Appeal for Donations from NCPCF: Families of Prisoners are the Forgotten Victims

August 21st, 2015

Lynne is hoping folks can donate to this important appeal from the National Coalition to Protect Civil Freedoms.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE.

NCPCF is seeking the help of 100 individuals, who are willing to donate $100 each to 25 traumatized family members of targeted individuals, so NCPCF can fly them to the families conference to receive counseling, spiritual healing, and social support. Please read details below:

Dear NCPCF Supporter,We’re writing to you to ask for your help in funding our annual families conference. Since the NCPCF’s inception, the families’ conference has been a focal point of our work as we aim to help those most affected by the counterproductive policies of the War on Terror.  Each year, families affected gather to support one another and to pray for justice and pray that they will once again see their loved ones outside of prison walls. The families conference, provides affected families, comprised mostly of women and children, with support groups, counseling, social justice and media workshops, and a collective space for networking and healing.  We focus on building communication capacity and power of affected families impacted by government abuse of power within our collective experiences to address the overall criminal justice system and Islamophobia.

As the NCPCF works diligently to protect our human and civil rights, we hope that you will show your support to those who have suffered the most egregious violations.  This year, we are short $10,000 and we need your help to make the conference a success.  With your financial contribution, we can send a strong message to these families that they are not alone and that our community will support them through thick and thin.

In the next 14 days kindly send your generous donations by September 2nd, either through the NCPCF PayPal by clicking here (NOTE:  Please include a note in Paypal that your donation is for the families conference)  or send your check to: NCPCF, Families Conference, P.O. Box 66301, Washington, DC 20035.

When you make a donation, please email us at donate@civilfreedoms.org and tell us that you have sent a donation either through PayPal or by a check.

As Laila Yaghi, mother of Ziyad Yaghi, a current prisoner of the War on Terror, expressed:  “Nobody knows how much this hurts!!! No body knows that everyday I cannot sleep and if I do, it is only minutes and I am awakened by nightmares!! Why would my own country do this to my son and I? Why would they take an innocent young man and put him in jail?…”

Will you help support these families and give them the help they so desperately need?  We hope so. Thank you.

Help us publicize and advertise this appeal on the social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Thank you very much for your generosity and concern.

NCPCF Steering Committee


Goal: 100 Donations for 25 Families by September 2nd

Submit Parole Letters for Political Prisoner Abdullah Majid

August 20th, 2015
Abdul is a long time comrade and defender of prisoners, particularly Muslims and deserves all the support possible. – Lynne. You can watch the video of Abdullah Majid’s mother, Ms. LaBorde, speaking about her son here: http://nationinside.org/campaign/release-of-aging-people-in-prison/storybank/a-mothers-story-of-visiting-an-aging-incarcerated-man
Since his hearing has been postponed until October, there is still the time to submit letters to the parole board for political prisoner Abdullah Majid.

Guidelines for Parole Letters in support of Abdul Majid

These letters should not be form letters. They should be sincere and in your own words!

1. The letters should be addressed to Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Attorney at Law, 11 Park Place Suite 914, NY NY 10007, but on the top left-hand side of the page, they should say TO: NYS Board of Parole, 1220 Washington Avenue, Building 2, Albany, NY 12226-2050. You must mail, not email letters! Read the rest of this entry »

Rest in Power Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell (NYC ABC)

August 15th, 2015

Political prisoner Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell was killed on August 12th. Lynne wanted to post this dedication from NYC Anarchist Black Cross.

https://nycabc.wordpress.com/2015/08/13/rest-in-power-hugo-pinell

On Wednesday, August 12th, our comrade in the struggle for revolution, Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell was murdered. The context for his murder remains unclear, save for the fact that it happened in the midst of a prison riot. We have no faith that the state will do anything to determine how or why Yogi Bear was murdered and presume cops and corrections officers are relishing his death. We do not doubt the possibility that he was specifically targeted and those in authority did nothing to protect him.

