Take action for Mumia – Update from the Hospital

Follow this link for Democracy Now!
Story with Johanna Fernandez of Bring Mumia Home Campaign

Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center is in Pottsville at the hospital. He sent this out this afternoon. Here’s the latest on Mumia:

UPDATE: Yesterday morning, March 30, Mumia Abu-Jamal was rushed to the hospital after passing out at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Mahanoy. He was admitted to the Schuylkill Medical Center with a blood sugar level of 779. Today, he received visits from his wife, Wadiya, and his brother, Keith Cook. Mumia’s blood sugar had dropped to 333 as of a couple hours ago. This is still elevated and at an unhealthy level.

Mumia does not have a history of diabetes, but had been experiencing a series of symptoms that should have alerted medical staff at the prison to the onset of the disease. Instead, he was not given comprehensive diagnostic treatment and a medical crisis emerged that could have resulted in his slipping into a diabetic coma or worse.

Prison officials only relented and permitted visitation under immense public pressure from all over the world. Keep it up. If the prison had its way, nobody would know Mumia was hospitalized, nor would they have permitted visits or the release of any medical information to family.

Family and friends are not leaving Pottsville. Mumia is not out of danger and we will remain vigilant and mobilized. The state keeps trying to kill Mumia – spied on by the FBI since he was 15, shot in the chest and severely beaten on December 9, 1981, framed for a killing he did not commit and put on death row, held in solitary confinement under threat of execution for 30 years, and now denied competent, basic medical care. He is alive because the movement has fought like hell to make it so. The government of the united states of apartheid can never be trusted to protect the rights or respect the lives of Black people or those held in prison. Never forgive, never forget. Stay alert and ready to act.

Please call in reference to Mumia’s legal name, “Wesley Cook.”

To stay connected go to Bring Mumia Home

Richard Ellers
Director, PA Department of Corrections Health Care Services
rellers@pa.gov
(717) 728-5311

 John Wetzel
Secretary, PA Department of Corrections
(717) 728-4109

 Schuylkill Medical Center
700 E Norwegian St, Pottsville, PA
(570) 621-4000

SCI Mahanoy
Superindendent John Kerestes
(570) 773-2158

Free Mumia! Get well soon Mumia! WE LOVE YOU!!

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Spring Maroon Tour 2015

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Saturday  March 28th    7pm    Brooklyn, NY
SMOKE MAROON OUT!!! SOLD OUT!
@ Habana Niño Cigar Boutique 384 Tompkins Ave –  Book & Cigar $35 package still available online

Saturday  April 11th    7pm    Denver, CO
The Kick off of The Spring Maroon Tour!!!
@ P&L Printing 3827 Steele St in collaboration with ABC Denver & the SHOFAM  Free Spring Roll w purchase of Maroon the Implacable $20

Saturday April 18th    12pm    Wilmington Del.
“Champagne Brunch” 1012 Grandview ave.
Book, screening & openhouse/openbook $35

Sunday April 19th    11am    Philadelphia, PA
@ Atiya Ola’s Raw Food Cafe Sponsors Screening
The Ongoing Cost of Freedom with  Director Vagabond

Saturday April 25th 3pm Baltimore Md.
@ Terra Cafe 101 E 25th St.
Amedjill & #freemaroon Baltimore Sponsor The *#B-More Maroon* Event

Saturday  May 2nd 4pm Maplewood, NJ
@104 Harvard Ave.
Tj’s Juice Joint! Choice of smoothie, box tea set, or Maroon Moss (Kale, Apple, Lemon and the sea vegetable Moss) w purchase of Maroon the Implacable $20 free event

Sun May 10th 4pm Brooklyn NY
Free Maroon Senegal Sponsors Food 4 Thought!
@ Jollof’s Restaurant 1168 Bedford Av
A Roundtable smorgasbord of Maroon’s Ideas from Mosaic to the Hydra & Pop’s special Thieboudienne Recipe

Saturday June 13th 12pm Washington DC
Ladies 1st Book & *Brunch*$25 for ladies $35 men Brunch & book included
RSVP ONLY – All RSVP’s to rshoatz@gmail.com

