End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

Comrade Malik Speaks:  A Black Politicized Prisoner’s Perspective

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington    IWOC, FTP, ABC, UPM and more……

“The black revolution is much more than a struggle for the rights of Negroes.  It is, rather, forcing America to face all its inter-related flaws: racism, poverty, militarism, and materialism.  It is exposing evils that are rooted deeply in the whole structure of our society.  It reveals systematic rather than superficial flaws, and it suggests that RADICAL RECONSTRUCTION OF SOCIETY ITSELF IS THE REAL ISSUE TO BE FACED.”—–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In three different zones within the city of Atlanta, Georgia the police have decided to refuse to answer calls for help from citizens.  This is the Police’s response and form of protest because they do not agree with the charges lodged against their fraternal brethern who participated in the murder of Rayshard Brooks.

The word on the street, is that the cops feel demoralized.   How do you feel when you and I see the police murdering and ‘lynching’ our sisters and brothers every other week on national TV???  These police do not know what the word DEMORALIZED MEANS!!   Try being Black in Amerikkka.

A crowd of demonstrators march to the Capitol Monday, June 15, 2020 in Atlanta. The NAACP March to the Capitol coincided with the restart of the Georgia 2020 General Assembly. Lawmakers returned wearing masks and followed new rules to restart the session during the pandemic. (Steve Schaefer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

The key phrase that got my attention during the video where Atlanta Police officers executed our brother.  The police officer that shot Rayshard in the back twice said:  “I got’em”.  Both my cell-mate and I agreed that sounded as if the officer had just bagged a wild animal during a hunting expedition.

There was excitement and exhilaration in the tone of the officer’s voice.  I and many other freedom fighters all across the world are demanding that the police be abolished, defunded, and disbanded because this system is not working for us.
I say “Us” meaning all humyn beings who are aware, awoke, and have a conscience.  I want to ask all of you a question:
Don’t you think that there are white folks watching these videos of white police murdering Black men and women???
They are just as tired as we are!!!

The police have lost their mandate from the people.  The police have lost their legitimacy.   When we the people created the police did we give them a LICENSE TO KILL WITH IMPUNITY??

Our protests have now become large and mostly peaceful, yet CNN and Fox News do not get very excited about covering PEACEFUL BLACK LIVES MATTER PROTESTS.  Why is that??  Hello Allison Camarada–can you hear me now?
I hear President Donald J. Trump speaking about the “Good Officers”.  Where were the “Good Officers” when Derek Chauvin had his knee on George Floyd’s neck??

Watch closely how CNN and Fox News both seize upon the ‘violent’ Anarchist and Antifa narrative.  Did you see them?
I found it very bias and strange that CNN and Fox News couldn’t find an Anti-Fascist or Anti-Racist Academic or Journalist who knew anything about Anarchism.  Off the top of my head, I can think of at least ten or more qualified and competent academics, journalists, or activists that CNN or Fox News could have interviewed:
*Walidah Imarisha
*Natasha Lennard
*Ella Fassler
*Aviva Stahl
*Glenn Greenwald
*Professor Victor Wallis Ph.D
*Michael Novick
*Brian Sonnenstein
*Jared Ware
*Amani Sawari

No one wants to talk about the incredible support work that anarchists and anti-fascists continue to do inside Amerika’s prisons.  No one wants to talk about the Social Justice work.  Anarchists, Socialists, Anti-fascists and Anti-Racists helped to bring out the spirit of selflessness, compassion, and empathy that was hidden inside of me.

I’m still waiting for U.S. Attorney General William Barr to have a prime time news conference describing how the Department of Justice and the F.B.I. have classified the BOOGALOO BOYS a domestic terrorist organization.   DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH.

Here we have another example of the ‘Wink and the Nod’ to white supremacists in Amerika that continue to engage in an over the top amount of violence.   But of course there isn’t systemic racism in the U.S.!!??

Lets look at the objective facts:
An Active Duty Air-force Tech Sergeant murdered a Federal Security Officer in Oakland, California. (David Patrick Underwood murdered in cold blood by a member of the Boogaloo Boys)

Then the Boogaloos murdered a Police Sergeant in Santa Cruz, California.   We must analyze what is going on in the United States.  The literal lynching of Black Men in Public Parks in California.   The Boogaloo Boys want to create the conditions inorder to foment a mode

We hear how voting can change things.  However, I study the concrete conditions on the ground and right now I am seriously questioning the legitimacy of the voting process.

