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Angola 3 Newsletter: Springing Forward??

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Springing Forward??

Spring is just about upon us. One year since the 5th Circuit Court took on the review of the overturning of Albert's conviction. One year with no word and no decision, while Albert waits and waits--over 37 years of waiting for justice. As we wait, we know that Herman and Albert would want their supporters to fight for the rights of other prisoners and most certainly, our beloved Mumia. Long time Angola 3 supporter and prison activist, Yuri Kochiyama has made a special plea to have activists everywhere send birthday greetings to Mumia. Pam and Ramona Africa are focused on other campaigns to free Mumia that we can all take part in.

Meanwhile in the UK, the Angola 3 film by Vadim Jean, 'In the Land of the Free...', is premiering at the end of this month. Robert King will be headed to England next week to speak at the many film previews (see the schedule below). The opening of this film has brought on a flurry of fabulous new press in the UK. We hope you'll have a chance to read the articles that are linked below. Another Angola 3 supporter, Lauren Muchan, whose short documentary is also linked below, won an award for "Visiting Angola", a truly beautiful piece. Congratulations Lauren!!! We're thrilled that her excellent work brought her to the attention of the filmmaker and promoters of 'Land of the Free...' and she's been using her talents to help promote the film.

Hard to believe that the remarkable creative talents of so many people have been brought to bear in this case, as well as the hard work of numerous skilled lawyers and still..... we wait. How in the world can prisoners without the benefit of these resources ever hope to find justice?


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Supporting And Sending Our Love To Mumia Abu-Jamal

As Pennsylvania death row journalist and political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal's 56th birthday, on April 24, is approaching, Mumia and his supporters continue the fight for his release and are asking people to send Mumia a birthday card.

Pam Africa, of MOVE and The Intl. Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal is also asking people to support the campaign seeking a federal civil rights investigation into the many violations of Mumia's civil rights. Pam urges supporters to hold local events in solidarity with the upcoming demonstration on April 26 in Washington DC. In a few months, the new anti-Mumia film by Tigre Hill will be released and Pam is already mobilizing with other supporters to challenge this latest example of mainstream media bias against Mumia. A well-timed book documenting the history of this media bias has just been released, entitled "The Media Rhetoric of Law and Order:How ABC Framed the Mumia Abu-Jamal Story."

Educators for Mumia has also been active, having organized the recent telephone conversation between Mumia and Cornel West, and now organizing a day-long conference at Columbia University on April 3. There is also an important online petition to President Obama, featured at the new website www.mumialegal.org.



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New Film About The Angola 3 Will Debut in UK Cinemas on March 26


The new movie 'In The Land Of The Free...' is showing at several venues, including The Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London, March 24-25, then will be released to the general public on the 26th. Robert King and Vadim Jean will be appearing at many different events that week. Read the full schedule here.

Two important articles have been written about the film's release. The London Evening Standard writes that "the power of this magical film is to lend an ear to injustice, in the tradition of the great campaigning films of the past." The Guardian recounts how Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace "quickly extended the New Orleans chapter of the Black Panthers into Angola, establishing classes in political ideology and exposing injustices. They organised work stoppages, demonstrating to fellow prisoners the liberating power of acting with a "unity of purpose" and worked to eradicate the prevalent sexual abuses. But their political activities made them targets for the administrators."

For more information, please visit the film's website here.




Jamie  Scott
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For Jamie Scott, an $11 Robbery in Mississippi May Carry a DeathSentence

In his recent article, published at the new Solitary Watch website, James Ridgeway reports that "Jamie Scott, 38, is suffering from kidney failure. At the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) in Pearl, where Jamie and Gladys are incarcerated, medical services are provided by a private contractor called Wexford, which has been the subject of lawsuits and legislative investigations in several states over inadequate treatment of the inmates in its care. According to Jamie Scott's family, in the six weeks since her condition became life-threatening, she has endured faulty or missed dialysis sessions, infections, and other complications. She has received no indication that a kidney transplant is being considered as an option, though her sister is a willing donor."

