WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, June 29th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
One year and one month to the day of George Floyd’s murder the state sentenced his murderer to 22 1/2 years in prison. Are we supposed to be happy or feel relieved? Those of us engaged in prisoner support work know plenty of folks that spend much more time inside for much less, but also know prison is hell anyway you slice it (we don’t like to get caught up in the arguments of what constitutes a long sentence). Regardless, we trust he’ll be well cared for in there. And no, we’re not happy. And no, we’re not relieved. They sacrificed one of their own to take the fall for the rest still working their beats. Meanwhile, cops continue to murder, migrants are detained at an increasing rate, and Trump is still holding rallies. The uprisings of 2020 were a hopeful promise of what is to come, and now one year later we’re here wondering if anything has changed. All we can do is to continue our organizing projects, our mutual aid projects, and our solidarity work. For us at NYC ABC, that is supporting political prisoners through letter writing efforts.
This week, NYC ABC and Page One Collective ask you to write to a Black liberation political prisoner, the truly implacable Russell Maroon Shoatz, himself accused of taking action against the brutality meted out by cops on Black communities. Russell Maroon Shoatz is a dedicated community activist, founding member of the Black Unity Council, former member of the Black Panther Party and soldier in the Black Liberation Army. In 1970, along with 5 others, Maroon was accused of attacking a police station, which resulted in a cop being killed. This attack was said to have been carried out in response to the rampant police brutality in the Black community. For 18 months Maroon functioned underground as a soldier in the Black Liberation Army. In 1972 he was captured. Twice he escaped—once in 1977 and again in 1980, but both times he was recaptured and today he is held in Pennsylvania where he is serving multiple life sentences.
As with many of our imprisoned elders, Maroon faces health concerns and should immediately released. On June 17th 2021 there was an emergency action to get Russell his much needed chemo treatments which had been cancelled by DOC. Please stay tuned for more updates.
Please take the time to write a letter to Maroon (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):
Smart Connections/PA DOC
Russell Shoats #AF-3855
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, Fl 33733