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Join the Emergency 30-Day Campaign: Release Russell Maroon Shoatz from Solitary Confinement!

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  • Romi Elnagar
    Join the Emergency 30-Day Campaign: Release Russell Maroon Shoatz from Solitary Confinement! by Steve Bloom April 10, 2013 Russell Maroon Shoatz is a former
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 11, 2013
      Join the Emergency 30-Day Campaign: Release Russell Maroon Shoatz from Solitary Confinement!
      by Steve Bloom
      April 10, 2013
      Russell Maroon Shoatz is a former Black Panther from Philadelphia who
      has been in prison for most of his life, and in solitary confinement for most of his time in prison. According to hip hop artist Chuck D. (who
      has written a forward to the just-published volume of essays by Shoatz
      titled "Maroon the Implacable") he is "one of the most brilliant thinkers on the subject of Black
      liberation, as well as freedom, justice, and social transformation for
      all who want a planet free of abuse, oppression, and exploitation toward humans and Earth itself."
      The subject matter of Maroon's book ranges from the fraud of the US
      prison system to the lessons we can learn from the Black liberation
      struggle of the 1960s and '70s to questions of revolutionary theory and
      organization--including a deep concern about the need to combat
      patriarchy and establish an ecologically sustainable socialism. You can
      order it for $20 from PM Press by visiting their online store here.
      Everyone who reads this volume will come to know a man who has managed
      to remain in touch with the world and with contemporary culture despite
      being in solitary confinement for so many years, an achievement that
      alone would be remarkable enough. Still more remarkable is that Shoatz
      refuses, as he composes these essays, to be satisfied with easy or
      superficial analyses. His thinking is deep and complex, challenging his
      readers in creative and intelligent ways.
      On April 8, 2013, Maroon's attorneys sent a "Demand Letter" to the
      authorities at the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections calling for
      his release from solitary confinement. The Campaign to Free Russell
      Maroon Shoatz is organizing an emergency 30-day campaign (April 8 to May 10) of calls, letters, and faxes to DOC Secretary John Wetzel, as well as
      to the superintendent of the prison where Maroon is presently
      incarcerated. Please join the campaign. See the "Action Alert" below for more information.

      Action Alert : Call now to demand the IMMEDIATE release of Russell Maroon Shoatz from solitary confinement!
      Former Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz has been held in torturous
      conditions of solitary confinement in Pennsylvania prisons for the past
      thirty years. He has not had a serious rule violation for more than two
      decades. Maroon's role as an educator, human rights defender, writer,
      and critical intellectual of liberation movements is widely renowned.
      From April 8 to May 10, the Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz is
      calling for an intense call-in and write-in campaign to bring pressure
      on the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PA DOC), to release
      Maroon from solitary confinement and into the general prison population. This is the first major phase of a coordinated political-legal
      campaign, beginning with Maroon's attorneys sending a "Demand Letter" to the PA DOC on the morning of April 8, 2013. The letter, outlining the
      legal and humanitarian reasons why an immediate release from solitary is needed, gives the PA DOC an opportunity to correct the grave injustices being carried out on a daily basis before litigation begins.
      Maroon needs your help! Here's how:
      April 8: Begin flooding the office of PA Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary John Wetzel with phone calls, letters, and faxes. Send a copy of that letter, or address a similar letter, to the office of SCI
      Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes. PA DOC Secretary John Wetzel
      1920 Technology Parkway
      Mechanicsburg, PA, 17050
      Phone number: 717-728-4109
      Fax number: 717-728-4178
      Download sample letter
      SCI Mahanoy Supt. John Kerestes
      301 Morea Road
      Mahanoy, PA, 17932
      Phone number: 570-773-2158
      Fax number: 570-783-2008
      Download sample letter
      If you have contact with media in your area, consider suggesting that
      they cover this story, including the April 8 - May 10 pressure campaign.
      Help publicize the campaign in schools, workplaces, churches, and communities nationwide. (Download press release)
      Talking Points
      Russell Maroon Shoatz (if writing DOC, always put his prison number,
      AF-3855) has been in solitary confinement for almost 30 years despite
      the fact that his disciplinary record has been impeccable-without
      incident for the past 20 of those years.
      Such "prolonged" solitary confinement is a violation of the United
      Nations Convention Against Torture, according to UN Special Rapporteur
      Juan Mendez. It starves the mind of basic social interaction, human
      contact, and intellectual stimulation needed for proper brain
      Other Pennsylvania prisoners with more extensive violent histories and
      more recent disciplinary infractions have nevertheless been released
      from solitary and are now held in general population.
      Maroon is being targeted because of his work as an educator and because
      of his political ideas; his time in solitary began just after he was
      elected president of an officially-sanctioned prison-based support
      group. This targeting is in violation of his basic human and
      constitutional rights.
      At age 69, Maroon poses no threat to the physical well-being or running
      of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. His 23-hour-a-day
      physical isolation in solitary is unnecessary and costly.
      The American Civil Liberties Union, Physicians for Human Rights, and a
      growing number of prominent world leaders are calling for an end to
      prolonged solitary confinement. Maroon's case is one of the most
      egregious, politically motivated, and long-standing of the nation's
      solitary cases.
      Maroon has deep roots in Pennsylvania's Black community, many friends in peace, justice, and human rights organizations, and family members and
      supporters throughout the State, the USA, and the world. We understand
      the PA DOC Secretary's Office and the Warden of SCI Greene to be
      particularly and personally responsible for the torturous and lethal
      conditions of solitary under which Maroon is still kept.
      Maroon must be released from solitary confinement IMMEDIATELY!!!
      Who is Russell Maroon Shoatz?
      Russell Maroon Shoatz is a former leader of the Black Panthers and the
      Black freedom movement, born in Philadelphia in 1943 and originally
      imprisoned in January 1972 for actions relating to his political
      involvement. With an extraordinary thirty-plus years spent in solitary
      confinement-including the past twenty-three years continuously-Maroon's
      case is one of the most shocking examples of U.S. torture of political
      prisoners, and one of the most egregious examples of human rights
      violations regarding prison conditions anywhere in the world.
      His "Maroon" nickname is, in part, due to his continued resistance-which twice led him to escape confinement; it is also based on his continued
      clear analysis, including recent writings on ecology and matriarchy.
      THOUGH MAROON WAS RECENTLY TRANSFERRED to a lower-security correctional
      facility in Central Pennsylvania, he IS STILL HELD in a SOLITARY
      CONFINEMENT UNIT. It will take a mass, grassroots movement to free this
      inspiring community activist.
      Part of the momentum for the campaign will come from a book tour taking
      place during this period, promoting the newly-published "Maroon the
      Implacable: The collected writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz." But it is
      up to everyone concerned with human rights anywhere and everywhere to
      spread the word far and wide, to make these 30 days count--for an end to solitary confinement and an end to the torture of Russell Maroon
      Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz
      C/O WRL/Matt Meyer, 339 Lafayette Street, New York NY 10012
      E-mail: freemaroonshoatz@... 


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