Tag Archive: political prisoners

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For December 2016 Is Now Available

December Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for December.(11″x17″ PDF, 25MB) Also available in color here(11″x17″ PDF, 25MB), non-PDF available here (imgur link) for sharing. Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. There’s a special urgency to fight back the fascist creep represented in our white house and the US government. This is a great opportunity to reexamine your position within society, and dedicate yourself further towards its upturn. Whoever occupies the white house, the same pigs occupy our neighborhoods, and our neighbors occupy their cages. More now than ever, more today than yesterday, and more yesterday than the day before it. Renewing your dedication to the struggle to abolish this prison society can take many forms. Maybe you’ll be able to contribute financially. Maybe you’ll be able to contribute time. Maybe you have a special skill you can contribute to the struggle. This is the time to find out about yourself, the time to get together with your friends, coworkers, and neighbors, and the time to seize all available opportunities to disrupt and destroy the coming fascist menace. We are all we have, and no one is going to save us but ourselves. Sever the means of the reproduction of life from the market and share with the least of those around you. If we learn nothing else from 1936, it’s that the most potent fight against fascism is a vibrant movement of working class people against capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy, and the state. Dig in, folks, we’re in for a serious struggle. Trump might be our next president, let’s try to make him our last.
  3. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Corina Dross for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  4. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  5. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 252KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Chelsea Manning, Eric King, Oscar Lopez Rivera, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For November 2016 Is Now Available

November Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for November.(11″x17″ PDF, 28MB) Also available in color here. Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designer of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Dylan Petrohilos for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  4. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, [##]KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Mumia Abu Jamal, Seth Hayes, Walter Bond, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Political Prisoner Birthday Crew

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For August 2016 Is Now Available

***UPDATE: ERIC KING’S ADDRESS HAS CHANGED***
Here is a temporary address at which you can reach him:
Eric King #114522306
Grady County Jail
215 N. 3rd St.
Chickasha, OK 73018

August Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for August.(11″x17″ PDF, 2MB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Dylan for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  3. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  4. Political Prisoner Chelsea Manning is having a hard month. Please take some time out of your day to do something nice for her. Talk about her case with someone who has never heard of her before, learn more about her case, and if you have the time to write her a letter or a little extra to spend, please consider sending it her way.

    After years of inhumane treatment, and having been held in conditions that the UN considers to be torture, Chelsea Manning, the Guardian columnist and whistleblower who has been in prison for years serving a 35 year sentence for exposing some of the U.S. government’s worst abuses, attempted to take her own life July 5th, 2016. Now, Army officials have informed her that she is facing serious new charges directly related to her suicide attempt.

  5. Luke O’Donovan has been released! See his support website to help him with what he needs now that he is free.
  6. September 9th is right around the corner, but there’s still time to get organized in your community to prepare for prison strike and rowdy solidarity demonstrations.

    Prisoners across the US have called for a nationally coordinated work stoppage and protest starting on Sept 9th, the 45th anniversary of Attica. The safety of these prisoners and the effectiveness of the protest depend greatly on outside support. There is a robust and expanding outside support network that you or your organization could join to participate in this, the first prisoner protest of its kind. We’re hoping Sept 9th will fundamentally change not only the dialog, but the landscape of prison in America.

  7. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 347KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on the Virgin Island 3, Leonard Peltier, Chelsea Manning, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

Settlement Reached in Shoatz vs. Wetzel

http://www.russellmaroonshoatz.com/

July 11, 2016: Pittsburgh PA —A settlement has been reached in the case of Shoatz v. Wetzel, which challenged the 22-year solitary confinement of Abolitionist Law Center client and political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz. This brings an end to litigation begun in 2013. In February 2014, following an international campaign on behalf of Shoatz, he was released from solitary confinement.

In exchange for Shoatz ending the lawsuit the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) has agreed that it will not place Shoatz back in solitary confinement based on his prior disciplinary record or activities; Shoatz will have a single-cell status for life, meaning he will not have to experience the extreme hardship of being forced to share a cell following decades of enforced isolation; a full mental health evaluation will be provided; and the DOC has paid a monetary settlement.

