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As the snowbirds arrived in Florida along with the mild January breezes, a small uprising of laborers who work under lock and key stopped production and made demands. This coordinated struggle was carried out by members of one of the most violently exploited groups in America: incarcerated workers. Inmates at 17 Florida prisons launched the labor strike, calling themselves “Operation PUSH,” to demand higher wages and the reintroduction of parole incentives for specific groups of inmates.
On May 17, 2018, Kerry “Shakaboona” Marshall, a renowned incarcerated human rights activist and juvenile life-without-parole prisoner, was re-sentenced to a prison term of 29 years to life – “time served” – for a murder he committed in 1988 when he was 17 years old. As a prelude to Shakaboona’s re-sentencing hearing, an interactive exhibit and assembly titled “People Change, People Change the World” was held on March 24 at the Mosaic Community Church in West Philly.
I cannot imagine that if DMHN, of Parkland, Florida, were Black, that he would not have been captured and controlled by some aspect of law enforcement. The unfortunate and overplayed fear of Black students misbehaving has been very much on display in the media with various police student classroom encounters available for all to see. I cannot imagine any Black or Muslim of any age, under the kind of FBI scrutiny we now know happened with DMHN, who would not have been contained, blamed or framed by security and intelligence forces in this country.
The continual corruption and oppression here at Maryland’s Eastern Correctional Institution has reached monumental proportions. The unprecedented abuses and utter disregard for the health, safety and humanity of the prisoner population by this fascist administration further illustrates the dire conditions men and women nationwide face daily within this prison industrial complex. Make no mistake about it, corruption breeds impunity and vice versa.
I frequently hear correctional officers make statements such as, “Inmate, get off my table,” “Inmate, get off my yard,” “Inmate, get off my bed” and so on. The idea that they own everything in the prison sounds like they have serious ownership issues, along with superiority complex and delusions. It could also be the reason they abuse prisoners so much. If correctional officers believe we are their property, they could justify abusive treatment of “their” property.
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.
As the music is turned up, sounds of Curtis Mayfield blaring, a little child running wild, scenes of the movie “Super Fly” flash through my mind as I envision Keith “Kilo G” Perry with a suit coat on, head full of rollers, platforms, addicted to the fast life of the Black Frisco streets. Kilo G – Oct. 13, 1954, to March 30, 2017 – and his great works have come to an end this year. He leaves a huge legacy for his family, relatives and friends to cherish his memory.
The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), specifically W.C. Holman Correctional Facility, has openly declared war against the SF Bay View National Black Newspaper. The administration of this prison has informed me that your newspaper is no longer allowed in this prison because your paper is “racially motivated.” I’m going to fight with all my might in protest by going on a hunger strike until they lift this racist, ignorant and illegal ban prohibiting the SF Bay View National Black Newspaper from coming into this prison and/or prison system as a whole!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
It truly is a beautiful thing seeing you all from outside of the real belly of the beast, enjoying the natural rays of the sun, long walks around a sizable track, embracing the many new faces that have been waiting decades for this opportunity. I can see you all as we speak and I smile because I can feel what you feel. With that I truly look forward to the next phase in our struggle, because there’s still a lot of work to do.
The love affair between Black folks and the Clintons has been going on for a long time. It began back in 1992, when Bill Clinton was running for president. What have the Clintons done to earn such devotion? Did they take extreme political risks to defend the rights of African Americans? Did they courageously stand up to right-wing demagoguery about Black communities? Did they help usher in a new era of hope and prosperity for neighborhoods devastated by deindustrialization, globalization and the disappearance of work? No. Quite the opposite.
On Dec. 14, civil rights leader and political prisoner Rev. Edward Pinkney will have spent a year in Michigan state prison. An all-white jury convicted him of five felony counts of forgery for changing dates next to signatures on a petition drive for a recall election, though no evidence of guilt was presented. While Pinkney’s appeal proceeds slowly through the grinding gears of the judicial system, he remains in the clutches of the state.
Aaron Peskin becomes the District 3 supervisor on Dec. 8 and will then join his colleagues in rejecting the planned new jail for San Francisco. There likely was a board majority against the current jail plan even without Peskin’s vote, since London Breed’s district is against it and she is up for re-election, but his replacement of Julie Christensen ensures the jail’s defeat.
A heavy and cruel hand has been laid upon me. On Oct. 6, 2015, I was transferred back to Marquette Branch Prison, a two-day ride on the bus, shackled, mistreated and intimidated. I was forced to strip on five different occasions. I am forced into overcrowding, inadequate exercise, lack of clean clothing and inadequate medical care which violates the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
The San Francisco Black Film Festival has been the best Black oriented event in the Bay Area this year. The plethora of worthy films that screened this year was phenomenal. I sat down with the co-director of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, Kali O’Ray, and talked about the happenings at this year’s triumphant San Francisco Black Film Festival. Check him out in his own words.
I have read your publication periodically over the years, and after some discussion with fellow prisoners, it was suggested I seek your assistance with getting the message out there that I need help! The enclosed documents tell a lot of the story of what I’ve been up against for years. Most of my support system has died – mother, wife, daughter and sister. The Brother Keith Wattley took my case and fought it to a short lived victory.