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The Free South Carolina Movement is a collective of political prisoners, politicized and political prisoners of war, organized with friends, family, loved ones and supporters with a common cause, aims and objectives, i.e. self-determining education, adequate healthcare suitable for poor and oppressed peoples, bringing families closer together, true freedom, transforming the present genocidal sentencing structure, bringing awareness to the public and the youth, putting an end to the pipeline from preschool to prison and the systematic extermination of Black and Brown peoples.
On New Year’s Eve, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) went to the polls to choose their next president, parliament and provincial governments. I spoke to Maurice Carney, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based Friends of the Congo, about the results.
Black Genius built the pyramids, not slave labor. Black hands have built pyramids all over the world. In Afraka, Asia, Amerika and, apparently, even ancient Atlantis! I mention this because there are some very schizophrenic people out there who can’t make up their minds whether or not to try and steal the credit from Black people about who built the pyramids or to condemn Black people for using slave labor to build the pyramids.
In 2015, I participated in a re-entry program at the Women’s Prison in Raleigh, N.C. Prior to this, I had never set foot in a prison before, and I was so anxious on this day to meet the two mentees that were assigned to me. On Nov. 3, 2018, I encountered another first and that was to actually visit someone in prison. I was introduced to Veronza Bowers by a fellow inmate who told me that Veronza was a former Black Panther who had been serving 46 years in prison. I was immediately interested in connecting with this iconic figure in the Black Power Movement, as my late dad was also a former Black Panther. So, on Aug. 14, 2018, thus began my journey into a beautiful, lifetime connection.
In the same way that Black dollars matter, our story also matters and we are responsible for holding and sharing our stories and the stories of our ancestors. Often in public education the stories of our ancestors are left out of the curriculum with the more popularized figures crammed into the shortest month of the year. In an attempt to assist with centralizing our story on our collective consciousness I’ve worked with Sincere in Michigan’s Department of Corrections to create OurStory Calendar.
In the ‘70s and ‘80s and throughout the ‘90s there was a strong progressive revolutionary prison movement throughout the state of Indiana. The two dominant and often competing political lines or ideologies were Revolutionary Nationalism or New Afrikan Communism as represented by the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) and Afrikan Internationalism as represented by the Afrikan People’s Socialist Party (APSP). Other tendencies were represented by Anarchists, Marxists and Maoists.
Many New Afrikans (Blacks) for some reason think that the revolution is dead. The revolution is not dead. It is the spirit of the people that is dead. They have forgotten their history. And since their spirit is dead, the revolution is at a standstill or stagnant. Revolution means to bring about a change. A revolutionary is one who is dedicated to bringing about that change. We can all agree that change in these times is indeed needed. Revolution is needed! The people’s spirit is only dead because those of us who claim to be revolutionaries haven’t sparked their interest.
Melvin Dickson made the transition to join his ancestors on Oct. 25, 2018, in Berkeley, California. He was 77 years old. Melvin was a long-time and dedicated member of the Black Panther Party, which shaped his thinking and commitment to the interests of all people for the rest of his life. As we honor Melvin’s life and legacy, we hope that you will join us for this very special celebration: All Power to the People! Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, 2-6 p.m., at Met West High School.
In a time when the trumpets of fascism are blowing loud, those of us who have been on the frontlines need to stand strong – at the back. We can’t lead this fight. We need the energy, the insight, the fresh face and perspectives of the Amani Sawaris to step up. I know she carries an optimism and a vision that us OGs can’t touch. I hope everyone who has known and loved the SF Bay View over its 42-year history will lend their support to Amani and the revitalization of the paper.
Trump declared that he would give a presidential pardon and release any federal prisoner presented to him by a NFL player who may be innocent, unduly convicted or have an unjust sentence. So, NFL players, adopt a federal prisoner for President Trump’s pardon. It might not end mass incarceration or stop Attorney General Jeff Beauregard Sessions from turning back the clock on social justice, but it surely would save some lives that otherwise would die in prison. Besides, it’s a win-win situation for NFL players and President Trump. What do you got to lose?
