Jalil Muntaqim thrown into the SHU for teaching Black History
Greeting to all of our listeners and supporters from around the world,
This initial blog post is to try and shed some light on what we have come to recognize as the generational shift to younger Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. First is the importance of recognizing the role of “law and order” as a tool to maintain socio-economic inequality, basically supporting the status quo. That is to say that the police and the laws that they enforce are nothing more than the ideas and opinions of the 1% (ruling class). Through this institution the abuse of power has produced people in this country and all around the world that have resisted their violent oppression, some through non-violent means and others through direct revolutionary armed actions. The role of police and criminal justice in this country is to protect ruling class property and serve ruling class interest in order to maintain the exploitative consumer driven capitalist economy that expands the wealth gap with every generation. Overall, the Black and Brown revolutionary community leaders of the 1950’s to the 1980’s have been in prison for decades and are now elderly and making their transitions to join the ancestors at rapid rates. Following the Ferguson uprising there have been an increasing number of young political prisoners who have been legally targeted and some convicted for their political affiliations or actions. Not to mention the politicized prisoners who have been incarcerated for their non-violent crimes of economic nature related to drug sales, and have become aware to the political repression and violation of human rights committed against prisoners domestically and abroad.
Now, I would like to introduce you to the community organizers from Ferguson, MO who are serving longer sentences than any other Ferguson protesters. First, there is Olajuwan “Ali” Davis the Minister of Defense for the St. Louis area New Black Panther Party and Joshua Williams who has worked with various community organizations who were on the streets in during the uprising. Olajuwan at the young age of 23 years old is serving a 7 year sentence after allegedly plotting to purchase explosives for a confidential informant to destroy the St. Louis Arch. Joshua at the young age of 20 years is serving an 8 year sentence for allegedly playing a role in setting the fire that burned down the QuikTrip on the corner of West Florissant among other charges. These are only two of thousands of prisoners across the country who have become politicized in the past years and have decided to resist the inhumanity and righteously face whatever consequence that may come. On the inside of the prisons all across this country prisoners are organizing for humane living conditions, access to health care, and access to ways to development themselves to return to society as productive members of their communities.
In closing, I hope that his quick message has given our readers a means to better understand the counter narrative that seeks to recognize the class interest in the explosion of non-violent drug convictions and the maintained dysfunction of working class communities of color due to the ruling class overseeors (aka officers) violent repression of those who choose to resist. Lastly, if you have not heard about the various prisoner labor and/or hunger strikes going on across the country please go and research and support the Free Alabama Movement, Frisco 500, Free Virginia Movement as well as others that I may not have named.
In Love and struggle,
The Real News Network new Political Prisoner updates from The National Jericho Movement interview w/ Jihad Abdulmumit
by the Imam Jamil Action Network
The Imam Jamil Action Network, Jericho Movement and other concerned individuals join in demanding immediate adequate medical attention for Imam Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown.
His jaw was swollen to at least twice its normal size, and he is in a lot of pain. We were told that the institution had been on lockdown for two weeks, which is why no word had gotten out earlier.On Sept. 3, 2015, the Jericho Movement received an email from a political prisoner at U.S. Penitentiary Canaan, a high security prison in Waymart, Penn., concerning Imam Jamil. The sender said that the imam was in serious need of medical attention.
A family member was later able to speak with Imam Jamil and confirms the information. Someone from the Jericho Medical Committee will contact the prison clinical director to see what, if any, medical info can be gotten from the institution.
Please call or fax USP Canaan and ask – demand – that Imam Jamil be given immediate adequate medical attention. A more detailed statement will be forthcoming.
The phone number is 570-488-8000; the fax number is 570-488-8130. Let them know you are concerned about Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, No. 99974-555.
PLEASE CALL OR FAX USP CANAAN AND ASK – DEMAND – THAT IMAM JAMIL BE GIVEN IMMEDIATE ADEQUATE MEDICAL ATTENTION. THE PHONE NUMBER IS 570-488-8000; THE FAX NUMBER IS 570-488-8130. LET THEM KNOW YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT JAMIL ABDULLAH AL-AMIN, NO. 99974-555.
For those who want to write the imam, the address is: Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, 99974-555, USP Canaan, P.O. Box 300, Waymart, PA 18472. You may not get an immediate response from him, but we know all cards and letters are appreciated.
The Imam Jamil Action Network (IJAN) urges all to support this effort to gain relief and to demand the release from the unjust imprisonment of our righteous brother. We must stop this “execution by medical neglect.”
Visit the Imam Jamil Action Network, whose mission is “Working to Free Imam Jamil Al-Amin,” atimamjamilactionnetwork.weebly.com.
