Filed under: Action, Anarchist Movement, Northeast, Political Prisoners, Solidarity
Reportback on Running Down the Walls event from New York City Anarchist Black Cross (ABC).
Running Down the Walls 2023 has come and gone. Here in NYC we had a beautiful day to do it, the mid-September New York weather finally feeling like autumn instead of a desert summer. Both Prospect Park and the City itself seemed even busier than usual, with buskers, vendors and birthday parties nearby and marches and rallies elsewhere in town. In coordinating a multi-city run with organizers on both sides of the walls, we have to find a day that works for everyone involved as much as possible. As it turned not out only did Sunday, September 17 this year land during Rosh Hashanah, but both the Climate March and the 54th Annual African Day Parade were on Sunday as well. It also happened to be the 2nd day of the NYC Anarchist Book Fair, which we spent all day Saturday tabling at. So it was a busy weekend for many New Yorkers, including NYC ABC! Even still, a lively core of runners, bikers, walkers, and chillers assembled near the black RDTW banner to raise funds, awareness, and community solidarity for our political prisoners. It was wonderful to reconnect with long time friends and comrades, and to welcome some new faces!
The goal of RDTW, this year as much as any, is of course to raise much-needed funds for the Anarchist Black Cross Federation Warchest Program. Also though, and always, any chance to share information about the political prisoners and POW’s we support is heartily welcomed. Not to mention that events such as these are important in building and maintaining solidaric community in the here and now, rather than waiting for some dreamy future or idealizing pasts or present communities we are not a part of.
The namesake event itself kicked off a bit later than usual this year, as ‘anarchy time’ remains as reliable as ever. This year there were some serious pretty runners and bikers, as well as some casual perambulators happy to enjoy the fresh air at an unhurried pace. After the ‘run’, as is local anarchist tradition, organizers, participants and supporters shared an especially delicious home-cooked vegan meal, and spent a few more hours making new friends and catching up with cherished comrades.
We’ll leave you here with a few Running Down the Walls 2023 solidarity statements from some former political prisoners, as well as from a couple of good folks still behind the walls.
Hopefully we’ll see you all at next year’s Running Down the Walls!
Free Them All!
RDTW 2023 STATEMENTS FROM CURRENT AND FORMER POLITICAL PRISONERS:
YORCH (DF, Mexico)
Greetings from reclusorio oriente of Mexico City. I am Yorch, I’m in prison for being part of Okupa Che! Like you all know I am being accused of selling narcotics and these are fabricated charges by the authorities and by the university chancellor. It has been 9 months since I was kidnapped and put in this place. Like you all know the legal bills and life in here is really difficult. It brings me joy that the homies from Running Down The Walls Borders (Walls) [Anarchist Black Cross Los Angeles] have invited me to write something about my case to spread the word. We need to pressure the courts so they do not continue extend my legal process. I send you all a strong combative hug and hope to be out soon so we can continue to struggle together. Down with the prison walls!
When Running Down the Walls first kicked off many years ago I was held captive at the notorious ADX prison in Florence, Colorado. But within that isolation cell I felt the defiant rhythm of those who ran, jogged, walked and rolled to support political prisoners. SOLIDARITY is our greatest weapon — the very heart and soul of any movement that resists the depredations of capitalism and the malignancy of white supremacy. Those of you here today help to carry forward the spirit of resistance and provide vital support for OUR political prisoners. With love and respect from unceded Wabanaki land.
Running Down the Walls is running down penal slavery, it’s running down capitalist exploitation, it’s running down white supremacy. It is when we understand the politics behind Running Down the Walls we understand the very nature of our overall struggle. That is because Running Down the Walls supports the existence of political prisoners of war, and thereby supports the movements and struggles they come from.
When we run down the walls we are building a movement of politically conscious activists will and able to sacrifice for what they believe is according to their and our common humanity.
IN THE TRUE SPIRIT OF STRUGGLE AGAINST FASCISM, as the crisis deepens in U.S. society, and the capitalist-imperialist rulers spew their imperialist lies out of their foul mouths, as the class struggle sharpens the response by rulers is more repressive, racist laws designed to tighten their noose around the necks of all working class people, as the rich squeeze more production from the workers to enrich the surplus value to make them ever richer, while the workers get mere crumbs, under the existing dog-eat-dog system of wage-theft slavery they call it “free enterprise” and “freedom” as they spend millions of dollars on war efforts in Ukraine, while ignoring the basic human needs of the poor in this society.
BEHIND THE IRON CURTAINS OF AMERIKKKA’S KKKCONCENTRATION KKKAMPS, conditions worsen and there is a continuing callous indifference for free speech, inhumane prison conditions, brutality, prisoners dying due to extreme heat conditions, forced prisoner slavery, and deprivation of such basic human needs, as essential food, and medical needs of prisoners, while prisoncrats live in luxury by swindling taxpayer funds designed for prison, to enrich themselves, all hidden away from public view. Here in Texas, prison conditions are atrocious, and repression against those of us who fight for human rights, escalates, in a prison system with deep roots in settler colonialism, white supremacy and plantation racial slavery, the result of two Yankee colonial wars of conquest and extermination, where the massive prisons sit on stolen lands.
THIS 2023 RUNNING DOWN THE WALLS YEAR, we submit our solidarity statement and thank ABCF and its WARCHEST for continuing to support all of us POW, POLITICAL PRISONERS, VICTIMS OF COINTELPROREPRESSION THAT TARGETED OUR SOCIAL LIBERATION MOVEMENT ORGANIZATION TO DESTROY OUR STRUGGLES. ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE! FREE ALL US FREEDOM FIGHTERS!