by Keith “Malik” Washington, Deputy Chairman, New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter)
“…We’re reaching a point where capitalism’s rapaciousness threatens the collapse of entire ecosystems and has us catapulting toward irreversible climate change catastrophe.” – Political prisoner David Gilbert, from an interview with Bob Feldman
Revolutionary Greetings Sisters & Brothers!
Right now, many of you are obtaining a clearer perspective of what actually is going on inside Texas prisons: deadly extreme heat, toxic water, and the “mysterious” deaths of prisoners at the Bill Clements Unit have recently been exposed by journalists who are not imprisoned. I am very glad to see this.
More than ever now is the time for “the chickens to come home and roost” for the actions perpetrated by the ultra-corrupt prison officials of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). Like Brother Malcolm X, I say “chickens coming home to roost never made me sad, they only made me glad.”
The focus of this brief essay is the purposeful poisoning of prisoners housed at the Eastham Unit in Lovelady, Texas. Once again, we are seeing a collusive and co-ordinated effort by the state of Texas and its prison agency, TDCJ, to cover up the poisoning of prisoners.
I say once again because TDCJ has done this before. Candice Bernd of Truth-Out just recently reported on the problem in her article “Cruel and Unusual: Texas Prisoners Face Deadly Heat and Contaminated Water.” I highly recommend you read Ms. Bernd’s article and follow the series she is working on with her colleagues from Earth Island Journal, Maureen Nandini Mitra and Zoe Loftus-Farren, “America’s Toxic Prisons: The Environmental Injustices of Mass Incarceration”.
I met Candice Bernd in July 2017 right here in the Eastham Unit. I was impressed by her intelligence and also by her commitment to unearthing the truth and reporting it. Like me, Candice is not just a journalist, she is an activist.
In 2015, I began raising the alarm about arsenic contaminated water at the Wallace Pack Unit (Pack I) located in Navasota, Texas. Panagioti Tsolkas, the co-founder of the Prison Ecology Project, raised the alarm also. In November 2015, I asked Professor Victor Wallis Ph.D. of Berklee College (School of Music) in Boston, MA, to submit a complaint to the TDCJ Ombudsman Office concerning the arsenic-tainted water at Pack I Unit. In the response we received, everybody lied! TDCJ lied, the Texas Commission on Environmental Justice lied, Emma Guerra the Ombudspersyn lied too!
A lot of people don’t realize that I am a communist and I subscribe to a very strict process when I am confronted with a problem. I apply historical dialectical materialism. I perform a concrete analysis of the conditions around me.
In June 2016, Federal Judge Keith P Ellison ordered TDCJ to provide arsenic-free water to prisoners at Pack I because a finding of fact proved that Pack I’s water supply contained 2.5-4 times the EPA approved level of arsenic. So we learned a valuable lesson from that experience.
The State of Texas and its Prison Agency will lie about serious violations of humyn rights – FACT!
Through my research here on the Eastham Unit located in Lovelady, Texas, I have discovered that there has been a high frequency of lead and free copper found in the water system which serves Eastham Unit. Free copper and lead reveal a problem with the lines and service lines at the Eastham Unit. Corroded pipes are present here! The lead is exceptionally problematic because one of the detrimental health effects is high blood pressure or hypertension.
New Afrikan/Black men have a predisposition for high blood pressure! So now we are looking at a disproportionate number of New Afrikans incarcerated here at the former slave plantation of Eastham. We factor in the deadly extreme heat and the heightened risk of heat injury and death; couple that with the consumption of toxic water, and this is a textbook example of an 8th Amendment US constitutional violation (cruel and unusual punishment).
Now, the first thing the professional liar Jason Clark will say is: “There are no traces of lead or copper in the Eastham water supply.” Jason Clark is the spokespersyn for TDCJ, he is paid big bucks to lie! If I had listened to Clark and the rest of the TDCJ liars in 2015, I would have ceased my exposure and investigation, but I know better. I continued to press the issue, and in June 2016 I was vindicated.
Right now, as I speak to you through this essay, my anarchist comrades at the Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons are beginning to pore over data contained on the website operated by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. I have asked Panagioti Tsolkas to ask college-educated toxicologists to study the data so that we can come up with a respected and authoritative opinion about the toxins present inside the Eastham water system.
