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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
It's the party of parties! Celebrate Mumia's birthday and the release of his new book, "Jailhouse Lawyers," this Friday, 4/24, 6:30pm, Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, with keynote speaker prison abolitionist Prof. Angela Davis, Min. of Info. JR, Mistah F.A.B., Chela Simone, Kiilu Nyasha, Tiny of Poor, Molotov Mouths, Adimu of Hairdoo and many more.
Angela Davis called for a new movement to abolish what she called "the prison-industrial complex" in the U.S., which has become the largest jailer in the world. "Racism is directly responsible for the fact that the U.S. has become the great incarcerator."
On Tuesday, April 14, in Las Vegas (by video) and in Carson City (live) the Nevada Board of Prison Commissioners will meet to allow the public to put on record its complaints against the Nevada prison system and make suggestions for improvement. Prisoners are asking other prisoners to urge their supporters, friends and loved ones to attend.
Don't miss this review of Mumia's new book by one of his closest friends, Kiilu Nyasha. Kiilu fell April 2 and broke her hip. She's recovering from surgery at CPMC Davies Campus, Castro at Duboce St., North Tower, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94114. Send this great warrior (armed only with love and a laser-keen intellect) some love and early birthday greetings; she turns 70 in May!
When the story that the San Francisco Sheriff's Department (SFSD) was illegally strip-searching detainees and leaving them naked for hours in "cold cells" hit the front page of the Chronicle in September 2003, the public was both astonished and outraged. Attend the 9th Circuit hearing Thursday, 3/26, 10am, Courtroom 1, 95 7th St., San Francisco.
While the general public has been exposed to stories of rape among prisoners, there is little awareness about the high incidence of brutal rape of both men and women by prison employees.