LAST THURSDAY AUGUST 12, RUSSELL MAROON SHOATZ’S PETITION TO QUIETLY LIVE OUT HIS DAYS IN HOSPICE CARE WAS DENIED.
Judge Kai Scott of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas denied Russell Maroon Shoatz’s petition for a medical transfer, despite his immobility and terminal cancer diagnosis, because she believes he is a danger to the community and a risk of escape.
Statement from the ‘Free Maroon Now!’ Coalition We are in total disagreement with the obviously politically influenced decision by Judge Scott of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to currently deny our Elder’s petition for transfer to hospice care, due to an unfounded believe that Maroon is still a “threat to escape & a threat to society.”
Too, we are vehemently opposed to the needless days of waiting that the family was forced to endure between the two court hearings and to then have to come to grips with this falsely hopeful “selling of a dream” decision that was both totally unreasonable and emotionally cruel.
The armed domestic war during the late 60s, 70s and early 80s in the United States between the Police & Black Radicals has long since passed with extreme casualties on both sides and the call for peace & reconciliation is the only way for society to justly move forward from those turbulent years of struggle in America.
Russell Maroon Shoatz can no more be considered “a threat to escape & a threat to society” than the elderly bedridden ICU patients on ventilators from COVID that he too, by the grace of God & community support, somehow survived from the medical neglect that so many other prisoners have died from.
We call upon all clergy, community activists, educators, elected officials, and freedom loving people to join in our struggle to support and call on Judge Scott have the courage to reverse her decision at the next appeals hearing and grant Maroon’s petition to hospice care. linktr.ee/FreeMaroonNow
Statement from the Shoatz Family On behalf of the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles and the ancestors of Russell “Harun-Maroon” Shoatz, we would like to first thank all of those who have stood with us over the years in action & prayer to help bring our beloved Elder Patriarchal Father back home to us.
That said, we are saddened but not disheartened about the recent decision by Judge Scott of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to deny our Elder’s petition for transfer to hospice care and pledge to continue our struggle to have Russell Harun-Maroon Shoatz peacefully spend his last days amongst both his loving family and the duly respected members of our community.
We unequivocally disagree with Judge Scott’s opinion that a 78-year-old deeply religious, COVID-surviving, partially blind, wheelchair bound, urinary catheter bag dependent, and waiting to die from stage 4 pancreatic cancer person could in any way possibly “still present a risk of escape and threat to public safety”.
We therefore would respectfully appeal to her stated belief in mercy to ultimately reverse her decision to grant the hospice care petition and insure that Russell Harun-Maroon Shoatz not die in prison.
Statement from Russell Maroon Shoatz’s Legal Team Maroon’s petition for transfer to hospice care was denied by Judge Scott of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas after two hearings. That law that allows people in Maroon’s position to request transfer to hospice care is very limited, and requires people to meet a strict set of criteria to be eligible for transfer to hospice care. Even then, judges have the discretion to deny these petitions if they choose.
In Maroon’s case, Judge Scott acknowledged that he met every eligibility requirement except for one — that we must prove he does not present a risk of “escape” or a threat to public safety. Judge Scott acknowledged many factors weighing in favor of Maroon — his medical and physical condition, letters of support describing how he has mentored countless people over the years, decades without being charged with any crimes or misconducts in the DOC, and the extensive support he would have from the community around him. Judge Scott also expressed that she believes in mercy and that everyone should be able to transition to the next life with their loved ones around them.
Ultimately, however, Judge Scott said that she would not be doing her job as a judge if she granted Maroon that mercy. She decided that, based on his past criminal convictions from the 1970s and 80s, Maroon still presented a risk of escape and threat to public safety. We obviously disagree with this decision, and we’re committed to continuing to work with Maroon to carry out his wishes.
WHAT: Running Down the Walls – 5k Run/Walk/Jog/Bike/Hang WHEN: 2:00-7:00pm, Sunday, September 12th, 2021 WHERE: Prospect Park– Lincoln Road/East Lake Drive, east of the Terrace Bridge COST: $10 registration (if COVID permits, will include food/drink afterwards. TBD)
We’re excited to announce Running Down the Walls 2021, COVID permitting. After making the difficult decision to not hold last year’s event in person, we are very much looking forward to gathering as a community for the first time in a long time. Please stay tuned to our website, sign up for our newsletter, and follow us on twitter (@nycabc) for updates.