I am requesting more free-world citizens help me force TDCJ to allow an objective and independent water quality testing organization to be allowed to enter Eastham and test our water from the taps in our cells! Oh yes! I’ve been doing my homework and TDCJ has been fraudulently manipulating the sample point so inaccurate lead and copper readings are recorded!
I am a New Afrikan Black Panther, so of course, I have a vested interest in protecting the health and lives of black people – but my commitment doesn’t stop there! Some of you may be aware that I have been training a white man named Comrade Kado to be an effective jailhouse lawyer and human rights, activist. Comrade Kado has fiery red hair, blue eyes and has been diagnosed with chronically high blood pressure!
This lead-contaminated water leads to kidney problems and high blood pressure. High blood pressure leads to strokes and strokes lead to death!
There are white, black and latin men at Eastham who can easily succumb to the “silent killer” which exists in the water we are forced to consume. We have no other water source!
The reason why these types of environmental problems are so very pervasive inside Texas prisons is that prisoner lives are not valued. Society is constantly bombarded with negative images of the violent, belligerent and manipulative convict.
No-one wants to talk about the Marissa Alexanders, or my comrade Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, who exposed the abuse of prisoners in Texas and was banished to a hole inside a Florida prison. Rashid’s “crime”? Having more concern for his fellow prisoners than he has for himself! And these are the types of stories the mainstream media ignores because they don’t fit the narrative the “powers that be” want to be in the fore-front of society’s collective mind. I humbly request that you start to question the oppressors in Texas and Florida.
I have a final word to offer on the topic of white supremacism and the rampant spread of neo-nazism in Amerika: Sisters and brothers, if we are extremely passionate about taking confederate statues down because they represent the vestiges of and legacy of white supremacy in Amerika, then we must become doubly committed to dismantling and abolishing the institution of legalized slavery in Amerika!
The United States leads the world in the proliferation of slave kamps and deadly gulags. President Donald Trump is a true reflection of Amerikan values and morals, he represents the cruel and harsh reality that we have been ignoring and unwilling to confront – until now! Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people!
This essay is dedicated to the memory of the comedian, writer, and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, October 12, 1932 – August 19, 2017.
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 he 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 Road 1 Lovelady, Texas 75851 (936) 636-7321 ext. (**009)
Written August 22, 2017
By Noah “Comrade K@No” Coffin & Keith “Comrade Malik” Washington
Should you or a loved one ever have the great misfortune of being Tried & Convicted in the state of Texas, your sentence no matter how great or small, could very well be a death sentence … If you are resilient, Strong of Mind & body, then perhaps you would survive the Conditions ie; Deadly heat, Toxic water, Squalid Living Quarters & ill prepared food – or Struggle through the Conditioning ie; Slave Labor, Consistent degradation, dehumanization in a variety of fashions (Bow down to insulting, offensive verbal abuse from Staff, Group Strip Searches, zero privacy), however even then you face lasting effects both mental & physical. Think high blood pressure, H. Pylori-harmful bacteria from dirty water -, Exposure to Lead, Arsenic. Then too: depression, Social disorder derived from long term isolation (Ad Seg.) only to name a fraction that survivors will face. Should they escape with their lives one could question whether their quality of life had been reduced such that years of their future have been reduced… Essentially, two years served Now & Ten years then? … A heavy price for any “offender” to be sure.
