Free Speech Society Emergency Bulletin

August 4th 2016 (received August 23rd 2016)

We, Class members of Ashker v. Brown, have been alerted to a contradiction that potentially threatens to disrupt, undermine and compromise everything that we’ve so hard to achieve, and have sacrificed our Lives for, via all three hunger strikes and this is inclusive of all the blood, sweat and tears that our outside supporters (PHSS Coalition, etc.) have put forth, in amplifying our cause, by demanding our human dignity and respect from the California Department of Corrections & rehabititation (CDCr), relative to abolishing their practice of decades of state-based torture!!
In particular, the unlawful warehousing of prisoners in solitary confinement.

It is no secret that CDCr’s, counterintelligence unit(s) (IGI/ISU/OCS) have been plotting revenge on the Class members of Ashker v. Brown, to have us returned to indefinite solitary confinement status since this lawsuit was settted in September of 2015. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that it wasn’t a matter of sheer coincidence as we embark upon the one-year anniversary of Brotha Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell being assassinated, that the states’ news media apparatuses begin leaking fraudulent reports to the public generated by IGI/ISU/OCS about the BGF plotting to avenge the death of Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell.

We have thus far identified multiple media outlets in Califonia, such as ABC channel 7 news in Los Angeles, who are reporting this rhetorical nonsense concocted by IGI/ISU/OCS as if it is actual news – it’s not. They’ve taken the liberty to post these articles on their websites as well, in an attempt to instigate a statewide racial war between different groups. Because of these reports racial tensions may rise, thus making it imperative that we begin to organize and mobilize against this false propoganda now.

We would like to make it absolutely clear to the public: “We Class members of Ashker v. Brown at Kern Valley State Prison (K.V.S.P.) and throughout C.D.C.r. prisons remain committed to our Prisoner Human Rights movement (PHRM),” which entails:

1) Upholding the integrity of our Agreement to End Race Based Hostilities (A.E.H.), by continuing to educate the entire Prisoner Class for purposes of sustaining a concrete understanding of what is required from each individual and/or group formation, relative to our A.E.H., as we adamantly refuse to fall prey to CDCr’s COINTELPRO tactics!!

2) Maintaining our united front, as we collectively recognize that our struggle is far from being over!! As we’re now confronted with a new phase of injustices on these mainlines such as:

A) The arbitrary confiscation of personal property items and manuscripts (especially political and social justice works) during cell searches that are taking place to censor, harass and retaliate against Class members of Ashker v. Brown.

B) The outright, complete and permanent confiscation (i.e., theft) of our incoming and outgoing mail without notice or explanation. This practice has specifically targeted our community development, social analysis and political activist work, striking at the very heart of our free speech rights in a blatant attempt to silence, censor and criminalize our contributions to our ongoing commitment to the Agreement to End Hostilities (AEH) and collective struggle for freedom, justice and human rights. Every effort to institute AEH programs have been criminalized in an effort to penalize us for maintaining our commitment to these principles.

C) Holding our incoming and outgoing mail 3 to 5 weeks before mailing it out, and this includes not giving us “notice” that our mail is being withheld well beyond the 5 days mandated in CCR Title 15 §3133(e).

D) The arbitrary issuance of petty and baseless 115’s [tickets, write ups] specifically targeting our artistic and cultural expression, designed to ultimately return us to indefinite solitary confinement. Artwork and images representative of New Afrikan cultural heritage, which in some instances was produced and/or possessed while we were still in the SHU, and mailed in and out of CDCr facilities with the full knowledge of IGI/ISU, are now being reduced to “STG activity” [Security Threat Group] in a blatant attempt to criminalize our very heritage, cultural identity and freedom of artistic expression.

E) Depriving us of viable job- and vocational training opportunities, which obstruct our ability to attain freedom from state-controlled, capitalist-based, parole boards.

F) Depriving us of our human right to the court-mandated ten (10) hours of outdoor exercise per week. Natural sunlight and fresh air is essential to the proper psychological development of all human beings. We could continue listing several more contradictions, but it would only obscure the focus of this bulletin. We can not afford to wait until we are all back in solitary confinement before the coalition begins mobilizing around this issue, it must be agressively pursued now.

Our objective is clear, in that, “It is with an imperative urgency that we immediately mobilize our PHSS media and legal teams, to identify and expose all of the news media outlets that are involved with this criminal conspiracy – in conjunction with IGI/ISU/OCS – to ignite a state-wide race war in CDCr! We demand that all responsible persons be charged accordingly!”

Tell no lies – claim no easy victories!

Free Speech Society

Kijana Tashiri Askari
s/n M. Harrison
H-54077
KVSP B2-101
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

Abdul Olugbala Shakur
s/n J. Harvey
C-48884
KVSP B2-117
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

Joka Heshima Jinsai
s/n S. Denham
J38283
KVSP B2-117
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

We are asking all supporters and human rights activists to please join the call-in / e-mail campaign to end these abuses and uphold the terms of the Ashker v. Brown Settlement agreement which specifies no retaliation by CDCr or its staff.

Please direct your criticisms and complaints to:

* Deputy Attorney General, Adriano Htvatin (415) 703-1672, Adriano.Htvatin@doj.ca.gov
* Secretary Kernan, CDCr, Sacramento
* Warden (A), KVSP, G. Jaime, via mainline telephone (661) 721-6300
* Chief Deputy warden, KVSP, S. Rimbach, via mainline telephone (661) 721-6300

PLEASE FORWARD a COPY to our Email so that we can send it all to Judge Vadas via the Class Action attorneys, thank you!

The Conflict Resolution Committee

The Free Speech Society presents:

The Conflict Resolution Committee

By Kijana Tashiri Askari, Abdul Olugbala Shakur, and J. Heshima Denham

April 17, 2016

Mission Statement

In the afermath of two small-scale race-based ‘isolated’ incidents that occurred on B-facility in January of 2016 at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP), the Free Speech Society was able to successfully initiate a ‘Conflict Resoluton Committee’ (C.R.C.) as a part of the Inmate Advisory Council (I.A.C.) that has been established at this prison.

The C.R.C. ensures the de-escalation of potential conflicts between various groups / formations on B-facility . As it constitutes a body of like-minded individuals that is both representative of the totality of the various groups/formations on B-facility. But also capable of resolving potential or actual conflicts in a responsible, positive, and expeditious fashion. In the past, KVSP Administrators, which includes the California Department of Corrections & rehabilitation (CDCr) headquarters in Sacramento, CA, have made errors in one form or another, by failing to ensure the engagement of the primary stakeholders that are representative of those groups/formations actually engaged in a confict. Nor has there been a body of ‘like-minded’ individuals specifically tasked with reslving potential conflicts before they mature into actual hostile based conflicts, whereby unnecessary disturbances become manifest, which jeopardize the safety and security of both prisoners and staff.

Per Departmental Operations Manual (D.O.M.) section 53120.5.3 (viz. “Special Concern sub-committee”) [p. 427] the KVSP B-facility men’s Advisory Council will enact the Conflict Resolution Committee (C.R.C.). This Committee is convened for the sole purpose of resolving potential and actual conflicts on B-facility whenever and wherever they occur, and effectively [articulate] these resolutions to the entire prisoner population, with special attention given to the groups/formations in conjunction with the Agreement to End Hostilities (A.E.H.).

Because appropriate representation is essential to the resolution of conflicts in an effective and responsible manner, the composition of the C.R.C. will reflect prisoner reppresentation from eah specific group/formation, which will in turn be responsible for engaging and positively resolving any subdivisions in these groups. A basic outline of the C.R.C. Representative Body will consist of a representative from each of the following groups/formations:

– BGF

– Sureños

– Whites

– Others

– Crips

– Bloods

– Mexican Nationals

– 415 (Kumi)

– Bay Area Blacks

– Hoovers

– Muslims

Because of the sensitive nature of this special concern sub-committee, the C.R.C. must have access to the units on B-facility, per approval of the facility captain. The daily activities of the C.R.C. are designed to increase dialogue across cultural lines of ever formation / group to promote a stronger foundation upon which issues can be put forward and resolved in a constructive manner.

Communication and timing are essential components to preventing conflicts before they mature into hostile-based conflict. Therefore, C.R.C. members must be able to talk to who they need to, when they need to. Our objective is to be proactive in resolving potential and/or actual conflicts within the general population. All prisoners are encouraged to relay any and all potential conflicts to the C.R.C. so the can be resolved in an expeditious manner.

The function and activities of thi committee shall be to ensure equal and effective representation of the entire general population in the resolution of potential and actual conflicts on B-facility. The entire C.R.C. body will abide by the by-laws of the Inmate Advisory Council (I.A.C.).

Our struggle continues!

For more information about the Free Speech Society, you can visit the website at:

Freespeechsociety.wordpress.com

Contact:

Kijana Tashiri Askari
s/n Marcus Harrison H54077
KVSP B2-101L
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

Abdul Olugbala Shakur
s/n James Earl Harvey C48884
KVSP B2-117
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

J. Heshima Denham J38283
KVSP B2-117
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

THE FAIRNESS AND RESTORATION ACT OF 2015 (F.R.A. – 2015)

Presented by the Free Speech Society (FSS), Published on June 20th, 2015 in the SF Bay View

THE FAIRNESS AND RESTORATION ACT OF 2015 (F.R.A. – 2015)

  • Introduction

According to the 14th Amendment the government cannot develop or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the U.S., nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of the law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law. We as Prisoners did not forfeit our citizenship when we came to prison, or the laws which are designed to protect our basic human rights and dignity.

We understand that being in prison we lose some constitutional guarantees, which encompass equal protection of the law (i.e. Due Process). But when the government enacts a bill/law(s) it must consider whether an individual(s) will be condemned to suffer grievous loss.

So the question posed to the legislative body: when enacting the 1996-Anti-Terrorism And Effective Death penalty Act (AEDPA), did they consider the unique circumstances that have the potential to impede certain classes of Prisoners from complying to the rules/laws changes under the Anti-Terrorism And Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA)?

The 5th and 14th Amendments prohibit the government from depriving persons of life, liberty or property without due process of the law, and the two primary factors in determining clear due process violation:

  • Whether a liberty or property interest is involved, and
  • Whether procedural safeguards are constitutionally sufficient to protect against any unjustified deprivations.

The Anti-Terrorism And Effective Death Penalty Act-1996 (AEDPA-1996) implementation and enforcement was a clear procedural deprivation of our rights under the 5th and 14th Amendments.

Denying relief due to a plea of ignorance of the law defense is a common practice the courts often employed. But those of us who are being housed in isolation/solitary confinement, we have a legitimate claim of ignorance of the law, due to our restrictive custody, we have limited access to critical law changes or court decisions, and the security housing units (SHU) at both Pelican Bay and Corcoran State Prisons are not required by law nor obligated to individually inform those Prisoners being housed in isolation/solitary confinement of any law changes that can have a significant impact on their confinement. Due to our physical restrictions, our access to obtain law changes are “very” limited.

The enactment of the AEDPA-1996 was clear liberty interest for all Prisoners (especially those being housed in solitary confinement): the government should have required that the Department of Corrections/Bureau of Prisons (CDC/BOP) inform their Prisoners of the law changes, instead of leaving it up to a game of chance, especially due to the severe penalty involved for failing to comply to the law changes.

The government’s failure to require that the CDC/BOP inform their Prisoners in isolation/solitary confinement of the AEDPA, violated both our Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. We were deprived of equal relief due to our alleged failure to comply to the AEDPA one year toll rule without considering our unique circumstances of being in isolation/solitary confinement which restricts our capacity to access court decisions, and new law-/bill-enactments.

The government did not even consider our capacity to access the AEDPA-1996, their deliberate indifference towards our unique circumstances denied us life, liberty or property without due process of the law. I ask, if we are not in a position to access this information (i.e. AEDPA-1996) and the CDC/DOC/BOP are not required to individually inform us of the law(s) and how that law(s) can and will directly impact us, how does the court expect us to comply to the law? To be more specific: Pelican Bay and CSP-Corcoran made no efforts to accommodate those of us being housed inside their secure housing units (i.e. isolation/solitary confinement), many of us do not even have TV’s, and no other way to obtain info as it pertains to new laws that may and/or will effect us.

I reiterate, if we are not provided sufficient access to the law, then how are we expected to comply to the law(s)? Our ignorance in this matter is not an excuse, but a legitimate due process/equal protection interest.

We only seek fairness and justice; the attorney general’s offices and all prosecutors/district attorneys have been given an unfair advantage. All relevant law changes are readily available for the attorney general and all prosecution offices. This is a clear injustice, and being treated as if we are on equal terms with the attorney general’s offices/district attorney’s offices.

This is unfair and a violation of our Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment Rights!

Abdul Olugbala Shakur
Aka J. Harvey
Freespeechsociety.org / Freespeechsociety [at] gmail.com

Abdul Olugbala Shakur
s/n James Harvey
C-48884
KVSP B2-117
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

PDF


FAIRNESS AND RESTORATION ACT-2015

This restoration act is about restoring fairness and justice to those who were denied by the government enactment of the AEDPA-1996; there were a number of class Prisoners who were not able to comply to the AEDPA to no fault of their own. This Act of Restoration is specifically for those class of Prisoners. They represent a unique circumstance(s) which had complying to the law changes, these class of Prisoners fall under the following criteria:

1] Those Prisoners who were housed in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison, CSP-Corcoran, CCI-Tehachapi, and New Folsom prisons, as well as in Administrative Segregation between 1996-1997.

2] Those Prisoners who were under chronic health care between 1996-1997.

3] Those Prisoners identified as functional illiterate between 1996-1997.

4] Those Prisoners identified as mentally ill.

Note: The above criteria served as legitimate obstacles impeding our capacity to comply to the AEDPA-1996, being that we were not provided sufficient access to the law changes.


ARTICLES

ARTICLE ONE: Those Prisoners who fall under criteria 1 and 2, and provided that their federal writ was denied on grounds of AEDPA violation, and that the violation did not exceed one (1) year, and they were actively involved in the appeal process shall be given another opportunity to resubmit their federal writ with an appointed counsel.

ARTICLE TWO: Those Prisoners who fall under criteria 3 and 4 shall be appointed counsel due to their inability to represent themselves or fully comprehend the law.

ARTICLE THREE: Starting January 1st 2016/2017 the DOC/BOP will be required by law to inform their prison population of any and all laws/bills that will and can have a direct impact on their confinement.

Grant ‘Strategic Release’ to Abdul Olugbala Shakur

From: SF Bay View, March 20, 2015

A petition for Strategic Release, a groundbreaking initiative to free prisoners with a record of service to their communities, will for the first time be presented to the Parole Board April 2, 2015, on behalf of Abdul Olugbala Shakur

Editor’s note: A two-sided petition form to print out, sign and circulate is posted below. Signed petitions must be returned in time to send them to the Parole Board by April 2. An online petition is also available HERE.

by Joka Heshima Jinsai

The concept of compassionate release is fairly well known in the U.S. Under compassionate release, prisoners with a severe, often terminal, ailment are released as they pose no threat to society and their continued incarceration would prove inhumane.

In recent years the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) developed the concept of “Strategic Release.” Under Strategic Release, prisoners are granted parole, pardon or clemency based on the positive impact they have had on their community and society during their imprisonment – and the even greater positive impact they will have on society as a whole if released.

Strategic Release, unlike “compassionate” or other forms of release, will have a direct impact on reducing crime – and the social inequities at the root of criminality – through the contributions and activities of those granted release. The prospective prisoner considered for Strategic Release is committed to solving the ills of society without working with the government and law-enforcement, as it is our experience success flows directly from working with the people and community.

Abdul Olugbala Shakur

Consideration for Strategic Release is based on prisoners’ work product and proven record of service to the community and society as a whole. As such, it is the height of social restitution, providing direct restorative justice to the people and communities wronged by their past transgressions, requiring a lifetime of commitment to society’s progress and welfare. This means Strategic Release is the highest threshold of rehabilitation and social justice any prisoner can achieve, warranting the highest award: a second chance to serve society.

It is our belief that Abdul Olugbala Shakur represents the role model for Strategic Release, not only due to his tireless commitment to improving the daily lives of those in society, but through the broad body of work he has developed and contributed to creating. We will be requesting the Board of Prison Terms issue a release date to Brotha Abdul, or in the alternative the governor grant him clemency, as we have no doubt he will have a major positive impact on society, and his body of work is the best possible proof we can offer to support this assertion.

