In solidarity, Prison conditions

Hog farms, toxic water, and more toxic prisons in Texas and beyond!

By Keith “Malik” Washington

The pre-eminence of environmentalism in the 21st century is a novel political and historical development. Ecology is a new body of scientific description and knowledge upon which social, economic, political and ethical ideas and practices have become premised. Ecosystem science suggests that political, social, and economic arrangements must be compatible with, and ideally optimize, natural ecological processes. Harming ecosystems is considered ethically, politically, and ecologically wrong.” – Graham Purchase, Green Flame: Kropotkin and the Birth of Ecology 1)

When a persyn says that they are a “water protector”, an animal and plant lover, they more often than not identify with being classified as an environmentalist. However, if you live in the United States of Amerika, you must become an expert in biology, water analysis, and be proficient in identifying poisons and pathogens which routinely appear in your immediate environment, your food, and your water supply.

More specifically, you must actually transform yourself into a private investigator. For who is able to decipher and figure out the complex and conspiratorial relationships which currently exist between capitalist corporate entities who persistently pollute the environment, and federal and state agencies? Government departments who have been commissioned to protect the people, our land, air, and water from being corrupted and exploited by these immoral and unethical corporate capitalist entities. Our planet and our health is in peril and total jeopardy.

What I have discovered is that the State of Texas has conspired with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to downplay and cover-up toxic and contaminated water supplies in State-run prisons as well as the rural communities which have found themselves in close proximity to these toxic sites. It is not just the prisoners in Texas who are suffering the ill effects.

I have also discovered that what is happening in Texas is not unique. I’ve learned of another imprisoned environmentalist in the State of Pennsylvania who is housed at a prison known as Frackville. The prisoner’s name is Bryant Arroyo and he has uncovered the exact same custom, policy, and corrupt government practices in his state.

In a recent essay published in Socialist Viewpoint Magazine, Arroyo stated “In general, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) knows it has a water crisis on its hands. The top agencies like the PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and EPA know about this open-secret and have conspired to deliberately ignore most, if not all, of the prisoners’ official complaints. DEP has received four drinking water violations from the EPA. But the underlying problem is money, money, and more money.” 2)

Bryant Arroyo cites money as the underlying problem. I find that quite remarkable because recently I have been studying the spending habits of Scott Pruitt, the director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 3) As I see it, Pruitt and his cronies have aggressively forced roll-backs of anti-pollution measures. Simultaneously, Pruitt has conspired to line the pockets of close associates and other cronies. $100,000 a month for private jet memberships, bulletproof vehicles, and bulletproof desks?

Pruitt has been so busy squandering and wasting taxpayer dollars that he has virtually ignored environmental disasters taking place in plain sight! Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island has begun to investigate Pruitt’s careless spending. My question is, when will the Environmental Protection Agency start doing some protecting of the environment?

Hog Farms & Toxic Water

I first discovered the connection between hog farms and e-coli in the water supply in the years 2015 and 2016. I was housed at the H.H. Coffield Unit. Coffield, which is located in the eastern portion of Texas, specifically Tennessee Colony, is the largest state prison in Texas. This prison, in Anderson County, is approximately an hour and a half from Dallas, Texas. There are many prisoners from the Dallas and Fort Worth areas housed there. Right across the field, you can see another large state prison, the Michaels Unit, and it shares the same water supply system with Coffield. This water system has been plagued by problems with e-coli contamination. 4)

On numerous occasions, boil notices were issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), but it has been well established that Texas prisoners have no way to boil their water. TDCJ often lies to the public about trucking in clean water when these notices are issued.

While housed at Coffield, I noticed many prisoners had these weird keloid-like growths and tumors on the side of their necks and heads. Some prisoners had recurring respiratory problems and gastrointestinal abnormalities. Then some, like Kevin Wayne Handy, TDC # 1826610, was diagnosed with throat cancer!

There are three large prisons in the Tennessee Colony/Palestine area: Coffield, Michaels, and Beto Unit, and they all have some type of industrial hog operation functioning. The prison agency TDCJ and the TCEQ know that these hog operations are contaminating our drinking water, but because we are prisoners, our health and our lives really don’t matter to these violators of the public’s trust!

It is very hard to comprehend how the medical personnel who work for the University of Texas Medical Branch and provide health care to the prisoners at these facilities have not been able to draw the correlations and connections between particular health problems and the toxic water supplies. Actually, I have observed in the past, while I was housed at Pack Unit in Navasota, Texas, that UTMB medical staff were well aware of the high levels of arsenic in the water supply for years, but they decided to keep their mouths shut!

Lawsuits have certainly been filed citing the toxic water at both Coffield and Michaels Unit, but we have discovered that the conspiracy to cover up the existence of these toxic water supplies extends far beyond the offices of TDCJ and TCEQ. Corruption, collusion, and complicity exist in the U.S. Magistrate Judge’s chambers in Tyler, Texas and in Lufkin, Texas. Something very foul is going on in the Eastern District of Texas.

