner in the U.S., Ruchell Magee has been imprisoned since 1963. He was politicized in prison and participated in the August 7, 1970 Marin County Courthouse Rebellion— the attempted liberation of political prisoner George Jackson and the Soledad Brothers by Jackson’s younger brother Jonathan. Magee was seriously injured in the incident and subsequently pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced in 1975 to life in prison and
has been denied parole numerous times.
Jalil Muntaqim* #77-A-4283
Shawangunk Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 700
Wallkill, New York 12589
*Address envelope to Anthony Bottom. jalil-muntaqim
Birthday: October 18
Jalil became affiliated with the Black Panther Party at age 18. Less than 2 months before his 20th birthday he was captured with Albert Nuh Washington in a midnight shootout with San Francisco police. He was subsequently charged with a host of revolutionary activities including the assassination of two police in New York City, and is currently serving a 25 years to life sentence in New York State. His case is known as the New York 3 case as his co-defendants include Nuh and Herman Bell. He was also implicated in the San Francisco 8 case, and pled guilty to a lesser offense. More information:
Jalil Muntaqim #219531
Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights
5329 Osgood Avenue North
Stillwater, Minnesota 55082-1117
Birthday: August 31
Ronald Reed, a former member of the Black United Front, was convicted of the 1970 shooting of a St. Paul police officer. Twenty-five years after the killing, Reed was arrested and convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree-murder. He is serving Life in prison.
Reed is a former 60s civil rights activist. In 1969, Reed was also among the students at St. Paul Central High School who demanded black history courses and organized actions against racist teachers. He was also instrumental in helping to integrate college campuses in Minnesota. During this period, Reed began to look toward revolutionary theory and began to engage in political street theater with other young black revolutionaries in the city of St. Paul. More information:
Kojo Bomani Sababu* #39384-066
USP Canaan
Post Office Box 300
Waymart, Pennsylania 18472
*Address envelope to Grailing Brown. kojo
Birthday: May 27
Kojo Bomani Sababu is a New Afrikan Prisoner of War, currently serving a 55 year sentence for actions with the Black Liberation Army and attempted prison escape with Puerto Rican Independista Oscar López Rivera. Sababu was convicted of one count of conspiracy for an alleged escape plan that included the use of rockets, hand grenades, and a helicopter.
Kamau Sadiki* #0001150688
Augusta State Medical Prison
3001 Gordon Highway
Grovetown, Georgia 30813
*Address envelope to Freddie (64)
Birthday: February 19
Kamau Sadiki is a former member of the Black Panther Party and was convicted of a 30-year old murder case of a Fulton County Police Officer found shot to death in his car outside a service station. More information:
Dr. Mutulu Shakur #83205-012
USP Victorville
Post Office Box 3900
Adelanto, California 92301 shakur
Birthday: August 8
In 1987 Dr. Shakur was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment for his role in the Black Liberation Movement. In March 1982, Dr. Shakur and 10 others were indicted by a federal grand jury under a set of U.S. conspiracy laws called Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) laws. These conspiracy laws were ostensibly developed to aid the government in its prosecution of organized crime figures; however, they have been used with varying degrees of success against revolutionary organizations. Dr. Shakur was charged with conspiracy and participation in the Black Liberation Army, a group that carried out actual and attempted expropriations from several banks. Eight incidents were alleged to have occurred between December
1976 to October 1981. In addition, he was charged with participation in the 1979 prison escape of Assata Shakur, who is now in exile in Cuba.
After five years underground, Dr. Shakur was arrested on February 12, 1986.
While he was on the street, Dr. Shakur challenged the use of methadone as a tool of recovery for addicts. He believed in natural remedies instead and, based on those beliefs, founded the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America. Many people credit Shakur with saving their lives. Dr. Shakur has worked to free political prisoners and to expose government abuses against political organizers. While in prison, he has struggled to create peace between rival gangs. More information:
Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF3855
SCI Graterford
Post Office Box 244
Graterford, Pennsylvania 19426-0244 download (65)
Birthday: August 23
A dedicated community activist and founding member of the Philadelphia based organization Black Unity Council, which eventually merged with the Black Panther Party (1969). In 1970, along with 5 others, Maroon was accused of attacking a police station, which resulted in an officer being killed. This attack was said to have been carried out in response to the rampant police brutality in the Black community. For 18 months Maroon functioned underground as a soldier in the Black Liberation Army. In 1972 he was captured. Twice he escaped—once in 1977 and again 1980, but both times he was recaptured and today he is held in Pennsylvania where he is serving multiple life sentences. More information:
MOVE Nine download (66)
The MOVE 9 are nine men and women who have been in prison since August 8, 1978, following a massive police attack on their home in the Powelton Village neighborhood of Philadelphia. The raid was a major military operation carried out by the Philadelphia police department under orders of then-mayor, Frank Rizzo. During this attack, heavy equipment was used to tear down the fence surrounding their home, fill the house with tear gas, and flood it. One of the cops on the scene was killed by a single bullet, most likely fired by another cop from above during the raid. All nine members of the MOVE organization were put on trial and convicted of murder. One of the nine, Merle Africa,
died in prison in 1998 after being denied medical treatment. In January 2015, Phil Africa died in a prison infirmary after a short stay in a local hospital. The seven remaining prisoners are regularly up for parole and supporters are campaigning to secure their release. More information: and
Charles Sims Africa #AM4975
SCI Dallas
1000 Follies Road
Dallas, PA 18612-0286
Birthday: April 2
Debbie Sims Africa #OO6307
SCI Cambridge Springs
451 Fullerton Avenue
Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania 16403
Birthday: August 4
Delbert Orr Africa #AM4985
SCI Dallas
1000 Follies Road
Dallas, Pennsylvania 18612-0286
Birthday: April 2
Edward Goodman Africa #AM4974
SCI Mahanoy
301 Morea Road
Frackville, Pennsylvania 17932
Birthday: October 31
Janet Holloway Africa #OO6308
SCI Cambridge Springs
451 Fullerton Avenue
Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania 16403
Birthday: April 13
Janine Phillips Africa #OO6309
SCI Cambridge Springs
451 Fullerton Avenue
Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania 16403
Birthday: April 25
Michael Davis Africa #AM4973
SCI Graterford
Post Office Box 244
Graterford, Pennsylvania 19426-0244
Birthday: October 6
Nebraska Two
The Nebraska 2 were charged and convicted of the murder of Omaha Police Officer Larry Minard. Minard died when a suitcase containing dynamite exploded in a North Omaha home on August 17, 1970. Officer John Tess was also injured in the explosion. Poindexter and Rice were members of the Black Panther Party, and their case was, and continues to be, controversial. The Omaha Police withheld exculpatory evidence at trial. The two men had been targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program), which operated against and infiltrated anti-war and Civil Rights groups, including the Omaha Black Panthers. The US section of Amnesty International recognizes Rice and Poindexter as political prisoners. The state’s parole board has recommended the men for release, but political leaders have not acted on these recommendations. On March 11th, 2016, Mondo we Langa died in a prison hospital after losing a battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). More information:
Ed Poindexter #27767
Nebraska State Penitentiary
Post Office Box 2500
Lincoln, Nebraska 68542
Birthday: November 1
Casey Brezik #1154765
Northeast Correctional Center
13698 Airport Road
Bowling Green, Missouri 63334

Birthday: December 30
In 2010, anarchist Casey Brezik tried to assassinate the governor of Missouri. In June of 2013, he was convicted and sentenced to
a dozen years on each of three counts – assault and two armed criminal action charges – and seven years on a second count of assault. All sentences will concurrently run.
Bill Dunne #10916-086
FCI Victorville Medium I
Post Office Box 3725
Adelanto, California 92301

download (67)
Birthday: August 3
Bill Dunne is an anti-authoritarian sentenced to 90 years for the attempted liberation of comrades from Seattle’s King County Jail in 1979 and for attempting to break himself out of Leavenworth Penitentiary in 1983. Dunne was charged with possession of an automatic weapon, auto theft, and with aiding & abetting the escape. Charges further alleged the operation was financed by bank expropriations and facilitated by illegal acquisition of weapons and explosives.
Bill and his codefendant, Larry Giddings, were accused by police of being “members of a small, heavily armed group of revolutionaries,” associated with the Wellspring Communion. Dunne has made the rounds of the federal prison system with stints at the infamous Control Unit in Marion, Illinois; Atwater; and Big Sandy where he has assisted prisoners with political & academic education. Bill also organizes solidarity runs in conjunction with the Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s “Running Down the Walls” 5K runs and has edited and written for 4 Struggle magazine. Larry Giddings was paroled from federal prison in 2004. Bill went before the parole board in the winter of 2014, was rejected and given a 15 year ‘hit’ (meaning he cannot go back to the board for that time
Eric King #27090-045
FCI Florence
Post Office Box 6000
Florence, Colorado 81226

