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From media cutoffs to lockdown, tracing the fallout from the U.S. prison strike

Prisons in some states are withholding newspapers from inmates amid a strike against prison conditions and billions of dollars worth of prison labor. The passing of the 13th Amendment in 1865 formally abolished slavery, but with a stipulation that enabled plantation owners to use prisoners as a replacement for the lost labor. As a group called the Free Alabama Movement rallied for a Sept. 9 labor strike in spring, prison authorities across the country began clamping down on news and information in ways that the ACLU says may be in violation of the First Amendment.

Help prisoners break the ban on Bay View

Censorship of the Bay View around the country appears to have become a habit, a way to kill the paper once and for all. We have physical evidence now that the major media can report on prison strikes and not be censored. If you are a lawyer, read these three protests from prisoners who want and need and deserve their papers and help if you can. If you are a prisoner who hasn’t received your paper, do some brainstorming with your comrades. Make a way out of no way – and tell us when you succeed.

Extreme vetting: Apply it to police

I’ve been following the U.S. presidential debates very closely. As a Black man who also happens to be a Muslim with a mother who was originally from the Middle East, I am intrigued by this term “extreme vetting,” which is frequently used by presidential candidate Donald Trump. Maybe extreme vetting needs to be applied to the internal threat posed from rogue police.

Nationwide epidemic of suicide in solitary: Solitary confinement is murder!

This year at Holman in Atmore, Alabama, there have been five suicides in its segregation unit – more suicides or homicides than in its population. The latest was a mentally ill young man in his 20s. The conditions in the Administrative Segregation housing wings at the H.H. Coffield Unit located at Tennessee Colony, Texas are horrible, and these conditions have driven prisoners to suicide, approximately 13 deaths just this year! We need the broadest exposure of this horrifying trend.

Your tax dollars make Ameri­ca a nation of 8 million slaves

The United States of America is presently home to 2 million active slaves and approximately 6 million document­ed as slaves for future use. You ask how the land of the free can be home to some 8 million slaves and why Americans know noth­ing about it? The answer is that Congress enacted the 13th Amendment in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. It abolished slavery throughout the country but it al­lows all states to enslave all persons convicted of a crime.

Hard lessons in the struggle to end prison slavery

These prison profiteers and imperialist oppressors aren’t feeling the recent show of power and solidarity among prisoners throughout AmeriKKKa. In the same manner, the FBI’s COINTELPRO sought to thwart the emergence of a Black Messiah, mass incarceration in Amerika seeks to sabotage the emergence of any movement which challenges the capitalist-imperialist plan to lock up, exploit, disenfranchise, poison and in some cases even kill the poorest cross-section of Amerikan society.

Amend 13!

This is a public notice to all freedom fighters, activists and community leaders: SLAVERY IS NOT DEAD! Did the 13th Amendment abolish slavery? Ask anyone in the United States this question and they will answer most emphatically: Yes, of course it did. If you, the person reading this article and call to action, believe this as well, please allow me to inform you: You are wrong! Slavery is not dead! Rather than abolish slavery, the 13th Amendment LEGALIZED it!

Exposing toxic work conditions inside Texas Prisons

Environmental injustices are forced upon people of color and disadvantaged minorities. This is a fact and not a subjective feeling or statement. Prison officials and ACA inspectors attempt to cover up and downplay the fact that numerous Texas prisons have contaminated water supplies and Texas Correctional Industries employees force pri­soners to work in toxic environments. Does anyone think the U.S. government will intercede on our behalf?

The movement inside Texas prisons will not be complete until the sisters join

I spend countless hours reading and scanning alternative newspapers, journals and magazines that provide a platform for prisoners who write. I don’t see many revolutionary essays or articles being written by female Texas prisoners. I know you all can’t be content with the conditions you are being housed under, and I know for a fact you are not being given the dignity and respect you deserve. So I must ask: “Why aren’t we hearing from you?”

Prisoners file federal lawsuit to end prison slavery in Texas

On March 7, 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love issued an order in the federal civil lawsuit brought by 89 prisoners housed at the Coffield Unit located in Tennessee Colony, Texas. The lawsuit challenges the fraudulent good time and work time credit scheme the state uses to defraud prisoners of their “work product” and exploit them in order to enrich the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, as well as their slave industries known as TCI, or Texas Correctional Industries.

End prison slavery in Texas now!

In Texas we know that we are being exploited, mistreated, degraded and abused. Many prisoners in Texas are content with the modern day slave plantation system, which is managed and operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. However, many prisoners are not content; in fact they are frustrated and angry. The strategies utilized by prisoners in other states that have similar conditions to Texas don’t necessarily apply here.

Prison officials, ACA inspectors ignore contaminated water in Texas prisons

In the September 2015 edition of Prison Legal News, Panagioti Tsolkas of the newly formed Prison Ecology Project wrote a scathing article that shed light on a serious problem at a prison located in Navasota, Texas. Dangerous levels of arsenic have been found at the Wallace Pack Unit. “How could the American Correctional Association continue to give Wallace Pack Unit passing marks and rave reviews if the drinking water is contaminated with poison?”

