Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz transferred

Taken from a March 20 audio column from To read more on the case of political prisoner, Russell Shoatz, go to

If my prison source is correct, Black liberation fighter, imprisoned intellectual, historian and now book author, Russell “Maroon” Shoatz, has been transferred from the dungeons of SCI Greene — and he is in “the hole” of SCI Mahanoy in southeastern Pennsylvania.

Maroon, who has the dubious distinction of being perhaps the longest held-in-the-hole prisoner in Pennsylvania — nearly 36 years! — is now 69 years old.

Except for a brief interlude in 1986, Maroon has spent a lifetime in state prison holes: in Huntingdon, in Western, in Greene — and now, in Mahanoy.

His first trek began in 1977 — that’s right — 1977!

Today, 36 years later, he’s still in the hole, after an exemplary period of over a decade without misconducts.

As fate would have it, his transfer is marked by the serendipitous release of his new and first book, “Maroon the Implacable: The Collected Writings of Russell Maroon Shoatz,” by PM Press of Oakland, Calif.

The renowned poet/activist, Amiri Baraka, called the book “a very funky instruction manual on how to make revolution in imperialist America.”

Maroon’s writings have appeared for years in small, little known anarchist booklets and pamphlets.  This book makes much of that excellent work accessible to a wider audience.

When I left death row, I had several delicious days to listen to him — for he did most of the talking — and marvel at the brilliance and quickness of his mind. He talked politics, current events and trends to come in the nation and the world.

Now, you can share in some of that fine thinking by reading “Maroon the Implacable.”  This book will surely spark the movement to get him out of the hole and hopefully, open the doorway of his dungeon to freedom.

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