ADOC targets Black Newspaper For Reporting on Prisons 

The ADOC continues its efforts to muzzle the voices that are raising up behind prison walls. In their latest move, the ADOC has finally put into writing what it has been unwritten policy for the past 18 months: banning the San Francisco Bay View Newspaper from all ADOC prisons.

The pretextual reason for the ban, according to the ADOC, is that the newspaper is “racially motivated.” What the ADOC ignores is that its own existence is “racially motivated.” As many readers of the Bay View know, this newspaper extends its platform to the entire Black community, including those incarcerated in America’s prisons.

It was the Bay View Newspaper that started the coverage of FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, when no other news agency would, and their support never wavered. In addition, Bay View has continued to support ALL Movements being lead to end prison slavery in America, including in Alabama.

As a result of the current ban, a subscriber to the newspaper, Michael Williams, who is incarcerated at Holman prison, has went on a hunger strike in protest. The ADOC has banned many other publications over the past 3 years of any entity that covers the corruption and scandal that is the ADOC.

We encourage all of our supporters to make phone calls to the prison in support of Mr. Williams, and to demand that this unconstitutional ban be lifted. In addition, we encourage our supporters to contact legislatures in the House of Representatives and request that they investigate these attempts by the ADOC to stifle free speech and press, where ADOC officials are attempting to ban critique of their illicit practices from being exposed, while they seek over 350 million dollars in taxpayer funds to build new houses of horror and torture.

If ADOC wants to ban “racially motivated ” activity or ideology from spreading, perhaps they should start with the death penalty and habitual offender laws, which are used to disproportionately incarcerate Black people in the State.

Alabama Department of Corrections to be investigated for civil rights violations, by the Department of Justice


Above you see pictures taken by incarcerated men throughout multiple prisons in Alabama.These pictures depict only a few of the many inhumane conditions including but not limited to improper ventilation, smoke infested state buildings, improper plumbing, accessibility to homemade and real weapons, lack of security and in sanitary kitchens.

 These are only a few pictures that have been accumulated over the years. But most shockingly above you will see an inmate in a lockup cell at at Ventress Correctional Facility, that is hanging from a makeshift rope. Notably there is no correctional officer any where around and inmates were able to photograph this horrific scene.Thus giving credence to the claims of “no security”inside the prisons in Alabama. 

 The other alarming sight is the accessibility to obtain dangerous weapons. In a picture above you see knives that are in the possession of an inmate that bought them to keep them from falling into the wrong hands.

You also see urinals that are overflowing with urin on an everyday basis, as well as unsanitary kitchen’s. These are contributing reasons to a high rate if disease within Alabama’s prison system.

You also can see evidence of improper exhaust systems, as well as the illegal act of smoking by inmates and officers…if you look closely in the picture of the officer sitting on the stairwell you’ll see a cigarette in his hand.

Four years civil complaints have been filed with these affirmative allegations and the Alabama Department of Corrections deny that these things occur. 

Now that the Department of Justice is intervening will they themselves ignore the overwhelming evidence? 

                               Unheard voices.

Is The corruption in the Alabama Department of Corrections on the verge of being exposed?

(Governor Robert Bentley)

 This morning after breaking news from the Department of Justice in Washington that there will be an investigation in relations to the civil rights violations of thousands of incarcerated men and women, Robert Bentley, commissioner Jeffery Dunn, Grantt Gulliver, and so many more involved sweat bullets.

 During yesterday’s breaking news inmates across the state in facility dorms, and t.v.day rooms you could hear a pen drop. At the conclusion of the news you heard sighs of relief, sniffles and a few sobs, but big smiles grew as a sign of victory in a battle fought. 

 Convicts and officers across the state are now starting to see hope and anticipating the soon to come investigation and expecting results and positive change for the first time in the history of Alabama.

Today two of the most listened to voices sit in solitary confinement for starting this movement in Alabama.A movement that has grown and spread throughout this nation. These men were placed in solitary for exercising there 1st amendment rights of freedom of speech, and now are huge threats to the Alabama Department of Corrections in exposing the injustices. 

  The convicts and many correctional officers of Alabama are now calling upon the leaders of Alabama to release these political prisoners from solitary confinement at Holman prison and Donaldson prison.(Melvin Ray, and Robert Earl Council).

 This morning the prison activist groups Free Alabama Movement and UNHEARD VOICES chant we won’t be silenced, we will be heard!

 

ADOC has effectively ran their workforce off – September 30th, 2016

Only 7 cars in the HOLMAN parking lot, only 3 officers for Death Row and Segregation, Officer just confirmed that it’s over, as all CO’s are quitting this coming week ~”We’re tired of them playing games with y’all and our lives. It doesn’t make any sense. You be safe Lil Brother.”

Well they told me they had something planned,  now I see what it is.

The Administration has effectively ran their workforce off. Smh

Three-part Plan of Action 2015

Establish a Headquarters at a prison or other place of mass incarceration in your city/county/state. Establish a protest cite at a MCDonald’s in your city/county/state.

Read our Plan Of Action 2015 article:

LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELDS: A Call For A New Strategy in The National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery – Short Version [Link: https://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/let-the-crops-rot-in-the-fields/ ]

By FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

Join the National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery today.

Support the Strike at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Alabama!

This is a press release sent out by the Ida B. Wells Coalition: 

Scroll down plz for Updates!

Support the Strike at St. Clair Correctional Facility in Alabama!

Today, 48 hours before a peaceful work stoppage starts on Sunday, March 1, at St Clair Correctional Facility (SCCF) in Springville, Ala., riot police have been sent to the prison to beat, torture, and intimidate the men incarcerated at SCCF, whose demands include an end to severe overcrowding and filthy living conditions.

[Note added 2/28: the EJI is lawyer in a class action lawsuit against St. Clair CF, plz contact them too or forward yoru emails to contact_us@eji.org or call them also and ask them to take note and communicate with their clients: 334-269-1803. See below for update. Thank you]

Here’s how you can support the strike and help stop the brutality against the prisoners:contact_us@eji.org

  1. Call SCCF’s warden, Carter Davenport, at (205)467-6111. Tell him to stop the retaliation against the prisoners, who have a right to peacefully protest against their inhumane treatment.
  2. Send an email to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC). Go to the ADOC’s website, http://www.doc.state.al.us. Click contact us and then click constituent services. Type your message, addressing it to Warden Carter Davenport. Before sending your message, please sign it. (You don’t have to give your address.)
  3. Spread the word to others. We must flood the prison with phone calls and the ADOC with email.

