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A message from the editor

February 22, 2015

Dear 4sm readers, old and new, fellow political prisoners, revolutionaries, activists, allies, friends and supporters, 2015, will be a year of some necessary changes for

From its beginning 11 years ago, 4sm set out to publish 3 hardcopy issues a year.  We also publish each edition online.  Until about a year ago we were mostly successful in coming out 3 times a year.  At this point we have put out 24 issues (all back issues remain online).  As you know prisoners receive 4sm for no charge and the online edition is also free.  The large majority of hardcopies are mailed to prisoners across the usa.  We do receive some donations and are always ready to accept paid subscriptions and donations.

The reality is, 4strugglemag is the primary voice of political prisoners in the United States.  4sm is a small and totally volunteer operation.  We are dedicated and committed to putting out this unique, independent, and we feel, necessary revolutionary voice of political prisoners.  In order to continue putting out 4sm, we will cut back to 2 hardcopy issues a year.  They will be published in July and December.  These two issues will also still be  published online.  In addition, 4sm will put up monthly updates, features and news articles online.  In total 4sm will be putting out more information, but only 2 paper magazine issues.

Keep sending us your feedback, insight and information.  And certainly, we always need your financial support too. You can subscribe and donate here.

For Freedom, Justice, Peace and the Revolutionary future our Planet and so many of its people need,
Jaan Laaman — editor + anti-imperialist political prisoner

Urgent update on Mumia

April 15, 2015
Prison Radio Website
We are keeping our “Eyes on Mumia”. Your support has enabled his family see him. On Thursday Mumia’s wife Wadiya Jamal visited him. She shared with us that his weakened state continues, and she is deeply concerned that he still has not had the appropriate care and diagnosis–  and in fact has been returned to the environment that allowed his chronic but treatable conditions to nearly kill him.

We demand that:

1) Mumia’s chosen private physician has immediate regular phone access to Mumia in the infirmary. Phone access is limited in the infirmary, and Mumia and his physician need to be in conversation throughout each week.

2) His doctor be allowed to communicate freely and regularly with the prison infirmary physicians who are currently overseeing Mumia’s care.

3) The PA Department of Corrections (DOC) allow Mumia’s doctor to schedule an immediate Independent Medical Examination in an examination room with a table and medical instruments.

4) The PA DOC develop a diagnostic and treatment plan adequate to understand any underlying conditions that have contributed to his current ongoing crisis, and that consultation with appropriate specialists be arranged in a timely fashion and be used to assist in this effort.

We need a mass mobilization of calls and letters to:Tom Wolf, PA Governor
508 Main Capitol Building, Harrisburg PA 17120

John Wetzel, PA Department of Corrections
1920 Technology Pkwy, Mechanicsburg PA 17050

John Kerestes, Superintendent- SCI Mahanoy
570-773-2158 x8102
Fax: 570-783-2008

Rising out of his infirmary bed to reach out to us, Mumia recorded a commentary that night. Now we need to reach out to him.On Saturday from his wheelchair in the visiting room, Mumia discussed the steps necessary that both he and his outside doctors and supporters have to take for him get the care he needs. His attorney, Bret Grote of the Abolitionist Law Center, discussed the ongoing efforts to pursue immediate diagnosis and adequate treatment for his medical conditions.

On Monday Mumia met with Suzanne Ross, again in a wheelchair, in the visiting room and only for an hour to preserve his strength. She noted that although he remained very sick, his mind was sharp and focused.

Please know that it is your calls, faxes, emails, and letters that have literally kept Mumia with us.

Mumia Abu-Jamal has provided to the world a body of work that is a heartbeat of resistance; brilliant and incisive. It is now our turn to take care of our brother and make sure that he has the support and treatment he needs.  

The next few weeks are crucial to making sure that he receives appropriate care. Pleasecontinue calling. Continuing rising up. Stay involved.

Wadiya Jamal visiting Mumia last Thursday at SCI Mahanoy.
Our Call for Support:
Mumia’s Medical Fund
With 18 days left, we want to give everyone a chance to make Mumia’s Medical and Legal Fund possible.