Birthday: August 2
Eric King, a vegan anarchist, was arrested and charged with an attempted firebombing of a government official’s office in Kansas City, Missouri in September 2014. Eric was charged with throwing a hammer through a window of the building, followed by two lit Molotov cocktails. In March of 2016, he accepted a non-cooperating plea agreement to one count of using “explosive materials to commit arson of property used in or affecting interstate
commerce.” More information:
Marie (Marius) Mason #04672-061
FMC Carswell
Post Office Box 27137
Fort Worth, Texas 76127

*Address card/letter to Marius Mason.
Birthday: January 26
Marius Mason is a revolutionary anarchist, avid community gardener,musician, parent of two, writer, Earth First! Organizer, IWW member, and former volunteer for a free herbal healthcare collective. He was an extended care assistant at a small Cincinnati school when arrested on March 10, 2008 by federal agents. Marius was convicted of involvement with a December, 1999 arson at a Michigan State University office in which GMO research was being conducted and a January, 2000 arson of logging equipment in Mesick, Michigan. Both arsons were claimed by the Earth Liberation Front. More information:
Cleveland Four
The Cleveland 4 were four Occupy Cleveland activists, Brandon, Connor, Doug and “Skelly.” The four were arrested on April 30th, 2012 and accused of plotting a series of bombings, including that of an area bridge. The reality is that the FBI, working with an informant, created the scheme, produced the explosives, and coerced these four into participating.
Connor, Doug, and Brandon took non cooperating plea deals and pleaded guilty to all charges. The judge applied a “terrorist enhancement” charge to each of them. Doug is serving 11.5 years, Brandon 9 years 9 months, and Connor 8 years 1 month. Skelly took his case to trial acting as his own lawyer. He was found guilty on all counts by his jury and sentenced to 10 years. The four have appealed their cases and lost.
More information:
Brandon Baxter #57972-060
FCI Pekin
Post Office Box 5000
Pekin, Illinois 61555
Birthday: April 27
Skelly* #57976-060
USP McCreary
Post Office Box 3000
Pine Knot, Kentucky 42635
*Address envelope to Joshua Stafford. tumblr_m3dpe1K6lb1rso6bto1_400
Birthday: October 3
Connor Stevens  

FCI Manchester
Post Office Box 4000
Manchester, Kentucky 40962
Birthday: December 17
Douglas Wright #57973-060
FCI Edgefield
Post Office Box 725
Edgefield, South Carolina 29824
Birthday: May 31

The NATO 3

download (68)

were arrested on May 16, 2012 in the lead up to the anti-NATO protests in Chicago, Illinois. They were originally charged with 11 felony counts under the Illinois state version of the USA Patriot Act including material aid for terrorism, conspiracy to commit terrorism & possession of an incendiary device. What surfaced after their arrest were that two undercover cops, “Mo” and “Gloves” had been trying to entrap these three activists and others as part of Chicago’s surveillance & targeting of the local activist community. The NATO 3 went to trial on January 21, 2014, were acquitted of all terrorism counts on February 7. They were found guilty of possession of an incendiary device with the intent to commit arson, possession of an incendiary device with the knowledge that another intended to commit arson and mob action. On April 25, 2014, Brian Church was sentenced to five years, Brent Betterly to six years, and Jared Chase to eight years. In November 2014, Brian Church was released on parole. In April 2015, Brent Betterly was released on parole. In April 2016, Jared was sentenced to an additional year in prison for squirting a shampoo bottle of his human waste at a correctional officer. Jared said in a letter that he acted out when he did not receive the special diet or vitamins prescribed for Huntington’s disease, which is hereditary and marked early on by personality changes, irritability, impulsiveness and impaired judgment.
More information:
Jared Chase M44710
Pontiac Correctional Center
Post Office Box 99
Pontiac, Illinois 61764
Birthday: June 12
Oso Blanco* #07909-051
USP Lewisburg
Post Office Box 1000
Lewisburg, Pennsylvania 17837
*Address envelope to Byron Chubbuck.

Birthday: February 26
Indigenous rights activist serving 80 years for bank robbery, aggravated assault on the FBI, escape and firearms charges. A confidential informant reported that Oso was robbing banks in order to acquire funds to support the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico throughout 1998-99. More information:

Leonard Peltier

images (49)

Leonard Peltier #89637-132
US Penitentiary
PO Box 1000
Lewisburg, PA 17837

Native American political prisoner and American Indian Movement (AIM) activist, serving two consecutive life sentences for a crime he was framed for— the 1975 killing of two FBI agents on the Oglala Sioux reservation. After the acquittal of his codefendants and being extradited form Canada under false pretenses, Peltier was convicted by an all white jury in a hostile town. Peltier has appealed his sentence many times and has sued the FBI for withholding thousands of pages of important legal documents from FOIA requests. He is an accomplished painter and writer, having published his memoir, Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance, in 1999. Peltier has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize multiple times. His defense campaign continues to advocate for executive clemency and his transfer close to home. More information:
Jeremy Hammond #18729-424
FCI Manchester
Post Office Box 4000
Manchester, Kentucky 40962

images (51)
Birthday: January 8
Jeremy Hammond is an anarchist computer hacker from Chicago. In November 2013, he was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for leaking the personal information of 860,000 customers of private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor) through the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. This information revealed that Stratfor spies on activists, among others, at the behest of corporations and the U.S. government. More information:
Walter Bond #37096-013
FCI Greenville
Post Office Box 5000
Greenville, Illinois 62246 download (69)
Birthday: April 16
Walter Bond is an imprisoned Animal Liberation Front activist that was arrested in the summer of 2010 for the “ALF Lone Wolf” arsons of a sheepskin factory in Denver, Colorado a leather factory in Salt Lake City, Utah and the Tiburon restaurant in Sandy, Utah which sold the incredibly cruel product Foie Gras. He pleaded guilty to all three arsons as well as one count of AETA (the infamous Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act). Walter received a total prison sentence of 12 years and 3 month and is scheduled for release on April 14th of 2021.
More information:
Iron County Jail
300 Taconite Street
Hurley, Wisconsin 54534
*Address envelope to Katie Kloth.krowphoto
Birthday: February 4
Krow is an environmental and indigenous rights activist who faced charges stemming from a June 2013 Penokee Defenders protest that disrupted GTAC bore hole drilling at a mine site on the Penokee Range. On January 21, 2015 Krow was sentenced to 9 months plus 5 years of supervised release, and may face additional charges for “bail jumping” for allegedly entering a forest that was off limits while the case was pending. On February 4, 2017, while supporting the No DAPL struggle, Krow was assaulted and arrested by a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer. It is believed that she was specifically targeted because of her ongoing involvement and visibility within the No DAPL resistance, which had resulted in two arrests on misdemeanor charges previous to this incident.
Krow has been charged with violation of felony probation and on April 12 turned herself into the custody of North Dakota law enforcement and was later extradited to Wisconsin. Krow is in jail with only one other person so would love to get mail. More information:
Joseph Buddenberg #12746-111
FCI Victorville
Post Office Box 3725
Adelanto, California 92301
Birthday: April 6
Nicole Kissane #20651-111
FCI Dublin
5701 8th Street – Camp Parks
Dublin, California 94568
Birthday: August 18
In July, 2015, Joseph Buddenberg and Nicole Kissane were indicted under the federal Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). The indictment cites specific vandalism of fur stores and the liberation of thousands of mink and other fur-bearing animals, claiming that the two released mink and vandalized businesses that used animal products throughout the summer and fall of 2013; drove over 40,000 miles to free almost 7,000 mink from farms in Iowa, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota; and did more than $400,000 worth of damage. However, neither Joseph nor Nicole have pleaded guilty to specific acts. In early 2016, both signed
non-cooperating plea agreements and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. In May, 2016, Joseph was sentenced to two years in federal prison. In January, 2017, Nicole was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison. More information:
Brian Vaillancourt M42889
Robinson Correctional Center
13423 East 1150th Avenue
Robinson, Illinois 62454
Birthday: September 5
Brian Vaillancourt was arrested in February 2013 in Chicago for allegedly trying to burn down a McDonalds. In February 2013, he pleaded guilty and received a sentence of nine years.
David Gilbert #83-A-6158
Wende Correctional Facility
3040 Wende Road
Alden, New York 14004-1187
Birthday: October 6
David Gilbert, a longtime anti-racist and anti-imperialist, first became active in the Civil Rights movement in 1961. In 1965, he started the Vietnam Committee at Columbia University; in 1967 he co-authored the first Students for a Democratic Society pamphlet naming the system “imperialism”; and he was active in the Columbia strike of 1968. He went on to spend a total of 10 years underground, building a clandestine resistance.
David has been imprisoned in New York State since 10/20/81, when a unit of the Black Liberation Army along with allied white revolutionaries tried to get funds for the struggle by robbing a Brinks truck. This resulted in a shoot-out in which a Brinks guard and two cop were killed. David is serving a sentence of 75 years (minimum) to life under New York State’s “felony murder” law, whereby all participants in a robbery, even if they are unarmed and non-shooters, are equally responsible for all deaths that occur. While in prison, David has been a pioneer for peer education on AIDS and has continued to write
and advocate against oppression. He’s been involved with the annual Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar since 2001 and has written two books– No Surrender and Love and Struggle. More information:
Xinachtli* #255735
James V Allred Unit
2101 FM 369 North
Iowa Park, Texas 76367
*Address envelope to Alvaro Hernández.
Birthday: May 12
Xinachtli (Nahuatl, meaning “seed”) is a community organizer from Texas. Police informants were used to monitor Xinachtli’s organizing activities in the barrio. They were told Xinachtli was “typing legal papers,” “had many books” and was working on police brutality cases in Alpine.
The police knew of Xinachtli’s history of community-based organizing and his legal skills. Xinachtli was recognized nationally and internationally as the national coordinator of the Ricardo Aldape Guerra Defense Committee, which led the struggle to free Mexican national Aldape Guerra from Texas’ death row after being framed by Houston police for allegedly killing a cop. Xinachtli’s human rights work was recognized in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico and other countries. He was sentenced in Odessa, Texas on June 2-9, 1997 to 50 years in prison for defending himself by disarming a police officer drawing a weapon on him. The trial evidence clearly showed Xinachtli was the victim of witch hunts and a police-orchestrated conspiracy to frame or eliminate him.
More information:
United Freedom Front
Jaan Laaman #10372-016
USP Tucson
Post Office Box 24550
Tucson, Arizona 85734
Birthday: March 21
Jaan was raised in Roxbury, Massachusetts and Buffalo, New York. His family immigrated to the United States from Estonia when he was a child. He is currently serving a 53 year prison sentence for his role in the bombings of United States government buildings while a member of the
United Freedom Front, an American leftist group which robbed banks, bombed buildings, and attacked law enforcement officers in the 1980s. In the 1960s Laaman worked with Students for a Democratic Society, a community organization that advocated against the Vietnam War and racism. He facilitated youth development in the Black Panther Party and the Puerto Rican Young Lords street gang. In 1972 he was arrested and charged with bombing a Richard Nixon reelection headquarters building and a police station in New Hampshire and was sentenced to 20 years. However, he was released in 1978. In 1979 he and Kazi Toure helped to organize the Amandla Festival of Unity to support an end to apartheid in Southern Africa, which featured musician Bob Marley. He was eventually caught with several other members of the United Freedom Front, referred to as the Ohio 7, including leader Tom Manning in 1984. While originally charged with seditious conspiracy, Laaman was found guilty of five bombings, one attempted bombing, and criminal conspiracy, and sentenced to 53 years in prison.
More information:
Thomas Manning #10373-016
FCI Butner Medium II
Post Office Box 1500
Butner, North Carolina 27509
Birthday: June 28
Born to a Boston postal clerk, Thomas “Tom” William Manning is known for his involvement in the killing of a police officer during a routine traffic stop, and for his involvement with the United Freedom Front (UFF) who bombed a series of US military and commercial institutes in the 1970s and early 1980s. As a youth, he shined shoes and raised pigeons, before finding work as a stock boy. He joined the US Military in 1963, and the following year was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba before being transferred off to spend the following year in the Vietnam War. Some time shortly after 1965, he was sentenced by a Massachusetts state court to five years in prison for armed robbery and assault, serving the last ten months in Massachusetts Correctional Institution – Cedar Junction. He claims it was during these years that he became heavily politicized, through his interactions with other prisoners. After his release in 1971, he married Carol and together they had three children, Jeremy, Tamara, and Jonathan. Together with his arrest for the bombings, Manning was also convicted for his role in killing New Jersey police officer Philip Lamonaco during a traffic stop on December 21 1981. The killings launched the largest manhunt in NJ police history and ended with the arrests of Ray Levasseur, Patricia Gross, Richard Williams, Jaan Laamnan, and Barbara Curzi on November 4th, 1984,
and Manning and his wife Carol on April 24, 1985. All of them were associated with the United Freedom Front. Manning pled self defense at his trial, while defense counsel showed that Lamonaco had emptied his .357 revolver at Manning and his associates. He was sentenced on February 19, 1987 to 58 years in federal prison.
More information:
Norman Edgar Lowry Jr. KN 9758
SCI Dallas
1000 Follies Road
Dallas, Pennsylvania 18612
Birthday: February 4
Norman was sentenced to 1-7 years in May 2012 for his third trespass at a military recruiting office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Andrew Mickel V77400
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, California 94974
