Introducing the Free South Carolina Movement

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Mama Efia Nwangaza speaks passionately at a Free South Carolina Movement rally on Aug. 25, 2018.

Ideology

The Free South Carolina Movement is a collective of political prisoners, politicized and political prisoners of war, organized with friends, family, loved ones and supporters with a common cause, aims and objectives, i.e. self-determining education, adequate healthcare suitable for poor and oppressed peoples, bringing families closer together, true freedom, transforming the present genocidal sentencing structure, bringing awareness to the public and the youth, putting an end to the pipeline from preschool to prison and the systematic extermination of Black and Brown peoples.

The FSCM opposes capitalism, reactionary reform, inhuman living conditions in prisons or in our communities, mass incarceration, all penal injustices, judiciary injustices, police brutality, terrorism of our communities, racism and all forms of oppression. We say that political prisoners of war are the prisoners across America who have consciously engaged in battle mentally and physically with the system that oppresses Black and Brown communities.

These prisoners, as well as the politicized prisoners who have received their political education during incarceration, are consciously aware that a genocidal war has been and is being waged upon Black and Brown communities through every aspect of oppression. They further understand that the concentration institutions in the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC) and across Amerikkka are simply smaller versions of a larger prison, which is society itself.

Prison is nothing more than an extension of a colonial society. We say that we are political prisoners because the very basis of our incarceration, the process of our arrest, the criminalizing of Black and Brown youth as early as preschool, the indoctrination and poisoning of our minds through the multiple tools being used by the bloodsuckers of the poor and oppressed peoples was and is based on political agendas. A political agenda that’s rooted in political influence, power, and economic advantage. An advantage re-enforced by and through racist, prejudiced and biased, oppressive laws, tactics and strategies to maintain and advance its economic objectives.

The FSCM is an organization cemented in the ideology of transformation and liberation versus reactionary reform and enslavement. To reform is to improve, while to transform anything means to change greatly in conditions and form.

In SCDC reform to improve means to get better at doing the same thing. To transform is to produce the reality of the dissatisfied and criminalized minds into conscious, constructive and productive minds. This transformation is to produce mentally stable minds, minds balanced enough that they are willingly welcomed back and accepted as positive rehabilitated citizens in society rather than returning worse than they left or returning in a casket.

Mission statement     

We are the ​FSCM​, ​and we extend abundant love and respect to you all our community of brothers and sisters. As human beings living together, we have arrived at the time ​necessary for acting to bring more solidarity amongst us all, so that our community may continue to prosper within bounds of our respective core beliefs. The Free South Carolina Movement’s core beliefs stand upon our need to determine for ourselves those things which will assist us in continuing to be lovingly supportive of one another as a whole.

We further believe that our core beliefs stand upon similar aims of the community of brothers and sisters presently reading this or listening to it be read – for, as we all were given the power to decide whether to act together or not, we submit that the time has surely arrived for us all to join and work together for our common good, here in our lifetime. That is how We All can make our community a better place.

And on that basis, there are defeatable forces amongst us that are holding a lot of us in unjustified mental and physical restraints. Some of the public’s trusted elected officials are also victims of those forces, and such elected officials have become corrupted beyond even their own recognition, leading to their making decisions which ultimately injure others.

So, to prevent becoming eventual victims of such corruption ourselves (which we at FSCM explain in detail within our materials), we seek the assistance of ALL available brothers and sisters in closing the door on such activity NOW, while there is still time. Our mission entails using our power to bridge the abysmal gap between the youth and elder, as well as between man and woman, by using simple communication.

Briefly, we move to bridge that gap through utilizing ancient principles underlying self determination, unity, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, creativity, faith and purpose. We teach these principles because they are proven effective in our own lives, in the way of providing us the peace we so desperately desire for just getting through our days of hardship, whether mental or physical.

A great number of people agree that there is happiness in the act of helping other people to meet a need when such help will not have any personal detrimental effect upon us so providing the help. The harvest of providing adequate mental and physical help to others – whether homeless, handicapped, incarcerated or even perhaps wealthy yet in despair – is plenty, and the laborers are presently few.

Therefore, we are reaching out to the community of able-bodied brothers and sisters to aid in our efforts to clean up our “community house” – our neighborhoods, states, then nation. We speak primarily towards helping those incarcerated because it seems that those incarcerated have apparently been forgotten about, when they have not lost their humanity by becoming incarcerated and can in fact be restored and renewed to useful living, just like any one of us can be.

Our mission, therefore, is to help those who are currently unable to meet the need of helping themselves. We, thus, ask that you all work with us in non-burdening ways in our efforts to bring change, to accomplish greatness in using our power here in our lifetime.

