Friday, March 26, 2010

Fundraiser for Political Prisoner Oso Blanco and Chiapas

Sisters and Brothers,

On April 10th there will be an event to raise funds for Oso Blanco and schoolchildren in Chiapas. Oso is a Cherokee Indian who was robbing banks in the late 1999 before capture and in 2001 after his escape from prison. He used the funds from the bank expropriations to support the Zapatistas rebels (EZLN) and Mayan children in EZLN communities in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Since his latest capture in February 2001 Oso has continued to support for Native struggle, and has become an advocate for Native Rights within the prison community as well. As a result he has been targeted for his political views and subjected to isolation, beatings, and torture. Aside form being denied visitors, phone calls, and many times even mail; he was tortured by guards in Lewisburg prison in both November and June of 2009. Because of these types of abuses we would also like to raise awareness and concerns for the conditions of political prisoners in the United States, including Oso Blanco.

The event will feature music, art, poetry, vendors, and political prisoner support outlets for the benefit of indigenous struggle. Workshops on indigenous and prisoner movements in North America (United States, Canada, and Mexico) will be held as well as know your rights trainings and other informative sessions on how to support political prisoners. Profit gained from the event will be split to benefit Oso Blanco’s legal defense and children in Chiapas.