Much has happened in the first few weeks of this new year. Illinois is ending cash bail, pressure continues to mount for the new president to curtail Federal executions, and Covid-19 continues to disproportionately affect those locked behind bars. On January 15th former FALN Puerto Rican political prisoner Elizam Escobar succumbed to cancer. Escobar was a committed revolutionary—and a talented artist—until the very end.
If you haven’t yet gotten the new 2021 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar, know that they are selling out quickly. Get one now while you still can. The moving essay for the month—a tribute to political prisoners and the inspiration they provide—is by Antoine Riggins, a politicized prisoner serving life in prison in Pennsylvania. The vibrant indigenous artwork for February is by activist and artist Gord Hill, aka Zig Zag.
Political Prisoner Birthdays
With just three political prisoner birthdays in February, this is a great time to throw an online prisoner letter-writing party! The personal touch of a birthday card means so much to those inside, so write a letter, have people sign a card, and show your solidarity with those locked behind bars. Remember that prisoners at Federal prisons (USPs and FCIs) cannot receive cards, colored paper, or colored ink.
Veronza Bowers, #35316-136
FCI Butner, Medium II
PO Box 1500
Butner, NC 27509
Kamau Sadiki*, #0001150688
Augusta State Medical Prison
Building 13A-2 E7
3001 Gordon Highway
Grovetown, GA 30813
*Address envelope to Freddie Hilton, letter to Kamau Sadiki.
Oso Blanco*, #07909-051
PO Box 3900
Adelanto, CA 92301
*Address envelope to Byron Chubbuck, letter to Oso Blanco.
**Oso is now recovering from Covid-19, so send him some love & solidarity.
On January 6th, Standing Rock political prisoner Rattler was released from Federal prison to a halfway house. Rattler is recovering from Covid-19 and is working hard while at the halfway house, hoping to be released in the near future. Rattler can use as much support as possible as he returns to life on the outside.
Thanks to everyone wishing us a happy bday, and to those who supported Jeremy over the years! Right now Jer is doing well at the HH, but not allowed net or SM, w restrictions when he finishes his sentence in March. Plz show some love to other rebel bdays! https://t.co/FXfDkebMHm pic.twitter.com/35Yi6YwNte
— Jeremy Hammond Support Committee (@FreeJeremyNet) January 8, 2021
Renowned hacktivist and former political prisoner Jeremy Hammond was released from a halfway house to home-confinement in mid-January. After serving a 10-year sentence, Hammond has been in the halfway house since November.
Ongoing Cases and Appeals
Accused Green Scare activist Joseph Dibee was released to home confinement on January 12th, after being physically assaulted and contracting Covid-19. Imprisoned since his capture in August 2018, Dibee will continue to fight his case from the outside, via the assistance of a state-mandated ankle monitor.
Vegan anarchist political prisoner Eric King has once again been issued a mail ban. Still recovering from Covid-19, and just released from a previous mail ban, Eric can use any and all support, solidarity, and publicity. He is currently facing trumped up charges of assault that could lead to decades more in prison. Learn more about Eric, read his piece in the new 2021 Certain Days calendar, check out this recent interview Eric did with the Seattle-Tacoma chapter of Black and Pink, and listen to his latest playlist of his favorite songs. [from 1/15 letter: “My tangible support has never been higher. People have shown up for me tough w/ letters, spreading the word, books and magazines. I’ve felt very loved and looked out for…They took mail again for the protest outside…this is to discourage solidarity…I don’t know the critters who came out, but I support it all 100% and any retribution we have to face, we have to face. It’s important people know that. Protestors didn’t take my rights away.”]
HOT OFF THE PRESSES: Loren Reed’s Emo Prison Playlist, a collaboration between Loren & TARC. Listen here: https://t.co/3q6TaSrEm1
— Tucson Anti-Repression Crew (@TucsonARC) January 26, 2021
Patrick O’Neill of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 began his prison sentence on January 14, one of seven Catholic defendants bearing witness to the destructiveness of nuclear weapons. Defendant Clare Grady is to report to prison in the coming weeks, and defendant Mark Colville has a sentencing hearing scheduled for this month.
