by Kwame Beans Shakur, Co-founder & Chairman of the New Afrikan Liberation Collective (NALC) and National Director of Prison Lives Matter
Prison Lives Matter (PLM) is a United Front for Political Prisoners, Prisoners of War, Politicized individuals behind enemy lines and their organizations, as well as any outside formations in unison to abolish legalized slavery.
The objective of PLM is to establish a national infrastructure within the overall Prison Movement that will allow Us to implement a national strategy geared toward creating Regional Organizing Committees (ROCs) on both sides of the wall. The ROCs will be put in place through the work of the current Prison Lives Matter-NCC (National Coordinating Committee), which is made up of some of the nation’s leading Political Prisoners and their outside support networks, including former PPs on the NCC like Jalil Muntaqim and Sekou Odinga.
It is the job of NCC members behind enemy lines to set forth Political Education classes and Cadre Development programs that will help transform their environment in captivity. These environments should serve as Revolutionary Universities, Liberation Schools and Cadre Training Centers, so that upon reentry into society We will have capable cadre leaders ready to step into the movement and continue the work needed to build and rebuild our infrastructure.
Incarcerated members of the NCC will network with other captives throughout their state in order to appoint field marshals capable of developing political education classes in each camp. This broadening of the PLM platform is what will essentially lay the foundation for the Regional Organizing Committees. Outside members of the NCC will utilize the national network of support groups, families of incarcerated individuals and other formations within the PLM Movement to establish the ROCs.
We have witnessed the difficulties of assembling national demonstrations with limited resources and calling on Our leaders to travel around the kountry, making these things possible only once a year. This organizing strategy of the PLM-NCC/ROC will prove most effective in terms of forming regional vanguards that are able to mobilize boots on the ground and respond to the call of action when necessary.
Prison Lives Matter is not about reforming the existing system.
Rather than organizing and mobilizing, the most important work of PLM both inside and out is to EDUCATE. The Political Education of those held captive, as well as comrades and the masses, is the tool needed to build resistance and sustain a movement for liberation. Prison Lives Matter is not about reforming the existing system.
Through this United Front which operates on an anti-racist/capitalist/imperialist line, we will strive to expose the Prison Industrial Slave Complex’s hidden political and economic position of hierarchy within the united states empire, thereby raising consciousness to the contradictions that exist on class, “race” and national oppression leading to the rise of mass incarceration and legalized slavery and the building of more state and privatized prisons.
The higher calling for the “In the Spirit of Mandela” campaign is one calling for an international investigation into the human rights violations of prisoners that exist within the united states. However, in order to garner the recognition and support of the international community, we must establish this infrastructure and National strategy on these shores.
Medical neglect: a strategic form of Elder abuse and genocide!
In the era of Comrade George Jackson and through various arms of the Prison Industrial Slave Complex (PISC), overt forms of colonial violence and extreme counter-revolutionary terrorist tactics were used to neutralize Our captive political prisoners, as they were operating at the direction of j. edgar hoover on behalf of the fbi’s COINTELPRO.
In this day and age, they are forced to engage in a more covert practice through the implementation of the extremist, revolutionary, terrorist and subversive activities in the penal institutions’ programs. We know that COINTELPRO is in full effect with its Black Identity Extremist Program.
One of the ways they practice Genocide is through the blatant medical neglect of our Political Prisoners (PPs) and Prisoners of War, and the repeated denial of parole to these aging veterans. A majority of the Elders were not given the death penalty or sentences of life without parole (LWOP); however, they are essentially being given death sentences from the kourts and parole board as they are being denied compassionate release or parole altogether, “based on the nature of their crime.”
The fact of the matter is they have served more than the mandatory minimum of their sentence to be eligible for parole, and the nature of their “crime” is never going to change. An overwhelming number of our Comrades, including myself, are being neglected with a lack of medical treatment and the kourts’ “hands-off” policy that prevents them from intervening in such issues or sanctioning medical staff and gives Our captors immunity in the murders and preventable injuries caused at their hands.
Our Comrades on the West Coast launched the campaign to “Liberate our Elders,” and through the establishment of the PLM-NCC (Prison Lives Matter-National Coordinating Committee), Minister King X (executive director of California Prison Focus-KAGE Universal) and myself developed a working relationship which led to Liberate Our Elders becoming one of the many formations under the PLM banner for national unification.
It is through this capacity that We will unite various Freedom Campaigns and defense committees around the country to BRING OUR ELDERS HOME NOW! This strategy will bring doctors, professors and lawful counsel on board who are already working on the individual cases of Comrades inside and assist in the recruitment of others in their field.
This issue of Our Prison Lives Matter journal, Liberate Our Elders, is an initiative to begin calling for the Prison Lives Matter-Liberate Our Elders webinar panel discussion to take place in Houston, Texas, in the summer of 2023.
We wholeheartedly believe in the concept of “We Are Our Own Liberators.” And with that overstanding, We must continue to build and sustain a national strategy for Self-determination.
‘WE ARE OUR OWN LIBERATORS!’
To receive a copy of Prison Lives Matter, Liberate Our Elders issue, Vol. 2, submit articles for the website and receive future journals/zines; and cadre who are interested in potentially developing the PLM-NCC ROC can contact: PLM, P.O. Box 9383, Chicago, IL 60609.
Kwame Shakur is a New Afrikan political prisoner currently enslaved in solitary confinement at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. He is the chairman and co-founder, with Shaka Shakur, of the New Afrikan Liberation Collective and is the national director of Prison Lives Matter. To get involved with his Freedom Campaign, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donate to the New Afrikan People’s Center here. Send our brother some love and light: Kwame Shakur, 149677, WVCF, P.O. Box 1111, Carlisle, IN 47838.