We’re calling on you to help us get Mumia’s medical fund to $40,000, now!

In an unstoppable mobilization of support, 414 supporters from around the world joined our Indiegogo Campaign and raised $21,720 in 14 days! When we launched the Campaign, we didn’t think we could raise more than $20,000. But the truth is that we need to raise double that to get Mumia the medical care and legal assistance he urgently needs.

Please click here to support Mumia with a gift of $25, $52 or even $10 now!

We are in the thick of the struggle to keep Mumia alive and healthy. Mumia’s chosen outside doctor is reviewing his medical records while we’re pushing to allow phone communication between the two; and we’ve spent over 100 hours of legal fees for Mumia. And we need your help to defend Mumia’s right to medical and legal access now

Join us to defend Mumia’s life! Now is the time! 

Send get well cards to Mumia

April 8, 2015

Greetings friends and comrades, I went with other folks from DC to Join Pam &  Ramona Suzanne Ross and Ms. Fernandez at the PA. Dept of Corrections. While Ramona, Suzanne, Megan, Kwasi, Simile, myself and others from Pittsburgh, Philly and NYC attempted to have a meeting with John Wetzel head of the DC. We were not allowed to stay in the foyer but instead made to stand in a “Staging Area” out side away from the building for the safety and security of the bldg & workers. Neither Wetzler nor Mr Perez the Counsel for the Dept. was willing to meet with us. They called the local police and state troopers to make sure we stayed in that specific area. While we were there Pam and others we able to see Mumia and they took some pictures which they will be sending out with a report of their visit.  In the mean time PLEASE GET A CARD OR WRITE A LETTER TO MUMIA TO GIVE HIM YOU LOVE AND BEST WISHES.



​Mumia ​Abu Jamal ​

#AM 8335 SCI-Mahanoy

​301 Morea Rd.

Frackville, PA 17932 USA

Mumia Abu-Jamal In Medical Crisis

April 2, 2015

From The Source


Former death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal is currently in ICU at Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA

Political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal is being treated for diabetes complications. Abu-Jamal’s blood sugar was dangerously high when he arrived at Schuylkill Medical Center on Monday, and he could have slipped into a diabetic coma. He has remained under heavy guard since intake. His family continues to be limited in accessing and monitoring his condition and his health. Literally for 20 hours his family was in the Intensive Care ICU and were told nothing.

Abu-Jamal, 60, is a former Black Panther serving life in prison for the 1981 murder of white Philadelphia Officer Daniel Faulkner. His conviction was upheld through years of appeals, but he has gained international support for his claim that he’s the victim of a racist justice system. A federal appeals court threw out his death sentence in 2008, citing flawed jury instructions.

His wife, Wadiya Jamal says he is still very weak. Two guards are posted outside Abu-Jamal’s hospital room, and two others are stationed inside, according to his wife. She said Abu-Jamal was handcuffed to a chair during her half-hour visit Tuesday, and she fed him ice chips.
Here is an excerpt from the hospital press conference yesterday:

Mumia’s wife and brother were allowed to see him separately for 30 minutes each late this morning. The mobilization worked. But our job is not yet done. On the morning of March 30, 2015 Mumia fainted in the prison and was taken to the ICU of a nearby clinic. His blood sugar count was dangerously high at 779. He was in a diabetic shock. For perspective: diabetic coma is 800.

He is recovering slowly and still in ICU. His blood sugar is currently at 333. That Mumia had diabetes was a complete shock to all of us. For the last 3 months, he has been under medical care in the prison and diagnosed with eczema. And since he had three “comprehensive” blood tests since February, diabetes should have been diagnosed and treated accordingly. But it never was. Instead he has been subjected to hell by the prison medical system. In January Mumia was shaken out of a deep sleep by guards during count. For the infraction of not being awake during count he was punished for 2 weeks, without calls or yard. Deep trance-like sleep and lethargy were the first signs of the problem. In addition to the physical depletion produced by untreated diabetes, he was/is also dealing with a severe outbreak of eczema. He likened his skin to that of an elephant’s. It was raw, blistered and bloody all over. He was so sick that he was not taking visitors. The “meds” he was given for his skin produced an extreme adverse reaction. His skin swelled and ruptured and he was put in the prison infirmary for 2 weeks.

