Blood in the Clenched Fist Alliance

Kill-Yourself-versus-Unite-Liberate-Yourself-art-by-Rashid-2008, Blood in the Clenched Fist Alliance, Behind Enemy Lines
“Kill Yourself versus Unite & Liberate Yourself.” – Art by Rashid

by Kofi Donkur aka L.I., with an introduction by Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, Defense Minister, Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party

Introduction by Rashid

The following article by Comrade L.I. exposes how he and several other Black “gang” leaders were set up by government officials to be taken out, by dropping them into a prison system where racist white and Mexican gangs predominate — many of whom worked in collaboration with the pigs to target Blacks. This experience and others in the Virginia prison system, where he witnessed first hand how government gang task forces deliberately manipulate and facilitate rivalries and wars between groups, opened his eyes to the long standing practice of racist repression aimed at youth of color and the “gangs” in particular. In the midst of it all, he found that uniting these groups was the only real defense against these designs, which he successfully did.

During 2010, I wrote an article, “Kill Yourself or Liberate Yourself, the Real US Imperialist Policy on Gang Violence Versus the Revolutionary Alternative.” That article was addressed to the youth involved in the street tribe (so-called gang) culture and laid out the designs of the pigs and enemy ruling class to manipulate them into cycles of criminality and violence on the scale of self-inflicted genocide.

Along with the article, the New African Black Panther Party (NABPP), now the Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party (RIBPP), initiated the Clenched Fist Alliance (CFA), an initiative that aims to return the street tribes to their original purposes of serving and defending the oppressed communities and to raise their political consciousness. The CFA is an umbrella structure which any tribe or set may join so long as they unite with the 10 point program of the RIBPP.

When their efforts to incite a violent rivalry between the Stones and the Chicago Panthers failed, the FBI and Chicago cops assassinated Chicago Panther chairman Fred Hampton Sr. . . .

On a larger scale, we recognize the revolutionary potential of the tribes. The youth have always been the primary force of resistance that overthrew oppressive systems of power. Which is what the pigs fear in the so-called gangs. This fear was confirmed when Bunchy Carter united Cali’s largest gang of the 1960s, the Los Angeles Slausons, with the original Black Panther Party, forming the L.A. Chapter of the BPP. In turn, the pigs had Bunchy assassinated by agents in the US (United Slaves) organization that was led by Ron Karenga and maneuvered to prevent the alliance and merger of other gangs like the Blackstone Rangers in Chicago with the Panthers. 

When their efforts to incite a violent rivalry between the Stones and the Chicago Panthers failed, the FBI and Chicago cops assassinated Chicago Panther chairman Fred Hampton Sr. and maneuvered to bribe the Stones to suppress community protests in Chicago with corporate payoffs and immunity from prosecution for crimes committed in the communities.

The street gangs have since been primary targets of government subversion and manipulation into cycles of rival wars with each other and predatory behavior against their own communities including flooding them with narcotics. Which in turn has given officials ammunition to villainize and wage war on them and our entire communities. 

. . . the 2015 “Agreement to End Hostilities” that followed the hunger strikes where all the tribes in Cali’s prisons agreed to end rival and racial violence between themselves, which is still holding . . .

The fear generated within the communities by the gangs’ behavior and anti-gang pig propaganda also leads communities to turn to the pigs for protection against the tribes (murdering and sweeping our youth into prisons by the millions) instead of looking to these organizations for support and defense and recognizing the pigs as the real terrorist forces against our people.

We have seen the tribes live up to their potential in recent years, from the historic hunger strikes in Cali prisons in 2011 and 2013, where 6,000, then 12,000, then 30,000 prisoners went on strike against the torture of long term solitary confinement of “gang-validated” prisoners in Cali, which grew into a national movement against the widespread abuse of solitary in U.S. prisons; to the work strikes that swept the U.S. prison system from 2010-2018; to the 2015 “Agreement to End Hostilities” that followed the hunger strikes where all the tribes in Cali’s prisons agreed to end rival and racial violence between themselves, which is still holding although the pigs have repeatedly tried to undermine the truce ever since; to the mass protest of 2020 in the wake of the police lynching of George Floyd.

This is why a Clenched Fist Alliance is needed and the time is ripe. The youth are more aware today of the system’s oppressions than they have been in over 50 years and the street organizations have been in the thick of the struggles.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win! All Power to the People!

Why I unite with the Clenched Fist Alliance

by L.I.

I’ve read Rashid’s 2010 article, “Kill Yourself or Liberate Yourself” and found it to contain perspectives that I also share. It also gives a true account of the scheme employed by Virginia officials at Red Onion State Prison (ROSP) to manufacture rival gang conflicts to create new justification for continuing to operate VA’s two super prisons in remote southwestern VA — ROSP and Wallens Ridge State Prison (WRSP), after both had been repeatedly discredited for racist abuse by their almost totally white staff against a predominantly Black prison population and exposed as unneeded. I was one of the numerous prisoners housed in ROSP’s so-called gang pods where these rivalries were manipulated by VA officials. I am an identified East Coast Blood leader.

On June 29, 2014, ROSP’s general population was placed on lockdown, which on its face was nothing out of the ordinary. So I suspected nothing, at least not until five guards came to my cell claiming I had a court appearance. I was cuffed, taken to the intake area, searched, then transferred to WRSP, where I was held in solitary confinement overnight.

