Filed under: Prison Break
We enter March with the news that Chuck Africa, the last incarcerated member of the MOVE 9, was released in February, after over 40 years of incarceration. We hope that you find inspiration in this victory and the vibrant artwork in your 2020 Certain Days calendar, a memorial piece for Matriarch Camp, complements of Bitty. The essay for March is written by Victoria Law and is entitled This is What Community Looks Like. We feel that both pieces speak to the significance of communities of care and resiliency, especially in times of intense struggle.
If you have not yet gotten a Certain Days calendar, we have recently reduced the price to just $5. You can pick up one or twenty right here. They make great gifts and serve as daily reminders of the constant struggles that connect us to history. Remember, all proceeds from these sales go to organizations supporting political prisoners and grassroots groups advocating for prisoners’ rights.
We also begin March with the fourteenth anniversary of the conviction of the SHAC 7 defendants. A new documentary follows the story of how they became the targets of government repression because of their controversial protest campaigns. Find the movie near you, and check out this recent IGD interview with SHAC 7 political prisoners Andy Stepanian and Josh Harper.
Across “Canada,” over 200 actions are currently taking place in support of the Wet’suwet’en community, who oppose the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline on their unceded territory.
Here is what’s ahead in March.
Political Prisoner Birthdays in March
There are three political prisoner birthdays in March. Birthday cards mean so much to those inside, so write a letter, host a card writing party, and show your solidarity with those inside. Remember that prisoners at Federal prisons (USPs and FCIs) cannot receive cards, colored paper, or colored ink.
- March 5:
Rev. Joy Powell, #07G0632
Bedford Hills CF
PO Box 1000
Bedford Hills, NY 10507-2499
- March 17:
Ruchell Cinque Magee, #A92051
California Medical Facility
PO Box 2000
Vacaville, CA 95696-2000
- March 21:
Jaan Laaman, #10372-016
PO Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635
As mentioned above, MOVE 9 member Chuck Africa was released from prison on Friday, February 7, marking an end to this particular struggle. We no longer have to demand freedom for the MOVE 9. Their collective return to the outside of the walls is a reminder of the need for continued support post-incarceration. Donations to support Chuck Africa can be made here. Fundraising efforts are also underway for recently released MOVE 9 members Delbert Africa, Eddie Africa, Janine and Janet Africa, and Debbie and Mike Africa. Any support is appreciated.
Accused Eco-Prisoner Joseph Dibee has faced constant struggles since his capture in 2018. After being attacked by another prisoner, Dibee could use some support and solidarity. While he has been transferred often, letters to Joseph should be addressed to:
Joseph Dibee, #812133
11540 NE Inverness Dr
Portland, OR 97220
Whistleblower Reality Winner has applied for clemency, calling for an end of her incarceration. Winner has been imprisoned since 2017 for releasing classified documents pertaining to Russian interference in U.S. elections.
Whistleblower and current Grand Jury resistor Chelsea Manning has again affirmed her refusal to testify in the ongoing Federal case against Wikileaks. While Manning sits in prison, a public and legal demand for her release continues to grow. In related news, Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange have been nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize by a group of German Parliamentarians.
— Certain Days (@CertainDays) March 1, 2020
A federal judge in Arizona has reversed the convictions of four humanitarian aid volunteers, the second time in just a few months that a religious freedom defense has prevailed against government efforts to militarize the southern border.
— Dr. Mutulu Shakur (@FreeDrMShakur) March 1, 2020
February ended with an Urgent Week of Action for political prisoner Dr. Mutulu Shakur. Having recently been diagnosed with bone marrow cancer, Dr. Shakur was also recently denied compassionate release by the Bureau of Prisons. You can write and show your support at the following address:
Dr. Mutulu Shakur, #83205-012
PO Box 14500
Lexington, KY 40512
“Eric King is an imprisoned parent, artist, poet, and partner who needs support defending himself as he faces serious federal charges from the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).
Eric is currently serving a ten year sentence in BOP for Use of Explosive Materials to Commit Arson. On September 11, 2014, Eric threw two molotov cocktails and a hammer through a window of an unoccupied Kansas City congressional building. Eric was charged in the federal court in Kansas City; in 2016 he accepted a non-cooperating guilty plea and a mandatory minimum 10-year federal sentence for the case. As part of his plea and sentencing Eric publicly and proudly acknowledged that his intent was to take direct political action in solidarity with the community of Ferguson, Missouri following the August 2014 police killing of Michael Brown, Jr. He has been in BOP custody since he was sentenced in 2016.
In May 2019 Eric was indicted by a grand jury in the District Court of Colorado for a new federal felony charge of Assaulting a Federal Official. The charge is based on what the government says happened during the interview in the Florence storage room with the Administrative Lieutenant. Eric now faces up to 20 additional years in federal prison, and is fighting this charge while still in the custody of his accusers.”
Learn more about Eric and ongoing fundraising efforts here.
Support Upon Release
Making that transition from prison to the outside can be a very difficult switch. Any support that we can provide goes a long way towards showing solidarity with those who gave up so much fighting for our freedoms. Here’s a list of places to donate that directly support recently released political prisoners as well as those inside approaching release.
Ramsey Orta, #16A4200
Mid-State Correctional Facility
9005 Old River Rd
PO Box 2500
Marcy, NY 13403
Veronza Bowers, #35316-136
FCI Butner, Medium II
PO Box 1500
Butner, NC 27509
Douglas Wright, #57973-060
PO Box 3900
Adelanto, CA 92301
In Case You Missed It
The Certain Days calendar was recently highlighted by the Indypendent, which does a nice job of showing the work involved in producing this publication.
A Certain Days collective member was also interviewed for this article by Shane Burley, a telling look at the importance of outside support groups in an era of escalating state repression.
Certain Days to Keep in Mind
March provides a good example of the diverse dates you’ll find throughout the Certain Days calendar. From the arrests of current political prisoner Marius Mason, and former political prisoner Assata Shakur, to the anniversaries of the deaths of political prisoners Mondo we Langa, MOVE 9 member Merle Africa, and of Weather Underground comrades who died in a tragic bombing in 1970. There are also significant international dates including the 52nd anniversary of the horrendous My Lai massacre in South Vietnam, Human Rights Day in South Africa, and the Great March of Return in Palestine. Get your calendar today and stay up to date!