August 12, 2012
An estimated 80,000 men, women and even children are being held in solitary confinement on any given day in U.S. prisons. If the struggle to end inhumane treatment inside prisons is to become anything more than a largely apolitical movement for so-called “civil rights,” it must put two long-ignored points back on the agenda: race and revolution.
July 20, 2012
George Washington, the first president and one of the founding fathers of the United States, once argued, “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led to the slaughter.” Yet in many controversial cases, United States courts have ruled against the First Amendment guarantee to free speech.
July 13, 2012
The parody currently on stage at American Conservatory Theater, “The Scottsboro Boys,” staged by director-choreographer Susan Stroman (“The Producers”), through July 22, 2012, takes a historic tragedy in American history and recasts it as buffoonery. Black America should not be surprised. Classic guilt is always re-envisioned in this paradigm. The boogeyman is always Black and male.
May 25, 2012
The guard confiscated four items: 1) a document titled “So That We Don’t Fool Ourselves — Again: Study Notes on Secure Communication”; 2) an article titled “History is a Weapon! Black August Resistance,” by Watani Tyehimba; 3) an article from Prison Focus newspaper, which included a picture of George Jackson; and 4) the photocopy of “Blood in My Eye.”
April 4, 2012
Professor Michelle Alexander’s new book “The New Jim Crow” is a monumental, well researched piece of work that presents documented facts in down to earth English about the mass incarceration of Black people within the United States’ national concentration camp system. At one point in “The New Jim Crow,” Professor Alexander presents evidence that more Black people are enslaved behind bars today than were enslaved on the plantations in 1850, before the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.
January 1, 2012
Thousands of mothers currently incarcerated in the California state prison system are now eligible to serve out the end of their sentences at home or in local facilities. To qualify for the program, women must be “primary caregivers” convicted of non-violent, non-serious, non-sexual offenses with remaining prison sentences of less than two years.
October 11, 2011
The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the Philadelphia district attorney’s attempt to reinstate the death penalty on Brother Mumia! In order to reinstate the death penalty at this point, the DA would have to call for a new trial on the question of the sentence, with a new jury having to decide on whether to reinstate the death sentence. Otherwise, the sentence of life in prison – without parole – remains. Now on to freeing Mumia!
September 28, 2011
Today, Sept. 28, lawyers and mediators with Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity’s mediation team confirm that at least 6,000 prisoners throughout California are resuming the hunger strike that began in July. The expansion of the strike demonstrates that CDCR’s atrocious practices and brutal conditions are in fact a system-wide issue and endemic of the CDCR. Support the prisoners in winning their demands! Call Gov. Jerry Brown and urge him to make the CDCR comply with the prisoners’ demands!
August 22, 2011
So far, the state’s plan for reducing the prison population relies heavily on simply shifting prisoners from state lockups to county jails and out-of-state rental space. But many other states are setting examples that California could follow.
July 6, 2011
Did you know that five judges from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals have now said about me: “The State of California may be about to execute an innocent man.” I hope that you will speak about what it is like to have almost done just that.
June 14, 2011
On May 23, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision ordering California to release tens of thousands of inmates from its overcrowded prisons on the grounds that their living conditions – including lethally inadequate healthcare – were so intolerable as to be “cruel and unusual punishment.”
June 12, 2011
“I just think my mother died of a broken heart, but she made sure we were strong enough to deal with this,” said Martina Correia, Troy Davis’ sister. “It’s not just the inmate who is on Death Row. That whole family is on Death Row.”
May 6, 2011
I am writing to ask you to help fight for Troy’s life. Troy Davis is on death row for the 1989 murder of police officer Mark MacPhail in Savannah, Ga. Troy has always maintained his innocence, and there was never any physical evidence linking him to the crime.
April 26, 2011
The federal 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, in a stunning smack at the U.S. Supreme Court, has issued a ruling upholding its earlier decision backing a new sentencing hearing in the controversial case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.
April 11, 2011
We the people are the enemy … “we” meaning the poor and the middle class. Black folks need no convincing, because racism and discrimination are continual indicators that their perceived enemy status is indeed real.
January 25, 2011
Across the country organizations and individuals are standing together to protest the United States government’s attempt to silence and criminalize anti-war and international solidarity activists in solidarity with them. Legendary lawyer Lynne Stewart, who is already in prison, and an activist who has been subpoenaed by the grand jury tell why they resist.
January 23, 2011
Although on a very small scale (which by no means diminishes the deed), we, the people, have wrought a revolution – “a sudden and momentous change in a situation” – and accomplished in 12 days what the powers that be have repeatedly told us would never happen.
January 17, 2011
Although America’s Declaration of Independence and Constitution are premised on the principles of democracy, the historical treatment of America’s citizens of color is replete with racial dichotomies. Today’s youth need to know that Dr. King was only 25 when he began to fight back with the year-long Montgomery bus boycott.
December 31, 2010
Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), Jason Robb and Namir Mateen (James Were) will start a hunger strike on Monday, Jan. 3, to protest their 23-hour-a-day lockdown for nearly 18 years. They were sentenced to death for their alleged roles in the 11-day Lucasville rebellion in April 1993. They are innocent! They were wrongfully convicted! They are political prisoners.
December 30, 2010
Among the very few people celebrating our country’s fiscal crisis are criminal justice reformers. Bill Piper of Drug Policy Alliance says, “Next year is probably an unprecedented opportunity to defund the federal drug war.” But colorblind cost-benefit approaches leave intact the racial attitudes, stereotypes and anxieties that gave rise to the system in the first place.