DOWNLOAD FLYER HERE

Blessed Are Those Who Struggle: Fundraiser and Memorial Dinner For Political Prisoners

Tues Feb 24th at The Rotunda Banquet Facility – 401 Walnut Street – Philly

7pm – 10p  FREE Dinner & Amazing Program! Food and Music Free – Donations Greatly Appreciated & All proceeds go to our PP/POWS

Speakers Include: Pam Afrika, Dr. Muhammad Ahmad, Bill Brown, Marcus Shell & The Shoatz Family – Moderated by Sabukwe Bambata

Music by New Afrikan Arts Ensamble, Badd Kitti, and Mixed People

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1 Year Anniversary of Maroon in General Population

February 24, 2015 –Written By Russell the III

Yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of my fathers release from solitary confinement into the general prison population at State Correctional Institution (SCI) Graterford. This long-sought move ended over 22 consecutive years in solitary confinement. It also marked the first time that Maroon had been in the general prison population in the state of Pennsylvania since 1983, when he was placed in solitary confinement due to his work with the Pennsylvania Association of Lifers to abolish life-without-parole sentences. For a 17-month period between 1989-1991, Maroon was held in the general prison population at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Maroon brought suit in May, 2013, on the grounds that he had been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and that prison officials had deprived him of his procedural and substantive due process rights for keeping him in solitary confinement without meaningful review and on insufficient grounds. He is represented by Reed Smith attorneys Rick Etter and Stefanie L. Burt; Bret Grote and Dustin McDaniel of the Abolitionist Law Center; Daniel Kovalik of the United Steelworkers; and retired Reed Smith partner, Hal Engel.

On Monday, January 27, 2014, United States District Magistrate for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Cynthia Reed Eddy, issued a decision denying defendants’ motion to dismiss in the case of Shoatz v. Wetzel. The ruling allowed Maroon to move forward with the legal challenge to his more than 22 consecutive years in solitary confinement.

The campaign to release Shoatz from solitary confinement has also been gathering increasing international attention, including the support of five Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor, Mairead Corrigan Maguire of Northern Ireland, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Jody Williams from the United States, and Adolfo Perez Esquivel of Argentina. Several U.S. civil and human rights organizations endorsed his release from isolation, as well as growing number of clergy.  In March, 2013, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment and Punishment, Juan Mendez, called on the government “to cease the prolonged isolation of Mr. Shoatz.”

While Maroon’s release from solitary confinement proved a significant step forward in the campaign to free him from prison altogether, our work to bring him home continues. As many of you know, Maroon was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, and was being denied adequate medical care. An emergency phone and letter-writing campaign directed at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections resulted in the onset of an aggressive course of cancer treatment.

The Shoatz family wishes to thank all those supporters who answered the call and advocated for Maroon. We’ll be keeping you abreast of developments in his treatment, and ask that you remain vigilant should the need to further advocate regarding his medical care in the coming weeks and months reemerge.

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Theresa, Maroon, Sharon, & Russell III – February 2015

 

Hold the Phone! Maroon’s Getting Treatment because of YOU!

UPDATE:   Human Rights Coalition sent out an action alert Tuesday morning regarding Russell Maroon Shoatz, the former Black Panther and political prisoner. Maroon had been informed that he has prostate cancer on December 9, 2014, and treatment has not yet begun.

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PADOC medical contacted the Shoatz family this morning and informed them of the course and schedule of the treatments that Maroon is going to be receiving for his prostate cancer. The treatment is set to begin this week.

THANK YOU to all who answered the call and advocated for Maroon. At this time we are asking supporters to hold off on further phone calls and letters. Maroon’s family and legal counsel will be in communication with him to ensure that he begins receiving the treatment without any further delay.

We cannot thank everybody enough. Hold off for now on further advocacy, but remain vigilant in the event that further action is required in the future.

In solidarity,
Human Rights Coalition and all those who love MAROON

Prison Officials Deny Russell Maroon Shoatz Treatment for Prostate Cancer – Call Prison Today

Action Alert –Prison Officials Denying Russell Maroon Shoatz Treatment for Prostate Cancer – Call Prison Today
 

Political prisoner and former Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF3855 was informed that he had prostate cancer on December 9, 2014. Prison medical staff has not provided any treatment to date. Cancer does not wait for the prison bureaucracy. Maroon’s health, his life, and his rights are being violated every moment he is denied necessary cancer treatment.

