What: Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner
When: 7pm (sharp), Tuesday, March 1st, 2011
Where: 885 Park Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (see below for directions)
How about those Oscars? So many surprises, right? Okay, okay, clearly you don’t care
about the Academy Awards and neither do we. The wealthy and attractive praise each
other while the world is on fire. Revolutions are brimming abroad and even
municipals unions are starting to assert themselves. Folks are on the streets,
challenging state power, capital, and the cops. It’s in this environment that we
host another Political Prisoner Letter-Writing Dinner. This week we’re focusing on
Veronza Bowers, Jr. is a prisoner at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta,
Georgia. He is a former member of the Black Panther Party incarcerated in federal
prison for over 37 years, making him one of the longest held political prisoners in
United States history.
Veronza was convicted for the murder of a U.S. Park Ranger. His conviction came as
the result of testimony provided by two government informants, both of whom received
reduced sentences by the Attorney General’s office for unrelated crimes. There were
no eye-witnesses and no evidence independent of these informants to link Veronza to
the crime. At his trial, Veronza offered alibi testimony which was not credited by
the jury. Also not credited was testimony of two relatives of the informants who
insisted that the informants were lying. In addition to having charges reduced in
unrelated cases, the informants had all charges against them in this case involving
Veronza dropped; one was given $10,000 by the government according to the
prosecutor’s post-sentencing report. Veronza has consistently maintained his
innocence, even at the expense of having his appeals for parole denied — an
admission of guilt and contrition is virtually required if a prisoner has any hope
of being granted parole.
What’s unique about Veronza’s case is that he has had the legal right to be released
on what is known as “mandatory parole” since April 7, 2004. This is due to the fact
that the Parole Commission failed to find that (1) there was compelling evidence he
was likely to commit crimes upon release, or (2) he had frequently violated the
rules of the prison system or (3) he had committed serious violations of prison
rules during his incarceration. Only by making one of these three findings could the
Commission lawfully deny him parole as of that date. What happened instead was that
only a few hours before Veronza was to be released on April 7th, 2004, the
Commission ordered the Bureau of Prisons to cancel his parole and indefinitely hold
him in prison. This order was made without any explanation, justification or finding
Veronza has long passed his mandatory parole date, now by almost eight years.
For more information, visit:
In case you aren’t able to make it to dinner, here is Veronza’s address so you can
join in from home:
Veronza Bowers, Jr. 35316-136
Post Office Box 150160
Atlanta, Georgia 30315
The deal, as always, is that you come bringing only yourself (and your friends and
comrades), and we provide you with a delicious vegan meal, information about the
prisoners as well as all of the letter-writing materials and prisoner-letter-writing
info you could ever want to use in one evening. In return, you write a thoughtful
letter to a political prisoner or prisoner of war of your choosing or, better yet,
keep up a long-term correspondence. We’ll also provide some brief updates and pass
around birthday cards for the PP/POWs whose birthdays fall in the next two weeks
thanks to the Anarchist Birthday Brigade.
Getting to 885 Park Avenue is simple:
From the J/M/Z:
Flushing Stop: Walk southeast on Broadway (toward Sumner Place, away from Thornton
Street) and make a right on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block, on your
Myrtle Stop: Walk northwest on Broadway (toward Melrose Street, away from Troutman
Street) and make a left on Park Avenue. We’re halfway down the block on the right.
From the G Train:
Flushing Avenue Stop: Walk south on Marcy Avenue (toward Hopkins Street, away from
Wallabout Street) and turn left on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half blocks down
on the left.
Myrtle-Willoughby Avenues Stop: Walk north on Marcy Avenue (toward Stockton Street,
away from Vernon Avenue) and turn right on Park Avenue. We’re three and a half
blocks down on your left.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch. Otherwise, we’ll see you at
This event is brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Anarchist Black Cross.–
Post Office Box 110034
Brooklyn, New York 11211
Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!
For the Abolition of State Repression and Domination!