James Dumaine (James_Dumaine@babylon.montreal.qc.ca)
21 Aug 1997 00:32:22 GMT

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The Inner-City Harlem Food Project in support of the New York 3 Political Prisoners; Herman Bell, Anthony Jalil Bottom, and Albert Nuh Washington.

We are living in a time of crisis, particularly those of us living in the inner-cities. The political and economic system that controls and manipulates our lives also accelerates the economic decline in inner city communities. The objective of the present economic system is the protection of the rich suburban areas at the expense of the poor urban inner-city communities. Our resistance against such a system must be solidly grounded in a strategy that utilises the strength, skill and the positive experience of every individual in our community. We are a misplaced rural people with under utilised rural skills. However, we feel that certain things are critical both to rural and urban peoples in our efforts to maintain some autonomy in our lives. Basic shelter, food and education are essential ingrediants in all of our lives. We have chosen FOOD and FOOD PRODUCTION as the focal point in our struggle to take control of our lives and restore our economic well being. Over the years, we have increased our food quantity and quality to the point where we produce most of our own fresh food for consumption, which includes winter canned goods and stored root crops. With this experience has come great physical and mental health, and a greater economic independance. We are fortunate enough to know that this should not be a part of a self-indulgence. Hence, we have utilized this privledged situation to be able to increase our political activities in educating people. Now we would like to help others tap into this strategy for food production that will translate into greater opportunities for resistance to the present developing system of totalitarian government. If the System under which we live is the tool of our enemies, likewise food production and distribution is a tool, not only for controlling us, but also weakening and sickening us with its poor quality and high concentration of pesticides. GOOD FOOD will help us to be strong and healthy and producing it ourselves will propel us to independance. Food controlled by our enemy is a weapon, but in the hand of our people it is a source of nutritional strength and economic power. Last fall (1996), we arranged for a surplus food delivery to the Philadelphia MOVE Organisation to assist them in their efforts to free death-row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, and MOVE political prisoners collectively known as the MOVE 9 imprisoned since 1978. This was the undertaking of a small community and resulted in the delivery of a half ton of organically grown food from Maine. We have been approached to do this again this year with the food going to the inner-city community of Harlem. We believe that our efforts this year can deliver a ton of food from local growers. We would like this year's food distribution to be more than a charitable handout. The food will go out with each bag informing people about the NEW YORK 3 political prisoners, Herman Bell, Anthony Jalil Bottom, and Albert Nuh Washington. They are former members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army and have been imprisoned for over 20 years. The NEW YORK 3 are a high priority example of the systems intentions to squash efforts towards self-help in the inner-city neighborhoods. The criminalisation of individuals who have ventured to liberate the African-American community through programs of self-help must not be forgotten. We can publicise the FOOD PROGRAM and the need to support our Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. As a long range plan, we would like to introduce food production to as many people as we can, and invite them to come to Maine to learn to grow their own food.

WHAT WE NEED Our immediate need for this year's project includes a used heavy duty vehicle, capable of transporting a ton of food. Over the long term the needed vehicle must also be capable of transporting people between New York and Maine. The expense of buying, registering, insuring and operating (including repairs) will amount to appromimately $3000. Money is also needed for seeds, the arrangement of adeqaute land to grow on and the costs of production (fertiliser, tilling, mulch, etc). In the future, we will need money to be able to primitively house and feed people willing to come to Maine and participate in the work. This should include at least two different groups coming during the growing season. We will need to travel to harlem to participate in organising sessions. Funds are also needed to help defray the costs of photocopying, postage, telephone calls, and gasoline. Unexpected expenses will undoubtably come about. All efforts will be made to keep expenses down. For more information, to donate materials/ money, or to help with production or distribution contact the following:

ATHENS ABC Rfd #1 / Box 6025 Athens, ME 04912, USA

HERMAN BELL 79C0262 Box 51 Comstock, NY 12821, USA

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