What Brings My voice to protest this day is a matter at hand that could very well mean Life or death. Eastham unit is one oft he oldest prisons in Texas & the fact is quite evident from the interior. Rusted out bunks, the Old plumbing (a source of toxic metals in our water), Red Brick Walls collecting heat … The biggest problem we face today is the ancient door Cranking System. An officer must use a hand crank from the outside of the line building to open the cell doors. Just in the last month, prisoners had to be literally cut out oft he showers! The process took 3 hrs. Just yesterday one whole building was put out in the „recreation cages“ for hours due to the doors all malfunctioning. With the heat index soaring to 106 F+ in Texas, heart attacks, heat strokes & hyperthermia are very real concerns (See Ms.Candice Bernd’s article in the August 2017 issue of the Prison Legal News about a 58 yr old cab driver “Larry McCullum” in Hutchins‘ state jail who died of hyperthermia). He was serving 11 months and ended up with a death sentence. With the ancient plumbing, Lead paint, Black mold & faulty doors – Eastham should be Condemned. Why isn’t it? It is because this is Texas & Texas makes its own rules … Or is it that we are prisoners? Prisoners are people who were held accountable for crimes, so why is it the state of Texas isn’t being held accountable for the crimes committed daily against those under the care & custody of their Criminal “Justice” System? I’m no lawyer but the last I looked it’s still illegal to violate the constitutional rights of those who were convicted of past crimes … Now a word from Maik:
Comrade Malik comments: In My Own Hand
Revolutionary Greetings Comrades! Once again Comrade K@No raises an issue which deserves closer scrutiny. The central issue is the infrastructure deterioration and decay at the Eastham unit. The malfunctioning door problem is of special concern to me because I suffer from epilepsy. I take medication in order to keep my seizures in check. However, the deadly extreme heat exacerbates my condition. So what if I have a grand-mal seizure and the cell door fails to roll when cranked?? Any first responder will tell you that the first minutes following a drastic medical emergency are the most crucial to saving a life!! Heart attacks and strokes are very common in Texas prisons especially when we are now starting to experience Heat indexes of 110 F and higher!! Contrary to what the Trump-etts are saying: Climate Change is Real!! Comrades, at Eastham unit Ad.Seg. We are suffering from a lack of meaningful oversight. The ombudsman office acts as a liaison between the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the public-at-large. The ombudsman has become a failed program mainly because they have All-owed prison officials to manipulate the process of investigating valid complaints. What comrade K@No and I have observed is –our families and friends submitting complaints on our behalf about conditions here at the unit which threaten our health and safety ie; black mold, deadly heat, faulty door mechanisms … When the ombudsman faxes these complaints to the unit, we are not even pulled out for statement or even informed!! Assistant Warden Gregory V (?) has condoned and sanctioned the fabrication of misinformation; and the ombudsman reports these lies to our loved ones!! No oversight! No transparency and definitely NO accountability … And our Struggle Continues (end of the quote).
Comrades, Brothers & Sisters of the Struggle, I am in this fight and will struggle until my final days. You are the voice of the people, cry out against these cruel and tyrannical injustices being thrust upon the heads of the people!! Amplify my voice in protest against a system that heeds no law but their own! There are fathers here! Brothers, sons and husbands!!! People who are desperately trying to make it home while enduring such conditions that the dreaded Guantanamo Bay Captives would cringe at! Even there, it was cool in summer time … This is Comrade K@No, Signing off – Struggle & Succeed.
Fight the Power!!
In Love and Rage
Noah Coffin #1795167
2665 Prison Road #1
Lovelady, TX 75851
By Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington and Comrade Ben Amni Beth Olugbala N.A.B.P.P. (p.c.) — Texas Region
Revolutionary Greetings to all Comrades and Allies in the Struggle-Shalom Alekya-Amani-Salaam Alakyam-Habari Gani Ndugus! I am Komrad Ben Ammi Beth Olugbala, a member of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Texas Branch) making my presence known as I greet you with a “clenched fist salute” in Panther Love and Spirit. I am well overdue for conveying this message of Inspiration and Power to exhort you all to continue the struggle and to push forward our utmost need to Communicate, to Educate, to Liberate the oppressed and exploited masses as we come together in a united front against imperialism.
The N.A.B.P.P. (p.c.) is now in it’s 12th year of existence and I have been educated as well as embraced by our collective cadre. I’ve built with Comrade Rashid, Shaka Zulu, T.B.W. and my close Friend and Former ‘celly’, the outspoken servant of the people—Comrade Malik.
I exhort all comrades and allies to put aside petty differences and beefs. We must unite, network and build; staying abreast of current events so that we can fortify our homes, community and our society, for we are at war! We have to unite against our oppressors to protect and defend our loved ones and leaders. We also must expose and steer clear of reactionaries, agent provocateurs and parasitical leaders whose only aim is to sell us out for personal and political gain. For these saboteurs are very detrimental to our struggle for Freedom, Justice and Equality.
