Monthly Archives: June 2021

It’s time to release Sundiata Acoli: commute his sentence to time served!

Rev. Lukata Mjumbe | 6/17/2021, New York Amsterdam News

Sundiata Acoli is an 84-year-old grandfather, mentor, teacher and artist who has been in prison for more than 48 years. He and Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur) were both convicted and sentenced to life in prison (with the possibility of parole) for their role in the tragic shooting on the New Jersey State Turnpike which resulted in the death of New Jersey state trooper, Werner Foerster and Black Panther Party member named Zayd Shakur. The highly publicized trial and Assata Shakur’s subsequent escape from prison in 1979 have framed Sundiata’s imprisonment as one of the most emotional and passionately debated cases in the history of the state of New Jersey. Though Sundiata has been eligible for parole for more than 25 years his petitions for parole have been summarily denied eight times.

By the grace of God, Sundiata has endured almost five decades of imprisonment in some of the most torturous prisons in America. He has expressed deep remorse and regret and has taken full responsibility for his actions that fateful night almost 50 years ago. There is so much that this veteran freedom fighter can teach a country that does not seem to be able to move beyond the cycles of protest, retaliation and revenge. I am a pastor at a historic Black Church in Princeton, N.J. and I am blessed to serve as Sundiata’s “faith based” counsel and representative in the Bring Sundiata Acoli Home Alliance.

I first “met” Sundiata Acoli over 25 years ago after sending him a letter to where he was imprisoned in a maximum security prison in Leavenworth, Kan. Sundiata Acoli is a graduate of Prairie View University in Texas and was a mathematician and computer analyst who worked for NASA prior to committing his life full time to the civil rights movement and as a leader in the Black Panther Party. When I learned about Sundiata, I was a recent college dropout turned full time activist working as a Human Rights Fellow for Amnesty International-USA. I was intrigued by his story and I wanted to learn more. I was assigned the responsibility of working on a wide range of domestic human rights projects including the abolition of the death penalty and advocacy on behalf of those identified as “political prisoners” in the United States. I came to learn that Sundiata Acoli was so much more than his political history or an iconic symbol drawing passionate responses from both supporters and opponents.

As an octogenarian COVID-19 survivor in the early stages of dementia, currently suffering from heart disease and emphysema, Sundiata does not represent a safety threat to anyone, anywhere. As recently as May 2021, the N.J. Board of Parole seemingly ignored the fact that Sundiata has had a perfect disciplinary record for almost 30 years and teaches a class in federal prison for young prisoners preparing for re-entry into communities on parole.

Currently, Sundiata sits in a federal prison cell on the verge of what many of his supporters see as a politically motivated death sentence. At last count, close to 10,000 women and men have signed an online petition calling upon New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to grant compassionate release and allow Sundiata to go home to his family. I pray every day that those in power will submit to the call of a higher power which calls humanity for forgiveness, mercy and grace.

Over the decades of his incarceration, I have come to know him as a father of two daughters and grandfather that longs to hug his grandchildren outside of a prison. I know Sundiata as a source of wise and calming counsel to scores of young activists who needed to understand the connection of one generation of freedom fighters to the next. I know Sundiata as a mentor who encouraged me to be a committed father to my newborn children, return to college and complete graduate school as I discovered my true calling as an activist-minister. Two decades ago, I would have jumped at any opportunity to debate the details of Sundiata’s case and argue the tragedy of political calculations which extend prison sentences for prisoners such as Sundiata and many other aging political prisoners. No more. Today, I am focused on the moral tragedy of a government that waits for aging prisoners to die through the use of de facto death sentences. In this hour, I am committed to calling upon communities to prevent these political death sentences from being executed. The deaths of those identified as “political prisoners” stigmatize freedom movements, institutionalize vengeance and revoke our best hopes for healing and reconciliation.

I remember in one of our first telephone conversations, I asked Sundiata, “When do you think that you will be released?” He answered, “That’s up to you. The people make that decision.” It is a decision that is overdue. If not now—Sundiata Acoli will die in prison. It is time for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy to do what is right and exercise his executive power to release Sundiata Acoli by commuting his sentence to time served.