Mission Vision Statement

The brothers, sisters and comrades of the Free South Carolina Movement have formulated a United Front to struggle and fight against the system of white supremacy, racism, white domination and white privilege, which has taken on a functional existence via the major outlets of people activity which manifest themselves through multi-dimensional areas such as education, entertainment, economics, labor, law, religion, sex, war, politics and health services divided into various institutions to reinforce the ideals, goals and objectives of the system.

We recognize that institutions protect and sustain the appropriate direction for the destiny of the people who established them. We realize we are not those people but rather are enslaved by them. We are blindly upholding and maintaining them, contributing to our own oppression by our mere participation!

We also recognize that there exist both a smaller version of confinement, such as penal colonies and concentration camps, as well as a larger version – ghettos, housing projects and society at large. Our position is to annihilate the system and the institutions that keep it intact, one institution at a time, beginning with the area of law (legal-arm-white supremacy), which turns the wheels of the ongoing epidemic in the U.S. prison industrial complex being equivalent to genocide: mass incarceration, the preschool to prison pipeline, prison slavery!

Freedom now! It is our primary objective!

Organizers of the Free South Carolina Movement stand strong together on the office steps.

The provisions of the South Carolina Constitution “shall be taken, deemed, and construed to be mandatory and prohibitory” [Article I, Sec. 23] and the South Carolina Constitution thus “mandates” that the South Carolina General Assembly “establish institutions for the confinement of all persons convicted of such crimes as may be designated by law, and shall provide for the ‘custody, maintenance, health, welfare, education, and rehabilitation of the inmates [Article XII, Sec. 2]. ’”

It is based on those clauses of Article XII, Sec. 2, that WE DEMAND:

1) Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women. WE KNOW that the conditions of prisons are deplorable. For example, food is served with meat that is not sold for human consumption, and bugs are often found in vegetables and grits. DHEC (Department of Health and Environmental Control) is guilty for giving the South Carolina Department of Corruptions good ratings in their cafeterias even though they see the cafeterias are swarming with roaches and rats.

Clothes are washed together with people who have AIDS, Hepatitis C, tuberculosis, scabies and other diseases. Humans are locked in cells with absolutely no access to sunlight and no access to fresh air and recreation, which causes physical and mental illnesses. Prison policies are oppressive and combative. Mass punishment amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, meaning humans are constantly punished for corruption officers’ rule violations and unprofessionalism. Humans prisoners are mass punished due to staffing shortages in SCDC. WE DEMAND an end to deplorable conditions and inhumane policies.

2) An immediate end to prison slavery! All persons imprisoned in any place of captivity in South Carolina must be paid the prevailing wage for their labor. WE KNOW that slavery still exists for people held captive pursuant to the U.S Constitution’s 13th Amendment. In particular in South Carolina, WE DEMAND that ALL prison labor, which is equivalent to slavery, be paid the prevailing wage for the state or similar to various privately owned capitalistic prison industry corporations erected throughout the SCDC, which capitalizes off prison slavery.

3) Immediate passing of HB 5155 supporting rescission of the 1994 Violent Crime Control Act and tougher violent crime provisions adopted by South Carolina. WE KNOW that the tougher violent crime provisions S.C. adopted were a by-product of the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill – in particular, mandatory minimums, truth-in-sentencing 85 percent, life without the possibility of parole (LWOP), three strikes provisions, no parole for violent offenders, good time, education or work credits.

These provisions serve to reflect a culture of mass incarceration and prison privatization that fuel the Preschool to Prison Pipeline epidemic! Incarceration without release or rehabilitation breeds a volatile prison environment where hope is systematically denied and the prisoners of S.C. are only being warehoused. WE DEMAND incentives go to the men and women incarcerated, not to the state for building prisons and increasing sentences, thereby contributing to mass incarceration. Legislation such as HB 5155 needs to be supported and we demand an immediate rescission of the above stated violent crime provisions!

4) Zero tolerance of racism, sexism or any form of oppression or inhumane treatment in SCDC. WE KNOW prisoners are kidnapped in the form of human slave trafficking. For no apparent reason and without explanation, human prisoners are shipped to various locations in state and out of state, even hidden away in undisclosed solitary confinement cells. These practices place undue stress and economic hardships on prisoners, their families and loved ones. WE DEMAND an effective immediate end to these systemic practices in SCDC.

5) An immediate end to ALL gang task force groups and an end to any type of STG policies directed towards Black people in SCDC. WE KNOW that gang task forces and security threat group policies are more forms of oppression to target, hunt and kill Black people. The origins, formation and existence of the U.S. is a threat to the security and wellbeing of all Black people. WE DEMAND our revolutionaries, activists and SBOs be acknowledged and treated respectfully.