I am now at the Eastham Unit, located in Lovelady, Texas, and like Coffield, the water is toxic and hog operations are located here also. We have discovered a bacteria known as h. pylori in our water supply as well as another parasitical bacteria called crypto-spiridium. This nasty parasite has effected TDCJ employees as well as prisoners at Eastham! And TDCJ employee Dr Owen Murray continues to lie to the media and the public at large about the water quality at Eastham and numerous other Texas prisons.

It won’t be until the Federal Courts issue a significant monetary award to prisoners that TDCJ will finally clean up their act and stop poisoning the water supplies.

In 2017, the Earth First! Journal published an article I wrote in their Fall issue, entitled Horrific Conditions for Livestock Animals in Texas Prisons Exposed. 5)

I not only exposed the mistreatment and abuse of chickens and hogs, I also began to scrape the surface of factory farms which raise hogs, and the connection with toxic water supplies created by toxic waste from livestock animals!

Recently, Rolling Stone Magazine published a very informative expose entitled A Crap Deal for Duplin County (How China Outsourced Pork Production), by Doug Bock Clark. 6) This article is a must-read for any serious water protectors or environmentalists. This expose serves as a case in point which clearly illustrates the high level of corruption which exists in Amerika and how capitalist corporations such as Smithfield Foods have entered into an agreement with the Chinese government to poison the environments and communities of poor black and white people. This expose will make you scream at the top of your lungs: Fire Scott Pruitt right now!

  1. I took the time to summarise some of the most relevant points Mr Clark made in order to educate the public and my fellow prisoners, as well as my comrades at Fight Toxic Prisons. It is time for us to take the legal and activist fight to these oppressors!
  2. A mature hog whose only activity is to eat, excretes around 14 pounds of manure a day. Respiratory health problems can arise from exposure to manure.
  3. In 2008, a Government Accountability Office Survey found 15 studies that linked animal waste from industrial livestock farms to widespread health problems.
  4. A North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services study found that students in middle schools up to three miles away from hog farms had higher rates of asthma. So it is not a far-fetched conclusion to state that these prison farms in Texas that raise hogs have the potential to harm children living nearby.
  5. Leaks through the clay bottoms of lagoons which store hog manure can spread e-coli into ground water and nearby wells. This point of contaminating the ground water with e-coli has been a major problem in Texas, because the prison agency TDCJ has been allowing this toxic hog waste to be deposited into the Trinity River for decades, and they actually just allow the waste to seep into the ground. And the EPA ignores this!
  6. Hog waste has not been proved to correlate with cancer, but researchers at Duke University in North Carolina are currently conducting wide-ranging studies into possible links. Texas A&M University students often come to prisons in Texas to study horses and engage in other agriculture-related projects, but for some reason the aggies won’t help discover the connections between these toxic factory farms and our contaminated water supplies! Way to go aggies!
  7. Shane Rogers, a professor at Clarkson University and former EPA engineer, has studied this particular issue extensively, and he says “a wide body of research shows that living near pig farms can be hazardous to people’s health.” 7)

Who is liable?

When I first began to do my own research as to who was responsible for the abuse and mistreatment of livestock animals in Texas Prisons, my focus was on uncovering what companies or individuals were buying eggs and hog meat from TDCJ. My free-world friends and I were provided misleading information and deceptive lies by a TDCJ employee named Jane Goolsby, who works for the TDCJ Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Logistics Division, Planning and Research Department. TDCJ does not sell eggs or pork meat to anyone – it is the agency’s ‘shell corporation’, Texas Correctional Industries, that does all the for-profit business which exploits free prison labor, but of course that is another can of worms.

I have now found out exactly who is responsible for the abuse of the hogs and chickens and who is responsible for the contamination of our water supplies!

Bobby Lumpkin is the Director of TDCJ’s Manufacturing, Agribusiness, and Logistics Division.

Allow me to briefly detail a few of his responsibilities as they relate to livestock operations: “manages the commercial cow herds and stocker operations, broodmare and horse development operations, laying hen operations, farrow-to-finish swine operations, feed production facilities and meat packing plants”. 8)

If Lumpkin’s hogs are poisoning our water supplies, which in turn are causing us serious health problems which last for years, then we have found the person and the TDCJ department which is liable! It is time we re-craft and amend our list of culpable defendants to include Mr Bobby Lumpkin (remember that name).

Connecting the dots!

In the age of Trumpism, I’ve noticed that the Federal and State governments in Amerika relish the opportunity to abuse, exploit and mistreat the nation’s most vulnerable, disenfranchished and oppressed populations. Toxic prisons like Eastham in Texas and Frackville in Schuylkill County in Pennsylvania are no longer the exception, they are the norm. We, the prisoners who inhabit these institutions, are mostly black, latinx, and poor white human beings.

We have been the victims of rare diseases such as Polycythemia Vera (PV). Bryant Arroyo found this disease to be quite prevalent in Frackville. 9)

At Eastham, we are plagued by multiple problems which affect our water quality. The pipes at Eastham were installed in 1953 when lead pipes and lead base solder were used quite liberally in plumbing projects. In 1986, lead pipes and lead base solder were outlawed by the EPA. The State of Texas has refused to spend the money to completely replace these corroded and deteriorated pipes which continue to leak high levels of copper and lead into our water supply at Eastham.

And then there is the hog operation!

The Fight Toxic Prisons campaign is real, and I am one of an ever-growing number of imprisoned correspondents and environmentalists who have dedicated themselves to this fight. I end this essay with a final quote from Graham Purchase, who describes some of the work of Peter Kropotkin:

“Peter Kropotkin (1842-1921) is a leading historical and philosophical figure in the early development and emergence of environmentalism. Kropotkin’s major works were all republished and discussed in the 1970s such that his late 19th century ideas and insights influenced and shaped the direction and definition of the early-modern environmental movement. Kropotkin was the first person to mould proto-ecological concepts within the then fledgling fields of economics, agricultural science, conservation- ism, ethology, criminology, city planning, geography, geology and biology into a coherent new scientific outlook combined with a radical political or social ecological program for rejuvenating society and our relationship with the Earth.”10

Few people realize that in a small solitary confinement cage inside a Texas prison dwells the spirit and legacy of the anarchist Kropotkin! Let us all continue to fight to preserve and protect our planet Earth! Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people!

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Read Malik’s work at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, Eastham Unit, 2665 Prison Rd 1, Lovelady TX 75851.

  1. Green Flame: Kropotkin and the Birth of Ecology by Graham Purchase

  2. Frackville Prison’s Systemic Water Crisis by Bryant Arroyo, published at fighttoxicprisons.org and in Socialist Viewpoint, Jan/Feb 2018.

  3. EPA Chief Spent Millions on Security and Travel by Michael Biesecker, (Associated Press), published in El Paso Times-Newspaper, April 8 2018

  4. Prison officials, ACA inspectors ignore contaminated water in Texas prisons by Keith “Malik” Washington, published in the San Francisco Bay View, October 21 2015.

  5. Horrific Conditions for Live-Stock Animals in Texas Prisons Exposed by Keith “Malik” Washington, published at fighttoxicprisons.org and in the Earth First! Journal, Fall 2017.

  6. Why Is China Treating North Carolina Like the Developing World? by Doug Bock Clark, Rolling Stone Magazine, March 22-April 5th 2018

  7. All points ibid.

  8. TDCJ Directory – Manufacturing, Agribusiness and Logistics Division

  9. Frackville Prison’s Systemic Water Crisis by Bryant Arroyo

  10. Green Flame: Kropotkin and the Birth of Ecology by Graham Purchase

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Prison conditions

TDCJ Field Ministers help to usher in Dramatic “Culture Change” at the Eastham Unit! Written by: Keith “Malik” Washington

TDCJ Field Ministers help to usher in Dramatic “Culture Change” at the Eastham Unit!  Written by: Keith “Malik” Washington

 

Peace and Blessings Sisters and Brothers!  It is your brother in Struggle, your solider for Change, Comrade Malik reporting in from the Texas Gulag.  April is here and with the new month we have Easter, Spring time, Reflections on the Past, and New Beginnings!  Last year around this time, prisoners at Eastham were falling out in droves suffering from “Toochie Attacks”.  Toochie or Tune is the street name or rather prison name for K-@ also known as synthetic marijuana.  Last year, this Unit was flooded with the drug and it created a horrible atmosphere of chaos and violence.  Prisoners were assaulting each other and Staff.  This created a hostile work environment and some officers lost their cool also.  Eastham was in need of a spiritual revival.

In Ad-Seg last year I was fighting for more humane conditions of confinement.  We had a Roach and Rodent infestation problem and our opportunities for outside recreation were limited to 2 or maybe 3 times a week.  I am glad to report that a lot has changed for the better here at Eastham Uni and I attribute it to a few things.  First, in Ad-Seg we have a new Warden.  Kenneth Hutto has a much different “management style” than the previous warden.  He is strict but fair and he does not tolerate an un-sanitary or un-healthy environment.  He seems to realize that human beings who live in small cells 23 to 2 hours a day, 365 days out of a year need adequate opportunities for outside recreation.  We’ve been getting 5 days a week!  The weather is starting to get nice so I will be going out regularly in order to shed these extra pounds I’ve picked up during winter.

One of the most welcome additions to Eastham are prisoners who attended and graduated from TDCJ’s Theological Seminary School which is at the Darrington Unit located in Rosharon, Texas.  The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary School (SWBTS) at Darrington is privately funded.  After completing 125 accredited hours in approximately four and a half years students received a Bachelor or Science Degree in Biological Studies and officially become “Field Ministers”.  Senator John Whitmire has been one of the biggest supporters and advocates for these “Field Ministers”.  In Theory they are supposed to go out into the General Population and Ad-Seg Units and act as an Extension of the TDCJ Chaplaincy Department.  I actually had the pleasure of meeting and becoming close friends with a couple of these college trained “Field Ministers” and I can tell you that these men are incredible Ambassadors for Positive Change!  Stanley Rucker and Melvin Aviva are just two of the “Field Ministers” I’ve grown to know and work with here at Eastham.