Call SCI Graterford and PADOC Secretary Wetzel today and demand that Maroon be provided immediate, necessary medical care for his prostate cancer.  
 
Call:
 
SCI Graterford Superintendent Michael Wenerowicz: 610-489-4151
SCI Graterford Chief Health Care Administrator Joseph Korszniak: 610-489-4151
PADOC Secretary John Wetzel: 717-728-4109

Please be firm and respectful when talking to prison staff.

Talking Points:
1)    Russell Shoatz was informed that he has prostate cancer on December 9, 2014. He has not received any treatment to date.
2)    The oncologist told him in December that the cancer was “aggressive” and that treatment should begin in January.
3)    A urologist told him in January that he was going to receive radiation treatment.
4)    There is no medical reason for a two-month delay prior to receiving necessary cancer treatment. Russell Shoatz needs immediate health care, and continued refusal to provide this is illegal, and puts his life at risk.

 

If you would like to write a letter in addition to a phone call please address and send to the following address:

 

Superintendent Michael Wenerowicz
PO Box 246
Graterford, PA 19426

 

Secretary Wetzel
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050

After Ferguson: Looking Forward and Looking Back

By The Dreamer Copyright 2014 @ Pampata

Ever since the police killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri – closely followed by the killing of Eric Garner in New York, as well as the killing of lesser-known individuals elsewhere, the world has witnessed a new movement emerging against unchecked police power.ferguson-mike-brown

We can have no doubt this is an emerging Movement. One that has the potential to qualitively changes our struggles for Human Rights.

Why do I say that? Since the historic Anti-Globalization upheaval that occurred in Seattle, Washington in the late 1990’s, followed by the global fight –back against the World Trade Organization and it’s deadly consolidation of corporate power, the youth of the North joined hands with the ongoing revolutionary upsurge in county after country in south America. Each in their own way, demanding that people and the environment take center stage over corporate profits.

That spirit of resistance led to the coalition that elected Barack Obama as the first Black President of the most powerful nation on the planet. Not only did that coalition propel him into office the hopes of billions around the world serve to energize that effort. Not since the ending of apartheid in South Africa and the election of Nelson Mandela to head of that outcry had so many felt they were witnessing the anointing of another savior. Indeed until Ferguson many would cling desperately to that illusion.

Alas, in the between years, not only had not much changed at home or globally, much had gotten worse: Targeted killings, drone strikes, stonewalling on Climate Change measures, economic suffering, and in the U.S. the “Police State” was exposed on all it’s horror by wikileaks, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and lesser known whistle blowers. Much of which the Black and brown communities were not surprised about seeing how the militarization of the police in their areas had long ago taken place, all but crushing their spirits; or so it seemed…

After the acquittal of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin, followed by the gunning down of other Black and Brown youth before the killing of Michael Brown, and nothing being done about those crimes; closely followed by the broadly reported strangling death of Eric Garner by New Yorks cops, tens of thousands across the world go out and disrupt business-as-usual chanting “Hands up-don’t shoot! Hands up – Don’t Shoot!” Interspersed with Eric Garners last words: “I can’t Breath; I can’t breath; I can’t breath..”

fergusonNo longer did these multitudes look to President Obama or any other politician to aid them The murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner had forced them to act on the rhetoric they had been served up to them by their silver tongue “savior”; They became the change they were looking for.

How did they do it? A way to understand the immense changes since Ferguson can be seen operating in SWARM intelligence; a name given to naturally occurring phenomenon amongst insects, animals, fish, human and other life forms.

