I was reading ULK 81 when I came across a conversation on whether or not to ally with sex offenders and I feel that I have a fresh perspective to contribute to this conversation. FCI Seagoville, for those unaware, is a low-security federal prison with a majority sex-offender population. I have made friends with and enemies of pedophiles, and as such I have experience working with them. It would be almost impossible for me to organize in here without interacting with sex offenders. For example, I am the only member of my 7 man Narcotics Anonymous group who is not a sex offender.
The two main federal S.O. charges are pictures and enticement. An emblematic picture case is that of a friend of mine, who became addicted to opioids during the crisis and enjoyed the rush of getting away with all kinds of criminal behavior while high. He expropriated his neighbors’ lawn furniture and dumped it all in a business parking lot. He also surfed the internet while high and looked up child porn. He became dependent upon the feeling of getting away with things he knew were wrong, and the pursuit of that anti-social feeling led him to federal prison.
The vast majority of enticement cases are sting operations. A non-S.O. comrade of mine, J, contends that sting enticement cases should be judged not by the fact that they were stings, but rather by the ill intentions of the one being entrapped. The sting usually goes like this: an agent poses as a young person on a dating site. They are matched with someone, engage them in conversation for a few days, and then reveal that they are under-aged. If the person messages back saying that they want to continue the relationship, an investigation is opened into them. This gets at the wider issue of us prisoners using the oppression of the state as a justification for and personal forgiveness of our immoral actions. When I talk about immoral actions, I mean actions that would require self-reflection and self-criticism under a proletarian system of justice. Many of the enticement cases claim that their actions hurt no one, that the government set them up, and that the government is the largest distributor of child pornography. None of these claims are untrue, yet all of them serve to minimize the S.O.’s role in their own offense.
These minimizations on the part of the S.O.’s belie a genuine understanding of the severity of their actions. S.O.’s were exposed to just as much fear mongering propaganda about pedophiles as the rest of us. To associate that propaganda with yourself often leads to a searing self-hatred. To my understanding, the prison system seeks to imprison each of us with shame and guilt over our crimes, in our own heads. The fear mongering media propaganda apparatus plays an active role in priming us for a mental imprisonment alongside our physical imprisonment. Nowhere is this method of mental domination more apparent than in the case of sex offenders.
Comrade J states: “S.O.’s are no different than ‘normal’ people when it comes to reliability or revolutionary potential. It is rather that their status as sex offenders, if known, may be weaponized against the movement.” As to the question of whether to ally with sex offenders, I have this to add: my closest, most reliable comrade is a sex offender. He gave me the copy of ULK 81 that inspired this response. I can offer no better proof of the reliability of S.O.’s as allies and comrades than this, the existence of my contribution.
The first topic I’ll like to respond to in Issue 81, is the article that reads “Colorado Prison Censors New Afrikan Literature”. The brother pointed Colorado’s contradictions with allowing certain white reactionary novels as opposed to the Black revolutionary ones. The Wisconsin DOC for a long while was banning books like Know Thy Self by Na’im Akban, Revolutionary Suicide, Soledad Brother, Blood In My Eye, Assata, Seize the Time, A Taste of Power, This Side of Glory, We Want Freedom, Isis Papers, Destruction of Black Civilization, and all of Amos Wilson’s books until the courts got involved and the WDOC reasoning was that the books were inciteful and accusatory towards Amerika and people of European descent. Yet they allowed in all of Donald Goines, ICE Berg Slim and often “hoodbooks” that promote Pimping, drug dealing, Black on Black homicide and anything that glorifies the “Black Criminal Mindset” because it keeps us in Lumpen-criminal-colonial state of mind. This state of mind justifies the mass incarceration of anyone of Alkebulan (indigenous word for the continent commonly named Africa today) diasporan descent, while the Revolutionary mindset poses significant threat to Uncle Sam’s “Economic Station.” The brother who wrote MIM needs to know ICEBerg Slim, Donald Goines and anyone of Alkebulan (Black & Brown) Diasporas descent promoting and glorifying the exploitation of our people and all oppressed nationals are unhealthy and they are just as much enemies to our own people as Adolf Hitler, J.B Stone, David Duke, Richard Spencer, Donald Trump and the like, you dig? I would advise the brother to read books by Black authors who believes and write about the advancement of Black people oppose to the destruction of us. It’s impossible to discuss pimping, drug dealing, gang-banging without mentioning white supremacy, OK.
The next topic from Issue 81 is “ULK 80 Responses on Sex Offenders, Pedophiles, Gunnas and Gangstas”. In it you write that sex offenders don’t practice reactionary thug life politics (drugs, shootings, etc) and that’s completely false. Most sex offenders claim to be part of lumpen organizations (CRIPS, Bloods, Vice Lords, GD’s, BD’s LK’s, etc). I believe sex offenders are irredeemable and permanent enemies of and to the “people”. By sex offender, I don’t mean a 17 year old dude having sex (consensual sex) with a 16 year old girl because I do not consider that rape. Some of these Gunnas who rape other Kaptives are sex offenders, homosexuals and the list could go on, OK. I would argue that both groups are enemies to the people. Those who refuse to abandon the thug mentality for a revolutionary one are enemies of and to the people. I do concur with your assessment regarding how the fascist system use both lifestyles as political points to further the dehumanization of these groups. I’m not against homosexuals, transgenders and what have you, I’m against those who hunt and oppress women and children. Those I do not condone their lifestyles.
I’m not bothered by referring to a transgender man who see’s himself as a woman and a transgender woman who see’s herself as a man as She and He. The problem is that most transgender men-women in prison are sex offenders, they are in for preying on children. I’m a former Black Gangster Disciple (from 1983 to 1998) and I’ll be the first to say that Growth & Development literature reflects Elijah Mohammad’s “Message To The Black Man” and that it was not founded to destroy our communities, yet that’s what it’s doing and I am against it and any gang (its not an organization) that terrorizes its own people or people period. Members of these groups are “Redeemable” and we must not turn our backs on them unless they refuse to open their eyes and do the work of the civilized.
