Tag Archive: prisoner voices

Sekou Kambui Update:

sekouFrom Denver Anarchist Black Cross

Sekou Kambui, freed after 40 years in prison at the end of June, sends his Thanks, Love, and Appreciation to those that continue supporting him so generously.

After having surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, Sekou is scheduled to be released back to halfway house in the next few days. He will continue receiving health care as an outpatient.

Sekou Kambui will once again receive mail at:
305 W. Powell St.
Dothan, AL 36303

Sean Swain’s Security Level Reduced!

Seandrawing

From Sean Swain

Our call-in efforts have proved successful. Sean’s security level has been reduced to 4AT. Here’s Sean’s description of what that is:

“Good news. I was moved to 4AT. It’s not much different than 4B, but I get 2 ½ hours with three other prisoners and I have access to phone everyday. I get contact visits again, on contact visit days, whenever those are designated.”

Interview with revolutionary anarchist prisoner Jerome White-Bey

jeromeFrom Prisoner Letters

When compiling a prisoner letter writing list of bios and addresses, I came across the name “Jerome White-Bey” and couldn’t find any information about him aside from his name, prison # and address, and a one sentence mention of him founding the Missouri Prison Labor Union. After exchanging a few letters, he agreed to an interview with me with the intention of it being published, and the link below is where that interview can be located. This site was also made with the intention of publishing other interviews of those currently and previously incarcerated whose cases I feel are underrepresented in the US anarchist movement.

Jerome White-Bey 2014 (Missouri Prison Labor Union)

(A): I’m glad you said you’d be interested in doing an interview. I guess, let’s start with background: How old are you, what was growing up like, how long have you been incarcerated, and what did you get convicted of?

Jerome: Well, I am 58 years old. I was born in St. Louis MO. Growing up for me was like a two fold measure for the family support was always present. I was raise up by my Mother and Grandmother. They was of the working class, I never went to bed hunger, or without clothes or shoes, I was the oldest out of 6 siblings and the only one who been in and out of prison. I was always in trouble with the law, I have always rebel against authority. At a very young age of 17 years old I was introduce to true revolutionary ideas of George Jackson “Prison Letters”, I fall in love! I have been in prison for 36 ½ years, and was convicted for 32 armed robberies and a second degree murder case on a government agent.

 

(A): I understand that you are an anarchist who was involved in establishing the Missouri Prison Labor Union. How did you come to radical/ revolutionary politics? (more…)

Activist Cecily McMillan Released from Prison, Reads Statement From Women of Rikers Island

cecilyFrom The Dissenter

Cecily McMillan, a New York activist, who was sentenced to ninety days in prison for “felony assault of a police officer” after an incident at an Occupy Wall Street event, was released from prison. She delivered a statement to the press and took the opportunity to read a statement that she and the women of Rikers Island drafted together.

“Incarceration is meant to prevent crime,” McMillan asserted. “Its purpose is to penalize and then return us to the outside world ready to start anew. The world I saw at Rikers isn’t concerned with that. Many of the tactics employed are aimed at simple dehumanization.

“In the interests of returning the facility to its mission and restoring dignity to its inmates, we, the women of Rikers, have several demands that will make this system more functional. These were collectively drafted for me to read before you today.”

She said that the women of Rikers demand “adequate, safe and timely healthcare at all times,” including mental health care services. They also would like to not have to wait “up to 12 hours a day for a simple clinic visit” as well as the ability to request a female doctor “if desired.”

According to the women still imprisoned, there is a “special sense of urgency” to this demand: (more…)

Update from Tabor Correctional: On Cell Searches

book-banThe following is an update about cell searches written by a prisoner at Tabor CI. Other conditions recently documented by prisoners at the facility include uncooked food, guards going through prisoners’ mail and legal correspondence, and emergency calls from sick or injured prisoners going unheeded. This last item often results in prisoners desperately banging on cell doors to receive help, which in turn results in not a nurse visit but a cell extraction team armed with mace and clubs, and often an infraction that can get a prisoner landed on solitary. 

There’s probably nothing pleasant about Tabor Correctional Institution, certainly not the searches. The basic routine search of an inmate’s cell, property, and person begins with a frisk search. Theyn the inmate’s hands are cuffed behind his back and he is made to stand against the wall to the side of his cell-door where he cannot observe the search. (more…)

Prisoner Hunger Strike Hits Polk Correctional

cantwontOn Monday, May 19th, 7 prisoners at Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, NC began a hunger strike in protest of a range of indignities and grievances. According to prisoners in the facility, additional men have been joining the strike since that first day. The strike was initiated in part by prisoners who were transferred out of Central Prison, following a class action lawsuit against the facility for abuse by guards in various “blind spots” around Unit One. That lawsuit has already forced the administration’s hand in videotaping any cell extractions by guards.

A demands and grievances list was sent by the prisoners to comrades on the outside. It reads as follows:

(more…)

Tom Manning – For Love and Liberty

manning artFrom NYC Anarchist Black Cross

We want to call your attention to an exciting new project that is in the works by Political Prisoner Tom Manning. Tom, with the help of outside supporters, is creating a book of his paintings. If you have not seen his art, we highly recommend you check it out and show solidarity by helping Tom finish and publish this work. The years of work to produce this beautiful book and important document are nearing their end and we need your help to fund the last phase of production!

