"...Grow Stronger, Fight Harder..."
International Coalition to Free the Angola 3 Newsletter
On Monday, June 21, the US Fifth Circuit Court ruled to overturn a July 2008 decision that ordered that Albert Woodfox's conviction and life sentence be "reversed and vacated."
In response Albert, said "To our family, friends and supporters, I can only imagine what you must be feeling and thinking, and I understand disappointment, but this ruling is not the end of our cause to free Herman Wallace and myself. It is a call to move on, grow stronger, fight harder, not to just to free the A3, but all political prisoners!"
Read the full statement here.
Read more about the court ruling here.
Write To Herman!
Last week, Herman Wallace was returned to CCR at Elayn Hunt Correctional Center after far too many months in even more severe lockdown. He's always happy to hear from supporters, so if you'd like to write him, the new address is:
St Gabriel LA 70776
Angola 3 Play in Houston, July 23
The "Angola 3" stage play is being held on Friday 23rd July 2010 at 8.00pm at the Cullen Performance Hall at University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Houston.
The play "Angola-3" was written and produced to tell their story. Supporters believe that the public has a right to know. This miscarriage of justice is evidence of the backwoods mentality of the Louisiana justice system. We must come together to demand the release of the Angola-3.
Written and produced by New Orleans native Parnell Herbert. Herbert assembled a cast and crew of theatrical performers in Houston TX. "Angola-3" received rave reviews for its world premiere at Loyola University in New Orleans La. September, 2009. What is most amazing about this play is the fact that it's a true story. Three men were framed for murders they did not commit. In 1972 these men were punished to silence them to end their activism. As members and co founders of Angola's Black Panther Party (first approve in any U.S. prison) they began organizing within the walls of this nation's most brutal prison demanding an end to inmate rape, murders and other atrocious conditions.
"This powerful production was written by neophyte Parnell Herbert and directed by Wayne Dehart. It was indeed a trip through the elements of time changing, people changing and how everything basically stayed the same, for men who played cards and swept floors, men who took their frustrations out on the world through constant push-ups and reading the bible, men who had to make the adjustment to a dejected life, which focused on dehumanizing all human beings, who stroll with life-sentences through prison hallways. My spirit was lit on fire, in knowing that there ain't nothing in this world stronger than a black man with a purpose to live long enough to tell his story."
--Dionne Character, Entertainment Editor for the Louisiana Data News Weekly
To find out more please visit the play's website here.
U.S. Supermax Prisons Are Challenged in the European Court of Human Rights-and Lose the FirstRound
James Ridgeway and Jean Casella of the new Solitary Watch website report that "for years,four British nationals have been fighting against their extradition to the United States to face various terrorism charges,arguing that such a move would place them at risk of human right violations, as defined by the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. When courts in the UK ruled against the four men, they took their cause to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg...The UK sought to have the suspects' complaint dismissed. But today, the European Court of Human Rights "declared admissible" the portions of the complaint dealing with supermax conditions, as well as with life sentences without the possibility of parole."
Read the complete Solitary Watch article here.
Social Movements in the Evolution of the Modern Nation State
This past June, tens of thousands of US activists came together in Detroit for the US Social Forum. We would like to share with you the complete text of a speech given by Bonnie Kerness, of the AFSC Prison Watch Project, entitled "Social Movements in the Evolution of the Modern Nation State."
In her speech, Kerness argues that "the department of corrections is more than a set of institutions; it is a state of mind. It is that state of mind which expanded the use of isolation, the use of devices of torture, the Counter Intelligence Programs, and the Department of Homeland Security, against activists, both inside and outside the walls." Further, "Our work today needs to be embedded in struggle against this system and its continued use of isolation and torture as a tool of behavior modification and political repression. Oppression is a condition common to all of us who are without the power to make the decisions that govern the political, economic and social life of this country. We are victims of an ideology of inhumanity on which this country was built."
Read the full speech here.
The Immortal George L. Jackson
For those Angola 3 supporters living in the San Francisco Bay Area, be sure to check out an important event this Friday, entitled "The Immortal George L. Jackson."
The events flyer explains that "guest Speaker Greg Thomas' presentation will focus on the legendary George Jackson as a political icon, historical figure, and Black revolutionary writer, thinker and organizer. His legacy is now more important than ever, after decades of counterrevolutionary backlash across North America and throughout the neo-colonized world dominated by Western imperialism in general and the U.S. capitalist empire in particular."
Friday's event is at 7 p.m., Centro del Pueblo, 474 Valencia St., San Francisco. Read more here.
Last night, HBO premiered the new documentary entitled "An Omar Broadway Film." In a review of the film, The Boston Globe reports that had served seven years in solitary confinement at New Jersey's infamous Northern State Prison in Newark, on multiple felony convictions. Someone, presumably a sympathetic guard, smuggled him a digital video camera in 2004 to document conditions there. For six months, he recorded the life around him," adding that the film "chronicles the appalling prisoner abuse by guards as well as the terror of the officers working there."
Watch the You Tube trailer here.
Visit the HBO website here.
Interviews By Angola 3 News
Abolishing the Prison Industrial Complex
--An interview with Criminal Injustice Kos co-editors Nancy Heitzeg and Kay Whitlock
In part one of our new interview spotlighting an exciting new weekly series at Daily Kos. In this part, Heitzeg and Whitlock explain why they believe that the US prison system needs to be abolished. Heitzeg says: "If one accepts, as I do, that prisons in the US are a contemporary extension of chattel slavery, that prisons are irredeemably rooted in racism and classism that prisons serve no purpose save corporate profit and raw retribution, then one must call for their abolition. Prison 'reform is insufficient\t if the very notion and reality of prison itself is grounded in inequality, injustice and destruction." (If you missed it earlier, Be sure to read our earlier two-part interview with Heitzeg, published by Truthout, part one: Visiting a Modern Day Slave Plantation and part two: The Racialization of Crime and Punishment.)
Whitlock explains that as an abolitionist, "I do not accept our society's increasing utilization of prisons to reinforce racism; to criminalize mental illness; to police and punish the very poverty it has created; to avoid coming to terms with a shattered public education system; and to police and punish sexual and gender nonconformity."
Read the full interview here.
Stay tuned for part 2, where we discuss the practicality of prison abolition and take a close look at alternatives to the US prison system.
The MOVE 9 Parole Hearings
--Part one of a video interview with Ramona Africa
Interviewed in May, 2010, Ramona Africa is the sole adult survivor of the May 13, 1985 massacre of 11 members of the MOVE organization. In this first segment of the video-interview, Ramona focuses on the MOVE 9 political prisoners, whose eight remaining members have been eligible for parole since 2008. This year, the three women have already been denied parole. Janine and Debbie will be eligible again in two years, and Janet, for no specific reason, got a three year setback. However, the parole board has yet to rule on the four men, so MOVE is still urging supporters to contact the parole board in support of them. You can call (717) 787-5699 and write a letter to:
PA. Board Of Probation And Parole/ Central Office
Riverfront Office Center
1101 South Front Street
Harrisburg, PA. 17104
Watch the video-interview and read the accompanying article here.
Stay tuned for part two of our video interview with Ramona, where Ramona gives her own personal account from May 13, 1985 and explains about the new murder charges that MOVE is filing against the City of Philadelphia for the massacre of 6 adults and 5 children that day.