When brother Stanley discovered that a lot of prisoners in Ad-Seg were without Whirl-wind fans, he took the initiative to create a list and gave it to the Senior Warden here Billy Lewis.  Warden Lewis contacted the Property Officer here and on June 21, 2017 Ad-Seg prisoners got fans!!  Brother Melvin and Brother Stanley also helped me address some sanitation issues we were having here in Ad-Seg.  In General Population Melvin, Stanley and the other “Field Ministers” began to work on the HEARTS and MINDS of prisoners who were in the midst of addiction to K-2!!  Medium Custody prisoners were some of the most frequent victims of the so called “Toochie Attacks” so that is where Brother Stanley and Brother Melvin went to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the prisoners who needed it the most!!  And I am a MUSLIM and I LOVE AND RESPECT THESE SOLIDERS FOR CHRIST BECAUSE THEY HAVE INTEGRITY AND HONOR!!  And I was not the only one who noticed!  During Hurricane Harvey last September Eastham hosted hundreds of prisoners from the C.T. Terrell Unit.  They were housed in the Gym and in the Chapel area.  It was our “Field Ministers” who acted as servants and helpers to these prisoners/evacuees many who were elderly, disabled, and infirm.  In essence, our “Field Ministers” acted as Home Health Aids providing care and support for our guests!  So in theory, Senator Whitmire hoped that the “Field Ministers” could help deliver the Message of Christ but in PRACTICE these “Field Ministers” have done that and so much more!!

A “spirit” of peace and tranquility has descended upon the Eastham Unit.  There is co-operation between high ranking staff and the “Field Ministers”.  What I mean is that these “Field Ministers” have earned the respect of the Administration and thus they have been granted a lot of latitude to move about and interact with all security levels.  The “Field Ministers” are PROBLEM SOLVERS ACTUALLY ACTING AS A LIASON BETWEEN PRISONERS AND THE ADMINISTRATION.  I am so supportive of these men because they are a manifestation of qualitative and quantitative change in a system which has been stagnated in the “OLD WAYS” for years!  On top of that, I can teach more people how to fight for their rights when they aren’t angry and “high” on K-2!!  More later Comrades!! This is Comrade Malik signing off until next time!! All Power to the People!!!

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and he is the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter). Malik has been instrumental in calling for the abolition of legalized slavery in Amerika and is very active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. You can view his work at comrademalik.com or you can write him directly at:
Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington
TDC #1487958
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Rd. #1
Lovelady, Texas 75851
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Prison conditions

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST IN TEXAS PRISON FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT CITING RETALIATION AND RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION!

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a Human Rights Activist, Environmentalist, Jailhouse Lawyer, and Freedom Fighter currently incarcerated in Texas. (Eastham Unit Ad-Seg located in Lovelady, Texas)
In 2015, Malik was housed at the Pack I Unit, a prison located in Navasota, Texas and the center of a current legal battle which seeks to force the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to install air conditioning at the facility.

While housed at Pack I in June thru September 2015, Mr. Washington (known to his friends as ‘Malik’) discovered the presence of high levels of ARSENIC in the water supply. Malik, who has become an accomplished journalist, began to expose the toxic water.

Malik also witnessed the mistreatment and abuse of elderly and infirm prisoners who were housed at Pack I. The abusers being TDCJ employees. Malik who is also an orthodox sunni muslim witnessed and was personally subjected to horrible acts of religious discrimination.

With the help of a dedicated network of Free-World Activists, Scholars, and Media Correspondents Malik was able to File Grievances while his supporters filed Formal Public Complaints with the TDCJ Ombudsman Office. (All of these actions are well documented.)
In a blatant act of retaliation for engaging in what the US Supreme Court has described as ‘Protected Conduct’, Malik was Transferred to a Maximum Security Prison with a Gang Problem. The Unit also has the distinction of being the largest prison in the Texas System. It is the HH Coffield Unit located in Tennessee Colony, Texas.

Upon his arrival on the unit in September 2015 Malik was informed by leading members of the Prison Muslim Community at Coffield that TDCJ Employee Chaplain Akbar Shabazz had phone the unit and ORDERED THEM not to allow Malik to speak at any Muslim Services and that Malik was not to be allowed to hold any position in the Muslim Community. It is noteworthy to mention that Malik has been the Muezzin on many Units. The Muezzin is the person who makes the Call to Prayer or Adhan before Salat (prayer). Not only did this TDCJ employee infringe upon Malik’s Religious Practice, he went further by telling the Muslim Inmate Leaders that Malik was an Islamic Extremist and a ‘Troublemaker’ who should be watched very closely. In essence this slanderous activity placed Malik in harm’s way.

This was only the beginning of a long history of reprisals against Malik for exercising his Free Speech Rights or attempting to Access the Courts or teach others to do so.