PS- Sign the petition to Governor Murphy.

Write Sundiata:
Sundiata Acoli* #39794-066
FCI Cumberland
PO Box 1000
Cumberland, MD 21501
*Address envelope to Clark Squire

New Website for Oso Blanco!

Our friends with Philly ABC have exciting news- a new website for political prisoner Oso Blanco!

Oso Blanco is an indigenous activist originally serving 80 years in prison for a series of bank expropriations throughout the southwest in 1998-1999. In 2016, 25 years were taken off his sentence when he won his Johnson v. U.S. appeal making him eligible for release in 2048. He is part of the wolf clan Cherokee/Choctaw, raised in New Mexico. His indigenous name is Oso Blanco, or Yona Unega in Cherokee. He was known to the FBI as ‘Robin the Hood’ because he informed the bank tellers he was expropriating funds to assist the Zapatistas fighting for independence in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

Oso Blanco continues his assistance to Zapatistas and native kids from within prison through the Children’s Art Project (CAP). Check out the artwork he created to raise funds for native kids, for sale online as greeting cards and posters, on his new website at Please support the ‘Zapatista supply warrior’ in his mission and share the link within your networks!

And be sure to get the amazing greeting cards that Oso Blanco made as a fundraiser for the Children’s Art Project at


Emergency Action for Russell “Maroon” Shoatz! Maroon’s Cancer Treatment Has Been Canceled!

Russell Maroon Shoatz, a 77-year-old political prisoner, is suffering from stage 4 cancer. The DOC canceled his scheduled chemotherapy treatments last month. Maroon is very ill and upset that he still cannot begin these life-saving treatments. Your voice can make the difference! Call, fax and email this Thursday!


Eastern Time: 9 AM-12 Noon, 1-4 PM
Pacific Time: 9 AM-12 noon, 1-4 PM

PA Governor Tom Wolf
Phone: 717-787-2500 ext. 3
FAX: 717-772-8284
[email protected]
[email protected]
facebook: @governorwolf, @TomWolfPA
Instagram: @governortomwolf

PA DOC Secretary John Wetzel
Phone: 717-728-2573
[email protected]
[email protected]

Prison SCI Dallas:
Phone: 570-675-1101
PA DOC, Christopher Oppman:

Deputy Secretary for Administration who oversees healthcare
Phone: 717-728-4122

Philly DA Larry Krasner
Phone: 215-686-8000
[email protected]
Twitter: @DA_LarryKrasner
Instagram: @larrykrasner


My name is __________________ and I demand:

1. The immediate scheduling of necessary chemotherapy treatments for Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF-3855, who has stage 4 cancer and is recovering from COVID-19.

2. I am aware that he had previous been scheduled for treatment and this it was postponed indefinitely. Mr. Shoatz must be put on the schedule for treatment today.

Russell Shoatz’s health is rapidly deteriorating. They track the calls from different phones and how many times the same number calls so please keep calling and activate your networks.

Make the calls, emails and tweets to ensure Maroon gets immediate response and medical treatment.

Our sincere gratitude for all of your support.

Brief update on Eric King

Eric cannot get letters right now but can get books (softcover only), magazines and zines. You can send them him at the address below. Please use white envelopes and hand write addresses.

Eric King #27090-045
FCI Englewood
9595 West Quincy Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123

book wishlist (no books on there right now)

Eric King Playlist 2.0 has been updated with a song by Nirvana which Eric loves.

Eric’s case featured on Kite Line Radio

and in case you missed it:
CLDC Press Release on the filing of Eric’s lawsuit
Natasha Lennard’s amazing piece on Eric’s lawsuit
Read the lawsuit here.

2022 Certain Days calendar submission deadline now 6.20!

The call for art and articles for the 2022 Certain Days calendar has been extended to June 20th! Get your art and writing in by then!

Read the call at or at

Creating a New World in the Shell of the Old – the 21st edition of the Certain Days calendar

The Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar collective ( will be releasing our 21st calendar this coming autumn. The 2022 theme is “Creating a New World in the Shell of the Old,” looking at collective approaches at creating a more inclusive and fulfilling world through mutual effort.

