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Albert Woodfox bids farewell to his Angola 3 brother, Herman Wallace, fights on for freedom

October 15, 2013

by Albert Woodfox

Justice for the Angola 3Well, the old man has decided to leave us! I am sure it was a very hard choice for him: Who will I serve, the ancestors who have called me home or humanity whom I love so much?

Old man was my term of endearment; it had to do with the age of everything to do with his heart and soul. Herman “Hooks” Wallace was not a perfect human being and, like all men, he had faults and weaknesses, but he also had character! He could make me so mad that I wanted to rip his head off! Then he would melt my heart with a word or act of kindness to another human being.

He was the best of us. As long as we remember him, he lives on.

On Oct. 1 sitting in a hospital room with the other part of my heart, Robert H. King, I tried to will a miracle, and it was granted – not the miracle of life that I wanted but the miracle of freedom! After 42 years of tireless struggle against evil, he was a free man!

I wanted so badly to witness his walk to freedom, but it was not to be. I had to leave. But after losing my mother, sister and brother in law to cancer, I was at peace!

Albert Woodfox
Albert Woodfox
I had a chance to say goodbye to my comrade in the struggle, my mentor in life, my fellow Panther and most of all, my friend. Herman taught me that a man can stumble, even fall, as long as he gets up. That it’s OK to be afraid, but hold on to your courage. To lose a battle is not the loss of a war!

Herman Wallace’s greatest pride was joining the Black Panther Party for Self Defense! He believed in duty, honor and dedication. He never broke the faith of the party, his comrades or the people. As I bent to kiss his forehead, my heart said, “Goodbye, I love you forever”; my soul said, “Separated but never apart, never touching, but always connected.”

He was the best of us. As long as we remember him, he lives on.

All Power to the People!

Albert “Shaka Cinque” Woodfox

Send our brother some love and light: Albert Woodfox, 72148, David Wade Correctional Center, N1 A3, 670 Bell Hill Road, Homer, LA 71040.

Louisiana must end its campaign of vengeance against Albert Woodfox

by Amnesty International

Herman Wallace Funeral mourners' fists Treme Center, New Orleans 101213 by Ann Harkness, web
Gathering at the funeral of Herman Wallace, a new generation gets ready to fight for the freedom of all political prisoners. – Photo: Ann Harkness
Following the death of Herman Wallace last Friday, who was held in solitary confinement for over 41 years, Amnesty International is launching a campaign for the release of his co-defendant, Albert Woodfox. He too has been held in cruel conditions of isolation following the deeply flawed trials.

“Albert Woodfox has been in solitary confinement for decades, even though the case against him was based on flawed evidence and riddled with procedural errors. Enough is enough. The state of Louisiana must accept the federal court’s ruling and release Albert Woodfox from prison,” said Tessa Murphy, USA campaigner at Amnesty International.

Free Albert Woodfox! Sign the Amnesty International petition HERE.

Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace were both convicted of the 1972 murder of prison guard Brent Miller. There was no physical evidence to link them to the crime and their convictions relied primarily on the dubious testimony of a sole eyewitness who received favorable treatment in return for his testimony.

Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox early 1970s, photo from 'In the Land of the Free...' Angola 3 doc, web
Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox in the early 1970s – Photo from documentary on Angola 3, “In the Land of the Free …”
Both men have robustly denied any involvement in the crime. They believe they were falsely implicated in the murder because of their political activism in prison as members of the Black Panther Party.

Earlier this year a federal judge overturned the conviction. However Albert Woodfox continues to languish in prison after the state of Louisiana appealed against his release.

During the legal process that has spanned four decades, Albert Woodfox’s conviction has been overturned three times.

“Were it not for the state of Louisiana’s dogged determination to appeal against these rulings, Albert Woodfox would almost certainly be a free man by now,” said Tessa Murphy.

“Nothing can justify the cruelty that the state has inflicted on Albert Woodfox,” said Tessa Murphy “After an unsafe conviction and 40 years of cruel treatment, he must now be allowed his freedom.”

Herman Wallace Angola prison
Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace of the Angola 3 in Angola prison – Photo: Guardian of London
Herman Wallace was released last week just days before he died of liver cancer. A federal judge who overturned his conviction said it would hold the state in contempt of court if they did not release Herman immediately.

For most of the last four decades, Albert Woodfox has been confined to a small cell for 23 hours a day, denied access to meaningful social interaction and rehabilitation programs.

Prison records show that Albert has not committed any serious disciplinary infractions for years and that he doesn’t pose a threat to himself or others.

“Nothing can justify the cruelty that the state has inflicted on Albert Woodfox,” said Tessa Murphy “After an unsafe conviction and 40 years of cruel treatment, he must now be allowed his freedom.”

Herman died a free man; let’s help Albert live as one

The new Amnesty International campaign demanding Albert Woodfox’s immediate release from prison declares that “Herman died a free man. Let’s help Albert live as one.” Indeed, it is now up to us to continue Herman Wallace’s fight for justice. We must do everything we can to have Albert released from prison as soon as possible.

Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox 2002
Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox at Angola in 2002
The widespread media coverage documenting Herman’s struggle for release during his final months has exposed the horror of “Louisiana Justice” for anyone who is willing to look. Consequently, the world is disgusted by the inhumanity and repression endured by the Angola 3.

Last week, United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture Juan E. Méndez called for Albert’s immediate release from solitary confinement. “Keeping Albert Woodfox in solitary confinement for more than four decades clearly amounts to torture and it should be lifted immediately,” said Mr. Méndez. “I am deeply concerned about his physical and mental condition.”

We are inspired by Herman’s release, yet outraged that it took so long. Today, we firmly believe that the momentum created by Herman’s struggle, the recent U.N. statement for Albert and now the Amnesty campaign, is the final push we need to make Albert’s freedom a reality. This is our best chance ever for Albert’s release and the time for action is now. Please join us in Louisiana for events on Saturday, Oct. 19, and Monday, Oct. 21.

Demand Albert Woodfox’s immediate release

Amnesty International’s campaign is calling on Louisiana Attorney General James Caldwell, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Department of Public Safety Secretary James M. LeBlanc and Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels to release Albert from prison. As part of their campaign, Amnesty International is organizing two upcoming events in Louisiana with Angola 3 supporters.

On Saturday, Oct. 19, there will be a second line parade in honor of Herman in New Orleans at 2 p.m., starting at St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1210 Governor Nicholls St., and concluding at the Louisiana Supreme Court, 400 Royal St. Bring your banners, wear your T-shirts and join the parade for Herman!

On Monday, Oct. 21, there will be a media conference at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge with congressional champions and Angola 3 advocates who will hand deliver tens of thousands of signatures calling for Albert’s release. Amnesty and supporters will gather at 12 noon on the steps of the Capitol, 322 State Capitol Drive. For transportation from New Orleans, a bus will leave from St. Augustine Catholic Church, 1210 Governor Nicholls St., at 9:45 a.m. Join us for this important event.

Later on the evening of the 21st, at 8 p.m., A3 supporter Jackie Sumell of Herman’s House will be speaking at Tulane University.

Free Albert Woodfox! Sign the Amnesty International petition HERE.

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than 3 million supporters, members and activists in over 150 countries and territories who campaign to end grave abuses of human rights. Visit them at http://www.amnesty.org/en.

 

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2 thoughts on “Albert Woodfox bids farewell to his Angola 3 brother, Herman Wallace, fights on for freedom

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