June 28, 2021
From It's Going Down
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It’s been a busy month and there’s a lot to catch up on.

In this month’s column, we roundup what all went down on June 11th, offer an analysis of the Biden administration’s recent report on countering domestic terrorism, a roundup by state across the so-called US of repression news, info on current George Floyd rebellion prisoners, prison rebel birthdays, and more news.

Let’s dive in!

June 11th

The international day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners on June 11th was marked by various activities. New statements for the day were released by German anarchist prisoner Thomas Meyer-Falk, Northern Irish anarchist prisoner John Paul Wootton, and Californian trans anarchist prisoner Jennifer Rose, as well as the Civil Liberties Defense Center, who are currently representing Eric King.

Special episodes were produced by the Final Straw Radio, who interviewed people involved in Ferguson prisoner support, the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, and former prisoners Jason and Jeremy Hammond, as well as by the Anews podcast, Jason and Jeremy’s own project Twin Trouble, Kite Line, who had a twopart interview about Eric King’s case, and This Is America, who interviewed Lauren Swain about Sean Swain’s case. In addition, anarchist prisoner zine Fire Ant produced their ninth issue to coincide with June 11th.

Other activities around June 11th included banner drops in Portland, Lowell/Lawrence and Salzburg, and letter writing events in Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis. Elsewhere, there was a poster that was produced in Chile, solidarity actions in both Derry and Belfast in Northern Ireland, posters being wheatpasted up in Montreal, a noise demo in Detroit, a letter-writing and book-packing event in Chicago, a solidarity event in Vienna, a protest outside the Russian consulate in Montreal, an ALF action liberating quails from a farm in England, a film screening, fundraiser and letter-writing event in Cincinnati, a BBQ and movie fundraiser in Philadelphia, a solidarity action in Cincinnati, a wild demo in London, and sabotage actions against Starbucks and Whole Foods in Portland.

Biden Administration Cracks Down on “Extremism”

The Biden administration released a new document on countering domestic terrorism. In a statement sent to In Contempt, one It’s Going Down contributor wrote:

From our read on the document a few things are happening:

  • There is a clear sense in which the administration is signaling priorities, and reorienting those domestically. This is partly due to last year, and the years preceding, but is also signalling a shift in policy away from foreign wars, a la Bush, and into domestic stabilization.
  • The focus on the document is ostensibly centered on the far right, and it speaks of that extensively, but there is a subtext. Within the document there are two reference points, racist extremism and anti-government extremism. Within the anti-government category the feds have often grouped anarchists and anti-state communists in with right wing militias. This grouping reorients the concept of extremism into a politically neutral position. By that I mean that the politics of the “extremist” does not matter, all that is of concern in the designation is non-acceptance of, and resistance to, American capitalist liberal democracy.
  • Thirdly, this reorientation involves some specific action steps outlined in the document. These center around increased resources and opening up communications channels between agencies; the same shit they have been saying since 9/11.

So, what does that all mean?

It seems like this document codifies something that has been discussed since January 6th, namely the drive to increase domestic “counter-terrorism” funding and capability. Within this discourse, and what we need to pay attention to, in the de-politicization of the concept of extremism, and the inclusion of politically disparate tendencies within the same grouping, (for instance: anarchists and far-Right militia listed under “anti-government/anti-authority extremists” and “racially motivated extremists” referring to both Black liberation movements and white nationalists).

The clear intent here is to use outrage about right wing extremism to engage in a campaign to try to force us, and our accomplices, to ground, and out of the position to continue to engage with the wider world. They can’t justify that politically, so there is some clear obfuscation of intent here, and they have been transparent about this over the past series of months.

Documents like this are not prescriptive, and exist in a more abstract and aspirational form. If these documents are then taken and turned into funding allocations, legal maneuvers and new legislation, that is when we really need to be on alert.

Repression Roundup by State

Oregon

The Willamette Valley Abolition Project hosted a phone zap for Stanley “Eagle Eye” Leonard, an Indigenous prisoner in so-called Oregon, who was sent to the hole for 90+ days in retaliation for publishing an article in Critical Resistance’s inside newspaper The Abolitionist among other jailhouse lawyer activities such as lawsuits and grievances. Even though his charges were vacated because they were fraudulent and his due process was violated, he still remains in the hole.

