January 26, 2009 - Interview with Helen Hudson from the Certain Days Collective
(CKDU News Collective, Halifax)
Does our justice system stop crimes? Should crimes that are rooted in deeper social and economic problems be punished by imprisonment? This interview with Helen Hudson addressed these issues. Helen works in solidarity with political prisons with a group based in Montreal called Certain Days.
Helen discusses her involvement with Certain Days, her views on the prison industrial complex and the Certain Days 2009 Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar, a fundraising and educational initiative between outside organizers and three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prison in New York state, two of which were formerly involved with the Black Panther Party.
November 19, 2008 - Holiday Gift Guide: 20 local folks offer book suggestions for the holidays
Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar, produced by Montreal’s Certain Days collective. “Political prisoner calendars that just plain kick ass…they are a totally educational politically to what is going on currently in America plus radical history of the past. They are also amazing artistically, most of work being done by prisoners. and the proceeds are donated to different kickass organizations. The Web site is www.certaindays.org, and they are for sale by me and Rust Belt Books (202 Allen Street) and Talking Leaves Books (951 Elmwood Avenue, 3158 Main Street).”
—Community activist Nate Buckley
Certain Days Calendar 2008: Legacy of the Panthers
A 2008 calendar about political prisoners and prisoners of war held by the Canadian and US Governments. More than just a calendar (and a fine one at that, in full color, no less!), it is packed with informative, educational, and downright inspirational articles and information—with information on and writings by former and current political prisoners. Even better, it's a benefit for the New York State Task Force On Political Prisoners, Addameer (a Palestinian prisoner support and educational group), and the San Francisco 8 defence campaign. 48 full color pages of gorgeous art and writings from the likes of Herman Bell, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Laura Whitehorn, Gord HIll, Joy James, Safiya Bukhari, Emory Douglas, Daniel McGowan, Ward Churchill, Tom Manning, Ashanti Alston, George Katsifiacas, David Gilbert, Carlos Cortez, Noam Chomsky, Soffiyah Elijah and more! Buy several today!
2008 Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar AVAILABLE NOW!
(Kersplebedeb/London Class War)
It is with some happiness that i am emailing you all, to let you know that the 2008 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War Calendar is... now available! that's right, it's EARLY this year!
Since 2001 political prisoners Herman Bell, David Gilbert and Robert "Seth" Hayes have worked with activists in Montreal (and in 2005 and 2006 New York City) to produce these calendars. The result has always been a wonderful collection of artwork and political texts addressing some of the most pressing political issues fo our day.
As always, this is one of the most beautiful political projects in alliance with and in support of our captured comrades. While the artwork and writings always cover a variety of subjects, this years calendar has a focus on the Black Panther Party. As the collective explains: "The 2007 targeting of the San Francisco Eight (SF8) shows, more than ever, that COINTELPRO is ongoing. Over thirty years after the incident of which they are accused, eight Black Panthers face new charges... During 2008, as this calendar hangs on your wall, the SF8 will be in court and the Black Panther Party will be on trial once again. So this year's theme is the Legacy of the Panthers. Now more than ever, it is vital that their contribution be celebrated."
(For more about the SF8 please visit http://www.freethesf8.org/)
Contributors to this year's calendar include Mumia Abu-Jamal, Joy James, Ashanti Alston, Emory Douglas, Ward Churchill, Laura Whitehorn, Gord Hill, George Katsiaficas, David Gilbert and many others.
Beyond its own value, the calendar is also a worthwhile fundraising tool - money raised from this years sales will go to support the work of the New York State Task Force on Political Prisoners, Addameer, a
Palestinian Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, and the San Francisco Eight's support campaign.
To see some sample artwork, you can all check out the Calendar page on the Kersplebedeb website at
To order your copy from Kersplebedeb for just $15.00 plus postage, email me or (if you'd like to pay via paypal) follow the link above. As always, wholesale rates are available.
December 11, 2006 - Interview with Helen Hudson from the Certain Days Collective
(Stark Raven Radio, 41:40 - 52:22)
December 3, 2006 - Weathering the Storm: Political Prisoners, Repression, and Organizing to Win in Mexico and the USA
If you are looking to get started learning more about our political prisoners (or for a good gift for the winter holidays!), perhaps you will start with the beautiful, and educational, Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar. After all, if we're gonna build a successful movement for radical change in this country, we're gonna have to be prepared to weather the storm...
