A new letter from Comrade Malik.
Sisters and Brothers – Free is Me!
What’s Free – Meek Mill – feat. Rick Ross & Jay Z
From: Workers Vanguard No. 1170
21 February 2020
The following article appeared under the Partisan Defense Committee’s Class-Struggle Defense Notes masthead in the print version of this issue of Workers Vanguard. The PDC is a class-struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization which champions cases and causes in the interest of the whole of the working people. This purpose is in accordance with the political views of the Spartacist League.
(Class-Struggle Defense Notes)
Alvaro Luna Hernandez, who prefers to be called Xinachtli, is the newest recipient of the PDC class-war prisoner stipend program. Xinachtli is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence, framed up in 1996 after he disarmed a Texas sheriff who was trying to shoot him. Targeted for his political convictions, Xinachtli is a Chicano activist who has fought tenaciously against the oppression of Mexican Americans and the wretched conditions of prisoners in U.S. dungeons.
Xinachtli grew up in the poor, rural area of Alpine, Texas, a state with a history of segregation and murderous violence against the Mexican-derived population. In his youth, he experienced the racist oppression and police brutality characteristic of the Southwest border region.
In 1976, he was wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life. While behind bars, Xinachtli studied history, politics, law and the prison system. He was one of the plaintiffs in a victorious class-action lawsuit against the abuse of inmates by the Texas Department of Corrections, earning him the hatred of the prison guards. He spent most of the 1980s in solitary confinement. Xinachtli was finally released in 1991 after his frame-up was exposed by the Houston Post.
Following his release, he founded the National Movement of La Raza and organized a campaign that stopped the execution of Ricardo Aldape Guerra, a Mexican man framed for the killing of a Houston cop in 1982. Guerra’s conviction was overturned and he was freed in 1997. Xinachtli also worked as a paralegal in Alpine, defending victims of cop terror. For his defiance against injustice, he was singled out by the authorities and subjected to repeated harassment and surveillance.
In 1996, Sheriff Jack McDaniel went to Xinachtli’s house to arrest him on a bogus claim of robbery. When Xinachtli challenged the sheriff for not having a warrant, McDaniel pointed a gun at him. Fearing for his life, Xinachtli disarmed McDaniel and fled. After a massive cop manhunt, he was captured, tried and convicted of aggravated police assault for allegedly pointing a gun at the sheriff, a charge he vehemently denies to this day. At the time of the arrest, Xinachtli was investigating the activities of Sheriff McDaniel for corruption, and had also named him years before in a successful civil rights lawsuit against Alpine police.
Xinachtli is the victim of a witchhunt and a police-orchestrated vendetta. Having served over two decades of his sentence already, Xinachtli won’t be eligible for parole until 2021. He remains unbowed and said in 2010: “I will never surrender my pride and dignity nor allow the system to ‘cut my tongue’ and I will always, without fear, speak out against these war crimes and crimes against humanity, no matter if I spend the rest of my life in a prison cage” (cited in “The Ballad of Alvaro Luna Hernandez,” counterpunch.org, 16 May 2011).
It is in the interest of the entire working class to fight the special oppression of Mexican Americans, who suffered “Juan Crow” segregation and continue to face racist discrimination in jobs, housing and education. While we do not share the political outlook of Chicano nationalism, we unequivocally defend Xinachtli and other fighters who have been victimized by the capitalist state for standing up to the rulers’ system of repression.
Mexican Americans are not an oppressed “colony” or a “Chicano nation” within the U.S., as Chicano nationalists uphold. For the overwhelming majority of Mexican Americans, the struggle posed is for equality and integration, i.e., a fight for necessities like low-cost, integrated housing, free bilingual education and quality medical care. In the immediate border regions, much of the Spanish-speaking population remains Mexican though residing in what is formally the U.S. We are for the right of self-determination in those contiguous border regions. It is up to the population there to decide whether they should be part of the U.S. or Mexico.
Ending racial oppression and achieving genuine social equality requires workers revolution to uproot the racist capitalist order. A workers government in the U.S. would redress the historic injustice of the Mexican-American War by returning certain border regions that were seized from Mexico, such as the strip between the Nueces River and the Río Bravo/Rio Grande.
We send Xinachtli our solidarity and invite others to do so as well. Send letters to: Alvaro Luna Hernandez (#255735), James V. Allred Unit, 2101 FM 369 North, Iowa Park, Texas 76367-6568.
by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington—INCARCERATED WORKERS ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
Greetings Comrades and Friends!!! Today is April 9th, 2020. I am still Safe and Healthy and truthfully most of the prisoners here at USP Pollock are Safe, Healthy, and Corona Virus Free!!! We are so grateful to the Staff here for following all the Social Distancing and other precautionary measures the Warden here has passionately implemented!! To be Alive is Good!
Now today the B.O.P. has instituted a New Policy which allows Federal Prisoners to Make FREE PHONE CALLS TO OUR LOVED ONES DURING THIS PANDEMIC!! A lot of us are very happy and pleased at the show of compassion by the Federal Prison Agency!!!
Also, I was informed yesterday that I will be recommended for 9 months Half-Way house time in San Francisco, California!! This will put me in the Bay Area around October 2020 and I am so excited to be able to help Mary Ratcliff the Editor of the San Francisco Bay View–National Black Newspaper!!! Our time is coming!! I desperately need y’all support as I prepare to re-enter Society!!
Right Now though I must Ask that All of you increase your Requests to Free our Incarcerated Elders throughout the United States!!! This Covid-19 Virus is effecting Black and Latinx people disproportionately and it is KILLING US!!! So it goes without saying that we must Advocate Zealously for the Release of our Elderly and Infirm Comrades!!! For so many years poor people and minorities have gotten the Short End of the Stick in regard to Medical Care. Obesity, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, and Heart Disease have plauged us as a people!!
We are being Ravaged by Covid–19!! Please Sisters and Brothers continue to pursue the FACTS!!! Let us not get caught up in any False Narratives being put forth by those in POWER. Please continue to stay Safe and Healthy!! I’ll do my best to keep all of you informed with the FACTS and the TRUTH!!
In Solidarity and RESPECT Comrade Malik
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.
This is Comrade Malik, signing off.
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!!!
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!!