NYC Anarchist Black Cross: Letter-Writing Dinner For Herman, Seth, and Jalil

While the majority of Americans use New Years Eve as an excuse to drink as much alcohol as they can consume only to ‘turn over a new leaf’ the following day by joining a gym, we at NYC ABC will be doing the work that we always do. We hope to see your smiling (albeit it freezing) faces this Sunday at our annual New Year’s Eve Noise Demo at MCC in Manhattan. And as per usual, we will be kicking off yet another calendar year of bi-weekly letter writing nights and hope to see y’all there, too.

This week join NYC ABC as we write to three of our New York state political prisoners: Herman BellRobert Seth Hayes, and Jalil Muntaqim. All three of these elders are up for parole this year for what feels like the millionth time. Parole preparation years can be particularly taxing; prisoners and their support team, legal crew, family, friends, and communities all pour a lot of time and energy into the preparations for getting them to the parole hearing in hopes of getting our comrades out from behind the walls. Come by on Tuesday for a hot vegan meal and to send them all a nice message of support during this time.

Herman Bell has been to the New York state parole board 7 times and been denied 7 times. His next parole board appearance will be in February 2018, when he will be 70 years old. At this next appearance, we hope that Herman will have a better chance of being seriously considered and therefore released. New regulations governing parole hearings mandate that an applicant’s risk of recidivism be considered as a “guiding principle” of the hearing. Herman has the very lowest risk score, based on the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision’s measures. In addition, six new parole commissioners were added to the Board and several, though not all, of the older, law-enforcement connected ones have been retired. More information at

Robert Seth Hayes has been to the New York state parole board 10 times and has been denied each time. Each time, the board—always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors—reviews his very impressive record, all the institutional programs participated in and completed, college attended while inside, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. Seth had a petition that received over 1000 signatures at his last trip to the board. Seth is one of the longest held political prisoners and suffers immense health problems, most notably his diabetes. It is imperative that he get out now before it is too late. More information at

Jalil Muntaqim has been rejected by the New York state parole board a total of 9 times. June 2016 was the last time Jalil had been to the Board, and the ninth time he had been denied, despite having an excellent record and meeting all requirements to be released on parole. Jalil has submitted a request to Gov. Cuomo requesting commutation of sentence to time served, as the parole board is obviously biased. A fair and just parole hearing is impossible for Jalil and our other NY State political prisoners. More information at

We expect to see you on Tuesday. If you can’t make it, please take the time to write a letter to Herman, Seth, and Jalil:
Herman Bell #79-C-0262
Shawangunk Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 700
Wallkill, New York 12589

Robert Seth Hayes #74-A-2280
Sullivan Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116

Jalil Muntaqim* #77-A-4283
Sullivan Correctional Facility
Post Office Box 116
Fallsburg, New York 12733-0116
*Address envelope to Anthony Bottom.

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.

Tuesday, January 2nd