We are looking for 12 pieces of art and 12 short essays to feature in the calendar, which hangs in more than 6,000 homes, workplaces, prison cells, and community spaces around the world. We encourage contributors to submit both new and existing work. We especially seek submissions from people in prison or jail, so please forward to any prison-based artists and writers.

Featured art- Grae Rosa

NYCABC Letter Writing for Iman Jamil al-Amin 6.15.21

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday June 15th, 2021
WHERE: your home (or wherever you happen to be)
COST: Free

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

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
USP Tucson
PO Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734

Support Anti-fascist political prisoner Gage Halupowski

Support Gage Halupowski! Gage is an antifascist political prisoner from Portland, OR who was arrested while countering a far-right demonstration in June 2019. He is currently two years into a six-year sentence.

Write Gage messages of solidarity & support:
Gage Halupowski #21894460
Snake River Correctional Institution
777 Stanton Blvd.
Ontario, OR 97914-8335

The origins of the June 11th Day of Solidarity

Civil Liberties Defense Center article on the origin of the June 11th day of solidarity for Marius Mason and anarchist prisoners.

“June 11th is a reminder to us that though we spend our days outside of a prison many of our friends and allies spend theirs behind bars having sacrificed what little freedom they had to fight for something greater than themselves. We have a responsibility to them and to ourselves to struggle and fight until all are free.”

– Jeff “Free” Luers, former Green Scare prisoner

When you’re a political prisoner, the cards are stacked against you in a very purposeful way by the carceral State. Prisoners who feel isolated from their families and friends, uncared for, and forgotten, are more easily demoralized and depoliticized. For these reasons, it means so much for supporters on the outside to show solidarity with incarcerated comrades by maintaining contact through letters, sending books, and raising funds for their commissary needs. Sharing ongoing updates with your networks about how prisoners are faring while locked up is an act of resistance. New York City Anarchist Black Cross compiles and publishes a newsletter every other week for just this purpose.

Through June 11 and other campaigns, activist supporters from all over the world are regularly reminded that the collective work for liberation and the abolition of the prison industrial complex is intimately linked to prisoners’ struggles. After all, any one of us who demonstrates our defiance of the State’s profit-driven, racist ecocide could be next. Movements cannot afford to abandon prisoners who have put their freedom on the line — sometimes for decades — for acting upon their ethical convictions.

Since 2004, when June 11 was established as the International Day of Solidarity with ecoprisoner Jeff “Free” Luers, people from around the world have come together to show their support for anarchist and other political prisoners through a variety of tactics that have ranged from letter-writing events to banner drops, and more. We invite you to join the day of solidarity by attending a local event or simply writing a letter from wherever you are.

Marius Mason, a trans Green Scare prisoner and (previous CLDC client), is an anarchist environmental, animal rights, and labor activist currently serving nearly 22 years in federal prison for acts of property damage carried out in defense of the planet. He is also a painter and poet. You can learn more about Marius and how to support him HERE.

CLDC client Eric King, is another prisoner who urgently needs support. Eric 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. Last month we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Eric’s behalf against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (“BOP”) and more than 40 of its correctional officers. His constitutional rights have been continually violated since 2018 and his life and safety are regularly in jeopardy in retaliation for his political and anti-racist actions while incarcerated. 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.

You can learn more about other incarcerated anarchists, by visiting the June 11 website, which also includes information about how to reach out and show your support — which is appreciated more than those of us on the outside could know. If you have never written to a prisoner before, that’s OK! You can learn more about sometimes very stringent prison rules regarding mail to prisoners and how to start HERE.

‘Til the walls fall!

Kings Bay Plowshare reports to prison

Mark Colville reported to the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center in the afternoon yesterday, June 8, to serve the remainder of his 21 month sentence. He had been incarcerated for 15 months prior to trial so should have to serve about four more months. He does not want to apply for any early release to home confinement or a halfway house as he views that type of intrusive supervision and wearing an ankle monitor as worse than being in a prison.

You can write him at
Mark Colville   #03610-036          
Metropolitan Detention Center                                                                          
PO Box 329002,    
Brooklyn, NY 11232

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