Brian Kemp was the Secretary of State in Georgia before he stole the Gubernatorial Election from Stacy Abrams.
In just about every state in the union—the Secretary of State is commissioned with ensuring the integrity of the voting process.  That was Brian Kemp’s job before he became the Governor of Georgia.  I want you to think critically now.
The Secretary of State has a Duty to ensure that ALL Votes are counted and that ALL CITIZENS HAVE un-obstructed access to the Ballot Box.  Did any of you see what happen a few weeks ago during the Georgia Primary???   Black people were hindered from voting.   Yet we have people telling us that all our troubles can be fixed by voting.   I am not telling people not to vote.  I am just asking that we think about tearing down this system and replacing it with something that works for ALL OF THE PEOPLE.

In closing sisters and brothers I want to say this:
If we as a COLLECTIVE Demand that the Police be Abolished then what does a World without Police Look Like??

Do you understand what I am asking?   We must create an alternative.   For instance, instead of Police–we create Community Protection Squads.   There are still going to be individuals and groups that want to take things that aren’t theres and hurt humyn beings.   Just because we Abolish, Defund, and dismantle the Police does not mean our world will be perfect.  With that said, we must now come up with realistic solutions inorder to prepare for the New Society we all envision.  Personally, I believe the Black Riders Liberation Party already have an organization and ideas that can help us address some of our problems.  I am opening this topic up for discussion among all like minded people.

The Police System is illegitimate!
The Voting Process is Broken!
The Health Care System is in Shambles!
The U.S. President has lost the confidence of a majority of the people and is now planning on how he and his psychophants can steal the November 2020 election.
White Supremacists have infiltrated the U.S. Military, U.S. Police Departments, and are actively employed in U.S. Prisons and Jails.  When are we going to talk about that??     I WON’T REMAIN SILENT!!  Will You??
Dare to Struggle, Dare to win, All Power to the People!!!

P.S.   PLEASE SHARE THIS FAR AND WIDE!!  Amplify My Voice please!

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End Prison Slavery, In solidarity, Prison conditions

Censorship & Blocking Access to Courts by Federal Bureau of Prisons

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC)

Revolutionary greetings fellow workers! Today is June 2nd, 2020. The US Department of Justice has ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons to place their facilities on a nationwide lockdown.

The Inmate Bulletin issued to the prison population said that the nationwide lockdown was a precautionary measure in light of the recent rioting and civil unrest throughout AmeriKa. 

My experience as a federal prisoner has taught me that the oppressors who run these prisons subscribe to and embrace a Reactionary Ideology. This Reactionary behavior has been on full display here at USP Pollock. 

One reactionary policy which has gone unreported is the recent censorship of prisoner communications as well as the blocking of our access to courts. 

Since March 13th, 2020, prisoners here at USP Pollock in Pollock, Louisiana have had no access to Law Library Materials which includes the Education Legal Law Library Computer. 

It is virtually impossible for prisoners to litigate pending civil or criminal actions without access to the Law Library Computer. What is remarkable is that mostly all federal facilities within the BOP allow prisoners access to the Law Library database on our housing unit. 

Such is not the case here at USP Pollock. When I asked the Complex Warden Chris McConnell about this anomaly he said: “I do not have enough staff to monitor the Law Library Computer.” 

Access to courts is one of the most zealously protected US Constitutional Rights, even for prisoners. However, I have noticed a pattern of practice and an unofficial policy whereby the prison administration here at USP Pollock do not just block access to courts but they censor outgoing communications which discuss in detail recent legal decisions regarding THE CARES ACT and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Censorship Exposed

On April 22nd, 2020 there were two significant rulings by the US Courts in regard to similar petitions filed by federal prisoners in two separate facilities that have been ravaged by COVID-19. Federal prisoners at FCI Elkton in Ohio asked the US District Court to order the BOP to release those qualified to Home Confinement. 

The prisoners at FCI Elkton cited the fact that most of them were not just low security prisoners but were mostly older prisoners who had pre-existing conditions which made them especially vulnerable to contracting the Corona Virus. It is noteworthy to mention that there have been approximately six prisoner deaths at FCI Elkton as a result of COVID-19. 