As you know, I am the Founder and Chief Advisor of Freedom Fighters, Inc and we do not condone the distribution nor usage of alcohol and drugs nor any lifestyle that poses a threat to the moral fabric of humanity/the human race. In closing, though I understand the nexus you made with brother Comrade Slaughter regarding drug dealers and sex offenders, I still feel that it’s out of context. The drug dealer and gangbanger is “redeemable”. The sex offender isn’t. I was molested, violently, from the age of 7 to 11 by a female relative who is still alive and to this day, in her 60’s (I’m 47 and have been enslaved since the age of 17 - 1993). She’s still sick.
Even though a sex offender is capable of coming to terms with his or her own sickness, they remain sick in the head and sick in the heart, maybe. Tookie was a byproduct of his environment and when he woke up he didn’t fall back asleep. The sex offender falls back asleep because he or she is innately. The vast majority of sex offenders was never molested or raped, it was in them. I know a lot of bothers/men who were molested and never became molesters themselves. I have never raped nor molested anyone, never even had the thought to do so. I have never sold drugs either, but its different. I’m mentally ill, I was raised in mental institutions (and it could be said that prisons are also Mental Institutions) and I was exploited by the older members of BGD to rob and kill white people and once I came to terms with this, I renounced black racism and I will never rob or kill someone based on race. I was sentenced to life for killing a woman who robbed my guy and charged at me with a machete, and though my actions could be justified, I still partook in the genocide of our people and I’ll never engage in such idiocy ever again. And though I see the nexus you made, I just don’t agree with it. I do, however, respect your position. Disagreement is healthy and we should never tear each other down due to it unless the disagreement becomes detrimental to the organism, you dig?
Wiawimawo of MIM(Prisons) responds: We welcome critiques of certain “hood” writings as the comrade offers above. Yet we still recognize their biased censorship as part of national oppression, and the struggle against censorship in prisons can make strange bed fellows as we’ve discussed with the struggles around nude and non-nude pictures.
As for the sex offenders issue, this comrade has been debating us on this since back in ULK 64. I welcome the correction regarding sex offenders practicing thuggish anti-people activity as well. There is certainly an overlap between the two behaviors that i was ignoring in my sloppy language in ULK 81.
Next point, no one is arguing that “those who hunt and oppress women and children” are communists or allies. So that’s a moot point. Nor are those who are hunting, killing, poisoning, and oppressing men for that matter! And we seem to have agreement on that, as far as various forms of anti-people activity go. Yet, this comrade echoes the point made by Slaughter that it is only the sex offender that is unredeemable. The argument being that the sex offender is innately oppressive towards other humyns. Yet no evidence is offered to support this. In fact, we can point to statistics that sex offenders have the lowest recidivism rates.(1)
It is also odd that you seem to favorably cite Elijah Muhammad who is a known child predator who never atoned for the abuses he committed against at least 9 young girls and wimmin, and exploited eir cult of persynality to cover up those crimes while using metaphysical interpretations of the Quran/Bible to justify the acts. This was exposed by el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Malcolm X) shortly before he was brutally murdered for promoting a revolutionary nationalist interpretation of Islam separate from the NOI.
If we look at socialist China we see the virtual elimination of all sorts of crime, drug abuse, prostitution, etc, in a very short period of time. We addressed this in more detail in ULK 59 on drugs.
We are the last ones to say that everyone is a comrade. Usually we are being criticized for being too pessimistic about the revolutionary potential in this country. But we are engaged in the project of uniting all who can be united in the prison movement.
We aren’t saying we can reform all anti-people criminals today. But we are saying that we can under the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is what we are fighting for. And to get there, we need to break down these phony barriers between the oppressed based on idealism.
Thanks for sending the Power to New Afrika booklet. I am still studying and understanding the knowledge within it. Before I pass it along, I would like to speak about some stuff I read today in ULK 81. It’s about inflation and commissary prices.
I have been incarcerated for 15 years for seeing people get killed and refusing to give information to detectives. Anyhow, prices for the basic things a human being needs I have seen skyrocket over these 15 years. #1 I am in solitary confinement, which means I do not have a job and I can only spend $60 at the prison’s canteen [in California]. This 60 bucks can’t go too far when generic brand or no name toothpaste is 5 bucks, one top ramen noodle is 50 cents, a deodorant is 4 bucks and some change, purchasing bags of chips for 3 bucks and half the bags are empty. The items that the prison sell we can purchase at the 99 cent store for a $1.07. It is simply robbery. Prior to me being sent to solitary confinement, back in 2019, Top Ramen soups were 20 cents and a Dial roll of deodorant was a dollar.
I have been a cook in the kitchen, yard crew, building and education porter. I worked for free in each job I had except as a cook in the kitchen I was paid 11 cents an hour. I work from 12 noon until 8pm five days a week. I had to prepare food for over 600 inmates in four buildings. We were getting payed once a month and my checks after 55 % was deducted for restitution was only between 10 to 13 bucks each month. If I still had this job, all I will be able to get from the prison canteen is a deodorant, toothpaste, and maybe a bag of chips. Ridiculous. Most jobs in California prison are not paying jobs. I shoveled snow at 5AM at High Desert State Prison. I cleaned building at North Kern and cleaned bathroom and police offices at Salinas Valley, I cleaned showers and Corcoran State Prison and couldn’t even receive an extra dinner tray. I was payed 0 dollars.
When we refuse to work for free, cops, they take our privileges; no phone, no yard, no packages we receive a write up which also messes up our board hearings. What some in society do not understand is just because I am in prison doesn’t mean I should be degraded, humiliated, and worked to death for free labor. These are all extra punishments. When the punishment is being incarcerated away from our family. This is the actual punishment.
Due to inflation and being in solitary for 4 years, even though I spend my $60 at commissary once a month, that $60 truly doesn’t amount to anything due to the high prices for items that are not truly worth it. Being in here we still are forced to spend because the prisons do not give hygiene products and we are not allowed packages as if we were on the yard. In the SHU you get 1 bar of soap a week, 5 sheets of paper, 1 toilet paper roll, and some tooth powder. So as you see we truly need to purchase items from the prison and I know that they are truly aware of what they are doing. And in order to even spend 60 bucks my family has to send me $120 and I still owe restitution. I’ve been in prison on different plantations for 15 years and still have not paid off all this restitution. I am not rich.
This is why they need to pay more for every prison job. This prison industry can afford to pay us minimum wage. Before my incarceration, I was receiving $6.25 an hour working retail. And a prison can never run without prisoners who are incarcerated. But this is how we are treated. Prisoners cook, clean, do construction, pain, tutor, clerks, grounds keepers, and so much more.
ATTN: Governor’s Office Joshua Shapiro, May 10th 2023
From R-Block, Chester County Prison, Westchester
Our Government, has set a Law under Commonwealth Code, 37 PA Code § 95.223 (4), governing Local and State corrections facilities here in Pennsylvania! You now as the elected Governor, “Joshua Shapiro” have duties to enforce these Laws, or correct these customs, used to violate our First Amendment Rights, freedom of speech, use of a protected conduct without retaliation! We have been abused, threatened, sexually harassed, injured and oppressed to a damaging element, involving injury both physical, emotional, mental and sexual in nature by correctional officers, Administration, and the County of Chester’s elected Commissioners! I request your office to fact check this, as I’ve reported along with a copy of herein letter, to Pennsylvania Prison Society, Disability Rights Pennsylvania, PILP, Daily Local News, Fox 29, CBS, NBC 10! This prison population pleads for help of those elected to protect them!
[Signed by 9 prisoners at Chester County Prison]
ATTN: Chester County Commissioners Office, Pennsylvania Prison Society, May 10th 2023
From Chester County Prison, Westchester R-2 Petition
Our Grievance system is broken here in Chester County Prison, and we are all being affected dramatically! Our grievance procedure requires inmates to request a Grievance via Inmate Request Slip, this Inmate Request Slip then in turn is returned to the block correctional officer, who may or may not be involved, but then proceeds to view, and read the request to use our protected conduct. Are we allowed to have our First Amendment rights so openly violated? We become subject to a Campaign of Harassment by attempting to use our protected conducts! Yet our in-house administrative remedies become non-existent! We need help! We have become subject to attack, abuse, retaliation and more!
Observing the day-to-day operations within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), it’s as if someone hit the rewind button on the worst movie ever made. A half century ago David Ruiz, then a TDC captive, filed a civil lawsuit against the state agency while suffering in one of TDC’s many solitary torture chambers (cells). That humble complaint, after being joined with others’ suits, became the widely known Ruiz v. Estelle litigation, which initiated over 25 years of litigation, scrutiny, federal oversight, and reform in prison policies.
One of the many aims of the Ruiz litigation was the destruction of the internal, neo-colonial structure, known then as the Building Tender System (BTS). In summary, the BTS was a mechanism designed by the state to handpick certain inmates, then utilize them to maintain order and control among the masses of prisoners. Compensation of these hand-picked inmates services came in the form of ultimate power and authority in the prison, as well as extra work time and goods, in a time when these things meant something. This allowed them to go home faster. Furthermore, BT’s, with the complicity of the state, were allowed to make slaves (male sex slaves referred to as ‘punks’) of other inmates on a whim.
The BT’s were an essential part of the prison economy because their presence and services allowed the agency to cut costs and limit its budget by not having to pay as many guards as other states. As such, Texas had the lowest budget for any state prison system throughout the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s.
Today the state does not boast the lowest budget. Despite this and multiple pay raises, TDCJ can not maintain a necessary number of staff members to adequately run and operate its institutions. This reality is currently creating the foundation of conditions similar to the Ruiz days BT system.
Case in point, reports from Coffield, Ellis, and Beto Units narrate how prisoners have complete control of the unit. Prisoners conduct counts, feed, clothe, discipline, and even act as suicide watch for other inmates. Some prisoners reading this may say ‘that doesn’t sound bad’, and on the surface that may even be correct. However, the sad truth is that most prisoners are still operating with corrupt intentions. As such, when corrupt people are placed in positions of authority and responsibility it is the most marginalized and oppressed people who suffer at the hands of a corrupt power structure. This was true in the days of Ruiz, and it is true today, as it is also true in neo-colonies around the globe.
Under pressure from inmate litigation, over fifty years ago, Texas legislatures, enacted the following law:
Tex.Gov.Code Paragraph 500.001
Supervisory or Disciplinary Authority of Inmates
"(a) An inmate housed in a facility operated by the department or under contact with the department may not act in a supervisory or administrative capacity over another inmate.
An inmate housed in a facility operated by the department or under contract with the department may not administer disciplinary action over another inmate."
Despite enacting this law, state officials didn’t initially, and still don’t, abide by it. Only the most recent example is the wide-spread use of life coaches as suicide watch sentry. Despite their best intentions, life coaches aren’t equipped to deal with a serious suicide attempt, and neither are correctional staff, if we’re being honest. Instead of channeling their budget towards more and better medical and psychiatric personnel, or releasing more people, TDCJ’s executive director Brian Collier has begun to implement a portion of his so-called 2030 plan. The portion important to this topic is his professed desire to initiate ‘new positions’ for inmates, so that they can allow this institution to function smoothly, ‘with less dependency on correctional staff’.