Patrick O’Neill, #14924-018
PO Box 10
Lisbon, OH 44432
Longtime political prisoner Jaan Laaman recently contracted Covid-19, and was also recently denied compassionate release, though he has been imprisoned since the mid-1980s.
After claims of sexual assault went uninvestigated for months, imprisoned whistleblower Reality Winner is hoping to be released by the new president. Scientist and Covid-19 whistleblower Rebekah Jones turned herself in to authorities on January 17th as state pressure continues to rise.
It has been almost a year since the wave of blockades in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en land defenders began. #ShutDownCanada continues to go strong, and there are over 60 activists still facing serious charges for their solidarity actions.
Daniel Baker, a veteran and a longtime anti-authoritarian protester, has been arrested and charged for calling a protest online against a far-Right rally. Baker is facing serious charges and will need all the support he can get. Daniel’s arrest follows the passing of SB484, an anti-protest law that was pushed through Florida courts by Republicans ironically following the pro-Trump storming of the DC in an attempt by neo-fascist groups to keep Donald Trump in office.
Learn more about his case here and write him at this address:
Daniel Alan Baker #25765-509
FDC Tallahassee 501 Capitol Circle N.E.
Tallahassee, FL 32301
Florida Prisoner Support also has a new flyer handout on Daniel’s case, which you can download and print here.
If you correspond with political prisoner Casey Brezik, he has recently been moved. His new address is as follows:
Casey Brezik, #1154765
Jefferson City Correctional Center
8200 No More Victims Rd.
Jefferson City, MO 65101
In Case You Missed It
- Longtime political prisoner and Certain Days collective member Xinachtli has a new support website up and running. Xinachtli also has a parole hearing coming up in July so find out here how to help out, write a letter, and show your solidarity.
- Don’t miss this new article about long-held Black Liberation political prisoner Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz and why he must be freed now, before it is too late.
How do we support people going into prison, especially at a time when #COVID19 is rampant + deadly? Antifascist prisoner David Campbell, recently released, + members of his support committee, discuss how they organized to provide broad material solidarity. https://t.co/ESbRndXbxx
— It’s Going Down (@IGD_News) January 26, 2021
- Don’t miss this new interview with David Campbell and his support committee, as they discuss the importance of support while on trial and in prison.
- A new piece by Barbara Zeller, Susan Reverby and others details why New York State needs to focus on decarceration to curb the spread of Covid-19.
- This new essay by Peter Coyote and Terry Bisson commemorates the Grinnell 14 on the 50th anniversary of the mass protest against the nuclear arms race.
A look back at the historic #J20 trial from @elizabotking
that contains a reading list of essays, interviews, podcasts, and testimonials of the case that saw the Trump administration putting anarchism on trial. https://t.co/e0CserTOlW
— It’s Going Down (@IGD_News) January 21, 2021
- In the aftermath of another national election, Elizabeth King looks back at the J20 case and the struggle to free those kettled in DC four years ago.
- There’s a new graphic novel on the Black Panther Party, as well as a new activity book based on the women of the Black Panther Party. Both look pretty amazing!
- Michael Z. Muhammad recently wrote an in-depth piece on the ongoing struggle to free political prisoners and prisoners of war, interviewing former political prisoners Eddie Conway, Pam Africa and Jihad Abdulmumit.
- If you haven’t already registered, former political prisoner and National Jericho Movement co-founder Jalil Muntaqim’s upcoming 6-part webinar, We Are Our Own Liberators, begins next week. Register now! And read more about Jalil and the struggle that he and other former radicals face even after being released from prison in this new piece in Prism.
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Certain Days to Keep in Mind
As you’ll notice in your brand new 2021 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar, February is packed full of radical dates from movement history. From the assassination of Malcolm X to the Oglala Sioux occupation of Wounded Knee, the release of South African political prisoner Nelson Mandela to the capture of American Indian Movement activist Leonard Peltier, you’ll see daily reminders of how people have struggled to create a better, more just world. Get a calendar now before they’re sold out!
— Certain Days (@CertainDays) January 31, 2021
photo: Basil James on Unsplash