JoNina Ervin – Memphis Black Autonomy Federation, Email:  organize.the.hood@gmail.com

Anthony Rayson – Ida B. Wells Coalition Against Racism and Police Brutality, Email: – idabwellsinkc@gmailcom

Background:

On January 1st, 2014, the Free Alabama Movement was launched as a cross-racial collective action, with work stoppages at Holman, St. Clair and Elmore Correctional Facilities.

This is an inside-outside solidarity network that is working closely with the Ida B. Wells Coalition.  We are looking to broaden the support for these courageous and conscious prisoners.

Literature created by these prisoners is available through the South Chicago ABC Zine Distro / P.O. Box 721 / Homewood, IL 60430.  Check their website, etc.

Freealabamamovement.com

Free Alabama Movement  /  P.O. Box 186  / New Market, Alabama  35761

Blog:  Freealabamamovement.wordpress.com

Twitter @FREEALAMOVEMENT

Internet Radio:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freealabamamovement

YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC88hKOWZ7PKGaTMPpLMTA w

Antonia Brooks:  256.783.1044     Latosha Scott:  334.322.8989


Update 2/28:

Thanks to the efforts from the People who supported F.A.M. this morning and afternoon, the Riot Team has been ordered to leave St. Clair prison. Yet again, Brian Stevenson (EJI) seems to continue to screen his calls from the family members of the men at St. Clair.

Equal Justice Initiative has filed a class action lawsuit, but they have not returned to the prison to take any steps to protect the men from retaliation from the ADOC. In fact, despite several requests to do so, EJI and Brian Stevenson have not sent any notifications to the “class” that they claim to represent informing them of how to report retaliation or new claims.

No monitors or class representatives have been put in place at St. Clair, and many of the men at St. Clair don’t even know that the “class action” lawsuit includes them. If you have a loved one at St. Clair, we are asking that you contact EJI and demand that Brian Stevenson protect the class of plaintiffs that he and his “experts” will be getting PAID to represent.

Website: EJI.org

Contact: http://eji.org/contact

Equal Justice Initiative
122 Commerce St.
Montgomery, Alabama 36104

Phone: 334-269-1803
Fax: 334-269-1806
Email: contact_us@eji.org


 

LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELDS (short version)

LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELDS:
A Call For New Strategy in The National Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery – Short Version
By Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT

After a period of over 40 years of an accelerated rate of incarceration, the issue of Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery have now reached its crescendo.

Spurred on by factors that included racism, capitalism, free labor, and a politically motivated desire to provide jobs to a valued voting block of rural, conservative white citizens by building prisons in rural and agricultural areas that had been decimated by the Industrial Revolution and the outsourcing of jobs to China, India, Indonesia, etc.

Then, once the prisons were built, the government manufactured a “war on drugs” designed to fill those newly built prisons with black, brown and poor whites who had been rendered unemployable by corporate downsizing and outsourcing in the early 70’s, and who were considered a strain on social programs, unwanted competitors for limited jobs, and ideal candidates for corporations that needed a large labor pool for forced slave labor.

Mass incarceration has now culminated in a for-profit Prison Industrialized Complex that now holds over 2.5 million men, women and children hostage for the sole and exclusive purpose of exploitation and free labor.

Today, January 2015, the people in America’s prisons, mostly black, brown (and white), and all poor, now make up a free (or penny wages) labor force for a 500 billion dollar per-year industry that is producing a range of products and providing services so broad and extensive that it touches every area of the U.S. economy.

Virtually EVERY person in prison, our families, friends and supporters, and even every organization that states that they are against mass incarceration prison slavery, are all contributing financially to the very companies that are exploiting the people through mass incarceration and prison slavery.

Have you ate at McDonald’s or Wendy’s lately? Shopped at WalMart or Victoria’s Secret? How about that Dell computer? Have you used a customer service center? Where do you bank at, Wells Fargo? Are you in the military? Have you seen a soldier in that finely stitched uniform with night vision goggles? Do you work for a State University or agency that gets its furniture repaired somewhere?? Or that purchases large amounts of cleaning supplies, or hand-made brooms, mops, etc.? How many of these companies do you do business with?

Well, if you get up out of the bed and do anything more than breathe, chances are you contribute to the bottom line of a company that is engaged in warehousing millions of people for exploitation through mass incarceration and prison slavery.

Just to get a general idea of how pervasive this modern-day forced labor, i.e. slave system is, check out this article titled: Corporations Involved in Profiting off Prison Labour. Prison for Profit Dirty Secrets1 :

“Prison labor— with no union protection, overtime pay, vacation days, pensions, benefits, health and safety protection, or Social Security withholding — also makes complex components for McDonnell Douglas/Boeing’s F-15 fighter aircraft, the General Dynamics/Lockheed Martin F-16, and Bell/Textron’s Cobra helicopter. Prison labor produces night-vision goggles, body armor, camouflage uniforms, radio and communication devices, and lighting systems and components for 30-mm to 300-mm battleship anti-aircraft guns, along with land mine sweepers and electro-optical equipment for the BAE Systems Bradley Fighting Vehicle’s laser rangefinder. Prisoners recycle toxic electronic equipment and overhaul military vehicles.”

For a listing of the many other companies, products and services, read the article: Corporations Involved in Profiting off Prison Labour. Prison for Profit Dirty Secrets2:

Don’t Trust the Mainstream Media

All across America, one can’t turn on the news, read a newspaper, or follow social media without seeing that mass incarceration and prison slavery (‘corrections’ or ‘prisons’ in mainstream terms) have become a national problem. The ‘problem’ though, as being reported in the mainstream media (msm), is not about the human devastation that mass incarceration has wrought, but about the costs associated with maintaining budgets to keep so many people in prison.

The mainstream media, which is controlled by the business elite no less that our current politicians, are reporting on this ‘problem,’ but with no real solutions being offered.

CAUTION: I must add that the reason the msm is reporting on this issue is because the prison profiteers are promoting a ‘reform’ plan to the public that in reality is a new scheme that has been thoroughly exposed by N. Heitzeg and K. Whitlock in their Smoke and Mirrors series,3 to expand the privatized prison industry directly into the communities with community corrections, privatized parole/probation, drug rehabilitation centers, traffic court, and more, with the sole purpose of releasing low levels offenders, who will then be required to pay a ransom to enjoy a semblance of freedom.

Simply stated, every facet of the criminal justice enterprise will be contracted out to private for-profit businesses, and the human traffickers who own these businesses will become the new slave masters. The businessmen and women will make their campaign contributions, the politicians will ensure that the laws are in place, the police with make the arrest, the prosecutors and judges will guarantee the convictions, and the prisoner will be a slave.

The New Strategy: Using Direct Economic Action to Affect Change

When determining the best strategy to challenge Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery, it is essential that we step back and take a look at the entire system. We must identify the fundamentals of what makes this system work and why this system exists. Once we thoroughly understand the underpinnings of the system of Mass Incarceration we can begin to see why the old strategies and tactics have not and will not bring about any meaningful change. Then we can begin developing a New Strategy that attacks Mass Incarceration at its core.

Just like the Institution of Chattel Slavery, Mass Incarceration is in essence an Economic System which uses human beings as its nuts and bolts. Therefore, our new approach must be Economically based, and must be focused on the factors of production- the people being forced into this slave labor.

Our Three-Part Strategy

1) Organize prison shutdowns at prisons with major economic industries (tag plants, fleet services, food distribution centers, agriculture, etc.)

2) Call for a nationwide leaflet campaign, protests, and boycotts of McDonald’s restaurants, which is one of the major corporation that has a national presence and that benefits from prison slavery, in addition to others like WalMart, Victoria Secret, AT&T, Wells Fargo Banks, Wendy’s, GEO/CCA private prison companies that are listed on the NYSE, and more.

3) Having our families, friends, supporters, activists, and others holding protests at the prisons where the people are mass incarcerated and oppressed.

PART 1 : “SHUTDOWNS/WORK STRIKES”

1) Organize prison shutdowns at prisons with major economic industries (tag plants, fleet services, food distribution centers, agriculture, etc.)

Remember, we are working against a half trillion dollar system that is controlled by businessmen and women who are the modern-day slave profiteers. And just like any business, their focus is on the bottom line. From this viewpoint, we must organize work stoppages at prisons with economic industries that are operated by slave labor. The impact of a work stoppage is immediate and significant, as production is shutdown and profit margins plummet around the country.

Believe me, if you want to have commissioners, politicians and the like hunting you down, organize a strike. You won’t have to call them, because they will call you. Prison industry is more than just license plates. Now it includes military, food, clothes, mining, recycling, call centers, car parts, cleaning supplies, printing, and so much more.

And when we organize, we have to demand that real “reforms” take place that will afford everyone an opportunity to earn our freedom, NOT JUST EARN A CHECK FOR OUR LABOR, and that fundamental changes be made throughout the system.

Experience has shown us at FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT that this approach is more effective than hunger strikes, marching and writing letters combined, as those strategies will only bring publicity, lip service and some changes, while work stoppages shut down the entire economic system and gets directly into their pockets, which brings the movers and shakers to the prison for negotiations.

PART 2: McDonald’s

Ronald McDonald: A Slavery Master in Clown’s Clothing !!!!

When deciding on which company to protest we have to devise a strategy that we can use nationwide: We can’t boycott all companies because there are simply too many corporations involved. What we have to do is focus on just one of them at a time that uses prison slave labor and that is large enough and visible enough to bring a true awareness about prison slavery, and target that one.

Starting off we have identified McDonald’s as a company that presents itself as family-oriented, but which uses prison slavery to produce a number of goods:

“McDonald’s uses inmates to produce frozen foods. Inmates process beef for patties. They may also process bread, milk and chicken products.”4

We will start off our McDonald’s protest by locating and reaching out to the people in the prisons where McDonald’s products are produced. At the same time, we will begin letter-writing campaigns to their investors and shareholders, while also leaving leaflets/pamphlets on the cars of their customers at McDonald’s restaurants nationwide, and organize protests at their storefronts, in a mall or headquarters, or wherever we can, and call for boycotts of their stores to force then to stop using products that are manufactured by forced prison slave labor.

But we focus all of our attention on one corporation at a time, instead of using a scattered approach of multiple orgs spread out thinly over several corporate fronts.
When one falls, we move on to the next prison profiteer, which can be Victoria’s Secret, Wal Mart, GEO, CCA, JPay, Keefe, or something.

Part 3: Consolidating our Resources

HAVING OUR FAMILIES, FRIENDS, ACTIVISTS, AND SUPPORTERS ALL GALVANIZED AT A SELECT PRISON TO ENGAGE IN PROTESTS AND TO SHOW SUPPORT FOR THE PEOPLE ON THE INSIDE WHO ARE BEING OPPRESSED.

This strategic move is just as important as the strikes, because it brings all of the people together who oppose mass incarceration and prison slavery. We can’t have a unified Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery if we are in a long-distance relationship with our supporters, organizers, activists and others who support our cause. We have to get everyone organized at the prisons, so that we can confront the system at the site of its oppression: the prisons.

By having our supporters in one location for each State, we maximize our resources, increase our strength in numbers, and we move with a unified front.
Very little can be done by the State at this point except to meet our demands.

The protests against police brutality are taking place at police stations. The workers at Wal Mart are protesting at WalMart. The Occupy Wall Street Movement protested on Wall Street. Therefore, the Movement and fight against mass incarceration must take place at the prisons !!!

“The Old Way”

Now, let’s take a look at the familiar strategies of Movement Against Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery, and see why we need a change in strategy:

1) Hunger Strikes
2) Marches and Protests at State Capitols, (as opposed to demonstrations at the prisons where they should be)
3) Letter writing campaigns, petitions and phone calls, etc.