6) Men and women confined in the S.C. Department of Corruptions are allowed to vote. WE KNOW that taking the vote away from prisoners and so called convicted felons is a political maneuver to eliminate the numerical power of the Black vote. WE DEMAND that the votes of all prisoners in SCDC be counted effective immediately.

7) The immediate passing of legislation to ban the box, which would assist in providing gainful employment for men and women upon release from SCDC. WE KNOW that men and women struggle to find meaningful employment upon release. After we pay our debt to society, we should not be discriminated against because of our past when we’re trying to provide food, clothing and shelter for ourselves and our families. Four bills, H.3059, H.3062, S.191 and S.192, currently pending before the South Carolina General Assembly, if passed, would provide fairer hiring practices. WE DEMAND men and women making reentry should be given an opportunity to demonstrate rehabilitation in an unbiased work environment by passing legislation to ban the box. WE DEMAND South Carolina follow the other states that have adopted those policies!

8) The right to marry and conjugal visitation be reinstated in the S.C. Department of Corruptions. WE KNOW that people held captive who maintain close family ties increase the chances of successful reentry in society upon release. The sacred institution of marriage promotes health, balance, rehabilitation, commitment to family and community building. WE DEMAND the right to marry and the ability to consummate one’s marriage must be reinstated for the men and women held captive in the S.C. Department of Corruptions!

9) Higher learning opportunities in SCDC be reinstated, allowing us to enroll in colleges, universities, technical, state and community colleges via Pell grants to aide the rehabilitative process for all who desire. WE KNOW that the elimination of these grants for higher education is an indication that voters and legislators have chosen prisoners’ recidivism instead of prisoners’ rehabilitation and successful reintegration into society. The elimination of these grants has led to further reductions in education for prisoners and rehabilitation in particular. WE DEMAND that Pell grants be reinstated to all those who desire to seek a higher education!

10) The immediate forgiving of all medical debts incurred and free health care for the men and women in the S.C. Department of Corruptions. WE KNOW that the state and legislature provide the means to allow prisoners to receive free medical care regardless as to whether we could afford it or not. The SCDC has been charging the men and women held captive exorbitant fees for what the state and legislature has deemed free. South Carolina Provision 37.16 authorized under Part 1(b) of the 2005-06 S.C. Appropriations Act.

WE DEMAND this practice be corrected immediately, as well as a thorough investigation into all the medical malpractice, even that leading to deaths that have been covered up by the South Carolina Department of Corruptions. Also, an immediate end to AIDS, hepatitis c, tuberculosis, scabies and other infected patients being warehoused to contaminate healthier prisoners.

Free the land! By any means necessary! Educate to liberate!

The Free South Carolina Movement strongly supports the Second Chance Initiative


On Jan. 8, 2019, the South Carolina Legislature will have an opportunity to enact a set of laws which will positively affect the mass-incarceration problem: Bills H 3322 and S 155 are designed to accomplish very similar goals in South Carolina to those envisioned by the U.S. Congress for federal prisoners in the recently enacted “First Step Act” (HR 5682).

Briefly, South Carolina’s H 3322 provides a mechanism to determine the likelihood of a prisoner re-offending if the prisoner were released from the South Carolina Department of Corrections, providing an opportunity for prisoners to advance in custody upon completing a number of rehabilitative programs while disciplinary free for a time and clearly provides an opportunity for a prisoner under a sentence of Life Without Parole (LWOP) to petition the circuit court of conviction and the county solicitor for a sentence modification after a service of 15 years and after the prisoner has completed a “rehabilitation program, education program, or (has) shown exemplary conduct” consistently during that 15-year period.

S 155 provides a host of benefits to South Carolina prisoners currently serving “no parole offense” sentences at a rate of 85 percent, who are working hard to change themselves – by completing offered programs and maintaining a clean disciplinary record – to complete their incarcerative time under community supervision under a reduced rate of 65 percent.

H 3322 and S 155 both will be a much needed change to help well-meaning and productive prisoners in South Carolina who suffer behind the actions of other prisoners who are not seeking to better themselves – authorities in South Carolina have approved “blanket punishments” of the prisoners as a whole out of exaggerated fears grounded in clear incompetence of how to evaluate the prisoners individually in compliance with established policies and procedures – and enactment of H 3322 and S 155 during the upcoming 2019-2020 legislative session will more than likely provide an incentive and basis for improvement in prisoner behavior as a whole.

Thus, in solidarity, we ask for all available support in convincing the South Carolina Legislature to enact H 3322 and S 155 into law.

Any questions or concerns may be conveniently addressed through the following means: Free South Carolina on Facebook, @FreeSCMovement on Twitter and freescmovement@gmail.com.

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