The US District Court in the northern district of Ohio ruled in favor of the prisoners at FCI Elkton and ordered the BOP to immediately release vulnerable federal prisoners to home confinement. The BOP with the aid of the US Department of Justice did appeal the District Judge’s order. However, instead of appealing to the 6th Circuit, the BOP went straight to the US Supreme Court. This was rather unusual because most imprisoned litigators know that you cannot leapfrog the Circuit Appellate court when appealing a decision of a US District Judge. Nevertheless, in a not so surprising ruling the US Supreme Court batted down the BOP’s appeal and sent the case to the 6th Circuit where it belonged. This happened recently in late May 2020 and we are awaiting the opinion of the 6th Circuit. 

As I mentioned earlier in this article, prisoners here in Louisiana at FCI Oakdale filed a similar request in Federal Court as the prisoners housed at FCI Elkton in Ohio. I have personally reported that FCI Oakdale has suffered at least ten prisoner deaths as a result of COVID-19. What is remarkable is the US District Court in the Western District of Louisiana took the opposite stance of the Court in the Northern District of Ohio, ruling in favor of the BOP. Moreover, the District Judge in Louisiana seemed to chastise and admonish the Oakdale prisoners stating that he refused to become a “Super Warden” and involve himself in a matter the BOP had authority to remedy. The point is this, rather than release prisoners to Home Confinement the BOP has chosen to hold prisoners risking the chance that they may contract this deadly virus. 

I would like to provide the specific case citings of both of these similar civil cases. I want you to analyze them and question the disparity in decisions made in a Northern Federal Court and a Southern Federal Court. 

On or around April 25th, 2020 I wrote an article/essay entitled “Western District of Louisiana ignores Humanity of Federal Prisoners at FCI Oakdale.” I attempted to send this article to Fred Stein of IWOC-NYC and requested that he and his comrades transcribe my piece and share it far and wide. The censorship of free speech has become a favored tactic and strategy of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I have also witnessed and experienced Federal BOP personnel retaliating harshly against any prisoner engaging in “Protected” conduct. The US Supreme Court has ruled that filing grievances and lawsuits fall under the umbrella of “Protected Conduct”. 

As a journalist and activist I am privy to the laws that allow the reporting of events which are viewed as being of “Public Concern.” It is June 2020, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons still has not initiated a mass COVID-19 testing program for federal prisoners and employees. Remarkably, NABPP-Pc member Jason Renard Walker has reported that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has begun en-masse COVID-19 testing in its facilities. 

President Donald J. Trump’s National Security Advisor Robert O’Bryan has said that he does not believe that systemic racism exists in the criminal justice system. 

As we look closely at the recent Civil Rights Complaints filed by prisoners in Ohio and Louisiana and the disparity in the meting out of justice we must understand this: 

“Racism and the scourge of white supremacy does not just exist in Amerikan Police Departments. Racism and implicit bias resides inside the prosecutor’s office, the Judge’s chambers, the jury box, and most certainly racism is present inside Amerikan prisons and jails.’

President Trump went to work right away appointing judges who would uphold the tenets of white supremacy in Amerika. We have people saying that President Trump is “Crazy.” This is a huge mistake. President Donald J. Trump has moved in a very pragmatic and methodical fashion in order to dismantle any Law, Program, or Policy that can be used by the people in order to remove the foot of the Capitalist oppressor off of our necks. 

As the conversation progresses in regard to how we can “fix the system” it is my strong belief that we can’t build until something is demolished or destroyed. Our greatest strength as we proceed forward is our increased mutual aid, solidarity and direct action. It is important for me to say that Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer have had decades to address systemic racism in the criminal justice system and they haven’t done it –  why now?? Think about that for a minute. 

As I contemplate and reflect on the Austin Police Department shooting a pregnant woman who was exercising her constitutional rights I am mortified. I was under the impression that Austin was the most liberal and progressive city in the state of Texas. I was wrong. I forgot that Austin is the home of one of the most bigoted Attorney Generals in America. Ken Paxton has shown his true colors in his zealous pursuit of keeping innocent and wrongfully accused prisoners inside Texas’s nation leading slave kamps and inhumane gulags. 