Since I’ve been released from solitary, and been housed on Ellis Unit’s CTIP, I’ve witnessed and experienced the new wave BT system up close and personal. Here inmates operate in-and-outs, feed, and other duties reserved for paid officers. As you can imagine, this situation causes tensions among the hand-picked, and the masses of prisoners. These tensions have their fall-outs and all this is instigated by the illegal policies and practices of the state. In 2023, we’re still being (neo)colonized and enslaved in Texas.
All too often, horrific incidents have to occur, lives have to be lost and tarnished before the public and people in positions to alter things begin take notice. If the incidents of 50 years ago are any indication we cannot afford to lose so many lives, for any more people to be physically violated, before we begin to bring these conditions to the attention of the public, and simultaneously organize liberation armies behind the walls to combat what will ultimately become a battle of control and influence between reactionary and revolutionary power.
DARE TO INVENT THE FUTURE
MIM(Prisons) adds:This comrade notes the very relevant history of the BTS in Texas and how those conditions are being repeated today. But there is other history to look at, like the 1973 takeover of Walpole prison in Massachusetts. Guards went on strike and the prisoner union took over running things smoothly and peacefully. This was only possible however because prisoners had spent years organizing into a union. As staff shortages seem widespread in prison systems across the country, opportunities for organizing can arise. But it will take preparation, education and organization to properly seize such opportunities.
Forced to face a foreign decision, Forced to embrace a foreign religion Black and white begets a foreign collision That’s unprecedented destroying our vision
Forced to pledge allegiance While praising the dead, Ignoring the living and only free In the head, Independent thinking is the thing that they dread, Death or freedom is the Reason they fled.
North Atlantic ocean created The distance, Accompanied by an ideology That made us defenseless, Proving them wrong And making the difference Ancestral pain created resistance.
For removal of chains Charge them a fee, Shackle their minds Convince them they’re free, Felony conviction Is slavery for lease, As the murder of kins Was the removal of peace.
New rap songs Spiritual potion Internal revolution is the only resolution, Read the constitution and it’s void of a solution, No black inclusion, so freedom’s a delusion No black inclusion, so freedom’s a delusion
[originally written for the Incarcerated Women’s Clemency & Support Project (IWCSP)]
I filed about five clemency petitions during the course of my 28 years of incarceration before finally being granted a pardon in 2022, by former Governor Ralph Northam. The first three petitions were filed “pro se,” meaning on my own. The last two petitions were filed with the assistance of counsel and with the support of state legislators. The last successful push for clemency was also aided by the Justice for Uhuru Coordinating Committee – a group of friends, abolitionists and student organizers from the College of William & Mary.
Borrowing from knowledge and practical experience gained from navigating the clemency process over two decades, what follows is a brief outline of what I believe is the most effective strategy in helping an incarcerated person and their loved ones to wage a successful campaign for clemency in Virginia.
Neither the Virginia Parole Board nor any court in Virginia has the authority to grant a petition for clemency.
Pursuant to Virginia (VA) Code section 53.1-229 and Article V, Section 12 of the Virginia Constitution, only the Governor has the absolute power and authority to grant clemency.
However, pursuant to VA Code section 53.1-231,
“the Virginia Parole Board shall, at the request of the Governor, investigate and report to the Governor on cases in which executive clemency is sought. In any other case in which it believes action on the part of the Governor is proper or in the best interest of the Commonwealth, the Board may investigate and report to the Governor with its recommendations.”
There’s a common belief that the Governor of Virginia has the power to grant mass clemency to a group of incarcerated people at one time. However, the Virginia Supreme Court in the case of Howell v. McAuliffe, 292 Va. 320, 788 SE 2d 706 (2016) ruled the Governor has no authority to issue group pardons because Article V, Section 12 of the VA Constitution requires the Governor to give a particular (specific) reason for granting each pardon which is something the Governor cannot do when issuing mass (blanket) clemency.
There are two types of clemency in VA: restoration of rights and pardons.
A petition for restoration of rights restores the rights one forfeits as a result of having been convicted of a felony and can only be sought by people who are not currently in prison. People with nonviolent felonies must wait three years after completion of their sentence before applying for restoration of their rights and people with violent felonies must wait five years. The restoration of rights does not restore the right to purchase or possess a firearm which can only be done by petitioning the appropriate Circuit Court pursuant to VA Code section 18.2-308.2. You can learn more about the restoration of rights process at https://www.restore.virginia.gov/
There are four types of pardons in VA:
A simple pardon, sought after a person’s rights have been restored, is an act by the Governor granting forgiveness for a crime for which one has been convicted. A simple pardon does not expunge the conviction from a person’s criminal record or restore the right to purchase or possess firearms.
An absolute pardon is granted when the Governor is convinced that a person is innocent of the charge(s) for which they have been convicted and freely and unconditionally absolves the person from all direct and collateral consequences of the crime. A person can petition for an absolute pardon only if they plead not guilty during trial proceedings and exhausted all appellate and other post-conviction remedies, including a Writ of Actual Innocence pursuant to VA Code sections 19.2-327 through 19.2-327.13.
A partial pardon can be conditional or unconditional and remits only a portion of the sentence and leaves the rest of the sentence intact. This is the pardon I received.
A conditional pardon is an act by the Governor which modifies or ends the entire sentence imposed by the court when there is “substantial evidence of extraordinary circumstances to warrant it” and does not become operative until the grantee satisfies a prerequisite and can be revoked if that prerequisite is not met.
There is also something called Executive Medical Clemency where the Governor grants conditional release to an incarcerated person who is terminally ill with three months or less left to live.
