December 3, 2020
From It's Going Down
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List of political prisoners and prison rebel birthdays and updates for December 2020.

Inspired by the spirit of the Political Prisoners Birthday crew, here’s a short listing of some rebel prisoners who have upcoming birthdays in December. For an an introduction on how to write to prisoners and some things to do and not to do, go here. If you have the time, please also check IWOC’s listing of prisoners facing retaliation for prison strike-related organizing, and keep an eye out for New Year’s Eve noise demos happening in your area.

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 my knowledge they currently include:

Lore-Elisabeth Blumenthal #70002-066
FDC Philadelphia
P.O. Box 562
Philadelphia, PA 19105

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

Shawn Collins #69989-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Steven Pennycooke #69988-066
FDC Philadelphia,
PO Box 562,
Philadelphia, PA 19105

Matthew White
Washington County Jail
15015 62nd St. N
P.O. Box 3801
Stillwater, MN 55082

Montez Lee
Washington County Jail
15015 62nd St. N
P.O. Box 3801
Stillwater, MN 55082

Loren Reed #36045508
CAFCC
P.O. Box 6300
Florence, AZ 85132

Please do not write anything to pre-trial defendants that could in any way have a negative impact on their trial, and keep an eye out for changes in their status.

There’s a huge amount of prisoner-related news to share from the last month or so. To start off with the positive, sending a big welcome home to Jeremy Hammond and Jay Chase, who both got out in November. As you may have heard, recent parolee Jalil Muntaqim continues to face ridiculous charges for signing a voter registration form that was given to him as part of a packet of paperwork on his release, despite the fact that the Department of Corrections actually listed him as being eligible to vote on their website for a while. And happy birthday to former prisoner Chelsea Manning, who was inside for refusing to testify at the time of her birthday last year.

In news from the uprising, the detailed profile of Arizona defendant Loren Reed is worth reading, and donations to the Atlanta Solidarity Fund are much needed to help them cope with the impact of recent FBI raids in the area. The Intercept also has a report on Plowshares anti-nuclear protesters who were recently sentenced to federal time.

There’s a number of calls to release long-term prisoners at the moment. The Final Straw helped boost a call to release Jorge Cornell, a North Carolina community organizer wrongfully convicted on racketeering charges who has serious health conditions that put him at high risk of Covid-19. There’s an urgent call to free Russell Maroon Shoatz, the long-term Black Liberation prisoner and anti-authoritarian writer who has caught Covid while already suffering from cancer. San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin is helping lead a new effort to gain clemency for his father, long-term political prisoner David Gilbert.

It sounds like anarchist prisoner Eric King can now receive books and magazines sent direct from the publisher, although his support crew warn that, “There is a major risk in sending him books and whatnot and that is at any minute they can and will change the rules, stop giving them to him, reject. And you can lose the money spent sending them, or the book potentially could go missing. This is something to keep in mind when sending anything.” The same update also mentions that his general mail ban is up for review shortly, and provides details of a disciplinary hearing report which claimed that that him signing a circle-a after his name counts as “a credible threat towards staff and their families”.

Dwayne “BIM” Staats of the Vaughn 17 recently wrote a report on psychological torture in the Pennsylvania prison system. Jailhouse Lawyers Speak have just started selling fundraising merch, so if you have any abolitionist relatives then that’s a few holiday gifts taken care of. In international news, the Scripta Manet trial in Italy has just ended with several comrades getting heavy sentences, and ABC Belarus have frequent updates on the situation of anarchists and antifascists facing repression for their role in the uprising there.

Beyond that, if you have any money to spare, consider checking out Eric King’s defense fund, the ongoing fundraiser for Sundiata Acoli’s parole bid, Greg Curry’s fundraiser masks, and the fundraiser for the Bay View, a vital piece of prison movement infrastructure that also serves as Comrade Malik’s welcome home fund.

To close off this section of updates on a very sad note, Brian Carville, an anarchist prisoner who won an important court case stopping the Oregon DOC from censoring anarchist publications, died on his birthday in September, a piece of news that went unnoticed at first:

“Brian Caswell McCarvill died on his 68th birthday, which was Sunday, September 27th, 2020. I hadn’t seen anything about his death on any anarchist Instagram pages, nor had I heard about it on any anarchist podcasts. The lack of podcast coverage may not be true at all; I haven’t had a lot of time to listen to podcasts recently and I may have missed it.

