Running Down The Walls

Download posters and flyers

September 7th, 2019
11 am sharp (Yoga warm-up at 10am)
FDR Park

Philadelphia Anarchist Black Cross presents our second annual Running Down The Walls (RDTW)! Join us for another revolutionary 5K run/walk/bike/skate and day of solidarity. If you would like to participate in light yoga and warm-up stretches before, please arrive by 10am and bring a mat if you can.

Running is not required! You can also walk, bike, skate or roll. 5K is two loops around the park and at a walking pace will take about 45-60 minutes. Light refreshments and socializing will take place in the park afterward.

This year’s event is co-sponsored by Never Give Up! – a project to free the remaining incarcerated members of the MOVE 9, and sustain their long-term post-release support. Following the release of his parents, Mike Africa Jr. founded Never Give Up! to alleviate the financial strain of rebuilding life after decades of imprisonment. When his uncle Chuck Africa beat colon cancer, the project aligned with the broader, ongoing fight against cancer.

The Move organization has never given up. Not after their house was flooded, gassed, and riddled with bullets. Not after the police deployed explosives and let them burn alive. Not after the PADOC murdered Phil and Merle Africa.

After 40 years in prison and never giving up on their beliefs or each other, Debbie was released on parole on June 16th 2018, soon after followed by Mike Africa Sr. on October 23rd. Janet and Janine were released on May 25th, 2019 and then Eddie on June 21st.  Next up for parole are Delbert this September and Chuck in November.

As their supporters, we too never give up! Philadelphia RDTW 2019 is dedicated to amplifying their voices, lifting them up in their struggles, and maintaining material post-release support.

If you cannot make it to the event or would like to make an additional contribution, please sponsor a participant either outside prison or inside or one of each. Contact us for more information on sponsoring!

Proceeds will be split between the Warchest Program and the Never Give Up project. The ABCF Warchest program sends monthly stipends to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have insufficient, little, or no financial support.

Register for the 5K

Thanks for your support by running/walking/biking/skating the 5K! Everyone must fill out the following form to register NO LATER THAN AUGUST 24TH  so that you receive your official shirt the day of the event. The registration fee of $40 confirms your place at the event and it is preferred that this be paid before the day of the event by using the Seeds of Wisdom Patreon link below. Cash can also be accepted at the event. Additional funds over the $40 base fee raised through sponsorships are more than welcome (see our fundraising tips below).


Patreon Gold Membership: this option is a recurring payment but will pre-register you for the September run.

After submitting the following registration form, please allow 24 – 48 hours for your confirmation email. Check your Spam folder if the message does not appear in your Inbox. If you did not receive a confirmation email, please get in touch with us at phillyabc[at]riseup[dot]net.

Registration for the 2019 event is closed. Stay tuned for the summer 2020 event!

Tips to Get Sponsors for your 5K Participation

Many runners will pay the $40 registration fee on their own but if you would like to get sponsored instead, here’s a few tips and ideas to get you started.

  1. Make a list of potential donors. Friends, family, co-workers, neighbors…think creatively and include everyone you can think of (it doesn’t hurt to ask). Who might be supportive? Who cares about similar causes? Decide to ask for a specific amount that you think will be within your prospective sponsor’s budget (for instance $1 for each kilometer or an even $40 to represent the Move prisoners’ years on the inside).
  2. Make hand-written letters. Deliver them personally if possible. Write your letter in a genuine tone and reference your relationship. Email is faster, but many will be less likely to forget a letter (than an email in a crowded inbox) and they’ll appreciate the personal touch. Include a self addressed envelope for people to mail checks. Use email to follow up with those who don’t respond.
  3. Make it personal and face to face. Ask for support from the people you see regularly, and ask in person. People respond to eye contact, assertiveness and passion. Tell them why you’re inspired to support political prisoners and their stories. Practice the conversation beforehand if you think it might be difficult to find words in the moment.
  4. Use all communication tools available; Phone calls, text, social media, websites, and email to reach broader networks. If you’re trying to appeal to an organization, make it clear that the event can be a source of positive press for them. Ask them to match the donations of other groups if possible. You could even start a crowdfunding page for your run. Add quality images and tell a story to engage people. Share it on social media and encourage your friends to do the same. Use letters and other communications to direct people to your crowdfunding page.
  5. Follow up, provide updates and say ‘thank you.’ Remember to reconnect to your sponsors with photos and stories from the event and thank them for their support.

History

Since 1999, the Anarchist Black Cross Federation, political prisoners and support organizations across the country participate in Running Down The Walls (RDTW). This annual 5K run/jog/walk/roll/bike event is to show solidarity and raise funds for numerous political prisoners in North America. Funds raised are typically split between the ABCF Warchest and a community group chosen by the host group. Each year, incarcerated comrades participate by running inside prison. This event brings us closer together each year, strengthens our bond, and lets prisoners know they are not forgotten! Read RDTW statements from current and former PP/POWs.

The Warchest program receives funds from ABC chapters and individuals every month and then disperses the funds to the prisoners in the program. Since initiation in November 1994, the program has dispersed more than $75,000. The current Warchest recipients are:

In past years, Running Down the Walls has been held in Albuquerque (NM), Arcata (CA), Ashland (OR), Bellefonte (PA), Bloomington (IN), Boston (MA), Brooklyn (NY), Buffalo (NY), Chicago (IL),  Denver (CO), Hamilton (Ontario), Elmore (AL), FCI Sandstone (MN), Inez (KY), Los Angeles (CA), Marion (IL), Middletown (CT), Minneapolis (MN), USP Navosta (TX), Oakland (CA),   Pelican Bay (CA), Phoenix (AZ), Riverside (CA), Seattle (WA), Tucson (AZ), and Toronto (Ontario).