Originally posted on SFBayView.com
Originally posted on SFbayview.com
by The People’s Minister of Information JR
All of Us or None’s upcoming Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Western Regional Conference is Sept. 20-21 at Oakstop, 1721 Broadway in downtown Oakland. It will be a time for people to discuss employment, housing, crimmigration, which is the connection between the punishment system in the U.S. and immigration policies, and more.
M.O.I. JR: How long were you locked up during your longest period in captivity? What concentration camps were you kept in?
Manuel La Fontaine: My longest time in captivity was approximately 51 months. I was held captive in the following cages: San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara county jails and San Quentin, Folsom and Soledad state prisons. However, after our history as colonized people in the U.S., particularly our ancestors that were in slavery, along with the contemporary concentration of Black and Brown people in cages ranging from children’s jails to privatized “detention facilities,” one day in captivity is a day too long.
M.O.I. JR: How did you get involved with All of Us or None? What is it about the organization that made you become a member?
Manuel La Fontaine: Started building with AOUON as I was wrapping up my final year at San Francisco State University. My comrade, Jason Bell, who is with Project Rebound, a program that supports formerly imprisoned people pursuing educational objectives at a four-year college, introduced me to Hamdiya Cooks-Abdullah.
Hamdiya, a co-founding member of All of Us or None, and I embraced each other upon meeting, and the rest is history. The camaraderie among the elders that rippled throughout the organization and our self-determination pledge were two key factors that made me commit unconditionally to the concept and values of All of Us or None.
I see All of Us or None as being more than an organization. I see it as a philosophy, as a lifestyle, as a lifetime commitment to dare to struggle for those left behind those walls, for those who survived the madness, and towards making our communities safe and secure for everyone.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us about All of Us or None’s upcoming Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Western Regional Conference? What will be happening? Who are the speakers? What are the panels about?
Manuel La Fontaine: We will be organizing a Western Regional Conference on Sept. 20-21 at Oakstop, located at 1721 Broadway in downtown Oakland.
The conference is being organized by people directly impacted by the punishment system, aka “criminal justice” system. We will be organizing ourselves to speak truth to POWER, both in the community and to invited elected officials from the federal government.
We are demanding that President Obama issue an executive order ensuring that both federal agencies and federal contractors are doing their part to eliminate unnecessary barriers to employment for people with conviction records.
All of Us or None’s upcoming Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Western Regional Conference is Sept. 20-21 at Oakstop, 1721 Broadway in downtown Oakland.
The conference will have panels of formerly incarcerated people and family members of critically impacted people sharing their testimonies about the common problems our communities face, as well as impart our solutions.
There will be panels on employment and housing discrimination, the pursuit of education for people in cages, crimmigration or the marriage of immigration with the punishment system, impact of legislation supporting legalization vs. decriminalization of cannabis on people. We will address how fear, racism and liberalism, or “stay-in-your-place-ism,” impacts our ability to survive post-captivity.
M.O.I. JR: Why is it important to have an organized movement that speaks to the issues of formerly incarcerated and convicted peoples?
Manuel La Fontaine: While our friends, allies and supporters who know us recognize our work and our campaigns, unfortunately, the dominant narrative and the stigma that comes with incarceration prevent formerly incarcerated people as a community from being seen as legitimate people in this society. Surprisingly, this exclusion even extends to the prison-reform movement.
As Daryl points out, “People with arrest and conviction records are often relegated to being effective organizers and mobilizers, but rarely are we looked upon as policy advocates, strategic thinkers and researchers.” I would add even as leaders in our communities.
We are more than effective organizers, sign-holders and storytellers. We are educators, attorneys, nurses, directors of agencies, and critical thinkers and actors; yet, we are glaringly forgotten and excluded from the meaningful discussions and decision-making tables regarding recidivism, “reentry” and making our communities safer.
In addition, we cannot talk about ANY organized movement unless we incorporate the struggles facing political prisoners here in America. For us to have any real, inclusive movement, we must honor those who sacrificed and paved the way for us to have the little bit of freedom we have today. Political prisoners are people who were persecuted, prosecuted and captured for their resistance to state oppression, in particular state violence against people.
Some have been held captives for decades, including our late comrade Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, who was held captive for over a half century but was assassinated on Aug. 12, 2015, inside and by the California Department of Corrections and rehabilitation (CDCr). Any and ALL organized movements must recognize and support the campaigns and overall liberation efforts of Leonard Peltier, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Herman Bell and ALL other political prisoners.
M.O.I. JR: What are some of the issues that incarcerated and convicted people have to deal with on a daily basis in society that non-convicted people don’t have to deal with?
Manuel La Fontaine: Systemic and pervasive discrimination all over the spectrum, from employment to housing to life insurance, forces many of us to live off the informal economy. PTSD is another internal beast we have to survive with in many cases, and our reluctance to trust the inextricably intertwined systems forces many of us to go untreated and in many cases get into self-medicating off the informal health care market.
