December 2, 2021
From It's Going Down
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Welcome!

It’s December! In this month’s column, we’ve got lots of updates on political prisoners, George Floyd uprising defendants, and prison rebels. As we get closer to the new year, remember there is a call for noise demos outside of jails, detention facilities, and prisons and also take time to write to prisoners and keep them in your thoughts.

With that spirit in mind, let’s dive in!

News

Anarchist prisoner Dan Baker has been moved to Memphis, and has released a public update about his situation. You can order books for him from a lengthy Amazon wishlist here, as he was only allowed to keep 5 books when he was transferred. FDC Tallahassee blocked a lot of Dan’s mail on arbitrary grounds such as insisting that letters could only be written single-sided, it remains to be seen whether Memphis will continue applying these restrictive policies.

You can write to Dan at:

Daniel Alan Baker #25765-509
FCI Memphis
P.O. Box 34550
Memphis, TN 38184

The family of recently-released Black liberation prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz are raising money to cover his extensive medical costs and for his family to be able to continue visiting him in the hospice.

A judge has ruled partially in favor of a motion from the Civil Liberties Defense Center, asking that a coerced statement from anarchist prisoner Eric King should be suppressed, meaning that it will not be eligible as evidence in his upcoming trial. Responding to the ruling, Eric’s attorney Lauren Regan stated:

“Overall, we are pleased with this ruling. It has given our client the opportunity to stand up for his basic rights in the spirit of human dignity, and has clearly established the collusion and corruption within the BOP to frame a political prisoner for an officer’s misconduct and abuse. Mr. King has consistently stated that he acted in self-defense after Lt. Wilcox assaulted him. Some of the BOP staff have lied, forged, and “lost” documents pertinent to this case. It is time for the U.S. Attorney’s office to dismiss this criminal case against Eric King.”

In news from political prisoner support projects, the Certain Days 2022 calendar has now been released, and the Pushing Down the Walls 2021 event raised over $3000 for prisoner support efforts. Fundraiser merch connected to the event is still available from the Orange County ABC store. The Anarchist Black Cross Federation have a year-end report and financial appeal here.

A previous installment of In Contempt mentioned that Ruby Montoya, a defendant in the Dakota Access Pipeline case, was pursuing a defense strategy that attempted to shift responsibility for her actions onto her co-defendant, her previous lawyer and other activists within the movement. As highlighted by Tucson Anti-Repression Committee, a recent article in the Economist has now confirmed that Montoya has been actively co-operating with the FBI since 2020.

Uprising Defendants

Teen Vogue recently published a story on the ongoing use of felony charges against defendants from the George Floyd uprising. Supporters of Philadelphia defendant Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal have now created a new flyer to raise awareness of her case.

Keith “Comrade Malik” Washington

The San Francisco Bay View has published documents showing that long-time prison organizer Keith “Malik” Washington has a history of acting as a state informant. In a letter to the Harris County District Attorney from January 2011, Washington wrote:

“At one time, in the realm of intelligence gathering, I was viewed as a “rock star.” I was respected by many. Now I am a nobody. I give the authorities info and they pay no attention. I’m not fighting for recognition; I am more interested in gaining back my credibility… I’d like to be re-activated as a source for OIG. [FBI] Agent Lyons took good care of me when I worked for him in the past… My main goal is to earn parole. However, I also would like to rebuild my relationship with the law enforcement community in Houston.”

The Final Straw Radio, which has worked with Malik along with many other prisoners, commented:

“Malik was then incarcerated in Texas and became involved in organizing with the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and participated in the 2016 nationwide prison strikes, gaining notoriety. Malik came to play a prominent role in the prison movement and was in 2020 released to a halfway house in San Francisco after a surprising parole from Texas and brief stint in Federal prison. Malik helped to run the SF Bay View upon release but has since left. I think a lot of facts on this still need clarification, but some things just don’t add up with Malik’s situation.”

General Prison News

At Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Indiana, Kwame Shakur and Scott Snyder have launched a hunger strike. Kwame has been held in solitary confinement since 2016, and his demands are to restore in-person visitation for all prisoners, along with the restoration of hygiene and commissary, and that all prisoners be given access to outdoor recreation. Scott Snyder has requested proper hygiene, cold showers and visitation to be reinstated.

In California, Kijana Tashiri Askari, Chairperson of the WL Nolen Mentorship Program, is launching a new Strategic Release for Elders Campaign. For more information about the campaign and how you can help, you can contact Kijana directly at:

Bro. Kijana Tashiri Askari,
(s/n Marcus Harrison),

CDCR# H-5077, Cell:#108,

(S.V.S.P.) Salinas Valley State Prison,

P.O. BOX 1050,

SOLEDAD CA. 93960-1050

To contact outside organizers who work with Kijana and the WL Nolen Mentorship Program, you can try contacting Central Texas ABC at [email protected] or True Leap Press at [email protected].

