February 2018 Letter Writing Night

Join us at Firestorm on Sunday, February 4th (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 week we also need help addressing copies of Prison Action News to incarcerated subscribers.

Richard Mafundi Lake

Long Time Held Political Prisoner Mafundi Lake transitioned January 21, 2018.  Mafundi was found on the floor of his cell on that day. His wife Carolyn says that Mafundi suffered from various health conditions and had suffered three strokes in the past.

Richard Mafundi Lake, Family Hour was on Saturday, January 27, 2018. Survivors are his loving wife, Carolyn Lake; children, Dr. Vanessa Anderson, Richard (Janice) Harris, Sonya (Patrick) Lloyd, Clinton (Vanessa) Hagler, Assata Lake, and Maia Lake; sisters, Veronica Lumpkin and Theda Craig; and brother, Stephen Lake.

You can leave a condolence message for Mafundi’s family:
https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/richard-lake-obituary?pid=1000000187972518&view=guestbook

Mafundi’s decades of schooling the youth in Alabama prisons makes him the progenitor of the Free Alabama Movement and the current, burgeoning prison abolition movement across the country.

Mafundi was one of our longest held political prisoners – 38 Years!

Mafundi served as the National Organizer for the African National Prison Organization in the late seventies and early eighties. He was also a main organizer of the Atmore-Holman Brothers inside the Alabama prison system. He was originally set up on a false robbery charge and convicted of a felony crime. He was a high school senior at the time. He turned his resistance into activism during that first prison term by organizing prisoners against attacking one another at the behest of the guards, establishing basic education and law classes for Black and white prisoners, and putting together a group called Inmates for Action. He remained an activist upon his release; he organized a defense committee for prisoners, support for their families, documentation of police brutalization of the community, corruption, graft – and presented the findings to the City Council and in public forums.

Mafundi was locked up again in September 19, 2001 for allegedly creating a security hazard by writing anti-American propaganda on the black board during an Islamic service. Mafundi stated that he was leading a discussion regarding reparations for Black people for enslavement and centuries of injustices. He was re-imprisoned as a consequence of anti-islamic hysteria after 9/11.

In a recent letter from Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, formerly known as Melvin Ray, of the Free Alabama Movement:

“Our Elder Richard “Mafundi” Lake used to always express to us the importance of studying our history in our struggle. Baba Mafundi used to say, “Black people can find the answers to all of our problems by studying Black History.” Then he would say, “See, you got to organize the people.” That precept, ORGANIZE, is one of the pillars of civilization that our Ancestors left to us. They organized! every facet of their life. Indeed, the process of life itself, and all things in the universe, is organized. And if we are to achieve our goal within this movement, then we, too, must organize – because the opposition is already organized.”

Erik King

Eric suddenly and tragically lost his brother recently. Grieving the loss of a loved one is tough as it is, but for almost two weeks now Eric has been trying to figure out the best way to mourn the loss of his brother in an already dark place. While EK is not in the head space right now to be able to respond to the letters and cards he has been receiving he’d like everyone to know all the love and support he has received reminds him that he is not alone in this fight. He wanted to apologize for taking a longer time to respond to folks who are reaching than he’d like. Receiving the news was clearly devastating for EK and moving forward has certainly been a struggle, so please keep him in your thoughts while he navigates through this difficult time. We encourage you to keep the cards and letters coming because it’s those incoming communications full of light that can really help to keep his spirits up. Here is Eric’s address once again:

Eric King # 27090045
FCI FLORENCE
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
PO BOX 6000
FLORENCE, CO 81226

Thank you so much for your continued support.
-EK Support Crew

February Birthdays

Veronza Bowers, Jr.

Birthday: February 4

Veronza Bowers, Jr. 35316-136
FMC Butner
Post Office Box 1600
Butner, North Carolina 27509

Veronza was a member of the Black Panther Party, 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 Federal prosecutors. There were no eye-witnesses and no evidence independent of the informants to link him to the crime. At trial, Veronza offered alibi testimony, 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.

Norman Edgar Lowry Jr.

Birthday: February 4

Norman Edgar Lowry Jr. KN 9758
SCI Dallas
1000 Follies Road
Dallas, Pennsylvania 18612

Norman was sentenced to 1-7 years in May 2012 for his third trespass at a military recruiting office in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Kamau Sadiki

Birthday: February 19

Freddie Hilton #0001150688
Augusta State Medical Prison
3001 Gordon Highway
Grovetown, Georgia 30813

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.

Oso Blanco

Birthday: February 26

Byron Chubbuck #07909-051
USP Victorville
Post Office Box 3900
Adelanto, California 92301

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.

July 2017 Letter Writing Night

Join us at Firestorm on Sunday, July 2nd (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.

 

June 2017 Letter Writing Night

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 prisonbooks.info):

June 12, 1985
Jared “Jay” Chase
M44710
Pontiac Correctional Center
Post Office Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764
freethenato3.wordpress.com

Jared Chase is one of three people who were set up by informant(s) just before the NATO summit in Chicago in May 2012. They are accused of making molotov cocktails and of saying that they planned to use them to attack police stations, a Democratic Party campaign office, and the mayor’s home during the NATO summit. Two of the NATO 3 have been released, and after complications regarding Jay’s chronic health issues and brutality from correctional officers, Jay remains in prison.

