Since Dec. 13, 1994, Indiana political prisoner Khalfani Malik Khaldun has been held in control units, i.e. administrative segregation or isolation. It began when police and prison investigators manufactured a murder charge against him after a guard was stabbed and killed. Brother Khalfani is a Muslim and New Afrikan revolutionary educator who professes a strong sense of radical politics and culture.
“I” is “We” in Afrikan science. In terms of surviving 22 years of solitary confinement, “I/We survived” primarily because the indomitable spirit of our Afrikan ancestors lives on in each of our spirits. “We survived” but we were not unaffected. “We survived” but we did not leave solitary normal. “We survived” because we refused to be counted among the broken men. “We survived” because the repressive tactics and measures inflicted upon us by our captors bred a fierce resistance within us.
Today I sit in my caged existence away from the outside world and still connected to the revolutionary community. Recently a New Afrikan brother and comrade wrote me with news: Hugo Pinnell was executed on the prison yard at Folsom. This was heartbreaking news and it sent me into a rage. Hugo Pinnell, like George Jackson, was and shall ever be an example for New Afrikan manhood.
After randomly being awakened in the early morning, boarded onto the TDCJ transportation bus, then shipped to the Ramsey Unit, a prisoner told me that the experience was like “being snatched from a dungeon and sent to a new wave slave plantation.” The statement he made is a reality that many prisoners housed in close custody units and solitary confinement cells throughout the state of Texas are experiencing, on a whim.
Attorney Karima Al-Amin, wife of Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known worldwide as H. Rap Brown, the voice of Black power, announced yesterday what has now been confirmed: “Imam Jamil has been moved to Butner FMC (Federal Medical Center), North Carolina.” Word on his condition or whether he has received medical care has not yet come. Still, this great man remains behind enemy lines, and the same mass pressure by the people that resulted in his transfer must be applied and intensified until he is free.
I was recently able to view a documentary titled “The Cooler Bandits.” It’s the story of four young men who were sentenced to hundreds of years in prison for robbing Akron, Ohio, area restaurants in the early ‘90s. The film tells the story of the four men, all in their teens and early 20s when the crimes were committed. What type of justice is this? Five hundred years for a crime where no one was injured is a gross miscarriage of justice, especially when the offender was only 18 years old.
The legendary Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, belted out in her song: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me!” Take a minute to consider what respect means to you. People from diverse cultures may differ in interpretation and perception. Dictionaries offer slight differences in their meaning and application.
Waging and winning the cultural revolution means throwing off oppression by convincing the people that the interests of the ruling 1% are opposite, not identical to those of the 99%. The reassertion of the cultural revolution is necessary if the movement is to realize actual success and not become just another footnote in the crushed movements of American history.
Now that we’re supposedly free, Blacks have become the majority of the U.S. prison population. And that is because the free labor of Black slaves built this country into a profitable, prosperous enterprise for whites who are trying to keep it that way.
Bolivian President Evo Morales honors Leonard Peltier, National Lawyers Guild joins call for clemency
President Evo Morales acknowledged Leonard Peltier as a defender of Indigenous Peoples and Mother Earth, and urged President Obama to grant him clemency. He was wrongfully convicted in 1977 in connection with the shooting deaths of two agents of the FBI on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, South Dakota. The federal prosecutor has twice admitted that the government did not and cannot prove Peltier’s guilt.
The Central Office of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections upheld the censorship of the book “10 Lessons: An Introduction to Black History” by Mba Mbulu and refused to give me the book because they allege it contained “racially inflammatory material and/or writings that advocate violence against the government or any of its facilities.” The prohibited material outlined Cheikh Anta Diop’s “two cradle theory.”
In January 1994, 23-year-old DeWayne Ewing and a girlfriend discarded a condom as they left a park in the Oakland hills. A rape took place in the same park a few days later, and three days after the rape, police found the condom under a bush and put it with the rape kit. Thirteen years later, in June 2007, police pulled DeWayne over for an illegal turn and arrested him for rape on a cold hit DNA match.
Having been incarcerated since 1973, original Black Panther activist Robert Seth Hayes, 69, was released on parole last Tuesday. He joins a short list of revolutionaries from the 1960s and 1970s who are now hitting New York’s streets as elderly men after spending decades in the belly of the beast, simply for fighting for their freedom. Hayes denied participating in the June 1973 Bronx shooting death of New York Transit cop Sidney Thompson, but he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life nonetheless.
To feel the words of the abused and tortured, to believe what they tell us they experience behind the walls of our prisons, is our opportunity to feel their pain, to feel the injustice of their being caged and treated worse than animals, and to acknowledge the open door to the opportunity to stand up in support and protection of our fellow human beings.
The Ashker decision was great, the five core demands are all good, but how come we are not writing our own regulations and attacking the “STG” scheme in totality? We know from its inception it was designed to isolate and entrap prisoners with the God given talent to awaken the prisoner class to the exploits of the system and provide those willing to organize for change with practical alternatives to prison enslavement.
A child who kills vs. a child who was present but did not kill – what sentence does he deserve? A child of color vs. a Caucasian child – does the system treat them the same? How about the youthful offender vs. the adult offender? Personally, it has been my experience with the law that child killers and children who committed assaults are more likely than adults to be treated to the most cruel punishments.
Solid resistance is not only possible but also very effective, and it can be done in smart, fully advantageous ways. It simply requires prisoners to come together collectively for the common good of all and with the support of the people outside, forming a powerful force to compel changes that are long overdue.
Lisa Alexander, the mother of a young man with autism, Reginald "Neli" Latson, has been fighting for justice and her son’s freedom from wrongful incarceration since May 24, 2010. Lisa was convicted on Jan. 10, 2012, of a misdemeanor and jailed by the same district attorney who prosecuted Neli.
The bill by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, to restore media access to prisoners, AB 1270, passed the California Assembly Jan. 26. The bill would remove restrictions on pre-arranged in-person interviews with specific prison inmates.