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Behind Enemy Lines

NY prison authorities punish Jalil Muntaqim for teaching young prisoners to end ‘tribal warfare’

February 5, 2017

Former Black Panther Jalil Muntaqim was transferred from Attica Correctional Facility to Southport Correctional Facility, a notorious supermax prison just south of Elmira, New York, in early January. “This is clearly a punitive transfer,” Anne Lamb told the Militant Jan. 11. “It also means he’s much farther away from his legal advisers in Buffalo.” Lamb is a spokesperson for the Jericho Movement, a group that Muntaqim helped found, which works to win amnesty for political prisoners.

Announcing Millions for Prisoners March for Human Rights

February 4, 2017

The purpose of this press release is to notify prisoners, community organizers and all those who care of the upcoming Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C., scheduled for Aug. 19, 2017. This is a national effort to bring world attention to the 13th Amendment enslavement clause, its ramifications, and to solidify organizing efforts to amend it. In essence this is an abolitionist movement to abolish legalized enslavement.

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Michigan prisoners speak out against ‘epic’ abuse and retaliation

February 3, 2017

On Sept. 9, 2016, prisoners participated in the largest prisoner work stoppage in the history of the country. Prisoners in at least four facilities in Michigan joined in the work stoppage, including Kinross Correctional Facility. The next morning, after retaliatory actions from staff, Kinross prisoners held a peaceful demonstration in the yard. Since then, hundreds have faced harsh, unjust retaliation. Harold “HH” Gonzales was a spokesperson for the prisoners at the demonstration at Kinross and wrote this account.

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Ruchell Cinque Magee, sole survivor of the Aug. 7, 1970, Courthouse Slave Rebellion

February 2, 2017

I can hardly believe that 47 years have gone by since the Aug. 7,1970, Marin Courthouse Slave Rebellion. Ruchell is now 77 years old. It’s a sin and a shame the fascist state has practically taken this brother’s whole life. And he has never seriously injured anyone. Quite the opposite, Ruchell has been responsible, through his jailhouse lawyering, for the release of countless prisoners over the five-plus decades he’s been incarcerated. Here’s his story, written years ago and updated.

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Tier II is straight torture

February 1, 2017

I want to tell on my own behalf what’s going on behind these walls of GDOC (Georgia Department of Corrections). If possible, can somebody come and visit this prison and take a step into one of these cells? It’s sad. GDOC have the outside world thinking we’re just being punished, but the world doesn’t know that we’re being tortured and treated as stray dogs. If you look at the first “Planet of the Apes,” that’s exactly how we’re being treated. All I ask if that we get treated fairly.

Pennsylvania prisoner shackled, gassed, beaten

January 31, 2017

On April 7, 2016, while housed in the Special Management Unit at SCI Fayette on a nine-day hunger strike, confined to the infirmary, I was assaulted by a three-man team of officers with a total of five cans of OC spray. Then again by a seven-man team with another can of OC spray – a sixth can. I was then placed face down inside a shower stall with an officer and shield laying on top of me. I was handcuffed behind my back and shackled, then savagely beaten with fists, batons and open handcuffs.

Resistance builds against social media ban in Texas prisons

January 30, 2017

When Texas correctional officials earlier this month saw an article by Kevin “Rashid” Johnson online that said they had gassed him and ransacked his cell in December, they punished him – again. In April, Texas became the latest to join a trend of states banning people in prisons, who do not have access to the internet, from having a social media account, saying it could be a threat to security. Civil rights leaders have blasted the decision and maintain that it is a violation of the First Amendment.

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Yogi schooled me and gave me hope

January 28, 2017

I hope all will know and embrace the true reality that I among millions stand strong and firm with the true and raw teachings of a real dedicated man, Yogi – yeah, Hugo Pinell. Yogi, the many moments and years I personally shared with you will never ever fade or be forgotten even as I pass away. We rocked together, sang together and even played b-ball together. Brother, you schooled me when I was mentally blinded with hate, stupidity and ignorance.

Prisoners United of Silicon Valley thank each other and supporters for a largely successful hunger strike against solitary confinement

January 25, 2017

Greetings and solidarity to each other and all who participated in our initial hunger strike to end the arbitrary use of solitary confinement and inhumane treatment in Santa Clara County jails. We would like to extend our respect and appre­ciation to all who participated and sacrificed to provoke change. Although we came from diverse backgrounds – be it race, religion, color or creed – we set our differences aside and inter­locked arms, forming a formidable force through civil disobedience in solidarity.

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Against racism, for hope and healing, support Coyote and his family as he returns to jail

January 22, 2017

Coyote Acabo caught a felony assault case in July of 2015 during a Black Lives Matter protest while defending a comrade who was put in a chokehold by a white inebriated man enraged that his good time country music show was interrupted by a group of cacophonous, banner-bearing protesters. The Bay View met Coyote years ago when he was locked up in Nevada and sent us one of his brilliant commentaries on the evils of imprisonment. We rejoiced with him when he was released and ask readers to support him now as he’s locked up for doing the right thing. Donate what you can at https://rally.org/supportcoyoteacabo.

