The Warchest Program
The Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF) has initiated a program designed to send monthly checks to those Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have been receiving insufficient, little, or no financial support during their imprisonment. The Warchest program was initiated in November 1994. Its purpose is to collect monthly funds from groups and individual supporters and send that money to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (PP/POW) via monthly checks.
We are consolidating efforts going on around the country in support of PP/POWs in order to substantially aid such prisoners. There are many such efforts going on. We are usually small in number and finance, so it is usually difficult to meet the material needs of the PP/POWs we are supporting. By and large, we are all small pockets of resistance. However, we are also part of a much larger struggle. POW Ojore Lutalo has said, Our enemy is consolidating their efforts against us, we have to do the same. One way this is done is through collecting monthly donations from groups or individuals. Many of us can not afford more than $5, $10, or $20 per month. Alone, this does not amount to much. But, when we pool our resources and all gave that amount to one Warchest, we are able to make progress. The success we have had thus far attests to this. In the first several years we were able to increase the number of prisoners we support with consistent support of up to $60 per month. However in 1999, due to financial restraints, we were forced to reduce the monthly aid to $40 per prisoner. Since then we have expanded the number of prisoners receiving monthly stipends to ten comrades and we have raised nearly $120,000 since the program’s inception. Still, the need still is more than we can offer at this time. With your help, we can change this.
Where Does This Money Go?
We originally compiled a list of PP/POWs who we all suspected were in need of financial assistance with the help of Ojore N. Lutalo, Sundiata Acoli, Sekou Odinga, and associates. We also asked those P.P./POWs to add names they suspected were in need. This process continues today and the list continues to grow. Those acknowledging they need support answer a questionnaire concerning their financial situation. Based on their answers to these questions, checks are sent to those in the most need. A rotating committee of 5 PP/POWs called the Prisoners Committee helps us make these determinations. Prisoners receiving checks use the funds in whatever way s/he wishes.
Warchest and Emergency Fund
There is also an Emergency Fund designed to immediately send checks to those PP/POWs in need of one time or emergency assistance. Founded in 1994, the Warchest has provided consistent and reliable financial aid serving a much neglected comradely function. As Sekou Odinga (a POW currently receiving a monthly check) writes, “Thanks much for the support you’ve been organizing, I really appreciate it. After not having any or very little support for so long, it now seems like (people) have all of a sudden realized that I am alive.”
All funds collected are consolidated. We ask that people make six or twelve-month commitments of whatever amount you feel at ease with. This enables everyone to know just how much we can expect each month from regular contributors. These monthly funds from regular contributors get sent regularly to the PP/POWs. Those people who can not make such commitments, but still want to contribute are irregular contributors. The money from irregular contributors goes into the Emergency Fund. The idea is that, though we can not rely on that money every month to send to a prisoner, it can be used in emergency situations. For instance, Jalil Muntaqim (New York 3 PP) was transferred and lost his belongings including his coat and gloves in the dead of winter. With funds collected from irregular contributors, we replaced these items quickly.
Please help this badly needed program expand and increase the number of prisoners supported and the amount in which they will be supported. There is any number of ways that you can do so. If you want to put on a benefit, please contact one of our offices first so we can supply you with promotional and informational literature. Support the Warchest Art Raffle and buy and/or sell raffle tickets. Become a regular contributor, or write us with your ideas!
Contribute online to ABCF Programs
Want to contribute to the Warchest Program or Emergency Fund but don’t want to worry about sending cash? If you’ve got a credit card, you can contribute online to this valuable project!
Donations are accepted online via PayPal.
If you don’t have a PayPal account
PayPal is a FREE service that will allow you to send your donation immediately online via credit card. It takes just a minute to sign up, and you’ll be making a real difference in the lives of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War.
If you already have a PayPal account
Log in to your PayPal account and send your donation online to the email address “timABCF@aol.com” (Tim Fasnacht). Make sure to add in the notes section if your donation is for the Warchest, Emergency Fund, Subsistence Programs or simply a donation to the Federation. If you’d prefer to stay anonymous or are donating in the name of an organization, let us know.