Message from Prisoners at CFCF
By Prisoners at CFCF, forwarded by R2K Legal
We are 24 male prisoners currently held at Curran-Fromhold
Correctional Facility for our participation or attempted participation in the August 1st
non-violent direct actions against the Republican convention in Philadelphia. The carefully
choreographed conventions of both major parties have nothing to do with democracy. They
are corporate sponsored pageants designed to legitimize a system of corporate class rule that
crushes the human spirit and that is destroying the planet. The criminal justice system of cops,
courts and prisons that targets poor and working class people in general and people of color in
particular is a cornerstone of a system that serves the rich and maintains their rule. Our
actions in the streets of Philadelphia were intended to shine a light on the incarceration of 2
million people in the U.S., on the systematic use of police brutality to terrorise whole
communities, on the racism and cruelty of the death penalty, on the many political prisoners,
including Mumia Abu-Jamal, who are caged for their commitment to social justice. Our actions
were aimed at disrupting the Republican convention to the best of our ability. While we're sorry
any inconvenience we may have caused the people of Philadelphia, we are proud of what we
did to expose this rotten system. From the moment of our arrest we have experienced and
witnessed the workings of a system designed to dehumanize people. Many of us were
brutalized in the course of arrests. Some of us were beaten or peppersprayed after we were
handcuffed. In jail as many as nine people were packed into cells designed for two people.
People with dietary restrictions went without food for up to 48 hours. In some cases our hands
and feet were cuffed together and some of us had our cuffs so tight that we lost feelings in our
hands or bled as a result.
We were denied the opportunity to meet with our lawyers prior to arraignment and were
arraigned in a court room closed to the general public with the exception of select members of
the capitalist media. We were arraigned with a court appointed public defender serving as
counsel despite our explicitly and repeatedly stated desire to be represented by our own
counsel who were denied access to the proceedings. We were charged with a variety of
misdemeanors and in a few cases with felonies. Our individual bails have been set at between
,000 and ,000,000. Many if not all of the charges against us are either greatly
exaggerated or completely falsified.
At Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility [County Jail] we have been placed in a special pod
where we have little contact with other prisoners. While we regard our conditions here as
dehumanizing we recognise that we are receiving special treatment such as extra food. So far
we have not been beaten or physically hurt by personnel here.
Throughout this process we have sought to resist and stand in solidarity with each other to the
best of our abilities. Almost all of us have refused to give our names. Many of us have had to
be physically dragged through the various stages of this process. We have kept our spirits
high through singing and chanting and pounding on our cell walls. We developed systems for
communicating with each other and for reaching decisions by consensus. Many of us ripped
the bracelets intended to identify us off our wrists. We resisted fingerprinting and attempts to
photograph us. Some of us have refused food. In jail we stripped naked to make our
processing more difficult. In the course of all this we have discovered strengths we never knew
we had and have built a wall of solidarity based on profound love and respect for each other.
We have drawn particular strength from the proud defiance of the sisters whose loud voices
we have heard and whose acts of resistance we have occasionally been able to witness.
While our access to information is restricted we are aware of the efforts of those on the
outside to assist us. We love you all. We are in here for you and know that you are out there
We believe that our experiences so far strongly vindicate us in our decision to take powerful
action to expose the brutality and injustice of the so-called criminal justice system. As we go
through this process we are learning personally of the mistreatment people experience every
day in this country. As a group of mainly white and mainly middle class men we know full well
that the treatment routinely received by poor people, people of color, and other marginalized
people is much worse than what we have received.
While we have had little contact with other prisoners, that contact has been overwhelmingly
positive, they know why we are here and they let us know in many ways that they support our
actions and respect our commitment and solidarity. In turn we are learning from them about the
workings of the prison and their own traditions of resistance. They have our respect,
admiration and solidarity. So far the efforts of some personnel to cultivate distrust and
antagonism between us and the other prisoners have failed.
We are political prisoners: We are being held on outrageous charges, in many cases with no
foundation whatsoever in our actual actions; Our bail figures are far out of proportion even for
the crimes we are falsely accused of; We are here because of our political commitment and
because we dared to defy the corporate powers that be as they were attempting to give a
veneer of popular support to the rule of the few.
We call on those who support us to continue to put pressure on the Philadelphia authorities to
win our quick release. We urge you all to continue to organize protests on our behalf and to
write and call the mayor's office, the prosecutors and the prison authorities to demand: 1.Our
immediate and unconditional release on our own recognizance 2. That all charges be dropped
and 3. That prisoners with dietary restrictions (vegans and vegetarians) be provided with
adequate food that they can eat.
Call these officials and let them know that you support our demands: District Attorney Lynne
Abraham 215-686-8701 Mayor John Street 215-686-2181 City Solicitor Ken Trujillo
30 of us have gone on hunger strike to win these demands. We want everyone to know that
we are in good spirits and remain strong in our solidarity. We come from a variety of
backgrounds and perspectives, but we are united in our commitment to genuine democracy
and an end to corporate rule in general and to the criminal injustice system in particular.
FREE MUMIA ABU JAMAL AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
STOP POLICE TERROR
TEAR DOWN THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
END THE DEATH PENALTY
Write to us:
John Doe "JD" Professor John Doe ODB John Doe Wolfman John Doe 6010 "Dinger" John
Doe "That's not good for business" John Doe Slick
Camilo Viveiros Jr.
John Doe 6013
John Doe Mac
John Doe Mango
John Doe "B.A."
John Doe Sparky
John Doe Flea
John Doe "Hank H. Parts"
John Doe "Wisp"
John Doe Tennessee/Jimnikov
John Doe Buckshot
John Doe GOD
John Doe Switchblade
John Doe Ms. Pac Man
John Doe Zeke