By Brian Martel
On Thursday, an event was held to recognize the 98th international day of aid for political prisoners, focusing on those still facing state repression from the May Uprisings as well as international political prisoners of various revolutionary organizations.
Speakers gave presentations about people facing state repression due to their political views and attendees were encouraged to support those imprisoned or still facing charges from the May Uprisings by donating to or getting involved in prisoner support organizations.
An organizer from the political prisoner support organization Minnesota Uprising Arrest Support (MUAS) presented on the repression faced by protesters in Minneapolis, where the combative mass protests following George Floyd’s murder sparked the uprisings across the country.
“Its designed to be discouraging. Prison specifically is very isolating and depressing,” the MUAS representative said.
One tactic used by the state to isolate political prisoners is setting bond conditions of no contact with co-defendants. “The purpose of this is that you don’t share ideas and continue to spread the work,” the MUAS representative continued. “There actually is a way to continue fighting the system from the back end once you’ve been charged or incarcerated.” One of the functions of prisoner support organizations is to combat the isolation of political prisoners and maintaining their connections to revolutionary organizing.
Speakers talked about the need for continued support to prisoners after their cases leave the spotlight, bringing up the fact that there are still protesters imprisoned from the 2014 Ferguson uprisings.
The event also stressed the need for international solidarity with political prisoners. A video was played covering people from around the world who are imprisoned due to their political beliefs, including Chairman Gonzalo, GN Saibaba, and Georges Abdallah.
Due to their dedication to a revolutionary cause, many political prisoners remain resolute despite facing state repression and torturous conditions. One attendee commented that the best thing for a political prisoner to hear is that “the movement’s growing […] Everybody’s becoming more aware.”