Power to the people and revolutionary greetings to the proletariat:

During this Black August 2016 Commemoration I have been reading and rereading a few of the speeches off the late, great Chicago based Black Panther organizer and Deputy Chairman of the state of Illinois chapter Comrade Fred Hampton.

I found that though we are now in 2016 and the speeches were given in 1969, there is what Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton called “historical continuity” present connecting relevance to both the Black Lives Matter Movement and this being an election year. There is significance within the comrades’ Representatives of the People Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly campaign.

The former has its origins and popularity among the oppressed people in the context of the resistance to amerikkkan empire and the nationwide police brutality. The Ferguson uprising (resistance to state sponsored terrorism) exposed genocide of unarmed New Afrikans.

It was 47 years ago that the U.S. evil empire was in the midst of another imperialist war against Vietnam. During that time in 1969, Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton gave a speech. He spoke of a 14-year-old boy of New Afrikan descent that was executed by a pig for throwing rocks.

The correlation between the war then in 1969 and the imperialist wars abroad in 2016 has not changed. The killings of New Afrikans in amerikkka has not changed in 47 years.

The thing that does seem to have changed is our ideological line. The question of how do we fight in 2016 has not taken a platform yet among the new developments of the present day movements. However, here is a clear ideological line — a Marxist-Leninist line — from 47 years ago, put forward by the Black Panther Party for Self Defense Illinois Chapter Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton in part:

“We ain’t gonnna fight no reactionary pigs who run up and down the street being reactionary; we’re gonna organize and dedicate [ourselves] to [revolutionary] political power and teach [ourselves] the specific needs of resisting the power structure, arm ourselves, and we gonna fight reactionary pigs with international proletariat revolution!

This was a party line presented to the masses by the late 1960s and 1970s Black vanguard of the Black revolution as supported by their coalitions and allies of that time. That was the solution to how do we fight?

The Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton in specific quotes from his speech also stated, “We need to have some moratorium on the Black community in Babylon and all oppressed communities in Babylon.”

It’s worth noting that identity politics here allowed the politically educated Deputy Chairman, a student of Marxism-Leninism, dialectical materialism and the Black Power/Black Liberation movement, in the context of the objective conditions of 1969 to correctly recognize only two factors:

  1. oppressed people in their communities
  2. the oppressors of the people’s communities

This is relevant in 2016 to the fact that Black Lives Matter is essentially a movement of oppressed people. The oppressed movement founders, some very courageous Black women (New Afrikans) created the revolutionary slogan “Black Lives Matter.” They also have allies, including a group called White People in Support of Black Lives Matter.

Since Black Lives Matter Movement has begun to galvanize the masses of the oppressed communities as much as the Black Panther Party previously was doing in 1968, there has been a concerted effort by people outside of the Black Lives Matter Movement to emphasize other slogans, such as:

  1. Blue Lives Matter
  2. All Lives Matter

Interestingly neither of these slogans were ever in existence prior to Black Lives Matter. Neither the Blue Lives Matter slogan nor the All Lives Matter slogan have an oppressed community with a political based organizational movement. Rather it is a corporate media promoted clandestine counterintelligence and counterrevolutionary operation.

In Pantherism terms this is called Jackanape! In political context it’s coopting and sabotaging!

There is only the oppressed v. the oppressors. Show the people where are Blue Lives oppressed? Show the people how are all lives oppressed in amerikkka? To say all lives are oppressed in amerikkka is to say the capitalist elite are poor laborers: an obvious contradiction.

Since the 1492 conquest there has never been a need to say all lives matter until the successes of the Black Lives Matter in bringing attention to police brutality on Black lives. It calls into question why the emphasis now on coopting Black Lives Matter slogan into something else for what purpose? Could it be appeasement to white people who feel guilty or could it be a threat to the establishment/system or even black capitalist uncomfortable bourgeoisie? These are valid questions arising from the ambiguous state of the present movement absent the political cohesion of a party line transcending into a popularly supported mass line.

The Later Topic on Electoral Politics?

The Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton in a speech stated this quote in part:

“The politics ain’t nothing but if you stretch it so long that it can’t go further, then you know what you got on your hands? You got an antagonistic contradiction.”

This was 1969 again. 47 years ago the party line was socialism v. capitalism. The Black Panther Party free breakfast and free clinic programs were socialistic practices. The system then and now in 2016 is not participatory democracy for the people. To the contrary it’s selective, corporate controlled, media manipulated and elitist representation. Thus capitalism, which is rooted in Western so-called free elections masquerading as democracy is a pure contradiction to socialism.

The people in the 1960s and 1970s movement era needed a political commune and this is what Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton said in 1969 in part: “We want people who want to run on the people’s party.”

Well it’s now 2016 and Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly are running on the Workers World Party platform as independents for the people, the proletariat. This writer is a member of the oppressed and a member of Workers World Party, a victim of what Marx and Lenin described as the surplus of capitalism: when there aren’t enough jobs you have the lumpen and criminalization of surplus workers into mass imprisonment. Therefore I support the need to replace capitalism with socialism in the U.S. empire; replacing the capitalist means of production with a proletariat state.

As Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton, speaking on behalf of the Black Panther Party said in a 1969 speech, “We’re gonna fight capitalism with socialism.” That vanguard party 47 years ago was dealing with another issue that needs to be mass addressed today.

The National Question/support for self determination for nationally (racially) oppressed peoples.

As a New Afrikan in Babylon kkkaptivity slave ship on dry land I find historical relevance in this partial quote from a 1969 speech by Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton on behalf of the Black Panther Party in Illinois.

“The oppressed people of Babylon: freedom can be founded on the land that is fertilized by the bones and blood of these aggressive pig dogs that come into our communities and occupy our communities like troops occupy a foreign territory.”

This quote presents the final challenge and question for both the relevance of the Black Lives Matter Movement and the Workers World Party Monica Moorehead and Lamont Lilly campaign, as well as all progressive movements today in 2016 to answer after over 500+ years of settler colonization and forced servitude, do oppressed peoples deserve independence and in particular do New Afrikan people have a right as descendants of liberated slaves to proclaim sovereignty in the Republic of New Afrika? The Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton in 1969 stated in his speech “We are going to fight racism with solidarity.”

It is my present intention to stimulate a dialogue among the Black Lives Matter Movement and Workers World Party as well as all progressives and revolutionaries on the political line of the Land Question for New Afrikans.

 

Free the land!

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My Story

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by Sehu Kessa Saa Tabansi (aka Alfonso Pew), currently incarcerated at Pennsylvania’s SCI Greene

In 1991 as a child, minor, adolescent, teenager, juvenile I was wanted for questioning in connection to a murder of a Philadelphia drug dealer. In spite of passing a polygraph exam (lie detector test) I was accused and later charged with being a conspirator with the shooter Michael Cory Wilder, a 17-year-old.

Later in 1992 after being in County Prison for 10 months from April 1, 1991 to February, 1992, I was tried alone by jury and was convicted of the same exact crime but with an entirely different person as the shooter: Henry Darrien Wilder, a 25-year-old adult.

I was found guilty, astonishingly, not of one, not of two, but three different degrees of homicide. All three degrees contradict each other. There were not three people murdered; just one person murdered. I been in prison since 1991 for this one person murder convicted of three different degrees on the same homicide case.

Michael Cory Wilder, the first charged shooter as my co-conspirator never even went to a trial for this same murder. The Philadelphia Police and District Attorney let him loose before a preliminary hearing. They re-arrested him and then after that they dismissed all the charges.

Henry Darrien Wilder is an entirely different human being and the second charged shooter I was tried for conspiring with. He was acquitted by another jury at a second trial after my own. He was supposed to have been the shooter.

At my own trial I was also acquitted of the underlying criminal conspiracy charge, which means the jury did not believe I conspired to commit murder. Even more ironically in my case the jury was instructed and charged by the judge presiding over them that I must be found guilty of one of the three degrees of murder or not guilty of all. The judge then gave the jury instructions on first degree, second degree and third degree manslaughter. The jury was specifically told in my transcripts that I could only be found guilty of one of these degrees of homicide.

Page 33, lines 9 through 15 of my trial transcripts of the jury instructions shows this as underlined attached.

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It has been 25 years later, and I am still in prison serving Death by Incarceration as a non-shooter found guilty of three different degrees of homicide on one human being. As my criminal docket sheet, page 3 attached, will show I am convicted of first degree murder, second degree voluntary manslaughter and third degree involuntary manslaughter for one human being. Each of the degrees of homicide all contradict each other. It is impossible for such a verdict to be consistent.

Further, page 4 of the criminal docket sheet attached will show that I was acquitted by the jury of the criminal conspiracy charge. A wrongfully convicted man serving Death by Incarceration is my story, the short version. Pennsylvania law holds that murder requires malice, and that manslaughter does not require malice. I’m in prison now 25 years for a conviction that has found both malice and non-malice, found both murder and manslaughter, and has found three different degrees for one homicide of one human being and sentenced me, the non-shooter in the case, to Death by Incarceration.

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Write to Sehu Kess Saa Tabansi at:

Alfonso Percy Pew, BT-7263

SCI Greene

175 Progress Drive

Waynesburg, PA 15370

 

Black Lives Matter!

All lives matter! All life matters!

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Original work, submitted by Mustafa Life, currently incarcerated at Pennsylvania’s SCI Houtzdale.

As I look in the face of the elders in the struggle like Maroon Shoatz and Mike Africa of the MOVE 9, I realize that they are indeed elders. These warriors are still around pushing the information about this rotten ass system and their sacrifices are those that very few today are willing to do, in the name of the struggle. Today, many non-struggle people don’t know their names and especially the names of people who are in the belly of the beast. Many are or have been locked in the holes, special management or super max type confinement, and so people don’t know or care.

However, let it be clear, especially from those who do know who they are, that we need to let them know that we care, we appreciate what they contribute. More important, let them know that we are continuing to move forward on our level of activity to fight against oppression for those who are oppressed. Those of us in the belly of the beast, who are conscious, it is our duty to connect with and stay connected with these elders and help them when and how we can. Sure, some are shot out, brains seem to be not as sharp as before, but that doesn’t and shouldn’t take from what they have done. Many have plans to help in the next stage.

As I continue to hear about the Black Lives Matter movement I applaud those in it and I cannot wait to come out to help support in any way that I can. However, let us all remember that the MOVE organization has been shouting all lives matter for over 40 years and while their men and women was having their infants heads crushed by police boots, their women’s stomachs battered when babies was in them and Philadelphia police dropped C-4 on their homes, many still thought the police was just doing it to MOVE, not themselves. So white people are still on the side. Remember, the police will eventually get around to you and yours. Then what?

These same vicious killer cops are helping to keep in power those in authority who find it okay to pollute your streams, air and land, saying a certain level of poison is okay. These same killer cops are helping to keep in power, in authority those same people who bail out corporations and serve eviction notices to you and I and will throw us out our homes. All because we can’t pay due to loss of the jobs that those same corporations have shipped to other countries. These same vicious killer cops are helping to keep in power the same people who lock people up 20, 30 and 40 years, release them with no aid, expect them it make it and get mad when they go back to jail and they try to keep them locked up forever.

As a new revolutionary I know and understand that we need to discontinue trying to get justice from a system built on injustice. I know that no matter what laws, rules and regulations they come up with their way will never be right. You cannot make what is wrong right no matter how hard you try. This the coordinator John Africa of MOVE taught.

Brothers and sisters of all races, if you are tired of supporting this rotten ass system, come about the Tribe of Life through writing me. If you are tired of inequality between gender and races, learn about the Tribe of Life. If you want to sacrifice for your own and all of life, come learn about the Tribe of Life. I respond to all letters I get within a week. If you don’t receive a response, resend. Sometimes the prison try to say I’m not there.

All power to life!

Mustafa Life

Anthony WIlliams LM-6331

SCI Houtzdale

209 Institutional Drive

PO Box 1000

Houtzdale, PA 16698

After the Black Panthers: moving forward

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After the Black Panthers: moving forward

U.S. prison conditions, solitary confinement, post-prisoners rights movement of the ’60s and ’70s, and the absence of the Black Panther Party vanguard.

Sehu Kessa Saa Tabansi

SCI Greene, Waynesburg, PA

Power to the People!

We need prisoners’ empowerment! We need participation in the broader movement fighting U.S. imperialism. This here blog post is intended to initiate an inaugural platform for conscious and politicized prisoners to discuss overall prison conditions in direct relationship to the current state of existing struggles worldwide. We are encouraging readers and writers to think in the context of internationalism and global solidarity.

This being the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in 1966, we should highlight some of the events of the past that continue to affect the present conditions of confinement in U.S. prisons.

I.     U.S. prison conditions

 

The cofounder and chairman of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense Huey P. Newton (R.I.P.) upon his imprisonment found himself inside a totally blacked out abyss, under complete sensory deprivation, void of hygiene, forced to relieve himself in a hole in the floor and systematically starved. That hellhole was infamously described by the revolutionary as the “soul breaker” cell.

The national tone of U.S. prison conditions has historically been established with brutal conditions in Eastern State Penitentiary, seclusion in Pennsylvania, and to banishment to the island of Alcatraz in California, culminating in the new designs of repression with Marion, Illinois; Pelican Bay Supermax and the current ADX, Colorado.

Reflecting back fifty years ago the brutal conditions that the old school prisoners faced were not at that age linked to private businesses. Today corporate companies in contracts for capitalist gains support torture. There has been a great leap in the technological weapons of oppression, from men and women being beaten with batons to, nowadays, being shocked with handheld taser devices or shot with electric prods and electrocuted with 50,000 volts.

There is a U.S. company called ERC, Inc. that markets the “torture chair” — the sanitized terminology for the public is the “compliance chair” or the “restraint chair.”  The official website illustrates a calm prison official resting comfortably restrained to the apparatus. There is no visual footage of the permanent spinal and neck damage with circulation complications that thousands of prisoners are left with that causes pain and suffering. 

Private businesses profit from the manufacture and sale of instruments of torture. The financial interest in chemical munitions has evolved from pepper sprays to advanced nerve and cardio stun aerosol agents. In the past the Black Panther Party attorney was successful in stopping the use of the soul breaker, but fast forward to the present in Pennsylvania, where there are no 1960s and 1970s people’s lawyers. In a class action lawsuit, Pennsylvania Disabilities Rights Network v. John E. Wetzel, Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, the capitalizing attorneys for the plaintiffs billed the cost of their litigation at $700,000. Nevertheless, the original complaints of 24/7 torture lights, torture hard cells and torture extraction teams mysteriously disappeared from the settlement agreement. This points to a longstanding pattern of lawyers hijacking prisoner lawsuits, used consistently in Pennsylvania and beyond for at least the last thirty years.  

The 21st century prisoner on the U.S. plantations are up against the likes of Keefe Food Group (Commissary Corp.), Wexford Medical Sources, Inc., subsidiaries like Correct Care Solutions, Inc. While there has been one recent success with national prisoners’ phone rates against corporate greed of Verizon, T-Netix, Global Tel-links and the others, all across this country still private companies are conspiring, profiting and giving financial kickbacks to state and local government officials and county prisons. Think Correctional Corporation of America, Prison Health Services, Inc., Wackenhut (G4S), Amark Corporation; from medical supplies to food services to security, business is booming with the prisons. Every single prison has a plantation or sweatshop! The old penal institution model of locking prisoners in dungeons to languish isolated from all society has been replaced with a new model of for-profit production lines. Some states are straight slavery — no wages — but others are more sophisticated with peonage at seventeen cents per hour for six hours, and no more than 42 cents maximum per hour of slave labor.

In summation, no prisoner fifty years ago had to pay for basic hygiene necessities in confinement, or be subject to sick call medical charges, have their state allotment of envelops cut or prison welfare (a general monthly allowance of $14-$19 for prisoners who were not employed). Simultaneously, with the absence of the stipend, prisoners are having to contend with the corporations marketing their consumer products — computer tablets, iPods, MP3 players, digital satellite cable packages, flat screen televisions — sold to poor prisoners at inflated prices to indebt their poor families that support them. Everything — cheap labor and high prices in the midst of psychological torture and medical experimentation (eugenics programs), generic test drugs, contaminated food from so-called third world countries, hedge fund contracts and outsourcing labor — makes this prison industry a profitable behemoth.

Prisoners’ HIV infections, Hepatitis C and other contagious diseases are allowed to spread by prison staff. Preventative and treatment measures for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, general poor health and prison obesity are all withheld. Mix that in with epidemic mental illness, and then force prisoners to be traded as commodities by companies that control all the treatments, and you’ve got a source of profit so vast that it justifies any amount of torture and repression to keep it intact.

