Filed under: Action, Anarchist Movement, Announcement, Featured, Incarceration, Political Prisoners, Repression, US
An update on George Floyd uprising defendants and a call for people to get involved in supporting long-term prisoners.
It’s been nearly two years since the George Floyd uprisings spread across the country, confronting the structures of white supremacy and police violence in ways not seen for at least a generation. It’s also been seven months since we launched UprisingSupport.org to collect and share information about people imprisoned or facing imprisonment for their participation in the uprisings.
The website currently has info for over 20 people who are in jail or prison for their alleged activities during the uprisings. Half a dozen other people who were previously in custody and listed on the website have been released since we launched.
Many of the people featured on the website don’t have organized or public-facing support crews. Often we only become aware of their cases through media about their arrests and sentences. We reach out directly when there’s no obviously organized support crew or organization. If there is someone from or in your area who you see on the site, unless it says they have a support team it’s safe to assume they don’t, and could benefit from people reaching out and possibly organizing a support team in collaboration with them.
— Puget Sound Prisoner Support (@PugetSupport) May 18, 2022
We really want to see more people stepping in to organized anti-repression and prisoner support efforts. The cycles of movement and conflict have been speeding up and intensifying – we are now heading into a long hot summer of struggle around bodily autonomy, reproductive freedom, and women’s/queer/trans liberation. Through all this, the repression does not relent. Already the capacity of people currently doing anti-repression and prisoner support organizing is stretched thin. But this organizing is central to building long-term resilience into our struggles.
If you want pointers for getting started, the Resources page on the website compiles a lot of information about *how* to do anti-repression and prisoner support organizing. We know this might be a new area of organizing for some and we want to help people build up their skill set.
We’ve focused our efforts so far on reaching out to individual prisoners and their support crews if they have them. This is a slow and often laborious process since a large number of people on the site are not connected directly to support groups or organizations with public facing information. We have been sending letters to uprising prisoners we can locate asking if they want to be listed on the site, contacting people and groups doing support work, and more. Recently we’ve started doing more general outreach and publicity around the site (keep a lookout for our stickers!), and have an eye toward more of this in the future. Many people already have been thankful to learn about the website and information it compiles. This appreciation humbles and warms us.
For Richmond followers! May 17th, at 116 S Addison St, please join James River ABC at 6pm to write letters to political prisoners and remembering George Floyd. pic.twitter.com/iD0IzoQJbj
— Richmond Police (@BeQueerDoCrime) May 11, 2022
Additionally, we are extremely grateful to everyone who has reached out to tell us about cases they’ve been following, friends and relatives they’ve been supporting, updates about prisoners they’ve reached out to, and more. We literally could not be doing this project without these contacts and updates. As a small collective, we can’t actively keep up with the literally hundreds of uprising cases and prisoners across the country.
The collection of people listed on the website is not definitive, but it is a start and we will continue to reach out to those we learn about and maintain/update the information of those we have listed. If you are supporting someone, please don’t hesitate to send us updates on their cases, prison sentences, and transfers: [email protected]. It really helps us keep information current.
- Tyre Means is serving 5 years in federal prison for arson and possession of a stolen firearm.
- Kelly Jackson is serving 40 months in federal prison for two counts of possession of a destructive device.
- Margaret Channon is serving 60 months in federal prison for arson charges.
- Desmond Davis-Pitts was released in December after serving 20 months for conspiracy to commit arson.
- Isaiah Willoughby was released in March after serving time for conspiracy to commit arson.
- Lore Elizabeth-Blumenthal is in federal custody awaiting sentencing on 2 counts of civil disorder.
- David Elmakayes is in federal custody awaiting sentencing on one count of arson and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
- Christopher West is serving 48 months in federal prison for one count of Conspiracy and one count of Civil Disorder.
- Andrew Augustyniak-Duncan was sentenced to 41 months on federal charges but remains in county jail awaiting disposition of his state charges.
- Anthony “Ant” Smith is out of custody awaiting trial on federal arson and civil disorder charges.
- Jacob Gaines is serving 46 months in federal prison for assault on a federal officer.
- Malik Muhammad is in state custody following his sentencing.
- Cyan Bass is in state custody after he was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to arson, criminal mischief, attempted assault using a dangerous weapon, possessing a destructive device and taking part in a riot involving the Justice Center in Portland in 2020.
- Andrew Garcia-Smith pleaded guilty to one charge of malicious burning of a building and is serving a federal sentence until Nov of 2022.
- Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman each took non-cooperating pleas to one count of possession of an unregistered destructive device which carries a sentence up to 10 years (though recent filings could change the terms of their pleas). They are not currently in custody.
- Montez Lee is currently serving a 10 year federal prison sentence, having pled guilty to one count of arson after facing multiple federal charges and being held without bond after his arrest.
- Matthew White is currently serving a 6 year federal sentence for Arson
- Matthew Rupert was charged with causing civil disorder, rioting, and possession of unregistered explosive devices on June 1 of 2020. He pleaded guilty in April of 2021. In all, he was sentenced to 105 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
- José Felan is still in county jail awaiting trial on arson charges from 2020.
- Branden Wolfe was given 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit arson. Wolfe was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release and pay $12 million in restitution for damages to the Third Precinct station on May 28, 2020.
- Dylan Robinson pleaded guilty in December 2021 to one count of conspiracy to commit arson and was sentenced to 4 years in federal prison. His sentence includes two years of supervised release and $12 million in restitution.
- Kyree Robertson was sentenced in July 2021 to 23 months for riot charges from May 2020 in Grand Rapids.
- Chase Spencer is awaiting sentencing on May 25th after pleading guilty to Arson
- Howard Nall was sentenced to between 2.5 and 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to one count of malicious destruction of personal property valued at $20,000 or more and a count of riot. He’ll also have to pay $41,720 in restitution.
- Tony Cushe (Antonio Wooden) is currently serving a federal sentence from charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Fugitive from Justice and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by an Unlawful User of a Controlled Substance.
- Shamar Betts was sentenced to four years in Federal prison and fined $1.6 million in restitution for damages committed across the entire Neil Street/North Prospect area the evening of May 31 because of a post made on Facebook.
- Diego Vargas plead guilty at the federal level to one count of maliciously attempting to damage and destroy a building by means of an explosive device from an event on June 1, 2020 in Naperville, IL.
- Adam Walton was sentenced to 3.5 years in federal prison for actions that occurred during unrest on the South Side of Chicago in the very beginning of the George Floyd Uprising. He plead guilty to the charges in September of last year.
- John Wade was sentenced on 2/28/22 to a mandatory minimum of 5 years (to include time served) after conviction on his federal charges related to a string of arson against government property and police cruisers. He has other pending state charges from the summer of 2020.
- Ellie Brett is currently in county jail awaiting sentencing.
- Alvin Jospeh is in custody for an attempted arson conviction.
photo: Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash