In solidarity, Prison conditions

Covid-19 Update USP Pollock Louisiana

By Keith Malik Washington, IWOC

Peace and Blessings Sisters and Brothers. Today is April 2nd, 2020.

I am delivering my Covid-19 update from inside USP Pollock which is located in Pollock Louisiana, near the city of Alexandria. For those who have been following my updates, you have already confirmed the death of a prisoner housed at our sister facility, FCI Oakdale Louisiana. Our prayers and condolences are extended to the family members and loved ones of our fallen comrade. On April 1st, 2020, I woke up to more restrictive modified operations at USP Pollock, As well as a rumor being circulated of one BoP employee and one prisoner here at USP Pollock suspected of having contracted the Covid-19 virus. Thus far, this is just an inmate rumor. Many I must ask for your help in contacting the complex warden, Chris McConnell. In order to ascertain the validity of this rumor. It wouldn’t be surprising that someone here contracted the virus. BoP employees are allowed to come and go daily, in and out of the  FCC(?) complex at Pollock.

Sisters and Brothers, the number one carriers and transmitters of the coronavirus here at USP Pollock, will be BoP employees. Thus far, all officers are screened before entering the facility, and they are asked to self report any suspected contacts they may have had with high risk persons. We the prisoners at USP Pollock, continue to be subjected to ever increasing restrictions, yet the employees come and go as they please. There are numerous open cells here at USP Pollock, and there are numerous empty units. We propose that officers assigned to the housing units begin to stay here, rather than leave the facility daily. This may sound like a drastic measure, but please understand comrades, drastic times require drastic measures. The state of Louisiana is number two in deaths per capita from the Covid-19 virus. Prisons, by design, are a super confined environment, and once the coronavirus is introduced to the prison population, it will spread like wildfire. As we have seen with FCI Oakdale, death is an inevitable consequence of Covid-19 infections, within the confined federal prison environment. Early on in this report, I mentioned that the BoP has initiated more restrictive modified operations here at USP Pollock. For clarifications sake, let me say that these new restrictive measures are now system wide. Here at USP Pollock, only 8 cells are allowed on that flats at one time. Previously 16 cells were allowed out for two hours a day, in order to allow prisoners access to phones, emails and showers. The cells here at USP Pollock are designed to house two people. In light of these new restrictions, I will only be allowed out of my cell every other day. So my access to the phones, email and shower will be cut in half.

On its face, these new measures are an attempt by the BoP to adhere more closely to CDC recommendations for social distancing, as well as limiting the amount of prisoners allowed out of their cells at one time. It is imperative (emphasis added), that I highlight once again, that most of my fellow prisoners here are healthy are(?) risk the Covid-19 from BoP employees and not each other! Please understand this point!

In closing, I report that yesterday on April 1st, 2020 I report that my case manager, Mr. Carter, had me sign my application for Federal halfway house, and the transfer of my primary address to San Francisco, California. I ask all of you, once again, to please contact the Bureau of Prisons, and strongly encourage them to release me to my primary release address, which is the address for the San Francisco Bayview National Black Newspaper. Or, release me to Federal halfway house, as soon as possible. With your support, my transition to free society will be successful. Free world support is so very important! Please continue to stay healthy and practice distancing, but by no means stop being social with one another. Love one another, care one another, Communication rules the nation, comrades. Until my next report, I extend my clenched fist salute and say “Panther Love” to all of my comrades, allies and loved ones.

Solidarity Forever,

This is Comrade Malik, signing off.

 

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In solidarity, Prison conditions

CoVid-19 Urgent Update (FREE OUR ELDERS!!)    USP Pollock & Surrounding Areas

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
INCARCERATED WORKERS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE

Revolutionary Greetings Comrades! Today is Saturday, April 4th, 2020.  I want all of you reading this report to know that I am committed to providing you with Accurate and Truthful information regarding the conditions inside the Federal U.S. Penitentiary at Pollock, Louisiana as well as the surrounding area which includes–F.C.I. Oakdale.