II.     Solitary Isolation

The modern day design for solitary isolation can be traced to the Marion, Illinois lockdown. Ex-Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army fighter Elder Sundiata Acoli — political prisoner/prisoner of war — found himself there completely excommunicated from supporters and visitors, and isolated from correspondences.

However its roots extend back farther still. U.S. imperialism adopted its so-called Security Housing Units and Control Units from the Stammhiem Model of Nazi Germany of the 1940s. In the early 1970s U.S. Bureau of Prisons’ official criteria for incarceration in isolation was: “[A] prisoner’s past or present affiliation, association or membership in an organization which has been demonstrated as being involved in acts of violence, attempts to disrupt or overthrow the government of the U.S. or whose published ideology include advocating law violations in order to ‘free’ prisoners.”

An entire, systematic method was devised to separate leaders and split mass movements through political detainment, under the guise of criminality. Once contained, the state subjected prisoners in isolation to what has been defined as Biderman’s Chart on Penal Coercion.

A lesser known fact due to the prevailing biases in U.S. prisons is that women were also harshly segregated inside the famous Lexington, Kentucky isolation unit. These isolation units began underground, folks. We’re talking about inside the tunnels of the earth, a cave, a grave! Today these tombs are used more than ever, despite only selective media reports on the courageous sacrifices which included loss of life by conscious prisoners politicized in California, struggling against isolation and awakening a revolutionary spirit throughout the nation.

Dr. Frankenstein has transported his evil practices from Pennsylvania to California in the personification of Dr. Jeffrey A. Beard, PhD, a seasoned and skilled clinical psychologist in concentration camps. Dr. Beard for over thirty years perfected his craft with the creation of the Long Term Segregation Unit in Pennsylvania, located on the roof of the Western Penitentiary, a.k.a. SCI Pittsburgh.

The conditions designed for the so-called “worst of the worst” went through legal hurdles all the way to the nation’s top court. Unsurprisingly, Supreme Court Justices upheld the new forms of tampering with the mind in isolation — absolutely nothing, total deprivation of newspapers, magazines, reading publications. The cutting off of all information.

The California revolutionary Abdul Olugbala Shakur wrote a very enlightening zine, published by Chicago ABC Zine Distro. It’s called “What is Solitary Confinement?” (For Black August 13th, 2014.)  It elaborated extensively and expertly on these new designs and effects in the environment of highly charged racial, religious, ethnic divides orchestrated by the state officials.

The Pennsylvania incarnation at Eastern State Penitentiary — based off the Puritan approach of solitary confinement to make prisoners repentant through, at that time, Biblical coercion — is now reincarnated to use any means the state has: physical, pharmaceutical and enhanced torture devices. While the long term segregation unit in name is defunct, it was rebirthed in the form of the RRL (Restricted Release List). It is a cold, cruel irony that Nazi German mad scientists also had such a list!

These RRL prisoners can now be in seclusion at any facility. The 23 and 1, and mostly 24-hour days in the cell daily routine is equivalent to sweat lodges in the spring and summer and a walk-in ice box in the fall and winter months. Little attention has been paid, whereas in the past the Coalition to End the Marion Lockdown brought attention to the past conditions of Elder Sundiata Acoli. International political pressure from the former Soviet Union on President Ronald Reagan highlighted the treatment of women in Lexington, Kentucky. Prison litigations resulted in the dismantlement of the women’s segregation unit.

Today’s circumstances are spiraling out of control because of the current profits from medical sick calls, billed at $10.00 per medical issue for penniless prisoners. For prisoners with little or no income, this means paying much more relative to a public citizen who has both earned income and health insurance. Prisoners’ illnesses mean massive profits. And because other for-profit companies sell clothing, long johns, thermals, gloves at marked up prices (make the connection to the cold air vents yet?), profits roll in from sales or from sickness, and usually both. This has been fifty years in the making, to the point where corporations sponsor enslavement and torture.

We have not even mentioned the state guard union’s lucrative deals. It is an all-too-common theme for corrections officers to have family days and barbecues inside the prison. It is not an unusual sight that staff have hotdogs and hamburgers in their dining quarters, which these celebrations on this slave ship on dry land recalls to mind other historical celebrations shamelessly. In both periods of our history, law played a role in legalizing and legitimizing dehumanizing customs. 