The two very brief visits by his immediate family were important, but the un just actions by the PA DOC continue. They are controlling the hospitals actions and limiting all information about his condition. These actions are preventing Abu-Jamal and his family from getting access to the critical information they need for his care.

His family and lawyers still have little information about his treatment and his conditions. They are trying to limit additional visits now that they have had a visit. They are attempting to speak with the doctors and get medical records, yet after 20 hours of torture Mumia remains in intensive care.

Prison Officials are lying. Mumia is going through torture at the hands of Department of Corrections through medical neglect. It is clear to people that they want to kill Mumia. They gave him the wrong medication which made his condition worse. Inmates on the inside who questioned what was happening have been subjected to direct retaliation by the superintendent. They have been moving concerned inmates out of Mumia’s unit in an effort to both bury and keep this critical information from the public.”
Pam Africa

Mumia’s family is keeping vigil in the ICU critical care visiting room. Schuylkill Medical Center in Pottsville, PA. His supporters and lawyers were at trial challenging theRevictimization Review Act a.k.a. the “Mumia Silencing Act” in Harrisburg, PA when they received word that he had been taken to the hospital.

The Abolitionist Law Center’s Bret Grote is in Pottsville and taking all necessary steps to gain access to his client for the family and access to his medical records so that independent doctors can intervene.

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s brother Keith Cook stated:

The rules that the prisons have are very arcane. They don’t give out any information about prisoners to their families or anyone else. It’s like you have your hands tied because you don’t know how the prisoner is and you have no way of talking to him. I remember a month ago…Phil Africa exercising in the prison, next thing they know they moved him to a hospital and didn’t tell his family where he was, and three days later he was dead. It’s scary. This situation needs to change. The prison authorities need to be more humane to the families of prisoners.”

Johanna Fernandez of the New York Campaign to Bring Mumia Home noted:

Mumia has been complaining about being ill since January. If he had gotten the proper care he needed originally, he would not be in this situation. This crisis illustrates the problem of health care in American prisons as a basic human rights violation. I am personally concerned because Phil Africa of the MOVE organization was rushed to the hospital not long ago in good health and a few days later he was dead. We need to fight to defend Mumia’s life, and that of all prisoners.”

To support the family of Mumia contact the supporters below:

Bret Grote:
(PH:) 412-654-9070

Johanna Fernandez:
(PH:) 917-930-0804

Pam Africa: (PH:) 267-760-7344

Keith Cook:
(PH:) 919-302-4177

Noelle Hanrahan:
(PH:) 415-706-5222

-Infinite Wiz (@InfiniteWiz)

Q&A: Jericho Movement’s Paulette D’Auteuil on U.S. political prisoners

March 9, 2015

From Free Speech Radio News

Paulette D’Auteuil is on the advisory board in of the National Jericho Movement. She recently delivered remarks to the 12th International Symposium Against Isolation in Beirut, Lebanon.

The conference brings together political prisoners held in countries around the world. She told the conference that the U.S. is no exception to countries that lock up political dissidents on trumped up charges or deny parole to political prisoners who have already served the terms of their court-mandated sentences. During the conference, she spoke with FSRN’s Jacob Resneck.

Download Audio

FSRN: The issue of political prisoners is something we, as Americans, hear a lot about in other countries. But your organization argues that the U.S. is no different. Is the criminal justice system targeting individuals for lawful political activities?

PD: Um, yes. It’s been targeting them since Sacco and Vanzetti and it continues to target them today. We have many political prisoners: Leonard Peltier, Jalil Muntaqim, Herman Bell… and we also have some who are engaged in struggles against the state and have seen now that COINTELPRO situation which was a program, a counter-intelligence program, by the government was considered illegal. And after 9/11 and the PATRIOT ACT everything that was considered illegal in COINTELPRO has now been incorporated and is considered a legal government means to keep people from resisting and struggling for a better society.