Russell Maroon Shoatz had the following to say about the settlement: “I have nothing but praise for all of those who supported me and my family for all of the years I was in Solitary Confinement, as well as helped to effect my release. Since joining the struggle for Human Rights in the mid 1960s, I have always chosen to fight! Frederick Douglass was right when he said ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ So have no doubt that I see this Settlement as anything but the latest blow struck, and you rest assured that I will continue in the struggle for Human Rights. Straight Ahead!”

The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Juan E. Mendez, said: “This settlement is a major contribution to the quest to outlaw prolonged solitary confinement in the US and around the world. I congratulate Mr. Shoatz and his family for not giving up and his team of lawyers for a committed and highly professional approach to justice.”
Shoatz had been held in solitary confinement in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PADOC) since 1983. For 19 months between 1989 and 1991 he was held in the general population of the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth. Upon return to the PADOC in 1991 he was immediately placed back in solitary confinement and held there until February 20, 2014, when he was released to the general population at State Correctional Institution Graterford, 10 months after he filed suit in Shoatz v. Wetzel.

The case challenged the more than 22 consecutive years that Shoatz spent in conditions of solitary confinement as cruel and unusual punishment due to the severe deprivations of basic human needs imposed on Shoatz, including mental health, environmental stimulation, social interaction, sleep, physical health, and exercise. Shoatz also challenged violations of his procedural and substantive due process rights.

As noted by Judge Eddy in her February 2016 decision ordering a trial in the case, plaintiff’s expert, psychiatrist Dr. James Gilligan, stated in his report in the case that Shoatz has spent “virtually his entire adult life in complete and coerced social isolation (and sensory deprivation) – which is among the most abnormal and pathogenic environments in which it is possible to place a human being.”

The decision also quoted United Nations Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez, who was another expert for the plaintiff:
“The conditions of detention of Mr. Russell Shoatz, in particular his indefinite solitary confinement eventually lasting 29 years, constituted cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment under customary international law standards. . . . [E]ven if isolation of inmates is not per se contrary to those practices, indefinite or excessively prolonged regimes of solitary confinement like the one suffered by Mr. Shoatz certainly do. In addition to the excessive duration and indefinite nature, his isolation contradicts the trend of all civilized Nations in that it was imposed on the basis of status determinations unrelated to any conduct in his part, and through a meaningless procedure that did not afford him a serious chance to challenge the outcome.”

Shoatz was released from solitary confinement after an international campaign led by his family and supporters. The campaign to release Shoatz included the support of five Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor, Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Jody Williams from the United States, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina. Several U.S. civil and human rights organizations also endorsed his release from isolation.

In March 2013, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment and Punishment, Juan Mendez, called on the government “to cease the prolonged isolation of Mr. Shoat[z].” (see Democracy Now! interview with Juan Mendez and Matt Meyer discussing Maroon at this link).
Shoatz was represented in this case by Bret Grote and Dustin McDaniel of the Abolitionist Law Center; Harold J. Engel; and Reed Smith attorneys Rick Etter and Stefanie L. Burt.

Contact:
Russell Shoatz III rshoatz@gmail.com 347-697-5390
Theresa Shoatz tiye1120@gmail.com 267-456-7882
Bret Grote bretgrote@abolitionistlawcenter.org 412-654-9070

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For July 2016 Is Now Available

July Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for July.(11″x17″ PDF, 462KB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  3. What are you doing to support the massive Prisoner General Strike that will be happening this September? Has your union endorsed the call-out? Have you started organizing your solidarity demonstration? Your noise demo outside? Your letter-writing spreading the revolt to other prisons around the country? Have you organized a benefit show to donate much needed organizing funds?
  4. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 315KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on ex-prisoner Daniel McGowan, Jay Chase, June 11th, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For June 2016 Is Now Available

June Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for June.(11″x17″ PDF, 3.3MB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night.Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. Last year’s June poster included Abdul Majid, who passed away this past April. Rest in Power, Comrade.
  3. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition. Cheers to Rio for putting this month’s rad poster together.
  4. It’s time to start putting the finishing touches on your plans for this year’s International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners. Whether it’s as small as an intimate letter writing night or movie showing with your affinity group or whether you have ambitious plans to upend all of this prison society, please make your June 11th something special. As we like to remind you monthly, anarchist prisoners are in there for us, we are out here for them.
  5. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  6. Do you have a couple of extra dollars laying around? Fire to the Prisons is raising money to freely distribute 10,000 copies of it’s 13th issue.
  7. The NYC-Anarchist Black Cross has come out with their yearly Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. This is a must-have manual for all political prisoner support groups. And don’t forget to check out their latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 367KB). There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Marius Mason, Leonard Peltier, the MOVE 9, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For May 2016 Is Now Available

May Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Happy belated May Day!
  2. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for May.(11″x17″ PDF, 502KB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  3. A special thank you to the designers of this month’s poster. Designers are constantly bombarded with requests to work their trade for free, for publicity, or for a cause, and every month the PPBD Posters project relies on their generosity of time, skill and devotion to the cause of prison abolition.
  4. If you haven’t already started preparations for this year’s International Day of Solidarity with Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners on June 11th, now is the perfect time to start.

    Rise, like lions after slumber
    In unvanquishable number!
    Shake your chains to earth like dew
    Which in sleep had fallen on you:
    Ye are many—they are few!

  5. Do you need help advertising for your local Political Prisoner Letter Writing Night? Are you interested in distributing physical copies of the poster? Write to us and let’s find a way to get physical copies of our poster to you: ppbirthday@riseup.net
  6. Keep your eyes on the Support Prisoner Resistance Blog for updates on prisoner strikes in Texas and Alabama, as well as much more.
  7. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 392KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Barrett Brown, Leonard Peltier, Jared Chase, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For April 2016 Is Now Available

April Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for April.(11″x17″ PDF, 1.8MB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night.Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. Last year, our poster included the political prisoner Brent Betterly, and we are delighted to say that we no longer have to include him on our list of prisoners to support because he was released three days before his birthday last year, and our movements raised a fund after his release. That’s great solidarity after great news.
  3. Similarly, our antifa warrior and proud participant in the Tinley Park Incident Jason Hammond is going to be released this April! He has a release fund that you should contribute to.
  4. Check out this prison rebellion support blog for updates and calls to action to support prison rebels.
  5. Rest In Power Comrade Wopashitwe Mondo We Langa. Read Mumia’s word on his passing, and the last poem he wrote before he passed away in prison.
  6. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 270KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Mumia, Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, The Virgin Island 3, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For March 2016 Is Now Available

March Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for March.(11″x17″ PDF, 478KB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night. Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 304KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Russell Maroon Shoatz, Jeremy Hammond, The Nebraska 2, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective

Political Prisoner Birthday Poster For February 2016 Is Now Available

February Political Prisoner Birthday Cake

Hello Friends and Comrades,

  1. Here is the political prisoner birthday poster for February.(11″x17″ PDF, 838KB) Print it out and plaster your community, both in commemoration of these freedom fighters and to advertise locally for a political prisoner letter writing night.Get together with some friends in your town to send birthday cards to these fighters in our struggle. It’s an easy way to help remind them that they aren’t forgotten. If you make one, remember—don’t use anything like white-out, stickers, tape or glitter on it. We also recommend that you put a return name and address and their name and prisoner number on the card, lest the authorities “lose” the envelope and forget where it is going. If you would like to add a birthday or sign up for our poster mailing list (not a listserv, one email per month), or if you would like to contribute in another way to increasing the profile of US political prisoners, email us at ppbirthday@riseup.net.
  2. Jared “Jay” Chase has a pre-trial hearing on February 3rd. If you are in Chicago, pack the Cook County Criminal Courthouse at 9AM.
  3. February 6th is the 40th anniversary of the arrest of Leonard Peltier in 1976, and an international day of solidarity for this imprisoned comrade. Do something in your community.
  4. Be sure to check out the latest Political Prisoner/Prisoner Of War every-other week update (PDF, 313KB) by the NYC-Anarchist Black Cross. There are lots of important updates on many political prisoners. This one includes updates on Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu Jamal, The Nebraska 2, Eric King, and more.

Remember: They are in there for us, we are out here for them!

Fellow Workers: Remember! We are in here for you, you are out there for us!

Until Every Cage Is Empty,

The Prison Books Collective