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Kevin Rashid Johnson Snatched from Texas Prison

June 27, 2017

We have received word that Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, prisoner-organizer and revolutionary has been moved from Texas! He was picked up by his Virginia DOC officials (he was on an interstate transfer). Rashid is a very good organizer and he was moved from Red Onion State Prison because of his influence and leadership. It seems now that Texas also could not handle his principled determination.

Supporters learned that he is being held at a reception center in the state of Florida. We will forward additional information as soon as we know it. 

Transfers have been opportunities for prison officials to arrange for violence and abuse. Rashid was beaten and had his locks shaved when he was first brought to Texas, and lost much of his property. We are concerned about prisoners’ rights and basic human dignity and we will take action to make sure this does not happen again!

TAKE ACTION!

Who to call

Mr. Terry Glenn, Interstate Compact Supervisor
Virginia Department of Corrections
P.O. Box 26963
Richmond, VA 23261-6963
Phone: (804) 887-7866
Fax: (804) 674-3595

Call Script

I am calling on behalf of Kevin Johnson, Virginia inmate number 1007485. I am a friend of Mr. Johnson’s, and am highly concerned for his well-being and safety. I understand that he was recently taken by Virginia Department of Corrections from Clements Unit in Amarillo, TX.

Where in Florida is he being taken? Is he being returned to Virginia where his family would be able to visit him?

I demand that Mr. Johnson be moved to Virginia, that ALL of his property, including ALL his legal materials and his typewriter, be given to him upon his new location, and that his transport be safe and humane.

Please let us know immediately if you find out any information on Rashid.
Additional Resources

Rashid’s Website
Facebook Event to Call for Rashid

Rashid is Minister of Defense of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter); he is a Virginia prisoner organizer and revolutionary communist. As a result of his organizing he has been repeatedly transferred out of state, under a setup called the “Interstate Compact” which is used to remove rebellious prisoners and exile them to locations where they have no friends, support, etc. For the past four years Rashid has been held in Texas, where he has been beaten, threatened, had his property confiscated, been set up on bogus infractions, and more — nonetheless, he used his time there to forge connections with other prisoners and to write a series of powerful exposés about violence, medical neglect, abuse, and murder in the Texas prison system.

He has also been targeted because of analysis and belief organizing across boundries of race and class. Look carefully at his latest artwork, this is what the state finds dangerous:

Thank you for calling and taking action.

Cuando luchamos ganamos! When we fight, we win!

Noelle Hanrahan
Director, Prison Radio

Take action now! Political prisoner Jaan Laaman still in segregation, threatened with transfer to CMU

June 26, 2017
Dear Friends,

As of today, Monday, June 26, 2017, Jaan K. Laaman, long-time anti-imperialist political prisoner, is still locked down in segregation (minimum of 23 hours locked down in a 6×9’ cell).  Jaan has been in “segregation” for three months simply for issuing two statements, a clear violation of free speech and human rights. He is being threatened with transfer to a Communication Management Unit (CMU) or Special Management Unit; punishments that are not appropriate for a prisoner of Jaan’s age, and would be a violation for practicing free speech.

After a prison hearing on May 4, 2017, Jaan was found to not have violated prison regulations regarding “misuse of mail,” but was found to have violated prison regulations concerning “misuse of  the telephone,” for speaking on the phone to a friend and conveying his support of the “Day Without a Woman Strike” (International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017), and his feelings about the death of his friend, Attorney Lynne Stewart. Jaan was sanctioned by losing 10 days good time credit and by loss of the telephone for 6 months (in addition to the loss of email access which was imposed without a hearing one year ago). Jaan is currently appealing this ruling. Meanwhile, Jaan is still in “segregation,” and still being threatened with transfer to a CMU.

CMUs are prison units designed to isolate and segregate prisoners. People locked up in the CMUs are completely banned from any physical contact with visiting family members and friends, and other types of communication are also severely limited, including interactions with non-CMU prisoners and phone calls with friends and family members. For more info see: https://ccrjustice.org/home/get-involved/tools-resources/fact-sheets-and-faqs/cmus-federal-prison-system-s-experiment

How you can support Jaan:

Write/call/email the Bureau of Prisons Regional Director and ask her not to transfer Jaan to a Communication Management Unit.

Please remind her that Jaan is an elder prisoner, and you are concerned about his health in segregation and you would be concerned about his safety if he is moved to a Communication Management Unit.

Mary M. Mitchell, Regional Director
BOP Regional Office
7338 Shoreline Dr
Stockton, CA 95219
Regional email:   wxro/execassistant@bop.gov

Send a message through the Bureau of Prison (BOP) website here: https://www.bop.gov/inmates/concerns.jsp

– Select ‘USP Tucson’
– Send a message that includes his name and number: ‘Jaan Laaman #10372-016’

Please be polite but firm in your letters and send the responses you get to jaanlaaman@gmail.com

Write to Jaan and let him know he’s in our hearts and on our minds.

Jaan has no access to news and access to phone calls. It’s important we send him some letters right now. Send him articles, so that he gets some world news and messages of solidarity and support. Let the jailers see that Jaan has support from the community and cannot just be left in segregation or silenced.
Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734

Background Information

Jaan is imprisoned at United States Penitentiary (USP) Tucson in Arizona, and is one of the last two remaining Ohio-7 political prisoners still locked up. The Ohio-7 were convicted in 1986 of direct actions to protest U.S. support for the white-supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa, illegal U.S. attacks on Nicaragua, and repression against advocates for Puerto Rican self-determination.

