October 1, 2021
From It's Going Down
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In this month’s column, we roundup the recent #ShutEmDown actions, Running Down the Walls events, and offer updates on ongoing hunger strikes, political prisoners like Eric King, resistance at the border as the settler-State brutally cracks down on Haitian migrants, and we also bring you an updated list of political prisoner birthdays and defendants facing repression in the wake of the George Floyd uprising. Let’s get into it.

Shut Em Down 2021 and Week of Solidarity

It’s Going Down now has a complete list of the Shut Em Down 2021 actions that marked the 50th anniversary of the Attica uprising. Michigan Abolition and Prisoner Solidarity also have a detailed report from the actions there, which also commemorated the fifth anniversary of the Kinross Uprising.

The Shut Em Down actions also coincided with the international week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners. Along with the events listed in the previous edition of In Contempt, this week was also marked by a writing workshop in Koblenz, Germany, graffiti in Montevideo, Uruguay, an event in Helsinki, Finland, wheatpasted posters in Costo de Oro, Uruguay, a banner in Exarchia Square in Athens, Greece, and a gathering in the Black Forest, Germany.

Running Down the Walls

September also saw the annual Running Down the Walls event held by Anarchist Black Cross chapters to raise money for political prisoners. You can read a reportback from New York’s event here, and Unicorn Riot have a report from the Philadelphia event.

Migrants Revolt Against Detention and Deportations

The Biden regime has faced increasing criticism in recent weeks for continuing with Trump-era policies of mass deportation and border militarisation, and those most affected by the policies have been staging their own forms of resistance. TruthOut reports that at least a hundred people are on hunger strike at the Glades County Detention Center, a Florida immigration jail where many Haitians are held. Meanwhile in Texas, Haitian migrants being transported into custody were able to seize control of a bus and escape, although it is reported that they were recaptured. See the new text, Break the Borders from It’s Going Down, for more on this situation.

Political Prisoner News

Anarchist prisoner Eric King’s evidence hearing date has been set for October 12th in Denver. There’s a new appeal for people to help support the campaign to free Black Liberation prisoner Sundiata Acoli. Perilous Chronicle have a report up on recent developments in the Dakota Access Pipeline case, where one defendant has withdrawn her guilty plea, but appears to be attempting to shift blame onto her co-defendant, other organizers and the Civil Liberties Defense Center.

Vaughn 17

Vaughn 17 prisoner Kevin Berry is getting out, and Philly Anti-Repression are holding a fundraiser to help support him upon his release. You can read a previous statement from Kevin here.

Ohio

The Prisons Kill project have released a new podcast interview with Lucasville prisoner Greg Curry. Prison organizer Kevin “Rashid” Johnson continues to face harassment after his own transfer to Ohio and Lucasville, and has described his situation in articles such as “Imprisoned in Sundown Towns: The Racial Politics of My Domestic Exile” and “In Answer to Pig Harassment; Keep the Heat On ‘Em!” Rashid’s comrades have also released a statement describing the harassment and threats he has been facing, and former political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim has called for Rashid’s immediate transfer.

A new project, ODRC Watch, is being set up to attempt to monitor and oppose these abuses.

Exiled Ohio anarchist prisoner Sean Swain has also been busy – after his parole was rejected at the end of August, he has begun fundraising for a legal challenge to the parole board, and a “Swainiac Fest 2021” is being organized in Toledo, Ohio, to help raise funds for his legal costs. You can learn more about Sean’s situation on this recent episode of This is America on It’s Going Down.

Oregon

The following report was submitted anonymously from FCI Sheridan in Oregon:

They lied about one of their guards being exposed to covid to get us all locked down bc they had that inspection coming up with all the lawyers. the warden said after our tests come back hed let us back out. our tests came back twice for being negative of covid, but they still didnt let us out. they went from 30 mins every other day and we wernt down with that so we all stopped accepting trays through our slots and refused to come out for that petty time, the warden was so pissed they came in the unit 3 days in a row to negotiate with us, the third day they offered us 4 hours per day everyday then one day a week outside for rec, which we ultimately agreed to through major consensus but we wanted more, we were out all day before that whole bs routine they pulled infront of the lawyers and investigators handling the lawsuit, but fuck it its better than 30 minutes every other day which was tough.