We must knock the brains out of structural racism in the United States. This means racism is a system-wide effort to “divide & conquer” the people. Divide and Conquer is a very old tactic which was also used in India and Sub-Saharan Africa. It means winning by getting your enemies to fight against each other.
In the United States, white supremacists, under the guise of the Republican Party, have played a large role in dividing and conquering the working class, which includes the unemployed and underemployed.
The first British Colonies in North America were set up as corporate-owned trading posts. They bought and sold raw materials and finished goods. At first, labor for the colonies was provided by poor white indentured servants; the servants were forced to work in order to pay off debts, and they were set free when the debt was paid.
The first Afrikans who came to the colonies were indentured servants, not slaves. Europeans (white) and Afrikan (black) servants lived, worked and socialized together. They generally got along because they bonded over shared conditions as members of the working class. This is one of the key points the IWW and Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee has been trying to get across to all prisoners trapped inside the many slave camps and gulags in the United States.
In 1640, three servants ran away from their “master” in Virginia. They were John Punch (black) and James Gregory (white), and a man named Victor who was also white. All the three men were caught and then whipped!
The two white men were sentenced to an additional four years of servitude. John Punch, the black man, was ordered to be an indentured servant for the rest of his life.
This is the first case known of in U.S. history where someone was sentenced to servitude for life. This was a major step toward laying the Foundations for the ‘Legalized’ slavery we see today in Amerika!
There were Freedom Fighters back then: Denmark Vessey, Gabriel Prosser, Nat Turner and Toussaint L’Overture. In the year 2017, the names have changed, but the struggle and yearning for Freedom has not changed! In fact, the momentum is growing right now.
Sitawa Nantambu Jamaa has called for the California Governor Jerry Brown to recognize the humanity of California prisoners. Comrade Malik has been influenced and inspired by the work and revolutionary practice of Comrade Sitawa. As we prepare for the 1st Annual Millions 4 Prisoners March on August 19, 2017 in Washington D.C., Comrade Malik has a very serious message to deliver.
Without further delay Comrades, I bring you Comrade Malik.
Revolutionary Greetings Comrades! It is Black August and I am going to start things off with words of truth from our Field Marshal Comrade George L. Jackson.
“To: the man-child, tall, evil, graceful, bright eyed, black man-child-Jonathan Peter Jackson, who died on August 7, 1970, courage in one hand, assault rifle in the other; my brother, comrade, friend, a true revolutionary, the black communist guerrilla in the highest state of development, he died on the trigger, scourge of the unrighteous soldier of the people; to this terrible man-child and his wonderful mother Georgia Bea; to Angela Y. Davis, my tender experience. I dedicate this collection of letters; to the destruction of their enemies I dedicate my life.” — George L. Jackson
Now I could end this essay right here and say nothing else—and for those in this Movement who are fully ‘AWAKE’ I would have said enough; they need no more encouragement; Comrade George said it ALL! But, everyone isn’t “there” yet, we still have work to do—can you feel me?
The ‘game’ done changed sisters and brothers. I’m not just talking to Texas anymore. I’m speaking to each and everyone of you who is trapped inside one of these slave kamps throughout Amerika.
Let’s touch upon the term I AM WE. It is an Ancient African saying: To me it means; what effects you, effects me. It means, we are together, we are one. I AM WE means that with Unity, Solidarity and Agape Love for one another we can overcome any obstacle and achieve any goal! By applying I AM WE, together we can crush imperialism, eradicate white supremacy, destroy patriarchy, change misogynistic attitudes and save our planet!
Texas had formulated a plan to shut me up and derail this MOVEMENT. However, instead of growing weaker our voices have grown louder and stronger and this is not FAKE news-—it’ s Real ya’ll!
The March on Washington D.C. is only one aspect of our struggle for Humyn Rights. We, the underclass, lumpen, who are in these plantations have to couple some Action with the Actions of our Free World Friends and Allies. Freedom ain’t Free! It never has been free. The road is paved with sacrifice. If you are not ready please get the hell out of our way!