I received a letter I had sent to Brian, returned with a sticker across Snake River Correctional Institution’s mailing address with the words, “Return to sender: Not an Oregon inmate”. I thought to myself, “That’s bullcrap. I know Brian’s at Snake River and that’s in Oregon.” I live in New Zealand, so I thought I’d better make sure by Googling to see whether he’s been transferred. I knew his release wasn’t coming until 2021.

There was nothing on It’s Going Down except the usual Prisoner Birthdays list with Brian’s birthday information on it. There were no anarchist prisoner supports sites reporting a transfer or release. I searched for him on the Oregon prisoner database but it returned no results. I thought all of this really weird and tried Googling, “Brian McCarvill Snake River.” It returned a news story about negligence around COVID at Snake River and had a list of COVID-related deaths. I was hoping Brian’s name wouldn’t be on it. Unfortunately, he was listed and the date was Sept 27th, his birthday.

At this stage, I was upset. Brian had spoken about looking forward to his release and where he may be living when he got out. It was so close in the big scheme of things, especially when you think about how long he’d been incarcerated.

I’m upset that the anarchist media didn’t report his death. That no-one from our milieu seems to have been looking out for him and his circumstances in that regard. I, an anarchist of no real consequence from Aotearoa New Zealand, surely can’t have been the first person to know that Brian had died? But that’s rash and borne of emotion. Perhaps it was reported. Of course, someone must’ve been looking out for him; he had family as far as I know.

Is this normal? Is it normal for our imprisoned comrades to be name dropped on websites and podcasts but not materially looked out for? I don’t know. Is this evidence of the absolute necessity of prisoner support in our milieu? I think so. Brian’s death should’ve been noticed and reported in every major anarchist news publication. It should’ve been mentioned on every anarchist podcast. I hope there are hundreds of letters being returned to comrades who corresponded with Brian like I did. He deserved to be inundated with letters during his life in prison. He deserved to never go without materials, books, commissary funds, etc. He deserved better than to be murdered by the US prison system whose staff don’t take COVID precautions seriously and take the virus behind the walls to infect and kill inmates who can’t protect themselves. He deserved to see the outside, to be paroled, to see family and friends. He deserved better. I knew Brian only through letters, but we corresponded for years and I genuinely enjoyed knowing him. Today, my heart is broken.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be re-reading all the letters that Brian sent me and sharing anything I think should be shared. Brian should be remembered. Please write to our imprisoned comrades. Send them birthday and Christmas cards if the stupid mailing restrictions allow them. Donate to their commissary funds. Ask them how you can help. Sean Swain, Marius Mason, Michael Kimble, Eric King, Jaan Laaman, and all the other imprisoned comrades deserve the world because they’re beautiful people and they deserve better than what Brian ended up getting from those snakes at Snake River.”

Finally, much as I hate to see even more of our lives and communications being enclosed by tech companies, it seems inescapable at the moment, so for anyone who doesn’t want to leave their house to buy stamps/cards/envelopes or to send mail, a reminder that many prisoners can be contacted electronically, via Jpay or similar services.

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.

Indiana uses Connect Network/GTL, so you can contact him online by going to connectnetwork.com, selecting “Add a facility”, choosing “State: Indiana, Facility: Indiana Department of Corrections”, going into the “messaging” service, and then adding him as a contact by searching his name or “264847”. Having said that, Rashid has faced heavy repression and censorship throughout his time inside, and so it is always possible that his messaging “privileges” may be revoked.

Birthday: December 3

Address:

Kevin Johnson
D.O.C. No. 264847
Wabash Valley Correctional Facility
PO Box 500
6908 S. Old US Hwy 41, Carlisle, IN
47838
USA

Reality Winner

NSA whistleblower convicted of leaking classified documents to the media.

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 Reality then you’re best off just sending her a card or a letter.

Birthday: December 4

Address:

Reality Winner, #22056-021
FMC Carswell
P.O. Box 27137
Fort Worth, TX
76127
USA

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
USA

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. 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 “NW2883”.

Birthday: December 17

Address:

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

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
Darrington Unit
59 Darrington Road
Rosharon, Texas 77583

USA

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
Western Missouri Correctional Center
609 East Pence Road
Cameron, Missouri 64429
USA

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
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Rd #1
Lovelady, TX, 75851
USA

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 Houtzdale
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL, 33733
USA

photo: Woody Kelly

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