The Lantern Books Blog: Supporting Political Prisoners
by Kara Davis
November 12, 2006 5:10pm
It's fundraiser season. I spent last night at the release party for Certain Days, the annual calendar produced to raise awareness of the situation of political prisoners, and raise funds for activist groups each year. This year's beneficiaries are The New York State Task Force on Political Prisoners, No One is Illegal, and Addameer. The focus this year is, fittingly, immigration.
I was all the more compelled to go since (the rest of) our friends from the SHAC 7 are going to prison this week.
I came away from the party pleased: The calendar features not only the artwork of prisoners and prisoner activists, but it will work as a little history lesson all year long. Along with the phases of the moon, the calendar documents the start of Japanese-American internment, Leonard Peltier's capture, and Stonewall, as well as all the holidays we'd actually like to celebrate, like Cesar Chavez day (March 30) and the National Day Against Police Brutality (October 22).
It's like a Slingshot!, but for your wall. Get yours at certaindays.org.
Making Hot Dates and Fighting Imperialism:
Get this Calendar and Get Busy
by Chris Crass
Working for liberation is a full time job and between paying the bills, building our organizations, taking care of ourselves and loved ones, studying and reflecting on our work, developing radical and relevant strategy to knock the legs out from under the right and build the left, be meaningful parts of our families and friendships, practicing our politics in daily life, go on hot dates and love others as bell hooks' says 'helping them grow as people', it can be overwhelming. And as Franklin Covey co-founder, Hyrum Smith says, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail".
Fortunately there are comrades looking out for us. The new 2005 Freedom for Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War calendar is here. It can help us keep track of dates and plan for the future, but more importantly, this calendar is grounded in history to help us think about what it is we're doing.. If you haven’t already been using this, be warned: it's powerful. The 2005 calendar features 12 full color images - including collage, murals, woodcuts, and more - and over a dozen pages of writing created by and about former and current political prisoners and prisoners of war. Leonard Peltier, Laura Whitehorn, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Angela Davis, Linda Evans, Lorenzo Kom'boa Ervin, Tom Manning, Assata Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Marilyn Buck and others throughout the 44 pages. It is moving to look at these pages beautifully crafted by so many of our leaders. Leaders, who the ruling class have imprisoned with the goal that my generation would never know them or the movements they come out of. The ruling class understands the central role of historical study to the process of making the future. The South African freedom movement put forward the slogan; "revolution is the struggle of memory against forgetting." The power of this calendar is it's deep connections to our living history through people and struggles that help us develop historical consciousness to root ourselves, not in nostalgia, but a continuity of who we are as people working for liberation.
The calendar is a joint project between outside organizers in Montreal and New York City in collaboration with three long-term political prisoners being held in New York for their actions as part of anti-imperialist and anti-racist struggles: Herman Bell, Robert Seth Hayes and David Gilbert.
The intro in the calendar reads, "The initial project was suggested by Herman, and has been shaped throughout the process by all of our ideas, discussions, and analysis. The outside collectives compile, edit and produce the calendar. All of our members are involved in day to day organizing work, on issues ranging from Palestinian solidarity to gender violence to prisoner justice. We work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, feminist, queer and trans positive position. Throughout our production process, we seek the input and guidance of the three Political Prisoners involved in the project: Robert Seth Hayes, Herman Bell and David Gilbert. For us, it is extremely important that people on the streets recognize the history of today’s social justice movements, and how that ties in with solidarity for PPs/POWs. We want to emphasis the ongoing involvement and continued commitment of PPs/POWs in these same movements."
In addition to being an educational tool, it is also a fundraiser for grassroots organizations struggling against the prison industrial complex in the US and Canada. This year, proceeds will be divided between: Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), a community-based social justice organization of working class and poor South Asian immigrants working for racial justice, immigrant rights, and an end to deportations and detentions; The New York State Task Force on Political Prisoners, which fights for the release of political prisoners in NY State prisons; and a variety of smaller groups that do direct support work for political prisoners, refugees and immigrants facing detention and deportation in the Montreal area.
This is an excellent gift for friends and family. While I recommend a Franklin Covey for day-to-day planning, an anti-imperialist wall calendar with such depth and beauty helps us remember why it is we're planning.
You can order the calendar directly for $15 ($9 for prisoners) from their website: http://www.certaindays.org.
Chris Crass is the coordinator of the Catalyst Project, a center for political education and movement building. They focus on anti-racist work with mostly white section of the global justice and anti-war movements with the goal of deepening radical commitment in white communities and building multiracial left movements for liberation.