Many Prison Abolitionists know that on September 8th 2016, one day before the largest Prison Work Strike in history, Malik was placed in solitary confinement and charged with a Riot that never materialized. Malik still languises in Ad-Seg locked in a small cage 23 to 24 hours a day!

Recently in the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division: Malik has filed a Civil complaint (Lawsuit) against TDCJ – CID Director Lorie Davis as well as a long list of TDCJ employees which includes Chaplain Akbar Shabazz. In the Lawsuit Malik alleges that TDCJ employees engaged in an elaborate conspiracy to violate his Civil Rights, infringe upon his Religious Practice and Retaliate against him for filing grievances and Federal Lawsuits. The lawsuit also addresses the Toxic Water issues at Eastham:

(https://nationinside.org/campaign/prison-ecology/posts/complaints-launched-over-toxic-conditions-at-texas-eastham-unit-prison-2/)

The Cause# 6:17-cv-00401-RC-KNM. (Eastern District of Texas)

The Case is being supervised by Chief US District Judge Ron Clark and has been assigned to US Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell. Judge Mitchell will be handling all hearings of Pre-Trial matters and she will be submitting all recommendations for the disposition of Malik’s petition to US District Judge Clark.

At this time, Malik and his Support Network is sending out a plea for Legal Representation. We would like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Constitutional Rights, as well as the Texas Civil Rights Project to review Malik’s allegations against TDCJ as we have seen a pattern of practice in which TDCJ conspires to retaliate against all prisoners who engage in ‘protected conduct’ and attempt to Access the Courts.

Malik is a Jailhouse Lawyer who is well versed in Constitutional Law, but he is no match for the State of Texas Attorney General Office which has employed unscrupulous tactics in the past in order to sabotage Malik’s litigation efforts.

We are reaching out to Civil Rights Lawyers everywhere who will be willing to come to Texas and aid our brother in Struggle.

 

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a humyn rights activist currently incarcerated in Texas. He is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement. Malik is a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) and he is the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter). Malik has been instrumental in calling for the abolition of legalized slavery in Amerika and is very active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. You can view his work at comrademalik.com or write him directly at:

 

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington

TDC #1487958

Eastham Unit

2665 Prison Rd. #1

Lovelady, Texas 75851

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Prison conditions

Muslims & Jews in Texas Prisons need Legal Aid!

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

Peace and blessings sisters and brothers!

I want to take this time to clarify some important issues regarding the recent dismissal of my lawsuit which relates to the growing of our Beards and the wearing of Kufis and Yarmulke prayer caps inside facilities operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) (reference: Keith Washington v. Bryan Collier, et al. Civil Action No: 6:16-cv-1139-RC-JDL)

First, I want to state for the record that the Albritton Law Firm located in Longview, Texas has exceeded all of my expectations in regards to this lawsuit. We won on many issues and forced policy change which promotes a more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant environment inside Texas prisons.

Allow me to describe this in more detail in order to provide a clearer picture:
#1 With regard to the beard issue, TDCJ now has a policy which permits all prisoners to grow a fist length religious beard upon request. This includes Muslims and Jewish prisoners.
#2 TDCJ no longer requires prisoners to shave our beards on an annual basis! (This policy change was a direct result of this litigation.)
#3 In reference to the Kufi and Yarmulke issue; TDCJ now has a policy which permits all Muslims and Jews to wear religious headgear throughout all TDCJ facilities. However, the Attorney General of Texas and TDCJ interjected some deceptive language!! The only Kufi and Yarmulke we can wear must be purchased from the prison commissary!! I have a serious problem with this new policy and so should you. Here’s why: 70% of the prisoners housed in facilities operated by TDCJ are indigent – they have no money and TDCJ refuses to pay or compensate
prisoners for the labor they perform.

So the question presents itself: “If we have no money, how can we purchase a Kufi or Yarmulke and enjoy the Tenets of our faith?”
Sisters and brothers, TDCJ and the state of Texas cannot craft a policy which discriminates against prisoners who are indigent or have no money!! Moreover, there are hundreds if not thousands of Muslim and Jewish prisoners in Texas who have received approved Kufis and Yarmulkes for free (no charge) from non-profit religious organizations. We have these items in our possession but Texas in trying to monetize our right to practice our faith and extorting our family members!
The new policy on religious headgear is blatantly discriminatory and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. We also may have a 1st Amendment – Free Exercise Clause Violation here. This specific issue was outside the scope of Albritton’s representation of me in this particular civil lawsuit. With that said, other prisoners are stepping up to the plate and challenging this policy as we speak! TDCJ and the Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton continue to craft policies which smack of antisemitism, islamophobia, and xenophobic tendencies.

Albritton Law Firm can’t do all the fighting alone. We desperately need help from Muslim and Jewish lawyers from organizations such as CAIR, the ACLU, the ADL. I am requesting that there be interfaith cooperation on this subject. We need your help.

Dare to struggle, Dare to win, All Power to the People!

