Author Archives: abcfmatt

Political Prisoner profile: Rattler

Rattler (Michael Markus) is Oglala Lakota from Pine Ridge, SD. He is a descendant of the war chief Makpiya Luta, translated as Red Cloud. Rattler’s Lakota name is Mato Tanka, meaning Big Bear. He is a Sundancer and Canupa (sacred pipe) carrier.

Rattler arrived at the Oceti Sakowin resistance camp as a Water Protector in September 2016. On January 23, 2017 Rattler was charged for the work he engaged in as Akicita to protect Land, Water, People, and Treaties against militarized police and mercenaries working for the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). DAPL was illegally constructed to go through the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, despite the damage done to sacred sites, Lakota burial sites, Treaty lands of multiple indigenous Nations, risk to the Lakota living on the reservation, and numerous violations of human and environmental rights. He was charged with Civil Disorder, a charge that has only been applied for movement work such as the American Indian Movement, Black Liberation Movement, Vietnam protests, and to these 7 Water Protectors, as well as Using Fire to Commit a Felony, a federal charge that most attorneys don’t know is on the books.

On October 27th, 2016 militarized police illegally raided 1851 Treaty Camp, which had gained more numbers of water protectors to block the progression of DAPL from going across Highway 1806. Barricades were lit on HW 1806 and the 134 bridge to keep the militarized police from further endangering our unarmed encampment as police had done for previous months. The only thing lit on 134 bridge were logs; no property damage occurred there. Logs, hay, and scrap wood were used as a barricade alongside donated vehicles on HW 1806. No violence was inflicted on law enforcement in either location. The courts refused to grant Rattler and 5 other water protectors a change of venue to have trial outside of Bismarck, ND despite statistics given to the judge proving the majority of the local population already considered them to be guilty before trial even began. Rattler, Little Feather (Michael Giron, Akicita), Bravo (Brennan Nastacio), Angry Bird (Jimmy White, Akicita) and Dion Ortiz were all given the same charges, facing 15+ years in federal prison. Little Feather and Rattler chose the better of two evils: a non-cooperating plea deal (as in no cooperation with feds). Both received 3 years for nonviolent conduct as Water Protectors keeping our people safe from violence, and stopping further desecration of land and water. RedFawn Fallis also took a non-cooperating plea deal of five years for a gun planted on her by an informant on Oct. 27th. Angry Bird and Dion have also accepted non-cooperating plea deals for their work on Oct. 27th. 

Akicita is a traditional role among the Lakota Nation. Akicita is a life commitment, living a life of service and accountability. Akicita are the last to inflict violence, but they are the last to leave a battle. Akicita leave no one behind. We must not let the sacrifices of these water protectors be in vain. We thank all those around the world that committed themselves to be in the NoDAPL camps with us long term, and we thank all those that continue to support water protectors as the movement goes on into federal prisons.

​Write
Michael Markus  #06280-073
FCI Sandstone
PO Box 1000 
Sandstone, MN 55072 

Birthday: February 2

More information: freerattlernodapl.com  
This information came from NYC ABC’s Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners.
More PP addresses here.   

Demand freedom for Ed Poindexter

Ed Poindexter finally filed his application for commutation of sentence on August 17. At the August Pardons Board meeting, Dr. Topolski, a new supporter, asked the governor to expedite Ed’s application because of the risk of covid19. The governor said he wasn’t inclined to let anybody “jump in line” (there are 49 other applications for sentence commutations). His case will probably be heard early next year.)

Please share this campaign, write a letter to the Pardons Board and sign the online petition: http://chng.it/vctskKv49k Ed would be very grateful. We would also appreciate if you could send us a copy of your letter to: freedomfored@gmail.com Thank you so much for your decades of support for Ed, and for Mondo we Langa!

Ed’s Story
In April of 1971, Edward Poindexter and Mondo we Langa, formerly David Rice, were sentenced to life in prison for the death of an Omaha police officer—a crime they did not commit. The two were targeted by law enforcement and wrongfully convicted due to their affiliation with the Black Panther Party, a civil rights and anti-fascist political group.

Nearly 50 years later, Ed is still in prison and maintains his innocence. He has earned several college degrees, taught anti-violence classes to youth, authored screenplays, and more. His last chance for freedom is to receive a commutation of sentence from the Nebraska Board of Pardons. At age 75, he is at high risk for COVID related health complications. He must receive an immediate and expedited commutation hearing from the Board.