Preparing and Filing the Petition
It took me, my lawyer and supporters working together as a team about a year researching and collecting all the pieces for my pardon petition. And by pieces, I mean certificates and diplomas earned since I’ve been in prison, supplemental online petitions, and support letters from family, friends and state legislators who recognized the injustice in my sentence and sympathized with my plight enough to be willing to support me. It is important to collect all these pieces and attach them to the petition as supplements and exhibits at the time of filing because they may not be accepted or considered if they are sent in separately at a later time.
Whether the incarcerated person is applying for a pardon on their own or if someone on the outside is applying for it on behalf of the incarcerated person, it is important (and mandatory) for the incarcerated person to first complete the “Virginia Pardon Petition Questionnaire” and mail it to the VA Secretary of the Commonwealth (SOC). This form can be obtained from the prison’s law library or requested from the SOC Office. Unaware of this requirement, my attorney filed my pardon petition, and the SOC rejected it because I had not completed this questionnaire. So, the pardon process does not and will not begin until this questionnaire is completed.
Organizing here refers to any action (before and after a petition is filed) that will raise awareness about a person’s case and gain community support for their pardon request.
Two of the most important things that should be done before a pardon request is filed are 1) creating a social media presence and 2) creating an online petition on http://www.change.org.
With organizing, gone are the days when news of a planned event had to be promoted via word of mouth and crudely handcrafted flyers. In this day and time, social media is king and one post about an injustice that has occurred can quickly go viral resulting in hundreds and thousands of people showing up at a planned protest in opposition to that injustice. We have seen how vital social media has been for the birth and sustainability of the #MeToo, #SayHerName and #BlackLivesMatter movements. It can be just as effective for a campaign to free someone from prison just as it did for mine.
I would add that social media is more critical to freeing someone from prison than the pardon application itself. Why? Because to be incarcerated for 20 to 30 years is to be erased and rendered invisible to the masses, especially to people born after a person was incarcerated. Case in point, many of the people on the Justice for Uhuru Coordinating Committee (JUCC) were students from the College of William & Mary and were born a decade after I came to prison. So, social media can help bring incarcerated people and their freedom campaigns out from the obscurity of the prison industrial complex and connect them and their campaigns to young abolitionists who are doing most of the on-the-ground agitation and organizing.
Like mine, a change.org petition can function as an abbreviated version of and supplement to the actual pardon petition that will be filed with the SOC Office. With the help of social media, my online petition garnered over 2600 signatures from people all over the county. Others have gone viral (with the help of influencers and celebrities like Rihanna and Kim Kardashian) racking up tens of millions of signatures like in the case of criminalized survivors Chrystul Kizer and Cyntoia Brown. These signatures, in addition to character letters from family, friends and state legislators, can show proof that the community at-large supports a person’s pardon request and are not opposed to a person’s early release from prison either because they believe the person was sentenced unjustly or (to use carceral language) has been rehabilitated and will not pose threat to public safety.
Another thing that should be organized are public rallies. My team organized a rally both before and after my petition was filed.
The first one, organized by my attorney before she filed my pardon application, was held at the state capital. Though it received a low turnout, word of it spread to staff in the Governor and SOC offices and members of the General Assembly resulting in a veteran state senator showing up, listening and speaking to those in attendance. This is why it is strategically important to hold a rally at the state capital even if only a small amount of people show up. The second rally, organized by the JUCC after my petition was filed, was held near the Virginia Commonwealth University and managed to draw about 80 people. Posts on social media helped the second rally to achieve a greater turnout and connected the JUCC to other community groups and organizers who decided to sign my petition and support my campaign. It is important to note that all rallies at the state capitol, however small, must be pre-approved by the Department of General Services. The number to call for this department is 804-786-3311.
Another thing that should be organized are carefully timed emails and phone calls directed at the SOC, the pardon staff, and the Chief of Staff for the Governor after a pardon petition has been filed. There is a common belief that contacting the SOC and pardon staff will have an adverse impact on a person’s pardon request and will even result in a pardon application being prematurely denied. This may be the case if the calls/emails come across as demanding or pressuring officials to grant a pardon request. Those are not the kind of calls/emails I am recommending here. Based on my own experience and insight gained from someone working in former Governor Northam’s administration, it is helpful to have a person to make a follow-up email to the pardon staff about six months after a petition is filed to inquire about the status of the petition. [The email to the pardon staff is email@example.com]. Most importantly, all supporters of the incarcerated person (including any political supporters) should make calls to the SOC and the Governor’s Chief of Staff a week before a Governor’s term is set to expire to (politely) reiterate their support for a person’s pardon request and state the reasons the incarcerated person would be a good candidate for clemency. [The phone number to the SOC is 804-786-2441, and the phone number to the Governor’s Chief of Staff is 804-786-2211].
Keep in mind that on any given day, the SOC, pardon staff, the Governor’s Chief of Staff, and the Virginia Parole Board’s Special Investigations Unit tasked with investigating pardon requests and making recommendations to the Governor, are handling thousands of pardon applications, often with limited staff. Making these calls will help make a person’s pardon application stand out, prevent it from being given a rubber stamp denial for reasons other than the merits of the case, or left in a stack of papers on top the Governor’s desk when their term expires which, unbeknownst to many, happens more often than not.
One last note I want to make is that parole and pardon requests are often denied on the basis that early release of the incarcerated person will pose a serious threat to public safety.
Ultimately what needs to happen in order for a clemency campaign to be successful is that the incarcerated person and his/her/their team must garner as many supporters as possible so that the voices of the people who want the person out of prison are louder (and more powerful) than the voices of the people who want to keep the person in prison.