For us to truly evaluate what we are up against here, just looking back 25 years ago prisoners did not have to contend with T-Netix phone bills gouging our families and friends, Bob Barker billionaire (the Price is Right guy) products made in Mexico at cheap sweatshop labor, Secretary of State John Kerry (his wife Theresa Heinz) well we get Heinz peanut butter now, not just Heinz ketchup. You see, NAFTA ensures that the lowest-paid labor can be employed and the biggest offered contracts with kick backs to the prison industrial complex can be taken and it’s all legal. Carcinogens in food stuffs, chemicals in products, hazardous materials and defective goods are all of no consequences. It does not matter: prisoners die, prisoners buy.

Until today’s prisoners see themselves as laborers and consumers in a global capitalist market, they will be doomed to be pawns, powerless. Until prisoners see themselves as being at the mercy of the same interests plundering South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, our physical and political isolation will continue.

III.     Post-Prisoner-Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s

It is refreshing to witness California prisoners once again at the lead of the prisoner rights struggle, having waged numerous hunger strikes and agreed to the Peace Accords to End Hostilities Among Prisoners (sectarian warfare). Nevertheless, the gains in political consciousness and rights of prisoners of the 1960s and 1970s in places like San Quentin, Folsom, Soledad and Walla Walla out west, and Sing Sing and the notorious Attica Rebellion on the east coast — where for limited times prisoners controlled and governed their own affairs — are on the decline nationwide, as whole new generations from the streets have been indoctrinated, miseducated and depoliticized. The U.S. government has largely supported this cause through repression in the form of draconian laws eliminating court oversight of the prisons. The Prisoner Litigation Reform Act, the Anti-Terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act, and Pennsylvania’s amended Post-Conviction Act laws all constitute blocks and limitations nationally on prisoner organizing. Prisoners’ rights to access law libraries and the courts, as well as protection from arbitrary segregation and confinement for falsified misconduct reports with kangaroo disciplinary proceedings have all been wiped away by the reactionary, fascist demigod dictators that sit on the nation’s highest courts.

In the face of this lawyers nationwide with the American Bar Association have been conspiratorially complicit with this arrangement, banning publications, censoring mail, and utter silence and lack of solidarity for inmates who suffer routine staff brutality.

A quarter of a century ago, at the beginning of my interment into this penal madness, still in my political infancy, there was a North American newspaper out of Canada that was popular in America’s gulags called Prisoner News Service. It was published free by Jim Cambell of Canada (RIP) in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. It covered dialogue amongst prisoners of political standing. There was also Spear and Shield publications out of Chicago: their Crossroads Newsletter and Journal of Political Thought was published by James Sayles a.k.a. Atiba Shanna (RIP). These pamphlets were foundational to many inmates’ political development.  During that era this writer read the remarkable poem dedicated to Assata Shakur in exile by prisoner Shaka Shakur.  This writer was introduced to the anti-imperialist Marilyn Buck (RIP) and many others through these publications.

Over thirty years ago Elder Sundiata Acoli encouraged prisoners to turn these cells into colleges, the prisons into universities of political thought. Elder Sundiata is a gifted computer engineer; I wonder if he foresaw this age of courts and corporations closely conspiring to eradicate printed publications for prisoners. Corporate greed-driven ventures into e-books, computer tablets, kiosks, iPods, mp3 players all leave prisoners isolated without snail mail nor printed literature. 

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Elder Sundiata Acoli

Every trick in the prison industry book is being used to suppress Books Through Bars organizations and literature over bogus rules of what constitutes acceptable reading material. Even cards from families and friends are being phased out: unless it’s in a white envelope, it is not being accepted. That’s white sneakers, white kufis, white rosary beads, white dhikr beads. Unless it’s white or clear, it’s not being allowed into prisons. If it has color it’s associated with gangs.  Color means gang related? If this is not “white supremacy” I don’t know what is.

Another political prisoner, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, who I hope was recently released this year (2016) once wrote to me that the most important thing that can be done as an individual prisoner today is to raise consciousness by recruiting and building cadre. It is in this spirit that the New Black August Collective intends to erase the prevalent ignorance, disorganization, undisciplined mentalities of gangsterism, which supports capitalism through genocide as well as other forms of exploitation. Unless we as prisoners educate, we can’t liberate! As Black Panther Party/Black Liberation Army alumni Jahlil Muntaqim so eloquently wrote, “We are our own liberators!”

