Tag Archive: Black Liberation

Action Alert –Prison Officials Denying Russell Maroon Shoatz Treatment for Prostate Cancer

maroonFrom Free Russell Maroon Shoats

Action Alert –Prison Officials Denying Russell Maroon Shoatz Treatment for Prostate Cancer – Call Prison Today

Political prisoner and former Black Panther Russell Maroon Shoatz #AF3855 was informed that he had prostate cancer on December 9, 2014. Prison medical staff has not provided any treatment to date. Cancer does not wait for the prison bureaucracy. Maroon’s health, his life, and his rights are being violated every moment he is denied necessary cancer treatment.

Call SCI Graterford and PADOC Secretary Wetzel today and demand that Maroon be provided immediate, necessary medical care for his prostate cancer.

Call:

SCI Graterford Superintendent Michael Wenerowicz: 610-489-4151

SCI Graterford Chief Health Care Administrator Joseph Korszniak: 610-489-4151

PADOC Secretary John Wetzel: 717-728-4109

Please be firm and respectful when talking to prison staff.

Talking Points: (more…)

Albert Woodfox Applies for Bail With Expedited Review

albert-carrieFrom A3 Newsletter

This afternoon Albert Woodfox’s legal team submitted an application to US District Court Judge James A. Brady for release on bail with expedited review (View the court filing here).

This month marks 2 years since Albert’s conviction was overturned for a third time based on a finding of racial discrimination in the selection of his grand jury foreperson, a decision now firmly upheld by a unanimous panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Though the Attorney General may continue to stand in the way of justice and appeal yet again to the US Supreme Court and/or attempt to retry him, Albert’s attorneys argue that there is no legal or moral justification to hold him in prison any longer, nor any reason to believe the State of Louisiana could succeed in reconvicting him in a fair proceeding.

In a moving petition, they detail not just the legal underpinnings of freeing those wrongfully convicted, but also the deeply flawed legal processes that have resulted in this innocent man spending an unconscionable 4 decades in a solitary cell. As they point out, “the State has now had not just one but two chances to convict Mr. Woodfox at a trial that passes constitutional muster, and failed.” (more…)

Court stops parole bid for Sundiata Acoli

SundiattaWrite a note of support to Sundiata Acoli:

Sundiata Acoli #39794-066 (Squire)
FCI Cumberland
Federal Correctional Institution
P.O. BOX 1000
Cumberland, MD 21501

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – New Jersey’s Supreme Court has put the brakes on the parole bid of a man convicted in the 1973 murder of a state trooper.

The justices on Thursday granted the state attorney general’s request that Sundiata Acoli not be paroled until the court decides whether to hear arguments in his case.

Acoli, then known as Clark Edward Squire, was convicted with current fugitive Joanne Chesimard in the murder of trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Chesimard was found guilty but escaped from prison and eventually fled to Cuba, where she was granted asylum by Fidel Castro. She is now living as Assata Shakur and is the first woman placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist List.

Last fall, an appeals court reversed a parole board panel’s decision and ordered Acoli released. The attorney general’s office says the court should have sent Acoli’s case to the full parole board for a rehearing. Acoli remains incarcerated. (more…)

Call In 12/4 and 12/5! Robert Seth Hayes Medical Justice Days of Action

robertsethhayesFrom Denver Anarchist Black Cross

Robert Seth Hayes is one of the longest held political prisoners in the US. He is being held at Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg, NY .Seth
is moving into his late 60’s and is passing 41 years of incarceration on a 25 to life sentence being hit at the parole board 10 times for extra 16 yrs. Seth suffers from poorly controlled diabetes mellitus and frequent bouts of low blood sugar. Seth has been denied snacks by prison staff at family visits which has resulted in episodes of low blood sugar. He has documented these incidents and appealed to prison staff on multiple occasions with no response.

It is medically necessary that Seth have access to snacks and/or sugar tablets to treat his low blood sugars when they happen. Untreated hypoglycemia is dangerous and can lead to mental confusion, unconsciousness, and seizures. Seth has experienced several such incidents in the past decade. Seth needs to have appropriate treatment for hypoglycemia available at all times and a reevaluation of his insulin regimen.

It is crucially important that we pressure Sullivan Correctional Facility to provide appropriate medical treatment for Seth.

Please join our phone-call and letter/fax campaign on Thurs 12/4 and Fri 12/5! (talking points and sample letter below)

THINGS YOU CAN DO: (more…)

“We Remember” – Some Brief Accounts from Durham’s Ferguson Solidarity March, November 25th

IMG_20141125_233915The following is a series of vignettes from the march that took place in downtown Durham on Tuesday night, November 25th, in solidarity with the struggle in Ferguson. The march was promoted online as well as with handbills and posters distributed in the thousands all over the city, and occurred before and simultaneously with a rally organized by multiple leftist groups. This series of personal accounts does not seek to establish a linear or all-encompassing narrative of what occurred, so much as provide some impressions, sights, sounds, and emotional reactions.

* * *

There’s not many of us at the front doors to the library, only a few pockets of people looking curious if they’re in the right place, but more show up soon. Eventually a large crowd of hundreds has gathered. Media people walk around asking, “Who organized this?” When it becomes clear no one plans to claim ownership of this moment, a series of older Black women start to speak. The topic is familiar: the fear of losing a son or brother, the cheapness of Black life in this shit world. One woman carrying a large white sign with pictures of her son, killed by cops in Winston-Salem, brings the crowd to tears. A bus driver still in her neon vest says a prayer, but she’s followed up by a young black man who’s visually enraged, screaming about how prayer isn’t gonna do it, that it’s “time to burn something.” Finally the crowd releases, cheers, claps, people scream “fuck yeah.” A young women I know only vaguely from weird Leftist circles confesses, “I’m ready to smash something.” Skaters show up. Another guy who I haven’t seen since the Trayvon marches shakes my hand. (more…)

Durham Herald-Sun: Protesters Rally Downtown, Block Highway

But while protestors shouted about a show of solidarity with the residents of Ferguson, there appeared to be no unity between two separate groups who came to downtown to voice their anger over the grand jury’s decision.

