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Prison Stories

Prisoners – slave laborers – pause for a moment from their back-breaking work in a hot Texas field.

Your tax dollars make Ameri­ca a nation of 8 million slaves

September 26, 2016

The United States of America is presently home to 2 million active slaves and approximately 6 million document­ed as slaves for future use. You ask how the land of the free can be home to some 8 million slaves and why Americans know noth­ing about it? The answer is that Congress enacted the 13th Amendment in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It abolished slavery throughout the country but it al­lows all states to enslave all persons convicted of a crime.

“I have a plan. I will give and give and give of myself until it proves our making or my end.” – Black Panther Party Field Marshal George Jackson

Celebrating the 75th birthday of Soledad Brother George Lester Jackson, Sept. 23, 1941-Aug. 21, 1971

September 25, 2016

As we honor the 75th birthday of our beloved Comrade George Jackson, field marshal of the Black Panther Party behind prison walls, may we remember his revolutionary ideas and practice, his mentors and his sacrifice. Author of two books, “Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson,” a 1970 bestseller reprinted three times and translated into several languages, and “Blood in My Eye,” published posthumously and recently reprinted.

stand-with-standing-rock-nodapl-graphic-0916

Leonard Peltier: On solidarity with Standing Rock, executive clemency and the international Indigenous struggle

September 20, 2016

I have been asked to write a SOLIDARITY statement to everyone about the Camp of the Sacred Stones on Standing Rock. Thank you for this great honor. I must admit it is very difficult for me to even begin this statement, as my eyes get so blurred from tears and my heart swells with pride as chills run up and down my neck and back. I’m so proud of all of you young people and others there.

A prisoner builds furniture for a company called Furniture Medic – in prison, where concern for workers’ safety is scarce. One prisoner told of having to smash the glass on old TVs and computer screens all day with no protection from the flying glass.

Strike the punishment clause from the 13th Amendment

September 18, 2016

In a society where peaceful resistance is purported to be the correct method of protest, we must ask ourselves why these thousands of prisoners, engaging in peaceful methods of protest, are being retaliated against and punished in the most brutal and inhumane ways? The answer is simple. The actions of these courageous prisoners – however peaceful – are not constitutionally protected.

On April 9, 2016, Free Alabama Movement Mothers and Families called a protest outside Holman Prison to show solidarity with the men inside organizing to end intolerable conditions and prison slavery itself.

Is the serious humanitarian crisis developing at Holman Prison an ADOC ploy to build more prisons?

September 17, 2016

Since Sept. 13, 2016, when Warden Raybon released approximately 20 people from segregation, most of whom were there for violent incidents – only to see several stabbings take place, including one person critically injured and another losing an eye – a total of eight more officers have either quit or given notice. Now officers are expressing concern that ADOC commissioners are intentionally exacerbating violence at the expense of human life in efforts to push forward their plan to extort the public for $1.5 billion to build new prisons in next year’s legislative session.

In Lansing, Michigan, protesters know that it doesn’t take a crowd to shut down traffic.

Sept. 9 prison strike was HUGE and is continuing

September 15, 2016

Anyone relying on mainstream media wouldn’t know it, but the U.S. prison system is shaking up right now. No one knows how big the initial strike was yet, but the information is slowly leaking out between the cracks in the prisons’ machinery of obscurity and isolation. Over the weekend more than 50 protests erupted across the country and around the world in solidarity with the Sept. 9 nationwide prisoner work stoppage and protest.

Prisoners were used to clean the beaches after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf, the largest marine oil spill in history. Exposed to deadly toxins, they were given no protective gear, evidence that prisoners used as slave labor are expendable.

George Jackson University supports the historic Sept. 9 strike against prison slavery

September 10, 2016

Sept. 9, 2016, is the day that many people in America are wholeheartedly organizing, mobilizing, taking action, standing and locking arms in solidarity against what we know as prison slave labor – yes, legalized slavery – and people are saying, “No more!” Even though there are many taking action and answering the call to cure this particular ill of society, there is an overwhelmingly larger portion of the U.S. population who are absolutely clueless to the fact that slavery still exists.

free-alabama-movement-t-shirt

How Free Alabama Movement birthed the Sept. 9 nationwide protest, workstrike, boycott and demonstrations

September 9, 2016

On Sept. 9, 2016, the 45th anniversary of the Sept. 9, 1971, Attica Rebellion, the Free Alabama Movement kicks off the National Non-Violent and Peaceful Prison Shutdown for Civil and Human Rights at Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama. After launching its movement in 2014 with the first coordinated work stoppages and shutdowns in Alabama prison history, Free Alabama Movement issued a call in 2015 for the first coordinated nationwide prison work strike in U.S. history.

Thirteen hundred prisoners, their spirits high, filled the Attica yard at the beginning of the Attica Rebellion, on Sept. 9, 1971. The rebellion was inspired not only by intolerable conditions at Attica but also by the assassination of George Jackson at San Quentin in California two weeks earlier, on Aug. 21, 1971.

Why we’re about to see the largest prison strike in history

September 9, 2016

On Sept. 9, a series of coordinated work stoppages and hunger strikes will take place at prisons across the country. Organized by a coalition of prisoner rights, labor and racial justice groups, the strikes will include prisoners from at least 20 states – making this the largest effort to organize incarcerated people in U.S. history. The actions will represent a powerful, long-awaited blow against the status quo in what has become the most incarcerated nation on earth.

George Jackson University logo

New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board – Mission Statement

September 4, 2016

Basic logic dictates it is the community who should be vested with the power to parole, pardon or grant clemency to those who, in their determination, would have a positive impact on their communities and society as a whole if released. This is a concept developed by George Jackson University known as strategic release. To this end, we are announcing our campaign to develop – and establish nat­ionally – New Afrikan Community Parole, Pardon and Clemency Review Board.

