Monthly Archives: May 2021

Imprisoned Anti-Fascist Activist Says Federal Guards Let White Supremacists Beat Him

Eric King’s civil rights lawsuit alleges a pattern of abuse by Bureau of Prison guards across several facilities.

by Natasha Lennard, The Intercept, May 28, 2021

The Englewood Federal Correctional Institution on February 18, 2020 in Littleton, Colorado.

The  Federal Correctional Institution, Englewood on Feb. 18, 2020, in Littleton, Colo.

Photo: Vic Moss/Getty Images

One morning in early 2018, Eric King was awoken at 5 a.m. and taken out of his solitary confinement cell by prison guards at the federal United States Penitentiary, McCreary, in Kentucky. King didn’t know the correctional officers by name, having been recently transferred to the facility for unexplained reasons.

That morning, the guards had something to tell King, according to a civil rights lawsuit filed this week on his behalf against the federal Bureau of Prisons and over 40 of its correctional officers. Members of a national white supremacist gang active in the prison had, the guards allegedly said, made threats on his life.

King is a known anti-fascist activist and anarchist. He is serving a 10-year federal sentence for throwing Molotov cocktails at an empty government office in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2014. He said throwing the Molotov cocktails, which he did not light, was in solidarity with the Ferguson rebellion that year, part of the Black liberation struggle against police violence.

That day in 2018, in prison in Kentucky, the guards warned King that the white supremacists wanted to gravely harm him. They asked him if he felt safe. King chose the answer that he believed would come with fewest repercussions. “Yes, I feel safe,” he said, according to the lawsuit.

“At that point,” the lawsuit claims, the correctional officers told King “he could leave, but directed him to exit through a different door than the one through which he entered.” King walked through the door. “[H]e realized that, rather than being in a hallway or a public space on his way back to his cell, he had entered into an enclosed, locked outdoor area. Inside this room was a prisoner known to be a member of the aforementioned gang.”

The white supremacist — who dwarfed the 5-foot-7, slightly built King — attacked the anti-fascist. The guards did nothing to intervene. King had, he felt, been trapped by correctional officers colluding with white supremacist gang members. Following the reported assault, King received a disciplinary citation for fighting.

King claims the incident was a part of an ongoing pattern of harassment and violence that he has endured in recent years at the hands of the Bureau of Prisons. The Civil Liberties Defense Center, a legal nonprofit organization, filed the civil suit on his behalf, alleging that his “constitutional rights have been continually violated since 2018 in retaliation for his political and anti-racist actions while incarcerated.”Join Our NewsletterOriginal reporting. Fearless journalism. Delivered to you.I’m in

The Bureau of Prisons responded to questions relating to the case by stating that it does “not comment on pending litigation or matters that are the subject of legal proceedings.” An agency representative added that “it is the mission of the Bureau of Prisons to operate facilities that are safe, secure, and humane. The BOP takes seriously our duty to protect the individuals entrusted in our custody, as well as maintain the safety of correctional staff and the community.”

King has been held at Federal Correctional Institution, Englewood in solitary confinement, known officially as a Special Housing Unit, for over 1,000 days. He is currently one of only 80 people in the federal system who have been held in the unit for more than a year.

His attorneys say in the suit that he has faced no less than “torture” — including at one point being shackled, “naked and exposed,” in four-point restraints for over eight hours. On another occasion, King claims a guard beat his feet with a metal detector wand as he stood in his underwear in the shower; the lawsuit claims that King was knocked to the ground, left with a concussion and in need of six stitches.


Eric King is shown in 2016 at the Leavenworth Detention Center, a privately run maximum-security prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, operated by the firm CoreCivic.

Photo: Courtesy of Eric King Support Committee

Following almost every incident of violence alleged by King, guards have issued disciplinary complaints against him. He now faces a further 20 years in prison for allegedly assaulting a federal officer; he claims he was trying to defend himself as he was beaten by guards in a small storage area beyond the view of prison cameras.

The incidents alleged in the lawsuit span numerous federal facilities and involve dozens of officers. As such, the case resists the usual pro-law enforcement talking point about “bad apples.” Taken together, the accusations read as an indictment of the entire federal prison system.

