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Prison Stories

Why isn’t ‘prison reform’ seeking an effective demand for change?

March 26, 2017

The criminal justice system, as an instinct to protect itself and profit from its agenda, protects “criminality” as an inherent reaction and vision of poor people of color. Those who are the most victimized by crime are not those in positions to make and implement policy. Therefore, the image of crime has ethnic connotations that create class disparities that accept an “us against them” social policy which paints crime as a social activity of poor people of color, and punishment as a task of the privileged class to maintain order.

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CDCr must effect genuine changes in its old policies, culture and practices

March 25, 2017

As always, allow us to begin by paying our respects to the families who lost their loved ones during the historic California hunger strikes. Prior to the solidarity hunger strikes, the four principal negotiators, Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa, Arturo Castellanos, George Franco and Todd Ashker, found ourselves locked inside Pelican Bay SHU Short Corridor. There we would discuss the vision of effecting genuine change in CDCr’s long term solitary confinement combined policies, prac­tices and conditions.

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Alabama’s Tutwiler Prison for Women: Officers break prisoner’s leg after allowing another prisoner to attack her

March 25, 2017

These brutes, these sadistic Babylon officials must be exposed! Tanakia Watkins was attacked by an inmate today (March 14) and the officers set it up and turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to it. They were about to lock her up in segregation. We protested, as she’d done NOTHING and was incoherent. After the attack, they shouldn’t have even moved her. They didn’t even call medical to assist her. Once they had her down the hall, the OFFICERS broke Watkins’ leg in two places.

A young prisoner dies, his comrades pour out their love

March 24, 2017

Weusi Joka Kambon (David Frost), a precious young brotha comrade, is gone! On March 6, 2017, he was found dead inside his cell under suspicious circumstances here at Salinas Valley State Prison B-Yard. A voice we loved is stilled; memories of our loved one shall live forever. He was a brotha, a comrade, husband, daddy, cousin and friend. You will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

I was a slave working under the California Department of Corrections

March 13, 2017

Though few Americans know it, the exception clause in the 13th Amendment makes a person a slave when they are convicted of a crime and sent to prison. I know that former President Barack Obama, a constitutional scholar and a Black man, understands this. I applaud his efforts to address issues of mass incarceration. I understand the symbolism of his visit to a federal prison, the only American president to ever do so. These were important first steps, but there is a long road ahead.

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End prison slavery in Texas now! Part II: Class consciousness and international solidarity

March 3, 2017

Minister Nyle Fort starts us off with a strong quote. I am going to expand his analysis by highlighting the historical fact that slavery in the United States was and is still directly tied to capitalism! So in order for us to combat and abolish legalized slavery in Amerika we must focus our attention on dismantling the system which has allowed this institution of modern prison slavery to proliferate.

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A solitary distinction

March 3, 2017

Since our historical release from solitary confinement, many of us have been bombarded by the same question: How did you (we) survive decades of being in solitary confinement? This is not a question of simplicity, it is only a quali­tative and quantitative prelude into an analysis rooted in a historical mater­ial construct which would require a compartmentalization of the particulars which are conducive towards providing an accurate response to the above quest­ion with both clarity and purpose.

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New California bill honors the dignity of transgender prisoners

March 2, 2017

To address some of the issues and provide relief for our trans and gender non-conforming loved ones inside – a coalition has formed to work on legislation benefiting trans prisoners. This year, the coalition is running SB 310: The Name and Dignity Act for Incarcerated Trans People. SB 310 is crucial to the safety and well-being of trans people. If passed, SB 310 would give dignity to people experiencing extreme dehumanization.

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Zolo Agona Azania is FREE – and he needs our help

March 1, 2017

Zolo Agona Azania is a Black revolutionary who has spent 35 years – most of his adult life – in prison, and much of it on death row. In 1981, at the age of 21, he was convicted of murdering a police officer during a bank robbery gone bad. Unlike his two co-defendants, Zolo was arrested unarmed, walking down the street miles from the scene of the robbery, and has always maintained his total innocence of any involvement in the crime.