1) HUNGER STRIKES
The demonstrations put on by the Men and Women in California (and Georgia, Washington State, and Texas) showed us all that with leadership and unity, we can defeat mass incarceration with the right strategy. But, we also learned that, while we did see progess in some areas, it has a minimal impact on the system of mass incarceration.

We have to strategize with the understanding that we are dealing with modern day slave profiteers. These businessmen will gladly let us die from starvation so long as their assembly lines keep moving.

“Leasing convicts to private businesses made a tidy fortune for both state and local governments, especially after slaves were emancipated. In 1878, 73% of Alabama’s entire state revenue came from prison labor. Reconstruction-era plantation owners, though, were hardly incentivized to care about their charges: When any of their starving workers died, they simply asked the state for new ones, at no cost to their bottom line.”5

The net effect on the bottom line from a hunger strike is negligible. This is not going to get the response we need, so we have to do more.

2) MARCHES
Sure, the traditional marches bring attention to issues and they bring people together, but they simply don’t bring about much results. If we must march, then let’s March at the prisons where mass incarceration and prison slavery are taking place at.
As I said above, when the people protest against police brutality in Ferguson, Memphis, and California, they are doing it at the police stations.

When “BANTHEBOAT”-activists protested in support of Palestine, they protested at ports. We have to ask ourselves: If we are protesting against mass incarceration and prison slavery, then why aren’t we doing it at the prisons where our economic strength can be felt?

Just like we saw in California with the hunger strikes, the families and supporters showed their support at the prison. The people in the prisons can see that support and receive the boost in morale that will be needed to carry this thing through. The meeting place is at the prisons!!!

3) LETTER WRITING, PETITIONS, ETC.
Letter writing campaigns and making phone calls are still effective, but we have to change who we are targeting and what we are attempting to communicate.

Letters/calls help when written to alternative media sources and other activists, organizations and supporters of our Movement, to let them know that we are striking so that we can inform other prisons in other states, so that they can join in also.

Letters/petitions also help when we target companies that are using prison made good to let them know that we will boycott them if they don’t stop, and it also helps to contact their customers and let them know that they are purchasing slave-made good. But the old habit of writing politicians and commissioners won’t work in today’s world, and just haven’t produced meaningful results.

It’s time to find a new target audience and bring attention to a new strategy and a new message!!

Is The Current Movement Against Mass Incarceration Spread Too Thin?

In F.A.M. we strategize around bringing all of the forces and resources together from each individual state into one collective whole. Groups that are fighting against the death penalty, solitary confinement, children in prison, voting rights, mentally ill people in prison, free labor, disenfranchisement, parole reform, and a few other issues. We will address all of these issues in our “FREEDOM BILL”, so everyone and every organization that is fighting against these issues should all be fighting together.
Note: Each State should draft their own FREEDOM BILL

The best way that we see to do this in Alabama is to identify the most economically important prison(s) in Alabama, and start organizing shutdowns until all of the strategically important prisons are shut down. One main prison will serve as the “headquarters” for our families, organizers and supporters, etc. At that point, the negotiations begin as to how to tear down the system of exploitation and create a new system based on the structure as outlined in the FREEDOM BILL, which promotes Education, Rehabilitation and Re-Entry Preparedness.

Take for example the situation that just occurred in California with the various lawsuits that the State fought for over 20 years (See the Plata decision by the U.S. Supreme Court) and passage of the Prop 47 law that went into effect. Despite the fact of California’s prison system being overcrowded with a 160% occupancy rate, the State’s prison officials and Attorney General’s office still refused to budge on releasing people who were eligible.

“Most of those prisoners now work as groundskeepers, janitors and in prison kitchens, with wages that range from 8 cents to 37 cents per hour. Lawyers for Attorney General Kamala Harris had argued in court that if forced to release these inmates early, prisons would lose an important labor pool.

Prisoners’ lawyers countered that the corrections department could hire public employees to do the work.” (LA Times, 11/14/2014 Federal judges order California to expand prison releases6)

As for the Firefighters, the Attorney General’s Office concluded that these men who risked their lives for the State, who saved the State over $1,000,000,000 billion dollars annually, were simply too valuable a commodity to release, even though these men worked outside of prison every day and were clearly not a threat to society anymore:

“About half of the people fighting wildland fires on the ground for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) are incarcerated: over 4,400 prisoners, housed at 42 inmate fire camps, including three for women.
Together, says Capt. Jorge Santana, the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) liaison who supervises the camps, they save the state over $1 billion a year.”7

While it is extremely rare to receive these type of admissions from the State, what we witnessed in the California litigation is the reality of modern slavery: Yes, the people have an education and are already working in society, but, NO!!!, they can’t be release because it would cost too much to replace their free or penny labor!!

This episode highlights why the strategy of work strikes/shutdowns being promoted by FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, and now joined by FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT, is the key to bringing the system of mass incarceration and prison slavery to its death: If we are been held solely for our labor and exploitation even after educating and rehabilitating ourselves, then why should we continue to work? If the firefighters in California can’t be freed because they save the State a billion dollars that they don’t otherwise have, then why don’t the firefighters go on a workstrike? The fires will continue to burn until they either come up with 1 billion dollars to train other firefighters, or they can release them and then hire them to do the job that at prevailing wages.

Also please note that the State is saving one billion dollars just on the firefighters alone. How much more pressure would a work strike/shutdown put on the CDCR or any other prison system, when all the kitchen workers go on strike? All the maintenance and electrical workers? All the garbage workers? The yard crew? Gym and library workers? And then the BIG whammy, when ALL of the factory and farm workers in prisons go on strike at one time, and this strike is spread regionally and nationally?

The financial numbers and fallout from such a strike will be felt from Wall Street to Main Street, and every street in between. This is the power of economics at play, and this strategy is the only strategy that will stop mass incarceration in its tracks.

