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Black Panther Released After 43 Years in Solitary

Amazing story… Albert Woodfox was one of the Angola 3, and the last of the three political prisoners to be released.

US’s longest-standing solitary confinement prisoner set free in Louisiana after more than four decades in form of captivity widely denounced as torture

Albert Woodfox, the longest-standing solitary confinement prisoner in the US, held in isolation in a six-by-nine-foot cell almost continuously for 43 years, has been released from a Louisiana jail.

Woodfox, who was kept in solitary following the 1972 murder of a prison guard for which he has always professed his innocence, marked his 69th birthday on Friday by being released from West Feliciana parish detention center. It was a bittersweet birthday present: the prisoner finally escaped a form of captivity that has widely been denounced as torture, and that has deprived him of all meaningful human contact for more than four decades.

For the duration of that time, Woodfox was held in the cell for 23 hours a day. In the single remaining hour, he was allowed out of the cell to go to the “exercise yard” – a small area of fenced concrete – but was shackled and kept alone there as well.

Last November James Dennis, a judge with the federal fifth circuit appeals court, described the conditions of Woodfox’s confinement. “For the vast majority of his life, Woodfox has spent nearly every waking hour in a cramped cell in crushing solitude without a valid conviction,” he said.

In a statement released by his lawyers, Woodfox said that he would use his newfound liberty to campaign against the scourge of solitary confinement that at any one moment sees 80,000 American prisoners being held in isolation. “I can now direct all my efforts to ending the barbarous use of solitary confinement and will continue my work on that issue here in the free world.”

The prisoner’s release came after the state of Louisiana agreed to drop its threat to subject him to a third trial for the 1972 killing. Woodfox in turn pleaded no contest to lesser charges of manslaughter and aggravated burglary.

The “no contest” plea is not an admission of guilt, and Woodfox continues to be not guilty of the main murder charge. He said that “although I was looking forward to proving my innocence at a new trial, concerns about my health and my age have caused me to resolve this case now and obtain my release with this no-contest plea to lesser charges.”

Woodfox was one of the so-called “Angola 3”: three prisoners initially held in Louisiana’s notorious Angola prison, and who subscribed to the Black Panther movement and campaigned against segregation within the institution in the 1970s. His supporters contend that he was framed for the 1972 killing of the prison guard Brent Miller as revenge for his political activities.

His murder conviction was twice overturned – once in 1992 on grounds that he had received ineffective defense representation, and again in 2008 because of racial discrimination in setting up the grand jury that indicted him. Last year, Louisiana announced it would put him through a third trial despite the fact that all the key witnesses to the killing have since died. Woodfox’s lawyers argued the lack of witnesses would render such a retrial a legal mockery.

His two fellow Angola 3 allies were already freed. Robert King was released in 2001 after having his separate conviction overturned, and Herman Wallace, who spent almost 30 years in solitary confinement, was only allowed out of prison two days before he died in 2013.

“There was no logical reason that Louisiana kept him in solitary for so many years, for a crime in which all the evidence was undermined,” King told the Guardian.

“They did it as a war against the ideology of the Black Panthers and because they didn’t want to be seen to have been wrong all this time.”

Scientists have long warned about the dire effects caused by solitary confinement on prisoners even after a few days of such treatment, and several international bodies including the UN have called for it to be banned as a form of torture. The supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy has also spoken out about the practice, remarking that the side-effects of prolonged isolation include anxiety, panic, withdrawal, hallucinations, self-mutilation and suicidal thoughts and behavior.

George Kendall, Woodfox’s attorney with Squire Patton Boggs LLP, said his client’s decades-long isolation was indefensible. “Albert survived the extreme and cruel punishment of 40-plus years in solitary confinement only because of his extraordinary strength and character. These inhumane practices must stop. We hope the Louisiana department of corrections will reform and greatly limit its use of solitary confinement as have an increasing number of jurisdictions around the country.”

Amnesty International USA, which long campaigned for his release, said that “nothing will truly repair the cruel, inhuman and degrading solitary confinement that the state of Louisiana inflicted upon him. But this belated measure of justice is something he has been seeking for more than half his life.”

In 2014, Woodfox described to a blogger the fear that wells up in him from being constantly alone. “I’m afraid I’m going to start screaming and not be able to stop,” he said.

