Filed under: Incarceration, Political Prisoners, Prison Break
With COVID-19 continuing to wreak havoc across the globe, we must pay particular attention to our comrades behind the bars. The extent of overcrowding, medical neglect and lack of resources is becoming more apparent as this virus spreads throughout incarcerated populations. There are important resources by Beyond Prisons, Prison Health News, and Kersplebedeb, and worthy articles by Victoria Law and Daniel Gross, RAPP (Release Aging People in Prison), and a Letter to the Editor of the New York Times by Certain Days calendar collective member and political prisoner David Gilbert.
The vibrant artwork and poignant essay for April in your 2020 Certain Days calendar focuses on the Palestinian struggle and the need for international solidarity. The essay for the month is by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), and highlights the significance of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction movement and other solidarity actions. The artwork, created by ZAN studio, translates to read “With our hands we create the future.”
On March 2, Puerto Rican independence fighter and former political prisoner Rafael Cancel Miranda died, age 89, in San Juan. Along with Lolita Lebron, Irving Flores Rodriguez, and Andres Figueroa Cordero, Cancel Miranda opened fire on the U.S. Congress in 1954, injuring several and subsequently serving decades in prison before being pardoned by President Carter. Cancel Miranda never gave up his commitment to the struggle for a free Puerto Rico. Rafael Cancel Miranda Presente!
Here’s a look back at what happened in March, and a look ahead at April.
Political Prisoner Birthdays in April
There are only two political prisoner birthdays in April, so be sure to send a note to each of these long-serving political prisoners of the Black Liberation struggle. 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.
Romaine Fitzgerald, #B-27527
California State Prison – LAC
PO Box 4490
Lancaster, CA 93539
*Address envelope to Romaine, letter to Chip
Mumia Abu-Jamal, #AM8335
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
On March 12, following the attempted suicide of Grand Jury resistor Chelsea Manning, a Federal judge ordered the release of Manning and other Grand Jury resistor, hacktivist, and political prisoner Jeremy Hammond. While released from detention, Manning was still ordered to pay exorbitant fines, while Hammond is returned to Federal custody to complete his sentence.
After a 3-day trial in early March, immigration activist and co-founder of the FANG Collective, Sherrie Andre was found guilty and sentenced to 30 days in jail for trespassing and disturbing the peace.
Accused Eco-Prisoner Joseph Dibee has faced constant struggles since his capture in 2018. After being attacked by another inmate, Dibee could use some support and solidarity. While he is transferred often, letters to Joseph should be addressed to:
Joseph Dibee, #812133
11540 NE Inverness Dr
Portland, OR 97220
The COVID-19 crisis underscores the need to release political prisoner Leonard Peltier. More information can be found here, here and here. Write Peltier:
Leonard Peltier, #89637-132
USP Coleman I
PO Bo 1033
Coleman, FL 33521
Political prisoner and vegan anarchist Eric King continues to fight trumped up charges which threaten him with an additional 20 years in Federal prison. You can donate to Eric’s fundraising efforts here, and learn more about Eric and his case here. Also, check out an important new piece by Ella Fassler about Eric King and the repression that anti-fascists are facing in prisons and jails across the country.
Support Eric King's fight against bullshit charges and help him pay for legal representation so he doesn't get slapped with another 20 FUCKING YEARS in prison! Buy a shirt!
— 1312press (@1312press) March 29, 2020
Anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble is fundraising for a new legal push for his release. See Kimble’s new address in the Transfers section below.
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.
Michael Kimble, #138017/G1-24A
Easterling Correctional Facility
200 Wallace Dr
Clio, AL 3601
In Case You Missed It
There is a call to action in support of political prisoner Bomani Shakur for April. Shakur is widely known for his alleged involvement in the Lucasville prison uprising, which took place 27 years ago this month.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin speaks to The New Yorker about his father, political prisoner and Certain Days collective member David Gilbert, and the growing threat of COVID-19 amongst an aging prison population.
A moving new essay by Elena Carter about departed political prisoner Mondo we Langa and the impact that he had on her life.
Forward movement. A month of solidarity for Bomani Shakur! Save this flyer and pass it on to help spread the word about all the events occurring in April! Starting w this Friday at 6:30pm EST hosted by Blue Ridge ABC (https://t.co/rtZAC27lZt) – check out a doc on Bomani ! pic.twitter.com/Pbxit5RcR7
— Antifa Sacramento (@AntifaSac_) April 1, 2020
A new and insightful essay by Heather Gray about current political prisoner Jamil Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown), marking the 20th anniversary of his wrongful imprisonment.
Migrants detained at the Laval Immigration Detention Centre in Quebec, Canada have launched an indefinite hunger strike to demand their release in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other prisoners across Canada and around the world, they are demanding to be released for their own safety.
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Certain Days to Keep in Mind
April is full of radical dates that stand as poignant reminders of how history impacts and effects current movements for change. The anniversaries of the Zapatista uprising in San Andres, the Ludlow Massacre, and the fall of Saigon are interspersed with reminders of the founding of the Sacred Stone camp at Standing Rock and the murder of young Black Panther Bobby Hutton. We hope that these significant dates in movement history serve as inspiration as we continue the struggle for a better world.