WE MUST LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELD IF WE AREN’T RECEIVING BENEFIT OF THE HARVEST

LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELD is a proven strategy that was passed down to us from our Ancestors from the slave plantations that was used to disrupt the economics of the field. The harvest of the planter season was reaped when the crops were picked from the field and sold on the open market. When the slave master had invested all that he owned into his next crop (prison factories), the slaves would wait until just before the harvest and rebel against the slave system by ‘going on strike’ and causing the crops to rot in the field. This tactic would completely ruin the slave master’s investment.

While these crops were rotting in the field, the slave master would come down from the big house, make nice and beg the slaves to go back to work

But when that didn’t work, the slave master, just like the modern prison commissioners and wardens, would then result to threats and violence. But those determined for their freedom would resist and fight to the end.

In the end, when the crops were left to rot in the field, the slave master would sometimes lose his plantation if he had used it as collateral to secure a loan from the bank to plant. This is what happens to a prison system that is built upon the exploitation and free labor of the people incarcerated: when the laborers stop working, the free labor prison system collapses because there isn’t any revenue coming in to finance the system of 30,000 people in Alabama, 23,000 in Mississippi, 160,000 in California, or 2.5 million nationwide, who still must be fed, still must be provided medical care, still must had lights, water and basic hygiene.

These obligations and costs don’t stop, but the means to pay for them — the revenue that is produced by our labor — stops when we stop.

In 2014, Alabama has a 400 million dollar budget to run its prisons, which is paid by the sale of the products and services that are manufactured by the slave labor from the people incarcerated.

All told, Alabama is making anywhere from 2 to 3 billion dollars each year from our labor, fines, fees, canteen, phone calls, etc. while over $500,000,000,000 dollars is made nationwide off of prison slave labor.

If we are to end Mass Incarceration and Prison Slavery, which only those caught up in the slave system can do, then we must Unify nationwide from inside of these prisons and we must stop our labor and LET THE CROPS ROT IN THE FIELD.

Notes

  1. See online at: http://truthcdm.com/corporations-involved-in-profiting-off-prison-labour-prison-for-profit-dirty-secrets/
  2. Idem: http://truthcdm.com/corporations-involved-in-profiting-off-prison-labour-prison-for-profit-dirty-secrets/
  3. See: truth-out.org/news/item/27125-smoke-and-mirrors-inside-the-new-bipartisan-prison-reform-agenda
  4. See: Atlanta Black Star, Oct. 10th, 2014: 12 Mainstream Corporations Benefiting from the Prison Industrial Complex http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/10/10/12-mainstream-corporations-benefiting-from-the-prison-industrial-complex/
  5. See: Buzzfeed News: The Prisoners Fighting California’s Wildfires, Oct 31st, 2014 http://www.buzzfeed.com/amandachicagolewis/the-prisoners-fighting-californias-wildfires#.ajPXZzq8xr
  6. See: LA Times, Nov. 14, 2014 http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ff-federal-judges-order-state-to-release-more-prisoners-20141114-story.html
  7. See: Buzzfeed News: The Prisoners Fighting California’s Wildfires, Oct 31st, 2014 http://www.buzzfeed.com/amandachicagolewis/the-prisoners-fighting-californias-wildfires#.ajPXZzq8xr

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT & FREE MISSISSIPPI MOVEMENT

Committed to Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests for Civil and Human Rights for the Men and Women Incarcerated in Alabama & Mississippi prisons, and any other prison where the People desire to be FREE.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
Contact Free Alabama Movement:

Antonia Brooks 256-783-1044

NewsBlog: Freealabamamovement.wordpress.com

Website: Freealabamamovement.com

Facebook group: Free Alabama Movement

Twitter @FREEALAMOVEMENT

Email: freealabamamovement@gmail.com – Freemississippimovement@gmail.com

Mail: FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, P.O. Box 186, New Market, AL 35761 – USA

Internet Radio: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/freealabamamovement

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC88hK0WZ7PKGaTMPpLMTA_w

Wake Up Alabama

Wake Up Alabama

Ismail Shabazz

DOC tries to address crowding in Bold letters Montgomery Advertiser January 3, 2012. After reading this story, I obtained a copy of the lawsuit filed in California and if the same was filed in Alabama, this state could be faced with the same. However, here in Alabama, the problem is a lot deeper. One of the biggest reason why Alabama’s prison system is so badly over crowded is because of the way they classify violent and non-violent offenders.

It was over five years ago that the above mentioned story was done and it has truly gotten worst. Here in the state of Alabama whenever you hear something about inmates being released its always said that it will be the non-violent offenders; the drug and property offenders, however, there are thousands of inmates in the ADOC that’s classified as violent offenders whose not actually violent at all.

Let’s look at Third Degree Robbery. By Alabama’s law code of Alabama, 1975 section 13A – 8.43 (a) A person commits the crime of Robbery in the Third Degree if in the course of committing a theft he:

  • Uses force against the person of the owner or any person present with the intent to overcome his physical resistance or physical power of the resistance or,
  • Threatens the imminent use of force against the person of the owner or any person present with the intent to compel acquiescence to the taking of or escaping with the property. This is a Class C Felony, sentencing range 1 yr and a 1 day to ten (10) years.

This is a crime involving no weapon and nowhere in the language of the crime’s elements does it mention violence. Yet, here in the state of Alabama, it’s considered a violent case. They say it’s the threat of violence, but the naked truth in any crime has the potential to become violent.

A shoplifter steals a pack of candy and is approached by security, it can instantly become violent if the shoplifter: (A) Fights (B) Pulls a weapon or (C) If it’s the security guard that fights, overreacts and uses a weapon.

Another perfect example, Friday, February 3, 2012 in The Enterprise Ledger, a man was shot by someone breaking into his car; Theft turned Violent.

What do you think, should a person be considered a violent offender if he has never injured anyone, Or if he’s never been convicted of a crime where a weapon was used?

Deep rooted flaws in the Alabama Prison System is why our system is screwed.

Let’s look at on facility with two classes of inmates: Community Work Center (CWC) / Work Release:

Community Work Center – Minimum out Inmates.

These Inmates are allowed to work in society. They wear white state issued clothes and they work City Sanitations, Police Departments, Senior Centers, Colleges, Parks and Recreation and the Road Crews. The State (DOC) is given $1500 per day per inmate and the inmate is given $200 per day.

