by Comrade Malik, aka Keith Washington
Revolutionary greetings, comrades!
There is no such thing as coincidence when you are an outspoken servant of the people. Everything happens for a reason.
When I embraced this life as a freedom fighter and whistleblower, I knew there would come a time when the oppressors would place me in harm’s way and then feign ignorance.
I think it’s time we all got more serious about protecting our most advanced political elements. Whether it be Kevin “Rashid” Johnson or Sean Swain, we must protect our comrades who are trapped inside these razor wire plantations!
Dare to struggle, Dare to win. All Power to the People!
Send our brother some love and light: Keith H. Washington, 34481-037, USP Beaumont, P.O. Box 26030, Beaumont, TX 77720.
What does Malik mean?
On Nov. 17, supporters learned of this cryptic message (transcribed word for word above), which Malik headlined “Don’t allow the feds to assassinate me!” Although he gives us no clue to exactly what is happening to him, those words are clear: Comrade Malik fears for his life. His life is indispensable to the burgeoning movement to “End prison slavery,” words he made famous, and he deserves a response by all justice-loving people.
To try to understand what Comrade Malik – Keith “Malik” Washington – is writing between the lines, here’s a reminder of recent events in the life of one of the most effective and popular prisoner advocates in the country, who has volunteered to come to San Francisco upon his release to become Bay View editor. Malik was unexpectedly paroled in August after 12 years in Texas prisons and transferred to the federal Bureau of Prisons to serve the final 18 months of an old sentence.
Upon his assignment to USP Beaumont, known as “Bloody Beaumont” for the frequency of violent assaults and murders, he was set up for a vicious beating, thrown in the “hole” (solitary confinement) and held incommunicado for more than a month. Only in the last few days has any of his mail to supporters been received.
The reason Malik names fellow prisoners Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, minister of defense of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party, and Sean Swain, an anarchist prisoner, is apparently that they are also in danger of assassination.
How can we save Malik’s life?
First and foremost, knowing the power of public pressure on prison officials, who fear exposure of their rampant wrongdoing, we must relaunch the phone zap originally announced on Oct. 29. For convenience, that message is repeated here:
Join the phone zap to move Comrade Malik, badly beaten, out of USP Beaumont
by Comrade Malik Support Group
Keith “Malik” Washington, a long-time Bay View contributor who plans to start working at the paper full time on his release, is currently being held in solitary confinement after being attacked at USP Beaumont. Other prisoners had previously warned that he was in danger at Beaumont and had suggested that he was being made a target because of his activism.
Malik urgently needs to get out of this dangerous environment and into an institution in California so it’ll be easier for him to start working at the Bay View right away when he gets released. And a show of public solidarity and support will let the prison officials know that many, many people are watching out for him and they can’t get away with any more dirty tricks.
Here’s how you can help
Call the numbers below and read this script to the person who answers or leave a voice mail:
“I am contacting you on behalf of Keith Washington (#34481-037), a prisoner who was recently assaulted while being held at USP Beaumont. It is my understanding that Mr. Washington is hurt and being held in the SHU with restricted access to the outside world and that an investigation is currently underway. I request that you complete this investigation as swiftly as possible, that you recommend Keith Washington be transferred to a California facility, and that no further disciplinary measures are taken against Mr. Washington, a man who has no history of violence other than what he has been exposed to in your institution.
“Can you confirm whether there is a specific Designator currently working on Mr. Washington’s case, and who they are if so? I wish to recommend that Mr. Washington is transferred as quickly as possible to a lower security, less violent facility in California, as he is due to take up employment and residency there and it would be most appropriate for his standing.
“Please be advised that we are currently actively investigating the possibility of taking legal action to redress the harm that Mr. Washington has suffered in your care and as a result of your negligence.”
Here are the phone numbers to call and emails to use as well; please contact as many as you can:
1. Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer: 202-307-3250.
That office, after being told about Malik and the problems, gave us the name and phone number for the regional office. The director, Mr. Baltazar, “doesn’t take calls from the public.” Imagine that!
