WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday June 15th, 2021
WHERE: your home (or wherever you happen to be)
Sometimes it seems that the struggle for a free society is reduced to something so simple as the struggle to remember. The ruling class hates to be reminded that it wasn’t bootstraps but the ongoing violence of settler colonialism that bought them their Sunday brunch. Or that Stonewall wasn’t a commercial for a big box store, or an isolated event in the centuries of rebellions big and small by those on the losing side of patriarchal supremacy and its false binaries. And right now, as ‘we’ are ‘getting back to normal,’ the triumphalism that callously asserts the needs of domestic markets in the face of a still raging international pandemic insists that we forgot the suffering and wide scale preventable deaths that were all most of us could think about for the past year. We are told to take off our masks, get back to work, and go to brunch, and to forget those who got sick and especially the hundreds of thousands who died. In a very similar way we are told that Black Panthers are comic book characters and fashion symbols to appropriate, safely ancient history if they were ever real at all; that Indigenous resistance to genocide is a thing of the past; that de-colonial freedom struggles were a ’boomer fad, and that the “united states” doesn’t have any political prisoners.
But what if we choose to remember?
What if we insist on remembering that those who resisted and fell, those who were captured, are human beings?
What if we got to know them as people with aches and pains and senses of humor and wisdom won through decades of principled struggle?
What would happen if we remember that the struggle continues?
This week NYC ABC and Page One Collective are asking you write to Imam Jamil Al-Amin (formerly known as H. Rap Brown). Jamil Al-Amin is a long time community leader and organizer, falsely imprisoned for killing a sheriff’s deputy in Georgia. He was convicted in 2002 and after some time in Georgia state prison, the state decided to bury him in federal custody at the notorious Florence Supermax in Colorado before being held in Arizona. The Imam has bone cancer and other health issues, so his family and supporters are currently pushing for an appeal to his trial and for his return to Georgia to receive better medical care and to be able to take a more active role in appealing his case. More information on what you can do is available at whathappened2rap.com
We are asking folks to take the time to write a letter to Jamil (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online). Please note that as it states on his support site “Imam Jamil is not receiving proper medical care and is now blind as a result.” We are suggesting to send typewritten letters in a large font (size 18 font and over) to let him and those holding him captive know that he is far from forgotten:
Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin #99974-555
PO Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734