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Running Down the Walls: 2010 Reports

October 26, 2010
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Tucson, Arizona

At 1:30 p.m., supporters of political prisoners released balloons into the sky over the U.S. Penitentiary in Tucson, in solidarity and support of political prisoners everywhere, and in particular Jaan Laaman, who is incarcerated there. Shouts were heard from inside the walls as prisoners ran and saw the balloons in the air.

This action was followed by the national Anarchist Black Cross Federation’s Running Down the Walls. This 5k run/bike/walk event occurred across the country in city parks and streets, as well as inside the country’s prison system.

At 7 p.m., runners in Tucson pounded the pavement in support of those behind the walls. This year the run was dedicated to the memory of Lolita Lebrón, Marilyn Buck and Jonathan Jackson.

For more info on how to get involved in supporting political prisoners and prisoners of war in the U.S., please see www.abcf.net/la/index.htm

Greenfield, Massachusetts

U.S. Political Prisoner supporters from Vermont and Massachusetts joined together on August 7 in Greenfield, Massachusetts to participate in the first official Connecticut River Running Down the Walls (CRRDTW). The event drew 20 people and raised over $1,000 in pledges and other donations. The event was coordinated by Vermont Action for Political Prisoners (VAPP) and the Prison Book Project of Western Massachusetts. Proceeds went to the ABCF warchest and the VAPP warchest, as well as a portion to the Marie Mason Fund on behalf of the Prison Book Project. The CRRDTW was a great opportunity to honor our freedom fighters, whether locked up or free, whether alive or no longer with us — especially Marilyn Buck, who we recently lost less than a month after being released from prison.

Guelph, Ontario

[Toronto ABC was proud to participate in Guelph ABC’s excellently organized Running Down the Walls event. Together we raised over $3,000 for the ABCF warchest and the G20 legal defence fund. Below is a speech given by a member of Guelph ABC to start the day.]

We’d like to welcome and thank everyone for coming out to this year’s Running Down the Walls solidarity run, which is the first one ever held in Guelph. Running Down the Walls is a 5KM run in support of political prisoners and prisoners of war that has been put on by the LA-ABCF for the past several years now with solidarity runs being held simultaneously in various cities and prisons across North Amerika. This year is no exception with known runs happening in Los Angeles, New York City, Mexico City, Denver, Boston, Connecticut River, Albuquerque, Dannemora, Tucson, USP Tucson and the run here in Guelph. All funds raised at this year’s Guelph run, with our intended goal of $2000, is being split fifty-fifty between the Anarchist Black Cross Federation Warchest program which provides stipends to political prisoners, prisoners of war and their families most in need of assistance and the G20 defense fund.

As resistance movements grow, escalate and intensify as we have seen and are currently seeing with the local indigenous struggles at Tyendinaga and Six Nations, opposition surrounding the the 2010 Winter Olympics, widespread anarchist and anti-authoritarian attacks on Statist and capitalist institutions such as the Royal Bank of Canada firebombing in Ottawa and particularly with the G20 summit in Toronto, so does the State’s repression. As we’re seeing with some 300 people facing criminal charges from the G20 protests, some of whom are still in jail, more of our comrades are and will be dealing with the court system and spending time behind bars.

This is nothing new. We can look to past examples to see how the State deals with resistance and subversion. The Black Panthers, the Black Liberation Army, the MOVE organization, the American Indian Movement, the Vancouver Five, and all the other anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and anti-authoritarian revolutionaries who still sit in cages, many serving life sentences — not to mention those who died behind the walls in captivity or were outright murdered like Fred Hampton and George Jackson. All of those people mentioned, and all the countless others unmentioned are our comrades and must not be forgotten.

That is why we are here today — to let our comrades locked up on the inside, and out on house arrest, know that we have solidarity with them, their ideas and their actions. We care not about whether they are “guilty” or “innocent” as resistance will always be seen as a crime by those in power. During these reactionary times of increased repression we must also shatter the lies and spin being peddled forth by the ruling class, the police and their obedient lapdogs in the corporate media who label radicals and anarchists “terrorists” and “extremists” while at the same time defending the sanctioned violence and hypocrisy of the authoritative capitalist system. We must resist their attempts to keep us silent and complacent, but most of all we must resist their attempts to keep us isolated! Our struggle continues inside and outside of prison!

Lastly, we would like to specifically dedicate this year’s run to Marilyn Buck who passed away from uterine cancer on Tuesday August 3 in Brooklyn after being released from prison on July 15, 2010 due to her condition. Marilyn was an anti-imperialist political prisoner who was imprisoned for 25 years for her actions in support of women’s liberation, national liberation, social and economic justice.

Again, we would like to thank everyone who either donated their time, money and/or came out to participate. For an end to all prisons! Let’s run down the walls!

Los Angeles, California

On the day that we remember Jonathan Jackson and his heroism, we also remembered two warriors who fought and resisted this system their entire lives. Marilyn Buck and Lolita Lebrón were freedom fighters in every sense of the word; they embody the spirit of true revolutionaries. We gathered on a misty cool morning at South Gate Park in south LA. Twenty strong, we were all eager to run with our thoughts on our heroes and imprisoned comrades.

After the mist cleared, we ate snacks and told stories about the folks who were running at that very moment elsewhere in the world. The political prisoners who ran down the walls are the true reason we run, we run WITH them and with their fighting spirit.

The event overall was pleasant, we met new friends, visited with old ones, and raised a few dollars for the cause. Running Down the Walls 2010 was a complete success inside and outside of the prisons.

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