These inmates are those convicted of many crimes to include manslaughter. Some can go to work release and some can’t.

Work Release – Minimum Community

These Inmates are allowed to work in society on private jobs and wear their own clothes. They can take passes home. These Inmates are convicted of many crimes to include: Assault, Robbery First with a weapon or injury.

The State gets most of their money.

On December 12, 2012, I ended a (25) year sentence for Theft of Property and began on Life for Robbery Third. It took me nearly 23 years to make it to a community work center in May, 2010.

For over two years, I’ve worked in the kitchen as the Baker and Store Room Clerk. After arriving at my present facility I’ve worked for the sanitation and parks and recreation and I never had a problem on my job.

However, because I am classified as a violent offender and because ADOC says I have (3) or more convictions involving either the threat of a weapon or injury resulting from the use of a weapon:

I am barred from Work Release.

Nowhere in the Language of Robbery 3rd does it states threat of a weapon, but because of the original charge of Robbery 1st DOC says it’s violent. I was not convicted for a crime in the court but I am serving time for what I wasn’t convicted for.

The difference between in an Inmate in Work Release and myself is the dress code, I wear white and he wears street clothes. He works and gets paid by the hour; I get $30 to $40 added to my account each month to be spent back to DOC and he gets passes home, I don’t.

I have served nearly 30 years in prison and I am not alone. Whenever I go up for parole they insure that a protestor is present, when is Enough! Is Enough! This a deep rooted problem and it’s time for a change.

More to come!

By: Ismail Shabazz

 

 

RACE-BASED JUSTICE: Alabama’s Enduring Legacy to Keep African-Americans in Servitude

By KINETIK JUSTICE

In theory, the 13th Amendment put an end to and forever abolished slavery, at least that is what we’ve been taught in schools. However, in actual practice, the 13th Amendment merely changed the name, method and rationale for keeping African Americans in a state of perpetual servitude. As the 13th Amendment explicitly permits ” Involuntary Servitude”– an euphemism for Slavery– as punishment for “duly convicted criminals.”

WHO DEFINES CRIME & WHO IS THE CRIMINAL?
In direct response to this Constitutional mandate, every southern state created an array of “stay in your place” laws. Which, by design, methodically criminalized every aspect if African American life. History has well documented that Alabama took this mandate to heart. As from its inception, the Alabama Judicial System was structured to keep white land owners in a position of power and Africans in their place– Servitude.

In fact, the State of Alabama used the 13the Amendment as their foundation in drafting the ALABAMA CONSTITUTION OF 1901. As the Alabama Legislature used their authority to set up court systems, appointed only white people as Judges and District Attorneys, pre arranged elections for those positions that had to be voted on, then expanded the criminal code as its effective means of carrying out their objective. By their own admission, the State of Alabama’s sole purpose in drafting the Constitution of 1901 was to establish “White Supremacy”- by law. As the delegates to the all-white Constitutional Convention, were not secretive about their purpose and aims. In the opening address, President of the Convention, John B. Knox stated:

“And what is it that we want to do? Why is it within the limits imposed by the federal constitution to establish white supremacy in this state.” … “but if we would have white supremacy, we must establish it by law…”

In keeping with the sentiments of John B. Knox, the State of Alabama has used the Constitution of 1901 to construct a solid foundation, in which to discriminate from.

The history books are replete with examples of Alabama’s blatant racially motivated enactment of laws targeting young Africans males. Even to this day, Alabama openly applies its laws discrimately, first –based upon race, then upon financial status. Alabama’s “good old boy”-style of justice is maintained and perpetuated by police officers “overreaching”, district attorneys” overcharging” and judges “over sentencing.”

All of this is made possible by the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and the Alabama Legislature, as it is the Alabama Legislature that enact these laws that specifically target young African-American males, particularly and African-Americans in general. One glaring example, is the racially motivated amending of the Capital Murder statute to include Section 16, 17 and 18- or commonly called the “drive-by shooting laws”. Though not discriminatory on their face nor in literal wording, but let’s examine the Legislatures motive and the District Attorneys statewide application—

According to the Alabama Legislature, in the early 1990’s there was a massive public outcry against “gangs”, so in 1992 the Legislature passed Act 92-601; which made a murder committed by the use of a deadly weapon fired from or into a vehicle, a Capital Offense–punishable by death or life without parole.
Act 92-601 became codified in Title 13A-5-40(a)(16),(17) and (18). From a plain reading of the statute, in order to be charged and found guilty of the Capital Offense, all that’s required is that the shooter or victim be in a vehicle or house at the time of the murder. Prior to this amendment, all Capital Offenses required an aggravating circumstance in order to elevate the murder to a death penalty offense. However, the “drive-by shooting laws” are simply based upon location of the shooter or victim.

As stated earlier, the statute doesn’t appear to be discriminatory from a literal reading. – “They have long learned how to change the language of oppression without changing the conditions. It’s the Art of Rhetoric.”

LETS LOOK AT ITS APPLICATION
In February of 1994, Oeatha Archie III was alleged to have been sitting in a vehicle, when he fatally shot someone that was outside the vehicle. Oeatha was charged with Capital Murder, then sentenced to Life Without Parole.

In September of 1994, Tony Knight was alleged to have been standing outside a vehicle, when he fatally shot someone that fell into a vehicle. Tony was charged with Capital Murder, then sentenced to Life Without Parole.

In October of 1994, Brian Smith was alleged to have been sitting in his vehicle, when he fatally shot someone that was outside the vehicle. Brian was charged with Capital Murder, then sentenced to Life Without Parole.

In October of 1996, Dennis McGriff was alleged to have been sitting inside a vehicle, when he fatally shot someone outside the vehicle. Dennis was charged with Capital Murder, then sentenced to Death by Electrocution.

All 4 were young black males when they were arrested. And there are several other young black males, languishing away with Life Without Parole, in the Alabama prison system, with identical situations.

In November of 1999, Shirley Henson was alleged to have been sitting in a vehicle, when she fatally shot someone outside the vehicle. From the very beginning, the District Attorney and the Media labeled this a case of “Road Rage”. Capital Murder was never mentioned nor considered, as Henson was charged and convicted of a much lesser charge of “heat of passion” manslaughter, then sentenced to 13 years. Shirley Henson just happened to be a middle class white lady.