However, I must ask for your forgiveness, I’ve digressed. Allow me to get back on this message and wrap up this essay. 

If I were to be asked what I think may help address some of the inequality, racism, and abuse we see perpetrated by the police in America – outside of abolition of the police, I would suggest the creation of independent civilian oversight committees that have prosecutorial and subpoena power over all police departments and law enforcement agencies in America. Presidential candidate Joe Biden made a similar suggestion. I don’t trust Joe Biden. He has a horrible record when it comes to criminal justice. With Biden, black people are trapped between a rock and a hard place. Biden may be the lesser of two evils but he is not our ‘Savior’ nor is he our friend. He is a male Hillary Clinton – period. 

I end this essay with a quote from journalist and activist/author Natasha Lennard’s book Being Numerous: Essays on a Non-Fascist Life: “We know better than to call upon the government or the courts to ban white supremacist events, especially under this white supremacist administration. Anti-Fascist activists have no interest in bolstering the state’s censorial oversight, and even less faith that only such censorship would ever be applied to white supremacists.”

I send out my clenched fist of solidarity to IWOC, IWW, ABC, and Black Lives Matter! I love y’all. Stay safe and stand up for Black Lives. Solidarity Forever!  

Addendum

FCI Elkton – Civil Complaint Filed by Federal Prisoners

  1. Wilson v. Williams 2020 US District Court LEXIS 70674 ND-Ohio April 22, 2020. Note: ND means Northern District.
  2. FCI Oakdale – Civil complaint filed by federal prisoners — Livas vs. Myers 2020 US District Court LEXIS 71323 (WD-Louisiana) April 22, 2020.

 

Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is Assistant Editor of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. He is studying and preparing to serve as Editor after his September 2020 release. Malik is 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 Malik’s website at: www.ComradeMalik.com and invite your social media contacts to visit the Bay View website: www.sfbayview.com

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End Prison Slavery, Prison conditions

COVID-19 Update

I am a US Army veteran I was trained to serve as a combat medic and in 1987 I graduated from the Army’s 91-Q10 pharmacy specialist course at the Academy of Health Sciences located at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas

I have worked for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in their Pharmacy Department I have also worked as a visiting nurse, a lab tech, phlebotomy specialist, and as a pharmaceutical research assistant.

I would gladly volunteer to provide quality healthcare and to help human beings suffering in New Orleans, New York City, Detroit, Miami, California, or Texas. I would do anything that is needed in order to help heal our nation.

I have approximately 10 months, or less, on my federal prison sentence.

Like so many able-bodied and healthy human beings trapped in American prisons and jails, I am a wasted, unused, ignored, and forgotten human resource. The dormant potential which exists inside these institutions is truly remarkable.

The criminal justice system in the United States is broken beyond repair just as the healthcare system is shattered.

Nevertheless, I have digressed from the topic at hand, allow me to re-calibrate my focus.

Everyday Americans hear President Donald J Trump claiming what a wonderful job he and his administration is doing in response to the covid-19 pandemic the death tolls continue to rise and the president’s daily at updates have become a scripted political infomercial.

I’d like the public-at-large to take a closer look at the deadly covid-19 pandemic. 

In the March 30th, 2020 edition of Time Magazine, an article described Donald J Trump’s first major error in respect to the covid-19 crisis. Time Magazine reported: 

Trump’s first major error in the crisis came a year and a half before the novel coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China. In May 2018, he authorized his then National Security Adviser, John Bolton, to eliminate the National Security Council’s global health security unit and demote its pandemic experts. It was a tiny office, but it had huge responsibilities. Its main job was to serve as an early-warning system for impending pandemics. “We definitely would have been sending up flares,” the unit’s former senior director, Beth Cameron, tells TIME. In the case of a global health emergency, its experts were in charge of helping coordinate the dozens of institutions—health agencies, hospitals, and state and local -governments—that must respond in a crisis. Bolton, long gone from the Administration, defended his reorganization of the NSC on Twitter as COVID-19 spread. But those on the front lines of the crisis felt its absence. “We worked very well with that office,” Fauci told Congress on March 11. “It would be nice if the office was still there.” Asked on March 13 about the decision to shut down the unit, Trump again sidestepped responsibility. “I didn’t do it,” he said, adding, “I don’t know anything about it.”

