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Aug 2, 22

In Contempt #19: Fight to Free Mutulu Shakur, Civil Liberties Defense Center Victories, Call to Support Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

In this column, we present our monthly roundup of political prisoner, prison rebel, and repression news, happenings, announcements, action and analysis. Packed in as always is updates, calls to action, fundraisers, and birthdays.

There’s a lot happening, so let’s dive right in!

Political Prisoner News

A new statement from anarchist/antifascist prisoner Dan Baker has been released in support of the upcoming Pushing Down the Walls event, which will be happening on September 18th. NBC News has published a story on the ongoing fight to free elderly Black Liberation prisoner Mutulu Shakur. From the report:

Organizers have launched a movement to release Tupac Shakur’s stepfather from a decadeslong prison sentence as he faces a rare form of blood cancer that his doctors say is incurable.

Mutulu Shakur, an activist and holistic health care advocate, has been behind bars for more than 35 years and now, at 71, has several health issues, most notably stage-3 multiple myeloma, a  blood cancer that can affect the bones and kidneys.

Shakur has endured drastic weight loss due to his illnesses and treatments; has had Covid at least twice; and has relied on IV feeding tubes on and off since May, his attorney, Brad Thomson, said. Thomson said doctors with the Federal Bureau of Prisons gave Shakur less than six months to live in May, noting that his cancer treatment had stopped working.

“His health situation is extremely dire right now. He’s very much on an end-of-life trajectory. We’re looking at a matter of months at the most but, realistically, it could be a matter of days or weeks,” Thomson told NBC News. “At this point, the issue is getting him released so he can say goodbye to his loved ones, his family, his children, and grandchildren. To be surrounded by loved ones, so he can die in dignity, peace and comfort outside of prison.”

Shakur was diagnosed with myeloma in 2019, Thomson said, and his legal team requested his “compassionate release” in May 2020. U.S. District Judge Charles Haight Jr. in November 2020 denied Shakur’s request, holding that his crimes were too serious, and his health had not deteriorated enough to warrant release.

“Should it develop that Shakur’s condition deteriorates further, to the point of approaching death, he may apply again to the Court, for a release that in those circumstances could be justified as ‘compassionate,’” Haight said in the ruling obtained by NBC News.

A spokesperson for Haight, who also presided over the 1988 case that landed Shakur in jail for bank robbery and other crimes, told NBC News that a new request for Shakur’s release is pending and the judge is waiting for guidance from the U.S. attorney’s office  before making a decision. Shakur is being held at a federal medical center in Lexington, a prison in Kentucky for incarcerated people who require care.

It’s Going Down has republished a statement in memory of Álvaro Sebastián Ramírez, a former political prisoner who was recently assassinated in Mexico. Mongoose Distro continues to publish new writings from Texas Chicano anarchist prisoner Xinachtli.

In commemoration of the international day of solidarity with antifascist prisoners on July 25th, a new zine was produced (available in printable form here).

At time of writing, anarchist political prisoner Eric King is currently still at USP Atlanta, so keep an eye out for possible updates.

Uprising Defendants and Other Ongoing Cases

The Green and Red podcast recently published a new interview with someone working on the Uprising Support site. Philadelphia uprising defendant Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal has now been sentenced to 30 months in prison, which means she will be due for release shortly, having already served 25 months waiting for her trial.

The Civil Liberties Defense Center have reported on a number of legal victories recently, including a Black Lives Matter activist having all their charges dropped in Springfield, Oregon, a mistrial declared after a jury refused to convict a Stop the Sweeps organizer in Eugene, Oregon, and three Anishinaabe water protectors having their case thrown out on indigenous sovereignty grounds.

July saw intense repression against an anti-police uprising in Akron, Ohio, and ways to support the struggle in Akron are collected here. It’s Going Down has also published a major new interview with Shawn Sutton, a former uprising prisoner from North Carolina.

The International Antifascist Defense Fund is currently helping with the case of someone facing charges over an anti-police protest in Calgary, Alberta, and abolitionists in New York City are currently fundraising to meet the costs of a huge bond after one of their friends missed a court date.