The book, For Love and Liberty, will feature:

–     86 full color reproductions of Tom’s Paintings
–     Preface by Robby Meeropol
–     Article, “In My Time” by Tom
–     Poem by Assata, “Affirmation”
–     Autobiography of Tom Manning
–     Afterword by Ray Levasseur
–     Notes from photographer Penny Schoner

Who is Tom Manning?

Thomas Manning is an anti-imperialist revolutionary who was active in the United Freedom Front, a clandestine anti-imperialist organization that carried out targeted bombings of corporate buildings, courthouses and military facilities and also carried out bank robberies to fund revolutionary projects.  He was unjustly sentenced to 80 years in prison for killing a New Jersey state trooper in self-defense. He is a freedom fighter, political prisoner and prolific artist. His paintings are stories that jump off the page, revealing the outlook of people who struggle for liberation around the world. His paintings are about life and his landscapes recall times of importance. (more…)

Jeremy Hammond: May Day Message of Solidarity with NATO 3

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

Jeremy Hammond, by Molly Crabapple

From Free Jeremy Hammond

Rebel greetings on this year’s May Day international worker and immigrant rights day, commemorated around the world with street marches, strikes, and sabotage against the system that oppresses and exploits us all. After the May 1, 1886 general strike in Chicago, in which workers fighting for the eight-hour day were shot by police, eight anarchist labor organizers were arrested and sentenced to death for a retaliatory bombing none of them had committed. 128 years later and the rich ruling class still maintain their wealth and power through a monopoly of violence, exemplified by the brutal repression of Occupy Wall Street and targeted prosecutions such as the NATO 3, who recently received lengthy prison sentences for yet another fabricated “bomb” plot.

True to the Chicago Police Department’s legacy, they sought to disrupt protests in advance of the 2012 NATO conference by passing city ordinances limiting free speech, spending millions on new “less lethal” crowd control technology, and sending infiltrators to entrap unsuspecting activists resulting in the arrest of the NATO 3. They hoped to demonize them as “terrorists” based on a molotov cocktail plot cooked up by the CPD itself, charges so trumped up and ridiculous even the feds wouldn’t pick it up. At trial, the jury did not go for the “terrorism” charges – a victory in itself against the post-9/11 hysteria – but they were sentenced to several years in prison anyway for possession of incendiary devices and mob action.

In sentencing the three, Judge Thaddeus Wilson lectured, “As a society, in the face of threats, we don’t wait for a building or property to be damaged … peaceful protest is not synonymous with rioting,” setting yet another precedent that you can be imprisoned for even thinking about committing a crime even if you were entrapped by an undercover cop. In crafting this spectacle, the authorities wanted send a message to protesters dictating which methods of protest are “legitimate” and if you think about crossing the line you could be charged as a “terrorist.” They hoped that Occupy Wall Street, which many wanted to brand as a “non-violent movement,” would join with the police and media denouncing those arrested for unapproved forms of resistance. It was a cheap shot, and it is terrible that our friends are having to do years behind bars so that the powerful can make a political point. Fortunately, their plan failed: most everybody rallied to support those arrested, and through solid legal defense and PR, were able to convince the jury to acquit of the most serious charges and sway the public against the prosecution. (more…)

Despite Retaliation, Menard Inmate Urges Further Solidarity

cantwontFrom Anti-State St. Louis

The following is a letter from one inmate at the High Security Unit (HSU) at Menard Correctional, encouraging continued acts of solidarity despite retaliation.

I am sorry to report that the guys here at Menard, HSU have again been subjected to oppressive, retaliatory acts at the hands of these evil, sadistic pigs.

On April 12, 2014 at approx. 8 a.m. a construction crew showed up outside of our windows w/ large, metal square boxes with slots in the front. By 11 a.m. they were attached to our windows. We can not see outside anymore, nor do we get any sunlight, or air circulation. These taken in conjunction with our solid steel cell doors are going to make it unbearable this coming summer.

These shutters were placed on our windows specifically for our communication with you brothers and sisters during our “peaceful protest.” DO NOT let this retaliatory act prevent you from future protest, though we can’t see you, we will still be able to hear you and “that type” of support motivates the brothers in here like nothing else! (more…)

“His eyes had a far-off stare: New details on inmate’s death

michael_kerr_webBy Billy Ball

From The Indy

Handcuffed in a cell for six days, covered in his own feces, without food and water: That is how Michael Anthony Kerr spent the final days of his life, according to a letter written by a former Alexander Correctional Institution inmate who shared a cell block in solitary confinement with the now-deceased prisoner.

This month, the INDY reported that Kerr, a 53-year-old Sampson County man with a long criminal record and a history of mental illness, died during the two-and-a-half-hour trip from Alexander Correctional in Taylorsville to Central Prison in Raleigh on March 12. Prior to his death, Kerr had spent more than a month in solitary confinement.

The letter, dated April 1, from an inmate, whose identity is being withheld by the INDY to protect his safety, offers new details on Kerr’s death. (The inmate’s letter has been edited by the INDY for clarity.)

The INDY wrote to the prisoner but received no response. The inmate, who has a lengthy criminal history as well as dozens of prison infractions for fighting and disobeying orders, had recently been transferred to another prison.

“When I came onto the block with Mr. Kerr, he was not eating,” the inmate wrote. “He was using the bathroom on himself, laying in feces. … Sergeant was saying, ‘Look at his pants halfway down. His butt is out. Look at his crusty feet.'” (more…)