The ruling elite in this country are not going to make things easy for us. The U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already tipped his hand—it’s full of ‘Trump Cards’. Sessions has directed all Attorney Generals across the U.S. to turn the clock back on us! Just when we thought some relief was coming, just when we were hoping for Freedom, a new reinvigorated ‘War on Drugs’ is being waged against communities of color. Haven’t we endured enough? Haven’t our families been ravaged and torn apart enough by this country’s insatiable appetite to lock up the poor? But you see Comrades—this is their plan—Social Control!
In or ghettoes and barrios and trailer parks across this nation are emerging the next generation of leaders for the Revolution.
The Imperialists see us in the streets by the thousands screaming and demanding justice. They are very uncomfortable. Sessions has been given marching orders and we cannot make it easy for him. Putting down that ‘dope sack’ is probably the best advice I can give to any young man in the streets right now, but that is just the beginning, there is more!
Protect and Serve our Hoods!
I laugh and sometimes cringe with anger when I see this motto of “Protect and Serve” emblazoned on the side of a Police squad car because I know, just like any New Afrikan in Amerika knows, this motto is a misnomer and a lie!
So our goal is to evict this occupying Force and institute our own protection Force. This won’t be easy.
In March 2017 I read an article in the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. NARN Collective Cadre member Abdul Olugbala Shakur raised an issue that struck a chord with me and numerous New Afrikan, Latina/o and white comrades across the United States when Abdul said: “In 2016, the city of Chicago had approximately 763 homicides and over 4,000 shootings and at least 95% of these victims were New Afrikans.”
I took this as a call to action, so I, along with my comrade and friend, Professor Justin Adkins of Allegheny College created a YouTube video entitled: Genocide in Chicago (we must not be silent). We crafted our message in such a way that I spoke directly to the people on the street and we asked the street tribe members to put the guns down and protect those who are seeking an education. See, that is what is going to have to happen! We are going to have to take ownership and responsibility for our people! Protect and Serve!
Through our on-line video message we put forth a strategy which seeks to tap into the political power that young people in Chicago have not utilized yet.
Our thinking is this: if Mayor Rahm Emanuel is not meeting the needs of all his constituents maybe it is time we put our own candidate in office. There certainly is power in the gun, but when you are using the gun to kill the people in your own community it is called homicidal murder and GENOCIDE, that is not Revolution! Comrade George said: “Our insistence on military actions, defensive and retaliatory, has nothing to do with romanticism or precipitous idealistic fervor. We want to be effective. We want to live. Our history teaches us that the successful liberation struggles require an armed people, a whole people, actively participating in the struggle for their liberty!” —Blood in My Eye
Doesn’t this sound like something you would like to be a part of? Comrades, and I am talking to all sisters and brothers, we are going to have to take our destiny into our own hands and commence to withdrawing our Free Labor. We must begin the process of shutting these slave kamps all the way down!
Sure, we’ ll come up in a month or so, but then we will plan on another and then another and then another! I say to the oppressor: “You want to continue to ignore our humanity?”
“You want to continue to beat us, abuse us, lie to the public about it, and exploit us?”
“You don’t believe FAT Meat is greasy? Well, U.S. slave empire, we are going to show you!”
I am not going to talk this subject to death, I am going to close with a final quote from comrade George Jackson. “. ..I think it is imperative, we owe it to him. Never to forget why he did what he did. And that was to stand as a symbol in front of the people, in front of me, and say in effect that we have both the capacity and the obligation to stand up, regardless of the consequences. He was saying that if we all stand up,our collective power will destroy the forces that oppose us.
“Jonathan lived by these principled, he was true to them, he died by them. This is the most honorable thing imaginable. He achieved a certain deserved immortality in-so-far as he truly had the courage to die on his feet rather than live one moment on his knees. He stood as an example, a beacon to all of us, and I am in awe of him, even though he was my younger brother.”
—Remembering the Real Dragon, an interview with George Jackson
by Karen Wald and Ward Churchill
Comrades, I dedicate this piece to comrades George and Jonathan Jackson and Comrade Hasan Shakur may they rest in Power!
