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Oct 1, 20

Prison Break: With Arms Wide Open

In the last few weeks, the public has gotten a rare glimpse into the horrific plight of prisoners locked away in U.S. prisons and jails. With forest fires devastating the West Coast, prisoners continue to suffer and bear the brunt of indifference. A whistleblower at an ICE detention center in Georgia alleged that hysterectomies were performed on numerous women without their consent, drawing comparisons to the medical atrocities performed throughout history. In Rochester, New York, the police murder of Daniel Prude has led to daily protests and continued calls for structural change. In Washington State, police murdered an unarmed suspect, Michael Forest Reinoehl, who was alleged to have been involved in a shooting of a right-wing protester in Portland, Oregon. Meanwhile in Washington, Attorney General Barr has encouraged prosecutors to consider charging protesters with sedition, a charge often brought against those confronting the State.

Visitation is scheduled to re-open at the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on October 3, while numerous state jails and prisons have already resumed visitations. COVID-19, however, continues to wreak havoc in jails and prisons, with many fearing that visitations will only exacerbate the problem.

As you flip your Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar to October, you’ll experience a vibrant yet haunting self-portrait by formerly-incarcerated Richard Rivera, who spent 38 years imprisoned. The article for October is written by political prisoner and Certain Days inside collective member Xinachtli, and titled ‘Knitting Together Our Struggles: Global Capitalism as Our Common Unifier.’ As you will know by now, PRE-SALES ARE NOW OPEN for the 2021 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar. Order 1, 10, or 100 and rest assured that you’re doing your part to support North American political prisoners.

In addition, this past year the Certain Days collective was honored with a Shuttleworth Foundation grant in honor of the tireless work we do in solidarity with political prisoners. We will be making some special offers to send copies to people in prison via our social media pages, so be sure to stay tuned.

Here’s a rundown of what went down in September, and a look ahead at October.

Political Prisoner Birthdays in October

There are five political prisoner birthdays in October, so THIS WOULD BE THE PERFECT TIME TO THROW AN ONLINE PRISONER LETTER-WRITING PARTY! The personal touch of a birthday card means so much to those inside, so write a letter, and show your solidarity with those fighting for a better world. Remember that prisoners at Federal prisons (USPs and FCIs) cannot receive cards, colored paper, or colored ink.

  • October 3:

Joshua Stafford, #57976-060
USP McCreary
PO Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635
*Address letter to Skelly, envelope to Joshua Stafford.

  • October 4:

Jamil Al-Amin, #99974-555
USP Tucson
PO Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734

  • October 6:

David Gilbert, #83-A-6158
Shawangunk Correctional Facility
PO Box 700
Wallkill, NY 12589

  • October 8:

Meral Smith, #19-1874
Citrus County Detention Facility
2604 West Woodland Ridge Dr.
Lecanto, FL 34461
*Address letter to Malik Smith.

  • October 18:

Anthony Bottom, #77-A-4283
Sullivan Correctional Facility
PO Box 116
Fallsburg, NY 12733-0116
*Address letter to Jalil Muntaqim, envelope to Anthony Bottom.


  • On September 9, Indigenous Water Protector and political prisoner Red Fawn Fallis was released to a halfway house after serving a full four-year sentence in a federal penitentiary. Fallis was arrested in Standing Rock, ND in 2016, during the standoff between Indigenous activists and militarized wings of the state. You can learn about additional Water Protectors still serving time here.


If you correspond with longtime political prisoner Maroon Shoatz, know that he has been moved. His new address is as follows:

Smart Communications/PA DOC
Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF3855
SCI Dallas
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

Running Down the Walls

The 2020 Running Down the Walls (RDTW) events that took place in early September seem to have been successful, raising awareness and lots of money to support those locked away. A really well-done video of the Philly run captures the revolutionary spirit and solidarity involved in RDTW, in case you missed it. Find out more about how funds are used and how to get involved.


Resistance to escalating state violence and authoritarianism continues to grow with each passing week. In mid-September two Indigenous people were arrested and held incommunicado following a border wall protest in Arizona, both since released. Unrest in Lancaster, Pennsylvania following the police murder of a local man has culminated in 12 protesters facing riot charges, with each being held on an astronomical $1 million bail.

Support sites for Urooj Rahman, Colinford Mattis, and Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal are still active, with each facing heavy charges from protests in response to the police murder of George Floyd.

While we are currently seeing an influx of political prisoners, we cannot forget those currently incarcerated and those recently released.

In Case You Missed It

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Twitter: @certaindays

Instagram: @certaindayscalendar

Certain Days to Keep in Mind

Besides there being a ton of political prisoner birthdays in October, there are also a ton of dates that commemorate radical history and those who struggled to make it happen. In October we celebrate, mourn, and learn from the various revolutionary struggles of John Brown, Angela Y. Davis, Che Guevara, Huey Newton, and Seth Hayes and numerous other Black Liberation militants. We recognize imperialist wars and the grassroots movements to end them, liberationist struggles for survival and freedom, and so much more. Be sure to pre-order your 2021 Certain Days calendar now so that you don’t miss out on all this radical history!

While you’re here, we need your support. To continue running the website, we need support from community members like you. Will you support It’s Going Down, and help build independent media? donate?

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A yearly calendar featuring writing and artwork of political prisoners. Sales of the calendar go to benefit various radical and political prisoner projects.

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