Filed under: Editorials, Incarceration, Political Prisoners, Prison Break
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Can you believe it’s October already? Time flies when you’re busy fighting the State and working to free our political prisoners. As you flip your Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar over to the month of October, we hope you appreciate this amazingly beautiful and poignant artwork by Fernando Martí, entitled “No Mas Muertes.” Martí is a member of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative, and this piece of art highlights the ongoing work of No More Deaths, the humanitarian organization based in southern Arizona. Our October article features the “10 Principles of Disability Justice,” by Sins Invalid, a performance project led by disabled people of color. Visit our website to read “Living to Elder,” an inspiring excerpt from Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice.
— Certain Days (@CertainDays) October 1, 2019
We are happy to announce that the 2020 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar is now ready to order. “Knitting Together the Struggles” is the theme for 2020, with art and artwork contributed by Xinachtli, David Gilbert, Eric King, Jaan Laaman, Marius Mason, Oso Blanco, Richard Rivera, Garen Zakarian, and so many more. The new year is still several months away, but our calendars have been known to sell out quickly, so buy 1, 10 or 100 before they’re all gone.
Now, here’s a look at what happened in September, and a preview of what’s ahead in October!
Political Prisoner Birthdays in October:
There are quite a few political prisoner birthdays in October, so this is a great time to do a letter writing event and send some love to those inside. Remember that prisoners at Federal prisons (USPs and FCIs) cannot receive cards, colored paper, or colored ink.
Joshua Stafford, #57976-060
PO Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635
*Address letter to Skelly, envelope to Joshua Stafford
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, #99974-555
PO Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
David Gilbert, #83-A-6158
Wende Correctional Facility
3040 Wende Rd
Alden, NY 14004-1187
Eric Hancock, #161270
Richmond City Justice Center
1701 Fairfield Way
Richmond, VA 23223
Meral Smith, #19-1874
Citrus County Detention Facility
2604 West Woodland Ridge Dr
Lecanto, FL 34461
*Address letter to Malik, envelope to Meral
Anthony Bottom, #77-A-4283
Sullivan Correctional Facility
PO Box 116
Fallsburg, NY 12733-0166
*Address letter to Jalil Muntaqim, envelope to Anthony Bottom
Russell Maroon Shoatz recently began chemotherapy to combat his Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Donations are being requested to help alleviate medical expenses. Here’s a brief note from Maroon on his circumstances:
“Now being kept in the prison infirmary, in a section designed to cut costs of treating this state’s prisoners suffering from cancer. Was administered chemotherapy for three days this week. The oncologist here told me that will continue—three days, every three weeks, for six months—ALL done right here in this prison. Afterwards, I’m told, I will be taken to an outside hospital and undergo a test to evaluate what was accomplished. Tolerating the chemotherapy so far.
Since it’s clear that the prison system is bent on “cost savings,” my family and supporters are now, and will continue to, closely monitor, evaluate, and respond to my treatment and condition. That includes outside medical and legal people, as well as immediate family members who have stepped up in order to place as much support around me as possible. In that regard, I want to extend to all of those who are contributing to this multi-pronged “medical advocacy” my heartfelt thanks.
Perhaps this experience will allow me to better understand the shortcomings of continuing to imprison the elderly and infirm, and allow me to more effectively debunk such senseless policies.
On August 29, Mumia Abu-Jamal had a successful cataract surgery on his left eye. Both Mumia and the doctor were happy with the surgery, and a similar surgery for his right eye is scheduled for the near future. This medical victory is the result of a months-long campaign, which included thousands of signed petitions, countless phone zaps, and a protest at the DOC headquarters.
Recently transferred for medical treatment, political prisoner Xinachtli began his Hepatitis C anti-viral treatment in late July. According to Xinachtli, a prison specialist informed him that “my last blood test results showed the anti-viral medications were working and showing positive signs of clearing the virus, so that is good news on that front.” Stay tuned here for any updates on Xinachtli’s ongoing treatment and progress.
Imprisoned hacktivist Jeremy Hammond was unexpectedly transferred in the beginning of September, after being called against his will to testify before a Federal Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia. Already serving a 10 year sentence, and due to be released this December, Jeremy may potentially be held for the length of the Grand Jury. It is being assumed that the Grand Jury he is being called to testify before is the same that Chelsea Manning refuses to testify before, and for which she remains imprisoned. Be sure to follow his support website for updates.
On September 3, lawyers for Mumia Abu-Jamal submitted documents to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. These documents contain new evidence of constitutional violations in his 1982 trial.
Political prisoner Eric King is still being held in Colorado, at FCI Englewood, on trial for an alleged altercation with a guard. Eric is facing an addition 20 years in prison with this charge. Eric was able to secure a new attorney, but support is very much needed at this time. Eric is also in need of correspondence, so show your solidarity and send him a letter.
Eric King, #27090-045
9595 West Quincy Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123
With the holiday season soon approaching, now is a great time to donate to some of the dedicated political prisoners who have recently been released, or who are hopefully soon to be released. Making that transition from prison to the outside can be a very trying and at times difficult switch. Any and all support that we can provide goes a long way towards showing solidarity with those who gave up so much fighting for our freedoms.
There are ongoing fundraisers for released MOVE 9 members, Eddie Africa, Janine and Janet Africa, as well asDebbie and Mike Africa. Recently released Cleveland 4 member Connor Stevens also has ongoing fundraising efforts. Additionally, Ramsey Orta, who filmed the murder of Eric Garner by the NYPD in July 2014, is expected to be released in December 2019. There is a welcome home fundraiser if you would like to provide support for after his release.
Also in the News:
In early September, political prisoner Marius Mason had a hearing before a judge to have his name legally changed. Marius (“that’s Mar – ee-us, not Mare-ee-us”) was successful, and is thrilled to announce his legal name as Marius Jacob Mason. However, to avoid any issues in the prison mailing room, it is best to address all envelopes to “M. Mason” for the time being.
M. Mason, #04672-061
Danbury, CT 06811
There have been several political prisoner transfers in the last month, so be sure to use the newest address when writing to the following:
Jeremy Hammond, #A0182888
William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center
2001 Mill Road
Alexandria, VA 22314
Smart Communications / PA DOC
Russell Maroon Shoatz, #AF3855
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
The first Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners 2020 calendar launch is now scheduled for October 9, at Frigo Vert in Montreal. Join Matt Meyer and others for a discussion on the calendar and the fight against imperialist and white supremacy. Learn more and sign up to attend here.
Also, don’t miss the latest episode of KBOO’s Prison Pipeline, featuring an interview with Certain Days collective member Daniel McGowan.
Certain Days to Keep in Mind:
October is full of some rather important dates in terms of revolutionary and insurrectionist history. This October marks the 160th year since John Brown led his attack on the Federal Armory at Harper’s Ferry. This month also marks the anniversary of the CIA-orchestrated assassination of Che Guevara in Bolivia. In October of 1966, in Oakland, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was first established. October 20 marks the 38th anniversary of the Brinks robbery, for which political prisoners David Gilbert (one of Certain Days’ inside collective members) and Mutulu Shakur remain imprisoned. Let’s acknowledge these important dates by working overtime to bring all political prisoners home where they belong.