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Behind Enemy Lines

Stories from the prison industrial complex.

Citing withheld evidence, supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal call for civil rights investigation

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.

Supervisors’ resolution urges AG Jerry Brown to drop charges against SF 8

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.

Rev. Pinkney denied right to attend his own hearing

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.

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

San Francisco 8 preliminary hearing starts Monday, June 8

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.

Support Three Strikes reform

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.

Global day of action May 19: Stop the execution of Troy Davis! Innocence matters!

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.

Rallying, rioting, rebelling: Revolution

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.”

May 19 Global Day of Action for Troy Davis

“Now here we are again with the clock winding down,” warned the Amnesty spokesperson. “We are serious when we say that we need everyone to support Troy Davis on May 19th by organizing their own event or awareness-raising activity.

‘Jailhouse Lawyers,’ Mumia’s new book: an interview wit’ Angela Davis, author of the foreword

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 tours the nation calling for the abolition of prisons: reports from the...

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."

Pack the Nevada Prison Board meeting April 14

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.

Beating back Batson

The U.S. Supreme Court's 1986 Batson v. Kentucky decision prohibited the state from removing Black jurors for racial reasons. Still, courts have been loathe to grant relief.

‘Jailhouse Lawyers: Prisoners Defending Prisoners v. The U.S.A.’ by Mumia Abu-Jamal

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!

City pursues right to torture and humiliate detainees

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.

36 years of solitude

An 18,000-acre complex that still resembles the slave plantation it once was, Angola Prison is where Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 has served nearly all of his time in solitary confinement - 36 years, 2 months and 24 days.

It’s time to expose the sexual abuse of inmates by prison employees: Reports from...

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.

With ‘judges’ like these …

In Pennsylvania's Luzerne County, two judges just pled guilty to a conspiracy to convict and sentence juveniles to a private prison, so that they could get kickbacks from the prison's builders and owners.

Urgent! Support needed for Imam Jamil

Imam Jamil Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, was once Minister of Justice of the Black Panther Party - always a servant of the people. We must come to his rescue just as he struggled to rescue us.

The Obama-Nation

Will the Obama-Nation become an abomination if it fails to stop the bombing of nations? From Gaza to Afghanistan, the American people must take a stand and tell Obama to forge a better plan to free the land.