FSRN: Tell us what the Jericho Movement and other legal advocates for these prisoners are doing to try and secure release for these prisoners.

PD: One of the things we are trying to do is that coming to the end of the Obama administration  some of our prisoners have, or are in the process rather, are in the process of completing a set of documents for the Justice Department which will be turned over to a clemency lawyer that will be reviewed and then put on Obama’s desk.

This packet is an incredible listing of this person’s history from before they were incarcerated. If they were arrested or something happened to them in high school they have to start there and give them everything that they’ve done and then every infraction that they’ve been charged with within that.

FSRN: We’re here in Beirut hearing the testimony of former political prisoners and also their advocates. What message are you bringing to them from the U.S. and what message will you be taking back to the states?

PD: I’m going to take back this struggle that needs to be done to help build an anti-imperialist front. And that is we must take the struggles of other countries back into the United States to expose French imperialism, American imperialism and whatever and build the unity between our prisoners and their prisoners. We’ve done this with people in the Basque country, we’ve done it with Turkish prisoners, and so what I’ve brought is a group of statements from our prisoners Herman Bell, Jalil Muntaqim, Leonard Peltier, Mutulu Shakur all sent greetings of solidarity. For them this is a way for them to have their voices heard in other countries and so we have reciprocity, a revolutionary reciprocity, to support each other’s prisoners and to stand in solidarity against this capitalist class throughout the world.

FSRN: Finally, what can ordinary Americans do to support these political prisoners and what support networks exist to help people who think they or friends or family may be targeted by the criminal justice system for their lawful political activities?

PD: On our website there are all kinds of suggestions. You can just go online and Google “political prisoner organizations” and get in touch.

FSRN: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.

PD: You’re welcome. Thank you. Free the Land!

Related note: FSRN has long aired the commentaries of Mumia Abu Jamal, former Black Panther and radio journalist, via Prison Radio. In October of last year, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill, the Revictimization Relief Act, that could subject anyone convicted of a personal crime to legal action if they speak publicly. Last week Chief Judge for the U.S. Federal District Court in Harrisburg, PA heard opening arguments in Abu-Jamal vs. Kane on 2/26/2015.  If he rules that the plaintiffs (Prison Radio & Mumia Abu-Jamal) have standing in federal court, a ruling which is expected shortly, the case will proceed on the merits of whether SB508 is a violation of the First Amendment, and an unconstitutional silencing of prisoners’ voices.

Jericho Movement Position Papers: Future Focus

March 9, 2015


In seven years, by 2023, the U.S. will be 40 percent minority, and 50 percent of the entire population will be under 40 years old. These are the demographics that cannot be ignored as progressives move forward building opposition to institutional racism and plutocratic governing.

In my thinking, it is incumbent on today’s activists to take into account what America will look like in ten years, so we will be better positioned to ensure the future will not be governed by deniers of change. In this regard, I am raising dialogue toward building a National Coalition for a Changed America (NCCA) comprised of social, economic and political activists who are prepared to build a future-focused America based on equitable distribution of wealth. It is important that progressives seek the means to organize greater unity and uniformity in ideological and political objectives toward the construction of a mass and popular movement. It is well established that the most pressing issues confronting the poor and oppressed peoples are wage inequities, housing displacement, dysfunctional public schools and student debt, climate change, the criminalization of the poor, mass incarceration, and the militarization of the police. In each are negative racial and economic implications creating social conflicts and confrontations.

However, the most pervasive and devastating cause for all of these issues is the unequal distribution of wealth. It is well researched and recorded that the wealth disparity, income gap between whites and blacks is 40% greater today than in 1967, with the average black household’s net worth at $6,314 and the average white household’s at $110,500 (New York Times, “When Whites Just Don’t Get It,” by Nicholas Kistof). When we account for how such economic disparity impacts educational opportunities or criminal behavior in the black community, we are better able to identify the overall pernicious problem. The Brookings Institute reported last July that: “As poverty increased and spread during the 2000s, the number of distressed neighborhoods in the United States—defined as census tracts with poverty rates of 40% or more—climbed by nearly three-quarters.” The report continued: “The population living in such neighborhoods grew by similar margins (76%, or 5 million people) to reach 11.6 million by 2008-2012.” (New York Times, “Crime and Punishment,” by Charles M. Blow).