2. South Central Regional Office in Grand Prairie, 972-730-8600, PolicyCorrespondence&AdminRemedies@bop.gov:
- Mr. Morales, Operations Manager: 972-352-4400. Call the number, press zero and let it ring, about 50 times. Ask the operator to connect you to Mr. Morales.
- Ext. 1 Correctional Programs
- Ext. 4 Correctional Services
- Ext. 6 Facilities Management
- Ext. 9 Safety
3. USP Beaumont: 409-727-8188 This is the most important number to call. Leave messages!
- Larry Schultz, Warden
- Jay Tenner, Unit Manager, ext. 4551, ExecAssistant@bop.gov
- Mr. Odstrcil, Case Manager
Malik needs media coverage
The prison officials who hold Malik’s life in their hands will handle it with care if they know mainstream media are watching and reporting his plight to the public. Therefore, his supporters are issuing the following press release and encourage readers to urge reporters to arrange to interview him immediately:
Nationally known advocate Malik Washington, badly beaten and held incommunicado at USP Beaumont, writes, ‘Don’t allow the feds to assassinate me!’
Supporters of Keith Washington, an incarcerated journalist known nationally as Comrade Malik, have just received the following cryptic message:
“Revolutionary greetings, comrades!
“There is no such thing as coincidence when you are an outspoken servant of the people. Everything happens for a reason.
“When I embraced this life as a freedom fighter and whistleblower, I knew there would come a time when the oppressors would place me in harm’s way and then feign ignorance.
“I think it’s time we all got more serious about protecting our most advanced political elements. Whether it be Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson or Sean Swain, we must protect our comrades who are trapped inside these razor wire plantations!
“Dare to struggle, Dare to win. All Power to the People!”
Do you know Keith ‘Malik’ Washington?
Despite being imprisoned, Malik (Keith Washington, #34481-037) is a prolific and radical writer, activist and journalist speaking truth to power, who is deeply committed to serving others and creating a world without prisons. (Read his stories on sfbayview.com and comrademalik.com.) Over his 12+ years of incarceration in Texas, Malik’s impactful work – often reported in the mainstream media – has brought much needed change in Texas prisons to policies on deadly summer heat, suicides, solitary confinement and more, much to the frustration of prison officials bent on maintaining the status quo.
These powerful exposés have earned Malik a much coveted opportunity to be the next editor of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, where most of Malik’s articles have been published. Powerful voices like Malik’s are anathema to corrupt, abusive corrections systems. As Malik says: “I will not be silenced!” This makes him a target, as you can see from his latest communication.
Malik’s reputation as an effective change agent followed him when he was transferred to USP Beaumont to serve an old 18-month federal sentence, and was set up for a vicious beating and placed in solitary confinement, where he’s been held incommunicado ever since, his mail beginning to flow in and out only in the last few days. We are worried that federal officials want to extend his sentence and continue to isolate and keep him in harm’s way. Now we fear for his life.
As we watch the celebrity rush to stop the execution of Rodney Reed and 2020 presidential candidates’ competing plans to reverse mass incarceration and stop dehumanizing and start enfranchising prisoners, reporters as well as politicians will want to learn the reality of imprisonment from the people experiencing it. For that purpose, Malik is your source.
Malik asks for journalists to interview him, preferably in person. If that’s not possible, please investigate his situation and conditions in USP Beaumont, called “Bloody Beaumont,” immediately. You will meet a man who is very well read, passionate and an astute critic of current affairs who has worked closely with many legislators, academics and journalists who have come to respect his uncanny ability to bring opposing forces together for positive outcomes.
Prison reform, as a pathway to abolition, needs the guidance of current and former prisoners, and Malik, whose charisma and popularity with prisoners is legendary, will bring out the voices with the most viable solutions. And as the prison gates begin to swing open, Malik will serve as a role model and counselor to the hundreds of thousands coming home.
For more information, contact Nube Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Mary Ratcliff, (415) 671-0789, email@example.com, of the Comrade Malik Support Group, ComradeMalik5@gmail.com. And send our brother some love and light: Keith H. Washington, 34481-037, USP Beaumont, P.O. Box 26030, Beaumont, TX 77720. Every piece of mail sent to him reminds prison officials that they are being watched.