Attica prisoners shout demands during a negotiating session with state corrections officials. – Photo: AP

Prisoners call for a national strike on Sept. 9, the anniversary of Attica

September 3, 2016

Prisoners in Alabama, Texas and many other states have coordinated and released a call for a national prison strike on Sept. 9, 2016, the 45-year anniversary of the Attica Rebellion. In their call, the prisoners declare, “On Sept. 9 of 1971 prisoners took over and shut down Attica, New York State’s most notorious prison. On Sept. 9 of 2016, we will begin an action to shut down prisons all across this country. We will not only demand the end to prison slavery, we will end it ourselves by ceasing to be slaves.”

Dr. Lane Murray Unit, TDCJ

From solitary confinement in ‘Miserable Murray,’ fighting for women in Texas prisons

September 3, 2016

I am writing seeking justice, help and assistance, fighting the cause for women in Texas prisons. I suffer daily for the wrongs I have or have not committed along with other women who don’t deserve “double jeopardy” punishment and abuse. Just being in prison is punishment enough. We need help! The slavery of prison must end. Women in prison face abuse by the hands of those who are supposed to screen us for security, not inflict harm.

Except for the modern photography, it’s hard to tell this from pre-Civil War slavery. Many prisons in the South are located on former slave plantations – the best known is Angola Prison in Louisiana, shown here, where prisoners are literally slaves, working without wages, as in most Southern prisons. Northern prisons, which pay only pennies an hour, aren’t much better.

Amend the 13th: Abolish Legal Slavery in Amerika Movement Mission Statement

September 2, 2016

Development of the concept and strategy for the “amend the 13th: abolish “legal” slavery in Amerika movement” began in November 2013 following the close of the third hunger strike here in California, after holding discussions and issuing statements with other think tank coordinators on the next logical step for our anti-prison industrial slave complex (PISC) struggle.

“What Is Left” – Art: Peter Kamau Mukuria, 1197165, ROSP, P.O. Box 1900, Pound VA 24279

Censorship in Virginia

September 2, 2016

I am a cadre of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter, currently incarcerated at Red Onion Prison in the southwest corner of Virginia. I’ve been a subscriber to SF Bayview for 14 months. I recently received the August 2016 issue, which came as a pleasant surprise. Prior to that, my copies of Bayview were arbitrarily disapproved with the pseudo-justification that “content could be detrimental to offenders’ rehabilitation efforts.”

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

Hard lessons in the struggle to end prison slavery

September 1, 2016

These prison profiteers and imperialist oppressors aren’t feeling the recent show of power and solidarity among prisoners throughout AmeriKKKa. In the same manner, the FBI’s COINTELPRO sought to thwart the emergence of a Black Messiah, mass incarceration in Amerika seeks to sabotage the emergence of any movement which challenges the capitalist-imperialist plan to lock up, exploit, disenfranchise, poison and in some cases even kill the poorest cross-section of Amerikan society.

Women “shout their names” at a CCWP event of that name, holding up women who have died at the hands of police and in prison, on July 31, 2016.

Forcing out two women’s prison wardens is scapegoating, not accountability

August 31, 2016

On the surface, the recent “retirement” of the wardens from two of California’s women’s facilities appears to be a needed move in an effort to reform California’s violent correctional system. While many Californians are just beginning to agree that our Department of Corrections does more harm than good, many legal advocates and anti-prison activists have been fighting to make that very point from both inside and out of prison for years.

Anthony Robinson Jr. 2015, web cropped

The key or the peephole: A look inside the prison industrial complex and where movements should go from here

August 30, 2016

The Ashker decision was great, the five core demands are all good, but how come we are not writing our own regulations and attacking the “STG” scheme in totality? We know from its inception it was designed to isolate and entrap prisoners with the God given talent to awaken the prisoner class to the exploits of the system and provide those willing to organize for change with practical alternatives to prison enslavement.

The life of Kevin Cooper, since the death penalty moratorium was lifted last November, is in more imminent danger than at any time since he came within hours of execution in 2004. Be prepared, once again, to join the campaign to save and free him. This photo was taken Oct. 23, 2013.

Is it illegal to be Black in America?

August 29, 2016

Sometime in the early 19th century, former United States President Thomas Jefferson stated, “Unchecked power twisted white men’s characters.” Since he was a slave owner and an oppressor, he should know what he speaks about! Here in the early 21st century, it still seems that within the hands of America’s criminal justice system as a whole, unchecked power has indeed “twisted” certain white people’s characters.

'Prisoners Are Striking Nationwide Sept 9' Oakland poster by BlackOUT Collective

Sept. 9: Strike against prison slavery, strike against white supremacy

August 27, 2016

On Friday, Sept. 9, on the 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising in New York, prisoners are calling for a general strike across all prisons in the United States against prison slavery. As the initial call out for the strike stated: “Slavery is alive and well in the prison system, but by the end of this year, it won’t be anymore. … This is a call for a nationwide prisoner work stoppage to end prison slavery, starting on Sept. 9, 2016. They cannot run these facilities without us.”

Free Speech Society logo

Free Speech Society emergency bulletin

August 24, 2016

It is no secret that CDCr’s counterintelligence units have been plotting revenge on the class members of Ashker v. Brown to have us returned to indefinite solitary confinement. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that it wasn’t a matter of coincidence, as we embark upon the first anniversary of Brotha Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell’s assassination, that the media began leaking fraudulent reports to the public generated by IGI, ISU, OCS and the FBI about the BGF plotting to avenge the death of Hugo Pinell.

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