Obviously, America is in increasing economic crisis, especially when considering … “According to a recent paper by the economists Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, and Gabriel Zucman of the London School of Economics, almost all of the increase in American inequality over the last 30 years is attributable to the “rise of the share of wealth owned by the 0.1% richest families.” And much of that rise is driven by the top 0.01%. “The wealth of the top 1% grew an average of 3.9% a year from 1986 to 2012, though the top one-hundredth of that 1% saw its wealth grow about twice as fast. The 16,000 families in the tiptop category—those with fortunes of at least $111 million—have seen their share of national wealth nearly double since 2002, to 11.2%.” (New York Times, “Another Widening Gap: The Haves vs. the Have-Mores,” by Robert Frank).

Can there by any serious disputing the reality that this so-called democracy is actually a plutocracy, and the governing plutocrats have us all hustling and scraping for the crumbs, demanding a minimum wage increase, when we should be demanding control of production? Hence, it is necessary for progressives to realize the future of our struggle must be based on participatory democracy, direct-action engagement. It is important for the more educated and experienced activists to teach the younger activists, and young people in general need to know the future belongs to them, and we are concerned about what that future will look like and how to make it productive. It is essential we figure ways to bridge differences between the evolving demographics and growing minority population.

For instance, I am heartened to see young people taking to the streets challenging the common impunity of police repression and violence. Indeed, Black Lives Matter! However, I am not confident these protests will result in anything substantial in terms of institutional changes or build a sustainable movement. We remember Occupy Wall Street (OWS) had created similar national attention, but void a national organization, leadership or agenda (demands), it was a matter of time before OWS would dissipate and disappear after police removed the public nuisances.

In this regard, I am asking activists to post on their Facebook pages and other online sites these musings, for open discussion and dialogue. Specifically, I suggest that young people across the country enter open debate about the future of specific issues that have captured national attention. Obviously, it is necessary to build a mass and popular movement to effectuate real institutional change in this country. This was a vital lesson from the civil rights movement challenging the institution of Jim Crow. Therefore, I am urging young activists to consider organizing toward a “Million Youth Independence Day March” (MY-ID March) for July 4, 2016, in Washington, D.C., making the following demands:

  1. De-Militarization and De-Centralization of the Police, Demand Community Control of Police;
  2. Debt Relief for College Students, Lower Tuition Cost for College Education;
  3. Support the Manifestation of the Dreamers Act—Stop Deportations and the Splitting of Families.

These three issues, as they become part of the national dialogue and challenge to the plutocratic government, are able to unite a universal national determination. A one-issue protest/campaign is not sustainable when confronting an oppressive/repressive government policy supported by right-wing corporate interests. However, these interwoven issues reach three demographics of young people, each directly challenging institutions of government. Again, it is important to use the current unrest to forge a unified and uniform national youth movement.

Secondly, politically, we need to consider how best to ensure these issues become a major factor in the national debate, possibly imposing them into the national election of 2016. In this way, inspiring and encouraging a mass and popular youth movement organized during the election year of 2016, we empower the youth to be future focused. It is well established that it was the youth who were instrumental in getting Obama elected as President. Despite our collective disappointment with his presidency, the lesson learned is the power of the youth when united and determined to accomplish a task. Again, recognizing that in 7 years the electoral demographics will be drastically changed, it is time to prepare for that eventuality, even if some do not believe in the electoral process. Therefore, during the election year of 2016, not a single candidate will be permitted to conduct a public forum without being challenged by these issues. These would be acts of participatory democracy and direct-action engagement. Obviously, to hold a national rally and march in Washington, D.C. during the July 4, 2016 weekend tells the entire country that young people will divorce themselves from the status quo, becoming independent of the Republican/Democratic party politics.