As the Coronavirus Pandemic ravages Amerika, we are seeing the virus begin to take a deadly toll on Federal Prisoners in Louisiana. In Last Sundays report, I informed you about the situation at FCI Oakdale. The most recent information coming out of FCI Oakdale reveals a worsening situation.  FCI Oakdale now has at least Eleven(11) confirmed cases of CoVid-19.  The facility has 19 (nineteen) suspected CoVid-19 cases. Those individuals have been quarantined. As of today April 4th, 2020 there have been Four Prisoner Deaths at FCI Oakdale as a result of CoVid-19.

I will be adding more to this report in a couple days. I want all of you to begin to think about how we can Free our Respected Elders from these Federal Slave Kamps! Next time I will be focusing my energy on that Topic!!

In solidarity forever!!! Comrade Malik!!!

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End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

Urgent COVID-19 Update Follow Up! Federal USP Pollock, Louisiana and Surrounding Areas

Peace and Blessings Everyone!  Please, I ask that you share this update far and wide.  Please Utilize Social Media Platforms.  In Solidarity, Love and Respect Malik

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington    Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee

Today is Sunday, March 29th, 2020.  This is a follow-up report to an Urgent Update that I released last Sunday, March 22nd, 2020.  This specific report details recent events in regard to the Covid-19 Pandemic within Facilities Operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Please be advised that there has been a Deliberate Attempt by the Main-Stream Media and The White House to ignore the Deadly impact Covid-19 has been having on Amerika’s World Leading Prison Population.

On the morning of March 29th, 2020 I interviewed a Registered Nurse who works for the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  The Nurse requested that I not use their name.  I will respect this employees request to remain Anonymous.

It was reported to me that there have been 8 Positive Cases of Covid-19 at Federal Correctional Institution Oakdale which is located in Oakdale, Louisiana.  FCI Oakdale is the “Sister Facility” to USP Pollock.  Of the 8 Cases at FCI Oakdale, 6 are prisoners and 2 are B.O.P. employees.  There has been One Death at FCI Oakdale connected to the Covid-19 Virus!  There are 6 Prisoners currently on ventilators at the facility.

FCI Oakdale is approximately 30 miles from USP Pollock.  FCI Oakdale is a Care Level 2 Facility.  Care Level 2 is a designation which Alerts the Public as well as B.O.P. staff that the prisoners housed at Oakdale have greater health care needs and those prisoners  are more vulnerable to catching the Covid-19 Virus.  This is reflected in the 8 Cases and one Death I have described here.

Much closer to USP Pollock is the city of Alexandria, Louisiana.  It has been reported to me that there are over 54 Cases of Covid-19  split between two Public Hospitals.  The name of the Hospitals are Rapides and Cabrini Hospital.
Thus far, we have no reported cases of Covid-19 at USP Pollock.   Employees at FCC Complex Pollock are screened for Covid-19 prior to entering the Complex daily.  However, Mandatory Testing Has Not been initiated at USP Pollock except for those who show Symptoms after being Screened.  The Virus continues to edge closer to USP Pollock and it will take more than Luck for us to Pre-empt the spread of the Virus.

On Friday–March 27th, 2020 —Prison Administrators here at USP Pollock approved the admittance of numerous prisoners from various Federal Detention Centers and County Jails in the Area.  These New Admissions WERE NOT tested for Covid–19.  Nevertheless, the prisoners were placed in Single Cells and placed on Quarantine for 14 days.  The New Federal Prisoners
were housed on Unit B-3 here at USP Pollock which is located on B-Building.  B-Building is the same Building where I and many other Healthy Prisoners are Housed.

I spoke to a  B.O.P. employee about the new arrivals and was told that the prisoners would be monitored closely for Covid-19 symptoms.  I would like to point out that the Covid-19 virus can become AIRBORNE AND COULD SPREAD THROUGH THE HVAC SYSTEM WHICH CONNECTS WITH EVERY INDIVIDUAL CELL THROUGHOUT B-BUILDING!