So the question becomes, WHAT MADE SHIRLEY HENSON DIFFERENT FROM OEATHA ARCHIE, TONY KNIGHT, BRIAN SMITH AND DENNIS McGRIFF???
It’s obvious that race matters when Prosecutors decide who to charge with Capital Murder. However, the Prosecutors in Calhoun County didn’t get the memo for how the statute was to be applied.

As in March of 2003, Phillip Fondren, a white male, was charged with Capital Murder, for shooting from a vehicle when the victim was outside the vehicle. Fondren was even sentenced to Life Without Parole.

HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE!!!
Due to Phillip Fondren’s case, the Alabama Legislature stepped in and sought to clarify the intent of the “drive-by shooting laws.”

In March if 2006, Representatives Marcel Black and John Robinson authored a Bill and presented it to the House of Representatives, which addressed the application of subdivisions 16, 17 and 18 of Title 13A-5-40, I.e., the Capital Murder statute. In session it was stated:

“Whereas, the legislature is aware of the case of State of Alabama v. Fondren (Calhoun County CC 02-600) in which Fondren was convicted of Capital Murder for violating Section 14A-5-40(a)(18)…”

HJR 575

On March 28, 2006, this Bill was adopted by the House of Representatives. On April 17, 2006, this Bill was adopted and signed by the Senate. Upon both Houses adopting this Bill, it became House Joint Resolution 575. In accordance with the procedure for passing a Bill into a Law, the House Joint Resolution was delivered to the Governor. On April 27, 2006 at 1:09 p.m. Governor Bob Riley signed the Bill. It became Act No. 2006-642, which stated in pertinent part:
” …in passing Act 92-601, it was the intent of the legislature in adding sub division (18) to address “drive-by shooting”, that is murder committed through the use of a deadly weapon …used within or from a vehicle which murders were gang related or intended to incite public terror or alarm.”

In HJR 575 (Act No. 2006-642) the legislature recognized that Section 13A-5-40(a)(17),(18) has been misinterpreted by prosecutors and courts to apply to any murder committed by or through the use of a deadly weapon, fired or otherwise used within or from a vehicle, even if it was not gang related. Being that this interpretation was contrary to the legislatures intent, the Legislature urged the Attorney General and District Attorneys to charge only those individuals who commit murder by or through the use of a deadly weapon fired or otherwise within or from a vehicle, when the vehicle was involved in the shooting or that the shooting was gang related.

This clarification by the legislature should have changed the sentences for countless individuals serving Life Without Parole behind the prosecutors and judges misapplication of the law. But it didn’t, in fact the Attorney General has refused to respect the legislatures resolution. In a Declaratory Judgment filed by Brian Smith – asking the Court to declare the application of the ” drive-by shooting” statute as unconstitutional, the Attorney General argued that 13A-5-40(18) did not itself state that it applied only to gang related murder and the resolution was just the legislatures opinion. However, all judges are not so disrespectful to the intentions and clarification of the law makers of this State. As former Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb has urged the legislature to go one step further, and amend the “drive-by shooting” statutes, so that the plain language of the statute will effectuate the legislatures intent ad expressed in House Joint Resolution 575(Act No. 2006-642).

There are also a few Circuit Court Judges that have given effect to the legislatures Resolution. In Huntsville, Alabama, Madison County Circuit Judge Loyd H. Little reduced Walter Lamont Perry’s Capital Murder charge to regular murder. Assistant D.A. Bill Starnes stated the reason for the charge being reduced as: “The law on shooting into an occupied vehicle has changed because the Alabama Legislature recently indicated that the intent of the law was to address “drive-by shootings” and because the vehicle was stationary when the fatal shooting occurred, the death penalty charge no longer applied.” Based upon the foregoing and the House Joint Resolution as well as the urging of former Supreme Court Justice Sue Bell Cobb, FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT is campaigning to make the Legislature amend the Capital Murder statute to reflect their true intentions, as stated in the House Joint Resolution 575.

ADOC officials issue death threat to FAM members as unrest continues in Alabama prisons statewide

On Jan. 22, 2015 – at Holman Prison Seg. Unit – unbearable living conditions caused myself and several of my comrades to take a stand for our well-being.

Due to my Membership Affiliation with the FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT i was singled out and targeted (AGAIN) by Holman’s administrative officials because I wanted justice. I was extracted out of the cell and taken to the Admin. Shift office where i was questioned for hours. After refusing time and time again to work with the Administration to quiet the unrest by the youth, Captain Darryl Fails issued a death threat to myself, Mr. Robert E. Council, and Spokesperson Melvin Ray stating that he wish there was not so much media hype around what goes on in prison b/c they would love to do to us what they used to get away with yrs ago and they would silence us for good.

Warden Walter Myers agreed and said, “yeah, they lucky!” In turn i replied, “yall gonna have to kills us b/c it’s FREEDOM OR DEATH aint NOTHING else.” Seeing that fear was not a factor, i was dismissed.

WE GOT POWER!!! AN ECONOMIC SOLUTION TO MASS INCARCERATION.

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
“WE GOT POWER”

We got Power y’all, and its the FREE labor and other money that we are providing to the ADOC.

Right now, the ADOC is getting appx. 2 to 3 billion dollars per year (IF NOT MORE !!) off of us from: work release, court costs and filing fees, production of license plates, cattle ranch, print shops, furniture plant, fleet services, chemical plant, fish pond, sand, recycling, farming, telephone calls, medical co-pays, canteen and much more.

We also work in the Montgomery warehouse, honor camps, kitchens, laundries, runners, libraries, dorm cleaners, and so much more, all for free.

WE PROVIDE THIS LABOR, AND THIS IS OUR POWER !!!

WE GOT POWER, and WE have to use, take it away from the ADOC, and make them change our living conditions, change parole, changes arbitrary sentencing, and allow us to earn our FREEDOM.

“WE GOT POWER”

Commissioner Kim Thomas resigns from ADOC

State officials made a surprise announcement on Tuesday that Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) Commissioner Kim Thomas has resigned.