One group gathered on the CCB Plaza and used spoken word and other forms of artistic discourse to express themselves.

“We want to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson,” said Eric Jefferson, a graduate student at N.C. Central University, who said he is part of a group that calls itself Black Is. “This is part of life. Everybody is part of the struggle whether they realize it or not.” (more…)

Albert Woodfox’s Overturned Conviction Upheld in Unanimous Decision

angola32From Angola 3 News

We are thrilled and honored to announce that just hours ago, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Brady’s 2013 ruling overturning Albert’s conviction for a third time in a 3-0, unanimous decision (view a PDF of the official court ruling here).

Though the courts have finally ruled in the interest of justice, it may still be months or years before this innocent man is released from his solitary cell.

This is THE moment those of us whose lives have been touched by these men and this case over the years have been waiting for. This is the time when we must call upon the whole of our connections, creativity, and courage to call with one voice for the immediate, unequivocal release of Albert Woodfox from prison once and for all without delay.
Even with a unanimous decision in Albert’s favor, firmly planted in a mountain of innocence evidence, the State can still tie up his release in a number of appeals and even choose to re-indict and attempt to retry him.

Lest we lose Albert to delayed justice, as we did Herman, we must all come together to demand that this nightmare finally come to an end. (more…)

FBI’s “Suicide Letter” to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Dangers of Unchecked Surveillance

mlklettersFrom The Electronic Frontier Foundation

The New York Times has published an unredacted version of the famous “suicide letter” from the FBI to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The letter, recently discovered by historian and professor Beverly Gage, is a disturbing document. But it’s also something that everyone in the United States should read, because it demonstrates exactly what lengths the intelligence community is willing to go to—and what happens when they take the fruits of the surveillance they’ve done and unleash it on a target.

The anonymous letter was the result of the FBI’s comprehensive surveillance and harassment strategy against Dr. King, which included bugging his hotel rooms, photographic surveillance, and physical observation of King’s movements by FBI agents. The agency also attempted to break up his marriage by sending selectively edited “personal moments he shared with friends and women” to his wife.

Portions of the letter had been previously redacted. One of these portions contains a claim that the letter was written by another African-American: “King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete fraud and a great liability to all us Negroes.” It goes on to say “We will now have to depend on our older leaders like Wilkins, a man of character and thank God we have others like him. But you are done.” This line is key, because part of the FBI’s strategy was to try to fracture movements and pit leaders against one another. (more…)

A tough cell: US to defend solitary confinement use before UN

solitary-confinementReports suggest over 80,000 prisoners in isolation at any time, but government insists punishment is not systematic

NEWARK, N.J. — In a small, brightly lit office in Newark, Ojore Lutalo lays out sheet after sheet of paper covered in disquieting words and images — collages made from photographs and cutouts from magazines pasted alongside the text of legal documents and blueprints and Lutalo’s words. They are the product of his incarceration for nearly 30 years in a New Jersey prison, 22 of them in solitary confinement.

“I would create these collages to help maintain my sanity,” said Lutalo. “I would get up every morning. I would read and write, exercise. I’d write letters. Some days I would do collages all day long. I’d just cut and paste, cut and paste.”

On Nov. 12 and 13, the practice of holding incarcerated people in prolonged isolation will come under international scrutiny when the U.S. government goes before the United Nations Committee Against Torture in Geneva, part of a periodic review to assess the country’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture and the first U.S. review under Barack Obama’s administration.

This year the 10-person U.N. committee has repeated its concerns about imposing prolonged isolation on prisoners. In a list of issues to be addressed with the U.S. — including the use of secret detention facilities, Guantánamo Bay and the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — the committee has asked the government to “describe steps taken to improve the extremely harsh regime imposed on detainees in ‘Supermax security prisons,’ in particular the practice of prolonged isolation.”

The U.S. government insists that “there is no systematic use of solitary confinement in the United States.” There is abundant evidence to the contrary; Latulo can attest to that. He is just one of tens of thousands of men and women who have spent years, sometimes decades, in solitary confinement in the U.S. (more…)

Former Political Prisoner Eddie Conway To Speak at UNC and in Durham

Eddie_Conway_WebThursday, November 13th
@ 7pm @ Sonja Haynes Stone Center – Auditorium
150 South Rd, Chapel Hill, NC 27599Friday, November 14th, 2014
@ 7pm @ The Pinhook in Durham, NC
117 W. Main St. Durham, NC, 27701

Marshall “Eddie” Conway was the defense minister of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party. Framed for the murder of two Baltimore police officers in 1970, he was sentenced to life in prison. While in prison, Eddie Conway earned three diplomas, started a prison literacy program, and organized prisoner unions and libraries. Conway has authored two books from prison, Marshall Law: The Life and Times of a Baltimore Black Panther, and his exposé The Greatest Threat: The Black Panther Party and COINTELPRO. After serving 43 years in prison, Conway was released on March 4, 2014.

Eddie Conway will be speaking about his time in the Black Panther Party, his prisoner organizing work inside prison, and what his life has been like since being released.

You can find out more about Eddie Conway’s story here.

Register your attendance with your employer, law enforcement, and various government agencies and corporations here.