Recent episodes of Kite Line Radio include a twopart series on the campaign to close Rosie’s, a women’s jail on Riker’s Island, another twoparter on the prison phone industry, and a rebroadcast of a historic interview with Attica rebel Frank “Big Black” Smith.

International News

ABC Belarus continue to publish their regular monthly repression updates. Major developments are that anarchist Sergey Romanov has been sentenced to one year in jail, while anarchist blogger Mikola Dziadok has been given five years. A new statement from Mikola has just been translated:

“In general, the verdict did not cause me much emotion. I remembered that when I was tried the first time in 2011 and the second time in 2015, I was very nervous. That wasn’t the case now… I am trying to get into a mindset and train myself to look at it on a completely different level. Then you realize that your sentence is just an episode of a colossal historical process. I try not to separate my fate from that of my country and the anarchist movement. And when you think about it like that, everything is seen in a completely different light. Any sentence doesn’t seem so daunting anymore.”

The Final Straw has recently broadcast a new interview on the Russian political landscape and the situation of anarchist prisoners there. When discussing the “Network” case, it’s worth mentioning that the Dresden Anarchist Black Cross published a critical article on the “Network” case last year, discussing aspects of the situation that are not widely known among non-Russian audiences.

In Greece, a court has just thrown out the attempt to frame two anarchists for the killing of a drug dealer in Athens. For more background on the case, you can watch the new documentary “As Ordered,” in Greek but with English subtitles, about the history that led up to the case and the Greek state’s attempt to use the drug trade to damage autonomous movements.

Elsewhere in Greece, Vangelis Stathopoulos, sentenced to 19 years after a wrongful conviction, has now had an appeal scheduled for February 2022.

The International Antifascist Defense Fund has updates from recent antifascist trials in Europe. In Lyons, France, a case against seven antifascists ended with three acquitted on all charges, two being given a small fine after being convicted on minor charges, and two more being given one-month suspended sentences for refusal to cooperate with the police. In Stuttgart, Germany, two antifascists have just been given harsh sentences averaging at five years each.

Former US political prisoner Barrett Brown has now been convicted for causing distress to police officers by helping to hold a “Kill Cops” banner at a demonstration in London. As an article in Freedom News explores, the prosecution was partly driven by outrage from left and liberal social media commentators, who, echoing the attempts to blame the George Floyd uprising on undercover officers and CIA agents selling fireworks, denounced Brown as an undercover agent for using a slogan they disapproved of, while happily amplifying messaging coming from right-wing troll Andy Ngo.

As the Freedom writer concludes:

“Look after your mates, learn about the history of the movement, the tactics of the enemy, view situations critically, use small affinity groups, and if someone goes to federal prison for four years for revealing the tactics that government contracted security firms use against activists, don’t cop-jacket them and call on Priti Patel to deport them because Andy Ngô told you to.”

Another former political prisoner, Jock Palfreeman, has recently done a speaking tour of the UK. You can listen to him discussing his experiences, including the twelve years he spent in the Bulgarian prison system after intervening to prevent a racist attack, in the interviews he recorded with 12 Rules for What and Football Lads and Lasses Against Fascism.

Uprising Defendants

Everyone should support the defendants facing charges related to their alleged participation in the George Floyd uprising – this list of our imprisoned comrades needs to be getting shorter, not longer. See Uprising Support for more info. The status of pre-trial defendants changes frequently, but to the best of our knowledge they currently include:

Isaiah Willoughby 49960-086
FDC SeaTac Federal Detention Center
PO Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

Desmond David-Pitts 49970-086 (may be due to be released shortly)
FCI Sheridan
PO Box 5000
Sheridan, OR 97378

Kelly Jackson 50288-086
FCI Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 5000
Sheridan, OR 97378

Tyre Means 49981-086
USP Beaumont
PO BOX 26030
Beaumont, TX 77720

Montez Lee
Sherburne County Jail
13880 Business Center Dr. NW
Suite 200
Elk River, MN 55330-1692

Matthew White #21434-041
USP McCreary
P.O. Box 3000
Pine Knot, KY 42635

José Felan
Sherburne County Jail
13880 Business Center Dr.
NW Suite 200 Elk River, MN 55330-1692

Matthew Rupert
Sherburne County Jail
13880 Business Center Dr. NW
Suite 200 Elk River, MN 55330-1692

David Elmakayes 77782-066
FDC Philadelphia
PO BOX 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

You can donate to David’s legal funds here.

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal 70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
PO BOX 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Andrew Augustyniak-Duncan 176417
Allegheny County Jail
950 2nd Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Christopher West 161218
Allegheny County Jail
950 Second Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

You can also buy fundraiser clothing for Christopher “Brother Hush” West here.