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson Facing Cancer and Medical Neglect

Long-time incarcerated organizer Keven “Rashid” Johnson has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, after months of prison medical staff refusing to act in response to test results that indicated likely cancer. A phone and email zap was organized after Rashid was still denied adequate treatment. At time of writing, Rashid has an interview with a radiologist scheduled, but it’s likely that more action will be needed in the near future to ensure Rashid gets the treatment he needs. To hear more about the situation in Rashid’s own words, you can listen to the July 17 and July 24 episodes of the Final Straw Radio, which contained short audio interviews with Rashid.

Black August, Shut ‘Em Down Demos, and Jailhouse Lawyers Speak

August is an important month for prison struggles, as the month of Black August is observed in commemoration of George Jackson and other Black freedom fighters. Jailhouse Lawyers Speak have put out a call for Shut ‘Em Down demonstrations starting on August 21st, the anniversary of Jackson’s death, although at time of writing it seems possible that they may be postponed. Jailhouse Lawyers Speak are also currently fundraising to open a space to house women being released from prison.

Joseph “Shine White” Stewart Facing Retaliation

Joseph “Shine White” Stewart, a revolutionary prisoner involved in the 2018 prison strikes in North Carolina, has been transferred and had most of his property confiscated. He’s asking for support in getting his belongings back. A suggested script is:


I am writing/calling with regards to Joseph Stewart #0802041. Upon being transferred to Maury Correctional, the majority of Mr. Stewart’s property was confiscated without good reason, including books and legal papers. I wish to demand that Mr. Stewart’s belongings are returned to him in full immediately. Please be aware that outside observers are monitoring the situation closely, and that any further victimization of Mr. Stewart or other prisoners at Maury will have immediate consequences for the NC DPS, including, but not limited to, negative media publicity and potential legal action.

You can contact Maury CI on 252-653-5501, or email the NC DPS at [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected].

General Prison and Resistance News

At the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Alabama, prisoners set weeks’ worth of garbage on fire after the prison authorities refused to remove it from the compound.

A new report has highlighted the ongoing danger caused by deadly heat in the Texas prison system, an issue that has been highlighted by prisoners for years. As the climate crisis continues to worsen, Texas abolitionists recently had to call a phone zap to demand the evacuation of the Estelle Unit, a prison threatened by a wildfire. A new security video has emerged from inside the Texas prison system, showing staff negligence and brutality towards a severely injured prisoner.

In Bangor, Maine, organizers are fighting against a proposed plan to expand the local jail. In Michigan, a man who spent 25 years in prison after being framed for murder by the police has now been given $7.5 million in compensation for his decades of wrongful imprisonment.

In Arizona, the director of the Department of Corrections has publicly stated that he thinks many places would “collapse” without the exploitation of cheap prison labor.

Missouri Prison Reform have published a thread explaining some of the recent changes made to mail in the Missouri state system, and have also reported numerous instances of staff and the Securus/JPay company censoring inmates’ attempts to communicate with them.

The Intercept has published a new report on allegations of sexual abuse against ICE detainees at the Stewart Detention Center in Georgia.

Abolitionist Media Projects

The San Francisco Bay View continues to publish writings by prisoners on a regular basis, including a report from Jason Renard Walker on guards using prisoners as human battering rams at the Connally Unit in Texas, and trans prisoner Gulley Britney on his experience being held in solitary confinement in a Texas women’s prison.

The Civil Liberties Defense Center has published a new interview on grand jury resistance.

Fayette Speaks is a new podcast that aims to amplify the voices of prisoners at SCI Fayette in Pennsylvania, with the first episode coming soon.

Texas revolutionary prisoner Comrade Monsour is trying to raise $450 for legal fees in an action suing the prison system, as reported in a new article on Abolition Media.

Recent episodes of Kite Line Radio have included a retrospective on the 2018 prison strike, the history of an old prison farm on the proposed “cop city” site in the Atlanta forest, and the effects of incarceration on family members.


The hunger strike of Greek anarchist prisoner Giannis Michailidis has attracted a lot of attention recently, including a solidarity statement from the Florida Youth Liberation Front. As of July 29th, the hunger strike has been suspended, but not terminated.

In Italy, anarchist comrade Juan Antonio Sorroche has been sentenced to 28 years for an attack against the offices of a far-Right party in which no-one was injured. In comparison, when a fascist who’d stood as a candidate for the same party shot six African migrants, he received a 12-year sentence.