Also in Oregon, the Oregon Prisoner Report continues to regularly publish prisoners’ accounts of their situations, such as a recent report on the COVID situation at Two Rivers Correctional Institution. One Portland defendant from the uprising, Gavaughn Streeter-Hillerich, has now been sentenced to five years for starting a fire in a dumpster.

Georgia

Joseth, a BLM activist from Atlanta who’s currently jailed for a probation violation, is raising funds to assist his partner, who’s been hard hit by the loss of Joseth’s income. Also, the Atlanta Solidarity Fund report that at least one person has been summoned to appear before a Grand Jury in Fulton County. If this affects you or anyone you know, reach out to Atlanta Solidarity Fund, Atlanta Anti-Repression Committee, or a similar group near you for support in getting through this experience.

Michigan

Black Ink has a series of articles up from Ypsilanti, Michigan, where the local community is fighting against a proposal to hire more police officers. The articles include one by H.H. Gonzalez, a community organizer and ex-prisoner who was previously involved in the 2016 Kinross Uprising and subsequent state retaliation.

Texas

In Texas, a prison has been emptied out, with inmates being transferred to other facilities, in order to switch to just holding immigrants, as the state launches a crackdown on migrants called “Operation Lone Star”. Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesperson Jeremy Desel confirmed that the Briscoe Unit, like many other prisons, has no air conditioning. Air conditioning has been an important issue in Texas prisons for a number of years, and the state legislature has just shut down another attempt to require air conditioning in state prisons.

Alabama

Supporters of Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun and the Free Alabama Movement are launching an effort to raise awareness of Bennu’s innocence. Perrion Roberts, one of the witnesses against Bennu at his original trial, has given two interviews to BET that call her credibility into question. Both of the interviews have now been uploaded to the Free Alabama Movement’s youtube channel under the titles “Perrion Roberts: State Witness Appears on VLAD TV and BET+ As Queenpin Snitch” and “A State Witness Appears In VLAD TV and BET+ Interviews: Police Helped Her Convict An Innocent Man

New York

Rylea, a trans anti-fascist activist from Rochester, is facing five years in prison for sharing a publicly available article on Facebook. You can sign a petition calling for her charges to be dropped here, and send her a message of support here.

Missouri

Ferguson prisoner Josh Williams has been held in solitary confinement lockdown conditions since the George Floyd uprising began last year. He recently sent out an email asking for “1. funds cashapp or jpay 2. letters lots of letters 3. media support 4. books/mags 5. pictures of protest and him.”

Send any postal mail to:

Joshua Williams #1292002
Potosi Correctional Center
11593 State Highway O
Mineral Point, MO 63660

More details about how to support Josh can be found here.

Arizona

Loren Reed, a defendant from last summer’s uprising who was recently released after taking a non-cooperating plea deal, has now been taken back into custody after an alleged parole violation. See the link for more details of how to support Loren.

Perilous Chronicle recently released a report on state surveillance of teenage activists in Tucson, and you can read a statement from Tucson Anti-Repression Crew on that report here.

California

Sanyika Shakur, a Black Liberation revolutionary and former politicized prisoner, recently passed away. Shakur’s book, Stand Up, Struggle Forward: New Afrikan Revolutionary Writings On Nation, Class and Patriarchy is published by Kersplebedeb.

Oakland Abolition and Solidarity recently published a report from a lengthy hunger strike at the California Substance Abuse and Treatment Facility, and they’re also mass-producing stickers advertising the Jailhouse Lawyers Speak “Shut Em Down 2021” call to action. Email [email protected] to get yours.

Pennsylvania

We Love Lore have provided a few updates on Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal, who’s now been incarcerated for a year awaiting trial on charges connected to last summer’s uprising. You can see some of her recent art here, and her family were able to visit her for the first time in eight months.

David Elmakayes, another Philadelphia defendant, is trying to raise money for a new lawyer, as the public defender allocated to him is trying to get him to inform. You should be able to donate to his funds via his mother’s CashApp, $NaughtNelly. Contact addresses for both Lore and David are listed below.

North Carolina

In North Carolina, inmates at Bertie CI carried out a successful hunger strike, which won proper cleaning supplies, face masks and soap. In retaliation, the prison sent in their riot squad to attack protesting inmates. An anonymous organizer writes:

Even though we kept things peaceful, the system hates unity, and in retaliation they sent officers to strip us of our property. When we refused, officers on the Prison Emergency Response Team (PERT) hit the unit and forcibly removed and beat some of us. This led to our fellow convicts flooding their cells and refusing cell searches.