The next morning I was again cuffed and taken to a temporary building area, where eight others (all Black identified gang leaders) were also being held under the pretext of having court appearances. None of us had any active court cases or appeals. We could get no answers from guards as to our true destinations.

Three hours later we were put in chains, cuffs and shackles, and loaded into three vans. We departed.

On the interstate, observing passing cars out the window, I noticed the license plates changing from Tennessee to Kentucky, Illinois etc. When the transport guards got out of the vans at one stop, I noticed they wore Colorado DOC patches.

We rode continuously for 27 hours to arrive at our destination, the Colorado maximum security prison, Colorado State Penitentiary, where we were then taken to separate solitary units. Upon entering the cellblock, I observed all the prisoners come to their cell doors to see who was entering. All the faces were white or Mexican. There were no other Blacks in the entire cellblock.

I was not allowed to contact loved ones until five days later. After 30 days I was transferred to CO’s classification prison, Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center (DRDC). By now it was evident that whites and Mexicans were the majority of the population (95 percent) in Colorado prisons, which reversed my prison experience of 18 years. 

In hindsight I know that this rhetoric was intended to, and did, create conflicts . . .

It also revealed that Colorado prisons have a predominantly gang population, where Latino and white gangs displayed overt racism toward Blacks. Whites wore clover, thunderbolts, 88 and various other tattoos that represented racist mentalities. These tattoos were worn with arrogance and high visibility on their faces, heads and necks. This environment came as a culture shock.

During the classification process, I and two of my comrades from Virginia were told by Colorado’s gang task force that there are various gangs in the Colorado prison system and if we collaborated with them to coordinate or disrupt things we’d be prosecuted to the highest degree.

It became clear that Virginia deliberately sent us (all Black identified East Coast organization members) into a West Coast gang population, knowing our culture and orientations are different if not completely opposite.

While in receiving, the so-called gang investigation interviewed various Colorado gang members in our presence, often opening the dialogue with, “There are some real Bloods that were just brought here from the East Coast.” In hindsight I know that this rhetoric was intended to, and did, create conflicts between us and the already established culture in Colorado.

On top of this, we were dropped with no supports into that prison population to just figure things out on our own. Whether we adjusted or not depended solely on us. We received no form of counseling, no adjustment period, no visits from Virginia liaisons to aid our adjustment. It was left to us as individuals, placed in a racially hostile rival gang environment, to sink or swim. 

In Colorado we found the white and Mexican gangs engaged in open violence against Blacks, and the white gangs openly collaborated with prison officials.

It was a deliberate move calculated to place us in harm’s way – exactly the sort of move described by Tookie Williams in his book, “Blue Rage, Black Redemption,” where gang task force agents and cops instigated and aggravated gang wars and rivalries by deliberately dropping identified gang members into rival neighborhoods to be attacked or killed.

In Colorado we found the white and Mexican gangs engaged in open violence against Blacks, and the white gangs openly collaborated with prison officials.

During 2017 a Black prisoner was killed by one of the white gangs at Limon Correctional Center. The prison was placed on lockdown for two weeks and all members of the white gangs were moved, but only temporarily. When the prison was taken off lockdown, all those whites were moved back in and a race riot erupted. Only Blacks were on the ground hurt from the riot and guards targeted only Blacks with force under the pretext of quelling the riot. 

About 60 prisoners were involved but four were thrown in the hole, all of them the Blacks who were on the ground injured by the whites who vastly outnumbered them. Everyone else was sent back to their cellblocks, where  a race riot erupted again in response to the attacks on Blacks.

I only cried about “me and mine” and thought I understood the streets and our lifestyle. 7I thought we had power. 

I witnessed and was caught up in this officially instigated race violence. This experience, following on the heels of the gang rivalries manipulated and instigated in Virginia’s prisons, opened my eyes to the reality that most of the banging and racial violence between groups was at the design of government officials. And since the white gangs in Colorado worked hand and hand with officials to target Blacks, I and several Colorado leaders got together and formed an alliance that united us all – Bloods, Crips, GDs and others – in common defense of each other and all Black prisoners. We called this alliance Main Line Tradition. This Alliance brought the racial attacks on, and divisions between, Blacks to a halt. As the Alliance solidified, I and several others were suddenly returned to Virginia.

Rashid and RIBPP are right that many of our organizations began with missions to serve and defend our communities, but because our conscious leaders were targeted and destroyed by the pigs, and others fell victim to bribery, we lost our way, becoming corrupted with criminality, and began preying on and destroying our communities. We need to return to our original missions and win the love and support of our communities instead of preying on them and giving the establishment ammunition to demonize us and wage war on us and our communities in the name of suppressing gang violence.

Before my experience at Red Onion and in Colorado, I had the closed view of most members of the street organizations. I only cried about “me and mine” and thought I understood the streets and our lifestyle. I thought we had power. 

These experiences opened my eyes, that the way we have been living and our deaths and losses have all been at the instigation and design of the system. Our survival demands that we unite and defend each other and our communities against these designs. To this end, my set stands with and in allegiance with the Clenched Fist Alliance and calls on all tribes to set aside their differences and join together in one common cause to unite against our one common enemy — the capitalist ruling class.

All Power to the People!

Send our brothers some love and light; write to Rashid, who will share your words with L.I.: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 1007485, Nottoway CC, 2892 Schutt Rd, Burkeville VA 23922.