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The National Prison Strike flooded the media and transformed the national narrative surrounding prisoners’ human rights. While the symbolic end date of the national prison strike passed on Sunday’s 45th anniversary of the Attica Uprising, prisoners take the lead in determining whether to continue striking depending on their individual circumstances at their institutions: some extending the call, others placing a new date on their call and even striking indefinitely.
The prisoner strike has been underway for more than 24 hours now. In the first day we got word of actions coming out from the prisons from Halifax, Nova Scotia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington, and Folsom Prison in California reported strike action. We saw outside solidarity actions in at least 21 cities around the U.S. and as far abroad as Leipzig, Germany. We saw Palestinian political prisoners give a statement of solidarity from their prisons in occupied Palestine. Those of us who have been coordinating media relations on the outside have been overwhelmed by the number of reporters and outlets who are covering the strike.
Speech delivered at the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March Aug. 19, 2017, in Washington, D.C.: Let me tell you what’s going on here today. This is the largest gathering of slavery abolitionists in the history of the United States, happening right here today. In 16 cities across America, they are marching in unison with us and in solidarity with us, and they’re not doing it to end mass incarceration. They’re doing it to end what? (Slavery!) Slavery.
Despite scant media coverage, the largest prison strike in history is entering its third week. Retaliation is rampant, both against the organizers in prison and against the Bay View for spreading the word. The Free Alabama Movement that started the prison-strikes-to-end-slavery campaign is defeating a violent divide-and-conquer scheme to turn prisoner against prisoner with a Peace Summit, reminiscent of the Agreement to End Hostilities in California, which this month is entering its fifth year of keeping the peace.
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.
It had been two years since I had seen my brothers, and this was the year I was going to see them, in New York. So me and my dad getting to New York started off badly. First of all we missed our flight, and we were on standby for a day and a half. For most of our flight, I was asleep. Our flight landed in Philadelphia in the midst of a rainstorm, so our flight was not coming. After we heard that news, me and my dad went to go get something to eat.
On Thursday, April 9, 2015, I visited my husband, Mumia Abu-Jamal, at SCI Mahanoy. I saw the photos taken of Mumia during the visit on Monday, April 6, but I still wasn’t prepared for how Mumia looked. Seeing him in the prison visiting room, he was worse. I felt my husband is about to die. He was shivering so hard, I put my arms around him and my head to his chest to hear his heart and to bring some warmth to his body because he said he was freezing. We need to keep up the pressure. Let the warden and state corrections secretary know we insist that Mumia have medical specialists of his own choosing examine and treat him.
The bystander who recorded a South Carolina officer fatally shooting an unarmed Black man eight times said the cop had control of the situation before he pulled out his gun. “I remember the police had control of the situation,” Feidin Santana said during the interview. “You can hear the sound of a Taser ... I believe [Scott] was just trying to get away from the Taser.” Update: Watch a powerful video of the reunion between Santana and Walter Scott's family.
This season we have lost two pillars of our San Francisco Bay Area community, Samuel Fredericks and Upesi Mtambuzi. Cedar Walton, pianist, also made his transition this year, along with Donald Duck Bailey, drummer, both men beautiful human beings. Upesi, Samuel, Cedar and Donald all brightened our world. Their unique hues and shapes and sounds will be missed ... that last live jam.
Whack, tap, crack – the sound of the steel police flashlight on a car window is like no other, and it always had the same effect on homeless me and mama: blood-curdling fear. I thought about our constant police harassment, abuse and eventual arrest for the sole act of being houseless in Amerikkka when I heard about South Carolina’s “new” law that officially made it illegal to be homeless in downtown Columbia, S.C.
One hundred and fifty years ago, on June 2, 1863, Union forces led by Harriet Tubman and Col. James Montgomery engaged in a daring and wildly successful raid up the Combahee River in South Carolina. The Combahee River Raid crippled local Confederate infrastructure, liberated 756 enslaved blacks, and earned Tubman well-deserved accolades as the first woman in U.S. history to plan and lead a military raid.
Leo L. Robinson believed in the power of the union, and in the power of the people. He fought to change the conditions of women within the ILWU just as fiercely as he fought against the apartheid regime of South Africa. “Inhale the spirit of Leo Robinson. Embody the spirit and go into struggle and battle for victory. Victory is ours only if we struggle,” said one of several who spoke at the memorial service.
Scalia has made it clear why this case is before the Court – it’s about race and white “race entitlement.” The Voting Rights Act was passed because no group is going to “apportion themselves out of power.” If the Court rules in favor of Shelby County in the face of its racist record, it will be doing nothing more than validating white power and racism.
Political activists around the country are still absorbing the news of Geronimo ji Jaga’s death. His commitment, humility, clear thinking as well as his sense of both the longevity and continuity of the Black Freedom Movement in the U.S. all stood out to those who knew him.
In 1910 there were over 1 million African-American farmers, and today there are fewer than 17,000. Now, an emerging movement is sweeping across urban areas to reclaim abandoned lots, under-serviced public parks and vacant lots to grow fresh food for the people.
As the highest ranking African-American in the House, Congressman Clyburn can advocate for the interests of members of the Congressional Black Caucus and our constituents.
Newspaper editorial pages are the moral compass of a community and a strong influence on public policy. Yet many politicians fail to respect the power of the African American vote by ignoring the Black press when they advertise.