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Behind Enemy Lines

Texas prisoners denied mail as 5,000 are evacuated

August 31, 2017

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is denying Texas prisoners the ability to send or receive mail in light of Tropical Storm Harvey. Although Houston is a major mail hub for Texas, this does not explain why prisoners in areas of the state unaffected by the flooding – for example, Clements Unit in Amarillo – would be denied access to mail. In a press release, TDCJ stated that five Texas prisons have been evacuated.

New Alabama law restores voting rights for many convicted felons

August 31, 2017

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has officially signed into law the Definition of Moral Turpitude Act, giving many convicted felons, both incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, the right to vote. Previously, the state barred some felons from voting. This measure was part of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901. I encourage all prisoners in Alabama who are eligible to step up and register now. Contact Secretary of State John Merrill and the Board of Registrars in the county where you currently reside.

Penal abolition and the razor wire plantations

August 30, 2017

“Prison abolition is different from penal abolition. We don’t just want to get rid of the structures; we want to get rid of the whole system that functions to destroy people,” said Ashanti Alston, Black Panther and penal abolitionist. POOR Magazine had the blessing of listening to Ashanti and many more freedom fighters at the 17th International Conference on Penal Abolition held in New Bedford, Mass.

From street combatant to revolutionary servant of the people

August 29, 2017

As a youth living in poverty, I rebelled against it joining a street organization and engaging in a criminal lifestyle. My conditioning, being a poor young Black man thrown into the system, molded me into the new man I am today. Now I am sincerely a revolutionary servant of the oppressed people. As revolutionaries, we know we cannot save or help everybody, yet we seek to serve by saving and helping one soul at a time. I am an example that change is possible if you want it.

We must affect the bottom line

August 28, 2017

I started writing this series and planning this Campaign to Redistribute the Pain with the intention of getting everyone’s understanding up on the importance and power of economics to our struggle. We can’t march and protest our way to freedom. Instead, we have to bankrupt the corporate enterprise that was created by the 13th Amendment. I don’t make this statement lightly: The approximately 3 million people in U.S. prisons are or represent the most powerful group of labor in this country.

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Plot to prevent power: Florida bribes prisoners with fancy food to distract from Millions for Prisoners March

August 23, 2017

Starting on the 15th of August through the 21st, the FDOC (Florida Department of Corruption) will be “offering” the prisoners elaborately cooked elegant meals. This “nice” act of courtesy by the system is an insincere plot to prevent its slaves – according to the 13th Amendment – from participating in any protest, sit down or movement aimed at abolishing the 13th Amendment’s slavery clause or exhibiting any sign of power of unity amongst the prison class.

Florida locks down all 97,000 prisoners, blocking them from Aug. 19 Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March

August 18, 2017

Florida Department of Corrections has placed all of its 97,000 inmates on lockdown, just days before the Aug. 19 Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March on Washington, D.C., calling for an end to the legalized slavery of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Cracking down on the mobility of inmates by correctional officials has become a common tactic to prevent prisoners from joining outside supporters in calling for an end to mass incarceration.

Millions 4 Prisoners March: Abolish ‘legalized’ slavery

August 17, 2017

I am one of the leading voices of prisoners throughout the United States who are calling for the amending of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and a total and final abolition of slavery in Amerika. An organization located here in the USA, Raleigh, North Carolina, to be exact, is educating, organizing and mobilizing as many people as possible to support and/or participate in the Millions 4 Prisoners March on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 19, 2017. The organization is called I Am We.

Aug. 8, 1978: MOVE members remain in prison 39 years later solely because they are MOVE members

August 10, 2017

What happened to them on Aug. 8, the hellistic rain of police gunfire, beatings, rape threats and incarceration, was nothing compared to what they faced in Philadelphia courtrooms, where they were denied their every right, including their alleged right to self-representation, beaten again when they refused to attend their own legal lynchings, and then, the lynchpin – convictions, and common sentences before Judge Edwin Malmed of 30 to 100 years, for third degree murder?!

Building peace with love and respect during Black August 2017 – with all eyes on NABPP-PC

August 2, 2017

My sisters and brothers, we are coming up on our 12th anniversary of Black August and it is at this time we remember our Comrade Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, murdered Aug. 12, 2015, while in the custody of the state of California. We remember our Minister of Human Rights Hasan Shakur, who was murdered on Aug. 31, 2006, while in the custody of the state of Texas. The New Afrikan Black Panther Party, Prison Chapter, calls on you to remember Black August and the people’s martyrs.

I AM WE!