A petition for Strategic Release

We are requesting that the Parole Board grant James Harvey (aka Abdul Olugbala Shakur) parole, or petition the governor for pardon or clemency, on grounds of strategic release. Readers are encouraged to print, sign and circulate the following two-sided petition immediately and return several days prior to Abdul Shakur’s parole hearing on Thursday, April 2, to Free Speech Society, P.O. Box 11842, Berkeley, CA 94712, or scan and email the petitions to martinot4@gmail.com. There is also a petition endorsing this initiative which you can sign here.

Petition for Strategic Release A brief sample of Abdul Olugbala Shakur’s body of work:

For more than 25 years, Mr. Harvey has consistently served the Afrikan-Amerikan community and has been at the forefront in combatting gang violence criminality in the Black community. His release would have a major impact positively, not only in the Black community, but in society as a whole. We’ve provided a brief list of some of his contributions in support of our request.

Brotha Abdul has no long criminal history. This is his first time in prison, and he has never been incarcerated or arrested prior to his controlling offense.

He has served 33 ½ years in prison – the last 32 years spent in solitary confinement due to his political activities and ideology and alleged membership in a prison group. But in spite of all this, Mr. Harvey has discovered his true humanity, and this is reflected in his daily contributions to the Black community and the Human Rights Movement for over 25 years.

Eligibility for Strategic Release must be demonstrated both by a proven record of positive work product on behalf of the people and society, but also by a desire for and by the community to see the subject released, which will depend on community-based parole boards. Those released as a condition of release are pledging the remainder of their lives to community and social service.

Strategic Release is the pinnacle of social restitution where the PEOPLE themselves are directly benefitting from the restorative justice. Current modes of so-called “restitution” give funds – mostly culled from the funds sent by loved ones and families of prisoners – to the state, not the victims (where there are any), and it is doled out as the state sees fit to whom and what they see fit.

Strategic Release will have a direct impact on reducing the crime in the underclass communities of Amerikka, thus starving the Prison-Industrial Slave Complex of the most vital resource it needs to function: OUR PEOPLE. When something starves, it ultimately dies.

This is why the state will fight tooth and nail to stop the concept of Strategic Release from taking root in the consciousness of the people and being transformed into a material force, and this is why we must start now pushing it on blogs, social media and every platform we can possibly access, engaging in dialogue and gaining feedback from as broad a cross-section of the population – especially the New Afrikan Community that is most affected both by victimization and offending – as humanly possible.

I believe we can tap into the anti-mass incarceration forces of society to rally around this concept and begin organizing to bring it to life.

We are suggesting that those with significant sentences or offenses will have to have at least 20 years served before they are eligible for Strategic Release. Strategic Release will also serve as a model for other prisoners to develop themselves, transform their consciousness and commit themselves to serving their communities and society.

Brotha Abdul’s body of work

Brotha Abdul was the original author of the historic “Agreement to End Hostilities”adopted within the CDCr and many affected communities, and he continues to work tirelessly to end racial rivalries and group conflicts.

Brotha Abdul is the author of one most effective blueprints to end Black-on-Black gang violence in U.S. society: “Operation Hip-Hop Rescue.” Following the systematic failures in governmental response during Hurricane Katrina, Brotha Abdul authored one of the most comprehensive emergency response plans to ensure that such a tragedy never visits our communities again.

Following the release of the book “The Bell Curve,” a pseudo-scientific work that sought to criminalize the Black community in general and the Black male in particular, Abdul spearheaded the campaign to debunk this attempted criminalization of his community and people. Out of this campaign came a series of pamphlets which were collected into the perennial work, “New Afrikan Criminology 101,” a textbook used not only in the classroom of Professor Dorothy B. Fardan at Bowie State University but by activists and scholars in prison and society alike as a tool to combat the racist criminalization of the Black community.

Strategic Release is the highest threshold of rehabilitation and social justice any prisoner can achieve, warranting the highest award: a second chance to serve society.

Brotha Abdul is the founder and creator of the Black August Memorial Commemoration Committee (BAMCC), which is a movement that is spreading all across the country. He appointed Akili Mwalimu Shakur to chair the BAMCC, and he gives all credit to Brother Akili, Abdul Jabbar Caliph, Sista Kilaika Baruti and others for the success of this movement.

Brotha Abdul is also the founder and creator of the George Jackson University (GJU), which is a movement designed to eradicate:

  • Functional illiteracy among Black prisoners
  • Criminal “gangster” mentality among Black prisoners
  • Cultural ignorance among Black prisoners and

It also prepares Black prisoners for release back into the Black community.

Dr. Donald R. Evans, Dr. Ali Rashad Perkins and many others have played a crucial role in the development of this concept. Unfortunately, because Brotha Abdul chose to name the project after George Jackson,the project for the last 12 years has been under attack, even though multiple court decisions ruled in favor of the GJU. There is ongoing and pending litigation in multiple courts on this very issue, and on Feb. 19, 2015, a Superior Court judge granted an evidentiary hearing on the George Jackson University (GJU) issue.

Brotha Abdul has developed a number of very important proposals that have had an influence in the Black community, such as “The New Afrikan Community Security Protocol Mandate.” This proposal is a basic blueprint designed to stabilize the Black community; activists across the country are using this blueprint.

Then in 1996 he produced a comprehensive blueprint for eradicating hunger in the Black Diaspora. In 2012, he revised that plan, which is now known by “The Pan-Afrikan Global Commission Against Hunger.”

Another one of his proposals is “The New Afrikan Prisoner Outreach Resource Center.” This proposal is designed to prepare Black prisoners for release and put an end to Black recidivism.