In the early 1970s, while imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison, Hugo Pinell made contact with revolutionary prisoners such as George Jackson, one of the Soledad Brothers, and W.L. Nolen. On August 21, 1971, there was a prisoner uprising in Pinell’s housing unit at San Quentin, led by George Jackson. On that date, Jackson used a pistol to take over his tier in the Adjustment Center. At the end of the roughly 30 minute rebellion, guards had killed George Jackson, and two other prisoners and three guards were dead. Of the remaining prisoners in the unit, six of them, including Pinell, were put on trial for murder and conspiracy. Together, they were known as The San Quentin Six. Three of them were acquitted of all charges, and three were found guilty of various charges. Pinell was convicted of assault on a guard.

Activists in prison to this day continue to mark the San Quentin prison rebellion as Black August, often with fasting.

Although Pinell was convicted of assault, and another of the San Quentin Six had a murder conviction, only Pinell remained imprisoned at the time of his death. During his astounding 50 years of imprisonment, Pinell was primarily held in solitary confinement. Though not as active in his political organizing as in his youth, Pinell was part of the historic hunger strikes that spread throughout the California prison system in 2013 to protest the treatment of prisoners held in solitary confinement.

According to his attorney, shortly before the August 12th, 2015 riot, Hugo Pinell was transferred to general population, though the threat of harm and history of threats against him were known to prison officials.

In this month of Black August, we raise a fist for Yogi Bear and all prison rebels—you will have neither lived nor died in vain.

August Political Prisoner Birthdays

August 7th, 2015

Mutulu Shakur

Send a birthday card to the prisoners and let them know they are in our hearts and on our minds. Bios of political prisoners linked from Jericho website.

Africa, Debbie Sims
#006307
451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403-1238
Birthday: August 4, 1956

Dunne, Bill #10916-086
FCI Herlong, P.O. Box 800, Herlong, CA 96113
Birthday: August 3

Latine, Maliki Shakur # 81-A-4469
Shawangunk Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 700, Wallkill, New York 12589
Birthday: August 23, 1949

Shabazz Bey, Hanif (Beaumont Gereau)
Golden Grove Prison, RR1, P.O. Box 9955
Kingshill, St. Croix, V.I. 00850
Birthday: August 16, 1950

Shakur, Mutulu #83205-012
Federal Correctional Complex, P.O. Box 3900, Adelanto, CA  92301
Birthday: August 8, 1950

Shoats, Russell Maroon #AF-3855
SCI Graterford, P.O. Box 244, Graterford, PA 19426-0246
Birthday: August 23, 1943

Truthout Article on US Political Prisoners

July 27th, 2015

Lynne wanted everyone to read this article:

Beyond Innocence: US Political Prisoners and the Fight Against Mass Incarceration

Friday, 24 July 2015 00:00 By Dan Berger, Truthout | Report

(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout)

(Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout)

Help Truthout keep publishing stories like this: They can’t be found in corporate media! Make a tax-deductible donation today.

President Obama’s recent statements about mass incarceration, together with his decision to commute the sentences of 46 people serving lengthy and life sentences in federal prison on drug charges, treat “nonviolent drug offenders” as the symbolic figureheads of America’s prison problem. This framing seems to imply that everyone else actually deserves to be in prison.

But the world’s biggest prison system is not filled with nonviolent drug offenders alone. Before and alongside the war on drugs, mass incarceration was built through the wholesale repression of radical movements – especially in communities of color.

Take, for example, the cases of two other people who have long sought commutations from Obama and other presidents before him: Leonard Peltier and Oscar Lopez Rivera. Both men are longtime activists who have each served more than 30 years in prison and garnered international support for their release from figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and organizations such as Amnesty International.

“We have to demand freedom for those who struggle for freedom.”

Peltier is an Anishinabe-Lakota former member of the American Indian Movement (AIM) serving two life sentences for the 1975 death of two FBI agents killed during a confrontation between FBI and AIM on the Pine Ridge reservation. Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican former community organizer from Chicago who is serving a 55-year sentence for “seditious conspiracy,” an outmoded charge that makes it illegal to plot against the US government.

Throughout the 20th century, the United States has tried dozens of Puerto Rican independence activists with seditious conspiracy – including 11 of Lopez Rivera’s codefendants, whom President Clinton freed in 1999 after a remarkable campaign for their release.

