MAY DAY MAY DAY. ..

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WE, the Prisoners of Alabama Department of Corrections, as a collective reach out to Rev. Kenneth Glasgow, Founder of The Ordinary People Society, Prodigal Child Project and Formerly Incarcerated Convicted People Families Movement asking that Rev. Glasgow mediate and speak on our behalf, in making the following statement to the Legislators of the state of Alabama.

At 12:01 May 1, 2016 We, Alabama Prisoners will begin a Peaceful and Nonviolent Protest for Our Human Rights in the form of a Work Stoppage. This is in fact a means to Peacefully Petition the Alabama Government for Redress of Grievances as We have suffered under Cruel and Inhumane Conditions over the past two decades.

Let us be clear,  this is not just about the Deplorable Conditions of Confinement,  but more so about the 13th Amendment,  the Alabama Constitution of 1901 and the Statutory Laws discriminatoryly enacted from both. The laws that created and maintains the denial of our Human Rights and perpetuation of our Economical Exploitation.

From Wrongful Convictions,  Exceedingly Excessive and Mandatory LWOP sentences, Alabama’s prisons are literally Warehouses of Men stacked on top of one another, and due to an Arbitrary and Biased Parole Board System, thousands of Men eligible to be released are stopped up in a broken and dangerous system.

*It has been stated and acknowledged that there are over 3, 000 people that are eligible to be released.  However,  due to budgetary concerns (parole and probation officers, supervision,  etc) they remain trapped in an excessively overcrowded system;  exposed to unnecessary threat to their  safety and well being. To address this issue would contribute greatly to relieving the pressure of prison overcrowding.

A lot of the pressure could be released by  Revising and Modifying the Laws and Policies that Created and Perpetuates these Cruel and Inhumane Conditions; not by building bigger more expensive prisons.

*Over 8000 people are serving enhanced mandatory sentences under Alabama’s Habitual Offenders Statute. More than 2000 are serving Mandatory LWOP sentence, some for petty theft cases.
To Repeal the Habitual Offenders Statute would create the opportunity for over 8000 people to be eligible to return to their families and communities after decades due to the application of the Habitual Offenders Statute while reducing the inhumane and dangerous overcrowding which contributes to the spread of diseases and increases the level of violence.  Overall it would contribute to a more sanitary and humane living environment.

*From exposure through exonerations it is clear that the Prosecutors of the State of Alabama are more concerned with convictions than truth and innocence.  Most of the attention has been focused on the Wrongful Convictions of those sentenced to Death. As a result a demand for oversight was  expressed in Senate Bill 237. However, through political maneuvering this Bill was tailored to only apply to those sentenced to death.

We assert that The Alabama Innocence Inquiry Commission created by Senate Bill 237 shall apply to all Wrongfully Convicted prisoners not just Death Penalty cases. To be Wrongfully Convicted is to be Wrongfully Convicted no matter the sentence. No innocent person should suffer the loss of his freedom unjustly and remain confined due to procedural limitations or judicial misconduct. Therefore, this Bill shall apply to all prisoners with credible claims of innocence, as this is what justice requires.

*Earlier this year,  the U.S. Supreme rightly declared that mandatory Life without Parole sentences for juveniles was unconstitutional.  It is time that Alabama go a step further and abolish mandatory Life without Parole sentences for First Time Offenders,  many who were barely beyond the juvenile age limit.
This would make hundreds of prisoners eligible to earn their freedom after being provided Education,  Rehabilitation and ReEntry Preparedness.  Thus also relieving some of the pressure and strain created by the excessive overcrowding.

*We further state that the A.D.O.C’s Economical policies and practices of compelling Incarcerated Citizens to provide labor with no compensation, while imposing various fines and fees upon them, is hyper-exploitative, unjust and amounts to PRISON SLAVERY.—–It is discriminatory and exploitative to force Incarcerated people to work while prohibiting them from being compensated; yet imposing arbitrary fines and fees upon them. To work is an essential part of rehabilitation and learning to be responsible for self, as from the compensation one is able to provide for their needs and ease the financial burden on their  families. Therefore, A.D.O.C’s Economical policy of Free Labor is counterproductive to rehabilitation and is exploitative and demeaning. Therefore, a more equitable Economic Policy shall be established between Alabama Prisoners and the ADOC.

*The Alabama Parole Board is arbitrary and biased therefore it must be overhauled to establish a criteria for those eligible for Parole.
The members of the Alabama parole board are receiving these appointments with an agenda that says that rewards them with long-term employment and other incentives to deny parole. These members refuse to set criteria for parole eligibility because this would make parole mandatory, instead of discretionary, for those who qualify.