It was a small victory in an uphill battle, but through it all it made me proud to see not just blacks but whites as well come together for a common cause that affected all of us. Together we can’t lose, regardless of race or creed, we in this together.

Until every cell is empty, stand up and stay strong.

Colorado

An organizer arrested during an election day march in Denver has been ordered to pay compensation for broken bank windows:

Until restitution is paid in full, our comrade remains on supervised probation and is subjected to potential further charges and possible revocation. In the agreement however, the judge agreed to waive further fees and terminate probation early as soon as the courts get their money.

We’re raising funds to pay off this restitution asap, ensuring a felony-free future for our comrade. Please support us by giving what you can, sharing and boosting this however you’re able!

PayPal.me/acab4qt

Venmo.com/acab4qt

Meanwhile, another Denver organizer is facing ongoing charges after allegedly defending themselves from a fascist who attacked an anti-war rally last year.

Two projects in the region worth mentioning are the Colorado Freedom Fund, a local bail fund, and AnarchyDadFundMe, an alternative crowdfunding project which is hosting various legal and mutual aid fundraisers.

Mexico

June 20-26th was observed as a week of solidarity with Yaqui political prisoner Fidencio Aldama. Marcelino Ruiz Gómez and Adrián Gómez Jiménez, two indigenous Zapatista prisoners in Chiapas, wrote letters of solidarity with Fidencio.

International

ABC Belarus has published an update on repression there, 10 months since the start of the mass protest movement against Lukashenko. Pre-trial anarchist prisoner Natascia Savio has launched a hunger strike in Italy. Barrett Brown, a former US political prisoner, has been arrested in the UK for incitement and public order offenses for allegedly holding a strongly-worded anti-police banner.

Brown’s case provides an important example of the dangers of “badjacketing”, irresponsible speculation about other people being undercover police, as liberals and leftists uncomfortable with militant anti-police messages had initially speculated that Brown and his comrades must be undercover agents. When it became known that Brown was in fact a journalist who’d served prison time for his political activity, not a state agent, some leftists went so far as to ask why he’d been allowed into the country, seemingly finding it easier to imagine a conspiracy between the UK government and an anarchist-leaning US political prisoner than to accept that some people might use forceful language to express dislike of the police.

The topic of state infiltration of movements is a serious one, and anyone who suspects an infiltrator should take their time to do serious research; wild, unsupported public/social media speculation, of the kind that was so widespread last summer, is never helpful and often harmful, to the point where it can be described as a kind of counter-insurgency.

Vaughn 17

The Vaughn 17, the collective of prisoners who came together in the wake of the 2017 Vaughn uprising in Delaware, have issued a statement on abuse, neglect and solitary confinement at Pennsylvania’s SCI-Phoenix prison, and have also put out a new zine of their writings and analysis. A hunger strike aiming to address the issues highlighted has now begun at SCI-Phoenix, with some of the Vaughn 17 being among the participants.

Repression News

Drone Whistleblower Repression

Daniel Hale, a former US Air Force intelligence analyst, has pleaded guilty to violating the Espionage Act by giving journalists information about the US drone program, and is waiting for sentencing in July. He has now been arrested for an alleged breach of his release conditions. You can read more about Daniel’s case and its importance here.

Daniel’s current address is:

Daniel Hale
William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center
2001 Mill Road
Alexandria, VA
22314

Abolitionist Media Projects

Recent episodes of Kite Line Radio have included a packed episode where they featured advice from Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, IDOC Watch on their campaign for mass clemency in Indiana, and Malik Washington on adjusting to life after prison, and one in memory of Cory Cardinal, a Canadian abolitionist organizer who recently passed away. Montreal Counter-Info and Perilous Chronicle have also both featured memorials to Cory.

The Final Straw had a recent episode on abolitionist organizing in Indiana, featuring the campaign to free Leon Benson and IDOC Watch. Abolitionist Media Worldwide have published an article on “Radical Resistance for Prison Abolition” by Comrade Frank Talk, which has been turned into a printable zine by Filler Distro, and the SF Bay View have published a new article from Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Interstate prison transfers as weapons of political repression: My nine years in domestic exile.

Upcoming Events

Occupy ICE PDX have called for July 17th to be a nationwide day of actions against ICE and for the freedom of all immigrant prisoners. July 25th is observed internationally as a day of solidarity with antifascist prisoners.