“We have to demand freedom for those who struggle for freedom,” said Alejandro Molina, a member of the coordinating committee for the National Boricua Human Rights Campaign, a prominent organization demanding freedom for Lopez Rivera.

Peltier and Lopez Rivera are two among dozens of people incarcerated for actions they took as part of radical social movements. Many are former members of the Black Panther Party – people such as Herman Bell, Romaine Chip Fitzgerald and Ed Poindexter – who have been in prison for more than 40 years. They are some of America’s political prisoners.

For some, the idea of political prisoners conjures images of far-off dictatorial regimes imprisoning opponents for their beliefs. Yet this country has a long history of imprisoning its dissidents. Political prisoners have included people incarcerated for nonviolent direct actions, such as sabotaging nuclear weapons facilities or participating in civil disobedience. But the ones who have received the longest sentences and the harshest treatment inside are people who have been convicted of violent offenses, typically against police, or conspiring against the government.

In fact, political prisoners have been the canaries in the coal mine for mass incarceration: Some of the most distinguishing features of the American prison state – aggressive policing, hefty charges, preventive detention, lengthy sentences, parole denial and prolonged solitary confinement – were first deployed as means to stop radical social movements beginning in the 1960s. Political dissidents and other oppressed communities remain guinea pigs for the intensity of American punishment. Read the rest of this entry »

The Insufferable Packer: Lynne’s Note to Chris Hedges

July 6th, 2015
Lynne’s letter to Chris Hedges following George Packer’s New York Times book review of Hedges’ new book, “Wages of Rebellion.”
Dear Chris;

Just to let you know that I too was tarred and feathered by Packer in the months after my arrest.  He did a piece in the NYT (a favorite venue, apparently) indicating that I was just old baggage left over from the sixties and that no-one was supporting me.  He had attended, at my invitation and not a week before, an enthusiastic rally at Judson with about 300 or more. I guess “those” people don’t count.  Of course his piece was accompanied by a beautiful full page color picture of me sitting all alone with my books.

I don’t know if you are aware (I wasn’t when I agreed to the interview) that he has a real grudge against the Left. His father was the Dean at Stanford when Berkeley was happening and in an effort to be a tough guy he lowered the boom on all signs of uprising.  He was fired and thereafter committed suicide.  Somehow George who I think was a teen at the time connected that to insurrection/liberalism and became this unspeakable critic of all things progressive.  I guess his job at the New Yorker was the reward.

I am doing well and hope you are.  Will end this to go on line to purchase Wages of Rebellion !

“Rebel” of the reverential portrait

Lynne Stewart

Lynne’s Priority: WBAI

June 24th, 2015

Members of our organization and other advocacy groups that organize for workers’ rights, human rights, tenant rights, anti-racism, release of political prisoners,  prison reform and/or ending mass incarceration, etc. are regularly heard on WBAI Radio, 99.5FM. While as another non-profit that solicits contributions, WBAI could be seen as a competitor for your donations, we want to say that is not the case.

WBAI, www.wbai.org, amplifies our movement. It facilitates the distribution of information about our work and allows for engaging dialogue and debate about the issues of the day. We think it’s important to strengthen this radio station and ask that you adjust your finances in order to support WBAI.

Your membership will provide much-needed financial support and importantly, it will make you eligible to vote in this summer’s election for  WBAI’s Local Station Board. (Only those who have volunteered 3 hours or contributed at least $25 in the year ending July 14 will have voting rights.) The local board SHAPES THE STATION’S DIRECTION, with a role in selecting and evaluating the station’s management and reviewing its budget and spending.

Much is at stake about the station’s path forward, both in surviving a difficult financial climate and in determining how and whether to strengthen its coverage of the critical movements for progressive change. In order to advance efforts to keep WBAI strong on both counts, the WBAI Justice & Unity Campaign (www.justiceunity.org) is assembling a slate of diverse, anti-racist, community-involved candidates to run for seats on the board. By becoming a member, you will have a say in who gets elected.

You can become a member by contributing $25, by July 14, at: www.give2wbai.org or

212-209-2950.

