This week NYC ABC will focus our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinner on Sundiata Acoli and Dr. Mutulu Shakur, a former Black Panther Party member and a former Black Liberation Army member who are serving time for charges connected to Assata Shakurand/or her successful 1979 prison break and escape.
A New York Black Panther, Sundiata Acoli endured two years of prison awaiting trial for the Panther 21 Conspiracy Case. He and his comrades were eventually acquitted on all the bogus charges. The case was historic and a classic example of police and government attempting to neutralize organizations by incarcerating their leadership. As a result of this political attack and because of the immense pressure and surveillance from the FBI and local police Sundiata, like many other Panther leaders went “underground.” On May 2, 1973, Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur and Zayd Shakur were ambushed and attacked by state troopers on the New Jersey Turnpike. Assata was wounded and Zayd was killed. During the gun battle a state trooper was shot and killed in self defense. Sundiata was tried in an environment of mass hysteria and convicted, although there was no credible evidence that he killed the trooper or had been involved in the shooting. He was sentenced to thirty years. Sundiata was ordered released on parole by a state appeals court in New Jersey in September 2014 when the court ruled the parole board had “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” when it previously denied him parole. The State of New Jersey has appealed the decision. More information: sundiataacoli.org
In 1987 Dr. Mutulu Shakur was sentenced to 60 years imprisonment for his role in the Black Liberation Movement. In March 1982, Dr. Shakur and 10 others were indicted by a federal grand jury under a set of U.S. conspiracy laws called Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) laws. These conspiracy laws were ostensibly developed to aid the government in its prosecution of organized crime figures; however, they have been used with varying degrees of success against revolutionary organizations. Dr. Shakur was charged with conspiracy and participation in the Black Liberation Army, a group that carried out actual and attempted expropriations from several banks. Eight incidents were alleged to have occurred between December 1976 to October 1981. In addition, he was charged with participation in the 1979 prison escape of Assata Shakur, who is now in exile in Cuba. After five years underground, Dr. Shakur was arrested on February 12, 1986. While he was on the street, Dr. Shakur challenged the use of methadone as a tool of recovery for addicts. He believed in natural remedies instead and, based on those beliefs, founded the Black Acupuncture Advisory Association of North America. Many people credit Shakur with saving their lives. Dr. Shakur has worked to free political prisoners and to expose government abuses against political organizers. While in prison, he has struggled to create peace between rival gangs. More information: mutulushakur.com
If for some insane reason you cannot join us Tuesday, please write them at home:
Sundiata Acoli* #39794-066
Federal Correctional Institution
Post Office Box 1000
Cumberland, Maryland 21501
*Address envelope to Clark Squire
Dr. Mutulu Shakur #83205-012
Post Office Box 3900
Adelanto, California 92301
The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the PP/POW Birthday Calendar.
In 1969 Palestinian Leila Khaled made history by becoming the first woman to hijack an airplane. As a Palestinian child growing up in Sweden, filmmaker Lina Makboul admired Khaled for her bold actions; as an adult, she began asking complex questions about the legacy created by her childhood hero. This fascinating documentary is at once a portrait of Khaled, an exploration of the filmmaker’s own understanding of her Palestinian identity, and a complicated examination of the nebulous dichotomy between “terrorist” and “freedom fighter.” When Makboul tracks Khaled down, she finds Khaled living an ordinary life in Jordan, still firm in her belief that her actions were necessary and fully justified. The film weaves together scenes with Khaled, archival footage, and interviews with the people who were on the planes Khaled hijacked. Makboul searches for a way to reconcile her understanding of the Palestinian national narrative – which now includes Khaled’s actions – with the negative image she encounters from the rest of the world of Palestinians as bloodthirsty terrorists. At the same time, she comes to know Khaled for the very real person that she is as they talk, travel together, and share meals. The result is a multi-dimensional film unlike any other in its skillful handling of the complexities that arise when liberation movements incorporate violence as a tactic.
Eric King is back in segregation after an attack at USP McCreary. We’re going to send him some letter of encouragement after this terrible incident. Below is write up from his support crew:
Last week Eric got news that his CMU transfer was rejected. He was placed on the yard at USP McCreary despite officers and lieutenants expressing their knowledge he was in danger being an anti-fascist prisoner. The 280 days of solitary confinement has done emotional damage to him and he couldn’t stand the thought of 6 more months that would be given to him if he chose to be safe and refused to enter general population. On the yard he was told that the “long term” phone block Eric has would end after “a few years of good behavior”. This means no hope of talking to his family anytime soon.
Monday Eric was attacked by two Fash prisoners with the prior knowledge of staff. Eric was placed back in segregation and we believe he was given a disciplinary shot which will mean likely loss of visits and commissary as well as indefinite time in segregation. We dont know the extent of his injuries but believe (and hope) that they were not as bad as his last attack at florence. His family still has been unable to see him for 283 days and have not yet been able to speak with him on the phone.
To help eric not loose himself and his connection with the outside world. He is asking folks to PLEASE send articles for him to read. (all) News about his favorite football team Manchester United, about science, IRA articles, space, anything interesting, funny, weird or entertaining.
These articles MUST be in black and white on non glossy standard weight printer paper. Letters to eric must be typed or written in black ink on the same type of paper. No borders, pencil, colored envelopes, no address labels and please number the pages so he knows if something is missing.
ERIC ONLY HAS ACCESS TO 3 ENVELOPES A WEEK AND MAY BE UNABLE TO REPLY, HE WANTS FOLKS TO KNOW THAT HE WISHES HE COULD RESPOND TO EVERY LETTER AND LOOKS FORWARD TO DOING SO AGAIN.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND ANY BOOKS as he will not receive them and there is no guarantee they will be returned.
Eric King 27090045
P.O. BOX 3000
PINE KNOT, KY 42635
If folks want to help and donate to Eric and to be able to get his family out to visit him, donations can be made here.
with solidarity to all in prison, and all who support them
with love and rage
-EK support crew
Movement for No Society is a book that examines the division between leftist and anarchist approaches to radical politics in Philadelphia and traces its history and implications for the broader contemporary
situation. As activism and electoral politics gain currency amongst radicals, the authors look to the insurgent history of this area for less compromised inspiration. Movement for No Society explores the
current possibilities of direct struggle, which grounds direct action in autonomous self-organization and attack. In this presentation, we will delve into the history of local struggles in Philadelphia (including
indigenous, black, and anarchist resistance) to consider the broader lessons and implications. We will discuss how the situation in Philadelphia can help anticipate the problems and possibilities offered to anarchists in the current moment.