May 1, 2022
From It's Going Down
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Happy May Day! Welcome to your monthly installment of In Contempt.

We’ve got lots of important updates on political prisoners, George Floyd defendants, and news of repression and prisoners from across the world. As always there’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.

Political Prisoner News

Once again, it’s been a big month for Eric King, as his victory in court at the end of March was swiftly followed by the BOP deciding to transfer him to USP Lee, a maximum-security prison where white supremacist prisoners have made active threats against his life. Amnesty International have now written to the BOP about Eric’s case, and you can learn more about the ongoing call-in campaign from this Unicorn Riot coverage. Kite Line was also able to broadcast a pair of interviews with Eric’s lawyer, Lauren Regan, as “Wall of Silence” and “Eric King’s Trials.”

Also, a new zine of poetry and art from Eric and his supporters has just been released, you can read it online here or order printed copies from the publishers here.

Green Scare defendant Joseph Dibee has taken a plea deal, pleading guilty to three charges, in what appears to be a non-cooperating deal. Indigenous political prisoner Oso Blanco has been moved to solitary, in what seems to be retaliation against indigenous prisoners at USP Victorville organizing for their religious rights.

Antifascist political prisoner Dan Baker still has a lot of books listed on his wishlist, and Mongoose Distro have recently published three articles by him, as “Current Events”, “Neo-Anarchism” and “A Message from Dan Baker.”

Closing off this section, news from two ongoing prisoner support projects: the call for this year’s June 11 International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason & All Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners is now up, and the Certain Days calendar collective have put out a call for submissions for the 2023 calendar, with a deadline of June 14.

Uprising Defendants

It’s Going Down has a new report from the ongoing repression in Pittsburgh against uprising defendants, and the Pittsburgh NLG have more analysis on that subject here. Seattle defendant Isaiah Willoughby, who was recently interviewed by Kite Line Radio, has now been released, while Philadelphia defendant Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal has now pleaded guilty to two charges of obstructing law enforcement.

Also, Portland area prisoner Malik Muhammad has now been sentenced to 10 years, the longest of any George Floyd uprising defendant. Supporters are being asked to help support Malik’s family and follow his support crew.

Texas

There’s a whole lot of news from the hellish Texas prison system. To start off with organizing and resistance news, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee website now has a report up about the wobblies filing a class action lawsuit against the Texas prison system, and Mongoose Distro has new articles up from Texas anarchist/IWW prisoners Comrade Z and Jamon N. Hestand. It’s Going Down has a report from TX TEAM ONE and the Texas Liberation Collective, who are organizing a Juneteenth Freedom Initiative, and the End Ad Seg Texas facebook page is asking Texas prisoners and their allies to send in their stories of abuse by the system.

Recent media coverage of the Texas prison system has included a Scottish judge refusing to extradite a suspect to Texas on the grounds that conditions there are in breach of international human rights standards, a prisoner burning to death in his cell at the Beto Unit, and a report from the Intercept on deadly heat inside Texas prisons, an issue that will only continue to get worse as climate change intensifies.

North Carolina

During July of 2021, people incarcerated at Alexander Correctional Institution in Taylorsville, NC issued a petition demanding the restoration of their rec time, an end to racist brutality by C.O.s, and reforms of the grievance process. Since then, folks have been taking action to uplift these demands, both inside and outside the prison walls. On the inside, incarcerated organizers have continued to document instances of abuse and brutality like this one, which will be included in a forthcoming zine about conditions at Alexander, and, in February of 2022, several people at Alexander went on hunger strike. While most of the original hunger strikers have been transferred away from Alexander, others have taken up this tactic, especially in ICON (segregation).

Meanwhile, activists on the outside have staged protests to deliver the petition to the NCDPS Division of Prisons headquarters in Raleigh, NC and western district office in Valdese, NC, as well as organizing phone zaps to both of these offices and to NC Sen. Bob Steinburg, the chair of the NC Senate Select Committee on Prison Safety. To find out more, follow Solidarity Beyond the Walls on Twitter @SolidarityWalls or email them at [email protected]

General Abolitionist Media

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson has recently published an article calling for the release of Shawn “Flip” Joyner, a Virginia prisoner who suffers from brain cancer, as well as helping to publish an article by Kofi Donkur, an East Coast Blood leader, exposing how the prison system manipulates and manufactures racial and gang conflicts.

WNYC Radio recently ran a story on a group of jazz musicians who have come together to highlight the story of Lucasville prisoner Keith LaMar/Bomani Shakur.

