Sunday, February 5, 2023
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Abolition Now!

Writings and investigations from our siblings behind bars.

Prison guards try to incite riots to keep their jobs

The Bay View has been hearing from prisoners around the country that guards, fearing the loss of their jobs, are enraged by budget cuts and plans to release prisoners and close prisons. In some cases they are intensifying their harassment and torture of prisoners and in others they are trying to incite them to riot. That may be a factor in the Chino State Prison “race riot” and fire on Sunday, Aug. 9.

Jamie Scott’s son, 18, fights to free the Scott Sisters in Mississippi

Now 18, Terrance Scott tells Minister of Information JR in this gripping interview: "Seeing what they did to my mother, it put a rage inside me." Terrance is the son of Jamie Scott of the Scott Sisters of Mississippi, who have served 15 years of double life terms for a robbery they didn't commit that netted $11.

Friday, Aug. 7, call Jerry Brown and tell him to drop the appeal!

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, a federal three-judge panel ordered California to release 44,000 people in prison. Call and fax Attorney General Jerry Brown all day Friday, Aug. 7, and demand that he not appeal the ruling.

Black August is a cultural commemoration, not a ‘gang activity’

Here at the Bay View, we’ve been debating how to best commemorate Black August and celebrate George Jackson this year. Prisoners around the country often ask us for stories about them, and we have more stories than space to publish them.

Chained in childbirth: Gov. Paterson urged to sign bill that protects pregnant prisoners

Childbirth is a painful and difficult experience for most women, but Toya Murray says for her, it was torture. Like many other incarcerated women across New York state, she was shackled immediately before and after giving birth. “When it was due for me to have my baby, they shackled my hands and feet when I went into labor to go to the hospital,” Murray said.

Casualties of war

Mass imprisonment is a consequence of the war on drugs. It is estimated that over 600,000 of the 2,300,000 people in state and federal prisons are in prison for nonviolent drug offenses. This does not include the other 5 million people who are either confined in county jails or on probation or parole, a majority of whom are nonviolent drug offenders. This means out of a United States population of over 250 million people, over 7 million people are in one way or another under the supervision of the prison system.

‘Jailhouse Lawyers’ by Mumia Abu-Jamal

“Jailhouse Lawyers, we are learning, are often people of extraordinary firmness who fight for a law that rarely fights for them.” “Unity is feared ... isolation is favored.” – from “Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. the U.S.A.” by politically condemned death row prisoner, journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal “This landmark legislation (Prison Litigation Reform Act) will help bring relief to a civil justice system overburdened by frivolous prisoner lawsuits. Jailhouse lawyers with nothing else to do are tying our courts in knots with an endless flood of frivolous litigation.” – Sen. Orrin Hatch, former chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee

Print, sign and mail Jalil Muntaqim’s petition for parole or commutation of sentence

Jenny Kang, attorney for political prisoner Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), writes: “Attached is a petition to New York Gov. Paterson requesting that Jalil be granted parole or have his sentence commuted. He would very much appreciate your support in signing the petition and sending it to Gov. Paterson. Please feel free to widely distribute the petition.” Jalil, one of the San Francisco 8, made the ultimate sacrifice on July 6, when he pled “no contest” in exchange for the dismissal of all charges against four of his brothers. As a token of our love and appreciation, readers are urged to print this letter, sign it and mail it to Gov. Paterson. – ed.

Jalil A. Muntaqim: My statement on the SF 8 plea agreement July 6, 2009

Today we were to start the preliminary hearing but because of our strong legal defense team and growing public support, the California prosecutor offered plea settlements that could not be ignored. The entire group discussed whether I would plead no contest to conspiracy to manslaughter. After some discussion, I reluctantly agreed to take the plea and be sentenced to three years probation; one year of jail time, credit for time served, concurrent with New York state sentence, dismissing first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Also, because of my plea, four other defendants would have all charges dismissed for insufficient evidence.

San Francisco 8 case takes a critical turn

A few days ago, Herman Bell accepted a plea bargain from the prosecution and will be returning to New York for his parole hearing as soon as California gets him on a return flight. The news was greeted soberly and from some quarters with bemusement.

A prisoner’s grief

Since being held in prison, I have lost nearly two generations of family members, starting with the devastating loss of my mother in January 1976. Grieving alone was hard enough; I also had to endure beatings by prison guards, racial slurs, death threats and psychological torture.

Citing withheld evidence, supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal call for civil rights investigation

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal from death-row journalist and former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of white Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner in a 1982 trial deemed unfair by Amnesty International, the European Parliament, the Japanese Diet, Nelson Mandela and numerous others. Now Abu-Jamal's international support network is calling for a federal civil rights investigation into his case.

Supervisors’ resolution urges AG Jerry Brown to drop charges against SF 8

San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar announced June 8 to 300 people rallying at 850 Bryant that he would introduce a resolution to the Board of Supervisors calling on California Attorney General Jerry Brown to drop the charges against the San Francisco 8. "San Francisco does not tolerate torture," he said, braving the wrath of the Police Officers Association, who evidently tolerate torture in defense of one of their own.

Rev. Pinkney denied right to attend his own hearing

A Michigan judge ruled this week that the Rev. Edward Pinkney, a Benton Harbor minister and longtime vocal community activist who recently served 13 months in jail, couldn't attend his own hearing in Grand Rapids before the Michigan Court of Appeals because he is under 24-hour house arrest and probation for quoting the Bible.

To the son I never raised

I see life through two sets of eyes, yours and mine! / I see through your eyes, even when they are cloudy / With tears from the loneliness that my imprisonment / Has caused your heart to ache and yearn for my / Presence like the rest of the kids you see with / Their fathers

San Francisco 8 preliminary hearing starts Monday, June 8

The case against the SF8 is a frame up based on torture-induced “confessions” and fabricated evidence. The same case was thrown out of court 30 years ago but was revived after 9/11 with money from Homeland Security. After two and a half long years, the preliminary hearing is finally starting on June 8 and is expected to last for three months. The hearing will determine whether or not the SF 8 will go to trial.

Support Three Strikes reform

Sadly, March 7, 2009, marked the 15th anniversary for California's draconian Three Strikes and You're Out law. Fifteen years is one and a half decades, 180 months or 5,475 days. No matter how you calculate it, 15 years is too long for non-violent humans to be "incapacitated" for petty, non-serious and victimless crimes.

Global day of action May 19: Stop the execution of Troy Davis! Innocence matters!

Troy Davis has spent 18 years on Georgia's death row despite overwhelming proof that he is an innocent man. Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. and around the world are outraged by the obvious injustices of this case, and they'll be out demonstrating on May 19, Malcolm X's birthday.

Rallying, rioting, rebelling: Revolution

George Jackson said, “If terror is going to be the choice of weapons, there must be funerals on both sides ... And let the whole enemy power complex be conscious of that!” Or, as Brother Imam Malik Khaba (formerly known as Jeff Fort) put it: “Ain’t gone be no killing, without killing.”

May 19 Global Day of Action for Troy Davis

“Now here we are again with the clock winding down,” warned the Amnesty spokesperson. “We are serious when we say that we need everyone to support Troy Davis on May 19th by organizing their own event or awareness-raising activity.