Lynne’s Political Prisoner Speech at UNAC Conference (Video)

May 20th, 2015

Updated information on Lynne’s panels at Left Forum

May 18th, 2015

Lynne at the Left Forum 2015

Lynne will be on 2 panels.  Information below.

“We are our own liberators! When we free our political prisoners, we free ourselves”

SATURDAY MAY 30 at 12:00pm – 01:50pm in Room L2.84

Chaired by Ralph and Lynne, featuring numerous former prisoners and supporters and those engaged today in this struggle.

When people fear their govt, there is tyranny. When the govt fears the people there is liberty.” Jalil Muntaqim states,“ …our humanity is challenged by the historical dynamic of racism and capitalism …the police are used as tools of the capitalist class to protect financial interest over human interest…(P)olice violence represents the interests of the State…the BPP was confronted with the full force of state violence, destroying a movement…The death of a movement for liberation serves to keep in place…state violence.” Resistance to this constant oppression was framed by Malcolm X & MLK. Pol. prisoners represent the theoretical & political position OF the world. We owe our human rights to pol. prisoners. LYNNE STEWART says,” … the “law” is what “they” want it to be at any given time. Witness the Dred Scott decision, the Japanese internment cases of WWII, and the Scottsboro and other legal lynching cases. In 2014, stemming from the series (ongoing since 1619) of unprosecuted crimes against the African American population, we confront the lawlessness, now inherent, of an ancient legal institution, the Grand Jury. The thread that links the attempts to legitimize mass extermination of the Muslim struggle for freedom to the 400 years of systematic extermination of the original inhabitants of this continent, to the systematic terrorism perpetrated against people of color in this country is racism fueled by capitalism…”

“Public Schools VS. Charter Schools – The Legacy of the NYC Community Control Struggle: The True Debate Must Be Education VS. Mis-education”

SATURDAY MAY 30 at 5:10pm – 07:00pm Room -1.81

Chairs/Facilitators: Ralph Poynter & Lynne Stewart—New Abolitionist

MovementSpeakers/Co-Facilitators: Anthony Gronowicz—Green Party, Pastor Sherri Jackson-Black—Brownsville Matters, Betty Davis—New Abolitionist Movement, Howie Hawkins—Green Party

Everyday children, especially Black & Brown, do not achieve in education is an educational loss…they fall further behind every child in the world. When the struggle for community control of schools was defeated, the struggle for true education, for children of color continued. Almost 50 years later, public schools write off these students. The system of Charter Schools controlled by corporations with only profits as a goal, rule. Children of color fall behind every day & all schools are responsible. However, the recent Charter School movement not only endangers the struggle to maintain democracy, it threatens the entire institutional history of public education. We must consider the struggle in society and in the schools to overcome authoritarianism and reach toward humanism. The New Abolitionist Movement insists our educational system be democratic.We have been distracted by debates of non-issues, the most prevalent being testing vs non testing. The true debate is education vs mis-education. The New Abolitionist Movement maintains that mis-education equals ethnic cleansing & the new slavery. To do nothing to change this is an immoral political position. The charter school movement endangers the struggle for democracy & threatens the entire institutional history of the public school system. Freire states, “…Problem posing education, as a humanist & liberating praxis, posits as fundamental that (humans) subjected to domination must fight for their emancipation.

Support Marilyn Zuniga, the teacher suspended for sending “Get Well” cards to Mumia

April 13th, 2015

Lynne and Ralph’s Letter to the Mayor of Orange, NJ:

We wish to register our objection to any discipline contemplated against Ms Zuniga.  Her enlisting her students to voluntarily write to Mumia Abu Jamal who thousands believe to be an innocent incarcerated and now in failing health is a lesson in civics that all schools should be teaching.  She should be honored for her insight

We are ex teachers, now retired and know the importance of not intimidating teachers to proclaim the company (government) line!!

True Patriots,

Lynne Stewart and Ralph Poynter

Write your own letter!