Stevie Morris is an imprisoned anarchist writer and artist who’s looking to make more outside connections, you can see a sample of his work here:

View post on imgur.com

Stevie’s contact details are:
Stevie Morris #K84139
Salinas Valley State Prison
P.O. Box 1050, 07-114
Soledad, CA 93960

Formerly incarcerated writer Keri Blakinger has a new book coming out soon, Corrections in Ink, and is fundraising to get as many copies as possible sent in to prisons and jails before it gets banned. Prisons Kill have a new interview up on the struggle to free New York prisoner Dr. Al-Fatah Stewart, who has now been held pre-trial for three years, and you can donate to his legal funds here.

Recent episodes of Kite Line Radio have included an episode on poisoned water in California, and a new conversation about plea bargaining, which marks their 300th episode.

International

In France, anarchist prisoner Libre Flot has now been freed from pre-trial detention after 37 days on hunger strike. The International Antifascist Defense Fund has been busy, helping out with the cases of an antifascist group banned by the state in Lyon, France, Belarussian antifascists facing heavy state repression, activists in the Netherlands facing charges for an action against the border regime, and antifascists facing charges in West Attica, Greece for clashes with Golden Dawn and other far-right groups. There are at least two legal fundraisers currently running in Greece, one for the West Attica antifascists and another for anarchists in Messolonghi facing charges after an action against Makis Voridis, a prominent politician with a background on the far-Right.

Recent articles from Belarus ABC have included one about the repression against antifascists in Mozyr, a report on the “Pramen case” where four anarchists have just been convicted of membership in an extremist organization, an interview with Pramen case defendant Zhenya Rubashko, and a general round-up of the last month’s news. In recent weeks, the Belarussian state has also launched a new wave of repression against trade unionists.

The “Kill the Bill” trials continue in Bristol, UK, where another defendant, Charli Mae, has just been convicted of riot, and another trial starts on May 3rd. The mother of Mariella Gedge-Rogers, another defendant who’s just been given a five and a half year sentence, has just given a new interview about the case.

A new interview has been published with British anarchist prisoner Toby Shone, who’s still fighting the attempt to impose a new “Serious Crime Prevention Order” that will control his movements after his release. The application for the order is due to be heard on May 6.

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, and check out the Antirepression PDX site for updates from Portland cases. The status of pre-trial defendants changes frequently, but to the best of our knowledge they currently include:

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

Malik Muhammad #825999
Currently being transferred

Jacob Michael Gaines #81973-065
FCI Sheridan
P.O. BOX 5000
Sheridan, OR  97378

Jacob asks that people include an email address associated with their corrlinks account so he can return an email instead of a letter.

Montez Lee 22429-041
FCI Ray Brook
Federal Correctional Institution
PO Box 900
Ray Brook, NY 12977

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

Matthew Rupert #55013-424
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

Branden Wolf #22425-041
FCI Oxford
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 1000
Oxford, WI  53952

Dylan Robinson 45802-013
USP Leavenworth
P.O. BOX 1000
LEAVENWORTH, KS  66048

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

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

Andrew Augustyniak-Duncan
2016-0021433
100 W. Cherry Ave.
Washington, PA 15301

Christopher West 04670-509
USP Canaan
U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 300
Waymart, PA 18472

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

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

Alvin Joseph
Updated address coming soon

Shamar Betts 22080-043
FCI Hazelton Federal Correction Inst.
P.O. Box 5000
Bruceton Mills, WV 26525

Diego Vargas 55070-424
In transit

Adam Walton 55322-424
FCI Forrest City Medium
PO Box 3000
Forest City, AR 72336

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

Kyree Robertson #597000
Parnall Correctional Facility
1780 E. Parnall Rd.
Jackson, MI 49201

Chase Vladimir Spencer
Kent County Correctional Facility
703 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Howard Eugene Nall
Kent County Correctional Facility
703 Ball Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Antonio Wooden 17569-028 (Tony Cushe)
FCI McDowell
PO Box 1009
Welch, WV 24801

Upcoming Birthdays

Xinachtli (Alvaro Luna Hernandez)

Xinachtli (Nahuatl, meaning “seed”) is an anarchist-communist community organizer and Chicano movement revolutionary from Texas. Police informants were used to monitor Xinachtli’s organizing activities in the barrio. They were told Xinachtli was “typing legal papers,” “had many books” and was working on police brutality cases in Alpine. The police knew of Xinachtli’s history of community-based organizing and his legal skills. Xinachtli was recognized nationally and internationally as the national coordinator of the Ricardo Aldape Guerra Defense Committee, which led the struggle to free Mexican national Aldape Guerra from Texas’ death row after being framed by Houston police for allegedly killing a cop. Xinachtli’s human rights work was recognized in Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico and other countries. He was sentenced in Odessa, Texas on June 2-9, 1997 to 50 years in prison for defending himself by disarming a police officer drawing a weapon on him. The trial evidence clearly showed Xinachtli was the victim of witch hunts and a police-orchestrated conspiracy to frame or eliminate him.

To learn more, you can listen to this interview he did with the Final Straw.