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.”

In direct response to this Constitutional mandate, 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 13th 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.
Even to this day, Alabama openly applies its laws discriminately, 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 attorney’s ” 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”. 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.

In March of 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 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 legislature’s 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.
Therefore,  the Legislature shall amend the “drive-by shooting” statutes, so that the plain language of the statute will effectuate the legislature’s intent as expressed in House Joint Resolution 575(Act No. 2006-642). And to make such Amendment Retroactive.
*The A.D.O.C’s policy and practice of not affording those Incarcerated with meaningful Educational and Rehabilitation opportunities falls below the standards of human decency, as it perpetuates ignorance and exploitation. It has been empirically proven that the lack of Education is a primary driver for incarceration, therefore, Rehabilitation has to include a meaningful opportunity for Education programs.
More specifically,  we want the EDUCATION,  REHABILITATION AND REENTRY PREPAREDNESS BILL IMPLEMENTED THROUGHOUT THE ALABAMA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
(hyperlink freealabamamovement for copy of FREEDOM BILL)

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WE DECLARE WAR

WE DECLARE WAR !!!

When the trans-Atlantic slave trade began, Europe and her partners in crime declared war on Africa. When the Southern Confederacy ceded from the North, they declared a civil war to maintain the institution of slavery. After the Civil War, the 13th Amendment was ratified to maintain the institution of slavery under the control of the government.  In other works, the institution of slavery was never abolished, instead, it was Nationalized and turned into an institution that would be controlled by the State,  Federal and local governments.

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Under the 13th Amendment, the criminal justice system and the courtroom would become the auction block. “Neither slavery or involuntary servitude, except as punishment for crime  whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. . . ” Since that time, it has been the jails and prison systems that have served the functions of running the enterprise and institution of slavery in America. And, the complexity of the slave has not change: Black, Brown, and poor. The practice has not changed: free labor that exploits the oppressed and enriches the rulers of the system.

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In 1878, just 13 years after ratification of the 13th Amendment,  over 73% of the entire Alabama state budget was generated from prison labor and convict leasing. Now, in 2016, over 1.5 billion dollars per year is generated from Alabama prison labor in ACID industries,  work release deductions ( up to 60% of wages can be taken), medical co-pays, filing fees, usury prices and kickback contracts from canteen, phone calls and more.

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As fate would have it, the same Southern states that declared war on the North to preserve the institution of slavery in 1861, are now the same States that lead the Nation and world in incarceration rates. They have done this by declaring war on crime, war on poverty, war of this and war on that. Their last war is the “war on drugs.”

Well, it is time that the victims and intended targets of this war (the name of the war changes but the game hasn’t)  — it is time that we declare war on mass incarceration, we declare war on prison slavery, and we declare war on the 13th Amendment.

Governor Bentley has recently proposed the construction of a new 1.5 billion (not 800 million) slave plantation. We must not sit by and accept this new above ground work-till-death camp and cemetary that will be used to continue to fund a government for the elite and rich, who choose to continue the institution and enterprise of Slavery in Alabama.

WE DECLARE WAR. !!!

Modern Implications of the 13th Amendment Slavery Clause Exception

10428075_1575775369340832_2172514085480136250_nInterviewer:

What impact do you think the brutality of police has on black people and its culture? Also: How does this affect people of other races that have also experienced police brutality?

Yohanan EliYah:

I think the brutality of police on black people is somewhat unique, because it is tied directly to slave catching, and putting down slave revolts in America for the last 300+ years. With such a long and negative history, I think it is impossible for any sane black person to have a positive association with the relationship. If you know American history, and you are familiar with the ridiculous litany of race based legislation that went on and on for hundreds of years, then you must know that it was up to the police of those times to enforce those laws, just like the police of today enforce the drug laws and execute the “war on crime”. Maryland Segregation Policy, 1619–black social exclusion, recommended, Maryland’s Exclusion Law,1638–exclusion of blacks from all people activity, except sports and entertainment, Virginia Fugitive Law, 1642–“R” branded on face of runaways, Maryland Marriage Law, 1664–first anti-interracial marriage statute, Slavery Law, 1665– exclusion of blacks from benefits afforded whites, British Plantation Act, 1667–code of conduct for slaves, slaveholders, Carolina Trade Law, 1686–barred blacks from all trades, Virginia Marriage Law, 1691–prohibited white women from marrying black men, Massachusetts Anti-Miscegenation Law, 1705–criminalization of interracial marriages, New York Runaway Law, 1705–execution for recaptured runaway slaves- on and on, up through today, where President Obama cut the crack sentencing laws from 100 to 1, down to 18 to 1. Isn’t that insane? There was never ANY scientific proof necessary to back up any claim that crack was “worse” than powder cocaine, but under Bill Clinton we saw 500,000 people taken to prisons, most of them there because of the drug war.

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All the “tough on crime” policies passed during the Clinton Administration’s tenure resulted in the largest increases in federal and state prison inmates of any president in American history. When you tie in imprisonment to slavery, as proscribed by the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, then you can see how we have come full circle- and all of this is made possible by the police. This all stems from the 13th Amendment, and the exception clause found therein. The police are the primary enforcers of the exception in the 13th Amendment. That is their primary jobs.

FMM T ShirtThe people that the 13th Amendment was intended for were African people in America. That is why it is called a Reconstructive Amendment, to repair, or reconstruct the lives damaged by the inhumanity of slavery. The exception was placed into the 13th Amendment for the intention to specifically re-enslave those freed Africans. It was intended specifically for African people, and it has impacted mainly African people. Africans in America have been criminalized ever since their enslavement, to justify the inhumanity of slavery, and criminalized after their emancipation to re-enslave them through Black Code legislation. LEGISLATION. That is where our persecution is coming from, from the APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION of Section 2 of the 13th Amendment. It is from legislation that communities become “ghetto”. Every African community across America, every city in America represented by Africans, are being and have been slated for political deprivation, economic disadvantage, social/national disparagement, and white supremacist FB_IMG_1430026710846institutional discrimination.

FB_IMG_1430028772577Our solution for all of this is the same as it ever has been- Abolition.

The 13th Amendment to the Constitution declared that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, EXCEPT as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” So mass incarceration and subsequent prison labor for slave wages is not “the New Jim Crow”, its just the same old slavery.

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Yohanan EliYah:

As far as how other races are affected, I think everyone’s experience is uniquely tied to the brutality doled out to blacks as a baseline, and improving for others, as their skin tone lightens up from there. We saw the Indian Grandfather who was body slammed to the concrete Sureshbhai Patel, 57 years old. He was slammed onto the sidewalk in Madison, Alabama by Officer Eric Parker who was responding to a call about a ‘skinny black man’…so what does that tell you? Dash cams and bodycams are supposed to make things better, but the footage shows him being lifted, thrown down, and then he was unable to stand. The police said they approached him and he said to them ‘No English’. They started to search him, but he ‘pulled away’ – prompting them to use force. He was partially paralyzed despite two operations on his vertebrae. Had only been in the United States for two weeks. Latin Americans catching hell, immigrants from all over the world- as long as they are brown or black, they are subject to catching hell, but when the Cold War ended, America welcomed its former Communist Bloc brethren and sistren- no questions asked. America gave asylum to former Nazis. No incidents of racial profiling, no police violence senselessly unleashed upon any East German or Soviet nationals who snuck on to our shores… So I think the white response to police brutality is to point to the police state and its militarization as somehow brutalizing ALL of us, and to a degree that is true, as police in this country kill over 1,000 people every year. Most of them are white. Cops who kill white people are no more likely to serve time for this abuse than those who kill blacks. I think overall most people have good reason to be at least “concerned” about police powers, and union protections for them, which shield them from having to obey the laws of the land, which they are supposedly here to enforce.

Interviewer:

The most common counter-argument to that is that we are making it a race problem, how do you respond to that?

Yohanan EliYah:

A person who takes the information that I presented, and rebuts with such a statement will have the burden of proof on his own shoulders. Who is “we”, specifically? Once we determine who is factually “making it a race problem”, then we can discuss the validity of such an allegation. Next, even if somehow it is proven that blacks are the “we”, and blacks are making things about race- then we still have to debate the facts and determine if there is anything really wrong with that? We are analyzing institutions- entire systems of government and commerce, which rely very heavily upon free/low wage labor, and a never ending stream of criminally under-educated poor people for it to prevail over actual truth, justice and freedom. There is no capitalism, without slavery or something very near to it. There is no American foreign policy, without the nuclear hegemony. Without that hegemony, nations are much more likely to rise up and stand for themselves. Geo-politically, at this point, we see the USA is engaged in over 130 wars, conflicts and coups all over the planet- 99% of it is completely illegal, but the US runs the world the same way as it does people of color and the poor here at home- with violence and legalized lawlessness. Destabilization of foreign currencies and governments, faiths and cultures abroad is not much different than destabilization of Black neighborhoods as far back as Greenwood (Tulsa), OK back in 1921- or 100 other “Black Wall Streets” scattered across America in the post Civil War era. The Moynihan Report “predicted” the collapse of the Black family 50 years ago, and then US policy, from Nixon’s war on crime and war on drugs, as well as social programs mandating that men and fathers stay away, in order for mothers with children in the home to be able to receive the benefits they needed to survive- all conspired to create the beginnings of the largest upsurge in incarceration in any nation’s history that has ever been recorded. Now we see every news outlet reports on statistics like 70% of Black children are born out of wedlock, or 70% of Black children are raised in a single parent home. Before Moynihan’s report, roughly 24% of Black children were born out of wedlock. These are systems- not individuals. This is chess, not checkers.

 

Free California Movement: Abolish the ‘legal’ slavery provision of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

From: NCTT-Cor-SHU:

The NCTT-COR-SHU is geared up to launch a grassroots campaign, in conjunction with other human rights activists on the inside and outside to abolish the ‘legal’ slavery provision of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows for the enslavement, involuntary servitude, and ‘civil death’ of prisoners, parolees and EVERYONE convicted of a crime in the U.S.

This provision is the civil basis for prisoners and ex-prisoner disenfranchisement, compulsory prison labor, ‘legal’ labor and housing discrimination for those segments of the population who most need fair access, disfavorable access to legal redress, a diminished standard of 1st Amendment and other essential constitutional protections, diminished access to educational, vocational, and higher learning opportunities, and most damaging to society as a whole – legitimizing the dehumanization of these citizens under the ‘law.’

The primary vehicle we will seek to employ this campaign nationally is the formation of the “Free California Movement,” in conjunction with prisoners across the state, while encouraging the formation and solidarity of other “Free… Movements” in every state in the Union. We recognize that each state’s prison system has its own unique contradictions (for example, in many southern states, prison labor is wholly uncompensated, while in California many prison jobs come with a pennies on the dollar slave wage, and other institutions have P.I.A. compensation for prison labor), but what is UNIVERSAL across the nation is all of the dehumanizing, discriminatory and inhumane statutes prisoners and former prisoners are subject to – be they prison regulations or penal codes- ALL flow from the ‘legal’ slavery provision of the 13th Amendment.

We will be reaching out to prisoners, activists, progressives, family members, friends and citizens from all walks of life in the coming months to support this vital effort which is key to positively resolving the malignant contradiction of rampant inequality and social alienation in American society. We hope we can count on your support looking forward.

Dec. 28, 2014

NCTT-Cor-SHU

CSP-Corcoran-SHU, CA 93212

freecaliforniamovement @ gmail.com

See also: Pattern of practice: Centuries of racist oppression culminating in mass incarceration, in: SF Bay View, Jan, 26th, 2015, by Mutope Duguma

The life of the 13th Amendment and Neo-slavery

The life of the 13th Amendment and Neo-slavery

By Damu Shakur

The life of a 13th amendment, neo-new age slave is something all together diabolical. Where a human has to put themselves out on the limb for something the United Snakes posted as a piece of script that says that (WE THE PEOPLE) are created equal, that WE are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable RIGHTS, that among are LIFE, LIBERTY, & the PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. That to secure these Rights, (GOVERNMENTS with an ‘s’) are Instituted by Men, deriving their Just Powers from the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED (US, THE PEOPLE) that WHENEVER ANY (FORM) OF GOVERNMENT BECOMES DESTRUCTIVE OF THESE ENDS, IT IS THE (RIGHT) of the PEOPLE (US) to ALTER OR ABOLISH IT, & to INSTITUTE A NEW GOVERNMENT.

But here we are the 13th Amendment New-neo slave of the 21st century are still BEGGING OUR NATURAL ENEMIES, STILL TWIDDLING OUR THUMBS, LOOKING IN THE SKY, HOPING FOR A CHANGE WHEN THE ENEMY EXPLAINED IN OVERT DETAILS IN HOW WE SHALL DEAL WISELY WITH THEM.

(BUT) as the CONSTITUTION CLEARLY QUOTES (When a long TRAIN Of ABUSES & USURPATIONS, pursuing invariably the same OBJECT, envinces a DESIGN to REDUCE THEM UNDER ABSOLUTE DESPOTISM, IT IS THEIR RIGHT It is their DUTY to THROW OFF SUCH GOVERNMENT & to provide NEW GUARDS for their FUTURE SOCIETY. And here it is printed.

Instructions on how to deal with them wisely. Yet we could not as of last night deal with anything but our childish rants on why we won’t Organize to TAKE A SHOWER THAT WE WERE FUCKED OUT OF! IF WE CAN’T ORGANIZE FOR THE SANITATION OF OUR HEALTH. THAT LET OTHERS KNOW HOW DEPLORABLE OUR MENTAL CONDITION Really is.