Prisoners at FCI Sheridan were on strike for 3 days after the guard supposedly tested positive. Apparently guards blasted them with the AC and brought in cake to try and shake the strike. They didn’t yield and then decided to compromise on the 3rd day.

Indiana

IDOC Watch have a report on a new crackdown where over 100 heavily armed officers were sent into the solitary confinement Secure Housing Unit (SHU) at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, and have also recorded an interview with prisoner Kwame “Beans” Shakur discussing this new crackdown. They are currently appealing for anyone with contacts inside the Indiana prison system to get in touch so they can work out how this crackdown is affecting people and how it’s being resisted.

They’ve also held an event discussing the case of Indiana prisoner Chris Trotter, which is available to watch as a video. Mr. Trotter is serving a 142 year sentence for convictions arising from the 1985 rebellion against white supremacist guard brutality at Pendleton Correctional Facility, when Mr. Trotter and others prevented guards from beating a well loved Black jailhouse lawyer to death.

Texas

Texas Team One have released a short statement giving an update on the Allred Unit hunger strike.

Minnesota

Perilous Chronicle has a report on the growing resistance among detainees held in the Minnesota Sex Offenders Program, a supposed treatment program that holds people for indefinite sentences, with many detainees serving effective life sentences.

Colorado

A queer and trans comrade needs funds for legal defense after Denver Police attacked a radical Pride march. Funds are to be sent to nopoliceatpride on Venmo.

Alabama

Alabama anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble has been transferred to Donaldson Correctional Facility, and comrades are encouraged to write to him at his new address.

California

IWOC organizer and former prisoner Keith “Malik” Washington has a new article looking at the legacy of the historic 2016 prison strikes and honoring the work of Jamillia Land and Samuel N Brown.

New York

Local police have launched a crackdown on Black Lives Matter activists in Saratoga Springs. You can read more about the repression here, and find ways to support Saratoga BLM on their linktree.

Mexico

In Mexico, indigenous prisoner Adrián Gómez Jiménez has finally been freed, and Marcelino Ruiz Gómez, another indigenous prisoner, has released a statement condemning recent attacks against the Zapatista movement.

Abolitionist Media Projects

Recent episodes of the Final Straw Radio show have included one on the fight against the execution of Ernest Johnson in Missouri, a panel discussion hosted by Oakland Abolition and Solidarity bringing prison organizers together, and the Tilted Scales Collective discussing their new book aimed at lawyers defending radical clients. Meanwhile, Kite Line Radio has broadcast a threepart series marking the fiftieth anniversary of the Attica Uprising, as well as an episode discussing a successful campaign against jail expansion in Monroe County, Indiana. A new issue of the anarchist prison journal Fire Ant has also just been released.

International

Some of the most dramatic prison resistance this month has come from Palestine, where six prisoners dug a tunnel and escaped from an Israeli prison. The Palestinian political prisoner solidarity network Samidoun has a number of articles on the case, including “Freedom Tunnel prisoners recount their drive for liberation” and “The light of the Freedom Tunnel shines toward liberation: Occupation forces seize Munadil Naf’at and Ayham Kamamji in Jenin.”

Freedom News has a report from Russia, where two anarchists have been given prison terms of at least two years for dropping a banner in support of other anarchists facing repression. ABC Belarus continue to publish their regular monthly updates on the situation with repression there.

In the UK, prosecutions are continuing after a riot in Bristol, with Dylan Dunne being given four months in prison for stealing a police officer’s hat, and court demonstrations planned to coincide with the start of an upcoming trial. A statement has also been released concerning the situation of Toby Shone, who is facing terrorism charges connected to the insurrectionist website 325.

In Greece, two anarchists are facing potential life sentences as the state is trying to link them to the killing of a drug dealer in Exarchia, and some of their comrades have painted graffiti on the Justice Minister’s office in response. In Germany, one antifascist is facing charges connected to a confrontation with far-Right conspiracy theorists, and four more antifascist comrades are standing trial in Dresden as part of the “Antifa Ost” case.

