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On Aug. 11, white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, against the removal of the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, It turned deadly. The Charlottesville events happened just a week before Aug. 19, the date of the planned mass rally in Washington, D.C., against mass imprisonment. This rally and the growing movement of which it is part are aimed at dismantling not merely symbols of past racism and slavery like Confederate monuments, but the 13th Amendment, which still authorizes slavery today and is directed predominantly against people of color.
Comrade Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell was murdered on Aug. 12, 201, at California’s New Folsom State Prison. He was a veteran and much loved leader of the Prison Movement against oppressive prison and social conditions. On behalf of the New African Black Panther Party‑Prison Chapter (NABPP-PC), I would like to share some thoughts in his honor and memory and also to point out important lessons our movement must learn and carry on from his legacy.
Does being convicted of a crime forfeit all your rights as a human being? Does being railroaded through a clearly unjust, unequal and racist judicial system forfeit your human rights? Guilty or not, I am still a person. I am a human being. We need people to understand that the struggle for human rights, the struggle to be free and not murdered by the state or its agents doesn’t stop at the prison gates.
In light of the police murder of the martyr Michael Brown and the ongoing struggle in Ferguson, Missouri, in the United States, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine salutes and stands firmly with the ongoing struggle of Black people and all oppressed communities in the United States.
The names represented in this article are just the “known” political prisoners and no disrespect to any brothas and sistas left off the list. The purpose of the list is to illustrate the current plight of our movement’s political prisoners, who, despite surviving countless hostile encounters with the state’s security forces, are on the verge of succumbing to old age and infirmities behind the walls and gun towers of the empire’s Prison Industrial Complex.
Mass incarceration is deeply racialized, as one third of young Black men are in the criminal justice system. Prisoner resistance and political action has been sharply repressed. Solitary confinement is a mechanism of torture, from Palestine to Pelican Bay to Guantanamo, and we stand in solidarity with the courageous prisoners who challenge isolation and oppression.
Since America’s MASS INCARCERATION is driven by unjust racial/class policies, then the real solution to MASS INCARCERATION is MASS “DECARCERATION.” In other words, drastic cuts to ALL prisoner’s TIME, since TIME is the currency, the legal tender, the great equalizer and righter of wrongs in prison.
Richard Wembe Johnson, a prisoner who recently suffered a heart attack due to a blocked artery in his heart, is among the hunger strikers at Pelican Bay.He is submitting a series of articles throughout his time on strike to educate potential supporters about the prison experience.
I’m writing to update you on the continuing attempt to deny us Afrikan descendants here at Pelican Bay solitary confinement SHU control units the exercise of the human birthright to read, write, study, learn and celebrate our African heritage, history and culture.
Thousands of people from around our world – grassroots activists, government delegations, scholars, artists, media and, yes, representatives of capitalist corporations and the national and international police forces who serve them – have assembled in this large, Critical Mass-like 24/7, bicycle-friendly metropolis of Copenhagen. It is said that this Conference of Parties 15th year climate change meeting (COP-15) is the largest United Nations’ gathering ever!
Mass imprisonment is a consequence of the war on drugs. It is estimated that over 600,000 of the 2,300,000 people in state and federal prisons are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. This does not include the other 5 million people who are either confined in county jails or on probation or parole, a majority of whom are nonviolent drug offenders. This means out of a United States population of over 250 million people, over 7 million people are in one way or another under the supervision of the prison system.