Anarchist News Feeds
(en) Anarkio.net: A-Infos #19 - Of treason or how easy it is to assign other qualities and defects! (pt) [machine translation]
(en) Britain, Edinburgh Anarchist Federation - Say “No” to reformism + Say “No” to class struggle By stanleymilgram
(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #225 - The classic subversion: Henri Alleg: The question (fr) [machine translation]
June 11th: International Day of Solidarity with Eric McDavid, Marie Mason, and Longterm Anarchist Prisoners
From June11.org: June 11th is the international day of solidarity with Eric McDavid, Marie Mason, and all longterm anarchist prisoners. If you are planning on doing an event for the day, please email us at june11[at]riseup[dot]net. You can find resources, information about events from previous years, and word on upcoming events at june11.org. Read on to see our thoughts on what it means to do longterm solidarity, on how Eric and Marie inspire us, and to learn how June 11th began.
The state stole Eric McDavid and Marie Mason from us in 2006 and 2008 respectively. In the years since their arrests, repression has come to feel less like a specific event and more like an inescapable, ongoing nightmare. Sentenced to 22 years and 20 years, respectively, Marie and Eric remain in cages to this day, and know this nightmare more intimately than most.
Lately, we hear lots of talk about the end times, and total environmental collapse seems imminent. But what do these forces mean to those inside prison cells? And what do they mean for us on the outside? We are trying to save both each other and some shred of wildness on this earth. Our task is difficult, and sometimes seems impossible, because the harder we fight, the more repression we face. Every day we lose more species, more land, more friends… and this process shows no signs of slowing. How do we survive and continue to struggle in the face of this reality?
If winning was our only goal, it would be easy to quit. But although we may fight to win, we also fight because, in this situation, to fight means to live. From the outside it’s easy to equate a prison sentence with the end of everything… but Marie and Eric are still fighting. With both our love for them and our hatred for their jailers intact, we fight alongside them.
That means not only continuing our struggles on the outside, but also engaging with the imprisoned in ways that keep them connected to their friends and communities on the outside. The state has kidnapped our friends, and we must ensure that the state is not successful in its attempts to isolate and destroy them. Our struggle can only continue if we struggle together.
June 11th is a means to that end. June 11th is about remembering– not in the way that we remember a fact or history, but an active remembering: a re-membering, a putting back together. It is often easier for us to raise
money and generate material support for people who have just been arrested than for people who have been locked away with many years in prison ahead. This day is a time for us to concentrate our energy, resources and love on those people, who cannot be forgotten.
June 11th has also become a staging ground for building our international ties of solidarity. The last two years have seen an incredible show of support from people outside of the US for Eric and Marie, and some efforts within the US to show solidarity to long-term anarchist prisoners in other places. This year, we hope to have more translations, more cross-referencing of struggle, and a further broadening of solidarity that does not take away, but adds. We refuse to recognize their borders; we aim to make that refusal more tangible.
June 11th is only two months away. Hold a fundraiser, plan a noise demo, host a letter-writing night, or use your own context and imagination to explore other possibilities. Use your creative energies to show your comrades that they’re not alone and that we will continue to struggle for them, for the earth, and for total liberation. They have tried to destroy us, that’s what they do–but Marie and Eric, Justin Solondz, Marco Camenisch, the grand jury resisters of today and tomorrow, and so many others show us how to survive those attempts. Let’s make June 11th a celebration of our shared survival and resistance.
the June 11th crew
For a brief history of June 11th, please visit http://june11.org/about.html
Here are some recent words from Marie and Eric that inspire us…
Marie: I have been processing a lot of my own history this year, probably just a function of so much isolation and time spent in confined quarters. In my former free life, if I was faced with difficult decisions or sadness, trauma or trouble I would go to the woods and hike, or swim in one of my beloved Great Lakes to find solace and focus. The natural world is my source of strength and my comfort. It has been hard to be unable to walk on the ground, touch a tree or see the sky without metal in between. Prison on the compound was one level of removal from life, but this is another level of intensity entirely. So it was a joy to be able to hear from so many folks actively working in service to this Earth, to be inspired by you all and to be comforted to know that, though I am no longer able to walk with you, that you are continuing the journey forward. That is my comfort now.
