WHAT: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
WHEN: 7pm sharp, Tuesday, April 1st, 2014
WHERE: CAGE – 83A Hester Street (UPSTAIRS) New York, New York 10002 (directions below)
Oh, no, guys! Chris Brown says being in jail is like being a caged animal. Maybe the revelation of a millionaire pop star will shed light on the realities faced by about 1.5 million other prisoners in the United States. Maybe it will lead his legion of fans to call for the abolition of prisons! Or, in all likelihood, it will simply cause logistic problems for court cops at his next appearance date. If nothing else, jailing a pop star exposes more folks to just how shitty imprisonment really is. And that’s where NYC ABC comes in. With our every-other-week letter-writing dinners, we try to remind our comrades that no matter how awful their conditions, they have support on the outside. This week we are writing to three prisoners in California– Chip Fitzgerald, Ruchell “Cinque” Magee, and Hugo “Yogi” Pinell.
Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, born and raised in Compton, California, joined the Southern California Chapter of the Black Panther Party in early 1969 as a teenager who had just been released from the California Youth Authority. In September of that year, as a dedicated member of the Party, Chip was arrested in connection with a police shoot-out and tried for assault on police and related charges, including the murder of a security guard. He was sentenced to death.
Commonly regarded as the longest held political prisoner in the U.S., Ruchell Magee has been imprisoned since 1963. He was politicized in prison and participated in the August 7, 1970 Marin County Courthouse Rebellion— the attempted liberation of political prisoner George Jackson and the Soledad Brothers by Jackson’s younger brother Jonathan. Magee was seriously injured in the incident and subsequently pleaded guilty to aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced in 1975 to life in prison and has been denied parole numerous times.
While Hugo Pinell was imprisoned in San Quentin State Prison he made contact with revolutionary prisoners such as George Jackson, one of the Soledad Brothers and W.L. Nolen. On August 21, 1971, there was a prisoner uprising in Pinell’s housing unit at San Quentin, led by George Jackson. On August 21, 1971, Jackson used a pistol to take over his tier in the Adjustment Center. At the end of the roughly 30 minute rebellion, guards had killed George Jackson, and two other prisoners and three guards were dead. Of the remaining prisoners in the unit, six of them, including Pinell, were put on trial for murder and conspiracy. They were known as The San Quentin Six. Three of them were acquitted of all charges, and three were found guilty of various charges. Pinell was convicted of assault on a guard. Although Pinell was convicted of assault, and another of the San Quentin Six had a murder conviction, only Pinell remains imprisoned.
In the unlikely event that there is a better use of your Tuesday night, but you still want to support the prisoners (or want to send these three a book) you can write to them at:
Romaine Fitzgerald* #B27527
Kern Valley State Prison
Post Office Box 5104
Delano, California 93216
*Address card to Chip
Ruchell Magee* #A92051
California State Prison – Los Angeles County
Post Office Box 8457
Lancaster, California 93539-8457
*Address card to Cinque
Hugo Pinell* #A88401
California State Prison – Sacramento
Post Office Box 290066
Represa, California 95671
*Address card to Yogi Bear
The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet, keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks thanks to the PP/POW Birthday Calendar.
Getting to CAGE is simple:
From the J/M/Z:
Essex Street Stop: Walk west on Delancey Street (toward Essex Street, away from Norfolk Street) and make a left on Essex Street. Walk three blocks and turn right onto Hester Street. We’re two and a half blocks down, on the right.
From the F:
East Broadway Stop: Walk north on Rutgers Street (toward East Broadway, away from Henry Street), that becomes Essex Street, and turn left on Hester Street. We’re two and a half blocks down, on the right.
From the B/D:
Grand Street Stop: Walk east on Grand Street (Toward Forsyth Street, away from Chrystie Street) and turn right on Orchard Street. Walk one block and turn right onto Hester Street. We’re a few storefronts down on the right.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, we’ll see you at supper.
This event is brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Anarchist Black Cross.
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211
Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!