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Prisoners Support Guzman Defense

After the capture of Abimael Guzman, some friends of the Peruvian revolution contacted us and informed us of the worldwide effort to protect his life. A few revolutionaries here in Leavanworth federal penitentiary then got together to figure out what we could do. We felt we could raise some awareness of the struggle in Peru and the importance of Chairman Guzman as the principled leader of the revolution there. While money is short and hard to come by for most men here, we none the less felt we should and could be able to raise some funds too.

A petition was drafted that provided information on Peru and why it was important for us here to support that struggle, especially the effort to keep A. Guzman alive. Address slips were also made up listing where donations could be sent and information acquired on what was going on with the international campaign to protect and support Chairman Guzman.

A handful of trusted brothers quietly circulated these petitions. Over 150 men in Leavanworth signed the petition. In addition, I'm pretty sure that between $200 and $300 will be donated to the International Emergency Committee. Those who donated and signed the petition represent a wide cross section of prisoners. As the petition shows, all types of men supported this effort. Native Americans from various parts of the US, African/Black men, young and old, Latinos from many countries, Italians, Irish and other whites also signed. People identified with the Nation of Islam, Moorish Science, Muslims, christians, politically conscious, as political prisoners, revolutionaries, anarchists, RCP supporters, USMC vets, USA citizens, etc. In fact, very few people who were approached declined.

Besides getting a signature and passing on an address slip, a lot of discussion about the struggle in Peru, about revolution, about Maoism, and the state of things today took place. Copies of articles on Peru were passed around. It was positive to find that many people already had good information about the revolution in Peru and very few people were caught up in the kind of misinformation that the U.S. government and media put out. For example, one brother who is a Muslim fundamentalist political prisoner from the Mid-East said: "Guzman, yes, we know about him. Let me sign, he is a good man, a good leader of his people."

J.L. Leavanworth, KS

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