photo: Calvin Ma
We’re being told that the fate of democracy itself is at stake, that by casting our votes this week we can return to the cruel yet familiar U.S. hegemony we know so well. While some may hold their noses and cast their votes against fascism, we all know that if voting changed anything it would be illegal. Abolitionists and freedom fighters will not stop until we have crafted something better upon the ashes of the old.
Hit Tweet too fast! They’re back from the printer. Lay your hands upon the 2021 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar! This is our twentieth edition and we are so excited to share them with you.
You can order them in any quantity: pic.twitter.com/eIjLAWs73A
— Certain Days (@CertainDays) November 2, 2020
Flipping your Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar to November, you’ll notice the vibrant artwork of Annie Banks, honoring the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, the first urban Indigenous women led land trust. The essay for the month is written by Aric McBay and discusses the intersection of food, farming, and justice. SALES ARE OPEN for the 2021 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar, which is at the printer now!
It is being reported that the devastating impact of COVID-19 on those in jails and prisons is worse than expected, with more data here and here. Meanwhile, federal authorities are busy murdering antifa activist Michael Reinoehl on the street, with the president praising this extrajudicial killing at his rallies. In Philly, protests and arrests continue in the wake of the police murder of Walter Wallace, Jr. Here’s a rundown of what went down in October, and a look ahead at November.
Political Prisoner Birthdays in November
There are three political prisoner birthdays in November, so this would be 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, and show your solidarity with those fighting for a better world. Remember that prisoners at Federal prisons (USPs and FCIs) cannot receive cards, colored paper, or colored ink.
- November 1:
Ed Poindexter, #27767
Nebraska State Penitentiary
PO Box 22500
Lincoln, NE 68542
*Ed has limited vision, so use extra-large font
- November 10:
Joseph Dibee, #812133
Multnomah County Jail
11540 NE Inverness Dr.
Portland, OR 97220
*Joe is being held pre-trial; do not discuss or ask about his case.
- November 25:
Joshua Williams, #1292002
Potosi Correctional Center
11593 State Highway O
Mineral Point, MO 63660
- Jalil Muntaqim, who served 49 years in prison for his involvement with the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, was finally released on parole in mid-October, just before his 69th birthday. On Friday, October 30, Jalil was arrested and is facing re-imprisonment for voter registration! More info coming soon.
- Anti-fascist political prisoner David Campbell was released in mid-October, after serving an 18-month sentence from trumped up charges stemming from an alt-right counter-protest. You can learn more about David and offer some much-needed support here.
- Hacktivist political prisoner Jeremy Hammond is scheduled to be released to a halfway house in mid-November. Learn more about Jeremy, and check back here to see how you can help Jeremy upon his release.
In early October, 74-year-old Salih Abdullah died of a stroke while using the bathroom during his 14th parole hearing in a NY State prison. Imprisoned for over 40 years, denied parole repeatedly, Abdullah never stopped struggling for his freedom. Salih Abdullah Presente!
Patrick O’Neill, of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7, was sentenced to 14 months in prison in mid-October, the second of the Catholic anti-nuclear defendants to be sentenced for nonviolent actions that occurred in April 2018 at the Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia.
It is the giving season, and you’re more than likely being inundated with emails and requests to donate to worthy causes. With the world literally burning down around us, there is no end to those who need support and solidarity now. That said, what could be more worthwhile and meaningful than supporting those being targeted for fighting to create a better world?
Support sites for Urooj Rahman, Colinford Mattis, and Lore Elisabeth Blumenthal are still active, with each facing heavy charges from protests in response to the police murder of George Floyd. Also, be sure to check out The Prosecution Project’s new spreadsheet of federal felony cases related to the Floyd Uprising here.
Former political prisoner and Black Liberation Army soldier Zolo Azania needs some help now, as he is currently facing eviction. If you can help, now is the time to do so!
In addition, we cannot forget those currently incarcerated and those recently released:
- Red Fawn Fallis (recently released to halfway house)
- Eric King (fighting additional charges carrying 20 more years; donations go to Eric’s lawyer and should be noted as “for Eric King defense.”)
- Chuck Africa (recently released and receiving medical care for cancer)
In Case You Missed It
- A new documentary, Dope is Death, is now out and features interviews with political prisoner Dr. Mutulu Shakur. Be sure to check out the documentary, and listen to the related podcast.
- Don’t miss this long and detailed interview with Angela Davis, looking back at her life of activism and her hopes for the future.
- Be sure to download the latest version of the zine by the Page One collective that highlights the 14 elders currently incarcerated for their participation in Black liberation movements.
- The police murder of Daniel Prude in Rochester, NY has brought renewed calls for the release of political prisoner Rev. Joy Powell, herself imprisoned for fighting against police violence in Rochester. You can learn more about Powell’s struggle, and donate for her legal fund here.
- There are recent calls (here and here) for the release of longtime political prisoner, and Certain Days founding inside collective member, David Gilbert. Given a 75-to-life sentence for his involvement in the Black Liberation Struggle, Gilbert’s release would require clemency or the release of elder prisoners in NY state. Free David Gilbert!
- Colin Kaepernick has publicized his “Abolition for the People” project, with essays focused on a future without policing and prisons. Among the many must-read essays is one calling for the release of longtime Black Liberation political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz, written by his son, Russell Shoatz III.
- Vegan anarchist political prisoner Eric King recently published a new essay on his time in solitary confinement, where he is facing additional charges. He has also just released two new poems and some artwork, available here.
- If you have not yet read Susie Day’s new book, The Brother You Choose, about the ongoing and life-changing relationship between Baltimore Black Panther Party members Eddie Conway and Paul Coates, here is a review to motivate you.
- A state court has ruled that San Quentin State Prison must halve its current prisoner population, either transferring or releasing approximately 1,700 California prisoners.
- Marking the 50th anniversary of the Tombs jail uprising in New York City, Willie Mack has written a moving piece examining the role of this particular jail rebellion in the string of prison revolts that erupted over the following years.
- For a unique perspective on Aaron Sorkin’s latest film, The Trial of the Chicago 7, check out this piece by Nancy Kurshan, who was intimately involved in trial proceedings.
- Don’t miss this recent interview with political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal on incarceration, abolition, and his thoughts on the future.
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Certain Days to Keep in Mind
As you’ll notice in your Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar, November is chock full of radical dates through history and commemorations of those who fought back. In November we celebrate the liberation of Assata Shakur, the birth of the Zapatistas, and the ongoing freedom struggles in Puerto Rico, Haiti, and amongst the Indigenous on the mainland. We also honor fallen soldiers, Nat Turner, the Haymarket anarchists, Mujahid Farid, and Ricardo Flores Magon.