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win.
All Power to the People!
UPDATE 7/24/17 from Malik:
Sisters and brothers, it is going to take more than passionate speeches and emotional fervor to change our current conditions. In order to combat imperialism, we must adhere to Marxist theory and Maoist doctrine and embrace socialism.
As we mourn the death of this beautiful Australian womyn who was murdered by a police officer while she stood unarmed in her pyjamas, we see clearly that the violence within Amerika’s police departments is systemic and structural.
Every day it becomes more evident. The only way to place Amerika on a new path, we must abandon capitalism and replace it with socialism. I keep wondering how long it will take for all of us to finally wake up.
by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement
“The problems of Black Life Mattering are hence fundamentally problems of Structural Power. In other words, _structural racism_ encompasses the entire system of white supremacy, diffused and infused in all aspects of society, including our history, culture, politics, economics, and our entire social fabric. Structural racism is the most profound and pervasive form of racism – all other forms of racism (e.g. institutional, interpersonal, internalized, etc..) emerges from structural racism.”
– California Prisoner Troy T. Thomas
Sling Shot (Anarchist news paper)
summer 2016 pg. 7.
Peace & blessings sisters and brothers!
It’s March 2017 and all of a sudden people want to know: “Who is Comrade Malik?” – Where did I come from? Have I always been here? Yes, I’ve been here all along but until now Texas Prison and State Government officials had done a masterful job of silencing or drowning out my voice. Now that I have acquired a small amount of notoriety it is time for me to fully expose this ultra corrupt agency known as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Racism in Prisoner Rights Advocacy!
So we started off with discussing structural racism. And this permeates every facet of society in Amerika. It is not just relegated to Texas but in Texas it has a significant amount of prominence especially where prisoners are concerned. I’ve been advocating for prisoners for approximately 15 years I started in Florida at a Federal Prison – F.C.I. Coleman. There I met an extremely intelligent brother by the name of RuFus Rochelle. Rufus was the victim of the Federal Governments racially bias Crack Law. But Fufus was a fighter a freedom fighter that is and he encouraged me to write articles for a black-owned newspaper called the Mahogany Revue.
In Texas, there is a growing Prisoner Rights Advocacy Movement but it is broken up into two separate sects. Only the active and involved are aware of this esoteric fact.
In Texas, there is a growing Prisoner Rights Advocacy Movement but it is broken up into two separate sects. Only the active and involved are aware of this esoteric fact.
One “camp” is made up of predominantly of white-christian-mainstream activists. Their names are recognizable and popular. They seek prison reform through co-operating with the same individuals who are guilty of the oppressive policies. They even will outright tell you “we are not set-up to fight the system we want to work with T.D.C.J. in order to bring about change.” My response to that is “Good luck with that!”.
Through the years I have become friends with Michael Jewell the executive director of Texas-CURE in Dallas. Michael and his partner Joan Covici actually saved my life when prison employees at the Estelle High-Security Unit unplugged my fan in my cell during a deadly heat wave in Texas – 2012.
Michael certainly paid his dues – as he spent 40 years trapped in T.D.C.J. – 23 of those years spent in Ad-Seg. However, Michael and I have totally different perspectives when it comes to our strategies and tactics. I am in the “_other_” camp.
Remember, we are speaking in the realm of Prisoner Rights Advocacy and I belong to the “Other” Camp. Our camp is made up of Black, Mexican, White, Socialists, Anarchists, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and the LGBTQ community. We are “the Radicals” or that is now the “Establishment” would like you to perceive us as. _We_ are the Gloria Rubac’s., the Pat Hartwells, the Robert S. Muhammads, our names might not be that familiar to you because the mainstream corporate owned media does not give us the same amount of exposure as the first “camp”.
