Indiana prison officials devised to keep Comrade Rashid and Kwame Shakur separated 

Divide-and-Conquer-Kevin-WAK-Williams-1400x1144, Indiana prison officials devised to keep Comrade Rashid and Kwame Shakur separated , Behind Enemy Lines
This age old tactic has been used against the people and the people’s liberation movements for generations, unfortunately quite successfully – except here where it’s not: “Within the IDOC, officials resorted to divide and conquer tactics against me by maneuvering to sow division between me and reactionary prisoners, while keeping me isolated from conscious, politically active ones.” Let’s work together to make the “success” of this tactic the exception, not the rule. Art: Kevin WAK Williams

by Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson

My prior domestic exile, where Virginia prison officials had me bounced from one state prison system to another in retaliation for and in efforts to suppress my political work and publicizing and resisting abuses, lasted nearly a decade (February 2012-October 2021). As I pointed out in a recent article, “Imprisoned in Sundown Towns,” (1) I was in each case sent to prisons and prison systems that were notorious for racist abuse.

One of those prison systems was the Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC), where I was held from November 2018 until July 2021.

In “accepting” me into the IDOC, Indiana officials “traded” me for Shaka Shakur, another New Afrikan/Black prisoner whom they found problematic because of his own extensive history of political activism, and resisting and publicizing abuses in their own prisons. In an article published in the San Francisco Bay View in 2019, Shaka exposed the objective of our interstate transfers (domestic exile) as a new mode of political repression and counterintelligence targeted at politically active prisoners. (2)

Within the IDOC, officials resorted to divide and conquer tactics against me by maneuvering to sow division between me and reactionary prisoners, while keeping me isolated from conscious, politically active ones.

They succeeded in the former at Pendleton Correctional Facility, which resulted in an incident where according to officials’ own accounts, I was accosted by and disarmed an assailant, suffering a stab wound to my hand, and he received numerous serious stab wounds in turn. I was also accused of stabbing one of the guards who incited and facilitated the attack.

. . . while we may have differences in political views, we must consciously and programmatically unite all who can be united in struggle against the common capitalist imperialist enemy.

This incident saw me transferred to Indiana’s notorious solitary confinement unit at its Wabash Valley prison, where other political prisoners were held, including Kwame Shakur aka Lil’ Beans who, along with Shaka Shakur, co-founded the New Afrikan Liberation Collective, Prison Lives Matter and other initiatives.

Upon my transfer to Wabash, IDOC officials immediately took formal steps to keep me and Kwame separated, which we both suspected at the time. These measures have now been confirmed through documentation recently produced to me through discovery in a federal lawsuit I have against Indiana officials.

Those documents, which are submitted with this article, reveal that on the day I arrived at Wabash, emails were circulated between the entire administration and the warden issued a separation order to ensure that Kwame and I were never housed near each other, stating explicit fear of our combined influence and work. In the words of the warden’s separation order, “If housed together, their influence would be an unnecessary risk to safety and security.”

Many of us “understand” that US officials have always consciously acted to violently target and keep independent and influential Black political leaders separate, but it is seldom that we are able to obtain documented proof of such maneuvers. This is why it is important that while we may have differences in political views, we must consciously and programmatically unite all who can be united in struggle against the common capitalist imperialist enemy.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!

All Power to the People!

PDF-JPG-Rashid-and-Joyner-2021-doc-2-1, Indiana prison officials devised to keep Comrade Rashid and Kwame Shakur separated , Behind Enemy Lines
PDF-JPG-Rashid-and-Joyner-2021-doc-2-2, Indiana prison officials devised to keep Comrade Rashid and Kwame Shakur separated , Behind Enemy Lines
“Those documents, which are submitted with this article, reveal that on the day I arrived at Wabash, emails were circulated between the entire administration and the warden issued a separation order to ensure that Kwame and I were never housed near each other, stating explicit fear of our combined influence and work. In the words of the warden’s separation order, “If housed together, their influence would be an unnecessary risk to safety and security.”” – Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

Rashid Johnson, a prisoner in Virginia who was transferred to Oregon in 2012 and subsequently to Texas, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and currently back to Virginia, has been held in segregation since 1993. While in prison, he founded the New Afrikan Black Panther Party and its successor, the Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party (RIBPP). As a writer, Rashid has been compared to George Jackson, and he is also the renowned artist who drew the image that became the icon of the California Hunger Strikes. See his writing and art at rashidmod.com. Send our brother some love and light: Kevin Johnson, 1007485, Nottoway CC, 2892 Schutt Rd, Burkeville, VA 23922.

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Endnotes:

1. Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Imprisoned in Sundown Towns: The Racial Politics of my Domestic Exile” (2021) http://rashidmod.com/?p=3106

2. Shaka Shakur, “Shaka Shakur, Traded for Rashid, Exposes ‘Domestic Exile,’ New Strategy in Prison Low Intensity Warfare,” San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, May 2019, Vol. 44, No. 5