It is my opinion and the opinion of many prisoners here at USP Pollock that All New Commits should first and foremost be TESTED for Covid-19 BEFORE BEING BROUGHT INTO THIS ISOLATED AND STERILE ENVIRONMENT AT USP POLLOCK WHICH HAS REMAINED VIRUS FREE!

My Advocacy for Covid–19 Testing for All B.O.P. Employees and All B.O.P. Prisoners is grounded in Science and Fact Based Evidence.  Inorder to Mitigate and Contain the Covid-19 virus, Testing and Technology must be implemented immediately.  Technology can enable the Federal Government to perform Contact Tracing.  By now we all know that a person can be infected with the Covid-19 Virus and Transmit the Virus Yet Show No Symptoms what-so-ever!

Testing alleviates all the guess work in assessing whether a prisoner or B.O.P. employee has been infected.
Numerous B.O.P. employees have said to me that they do not believe that the Federal Government has enough Covid-19 Test Kits available for the B.O.P.  I ask that all human beings with a conscience help us contact prison officials here at USP Pollock as well as officials in Washington D.C. and INSIST THAT MASS COVID-19 TESTING BE DONE THROUGHOUT THE B.O.P. IMMEDIATELY.

Finally, it has been reported that U.S. Attorney General William Barr has instructed the B.O.P. to Release to Home Confinement Older Prisoners and those with chronic conditions who may be more vulnerable to contracting the Covid-19 Virus.
PLEASE I ASK ALL OF YOU READING THIS REPORT TO CONTACT THE B.O.P. AND ENCOURAGE THE AGENCY TO RELEASE ME AS SOON AS IS HUMANLY POSSIBLE!!
It is my wish to aid the Editor of the San Francisco Bay View-National Black Newspaper in preserving and sustaining this one of kind National Black Newspaper which serves the hundreds of thousands and literally Millions of prisoners trapped in Amerikan Prisons and Jails.   I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME A CASUALTY OF THE B.O.P.’s  FLAWED COVID–19 PANDEMIC STRATEGY!     I will continue to Report.   Be advised that USP Pollock is continually placed on Lockdown and my ability to Report continues to be obstructed and sabotaged.   I WILL NOT EVER GIVE UP!!

Dare to struggle, Dare to Win,  All Power to the People!!
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In solidarity, Music

Bomani Shakur’s Life Matters!! 

by Comrade Malik and Nube Brown

Liberate the Caged Voices Coalition

“Leadership does not mean domination.  The World is always supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others.  The True Leader is of a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficient purpose.  He inspires others to follow in his wake and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspiration”  an excerpt from:  The Wise Mind of H.I.M.  Emperor Haile Sellasie I  Chapter 10–Leadership

Bomani Shakur (Keith LeMar) is an intelligent and compassionate Black Man who has been sentenced to DEATH in the state of Ohio.  The State of Ohio falsely accused Bomani of Murder in 1993, this was in connection to the events that transpired during the Lucasville Prison Uprisings.

There was No Physical Evidence, Nor was there any Forensic Evidence that connected Bomani to the crime of Murder.

Nevertheless, an all White Jury, A White Judge, and a large crowd of bigoted white–by-standers subjected Bomani to a Modern Day Lynching inside a Court-Room in Rural Ohio.

In the year of 2020 an Army of young White, Black, Asian, Arab, Latinx, and First Nation Activists have teamed up with us and many others inorder to Save the Life of Bomani Shakur.    BOMANI SHAKUR’S LIFE MATTERS!

Murdering Black Men has become a Favorite Past Time for the Authorities in States such as Ohio, Texas, Georgia, and Alabama!

We hear politicians like Kamala Harris and Cory Booker telling us that Joe Biden is the Presidential Candidate for ALL THE PEOPLE!

