Freedom for Political Prisoners Night – Baltimore
Thursday, January 11, 7:30 PM – 9 PM
Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse
30 W North Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Join us as we launch the 2018 Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar! Former political prisoner and Real News Network producer and host Eddie Conway, and former ELF political prisoner and Certain Days collective member Daniel McGowan, will lead a discussion on political prisoner David Gilbert’s* new book, “Looking at the US White Working Class Historically”, and also discuss the importance of supporting political prisoners, past and present. Also speaking will be Khristina Simmons, a J20 defendant who was recently acquitted. She will be speaking about the ongoing J20 resistance trials, and the ongoing need for support and solidarity.
* David Gilbert is a longtime anti-imperialist. He became active around the civil rights movement in 1960, and later organized against the Vietnam War. He spent 10 years as part of an underground resistance to imperialism. Working as an anti-racist ally of the Black Liberation Army in 1981, David and others were captured in connection with an attempted expropriation (theft for political reasons) of a Brink’s truck in Nyack, NY.
David was sentenced to 75 years to life and is currently being held at Wende, a maximum-security prison in New York State. In 1986, David became active as an advocate and educator around AIDS in prison after his co-defendant Kuwasi Balagoon died of AIDS while still in custody. He is the author of No Surrender: Writings from an Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner (AK Press), Love and Struggle: My Life in SDS, the Weather Underground and Beyond (PM Press) and “Our Commitment Is to Our Communities”. He is also the subject of a mini-documentary, “Lifetime of Struggle,” available from Freedom Archives (freedomarchives.org).
David Gilbert #83-A-6158, Wende Correctional Facility
3040 Wende Road, Alden, NY 14004-1187
Marshall ‘Eddie’ Conway
Eddie Conway is the former Minister of Defense in the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party. In 1971 Conway was convicted in the murder of a BPD officer a year prior. His trial saw many irregularities, though he was convicted and subsequently served forty-four years as a political prisoner. While incarcerated, Eddie played pivotal roles in a variety of prisoner support initiatives, including the formation of the Maryland chapter of the United Prisoner’s Labor Union and the ACLU’s Prison Committee to Correct Prison Conditions. In 2014, Conway was released on parole after an appellate court ruled that his jury had been given improper instructions. Since his release, Eddie has continued to support revolutionary and community-based initiatives, and he has worked as a producer at The Real News Network, where he hosts a show titled Rattling the Bars.
Daniel is an activist and political prisoner supporter from Queens, NY. He was charged in 2005 with fifteen counts of arson, property destruction and conspiracy, all related to two actions in Oregon in 2000, claimed by the underground Earth Liberation Front (ELF). Daniel was facing a minimum of life in prison if convicted when he accepted a non-cooperation plea agreement. He received a 7 year sentence and did most of it in two experimental Communications Management Units (CMU). Within a year of arriving at the CMU, Daniel with the help of the Center for Constitutional Rights, sued the Bureau of Prisons with the intention of closing the unit (Aref v. Sessions).
His arrest was part of what the US government dubbed Operation Backfire; a coordinated, multi-state sweep of activists by the federal government who charged them with practically every Earth and animal liberation action in the Pacific Northwest left unsolved. Many have considered this round up indicative of the government’s ‘Green Scare’ focus which had activists being arrested and threatened with life in prison.
Daniel was released from prison in December 2012 and was on probation for three years until June 2016. He has worked with NYC Anarchist Black Cross, the Civil Liberties Defense Center and the National Lawyer Guild’s Parole Preparation Project. Daniel is on the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners calendar collective. He lives in New York City and is trying to figure out ways to fight the new fascist administration.
J20 Trial: On January 20th, 230 people were mass arrested during demonstrations against Donald Trump’s Inauguration. The arrests were made by use of a “kettle” technique of individuals on the corners of L and 12th Street, without orders to disperse. 214 of these arrestees were charged under the Federal Riot Statute. On April 27th, multiple additional felony charges were added. The 188 remaining defendants could now face up to 60 years in prison.
Defend J20 Resistance