Link to Critique:
A Look at the Free Alabama Movement https://itsgoingdown.org/look-free-alabama-movement/?_e_pi_=7%2CPAGE_ID10%2C3211025623 —
As an inside/outside supporter standing in solidarity of the FAM, it is my duty as a comrade and supporter of FAM to respond to the critique of the FAM post on January 25, 2016 on the site, Its Going Down. This response is by no means to disregard the opinion of the author; however a response is much needed to clarify the actions, works, and accomplishments of the FAM.I would like to begin by addressing the opening quote by the author of the article.
It was stated, “Non-violence is itself just an insidious hypocritical form of violence, a sign of certain people’s inability to stand up for themselves as human beings. “ As a comrade of the FAM I know that the members have been taught, studied, and duplicated the works of many leaders such as; Civil Rights Leaders, Revolutionaries, Political and Spiritual Leaders from our history and current times. The actions of such leaders were not always supported by violencebut were effective forms of actions that led to manyaccomplishmentsthat brought change. Leaders such as Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and The Black Panther Party were of great minds that were often met with a level of violence; however, in most cases they chose to use their minds versus violence. This choice did not deem them as unable to stand up for themselves nor the rights of the people.One of the easiest things for the inactive to do is criticize works of the active without suggesting or offering any form of a solution. It is also the actions of a reactionary to cause more damage by using violence, especially if the violence is not being used in effort to defend a cause or for protection.
To criticize the works of FAM in such a blistering manner suggest hate and envy towards FAM, the movement and its supporters inside and out. After carefully reviewing your article, what “you” considered to be a critique of the actions of FAM, was more so an attack geared towards discrediting the works and accomplishmentsof the FAM. Also, I do recall that you mentioned that you “sincerely” hoped that FAM changes its mode of action and incorporate a diversity of actions into its tactics when it came to fighting the state. You continued to state that you hope that FAM abandons it reformist goals where strengthening the state. I am very curious to know, how effective would it be to approach the state in a violent manner in effort to change, reform, or repeal laws. It is the right of the people to hold those who are place in these offices accountable for their actions, policies, and procedures without jeopardizing the safety of those of the movement inside and out.The use of the non-violent approach being used by FAM is based on multiple reasons, one, as I stated, is the safety of the members and supporters (insideand out), using the knowledge gained by extensive research in its proper manner, and attacking this system on the economic basis in which this system is thriving on.
The sole reason why Mass Incarceration exsist is due to a profit based agenda.It was the portrayal of violence and violent related crimes that led the majority of those incarcerated to end up behind prison walls. “You” being a previous participant and observer (as you so stated)have knowledge that the strategic planning, organization mobilization of the FAM in January 2014, cost the state of Alabama millions of dollars during days of the work stoppage, also sparking the attention of the state and the awareness of the nation to finally recognize that changes needed to be made in the system. This system capitalizes on the suffrage of the men, women and their families not only in the state of Alabama, but across the nation. The only thing the system (naming the ADOC, law makers, corporations, and politicians, etc.) understands is the bottom line (money). The only way to fight this profiting system is to attack its investments and industries economically (non-violently)by the use of work stoppages, labor strikes, sit downs, and more importantly boycotts with the aide and assistance of the outside ( family members, organizations, and those who view this draconian system as unjust) standing in solidarity, once again non-violently.
Now if met with violence, it would only be of human nature to defend one’s self “by any means necessary”, in the words of Malcolm X. It is unfortunate that you and the media have mislabeled and misinterpreted the so called “riot “that occurred on August 1, 2016 as an act of violence instead of resistance to the unjust actions of the ADOC. However, FAM and its supporters deemed these actions as “the language of the unheard”, as stated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It isevident that you have not paid close attention of theplans of the ADOC and state officials that it is more important to build more prisons to combat the over crowdedness instead of repealing laws, revamping the parole system, and implementing rehabilitation programs (as stated in the FAM Freedom Bill) in effort to lower the recidivism rates and restore families and communities.
It is the lack of knowledge and ignorance of those, including yourself that aide in the efforts of the state to allocate money to be allowed to build more prisons. My question to you is what other way do you think they will get this money? Simply put, it is to create situations of violence to show and prove that it is necessary to provide money for the building of new prisons to continue this profit making process. It is also amusing that you have missed this concept considering you are a part of this process just as much as those who participated in the “riot”. Furthermore, it is sad that those who work for this system recognize the acts of the administration and have expressed to the members of FAM in conversation, documentation, and participation of the movement that they too agree that some actionneeds to be taken not only on the behalf of the inmates, but also themselves, as they suffer as welldue to lack of pay and their safety. Unbeknownst to you, FAM is in possession of this proof and this information. This information has been dispersed tothose who are trusted to disclose this information to assist in bringing awareness to this situation.One thing that I do agree is that FAM has been excellent at spreading the information and raising the awareness to people on the outside. However, I do not agree that they have failed to spread and articulate this same awareness inside the prisons inthe state of Alabama, January 2014 Shutdown, May Day (May 1st), and September 9 are indications thatthe information were well disseminated and well received in the inside for those who were receptive of the information. FAM has and will utilize continuous efforts to continue spreading the word about their goal, which is Freedom and Humane Treatment. I will admit that it will not reach everyone, but it will not stop them from trying nor will it stop this Movement.
To say that the work stoppages that occurred on the fore mentioned dates were ineffective is ludicrous due to the fact that the work stoppages cost the state millions in lost revenue, brought the awareness of the Alabama (tax paying) public, and the nation that there is a serious problem. It also revealed to the prisoners that are being used as slave laborers that we the people have the power to change this system.More importantly, FAM recognizes that the people must be educated as to the root cause of Mass Incarceration, Prison Labor, and legalized slavery can only survive under the protection of the U.S. Constitution by way of the 13th Amendment which states that: slavery is abolished with the exception of one duly convicted in a court of law. This education must be applied to those on the inside and outside in order to raise awareness so that this can be effectively combated.You stated, “In order to end prison slavery, prison society must be destroyed and the same goes for Mass Incarceration. I would advise prison rebels to not allow so-called free-world allies to dictate how we fight. We really don’t need allies, we need accomplices, conspirators.” This is the rhetoric of a fool! Until FAM organized the work stoppages, labor strikes, and shut downs, NO ACTION had been taken by the masses of prisoners to bring raises awareness about the system of Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery on a state, national, and even international level.
My questions to you and those who you have “talked” to, what organizing and plan of actions have “you” taken to attack the very conditions you are currently under?In closing, your attempts to slander and denigrate FAM are without merit and support. Also in regards to the “Peace Summit” you referred to, the peace that was brokered at Holman was done so by members of FAM, UPU (Universal Peace and Unity) religious communities, militant communities, and those affiliated with youth organizations this peace was brokered by THE PEOPLE working in unity and solidarity. The person, to whom you are attempting to slander, Kinetik Justice, has worked tiredly and effortlessly on the behalf of the people to be a voicefor the voiceless and to bring awareness to the squalor, pain, and suffering of the incarcerated in Alabama and across the nation. You do NOTHING and have done NOTHING, yet you attempt to slander and discredit a movement based assumption that only Facebook post is the cause of being placed him in solitary confinement for the past three years and as of current date. Kinetik Justice, Ra Sun, and Dhati Khalid (FAM 3) have duplicated the actions of our most prominent leaders for the fight for Freedom, Justice, and Equality which definitely constitute them as being leaders.
FAM QUEEN Team UPU (Universal Peace and Unity)