Brotha Abdul is also the creator of the “Free Speech Society” (FSS) along with Mutope Duguma, Zaharibu Dorrough, Joka Heshima Jinsai and Kijana Tashiri Askari. The FSS is a movement designed to protect and defend the First Amendment rights of imprisoned and society-based activists as well. This project is currently being coordinated by Steve Martinot (martinot4@gmail.com). For more information on the FSS, visitFreespeechsociety.wordpress.com.

Brotha Abdul is the co-founder and co-creator of the “Insurrectionists Art Collective” with co-founder and co-creator Joka Heshima Jinsai (Denham), a platform for activists and art lovers to support the resolution of some of the most pressing social ills facing us as a society today, such as breast cancer prevention, treatment and research, child abuse and exploitation treatment and services, Alzheimer’s Disease research and services, domestic violence prevention and intervention services, homelessness prevention and services, child hunger prevention and services, including food security initiatives. The IAC also supports the Abdul Olugbala Shakur Literary Scholarship Fund and the Joka Heshima Jinsai Artistic Scholarship Fund, which provide literary and artistic scholarships for our youth.

Brotha Abdul has served as an active member and supporter of the National Afrikan-Amerikan Family Reunion Association (NAAFRA) with founder and CEO Dr. Donald R. Evans, a movement designed to rebuild the Black community and family while promoting entrepreneurship, Black business ownership and commerce within the Black community in order to create economic systems where residents spend their money with and within their own community, thus cultivating self-sufficiency and prosperity (NAAFRA.org).

Brotha Abdul has contributed to the expansion of New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalism (NARN), the New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) and the Republic of New Afrika (RNA) across the U.S.

Brotha Abdul has written for a number of publications, such as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper in particular (sfbayview.com), a newspaper that has provided a medium for prisoners to speak and reach the people. Abdul has served as one of its most powerful embedded activist reporters. Many of his articles have gone viral, e.g.

The piece, “What is solitary confinement?” is being used by prison rights activists all across the country to educate the public on this modern horror.

We have provided a strong case for Strategic Release. There is no doubt that Brotha Abdul’s release would have a major impact on society, not just the Black community.

Send our brother some love and light: Joka Heshima Jinsai (J. Heshima Denham), J-38283, COR-SHU, 4B-1L-25, P.O. Box 3481, Corcoran CA 93212.

The criminality of solitary confinement

From SF Bay View, March 21st, 2015

by Steve Martinot

Introduction

In this series of articles, we have traced the various mechanisms whereby the prison procedures of “gang validation” are used to deny the civil rights, the human rights and even the humanity of the prisoners. These procedures mark the criminality of the prison administration.

We have been considering the case of Abdul Olugbala Shakur, who has been in solitary confinement for decades. In the past, the administration had broken Shakur’s contact with his mother, his spiritual father and others. In its more recent attacks, it has charged him with “gang activity” for having written about certain matters in private letters to friends and compatriots.

In the various Rules Violation Reports on these charges, the administration has revealed its own criminality. In particular, it has engineered witchhunts in the name of gang control and despotically imposed extensive censorship on prisoners’ reading material and correspondence.

These engineered campaigns constitute aggression not only against prisoners but against us all as well, insofar as we are barred from their information about their situation. In addition, the impunity of this criminal aggressiveness against the political thinking of prisoners demonstrates, more than anything, the necessity for political resistance by the prisoners themselves, for their psychological survival, which then gets called “gang activity.”

What many Black prisoners have adopted, in order to defend themselves against both the administration and various allied white supremacist groups in prison, is an identification with the ideas of New Afrikan Nationalism, as a self-chosen identity. As self-chosen, it offers opposition, alternative and resistance against the identity traditionally imposed upon Black people by white supremacy.

In Shakur’s case, he is prosecuted for mentioning New Afrika, New Afrikan Revolutionary Nationalism, Black August, George Jackson and the George Jackson University in private letters to friends – and given more time in solitary. It is to “outlaw” these ideas as well as identification with them that the administration has associated them with “gang activity.”

Since gang activity can be outlawed and punished, then so can the ideas associated with it. Thus, “gang validation” becomes the fraudulent and unconstitutional instrumentality for outlawing ideas.

Imprisonment is an act of violence designed to separate a person from society. The rationale of “protecting” society against violent people fails in view of the fact that 70 percent of all prisoners are there for victimless crimes.

Censorship is designed to further isolate prisoners from society. But this patently contradicts the pretended “legitimate” purpose of prison, namely, to return a criminal to society as a better law-abiding person. To return to society, one must have maintained a relation to it. Insofar as censorship breaks that relation, it makes reentry difficult.

But we already know that the legislated obstructions placed in the way of former prisoners – barring access to social services, public housing and most employment – makes reentry practically impossible, essentially guaranteeing recidivism. “Reentry” becomes a fraudulent term whose real meaning is social exile.

Why would recidivism be built into the system? So that the administration can say that certain people, mostly people of color, are incorrigible and must be permanently removed from society. The real point of imprisonment, then, is not to establish respect for law and decency but to implement segregation.

It is not to correct bad behavior but to destroy people and communities. It signifies that “crime” is not the problem the judicial machine is constructed to resolve but rather the existence of Black and Brown people.

The real point of imprisonment is not to establish respect for law and decency but to implement segregation. It is not to correct bad behavior but to destroy people and communities.

Prison is in reality a white supremacist project. Today, 75 percent of all prisoners are people of color.

We see this fact unfold in its extreme in the murder of Black and Brown people by the police in the streets. In 2012, over 600 unarmed people of color were killed by the police. In 2014, that figure rose to over 1,020 (the freethoughtproject.com). In 2014, as well, in the prisons of Florida alone, over 340 people were killed by the guards (Daily Kos, 1/14/15).

