Its rainy where I am, and maybe where you are too. What better time to take a minute to write a letter to a political prisoner or two. Here are the most recent addresses I have of a bunch. It doesn’t take much to show solidarity with our comrades in prison- so write them a letter.
Here are some tips:
A Few Do’s and Don’ts in Correspondence A few dos and don’ts on writing prisoners whose backgrounds/politics you may not know. Dos Do use common sense. Use a “neutral” address, such as a Post Office Box, for correspondence. Do not divulge sensitive personal information (i.e. your home address, phone number, credit card and bank details, people’s full names, etc. ) to a prisoner, particularly one you have never dealt with before. This is for your security and that of the prisoner. Be aware that authorities often read these letters and sensitive information can get into the wrong hands. Occasionally, prisoners have misused this information as well.
Do not send money or honor immediate requests for money.
Do think ahead. Research local prison regulations. Learn about the prisoner before writing. Make sure to put a return address on your envelope. When first writing to an incarcerated person make sure you ask them specifically what the rules are for writing letters, and make a careful note of them. No one under eighteen years of age should be writing a prisoner — again, this is for the prisoner’s security as well as the writer’s. Do be forward and clear in your letter as well as your intentions. Say who you are, and if it’s relevant that you’re with an organization. Be upfront about your politics and say where you heard about the prisoners and her/his case. If you are interested in starting a pen-pal relationship and that is all, say so. Ask if they would like to correspond and if they’d like to discuss any topics, as well as what topics they don’t wish to discuss. Keep your first letter reasonably short and to the point.
Do be patient. Prisoners may not write back or may take awhile. They may occasionally sound cynical, angry or disinterested in their words — keep in mind many “supporters” or people who’ve written before may have stopped writing them, made promises/lied to them, or they just had a rough day and they’re venting that on paper. Responding to an angry letter with more anger is not helpful.
Do deal with the right channels. If a prisoner wants you to send a book, ask what channels their institution requires for that, or refer them to a Book-to-Prisoners project near their unit. If a prisoner is getting out in the next few weeks, do not offer your place to stay (no matter how desperate they sound) unless you have corresponded for a significant amount of time and are in contact with both a parole officer and a prison intermediary (e.g. prison chaplain). Even in cases like this, it is far more helpful to a prisoner to help them secure employment and develop a support base (whether that is through her/his church/mosque, family, friends, etc. ) than to Chances are, there’s a legal process to be dealt with in cases like this and they need to be followed by both you and the prisoner. However, use your head and don’t land in a bad situation or one that will land the prisoner back in jail.
Do not make promises. Many well-meaning people write letters offering support to a prisoner, or make offers for help out of good will. Unfortunately, most never follow through and build false hope in a prisoner. This is not fair to them. If you’re writing, don’t make promises. Don’t offer to do a support campaign if you can’t make that time.
Don’t offer to send items when you can’t afford it. Be honest. It’s best to start writing and keep it that way, at least until a relationship is established. Do not romanticize prisons or prisoners. Many activists have ideas about who prisoners are, why they’re locked up, the system, etc. While it’s correct to have political clarity about incarceration and the nature of the criminal justice system, it is not correct to romanticize a prisoner, anything they might be locked up for (especially a “social crime”) and their lives. They’re people just like you, and have strengths and weaknesses. It is dangerous to assume that anyone (free or jailed) is able to overcome all their personal weaknesses, or be completely truthful, or are not dealing with the stressful situation they’re in in negative ways. Some are estranged from their families as a direct result of their own actions. Some may have learned manipulative behaviors over the years. Prisoners are people like you.
Do not discuss potentially illegal political action with a prisoner. Again, this is for your security and theirs. Prisoners have and can be implicated for outside action that violates the law and you should be mindful that, if authorities even find such information in the hands of prisoners, prisoners can face added time and harsh treatment.
Do not attempt to place political judgments on prisoners’ experiences. Some prisoners, out of desperation, write publications to get pen pals and may not agree completely with the views of the paper, but read it for information. Some prisoners have been converted to Christianity or are Muslims. Some have views that may be somewhat backward. Rather than attack a prisoner, it’s best to be polite, but firm, if there’s something you’d rather not discuss or find objectionable.
Do not attack or insult a prisoner because of their religions, preferences or experiences. If the prisoner declares her/himself a white supremacist, you are well within your rights to explain your disagreements, encourage them to reconsider their views and discontinue the relationship; please be aware that several white supremacist gangs have ties to the outside from prison and it is smart not to get into insults or threats against such prisoners. Don’t send literature unless requested and be aware you don’t have to go with every request. Good luck!
Tre Arrow, #70936065, FCI Herlong, Federal Correctional Institution, PO Box 800, Herlong, CA 96113, USA. Serving 78 months for his involvement in two ELF arsons. 1) an arson on logging trucks 2) an arson on vehicles owned by a sand & gravel company. (Tre is a raw energy vegan – He has asked that his letters of support are written on scrap paper or tree-free paper).