“I’m afraid I’m going to turn into a baby and curl up in a fetal position and lay there like that day after day for the rest of my life. I’m afraid I’m going to attack my own body, maybe cut off my balls and throw them through the bars the way I’ve seen others do when they couldn’t take any more.

“No television or hobby craft or magazines or any of the other toys you call yourself allowing can ever lessen the nightmare of this hell you help to create and maintain.”

Woodfox’s release was raised at the White House press briefing on Friday. The White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, said: “Scientists tell us that prolonged incarceration in solitary confinement can have a debilitating and long-term impact on an individual’s mental health. If our ultimate goal in the criminal justice system is to give people a second chance after they’ve paid their debt to society we are basically setting them up to fail.”

Last month Barack Obama used his executive powers to ban solitary confinement for juveniles in all federal prisons. He has also commissioned a review into the use of solitary in the US.

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter, Domestic terrorism

 

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Queen Bey and Old White Republicans

Queen Bey’s Superbowl appearance and dropping a new song has apparently set off the conservative Viagra set… Mere mention of blackness, the original Black Panthers, police, and BLM will do that.

Rudy Giuliani rips Beyoncé’s Super Bowl halftime as an “outrageous … attack on police officers”

Beyoncé anticipated this. She knew the backlash was coming as she sings in her new single “Formation,” “You know you that b**ch when you cause all this conversation.” With her imagery of police officers lined in riot gear with their arms in the air in her music video and her background dancers dressed as Black Panthers during her halftime performance at Super Bowl 50, Beyoncé is undoubtedly making a bold political statement and as she surely expected, people are talking.

“I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive,” former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said Monday on “Fox & Friends,” ripping the performance as “ridiculous.”

Cuz nothing brings us all together better than angry @Beyonceshaking her ass & shouting “Negro” repeatedly.

“The vast majority of police officers risk their lives to keep us safe,”Giuliani explained, taking issue with what he deemed an inappropriate “political position” at the Super Bowl. “What we should be doing in the African-American community, and all communities, is build up respect for police officers,” he offered. “You’re talking to middle America when you have the Super Bowl,” Giuliani reminded the co-hosts. “Let’s have, you know, decent wholesome entertainment, and not use it as a platform to attack the people who, you know, put their lives at risk to save us.”
Bobbye Bogart Orona

I don’t usually hashtag but the fact that they invited Beyoncé to perform an anti-police song during the Super Bowl is infuriating & inflammatory. They should be ashamed of themselves.
‪#‎NFL‬‪#‎Beyonce‬
‪#‎BoycottBeyonce‬
‪#‎BoycottNFL‬
‪#‎BoycottPepsi‬

According to the Washington Examiner, Members of the National Sheriffs’ Association meeting in Washington, D.C. collectively turned their backs during the halftime performance to protest Beyoncé. The group’s president, Sheriff Danny Glick of Laramie County, Wyoming, “called on the NFL to choose less controversial half time entertainment in the future.”

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2016 in Giant Negros, Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Two Racists and Lot of Smoke

The New Black Panther Party, principally based in Houston is a hate group. It has nothing to do with the real Panthers…

In this one, Quanel X, their current leader, meets White Supremacist Nathan Ener…Basically to try and out-woof each other.

Here Quanel and his Storm Troopers get run out of a Houston neighborhood.

This clown is doing nothing positive for black folks.

Members of the original Black Panther Party, which has no connection to the NBPP, have heavily criticized the New Black Panther Party. An open letter from the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation, which is run by members of the original Black Panther Party, decries the NBPP for being a hateful and unconstructive group. Bobby Seale, a famous founding member of the original Panthers, calls the organization “a black racist hate group.”

And this one – just to establish a point – from the Racism 24×7 Faux News

Not much difference between Quanel, Ener…Or Meghan Kelly…

 

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2015 in American Genocide, Domestic terrorism

 

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KKK and Black Activist Counter Rally IN SC confederate flag

Well,,,The KKK and their Tea Party allies showed up in Columbia yesterday…With expected results.

Amusingly – Many of the conservative and white supremacist sites who have posted videos call it “a standoff between the KKK and Black Panthers”.

I guess when more than 5 black folks show up in the same location to protest the KKK…

It must be the dreaded Black Panthers!

