Feb. POC Politcal Prisoner Birthdays

VERONZA BOWERS JR.
35316-136 | USP-Atlanta | Box 150160
Atlanta, GA 30315

Feb. 4., 1946
Veronza Bowers Jr. is a former Black Panther Party member framed for the murder of a U.S. Park Ranger. He is being illegally held past his 30 year sentence, making him one of the longest-held political prisoners in U.S. history. http://veronza.org

ALBERT WOODFOX
(SHAKA CINQUE)
#72148 | NIA #3-CCR | David Wade
Correctional Center | 670 Bell Hill Rd.
Homer, LA 71040

Feb. 19, 1947
Shaka Cinque, formerly known as Albert Woodfox is part of the Angola 3, three Black Panthers, put in solitary confinement for decades in Angola Prison,Louisiana after being framed for the death of a prison guard. Robert Hillary King has been released but Herman Wallace continues to be wrongly imprisoned alongside Shaka. Address envelope to Albert Woodfox, address card to Shaka. http://angola3.org

FREDDIE HILTON (KAMAU SADIKI)
#0001150688
Augusta State Medical Prison, Bldg
13A-2 E7 | 3001 Gordon Highway
Grovetown, GA 30813

Feb. 19
Kamau Sadiki is a former member of the Black Panther Party and was convicted of a 30-year old murder case of a Fulton County Police Officer found shot to death in his car outside a service station. Address envelope to Freddie Hilton, address card to Kamau freekamau.org

BYRON SHANE CHUBBUCK
#07909051 | USP Florence High | U.S.
Penitentiary | P.O. Box 7000
Florence, CO 81226

Feb. 26, 1967
Byron Shane “Oso Blanco” Chubbuck is an Indigenous rights activist serving 80 years for bank robbery, aggravated assault on the FBI, escape and firearms charges. A confidential informant reported that Oso was robbing banks in order to acquire funds to support the Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico throughout 1998-99. Address envelope to Byron Chubbuck, address card to Oso Blanco. http://osoblanco.org

Taken from: http://zinelibrary.info/files/February-Political-Prisoner-Poster.pdf

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“Resistance Behind Bars: The Struggles of Incarcerated Women” by Victoria Law

2nd edition cover!

Second Edition, 2012, PM Press

In the introduction, ex-Weather Underground cadre and Resistance Conspiracy Case political prisoner Laura Whitehorn describes her nine months in a Baltimore City Jail that preceded her 14 years in prison.  The recent growth of support for prisoners and prison statistics in the U$ are also described in their context of the ever growing Prison Industrial Complex.

She notes how Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow describes how the government’s so-called War on Drugs has been an attack on Black communities, but doesn’t address women in prison, whose numbers have grown far faster in proportion to men in recent years.

Interspersed with a review of Law’s book, Whitehorn goes on to write about her own time in federal prison.

The Author’s Introduction starts with Law’s personal story of friends going to jail starting when she was 15, and her own arrest for armed robbery when she was 16.  Her radicalization through this process including visiting friends in jail and all the other people she met there, co-founding a free books to prisoners group, co-curating a prisoner art show, and her research on prisoner organizing, and how she refused to believe women prisoners didn’t organize.  The story of this research going from a school paper to a ‘zine, then eventually this book is told.

In an Overview Law outlines the statistics representing the incarceration of women in the U$ and racial profiling.  She also writes about the lack of written material on women prisoners, the general lack of knowledge on women prisoners’ resistance such as the 1974 August Rebellion in New York’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility or the riot at the North Carolina Correctional Center for Women the following year.

Law goes on to describe various challenges to organizing in prison, especially retaliation.  She also examines the social control aspect of prisons and how and why reformatories of the early 20th century were only for women.

What follows in a lot of ways, is a book formatted more like a ‘zine, with the following chapters simply entitled with their specific subjects, then broken down into very specific, labeled sub-sections.  At the same time, there are extensive end notes for those who are interested in doing further research.

In UNLIKELY COMMUNITIES, mutual aid, in-depth AIDS education done by and for prisoners, and support groups for battered women and lifers are all described, including the political struggles of women who fought to attain and got their clemency granted.

In BARRIERS TO BASIC CARE Law starts off with how “In 1976, in Estello v. Gamble the Supreme Court ruled that deliberate indifference to a prisoner’s serious medical needs violates the Eighth Amendment.” but then goes on to explain how despite this ruling, prisoners’ health care continues to be neglected all too often, even to the point of death.  Law focuses on how this relates to women’s health, such as in cases of pregnancy and breast cancer.

This format of hard hitting facts and statistics, followed by personal stories of prisoners is another basic element of the book.  Continuing along these lines, Law describes the struggles of mothers in prison in the next chapter.

Sexual Abuse, and the struggle for accountability is the subject of the next chapter.  Education, both for credit and peer to peer is covered in the next chapter.  Prison labor is covered in the next chapter,  followed by an entire chapter about the general struggle for better conditions in the prisons both through grievances and lawsuits, and using media. 