The Italian state has also launched a crackdown against the rank and file/grassroots unions in Piacenza, which have been involved in organizing militant strikes among largely migrant workers in the logistics industry. Organizers with the SI Cobas and USB unions have been arrested and are facing serious charges of conspiracy, grievous bodily harm, resisting state officials, sabotage and disruption of public services.

In the UK, a new article has been published highlighting the situation of anarchist prisoner Toby Shone, and Bristol ABC have shared an important and moving statement on the death of trans prisoner Taz.

Uprising Defendants

Everyone should support the defendants facing charges related to their alleged participation in the George Floyd uprising – this list of our imprisoned comrades needs to be getting shorter, not longer. See Uprising Support for more info, and check out the Antirepression PDX site for updates from Portland cases. The status of pre-trial defendants changes frequently, but to the best of our knowledge they currently include:

Kelly Jackson 50288-086
FCI Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 5000
Sheridan, OR 97378

Tyre Means 49981-086
USP Beaumont
PO BOX 26030
Beaumont, TX 77720

Margaret Channon 49955-086
FCI Aliceville
PO Box 4000
Aliceville, AL 35442

Malik Muhammad #23935744
Oregon State Penitentiary
2605 State Street
Salem, OR 97310

Jacob Michael Gaines #81973-065
FCI Sheridan
P.O. BOX 5000
Sheridan, OR  97378

Jacob asks that people include an email address associated with their corrlinks account so he can return an email instead of a letter.

Cyan Waters Bass #23905849
Oregon State Correctional Institution
3405 Deer Park Drive SE

Montez Lee 22429-041
FCI Ray Brook
Federal Correctional Institution
PO Box 900
Ray Brook, NY 12977

Matthew White #21434-041
USP McCreary
P.O. Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635

Matthew Rupert #55013-424
USP McCreary
P.O. Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635

José Felan
Sherburne County Jail
13880 Business Center Dr.
NW Suite 200 Elk River, MN 55330-1692

Branden Wolf #22425-041
FCI Oxford
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 1000
Oxford, WI  53952

Dylan Robinson 45802-013
USP Leavenworth
P.O. BOX 1000

David Elmakayes 77782-066
FCI McKean
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 8000
Bradford, PA 16701

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal 70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
PO BOX 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Andrew Augustyniak-Duncan 2016-0021433
100 W. Cherry Ave.
Washington, PA 15301

Christopher West 04670-509
USP Canaan
U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 300
Waymart, PA 18472
You can also buy fundraiser clothing for Christopher “Brother Hush” West here.

Ellie Brett 14822509
Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility
PO BOX 730
Lovejoy, GA 30250

John Wade 14762509
Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility
PO BOX 730
Lovejoy, GA 30250

Alvin Joseph
Updated address coming soon

Shamar Betts 22080-043
FCI Hazelton Federal Correction Inst.
P.O. Box 5000
Bruceton Mills, WV 26525

Diego Vargas 55070-424
FCI Allenwood Medium
PO Box 2000
White Deer, PA 17887

Adam Walton 55322-424
FCI Forrest City Medium
PO Box 3000
Forest City, AR 72336

Andrew Garcia-Smith 02324-509
FCI Williamsburg
PO Box 340
Salters, SC 29590

Kyree Robertson #597000
Parnall Correctional Facility
1780 E. Parnall Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201

Howard Eugene Nall #586907
Kent County Correctional Facility
703 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Antonio Wooden 17569-028 (Tony Cushe)
FCI McDowell
PO Box 1009
Welch, WV 24801

T’andre Buchanan 67637-060
Milan FCI
PO Box 1000
Milan, MI 48160

Upcoming Birthdays

Daniel Hale

Daniel Hale was sentenced to 45 months in prison for a violation of the Espionage Act, after leaking documents about the military’s use of drones to carry out assassinations. He is serving his time in the Communications Management Unit at USP Marion, an incredibly repressive environment known as “Little Guantanamo”, where Green Scare prisoner Daniel McGowan was previously held.