As the snowbirds arrived in Florida along with the mild January breezes, a small uprising of laborers who work under lock and key stopped production and made demands. This coordinated struggle was carried out by members of one of the most violently exploited groups in America: incarcerated workers. Inmates at 17 Florida prisons launched the labor strike, calling themselves “Operation PUSH,” to demand higher wages and the reintroduction of parole incentives for specific groups of inmates.
On July 18, International Nelson Mandela Day, the New Afrikan Liberation Collective in partnership with IDOC Watch will be holding a panel on political prisoners followed by a demonstration outside the IDOC headquarters to call attention to the ongoing abuse in Indiana prisons. We call on all comrades and any fellow human beings with any compassion in their hearts, to join our families and loved ones as they support and fight for us at the “Prison Lives Matter: In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela” demonstration.
His name is Veronza Bowers Jr., a former member and captain of the original Black Panther Party. After more than 44 years in prison, 14 years beyond his mandatory release date, Veronza has faith that with his Freedom Team of top lawyers and the love of multitudes of supporters around the world, he will win his freedom soon. Political prisoners are kept in prison when the “law enforcers” they opposed decades ago carry grudges they pass down the generations, vowing those prisoners will die in prison. But the words of little Pharoah Dawson, who wrote, “Veronza, don’t die in prison!” are more powerful.
In the early morning of June 16, after nearly 40 years of unjust imprisonment by the state of Pennsylvania, political prisoner and MOVE 9 member Debbie Sims Africa was granted parole and released from the State Correctional Institution-Cambridge Springs. Messaging on Instagram, the MOVE Organization wrote: “Our sister Debbie Africa is FREE! What a beautiful day to find freedom! Let’s keep fighting for our bros and sisters still behind bars — Mike [Sr.], Eddie, Chuck, Janet, Janine and Delbert! The struggle is underway!” This important victory comes exactly two years after Debbie, Janet and Janine Africa were last denied parole in 2016.
For the past year, we have been working to organize and grow the Prison Lives Matter Campaign in an attempt to rebuild and strengthen the prison movement in this kkkountry. We must continue this momentum following last years’ PLM demonstration in Indianapolis and the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington, D.C., by mobilizing all of our leading prison abolition, revolutionary and anti-imperialist activist formations from across the kkkountry to stand in solidarity this summer.
Introduction: Kiilu Nyasha, Black Panther veteran, revolutionary journalist and mother of every movement, joined the ancestors on April 10, and just three days later, Bay View Arts Editor Wanda Sabir opened the phone lines on her morning radio show for tributes to our revered comrade. To listen to the entire show, go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wandas-picks/2018/04/13/wandas-picks-radio-show-special-tribute-to-kiilu-nyasha or listen here. – Editor
In our grand traditions of African Liberation Day/Month – and May First/International Workers’ Day – WE remember and honor our Beloved Ancients and Ancestors from yesteryears and yesterday. Recently, super-(s)heroes such as freedom fighters Mama WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA and KIILU NYASHA made their Spiritual Transformations. Warrior Kiilu is a great inspiration and uncompromising advocate for Power to the People, freeing our political prisoners and abolishing prisons.
On April 26, former Black Panther Herman Bell was released from prison in New York State after 45 years. That leaves at least 10 surviving members of the Black Panther Party behind bars, including Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, who is currently held at the California State Prison-Los Angeles. His next parole hearing is scheduled for May 4. I spoke to his friend Arthur League, a former Panther who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I have always said that if you want to understand the nature of a thing, you must research its origin. I would venture to say that the iconic freedom fighter and servant of the people Malcolm X was the first “Prison Panther,” although he was not known officially as such. However, when Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in 1966 at Merritt College in Oakland, California, the legacy of their hero, OUR HERO, Malcolm X was on their mind.
Our beloved Kiilu, 78, passed peacefully into the welcoming arms of the ancestors in the early morning of April 10, 2018. Kiilu was a serious political animal. She didn’t just debate or go to meetings; she was on the frontlines of political struggle. Kiilu personified the spirit of a Black Panther and a dragon breaking free from a dungeon rolled into one, with the resiliency of a Haitian freedom fighter in their revolution and the resolve of a Palestinian resisting the settler colonial Zionist. Kiilu Nyasha, we love you, and we will never forget what you gave.