Some Groups Supporting Free Shaka Shakur

The roots of the contemporary movement to free all political prisoners lie with the very first political prisoner. The origins of the struggle to free Shaka Shakur go back decades and have taken a variety of forms. Be sure to check out the “resources” tab on the main menu for a more comprehensive list.

The following organizations are some of the groups supporting Free Shaka Shakur, which is part of the Shaka Shakur Freedom Campaign.

IDOC Watch

IDOC Watch does not view reform as a means of eliminating systemic violence against incarcerated people. However, they support various reforms that facilitate the transformation of prisons into spaces of liberatory education. How can prisoners learn together and work toward abolition if they don’t have proper medical care or nutrition, if they are constantly shaken down and brutalized by C.O.s, or if they are censored and cut off from people and materials on the outside? Reform and policy changes can help create the conditions for revolutionary, abolitionist action, but we are under no illusion that the work ends there.

They are actively supporting reforms, rollbacks of harmful initiatives and policies, and encouraging communication between prisoners and their loved ones and comrades in order to foster the conditions in which people can transform themselves and others into revolutionaries through education. You can read their political line here.

The Pendleton 2 Defense Committee

The Pendleton 2 Defense Committee is being organized by friends and family of John “Balagoon” Cole and Christoper “Naeem” Trotter, the leaders of the 1985 rebellion against white supremacist guard brutality at Pendleton CF.

The Pendleton 2 were wrongfully convicted on charges related to the rebellion in 1987 and remain in prison to this day. They are now elders with serious medical issues, so we are organizing to demand that the Governor of Indiana release them from prison immediately. A great place to start learning about the Committee is by watching their award-winning documentary, “They Stood Up.”

FOCUS Initiatives, LTD

FOCUS, which stands for Forever on Course United in Solidarity, overall works to meets the needs of our people and communities who were or are subjected to the carceral state in any capacity. At the same time, this is a means to the real end: eliminating the root cause of mass incarceration in the U.S.: racist capitalism. Re-entry programs serve a vital need in our communities, attempting to help people leaving prison to rejoin “free” society. What sets FOCUS Re-entry apart is their orientation to move from addressing the immediate and long-term needs of formerly incarcerated individuals and their loved ones to abolishing the fundamental cause of mass incarceration: racism and capitalism.

FOCUS Families Initiative directly provides a support system for those with loved ones on the inside, helping them navigate the myriad, arbitrary, and punitive obstacles the Indiana Department of “Corrections,” and the mass incarceration system overall, use to isolate, demoralize, and dehumanize our people. They have support groups, financial aid and technical support, educational programs, and more. Like FOCUS Re-entry, the goal is more than helping individuals one at a time, but to do away with the underlying causes of mass incarceration in the U.S.

You can learn more about both wings of the organization here.

Indianapolis Liberation Center

Founded in January 2021, the Indianapolis Liberation Center is a physical and virtual community hub dedicated to advancing the causes of all oppressed and exploited people in Indianapolis and beyond by uniting and working to overcome the divisions imposed on us by the oppressing classes. The Center is maintained solely by the work of volunteers and the donations of individuals in the community, their member organizations, and affiliated groups. While posing significant obstacles, it is the only way to ensure their complete political independence.

By engaging in regular and various kinds of educational, cultural, social, political, and other work, their mission is to foster a sense of collectivity and revive our community’s long-standing belief in the possibility and necessity of creating a new, better world. When they moved to their current location at 1800 N. Meridian St., in the center of downtown Indianapolis and right across from the IndyGo Red Line, they started building with the above organizations and officially launched “Free Shaka Shakur.” You can read more about their history here and see their member-organizations and events here.

The Jericho Movement

Jericho is a movement with the defined goal of gaining recognition of the fact that political prisoners and prisoners of war exist inside of the United States, despite the United States’ government’s continued denial … and winning amnesty and freedom for these political prisoners. The Jericho Movement grew out of a call for a national march on the White House during Spring Break of 1998 by political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim. The call was made in October of 1996 through the Provisional Government–RepubIic of New Afrika and the New Afrikan Liberation Front, but the organizers decided to use this opportunity to jumpstart a much needed movement to build a national support organization for political prisoners in general.

Learn more and get involved here.

New Afrikan Liberation Collective

The New Afrikan Liberation Collective is a New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalist organization. WE have launched this organization in an attempt to seize better control over not only the quality of our lives, but better control over the path and direction WE would like to see our lives take.