Birthday: August 1


Daniel Hale #26069-075
USP Marion
P.O. Box 1000
Marion, IL 62959

Eric King

Anarchist prisoner serving a ten-year sentence for attempting to set fire to a government official’s office in solidarity with the Ferguson uprising. You can donate to help meet Eric’s needs here.

Birthday: August 2


Eric is currently in transit. Keep an eye on his support page for updates.

Bill Dunne

Long-term anarchist prisoner held since 1979 for attempting to free another comrade from imprisonment. Through the years Bill has also taught GED classes at almost every prison he has found himself at, helping many prisoners get their GED. Bill is generous, principled, full of integrity and has never wavered from his politics or convictions. Bill continues to stay active politically, helping edit and write 4Struggle Magazine, organizing the yearly Running Down the Walls 5K for political prisoners, and serves on the ABCF Prisoner Committee. You can read some of his writings here.

The Federal system uses Corrlinks, a system where a prisoner must send a request to connect to someone on the outside before they can exchange emails, so if you’re not already connected to Bill then you’re best off just sending him a card or a letter.

Birthday: August 3


Bill Dunne #10916-086
FCI Victorville Medium I
PO Box 3725
Adelanto, California 92301

Mutulu Shakur

Black liberation prisoner held since the 1980s for alleged participation in Black Liberation Army activities alongside Assata Shakur and others. Mutulu’s primary work has been in the area of health. He is a doctor of acupuncture and was a co-founder and director of two institutions devoted to improving health care in the Black community. He was an inspiration for many of the positive messages in his late step-son, Tupac’s, musical work. Mutulu is currently facing terminal cancer and there’s an active campaign for his compassionate release.

As with Bill, Mutulu is held in the Federal system, so you can only contact him via Corrlinks if he’s added you as a contact.

Birthday: August 8


Dr. Mutulu Shakur #83205-012
FMC Lexington
Post Office Box 14500
Lexington, Kentucky 40512

Lawrence Michaels

A former Vaughn 17 defendant, and contributor to the Vaughn zines, “Live from the Trenches” and “United We Stood”. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Lawrence in relation to the uprising, he, like all of the Vaughn 17, deserves respect and support for making it through the entire process while staying in solidarity with his co-defendants and refusing to co-operate with the prosecution.

Pennsylvania uses Connect Network/GTL, so you can contact him online by going to, selecting “Add a facility,” choosing “State: Pennsylvania, Facility: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections”, going into the “messaging” service, and then adding him as a contact by searching his name or “NW2894.”

Birthday: August 14


Smart Communications / PA DOC
Lawrence Michaels – NW2894
SCI Frackville
P.O. Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733

Hanif Shabazz Bey (Beaumont Gereau)

One of the Virgin Island 3, serving 8 consecutive life sentences after being tortured into a false confession then wrongly imprisoned since 2001 when his sentence was vacated.

Hanif is in an institution run by CoreCivic, and it appears that you can email him here.

Birthday: August 16


Beaumont Gereau #19-1952
Citrus County Detention Facility
2604 W. Woodland Ridge Dr.
Lecanto, FL 34461
United States

Pedro Chairez

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Pedro in relation to the uprising, he, like all of the Vaughn 17, deserves respect and support for making it through the entire process while staying in solidarity with his co-defendants and refusing to co-operate with the prosecution. You can read some of Pedro’s words here.

Illinois uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: Illinois, Inmate ID: Y35814”.

Birthday: August 17


Pedro Chairez Y35814
Pontiac C.C.
P.O. Box 99
Pontiac, IL 61764

Christopher L Young

Queer anarchist prisoner/jailhouse lawyer in Kentucky wishing to start an anarchist book club and get more involved in organizing.

Kentucky uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: Kentucky, Inmate ID: 136515”.

Birthday: August 17


Christopher L Young #136515
Kentucky State Penitentiary
266 Water Street
Eddyville, Kentucky 42038

Ronald Reed

Black Liberation prisoner, convicted in 1995 for allegedly shooting a police officer in 1970.

Minnesota uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: Minnesota, Inmate ID: 219531”.

Birthday: August 31


Ronald Reed #219531
Minnesota Correctional Facility-Lino Lakes
7525 Fourth Avenue
Lino Lakes, Minnesota 55014

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A monthly report on prison rebels, State repression, and news from an abolitionist perspective.

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