Filed under: Bloc Party, Editorials, Incarceration, Mexico, Political Prisoners, Repression, US
Originally posted to It’s Going Down
As of tonight, the prison strike has entered into its second week. All of the news is pouring in like a tidal wave. The amount of solidarity actions across the world has been a goddamn inspiration to say the least. From graffiti to banner drops, noise demos to nighttime actions, marches to letter writing, the momentum is incredible. There are times that these types of acts of solidarity can feel abstract. Right now there does seem to be solid evidence of a feedback loop from the outside to the inside.
In light of that, we want to highlight ways in which we have already achieved victories, and spread the strike just in two weeks. Out in Australia supporters on the outside held a noise demo to support inmates at a juvenile corrections facility. These tactics can begin to feel a little routine if you’ve been doing prisoner solidarity work for a while. This time was different than usual however, because the very next day, the youth inside let loose and rioted. Headlines read “Kid jail chaos: armed youths run riot and attack guards leaving expensive clean-up bill.” These noise demos are more than a fist in the air and some boom boxes, they hold the potential to spread this strike and to spread rebellion. These demos don’t only give people a little hope that they aren’t forgotten in there, its also to say, “We are here, we are with you and we hate prisons too.” They are ways to reach through the prison walls and help light the match. We want to see noise demos continue to be a way of connecting. This can extend to family as well. Sometimes its hard to get close enough to a prison for the anyone inside to actually hear you, so we suggest trying to hit them just as visitation is letting out. Make sure to bring plenty of literature and contact info, because if you can strike up conversations with family members and close friends, you can get the news to those inside that there are those of us out here that hate prisons. When that kind of news reaches inside the walls, who knows what kinds of rebellion can spread.
As prison guards begin to refuse to show up for duty down in Holman, we can’t help but wonder where the coming weeks and months will lead this strike.
Now for all that news from the Bloc:
Jayne Waller has a new address. Sacramento Prisoner Support has also put together a beautiful new flier for spreading the word of support for Jayne. You can write Jayne at:
Janye Waller BA2719
California Correctional Center
PO Box 2400
Susanville, CA 96127
We need consistent money for commissary, phone calls, and transportation for visitations. That is why we ask, if you can, to sign up for MONTHLY RECURRING DONATIONS for one year (or up until May 2017). Even if it’s just $3 or $5 or $15 per month (or $30 if you can do it!) if a bunch of us pledge that, we can keep this support steady throughout Janye’s time. One of the biggest issues during incarceration is that support falls off as the months pass, and we won’t let that happen to Janye.
We will also need people who want to send letters, books, and visit Janye! Donate here.
Nicole Kissane has an upcoming motions hearing in. It had been scheduled for next week, but it has been moved up to November. Check out more info here. Earth First! writes:
Nicole Kissane was arrested with Joseph Buddenberg in July of 2015 and federally indicted for Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act for allegedly conspiring to release thousands of animals from fur farms and to destroy fur farm breeding records in six states. The indictment also alleges that she caused economic damage to various retail and distribution businesses and individuals associated with the fur industry.
On Tuesday, September 27, at 10:00 AM, Nicole will have pre-trial motions in San Diego, California. People are encouraged to show up to show their support for Nicole in court so that she knows she is not alone!
Also in other big AETA news:
In 2015 Kevin Johnson and Tyler Lang were convicted of Animal Enterprise Terrorism. CCR has appealed their convictions, arguing that the AETA is unconstitutional because it criminalizes protected advocacy, is overly vague, and violates due process by punishing as an act of “terrorism” a quintessentially nonviolent act: saving animals from the violence of being killed and turned into fur coats.
On September 21, CCR Senior Staff Attorney Rachel Meeropol will argue in the circuit court for the defendants, asking the Court to strike down the AETA as unconstitutional. Co-counsel on the appeal include The People’s Law Office and the Federal Defenders Office.
