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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Finally a step in the right direction

Walking clean and sober can be very lonely for a parolee whose comfort zone is hanging out with addicts and traveling the road of drugs and criminality. I for one will admit that I perhaps know less about free society than I do about prison life.

Solidarity in the fight against Arizona immigration law

I’m a powerful Black conscious man, so I yell out Black Power and I fully support my Latino comrades in struggle and solidarity. And we demand justice or there will be no peace!

California prisons silencing SF Bay View

Today, free speech inside the penitentiary is increasingly becoming a scant luxury, not the universally recognized right abstracted by federal judges. As early as March 2008, the San Francisco Bay View began receiving dispatches from California prisoners alerting the newspaper that prisoners in possession of the newspaper were being charged with gang affiliation and having their subscriptions withheld.

Confiscation of books as gang material

Forty years later, the California Department of Corruption and Recidivism is still using George Jackson as a means of affiliating prisoners.

‘I’m innocent,’ my nephew said

My nephew was a recent victim of systemic racism at the hands of an unethical judicial system. From the point of his arrest, he was treated as if he were guilty of a crime he had not committed. Yes, he is Black. Yes, it was late into the night. “I’m innocent,” he would say, over and over.

The people’s lawyer, political prisoner Lynne Stewart: an interview wit’ her daughter, Brenna Stewart

Lynne Stewart has been a real people’s lawyer for over four decades, representing some of the most politically polarizing cases in this nation’s history. Within the next few days, she is set to be re-sentenced. We want all of our readers to know and assist in any way that they can People’s Lawyer Lynne Stewart, who is a modern-day legal John Brown.

For Lynne Stewart: FREEDOM!

"Lynne Stewart, targeted by the Bush-era Justice Department for daring to forcefully advocate for her client, is in danger – and only immense popular support can save her," warns Mumia. He urges all friends of Lynne Stewart to gather for a critical meeting Thursday, July 8, 6-10 p.m., at Judson Memorial Church, 55 Washington Square South in New York City to show your solidarity!

The death penalty: What a price to pay

The death penalty. To abolish or not to abolish? The topic has become contentious. As poor and middle class Americans fight to survive the recession, opposition to the death penalty becomes more prevalent.

Federal prisoner held beyond his release date

'My son is being held in illegal detention beyond his statutory release date. He was sentenced for a non-violent crime June 23, 1992, and was given 21 years and 10 months. His release date should have been on March 19, 2010,' reports Katherine Wilson. He son adds, 'ADX Florence and CIA agents are denying me law books, legal calls, legal copies, legal envelopes, legal visits and postage stamps.'

Combat police oppression in our communities

Black and Brown communities are terrorized by police on a daily basis on a physical and emotional level. We are all too familiar with the physical terrorism: bodies being slammed on pavement with knees penetrating necks, batons beating against skulls mimicking a life-size piñata that spills blood instead of candy and, last but not least, the iconic image of a body riddled by a volley of bullets.

May Day amidst global mayhem

May Day, the day celebrated for over a century as an emblem of workers’ power, seems to have become a symbol of its fall. Social and communal wealth has been funneled to banking and corporate interests – bailouts for billionaires – while workers have faced, at best, a plague of cutbacks; at worst, mass layoffs and firings as businesses reorganize by being even more antagonistic to labor.

‘The Greatest Threat’: New book by political prisoner Marshall ‘Eddie’ Conway

April of 2010 will mark the 40th year that I have been held unjustly. I would say illegally but the fact is that those in power change the definition of what is legal whenever it suits them. I am here because of what I believe, not for anything I have done.

Michelle Alexander’s ‘The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness’

Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” (published by The New Press, 2010) looks at the invisible people and the invisible birdcage that keeps the masses of Black people locked in and alienated from society – the targets of the War on Drugs.

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!

Mumia on the death penalty – and in conversation with Cornel West

At its core, the death penalty derives from, and thus replaces, lynch law. States in the former confederacy established the convict lease system, where prisoners worked, without pay, for the state. Both Black men and women became “slaves of the state.”

Nevada prisoners being pushed to the edge

We believe that we inmates are being used for political gain due to the economy and budget cuts. We are starting to believe we are being pushed to the edge so that the Nevada prison system can justify their request for more funds. In less than 60 days there has been two unjustified assaults on two different inmates by correctional officers here at Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC).

The new Jim Crow: How the war on drugs gave birth to a permanent...

Among many startling findings by legal scholar Michelle Alexander, former director of the ACLU's Racial Justice Project here in the Bay Area, is this: There are more African Americans under correctional control today – in prison or jail, on probation or parole – than were enslaved in 1850, a decade before the Civil War began.

Solidarity and struggle: More on the Jan. 31 riot at Ely State Prison

Yes, it was a battle. My first report on this riot gave people a look into the ugly violence and bloodshed. I’ve reported it the way it happened, but nothing is to be glorified or celebrated here. It felt good, though, to be a part of struggle and change, to see solidarity in action.

Prisoners forced to submit to radiation experiments for private foreign companies

In Illinois, federal judges have allowed at least two lawsuits to proceed against correctional officials for using full body scanners to reveal the anatomy of both prisoners and visitors without removing their clothing. This is the very same device that airports are seeking to implement on some inbound flights to the United States.

Educate or incarcerate: why slash schools to keep nonviolent lifers in prison?

California's extremely overcrowded prison system is draining state funds that would normally be used for education. Yet legislators continue to portray non-violent three-strike inmates as dangerous criminals who deserve to serve a life sentence for crimes that would have ordinarily carried six months to one year in the county jail.

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Impeachment folly

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When our ancestors speak, LISTEN! Part 2

With the crises growing on each and every day, WE again appeal to our youth and adults to utilize every means to stop the wealthy and foolish fossil fuel industries and challenge every candidate for elected office to produce serious climate reparations proposals and practices.

Black student athletes in California can now say, ‘Show me the...

“For decades, college sports have generated billions for all involved except the very people most responsible for creating the wealth. That’s wrong.”