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Anarchist Black Cross Network 2002 Conference Next Week

by abcnet informacion Sunday, Jul. 21, 2002 at 2:06 AM

The first Anarchist Black Cross conference in North America since 1994 will be held July 26-28, 2002, in Austin, Texas.

The event, hosted by the autonomous Austin ABC

collective and former political prisoner and Texas

anarchist Chris Plummer, comes on the heels of the

release of ?A New Draft Proposal for an Anarchist

Black Cross Network,? which advocated the creation of

a new network of anarchist anti-prison groups.

Organizers say they expect this conference will bring

together organizers to network around issues of

prisoner support, prison abolition and

anti-authoritarian struggle; and for founding the

Anarchist Black Cross Network.

Speakers scheduled include:

Standing Deer Wilson, former political prisoner and

longtime comrade of Leonard Peltier

Lorenzo Komboa Ervin, former political prisoner and

author of Anarchism and the Black Revolution

Chris Plummer, former anarchist political prisoner

Longtime prisoner-rights activist Anthony Rayson

(South Chicago ABC)

Members of New York City ABC, who will present on INS


ABC activists from Seattle, Eugene, Atlanta, Houston,

Chicago and elsewhere.

Some goals of this meeting include: to build our

solidarity and communications among the various

autonomous prisoner support tendencies; to learn

together and from one another via our experiences, and

educate on the ins and out of prisoner support,

freedom campaigns, etc.; to get autonomous anarchist

anti-prison groups acquainted and developing an ABC

network; and to help people interested in prisoner

support work to organize effective ABC groups in their

communities. Those affiliated with an autonomous

Anarchist Black Cross group, anti-prison group,

prisoner support collective or who are active in the

movement against prisons, criminalization and

incarceration; and those interested in forming an ABC

group or in being involved in supporting the movement

against prisons and in support of prisoners are

welcome to attend.

While its history is fuzzy, the Anarchist Black Cross

has reportedly been around for close to a century.

The Anarchist Red Cross was started in Tsarist Russia

to organize aid for political prisoners captured by

the police, and to organize self-defense against

political raids by the Cossack Army. During the

Russian civil war, they changed the name to the Black

Cross in order to avoid confusion with the Red Cross

who were organizing relief in the country. After the

Bolsheviks seized power the Anarchist movement moved

the ABC offices to Berlin and continued to aid

prisoners of the new regime, as well as victims of

Italian fascism and others. The Black Cross fell apart

during the 1930s depression due to the incredible

demand for its services and a decline in financial

aid. But in the late 1960s the organization resurfaced

in Britain, where it first worked to aid prisoners of

the Spanish resistance, which had not in fact died

after the civil war and were fighting the dictator

Franco's police. Now it has expanded and works in

several areas, with contacts and other Black Cross

groups in many countries around the world. The North

American section started in the early 1980s.

For more information, contact: Austin ABC, P.O. Box

19733, Austin, TX 78760-9733 or email

Listen Chris Plummer expose the use of prison labor in

Texas and Louisiana (MP3 file)

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