——–

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison
Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing
Committee and he is the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party
(Prison Chapter). Malik has been instrumental in calling for the abolition of legalized
slavery in Amerika and is very active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. You can view
his work at comrademalik.com or you can write him directly at:
Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington
TDC #1487958
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Rd. #1
Lovelady, Texas 75851

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End Prison Slavery, Prison conditions

Re-distributing the Pain (2018) Shut ‘em DOWN!

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

Chief Spokespersyn
End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement
I.W.O.C. member

“The Black Panther Party is a revolutionary Nationalist group and we see a major contradiction between capitalism in this country and our interests. We realize that this country became very rich upon slavery and that slavery is capitalism in the extreme. We have two evils to fight. Capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism.”

-Dr. Huey P. Newton

Many try to separate anti-imperialism from our Prison Abolition Movement. They avoid talking about Capitalism and how it relates to ‘Legalized’ Slavery or Mass Incarceration in the United States. I won’t be making that mistake.

The Capitalist Oppressor who operates and oversees the Prison Industrial Slave Complex is only ‘moved’ by profits, or more accurately stated, the lack of profits!

Let me make something perfectly clear to the exploited lumpen prisoners in Amerika and our free-world supporters:

The only time these folks give a damn about what happens in these Slave Kamps is when the Slavery Business ceases to be profitable or beneficial to the oppressor.

Contaminated water does not move them! Deaths from deadly extreme heat does not move them! Not even the ever-rising number of prisoner suicides pricks the conscience of the oppressor.

But let the prisoners in Amerika wake up tomorrow morning “With it on their mind!!” I’m talking about one mind and one determined purpose!

Let those prisoners rise up collectively and say: “We refuse to work anymore and help maintain a system which degrades, dehumanizes and exploits us!”
WE WANT FREE!!

OH-All of a sudden “The Game” will change I promise you it will change FAST!

Florida is just the beginning!

We won’t be telegraphing every move we make. Now sit back and ponder on that Capitalist Pigs!

In 2018 it’s time to redistribute the pain. This is a National Call to Action to All Prisoners in Amerika and the United Kingdom Withdraw your Free Labor and Shut ‘em Down!

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

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In solidarity, Prison conditions

In Texas Prisons African National employees are the most Honorable and Dedicated!

OR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 01/25/2018

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington

TDC #1487958

Eastham Unit

2665 Prison Rd. #1

Lovelady, Texas 75851

In Texas Prisons African National employees are the most Honorable and Dedicated!

From Texas Prison insider, workers’ rights and abolition amidst poor conditions and insufficient funding

Lovelady, Texas: Peace and Blessings Sisters and Brothers! It is very rare that you will hear the TRUTH about what is actually happening behind these concrete walls and razor wire. The Public Information Officer for TDCJ Mr. Jason Clark continues on his path of deceptions and lies. In the aftermath of the suicide death of Benjamin Larue at the Eastham Unit in Lovelady, Texas there was a massive upheaval of prison employees from the Highest to the Lowest ranking officers. However, the group that was unfairly targeted the most were the many hard working and dedicated Nigerian and Kenyan officers who work in the Ad-Seg section of Eastham Unit. It is true that the officer working the wing (G-line) when Ben was found dead was a Nigerian National named Asongkeng Ngu. But what is happening in Texas prisons has been going on far too long and it is time we shed a discerning light on the problem!

The upper echelon of TDCJ prison administrators are white men and women. Many of you hear me use the words Racist or White supremacist when I talk about TDCJ administrators but that is not the correct terminology in what we are experiencing here and in so many other units where African Nationals are employed by this Prison Agency. Xenophobia is the operative Word!

Senator John Whitmire was actually very instrumental in bringing the African Nationals to TDCJ in order to bail the agency out of a horrible employee shortage of which it is still suffering from, because of low pay, poor working conditions and low morale. I’ve been to over 18 prison units in the past 10 years and I can tell you that the African National employees who work for this prison agency are some of the most honorable and dedicated workers I’ve ever seen! They rarely ever are involved in smuggling in contraband and they follow the TDCJ rules and policy to the best of their ability! I’m sick and tired of seeing this xenophobic prison agency discriminate against these WORKERS!

There are many overt and covert ways the Prison Agency discriminates against its African National employees. One thing I’ve noticed is the jobs or work assignments given to Africans in respect to the work assignments given to White and Black American Employees. A lot of this is ‘Taboo’ within the Agency and you would be hard pressed to get any employee to be forthcoming and talk about the ‘secret practice’ of discrimination against African employees. What is truly amazing about the African employees is their high level of education. Most, if not ALL, of the Nigerian and Kenyan employees here at Eastham have Advanced Degrees.

We have Civil Engineers, Pharmacists, Doc tors, Biologists and more! However, because of Racism and discrimination in the work environment in Texas and many other States across America, the Africans are hindered from realizing their ‘Dreams’ and forced into servitude to a Prison Agency which treates them as low class citizens!

I am no fan of any prison Agency in America, in fact, I am an abolitionist, but I am a champion of the WORKERS.

