Since we know that prisons, and more specifically prison officials, create a culture of fear and retaliation, this week NYC ABC will be focusing our every-other-week political prisoner letter-writing dinner on Joe-Joe Bowen, who is no stranger to rebelling against captors as a path towards collective liberation. Joe-Joe was recently transferred and put into solitary confinement and in addition to letters, NEEDS YOUR HELP.
A native of Philadelphia, Joe-Joe was a young member of the “30th and Norris” street gang before his incarceration politicized him. Released in 1971, his outside activism was cut short a week following his release when Joe-Joe was confronted by an officer of the notoriously brutal Philadelphia police department. The police officer was killed in the confrontation, and Bowen fled. After his capture and incarceration, Bowen became a Black Liberation Army combatant, defiant to authorities at every turn. In 1973, Joe-Joe assassinated Holmesberg prison’s warden and deputy warden as well as wounded the guard commander in retaliation for intense repression against Muslim prisoners in the facility. In 1981, Bowen led a six-day standoff with authorities when he and six other captives took 39 hostages at Graterford Prison as a freedom attempt and protest of the prison conditions.
If you will not be able to join us this upcoming Tuesday, you can still write to Joe-Joe:
Smart Communications/PA DOC
Joseph Bowen AM4272
Post Office Box 33028
Saint Petersburg, Florida 33733
*Address cards/letters to Joe-Joe.
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.
This week we are writing to prison rebel Keith Lamar, a prison rebel, who is on Death Row for the uprising in Lucasville prison. He was serving a 17 year to life sentence as a youth, and became politicized in prison. In April 1993, there was rebellion against the racist policies at Lucasville prison in Ohio. After the uprising was put down several inmates were placed on death row. The state recently announced Keith Lamar’s execution date. We, at RAM, are dedicating this event to him and sending in letters of support.
For more info check here:
RAM – NYC: Support Through the Walls is an abolitionist and anarchist organization that sends revolutionary literature to US prisoners. We recognize the prison industrial complex as one of the most draconian institutions in the United States and we want to offer our support as solidarity.
This week we are reading two text’s by theorist Monique Wittig, “The Straight Mind,” and “One is Not Born a Woman.” These are materialist theoretical contributions on gender abolition. Monique Wittig describes these texts as a focus on “lesbian materialism,” in which she examines men and women as distinct classes rather than as “essentialist” categories. “Lesbians are not women,” writes Monique Wittig, and she presents powerful ideas about how the idea of “woman” is socially constructed and used to convey certain images. It is not enough, she argues, to transform economic oppression because not all oppression is, at the source, economic. Sexism will continue to exist even in a society where all people have equal economic opportunities. Only by transforming our thought processes, and in turn, our language, can we transform our society into one in which there is no longer the dominant and the dominated: “In other words, this means there cannot any longer be women and men, and that as classes and categories of thought or language they have to disappear, politically, economically, ideologically.”
“One is Not Born a Woman.”
“The Straight Mind.”