File spoon-archives/marxism-general.archive/marxism-general_1996/96-12-01.070, message 40

Date: Thu, 28 Nov 1996 12:42:11 +0100 (MET)
Subject: M-G: Build Holiday Appeal for Class-War Prisoners

Build Holiday Appeal for Class-War Prisoners

	This year the Partisan Defense Committee is holding its
eleventh annual Holiday Appeal fund drive for class-war prisoners.
Funds raised through the Holiday Appeal help maintain the PDC's
program of monthly stipends to 17 of these prisoners and  provide
holiday gifts for them and their loved ones. Last year's Holiday
Appeal was tremendously successful, raising over $15,000 in donations.
	The level of continued support for this program demonstrates
that supporters of the PDC understand the importance of keeping alive
the tradition of the early International Labor Defense expressed in
the words of James P. Cannon, its founder and first secretary from
1925 to 1928: "The class conscious worker accords to the class war
prisoners a place of singular honor and esteem" (Labor Defender,
September 1926). It is as clear today as when Cannon wrote these words
more than 70 years ago that support of these prisoners is not charity,
but rather the duty of fighters against injustice on the outside for
those inside prison walls.
	Initiated by the Spartacist League in  1974, the PDC is
partisan on the side of the working class. The class principles upon
which we base our work--principally that an injury to one is an injury
to all--have become lost and corrupted over generations of betrayals
and defeats by the misleaders of the workers movement. We are
non-sectarian, defending cases in the interests of the whole of the
working people, irrespective of particular political views. We rely on
the independent power of the working class, and not on the capitalist
courts which have thrown the class-war prisoners behind bars.
	Here is the latest information on the recipients of our
stipend program:
	December 1996 marks 15 years of Mumia Abu-Jamal's imprisonment
on frame-up charges. Former Black Panther, well-known journalist and
MOVE supporter, Jamal was falsely convicted on charges of killing a
Philadelphia cop and sentenced to die for his political beliefs.
Jamal's case has won support from death penalty abolitionists and
anti-racist fighters around the world, whose protests stayed the
executioner's hand in the summer of 1995. This year, Veronica Jones,
an eyewitness in the shooting for which Jamal was framed up, came
forward to provide powerful testimony of Jamal's innocence and of
police coercion against witnesses in the case. Jamal's case is
currently on appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. His book, Live
>from Death Row, came out this year in paperback.
	Geronimo ji Jaga (Pratt), 49 years old, former Black Panther
and decorated Vietnam vet, is a victim of a racist FBI COINTELPRO
frame-up. Geronimo has now served over 25 years for a murder the
government knows he did not commit. This year, the Los Angeles
District Attorney's office revealed that Julius Butler, whose
testimony put Geronimo behind bars and who was an informer for the FBI
and LAPD, was at the same time an informant of the D.A.'s office!
Despite this, Geronimo has been denied bail.
	Other recipients include:
	Jerry Dale Lowe, United Mine Workers member framed up on
federal charges in the shooting death of a scab contractor in Logan
County, West Virginia during a UMWA strike. The scab was part of a
convoy leaving the mine, shot in the back of the head from the
direction of the bosses' thugs. Lowe was singled out by authorities
because he was a militant defender of the picket line. After losing
his appeal, Lowe was forced back to federal prison in Ashland,
Kentucky in January 1996 to serve almost eleven years for the "crime"
of defending his union. There is no parole.
	Ed Poindexter, 53, and Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa (David
Rice), 50, former Black Panther supporters and leaders of the Omaha,
Nebraska Committee to Combat Fascism. Victims of the racist COINTELPRO
program, they were framed up for an explosion in 1970 which killed a
cop. Both were convicted on perjured testimony and sentenced to life.
The Nebraska Board of Pardons refuses to commute their sentences to
specific numbers of years, which would allow them to be considered for
parole. Poindexter is at Lino Lake, Minnesota and Mondo is at Lincoln,
	Jaan Laaman and Ray Luc Levasseur, of the Ohio 7, were
arrested in 1984 and 1985 and are radical activists with a shared
history of opposition to racism and imperialism. They were sentenced
to 45 years to life under RICO conspiracy laws on allegations of bank
expropriations and bombings targeting symbols of U.S. imperialism in
the late 1970s and '80s. Jaan Laaman is at Leavenworth, Kansas and Ray
Luc Levasseur is in the high-tech torture chamber of Administrative
Maximum at Florence, Colorado.
	Hugo Pinell is the last of the San Quentin 6 still in prison.
He is a militant anti-racist and leader of prison rights organizing.
He worked alongside George Jackson, who was murdered by prison guards
in 1971. Pinell has been in prison over 30 years. Just denied parole
again for five years, he is currently serving a life sentence at the
notorious Pelican Bay prison in Crescent City, California.
	We also send stipends to nine MOVE members in prisons
scattered throughout Pennsylvania who are serving sentences of 30-100
years, framed up for the shooting of a policeman during a massive cop
siege of their home in 1978. They are: Chuck Africa, Graterford;
Debbie Sims Africa, Cambridge Springs; Delbert Orr Africa, Dallas;
Edward Goodman Africa, Camp Hill; Janet Holloway Africa, Cambridge
Springs; Janine Phillips Africa, Cambridge Springs; Merle Austin
Africa, Cambridge Springs; Michael Davis Africa, Graterford; William
Phillips Africa, Dallas.
	These class-war prisoners, while encompassing a range of
political perspectives and views, have fought, each in his or her own
way, against racist capitalist oppression. Join us in demonstrating
our respect for and solidarity with these courageous prisoners who
have fought for all of us as we pledge to redouble our efforts until
all are set free.
	We urge our readers to contribute generously to this year's
Holiday Appeal fund drive and help us build this effort. Benefits are
being organized in the Bay Area, Chicago and New York. Invite your
family, friends and co-workers to attend the benefit in your area.
Meet others who are active in this important work. Send in your
Holiday Appeal contributions now. Support and build the PDC. Become a
monthly sustaining contributor. Send donations to: PDC, P.O. Box 99,
Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013.

For tickets to the Holiday Appeal call:

New York:  Friday, December 6, 5 - 8:30 pm, Wetlands, 161 Hudson St.
at Laight, For information and tickets (212) 406-4252

Chicago: Sunday, December 8, 3 to 7 pm, United Electric Hall, 37 S.
Ashland (at Monroe.) For information and tickets (312) 454-4931

San Francisco Bay Area, Sunday, December 8, 1 - 4 pm, Fort Mason
Center, Bldg. A-1, (Marina at Laguna.) For information and tickets
(510) 839-0852

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