A lot of the African Nationals are here on Work Visas and I wonder, does this keep them from getting involved in the Correctional Officers Union!??? Lance Lowry is the President of the Union and I always hear him complaining about employee shortages but I never hear him speak up for the African Nationals who have done an incredible job helping TDCJ weather this storm that has come literally and figuratively. I am talking about two specific things here:
1) The massive budget cuts approved by the 85th Texas Legislature are taking a horrible toll on this Prison Agency.

2) Hurricane Harvey has created a horrible situation for a grossly underfunded agency.

I would like to see Investigative Journalists and Civil Rights Lawyers and Activists to conduct anonymous interviews with some of these hard working and honorable Africans in order to expose what is really going on up in these slave kamps and gulags.

TDCJ spokesperson Jason Clark can continue to tell you that all is well and that the Agency treats all of its employees equally but I promise you as this media release circulates there will be many Africans thanking me for attempting to shed light on the injustices they suffer through every day when they don this confederate army gray prison uniform in Texas. Until next time, I leave you all in Peace.

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and he is the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter). Malik has been instrumental in calling for the abolition of legalized slavery in Amerika and is very active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. You can view his work at comrademalik.com or you can write him directly at:

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington

TDC #1487958

Eastham Unit

2665 Prison Rd. #1

Lovelady, Texas 75851

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Prison conditions

Eastham Unit Water Supply Shut Completely OFF! (Infrastructure Decay and Deliberate Indifference lead to Human Rights Violations – Again)

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

“Hasan (Shakur) was the hardest worker I ever met. He founded organizations, sat on boards, and planned antiviolence concerts in the community. He put out a newsletter a hell of a lot more regularly than many groups on the outside. He helped numerous organizations with strategic planning. He pushed everyone around him mercilessly. And he did all this from a cell the size of a bathroom, with the held breath of murder’s stench on it.”
-Walidah Imarisha, exerpt from page 110 Angels with Dirty Faces

Hasan Shakur was the first minister of Humyn Rights for the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (prison chapter). The State of Texas murdered Hasan. They took his body from us. Recently I have been feeling Hasan’s spirit looking over my shoulder – nudging me – prodding me to do more. His legacy was to serve the People until Death overtakes us. I WILL uphold that legacy!

It’s Saturday – November 4th – 2017. I am trapped inside a Texas Prison known as the Eastham-Ad-seg unit. Eastham is the oldest maximum security prison in Texas.

The water has been shut completely off for 4 days! We can’t shower, we can’t wash our hands, and worst of all – we can’t flush our toilets which are full of feces, urine, and humyn excrement.

By day #2 the pungent odor of humyn waste pervades the entire building. I could hear my fellow prisoners and comrades screaming and banging: “Bring us some fxxxing water!” Courtesy and decorum has been thrown completely out the window. A female officer named Ms. Scott was supposed to come around in the evening of day #2 with buckets of water to pour inside our toilets. She never showed up!

These buckets of water act as a kind of “courtesy flush” providing a temporary reprieve from the ubiquitous smell of raw sewage in our living area.

By day #3 the smell is unbearable but like many I’m locked in this cell 24 hours a day. The entire unit is on lock-down undergoing a bi-annual “shakedown” which is common at all Texas prisons.

Actually it was a horrible coincidence that a major pipe burst 2 days after the lockdown began. Prison workers have been slaving around the clock attempting to locate and fix the busted pipe(s). I have a birds eye view of their work area. They have been using a jackhammer to break up the concrete on the Ad-seg-rec yard.

In July 2017 Journalist Candice Bernd of Truthout.org interviewed me about the problems we’ve been experiencing here at Eastham concerning Toxic Water. I told Candice that the service lines at Eastham are corroded and have deteriorated badly. What we are experiencing here is infrastructure decay and neglect that could have been prevented.

Around 9am on Day #3 (Friday – November 3rd) prison guards finally arrive on my housing wing in order to provide the much needed “courtesy flush.” I try to watch how the officer pours water into my toilet – I’m worried that fecal matter and urine will splash on my bunk. The cells are very small here and I did have presence of mind to fold my mattress away from the toilet. As I turn my head to try and watch a prison guard named C.O. Galloway tells me to face the wall. I half-heartedly comply – I’m handcuffed, in shower shoes and out-numbered 7 to 1. I’m a big guy but you’ll never hear anyone say: “Washington is stupid.”

When I’m placed back in my cell the smell is worse than before the so-called “courtesy flush”. I do my best to wipe up the feces and urine that has splashed on my floor.

In regards to the provision of clean drinking water, we are at the mercy of the prison guards. Now in the summertime when the heat index reached 110°F-130°F we may have received water 4 times a day, maybe!!

With the water cut completely off they showed up Twice!! There is more beating and screaming throughout the day, it’s not just my prison block, the entire prison population is angry and frustrated.