IV.     In the Absence of the Black Panther Party Vanguard

For this writer, at 42 years old, one of the things I have yet to comprehend is how some revolutionaries in the U.S. retire. I’ve read of revolutionary organizations being destroyed. The revolutionaries are primarily killed. I’m still confused by how in the ‘60s and ‘70s when so many revolutionaries were killed, exiled or imprisoned — particularly with the Panthers, but others too — how can there be movie deals, book signings, speaking engagements, and marketing when a revolution should still be going on?

This is not to be judgmental, as I was not involved in the great sacrifices they contributed. But for clarity politically I’ve seen Ireland’s IRA, Palestine’s PLO, Colombia’s FARC, Nicaragua’s Sandinistas, Spain’s separatists, North Korea, China, Russia, Cuba. Where do revolutionaries go to retire?

From the hey days of the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, Weather Underground Organization, Symbionese Liberation Army, Black Liberation Army, Republic New Africa, George Jackson Brigade, American Indian Movement, the Brown Berets, Los Macheteros/Boricua Independistas (Puerto Rican nationalist), white American Anti-Imperialist, European Anti-Imperialist, MOVE Organization, white POWs and political prisoners like Tom Manning, Bill Dunn, David Gilbert, deceased freedom fighters like Richard Williams and Marilyn Buck (RIP), Natives like Leonard Peltier, internationalists like Silvia Baraldini — all these races and ethnicities of revolutionaries and 50 years into the present, at this stage in 2016 the 4 Struggle magazine out of Canada, and the ABC-Zine Chicago with political prisoner/prisoner of war Jaan Lamaan doing the 4 Struggle and prisoner supporter Anthony Payson running the ABC Chicago zine, these are the ground zero of collectives of prisoners attempting to desperately cling to the past struggles and survive the present onslaught of if complete global military and economic domination of American New World Order imperialism (Pax Americana). “Austerity” is alive and well in the streets and in the prisons. The public is a prison outside looking in on us, and we are prisoners looking back outside into a prison. With the exception of supporting anarchist communes, Anarchist Black Cross Federation and others near and abroad, where is the revolutionary dialogue and movement inside the US? Where have the revolutionaries retired to?

This writer is personally grateful to Workers World Party (WWP) for the opportunity here to present the summation of where do we go in the absence of the Black Panther Party since the early 1980s. The Black Lives Matter and similar grassroots organizations are becoming popular. New generations need solutions to today’s struggles in terms they can identify and relate to. New organizations such as Human Rights Coalition are empowering families and friends of prisoners to stand up and empower themselves and their loved ones. Decarcerate PA is showing that economics in all this is a common theme: “spending on prisons is outrageous.” The reality is that labor interest can play a deciding factor going forward being essentially all women, men and children confined are potential future laborers. It is being suggested that each one starts to teach one and build study groups around these issues, to build a coalition to stand against imperialism from within the belly of the beast: North American mass incarceration prison plantations. Prisoners need to become involved in the exchange of revolutionary ideas and active participants in the movement.

Thanks to WWP, Mattie (WWP), HRC Philly & Fed Up Pittsburgh, Layne and Sarah (Decarcerate PA). 

Rebuild! Break the chains!

Sehu Kessa Saa Tabansi

What Happened at SCI Forest on April 11?

sci forestwritten by prisoner Sehu Kessa Saa Tabansi

Power to the People,

It seems that repression could not wait.  So by the immediate necessities we are now forced to respond rather than hesitate in launching this format for dialogue.  As the revolutionary slogan goes, “repression breeds resistance.”  Way out in the deep forest of the Alleghenies, in the early hours just after midnight on April 11, 2016 at SCI Forest, Security Housing Unit K-block, the cell K-B-10 of Gabriel Rosa Diaz #FH-7313 went up into flames.

If not for the actions of the one sergeant on 10-6am shift, Sgt. Tanner, this writer who lives in cell K-B-9 and others on bottom and top tier would be dead! The other useless officers concerned themselves with whether to spray a canister of O.C. agent into a blazing cell to extract the Puerto Rican native prisoner in K-B-10, ignoring also the fact that the prisoners in K-B-11 and K-B 2 cells have asthma.

Nonetheless, hours later, a day removed, fire extinguished, prisoners extracted and treated, at no time since April 11 to date (April 18) has the warden or deputy wardens of the prison ever appeared to inspect the prisoners nor the property conditions.  There appears to be no mention of the fire outside the prison unit K-block at all.