Great news came in this week about Chelsea Manning’s hunger strike. After hunger striking for five days, the U.S. Army agreed to give Chelsea proper access to medical care for her transition. While this news is incredible, the U.S. Army is still subjecting her to a disciplinary board on the 20th due to her recent suicide attempt. This disciplinary action includes the threat of indefinite solitary confinement, which is most certainly in part what led to Chelsea’s suicide attempt in the first place. Right now there is a petition you can sign online. Take a moment to do that and then take a moment to send Chelsea a letter of support:
CHELSEA E. MANNING 89289
1300 NORTH WAREHOUSE ROAD
FORT LEAVENWORTH, KANSAS 66027-2304
Folks in Asheville, NC who were arrested during a strike solidarity action could use some legal support funds. You can donate to their fundraiser here. Also, folks in Atlanta, GA who were also arrested in a strike solidarity action are facing fairly serious charges and legal funds will certainly be necessary. You can donate to those folks here.
Remember that this machine we’re up against have order, structure, unity and oaths or agreements. They have guns, technology, information, knowledge, wisdom and understanding. They’re all playing their positions and utilizing their potentials while we’re not, so it’s safe to say by them the humans that some of them are are our own flesh and blood and that’s the hardest strategy they have yet came about, so let’s really strategize back against me informants. The body needs to work together all the way around, let’s not focus on the old roads, or their roads, let’s make New Roads, let’s innovate, let’s protest, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, decimal of the solution.
You can see the full letter on the site and then send the author a letter or a postcard:
Jamal Pridgett GDC #1000378675
Valdosta State Prison, PO BOX 36
Valdosta, GA. 31603
Coyote Acabo has a trial date this week. Coyote has a partner and child for whom these legal struggles have been difficult:
Coyote Acabo is an anarchist person of color in Olympia Washington who is dealing with multiple criminal charges stemming from protests in solidarity with Andre and Bryson (two black men who were shot by police in Olympia) as well as anti-gentrification graffiti. Today, September 2nd he was taken into custody for the graffiti charges but he is also awaiting trial on a felony charge stemming from a protest in solidarity with Andre and Bryson. His incarceration puts tremendous strain on his family, his partner must now care for their infant child without him. Phone calls from the city jail here are very expensive so we are raising money so that coyote can make phone calls to his partner, his child and his comrades. We would also like to raise enough money to support his partner financially through this difficult time. Please help if you can!
Thank You to everyone who helped out! He has trial coming up on September 19th and will serve 20 days in October. So more funds will be needed for jail support for him and his family and supporters.
Support Prisoner Resistance and IWOC are seeking some support in tracking this strike across the country:
It will be at least a week before we have a good idea of what all has actually occurred behind bars this weekend. Prison administrators do not understand nonviolent resistance, so they tend to respond to any significant strike activity as they would a riot. Many units have been and will be put on lockdown, which means no one works, so it serves the same result as a strike. But, it also meansphones, mail and communication access will be disrupted, preventing most prisoners from contacting us to let us know what is happening.
To address this, IWOC is asking that people on the outside start calling prisons in their state to see if they are on lockdown. We shouldn’t assume that every lockdown is strike-related until we hear confirmation from prisoners, but we also should not believe prison staff’s stories about why the facilities are locked down.
As the lockdowns are lifted, we will regain contact and start getting a better picture of what has happened and where the strike is occurring. Ongoing support for prisoners in facilities on strike is essential. September 9th is just the first day of a sustained direct action whose impact grows with every day the prisoners maintain it.
In the meantime, the above list is what IWOC was able to cobble together based on news reports, rumors and those phone calls. We will be updating it as we gain information. Please organize solidarity actions (especially at the prisons themselves) with any location with a confirmed strike going on.
In many places, alleged strike or protest leaders have been identified and attacked by the prison authorities. Here is a list of prisoners who have been thrown in the hole or otherwise attacked and a list of numbers to call to defend people. Please send mail to these prisoners and make these calls, on a regular basis. If you fill in the field at the end of the phone zap list, you’ll get occasional reminders to keep calling.
If you have any information to add to these lists, or are willing to do some research to gather such information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also remember these other ways to support!
In other good news, we have gotten word that as of September 15th, 2016, Michael and others out of segregation. He says he thinks the call-in played a major part in them getting released. Thanks to everyone who called in! Send Michael a letter:
3700 Holman Unit
Atmore, AL 36503
Leonard Peltier also have a new statement out on Standing Rock:
I have been asked to write a SOLIDARITY statement to everyone about the Camp of the Sacred Stones on Standing Rock. Thank you for this great honor. I must admit it is very difficult for me to even begin this statement as my eyes get so blurred from tears and my heart swells with pride, as chills run up and down my neck and back. I’m so proud of all of you young people and others there.
I am grateful to have survived to see the rebirth of the united and undefeated Sioux Nation at Standing Rock in the resistance to the poisonous pipeline that threatens the life source of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. It is an honor to have been alive to see this happen with you young people. You are nothing but awesome in my eyes.
I have to caution you young people to be careful, for you are up against a very evil group of people whose only concern is to fill their pockets with even more gold and wealth. They could not care less how many of you they have to kill or bury in a prison cell. They don’t care if you are a young child or an old grandmother, and you better believe they are and have been recruiting our own people to be snitches and traitors. They will look to the drunks, the addicts, and child molesters, those who prey on our old and our children; they look for the weak-minded individuals. You must remember to be very cautious about falsely accusing people based more on personal opinion than on evidence. Be smart.
Marius Mason just got his first shot of T! What awesome news! He reported to supporters that he was so happy to have received that. He also just published this new poem on his support site:
That’s what I’d say
Crashing around the world like in the proverbial china shop
All those broken pieces left behind
No wonder it was the Labyrinth for me
Still, my fingers touch upon (from time to time)
A silken thread in the half-dark
Winding through these endless, circling halls
And somewhere close
I smell a torch that burns
NYC ABC’s Political Prisoner Updates & Announcements is an another awesome resource for updates and news. Be sure to check out the most recent installment. It’s also a great thing to toss into the mail along with your other correspondence to those on the inside.
This letter from Mexican political prisoner, Esteban Gómez Jiménez, is worth a read:
September 11, 2016
To the national and international sixth
To the free and alternative media
I am Esteban Gómez Jiménez, a native of San Sebastian Bachajón, at this time when I am making a public announcement, I have been (four years and four months) in prison.
I was detained first in the prison of Playas de Catazajá and they moved me to el Amate, CERESO 14 in the municipality of Cintalapa, Chiapas, because they accused me of the carrying of firearms, then a homicide, another assault, for all these have I always been delivered in legal affairs absolution of my freedom.
In the middle of this year, I was accused of another crime, that of organized crime, in the sense that I am in an organization as an indigenous from the Lacandon Jungle of the Sixth National and international.
The bad government, the government ministries, as well as the judges of the first instance, they hire people, or the state police, to fabricate these crimes. What they do not want is for me to defend my rights and associate with an organization. As a person of age and as part of the organization we have never participated in these crimes of which they accuse us.
For the moment, to the national and international public I request my freedom immediately as I am innocent, we are always respecting the internal regulations of the organization, as indigenous we are able to work and cultivate the Mother Earth. As Mexicans, as Chiapans, we in the organization are able to respect all the other members, organizations and societies.
I call for national and international solidarity to achieve my freedom
They imprison me for organising and for defending Mother Earth
Greetings to all political prisoners in the country
Please remain aware of my situation because I am an innocent prisoner
Esteban Gomez Jimenez
Posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity
We’ve been thinking about this film from a few years back, “Up the Ridge,” and found it on YouTube for your viewing enjoyment. This film would be perfect for a community showing and fundraiser during the strike. Just an idea from these bad kids over here.
In the wise words of comrades in North Carolina, FTP X 3 = Fuck the Police, Fuck the Prisons, Fuck the Pipelines!
– some career bad kids