June 28, 1946
Thomas Manning
10373-016
FCI Butner
Post Office Box 1500
Butner, NC 27509
denverabc.wordpress.com

In 1971, Tom became active in political organizing, particularly with a Portland, Maine group known as SCAR. Much of this work centered around working with prisoners, ex-prisoners and their loved ones. Through this work and the study required to do it effectively, class contradictions became very clear to Tom. Eventually these realities lead to become active in the armed clandestine movement, first in the 70s with the Sam Melville/Jonathan Jackson Unit, and later in the 80s in the United Freedom Front. The armed anti-imperialist and anti-racist activities of these organizations led to a massive seven year hunt by all federal state and local authorities in the northeastern US. This hunt ended in his capture and Tom is now serving a double life sentence, plus multiple other sentences.

May 2017 Letter Writing Night @ ACAB2017!

Write to political prisoners with Blue Ridge ABC at Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair 2017! We’re meeting from 6:00-7:30PM in the Firestorm community room on Sunday, May 7th.

Krow
Katie Kloth
Iron County Jail
300 Taconite Street
Hurley, WI 54534
supportkrow.org

On February 4, while supporting the No DAPL struggle, Krow (Katie Kloth) was assaulted and arrested by a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer (there is video of the incident below). She was walking on a public road, away from the Sacred Stone camp, when she was chased down by the 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 was also known at Standing Rock for being an advocate for creating a unified front in fighting the pipeline.

On April 12, Krow turned herself into the custody of North Dakota law enforcement to await extradition to Wisconsin to face charges of violating felony probation. For the next three weeks, friends and supporters weren’t sure of Krow’s whereabouts as she was transferred across states. Now we finally have confirmation that she is in Wisconsin’s Iron County Jail—the same jail where she previously served nine months for defending Wisconsin’s Penokee Hills from mining in 2013.

MAY PRISONER BIRTHDAYS from prisonbooks.info:

May 12th, 1952
XINACHTLI
Alvaro Luna Hernandez
#255735
James V Allred Unit 2101 FM 369North
Iowa Park TX 76367
freealvaro.net

Xinachtli was 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 he was framed by Houston police. In addition, Xinachtli spearheaded the National Movement of La Raza, Stop the Violence Youth Committee and the Prisoners Solidarity Committee in Houston. Xinachtli was an NGO delegate before the United Nations Commission on Human Rights where he exposed the U.S. government’s dismal human rights record and its human rights violations of U.S. political prisoners. On July 18, 1996, Sheriff Jack McDaniel of Alpine, Texas, attempted to assassinate Xinachtli but was thwarted when Xinachtli disarmed him. For this he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Address envelope to Alvaro Luna Hernandez

May 27, 1953
KOJO BOMANI SABABU
#39384-066
USP Canaan
P.O. Box 300 Waymart, PA 18472
thejerichomovement.com

Kojo Bomani Sababu is a New Afrikan Prisoner of War serving a 55 year sentence. Kojo was captured on December 19th 1975 along with anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation. He was subsequently charged with conspiracy for an alleged plan to use rockets, hand grenades and a helicopter in an attempt to free Puerto Rican Prisoner of War Oscar Lopez Rivera from the federal prison where he was serving.

May 31st, 1969
BOMANI SHAKUR
Keith Lamar
#317-117
Ohio State Penitentiary
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Rd
Youngstown OH 44505-4635
denverabc.wordpress.com

In April of 1993 hundreds of prisoners at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility took control of one of the facility’s wings for 11 days before it was forcibly taken back over. The rebellion was composed of a temporarily united front of prisoners across racial, religious, and gang divisions that produced 21 demands centered on basic human rights. During the uprising several prisoner informants and a guard were killed. Bomani is accused of ordering the deaths of five inmates during the uprising and is now on death row. Address envelope to Keith Lamar.

May 31st, 1985
DOUGLAS WRIGHT
#57973-060
FCI Edgefield
Post Office Box 725
Edgefield, SC 29824
cleveland4solidarity.org

Douglas and four others were arrested on May 1st, 2012 and accused of plotting a series of bombings, including of an area bridge. The FBI, working with an informant, created the scheme, produced the explosives, and coerced them into participating.

April 2017 Letter Writing Night

In support of the Week of Solidarity Against Repression Blue Ridge Anarchist Black Cross will be hosting a political prisoner letter writing night at Firestorm Books and Coffee. We will be highlighting cases of folks such as Red Fawn Fallis who have been swept up in the recent wave of repression as well as long term political prisoners who are still in need of support. Join us if you can. Donations of envelopes, stamps, and money will be graciously accepted.

The event will begin at 5pm at Firestorm Books and Coffee located at:
610 Haywood Rd. Asheville, NC

Red Fawn

Red Fawn is a human rights advocate, organizer and a community leader within the Oglala Lakota Sioux. She grew up in Colorado and was raised in traditional Lakota ways, grounded with love and a deep connection to the earth and all living things. Her mother Troylynn Yellow Wood, taught her the importance of fighting for social and environmental justice.