Lavier Pounds 194234
Allegheny County Jail
950 2nd Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Alvin Joseph 99529156 (POSTCARDS ONLY)
Gwinnett Co Jail
2900 University Parkway
Lawrenceville, GA 30043

Develcho Waller 73223019
Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility
PO BOX 730
Lovejoy, GA 30250

Judah Bailey 73219019
Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility
PO BOX 730
Lovejoy, GA 30250

Ellie Brett 14822509
Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility
PO BOX 730
Lovejoy, GA 30250

John Wade 14762509
Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility
PO BOX 730
Lovejoy, GA 30250

Joseph Jett 1910905 (POSTCARDS ONLY)
Clayton County Jail
9157 Tara Boulevard
Jonesboro, GA 30250

Shamar Betts
Champaign County Jail
204 E. Main St.
Urbana IL 61801

Andrew Carlisle 1902379
C/O Securus Digital Media Center- Fulton County Jail
PO Box 989
Lebanon, MO

Dashun Martin 73222019
Metropolitan Detention Center
PO BOX 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90053

Andrew Garcia-Smith 02324-509
FCI Williamsburg
PO Box 340
Salters, SC 29590

Upcoming Birthdays

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

Rashid has been an outspoken revolutionary prisoner for years and is highly active with the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, facing harsh repression for his organizing and position as one of the public faces of the prison strike movement.

Virginia uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search,” then selecting “State: Virginia, Inmate ID: 1007485.”

Birthday: December 3

Address:

Kevin Johnson 1007485
Nottaway Correctional Centre
2892 Schutt Road
Burkeville, VA
23922

Fred “Muhammad” Burton

Fred Burton is one of the Philly 5, a group of men accused of an alleged attack on a police station that left one officer killed. He was sentenced to a life term for murder. Burton has maintained his innocence since his arrest. His preferred name is Muhammad, but envelopes should be addressed to Fred Burton.

Pennsylvania uses Connect Network/GTL, so you can contact him online by going to connectnetwork.com, selecting “Add a facility,” choosing “State: Pennsylvania, Facility: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections,” going into the “messaging” service, and then adding him as a contact by searching his name or “AF3896.”

Birthday: December 15

Address:

Smart Communications/PA DOC
Fred Burton
AF3896
SCI Somerset
Post Office Box 33028
St Petersburg, Florida
33733

Alejandro Rodriguez-Ortiz

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Alejandro in relation to the uprising, all Vaughn-related prisoners continue to be targets for retaliation. Years later, these prisoners are still being abused for staying in solidarity with one another against the state.

Pennsylvania uses Connect Network/GTL, so you can contact him online by going to connectnetwork.com, selecting “Add a facility,” choosing “State: Pennsylvania, Facility: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections,” going into the “messaging” service, and then adding him as a contact by searching his name or “NW2883.”

Birthday: December 17

Address:

Smart Communications/PADOC
Alejandro Rodriguez-Ortiz, NW2883
SCI Coal Township
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

Julio A. Zuniga

Julio “Comrade Z” Zuniga is an anarchist prisoner, writer, artist, and IWW/IWOC member held in Texas. You can see some of his work at his instagram page, and check Mongoose Distro for some of his writings.

Birthday: December 23

Address:

Note: Texas prisons have now banned all greeting cards and postcards. As Texas uses Jpay, you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search,” then selecting “State: Texas, Inmate ID: 1961551.” Or to send him a letter on standard white paper that complies with Texas restrictions, write to:

Julio A. Zuniga #1961551
Memorial Unit
59 Darrington Road
Rosharon, Texas 77583

Casey Brezik

Anarchist prisoner serving time in Missouri.

Missouri uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search,” then selecting “State: Missouri, Inmate ID: 1154765.”

Birthday: December 30

Address:

Casey Brezik #1154765
Jefferson City Correctional Center
8200 No More Victims Road
Jefferson City, Missouri
65101

Noah “Comrade Kado” Coffin

Anarchist prisoner and artist being held in long-term solitary confinement in Texas, and regular contributor to the Fire Ant zine. Noah now has an instagram page you can check out here, and his writings are published by Mongoose Distro.

Birthday: December 30

Address:

Note: Texas prisons have now banned all greeting cards and postcards. As Texas uses Jpay, you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search,” then selecting “State: Texas, Inmate ID: 1795167.” Or to send him a letter on standard white paper that complies with Texas restrictions, write to:

Noah Coffin #1795167
Ellis Unit
1697 FM 980
Huntsville, TX 77343

You can also write to the Fire Ant Collective, who’ve set up a fund to support him, at:

Noah Coffin Fund
c/o Fire Ant
PO Box 164
Harmony, ME 04942

Jonathan Rodriguez

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Jonathan in relation to the uprising, all Vaughn-related prisoners continue to be targets for retaliation. More than three years later, these prisoners are still being abused for staying in solidarity with one another against the state.

Pennsylvania uses Connect Network/GTL, so you can contact him online by going to connectnetwork.com, selecting “Add a facility,” choosing “State: Pennsylvania, Facility: Pennsylvania Department of Corrections,” going into the “messaging” service, and then adding him as a contact by searching his name or “NU0434.”

Birthday: December 31

Address:

Smart Communications / PA DOC
Jonathan Rodriguez – NU0434
SCI Phoenix
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL, 33733

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Source: Itsgoingdown.org