Ok!  If that is True then We Say to Joe Biden–Show us Some Love!!  Advocate for the Life of Bomani Shakur!!\

BOMANI SHAKUR’S LIFE MATTERS!!

Nevertheless, my confidence and hope does not rest with Politicians who continue to mislead us and spout lies and false Promiseses.

My Confidence and Hope Rests with THE PEOPLE!

In the Month of April 2020 I strongly encourage All Humyn Beings to Support our Solidarity Actions which seek to Save the Life of this Remarkable Humyn being known as Bomani Shakur.   BOMANI SHAKUR’S LIFE MATTERS!!

We implore you to join Activists and Freedom Fighters of All Races and Genders–All Across the United States and Europe.

Join us as we DEMAND that the State of Ohio halt its pursuit of the Death Penalty against another innocent Black Man here in Amerika!    BOMANI SHAKUR’S LIFE MATTERS!!

His Life is worth Saving!!   This is a Movement and not just a Moment in Time!!   End Prison Slavery in Amerika!!

Liberate the Caged Voices!!    Incarcerated Workers Never Give Up!!

Dare to struggle, Dare to Win,  ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!

NEVER SURRENDER!    BY   DJ Khaled,   Jadakiss, Scarface, John Legend, Akon, Anthony Hamilton, and Meek Mill!!!     This is a song that Means something!!  For our Comrade—Bomani Shakur!!!!

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In solidarity, Prison conditions

Why I Fight So Hard For Our People!

Revolutionary greetings, comrades!
“The hypocrisy of American fascism forces it to conceal its attack on political offenders by the legal fiction of conspiracy laws and highly sophisticated frame-ups. The masses must be taught to understand the true function of prisons. Why do they exist in such numbers? What is the real underlying economic motive of crime and the official definition of types of offenders or victims? The people must learn that when one “offends” the totalitarian state it is patently not an offense against the people of that state, but an assault upon the privilege of the privileged few.” ~ George L. Jackson, from Blood in my Eye, p.107

United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana

As I stare out of my window here at the United States Penitentiary in Pollock, Louisiana, I find myself in a pensive and reflective mood. I see razor wire as well as concertina fencing immediately outside my window. I see the prison yard, the grass, the gun tower and far off in the distance I see trees. I see a flag on a pole, it is the “stars and stripes”. This flag does not represent freedom to me, it represents oppression, abuse, social control and it represents the hateful legacy of slavery.

I woke up here in Pollock, Louisiana thinking of Angola 3 member Herman Wallace. I remember the day he died. I was listening to Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, and she played a recording of Comrade Herman describing the garden that he and his comrades were preparing behind the house he was planning to move into.
Once the state of Louisiana finally granted Comrade Herman release, he was on his last leg, the cancer had literally eaten him alive. When I heard the voice of Herman Wallace, with the anticipation of freedom and the hope of seeing a brighter day, I cried. I cried because I was angry, sad, and frustrated.
Louisiana had absolutely no love, compassion, or care for the Angola 3. What they had for them was racial hatred and decades of abuse. Comrade Robert King and Comrade Albert Woodfox made it out alive. Herman wasn’t so lucky.

So you should know that I fight for the Herman Wallaces of this world! The political prisoners here in America – I fight for them. I fight for my New Afrikan brothers!

We are being told that we will be on lock-down for months after this most recent incident here at USP Pollock.
Lockdown means my cellmate and I will be trapped in our cell 24/7. Every 3 days we are afforded an opportunity to shower. Our meals are all cold and consist of powdered milk, a piece of fruit, bologna, bread, cheese or peanut butter and jelly. The nutritional value is extremely poor. I have survived years on this paltry diet.
There is no programming on lockdown. So all that talk you have heard about the First Step Act is just that: talk. My cell-mate and I are both “short-timers”. He has about 14 months left, and I have about 15 months. He is 33 years old and I am 51. Two Black men. Both of us want to prepare for a successful transition back into society – but how can we?
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is sending us back to our families and to our communities traumatized & scarred emotionally as well as physically.
What rehabilitation is to be had when you are forced to live in a concrete cell for months at a time? Our situation here is not unique. This is the reality for literally thousands of men who have found themselves inside a Federal U.S. Penitentiary. USP Beaumont, USP Coleman, USP Victorville, USP McCreary, Big Sandy, Lee County, ALL of them in a continual state of lockdown! This is why I fight!

