THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Friday, August 14, 2009

Updated List of Earth Liberation Prisoners


The current issue of "The Spirit of Freedom", the Earth Liberation Prisoners Support Network newsletter, is posted after the links on the left side of this page, and lists all international prisoners (with their crimes and addresses) within their network.

Only a handful of Americans are on this list, which is not inclusive of ALL political prisoners. The U.S. alone is holding over 100 political prisoners, including Marilyn Buck, Leonard Peltier, Jaan Laaman, David Gilbert, Mutulu Shakur, and a significant number of members from the Black Panthers and the various liberation and anti-imperialist movements of the 70's and 80's. The Prisoner Activist Resource Center has a good list of names and addresses, but it's outdated (2007) - I noted a handful of prisoners who have since been released, so if you want to write to someone Google them first.

Below is the ELP's guide to writing to political prisoners.
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Writing to Prisoners


One of the main problems that puts people off getting involved in supporting prisoners is a feeling of being intimidated about writing to a prisoner for the first time. It is very hard to write a letter to someone you don't know: people find that they don't know what to say, they feel there are things they can't talk about, or think that prisoners won't be interested in what they have to say. Well this is a problem most of us have had to get over, so we've drawn up some suggestions to help you. Obviously these aren't rigid guidelines, and we don't pretend to have solved all problems here. Different people will write different letters. hopefully they will be of some use.


FIRST THINGS FIRST
Some prisons restrict the number of letters a prisoner can write or receive, and they may have to buy stamps and envelopes: and prisoners aren't millionaires. So don't necessarily expect a reply to a card or letter. A lot of prisons allow stamps or an s.a.e to be included with a card or letter, but some don't. Letters do also get stopped, read, delayed, 'diverted'. If you suspect has been or will be nicked by the screws, you can send it Recorded delivery, which unfortunately costs a lot but then they have to open it in the prisoners presence. Also you should put a return address, not just so the prisoner can reply (!), but also because some prisons don't allow letters without a return address. Of course it doesn't have to be your address, but be careful using PO box numbers as some prisons don't allow these either!



WRITING FOR THE FIRST TIME

Say who you are, and if it's relevant that you're from such and such a group. Some people reckon it's better to be up front about your politics as well, to give prisoners the choice to stay in contact with you or not.


Say where you heard about them and their case. The first letter can be reasonably short, maybe only a postcard. Obviously when you get to know people better you'll have more to talk about. If you are writing to a "framed" prisoner, and you believe them to be innocent, it helps to say so, as it gives people confidence to know that you believe them.


Some people when they write to prisoners, are afraid to talking about their lives, what they are up to, thinking this may depress people banged up, especially prisoners with long sentences, or that they are not interested in your life. Although in some cases this may be true, on the whole a letter is the highpoint of the day for most prisoners. prison life is dead boring, and any news that livens it up, whether it's about people they know or not, is generally welcome. Especially if you didn't know them before they went to prison, they want to know about you, what your life is like etc. Use your sense, don't write about anything that is likely to get a prisoner in shit with the screws, or get you or anyone else in trouble with the cops.


THEY'RE IN THERE FOR US, WE'RE OUT HERE FOR THEM
For people imprisoned from our movements and struggles it's vital to keep them involved in the ongoing resistance - telling them about actions, sending them magazines if they want them, discussing ideas and strategies with them. Use your head though. Some people will just want to keep their head down till they get out.


This was adapted from a leaflet produced by the Anarchist Black Cross

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