The next chapter goes even further into the media aspect.  Going from the corporate media of the previous chapter, this one’s sub-sections include Utilizing Radical Feminist Media, Working with Prisoner Rights Groups, Creating their Own Media, and New Possibilities:  Utilizing E-mail, to explain some of the various ways female prisoners have used or created media outside of the bourgeoise press.  Forbidden Words details prison mailroom censorship and in Getting Their Words Out, Law describes distribution, or lack there of, of women prisoners’ writings. 

The next chapter is about Women in Immigrant Detention Centers, followed by a full length chapter on the history of the Prison Industrial Complex.  After the glossary is an extensive resources list, with the contact information and a paragraph description of some 61 different groups.  Though I did notice one big error here; she lists South Chicago ABC’s address to be in Minneapolis.  For a moment, I thought maybe they were another group of that name in MPLS since I belive there’s a North-South street there named Chicago, but… it’s the address for Boneshaker Books, or so the oracle tells me.  You can actually write them at:

S. Chi ABC ‘Zine Distro

PO Box 721

Homewood, IL 60430

They carry two ‘zines by Law, free for indigent prisoners!  Anthony Rayson, who is mentioned twice in Law’s book is the main person behind S Chi ABC.  He’s retiring and can use help!   

Law also suggests these other groups for prisoner resource lists:  http://www.prisonactivist.org, http://www.criticalresistance.org, http://www.prisonbookprogram.org/nprl.php and http://www.fcnetwork.org.

RECOMMENDED READING includes a paragraph synopsis each of 15 books, five periodicals, and eight reports.

Afterwards is A NOTE ABOUT TRANSGENDER, TRANSSEXUAL, INTERSEX AND GENDER-VARIANT PEOPLE IN PRISON which is a chapter length addition to the second volume, the first one having only one story.

And in the epilogue, Law points out how the stories collected in the book “are only the tip of the iceberg.”  She goes on to explain how touring the U$ after the first edition came out, she learned many stories some of which she includes here.

Law also describes acts of women’s resistance behind bars that have occurred since 2010, and tells stories of outside activism of female ex-convicts. 

Recent radio appearance by the author:  http://prisonbooks.info/2012/11/05/victoria-law-on-the-struggles-of-incarcerated-women/#more-1826

Author’s page on PM Press includes a couple videos on the youtube:  http://www.pmpress.org/content/article.php?story=vikkilaw

January POC Political Prisoner Birthdays

January 1, 1956

William Phillips Africa
AM4984

SCI Dallas

Follies Road, Drawer K

Dallas, PA 18612

William is one of the people who make up the MOVE 9. There are currently eight MOVE activists in prison each serving 100 years after being framed for the murder of a cop in 1979. The 9th defendant, Merle Africa, died in prison in 1998. MOVE is an eco-revolutionary group dedicated to liberation struggles.

http://www.onamove.com

January 6, 1943

Oscar Lopez Rivera

87651-024

U.S.P. Terre Haute

P.O. Box 33

Terre Haute, IN 4780

Oscar Lopez Rivera is a Puerto Rican Independista and political prisoner serving 70 years for seditious conspiracy. He is the only remaining Independista remaining behind bars, the other eleven were granted clemency by President Clinton.

http://boricuahumanrights.org

January 14, 1937

Sundiata Acoli

(C. Squire)

39794-066

FCI CUMBERLAND

P.O. Box 1000

Cumberland, MD 21501

Sundiata Acoli is a New Afrikan political prisoner of war. A tireless worker for black liberation, Sundiata was a prominent member of the Harlem chapter of the Black Panther Party. Continually targeted by the FBI’s illegal COINTELPRO operation, Sundiata continued the struggle underground with the Black Liberation Army. In 1973 he, Zayd and Assata Shakur were ambushed by New Jersey state troopers. Zayd Shakur was killed, while Assata was wounded and taken into custody. One state trooper was killed in the attack and another injured. In a politically charged and biased trial Sundiata was sentenced to life plus 30 years.

http://www.sundiataacoli.org

January 14, 1948

Herman Bell

79-C-0262

Great Meadow Correctional Facility

11739 State Route 22

P.O. Box 51

Comstock, NY 12821-0051

Herman Bell is a former Black Panther framed for the murder of a police officer in New York and is serving 25 years in prison.

http://www.freethesf8.org

January 15, 1946

Joseph “Joe-Joe” Bowen

AM-4272

1 Kelley Drive

Coal Township, PA 17866-1021

“Joe-Joe” Bowen is a Black Liberation Army Prisoner of War, serving two life sentences for the assassination of a prison warden and deputy warden, as well as an attempted prison break which resulted in a five-day standoff.

http://www.thejerichomovement.com

Taken from:  http://prisonbookscollective.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/january.pdf