Read the full article here.



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Filmmaker Lauren Muchan Wins Royal Televison Society Award For 'Visiting Angola'

Last month, Lauren Muchan and Joseph Sharp (University of Whales, Newport) were given a Student Television Award from the Royal Television Society for their short film entitled Letters To Angola. The film focuses of Muchan's correspondence and friendship with Herman Wallace of the Angola 3.

Lauren Muchan told Angola 3 News: "The film is essentially about the human spirit. I wanted to tell the story of the Angola 3, but didn't want to make a film that left the viewer feeling crushed. It was important to myself and Joe, to show how strong Herman is. Despite everything he has been through, his spirit has not been broken. This is what makes his story so compelling."

Be sure to check out our full interview with Lauren and watch this excellent new film here.



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Part Two Of Our Interview With Nancy A. Heitzeg Featured At Truthout: The Racialization of Crime and Punishment

Angola 3 News interviewed Nancy A. Heitzeg, a Professor of Sociology and Program Co-Director, Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity at St Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Heitzeg argues that "as movements for Abolition and Civil Rights worked to end the institutions of slavery, lynching and legalized segregation, new and more indirect mechanisms have emerged for perpetuating systemic racism and its economic underpinnings. In this era of 'color-blind racism,' there has been a corresponding shift from de jure racism codified explicitly into the law and legal systems, to a de facto racism where people of color, especially African Americans, are subject to unequal protection of the laws, excessive surveillance, extreme segregation and neo-slave labor via incarceration, all in the name of 'crime control.' The prison industrial complex is the current manifestation of the legal legacy of the racialized transformations of plantations into prisons, of Slave Codes into Black Codes, of lynching into state-sponsored executions."

Read the full interview here.

(ABOVE PHOTO: Convict tied for punishment at a Georgia prison in the 1930s. The photo is from http://www.slaverybyanothername.com)



Remembering Safiya Bukhari-an interview with Laura Whitehorn

Former political prisoner Laura Whitehorn has edited the new book, The War Before: The True Life Story of Becoming a Black Panther, Keeping the Faith in Prison, & Fighting for Those Left Behind (The Feminist Press, 2010). The War Before features the writings of the late Safiya Bukhari, who was born in New York City and joined the Black Panther Party in 1969. Imprisoned for nine years, for charges related to the Black Liberation Army, Bukhari was released in 1983 and went on to co-found the New York Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition and other organizations advocating for the release of political prisoners. She died in 2003 at the age of 53 years of age.

Read our full interview with Laura Whitehorn here.



On October 9, 2009, the Louisiana State Supreme Court Friday denied an appeal from Herman Wallace, who has been held in solitary confinement for more than 37 years. Wallace and Albert Woodfox are members of what has become known as the Angola 3, whosestory has been covered extensively by Mother Jones.Convicted of the 1972 murder of a prison guard at the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola,both menmaintain their innocence; they believe they were targeted for the crime and relegated to permanent lockdown because of their organizing work with the prison chapter of the Black Panthers. Wallace, who is now 68 years old, was recently transferred from Angola to the Hunt Correctional Center near Baton Rouge, where he continues to be held in solitary. In October, Wallace descended even deeper into the hole, placed in a disciplinary unit called Beaver 5 for unknown violations of prison policy.

Read the full article here.
Read the Mother Jones series "Angola 3: 36 Years of Solitude" here.


Albert & Herman
H&A
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Herman Wallace
#76759
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
B-5-D#14
PO Box 174
St Gabriel, LA 70776

Albert Woodfox
#72148
CCR, Lower A5
Louisiana State Penitentiary
Angola, LA 70712

 

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Over 40 years ago in Louisiana, 3 young black men were silenced for trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000-acre former slave plantation called Angola. In 1972 and (more...)
 
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