Take Action Now
Write, email and call the Nebraska Board of Pardons. Request that they commute Ed’s sentence.

WRITE:
Nebraska Board of Pardons
P.O. Box 95007
Lincoln, NE 68509
*please email a copy of your letter to freedomfored@gmail.com

EMAIL: ne.pardonsboard@nebraska.gov

CALL:
Governor Pete Ricketts: 402-471-2244
SoS Robert B. Evnen: 402-471-2554
AG Doug Peterson: 402-471-2683

Sample Letter

Dear Pardons Board:
I am writing in regards to Edward Poindexter, #27767, who has served nearly 50 years in prison with exemplary behavior and many accomplishments. He is 75 years old and at high risk for COVID-19 related medical complications, which have been amplified by the increased COVID transmission rate among prisoners. I am therefore requesting that the Board expedite Ed’s application, schedule his hearing for the next available Board meeting, and commute his sentence to length of time served.

You can read more about Ed here:
https://prisonersolidarity.com/prisoner/edward-poindexter

Aging Black Liberation Political Prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz, Bedridden with COVID-19 and Cancer, Shows Us Why PA Must #FreeEmAll

As COVID-19 surges through the state and tears through its prisons, loved ones of incarcerated people are driving to Harrisburg today, calling for Gov. Tom Wolf to use his reprieve power to immediately release all elderly and medically vulnerable people in prison. Loved ones are also asking the Department of Corrections to require prison staff to wear face masks and be tested for COVID-19. As part of a national caravan for health and social justice, the Pennsylvania Poor People’s Campaign worked with local anti-prison groups like the Human Rights Coalition and the Coalition to Abolish Death By Incarceration (CADBI) to center the survival of people in prison on this day. The car caravan will circle the state capitol and proceed to the governor’s mansion.

Read the rest of the article by Suzy Subways here.

While COVID-19 Spreads In NY Prisons, Loved Ones On The Outside Plead With Cuomo For Clemency

As coronavirus positivity rates have been rising throughout New York, 1,713 of the state’s 35,834 prisoners had tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, comprising 4.78% of the total prison population. Recent outbreaks have occurred in WyomingElmiraGreen Haven, Fishkill and Shawangunk correctional facilities.

Public health experts have warned that to reduce transmission of the virus, prisons should be reduced to 50 percent capacity.

Read the rest of this article, by Victoria Law, at https://gothamist.com/news/while-covid-19-spreads-ny-prisons-loved-ones-outside-plead-cuomo-clemency

Check out the new advocacy website cuomoletthemgo.com for more information.

Support the ABCF Warchest fund

The Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF) initiated the Warchest program in November 1994 to send monthly checks to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have been receiving insufficient, little, or no financial support during their imprisonment. Its purpose is to collect funds from groups and individual supporters and send that money directly to commissary accounts of vetted Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (PP/POW) via monthly checks. Since its inception, we have distributed over $130,000 in funds.

The current Warchest recipients are:

Ways to Donate:

Venmo: TimFasnachtABCF
CashApp: $timabcf
PayPalwww.paypal.me/abcfwarchest  (or send your donation to timABCF@aol.com)
Check or money order: made out to Tim Fasnacht and send to Tim Fasnacht, P.O. Box 8682, Lancaster, PA 17604.

11.23 Philly ABC Letter Writing for Jamil Al-Amin

Due to the rainy weather and police killing of #WalterWallace on the day of last month’s letter-writing event, we decided to postpone until this month. We’ll be writing letters to Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown) on Monday, November 23rd at 6:30pm! To observe social distancing, we will hold this event on Jitsi and post the meet link on social media the day of. You can also message us to get the link beforehand.

Jamil became known as a Black liberation leader as the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Justice Minister of the Black Panther Party. In the early ’70s, he did five years as a political prisoner before being paroled in 1976. Upon his release, he moved to Atlanta, GA and led one of the nation’s largest Muslim groups, Al-Ummah. He is known to have greatly improved social services to the West End community in Atlanta.

From 1992 to 1997, the FBI and Atlanta police investigated Imam Jamil in connection with everything from domestic terrorism to gunrunning to 14 homicides in Atlanta’s West End, according to police investigators’ reports, FBI documents and interviews. On March 16th, 2000, Fulton County Deputy Sheriff Ricky Kinchen is shot and later dies, while another deputy Aldranon English is wounded after being shot by a man outside Imam Jamil’s store. English identified the shooter in the March 16th incident as Imam Jamil, yet testified that he shot the assailant — who “had grey eyes” — in the exchange of gunfire. Imam Al-Amin’s eyes are brown, and he had no gunshot injury when he was captured just four days later.