On November 19, 2002, Andy Mickel shot and killed a cop named David Mobilio of the Red Bluff, California Police Department. There were no witnesses to the killing, and the crime would have gone unsolved had there not been Internet postings about the crime six days later. The postings read, “Hello Everyone, my name’s Andy. I killed a Police Officer in Red Bluff, California in a motion to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics that have come to be used throughout our country.” In April 2005, Mickel was convicted of one count of first-degree murder. He was subsequently sentenced to death, and is being held on Death Row at San Quentin State Prison.
Reverend Joy Powell #07-G-0632
Bedford Hills Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 1000
Bedford Hills, New York 10507-2499
Birthday: March 5
Rev. Joy Powell was warned by the Rochester Police department that she was a target because of her speaking out against corruption. An all white jury tried her; the state provided no evidence and no eyewitnesses. Rev. Joy was not allowed to discuss her activism or say that she was a pastor. Furthermore, Judge Francis Affronti promised he was going to give her a harsh sentence because he did not like her. She was convicted and given 16 years and seven years concurrent. More information:
The “Virgin Island 3” are a group of activists accused of murdering eight people in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The murders took place during a turbulent period of rebellion on the Islands. During the 1970’s, as with much of the world, a movement to resist colonial rule began to grow in the U.S. occupied Virgin Islands. From 1971 to 1973, there was a small scale Mau Mau rebellion taking place on the islands. This activity was down-played by the media, for fear it would damage the tourist industry, which the island’s survival depends on. More information:
Abdul Azeez* #16-047
Saguaro Correctional Center
1252 East Arica Road
Eloy, Arizona 85131
*Address envelope to Warren Ballentine.
Birthday: January 9
Hanif Shabazz Bey* #16-001
Saguaro Correctional Center
1252 East Arica Road
Eloy, Arizona 85131
*Address envelope to Beaumont Gereau.
Birthday: August 16
Malik Smith* #16-024
Saguaro Correctional Center
1252 East Arica Road
Eloy, Arizona 85131
*Address envelope to Meral Smith.
Birthday: October 8
If you’re in the NYC area, come to one of our events! We host political prisoner letter- writing dinners every other Tuesday (upcoming events are generally posted on the blog or you can email us to join our announcement list). We also host or co-host several other special events throughout the year, including the annual Running Down the Walls. Contact us if you’d like to be added to our announcement list for upcoming events and important news, or follow us on twitter.
Whether or not you live in the area, we encourage you to become an ABCF Warchest contributor. One can do so via mail or paypal (make your payment to ) at a level of $5, $10, or $20 per month or on an ad hoc basis. Contact us for more information about this program and how to contribute.
For those outside of NYC, we also are available to answer questions and generally support people in starting a prisoner support organization or ABC chapter in your area.
Writing a letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war is a concrete way to support those imprisoned for their political struggles.
A letter is a simple way to brighten someone’s day in prison by creating human interaction and communication—something prisons attempt to destroy. Beyond that, writing keeps prisoners connected to the communities and movements of which they are a part, allowing them to provide insights and stay up to date.
Writing to prisoners is not charity, as we on the outside have as much to gain from these relationships as the prisoners. Knowing the importance of letter writing is crucial. Prisons are very lonely, isolating, and disconnected places. Any sort of bridge from the outside world is greatly appreciated.
With that in mind, avoid feeling intimidated, especially about writing to someone you do not know. And if possible try and be a consistent pen pal.
What to Write
For many, the first line of the first letter is difficult to write—there is uncertainty and intimidation that come with it. Never fret, it’s just a letter.
For the first letter, it’s best to offer an introduction, how you heard about the prisoner, a little about yourself. Tell stories, write about anything you are passionate about–movement work and community work are great topics until you have a sense of the prisoner’s interests outside of political organizing.
And what we hear from prisoners time and time again is to include detail. Prison is so total that the details of life on the outside become distant memories. Smells, textures, sounds of the street all get grayed out behind bars. That’s not to say that you should pen a stream-of-consciousness novel.
For things you should and should not remember when writing to folks, read “Guidelines.”
You cannot enclose glitter or write with glittery gel pens or puff paint pens. Some prisons do not allow cards or letters that include permanent marker, crayon, or colored pencils and it is best to check with the prisoner beforehand. That said, it is usually best to write in standard pencil or non-gel pen in blue or black ink.
You cannot include articles or anything else torn out of a newspaper or magazine. However, you can print that same article from the internet or photocopy it and write your letter on the other side.
You cannot include polaroid pictures (though these days, that’s not much of an issue), but you can include regular photographs. Some prisoners are limited to the number of photos they can have at any given time, so again, check with the prisoner before sending a stack of photos.
If mailing more than a letter, clearly write the contents of the envelope/package. Label it “CONTENTS” and include a full list.
A couple of technical details—make sure you include your return address inside the letter as well as on the envelope. It’s common for prisoners to receive letters without the envelope. Make sure to paginate—number each page, such as 1 of 3, 2 of 3, et cetera. This insures that if pages of your letter don’t make it to the prisoner, they will know it.
Be careful about making promises and only commit to what you are certain you can do. This should go without saying, but it’s not a good idea to make commitments to someone you don’t have a relationship with. If you can’t maintain a correspondence, let them know up front. Conversely, if you want to maintain an ongoing correspondence, let them know that as well.
If you are writing to someone who is pre-trial, don’t ask questions about their case. Discussing what a prisoner is alleged to have done can easily come back to haunt them during their trial or negotiations leading up to it.
Don’t valorize the person you are writing. Keep in mind that these are folks coming from the same movements and communities that you are. They aren’t looking for adoration, but rather to maintain correspondence.
Finally, do not write anything you wouldn’t want Fox News, a cop, or a judge to see. Assume that intelligence and law enforcement agencies are reading your letter. On a related note, this advice goes for any snail mail, e-mail, texting, messaging, or talking that takes place in known activist spaces or homes. This is not legal advice, just basic movement survival common sense (to review, read “Staying Safe”).
You never have to, and it is never a good idea to talk to police, FBI, ICE, or any other law enforcement agent or investigator. Other than providing your name and address to a police officer who is investigating a crime, you never have to talk. You will not outsmart them by talking or sound less suspicious by talking or make things easier for yourself by talking. Anything you say will be used against you and others. If they catch you in a lie or inconsistency they can charge you with a separate crime.
Say: I have nothing to say to you OR I need a lawyer present to continue this conversation. If they come to your home, workplace, or school, ask them for a business card and tell them your attorney will be in contact with them.
The FBI may threaten you with a grand-jury subpoena for not talking. It doesn’t matter because they were probably going to subpoena you anyway and you weren’t going to talk anyway. If you receive a grand jury subpoena you should immediately contact a lawyer and let others in your community know. People can be held for up to six months for refusing to talk to grand juries. Even so, for our own survival, it is imperative that we take that risk and do not participate in grand juries as they are used to indict political prisoners and prisoners of war.
In the federal legal system, the grand jury is used to decide whether someone should be charged (“indicted”) for a serious crime. The grand jury hears evidence presented by the prosecutor: the U.S. Attorney. The grand jury uses subpoenas to gather this evidence. It can subpoena documents, physical evidence, and witnesses to testify. The “special”
federal grand jury, created in 1970, can be used to investigate “possible” organized criminal activity rather than a specific crime.
Currently there is more than one active grand jury in new york city. There are also more than likely informants and agent provocateurs infiltrating the anarchist community here.
It is imperative that we continue our work as anarchists including the support of political prisoners and prisoners of war towards the abolition of the state, of capitalism, and of all oppression. It is also imperative that we do so in a way that is smart, strategic, and sustainable.
NYC Anarchist Black Cross
NYC Anarchist Black Cross is a collective focused on supporting US-held political prisoners and prisoners of war and opposing state repression against revolutionary social justice movements. We are a Support Group of the continental Anarchist Black Cross Federation.
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211

