International Political Prisoner Database

prisoner-solidarity-logoIt has been several months since we updated this blog because we have been knee-deep in preparing for the beta launch of Prisonersolidarity.net, a new website built by members of the Anarchist Black Cross Federation that seeks to provide a one-stop-shop for people to get accurate and up-to-date information about political prisoners worldwide. We’re seeking to solve the problem of out-of-date prisoner lists forever!

We’ve been working on this project for two years, and as a support group for political prisoners, Prisonersolidarity.net offers a number of important features:

– A searchable, exportable database of political prisoners internationally. This enables you to do things like send birthday cards to every prisoner associated with a particular movement, or find all Amazon wishlists of prisoners associated with a particular movement.
– An openly-editable database of prisons internationally that includes contact information for prison officials, links to official rules/regulations, prison history, and lists of political prisoners housed in each prison.

Additionally, we are planning a number of awesome features for the site once we get out of beta such as an ability for people to write prisoners directly from their page, have action alerts, be notified when a prisoner’s birthday is coming up, etc. We’d appreciate your input on what features you’d like to see and hope this will be an awesome organizing resource for you!

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Fight the Good Fight – Brooklyn (November 15th) – In Honor of Dr. Mutulu Shakur

Reposted from: mutulushakur.com

We invite you to the 3rd Annual NYC ‘Fight the Good Fight’ benefit event, a day of rejuvenation and inspiration in honor of Dr. Mutulu Shakur.

PrintSaturday, November 15th 2pm – 8pm Third Root Community Health Center 380 Marlborough Rd. Heal & Honor (2-6:30pm): Book an appointment for acupuncture, East Asian massage or herbal medicine for yourself or as a gift for someone who deserves it.  Your $20 – $60 sliding scale donation is tax-deductible & supports Dr. Shakur’s legal defense, commissary essentials, and projects promoting justice for the Black community. -> Schedule an Appointment   Educate & Empower (7-8pm): A closing discussion will feature comrades of Dr. Shakur, Dr. Shadidi Kinsey, Susan Rosenberg and Bob Lederer, speaking on the legacy of radical healthcare in revolutionary social change. Continue reading

Ben Turk and Alexander Abbasi on The Final Straw

Denver Anarchist Black Cross

From Asheville FM

Streaming at AshevilleFM from 3am EST on August 25th through August 31st, 2014, then podcasting at radio4all.net. Also airing this week on KOWA-LPFM in Olympia, WA, KWTF in Bodega Bay, CA, KXCF in Marshall, CA, and WCRS-LP Columbus Community Radio 98.3 and 102.1 FM

If you’re in the asheville area, there will be a vigil at Pack Square in downtown at 6pm tonight, Sunday the 24th of August for those who’ve lost their lives at the hands of pigs, such as Michael Brown, the unarmed black man gunned down by pigs in Ferguson and A.J. Marion, gunned down by asheville pigs who’ve just been cleared of charges. https://www.facebook.com/events/696569130391969/

This episode features two conversations. The first is with Ben Turk, anarchist, playwrite and prison abolitionist. We chat briefly about the upcoming North American Anarchist Black Cross conference in Colorado, about what folks can expect…

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Analysis on Prison-Parole Reform Strategy by Jalil Muntaqim

jalilThis statement below is written by Jalil, if you want to write him or
read more of his writings please visit freejalil.com, or see more information on supporting parole reform in NY state.

Write to Jalil:
Anthony Jalil Bottom #77-A-4283
Attica Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 149
Attica, NY 14011-0149

Dear Friends and Supporters:

As many of you may have heard on June 17, 2014, I was again denied
release on parole for the 8th time. Obviously, efforts to change the
parole system is not gaining significant or measurable traction. This is
especially daunting when considering of the two dozen prisoners
appearing before the parole board on June 17, 2014, none were granted
parole. While there has been strides made to raise public consciousness
and interest in the need for prison and parole reform, it has not
translated into unified and uniform actions resulting in a substantial
change. It appears the myriad voices on the subject and the diverse “pet
projects” has weakened the potential for a statewide determination.

There is a need for a unified strategy that challenges the specific
problem of NYS recalcitrant parole policy. As an analogy of the diverse
“pet projects” activity, it is like treating someone complaining of a
migraine headache with heroin. The headache is anesthetized, however,
the treatment creates an addiction for perpetual “reformism.” The
diverse “pet projects” are treating the symptoms of the problem, and not
the problem itself. The misdiagnosed problem is the [person] is
suffering form a brain tumor that requires precise surgical excise of
the tumor to cure the reoccurring migraine headaches.

Therefore, it is important to review the problem of parole, of which in
my opinion is based on two dynamics: 1) The disparate and vague language
in Executive Law S259i(2)(c)(a); and 2) The composition of the parole,
top heavy with former law enforcement personnel.

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For Love & Liberty by Tom Manning Now Available!

ForLoveAndLiberty_pitchShow Your Solidarity and Help Make this Inspiring Book Come Alive!

Tom Manning is a freedom fighter, political prisoner and prolific artist. His paintings are stories that jump off the page, revealing the outlook of people who struggle for liberation around the world. His paintings are about life and his landscapes recall times of importance.