One of the most troubling aspects of the federal government’s covid-19 response is the government’s inability to provide life-sustaining base life-saving basics to our healthcare workers and essential personnel. The shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), ventilators, and even covid-19 test kits are pervasive and systemic.

Trump says he cares about “the workers” and the people but the body count and death tolls tell a different story. When US Navy Captain Brett Crozier advocated passionately for his sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Trump got rid of him in order to silence his voice.

The BBC reported on April 3, 2020, that 

In a letter, Captain Brett Crozier had urged his superiors to act to prevent US troops dying outside of wartime. But acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the commander “exercised extremely poor judgment” Mr Modly told reporters that Capt Crozier was being fired for allegedly leaking the letter to the media. He said the letter “created the impression the Navy was not responding to his questions”. “It creates the perception the Navy is not on the job; the government is not on the job. That’s just not true.”

Capt Crozier had called for “decisive action”, saying uninfected sailors had to be removed from the ship and isolated.

On April 15, 2020 Business Insider reported that, 

“The Navy announced the first few coronavirus cases aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt on March 24. At that time, there were only three confirmed cases. As of Wednesday [4/15/20], the number of sailors assigned to the carrier who have tested positive for the virus had climbed to 615, around 12% of the ship’s crew and its embarked squadrons and staffs. […] Among the sailors who have tested positive, five are presently in the hospital, with one in intensive care. On Monday, a USS Theodore Roosevelt crewmember died of coronavirus-related complications after being found unresponsive in isolation and placed in the ICU at a local military hospital.”

Capt Crozier was right. The cramped quarters on the USS Theodore Roosevelt did help spread the virus to the crew, just like we have seen in cruise ships. Now one crewmember is dead and others are fighting for their lives outside of wartime.

No matter what President Trump says, this is a pandemic, not wartime.

Trump has established a pattern where he attacks his critics or anyone who deviates from his manufactured narrative. The removal of Inspector General Michael Atkinson was certainly not a coincidence. This was Trump enacting his revenge. I am not the only one implying this, on April 8, 2020, Politico reported that “a bipartisan group of senators is demanding that President Donald Trump explain why he fired the intelligence community’s top watchdog, writing in a letter late Wednesday (4/8/20) that the president’s stated reasoning was “not sufficient.”

CNN’s Chris Cillizza said April 6, 2020,

In Trump’s mind, every single person in the administration works for him and therefore needs to be entirely loyal to him. Job descriptions, oversight, necessary independence are all brushed aside as excuses. For Trump, you either are on his team or you are an enemy. It’s how he has always seen the world as two-sided: Pro-Trump and anti-Trump.

While viewing things that way is OK in private industry, it’s a deep misunderstanding of how our government is built to work. The President isn’t a king or an emperor. This is a democracy where the peoples’ will matters. There are checks and balances purposely built into the system to ensure that the voice of anyone in government who sees a problem feels comfortable saying, “This isn’t right.”

Trump doesn’t — or chooses not to — understand the difference between his old job and his new one. But we shouldn’t make the same mistake. This isn’t Trump’s government. It’s all of ours.

Chris Cillizza is right. Trump is gutting our democracy while we, the people, are fighting for our lives.

Look at the hot spots with respect to the covid-19 pandemic; New York City, New Orleans, Detroit, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles. All the people in our urban centers are being decimated by the covid-19 virus.

In New York City they are placing human corpses in refrigerator trucks and they have had to shorten the time for a family to claim bodies and if your body is not claimed in this short time frame you are buried at Hart Island. NYC mayor said in a tweet, “The heartbreaking numbers of deaths we’re seeing means we are sadly losing more people without family or friends to bury them privately. Those are the people who will be buried on Hart Island, with every measure of respect and dignity New York City can provide.” 

According to CNN, NYC press secretary Freddi Goldstein said that Hart Island has been used by the city as a public cemetery for over 150 years and is managed by the Department of Correction. The Hart island burials are mostly people who have been unclaimed at the city’s morgue for anywhere from 30 to 60 days. Now that time frame has been shortened to 14 days. 