The criminality of extended isolation

Shakur had been in isolation for decades, along with 80,000 other prisoners in the U.S. It was to protest this fact that prisoners organized a hunger strike in July 2013. Its demands were simply for human rights, decent food, correspondence” with the outside, fairness in administration treatment and an end to indefinite solitary confinement. Since that hunger strike, Shakur has been attacked and harassed by the administration, using their rules violation procedures to do so (as outlined in the previous articles, “Prisons, gangs, witchhunts and white supremacy” and “The Black Guerrilla Family and human freedom”).

Shakur has described the reality of isolation in an essay (“What is solitary confinement?” previously published in the Bay View 10/18/14). To place a person in a small cell with a steel door and no personal contact with others is only the technical instrumentality of isolation.

According to the U.N., and recognized in the U.S., such isolation is sufficient to drive a person mad. It is a mode of torture whose purpose is the destruction of personhood.

But there are always other prisoners in an isolation cellblock. They can speak to each other through doors and corridors and hear the others’ screams. So the administration, as Shakur describes it, creates social, political and psychological isolation by engineering who the others in the cellblock will be.

To place a Black prisoner, for instance, adjacent to white supremacists will be to subject him to a ceaselessly hostile and aggressive environment. Thus, the many hatreds inculcated in U.S. society – ethnic, racial, gender, ideological, demographic etc. – are used by the administration to assist in the further destruction of intellect and personhood.

Prison is in reality a white supremacist project. Today, 75 percent of all prisoners are people of color.

That destruction is not permitted to any institution in this country by any law or ethic, which means that it is itself totally criminal behavior by the prison institution. What astounds is that the prison industry schemes about how to torture each prisoner with these extreme forms of institutional sadism.

Though the term “sadism” is a psychological term that refers to individual psychology, what the prison industry is proving is that these psychological terms can also refer to institutions. The fraud that disguises these procedures of torture politically lies in calling them “control” units, thus making them seem necessary, as if prison were not already absolute control.

The impossibility of justice amid punishment for thought

With respect to the rules violation write-ups by which people are kept in solitary, their purpose is punishment for thought. As indicated above, associating certain thoughts with gang activity gives the administration the power to ban those thoughts in the name of outlawing gangs. Though it rationalizes this as defense against anti-social disruption, it is the administration that defines gangs, and thus defines disruption. The real purpose remains to charge and convict people for what they think.

Associating certain thoughts with gang activity gives the administration the power to ban those thoughts in the name of outlawing gangs. The real purpose remains to charge and convict people for what they think.

We know how distant that is from law enforcement. Law enforcement means that, in the event a crime is committed, a person suspected of committing that crime is brought to trial to be decided by a jury of his/her peers.

In the U.S., this is what passes for “justice.” To be a real system of justice, there would have to be checks and balances against the ability of the police or prosecutors to frame a person for something they didn’t do. That doesn’t exist.

When George Ryan was governor of Illinois, he found out that one out of every six persons on death row was innocent of the crime for which he was to be executed – framed by the judicial system – and in 2003 ended the death penalty. Of course, the revenge ethic that is fulfilled by imprisonment already makes justice impossible because it doubles the criminality and violence in society simply through the violence and criminality of its vengeance. It also provides a role model for further social violence.

But beyond that, there are a number of corruptions of the “law enforcement” paradigm: 1) A person can be convicted because suspected of having committed some as yet unknown crime. 2) A person can be convicted for having thought about committing a specific crime. 3) A person can be convicted for having thought about committing some as yet unknown crime. 4) A person can be convicted of having thoughts that do not constitute crimes or criminality but simply for having such thoughts. 5) And finally, a person can be convicted for being suspected of having certain unspecified thoughts, which nevertheless are suspected to constitute crimes, simply because suspected.

The first occurs with racial profiling, in which the police commit an act of suspicion, and hold a person while they look for a crime the person might possibly have committed, depriving them of liberty while they do so. The second occurs every time someone is charged under a conspiracy statute, which means that the person, in conversation with others, thought about committing a crime. If the crime is actually committed, then the existence of that conversation can be considered pre-meditation, but then it is no longer “conspiracy.”

The third occurs when an officer shoots someone for disobeying a command and states that he, the officer, felt threatened by the suspect. In such a case, the officer is charging the suspect with felonious assault and then prosecuting, convicting and punishing the person by shooting him.

The fourth occurs when a police officer shoots someone who disobeys an officer’s command, for instance, by running away, thus assuming the criminality of the person’s thoughts and convicting by punishing him in the moment – as Officer Gonzales did when he shot Gary King in the back as King walked away in Oakland in 2007. The list of people to whom this has happened is longer than the list of people on death row in California.

The fifth occurs when a person is killed by the police for simply refusing to be handcuffed or refusing to open the door to the police. We can mention Kayla Moore, Eric Garner, Kenneth Chamberlain, Ramarley Graham … but again, the list is very long.

When an officer shoots and kills a person, as Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown as he stood 100 feet away with his hands up, and is exonerated of any wrongdoing, the state, in so exonerating him, is saying that the officer acted according to state policy. In other words, in acting as prosecutor, judge and jury, the officer has properly performed as an extension of the state’s judicial machinery.

The revenge ethic that is fulfilled by imprisonment already makes justice impossible because it doubles the criminality and violence in society simply through the violence and criminality of its vengeance. It also provides a role model for further social violence.

Only when involved in actual law enforcement are police officers not extensions of the judicial process. Then they are acting as actual police officers, policing the society according to the law. But in the other instances, the police have taken on state functions that are not given to them.