See you can’t tell Gloria Rubac that the Death Penalty in Texas is racially blind. Gloria knows better. Gloria is a white womyn – extremely intelligent and she has done a concrete analysis of the Racist Death Penalty in Texas and she knows like I know that black and brown humyn beings are forced on that Gurney at the Walls unit at a much higher percentage than white folks! – FACT
How many of you remember the movie LIFE with Martin Lawrence and Eddie Murphy? Do you remember the part when the Warden’s wife baked a pie and put it on the window sill to cool? Martin Lawrence’s character said something to the effect: “How can we make one of those Boss Man pies into a negro pie?” You see, the “pie” was _off limits_ to prisoners – especially black prisoners! And that is how the Prisoner Rights Advocacy movement in Texas is set up. No-one in Austin, Texas at the capitol really wants to see Comrade Malik, Azzura Crispino, or any “radical” voice at the committee hearing or negotiation table. But we are the ones who are intimately familiar with the corrupt nature of the Agency. Not every guest on the popular Prison Show on KPFT 90.1 FM is going to have a “feel good” family friendly story about their experience with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Some of us are going to talk about the beatings, the numerous parole set-offs, the inhumane living conditions, deadly extreme heat, Toxic water, Rapes & Murder!!
You read the title of this essay didn’t you? So you had to know this was coming. With the help of Mary Ratcliff – the editor of the San Francisco Bay View as well as Carole Seligman and Bonnie Weinstein of Socialist Viewpoint Magazine people are talking about the murder of T.D.C.J. prisoner Alton Rodgers at the Bill Clements Unit located in Amarillo, Texas.
Sisters and brothers, Senator John Whitmire is culpable in the death of Alton Rodgers and I will tell you why. In January 2015 Professor Victor Wallis Ph.D. of Berklee College, John S. Dolley of Central Texas ABC & ABC Para-legal Services and myself compiled an information packet entitled: Please Stop the Killing. It included essays which highlighted prisoner deaths and civilian deaths at the hands of law enforcement officers in Texas. We had a special focus on the Bill Clements Unit. We sent the packet to members of the media and specific Texas Legislators. Senator John Whitmire could have called in the F.B.I. and D.O.J. long ago – called them in to stop prisoner abuse and murder but he didn’t.
I provided journalist Kamala Kelkar of the PBS Newshour Weekend with a copy of the Please Stop the Killing packet I wanted her to see with her own eyes how we have virtually begged the Texas Legislature to take action in order to clean-up the corruption at Bill Clements Unit. – NOTHING!
Ever since 2008 when a disgruntled prisoner phoned Senator Whitmire from his cell on Texas’ Death Row – Senator Whitmire has secretly harbored animosity toward Texas prisoners, – FACT!
Senator Whitmire has continued to turn a blind eye to Institutionalized Violence and Institutionalized Retaliation against prisoners who advocate on behalf of other prisoners. And now with the recent release of a report along with _Notice of Claims_ by the National Lawyers Guild we clearly see that Texas and its prison agency T.D.C.J. has established a custom, policy, and un-official Government practice of targeting and also retaliating harshly against prisoners who are recognized as Activists and Jail House Lawers. – FACT!
_What actually happened in Texas Prisons on September 9th – 2016?_
Nobody is more in tune with Prison Laborers in Texas than I am. So now that I’m isolated and have a ton of time on my hands allow me to explain briefly what _really took place_ prior to and on the day of September 9th!
I assume many of you are familiar with the Slave Trade in Amerika? Many of us who are conscious don’t like to use the term _Slave Trade_ because it gives a person the impression as if there was a fair exchange between Africans and European Slave traders. The dynamics of _coercion_ and _violence_ are not reflected in the term that is why we use the term _Maafa_. Because it was a Black Holocaust that we experienced here in Amerika.
My point is this; T.D.C.J., Texas Corrections Industries and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles uses coercion, violence, and sometimes torture to force Texas prisoners into Slavery and Involuntary Servitude.
_Case in Point_
Wynne Unit is a prison in Texas located in Huntsville. It is the home to at least 6 different Texas Correctional Industry-Factories. Prior to September 9th I received a report from one of my sources there and here is what he said: 3 weeks before September 9th the Senior Warden at Wynne Mrs. Kelly Strong partnered with the Chief T.C.I. Plant Manager and together they held “Town Hall meetings” with prison laborers. There is a Mattress Factory, Computer Recovery Plant, Sing Shop, Tag plant and a couple others.