Eric: 7 yrs… i can’t say it’s easy 2 put these words dn on paper – that it doesn’t pain me 2 look bk over these past 7 trips around the Sun… w/the process of the courts continuing n the final appeal stages; it’s end yet 2 show up on the horizon = no illusions, while still Dancing w/wishes… Love & Joy have also made their presence known = the overwhelming support from all over the Earth ~ i wish 2 Thank every persyn/grp that has written & supported me along this journey – Ur intents, N which ever forms they’ve taken, have aided & nourished me N remembering who i am N a situation & environment bent on unraveling, dismembering & remolding…along w/all the communal Solidarity, i’m grateful 4 the support of friends & family – & how i’ve been buoyed by the Love and Passionate Patience of my Partner = i Love you J, you R my Joy… … i’m unable 2 adequately express my feelings of Respect & Solidarity 4 all the folx Dancing w/the overt repression across the continent while staying True 2 their Hearts… 2 the folx Dancing w/Grand Juries = bide Ur time, this is 1 of the few circ.s where time is on the SD of the oppressed… w/N this cultural climate the Path is not easy or simple by any means – making it all the more important 2 find those unique, ever changing, beautiful & sustainable ways 2 aid & nurture each other… …. i’ll close wishing that each of U continue 2 explore & heal Ur Hearts & communities; may U find the space & time over the coming yr 2 let Ur minds play w/new & safe communication skills, & Ur bodies w/self-defense…
Former Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz has been held in torturous conditions of solitary confinement in Pennsylvania prisons for the past thirty years. He has not had a serious rule violation for more than two decades. Maroon’s role as an educator, human rights defender, writer, and critical intellectual of liberation movements is widely renowned.
From April 8 to May 10, 2013, the Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz is calling for an intense call-in and write-in campaign to bring pressure on the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC), to release Maroon from solitary confinement and into the general prison population. This is the first major phase of a coordinated political-legal campaign, beginning with Maroon’s attorneys sending a “Demand Letter” to the PA DOC on the morning of April 8, 2013. The letter, outlining the legal and humanitarian reasons why an immediate release from solitary is needed, gives the PA DOC an opportunity to correct the grave injustices being carried out on a daily basis before litigation begins.
April 8—Begin flooding the office of PA Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary John Wetzel with phone calls, letters, and faxes. Send a copy of that letter, or address a similar letter, to the office of SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes.
PA DOC Secretary John Wetzel 1920 Technology Parkway Mechanicsburg, PA, 17050
Phone number: 717-728-4109 Fax number: 717-728-4109
SCI Mahanoy Supt. John Kerestes 301 Morea Road Mahanoy, PA, 17932
Phone number: 570-773-2158 Fax number: 570-783-2008
If you have contact with media in your area, consider suggesting that they cover this story, including the April 8 – May 10 pressure campaign. Help publicize the campaign in schools, workplaces, churches, and communities nationwide.
- Russell Maroon Shoatz (if writing DOC, always put his prison number – AF-3855) has been in solitary confinement for almost 30 years despite the fact that his disciplinary record has been impeccable—without incident for the past 20 of those years.
- Such “prolonged” solitary confinement is a violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture, according to UN Special Rapporteur Juan Mendez. It starves the mind of basic social interaction, human contact, and intellectual stimulation needed for proper brain functioning.
- Other Pennsylvania prisoners with more extensive violent histories and more recent disciplinary infractions have nevertheless been released from solitary and are now held in general population.
- Maroon is being targeted because of his work as an educator and because of his political ideas; his time in solitary began just after he was elected president of an officially-sanctioned prison-based support group. This targeting is in violation of his basic human and constitutional rights.
- At age 69, Maroon poses no threat to the physical well-being or running of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His 23-hour-a-day physical isolation in solitary is unnecessary and costly.
- We join the American Civil Liberties Union, Physicians for Human Rights, and a growing number of prominent world leaders in calling for an end to prolonged solitary confinement. Maroon’s case is one of the most egregious, politically motivated, and long-standing of the nation’s solitary cases.