Rashid attacked: Texas prison officials are punishing us for exposing their abusive ways to the media

January 19, 2017

It is well known among staff and prisoners that if we file a grievance without any physical evidence, their failure to admit the allegations results in our claims being dismissed. Simply enough, they lie during any investigation. Outside pressure and exposure is one aspect that can counter this, which is what Rashid has been doing for years. Staff are now realizing this, too, and are retaliating to cause disruption and preserve their practices.

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President Obama, grant clemency to Dr. Mutulu, Veronza, Leonard, Oscar and, posthumously, Marcus Garvey

January 14, 2017

Dear Mr. President, On behalf of The Malcolm X Commemoration Committee, a memorial and humanitarian project dedicated to preserving the legacy of Malcolm X in New York City, we urgently, though respectfully, implore you to grant executive clemency to Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Veronza Bowers, Leonard Peltier, Oscar Lopez Rivera and posthumously to Marcus Garvey for both humanitarian reasons and in the interests of justice.

The Folsom 6 who stood up for Yogi are vindicated

January 14, 2017

On Oct. 14, 2016, the last six convicts – the Folsom 6 – were brought to court in Folsom State Prison accused of ambushing several correctional officers on C Facility, Sept. 24, 2015, six weeks after Brother Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was ambushed by several white inmates on B-Yard with some corrupted correctional officers’ assistance. The judge could not fix his face to the camera as he read the decision that the charges were dismissed on all defendants on the basis of insufficient evidence.

Mumia: Hepatitis C gets a knockout punch! – Update: DOC appeals, the struggle continues

January 10, 2017

Just a few hours ago, I placed a call to my civil lawyer, Bret Grote of the Pittsburg-based Abolitionist Law Center. I could hear the excitement in his voice. “Did you hear the news yet?” he asked. I hadn’t. Then he told me that U.S. District Judge Robert Mariani granted our motion for a preliminary injunction, ordering heath care staff on the DOC’s Hepatitis Care Committee to cease their unconstitutional protocol in my case and to begin treatment of my hepatitis infection with direct-acting antiviral medications.

Prison strike organizers to protest food giant Aramark

January 8, 2017

The people who organized the country’s biggest prison strike against what they call modern-day slavery have planned their next target: corporate food service giant Aramark. The $8.65 billion company is one of the country’s largest employers and serves food to more than 100 million people a year. It also provides meals for more than 500 correctional facilities across the country and has been the subject of complaints about maggots and rocks, sexual harassment, drug trafficking and other employee misconduct.

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Decarcerate Louisiana for sustainable economies

January 3, 2017

We are freedom fighters incarcerated at Angola State Prison and are moving to build our organization Decarcerate Louisiana. We’re advocating for community reinvestment. We believe in sustainable economies and strong local communities. Decarcerate Louisiana is organizing to redress injustice and to battle against systemic racism, classism, inequality, oppression, repression, criminalization and mass incarceration in our communities.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch: Grant compassionate release to Richard ‘Mafundi’ Lake

January 2, 2017

We write to ask your assistance in securing compassionate release from prison for an elderly, disabled prisoner in poor health.
Richard (Mafundi) Lake is serving a sentence of life without the possibility of parole in an Alabama state prison – the mandatory term under the state’s “three strikes and you’re out” policy. Now 76, Mafundi is in poor health in an overcrowded prison that is inadequately heated during the cold weather and without air conditioning in the stifling Alabama summers.

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California blames incarcerated workers for unsafe conditions and amputations

January 1, 2017

In September, prisoners across the country launched a nationwide strike to demand better working conditions at the numerous facilities that employ inmate labor for little or no pay. Inmates in America’s state prisons – who make everything from license plates to college diploma covers – are not only excluded from the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on slave labor, but also exist largely outside the reach of federal safety regulations meant to ensure that Americans are not injured or killed on the job.

President Obama: Support Dr. Mutulu Shakur’s clemency petition

December 31, 2016

We are writing to urge you to commute the sentence of Dr. Mutulu Shakur. He has served more than 30 years in prison for his conviction arising from his participation in the social justice movement of the past century. He is recognized as a leading member of the movement for human rights for African-Americans. Granting Shakur clemency will be an act of grace and healing that is much needed in our racially divided society today.

President Obama: Issue a medical parole for Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown

December 30, 2016

Imam Jamil, 73, has suffered imprisonment for over 16 years – 12 years in solitary confinement, for no reason. Seven of those years were in the “supermax” federal prison in Florence, Colorado. While in that Administrative Maximum Facility, he had no human contact, no fresh air, nor sunlight. Now that Imam Jamil has been diagnosed with an incurable cancer and the prison has proven unable to provide medical care, please release him to Humanitarian Parole.

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