Join us at Firestorm on Sunday, March 5th (5:00-7:30PM) for an evening of solidarity with long term political prisoners: people who are locked up for their activism and resistance to systems of domination and oppression.

This month’s birthdays (from

March 1, 1940
Richard Mafundi Lake
Donaldson CF
100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023-7299

Richard Mafundi Lake was a long-time organizer against racist police brutality in Alabama. He was sentenced in 1983 under Alabama’s Habitual Offender Act to life in prison. Richard is further punished for writing anti-American propaganda on the black board during an Islamic service two weeks after 9/11, as part of a nationwide coordinated Islamophobic lockdown.

March 5th, 1962
Reverend Joy Powell
Bedford Hills CF
Post Office Box 1000
Bedford Hills, NY 10507-2499

A pastor and activist against police brutality, violence and oppression in her community, Rev. Joy Powell was warned by the Rochester Police department that she was a target because she spoke out against corruption. Shortly after, Rev. Joy was accused and convicted of 1st Degree Burglary and Assault. An all white jury tried her; the state provided no evidence and no eyewitnesses. She was convicted and given 16 years and seven years concurrent.

March 13, 1979
Andrew Mickel
San Quentin State Prison
San Quentin, CA 94974

Andrew Mickel shot a police officer in 2002, explaining his motivations on a manifesto posted on the internet before his arrest: “to bring attention to, and halt, the police-state tactics […]used throughout our country[, and as] an action against corporate irresponsibility.”

March 17th, 1940
Ruchell Cinque Magee
CSP – Los Angeles County
Post Office Box 8457
Lancaster, CA 93539-8457

Ruchell Cinque Magee has been locked up since 1963, the only surviving participant in the 1970 Marin County Courthouse Rebellion, in which Jonathan Jackson attempted to liberate hisolder brother George Jackson by arming prisoners and holding a judge hostage. He has worked as a jailhouse lawyer on his owncase and helping many other prisoners win their freedom.

March 21st, 1948
Jaan Karl Laaman
USP Tucson
Post Office Box 24550
Tuscon, AZ 85734

Jaan Karl Laaman grew up in Roxbury, MA and Buffalo, NY. His family emigrated to the US from Estonia when he was a child. Jaan is considered a prisoner of war. 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 solidarity with the struggle in South Africa.

March 21st, 1984
Andrew Henry
USP McCreary, USP
PO Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635

200 days of fiery rebellion followed the shooting of a black child named Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, that galvanized a black liberation movement that makes the ruling class tremble to this day. Andrew Henry is serving a 6 year sentence for loot the Foot Locker in Buzz Westfall Plaza on August 10th, 2014, during the first night of riots.

We come together each month to celebrate their birthdays by sending words of encouragement and support. We let them know that they–and their sacrifices for our movements–are never far from our minds and hearts.

Continuously showing up for comrades who have had large chunks of their lifetimes stolen by the State is crucial solidarity work. If you have ever sat in a jail cell–for even one night–you know how important it is to show these folks they are not alone. If you haven’t seen the inside of a prison cell (and we hope you never do!), you can probably imagine how mentally and emotionally taxing it is to lose control over your physical self and surroundings.

For those facing this reality, especially for years and even decades, any reminder of support and connection from the outside means more than most of us can imagine. We know because our comrades tell us again and again, it is no exaggeration: LETTERS SAVE LIVES!