The years of work to produce this beautiful book and important document are nearing their end and *we need your help* to fund the last phase of production!

fund-driveORDER YOUR COPY TODAY:
https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/for-love-and-liberty

*Featuring:*

– 86 full color reproductions of Tom’s Painting
– Preface by Robby Meeropol
– Article, “In My Time” by Tom
– Poem by Assata, “Affirmation”
– Autobiography of Tom Manning
– Afterword by Ray Levasseur
– Notes from photographer Penny Schoner

All proceeds, after production costs, will be donated to the Rosenberg Fund for Children:
Twitter: @wwwrfcorg Facebook:rosenbergfundforchildren

Tom Manning: Freedom Fighter, Political Prisoner
From the Preface by Robby Meerpol:
“Tom’s been incarcerated for 34 years. But even before he received his current life sentence he was trapped by the limited choices left to an impoverished child surviving in Boston’s infamous Maverick Street Projects. The military during the Vietnam era seemed like a way out, but that too became a hellish form of confinement.
Tom broke free, he revolted. He became a revolutionary. He committed the unforgivable sin of confronting today’s great imperial empire, the United States, on its home turf. For that, I expect the prison industrial complex will do its best to keep him confined for as long as it can.”

For additional questions please contact Penny Schoner: pennyschoner@yahoo.com

New Call & Write in Campaign for Russell Maroon Shoatz

free-Russell-Maroon-ShoatsAS TORTURE INCREASES, SO DO CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CLERGY, HUMAN RIGHTS LEADERS AND FIVE NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES CALL MAROON’S TREATMENT AN UNJUST “VIOLATION” OF UNITED NATIONS PRINCIPLES

*January 16, 2014*: 70-year-old Russell Maroon Shoatz, held in solitary confinement for a total of 30 years, has – for the third time in less than six months – been moved to a new prison amidst promises of eventual release into general population but actual emergency-level, dungeon-like conditions. Nobel Peace prize recipients Jody Williams (USA) and Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina) have now joined the call for immediate release made by South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and two additional Nobel laureates; Maroon supporters remain vigilant and concerned about the political game-playing behind these delays.

“Maroon’s new cell at SCI Graterford is under the ground, with human waste on the wall and no blanket in a freezing cell as his greeting upon arrival,” reported Ayanna Ra’uf, Maroon’s fiancé and spokesperson, who was able to talk briefly with him on the phone. Even the most conservative prison guards and officials at SCI Frackville, where Maroon was housed over the past months, were shocked by the sudden move; they had been won over to the justice of his cause by his cooperation and full adherence to prison regulations during a sixty-day step-down program which Maroon completed in late November.  Despite consistent promises that the step-down program, if properly completed, would lead to a formal recommendation for release from solitary, once again the actions of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) reveal more continued isolation and roadblocks.

“While we are glad that the lawyers for PA DOCS seem amenable to Maroon’s transfer to general population,” noted Ra’uf, “we cannot take anything they say for granted. Yesterday they told members of Maroon’s legal team that all prison officials involved in the decision-making process support Shoatz’ release into general population, and that he could be out of solitary in approximately one month’s time. Given the fact that we have been told this recently at least twice before, it is hard to keep hoping that they will do the right thing.” Litigation against PA DOC challenging Maroon’s continued restricted housing is set to move forward later this month.

The time is now to FLOOD SCI Graterford with letters, postcards and notes SENT TO Maroon HIMSELF, with the simple message – to him and to the authorities – that he is in our thoughts, and that we are watching and closely monitoring this unacceptable turn of events. We must let Maroon and SCI Graterford Superintendent Michael Wenerowicz know that a continuation of business as usual WILL NOT STAND. As we count down thirty days to the latest promise of when Maroon should be moved into general population, we must prepare to let all the authorities in Pennsylvania and the DOC know that no one’s career can be built on the back of Maroon’s continued torture.

*SEND LETTERS, POSTCARDS, AND SHORT, SIMPLE MESSAGES OF SUPPORT and LOVE to: Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF-3855, P.O. Box 244, Graterford, PA 19426-0246

call-in*CALL SCI Graterford Superintendent Michael Wenerowicz, 610-489-4151, to let him know:

– We are concerned members of the community who are monitoring the situations involving inmate Russell Shoatz and the conditions he is being held under, AND
– We are respectfully expecting that SCI Graterford will be accepting the information regarding Shoatz’ successful completion of the step-down program at SCI Frackville, and their recommendation that he be released from Restricted Housing into General Population

write-inCALL & SEND LETTERS OF CONCERN, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED:  PA DOC SUPERINTENDENT JOHN WETZEL, 1920 Technology Parkway, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050, 717-728-4109  to let him know:

– We are frustrated and angry at the continued delays, and unfulfilled promises, regarding inmate Russell Maroon Shoatz.
– His consistent good faith efforts to abide by all State Correctional procedures for transfer to general population have successfully earned him the support of prison official and administrators.
– In light of recent US Department of Justice findings that Pennsylvania State Prisons have used solitary confinement in direct violation of inmates’ constitutional rights, and United Nations guidelines regarding the    illegality of using restrictive housing for punitive, long-term purposes, we write with concern that Shoatz’ continued placement in restricted housing constitutes an act of torture: cruel and unusual punishment.
– As voters and community members, we demand Shoatz’ immediate release into general population, and will continue to closely monitor this situation until Shoatz’ conditions are safe and legal.

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