Psychological warfare in prison: Segregation is the soul breaker

February 28, 2017

The psychological warfare that is taking place in the prisons here in the United Snakes of Amerikkka is placing prisoners in the soul breaker (segregation) for confinement that equals decades. I refer to segregation being the soul breaker because that is what long term segregation is designed to do, break a man’s soul completely. Among the misconceptions about solitary confinement is that it’s used only for a few weeks or months.

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What happened at Vaughn prison?

February 27, 2017

On Feb. 1, scores of men in Delaware’s largest prison, the Vaughn Correctional Center, took over one of the buildings in their facility. The prison, built in 1971 and known for its serious overuse of solitary confinement, is one of the state’s most severely overcrowded and punitive facilities. Hoping to push the state to improve living conditions at Vaughn, the prisoners didn’t just take control of Building C – they also took guards hostage. And to make the public aware of why they were protesting, they called the media.

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We who were lulled to sleep by Obama should be jarred awake by Trump

February 27, 2017

Change is a protracted struggle. We must have clear eyed theoreticians who are able to shape public opinion, instruct us of the possibilities on the horizon and move us forward. So I implore all New Afrikan revolutionary nationalists to recognize after the inauguration of Donald Trump that just by nature of the reactionary circle he is forming for his cabinet, there will be many opportunities to agitate, educate and organize. Our struggle is one campaign composed of many battles.

New release of Black Panther file reveals FBI rigged investigation of murdered policeman

February 26, 2017

Buried in the Federal Bureau of Investigation file of deceased Black Panther leader Wopashitwe Mondo Even we Langa (formerly David Rice) are secrets still hidden. Mondo was deputy of information for the National Committee to Combat Fascism in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1970 when he was accused of murdering a policeman with a bomb. The NCCF was a Black Panther affiliate organization targeted by the FBI under an illegal and clandestine counterintelligence operation dubbed COINTELPRO.

Join Decarcerate Louisiana in resistance and solidarity

February 25, 2017

Join us in resistance and solidarity from inside to outside the prison system in an undertaking to educate and mobilize ourselves for dignified struggle to abolish the modern institution of slavery which operates today as a mean coalition consisting of the police, the courts, racist and bigoted judges, unscrupulous prosecutors, ravenous and greedy sheriffs, cash-strapped school districts, under-funded indigent defense systems, and unfriendly and hostile prison officials.

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Alabama’s prisons flow with needless deaths yet again. We know one of the reasons why.

February 25, 2017

“Alabama prison officials are investigating the beating death of an inmate who was attacked by other prisoners Thursday – the second deadly attack on a state prisoner within 24 hours,” reports the Montgomery Advertiser Feb. 19. We have uncovered multiple incriminating facts that have led to the needless deaths at what is called “Hellmore,” the now notorious medium security prison Elmore Correctional Facility.

Florida Corrections says its job is care, custody and control – but there’s no care

February 24, 2017

Life in Florida prison cells is so like it is in other states. The police write bogus disciplinary reports, abuse inmates, then their brothers at Disciplinary Camps help to cover it up. I filed an abuse grievance. I have yet to be taken to medical; no one came and examined my injuries. All I get out of these people is “Fill out a sick call”; that way they can charge. I know that all that is going to happen is that they are going to cover it up, but that is what happens all throughout Florida.

Emergency financial appeal for Mumia

February 16, 2017

I’m writing on behalf of the Committee to Save Mumia Abu-Jamal to ask if you might help us in an emergency. The Committee is the official fundraising venue for Mumia’s legal defense today. It has been raising funds, quietly, since Mumia was facing execution in the ‘90s. Since Mumia fell ill, we have been behind on payments to Mumia’s lead health attorney and we need to raise funds – quickly. Would you consider making a donation and identifying one or two others who might do the same?

Comrade Malik: Help end Islamophobia in Texas prisons

February 5, 2017

The order to ban entry to the U.S. by travelers from numerous majority-Muslim countries is subjecting not only Muslims coming here but also those already here to a reinvigorated campaign of Islamophobia. Now the state of Texas and its prison agency, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, is attempting to use a statement I made in 2012 as justification to deny me my religious right to grow a fist-length beard and wear my kuffi prayer cap throughout any TDCJ facility.

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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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