Grant Barnes #137563, San Carlos Correctional Facility, PO Box 3, Pueblo, CO 81002, USA. Serving 12 years for setting fire to a number of SUV vehicles. The letters ELF were spray painted onto all of the vehicles. (Grant is a vegan).
Nathan Block, #36359-086, FCI Lompoc, Federal Correctional Institution, 3600 Guard Road, Lompoc, CA 93436, USA. Serving 7 years & 8 months for an ELF arson against a Poplar Tree Farm and an ELF arson against an SUV dealership. Also admitted his role in an ELF/ALF conspiracy. (Diet unknown).
Julien COUPAT, N° d’écrou 290173, 42 rue de la santé, 75014 Paris, France. On remand accused of sabotaging railway lines to protest against the nuclear power industry (which carries waste by railway lines). (Diet unknown).
Marco Camenisch, Postfach 3143, CH-8105 Regensdorf, Switzerland. Serving 18 years. 1) Ten years for using explosives to destroy electricity pylons leading from nuclear power stations. 2) Eight years for the murder of a Swiss Boarder Guard whilst on the run. In ’02 Marco completed a 12-year sentence in Italy for destroying electricity pylons in Italy. (Marco is a meat eater who encourages organic living).
Daniele Casalini, Casa Circondariale, Via Burla 59, 43100 Parma, Italy. Il Silvestre activist awaiting trial accused of using explosives to damage an electricity pylon in protest at nuclear energy. (Daniele is a vegan).
Francesco Gioia, Casa Penale, Via Lamaccio 1, 67039 Sulmona (Aq), Italy. Il Silvestre activist awaiting trial accused of using explosives to damage an electricity pylon in protest at nuclear energy. (Francesco is a vegetarian and Straight Edge).
Jonatan. E-mail messages of support to email@example.com A 20-year old Swedish man sentenced to 15 months imprisonment after admitting damaging a communication tower used by the Department of Defence, cutting the cables on a crane used in creating urban sprawl, and damaging a vehicle used in the logging industry. Jonatan is currently on bail as he appeals his sentence (Jonatan is a vegan).
Yildune LEVY N° 369 772, Maison d’arret des femmes, 6, avenue des Peupliers, F-91700 Fleury Mérogis, France. On remand accused of sabotaging railway lines to protest against the nuclear power industry (which carries waste by railway lines). (Diet unknown).
Jeffrey Luers, # 13797671, CRCI, 9111 NE Sunderland Ave, Portland, OR 97211-1708, USA. Serving 10 years for arson on a SUV dealership & the attempted arson of an oil truck. The original sentence was 22 years & 8 months, but was reduced on appeal. (Diet unknown).
Marie Jeanette Mason, Clinton County Jail, 1347 E Townsend Rd. , Saint Johns, MI 48879, USA. Serving 21 years and 10 months for her involvement in an ELF arson against a University building carrying out Genetically Modified crop tests. Marie also pleaded guilty to conspiring to carry out ELF actions and admitted involvement in 12 other ELF actions. (Marie is a vegan).
Eric McDavid, 16209-097, FCI Victorville, Medium II, Federal Correctional Institution, PO Box 5300, Adelanto, CA 92301, USA. Serving 19 years & 7 months for planning to destroy the property of the U.S. Forestry Service, mobile phone masts and power plants. At the point of his arrest no criminal damage has actually occurred. (Eric is a vegan).
Daniel McGowan, 63794-053, USP Marion, US Penitentiary, PO Box 1000, Marion, IL 62959, USA. Serving 7 years for an ELF arson against a Poplar Tree Farm and an ELF arson against an old growth logging corporation. Also admitted his role in an ELF/ALF conspiracy. (Daniel is a vegetarian).
Jonathan Paul – See details in Animal Liberation Prisoners List. Michael Sykes 696693,
Richard A. Handlon Correctional Facility, 1728 Bluewater Highway, Ionia, MI 48846, USA. Serving four to ten years for anti-sprawl arsons, criminal damage to a utility pole, spray-painting political graffiti and burning the American flag. (Diet unknown)
Briana Waters 36432-086, FCI Danbury, Federal Correctional Institution, Route 37, Danbury, CT 06811, USA. Serving six years for involvement in an ELF arson on a University. (Diet unknown).
Joyanna Zacher, #36360-086, FCI Dublin, 5700 8th St. – Camp Parks- Unit F, Dublin, CA 94568, USA. Serving 7 years & 8 months for an ELF arson against a Poplar Tree Farm and an ELF arson against an SUV dealership. Also admitted her role in an ELF/ALF conspiracy. (Diet unknown).
ANIMAL LIBERATION PRISONERS (All Animal Liberation Prisoners follow a minimum vegetarian diet and most are vegan).
Jonny Ablewhite TB4885, HMP Ranby, Retford, Notts, DN22 8EU, England. Serving 12 years for attempting to blackmail a farmer who supplied guinea pigs for vivisection. (Jon is a vegan).
Dan Amos VN7818, HMP Winchester, Romsey Road, Winchester SO22 5DF, England. Serving 4 years for conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences. (Dan is a vegan)
Gregg Avery TA7450, HMP Coldingley, Shaftesbury Road, Bisley, Woking, Surrey GU24 9EX, England. Serving 9 years for conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences. (Gregg is a vegan).
Natasha Avery NR8987, HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe Road, Ashford, Middx. TW15 3JZ, England. Serving 9 years for conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences. (Nat is a vegan).
Mel Broughton TN9138, HMP Woodhill, Tattenhoe Street, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK4 4DA, England. Serving 10 years for “conspiracy to commit arson” against Oxford University vivisection department. (Mel is a vegan).
Dean Cain, WJ4309, HMP Lincoln, Greetwell Road, LN2 4BD, England. On remand for allegedly trespassing at a rabbit farm. The charges include interfering with a contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation, conspiracy to interfere with a contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation, and conspiracy to commit criminal damage. (Dean is a vegan).
Jacob Conroy #93501-011, FCI Terminal Island, Federal Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 3007, San Pedro, CA 90731, USA. Serving 48 months imprisonment for helping organise the SHAC-USA campaign. (Jake is a vegan).
Donald Currie A3660AA, HMP Parkhurst, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5NX, England. Serving an Indeterminate Sentence, of not less than six actual years, for carrying out arsons against targets associated the vivisection industry including HLS. (Don is a vegan).
Lauren Gazzola #93497-011, FCI Danbury, Federal Correctional Institution, Route #37Danbury, CT 06811, USA. Serving 54 months imprisonment for helping organise the SHAC-USA campaign. (Lauren is a vegan).
Joshua Harper #29429-086, FCI Sheridan Federal Correctional Institution, P.O. Box 5000, Sheridan, OR 97378 USA. Serving 36 months imprisonment for helping organise the SHAC-USA campaign. (Josh is a vegan). S
ean Kirtley WC 6977, HMP Stafford, 54 Gaol Road, Stafford, ST16 3AW, England. Serving four and a half years for running an anti-vivisection campaign website. (Sean is a vegan).
Kevin Kjonaas #93502-011, FCI Sandstone, PO Box 1000, Sandstone, MN 55072 USA. Serving 72 months imprisonment for helping organise the SHAC-USA campaign. (Kevin is a vegan).
Daniel McGowan – See details in Eco Defence Prisoners List. Gavin Medd-Hall WV9475, HMP Coldingley, Shaftesbury Road, Bisley, Woking, Surrey GU24 9EX, England. Serving 8 years for conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences. (Gavin is a vegan). Heather Nicholson VM4859, HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe Road, Ashford, Middx. TW15 3JZ, England. Serving 11 years for conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences. (Heather is a vegan).
Jonathan Paul, #07167-085, FCI Phoenix, Federal Correctional Institution, 37910 N 45th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85086, USA. Sentenced to 51 months for an ALF arson on a horse meat plant. Also admitted his role in an ELF/ALF conspiracy. (Jonathan is a vegan).
John Smith, TB4887, HMP Lindholme, Bawtry Road, Hatfield Woodhouse, Doncaster, DN7 6EE, England. Serving 12 years for attempting to blackmail a farmer who supplied guinea pigs for vivisection. (John is a vegan).
Luke Steele, WJ4308, HMP Lincoln, Greetwell Road, LN2 4BD, England. On remand for allegedly trespassing at a rabbit farm. The charges include interfering with a contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation, conspiracy to interfere with a contractual relationship so as to harm an animal research organisation, and conspiracy to commit criminal damage. (Luke is a vegan).
Swedish Prisoner 1. E-mail messages of support to firstname.lastname@example.org 18 year old Swedish man held on remand accused of an arson against a fur and leather store. (Swedish Prisoner 1 is a vegan)
Swedish Prisoner 2. E-mail messages of support to email@example.com 18 year old Swedish man held on remand accused of an arson against a fur and leather store. (Swedish Prisoner 2 is a vegan)
Dan Wadham, A5705AA,HMP Camp Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 5PB, England. Serving 5 years for conspiracy to blackmail Huntingdon Life Sciences. (Dan is a vegan).
Kerry Whitburn TB4886, HMP Lowdham Grange, Lowdham, Nottingham, NG14 7DA, England. Serving 12 years for attempting to blackmail a farmer who supplied guinea pigs for vivisection. (Kerry is a vegan).
