May 1, 2013 The following is excerpted from an HRC email alert:
With one week to go of the 30-Day campaign to get former Black Panther political prisoner Russell Maroon Shoatz out of solitary confinement, we have heard a lot of talk about Maroon’s planned release into general population. With no time frame given, no clear process set forth, and no rationale as to why the 22-year torture of this community leader who is about to turn 70 years old should continue even one more day, Maroon’s supporters must make this last week count! We can do that by making the “count” of all the letters, faxes, and phone calls go up every single day till May 8, 2013. On that morning, if Maroon is not in general population his legal team will file litigation on his behalf in federal court. While we are optimistic about the strengths of his legal case, we are well aware that justice in the courts is a political act – so today’s calls make the chances of successful litigation tomorrow even greater.
The Campaign can already claim a victory: Maroon’s case and his work has received more attention over the past month that at any time during his incarceration. His new book of essays, Maroon the Implacable, has had book launches in two dozen cities, with major events in New York and Los Angeles still to come. In addition the campaign has been the subject of a major news feature, with progressive journalist Hans Bennett interviewing Campaign co-chairs Matt Meyer and Theresa Shoatz: http://angola3news.blogspot.com/2013/04/why-russell-maroon-shoatz-must-be.html
While is past due time for Maroon to be out of solitary, it is also time when people throughout the world are considering the appropriateness of solitary confinement in general. This week’s feature of the national newsletter Solitary Watch: News from a Nation in Lockdown is a special spotlight on Maroon, co-authored by Inter Press Service News Agency editor Kanya D’Almeida and legal team member Bret Grote. The article can be accessed here: http://solitarywatch.com/2013/04/28/russell-maroon-shoatz-resisting-the-spiritual-death-of-solitary-confinement/
Finally, Maroon’s words are spreading out beyond the prison walls, with an important new interview just released. His insights about the historic Maroons, his thoughts about patriarchy and matriarchy on both sides of the prison walls, and his reflections on win-win possibilities in the context of the growing prison industrial complex are nothing short of breath-taking. “Ironically,” he writes, “the segment of the population that presently has the most potential to effect change in the PIC is those who usually have no direct – bodily – connection to this system. That is the taxpayers among the ninety nine percent. Without their massive yearly outlays of billions in taxes (taxes they’ve been bamboozled into believing serve a good purpose, but instead serve [to] keep active a police state machine) the whole house of cards would collapse!” View the entire interview, conducted by Vanderbilt University Philosophy Professor Lisa Guenther, on the New Clear Vision website, here: http://www.newclearvision.com/2013/04/29/the-color-maroon/#more-2285
In this final week of the 30-Day call-in campaign, don’t waste a minute and
CALL! WRITE! FAX!
DEMAND THAT RUSSELL MAROON SHOATZ’ DECADES OF TORTUROUS SOLITARY END NOW!
Call/Write to: PA DOC Secretary John Wetzel
1920 Technology Parkway
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Phone number: 717-728-4109
Campaign to Free Russell Maroon Shoatz, firstname.lastname@example.org,
c/o WRL/Matt Meyer, 339 Lafayette Street, New York NY 10012; 412-654-9070
http://russellmaroonshoats.wordpress.com/ * #30Days2FreeMaroon * #FreeMaroon