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Angola 3 Newsletter: Death By One Thousand Cuts‏

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Published by the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3

November 24, 2009

Death By One Thousand Cuts

The infamous "Death by a Thousand Cuts", a method of torture in Imperial China, appears to be the model the State and Federal judicial systems are employing in the handling of the appeals for Herman and Albert. Year by year, month by month, day by day, the myriad indignities and injustices mount up as endless delays hinder the final resolution of their cases.

Herman's brief stint in a two-man cell ended last week when he was moved to a one-man cell again, but he remains in lockdown for another 90 days or so from now. This means he has limited material in his cell, infrequent time in the exercise pen, no contact visits and minimal commissary. All his mail is monitored closely, but that's nothing new.

Albert meanwhile remains in CCR in Angola awaiting a decision from the 5th Circuit Court on upholding the overturning of his conviction and so another year grinds to a halt with the State increasing their efforts and expenditures to keep two men, 62 and 68 respectively in punitive lockdown after 37 years in solitary confinement for a murder that there is still no evidence that they actually committed.

Guantanamo Bay has drawn universal condemnation, but the evolution of our own prison system remains as far away as ever, impervious to the rising tide of public criticism and the economic hardships created by this system. The articles below are a sad testament to these dark times.

New Releases From Angola 3 News

Our newest project, has released several new videos and articles spotlighting other stories of political repression and torture, as well as other issues central to the story of the Angola 3, like racism, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement, and more. Below are four new releases.

Robert King & Terry Kupers: The Psychological Impact of Imprisonment

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Robert Hillary King, the only released member of the Angola 3, published his autobiography in 2008, entitled From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Robert Hillary King.

Dr. Terry Kupers, M.D., M.S.P. wrote the introduction to From the Bottom of the Heap and is Institute Professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He is a consultant to Human Rights Watch, and author of the 1999 book entitled Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It.

Watch the video here.

The Arrest and Torture of Syed Hashmi
--an interview with Jeanne Theoharis

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Jeanne Theoharis is the author of an April, 2009 article in The Nation, entitled "Guantanamo At Home," which focuses on the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of US citizen Syed Hashmi in Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York City, with Guantanamo-like conditions. Hashmi's trial will begin on December 1, and for the last few weeks, NYC activists have been holding vigils for Hashmi.

Read the full interview here.

Confronting Human Rights Abuses in US Prisons --an interview with Bret Grote of Human Rights Coalition/Fed Up!

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Bret Grote is an investigator and organizer with Human Rights Coalition/Fed Up!, a prisoner rights/prison abolitionist organization based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Grote first became involved with the group after returning from the mobilization in Jena, Louisiana in Fall 2007.HRC sister chapters are in Philadelphia and Chester, PA. While covering a range of topics in this interview, Grote details how HRC/Fed Up! is documenting human rights abuses in Pennsylvania prisons, and using this documentation to fight back.

Read the full interview here.

Video Interview With Emory Douglas: The Black Panther Party and Revolutionary Art

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Emory Douglas first served as the art director for the Black Panther Party's newspaper, and later served as Minister of Culture until 1980. Throughout these years, Douglas' iconic artwork was published in the BPP newspaper and beyond. His artwork is featured in the new book entitled Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas. For more information about Douglas, please click here.

All photographs featured in this video are taken by Roz Payne, who is the editor of the 12-hour DVD release entitled What We Want, What We Believe: The Black Panther Party Library (AK Press, 2006).

Douglas was interviewed in San Francisco by Angola 3 News in October 2009. This is the second segment of our interview to be released. Watch the first segment here.

Watch the new video here.

Blogging About Angola Prison

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The "In Sight, In Mind" blog published an account of a recent visit to Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, which begins:

It is not often that I will openly admit to being touched, emotionally rocked by an experience in life in a way that leaves me with a bitter taste in my mouth and a heavy heart. It is more historically in my character to claim to be untouched by disturbing images or experiences, but there are rare times that necessitate sharing.

Read the full articlehere.

Lynne Stewart: Heroic Human Rights Lawyer Jailed

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Lynne Stewart's bail has been revoked, and she is now being held in jail after the Second Circuit ruled on her and the government's appeals on Tuesday, November 17, 2009. For the latest updates on her case, click here.

To learn more about Stewart's history of resisting political repression, you can watch an online video of Stewart speaking in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners in Oakland, CA on April 24, 2009. Following the Tuesday ruling, independent journalist Stephen Lendman wrote an excellent article entitled "Lynne Stewart: Heroic Human Rights Lawyer Jailed," where Lendman writes that "for 30 years, Stewart worked heroically to defend America's poor, underprivileged, and unwanted, never afforded due process and judicial fairness without an advocate like her."

Read Lendman's full article here
, as well as a more recent article by Jeff Mackler, featured at the Monthly Review website here.

Supporters of Mumia Abu-Jamal hand-deliver petitions to the US Justice Department in Wash. DC

A photo-essay by Betsey and Joe Piette reports that "over 25,000 letters calling on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a civil rights investigation of the 28 year conspiracy to execute death row political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal were delivered to the doors of the Department of Justice in Washington at the end of a spirited march and rally on Nov. 12."

Watch videos from a solidarity event in San Francisco on November 8 that also focused on Troy Davis and Kevin Cooper, who are two other innocent death row prisoners who may be facing execution if upcoming court rulings are unfavorable to them.

For more information about this civil rights campaign, read the June 16, 2009 SF Bay View Newspaper article which cites five examples of withheld evidence, and visit the campaign's home page at

America's Supermax Prisons Do Torture

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In her latest article, entitled America's Supermax Prisons Do Torture, journalist and former Black Panther Kiilu Nyasha writes:

These conditions are a flagrant violation of article 6 of the U.S. Constitution which affirms that treaty law (i.e. international law) is the "supreme law of the land." Thus, article 10 (3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stipulates that "The penitentiary system shall comprise treatment of prisoners the essential aim of which shall be their reformation and social rehabilitation."

Angola 3 News will be video-interviewing Nyasha this week, so stay tuned for the release. To learn more about Nyasha, please visit her website 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.

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Albert & Herman

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Herman Wallace
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
PO Box 174
St Gabriel, LA 70776

Albert Woodfox
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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