Bloc Party: From Pipelines to Prison Cells

October 31, 2016
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Originally published to It’s Going Down

Last week things greatly intensified in North Dakota at the #NoDAPL encampments at Standing Rock, with state violence escalating and resistance as resilient as ever. There are calls for more people to make their way there and stand in solidarity against not only resource extraction, but in solidarity against the continued genocide of indigenous peoples. This isn’t only about extraction. This is about centuries of colonialism and the continued daily violence of white supremacy. This is about a thread of white settler violence that has remained unbroken for hundreds of years. Now is the time to light that thread like a fuse and burn it down.

If you cannot get to North Dakota, what you can do is donate to those fighting up there: 

Winter is coming.  Every day in camp preparations are being made for the coming cold weather.  Lodges are being built, provisions gathered and stored, winter clothes and blankets distributed to all who need them.  We will require much more to keep everyone in camp safe and warm.  North Dakota winters can be especially brutal.

We have a list of items still needed for our winterization effort.  This list is dynamic and changes as we meet certain needs and others arise.  Please consult the list if you want to donate a specific item.

You can donate to legal defense funds over here.

In the beautiful words of John Trudell:

“They have to kill us because they can’t break our spirit.”

Fuck the pipelines. Fuck white supremacy. Burn it to the ground. Solidarity with Standing Rock.

Now to all that news from the Bloc…

Great job, CNN. You finally decided to cover the prison strike. Just like you finally bothered to mention the thousands of people standing against the Dakota Access Pipeline. While at times mainstream news coverage serves some purpose, we’ve got our side eyes on over here.

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The hunger strike in Santa Clara County, CA has been suspended for the time being in anticipation of the sheriff’s department caving to demands and implementing the changes that had been fought for. This is great news and we wish folks on the inside continued success. There is a request to put continued pressure on outside by signing this petition.

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Marius Mason released another beautiful painting, this time in solidarity with Standing Rock, and had this to say:

This painting is another in a short series of portraits of resistance activists at the Standing Rock reservation to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Construction on part of it had been temporarily halted, but the fight is far from over. So many people have come together to defend the tribe’s land and water rights- and to speak for a more sane and responsible way to live on this Earth…Naelyn Pike was quoted as saying this- ‘Our ancestors are looking at the people with tears in their eyes because they know all the pain and suffering yet to come. They know there is no tomorrow for those yet to be born.’  She’s right. It’s up to us, this generation to turn it around… there’s no more time to lose.

Marius and his support crew also met their fundraising goal for him to take college classes. Congratulations on meeting the goal!

Jalil Muntaqim beat his disciplinary hearing on a technicality, but learned that his activities are being closely monitored and his mail is being heavily fucked with. Now is the time to flood the prison with mail for Jalil! Send a letter or postcard and let him know you’re thinking of him:

Anthony Jalil Bottom #77A4283
Attica Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 149
Attica, NY 14011-0149

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Zolo Azania will be released from prison in just a few months! Folks are working hard to build up a financial and material network of support for him upon release:

Political prisoner and former death row inmate, Zolo Agona Azania, needs your help. Zolo will finally be released in a few short months, in February 2017, after spending 35 years in prison, 27 years on death row. Zolo is a prolific writer and an accomplished artist. His writings and art reflect his deep commitment to the Black freedom struggle and a just world for all people.

Zolo will exit prison practically penniless and will face enormous financial challenges. He will need to pay for housing, food, clothing, transportation, furniture, a cell phone, utilities, and the many other expenses we all encounter.

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Zolo will seek employment but at the present time he has little savings. He has been paid $.35 an hour during most of the time he has worked inside Indiana’s prisons.

Let’s ease Zolo’s path and make sure he does not confront his  financial challenges—and all the challenges he will face–alone. Please donate generously.

All funds will go directly to Zolo and will be deposited into a fund managed by a team that has supported him for 13 years. For more information contact: zoloazania.org and the Chicago Committee to Free Black Political Prisoners.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Barbara Curzi, former political prisoner and member of the United Freedom Front, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and desperately needs support during this time. From her comrades and former co-defendants:

Dear Friends,

Carol Saucier, Ray Luc Levasseur and I write today to ask that you help our dear sister and former co-defendant, Barbara Curzi. Barbara is a former political prisoner, one of the Ohio 7, who, after their arrests in Ohio in 1984, went on trial for actions by the United Freedom Front against corporations who upheld apartheid in South Africa and contributed to the wars in Central America.