Swarm intelligence is the collective behavior of decentralized, self organized systems. Agents follow simple rules, and although there is no centralized control structure dictating how individual agents should behave, local and to a certain degree random, interactions between such agents lead to the emergence of intelligent global behavior, unknown to the individual agents… From the perspective of the mathematical modeler, it is an emergent behavior arising from simple rues that are followed by individuals and does not involve central coordination…

  1. Move in the same direction as your neighbors
  2. Remain close to your neighbors
  3. Avoid collision with your neighbors…

Examples of biological swarming are found in bird flocks, fish schools, insect swarms bacteria swarms, molds, molecular motors, quadrupled herds and people… A collection of people can also exhibit swarm behavior, such as pedestrians or soldiers swarming a par pet. –wikipedia

Looking back, swarming has long been utilized by humans to resist oppression. Through TV documentaries most have witnessed the Berlin Wall being demolished by swarming citizens on both sides of that barrier. The racist apartheid police and armed forces of South Africa were endlessly swarmed by resisters, as well as, all of the regimes in the Middle East. The Palestinian uprisings and the Arab spring are also examples of recent swarms. We should not fail to remember that in the U.S. in the 1960’s and 1970’s the struggles against the war in Vietnam, and against racial, gender and political oppression led to untold instances of swarming- often misrepresented as “riots” and “looting.” Though still adding to the Movement that bough about a number of reforms.New York City protest over Ferguson Grand Jury decision

What will allow the swarming techniques so widely adopted since Ferguson to cement themselves as part of a new Movement, and not fizzle out or easily be repressed or co-opted is two things: Cheap, readily available and widely utilized communications technologies, couple with the groundbreaking adoption of that communications capability to stage actions to enforce the rejection of the oppressive status quo, by swarming streets, roadways, bridges, building and other public facilities, thereby forcing large segments of society to also feel some of the pain that is motivating them. A tactic that will prove extremely hard to eradicate – short of addressing some of their main concerns.

It’s ironic that since Ferguson there is still a segment of this new Movement that nostalgically continues to utilize tactics and methods from the past, in the teeth of the facts that point to those tactics did not and could not prove as effective as the swarming methods already being widely used are showing a clear potential –with room form growth – for a LEAP towards a strategic breakthrough.

For one, the old charismatic leadership style has lost most of it’s relevancy. Simply because modern communication in so may hands effects a form of mass democracy. Meaning, information, ideas, proposals and plans can rapidly be shared – then just as quickly modified, agreed upon, adopted and acted on; something the charismatic leaders of the past excelled at, and was about to more rapidly organize people to achieve such results then the slower to communicate mass at the time. Not anymore.

Since Ferguson the global swarming activities have been the products of too many “leaders” to know of! Nowadays if you have a good enough idea, proposal, or plan of action, through the democracy of modern communicants’ it can readily be accepted, modified, and implemented, leaving less of a need for the charismatic leadership style.

Then the swarming of the 1960’s and 1970’s in the U.S, suffered a great deal from a means of rejecting the status quo without at the same time doing great harm to the oppressed own interests. Thus when the “long Hot Summers” of rebellions (swarming) of that period degenerated into the wholesale torching of parts of lower class communities, then “Burn Baby Burn” became the mantra and practice of those who rejected the slower and in many, many instances more painful and demeaning non violent civil disobedience campaigns led by Martin L. King.

Since Ferguson, however, untold thinkers have devised ways to utilize modern communication to bring together masses of people to enforce a halt to the business-as-usual, while still being able to avoid mass arrests, or the destruction of their communities, and bing able to withdraw with their numbers having struck blows for their causes and still strong enough to continue the efforts at another time and location. Something that is easily grasped by the participants, as well as many, many others who previously swab no way to accomplish such things, meaning the initiative remains in their hands, while a backlash from those who are wedded to the status quo is inevitable.

At this stage, a weakness of this new movement is their failure to formulate and push forward intermediate goals. Winnable objectives that can be accomplished so that the participants acquire things to “Hang Their Hats On,” as the more deep rooted causes of injustices will take a long time to uproot.

In the meantime, be confident that this new movements’ ability to utilize modern communications and the democracy that affords, along with their groundbreaking breakthroughs in developing and utilizing brilliant new tactics that render the status quo unworkable (even temporarily) gives it “legs” that no movement of comparable breath in a long time has enjoyed.

There is still much that needs to be done, but let’s not try to win this round by believing that certain tactics that were used in the past are superior to what we are witnessing right now. And if you don’t believe your own eyes….then I can’t help you!

Reject the Status Quo! Non-Cooperation With Oppression! Human Rights Now!

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