“Eric King has faced chronic, targeted harassment, as well as severe emotional and physical torture, from BOP officers and known white supremacists working together, for over two years while held in solitary confinement,” Lauren Regan, one of King’s attorneys with the Civil Liberties Defense Center, said in a statement. “We reasonably believe this treatment has been in retaliation for his political views and First Amendment-protected activity.”

A WHITE MAN in his mid-30s, King appears to embody the figure of anarchist agitator so maligned by politicians across the political spectrum during last summer’s Black-led anti-racist uprisings. Though he was convicted of attempted arson, King committed minor property destruction, specifically targeting a congressional office that he knew to be empty at the time. No one was hurt.

Facing hefty federal charges, he took a plea deal to serve 10 years. At his sentencing hearing, he made clear the motivation for his actions. “The government in this country is disgusting,” he said. “The way they treat poor people, the way they treat brown people, the way they treat everyone that’s not in the class of white and male is disgusting, patriarchal, filthy, and racist.”

Following the George Floyd rebellions, hundreds of anti-racist, anti-fascist protesters now find themselves in a similar position to King: facing highly politicized, overreaching federal charges and potentially long sentences in federal facilities, where white supremacist violence is known to flourish. Over 300 federal indictments were handed down across the country from late May to late September 2020, compared to an average of 10 such indictments in the summer period in years prior.“I’ve been treated deplorably. For the last two years I’ve been stuck in a 6′ x 9′ cage, denied access to my family and my lawyers, and subjected to physical and emotional torture.”

King’s allegations of consistent, targeted harassment by guards and white supremacist gangs paint a chilling picture of the brutality these anti-fascists — many of whom are not white — could face.

“I’m a human being with a family. I’ve been treated deplorably. For the last two years I’ve been stuck in a 6′ x 9′ cage, denied access to my family and my lawyers, and subjected to physical and emotional torture,” said King in a statement. “They’ve done this because of my beliefs, not because of my actions.”

In 2019, a report by the House Subcommittee on National Security found the federal prison system to be a hotbed of misconduct, sexual assault, and other violence — committed by correctional officers both against incarcerated people and female prison staff members. The report also pointed to the way officers permit certain incarcerated people to carry out assaults too. “Misconduct in the federal prison system is widespread, tolerated and routinely covered up or ignored, including among senior officials,” the New York Times reported, citing the congressional investigation.

The civil rights lawyers who filed King’s federal suit only learned the extent of their client’s suffering while building his defense for the hefty criminal charges he faces for allegedly assaulting an officer. Regan, one of the attorneys, described violence in the federal prison system as “like a mold, which grows rampant when unchecked in a dark place.”

Any litigation in which an incarcerated person is making claims against law enforcement officers faces an uphill battle: King’s word against that of officers with badges. Yet the lawsuit, Regan hopes, will go some way to keep in check Bureau of Prisons correctional officers’ seemingly retaliatory violence against King. “We feel it is the right thing to do, whether we win or not, to shed light on this injustice,” Regan told me. “We know there are hundreds of thousands of other cases similar or even worse than this one throughout the criminal punishment system.”

Regan is under no illusions about the difficulty of winning a case alleging widespread, state-sanctioned brutality. Even if a federal judge were to rule in King’s favor, no given legal victory can constitute justice within the inherent violence of the carceral system. For King’s attorneys, his case is nonetheless an opportunity to expose institutional violence and white supremacist collusion. And beyond this broader moral imperative, there is a deep concern for King’s life. The correctional officers “seem intent on killing him or allowing other people to kill him,” Regan told me. “We want to keep him alive until his release.”

CLDC Files Civil Rights Suit On Behalf of Anti-Racist Political Prisoner Eric King


Contact:  Lauren Regan, CLDC Executive Director and Senior Staff Attorney
[email protected] or (541) 687-9180

Eugene, OR —Today, the Civil Liberties Defense Center filed a federal civil rights lawsuit under Bivens v. Six Unnamed Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the Federal Tort Claims Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act, against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and more than 40 of its correctional officers. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Eric King, whose constitutional rights have been continually violated since 2018 in retaliation for his political and anti-racist actions while incarcerated. The complaint alleges that BOP officers have collaborated with each other, and with white supremacist prisoners, to target, harass, and assault Mr. King. Moreover, King has been held in solitary confinement (the Special Housing Unit, or SHU) for over 1,000 days with no explanation or legal justification, in violation of BOP and federal statutory policy. He is currently one of only 80 people who have been held in the SHU for more than a year, let alone almost three years.