Unfortunately, Barbara was recently diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer. She is beginning an intensive six-month chemo regimen and then is expected to undergo surgery, possibly followed by radiation. Barbara lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts with her cats and dog and hopes she can keep her home while she fights this terrible disease. Barbara hasn’t been well for a while most especially since she lost her beloved son, Ricky (whose father is political prisoner, Jaan Laaman) five years ago. The more health problems she had, the more she has struggled financially to keep a roof over her head and is now dangerously close to losing that.

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She was about to get a part-time job just before her diagnosis, to supplement her disability check but now instead finds herself way behind not only on her mortgage and utilities, but can’t get Internet and phones services back until she pays them off completely. Fortunately, the amount to keep her in her home and get her back to functioning, is not so insurmountable that we can’t raise enough to at least take those worries away from her. Once caught up, Barbara would still need some support to keep up with her monthly expenses, while waging this battle. Her struggle will be compounded by additional expenses related to trying to get better, including travel and integrative treatments, among other things. Suffice to say that she is in dire straits and those of us who love and respect her, want to reach out to others who can chip in whatever they can to help alleviate her burdens.

Barbara served 7 years of a 15 year sentence she received after conviction in Brooklyn, New York for Conspiracy. She returned to Massachusetts after her release from the federal prison system to rebuild her life with her children. As many former prisoners, and especially political prisoners, Barbara has struggled to find work and survive, but she is still deeply committed to the struggle for justice.

If you would like to contribute to the effort to minimize the stress to survive for Barbara, and help her make it through this battle, please see the linked “Go Fund Me” page here.

Barbara’s daughters, Lucia and Nina Colombaro, have set up a “Lotsa Helping Hands” page to help organize care and comfort for Barbara, so if you think you can help with practical matters or would like to follow Barbara’s progress, please see here.

Donations received will go directly to Barbara to help alleviate her troubles. Please spread the word by sharing this email and contribute whatever you can. Thank you.

Love,
Pat (Rowbottom, formerly Levasseur)
Carol (Saucier, formerly Manning)
Ray Luc Levasseur

This is also a great time to send Jaan Laaman (another member of the United Freedom Front) a letter of loving solidarity. After losing his son, potentially losing a comrade and co-parent is likely hitting very hard. You can hit Jaan up at:

Jaan Laaman (10372-016)
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
USA

Also, check out this PDF on the United Freedom Front (UFF) put together by the Anarchist Black Cross Federation. Well worth a read and gives basic info, history, and background on UFF prisoners. Add it to your distro!

Speaking of distros, the NYC Anarchist Black Cross has updated their guide to prisoners of war and you can check it out here. If you haven’t cracked one open yet, it’s basically a hard copy directory of political prisoners.

Words as Weapons also has a new interview out with former Earth Liberation Front (ELF) spokesperson Leslie James Pickering who is about to go on a speaking tour discussing FBI repression. Check out the dates here:

LESLIE JAMES PICKERING – FALL 2016 TOUR SCHEDULE

7pm, Friday, November 4, 2016 = Artrage, 505 Hawley Avenue, Syracuse, New York – https://www.facebook.com/events/361648534181227/

7pm, Saturday, November 5, 2016 = Plainfield Co-op, 153 Main Street, Plainfield, Vermont

6pm, Sunday, November 6, 2016 = Dreamship Cooperative Community, 15 Boynton Street, Portland, Maine – https://www.facebook.com/events/347244938953207/

7pm, Thursday, November 10, 2016 = Wesleyan University, PAC 107, Middletown, Connecticut

5pm, Friday, November 11, 2016 = IWW Union Hall, 375 Smith St, Providence, Rhode Island – https://www.facebook.com/events/1117813588297496/

7pm, Saturday, November 12, 2016 = Democracy Center, 45 Mt Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts – https://www.facebook.com/events/1134358393324836/

2pm, Sunday, November 13, 2016 = WESPAC, 31 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 403, White Plains, New York

LEARN MORE AT: http://www.lesliejamespickering.com

We want to continue to encourage folks to also hit up folks who are known to be facing repression due to the efforts of the national prison strike. Grab some friends, a pot of coffee, pop on the new Princess Nokia album and write some letters. You can find updated mailing addresses for those who have ok’d their information being shared publicly right over here at Support Prisoner Resistance.

From pipelines to prison cells, burn it to the ground.
– forever bad kids

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