“The psycho-social dimensions of fascism become quite complex, but they can be simplified by thinking of them as part of a collective bargaining process carried on between all the elites of the particular state with the regime acting as arbitrator. The regime’s interests are subject to those of the ruling class. Labor is a partner in this arrangement. At the head of any labor organization in the fascist state, there is an elite which is tied to the interests of the regime — and consequently tied also to the economic status quo.” ~ George L. Jackson, excerpt from Blood in my Eye, p. 157

In this environment, and I am talking about high-security prisons in Amerika, the the prison warden is the ‘elite’ who represents the interests of the regime.

Let me be clear. Here at USP Pollock, the Complex Warden is named Mr. McConnell. Mr. McConnell is an extension of the Trump Administration. Now, I want to break down exactly what justice looks like here inside USP Pollock.
Recently, there have been U.S. Supreme Court cases, such as U.S. vs Johnson, U.S. vs Davis, and others which have the potential of granting relief to thousands of Federal prisoners. That means that many prisoners who were charged with gun charges under 924(c), 922(g) and those with Hobbs Act Robberies may receive reductions in their sentence or possibly even go home if they qualify and file the proper legal motions and writs of Habeas Corpus.
The ongoing lockdowns at USP Pollock as well as all USPs across the United Snakes of Amerikkka have resulted in a mass denial of our access to the courts. USP Pollock is an egregious violator of our access to courts — allow me to explain.
At USP Pollock we see a special problem. On most USP units, you have access to a computer terminal which is exclusively set up for the law library. That means we could access legal cases which could aid in our freedom.
Because of the numerous lockdowns, we cannot make copies of case law. It would help us immensely if we had a printer on our housing units, since the prison administration here has fallen in love with the reactionary practice of the lockdown strategy.
While en route to USP Pollock, I was in the Federal Transition Center, which is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. There on the housing unit was a computer terminal strictly for law library use, and another terminal which was used to print documents, both legal documents and emails from our Corrlinks e-mail accounts.
From my stance as a freedom fighter and jailhouse lawyer, I state for the record that prisoners held at USP Pollock are similarly situated as prisoners who are housed at the Federal Transition Center in Oklahoma and should be afforded the same access to the courts as prisoners there.
What is happening at USP Pollock is a blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clause, as well as our Constitutional right to have access to the courts. There are men here who have excellent arguments, which could free them from Federal custody, but the B.O.P. has created a culture of incarceration which traps mostly black, brown and poor whites inside these slave kamps and gulags.
I mentioned earlier in this essay/article that we were on lockdown here at USP Pollock. What I did not mention is that some prisoners here on Unit A-3 did resist being forced back into their cells. They had good reason to resist, and after another quote from Comrade George Jackson, I will explain.
“As victims of one of history’s most brutal contradictions, as the poorest of the poor, as blacks, it is quite justifiable and completely possible for us to destroy this country as a modern nation-state, to attack it with a totally destructive counter-sweep of frustrated retaliatory rage; that is not our purpose. As revolutionaries, it is our objective to move ourselves and the people into actions that will culminate in the seizure of state power. Our real purpose is to redeem not merely ourselves but the whole nation and the whole community of nations from colonial — community economic repression.” ~George L. Jackson, except from Blood in my Eye, pgs. 133-134
On December 31st, 2019, there was an incident here at USP Pollock which resulted in the warden calling for an institutional lockdown.
On Unit A-3 you have a group of prisoners who have jobs, are involved in rehabilitative programs, etc… “A” Unit is considered the “good side” of the penitentiary — the side where the peaceful and allegedly “well-adjusted” prisoners are all housed.
However, the prisoners on A-3 Unit were not afforded the opportunity to go to the commissary. Their lockers were empty! Some of these men have active and pending litigation. There has been a palpable “frustrated retaliatory rage” building.
It took rubber bullets, shock grenades, batons and chemical agents to force the “good guys” into their cells on Unit A-3 here at USP Pollock.
You see comrades, something is very wrong here at USP Pollock and many other federal pens across the U.S. Deceptions and lies are being told about the so-called rehabilitation and re-entry programming made available to Amerikan prisoners.
Question: If you make your living incarcerating poor Black, Latinx, and white human beings, why in the world would you be interested in turning out whole human beings from these slave kamps? It is not in their interest to help us!
We are being sent back in worse shape than we came in! And then, when we fail, the oppressor profiles us on “Good Morning America” and highlights the worst of us, while ignoring the best of us!
Do you think I will be invited to be interviewed on Good Morning America once I successfully assume my position as Assistant Editor of the San Francisco Bay View — National Black Newspaper? Probably not.
I vow to fight for those I leave behind. But what about now? What shall we do to address the current conditions of our confinement?
A violent and brutal response will not serve our interests. We must set in motion a thoughtful and well-put-together plan which must be embraced by all Federal prisoners in the USP. Violence only plays into the strategy the oppressor has in store for us.
Remember comrades, there will be no programming, no visits, no phone calls and no business transactions while we are on these lockdowns.
It’s time for the shot callers of all street tribes and organizations to communicate with one another now. Exposing the conditions which exist is one part of “the plan”. As the weeks turn into months, I will be offering more ideas and suggestions that may improve our conditions, but I am only one man — I’ll need some help and co-operation from the good men who are trapped inside these razor-wire plantations.
This is just a glimpse – there will follow more. Will you be ready?
Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people!
________________________________________________________
Keith “Malik” Washington is Assistant Editor of the Bay View, studying and preparing to serve as Editor after his release in 2021. He is also co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. Visit his website at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 34481-037, USP Pollock, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock LA 71467.
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In solidarity