On Oct. 27th, the police raided the 1851 Treaty Camp. Grandmothers and grandfathers and youth were pulled out of sacred sweat lodges, old and precious teepees were destroyed, along with holy ceremonial items such as the chanupa, our sacred ceremonial pipe.

More than 140 people were arrested that day. Bail was raised from $200 to $1,500 for each. All have been released except, Red Fawn. Her bail was originally set for $110k. That day, Red Fawn was serving as a trained medic. She was helping injured water protectors who had been sprayed with mace and hit by rubber bullets. As Red Fawn retreated from the front lines, three officers targeted, tackled and threw her to the ground. Police reports allege that one of the officers pulled his weapon and placed it against her back and while she was pinned to the ground, shots were fired.

Red Fawn is being accused of firing a weapon. Eyewitness accounts and video show otherwise.

“Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said he couldn’t confirm any shots were fired by the water protectors on Oct. 27” (Democracy Now) Red Fawn has been behind bars since that day. She is facing 25 plus years in prison.

Learn more at http://www.freeredfawn.com/

Write to Red Fawn at:
Red Fawn Fallis
HACTC
110 Industrial Rd
Rugby, ND 58368

 

April Prisoner Birthdays:

April 11, 1949
Romaine Fitzgerald
#B27527
Kern Valley State Prison
Post Office Box 5101
Delano, California 93216
*Address card to Chip
https://www.facebook.com/FreeChipFitzgerald/

Chip was a dedicated Panther, who threw himself into his political work, including the Party’s Free Breakfast Program, the tutorial program, selling Panther papers, political education classes and other projects. In 1969, at age 19, he was convicted and sentenced to death for his participation in a police shootout. In 1972 California abolished the death penalty and he was resentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Because of his political beliefs he remains in prison while 98% of the people on death row in California in 1972 have been released. Address envelope to Romaine Fitzgerald.

April 16, 1976
Walter Bond
#37096-013
FCI Greenville
P.O. Box 5000
Greenville, IL 62246
*Address cards to Abdul Haqq
http://supportwalter.org/

Abdul Haqq is an imprisoned Animal Liberation Front operative who was arrested in the summer of 2010 for the A.L.F. Lone Wolf arsons of the Sheepskin Factory in Denver, Colorado, the Tandy Leather Factory in Salt Lake City, Utah and Tiburon Restaurant in Sandy, Utah. Address envelope to Walter Bond.

April 2, 1956
Charles Sims Africa
#AM-4975
SCI Dallas
1000 Follies Road
Dallas, PA 18612

April 2, 1956
Delbert Orr Africa
#AM-4985
SCI Dallas
1000 Follies Road
Dallas, PA 18612

April 13, 1951
Janet Holloway Africa
#006308
SCI Cambridge Springs
451 Fullerton Avenue Cambridge Springs, PA 16403

April 25, 1956
Janine Phillips Africa
#006309
SCI Cambridge Springs
451 Fullerton Avenue Cambridge Springs, PA 16403
http://onamove.com/

Chuck, Delbert, Janet, and Janine Africa are 4 of the people who make up the MOVE 9. There are currently eight MOVE activists in prison, each serving 100 years after been framed for the murder of a cop in 1978. The 9th defendant, Merle Africa, died in prison in 1998. MOVE is an eco-revolutionary group dedicated to liberation struggles.

April 24, 1954
Mumia Abu-Jamal
#AM8335
SCI Mahanoy
301 Morea Road
Frackville, PA 17932
http://www.freemumia.com/

In 1981, Mumia, former Black Panther and vocal supporter of MOVE, was framed for the murder of a cop. In 2013, Mumia’s death sentence was overturned and, with pressure from hundreds of supporters he was released into general population.

April 27th, 1993
Brandon Baxter
#57972-060
FCI Terre Haute
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
http://cleveland4solidarity.org

Brandon and four others were arrested on May 1st, 2012 and accused of plotting a series of bombings, including of an area bridge. The FBI, working with an informant, created the scheme, produced the explosives, and coerced them into participating.

March 2017 Letter Writing Night

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 prisonbooks.info):

March 1, 1940
Richard Mafundi Lake
#079972
Donaldson CF
100 Warrior Lane
Bessemer, AL 35023-7299
http://thejerichomovement.com/

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
#07G0632
Bedford Hills CF
Post Office Box 1000
Bedford Hills, NY 10507-2499
http://freejoypowell.org/

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
#V77400
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
#A92051
CSP – Los Angeles County
Post Office Box 8457
Lancaster, CA 93539-8457
https://denverabc.wordpress.com/

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
#10372-016
USP Tucson
Post Office Box 24550
Tuscon, AZ 85734
https://freejaan.blogspot.com/

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
#42521-044
USP McCreary, USP
PO Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635
https://antistatestl.noblogs.org/

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!

Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night!

Each month on 1st Sundays (5:00-7:30PM), join us at Firestorm 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.

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!