Eric King on solitary confinement

Have you read Eric King’s detailed account of life in solitary confinement in the Bureau of Prisons? Its called Flipping the Script and you can read it on the Solitary Watch link below.

Eric has now been in segregation over 600 days and is going to trial in October 2021and is represented by lawyers from Civil Liberties Defense Center. You can buy books for him off his wishlist at tiny.cc/EK_Books 

Read Flipping the Script at https://solitarywatch.org/2020/09/30/voices-from-solitary-flipping-the-script/

Kings Bay 7 Plowshare activist released from prison!

Via Nuclear Resister

FREEDOM!!!! After three years in jails and prisons (in Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, Nevada and Washington) following the April 2018 Kings Bay Plowshares action, Fr. Steve Kelly, S.J. was given time served this morning in the Tacoma federal courthouse for a 2017 probation violation that he had an outstanding warrant for (from a Bangor Trident base line crossing). As Steve says, “The nukes are not going to go away by themselves” – so onward, everyone, in continuing to work for a nuclear-free world!Photos by Dennis Apel.

More on the Kings Bay 7 Ploweshare prisoners at https://kingsbayplowshares7.org/

Kings Bay 7 Plowshare Activist Mark Colville Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison

BRUNSWICK, GA—More than three years after he and six other anti-nuclear activists entered Kings Bay Naval Base, home to six Trident nuclear submarines,  a federal judge sentenced Mark Colville to 21 months in prison.

Over a video conference, Judge Lisa Godbey Wood sentenced Mark to the minimum of the recommended guidelines provided by prosecutors. Mark is the last of the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 to be sentenced. Five are now in prison. Prior to the trial Mark had already served about 15 months of his sentence, which will count towards his 21 months.

Mark told the court that its refusal to recognize the right of his family and community “to live without a nuclear gun on hair trigger alert held perpetually to our heads… (has) placed it firmly in a posture of criminality.”

During our Festival of Hope earlier in the week, Mark announced that he had withdrawn six of his seven motions to the court arguing for vacating his sentence. He told supporters then that he saw no use in allowing the judge to act as if she seriously considered them.

“This government, in its lawlessness, has hidden first strike weapons with enough firepower to kill six billion people,” he read from his sentencing statement today. The court has a responsibility to “to allow the law to be applied beyond the fence at Kings Bay… a fence that I and my loved ones, with much fear and trembling, freely answered the call of faith, the call of conscience, and the call of generations yet unborn, to breach.

“In a very real sense, then, this hearing today is itself irrelevant. The court has already pronounced a sentence on me, on my family, and on my neighborhood.  We are hereby condemned to live as members of a rogue state, which, in the face of a global consensus that outlaws nuclear weapons, has budgeted what amounts to $100,000 per minute over the next ten years to upgrade its stockpile of these useless, poisonous idols.”

As with all six of his co-defendants, Mark was also ordered to share payment of restitution of $33,503.51. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised probation.

Mark called on teacher and activist Stephen Kobasa as his sole character witness.

“Mark Colville doesn’t need me here,” Stephen said. “His consistency, his passion, his fierce commitment to hope are completely apparent to anyone who has encountered him.

“There is nothing in the world of more seriousness than what Mark and his companions in the Kings Bay Plowshares demand that we face. The weapons at Kings Bay condemn us to living each and every moment in fear of losing everything we believe matters, everything we have, in a single flash of unbearable light.

“At this very moment there are a number of courtrooms in this country where cases of the most overwhelming importance are being decided. But even George Floyd’s murder in all its horror cannot compare to the truth… about nuclear weapons.

“For, you see, if Mark is right – and he is – then most of the rest of us have failed to tell the truth, even to ourselves about nuclear weapons, because if we did we would have no choice but to do what he and his companions did, and be standing alongside him here.”

Mark was given 60 days to report to prison. Information on the other Kings Bay 7 Plowshares is available at https://kingsbayplowshares7.org/jail-addresses/

Sunday, May 2nd Action to PA to FREE MAROON!!!

Sign up at this link.

Spring the Elders – Caravan of Love to Free Maroon – Sunday, May 2, 2021
On Sunday, May 2, 2021 we will gather together for a peaceful gathering of prayers and libations in Mt. Wolf, PA to celebrate and honor our beloved elder and black liberation freedom fighter, Russell “Maroon” Shoatz. Time persists that we demand the compassionate release of Maroon from prison.

Please bring signs, car banners, instruments, flowers, a letter to the governor in support of the release of Maroon, etc. Wear white.

1:00PM Meet at Conewago Creek Recreation Area in Mt. Wolf, PA – 1098 Wago Road, Mt. Wolf, PA 17347
2:00PM Organized caravan to second location
3:00PM Park and assemble (social distanced) on sidewalk for speaking and celebration
4:00PM Heading home

InstaGram: @FreeMaroonNow
Twitter: @FreeMaroonNow

50 Years Behind Bars: Jalil Muntaqim, COINTELPRO, and Lessons for Today.

Via Coaltion for Civil Freedoms

In episode 27 of our #InjusticeAtHome webinar series, we will be speaking with former Black Panther Jalil Muntatim, recently released from prison after nearly 50 years behind bars, Mauri’ Saalakhan of The Aafia Foundation, and attorney Steve Downs, about how the FBI used COINTELPRO to systematically attack the Black Panther Party through informants, frame-ups, and assassination, and what we can learn from this today, as we are trying to free prisoners preemptively prosecuted and essentially framed by the government as part of the War on Terror.

Moderated by CCF legal director and Muntaqim’s parole attorney, Kathy Manley.Register on Zoom at http://bit.ly/jalilmuntaqim or watch live on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/civilfreedoms/live this Friday, April 9 at 3:00 PM ET/12:00 PM PT.