Civic engagement of Texas college students obstructed: We must rock the vote in 2020!

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

Originally Published in San Francisco Bay View

Damon Johnson, a sophomore at Prairie View A&M University in rural Texas, voted on campus in the November 2018 mid-term election. This photo is posted at the top of a New York Times story headlined “‘They Don’t Really Want Us to Vote’: How Republicans Made It Harder.” The Times acknowledges that Prairie View A&M, a historically Black university, has long been a stronghold for students fighting for the right to vote. – Photo: Todd Spoth, New York Times

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives are attempting to sabotage and obstruct the voting rights of college students in Texas.

Once again, I must shine a strobe light on another surreptitious scheme by alt-right operatives in Texas who seek to aid “their man” in the White House. We see y’all!

Last year, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott appointed David Whitley as secretary of state. Whitley conspired with Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw and created a bogus list of approximately 95,000 Texans Whitley claimed were non-citizens and should be purged from the voter rolls.

Thankfully, Democratic Texas Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, as well as the Texas Civil Rights Project were paying close attention. After an in-depth investigation as well as a rebuke from a federal judge, David Whitley was removed and rightfully so. Whitley targeted Latinx and Hispanic populations with his attempted voting roll purge. The purpose of Whitley’s actions seems to be motivated by the large Democrat turnout in the 2018 mid-term elections.

Now in 2020, Texas State Rep. Greg Bonnen has crafted House Bill 1888. House Bill 1888 prohibits the use of temporary voting stations in Texas. The eradication of these temporary voting sites hits college students in Texas exceptionally hard.

You would think that politicians like Bonnen would be supportive of the civic engagement of college age people, but the growing interest of 18-30-year-olds in the voting and legislative process has scared the Republicans in Texas. Scared them to the point of creating laws such as HB 1888 that block access to the voting box!

Bonnen will most likely feign innocence when questioned about his motives in crafting this House bill. However, David Whitley and Greg Abbott did the same exact thing last year when I exposed them.

In order to combat these schemes by Bonnen and his cronies in the Texas House, college students at institutions such as the University of Texas at Austin, Prairie View A&M, Texas Tech, Texas Southern University, and the Aggies at Texas A&M must fight back.

Even if you are not a progressive, liberal, or democratic socialist, you should still fight for your right to access the ballot box in Texas.

Does it not seem strange to you that a federal prisoner like myself is sounding the alarm? Why aren’t more mainstream journalists in Texas speaking up?

I want more college students in Texas and all over the United States to start thinking about the power and significance of your vote. For instance, what if you are a freshman or sophomore in Texas who has earned an academic scholarship. Your GPA is excellent, everything is going great, you’re poised for success and then you become pregnant.

The state of Texas has made it notoriously difficult to access a physician who can carry out a safe abortion. Wouldn’t you like to change that? If you don’t vote, you can’t change that!

There are numerous arguments that I can make. My intent is to force or rather encourage you to think. The “powers that be” in Texas thought they got rid of me by burying me in a federal prison in Louisiana, but I’m still serving the people and I won’t shut up!

Get out and vote! Dump Trump in 2020! Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!

Keith “Malik” Washington is assistant editor of the Bay View, studying and preparing to serve as editor after his release in 2021. He is also co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. Visit his website at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 34481-037, USP Pollock, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock LA 71467.

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End Prison Slavery, In solidarity

WE MUST COLLECTIVELY CHAMPION THE RESTORATIVE JUSTICE POLICIES OF CHESA BOUDIN!

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington  Assistant Editor of The San Francisco Bay View-National Black Newspaper

“Abolitionist politics is not about what is possible, but about making the impossible a reality.  Ending Slavery appeared to be an impossible challenge for Sojourner Truth, Denmark Vessey, Nat Turner, John Brown, Harriet Tubman, and others, and yet they struggled anyway.  Today we seek to abolish a number of seemingly immortal institutions, drawing inspiration from those who have sought the abolition of all systems of domination, exploitation, and oppression from Jim Crow laws and prisons to patriarchy and capitalism.”—Abolish Carceral Society  by Abolition Collective  (Dog Section Press 10/02/2019)

Valerie Block, wife of Chesa Boudin, his parents David Gilbert & Katherine Boudin in Wende CF, Alden NY

One of the most wonderful things that I love about the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper is that no one attempts to control or stifle the exercise of my free speech. Some of my opinions may not be embraced wholeheartedly by all the people, but at the end of the day, my opinions and thoughts are respected. Mary Ratcliff and I regularly engage in intelligent and respectful dialogue when we can in order to come up with a consensus that works for us.

Most of you are well aware, especially those who live in San Francisco, that Chesa Boudin has been elected as San Francisco’s new district attorney. At first, I didn’t have a clue who Mr. Boudin was, but I did my research. For those who know me well, I am a cerebral individual and I adhere to the motto that “We must seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave.”

Sisters and brothers, I know exactly what punitive, retaliatory, malicious and vindictive “justice” looks like in Amerika. I live this reality every day that I wake up inside my cell in United States Penitentiary Pollock. U.S. District Judge Lynne Nettleton Hughes wanted me to do life in federal prison. 

However, with Chesa Boudin we have a human being who believes in restorative justice. Mr. Boudin’s background and his intellectual as well as his academic pedigree deviate dramatically from what we know to be the status quo and norm of the “run of the mill” career prosecutor or district attorney in the United States of Amerika.

Many of us within the Prison Abolition Movement have been looking for hope in order to change these systems of oppression. Well, hope has arrived! The question is whether or not we will keep hope alive and give Mr. Boudin the support he needs to implement his “radical” policies – or will we allow organizations and groups like the Police Officers Association and other naysayers to destroy the dream before it even materializes? I encourage all of you to support Chesa Boudin.

