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Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

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.

California prisons ignore anti-trans fat law

Toxins that were declared by the California Legislature to “have a detrimental impact on a person’s health” and cannot be used in school food service or food facility businesses are contained in food consumed by inmates in California prisons. The bodies of many – if not most – so-called strikers, lifers and other long-term prisoners are too toxic to pass an artery inspection.

Leonard Peltier: Statement of solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal

Whether or not you approve of capital punishment is irrelevant as long as minorities are executed with alarming disparities. Whether you approve or not is of secondary concern when people like Mumia Abu Jamal, myself and many others are convicted and sentenced to die with evidence that would exonerate ‘most any white man. As such, every single progressive organization should oppose the death penalty as we now know it.

The Bay View’s First Amendment Campaign: an update

As reported in previous issues of the Bay View, the Bay View, its readers, the community and those of us behind enemy lines had been working with attorney Anthony D. Prince to develop a litigation strategy that would address the state’s suppression of legitimate historical and cultural expressions by relegating those expressions and beliefs to the realms of gang activity.

SF 8: Paying the costs

Pack the courtroom Thursday, Feb. 18, 9 a.m., in Dept. 22, 850 Bryant St., San Francisco, to support the only remaining SF 8 defendant, Francisco Torres, who will be in the courtroom! Dismiss Cisco’s case, a 36-year-old case based on torture!

Riot at Ely State Prison: It was a battle!

This is not my first riot but it was definitely the best. It’s so good to see solidarity in action, to see prisoners of different races and factions coming together like this. We need more of this before we can really start making positive changes in this system!

Compassionate release for Jamie Scott!

The Scott Sisters, Jamie and Gladys Scott of Mississippi, were accused of an $11 robbery and given double life sentences. The sisters have always proclaimed their innocence. Now one of them has been hospitalized.

Pam Africa on the Supreme Court ruling against Mumia

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against political prisoner Mumia Abu Jamal and granted the Philadelphia DA’s petition for a writ of certiorari. We are now at the highest level of Code Red in the case of Mumia Abu Jamal. The people must come to this tireless souljah’s defense.

Ninth Circuit strikes down Washington state’s felon disfranchisement law in landmark voting rights case,...

In a precedent-setting decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the state of Washington’s law barring felons from voting on Jan. 5, just in time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, for whom the issue of voting rights for the disenfranchised was a top priority. The Ninth Circuit ruled that the law violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

Unsupervised prisoner release imminent

California state prisons are to begin implementing a plan for the unsupervised release of up to 40,000 non-violent inmates and are required to train staff on non-revocable parole eligibility by Jan. 21, according to a memo sent from the State Department of Corrections.

Twenty-eight years falsely accused: an interview wit’ journalist, author and political prisoner Mumia Abu...

Dec. 9 will mark the 28th year that former Black Panther and present day political prisoner and prolific journalist Mumia Abu Jamal has been locked up for the murder of a Philadelphia police officer, although the evidence points to his innocence. After nearly three decades, many of Mumia’s supporters around the planet believe that he is closer than ever to being assassinated by lethal injection on Pennsylvania’s death row. We are asking everyone who reads this piece to get involved in freeing this man.

America’s supermax prisons do torture

President Barack Obama has clearly stated, “We don’t torture.” Oh, yes we do. Big time. A myriad of studies have clearly shown that human beings are social creatures – making prolonged isolation torture.

The meaning of Lucasville

On Easter Sunday, April 11, 1993, a riot broke out at the infamous Southern Ohio Correctional Facility at Lucasville. Lucasville had a reputation as one of the most violent and predatory prisons in the country. The prison and the atmosphere at the prison had become extraordinarily tense since the arrival of Warden Arthur Tate Jr. in 1990.

My blood is a million stories

It’s a different way of life in many ways, being children of revolutionaries. Our parents fought, were imprisoned, were exiled and died fighting for basic human equality; and all the while growing us in the discipline and knowledge, love and respect for not only our people, but for all people. We think differently; we see the world differently.

What good is a jury?

When guards at SCI Dallas destroy his property, threaten his life, assault his person, all while ranking officials look on approvingly, it is not simply Andre who is under attack, but the rights and lives of prisoners everywhere. By targeting jailhouse lawyers, those who stand on their constitutional rights and insist on being treated as human beings, the agents of repression in charge of the Pennsylvania DOC and the prison-industrial complex aim to silence their cries for justice.

Two poems by Jalil Muntaqim: ‘Chairman Fred & Captain Mark’ and ‘Big Brother Speaks’

Jalil Mutaqim, one of the longest held political prisoners in the U.S., was once again denied parole on Nov. 18, 2009. Visit FreeJalil.com to learn more about this extraordinary, heroic brother, who traded a minor plea for the freedom from all charges of four of his San Francisco 8 comrades. Support must grow so that his next parole date, in June 2010, is successful and he is free to return to the loving arms of his family and to continue to teach and show us how to be our own liberators.

Mumia Abu-Jamal could face death any day now

“Resistance is growing – preparations are in progress,” Dr. Suzanne Ross, a clinical psychologist and co-chairperson of the Free Mumia/NY Coalition explained to The Final Call. Ms. Ross said she attended the emergency meeting at the Abiding Truth Ministries church in Philadelphia on Oct. 17, where plans were laid out for the upcoming campaign to get Mr. Abu-Jamal freed.

Perpetrators and enablers of torture in the U.S.

During the past 25 years I’ve spent a lot of time with survivors of torture, men and women enduring long term solitary confinement in California’s prisons. The single way offered to earn their way out is to tell departmental gang investigators everything they know about gang membership and activities. The prisoners call it “snitch, parole or die.”

Latest News

Artivists in Action and Solidarity: Rattle the KAGE Dec. 7, 4-7pm

Artivists in Action and Solidarity: Rattle the KAGE Dec. 7, 4-7pm! Busting down walls and opening doors through art, culture and education at the first annual Ratcliff Award celebration benefiting SF Bay View and Prison Focus. Y'all come!

Invitation to Bid for Southgate Road Realignment Project on Yerba Buena...

Invitation to Bid for Southgate Road Realignment Project The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (Transportation...

I will not be silenced!

The Trump administration has an overt and covert campaign of suppression aimed at journalists, activists and servants of the people – including Comrade Malik, who plans to edit the Bay View upon his release.