Wut Good Is A Mind Without Knowledge? It’z Equivalent To Packin’ An Empty Gun If We’re Speakin’ In Symbolics. Glock 40 Filled Wit’ Dummy Roundz. Been Lied To So Long Don’t Even Kno How Tha Truth Soundz. Bein’ Taught To Hate Ourselvez! Tha Poor Killin’ Tha Poor, But Seem To Ignore Tha Onez Who Take Our Wealth. Kan’t Ovastand If You Fall Fa Propaganda. Quit Chasin’ Easta Bunnies, No Mo Milk And Kookies Fa Santa. Spendin’ Our Whole Life Savins On Theze Pagan Celebrationz. Then Tha next Year Slavin’ Sufferin Ekonomik Depreivationz. Perplexed By Our Situation, Constrained By Lack Of Ovastandin’. And So Easily Pacified By Simplistical Demandin’s. Sayin; All I Eva Wanted Wuz Some Jordanz And A Gold Chain Even The Scarecrow Had Enuf Sense To Try And Find Himself A Brain. So Who’s To Blame Fa Tha Perpetuation Of Diz Mental Genocide? If I Dies We Lose 2 Livez Brotherly Bound Together Like We Were Geminiz. From A Nation Of Great Mindz Supreme Mathmatikz And Masta Buildinz. But Look At Us Now, Our Math Iz Division And All We Masta Iz Destruction And Killinz. And Wut About Our Children We’ve Entrusted Wit Our Future. Who Are Afraid To Go To School In Tha Dayz Of Mass Shootaz. Stricta Gun Lawz Won’t Help Because Shootaz Recordz They Are All Clean. So Fuck Ya Background Check!! Give Me Dat AR-15. Wut Hunta Needz An Assault Rifle? You Shootin’ Deer Or You Huntin’ Man?? Anotha Attempt To Control Tha Population, When Will Diz Nation Ovastand???
Building Peace, Unity, and Solidarity Behind Enemy Lines
Introduction 1. Security Threat Group Wrongful Validation 2. Case Law 3. Oppressed, Oppressing The Oppressed! 4. What It Means To Be A Leader 5. Peace Behind Enemy Lines
“I’m going to join the fight wherever Negroes ask for my help…” - Malcolm X
Amani (PEACE) to all Lumpen Organizations (“L.O.’s”) held captive in Amerikkka’s prisons. As we fight against dehumanizing and tortuous conditions that’s done by prisonkrats, we must get united and stay united!
Eye stand with each and every last one of you. Eye take a solidarity stand to see to it that all our needs are met. Of course Eye am one man, however, though these few pages with revolutionary strength we can all liberate ourselves behind enemy lines.
Eye will be building on some topics that need to be addressed. We are the change. Therefore, we must organize, agitate, and educate. Stay on course comrades as we seize the time!!
Security Threat Group Wrongful Validation
“A healer need to see beyond the present and tomorrow. He needs to see years and decades ahead. Because healers work for results so firm that may not be wholly visible till centuries have flowed into millennia. Those willing to do this necessary work, they are the healers of our people…” - Ayi Kwei Armah
Eye am a general of the Damu Nation. Eye am wrongfully validated as “Security Threat Group” (STG) in the state of South Carolina. An STG is a classification that prisonkrats classify Lumpen Organizational members who they fear pose a threat.
The so-called threat can be educating, organizing, agitating, litigating, money getter, and/or violent. In my as well as many it’s all of the above, however all these pigs have on STG’s are Confidential Inmates (C.I.’s). When pigs validate you they place – rather kidnap – you and hold you hostage in segregation.
The only way off of a STG validation is by “snitching”, make parole, max-out, win through lawsuits, or you die. All sorts of foolishness can get you validated such as wearing flags, tattoos, literature, violence, snitches, and just being in a leadership position. Be mindful who you associate with, watch what you do and say etc.
Amerikkka’s prison colonies have contracts with other prisons throughout Amerikkka. When pigs consider you a threat they will send you out-of-state to other prisons within Amerikkka. Comrades STG is not a game this label is on you for life so be very careful…PEACE.
“The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed…” - Steve Biko
Frasie v. Terhune, 283 F.3d 506 (2002)
Taylor v. Rodriguez, 238 F3d 188 (2nd Cir.2001)
Sostre v. McGinnis, 442 F.2d 179 (1971)
Incumaa v. Stirling, 2015 U.S. App. Lexis 11321 (2015)
Koch v. Lewis, 96 F. Supp. 2d 949 (2000)
Harrison v. Institutional Gang of Investigations, 2010 U.S. Dist. Lexis 14944
Rivera v. Long (2011)
Oppressed, Oppressing The Oppressed
“Our objective is the destruction of the evil system of global white supremacy and the re-assertion of our right to self-determination and the resurrection of divine humanity that we brought to the world in the beginning…” - Heru Akki Seb
As EYE build with each of you today know and overstand this – if you fail to overstand how white supremacy works, everything that you think you know will only confuse you!! EYE speak these words too because look at how “we” are carrying on? Every organization is at war with each other.
How are we supposed to fight against oppression but yet we are doing the oppressing? We sell the enemy drugs to one another. We use derogatory language towards one another. We do everything we can to destroy one another.
These prisonkrats no longer have to get “down and dirty” to infiltrate the people anymore, you know why? You have as EYE write this C.I’s (Confidential Inmates) within every lumpen organization. And these cowards are feeding all sorts of information to pigs.
Comrades today think that it is cool to be sitting in the office with female pigs running their mouth. Overstand this – pigs use the women to seek information, in return they pass the information on to the higher up pigs.
Overstand without the drug trade in prison majority of those pigs will not work back here. We have to end this oppression, all forms of it, because as of now all EYE see is agent provocateurs working against our liberation…PEACE.