Every year, prisoners and supporters of political prisoners organize solidarity events with Running Down the Walls. In previous years, we’ve had runs in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Boston (MA), Buffalo (NY), Chico (CA), Denver (CO), Elmore (AL), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), Minneapolis (MN) New York (NY), USP Navosta (TX), Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Tucson (AZ), Seattle (WA), and Toronto, Ontario. This year we hope to expand the amount of runs in prisons and other cities, as well as increase the amount of funds raised for community projects. NYC ABC‘s goal with this year’s run is $4,000. You can donate online by going to paypal.me/nycabc
REGISTER AS, OR SPONSOR, A PARTICIPANT
To raise our goal of $4,000, we need your support. * Promote – print and distribute flyers to friends and local businesses, your doctor’s office, laundromat, food co-op, wealthy benefactor, et cetera. * Run/walk/bike/roll in the 5k – We need participants who can run/walk/bike/roll the 5k and are able to collect financial pledges to offer as donations to the run. Download the brochure, complete with registration and sponsor form right here. * Volunteer for the run – We need folks who are willing to hand out water, bike the route as street medics, and help chalk the route beforehand. * Donate online at paypal.me * Donate to the run/sponsor a participant – If you are not able to attend, but want to support this fundraising effort, please mail donations to: NYC ABC PO Box 110034 Brooklyn, NY 11211
Your donation of $10 or more entitles you to the celebratory picnic after the event.
Each year, we split proceeds between the Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s Warchest Program and a local organization. This year, local funds are going to New York state political prisoners released within the last year.
Jessica Reznicek is a 40 year old land and water defender who has worked with and lived in the Des Moines Catholic Worker community for the last 10 years. In 2016, Jessica took a stand against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Jessica and her fellow organizers attended public comment hearings, gathered signatures for valid requests for Environmental Impact Statements, and participated in civil disobedience, hunger strikes, marches and rallies, boycotts and encampments.
In 2017, Jessica and another person took direct action and disabled construction machinery in order to protect the land. No one was injured by their actions, and the land was protected from the flow of oil for an additional six months.
Jessica has worked with the Catholic Worker and the homeless populations of Duluth and Des Moines. She has worked on third-party accompaniment work in Palestine, as an organizer during Occupy Wall Street, both at Zuccoti and in Des Moines. She has campaigned against weapons contractor Northrup Grumman in Omaha and protested the drone base in Des Moines. She also protested the construction of a U.S. Naval base on Jeju island, South Korea so as to save the sacred Gureombi Rock in the village of Gangjeon.
On February 6, 2021, Jessica pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility and on June 30, 2021, was sentenced to 8 years in prison. She received the ‘federal crime of terrorism’ enhancement and was ordered to pay over 3 million dollars in restitution and three years of supervised release. She reported to federal prison on August 11, 2021. Jessica has a deep love for nature, camping, swimming, hiking, theology, music, gardening, laughter and eco-sustainability, as well as a commitment to self-discovery through deep relationships cultivated in intentional faith-based community living.
“I was arrested in January 2018 at an anti-fascist protest of an alt-right gala in New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Nearly a thousand people, many of whom were Proud Boys, were celebrating the one-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration inside a venue there. Outside, roughly a hundred protesters milled around with signs and slogans. Most, including myself, were in black bloc attire, but the protest was very tame, which was fine with me.
Unfortunately, around 10:30 p.m., a cluster of attendees from the gala, clearly drunk, ran into a cluster of protesters. I don’t know how it started, but it soon became a melee with a half-dozen people from each side fighting. I had been in the streets since the Women’s March that morning, over 12 hours by that point. I was tired, cold and hungry, and I’d been about to leave. Before I did, drunk alt-right guys in suits started trying to punch me and I defended myself.”
NYC ABC, along with several other individuals and prisoner support crews 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.
Free ’em all, NYC ABC — NYC ABC PO Box 110034 Brooklyn, NY11211
Currently, there are two places you can get political prisoner buttons. Gender Enders are selling Gage Halupowski, Eric King and Bill Dunne buttons as fundraisers. You can buy them at genderended.com/category/buttons
“We’re excited to be carrying these political prisoner buttons from Blue Ridge ABC. They come in 9 different mix packs.
Each pack contains 6 buttons with the names, faces and in many cases support sites for U.S.- held political prisoners, a mixture of well-known and less famous, younger and older, from different movements. A great resource for starting conversations and spreading support.”
Button packs represent:
#1) Sean Swain, Jeremy Hammond, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jaan Laaman, Hanif Shabaz Bey, Dion Ortiz
#2) Ramsey Orta, Reality Winner, Leonard Peltier, Muhammad Burton, Chuck Africa, Imam Siddique Abdullah Hasan
#3) Joshua Williams, Marius Mason, Tom Manning, Janet Africa, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, Russell “Maroon” Shoats
#4) Red Fawn Fallis, Michael Kimble, Eddie Africa, Joe-Joe Bowen, Walter Bond, Bill Dunne
#5) Oso Blanco, James “Angry Bird” White, David Gilbert, Greg Curry, Ed Poindexter, Janine Africa
#6) Jennifer “Babygirl” Gann, Delbert Africa, Jalil Muntaqim, Xinachtli, Michael “Little Feather” Giron, Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald
#7) Ruchell “Cinque” Magee, Kamau Sadiki, Eric King, Nina Droz Franco, Bomani Shakur, Ronald Reed
#8) Veronza Bowers, Mutulu Shakur, Casey Brezik, Rayquan Borum, Josh “Skelly” Stafford, Keith “Comrade Malik” Washington
#9) Jay Chase, Jalil Al Amin, Doug Wright, Sundiata Acoli, Michael “Rattler” Markus, Abdul Azziz