“I’m a human being with a family. I’ve been treated deplorably. For the last two years I’ve been stuck in a 6′ x 9′ cage, denied access to my family and my lawyers, and subjected to physical and emotional torture. They’ve done this because of my beliefs, not because of my actions – not because I’m a violent person, but because I disagree with their government. They treat me like I am not a human, and in doing so they reveal they are the true monsters. It shows how horrible this system is, not how horrible I am,” King said.

Eric King is an anarchist political prisoner serving a 10-year sentence for attempted arson of a government official’s office in Kansas City, Missouri, in September 2014. He acted in solidarity with the Ferguson uprising and rebellion — a movement that took place over the summer of 2014 in response to the Ferguson police murder of Michael Brown. At his sentencing, Eric spoke on the record about his political motivations for committing his criminal act, saying “The government in this country is disgusting. The way they treat poor people, the way they treat brown people, the way they treat everyone that’s not in the class of white and male is disgusting, patriarchal, filthy, and racist.”

“Eric King has faced chronic, targeted harassment, as well as severe emotional and physical torture, from BOP officers and known white supremacists working together, for over two years while held in solitary confinement. We reasonably believe this treatment has been in retaliation for his political views and First Amendment-protected activity. It is not acceptable or constitutional, and CLDC will not allow Mr. King’s civil rights to be eviscerated. He justly demands basic human respect and decent conditions. This type of abuse is rampant across the BOP, and needs to be condemned, and the federal criminal punishment system must be held to account,” said Lauren Regan, one of Mr. King’s attorneys with the  Civil Liberties Defense Center.

Text Box: Above left, King on his wedding day in 2016. Above right, four days after the attack, with a visible black eye.

One incident of harassment and torture occurred in 2018, when King was ordered by correctional officers to a small storage room and office, where he was verbally and physically attacked. The black eye he suffered as a result of this attack is visible in the photograph to the right.

In the aftermath of this attack, the guard claimed King had attacked him, and as a result, King was placed in restraints for over eight hours, without any clothing or blankets.

While he was restrained, BOP guards further tortured him by threatening, suffocating and strangling him.

# # #

The Civil Liberties Defense Center supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction.

Monday May 24th: Philly ABC Letter-writing for Ruchell Cinque Magee

via Philly ABC


Ruchell Magee is one of the longest-held California prisoners who has been dubbed a political prisoner due to his spontaneous participation in the Marin Courthouse rebellion– the famous incident that spawned Black August. He is serving a sentence of 7 years to life for a nonviolent disagreement that landed him the wrongful charge of ‘kidnapping to commit robbery.’ Years later, he happened to be in the courthouse for unrelated reasons when Jonathan Jackson entered to free his brother and Black Liberation icon George Jackson. According to a sworn affidavit from one of the jurors, the jury voted for acquittal on charges from the Courthouse rebellion, however, this acquittal has been obscured and he continues his fight to expose this.

Ruchell is now 82 years old, and has spent more than 58 years in prison. From behind bars, he has been a positive force by helping many people with his tireless work as a jailhouse lawyer. He currently has a pro se motion pending review by the Supreme Court as well as a commutation application to be reviewed by the Governor. He is also parole eligible. Please join us Monday at Clark Park (stone platform near 45th and Chester) as we reach out to Ruchell to connect, offer solidarity, and see what all can be done to free him this year so that he can finally reunite with his family.

Because we are not aware of any political prisoners with a birthday in June, instead of birthday cards we will pass around cards for Palestinian freedom political prisoners: Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, Dr. Issam Hijjawi Bassalat, Khalida Jarrar, Layan Kayed, Ahmad Sa’adat, and Khitam Saafin.

PP/POW Updates & Announcements (5.18) from NYC ABC

Here’s the latest compilation of every other week updates:

NYC ABC, along with several other individuals and prisoner support
crews, now send hard copies to all political prisoners and prisoners of
war we support.

If you consistently mail the latest updates to a specific prisoner,
please let us know so we can insure there’s no overlap. The goal is to
have copies sent to all of the prisoners we list.

We’ve also been told that some prisoners are not receiving the copies
sent in, yet we aren’t getting rejection notices. If you are in steady
contact with a prisoner, please ask them whether or not they are
receiving the updates and let us know.