What It Means To Be A Leader
“The leader who is not loyal to his trust, and to his associates, those above him and those below him, cannot long maintain his leadership. Disloyalty marks one as being less than the dust of the earth, and brings down on one’s head the contempt he deserves. Lack of loyalty is one of the major causes of failure in every walk of life…” - Napoleon Hill
EYE am sure that every lumpen organizational leader has his/her own definition for “what a leader is?” However, a leader is one who leads self first, then he/she leads others. A leader is one who judges according to his/her own actions and ways. A leader leads from the front never from the back in retreat.
A leader teaches his/her subjects the necessary knowledge and skills on how to live a productive life as men and women. A leader listens to the people effectively and intently to overstand the needs of the people.
A leader never moves off feelings or emotions nor do he/she feel fear. A leader has hands-on experience with the people and his community. A leader never plays the role of a politician, he/she is out in the field with the people he/she governs.
To be an effective leader one must know him/herself first, his/her culture, history then one recognizes his/her enemy. You must listen to the people and respond to them without lies and false hope. A leader must investigate everyone who declares themselves a member of his/her community. A leader must always educate, organize, and agitate…PEACE.
Peace Behind Enemy Lines
“Revolution is not a speed race, it is a race for he who runs to the end of his life, it is not a race for racehorses, it is a race for warhorses…” - Kwame Ture
There should not be any wars with lumpen organizations! Comrades EYE need you to overstand how oppression works – it works by turning us against us. EYE overstand that people will have differences however, our differences must stop leading to riots, stabbings, degrading one another and murder.
We must end the beef amongst the oppressed if we want to be liberated. If the various leaders within the L.O.s are not leading right he/she must be removed. The only people that can liberate us-is-us!
P.E.A.C.E means Proper Education Activates Constant Elevation, therefore we greet each other with PEACE. From me to you we all we got so we must act like it…P.E.A.C.E
There’s an ongoing debate as to why prisoners must have rights to the First Amendment, the right to free speech. Prisons often suffocate prisoners from speaking about what happens in prisons, as if it is a “security” risk. While there are elements that can pose a prison interest, most times this is not true, but prisons use flimsy excuses to prevent prisoners from telling the world what goes on. Prisons, like USP Tucson, use the Las Vegas mantra, “what happens in prison, stays in prison” (even if it’s illegal).
Let me share with you an example of prisons illegally suffocating a prisoner’s right to tell the public what is going on:
A magazine called Labyrinth published a story about two Black prisoners at a federal facility, Terre Haute, who died of asthma. Apparently, in January of 1975, a prisoner died, then in August at the same prison, another Black prisoner died of asthma.
During that time, the prison (Terre Haute) had only one respirator, which was known to have been inoperative in January when the first prisoner died. It wasn’t working when the second prisoner died either.
That is negligence. The prison’s incompetence cost two Black prisoners their lives.
However, when Labyrinth tried to send their magazines to Marion Federal Penitentiary, the prison blocked it, claiming that the article could be “detrimental to the good order and discipline” of the institution. The courts disagreed, stating that the incidents in Terre Haute, a federal facility, are newsworthy and of “great importance” (Pell v. Procuiner, 417 US. 817, 830, n.7. 94 S. Ct 2800, 2808 n.7, 41 L.Ed 2d 495 (1975)).
In that incident, the necessity to report prison negligence outweighs the prison’s vague idea that anything that happens in prison are not for the public’s ears. The public has a tremendous right to know that prisoners are dying in American prisons, and more so, if those working in prisons are indirectly, or directly, responsible for it.
Prisoners must be allowed to tell society if human beings in American prisons are treated with humane dignity, or like slaves at a plantation, or Jewish prisoners at a Concentration (and Extermination) camp. Left unchecked, this is exactly where prisons will gravitate to.
A few years ago, I personally wrote an essay about a prisoner here at USP Tucson, who was murdered while in the SHU (Special Housing Unit). I wrote that the staff knew that if they put the prisoner in a cell with a certain prisoner, that he would be killed. And so it was.
After getting the essay out, I got a letter from a law firm representing the victim’s wife. They wanted to talk to me, to get information about the staff working at the time of the murder, because USP Tucson refused to release such information. Even though staff was directly responsible for a man’s death, they refused to give the attorney the information, protecting the officers that facilitated the murder.
Sadly, I did not have such intel, because while the prison population all knew what happened, and how, most didn’t know who worked that day. A prisoner who was in the SHU that period of time, however, would have known. This is not about “safety and security” …it’s about murder.
Prisoners must be able to inform the public of what goes on in prisons, because if not, then there is no counter to prison staff brutality. Prisons like USP Tucson can toss every law over their back, and treat prisoners like dogs. They can beat a prisoner, steal their property, rape them, and no one on the outside would ever know. And, if it did get out, the prison would suppress all information and “defend the shield.” The First Amendment allows prisoners the equalizer, to hold prisons responsible for how they treat those under their custody.
Let’s be clear; the prison staff do not have the right to torment or torture prisoners, they prevent society from knowing about it; but unless prisoners get the word out, prisons will almost always violate humane treatment.
Left unchecked, prisons will always gravitate to persecution, torment, or torture. There must be a level of accountability by prisons, otherwise there would be no fear in allowing prisoners to speak.
So, let me share another recent example of why it is critical for prisoners or captives to speak. It is all too easy to prove that if prisons prohibit prisoners from writing, it gives the prison staff a green light to neglect their responsibilities.
On Friday, 18 November 2022, USP Tucson put the entire prison population on an institutional lockdown for an unknown incident. The week prior, on November 13th there was a “code red” because a prisoner at a different facility acquired a gun and would have shot an officer except the gun didn’t fire because the bullets didn’t match the gun.
Now let that marinate for a bit: how the heck did a prisoner at a federal facility acquire a gun, and what pushed such a person to that extreme? Shouldn’t that be an issue that the prison needs to look at, as far as how staff treat prisoners? It is not always just a prisoner’s fault: it takes two to tango. What did the officer do to provoke a man to such an extremity of hate that he had to get a gun? But prisons won’t look at that. There are other essays that could be written on that, but that’s for another time.