For decades WE have been screaming about the Fergusons, Baltimores and the like behind the prison walls of amerikkka. For decades WE have screamed about the legal and illegal lynching, the daily beatings while handcuffed behind our backs, the aggravated assaults where our heads “just happen” to attack billy clubs, steel bars, and concrete floors. WE are the only people on earth who “for no apparent reason” stick our heads in nooses and submit ourselves to deadly choke holds, etc. without anyone being held accountable. Now that the climate in the kkkountry appears to have become awake, aware and even more so socially active in expressing these daily occurrences, WE have chosen to seize the time! By not only seizing control over the quality of our lives, but more importantly choosing to fight back as opposed to just laying down and dying or allowing ourselves to be brutalized on an emotional, spiritual and physical level.

Read their full mission statement here.

The Re-Build Collective

The Rebuild Collective is a New Afrikan Independence Movement Formation founded by New Afrikan Nationalists inspired by the thought of Movement theoretician Atiba Shanna and committed to winning the struggle for Independence and Socialism.

Members of the Rebuild Collective are organized around 12 points of unity. Their website also serves as a tremendous archive of historical and contemporary writing on the prison struggle and the New Afrikan Independence Movement.

Prison Lives Matter

Prison Lives Matter is a United Front for Political Prisoners, Prisoners of War, Politicized individuals behind enemy lines and their organizations, as well as any outside formations in unison to abolish legalized slavery.

The objective of Prison Live Matter is to establish a national infrastructure within the overall Prison Movement that will allow Us to implement a national strategy geared toward creating Regional Organizing Committee’s on both sides of the wall. The R.O.C’s will be put in place through the work of the current Prison Lives Matter -National Coordinating Committee (NCC), which is made up of some of the nation’s leading Political Prisoners and their outside support networks including former PP Jalil Muntaqim who was liberated in 2020.

Read more about Prison Lives Matter here.

The Virginia Defender

Founded in February 2005, The Virginia Defender is a statewide community newspaper published quarterly by the Richmond-based Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality. We provide news and analysis of interest to poor and working-class people, with an emphasis on the Black community.

We print 15,000 copies, distributed to nearly 300 locations in 14 cities and counties. The Virginia Defender is free and produced by an all-volunteer staff. We finance the paper through paid advertising and donations. Our editor is Phil Wilayto and our editorial board members are Phil Wilayto and Ana Edwards.

Read the paper here.

Anarchist Black Cross Federation – James River

The Anarchist Black Cross Federation is an organization based on work and ongoing organizing efforts to support and defend PP/POWs using anarchist and anti-authoritarian organizational structures. The James River branch is one such collective.

Read about the James River ABC here.

The San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper

The San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, founded in 1976, is a communications network for the Black community worldwide, with its website, the most visited Black newspaper on the web, second only to the Final Call, and one of a kind print edition that’s distributed throughout the Bay Area and mailed to subscribers, including thousands of prisoners all over the country.

Exciting, thought-provoking stories and commentary on the full range of Black trials and triumphs – covering the Black economy, politics, arts, education, history, current events, health, religion – and those of other communities, along with stunning color photography, fill the website and the pages of each paper,  a paper so popular that it disappears within hours of hitting the stands.

Read the paper here.

Millennials Are Killing Capitalism

Millennials Are Killing Capitalism is a podcast created in recognition that, while there are a number of podcasts for the American “left,” many of them focus heavily on the organizing of social democrats, progressives, and liberal democrats. Aside from that, on the left we are always fighting a war of ideas and if we do not continue to build platforms to share those ideas and the stories of their implementation from a leftist perspective, they will continue to be ignored, misrepresented, and dismissed by the capitalist media and as a result by the general public.

Black Agenda Report

Black Agenda Report publishes news, analysis, and commentary from the Black left. Executive Editor and Senior Columnist Margaret Kimberley, who also hosts Black Agenda Radio, co-founded BAR with Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon.

Prison Riot Radio

One of the most active prison audio and video news outlets, Prison Riot Radio contains a host of regularly updated interviews and news stories on the prison abolition struggle. You can watch their videos and listen to their podcasts here.

Beyond Prisons Podcast

Launched in 2017 by Kim Wilson and Brian Nam-Sonenstein, Beyond Prisons Podcast is an educational and political resource for those new to abolition and those long engaged in movement work. Check them out here.

In The Belly

In The Belly is a journal by and for people who are held captive by the Prison-Industrial Complex. For people whose lives are impacted, determined, and overshadowed by punishment and incarceration daily: prisoners and their families, loved ones, friends, communities and comrades. Our project is to strengthen the bonds between all of us to overcome the state’s regime of isolation, to study and learn together, and to build a world without prisons. We want this to work like a kind of forum, a tool for facilitating discussion and a platform for mutual political education.