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Behind Enemy Lines

Rashid transferred to Sussex II Prison; his life in danger, he urgently needs our support

October 18, 2018

Rashid wasn’t transferred out of state; instead, he was transferred to Sussex II, another Virginia prison. He has been put under extraordinarily bad conditions, and we need everyone who can to start calling into that prison to make demands on his behalf.
The focus should be on his medical emergency. He needs to be taken to medical to have his blood pressure checked and in order for any adjustments to be made to his medications.

‘Progressive DA’ Larry Krasner, you said you’d overturn wrongful convictions; what about Mumia?

October 16, 2018

Given that Mumia’s next court hearing is on Oct. 29, two weeks away, many of us have felt that not enough attention has been paid to challenging Philadelphia’s widely hailed, new “liberal” District Attorney Larry Krasner. His deadly role in Mumia’s current legal proceedings in the Court of Common Pleas has not been understood by many Mumia supporters. We must pressure him to drop his opposition to Mumia’s current legal action aimed at giving Mumia new rights of appeal of his conviction.

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Reports of National Prison Strike retaliation and repression slowly manage to emerge

October 16, 2018

Statement regarding the Nationwide Prison Strike of 2018 issued Oct. 15, 2018, by the Prison Strike Media Team. The extent of repression and retaliation by prison authorities against suspected participants in this year’s nationwide prison strike continues to emerge slowly. The National Lawyers Guild Prisoners’ Legal Advocacy Network (NLG-PLAN) has received additional details from 12 states.

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In San Jose, the National Prison Strike is going down!

October 5, 2018

This prisoner-led strike is not only about their list of 10 demands; it’s a clear call for their human rights! This is no small feat – and it’s dangerous! These men and women are putting their lives on the line – for themselves and for us. The retaliation began weeks before the strike even began. Don’t think for one moment this isn’t also about us here on the outside. Most of us are complicit in the horrors that have taken place in our nation’s prisons.

Few prisoners strike at San Quentin

October 4, 2018

Few prisoners, if any, at San Quentin State Prison participated in what was reported to be the largest prisoner-led strike in United States history. There are many reasons for these prisoners’ lack of involvement. Most of the men imprisoned at San Quentin were unaware of the strike and the groups involved with it like Jailhouse Lawyers Speak and the Bay Area National Prison Strike Solidarity Committee.

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Raw sewage spills at SF Bryant St. jail making prisoners sick – ‘rash, intestinal, lung’ problems reported

October 3, 2018

Raw sewage overflows since January 2017 at the San Francisco’s main 850 Bryant St. jail are making prisoners sick, according to a class action lawsuit asking for $150,000 or more in damages filed July 30 against the City and County of San Francisco, the Sheriff and other law enforcement personnel. The raw sewage spill was reported in the District Attorney’s Office in January 2017 but not in the jail.

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Comrade Malik: Racism in the US is a symptom of capitalism

October 2, 2018

I’d like to send out a clenched fist salute to Amani Sawari of Jailhouse Lawyers Speak. I have studied the transcript of Amani’s appearance on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman. Amani did an excellent job articulating the reasons for our actions. Amani also had the presence of mind to highlight and accentuate the fact that we, the prisoners across Amerika, seek to be treated as human beings and given meaningful opportunities toward our rehabilitation.

Physicians and medical students stand in solidarity with prison strikers

October 2, 2018

As incarcerated people across the country began a three-week series of protests, a contingent of physicians, health professions students and other allied health professionals expressed their solidarity with the protestors. More than 125 students and healthcare providers signed an open letter endorsing the National Prison Strike, with many participating in local solidarity actions or making phone calls to prisons to show support for the strikers’ demands.

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‘An execution date should not be scheduled’ for Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar)

October 1, 2018

“An execution date should not be scheduled because Mr. LaMar’s death sentence is precisely the sort identified by the Joint Task Force to Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty. Mr. LaMar’s conviction rests on prisoner testimony which is not independently corroborated, there is no physical or video evidence linking him to the crimes and he has always maintained his innocence. Evidence supporting Mr. LaMar’s innocence is slowly coming to light after dogged efforts to unearth such proof following years of suppression.”

‘It is in the service of God to inflict wrath on the evil doer,’ says Missouri prison nurse in the midst of unparalleled brutality and torture during National Prison Strike

October 1, 2018

I am writing to let you know the conditions us convicts at South Central Correctional Center (SCCC) have endured and expose the brutal assault that took place on Aug. 23, 2018. I was placed in Administrative Segregation and stripped of my privileges – contact visits, phone calls, canteen, personal property etc. – for the reason of investigation. That’s a violation of my due process rights, as I am punished before being found guilty of anything.