If one ignores root causes, poor people of color are then blamed for America’s social ills. Unfortunately, according to the dominant discourse, the solution is punishment and focusing solely on personal responsibility.
Systemic and pervasive discrimination all over the spectrum, from employment to housing to life insurance, forces many of us to live off the informal economy.
We fundamentally believe that the real and main incubators of violence in America are capitalism, structural racism, and exclusionary policies and practices preventing people from being treated as human beings.
M.O.I. JR: What does All of Us or None hope people get out of this two-day conference?
Manuel La Fontaine: We want people who have survived the madness of captivity both in and out these cages – although some would argue that some parts of the Bay resemble minimum to maximum security prisons – recognize our power in unity, that as individuals we may accomplish individual goals and objectives, but our communities are still burying their young ones prematurely and living in inhumane conditions.
But if we come together, the over 70 million of us who have been in cages at some point in our lives, we will have a large political base to demand change and liberate ourselves from contemporary slavery.
M.O.I. JR: Why did All of Us or None make the conference free?
Manuel La Fontaine: Because we don’t believe knowledge, wisdom and community should have a monetary price on it. We don’t believe that as a society we should commodify people, animals or the land.
Unfortunately the dominant discourse in America places value in prisons, policing and punishment over human consideration. So we were fortunate enough to secure some resources and recognize that poverty makes many things unattainable. Knowledge of self, love and people power should be made accessible to the people.
Unfortunately the dominant discourse in America places value in prisons, policing and punishment over human consideration.
M.O.I. JR: How could people register and get more information on the conference?
Manuel La Fontaine: To register, people can click on the link below, or call our offices at 415-255-7036, ext. 328, or call me directly at 415-637-8195. Register on Eventbrite, at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/formerly-incarcerated-peoples-western-regional-conference-tickets-17856972686.
M.O.I. JR: What is going on with the Agreement to End Hostilities in the California prison system after the assassination of the famously courageous political prisoner Hugo Pinell a few weeks ago on a yard in New Folsom?
Manuel La Fontaine: It was people inside California state prison Security Housing Units, often stereotyped as the “worst of the worst,” who created the Agreement to End Hostilities. This agreement, which CDCr failed to honor and distribute widely, has been most instrumental in reducing CDCr-orchestrated violence inside the cages, with ripple effects extending out to the streets.
While we are devastated by the recent assassination of Hugo Yogi Pinell, we are hopeful that all critically conscious people and all like-minded people inside CDCr will maintain their eyes on the prize, which is unity towards our collective self-determination.
It was people inside California state prison Security Housing Units, often stereotyped as the “worst of the worst,” who created the Agreement to End Hostilities.
It is obviously easier said than done, considering that the assassinations of people inside cages and on the streets by guards, police and vigilantes is a constant reminder of how racism has morphed into being normalized in America. The fundamental questions remain: When is enough enough? And do people who are being attacked for being Black, Brown, undocumented or considered inferior in America have the right to defend themselves?
M.O.I. JR: What is the status of the California Prison Movement four years after the monumental California prison hunger strikes?
Manuel La Fontaine: We are still trying to process and come to terms with the recent assassination of Hugo Yogi Pinell. Many of our elders and comrades inside from different backgrounds are committed to honoring the Agreement to End Hostilities.
There is also some discussion of a potential settlement in the litigation brought forth by representatives who helped organize the hunger strikes inside CDCR and are demanding an end to solitary confinement as we now know it to exist. However, I don’t have the details or luxury to share them if I did, since it’s premature due to ongoing developments.
I am optimistic that people inside CDCr and those of us who have survived the madness of captivity will be able to see past our immediate grief, anger and personal differences and recognize the need and power of building a protracted movement that is led by people who have endured the terrorism inside the cages of America.
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are three things you can do as the day approaches . . .
1) Send him a birthday card!
Let him know he is not forgotten on his birthday! Find or make a simple card without layers, glue, glitter, or other fun components which are unfortunately not allowed in most prisons. Try to send 1-2 weeks before the 23rd if possible. This week would be great!
2) Send a birthday donation to his legal fund!
As many of you know, the parole board has acknowledged that Maliki Shakur Latine has a stellar record of self-rehabilitation and community service and a low risk of reoffending, yet they denied him parole for the sixth time in 2014 and his appeal was denied in May 2015. Now he needs to raise 4000 dollars to file an article 78 appeal. Please donate what you can and give Maliki a gift that will count toward community healing and justice for his birthday.
3) Spread the word!
Reblog, repost, retweet, and share this message with your family, friends, and community! Freedom is the solution!