Free ’em all,
[email protected]

NYC ABC Letter writing for Dr. Mutulu Shakur

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, May 18th, 2021
WHERE: your home (or wherever you happen to be)
COST: Free

With the COVID related restrictions and guidelines around this country beginning to be lifted or eased, it is as important as ever to recognize those inside prison walls who remain captive by the white supremacist structures that have continued to thrive throughout this pandemic. Between the proliferation of this deadly virus behind bars, the inequity in treatment of the disease to people of color, the unending stream of police killing Black folks, and the attempts to literally erase the already vastly understated mentions of America’s ongoing racist colonial history from school books, this country is having a historic year of maintaining white supremacy. Just this month it was revealed that the remains of the victims of the Philadelphia police bombing of the MOVE family’s house were either sent to be “studied” and gawked at by elite museums and universities or ordered by city officials to be burnt to ash. This latest obscene iteration of this country’s mission to control Black bodies with cruelty and indignity is just one of an immeasurable number.

With these injustices fresh in our minds, we turn to political prisoner Dr. Mutulu Shakur, who has actively fought against that bodily control by dedicating his life to the physical, political, and social health and well being of the Black community.


Write Dr. Shakur at
Mutulu Shakur #83205-012
FMC Lexington
P.O. Box 14500
Lexington, KY 40512

June 11th International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason & All Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners

June 11th is upon us and with that, a new (long) call and links to their new zine.

“Against another year of state encroachment, against the restriction of free movement under the auspices of “safety,” against the continued brutalization of our friends in prison, we call for a renewal of solidarity on June 11, 2021: International Day of Solidarity with Marius Mason & All Long-Term Anarchist Prisoners. For 17 years, June 11th has been an occasion for celebration, mourning, and revolt. It has been a moment to breathe, to remember those fallen and those in cages, to remind ourselves of why we remain committed to the Beautiful Idea of anarchism. Through our letters, demonstrations, fundraising, and solidarity attacks we keep the beacon lit for those who have given years of their lives for their conviction that the State is a horror against which we must wager our lives.”

Download the zine [PDF for printing] [PDF for reading]


How to write Political Prisoners video

This is a brief instructional video, outlining how to write U.S. political prisoners, including a brief history of the Anarchist Black Cross. It’s intended as a resource to be shown at local political prisoner letter writing events, or watched by individuals looking to learn some basics about writing political prisoners. It was produced by a collaboration between Page One and Burning Books.

Much of the model presented here was developed over several years of practice by the New York City Anarchist Black Cross. Special thanks to the Buffalo Committee Against State Repression, the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee, the Friends of Jeff Luers, and the Family and Friends of Daniel McGowan.

Watch the video at

Find political prisoners to write at

Forgetting And Forgotten: Older Prisoners Seek Release But Fall Through The Cracks

These ‘old law’ prisoners include people like Leonard Peltier, Bill Dunne, Veronza Bowers and Dr. Mutulu Shakur. The time to release them is now.

“Davon-Marie Grimmer has been struggling to get help for more than year for her cousin, Kent Clark. Sometimes, when he calls from prison, he asks to speak with relatives who are no longer alive. Sometimes, he forgets the name of his cell mate.

“As far as I know, he hasn’t received any medical attention for the dementia, and he’s just so vulnerable in there,” Grimmer said. “He’s 66 years old. He can’t take care of himself.”

Clark is one of about 150 people in federal prison who time mostly forgot. This group of “old law” prisoners committed crimes before November 1987, when the law changed to remove the possibility of parole. But even with the grandfathered-in chance for parole — and despite a push to reduce prison populations — dozens of men in their 60s, 70s and 80s still have little hope of release.”


The Black Panther Party Has Never Been More Popular. But Actual Black Panthers Have Been Forgotten.

While the Panthers have become a staple of pop culture, veteran members of the group remain invisible.

On October 7, 2020, Jalil Muntaqim exited the Sullivan Correctional Facility in upstate New York a free man. A member of the Black Panther Party and its more militant, clandestine offshoot, the Black Liberation Army, Muntaqim was 19 years old at the time of his 1971 arrest, which was followed by his conviction three years later for the murder of two NYPD police officers, Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini. After nearly a half-century behind bars and over a dozen parole requests, Muntaqim’s parole was approved last September, one month before his sixty-ninth birthday.

Read the rest here. Write political prisoners here and here.