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Aug 30, 19

Prison Break: Through the Bars

Micah Bazant’s beautiful portrait is featured as the September artwork in the 2019  Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar. The poem and essay for the month are written by Alisha Walker, an imprisoned survivor and member of the support ho(s)e collective. Both the artwork and writing for September illustrate the ongoing harassment and oppression of sex workers, trafficking survivors, and victims of domestic violence.

Tom Manning, RIP

Sadly, on July 30th, political prisoner Tom Manning passed away of an apparent heart attack. At 73 years of age, Tom had been imprisoned since 1985 for his actions in support of the United Freedom Front and against U.S. imperialism. Tom was an avid painter, a thoughtful writer, and a dear friend to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. His artwork has appeared regularly in the Certain Days calendar, with Tom being the only artist to be featured twice on our cover. Tom did time with many political prisoners, some of whom have written moving tributes to their fallen comrade. A memorial service in Massachusetts is scheduled for Sunday, September 29, with more details here. Tom Manning Presente!

Here’s a rundown of what happened in August, and a look at what’s ahead for September.

Political Prisoner Birthdays in September

There are only two political prisoner birthdays in September, so send them a note and show your solidarity. Remember that prisoners at federal prisons (USPs) cannot receive cards, colored paper, or colored ink.

September 5th:
Brian Vaillancourt, #M42889
Robinson Correctional Center
13423 East 1150th Avenue
Robinson, IL 62454

September 12th:
Leonard Peltier, #89637-132
USP Coleman I
PO Box 1033
Coleman, FL 33521


Russell Maroon Shoatz: As previously mentioned, political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz was recently hospitalized, and it was discovered that he suffers from Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Read Maroon’s message here and note that donations are being accepted to help with treatment.

Russell Maroon Shoatz

Ongoing Cases:

Scott Warren / No More Deaths: Scott Warren is scheduled to return to court in November, in the highly publicized case of the No More Deaths humanitarian volunteer. This retrial is a deliberate attempt by the government to discourage compassionate care and mutual aid. Warren’s defense team has an outreach program from September to November in Arizona, for anyone interested in lending support.

Chelsea Manning: On August 5, Judge Trenga denied Chelsea’s Motion to Reconsider Sanctions, and as of this writing she remains imprisoned while also being fined $1,000 per day. If you are able to offer support, Chelsea can surely use it.


MOVE 9: As previously noted, Eddie Africa was released on parole in June, after spending more than four decades imprisoned. He has an ongoing fundraising campaign to assist in his transition back to life on the outside. Similarly, there are fundraising efforts for Janine and Janet Africa, and for Mike and Debbie Africa. Delbert Africa had a medical emergency in early August, though he appears to be recuperating well and is preparing for a parole hearing in September. If you are interested in supporting Delbert’s parole efforts you can do so here.

Speaking of fundraising, Connor Stevens, of the Cleveland 4, was released last month, and is also fundraising to help adjust to life on the outside.

Ramsey Orta, who filmed the murder of Eric Garner by the police back in July 2014, is scheduled to be released from prison in December 2019. There is a welcome home fundraiser if you would like to provide support for after his release.

Also in the News:

If you write to imprisoned Virgin Island 3 members, Malik Bey and Hanif Shabazz Bey, they have been given new detention numbers.

Beaumont Gereau* #19-1952
Citrus County Detention Facility
2604 West Woodland Ridge Drive
Lecanto, FL 34461
*Address envelope to Beaumont Gereau, address card to Hanif Shabazz

Bey Meral Smith* #19-1874
Citrus County Detention Facility
2604 West Woodland Ridge Drive
Lecanto, FL 34461
*Address envelope to Meral Smith, address card to Malik Smith

Warren Ballentine* #16-047
Citrus County Detention Facility
2604 West Woodland Ridge Drive
Lecanto, FL 34461
*Address envelope to Warren Ballentine, address card to Abdul Azeez

Certain Days artwork for September

Political prisoner Jamil al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, was in court again in July, struggling to prove that his previous trial violated his constitutional rights. The 11th circuit court ruled that prosecutors violated his constitutional rights during his trial, but rejected his challenge and affirmed the ruling because this did not substantially affect the verdict.

Political prisoner Eric King has been abruptly transferred yet again, this time in the midst of urgent medical needs. At the time of this writing Eric is being held at FCI Englewood, on trial for an alleged altercation with a guard. Any support you can offer Eric and his family is greatly appreciated, and you can check out his latest writings here. Please write him and offer solidarity:

Eric King, #27090-045
FCI Englewood
9595 West Quincy Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123

Certain Days to Keep in Mind:

On the heels of Black August, there are several important dates to keep in mind for September. September 9th – 13th marks the 48th anniversary of the Attica prison uprising, when prisoners united to confront oppressive conditions were met with blatantly excessive force by authorities. September 28th is the 19th anniversary of the 2nd Palestinian Intifada.

Attica Rebellion

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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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