Further ahead, Jailhouse Lawyers Speak are calling for abolitionist demonstrations under the slogan “Shut ‘Em Down 2021” on August 21st and September 9th. As mentioned above, reach out to Oakland Abolition and Solidarity if you’d like to get stickers to promote the events. Also, various international ABC groups observe August 23rd-30th as a week of solidarity with anarchist prisoners.

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

Tyre Means 49981-086
FDC SeaTac Federal Detention Center
PO Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Bruce Thompson 73220019
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

Loren Reed #36045508
PO Box 6300
Florence, AZ 85132

Birthdays

Gage Halupowski

Gage was arrested at a counter demonstration against a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon on June 29th, 2019 and had been locked up at the local county jail since that day with a high bail. Gage accepted a non-cooperation plea deal, plead guilty to an assault charge, and was sentenced to nearly 6 years in prison.

If you’re looking for different ways to engage with Gage when sitting down to write that first letter, here are a few things to keep in mind – not only is he an anti-fascist but he also is a radical environmentalist and an anarchist. So, discussing history,  politics or the ideologies of those movements as well could be a good place to start. He is also a fan of the fantasy novel series, The Wheel of Time and looks forward to reading all 12 books in the series while he’s in, so if you’ve read those or would like to he’d love to discuss them with you.

Oregon 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 Gage then you’re best off just sending him a card or a letter.

Birthday: July 1

Address:

Gage Halupowski #21894460
Snake River Correctional Institution
777 Stanton Blvd.
Ontario, OR 97914-83305
United States

Acre

Acre is one of the Yellow Finch tree-sitters, being held on charges related to their alleged participation in resistance to the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Birthday: July 8

Address:

Acre*
Smart Communications-Western Virginia Regional Jail
Alexander Lowe #00-24143
3735 Franklin Road SW, #275
Roanoke, Virginia 24014-2260
*Address envelope to Alexander Lowe

Corey Smith

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the state has now dropped its attempts to criminalize Corey Smith in relation to the uprising, the Vaughn 17 have faced continued retaliation. Years after the uprising, these prisoners are still being abused for staying in solidarity with one another against the state.

Birthday: July 14

Address:

The most recent Vaughn 17 zine just gives Corey Smith’s address as “Wilmington, DE”, suggesting that his current location is unknown – please feel free to reach out if you can confirm his address.

Dakota Moss

Ferguson-related prisoner sentenced to 20 years for stealing guns for people to use during the non-indictment riots in November 2014.

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

Birthday: July 17th

Address:

Dakota Moss #11400-025
USP Terre Haute
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808

Kevin Berry

A former Vaughn 17 defendant. While the court found Kevin Berry not guilty on all charges in relation to the uprising, the Vaughn 17 have faced continued retaliation. Years after the uprising, these prisoners are still being abused for staying in solidarity with one another against the state.

Kevin Berry is a contributor to the Vaughn 17 “Live From the Trenches” zine, as well as the newer “United We Stood” zine, and also wrote a June 11th statement for the 2019 day of solidarity with long-term anarchist prisoners.

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 “NT0583.”

Birthday: July 17th

Address:

Smart Communications/PADOC
Kevin Berry, NT0583
SCI Phoenix
PO Box 33028
St Petersburg, FL 33733

Derek Cannon

Derek Cannon is serving life without parole after being wrongly convicted of murder during the 1993 Lucasville Uprising, based onthe testimony of jailhouse witnesses who have since confessed to lying about the case. For more about Derek’s case, see “Let Lucasville Uprising Prisoners Tell Their Own Stories!” in the NLG Review.Due to his connection to the uprising, he is still a frequent target for staff harassment, even decades later.

Ohio uses Jpay, so you can send him a message by going to jpay.com, clicking “inmate search”, then selecting “State: Ohio, Inmate ID: 221663”.

Birthday: July 21st

Address:

Derek Cannon
#221-663
OSP
878 Coitsville Hubbard Rd
Youngstown OH 44505

Dzmitry Dubovski

Dzmitry Dubovski is a Belarusian anarchist, held in the old KGB prison in Minsk after he was arrested late last year and charged with several arson attacks on government buildings. He previously spent 10 years on the run after being accused of some direct actions that took place in 2009-2010.

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: July 29th

Address:

(Belarusian or Russian letters only – use this form for English messages)
Glavpochtamt, a/ya 8, Minsk, 220050, Belarus
Dmitry Nikolaevich Dubovski

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Source: Itsgoingdown.org