The US government is infamous for criticizing and condemning other countries for denying their citizens free speech and imprisoning them for challenging their authority. Countries such as China, Iran, North Korea and Cuba have been their primary targets, but this criticism epitomizes the hypocrisy of the US government and its self-righteous citizenry. The difference between the US and countries like China: the US government has developed a more sophisticated method for executing their repressive campaign. Though many different methods exist, the most pervasive application exists within the prison system. Far away from objective and constitutional scrutiny—the perfect set of circumstances—for the most part it has gone undetected and the courts have only provided this assault on free speech with sanctuary, which has guaranteed its proliferation.
Though this is not a new phenomenon. The government’s prison system has been infringing on the First Amendment rights of New Afrikan (black) prisoners since the beginning of time, but it became more strategically organized during the Black Power movement. A tactical schematic within the US government sponsored war against the Civil Rights and Black Power movement under the official title of FBI Counter-Intelligence Program (CointelPro). So, what we see today is a continuation of what had already existed, but with some modifications.
For the past 20 years or more the Dept. of Corrections and Federal Bureau of Prisons have launched a campaign designed to censor black history from the prisons, anything relating to George Jackson in particular. In a recent federal ruling in a lawsuit against Pelican Bay State Prison, a judge stated: “There is a concern of the possibility that defendants (i.e., prison staff) may have taken a race-based shortcut and assumed anything having to do with Afrikan Amerikan culture could be banned under the guise of controlling the Black Guerrilla Family (BGF).” [Marcus Harrison v. Institutional Gang Investigation Unit. CO7-3824SI]. Even this judge recognized the racist campaign to censor our history as well as our political views and any black historical figure they disagree with. The California Department of Corrections will disallow any books or writings by them, by falsely claiming the writings are gang related material that pose a security risk. George Jackson has been their primary target.
Unbeknownst to the vast majority of people in this country, there exists a class of new Afrikan prisoners that have been singled out for political persecution and torture solely based on their ideological affinity with George Jackson. Though this class of persecuted prisoners are represented across the country, California is the epi-center. No group of New Afrikan Prisoners on this planet has suffered as much as the New Afrikan political prisoners housed in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) at Pelican Bay State Prison. For maintaining the legacy of George Jackson, many of these brothers have received indeterminate sentences in the hole, have been denied parole and removed from General Population. In 2007 a number of inter-departmental agencies (i.e. Office of Correctional Safety [OCS], Institutional Gang Investigation Unit [IGI], Investigative Services Unit [ISU] and more) raided a number of cells and confiscated everything and anything that was related to George Jackson, his books, Blood in My Eye and Soledad Brother, his picture or portraits, and anything with his name in it. This material was/is used against these brothas. It is considered gang material and used to validate gang affiliation which will result in an indeterminate sentence in SHU/isolation!
Unfortunately, the persecution of these brothas has fallen on deaf ears. These brothas have spent 15 to 40 years in solitary confinement for refusing to surrender to official political repression designed to silence their voices and force these brothas to denounce George Jackson, but despite the consequences these brothas refused to capitulate. Many of these brothas are presently in court challenging their illegal confinement. Two recent decisions from federal judges disagree with Pelican Bay State Prison and the California Department of Corrections description of George Jackson as being a gang member and state that they have no legitimate penalogical interest in a complete ban on George Jackson.
In spite of these two rulings a number of judges have ruled to the contrary, but we believe if we unite this legal fight under one effort, we can win this battle. The George Jackson Political Prisoners of War Coalition will take the lead in this campaign. We will serve both as an advocacy group and an information center on behalf of those brothas and sistas who are being persecuted and tortured for embracing the Legacy of George L. Jackson. But our success will depend on your support!
Responsibility and Function
I will serve as an information network, gathering info from all across the country pertaining to:
- Identifying those individuals who have actually received a SHU term as a direct result of possessing George Jackson books and literature.
- Individuals who have had George Jackson books and literature confiscated.
- Those who have either been denied parole, validated as a gang member and/or denied release from SHU as a direct result of possessing George Jackson books and literature.
- All case citations from lawsuits and legal litigation that challenge the confiscation of books and other literature related to George Jackson.
- Strategies and tactics on how to challenge this issue.
- We will serve as an advocacy group on behalf of the class identified as the George Jackson Political Prisoners of War. We will seek to obtain legal counsel on their behalf, recruit law students to conduct vital legal research, assist in filing law suits.
- We will expose the torture and political persecution directly linked to those New Afrikan prisoners who are and have been victimized for possessing the books and literature of George L. Jackson.
- We will write articles to all major media/press outlets, especially black press/media.
- We will file human and civil rights reports and distribute this report to the United Nations, the NAACP, Urban League, Nation of Islam, ACLU, as well as prisoner’s right organizations.
- We will contact the warden and other prison officials on behalf of this class of prisoners.
We will not support any prisoners involved in the below activities:
- Drug activities
- Gang activities (as defined by us)
- Drug use
- Black on Black violence
- Criminal activities (as defined by us)
- Crimes against our communities
- Child molesters/abusers
We are not a pen pal service so we don’t have the means or opportunity to maintain personal correspondence. We will keep it strictly professional.
It is forbidden for prisoners to write other prisoners. So we will not serve as a medium to facilitate any behavior that may be considered a security risk. As you know, the prison will make up any reason to ban our services from their prisons, so we intend to keep all our activities legitimate, legal and transparent.
We are a political prisoner/POW advocacy group. The brothas in California will be our priority. The George L. Jackson Political Prisoners of War Coalition
M. Ajanaku – Outside Coordinator Abdul Olugbala Shakur – Inside Coordinator