The San Francisco Bay View enthusiastically endorsed the election of District Attorney Chesa Boudin. We support Mr. Boudin as passionately and fervently as we support our Mayor London Breed! There are some big changes taking place in the Bay Area and the Bay View newspaper hopes to be a part of that change. We are struggling to preserve the voice and the legacy of Black and all oppressed people within the Bay Area!

Through mass incarceration, gentrification, environmental injustice and police terrorism, many of us have been squeezed out, ignored or exterminated by local and federal government employees and officials. Now we have someone who wants to change the status quo and at the very least give people of color and all disadvantaged people a realistic opportunity for a second chance. 

Chesa Boudin can pave the way and lay the foundations for new discussions about what justice in Amerika can actually look like when we promote restorative justice. Thus far, if this article has piqued your interest, perhaps the following thoughts will seal the deal and win you over to our line of thinking.

David Gilbert and Chesa Boudin as a child

The election of Chesa Boudin serves as a notice and a possible paradigm shift in what we have become accustomed to within the realm of the criminal justice system in Amerika.

Mr. Boudin is intimately familiar with the deleterious effect and collateral damage that lengthy prison sentences can have on the moral fabric of a family. In my work, I have always strived to humanize prisoners in the eyes of the public at large. 

I am challenged daily by the stereotypes and lies promulgated by the mainstream media as well as the silly rants of the bourgeois ruling class: “superpredators” and “animals.” This is how the oppressor class characterizes us, but this is not how Chesa Boudin views us.

David Gilbert, Mr. Boudin’s remarkable and intelligent father, has been a source of knowledge, education and inspiration for me. I shun the demonization of the white working class and I fight to save our planet. 

While many are pushing the narrative of racism, I clearly see that the capitalist imperialist system in Amerika as well as throughout the world is an enemy of the poor, irrespective of the race or even the gender of the individual(s) in question.

As we analyze the Prison Industrial Slave Complex, we see and witness the exploding numbers of women who are trapped inside these modern day slave kamps. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. 

I learned much at the feet of my Mother. You don’t think that Chesa Boudin missed his mother during his childhood? Do you think that he forgot where she was or who was holding her captive for 22 years? 

Is there any compassion in Amerika for the incarcerated mothers of the poor? I promise you, sisters and brothers, Chesa Boudin knows exactly why the caged bird sings and perhaps he and I will harmonize together and sing a song that will liberate the caged voices throughout Amerika! But y’all don’t hear me! Or do you?

As a prisoner myself, when I analyze and look at what the future may bring, it comes down to responsibility. If I want to help lay the foundation for more people like Chesa Boudin, I must take ownership of my actions and behaviors! I have a duty – a duty to shun criminal behavior and a duty to give back to my community. I owe y’all that!

If Chesa Boudin is willing to change the “game” as we know it, then it is incumbent upon me and every prisoner reading this article to support him by changing our conduct. I am talking to all of y’all! I believe the OGs in this human rights movement will agree with me. 

I send a shout out to Dr. Mutulu Shakur at USP Victorville, Jalil Muntaqim in New York and Sundiata Acoli in Maryland and a clenched fist and Panther love to Kevin “Rashid” Johnson. I will continue to attempt to turn these razor wire plantations into schools of liberation! USP Pollock has some good men, and we shall overcome adversity and promote the peace.

I realize that this editorial may be provocative to many. If you have any thoughts, comments or questions on or about this brief piece, please do not hesitate to contact us. I firmly believe that we should collectively support Chesa Boudin and, furthermore, that we must create a strong freedom campaign for Chesa’s father, David Gilbert, a true servant of the people!

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!

Keith “Malik” Washington is assistant editor of the Bay View, studying and preparing to serve as editor after his release in 2021. He is also co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. Visit his website at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 34481-037, USP Pollock, P.O. Box 2099, Pollock LA 71467.

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