Since 1999, prisoners and supporters throughout North America have participated in the annual event known as Running Down the Walls (RDTW) often running or walking simultaneously in many cities and prisons at once. This is 5k non-competitive run/jog/walk/roll in order to raise awareness and funds for the numerous political prisoners currently held in North American prisons. The 2020 event is scheduled for Sunday, September 6th.
An important component of Running Down the Walls is the solidarity runs that take place throughout numerous cities throughout North America. Solidarity runs that are held in our communities are designed to illustrate, through several small collective actions, that we have not forgotten our comrades locked up behind prison walls. Runs that are held in prisons are designed to both politicize other prisoners and to illustrate that the acts of solidarity have been heard.
This annual event is also one of the primary fundraisers for the ABCF Warchest Program – a fund designed to assist political prisoners who normally received little or no financial support with monthly checks. Other funds raised should be used to support local groups of your choosing, whether that is your own organization or another group you’d like to support. The choice is yours.
To highlight the importance of these events, we will provide you with two statements from our imprisoned comrades concerning RDTW.
“As we ran we were thinking and talking about all the runners in Los Angeles and how we’d love to be out there running with them. We also spoke about the other political prisoners who were running with us in at least some other prisons… Not only our pace and spirits soared, but the sun broke through the clouds and the temperature rose to the 60’s. So we ran down the walls and ran up the sun and we were glad to be doing it.”
– Jaan Laaman
“Regardless of how one identifies politically, support for Running Down the Walls can be an important statement of solidarity in an era that finds the movement for the most equitable social reality unduly fragmented. Such support is not only recognition of the trial and tribulations suffered by the diversity of PP/POWs imprisoned for their contributions to the struggle. It is also an affirmation that the many voices recognizing those contributions and seeking justice for the prisoners are at least fellow travelers who have much more in common that at odds and share the same side of the barricade.”
– Bill Dunne
We must collectively raise our voice in support of those held behind the prison walls.
We must let them know that we are here for them until they are free.
We must Run Down the Walls!
SUPPORT THE STRUGGLE
Remember that many of those arrested in the past or present are not far from us. Many of them were and are community and labor activists, queer and environmental activists people who decided to speak out against various forms of oppression and paid the price of freedom for their actions. Anyone of these people could have at one time stood beside us in a demonstration, at a speak-out or even an organizing meeting. At any moment it could be us who finds ourselves in this situation, so it is imperative that we ensure that a strong community of support exists for these people as well as ourselves. The strength of our movement is determined by how much we support our comrades.
• Be a participant: This year’s run in Los Angeles will be social distance / viral event. Because of COVID-19, we want to ensure that people are safe, but still find a way to participate in this annual event. We are asking people to run in their own communities between 11am-1pm PST. We will start the event with a post on the LA Facebook and Instagram where statements will be read from various political prisoners. As people participate in the run, we ask that people post videos and photos onto their social media, using the hashtags #RDTW2020, #RunningDowntheWalls, #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners, #LongLiveSekouKambui . We also ask that you tag the LA ABC’s Twitter (@la_abcf), Instagram (laabcf) or Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/labcf).
It is important to note that anyone – regardless of location – can participate in this event. For more information, please check us out here.
Running Down the Walls events are also taking place in the following areas:
Philadelphia (click here for more information.)
New York (click here for more information.)
Lowell/Lawrence, MA (information will be posted soon)
• Sponsor a participant: This can be done through a flat donation to the runner/walker/cyclist of your choice.
• Sponsor Running Down the Walls: Any amount helps. Contact the Los Angeles Anarchist Black Cross if you wish to simply donate money. Organizations who donate more than $35 will be added to the list of sponsor organizations on the website and all fliers/posters. You can sponsor RDTW by clicking here.
• Donate to the Warchest: For the Warchest send funds to Lancaster ABCF, P.O. Box 8682, Lancaster, PA 17604 indicating your desire for those funds to go to the Warchest. Please make checks and money orders to Tim Fasnacht. You can also donate by clicking here.
• Organize a Running Down the Walls in your area: We wish to expand the solidarity runs in more cities and prisons if are interested in organizing this event in your area. Events can be as big or small as you choose. Contact LA ABCF if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org.