August 1, 2017

Let’s touch upon the phrase, I AM WE. It is an ancient African saying. To me it means: What affects you affects me. It means: We are together; we are one. I AM WE means that with unity, solidarity and agape love for one another, we can overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal! By applying I AM WE, together we can crush imperialism, eradicate white supremacy, destroy patriarchy, change misogynistic attitudes and save our planet!

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Hugo Antonio Lyon Martinez Pinell, March 10, 1944-Aug. 12, 2015: In your absence

August 1, 2017

In your absence — I am forced to accept the truth: You are not here with us. It’s been a two-year roller coaster ride; I have been up, down and all around with my emotions, as well as my thoughts. Tears stream down my face, and sometimes with a smile, when I am in deep thought of how much love you gave to me – and I miss that. In your absence — I have been angry enough to want to SHOUT to the mountains about the torture and corruption you experienced at the hands of them who held you captive for 51 years.

On Dec. 6, 1865, Black bodies were nationalized – and our prison movement was born

August 1, 2017

As I write this article, I am not sure what day the Civil War began or what day it ended. The facts that I do know about the Civil War are not worth repeating here, as that story already occupies plenty of space in American text. My muse, instead, is about the particular vestige of slavery that the Civil War bequeathed to us on Dec. 6, 1865, that now forms the basis of our struggle to end mass incarceration and prison slavery in 2017.

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Free California political prisoners Romaine ‘Chip’ Fitzgerald and Ruchell ‘Cinque’ Magee

July 31, 2017

Resolution calling for the release of California political prisoners Romaine ‘Chip’ Fitzgerald and Ruchell ‘Cinque’ Magee —
WHEREAS, Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald and Ruchell “Cinque” Magee have been incarcerated for their political views and actions in support of the Black Liberation Movement; WHEREAS, even while in prison, Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald and Ruchell “Cinque” Magee continue to adhere to their principles;

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An introduction to the Peoples Prison Defense Committee

July 31, 2017

I’ve been actively working on the blueprint and inner working of a nonprofit, The Peoples Prison Defense Committee, which will be a wing of or in partnership with George Jackson University. PPDC is a grassroots non-profit organization whose primary mission is rooted in prison and parole oversight. Through information, direction, providing of resources and community awareness and engagement, the committee seeks to bridge the gap between the community and the prison.

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Rising temperatures can kill Texas prisoners. Corrections ignored that, says federal judge

July 30, 2017

A federal judge in Houston ordered a geriatric prison in Texas to help inmates overcome extreme heat and rising summer temperatures, referencing climate change in a groundbreaking ruling this week. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison deemed it cruel and unusual that state corrections are aware of dangerous and lethal heat risks – at least 23 men in Texas prisons have died from the heat in the last 20 years – yet have failed to impose safeguards.

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Survivors of long term solitary confinement petition for institutional restitution

July 30, 2017

To: CDCr Secretary Scott Kernan and Director Kathline Allison — From: Abdul Olugbala Shakur (aka J. Harvey, C48884) and Joka Heshima Jinsai (aka S. Denham, J38283) — The following is what we believe to be just and fair and reasonable requests considering the inhumane treatment that many of the prisoners were being subjected to while housed in solitary confinement, or isolation, for decades, especially at Pelican Bay State Prison and Corcoran State Prison.

Federal judge orders air conditioning installed in Texas prison in response to prisoners’ lawsuit

July 29, 2017

In an amazing and quite shocking turn of events, federal Judge Keith P. Ellison from the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, has ORDERED the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to install air conditioning at the Wallace Pack Unit, located in Navasota, Texas. The prison agency has 180 days to comply. Most of this ongoing struggle for human rights has been published right here in the San Francisco Bay View, but please allow me to refresh your memory.

Black August statement 2017

July 29, 2017

Black August Memorial (BAM) is our socialist oriented institution that was developed out of the special need for New Afrikan (Black) people in Amerika to implement our own ways and means to commemorate the selfless sacrifices and deeds rendered by many New Afrikan (Black) heroes and sheroes – exposing to the light of day the injustices heaped upon us daily in pursuit of the New Afrikan (Black) freedom, justice, equality and human and civil rights.

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Rashid: Thrown in solitary for publicizing abuses

July 28, 2017

On July 14, 2017, I was brought before a Florida Department of Corruptions (FDC) Institutional Classification Team (ICT) for a staged hearing to have me thrown in solitary confinement, euphemistically called Close Management (CM) by the FDC. As described in my recent article “I’m off to Florida,” the basis for this recommendation was my involvement in publicizing prison abuses in other states where I’d been confined. Florida officials vowed to put a stop to my activities.

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