IWD: Women Political Prisoners In The U.S.

The Anarchives (tao@lglobal.com)
Fri, 8 Mar 1996 23:58:27 +0000 (GMT)

Women Political Prisoners In The United States

There are over 150 political prisoners and prisoners of war
(POWs) held in U.S. prisons. The United States government
vehemently denies the existence of political prisoners and
insists these women and men are criminals. The strategy of the
U.S. is to criminalize these political activists - to disguis
their political identities behind the rhetoric of "terrorism" and
criminal activity. They have been convicted of and imprisoned for
activities which are political in nature. Their activities
include fighting for human rights and self-determination, Black
liberation, sovereignty for Native American people, opposing U.S.
intervention and for Puerto Rican independence.
Armed resistance in the Americas is not new, but part of a
history which these political prisoners and POWs personify. In
fact, under international law, as well as the U.S. constitution,
people have a right and an obligation to resist the illegal
policies and practices of their government.
Twenty-five percent of U.S. political prisoners are women.
They're Puerto Rican independentistas like Dylcia Pagan and
Carmen Valentin, who received 55 and 98 years for "seditious
conspiracy". Or Norma Jean Croy, a Native American woman, who
remains in prison after 17 years for a crime she didn't commit.
And they're white North American anti-imperialists; Marilyn Buck,
serving 80 years, for political actions with the Black Liberation
Army, including the escapeof Assata Shakur; or Linda Evans,
serving 40 years for illegal purchase of weapons and "conspiracy
to influence, change and protest policies and practices of the
U.S. government..."
These women are the sisters of the Irish women who were
locked down in the infamous Armagh or imprisoned in El Salvador.
They are sisters of women like Adora Fe DeVera, held for many
years in underground prisons in the Philippines, or recently
released prisoner, Irmgard Moeller, of Germany. Their fight is
that of the Palestinians held in Israeli jails or locked down in
the dungeons of Korea.
Worldwide, few governments recognize any of these women as
political prisoners. The situation in the U.S. is particular
because U.S.-held political prisoners have the longest sentences
of any political prisoners in this hemisphere - longer than most
political prisoners anywhere! Most are serving more than 50 years
for crimes in which no one was hurt.
Like their international sisters, these women are committed
political activists who continue to work from within the prison
walls. Their spirits remain strong and unbroken despite continued
sexual harassment, abuse and medical neglect.
Alejandrina Torres, Puerto Rican independentista, along with
U.S. anti-imperialists, Susan Rosenberg and Silvia Baraldini,
withstood years of sensory deprivation and small group isolation
in the underground high-security unit for women at the Federal
Correctional Institute (FCI) at Lexington, Kentucky. A massive
campaign finally forced the unit to close.
The United States has the fastest growing prison population
in the Western World. One million U.S. citizens are in prison
with an additional 700,000 people under the control of the
criminal justice system.
Women comprise the fastest growing population of people
going to prison. The number of women prisoners has doubled during
the last ten years. Eighty percent of incarcerated women are
mothers - devastating to the social fabric of the United States.
Alejandrina Torres, in prison since 1983, is one of the 15
Puerto Rican POWs. She is serving the equivalent of life in
prison for "seditious conspiracy" to end U.S. colonial domination
of Puerto Rico. She was an activist and a community leader in
Chicago. Alejandrina was a founding member and teacher at the
Puerto Rican High School, one of the founders of the Betances
Clinic and secretary of the First Congregational Church of
Susan Rosenberg, a white North American anti-imperialist, is
serving 58 years for possession of weapons and explosives; the
longest sentence ever received for a possession offense. She has
been a political activist all her adult life, committed to
solidarity with the Puerto Rican Independence Movement and the
Black Liberation Struggle. A doctor of acupuncture, prior to her
incarceration she worked at a community health center in Harlem,
New York, using acupuncture to fight the drug plague. She is a
published poet, writer and an AIDS activist in prison.
We cannot forget these sisters. We cannot let the U.S.
government continue to lock them away, far from their
In 1979, after an international campaign, President Jimmy
Carter granted amnesty to four long-held Puerto Rican nationalist
prisoners - among them, Lolita Lebron. All over the world
governments released political prisoners after many years. It is
time for the U.S. to do the same.
Please add your voice to those demanding freedom and justice
in the United States.

Political Prisoners Need Your Support

Merle Austin Africa #006306
Janet Holloway #006308
Janine Phillips Africa #006309
Debbi Sims Africa #006307
451 Fullerton Ave.
Cambridge Springs, PA

Silvia Baraldini #05125-054
Susan Rosenberg #03684-016
Alejandrina Torres #92152-024
FCI Danbury
Pembroke Stn.
Danbury, CT
06811 USA

Kathy Boudin #84-G-171
Judy Clark #83-G-313
Bedford Hills
Box 1000
Bedford Hills, NY
10507 USA

Norma Jean Croy #W14293
P.O. Box 1508
Chowchilla, CA
93610 USA

Ana Lucia Gelabert #384484
9055 Spur 591
Neal Unit
Amarillo, TX
79107 USA

Alicia Rodriguez #N07157
Box 5007
Dwight, IL
60420 USA

Marilyn Buck #00482-285
Linda Evans #19973-054
Dylcia Pagan #88971-024
Aida (McCray) Robinson #
(Lucy) Ida Luz Rodriguez #88973-024
Carmen Valentin #88974-024
Laura Whitehorn #22432-037
Donna Willmott #38772-079
5701 8th Street, Unit A
Camp Parks
Dublin, CA

For More Information, Contact:

Out Of Control
3543 18th St., #30
San Francisco, CA
94110 USA

Women Against Imperialism
3543 18th St., #14
San Francisco, CA
94110 USA

Interfaith Prisoners Of Conscience Project
c/o ETI
P.O. Box 9334
Berkeley, CA
94709 USA

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Arm The Spirit is an autonomist/anti-imperialist collective based
in Toronto, Canada. Our focus includes a wide variety of
material, including political prisoners, national liberation
struggles, armed communist resistance, anti-fascism, the fight
against patriarchy, and more. We regularly publish our writings,
research, and translation materials in our magazine and bulletins
called Arm The Spirit. For more information, contact:

Arm The Spirit
P.O. Box 6326, Stn. A
Toronto, Ontario
M5W 1P7 Canada

E-mail: ats@etext.org
WWW: http://burn.ucsd.edu/~ats
FTP: ftp.etext.org --> /pub/Politics/Arm.The.Spirit