Prison Break April 2021

Our friends at Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar have released their monthly column for It’s Going Down called Prison Break.

Here is an excerpt:
“Spring is here, the sun is shining a bit longer, prison guards are refusing the vaccinejudges are mandating video surveillance to combat guard abuse of prisoners with disabilities, and prison mail companies are expanding their surveillance. It’s a strange and cruel world we’re in the process of dismantling. We continue to see glimmers of light; Virginia—the state with the second most executions—has finally abolished the death penalty.

Read the rest of the column at https://itsgoingdown.org/prison-break-glimmers-of-light/

We hope you like it too!

April 6th– Letter Writing To Ruchell “Cinque” Magee with NYCABC

WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing
WHEN: 7pm, Tuesday, April 6th, 2021
WHERE: YOUR HOME
COST: Free

Image courtesy of freeruchellmagee.org

We are still mourning the loss of Chip Fitzgerald who died last week due to the neglect of the California prison system. But as the saying goes, “mourn the dead, but fight like hell for the living”. And so we must continue the struggle as Chip was not and is not the only elder still locked up, punished only for their fight for liberation. In that spirit, this week we encourage folx at home to write to Ruchell “Cinque” Magee, who is currently serving his 58th year in prison.

Ruchell Magee was unjustly captured in 1962 and given trumped-up charges. He is now 82 years old, forced to suffer mentally and physically due to the poor conditions inside California’s prison camps. With the COVID-19 crisis raging on, Ruchell needs your support and action so that he can be released, spend time with his loved ones, and better his community. After 58 years of injustice, enough is enough. Free Ruchell Magee now! More information here: https://www.freeruchellmagee.org/

Please take the time to write a letter to Cinque (and share a photo of your completed envelopes with us online):

Ruchell Magee #A92051 #T 115
California Medical Facility
P.O. Box 2000
Vacaville, CA 95696-2000

Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners

NYCABC has released their brand-new Illustrated Guide to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (v 14.2)

“We’ve finished the latest version of the NYC ABC “Illustrated Guide to
Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War” and it’s available for viewing
(and download) by clicking on the tab at the top of
https://nycabc.wordpress.com

This update includes updated mini-bios, photos, and address changes for
several prisoners. Unfortunately, we are removing Chip Fitzgerald
(deceased, REST IN POWER!).

Direct download here.

Regarding The Farewell Of Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald

On Behalf Of The Family & Committee To Free Chip

On Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 3:04 p.m., our brother, uncle, cousin, comrade and friend, Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, joined the ancestors. For a week, he lay barely conscious in a Los Angeles hospital as he struggled to extend his life after suffering a massive stroke in California’s gulag known as Lancaster. Chip’s strength and dedication to life remained intact as he defied those doctors who said he would not make it through the night in the hours after his initial arrival at the hospital. A stalwart soldier, he fought until his very last breath. Chip died as he had lived: fighting.

Among the government’s many victims, Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald was a member of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles. Incarcerated since 1969, he grew old in prison and was disabled many years ago by an earlier, less lethal stroke. Like millions of Black youth during the sixties, Chip, at the age of 17, joined the freedom struggle as the social justice movement rapidly expanded to include massive numbers of urban youth. The government’s conduct towards Chip proves that important elements of our society are guided by an irrational tradition that values vengeance over justice or reconciliation. This failure demonstrates the nation’s unwillingness to fully acknowledge historic wrongs perpetrated against Black Americans.

Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald was a social justice activist and it is inhumane to imprison activists for 50 years or more, particularly while others convicted of comparable crimes have served significantly less time. A closer look reveals the only differences between those serving shorter sentences and those serving longer ones are the political beliefs and affiliations some had with social justice groups like the Black Panther Party.

Chip never compromised, though he continued to the end to seek redress for this egregious wrong by working with his lawyer, family and defense committees to end his half century nightmare of a slow death behind bars. For us the living, Chip’s passing is a lesson to keep fighting the good fight. To give when perhaps it’s hard to give. And to live when perhaps life seems so empty. Chip’s life did not leave us without a clear message. During his final days in the hospital, the authorities felt the need to chain and shackle Chip to his bed. Despite the fact that he was hardly conscious, they saw this demeaning action as necessary. What they failed to understand is that you can neither jail nor shackle the spirit of liberation. May we all aspire to leave this same impression of daring to struggle until our last breath. And may Chip’s stalwart example give us the courage to dare to win.

All Power to the People!

Free All Political Prisoners!

A Service is being planned which may be in a month or so due to COVID, followed by a memorial. We want to also thank the many thousands who put their voices together to free Brother Chip.

NYCABC Statement on Death of Romaine ‘Chip’ Fitzgerald

Rest in Power Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald (April 11, 1949—March 29, 2021)

We are saddened and angered by the death that Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald suffered behind bars. Chip was a parent, grandparent, uncle, mentor, and Black Panther. He was held for 51 years which makes him one of the longest serving political prisoners anywhere in the world. Chip was continually denied both adequate medical care and compassionate release, though he clearly posed no threat to anyone. Chip became eligible for parole in 1976, and was partially paralyzed by a stroke in 1998. It is obvious to us that even by the inhumane logic of the carceral system he had over-served his sentence by decades, and was only being kept inside out of spite for his active participation in the ongoing struggle for Black Liberation.

The fact that neither the pandemic raging through California prisons nor Chip’s own failing health moved the corrupt powers-that-be to release him proves the callousness with which they regard the lives of Black people, not to mention the emptiness of their “progressive” posturing.

We honor Chip for his years of sacrifice and dedication. Even as we mourn his loss we celebrate the struggle for which he gave his life.

The Struggle continues…
Until All are Free!

-NYC ABC