Messing with Major

Major George Tillery is a Pennsylvania lifer, 65, who confronted SCI Mahanoy Superintendent John Kerestes over Mumia Abu-Jamal’s deteriorating health. Prison authorities retaliated against Major Tillery – repeatedly ransacked his cell and denied him medical treatment for seeking medical assistance for Mumia and other prisoners. Tillery was transferred to SCI Frackville and then falsely charged with drug possession, disciplined and given six months in “the hole.”

‘TDCJ placed me in harm’s way because I spoke out in reference to the...

Greetings, brothers and sisters. This year in Texas we have seen a marked increase in the exposure of heinous acts of abuse and mis­treatment perpetrated by state employees who work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Behind the scenes, the prisoners responsible for this massive movement to combat injustice have be­come victims of retaliation and harassment at the hands of prison officials and, elected state government officials.

Mumia’s life is in danger; only the people can save him – keep calling!

Now is the time for everyone to actively jump into the movement full force. We must mobilize the way we did in 1995 and 1999 to stop the execution. We must use all of our energy to immediately demand proper medical care for Mumia and push for his full release. Keep calling the heads of Corrections and of Mahanoy Prison. Contribute to Mumia's Emergency Medical Fund. All who can are urged to join the caravan Monday, April 6, to Corrections Secretary Wetzel's office. And all who cannot be there are urged to CALL 717-728-4109, especially before 8 a.m. Monday. See Sunday night update.

There is power in unity!

For many months here in Texas, Comrade Rashid, our minister of defense, and I have struggled hard to shed light on the heinous acts of barbaric violence perpetrated by Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees against prisoners of every race, nation and creed. If it was not for Dr. Willie and Sister Mary Ratcliff, publisher and editor of the San Francisco Bay View, revolutionary voices might never be heard by the public at large.

Houston needs a civilian review board – but Texas needs much more!

For the past four years, community activists and civil rights leaders in the Houston area have been fighting hard to establish a civilian review board with prosecutorial power over local police. The board would oversee the activities of a Houston Police Department (HPD) which has had a “love affair” with the use of excessive and lethal force on Houstonians. The problem with HPD is much larger than it appears and affects everyone in Houston.

Panther unleashed

Comrades, after nearly two years of 23-hour lockdown in Ad-Seg here in Texas, I have recently been released to general population. I spent close to one year on one of the most notoriously abusive high security units in Texas, the Estelle High Security Unit located in Huntsville. Unknown to the fascist oppressors who held me captive on Estelle, I kept meticulous records of the abuse and mistreatment I witnessed and fell victim to.

Serving the people despite the retaliation of the oppressors

Comrades, today is the 8th of November 2013, and I must tell you that no sooner had the ink dried on the October San Francisco Bay View newspaper and the October-December issue of Turning the Tide than the Texas Department of Criminal Injustice waged an all-out attack on Comrade Kevin “Rashid” Johnson and myself.

Wanda’s Picks for March 2013

Back when Mumia was a member of the Black Panther Party, he traveled west to work with the Oakland chapter – an important time in his evolution as a radical journalist. Now the story of his life and revolutionary times comes to The New Parkway Theater. Read about it and all of Wanda's Picks for March 2013.

Letest News

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and the ‘pseudotyping’ of the state of Israel

Pseudotyping, in the social sense, is the false perception that criticism aimed at the behavior of an individual, or individuals within a group, is a criticism of the entire group to which those persons belong. And it arises from the well of pain created by harmful stereotyping that the entire group has suffered in the past.

Vets for Peace to Barbara Lee: Support Manning and Assange

Veterans for Peace has issued a press release in support of both Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and former U.S. army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning, and East Bay Veterans for Peace, Chapter 162, want to talk to Congresswoman Barbara Lee about it. Opponents of U.S. wars have idealized Lee, California’s District 13 congresswoman, for her antiwar record.

How chores can help kids with ACES

Research shows that children who do chores have fewer behavior problems, are more engaged in school, enjoy better mental health in later life and are part of a stronger family due to shared responsibility.

Mumia Abu-Jamal wins rehearing, as D.A. Krasner drops appeal

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner has abandoned his efforts to stonewall Mumia Abu-Jamal from re-arguing his 1981 conviction for killing a city police officer. “His case is now open to reversal,” said attorney Rachel Wolkenstein. “This is the legal path to Mumia’s freedom.”

Pastor Eric Payne paroled, then snatched from his church, wife, four...

My husband did nothing wrong, no violation of his parole at all. This error is not his fault, but he is being punished as if it is. Because of this recent knowledge, or unless you know of another plan of action, we feel the best remedy is to seek his release via the Parole Board with a seasoned and aggressive Parole Board attorney. We need help, direction, case study, laws etc. that will assist in my husband’s immediate release.