The prisoners were threatened! The threat was that if anyone attempted to organize a work strike or participate in the September 9th Work Stoppage they would receive:
#1.) A Major Disciplinary Case
#2.) Demotion to G-5 (Close Custody)
#3.) A Transfer to a Far Flung Rural Area!
G-5 Custody is a very restrictive and punitive security status in which two prisoners are trapped in a cell 22 to 24 hours a day!! – FACT!
And by the way when a prisoner in Texas receives a Major Disciplinary Case his or her Parole eligibility is affected in a very negative manner. So how many prisoners do you think were “Down for the Struggle” on September 9th in Texas Prisons??
The Industrial Workers of the World and the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee made the call to organize and educate. I gave and continue to give every bit of myself to this Struggle and Movement. I don’t have any regrets other than I wish we had more people seriously committed to Abolishing Prison Slavery in Texas.
As I close I remind you that there are many wimmin in Texas Prisons who are down for the struggle but their voices are being ignored, ridiculed, and silenced by Texas Prison officials. Don’t Forget about the Sisters! They need our support!
Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win
All Power to The People.
By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington and justin adkins
Peace and blessings!
We have hopeful news to report. On December 29, 2016, Comrade Malik received a letter from attorney Ollie R. Jefferson. Attorney Jefferson is based in Arlington, Texas it is one of the many dedicated servants of the people who serve on the National Lawyers Guild’s – Prisoner Legal Advocacy Network or PLAN for short.
These are Guild attorney members across the United States who have been volunteering their services to protect prisoners from rights violations associated with the fallout from the national prison work stoppages which began September 9, 2016
Comrade Malik was targeted by Texas prison officials. He was placed in long-term solitary confinement after being found guilty of a fabricated riot case during Kangaroo Court proceedings at the Coffield Unit located in Tennessee Colony, Texas.
Comrade Malik has suffered numerous injustices such as religious discrimination, which he rarely speaks about. For the past year-and-a-half, Texas prison officials have denied Malik’s religious practice of growing a fist length beard and wearing a kufi per the precepts of his Islamic faith! The Texas prison system has trampled all over Malik’s constitutional rights and we are encouraged by the professionalism and commitment of the National Lawyers Guild.
At this time we ask that all of you rally behind Comrade Malik and attorney Ollie R. Jefferson as they prepare to confront this oppressive and corrupt prison agency.
Dare to struggle, Dare to win, All Power to the People!
Comrade Malik and justin adkins
Peace and blessings sisters and brothers!
Today is December 9th, 2016. I’m still in ad-seg and the water here on Eastham unit located in Lovelady, Texas is contaminated.
Nevertheless, I still would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and jubilant Kwanzaa! Personally, I love Kwanzaa because it reminds me to focus on key African Concepts. Maybe justin will post some info about Kwanzaa and the key elements.
You know a humyn life is the most precious thing in the universe and I can’t help but feel sadness for the recent loss of life. The members of the Brazilian soccer team that died in a plane crash in Colombia, the 36 young people who died in a warehouse fire in Oakland, California. Beautiful young Spirits had so much to live for – so much potential. These things hurt me deeply. Contrary what Texas authorities say about me, I truly am humyn. In Texas – prison officials here labeled me as a black militant – Troublemaker.
Too many times I’ve been referred to as, “that smartass do-gooder n*****!”
Sisters and brothers, we are headed into some troublesome times. The deck is being truly stacked against us.
Umoja! Yes, Unity will be necessary to weather the storm. We have to be courageous and serious about our lives. We must live as if tomorrow may never come. On so many different levels we must get organized and not be afraid to act!
This is not a call to violence this is a call to voluntary mutual co-operation.
When protests are called for – protest.
When tweeting is called 4 – tweet.
When donations are needed – donate.
When it is time to March – March!
When self-defense is needed – defend!
When a comrade cries out for love and understanding – come out of your comfort zone to love one another!
Dare to struggle, Dare to win, all power to the people!
note from justin:
Sorry for the delay in posting this holiday message.
The Nguzo Saba
(The Seven Principles)
Dr. Maulana Karenga
Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles. Developed by Dr. Karenga, the Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community but also serve to reinforce and enhance them.