> Transgender Prisoners Suffer Abuse at Record Numbers

June 17, 2017
> Transgender Prisoners Suffer Abuse at Record Numbers
> June 12, 2017 Aviva Stahl
> This story appears in the June issue of VICE magazine.
> One excruciatingly hot day in June 2015, Gretta Soto Moreno returned in a state of distress to her cell in Eloy, a grim privately run immigration detention center south of Phoenix. A volunteer from a local immigration support group had been visiting, and visits usually buoyed her spirits. But that day Soto Moreno had felt threatened by a fellow detainee in the visiting room-men at Eloy had been sending menacing notes to gay and transgender detainees, and she was growing increasingly fearful. Worse, she suspected that a guard at the facility, someone she claims had sexually harassed her in the past, had purposefully arranged for the frightening encounter.
> For two long years, Soto Moreno had kept her feelings bottled up. There was the stress of knowing violence might be just around the corner, the anger rooted in the administration’s casual indifference, and the torment of never knowing when she’d get out. Would she be released on parole? Would she be granted asylum? Would she be allowed to return to her life in the United States, the one she’d built for herself over the past decade-finally dressing and living as the woman she really was?
> In a haze of emotion, Soto Moreno picked up a razor that she had hidden in her cell-she used it to shave-and sat down on the toilet to pee. Then she saw a part of herself she’d always hated. Her hands did the rest.
> “I pulled my skin by the scrotum, and I just cut over and over there and cut them off,” she told me in an interview last summer. I had just met Soto Moreno, a 44-year-old transgender woman from Mexico. She was sitting next to me in my rental car as we drove to an immigration detention center for a visit. Her dark hair was pulled back into a top bun, exposing her broad features and meticulous makeup.
> Gretta Soto Moreno spent 264 days at an immigration detention center for transgender inmates in Santa Ana, California. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detains an average of 65 transgender women every day.
> I tried to turn and see the expression on her face. She was staring straight ahead. “With my blood, I write down on the wall, ‘Please more respect to LGBT people,'” she told me. “And I got to another wall, and I say, ‘More respect to trans women.'”
> I asked if she felt faint at the time, and she said no-she was there in her cell but also not. A counselor noticed that she was bleeding and called for help. Soon an ambulance arrived. Soto Moreno had surgery and spent three days in the hospital.
> After she was released back into custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), she was returned to Eloy and placed in a suicide-watch cell. “It was the most disgusting thing,” she said. “There was shit all over the place.”
> Soto Moreno’s experiences, although disturbing, are far from unusual. Anyone locked up in America’s prisons and jails risks facing deplorable conditions, but for trans people, the experience is often defined by daily brutalities, including long stretches in solitary, a denial of gender-affirming healthcare, and physical and sexual violence. These issues have become paramount in a sprawling immigration detention system that seems likely to grow even larger: Under the Obama administration, ICE locked up as many as 35,000 people each day; the Trump administration is reportedly in the process of increasing that number to 80,000.
> In March 2016, Human Rights Watch (HRW) published findings of an extensive investigation into abuses against trans women in US immigration detention, based on interviews with 28 former detainees. The report details numerous instances in which transgender women had been raped or sexually assaulted while in immigration detention, either by detainees or guards, as well as several accounts in which ICE staff refused to adequately respond to reported assaults. It also notes that transgender women in detention sometimes spend weeks or months in solitary confinement-allegedly for their own protection.
> In recent years, ICE has been trying a new approach to detaining trans women. About a week after she cut herself, the ICE supervising officer at Eloy called Soto Moreno into his office. He offered to transfer her to an immigration detention unit in Orange County, California, in the city of Santa Ana, which was strictly for transgender women and gay men (the two populations were later split into separate pods). Initially created in 2011, the unit was supposed to keep trans women safe-or at least safer than they might otherwise be if held in male facilities. She enthusiastically agreed. But creation of the trans unit has not come without controversy, and some LGBTQ immigration activists have staunchly opposed the move, part of a debate that would come to embroil Soto Moreno’s future and the futures of all trans women detained by ICE. At the heart of the debate is the question of what our country would look like if it were truly safe for trans people, and whether the pod-or any detent
ion facility at all-could help make that dream a reality.
> On June 17, Soto Moreno was handcuffed on her feet, belly, and wrists, and loaded onto a bus and then a plane. Let’s see what’s going on, Soto Moreno remembers thinking when she arrived at the unit. If something doesn’t change, I have to quit my life.
> Soto Moreno was born in 1972 and raised in the Martín Carrera neighborhood of Mexico City. As a kid, she used to peer out her second-story window to watch the drug dealers do their business below, and she’d sometimes see trans women working the streets, too. She was seven when she first felt the desire to dress as a girl. “Every single kid, they noticed I was different, even when my mom made me dress up as a boy,” she told me.
> At school, she would get beat up, and at home, the abuse would continue. At one point, her mother recruited her uncle to “teach her how to be a man.” As time passed, she would sometimes wear women’s clothing or put on makeup, but only in private.
> One evening, in her early 20s, a group of police officers assaulted her after one cop noticed she’d accidentally left on some eyeliner. The beating was brutal. She realized she could never explore her gender identity in Mexico-where, according to a 2016 report by the Transgender Law Center, transgender women face an epidemic of violence and are often specifically targeted by the military and the police.
> As time passed, she started thinking, I hear that in the United States, gay people are more free than here. In September 2003, when she was 30, she decided to come to the US, crossing over land from Nogales through the Arizona desert. She says she personally didn’t find it too difficult-she’d been in the Mexican equivalent of the Boy Scouts in her youth-but she saw firsthand just how unforgiving the journey could be. “On our way, we found skeletons,” she told me. One time, she asked the smuggler for permission to light a fire in the nearby bushes so that Border Patrol would come and find the body.
> After about two weeks, she arrived safely in Phoenix and started working under the table as a dishwasher. She was still testing the waters in terms of coming out. It was a few years later, after a terrifying car crash, that Soto Moreno finally decided to start transitioning. My life’s too short to hide myself, she thought. “On that day, I decided to stop living my life as a man.” It was a slow process. At first, she only dressed up at night when she frequented Phoenix’s gay nightclubs. Around 2006, she began buying hormones on the street and giving herself injections.
> In 2011, Soto Moreno was arrested and spent a few weeks in jail before being handed over to ICE. (Due to her ongoing immigration case, she asked me not to publish any details about her arrests or criminal offenses.) It was while she was in detention that Soto Moreno decided to apply for political asylum. Her claim was initially denied, but she is still fighting for status. After about three months at Eloy, she was released on a $5,000 bond.
> A few months later, she was arrested again and passed from law enforcement into the hands of immigration agents. She ended up at Eloy for a second time. It wasn’t long before both detainees and ICE staff were allegedly subjecting her to sexual harassment. Soto Moreno was receiving visits from a local immigration-advocacy group that supported LGBTQ detainees, but the visits meant she had to be searched regularly. One particular guard, Officer Smith*, used to let his hands linger on her body. The third time he came over to search her, she grew nervous and afraid. “I opened my arms and my legs, and he was searching me, even on my arms.” She was wearing short sleeves at the time.
> “Is that necessary?” she asked the guard. He allegedly told her to shut up and cupped her left butt cheek with his left hand so that his thumb just touched her anus. She pleaded with him to stop.
> “If you move again, I’m going to accuse you of assault,” was his retort, she told me. When the search was over, she emerged into the visiting room shaking with anger. She had no good options: She could submit to the searches or risk an encounter with the riot squad and a stint in solitary confinement. She put in grievances about the improper searches and notified staff about what was happening, but nothing changed. ICE declined to answer any questions about Soto Moreno’s case and would not confirm or deny any details.
> The Bureau of Justice Statistics has estimated that there are about 5,000 transgender people locked up in prisons and jails across the United States-about a third of whom are estimated to experience sexual assault on the inside. There is also an average of 65 transgender women detained by ICE every day, many of whom are held in men’s facilities.
> One of the women named in the 2016 report by HRW, Sara V., stated that she had been assaulted at a privately run immigration detention facility in Arizona, although the report does not specify whether she was held at Eloy. During intake proceedings, Sara was placed in a cell with several other men, and two of them raped her, while a third stood in the window to block the guards’ view. “Three Honduran men started touching themselves in front of me,” Sara told HRW. “They said, ‘He thinks he’s a woman, but he’s a faggot… In our country, we kill these people.'”
> As for Soto Moreno, during her second stint at Eloy, she heard about a unit for gay men and trans women in Santa Ana, California. She thought it sounded “phenomenal.” So for a while she remained at Eloy, still hoping she could end up somewhere safer. Please remove me from this place, she thought. Because I don’t want to be here. I am being sexually harassed!
> On June 6, 2015, a volunteer came to visit her. Officer Smith called her over for a search. She refused. “I was crying. Lots of officers were coming over because I tried to refuse a direct order from an officer on duty,” she recalled. “It’s a big offense.” Some of the officers were dressed in riot gear. Soto Moreno was escorted to the manager’s office, and she told him what was going on. He told her that he would assign Officer Smith to the north side of the facility, so she wouldn’t have to see him.
> Soto Moreno told me she thought the episode must have pissed Officer Smith off, and she claims he decided to retaliate against her for reporting the abuse. An officer arranged for her to receive that day’s visit on the north side of the facility. That’s where the higher-security detainees at Eloy are held, including a group of men who had allegedly threatened Soto Moreno and other LGBTQ detainees in the past.
> When she walked into the visiting room on the more dangerous north side, her body grew tense-one of the detainees was part of the gang of men who had been threatening her, she believed. She told her visitor that it wasn’t safe and waved a guard over to let her leave.
> “When I came back to the pod, I was totally nervous. I was angry. I was anxious.” She tried to talk to a counselor she trusted, but the woman told her she was busy. She shut her door and started pacing the room. “I was totally blacked out.”
> This was when she carried out her act of self-mutilation. She remembered she had a razor hidden away. She took it out and removed the blade. “I took the knife, and I was thinking, What do I do now?” Soto Moreno tilted the blade back and forth. She watched the reflection of the light as it danced up the blade.
> “I was extremely angry-you cannot imagine that anger.” Soto Moreno thought about where to cut herself. That’s when she sat down on the toilet. “I have the knife in my hands, and I just take it off,” she said. “No pain, nothing.”
> When Soto Moreno finally arrived at the Santa Ana City Jail, in the early hours of June 18, 2015, the sky was pitch black, and she was exhausted. Her wounds-which had been wrapped in gauze as a stopgap until being transferred to a public hospital in Phoenix for surgery-had by now scarred over. She and about six men were transferred out of the van and placed in intake cells. One by one, they were called up to be strip-searched and handed a set of the jail’s orange uniform.
> The trans pod at Santa Ana emerged as result of legal advocacy on behalf of LGBTQ immigrant detainees. The unit first opened in 2011, shortly after the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC)-an immigrant rights group based out of Chicago-filed a complaint detailing the rampant sexual violence and long-term isolation of gay and trans detainees with the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. According to Keren Zwick, Soto Moreno’s lawyer and a managing attorney at the NIJC, ICE established the Santa Ana unit shortly after the complaint was filed.
> At first, the unit operated in ad hoc, de facto fashion and housed transgender women alongside gay and bi men. In 2012, the agency went public with news about the pod, and in the summer of 2014, the pod was split into two, one for transgender men and another for gay or bi-identified cisgender men. Since the official opening, ICE has also been taking other steps in the name of safeguarding transgender women. In June 2015, ICE issued a Transgender Care Memo, which put in place intake processes for detainees who identify as transgender and called for the establishment of a “Transgender Classification and Care Committee” to evaluate housing and security needs.