In closing, it is anticipated this proposal will raise questions concerning the potential for the development of a National Coalition for a Changed America (NCCA). Permit me to say that this proposed organization is only a suggestion. I firmly believe that building a national coalition is necessary to establish a mass and popular movement capable of forcing institutional changes, including the ultimate goal of redistribution of America’s wealth. I request this paper be widely distributed and discussed. I am prepared to enter discussion with anyone interested in the potential development of a National Coalition for a Changed America. Lastly, I humbly request activists to review what I wrote in“Toward a New American Revolution.”

“Our First Line of Defense IS Power to the People!”

Remember: We Are Our Own Liberators!

In fierce struggle,
Jalil A. Muntaqim
Attica, February 2015

Write to Jalil:

Anthony J. Bottom #77A4283
Attica Correctional FacilityP.O. Box 149
AtticaNY 14011-0149

Introducing Maya Chase, formerly Jared Chase of the NATO 3

March 9, 2015

February 6, 2015 

The prisoner we have been supporting as Jared Chase is ready to let her supporters and comrades know that she is a trans woman who prefers to be called Maya and uses she/her/hers pronouns. She also wants to go vegan, although she is currently not able to receive adequate nutrition in general, much less according to her ethical decisions.

She wrote us recently to say:

“I am writing to tell you all and the world that I am a TransGender woman. All of my life I have always identified as a woman. After 30 years I am finally done hiding, pretending to be something I’m not.”

Communicating with Maya has been difficult, in large part due to repression she is suffering on the inside. As such, we do not have an up-to-date report on her well-being at this time. We will keep you updated about how she is doing and about any opportunities to advocate for her as we learn more.

She will need even more support than before as she tries to get her needs met as a transgender, vegan political prisoner with serious medical needs. An easy way to support her is to write to her (note that her state name will need to be used on the outside of the envelope):

Jared Chase
2600 N. Brinton Ave
Dixon, IL 61021

Donations to support Maya and Brent Betterly, the other defendant still incarcerated, can be made at:

Brent Betterly could use some letters of support as well:

Brent Betterly
4017 E. 2603 Road
Sheridan, IL 60551

Jacob Church was released to a half-way house last November and continues to search for housing and employment while facing harassment from the probation system. Donations for his support can be made at If you have any insight into jobs or housing opportunities in the Chicago area, please contact us at free.the.nato3(A)

“A Victory For One Is A Victory For All” – A Letter From Anarchist Prisoner, Eric King to Sacramento Prisoner Support and Eric McDavid

March 9, 2015

From Denver ABC

January 9, 2015

POW CAMP Leavenworth

Dear SPS,

What a feeling of victory and vindication that must be flowing through your ranks, as well as through all those who have offered prisoner support. The news of Eric’s release reached me Friday afternoon and it felt as if I myself had been set free. What a long, difficult road he has had to travel upon to finally reach freedom’s exit sign. As unjust as the sentencing was, is as sweet the release must feel! Just imagining the Joy his comrades, partner, family must all be feeling fills me with the same joy. A victory for one is a victory for all. Please send my kindest congratulatory message to Eric and everyone involved in his support team.

I have heard that his support team (many of you) has done well to make sure his rehabilitation into freedom will go as smoothly as possible. No one can undo the injustices suffered but many can make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible and I have a good feeling that the people around him will take full care of that. I am curious what, if any at this point, plans Eric has for the future? Work for prisoner support, continued environmental fight? I hope the suffering the state has put him through hasn’t diminished his belief in the causes he once (currently?) took solace in.

Most importantly though is the now, and the now is that our comrade is free, not just free but free substantially sooner than the state would have preferred. With the amount of comrades being released early, hopefully the tone will be set to prevent such vicious inhumane sentencing in any future cases. May this victory lead the way baring the torch of freedom, lighting the darkened path many of us still must thread. I am grateful that Eric had such brilliant support, that no one gave up hope. I am thankful that groups exist to be there for those of us who need it desperately. So congratulations to everyone involved, and to our beautiful cause as a whole. Please keep up the fight. Until All are Free.

In immense Joy & Solidarity,


Eric King 27090045
CCA Leavenworth
100 Highway Terrace
Leavenworth, KS 66048


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