The witchhunting process by which prisoners are brought up on rules violation charges in California prisons, and thrown in solitary or kept in solitary for what they think or read, constitutes a conjunction of all these travesties of justice. The person in prison whose thoughts are defined by the administration as “evidence” of gang activity is not only suspected of criminality, but suspected of conspiring, of rule violations, of thinking about rule violations and of thinking about disobeying the rules in order to disobey in all these respects. Gang validation amounts to conviction on all counts.

The real travesty is that the prison administration pretends it is engaged in legitimate judicial process. In its hearing reports, there are sections labeled “due process,” “investigation,” “witnesses,” “plea” and “testimony” as if they were real.

Ironically, in every one of Shakur’s write-ups, the hearing officer denied Shakur permission to have a witness, declaring that what the witness would say would be irrelevant to the case. This not only cancelled the witness’s existence as a person, but it deprived the prisoner of a defense, as well as due process. The judge, in speaking for someone who isn’t there, thus ceases to be a judge, and becomes a despot.

Isolation is for the purpose of driving people mad

It is known that isolation will drive people mad. Like all torture, it is destructive and is understood to be so in law and in U.N. proclamation. Yet entire prison systems (Pelican Bay, Marion, Lexington etc.) are based upon facilitating solitary confinement. They are institutions built on the principle of destroying human beings.

The administration claims that isolation is necessary to punish people who are violent or who break prison rules. But these prisons were built first, before they had people to punish in this way. They were built with the knowledge that their operation would destroy people. Afterwards, strategies and policies were developed for filling them. The notion of gang validation is one of those strategies.

The purpose of torturing people is to destroy what they think without damaging the person physically – and without committing murder. The administration can say it is defending society against violence rather than committing it. But this simply dovetails with the rhetoric of “correction” (The Department of Correction), whose reality is to intentionally guarantee recidivism.

The false purpose of imprisonment

In light of this project which the prison system fulfills in the U.S., it is utmost blindness to uphold the idea that prisons have a role to play in dealing with people who assault others and who rape and murder them. We hear it all the time: “People have to take responsibility for what they have done to others. We have to get them off the street.”

This is empty if it does not also mean doing so to the perpetrators of institutional criminality – the guards and prison administration, the cops who shoot or beat people on the street, as well as those who legislatively legitimize – through inactivity – or even authorize the torture of solitary confinement. They all need to be held responsible for the violence they impose on society.

The perpetrators of institutional criminality are the guards and prison administration, the cops who shoot or beat people on the street, as well as those who legislatively legitimize – through inactivity – or even authorize the torture of solitary confinement. They all need to be held responsible for the violence they impose on society.

Unfortunately, none of this responds to the real issue of justice. It doesn’t even ask if imprisonment itself is unjust or not. In its silence on that issue, the call for imprisonment affirms that the question of justice is irrelevant.

Indeed, the very desperation contained in that question – “What are we going to do about violent people?” –names the injustice of imprisonment and of its administration. Instead, mass incarceration and solitary confinement are given legal rationalization, though they are forms of psychological destruction, in order that civil society can think that everything is OK and that justice is served.

There are two dimensions to the social acceptance of imprisonment. The first is tradition. Prison is the way Western society has always dealt with those who break the law. The second is violence, reflecting a desire to torture people. Removal from society inflicts pain, as does confinement to a cage.

If we are serious about halting anti-social transgressions – for which persons are ostensibly to be held responsible – then we have to find an alternative because imprisonment is by nature anti-social and transgressive, against persons, families and communities.

If we are serious about justice, then we have to recognize that the injustice of solitary confinement reveals a fundamental desire for injustice at the core of the culture of the U.S. It marks the real desire to deprive people of human rights – outside on the street as well as inside the prison.

Pain, suffering and psychological destruction are the intentions society manifests through imprisonment. It is true that it makes some people feel good about themselves and that the violence committed constitutes a mark of virtue for them.

As the implementation of a revenge ethic, prisons and imprisonment have no socially redeeming value. They are wholly corrupting, even of those people who support them as an institution.

But for that very reason, as the implementation of a revenge ethic, prisons and imprisonment have no socially redeeming value. They are wholly corrupting, even of those people who support them as an institution.

For those of us who believe in justice and democracy, the real crime problem in the U.S. is the prison system itself and its judicial machine. Together they are making justice and democracy practically impossible.

Steve Martinot is a human rights activist, organizer and writer and retired machinist, truck driver and professor, most recently at San Francisco State University. He has organized labor unions in New York and Akron and helped build community associations in Akron. He was a political prisoner in New York state charged with contempt of grand jury. He has published eight books, the latest being “The Need to Abolish the Prison System,” and can be reached at martinot4@gmail.com.

George Jackson University (GJU) – Mission Statement

George Jackson University (GJU)

Mission Statement

For the past 20 years or more, many People, prison rights activists in particular, have spoken on the importance of education as the most effective tool towards combating recidivism, but unfortunately many have only paid lip service to this cause, a cause that we can no longer afford to ignore or pay lip service to without concrete action.

We, as New Afrikans, are initiating a concrete action beyond rhetoric and lip service.

We are reinstituting the concept of transforming the entire U.S. Prison-Industrial Slave-Complex (PISC) into the largest progressive educational institution in the country, with emphasis on Afro-centric and Pan-Afrikan studies and New Afrikan political education.

