Political Prisoners and the National Jericho Movement

 

SWASC is concerned about the treatment of people who are in solitary confinement because of their political convictions.

National 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. http://jericho.mayfirst.org/about

 

Background 
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– Republic 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.

 

The Jericho March
Jericho98 was the collective work of over 50 organizations, defense committees and groups, 64 Jericho Organizing Committees and Students for Jericho, making the issue of Recognition and Amnesty for U.S.-held political prisoners and prisoners of war a national one with its successful demonstration and rally at the White House.

The organizers who made up the Jericho Organizing Committees were/are just as diverse as the demonstrators who came from all across the United States, crossing the spectrum. The Jericho Movement was clear that we had to build a movement that left no political prisoner out there on his or her own again if we were to succeed in winning this struggle against racism, classism, and all forms of oppression.

 

The Beginning of a New Commitment
The March 27, 1998 demonstration was just the beginning of a whole new commitment to support these political prisoners and demand recognition and amnesty for them. There are hundreds of people who went to prison as a result of their work on the streets against oppressive conditions like indecent housing and inadequate or complete lack of medical care, lack of quality education, police brutality and the murder of people organizing for independence and liberation. These people belonged to organizations like the Black Panther Party, La Raza Unida, FALN, Los Macheteros, North American Anti-Imperialist Movement, May 19th, AIM, the Black Liberation Army, etc., and were incarcerated because of their political beliefs and acts in support of and/or in defense of freedom.

At the present time there are Jericho Organizing Committees operating in Albuquerque, NM, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, Portland, OR, Richmond VA and Italy, and regional committees functioning across the country. Then, too, Jericho is working with local defense committees to bring the cases of individual political prisoners to the public. Building a bond across organizational lines is what Jericho is about … that’s where our strength lies.

 

There is Work to be Done
Once the demonstration was over, the real work began. The Jericho Organizing Committees that came into being around this work continue educating people about the existence of these political prisoners. The original structure designed to mobilize people to go to the White House and serve notice that we will no longer allow our political prisoners to be behind prison walls with no support, and that work is being done to free them, has been transformed into a mass- based organizing tool.

 

The Jericho Movement addresses four principal issues:

  1. Building the Amnesty Campaign
    A big part of this work is locating political prisoners, compiling dossiers on them, and building the case for amnesty.
  1. Continuing the Educational Campaign
    About the Existence of Political Prisoners inside the U.S.
  1. The Jericho Legal Defense Fund.
    Providing supportive expenses for lawyers and law students etc. to provide legal defense for political prisoners.
  1. The Jericho Medical Project
    Fighting for adequate and quality medical care for political prisoners.

 

How Can You Help?

  • Organize speaking engagementsabout political prisoners in your church, school, community.
  • Volunteer to workon one of the projects of the Jericho Movement.
  • Organize a Jericho Committeein your area.
  • Make a financial contribution to Jericho. 

Make all checks or money orders payable to: Jericho and mail them to:
The Jericho Movement, P.O. Box 2164, Chesterfield, VA 23832
If you want your contribution to be tax-deductible, please make checks payable to IFCO/Jericho.

 

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Find us on Twitter at twitter.com/JERICHO4PPs

 

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