Four death-sentenced prisoners, wrongfully convicted of crimes following the 1993 prison rebellion in Lucasville, Ohio, started a hunger strike Jan. 3. They say they would rather die, if they must, on their own terms, rather than on a gurney by lethal injection. They want to strike a blow against confinement conditions so inhumane that they amount to torture.
Siddique Abdullah Hasan, Bomani Shakur (Keith LaMar), Jason Robb and Namir Mateen (James Were) will start a hunger strike on Monday, Jan. 3, to protest their 23-hour-a-day lockdown for nearly 18 years. They were sentenced to death for their alleged roles in the 11-day Lucasville rebellion in April 1993. They are innocent! They were wrongfully convicted! They are political prisoners.
Prisoners in at least six Georgia prisons went on strike Dec. 9. On Friday, Dec. 17, a strong, positive, fiercely determined and highly spirited march and two rallies took place in downtown Oakland despite the driving rain in support of those prisoners, whose strike has become the largest in U.S. history.
After Malcolm X passed on, his writings and teachings really took root in the minds of a new generation, inspiring young Black people in Oakland to create the Black Panther Party. Forty-five years later, his first male heir and grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, has come to the Bay. Meet him and Cynthia McKinney Thursday, July 22, 7:30 p.m., at Twinspace, 2111 Mission St., San Francisco.
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.
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