After that incident, on Sunday November 18th, another incident involving staff resulted in an immediate and excessive 30-day lockdown. All prisoners were restricted to their cells (the word “all” really needs to be defined as certain situations clearly show that the prison did not go by their own rules) with no outside movement except to the showers every 2-3 days. But, in this, there were numerous violations by the staff at USP Tucson, most with what may be legally called “deliberate intent.”
Earlier, I was attempting to make a compelling argument about the reasons why it is critical for society to hear from prisoners. Most times people think that once a person goes into a prison they lose all of their rights, this is often told to society by people working in prisons.
This is a lie.
Prisoners walk into Amerikan prisons with most of their rights, including the First Amendment, which is the freedom of speech. This is critical in the prison environment because left unchecked it will always result in prison abuse by staff. I might sound extremist when I say all, but history has clearly shown that if prisons are left to do what they want without any check on humane treatment, it always gravitates to neglect and abuse of the prisoners.
So the First Amendment allows prisoners to voice their grievances whether the prison likes it or not, to the people on the outside who have an interest in what goes on in prisons. We did not lose the right to say what is going on in prisons, in fact, who has a greater experience than us. Often times, courts use a “hands off” approach on these issues, usually deferring to the “expertise” of prison officials. I get that, but expertise does not mean these prison officials use humanitarian elements in their decision making.
So, I gave you a real example of a situation that happened here at USP Tucson; we were put on lockdown on Friday November 18th for what was identified as a “staff assault” in a separate dorm. The prison identified the perpetrator, moved him out of general population then it turned to the rest of the prison and punished them severely as if we all had a hand in it. This is called mass punishment and it is frowned on by many countries, yet the United $tates continues to use it.
I mentioned in the first part the numerous violations that USP Tucson may have committed in what is termed “deliberate intent.” This means there was no mistaking the actions the prison took, it was intended to cause harm. Here are some of the violations:
The warden never issued a memo for the official reason the prisoners were on a 30-day lockdown. If a person or people are to be punished, he or they must know why they are being punished so they can challenge it. This may very well be a violation of their due process – another constitutional right.
USP Tucson prevented prisoners from filing a grievance or a “BP.” When prisoners asked for them, the counselor flatly refused. This alone, is illegal.
Unit Team (Unit manager, case manger, counselor) avoided all prisoner questions, except legal calls or when passing out disciplinary charges. Unit team was working the entire time we were on the lockdown, but deliberately refused to do their job, avoiding all prisoners asking for help or assistance.
Unit Team refused to pass out paper, envelopes or writing instruments, prohibiting prisoners from writing. Here is the deathblow to the First Amendment. If a prisoner is refused these elements, there is no way he can communicate to the outside world.
USP Tucson violated their own policy, forcing kitchen workers to work 10-12 hours a day – every day – to prepare and clean the cafeteria. Prisoner medical orderlies, laundry workers, and selected prisoners were forced to work, but the prison refused to allow the dorm orderlies to clean the showers. This implies that the staff deemed certain prisoners “less of a security risk” than others, even though 99% of the prison population had nothing to do with the incident.
And let’s touch on the “incident” of the “staff assault.” Here is what happened, in a nut shell. USP Tucson brought a prisoner that is on a high care level, with clear and documented psychological issues, from a high-level prison. Hh has only been on the prison grounds less than a week, and the prison decided to take away his medication. Why? That makes no sense! He obviously needed it for a reason.
So, when the prisoner was refused his medication, he got angry, and assaulted an officer. This had nothing to do with the rest of the prison population.
USP Tucson never allowed prisoners a clean shower. At the point of this essay, each unit had eight shower runs the last 4 weeks. Each of the ten shower cells were used, on average 80 times and not once did staff allow the dorm orderlies to clean it, and the showers were toxic each time prisoners had to step in there.
USP Tucson prohibited the sale of stamps, nor would distribute stamps, nor would take letters without stamps. This, for 25 days, prevented prisoners from any contact with the outside world. Another deathblow to the First Amendment, and obviously, quite illegal.
This act, the one just mentioned, may be the most malicious because unless you had stamps before November 18th, you had no way to communicate with loved ones, an attorney, a church, the media, or anyone. USP Tucson violated prisoner’s First Amendment for almost a month, and ignored every request and offer to rectify the situation.
Prisoners with no stamps had no way to let loved ones know that they were okay, or alive, or if USP Tucson was beating prisoners, stealing property or doing all sorts of things to them. When families and loved ones called the prison, many were told that we were on a “COVID-19 lockdown”. That was a lie. With no accountability, staff were free to be inhumane, for almost a month. This includes a “shakedown” where the prison took easily tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal and legal property from prisoners and threw them away or took them to their families for Christmas.
When the prisoners lose their First Amendment, when prisons like USP Tucson rob people of this protected right, it immediately opens the door to mistreatment. It always happens. Without fail. It is said in a case law, Thomburg v. Abbot, that
“A prison ban on prisons sending letters that complain of internal conditions in the institution restricted the First Amendment in two ways: one, the prisoner’s right to free speech is curtailed and two, the public’s right to know what is happening within the prison system, a right that can only be fulfilled through an informed press, is restricted.”
For four weeks, I didn’t have the chance to tell people what USP Tucson was doing to us. For 25 days, I could not let my mother know that I was still alive. For 25 days I could not tell society that these federal prison staff officers had denied us humane showers, stole property, and practiced slave labor.
For 25 days we were tortured and nobody knew until now.
This is why prisoners MUST write. And just wait until you read what I share after the four weeks ended, and we were finally able to find out everything that happened around the prison.