> During Soto Moreno’s intake, a guard explained the strict rules of the trans unit to her-like not being permitted to hug or even shake hands with anyone else or share food bought from the commissary. “All the rules are just to protect themselves-no rule is to protect us,” she said. Still, she was hopeful that things at Santa Ana would be better than Eloy. She was brought up to the fourth floor, to the module where the trans unit is housed.
> The pod was composed of two tiers, arranged in an L-shape, with cells lining the two walls farthest from the entrance. Bunk beds were tucked into the corner of each small cell. A frosted window, about 6 inches wide and 36 inches long, let in a narrow band of light.
> Soto Moreno told me that one of the worst aspects of being at the trans pod was the confined space and almost total lack of windows. Once they’re in the unit, women only leave the building to go to court, which means they can spend months or even years without feeling a breeze or seeing an open sky. As her time at Santa Ana passed-in total she would end up spending 264 days there-Soto Moreno started to feel increasingly claustrophobic. Her anxiety became such an issue that she reported it to the facility doctor, who offered her medication, though she didn’t stay on it for long. “Those pills made me feel like a zombie,” she said.
> Soto Moreno and the other detainees also allegedly regularly endured invasive strip and cavity searches performed by male guards. One day in January 2016, Soto Moreno claims a plate got chipped, and officers couldn’t locate the resultant shard. The officers were worried that one of the women may have hidden it away for use as a weapon. The jail staff locked the unit down. One by one, each woman was allegedly brought out of her cell and into the shower and told to strip. Surrounded by male guards, some of them armed, Soto Moreno was told to lift her genitals. She claims she was instructed to bend over and cough, and an officer used a flashlight to peer into her anus.
> Later, after they had strip-searched almost every woman on the unit, an officer suggested they look for the shard in the garbage, and there it was. “That day was the most humiliating day we had, ever,” Soto Moreno said. “It was the most disgusting thing.”
> Still, during the Obama years, the trans pod at Santa Ana became a point of pride for ICE, an agency that frequently garners bad press. When I emailed the ICE press office last summer, and asked to receive a tour of the unit, it happily obliged. Upon my arrival at Santa Ana, I was greeted by Virginia Kice, ICE’s western regional communications director, along with Andre Quinones, then ICE’s LGBT field liaison in Los Angeles. “ICE,” he told me, “is at the forefront of creating policies to safeguard transgender women.” (Quinones has since been promoted and now oversees ICE detention operations throughout all of Orange County.)
> “Some of the things we’re doing,” echoed Kice during the visit, “are incredibly progressive.”
> While Soto Moreno was at Santa Ana, adjusting to the claustrophobic conditions and invasive searches, a group of activists engaged in an act of civil disobedience in front of the jail, carrying signs calling for trans queer liberation and to end all detention.
> It was late 2015, and she had been there for about five months. “As soon as the protesters were outside protesting, we were locked down,” recalled Soto Moreno. She couldn’t hear or see the protests, but she knew about them from watching the coverage on TV and was able to meet some of the activists spearheading the campaign. One day, two staff members from a national initiative called Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement came to visit the unit, and Soto Moreno introduced herself. She began to learn about a movement to free all trans people from immigration detention.
> The #EndTransDetention campaign, as it was called, was first initiated in 2014 by a coalition of groups, including the Santa Ana–based Orange County Immigrant Youth United, the Oakland-based Transgender Law Center, and Familia-which was founded to advocate around issues affecting the LGBTQ Latino community. “It’s key we take away power” from institutions like ICE, said Jennicet Gutierrez, an undocumented transgender woman who is one of the group’s two paid staffers. ICE puts on “a friendly face, but in reality, they’re still oppressing communities, especially of color.”
> Jennicet and other advocates told me about the significant issues in the trans unit-like the hormone denials, frequent lockdowns, petty rules, and months trapped inside. In their view, ICE was exploiting the language of gay and trans rights in order to bolster its image, all while leaving trans women in harm’s way. Asked to comment for this story, Kice told me in an email that “ICE is committed to providing a respectful environment for all detainees, including those who identify as transgender.”
> But the campaigners calling to #EndTransDetention also saw their work as one way to link into the wider movement to end deportations. Jennicet told me it was essential that she found a political-organizing space that campaigned on behalf of everyone without status, “and that includes our families, our cousins, our uncles who might be undocumented but aren’t necessarily part of the LGBT community.” As Jorge Gutierrez (no relation to Jennicet)-another Familia staffer-explained, “If we’re able to fight for the most vulnerable, then we’re actually fighting for everyone.”
> Their work reflects a long-running tension in the movement to ameliorate conditions for the millions of people locked up in prisons, jails, and detention centers across the country: the reality that humanitarian reform efforts have often cemented, rather than diminished, the role of prisons in American life. The first penitentiaries were advocated for in the early days of the republic by liberals and humanitarians, looking to replace forms of punishment thought to be more barbaric and cruel, including whippings and stock and pillories. The first separate women’s prison, built in 1839 as a well-meaning attempt to reduce the harm and violence women faced on the inside, had only 81 cells. Today, more than 1 million women are either behind bars or on probation or parole. Even mandatory minimum sentences emerged, in part, because liberals thought they could make the criminal justice system fairer for minority defendants, by reducing racial disparities in sentencing.
> This history has engendered a tension between harm-reduction efforts and abolitionist aims, one that persists to this day. “The most difficult question for advocates of prison abolition,” the activist Angela Davis said in 2000, “is how to establish a balance between reforms that are clearly necessary to safeguard the lives of prisoners, and those strategies designed to promote the eventual abolition of prisons as the dominant mode of punishment.”
> But not everyone on the inside agrees on whether to oppose the creation of trans units. I’ve written to scores of trans women locked up in prisons across the United States, many of whom said they would feel safest if they were housed in a trans pod. One, Dee Dee-a trans woman incarcerated in New York-has been in solitary confinement for seven straight years. “Any solution for trans people housing should definitely not include any type of solitary isolation,” she wrote to me in 2014. “But should be a program in certain prisons that are within the general populations but housed onto themselves.”
> Synthia China Blast, another trans woman who’s spent years in the box in New York prisons and endured multiple sexual assaults, wrote to me in 2014: “BEING LOCKED UP IN A MEN’S PRISON IS TORTURE! IT’S HELL! Trans inmates (if forced to be in prison) should be housed in a trans unit. After sex-reassignment surgery in a women’s facility.” Activists working for a prison-free future are constantly forced to balance that goal with the longing of inmates for a more humane present.
> In March 2016, after being at Santa Ana for about eight months, Soto Moreno was finally released on a $7,500 bond. “Freedom is an unbelievable gift,” she told me. Nobody could give her orders. But being out was also tough-she had no work permit and no way to provide for herself. A group called Translatin@, which offers rental assistance and food vouchers to trans people recently released from prison or detention, helped her to survive. She was free, but it was hardly the life she’d hoped for when she fled Mexico, more than 12 years prior.
> While Soto Moreno was acclimating to life on the outside, the #EndTransDetention campaign was ramping up. A month before her release, in February 2016, activists had successfully convinced the Santa Ana City Council not to expand the number of beds contracted out to ICE from 200 to 300. Then in May, after a multi-day hunger strike by Familia’s staff, as well a local high school student, the city council voted to stop renting space out to ICE when its contract expires in 2020. Finally, in December 2016, the city council voted to reduce the maximum number of beds rented out to ICE to 128.
> Meanwhile, the all-Latino city council also directed the city manager to study the possibility of closing the jail facility altogether, by commissioning a $50,000 reuse study. For Jorge and Jennicet, the development exemplified a tangible way that immigration rights activists could support the work of groups like Black Lives Matter, and a broader movement against police violence and what many groups see as racist and reflexive use of incarceration. “Now, because of our campaign and how we’ve been pushing, there’s a whole conversation to close down the city jail completely and reuse it for something for the community,” Jorge told me.
> In February of this year, ICE sent written notification to Santa Ana city officials that it planned to terminate the detention contract, effectively killing the facility. “Recent actions by the city to drastically curtail the number of beds available at the city’s jail to house immigration detainees meant the existing detention contract was no longer viable or cost effective,” ICE’s statement read. (At the time of publication, the trans unit at Santa Ana was scheduled to be shut down on May 24.)
> The success of the campaign raises an uncomfortable question: What will happen to trans detainees? While conditions at Santa Ana were far from perfect, it is likely that trans women were safer in the unit than at other detention facilities across the country. “Before the pod existed, the de facto situation for the trans folks in immigration custody was to place them in administrative segregation,” Keren Zwick, the NIJC attorney, explained to me, “which was a euphemism, effectively, for solitary confinement.”
> Soto Moreno is worried about how detained trans women will fare now that the pod has been shut down. Most detention facilities don’t offer equivalent educational opportunities to those at Santa Ana. Plus, trans women may now end up in far more conservative and isolated parts of the country-like Texas, Arizona, or New Mexico-where there are fewer legal advocacy organizations for immigrants and a far smaller LGBTQ community to support them. “We might want ICE to release all trans detainees,” Soto Moreno told me, “but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.”
> Under Trump, conditions inside immigration facilities will likely only get worse. This past April, the New York Times reported that his administration planned to relax rules meant to improve conditions inside detention facilities, including regulations on the use of solitary confinement. A second unit for trans women was supposed to open up this year at the Prarieland Detention Center in Texas, but advocates told me that plan appears to be on hold.
> Jorge sees what unfolded at Santa Ana in a different light-as tangible proof that activists can resist the proposed expansion of the immigration detention complex. “To have this victory has boosted communities’ morale, and it’s inspiring other folks across the country to say, ‘Yeah, we can also get ICE out of our city.'”
> After her release from detention, Soto Moreno waited for 260 days to get a work permit, surviving hand to mouth with the help of the Translatin@ Coalition. With the document now in hand, she is working part time with the coalition, doing outreach for its economic-empowerment program. She told me she’s saving up money to change her legal name. Her immigration case still colors every aspect of her life: The slightest false step could land her back in detention, and even the tiniest chink in the story she presents at hearings could lead to her petition being denied.
> But the United States is Soto Moreno’s home now, and she has nowhere else to go. So after almost three years in detention, facing sexual harassment, invasive strip searches, and constant lockdowns-“900 days in hell,” as she described them to me-she’s still slowly wending her way through the same immigration system she once hoped would keep her safe.
> *Officer Smith is a pseudonym because allegations of Soto Moreno’s charges against him could not be corroborated. Soto Moreno submitted official grievances with prison officials describing what happened in detail, and at one point, she submitted a report to local police. ICE would not respond to VICE’s request for comment on the alleged grievances, and whether or not officials took any measures to address them.
> UPDATE 6/7/17: After this issue went to print, ICE transferred a number of women from the trans pod at Santa Ana to Cibola County Correctional Center, a privately run detention center in Milan, New Mexico. According to local organizers, 11 trans women are currently held at Cibola, which they say is now functioning as a trans pod. ICE confirmed that the trans women at Cibola are being held separately from the general population.
> —
> Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977