SUPPORT MARILYN ZUNIGA ! FREE MUMIA
Marilyn Zuniga is the consceintious third grade teacher who was suspended for having her students send get well letters to political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal. Now, not only have they suspended her, but they are threatening to take more action against her, which could result in the loss of her job and her license. URGENT ACTION IS NEEDED NOW! We must stand behind this brave and compassionate teacher and let the Orange Board of Education know that these are the kind of teachers that we want in our classrooms.

PLEASE DO THE FOLLOWING.
Go to the Orange Board of Education meeting this Tuesday, 4/14/15, 7:30 pm. 400 Central Avenue, Orange, NJ. Inside the Orange Prepatory Academy auditorium. Word however is that they are planning to have a meeting on Monday, 4/13 to deal with this issue. So please call the Orange Board of Education in the morning to find out when these meetings are taking place. That number is: 973-677-4000.

Call and Email the following immediately! In the subject line put I support Marilyn Zuniga and Mumia is Innocent! And you might want to also include your geographic location as they need to see support coming from all over for this teacher.

Mayor of Orange: Dwayne D. Warren Esq.
Phone: 973-266-4005
email: mayor@ci.orange.nj.us

Orange Superintendent of Schools: Ron Lee
Email: leeronal@mail.orange.k12.nj.us
Phone #: 973 677-4040

Forest Street School Principal: Yancisca Cooke
Phone # 973.677.4120
Email: cookeyan@orange.k12.nj.us

Orange Brd of Ed phone #: 973 677-4000
Board Secretary: Adekunle James
Email: jamesade@mail.orange.k12.nj.us

Lynne and Cornel West speak about the importance of supporting Mumia!

April 8th, 2015

Video of the mother of political Prisoner Abdullah Majid

March 11th, 2015
Please forward this urgent Mother’s appeal far and wide. Consider writing a letter on behalf of Abdul Majid to the Board of Parole, Washington Avenue, Albany, NY. The NYPD have already gotten an editorial in the News urging no parole. Lets show them !!

– Lynne Stewart

Watch the video here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1JH7JpyvJX_cWdQUEZVVjhha0U/edit?pli=1

There is still the time to submit letters to the parole board for political prisoner Abdul Majid.

Guidelines for Parole Letters in support of Abdul Majid

These letters should not be form letters. They should be sincere and in your own words!

1. The letters should be addressed to me at Moira Meltzer-Cohen, Attorney at Law, 11 Park Place Suite 914, NY NY 10007, but on the top left-hand side of the page, they should say TO: NYS Board of Parole, 1220 Washington Avenue, Building 2, Albany, NY 12226-2050. You must mail, not email letters!

2. Put the date on the letter

3. There should be a subject line that says Re: 2015 Parole Hearing for Abdul Majid, DIN#83-A-0483

4. Your salutation can be Dear Honorable Members of the Parole Board:

5. Identify yourself, and where you live, explain who you are and what you do, and your relationship with Abdul.

6. If there is any way in which you personally can help him acclimate and reenter society, explain your relationship to him, if any, or how you see yourself being able to help him if and when he is released.

7. Do not argue Abdul’s criminal case, or discuss the reasons that the state or the police are bad.

8. Do include in your letter the following:

• Abdul has spent more than three decades in prison for a crime he has always said he didn’t commit
• The recidivism rate for people of his age is extremely low
• His disciplinary record is nonviolent and in the last decade has been extremely good
• He has a support system, skills, and a place to live
• He has a strong faith, and a strong faith community
• He spent his time in prison acquiring skills, for example:

– Associate’s Degree in business administration,
– Several legal certifications,
– Participated in the Islamic Therapeutic Program, including classes for GED, substance abuse, Anti-aggression resolution, parenting, and anti-recidivism
– Participation in the African Cultural Awareness Organization, including classes on history, sponsoring community forums on reentry after incarceration, and fundraisers to give back to the community
– Worked with the Lifers Organization to propose legislation on sentencing reform, and teaching classes, including classes for young adults on adjusting to prison and coping with long sentences, legal research, and civics.

Thank you, everyone, for helping to support Abdul. Remember to sign your letter.

Moira Meltzer-Cohen
Questions?
Email meltzercohen@gmail.com

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