Birthday: May 12

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: 255735”. Or to send him a letter on standard white paper that complies with Texas restrictions, write to:

Alvaro Luna Hernandez #255735
W.G. McConnell Unit,
3001 Emily Drive,
Beeville, Texas 78102

Thomas Meyer-Falk

In 1996, Thomas was sentenced to eleven and a half years for a bank robbery carried out to fund political projects. Because of his strong beliefs, he’s been subject to very harsh repression – kept in solitary, daily cell raids, suppression and censorship of mail, no access to education. In 2007, he was finally been moved out of solitary and was able to participate in education and other activities. He has applied for parole on a number of occasions since then but has always been turned down. At the end of June 2013, the District Court of Karlsruhe decided that Thomas was still a “danger” to the community and he is now being held in preventive detention.

Birthday: May 15

Address:

Thomas Meyer-Falk
JVA (Sicherungsverwahrungs-Abteilung)
Hermann-Herder-Str. 8
D-79104 Freiburg
Germany

John-Paul Wootton

John-Paul Wootton is a vegan anarchist prisoner and IWW/IWOC member, wrongfully convicted of the murder of a police officer in the “Craigavon 2” case, after a trial before a “Diplock” court, a secret military court with no jury. The case has been supported as a miscarriage of justice by high profile campaigners, legal experts & human rights activists. The prosecution used discredited witnesses, inconclusive forensics, and tampered evidence to secure a conviction that does not stand up to scrutiny. Security services destroyed evidence, intimidated witnesses and defence lawyers. Following his wrongful conviction, he attempted to appeal, but his defense campaign was infiltrated and sabotaged by an undercover agent working for the British state.

For more information about John-Paul and the Craigavon 2 case, you can read this interview he did with IWOC Ireland, watch the short film “Was Justice Done in Craigavon?”, and see the new Justice for the Craigavon 2 website.

UK prisoners can be emailed using emailaprisoner.com

Birthday: May 15

Address:

John Paul Wootton
Maghaberry Prison,
17 Old Road
Lisburn
BT28 2PT
Northern Ireland

Brendan McConville

Brendan McConville is the other defendant in the Craigavon 2 case, wrongfully convicted of the murder of a police officer alongside John-Paul Wootton.

UK prisoners can be emailed using emailaprisoner.com

Birthday: May 19

Address:

Brendan McConville
Maghaberry Prison,
17 Old Road
Lisburn
BT28 2PT
Northern Ireland

Abednego Baynes

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. Baynes was found innocent of all charges in relation to the uprising, but he has still been punished with a move out of state, and deserves respect and support for staying in solidarity with his codefendants throughout the process and refusing to cooperate with the prosecution. You can read more about Baynes in his own words here.

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 “NT0594”.

Birthday: May 20

Address:

Smart Communications/PADOC
Abednego Baynes, NT0594
SCI Mahanoy
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

Diego Vargas

Diego Vargas is a George Floyd uprising defendant who has been given a five-year Federal prison sentence for property destruction during a demonstration on June 1, 2020.

The Federal system uses Corrlinks, a system where a prisoner must send a request to connect to someone on the outside before they can exchange emails, so if you’re not already connected to Diego then you’re best off just sending him a card or a letter.

Birthday: May 26

Address:

Diego Vargas 55070-424
At time of writing, Diego is at
FTC Oklahoma City
P.O. BOX 898801
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73189
However, this is a transfer center, and so he is likely to be moved soon – check by searching his inmate number on the BOP inmate locator before sending anything.

Kojo Bomani Sababu (Grailing Brown)

Kojo Bomani Sababu is a New Afrikan Prisoner of War serving a 55 year sentence. Kojo was captured on December 19th 1975 along with anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation. He was subsequently charged with conspiracy for an alleged plan to use rockets, hand grenades and a helicopter in an attempt to free Puerto Rican Prisoner of War Oscar Lopez Rivera from the federal prison where he was serving.

The Federal system, where Kojo is held, uses Corrlinks, a system where a prisoner must send a request to connect to someone on the outside before they can exchange emails, so if you’re not already connected to Kojo then you’re best off just sending him a card or a letter.

Birthday: May 27

Address:

Kojo Bomani Sababu* #39384-066
USP Canaan
Smart Communications
PO Box 30
Pinellas Park, Florida 33781

*Address envelope to Grailing Brown

Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar)

Bomani Shakur is on death row awaiting execution after being convicted of involvement in the 1993 Lucasville Uprising. If you’d like to learn more about Bomani and his perspectives, We Want Bomani Shakur Free!: A Zine Commemorating RAM’s Month of Action for Bomani, which was put together by True Leap Press, is a great place to start.

Ohio uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: Ohio, Inmate ID: 317117”.

Birthday: May 31

Address:

Keith LaMar, #317117
OSP
878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road
Youngstown, OH 4450

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Source: Itsgoingdown.org