Now that Fulton County has a Convictions Integrity Unit, there is a good chance that Imam Jamil’s case will be reopened due to the known incongruities. This is doubly important because he has medical challenges — symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome and smoldering myeloma (a form of blood cancer) as well as untreated cataracts. Due to his eyesight, write letters to him in large print if you are participating remotely.

We will also announce political prisoners with birthdays in November and December, and encourage participants to independently send them cards: Ed Poindexter (Nov 1st), Joe Dibee (Nov 10th), Josh Williams (Nov 25th), Reality Winner (Dec 4th), Fred “Muhammad” Burton (Dec 15th), and Casey Brezik (Dec 30th).

More via Philly ABC.

Political Prisoner profile: Gage Halupowski

Gage Halupowski was arrested along with two other protesters in the wake of clashes in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, later indicted on four criminal charges, including second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, attempted assault of a public safety officer, and interfering with a peace officer. In November 2019, Gage was convicted and sentenced to six years in state prison.

Write:
Gage Halupowski #21894460
Snake River Correctional Institution
777 Stanton Boulevard
Ontario, OR 97914-8335
Birthday: July 1

Info was taken from NYC ABC’s Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners.
More PP addresses here.

Political Prisoner profile: Veronza Bowers

Veronza was a member of the Black Panther Party, convicted in the murder of a U.S. Park Ranger on the word of two government informants, both of whom received reduced sentences for other crimes by Federal prosecutors. There were no eye-witnesses and no evidence independent of the informants to link him to the crime.

At trial, Veronza offered alibi testimony, not credited by the jury. Nor was testimony of two relatives of the informants who insisted that they were lying. The informants had all charges against them in this case dropped and one was given $10,000 by the government according to the prosecutor’s post-sentencing report. Veronza has consistently proclaimed his innocence of the crime he never committed, even at the expense of having his appeals for parole denied for which an admission of guilt and contrition is virtually required.

Write:
Veronza Bowers, Jr. #35316-136
FCI Butner Medium II
PO Box 1500
Butner, NC 27509

Birthday: February 4
More information: veronza.org
Info flyer
Info was taken from NYC ABC’s Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners.
More PP addresses here.

Anti-Nuclear pacifists get federal prison terms for Plowshares actions

EACH WEEKEND, WHILE New York City’s East Village packs into sidewalk tables for brunch, activist Carmen Trotta leads a vigil for ending the U.S.-backed war in Yemen in Tompkins Square Park. He only has a few more Saturday mornings before he must report to federal prison, along with fellow activists from Plowshares, the anti-nuclear, Christian pacifist movement. Despite a lethal pandemic ravaging prison populations, Trotta, Martha Hennessy, Clare Grady, and Patrick O’Neill are due to report to prison within the next few months for activism against a suspected nuclear weapons depot.

Read the rest here.

Nobel laureates & interfaith leaders appeal for clemency of long-imprisoned elder David Gilbert

Desmond Tutu and the families of Gandhi and King urgently call on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to grant clemency to the 76-year-old activist, imprisoned for nearly four decades. More here.

Write!
David Gilbert #83-A-6158
Shawangunk Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 700
Wallkill, NY 12589

Bio:

David Gilbert, a longtime anti-racist and anti-imperialist, first became active in the Civil Rights movement in 1961. In 1965, he started the Vietnam Committee at Columbia University; in 1967 he co-authored the first Students for a Democratic Society pamphlet naming the system “imperialism”; and he was active in the Columbia strike of 1968.

He went on to spend a total of 10 years underground, building a clandestine resistance. David has been imprisoned in New York State since 10/20/81, when a unit of the Black Liberation Army along with allied white revolutionaries tried to get funds for the struggle by robbing a Brinks truck. This resulted in a shoot-out in which a Brinks guard and two cop were killed.

David is serving a sentence of 75 years (minimum) to life under New York State’s “felony murder” law, whereby all participants in a robbery, even if they are unarmed and non-shooters, are equally responsible for all deaths that occur. While in prison, David has been a pioneer for peer education on AIDS and has continued to write and advocate against oppression. He’s been involved with the annual Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar since 2001 and has written multiple books including:

Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground, and Beyond
Looking at the U.S. White Working Class Historically
Our Commitment is to Our Communities
No Surrender: Writings From An Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner