July POC Political Prisoners’ Birthdays

Gerardo Hernandez
U.S.P. Victorville
P.O. Box 5300
Adelanto, CA 92301
July 4, 1965
Gerardo Hernandez is one of the Cuban Five who are in U.S. prison, serving four life sentences and 75 years collectively, after being wrongly convicted.  The Five were falsely accused by the U.S. government of committing espionage conspiracy against the United States, and other related charges.  But the Five were involved in monitoring the actions of Miami-based right wing terrorist groups, in order to prevent terrorist attacks on their country of Cuba.  http://www.freethefive.org
Last year I had a very inspiring series of correspondence with Gerardo after writing him to wish him a happy birthday.  He is also an amazing artist!
Ana Lucia Gelabert
Sky View Unit
P.O. Box 999
Rusk, TX 75785
July 6, 1938
Ana Lucia Glabert is a U.S. citizen of Cuban national origin.  Born in 1938 in Central Cuba, she came to the U.S. for the last time in 1961 and has been in a Texas prison since 1984, seving two life sentences, concurrent and “non-aggravated” after an incident with Houston police in which only she was injured.  Root cause of her offense was the State of Texas trying, and suceeding, to strip her of parental rights to her own three children.  To this day, Gelabert vows that if it happened all over again today, still she would fight for her children regardless of cost or consequences.  She is a prolific political comic artist.  http://www.realcostofprisons.org/comix/gelabert
She also writes poetry and on politics, please check out her work and write her a letter!
Gary Tyler
#84156 ASH-4
Louisiana State Penitentiary
Angola, LA 70712
July 10, 1959
On October 7, 1974 students at Destrehan High School, Louisiana, were sent home earlier than usual due to racial disturbances.  As the buses carrying black students back to their homes were leaving the school they were attacked by a group of 200 white people throwing stones and bottles at the buses. Timothy Weber was standing near the buses.  A shot was heard and he fell wounded; he died a few hours later in a hospital.
Gary Tyler was one of the black students on the bus from which the shot was allegedly fired.  This was not his regular bus but he had got into it as the situation had become increasingly dangerous.  All students were ordered to get off the bus by police and male students were thoroughly searched immediately; girl students were searched later at the police station.  The bus was searched on two different occasions for over three hours and no gun was found.  The bus was then taken to the police station along with the students.
At the police station the students were questioned and released.  One of them, Nathalie Blanks, stated that she has been seated next to Tyler and had seen him fire a gun into the crowd; she indicated to the police the exact place where she had been sitting.  It was after Blanks’ testimony that the police “found” a .45 automatic gun stuffed inside the seat, through a long, clearly visible tear in the seat.  The seat had been previously searched, shaken and turned upside down several times and nothing had been found.

Gary Tyler maintains his innocence.  http://freegarytyler.com

Patreese Johnson
Taconic Correctional Facility
250 Harris Road
Bedford Hills, NY 10507

July 18, 1988

Patreese Johnson is one of the New Jersey 4.  On August 18, 2006, seven young African American lesbians traveled to New York City from their homes in Newark for a regular night out. When walking down the street, a man sexually propositioned one of the women. After refusing to take no for an answer, he assaulted them. The women tried to defend themselves, and a fight broke out. The women were charged with Gang Assault in the 2nd degree, a Class C Felony with a mandatory minimum of 3.5 years.



Punk House Economics

This morning I thought I was mining straight up gold as I collected mostly beer, but some soda cans to recycle for cash at the Barnyard, a Punk House in the North Side of Tucson, Arizona.  About an hour and a half’s work, with about a total of roughly fifty minutes of walking with two trips, the second including the plastic which I figured out I could also get money for during my first visit and all the cans I missed the first time, I earned a whopping $4.86.

The first formal Punk House that I ever went to was the South Side Punk House in West Lawn, Chicago in November 2002.  When I first read the term in a CrimethInc. article, I felt like a few of the houses I’d hung out at over the years in suburban Cleveland, Ohio were Punk Houses, but the South Side House really fit the bill.

The best example of life there I can think of to explain to people who hadn’t visited was how after seeing our landlord’s brother shooting fireworks into the library of the House at a Halloween party in ’03, around the time I moved in, I bought three smoke detectors, one for each floor.  Guess what happened to them within a week?  One was smashed, another disappeared, and I never saw it again over the next six or so months that I lived there, so I took the last one into my room, where I figured at least I could appreciate it’s use, and maybe at least save myself if what I was basically considering to be historically inevitable at that point ever happened while I was there…

One of the things that all of my guests from Ohio always seemed to ask was, how did we keep the place going?  A fair and good question.  For all the usual reasons, and some probably not usual, I don’t feel like recording the specific answers in regard to the House, but I have been able to visit a number of other Punk Houses around the US around and since my stint there, and can compile something if there is an interest.  I would also be interested in gathering other people’s stories as I’ve heard and read about very vibrant Punk House cultures in other cities that I’m not familiar with, or some how didn’t plug into while I was there, such as in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Please write me at scenereports at peoplenotprofit dot net!

Black Mesa/Big Mountain, Arizona

“On December 1974 Congress passed Public Law 93-531 ‘The Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act’. It authorized the partitioning of the Joint Use Area (JUA) and established the Navajo-Hopi Indian Relocation Commission (NHIRC) which moved Navajo people from the reservation lands. Countless of the most traditionally and culturally intact Dineh (Navajo) people were forced to re-locate to cities like Shiprock and Tuba City.
“This 1985 documentary traces the history of both tribes and the events that led to this devastating land grab by Peabody Coal and Bechtel Corporations, assisted by our own government(major players included Barry Goldwater,Morris Udall,John McCain, and President Ford). The goal: access to coal and uranium resources.”
People are still resisting relocation to this day.  I was recently able to spend a week on Black Mesa mostly herding sheep and goats, but I was also able to help with some shearing of the sheep.  Black Mesa Indigenous Support is the organization who I first found out about this through.  I think they are an excellent group, and their Cultural Sensitivity & Preparedness Guidebook is a model for principled coalition work between communities of color and/or people of color and whites.http://blackmesais.org/2008/10/cultural-sensitivity-preparedness-guidebook-registration-form/

Art & Activism


The ‘Indignant ones’. 

The ‘Wall St.’ occupation.  (The ’60’s’)




–Ben Morea


One of the reasons I moved to Chicago in 2003 was how deeply impressed I was by the mix of art and activism I saw during the events held in opposition to the TransAtlantic Business Dialogue (TABD) meeting that was held there the previous year.

One of the groups that most impressed me prints the journal Lumpen.  At that time they had a loft in Wicker Park called the Buddy Space.  There was a TransAtlantic Booty Dancing Party there after the last day of actions against the TABD.  There was paper covering the walls so people could paint, letter set presses printing posters for another protest next month, music, pinatas of a cop and a capitalist, and films being shown outdoors on the roof!  After a couple years in the dry atmosphere of washed up caricatures of Leninism and anarchism Northeastern Ohio had to offer, this was a real breath of fresh air and I was sold!  When I moved to town I started reading Lumpen, and volunteering at the Autonomous Zone Infoshop in the nearby barrio Bucktown, another space that emphasized art and activism.

About that time I becamse interested in the Youth International Party (Yippies) and read their co-founder Abbie Hoffman’s auto-biography, Soon To Be A Major Motion Picture again and again.  I felt there were a lot of parallels between what they were doing in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the 1960s and what we were trying to do in Chicago.  While reading this book the first time I became familiar with another organization Hoffman simply called “The Motherfuckers,” who I went on to read about many times over the years under a couple other names such as The Family and Up Against The Wall Motherfucker.

It seemed like they were something different to everyone; a gang, a street gang with an analysis, an affinity group, a collective in Students for a Democratic Society.  I also started to see some stories about the proceeding group Black Mask.

The book Black Mask & Up Against The Wall Motherfucker:  The Incomplete Works of Ron Hahne, Ben Morea, and the Black Mask Group is an ecellent source of materials by both groups printed when they were active.

Having read a fair amount about these organizations, most recently the memoir section of Up Against the Wall Motherf**ker:  A Memoir of the Sixties with Notes for Next Time by Osha Neumann, I highly recommend this book to those interested in art and activism in general, and the New Left and 1960s in particular.