Prior to the busted pipe incident, the Ad-seg supervisors – Captain Francisco Villegas and Assistant Warden Gregory Vaughn had been walking around regularly harassing prisoners over petty violations. I haven’t seen neither of them this week! I have heard horror stories about the toxic water here and the water being cut-off for weeks at a time. The last bad incident was in 2014. Awarder Reeves was here at Eastham.

Warden Reeves lied to the media and prisoners families claiming Eastham unit was passing out bottled water to prisoners during the 3-4 week shut down of the water supply. I think the Texas Department of criminal justice has a special training course for high level administrators: Professional Lying 101. Most likely the instructor of the course is Chief TDCJ Spokespersyn Jason Clark! Clark has perfected and actually mastered the finer points of fabricating lies and misinforming the public and media about prison conditions.

Day #4 (Saturday – November 4th 2017) We have visitation today and I’m hoping prisoner rights activist Azzura Crispino shows up like she said she would. Journalist Candice Bernd was my first visitor in 6 years!! I suppose many folks think I get plenty of visitors – I don’t. Considering my current circumstances I can’t stress enough the importance of visits in order to smash the deceptions and lies being fed to the public.

At 7am on Day #4, the water is turned back on. The water pressure is very low and that is not a good sign. At 9am I ask the officer working G-Line (where I live) Officer Duke if the water in the sink is safe to drink. He says “I don’t know. I’m not going to drink it.” Around 12pm I ask another TDCJ employee, a white female named Sergeant Martin who has a reputation of being fair and a ‘straight shooter’ in other words she tries to tell the truth which is rare as hell up in here. So I ask about the water coming out the tap in my cell. Sergeant Martin said “They are saying that there is sand in the water and that there is still a broken service line they have to try and find. The main reason they turned the water on is so y’all can flush your toilets but I’m not sure if the water is safe to drink.”

Historically when the water pressure is low, high levels of bacteria are present and the Texas Commission on

Environmental Quality issues Boil Notices! However, we cannot boil our water and the TCEQ has never had a vested interest in our health, safety, or welfare.

I made a vow that if I was ever here at Eastham and they cut the water off for an extended period of time that I would ‘scream’ like hell until my friends and comrades from Fight Toxic Prisons showed up at the front gate with media correspondents and signs which Demand the Closure of Eastham NOW!!

After 4 days with no water you would think that offering us showers would be a top priority but that is not what has happened!

Candice Bernd raised a very interesting point in her recent expose about the toxic water and other inhumane living conditions at Eastham Unit. US Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin is presiding over the Civil lawsuit filed by Eastham prisoner William Wells TDC#[text appears to have been erased]. Judge Giblin doesn’t think the problems at Eastham are serious. In fact, I believe he said the problem we are experiencing were “Routine” – nothing about what is going on here at Eastham is “routine.”

We have had to contend with corroded service lines which continue to leach high levels of lead and copper into our water supply! Many of us have contracted an incurable stomach ailment caused by a bacteria in Eastham’s water known as h. pylori!!

Just a couple of months ago Dr. Owen Murray who oversees TDCJ’s Correctional Managed Health Care Division told a flat out lie to PBS Newshour Journalist Kamala Kelkar when she inquired about the presence of h. pylori in the water supply. In fact, let me quote exactly what Kamala told me:  “Dr. Owen Murray, vice president for offender health services told me that they do not test for or diagnose h. pylori and also said that there has not been an issue with stomach problems at Eastham or any other unit.”

The University of Texas Medical Branch and employees working for TDCJ are lying to the media and the public!!

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey we have seen an increase contaminated water supplies in South East Texas.

Prisoners in Texas are considered less than humyn, we are mistreated, abused, dehumanized, marginalized and silenced. We desperately need media exposure and legal aid in order to combat and confront these professional liars and violators of the public’s trust.

Operating a prison system without any meaningful oversight has opened the door for the delivery of inconsistent standards which have led to humyn rights violations.

Please don’t ignore us. We are humyn beings!

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win

All Power to the People.

Addendum

It is absolutely imperative that I maintain integrity and truthfulness as well as objectivity in my reporting about conditions inside these $lave kamps and gulags.

With that in mind, I report that at 6pm on Saturday November 4th 2017 the prisoners housed in Ad-seg on my line (G-Line) were offered the opportunity to take a shower. I did take a shower! I must also add some more information about the quality of the water here at Eastham. Many people do not realize that it is not just prisoners who are being affected by the contaminated water at Eastham. Recently correctional officers have come to me to report that they have been diagnosed with cryptosporidiosis!! Cryptosporidium comes from Animal-Fecal matter in the water supply!! Eastham raises chickens and hogs! This toxic run-off created by the animals is contaminating the groundwater! TDCJ, UTMB, and TCEQ are engaged in an elaborate cover-up which is harming prisoners and correctional officers. We Must Not be Silent!!

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and he is the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter). Malik has been instrumental in calling for the abolition of legalized slavery in Amerika and is very active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. You can view his work at comrademalik.com or you can write him directly at:

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington

TDC #1487958

Eastham Unit

2665 Prison Rd. #1

Lovelady, Texas 75851

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