Sarah Whitehead, VM7684, HMP Bronzefield, Woodthorpe Road, Ashford, Middx, TW15 3JZ, England. Serving two years for: 1) rescuing a puppy from horrific conditions. 2) rescuing over 100 animals from a pet breeder who was later prosecuted for animal abuse. Also awaiting trial for SHAC activity. (Sarah is a vegan)
Helen Woodson, 03231-045, FMC Carswell – Admin. Max. Unit, POB 27137, Ft. Worth, TX 76127, USA. Serving 8 years 10 months for actions that focused on the interrelationship of war & the destruction of the natural world. The actions included pouring red paint over the security desk of a federal court and making threatening communications. Previously Helen had served 20½ years for: 1) Using a hammer to disarm a nuclear missile silo. 2) Burning $25,000 on the floor of a bank whilst denouncing war, environmental destruction & economic injustice. 3) Mailing warning letters with bullets attached to Government & corporate officials. (Diet unknown).
THE LECCE DEFENDANTS The Lecce Defendants have been charged with “subversive association” accused of damaging Esso petrol pumps to oppose the War on Iraq; sabotaging the cash machines of a bank which funds an immigration centre; and targeting the multinational company Benetton in support of Mapuche land rights activists in Chile. All of the defendants are currently either under house arrest or released on bail.
ANTIFA PRISONERS Vahtang Devitlidze, ul. Libbedova 42, UO 68/2, otryad 14, brigada 142, g. Hagyshensk, Krasnodarskiy Kray, 352680 Russia. Serving 2½ years for stabbing a neo-nazi in the leg whilst defending himself from attack. (Diet unknown).
Fabio Milan, C.C. via Pianezza 300, 10151 Torino, Italy. On remand accused of fighting with the police after an anti-fascist protest. (Diet unknown).
Andrea Neff, Bnr: 746/07/2, Justizvollzugsanstalt fur Frauen in Berlin, Arkonastrasse 56, 13189 Berlin, Germany. Serving 14 months for anti-fascist activity. (Diet unknown).
Christian Sümmermann, Bnr: 441/08/5, JVA Plötzensee, Lehrterstr. 61, 10557 Berlin, Germany. Serving 40 months for breaching the peace whilst serving a suspended sentence issued for anti-fascist activities. (Diet unknown).
Tomasz Wiloszewski, Zaklad Karny, Orzechowa 5, 98-200 Sieradz, Poland. Serving 15 years for accidentally killing a neo-nazi whilst defending himself. (Tomasz is a vegetarian). Yuri Yurevich Milevskiy, SIZO #7 kamera 38, g. Brest, ul. Karla Marksa 86, 224000 Belarus. On remand for fighting with neo-nazis. (Diet unknown). OTHER PRISONERS Olga Aleksandrovna Nevskaya, UU163/5, 7 Otryad, pos. Dzerzhinskiy, Mozhaysk 140090 Moskovskaya oblast, Russia. Eco-activist serving 6 years for arson, criminal damage and causing explosions in protest at the war in Chechnya. Due for release in 2009. (Diet unknown). Richard Sills (Address Unknown, USA). Serving 15 months for bomb hoaxing a University saying they would be targeted by the ALF if they didn’t stop their animal experiments. (Diet unknown). Fran Thompson, #1090915 HU 1C, WERDCC, PO Box 300, Vandalia, MO 63382, USA. Serving Life for killing, in self-defence, a stalker who had broken into her home. Before her imprisonment Fran was an eco, animal & anti-nuke campaigner. (Fran is a vegan).
MOVE is an eco-revolutionary group who carried out protests in defence of all life. All move prisoners describe themselves as vegetarians. There are currently eight MOVE activists in prison each serving 100 years after been framed for the murder of a cop in 1979. 9th defendant, Merle Africa, died in prison in 1998. Debbie Simms Africa (006307),
Janet Holloway Africa (006308) and Janine Philips Africa (006309) all at: SCI Cambridge Springs, 451 Fullerton Ave, Cambridge Springs, PA 16403-1238, USA.
Michael Davis Africa (AM4973) and Charles Simms Africa (AM4975) both at SCI Graterford, PO Box 244, Graterford, PA 19426-0244, USA.
Edward Goodman Africa (AM4974), SCI Mahanoy, 301 Morea Rd, Frackville, PA 17932, USA.
William Philips Africa (AM4984) and Delbert Orr Africa (AM4985) both at SCI Dallas Drawer K, Dallas, PA 18612, USA.
Mumia Abu Jamal, (AM8335), SCI Greene, 175 Progress Drive, Waynesburg PA 15370, USA. In 1981 Mumia, former Black Panther and vocal supporter of MOVE, was framed for the murder of a cop. He was originally sentenced to death but is currently awaiting re-sentencing following a court hearing in 2001.