In the same press release, the Governor’s office also announced Colonel Jefferson S. Dunn will become the new commissioner after he retires from United States Air Force in March.

Billy Sharp will take over as interim commissioner. Sharp is well-known in Tuscaloosa County where he recently served as interim sheriff and as a volunteer instructor with the Alabama Peace Officers Standards and Training Commission for 37 years at the Tuscaloosa Academy. He also worked at the Alabama Criminal Justice Center for 31 years.

http://www.myfoxal.com/story/27955393/adoc-commissioner-kim-thomas-resigns

Alabama Parole

This is a follow-up Article plus Affidavit by Ismail Shabazz, who is in Childersburg Comm. Work Center, and he can be reached by writing him at:

Ismail Shabazz, #155100

Childersburg Comm. Work Center

P.O. Box 368
Childersburg, AL 35044-0368


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The Voice of a Slave & The Solution

The Voice of a Slave, written by Ismail Shabazz, submitted on Jan. 6th, 2015.

Ismail Shabazz, AIS nr 155100

Draper CF

Contact: Ismail’s wife: ishabazz64@yahoo.com

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The Solution, by Ismail Shabazz, Draper CF

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Why the ALA. Dept. of Corrections Chooses Violence over Non-Violence

The unjustified and ongoing solitary confinement of the F.A.M. 3, James Pleasant, Robert. E. Council, and Melvin Ray for the assumed (but unstated) purpose of organizing Non-Violent and Peaceful Protests for the continuing civil and human rights violations in Alabama prisons continues.

In the face of their detention, it has become even more evident that the ADOC tolerates and accepts (and even promotes) violence over non-violence. Since the inception of F.A.M., there have been over 6 murders to occur at Holman and St. Clair prison, one riot, over 60 stabbings and many assaults on officers, by officers, and amongst the men incarcerated, and not one measure has been taken to stop this violence — except FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT.

During the historic peaceful demonstration by F.A.M. to start the year, not a single act of violence occurred, and the overriding message from F.A.M. leaders was that the violence must end, and education, rehabilitation and re-entry preparation must begin.

URGENT MESSAGE: St. Clair CF Prison has begun Retaliation Against Civil Litigants

The Alabama Department of Corrections seems to be implementing some type of covert operation where they are isolating everyone who has filed any type of litigation against St. Clair Cf into the maximum segregation unit of A Block.
In the coming days, F.A.M. will be asking our supporters to assist us in reaching out to some civil and human rights organizations and the U.S. DEPT OF JUSTICE to address these punitive tactics.
The people being targeted are being placed into a segregation unit irregardless of whether they have any segregation time or not. Once there, all mail, reading material, newspapers, visits, phone calls, and other privileges are being denied.

It appears that these moves are being ordered by Captain Gary Malone and Warden Carter Davenport, and that they are in response to the hightened media attention that has been brought onto St. Clair by the lawsuits filed by the EJI and the SPLC.

Race Plays A Major Role In Mass Incarceration, by Rev. Robert Turner

minister robert turnerThe quagmire our Alabama Department of Corrections finds itself in has as its source the same cancer that has plagued this state since its inception. As with most structural injustices this, too, can be traced back to America’s sinful incestuous affair with race. It is disingenuous to speak comprehensively about the complications of the prison system in America, let alone Alabama, without speaking on the influence of race.

Consider seriously the debilitating effects of racist policies which create2013-10-27 17.22.24-4
overwhelming racial disparity such as disproportionate sentencing, whereby
blacks get a longer sentence for the same crime as compared to whites, racial
profiling, the ill-fought and wrongly aimed war on drugs, underfunded and
understaffed public defenders and schools in the inner city, and you will see
structural impediments which lay the foundation for the current horrifying
statistic that one in three black males will be incarcerated at some point in
their lives.

In 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Committee argued that,
“racial disparity pervades every stage of the United States criminal justice
system, from arrest to trial to sentencing.”image

Critics argue the lack of supportive fathers is the culprit for all the troubles, which young black males suffer. Tell that to the parents of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin; both had loving and supportive fathers but were still seen as a menace to a sinfully racist society. Space would not allow me to give an exhaustive monologue on the depth of the historical events surrounding these issues. Suffice it to say, our prison problem began to manifest itself when nostalgic, white supremacist ideologues created incriminating laws such as the Black Codes immediately following slavery, which preyed upon the newly freed slaves. Even businesses profited off the backs of legally entrapped blacks.

Moreover, today according to author Michelle Alexander, the word “felon” is now
seen with the same angst as the word “negro” or “colored” did during the Jim
Crow era. It is extremely hard for former nonviolent inmates to find jobs, vote
and even get a student loan for college.

If people who committed crimes involving no moral turpitude have paid their debt to society why do we feel it efficacious to stigmatize and punish them for the rest of their lives? I am exuberant that God does not still label me based on past sins. For all those who come to Him in repentance, confessing their faults, and accept Him as their Lord and Savior, God welcomes. Hebrews 10:17 says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”Word press melvin-1

Until we get honest about the source, it will do us no good to try to remedy the problem. Otherwise, we will only be treating symptoms and never cure the disease. Not talking about racism does not make it go away. Likewise, exposing a problem is not the same as creating one. People of faith need to stand up against injustice even if it is being done to the vilest among us. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Let us not just eradicate our prison overcrowdedness and staffing problems. Let’s get to the root and finally address the role of race in our criminal justice system.

If Jesus, a man of color, were in an Alabama prison today, would you care about the conditions, sentencing guidelines and societal stigmatization post-release then? Well, several of His servants are incarcerated, and we are called not to judge, but visit them. Always remembering what Jesus says in Mathew 25:36, “I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

“They Break Bread, Then Drink Wine”

By Mae Smith
November 13, 2014

AL DOC has told me that they can no longer communicate with me concerning my son, seriously do they think I am going to just stop inquiring about his wellbeing?

He has been beaten, abused and locked in solitary confinement for almost 2 years and now they are giving him weekly injections all in order to kill him, because they don’t go to prison for the murders they commit, they break bread and drink wine!!!