- Maroon has deep roots in Pennsylvania’s Black community, many friends in peace, justice, and human rights organizations, and family members and supporters throughout the State, the USA, and the world. We understand the PA DOC Secretary’s Office and the Warden of SCI Greene to be particularly and personally responsible for the torturous and lethal conditions of solitary under which Maroon is still kept.
- Maroon must be released from solitary confinement IMMEDIATELY!!!
Who is Russell Maroon Shoatz?
Russell Maroon Shoatz is a former leader of the Black Panthers and the Black freedom movement, born in Philadelphia in 1943 and originally imprisoned in January 1972 for actions relating to his political involvement. With an extraordinary thirty-plus years spent in solitary confinement—including the past twenty-three years continuously—Maroon’s case is one of the most shocking examples of U.S. torture of political prisoners, and one of the most egregious examples of human rights violations regarding prison conditions anywhere in the world. His “Maroon” nickname is, in part, due to his continued resistance—which twice led him to escape confinement; it is also based on his continued clear analysis, including recent writings on ecology and matriarchy. THOUGH MAROON WAS RECENTLY TRANSFERRED to a lower-security correctional facility in Central Pennsylvania, he IS STILL HELD in a SOLITARY CONFINEMENT UNIT. It will take a mass, grassroots movement to free this inspiring community activist.
Part of the momentum for the campaign will come from a book tour taking place during this period, promoting the newly-published Maroon the Implacable: The collected writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz. But it is up to everyone concerned with human rights anywhere and everywhere to spread the word far and wide, to make these 30 days count—for an end to solitary confinement and an end to the torture of Russell Maroon Shoatz
Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz, firstname.lastname@example.org,
c/o WRL/Matt Meyer, 339 Lafayette Street, New York NY 10012; 412-654-9070
From the Center for Constitutional Rights:
April 8, 2013, New York – Today, attorneys for activist Daniel McGowan at the Center for Constitutional Rights released the following update on his situation:
Daniel McGowan is back at the halfway house where he has been residing after a week that was by turns difficult, disturbing and ridiculous. To recap: on Monday, April 1, Daniel published an opinion piece on the Huffington Post titled “Court Documents Prove I Was Sent to Communication Management Units (CMU) for My Political Speech.” On Thursday, April 4, Daniel was picked up by U.S. Marshals from the halfway house and taken into custody at Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. He was issued an “incident report” indicating that his Huffington Post blog post violated a BOP regulation prohibiting inmates from “publishing under a byline.” The BOP regulation in question was declared unconstitutional by a federal court in 2007, and eliminated by the BOP in 2010. On Friday, April 5, after we brought Daniel’s unjust detention to the BOP’s attention, he was released from MDC, and the incident report was expunged.
That same day, Daniel was provided with a list of prohibited activities by halfway house staff, which he was required to sign. The list forbids him any media contact without BOP approval, though BOP regulations only require preapproval of in-facility interviews. It also prohibits him from publishing any writing of his own without prior BOP permission. As far as we know, this is a made-up rule applied only to Daniel, in a further attempt to chill his freedom of speech.
McGowan, who was released from prison in December and is serving out the last six months of his sentence at a halfway house, is a plaintiff in a Center for Constitutional Rights lawsuit, Aref v. Holder, challenging the constitutionality of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) experimental Communications Management Units (CMUs) where he was kept for four years. New documents uncovered in the case indicate he was placed in these highly restrictive experimental units as retaliation for his political writings on current events and issues while he was in prison.
Aref v. Holder challenges the violation of prisoners’ fundamental constitutional rights, including the right to due process. Attorneys say that because transfer to CMUs are not based on facts or discipline for infractions, a pattern of religious and political discrimination and retaliation for prisoners’ lawful advocacy has emerged. Daniel McGowan recently amended the complaint to include claims of retaliation for First Amendment protected speech.
For information about CCR’s federal lawsuit challenging CMUs, visit the Aref, et al. v. Holder, et al case page orwww.ccrjustice.org/cmu.
The law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP and attorney Kenneth A. Kreuscher are co-counsel in the case.