 

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The REAL Black Panthers

A lot of young folks nowdays don’t really understand what the Black Panthers were – and what they really stood for.

There is even an imitation “Panther Party” of about 10 whack jobs who have captured conservative media imagination – and not much else. According to conservatives the appearance of two of these guys on the street outside of a polling place in 2008 constituted “voter fraud” and was directly responsible for a black man being elected President. In a conservative world where 1 black person on a street corner is “trouble”, 2 is a “conspiracy”, and 3 is a “riot” – the emergence of half a dozen black “militants” is cause for 24×7 wall-to-wall fearmongering. “The Nigras is out to get ya!”

Like a lot of the folks involved in the 60’s struggles, the author of this piece evolved. Jamal Joseph is now a Professor – but he maintains his activism.

Black Panthers, Guns and Star Trek

I was 15 years old when I walked into a Black Panther office and asked for a gun so I could kill a white man.

It was 1968, Dr. King had been murdered. Ghettoes across America were going up in riots and flames and I was a fatherless, angry man child who had been called “nigger” and smacked around by white cops a few too many times.

I was an honor student, a choir boy and a member of the N.A.A.C.P. youth council. My adoptive grandmother, “Noonie”, did her best as a single parent to instill her Baptist Church rooted values of “love they neighbor.” I dreamed of college, becoming a lawyer or in moments of liberated imagination a star ship commander like Captain Kirk from my favorite TV show Star Trek.

I worked part time as a stock and delivery boy at the supermarket so that Noonie wouldn’t have to give me allowance from her tight income that was a combination of social security and part time housekeeping work. I would sweep, mop and vacuum so that Noonie would not have to do anymore bending or scrubbing when she pulled her tired, body up the stairs to our second floor apartment.

jamal josephNoonie and I were close. I loved and respected her. But she was 70 and I was 15 — and the hip, cool path to manhood was on the streets. The Bronx and Harlem street corners I passed and sometimes hung out on had gangs, drugs, craps games, fights, hustlers, foxy ladies and patrolling cops that had to be eluded even when you were doing no wrong. The teens and men who held court there were living examples of how to walk, talk, swagger and fight your way into the manhood ranking system of being a “cool”, “bad” or “crazy dude” — which was highest honor.

The corners also had “warrior prophets” who talked about Black pride, progress and revolution. Some would be respected “bad” and “crazy” dudes who had gone to prison or to the Vietnam War and came back with something they called “Black Consciousness.” They critiqued drugs, hustling and violence as tools of oppression. They not only gave the corner contrast — they gave it context, and I was fascinated!

The evening news was filled with images of civil rights marchers and anti war protestors being beaten and tear gassed by Cops and National Guard Troops. Black Militant leaders like H.Rap Brown would appear on the news urging armed self defense and revolution. The Afros, dashikis and denim jackets the militants wore became the style of the day from schools to the street corners. We wore our Afros and dashikis to church, marches and N.A.A.C.P. meetings. The elders frowned but tolerated us with memories of the “wild styles” they wore when they were young. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Giant Negros

 

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The Racism in Russia – Violent Hate Crimes Common

The roots of racism in Russia run pretty deep. Whether it was the Czars or later Stalin’s pogroms against Jews and ethnic minorities which resulted in a genocide dwarfing Hitler’s “Final Solution” – or the emergence since the former Soviet Union lost their wars in Afghanistan and Angola of racist para-military groups attacking, and sometime murdering people of color on Moscow’s streets…

The hyper-Nationalist groups got real momentum after the Afghan war. Russian Special Forces, including their equivalent to our SEALS, the Spetnaz were made up almost exclusively of ethnic Russians. Choice jobs, whether in industry, or the military were restricted to white Russians. Look at the faces on the USSR Olympic Teams. Until nearly the end of communist rule, you’d be hard pressed to find a brown or Asiatic face.

Post War – a number of veterans from the Special Forces graduated to Nationalist, and neo-Nazi groups – forming a professional military core to the violent organizations.

Russian Paramilitary Nationalist and Skinhead Groups Frequently Attack Foreigners and Minorities

Russian Paramilitary Nationalist and Skinhead Groups Frequently Attack Foreigners and Minorities

This from the BBC – Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2009 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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