Filed under: Featured, Incarceration, Political Prisoners, Prison Break
While thousands take to the streets in solidarity with the Palestinian people, and even more in the streets commemorating the 1-year anniversary of the brutal killing of George Floyd, it looks like it’s going to be a long, hot summer again this year. There is still a call to #DropTheCharges against all Black Lives Matter protesters and others who have been arrested during recent conflicts with the police, so be sure to check out this toolkit and offer support if you can.
As you switch your Certain Days calendar from May to June we hope you enjoy the vibrant and timely art by Damon Locks, a Chicago-based visual artist, educator, vocalist/musician who works with the Prisons and Neighborhood Arts Project at Stateville Correctional Center. The essay for the month—“What Surviving Prison During the AIDS Epidemic Taught Me About Coronavirus”— is written by Richard Rivera, a formerly incarcerated activist who was released in 2019.
This is a final reminder that the Certain Days call-out for submissions for the 2022 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar is still open. The 2022 theme is “Creating a New World in the Shell of the Old,” looking at collective approaches at creating a more inclusive and fulfilling world through mutual effort. We are looking for 12 pieces of art and 12 short essays to feature in the calendar. The deadline is June 14, so please share this far and wide in the next two weeks. (Print and share this PDF version of the callout, too.)
Portland, OR June 11th Event
As there are no political prisoner birthdays in June, it’s the perfect time to remember that June 11 is the International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and All Long-term Anarchist Prisoners. It’s the perfect time to reach out to those anarchist prisoners locked behind the walls. Be sure to watch IGD’s upcoming events page for June 11th event listings.
Releases, Acquittals, and Dropped Charges
On May 15, longtime political prisoner Jaan Laaman was released from prison after serving 37 years for his involvement in the United Freedom Front. At 73 years young, Jaan joins his co-defendants Kazi Toure and Ray Luc Levasseur on the outside. Sadly, co-defendants Richards Williams and Tom Manning passed away while locked behind the bars.
Jaan Laaman now released
Loren Reed, arrested last June in connection with protests in Arizona, accepted a favorable, non-cooperating plea deal and was released from custody on May 5. Join in the celebration here! Supporters are also fundraising for Reed’s post release by selling shirts.
We're excited to release these shirts, designed by Abolish Everything (https://t.co/vo44PvDmE5) & printed by @CREAMTucson! The proceeds will go to Loren Reed's post-release support, as well as other anti-repression efforts in Arizona. Purchase here: https://t.co/j9giAGuVM4 pic.twitter.com/6rznXF8gtO
— Tucson Anti-Repression Crew (@TucsonARC) May 18, 2021
Catholic Plowshares activists Martha Hennessy and Carmen Trotta were released from Federal prisons to halfway houses on May 26 and 27, respectively. Both were sentenced for the Plowshares action at Kings Bay Naval Base on the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) October 25, 2019
Also on May 27, Cleveland 4 political prisoner Joshua Stafford (Skelly to friends) was released to a halfway house where he is to remain until his scheduled release in October 2021.
On May 25, the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) filed a Civil Rights suit on behalf of political prisoner and vegan anarchist Eric King against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and over 40 prison guards. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Eric King, whose constitutional rights have been continually violated since 2018 in retaliation for his political and anti-racist actions while incarcerated. Read all about it in Natasha Lennard’s new piece for The Intercept.
ICYMI: Political Prisoner Eric King files lawsuit against Bureau of Prisons for harassment and abuse.@CLDC Press release: https://t.co/uTP6L4Kcxr
Lawsuit: https://t.co/W6431fqLzM@theintercept coverage of the lawsuit by @natashalennard https://t.co/imRdQEUpG1
— Support_Eric_King (@SupportEricKing) May 30, 2021
On May 6, Daniel Baker was convicted of making threats to right-wing provocateurs in Tallahassee, Florida, after a two-day trial. Baker has remained imprisoned since his arrest in January, and he is scheduled to be sentenced in mid-August. You can donate (Venmo: @DanBakerDonations), send him some books from his wishlist, and write to him at the following address.
Daniel Alan Baker, #25765-509
501 Capitol Circle N.E.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
On May 20, the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction to hear political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal’s challenge to his original conviction. Mumia’s case will now proceed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.
— Mumia Abu-Jamal (@MumiaAbuJamal) May 2, 2021
Fundraising & Support
Political prisoner and Certain Days collective member Xinachtli is scheduled for his first ever Parole Review Hearing on July 18th. The Xinachtli Defense Committee has a new and updated website, and is asking for parole support letters from those who know Xinachtli. Please write to Xinachtli at the address below and offer support if you can.
Alvaro Hernández*, #255735
James V Allred Unit
2101 FM 369 North
Iowa Park, TX 76367
*Address letter to Xinachtli, envelope to Alvaro
Longtime political prisoner and Black Liberation Army soldier Jalil Muntaqim, released from prison last October after nearly 50 years, has an ongoing housewarming fundraiser to celebrate his release. If you are able to offer support it is greatly appreciated. (Cash App: $Jalil69 or Paypal: [email protected])
Standing Rock Water Protector Rattler was finally released from a halfway house weeks ago, and appreciates any support you’re able to offer as he acclimates to life on the outside.
Beloved community leader, advocate, mother and more, Nona Moselle, passed away on May 13th. Nona was involved with No Justice No Pride where she stayed for the past few years as well as her job at Collective Action For Safe Spaces.
In Case You Missed It
On election night in 2016, Ruby Montoya and Jessica Reznicek pulled their car into a pipeline worksite in Iowa’s Buena Vista County.
They stuffed empty coffee cans with rags, and placed them on the seats of five heavy machines. Then they lit them. https://t.co/Urdp9MYXg7
— grist (@grist) May 26, 2021
- The recent discovery of withheld remains of MOVE children who were killed when the Philadelphia police dropped a bomb on their home adds further insult to injury for the parents, family, and community involved.
- This lengthy yet fascinating new article details the actions taken by two Plowshares activists against the Dakota Access pipeline and the difficult consequences they now face.
- Former political prisoner Ed Mead has penned a new piece for the San Francisco Bay View entitled Prison Lives Matter, about the need to support and raise awareness of those struggling on the inside.
— San Francisco Bay View Newspaper (@sfbayview) May 8, 2021
- Imprisoned whistleblower Reality Winner continues to fight for her freedom, and a new documentary—“United States vs. Reality Winner”—examines how far the state will go to silence her and those willing to speak out against state violence.
- A new expose in Rolling Stone examines the ongoing tragedy of COVID-19 for those incarcerated, and the unwarranted risk and fear that they are forced to endure.
- Don’t miss this recent article in The Baffler about Fred Hampton and his significance today.
- In case you missed it, the Zapatistas have set sail for Europe to spread the message of solidarity and revolution!
- Mike Africa, Jr has a new podcast! Check out the On A MOVE podcast here.
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Certain Days to Keep in Mind
One-hundred years ago today the Tulsa race riot erupted in Oklahoma, with groups of whites violently attacking the black community. This three-day orgy of white supremacist violence was labeled "the single worst incident of racial violence in American history." pic.twitter.com/c7IDGWlgUA
— Certain Days (@CertainDays) May 31, 2021
As you’ll see in your 2021 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar, in June we have both Juneteenth, celebrating the liberation of those who were enslaved in the U.S., and also June 11, the International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason and All Long-term Anarchist Prisoners. This month we also commemorate the anniversaries of Harriet Tubman’s daring Combahee River raid, the Stonewall resistance in New York City, and the founding of the IWW, and also honor the passing of Geronimo Ji-Jaga Pratt, and Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
photo: John Salvino via Unsplash