Drawing by Hannes Isaksson (used with permission)

---------------------------MESSAGE FROM FRED HO---------------------------


Saturday, May 5, 2012, St. Mary’s Church, 521 West 126th Street (between Old Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues), Harlem, NY, 6pm to 8pm

This is Fred Ho. As I near the end of my life fighting a brutal war against metastatic cancer, there are only two things I seek to complete before my transition:

1. Freeing Russell Maroon Shoatz, brilliant and innovative revolutionary thinker-organizer, who has been imprisoned for almost 40 years, 30 of which has been in solitary confinement even though he has not had one infraction in the past 20 years! This is cruel, inhumane and brutal. The man is a revolutionary genius.

To find out for yourself, go to russellmaroonshoats.wordpress.com and read his interview on topics of FOOD SECURITY, MATRIARCHY, and NEW REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZING.

Mumia wrote to me saying that we need to concentrate on getting Maroon into general population just as the movement has succeeded for him.

2. Elevating and consolidating Scientific Soul Sessions as the freshest example of 21st century revolutionary leadership!

The program, true to Scientific Soul Sessions equating politics and the arts, will feature many performers, including myself! There is no admission charge, but we will be fundraising!!

(Note: Maroon prefers the spelling of his last name to be Shoatz though legally his birth spelling is Shoats!)

---------------------------PRESS RELEASE---------------------------

For Immediate Release:

“25 years in prison + 50 years of age = OUT”

For press inquiries and interview requests, contact kanyaldalmeida@gmail.com or benjaminbarson@gmail.com

April 17, 2012, New York City, NY—On May 5th, 2012, Scientific Soul Sessions (SSS), a collective of revolutionary artists, farmers and organizers based in New York City, will launch a campaign to free RUSSELL MAROON SHOATS, a 70-year-old political prisoner who has spent the last 40 years of his life in various penitentiaries across the United States.

Thirty of those forty years – including the last twenty – have been spent in solitary confinement, or “the hole,” where he is held in his cell for 23-24 hours every day, deprived of social interaction and environmental stimulation in conditions widely acknowledged as torture due to their traumatic psychological impact.

Along with a huge coalition of supporters, organizations and rights groups, SSS is calling for an end to Maroon's unjust imprisonment in what he calls the “torture chamber” of the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Greene, a maximum security prison where he is forced to wage a daily battle for sanity and survival.

We DEMAND that Maroon be immediately released into General Population, along with other prisoners who share his “detention statistics': 25 years in prison + 50 years of age = OUT!

Maroon’s imprisonment is an outrage on many levels; not only has his family been denied their brother, father and husband for four decades; but the entire prison population has also been denied a teacher and organizer of unparalleled prowess.

Despite not violating prison rules in over 20 years, the PA Department of Corrections has deemed Maroon a permanent security threat based on his efforts to educate others about human rights, personal empowerment, and the importance of participating in movements for social justice.

Mumia Abu-Jamal, the legendary death-row prisoner and activist, recently summed up Maroon's importance as a political figure when he wrote to SSS: “I am enriched by [Maroon's] brilliance and his insights. His sheer brilliants on topics far and wide — his analysis — has forced [me] to step up my game — and go deeper. I am indebted to him for it.”

WHAT: Launch of the international campaign to free Russell Maroon Shoats! An evening of music, spoken word, and discussion on Maroon's life, featuring Theresa Shoats, renowned Philadelphia-based prison justice activist; Fred Ho, internationally renowned saxophone player and composer; Arturo O'Farrill, legendary Cuban-American pianist; and Magdalena Gomez, poet and veteran of the Nuyurican Poet's Movement.

WHEN: May 5th, 2012, 6-8pm

WHERE: St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 521 W. 126th Street, New York NY 10027

This event is FREE but donations are welcome and encouraged. RSVP to kanyaldalmeida@gmail.com or benjaminbarson@gmail.com