June 11th international day of solidarity with maruis mason and all long term anarchist …Narrm /Melbourne action flinders st station 2017

June 11, 2017
  1. june 11th international day of solidarity with maruis mason and all long lerm anarchist prisoners  flinders street station steps  narrm/melbourne australia

we acknowledge that  we are standing of stolenland and respect tradional owners  and sovereignty never ceded ,aboriginal deaths in custody  in so called austalia  must stop as  Aboriginal prison rates soar despite recommendations in to the royal commision in to aboriginal deaths in custody  since 1987  ,as in recommendation,

92. Imprisonment should be utilised only as a sanction of last resort.
solidality to  long term anarchist prisoners  there inside for us we are outside for them  but 
we can not forget about the
prison industrial complex with in australia that is part of the colonisation  of  so called australia
solidality to all long term anarchist prisoners

got to:





International day of solidarity long term anarchist prisoners melbourne action

June 8, 2017


anarchist black cross melbourne

will be hosting june 11th international day of solidarity with maruis mason and all long lerm anarchist prisoners in melbourne australia meet at flinders street station steps at 2pm bring banners and info about june 11th to hand out on the day available on june 11th website
for more info contact and

Oscar Lopez Rivera Vows to Continue Fight for Puerto Rico Independence

May 31, 2017

oscar-lopez-rivera Vows to Continue Fight for Puerto Rico Independence

The former political prisoner thanked progressive movements for supporting his decades-long struggle for a free Puerto Rico.

In his first hours of freedom after 36 years behind bars in U.S. prison, Puerto Rican independence leader Oscar Lopez Rivera vowed Wednesday to continue to fight for the freedom and independence of Puerto Rico while expressing solidarity with progressive movements across the Americas.

Who Is Puerto Rico’s Oscar Lopez Rivera?

“During the years I was jailed I always thought I would return home,” Lopez said during a press conference in San Juan with the ocean at his back, thanking all the progressive organizations and world leaders who supported him and worked for his release over the years.

“You have a Puerto Rican that has never promoted sectarianism. I come here to fight and work, that’s what I know how to do,” Lopez Rivera said. “We can make Puerto Rico the nation that it has the potential to be.”

The life-long freedom fighter for Puerto Rico’s decolonization and independence thanked Pope Francis, Argentina’s Grandmothers and Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, former Uruguayan President Jose “Pepe” Mujica, the governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba, as well as artists, activists and especially youth and children.

It is is them who have in their hands the future of our country,” said Lopez Rivera, dressed in black to represent his mourning for the friends and relatives who died while he was in jail for the past 36 years and to whom he never had a chance to say goodbye.

He also spoke out about the harsh austerity currently policies rocking the island in the face of a crippling debt crisis, stressing the importance of funding public education and applauding Puerto Rican students for being on the front lines of the struggle to defend education and resist colonial relations with Washington.

Oscar Lopez Rivera’s Puerto Rico Independence Fight Lives On

“Unity will make decolonization possible, there is no other option,” Lopez Rivera said. “Loving our country doesn’t cost anything — what will cost us is to lose it.”

He also thanked Venezuela and all “those who defend the Bolivarian Revolution” and called for the U.S. to end its interference in the nation.

“I ask the U.S. to stop interfering in Venezuela, to stop using people and structures to reach countries and create a hostile environment with violence, and to have people lose because in the end it’s the people who lose.”

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was the first world leader to talk to Lopez Rivera and told him in a phone call Wednesday he wanted to thank the activist for his strength and kindness in his struggle for the independence of Puerto Rico.

“A big hug — it was very touching to see you with you family,” Maduro said to Lopez Rivera. “Long live a free Puerto Rico, long live dignity.”

Lopez Rivera, in return, thanked Maduro for his support throughout the long process of waiting for his freedom.

“I feel Puerto Rican, but I also feel Venezuelan,” Lopez Rivera said to the president. “The truth of Venezuela will prevail, we are sure it will prevail, we hope the U.S. can’t do what it has in mind and what it aspires to do.”