Our primary objectives at this moment will be five-fold:

  • To eradicate functional illiteracy among New Afrikan (Black) Prisoners.
  • To eradicate cultural ignorance among New Afrikan Prisoners.
  • To transform the New Afrikan criminal mentality.
  • To assist in the rebuilding and stabilization of the New Afrikan communities.
  • To prepare New Afrikan Prisoners for release / reducing New Afrikan recidivism!

The GJU primary curriculums:

  • Afro-centric Pan-Afrikan Studies
  • New Afrikan Criminology 101
  • New Afrikan Political Science and Education
  • Reading and Writing
  • Math and Science
  • Computer Science
  • Green Technology
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Horticulture/Landscaping/Gardening
  • Cooking/Nutrition
  • Health and Fitness
  • Business and Finance
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Pre-Release Survival Programs

Administrative protocols:

All GJU faculty and registered students will adhere to the following rules and protocols. Any violations will result in immediate expulsion or probation. The circumstances will determine the particulars. We intend to develop and implement additional rules for both students and faculty, but the following rules and protocols are very essential to the integrity of the GJU:

  • No registered Student or Faculty Member will participate in gang activity (as defined by the GJU Disciplinary Board).
  • No registered Student or Faculty Member will participate in criminal activity (as defined by the GJU Board of Directors).
  • No registered Student or Faculty Member will engage in the sale or manufacture of any illicit drugs, including pills and marijuana, and not necessarily limited to these.
  • No registered Student or Faculty Member will engage in hard drugs, including taking pills for the purpose of getting high.
  • No registered Student or Faculty Member will drink alcohol or smoke marijuana.
  • No registered Student or Faculty Member will be an informant, child molester, serial killer, serial rapist, baby killer, woman beater, pimp, elder abuser, or on sensitive needs yards! Or in protective custody! If anyone has any questions concerning this you can contact me directly!

People, the George Jackson University (GJU) is no longer a theory. New Afrikan community activists across the country are pledging their support and joining our GJU. It is now an inherent component within the National Afrikan-Amerikan Family Reunion Association (NAAFRA.org). It is rapidly expanding. The time for talk is over.

If you truly believe in the education of New Afrikan / Black Prisoners, reducing New Afrikan recidivism and eradicating Black-on-Black gang violence, then join and / or support the GJU. We don’t need your lip service. We need your support!

Since 2003 when i along with Dr Donald R. Evans first developed the GJU concept, the California Department of Corrections (CDCr) has criminalized our work, has sabotaged our gains with impunity. We both have been persecuted by the CDC amd their agents of repression (e.g. Institutional Gang Investigation Unit [IGI], Investigative Services Unit [ISU], and Office of Correctional Safety [OCS/SSU]).

When i became eligible for release from solitary confinement, i was denied release on the sole purpose of my involvement with the GJU, they even sabotaged my marriage, falsely accusing her of being a drop-box for the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF), only to testify under oath five (5) years later that accusation was not true, but the damage was done.

We have sacrificed too much to just allow this work to be destroyed by the agents of repression COINTELPRO attacks.

Our fight is now beginning to pay off: a Judge with moral fortitude recently granted my state writ requesting an evidentiary hearing on GJU; this will be our OPPORTUNITY to expose the crimes committed against good people out there by the CDC and their agents of repression.

One of our most committed GJU Activists, Brotha Nathan Perkins recently joined our ancestors, but I told him years ago, I will not allow these folks to get away with their crimes, and after 13 years of litigating this battle in the courts, we have now been granted with the opportunity to take our fight to the courts.

The GJU is now in full effect, and we will now have the courts confirming the legality of our endeavors, and the criminalization of the CDCr. It is time for you to join the GJU!

Abdul Olugbala Shakur, Chancellor


The George Jackson University (GJU) is sponsored by:

National Afrikan-Amerikan Family reunion Association – NAAFRA.org

Free-Speech Society (FSS) – Freespeechsociety.org

If you are interested in joining the GJU, NAAFRA, or the FSS, please contact one of us at the below address:

Abdul Olugbala Shakur
s/n J. Harvey
C48884
KVSP B2-117
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

Or:

Joka Heshima Jinsai
s/n S. Denham
J38283
KVSP B2-117
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

Website: Georgejacksonuniversity.com

Download our Flyer GJU 2015

Mission Statement of the Free Speech Society

Logo FSSThe Free Speech Society is a movement that is dedicated towards protecting and defending the First Amendment rights of imprisoned activists. As imprisoned activists, we are embedded reporters for the people. We are the eyes and ears for the people – for the taxpayers – articulating the human atrocities that plague the prison industrial slave complex with impunity in your name.

Human atrocities compelled by racial oppression can only flourish when silence permeates the corridors of the vortex of torture, the PISC, necessitating the manifested destiny of a collective insurgence of voices of resistance forged by the rediscovery of our humanity. The FSS is an expression of that humanity.

Though our endeavor is just, the agents of torture and repression – the OCS (Office of Correctional Safety), SSU (Special Services Unity), IGI (Institutional Gang Investigations) and ISU (Investigations Services Unit) – have dedicated their resources towards silencing our voices and suffocating the true spirit of free speech.

This mission statement is only a brief invite designed to both captivate and solicit free speech loving people to join our movement and assist us in mobilizing against the forces of repression. If you are interested, please contact the following:

  • Abdul Olugbala Shakur (s/n J. Harvey), C-48884, KVSP B2-117
    P.O. Box 5102, Delano, CA 93216
  • Heshima Denham, J-38283, KVSP B2-117, P.O. Box 5102,
    Delano, CA 93216
  • Steve Martinot, martinot4 @ gmail.com

Email: Freespeechsociety @ gmail.com

Website: Freespeechsociety.org

FREE SPEECH SOCIETY short mission statement

Free Speech Society Goals