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Wednesday, September 22, 2021
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Behind Enemy Lines

Behind Enemy Lines

Writings and investigations from our Brothers and Sisters behind bars.

‘Mumia Abu-Jamal is just one step away from freedom,’ says Maureen Faulkner

Philadelphia police have been violent and racist and corrupt for decades. They have a lot to lose if Mumia wins – because when Mumia wins, the forces that support Black dignity and freedom are winning.

Corcoran ASU hunger strikers continue after one starves to death, while CDCR lags on...

CDCR disclosed that as of Feb. 9, 30 men at Corcoran ASU were still striking. One of them writes: “On or about Feb 2nd or 3rd 2012 an inmate has passed away due to not eating ... Inmates are passing out and having other medical problems ... There will be more casualties if this isn’t addressed or brought to light.”

Join the fight to free Chip Fitzgerald! Chip ends hunger strike, demands met

Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, the longest serving Black Panther political prisoner, has ended his hunger strike. Calls from supporters convinced the warden to release him from AdSeg - the hole - and return him to general population at Kern Valley State Prison. He is also being promised the medical care he needs. This is a people's victory!

‘Communities rising’ across California to end mass incarceration and the 40-year war on drugs

CURB is sending a strong message from different parts of the state to Gov. Brown and the state legislature, calling for the state to take active steps to end its participation in the 40-year-old “war on drugs” and to prioritize vital social services over prison spending.

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

Prisoners file federal lawsuit to end prison slavery in Texas

On March 7, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love issued an order in the federal civil lawsuit brought by 89 prisoners housed at the Coffield Unit located in Tennessee Colony, Texas. The lawsuit challenges the fraudulent good time and work time credit scheme the state uses to defraud prisoners of their “work product” and exploit them in order to enrich the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, as well as their slave industries known as TCI, or Texas Correctional Industries.

Amplify the voices these prisons try to silence: Fight censorship from California to Pennsylvania

Departments of corrections and state legislatures are putting into place chilling bans on free speech and expression by prisoners, formerly incarcerated persons, family members, friends, journalists, advocates and activists. Pack the courtroom for the hearing on Abu-Jamal v. Kane, challenging Prisoner Gag Law SB 508, on Thursday, Feb. 26, 10 a.m., in U.S. Courthouse, 228 Walnut St., Courtroom 2, Harrisburg, Penn.

Ruchell Cinque Magee: Real people not scared of freedom support the truth regarding your...

The Constitution of the United States belongs to all the American people. What Bill and Hillary Clinton did to pervert constitutional law consists of all out treason against the Constitution in the 1990s. Trump has remained silent about the Clintons and Republicans taking away constitutional rights. A First Amendment right that belongs to the American peoples of all races, not something for the Clintons and Republicans to take, is ACCESS TO COURT.

San Quentin prisoners go on hunger strike amid massive COVID-19 outbreak

July 1, 2020 – As the novel coronavirus spreads rapidly through California’s San Quentin State Prison, around 20 prisoners have launched a hunger strike to protest inhumane conditions inside, as reported by three men incarcerated in the facility.

Bring Lynne Stewart home!

This week there have been enormous developments in the worldwide campaign to gain compassionate release for imprisoned people’s lawyer Lynne Stewart. The wheels are beginning to turn. We must redouble all efforts! Please sign or re-sign the petition for compassionate release for Lynne Stewart. Keep the pressure on!

A plea to Governor Newsom: Don’t abandon elderly incarcerated people to die from COVID-19

It’s important we avoid using “violent criminal” rhetoric to justify abandoning thousands of elderly people, which endangers us all. And, it is no longer acceptable to put white folks’ fears ahead of the safety of Black and Latinx people.

Beard must go: California needs a fresh start in Corrections, not a cover-up for...

Secretary Beard’s public statements since coming to the job reflect a complete failure to acknowledge the gravity of the human rights abuses his agency is guilty of and an apparent commitment to defend the status quo at any cost. Now his public statements demonizing the hunger strikers and defending California’s indefensible SHUs make clear that all hope for change in this administration should be abandoned.

Solidarity and solitary: When unions clash with prison reform

The battle over the future of Tamms became the most visible and contentious example of a phenomenon seen around the country: Otherwise progressive unions are taking reactionary positions when it comes to prisons, supporting addiction to mass incarceration. And when it comes to issues of prisoners’ rights in general, and solitary confinement in particular, they are seen as a major obstacle to reform.

Nobody deserves to be tortured: a response to CDCR’s STG-SDP plan

The new “Security Threat Group Prevention, Identification, and Management Strategy” will instigate new and more aggressive attacks against prisoners and their families, friends, associates and communities, who are already being victimized by our institutionalized racist system and the prison industrial complex. It is just one of their many policies to persecute prisoners incarcerated in solitary confinement units.

Hugo Antonio Lyon Martinez Pinell, March 10, 1944-Aug. 12, 2015: In your absence

In your absence -- I am forced to accept the truth: You are not here with us. It’s been a two-year roller coaster ride; I have been up, down and all around with my emotions, as well as my thoughts. Tears stream down my face, and sometimes with a smile, when I am in deep thought of how much love you gave to me – and I miss that. In your absence -- I have been angry enough to want to SHOUT to the mountains about the torture and corruption you experienced at the hands of them who held you captive for 51 years.

Former prisoners are leading the fight against mass incarceration

Pastor Kenneth Glasgow was one of roughly 500 people who convened in Oakland, California, last weekend for the first national conference of the Formerly Incarcerated, Convicted People and Families Movement. Hailing from more than 30 states, it was a shared fact of life among participants that the change they need – including fundamental civil rights – will not simply be handed to them by people in power. They must fight for it themselves.

When we don’t fight hate, we are preparing for others to die

In light of what occurred in Orlando, Florida, and other mass shootings, it comes as no surprise to any of us that the political establishment wants and encourages us to think of madness like this within the narrow context of gun control – taking guns out of the hands of criminals. But, the question must now be asked of the larger community: Why are we so unwilling to view and struggle around what these acts really are – hate!

The value of Black life in America, Part 1

The same mindset that allows a police officer to summarily execute an innocent, unarmed Black person in the street is the same mindset that allows an officer to plant evidence and lie on the witness stand. It allows a judge to appoint a knowingly incompetent defense attorney, and it allows a prosecutor to withhold evidence, use false evidence, to overcharge and to discriminate with impunity.

Comrade Malik: Environmental disasters in Texas are not a hoax

Prisoners who, like me, are trapped in federal and state prisons in close proximity to these toxic chemical plants rely on free world people to confront these violators of the public’s trust. Don’t be silent.

Beloved political prisoner Hugo ‘Yogi Bear’ Pinell, feared and hated by guards, assassinated in...

Black August adds another hero and martyr to the roll. By some accounts, it was his first day on the yard after 46 years in solitary confinement when Hugo “Yogi” Pinell was assassinated Aug. 12. Prison guards celebrated on social media: “May he rot in hell” and “Good riddens” (sic), they typed. Yogi was the only member of the San Quentin 6 still in prison, and his role in the events of Aug. 21, 1971, the day George Jackson was assassinated, has earned the guards’ incessant enmity ever since.