Lopez Rivera also criticized the financial oversight board put in place last year by U.S. Congress through the controversial law known as PROMESA to restructure the island’s debt. He said that nothing that comes out of the oversight board — which has been widely criticized for undermining Puerto Rico’s democracy and deepening colonialism — will be good for the island nation since it promotes sweeping privatization and gives benefits to international companies instead of small farmers in the country.

“They made us their guinea pig to do experiments and make us poorer,” he said.

Lopez Rivera’s daughter Clarisa Lopez Ramos thanked the worldwide support for her father and for the fight to protect the island’s main public post-secondary education institution, the 70,000-student University of Puerto Rico, as it faces massive cuts as part of a harsh austerity plan to tackle the island’s massive debt load.

Puerto Rico’s Oscar Lopez Freed After 36 Years in US Prison

“The daughters and sons of Oscar are the students at the University of Puerto Rico, resisting and fighting,” said Lopez Ramos, referring to the student movements that have launched strikes and other actions to protest the cuts. “Thank you, my dad returned home.”

A celebratory concert attended by thousands of Puerto Ricans is underway in Rio Piedras featuring artists, musicians and prominent individuals welcoming Lopez Rivera home.

Lopez Rivera returned to the island in February to serve out the final weeks before his freedom Wednesday on house arrest after former President Barack Obama commuted his sentence in January.

The activist thanked former U. S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who commuted the sentences of Puerto Rican political prisoners.

Recalling when he declined Clinton’s 1999 offer for a pardon, the activist said he rejected it since other comrades were still jailed under poor conditions. “I believe in principles, and I believe in not leaving anyone behind.”

Finally, he said he will tour the 78 municipalities of the island now that he is free, as he has promised in the past.

“Long live Puerto Rico, of love and liberty!” Lopez Rivera said. “Always in resistance and struggle!”


Posted by:

Photos from May 30 March in Philly Demanding DA Hand Over Files

May 31, 2017


From Joe Piette:

Supporters for Mumia Abu-Jamal’s freedom rallied in front of the Philly DA’s office on May 30, with signs and speakers demanding all the files for him and 13 other prisoners be released. The rally was followed by a march to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Fox News, where march representatives demanded these news outlets cover this important issue.

Photos can be seen here: 109799466@N06/albums/ 72157681398355714


Posted by:

TAKE ACTION for Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner Jaan Laaman

May 8, 2017
This is from the Break the Chains list.
, Locked in Solitary Confinement and Facing Repression for Speaking Out for Human Rights
Jaan K. Laaman, long-time anti-imperialist political prisoner, is currently solitary confinement (“the hole”). Jaan has been in solitary confinement since his birthday on March 21, 2017 simply for issuing two political statements, a clear violation of free speech and human rights. [More details below.]
How you can support Jaan:
Write to Jaan and let him know he’s in our hearts and on our minds.
Jaan has no access to news and almost no access to phone calls. It’s important we send him some letters right now. Send him articles, so that he gets some world news.
Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
Write and call the Warden and ask him to end the repression against Jaan.
Please write and call the Warden at USP Tucson and ask that Jaan be released from solitary confinement and that he not be punished for expressing his support for women’s rights and for writing a statement mourning the passing of his friend, Lynne Stewart. Remind the Warden that Jaan is an elder prisoner, and you’re concerned about his health in solitary confinement and you would be concerned about his safety if he is moved to another prison.
USP – Tucson
9300 South Wilmot Road
Tucson, AZ 85756
1email#c TCP/
Phone: 520-663-5000
Fax: 520-663-5024
You can also contact:
Mary M. Mitchell, Regional Director
BOP Regional Office
7338 Shoreline Drive
Stockton, CA 95219
Regional email: wxro/
Thomas R. Kane, Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Central Office HQ
320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534
Background Information
Jaan is imprisoned at United States Penitentiary (USP) Tucson in Arizona, and is one of the last two remaining Ohio-7 political prisoners still locked up. The Ohio-7 were convicted in 1986 of direct actions to protest U.S. support for the white-supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa, illegal U.S. attacks on Nicaragua, and repression against advocates for Puerto Rican self-determination.
Jaan was placed into solitary confinement because of two short messages: one in support of the “Day Without a Woman Strike” (International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017) which was printed in the NYC Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) update, and his “Farewell Thoughts to My Friend, Lynne Stewart” which was broadcast on Prison Radio. Lynne Stewart, revolutionary peoples’ lawyer passed away on March 8, 2017. When the NYC ABC magazine arrived by mail to the prison, Jaan was promptly placed in solitary confinement. Prison officials charged Jaan with “threatening the security of the prison” because of these First Amendment protected statements.
No one should be punished for exercising their First Amendment Rights. The United States District Court in Pennsylvania recently ruled in a case involving efforts to censure Mumia Abu-Jamal: “A past criminal offense does not extinguish a person’s constitutional right to free expression. The First Amendment does not disappear at the prison gate.”
Pattern of Increasing Repression
Being placed in solitary confinement is the latest act of repression by the prison administration, following increasing actions against Jaan. Over a year ago, the prison shut down Jaan’s access to email, and they have been censoring him in various ways since then, including withholding his mail and limiting access to his lawyer.
Jaan was placed in solitary confinement on his birthday and has been there ever since. There is a growing consensus as to the psychological harm caused by solitary confinement. In 2011 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture concluded that solitary confinement for more than 15 days constitutes torture and can cause irreversible harmful psychological effects.
Jaan previously wrote about the increasing censorship he has been facing, here. Jaan has been writing reflections about global events since he was first captured in 1984, so this level of censorship is certainly something new and different.
This update was written by friends of Jaan Laaman.
Facebook: Free Jaan Laaman

court victory for mumia

May 4, 2017
Important court victory for Mumia Abu-jamal.
download (20)
Here’s a very important report from Rachel Wolkenstein on a critical victory for Mumia based on a decision a few days ago of the Post Conviction Relief Act  Judge Leon Tucker. Tucker heard Mumia’s request for a new hearing on April 24. A few days later he concurred with a courtroom motion by Mumia’s attorney for discovery of critical evidence that could lead to a new trial.
In solidarity, Jeff Mackler, Director, Mobilization to Free Mumia Abu-Jamal
First Legal Step Won in Mumia’s New Challenge to his Conviction!
By Rachel Wolkenstein
Just days after the DA’s office argued Mumia’s new legal challenge should be dismissed for not being “timely” and that the precedent setting case of Williams v Pennsylvania, that it is a violation of due process for a judge to rule in a case that he had previously had a significant personal involvement in a critical prosecutorial decision, does not apply to Mumia’s case, Judge Leon Tucker ruled in favor of Mumia’s demand for discovery of the DA’s files.
On April 24, Mumia’s 63rd birthday, the courtroom was filled with Mumia’s supporters and demonstrators rallied outside and all day and into the evening  demanding Mumia’s freedom. The DA’s office argued there was no evidence that PA Supreme Court Justice Ronald Castille, who ruled on all of Mumia’s appeals from 1998-2008, had been involved in Mumia’s case while he was the District Attorney from 1986-1991 or as a senior district attorney during Mumia’s 1982 trial. Mumia’s attorney, Christina Swarns of the the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) spoke to the exceptional circumstances of Mumia’s case and that the Motion for Discovery should be granted to determine the particulars of Castille’s personal involvement in Mumia’s prosecution, including his appeals.
Judge Tucker did not rule for the prosecution and dismiss Mumia’s petition. He granted discovery and ordered the DA’s office to produce and turn over all records and memos regarding Castille’s involvement in Mumia’s case; pre-trial, trial, post-trial and direct appeal proceedings; communications between Castille and his staff and any public statements Castille made about Mumia’s case during or after his tenure as District Attorney of Philadelphia. These records are to be turned over to Mumia’s attorneys within 30 days, by May 30, 2017, and Mumia has fifteen days to file amendments to his post-conviction petition.
This is an unquestionable win for Mumia in the PA courts. It opens the prosecution files on Mumia’s case to him, for the first time, ever. The DA’s office will likely stall and appeal and we should be prepared for protestations that the records do not exist. This new legal proceeding is a path towards Mumia’s freedom; we can win Mumia’s freedom with mass international protest and publicity.