Usually, about 25 people are buried on the island each week, Goldstein said. But since coronavirus began claiming victims in the US, she said there are 25 people buried there each day.

President Donald J Trump continues to provide lackluster leadership as well as deception and lies to the American people. 

Where is the accountability?? 

November 2020 is approaching quickly! 

I refuse to remain silent. What will you do?  

Dare to struggle, Dare to win, All power to the people!! 

-Comrade Malik. 

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In solidarity, Prison conditions

Covid-19 Update (4/9/20) USP Pollock–Louisiana

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

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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, 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!
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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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Prison conditions

Letter citing obstruction of programming, and denial of access to courts

Greetings ladies and gentlemen,

My name is Keith “Malik” Washington, I am a fairly well known journalist, activist, and jailhouse lawyer.  I am currently serving a 24-month federal sentence which was imposed upon me for leaving a half-way house in 2007.  I am serving my sentence at the United States Penitentiary located in Pollock, Louisiana.

I have approximately 15 to 17 months left on my federal sentence. I have recently discovered some systemic problems which exist within the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  These current problems obstruct and prohibit thousands of prisoners from accessing or participating in rehabilitation, education, or substance abuse treatment programs.

This obstruction and denial of access to programming is diametrically opposed to the language contained within the First Step Act of 2018. However, blocking or disrupting access to programming pales in comparison to the overt and blatant practice I’ve encountered whereby federal BOP employees purposely deny federal prisoners access to the courts. This is especially pronounced at the federal USPs, like the one I am currently housed in.

In light of recent Supreme Court rulings such as: U.S. vs Davis, U.S. vs Johnson, as well as Rehaif vs. U.S., we now have literally thousands of federal prisoners attempting to file writs of habeas corpus via §2255 as well as §2241 motions in order to persuade U.S. District Courts to vacate, correct, or set aside federal sentences which have been deemed illegal by these recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Federal prison administrators realize that these ongoing lockdowns limit access to law library materials and basically place an obstacle to freedom. Thus far since returning to federal prison, I have been housed at three federal facilities. One of which is the federal transit center located in Oklahoma City, OK. At this facility, federal prisoners have access to Corrlinks, a law library computer, along with a terminal that can print law library materials along with Corrlinks/Tru-link messages.

At USP Beaumont and USP Pollock which are located in Texas and Louisiana respectively, I’ve witnessed an unofficial policy and pattern of practice whereby federal prison officials:

  1. Obstruct or flat out deny access to programming

  2. Deny access to the courts

These violations are manifesting themselves when complex Wardens utilize lengthy lockdowns in order to address instances of violence or any disruption of operations at any USP.  These lockdowns have actually become an accepted practice throughout the BOP.

At this time I am humbly seeking your help in communicating this problem to the BOP Office of General Counsel, the U.S. Inspector General, the media, members of U.S. Congress, as well as the offices of federal BOP Executive Director Kathleek Hawk Sawyer and Assistant BOP Director Hugh Hurwitz who is in charge of overseeing and implementing the BOP’s re-entry programming as codified and described within the First Step Act.

Ladies and gentlemen, the denial of access to the courts is an especially egregious violation of U.S. Constitutional rights.  With that said, I would like to offer some suggestions which could resolve this current miscarriage of justice. Suggestions that could be implemented immediately.

My suggestion is that USP Pollock prison administrators install a computer terminal and printer on singular units that house General Population and Special Housing Unit prisoners. This computer monitor and printer would be used to access and print legal materials and/or Corrlinks and Tru-links messages.

The denial of access to the courts violation can be easily solved by providing prisoners who have active legal cases an hour or two a day to access the law library computer and printer on the Housing Unit.

This law library computer and printer access is especially crucial when we continue to see the use of lengthy lockdowns as a management tool used by federal prison Wardens. Furthermore, it has become a custom, policy, and pattern of practice for USP Wardens to prohibit prisoners from purchasing paper, legal envelopes, or even business envelopes from the Commissary during these extensive lockdowns.

Federal prison administrators have completely ignored the fact that numerous prisoners throughout BOP have active litigation, which can have a significant impact on whether or not they will ever experience life outside of a U.S. federal penitentiary. For this reason, and many more, I request your help in communicating my concerns to the proper authorities.

Respectfully,

Keith “Malik” Washington

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