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. 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
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

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, Imam

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly H. Rap Brown, was a legendary black liberation leader, serving as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and later the Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party. Wrongfully convicted of murder in the 1990s after an intense campaign of state harassment.

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 Imam Jalil then you’re best off just sending him a card or a letter.

Birthday: October 4

Address:

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin #99974-555
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734
United States

David Gilbert

David Gilbert is a longtime anti-imperialist and current member of the Certain Days collective. He became active around the civil rights movement in 1960, and later organized against the Vietnam War. He spent 10 years as part of an underground resistance to imperialism. Working as an anti-racist ally of the Black Liberation Army in 1981, David and others were captured in connection with an attempted expropriation (theft for political reasons) of a Brink’s truck in Nyack, NY.

David was sentenced to 75 years to life. In 1986, David became active as an advocate and educator around AIDS in prison after his codefendant Kuwasi Balagoon died suddenly of AIDS while still in custody. In September 2021, on his final day in office, Gov. Andrew Cuomo commuted David Gilbert’s sentence, making him eligible for parole. His parole hearing has been scheduled.

The New York system uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: New York, Inmate ID: 83A6158”.

Birthday: October 6

Address:

David Gilbert #83-A-6158
Shawangunk Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 700
Wallkill, New York 12589

Jennifer Rose

Jennifer Amelia Rose (previously known as Jennifer Gann)
is an anti-authoritarian trans woman and insurrectionist amazon held captive for over 25 years for armed robberies and a 1995 attack on a district attorney and associate prison warden. She took part in the 1991 Folsom Prison hunger strike, after which she was beaten and tortured, convicted for armed resistance, and sentenced to multiple 25-to-life sentences under the Three Strikes Law. She has spent over ten years in solitary confinement at Folsom and the Pelican Bay Secure Housing Unit. Despite all of this, Jennifer continues to struggle for freedom, remaining a committed anti-authoritarian, anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-fascist, and anti-capitalist. For more information, you can listen to this recent interview she did with the Final Straw.

California uses Jpay, so you can send her a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: California, Inmate ID: E23852”.

Birthday: October 6

Address:

Jennifer Amelia Rose #E-23852
Salinas Valley State Prison
P. O. Box 1050
Soledad, CA 93960-1050

Malik Bey (Meral Smith)

Malik is one of the Virgin Island 5 serving 8 consecutive life sentences after being tortured into a false confession then wrongly imprisoned since 2001 when his sentence was vacated.

Malik is in an institution run by CoreCivic, and it appears that you can email him here.

Birthday: October 8

Address:

Meral Smith #19-1874
Citrus County Detention Facility
2604 W. Woodland Ridge Dr.
Lecanto, FL 34461
United States

Kenny Zulu Whitmore

Kenny Zulu Whitmore is a former Black Panther, wrongfully held for over 45 years, over 30 of which were spent in solitary confinement. You can read more about Zulu’s case here.

Louisiana uses JPay, so you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: Louisiana, Inmate ID: 86468”.

Birthday: October 14

Address:

Kenny Zulu Whitmore
86468 – Cypress#2
LA State Prison
Angola, LA 70712

Alexander Kozlyanko

Anarchist from Brest. Detained on 2 March 2021 on suspicion of involvement in a criminal organisation of anarchists and gross violation of public order (Articles 285 and 342 of the Criminal Code). Allegedly he was involved in a road blockage in Brest in May 2018: anarchists then blocked three lanes of the M1 motorway, opposing the construction of a battery plant.

Belarusian prisons will usually only accept letters in Belarusian or Russian, so if you don’t speak one of those languages your best bet is to email your message to belarus_abc(AT)riseup.net or use this online form and they should be able to translate your greetings and pass them on.

Birthday: October 15

Address:

(Belarusian or Russian letters only – use this form for English messages)

SIZO-1, ul. Volodarskogo 2, Minsk, 220030
Alexander Kozlyanko

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal is a community care worker from Philadelphia and pre-trial political prisoner facing charges connected to her alleged participation in the George Floyd Uprising.

Birthday: October 27

Address:

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

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Source: Itsgoingdown.org