Winning an end to solitary confinement in the court of public opinion: Hear Robert King of Angola 3 Nov. 8 in SF
by Marina Drummer
“This is a major setback for the crusade to end stop-and-frisk. I had the sinking feeling that the decision in this case was too good to be true, and it appears the federal appeals court may be poised to unravel the progress that has been made. Ultimately, the most important battle is in the court of public opinion. As I’ve argued in my book, victories obtained in courtrooms are easily undone if no public consensus has emerged in support of them. A major shift in public consciousness is required … This fight did not begin in the courtroom and it will not end there. Much work remains to be done.”
SF screening of ‘Hard Time’ on Friday, Nov. 8, with Robert H. King and Azadeh Zohrabi
While focusing on Robert King, the first member of the Angola 3 to win his freedom, “Hard Time” addresses the broader problems of racism and human rights violations in the U.S. penal system. It draws attention to the plight of Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, the other members of the Angola 3, who have been held in solitary confinement for more than 40 years. Together they created a prison chapter of the Black Panther Party to fight for better conditions, security for inmates and justice behind bars.
ANSWER has been a staunch supporter of the Angola 3 since 1998. Back in 1972 they were also present at the first hearings. Thanks to ANSWER for their years of dedicated support.
Pack the courtroom Nov. 13 for Albert Woodfox’s hearing to end routine strip searchesLouisiana Middle District Court in Baton Rouge. Albert will be present and will testify. The hearing is open to the public and supporters are encouraged to attend.
With any luck Albert and his legal team will convince Judge Brady to uphold the consent decree that came out of a 1978 lawsuit Albert himself filed and won – establishing such searches as illegal, unconstitutional and against internal prison policy.
Media conference and delivery of petition to release Albert Woodfox
Among those who spoke at the event were Jasmine Heiss of Amnesty International, longtime Angola 3 supporter Malik Rahim, Albert’s brother Michael Mable, Rev. Dr. Patricia Bates and Robert H. King.
Former Angola 3 investigator Billie Mizell read a message from Teenie Rogers, the widow of slain prison guard Brent Miller: “Each time I look at the evidence in this case, I remember there is no proof that the men charged with Brent’s death are the ones who actually killed him. It’s easy to get caught up in vengeance and anger, but when I look at the facts, they just do not add up.”
State Rep. Patricia Smith sent a letter of support, and U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond wrote this statement:
“I am firm in my resolve to continue the fight to address the horrors of long term solitary confinement in a meaningful way. The plight of the Angola 3 has shined a disinfecting light on this terrible, unconstitutional practice of indefinite solitary confinement without meaningful due process reviews.
“I look forward to partnering with you all to ensure that this story is told and will use my position on the House Judiciary Committee to make certain that we serve the interests of justice. Thank you all for your hard work on this issue and please know that my office stands as a resource to those fighting for justice.”
Take Action to Free Albert Woodfox!
While 50,000 signatures demanding Albert Woodfox’s release were delivered Oct. 21 to Gov. Jindal’s office, Amnesty is still continuing their petition campaign. If you have not done so, please sign the petition now and share it!
New Orleans City Council proclamation on the Angola 3 Support Committee and Common Ground Relief
Malik Rahim, co-founder of the Angola 3 Coalition and Common Ground, was presented with a proclamation by the New Orleans City Council recognizing the role Angola 3 and Common Ground have played in the city. The proclamation was presented during the 47th Black Panther Party Alumni Reunion.
Writer and activist Marina Drummer has long been key to the Angola 3 support movement. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This story first appeared at http://angola3news.blogspot.com/2013/11/new-orleans-city-council-recognizes-a3.html. View more photos here and here.