Just weeks before, guards entered Gabriel Rosa Diaz’s cell and prompted an altercation that left prisoner Diaz with two black eyes and a broken jaw!

Just a few months before that Gabriel Rosa Diaz’s cell door was popped open in a level 5 Secure Housing Unit, leading to a physical altercation with the same staff.

Prior to the fire, an incident had occurred where Diaz broke out all windows, lights, fixtures and cabinet in his cell.

In spite of all these psychotic episodes Diaz, along with a never ending list of mentally ill prisoners, are packed like sardines into SCI Forest J and K blocks in a volatile mixture of the state’s new “Gang Unit” and the state’s Restricted Release List prisoners, the now infamous RRL-Pennsylvania!

The SCI Forest Program Review Committee is a sham and serves as a kangaroo court.  The majority of the RRL prisoners are here on bogus reasons, without adequate notice and with no meaningful appeals process.

Many years ago along the Pontiac in Michigan a riot occurred at Pontiac Prison, led by a group of prisoners who were facing death sentences.  Because of the efforts of the late James Sayless, a.k.a. Atiba Shanna, a.k.a. Elder Yaki, mass attention and support legally was given to the Pontiac brothers, and the state ultimately failed in its repression campaign!

With that historic example in mind, we look to bring Action Alerts and Abuse Logs of Human Rights Coalition and Decarcerate PA and others in on SCI Forest and its RRL Gang Unit and Mental Stability Code Environment on J and K block Secure Housing Unit.  How are prisoners’ cell doors magically opening and why do no guards ever get fired?

Please inquire about what happened the night of the fire, what led to it and why the warden and deputies have not even blinked an eye or made a round to inspect.

Call John E. Wetzel, Secretary of Corrections: 717-728-4109;

Call Shirley Moore Smeal, Executive Deputy Secretary: 717-728-4110

There is power in numbers. Power to the People.

 

 

 

 

 

No Political Education is What Brought Us Here

No Political Education is What Brought Us Here
by Sehu-Kessa-Saa Tabansi, currently incarcerated at SCI Forest in Pennsylvania.
To this point… the absence of political education to fill in the void left in the wake of the destruction of the Black Panther Party and many other political parties during the post-revolutionary era of the 1960s and 1970s in urban America has led to dire consequences for the so-called Generation X, and on down the genetic tree.
At this crossroads of the neo-Jim Crow it is imperative (a must) that we initiate political education.  A party line and a mass line without a platform of education is to assemble ignorance and direct slaughter, leading reactionary, unorganized, anti-revolutionary actions based off distorted theories concerning our world and its complexity of affairs.
Every movement has its climax.  In our present time the outside populace may view from Occupy Wall Street to the Black Lives Matter Movement.  In the prison context we may examine the California prisoners’ hunger strikes and the courageous agreement to end all racial hostilities.
Collectively these new dimensions of struggle can be the Rubicon (no retreat, no surrender) of the battlefield and the catalyst for political transformation starting now!
For prisoners nationwide this upcoming August 2016 will mark 45 years since the 1971 martyrdom of the Field Marshal General Comrade George Jackson and with the recent assassination of his comrade in arms Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, all prisoners in all states should plan and prepare now across this entire country’s Prisoner Nation of Mass Incarceration for Black August.  We will go to the point of no return in political education among the populace of all prison plantations in the U.S. to bring about the New Men and New Women and New Youth that W.C. Nolan and his comrades George Jackson and Hugo Pinell exemplified.
We will validate that the U.S. Prison Movement has not died.  It’s just now being born as we find our own humanity while serving decades as forced laborers (21st century slaves) in this decaying capitalist system of Western style imperialism.
They can kill our revolutionaries but they can’t kill our Revolution!
Power to the People!
Reorganize & Rebuild!
Sehu-Kessa-Saa Tabansi
H.O.W. (Hostage Of War)
Contact Sehu-Kessa-Saa Tabansi/the Black August Prisoners’ Collective by writing to:
Alfonso Percy Pew #BT-7263
SCI Forest
P.O. Box 945
Marienville, PA 16239
Prisoners are encouraged to submit content for publication by writing to:
Black August Prisoners’ Collective
P.O. Box 34249
Phila., PA, 19101