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Missouri prisoners protesting ad-seg restrictions in run-up to National Prison Strike shackled to iron bench

September 30, 2018

The prisoners of Missouri’s South Central Correctional Center’s ad-seg units have initiated a consolidated effort to protest and change the conditions found not only at the facility, but in every other Level 5 institution across the state. Prisoners began to refuse their cellmates on the basis of protective custody, after which they are placed on iron benches, shackled with hands behind their backs for hours at a time where they are denied meals and, due to overcrowding, not offered any alternative cell to go to – ultimately forcing prisoners to accept living in a volatile situation just in order to get to eat.

The deafening drumbeat of the unfree

September 30, 2018

Above the din of disturbing news – that discordant banging you’re hearing, steadily getting louder and louder, that you can no longer ignore – that’s the drumbeat of the unfree. Dehumanized by the labels “prisoner,” “inmate” and “convict,” even reduced to serial numbers like Victor Hugo’s Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables,” these men and women are, just like you and me, or any mortal – irrespective of flaws, frailties, even felonious acts and misdemeanors – endowed with the right to be treated with dignity, decency and respect.

Greg Curry: Black August at Ohio State Penitentiary

September 29, 2018

As for the events inside of this prison, with all attempts to FREE people, you first have to wake them up to their condition. In my pod, I started sharing reading material, about the value of their labor, about Black August events across the country and how just by refusing to continue to work for cops that treat them so bad that they could make a difference. Although this strike took place ahead of the nationally planned Black August dates, for three weeks this strike was every bit Black August inspired and I hope we made all our comrades past and present proud.

The old Dixie Boys in Florida still have that Jim Crow mindset

September 28, 2018

On Aug. 21 until Sept. 9, there was supposed to be a nationwide protest within the penal system. Aug. 21 is the anniversary of Black Panther Gen. George Jackson being killed by the pigs and Sept. 9 is the anniversary of the 1971 Attica Rebellion. Mr. Jackson was a true revolutionary and the Attica Rebellion was a revolutionary time in history. The people have no idea of class struggle.

Heroic or heinous: The death penalty case of Thomas Porter

September 27, 2018

Thomas Porter is a 42-year-old Black man held on Virginia’s Death Row for the Oct. 25, 2005, shooting death of a Norfolk, Virginia, cop. At his trial, it was undisputed that the cop walked up and grabbed him around the throat without warning, then tried to throw him to the ground. Thomas reflexively pushed the cop back, asking what he was doing. Without warning or explanation, the cop pulled his gun and fired on Thomas but missed. In a split second reaction, Thomas pulled and fired his own gun, fatally hitting the cop in the head – a clear case of self-defense.

Pennsylvania prisoners launch boycott of new mail system privatized by prison profiteers

September 27, 2018

“I am going to boycott the third-party correspondence system,” Bryant Arroyo, an activist and organizer currently detained at SCI Frackville in central Pennsylvania, told this Workers World reporter during an extended Sept. 23 interview. Arroyo urges all prisoners to immediately cease sending and accepting mail in response to the draconian new prison policies of current Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

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Plausible deniability and sinister bigotry ​inside ​Texas prisons

September 26, 2018

When Texas Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Bryan Collier, Correctional Institutions Division Director Lorie Davis and Office of the Inspector General Joint Terrorism Task Force member Nick Vaughn contrived the plot to kidnap me from Ramsey 1 Unit on June 22, 2018, at 4:30 a.m., they figured that no one would notice, no one would care and, if questioned about the strange occurrence, they would claim plausible deniability.

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Smyrna 17: Trials of Delaware ‘riot leaders’ begin Oct. 8

September 25, 2018

On Feb. 1-2, 2017, a riot occurred at Delaware’s James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Building C that resulted in a correctional officer being assaulted and another being killed. After a nine-month investigation led by the Delaware State Police, an 18-man indictment was handed down on Oct. 17, 2017. Everybody pled not guilty and chose trial by a jury except for one co-defendant. Not only did this cowardly snitch fabricate his story and just blatantly outright lie on others indicted, but he’s an ancient RAT, meaning that he snitched on some boys back in the day.

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Rashid: The prison struggle continues

September 24, 2018

Fear and deference of prisoners toward their captors (conditioned through outright violent terror) replicates almost exactly that of Blacks towards whites under the chattel slavery and Jim Crow systems of the Old South. The absolute power of prison officials is no less extreme. And they exercise that power just as arbitrarily. But oppression breeds resistance and a movement is underway where prisoners across the U.S. are staging a range of protests in opposition to slave labor and inhumane treatment in U.S. prisons.

Prison strike solidarity update: Solid Black Fist newsletter released as striking continues

September 23, 2018

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak (JLS) is currently continuing to focus energy on supporting strikers who’re suffering retaliation, raising awareness of those who continue to strike and educating policymakers of strikers’ demands. These will be our primary focuses in this season. Action points: Print and distribute Issue No. 6 of Solid Black Fist. Support prisoners still striking, raise awareness that the National Prison Strike continues in Ohio and California. Circulate the online petition to Congress demanding prisoners’ basic human rights needs be met.

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