Running Down the Walls (RDTW) 2018 was a success in building relationships, feeling the solidarity of running as our imprisoned comrades did the same, and raising funds for the ABCF Warchest and the Revolutionary Abolitionist Community Bail Fund which works to bail people out that are incarcerated at Riker’s Island.
We arrived early to claim our spot, hoping to stake our rightful claim to the commons that is (should be) Prospect Park. Unfortunately, due to the food circus we refuse to name that operates its melee disguised as an overpriced food truck parade, we were nudged out of our usual spot and forced to set up across the path. Originally surly with the hall monitor employed by the unnamed food circus who snitched on us, the consensus at the end of the day was that we enjoyed the new location.
The course was the same as last year, one single loop around the park which amounts to just about a 5K distance. Typically we start the run off by playing a recording by Jaan Laaman but because he was moved this year and could no longer send the recording, he instead submitted a handwritten statement that we read aloud along with solidarity statements from Hanif Bey, David Gilbert, and Eric King.
Although it was a bit cooler this year, participants admitted that they were relieved to save some sweat enduring the course. We had printed bib numbers for the participants. The flipside of the bib numbers had information about NYC ABC and guidelines for writing to prisoners, making it both a memento and a useful reminder to write to folks.
We were thrilled to have three former political prisoners join us in biking, running, walking, eating, and hanging. It was lovely to have folx there from various groups that do political prisoner support including NYC Jericho Movement, the Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners Calendar, and Eric King Support Crew to name a few. Additionally we were happy to share space with folx from other local organizing groups including NYC Anarchist Book Fair, Black and Pink, Friends of the Island Academy, Rojava Solidarity NYC, The Base, the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council, Pop Gym, Books through Bars, among others.
Most folks had left by 6:00 and those who stayed did so to help clean up and transfer everything to the cars. So the event went as scheduled, almost to the minute.
Knowing the history of the run and the imprisoned comrades with whom we ran in solidarity elevated Running Down the Walls 2018 to an even more inspiring level.
And that’s how we get down (the walls).