Jaan was placed into solitary confinement because of two short messages: one in support of the “Day Without a Woman Strike” (International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017) which was printed in the NYC Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) update, and his “Farewell Thoughts to My Friend, Lynne Stewart” which was broadcast on Prison Radio. Lynne Stewart, revolutionary peoples’ lawyer passed away on March 8, 2017. When the NYC ABC magazine arrived by mail to the prison, Jaan was promptly placed in solitary confinement. Prison officials charged Jaan with “threatening the security of the prison” because of these First Amendment protected statements.

No one should be punished for exercising their First Amendment Rights. The United States District Court in Pennsylvania recently ruled in a case involving efforts to censure Mumia Abu-Jamal:  “A past criminal offense does not extinguish a person’s constitutional right to free expression. The First Amendment does not disappear at the prison gate.”

Pattern of Increasing Repression

Being placed in segregation is the latest act of repression by the prison administration, following increasing actions against Jaan. Over a year ago, the prison shut down Jaan’s access to email, and they have been censoring him in various ways since then, including withholding his mail and limiting access to his lawyer.

Jaan was placed in segregation on his birthday and has been there ever since. There is a growing consensus as to the psychological harm caused by solitary confinement. In 2011 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture concluded that solitary confinement for more than 15 days constitutes torture and can cause irreversible harmful psychological effects.

Jaan previously wrote about the increasing censorship he has been facing, here. Jaan has been writing reflections about global events since he was first captured in 1984, so this level of censorship is certainly something new and different.

This update was written by friends of Jaan Laaman.  

jaanlaaman@gmail.com

Facebook: Free Jaan Laaman

Twitter: @4StruggleMag

Public Demonstration, Rally & Vigil to Liberate “Xinachtli” Luna Herdandez: June 9

June 7, 2017

Friday, June 9th, 2017, Austin, Texas

THE COMMITTEE TO FREE

ALVARO “XINACHTLI” LUNA HERNANDEZ,

is calling for a Public Demonstration,

Rally & Vigil to Liberate “Xinachtli”

 

We will gather on the 20th Year Anniversary of Texas Political Prisoner Alvaro “Xinachtli” Luna Hernandez’ wrongful conviction, to make public contact and protest statement for his excessive punishment of a 50-Year Sentence & Felony Conviction for Aggravated Assault, for disarming a sheriff in 1997, who had threateningly drawn his revolver after Xinachtli challenged his authority to arrest him without a warrant on suspicion of Aggravated Robbery, a bogus charge, at his home.

 

“Xinachtli, is an Aztecan ‘Nahuatl’ name meaning, if literally translated into English, is “Germinating Seed, “ and is how he prefers to be called. He is an Anti-Imperialist, Chicano-Mexicano, Human Rights Activist, and former Union Organizer and Civil Rights Advocate for his Community, and is in our opinion, and many of his support base around the world, a victim of an abusively cruel & overused Solitary Confinement form of isolation as ‘rehab’ or security, on the pretext of maintaining an orderly smooth-functioning prison facility.

 

As opined in a 1978-79 Prisoner Class Action, Ruiz v. Estelle, 550 2d 238, legendary Texas Jurist, U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice, for the Eastern District of Texas stated. . .”the conditions of imprisonment within the TDC (now TDCJ) Prison System constituted Cruel and Unusual Punishment in violation of the United States Constitution.” “Xinachtli” has endured twice the maximum limit of this (20) year period that Wayne Justice figured as a cutoff point before the degrading conditions of ‘solitary’ would manifest into dis-ease and loss of sanity. This August, it will be (15) consecutive years of being subjected to this form of Texas Torture and sensory-deprivation they call “Administrative Segregation.”

 

By quarantining political dissidents like “Xinachtli,” they’ve labelled and denigrated as “trouble-makers,” and the 125 or so other recognized PP’s across this country in a similar manner, and in his case, all due to a damaging false accusation of an informant that said “Xinachtli” was responsible for a prison gang ‘hit,’ someone he didn’t even know; Texas’ ‘Control Units’ have become a sad reflection of a society that’s bottomed-up, by allowing these tax-payer-funded “Houses of Horror” to continue to maim and destroy human lives. LIBERATE “XINACHTLI” –GIVE HIM A NEW DATE IN COURT & ABOLISH SOLITARY CONFINEMENT NOW FOREVER!!

♦  At 12-Noon – to – 1 PM  ♦

At the Texas Capitol ‘South Steps’ Entrance – at the “T” & 11th & Congress Avenue

 

John S. Dolley, Coordinator: Committee to Free Alvaro “Xinachtli” Luna Hernandez ♦ We will be free to speak with media at this time – Contact: twitchon@gmail.comhttp://www.freealvaro.net

Political prisoner Jaan Laaman is still being held in segregation

May 25, 2017

Jaan K. Laaman, long-time anti-imperialist political prisoner, is currently in segregation (minimum of 23 hours locked down in a 6×9’ cell).  Jaan has been in segregation since his birthday on March 21, 2017, over two months now,  simply for issuing two statements, a clear violation of free speech and human rights. He is being threatened with transfer to a Communication Management Unit or Special Management Unit; punishments that are not appropriate for a prisoner of Jaan’s age and would be a violation for practicing free speech.

Jaan was placed into solitary confinement because of two short messages he released: one in support of the “Day Without a Woman Strike” (International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017) which was printed in the NYC Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) update, and his “Farewell Thoughts to My Friend, Lynne Stewart” which was broadcast on Prison Radio. When the NYCABC update arrived by mail to the prison, Jaan was promptly placed in solitary confinement. Prison officials charged Jaan with “threatening the security of the prison” because of these First Amendment protected statements.

 

How you can support Jaan:

Write/call/email the Bureau of Prisons  and ask them to end the repression against Jaan!

Please write and call the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) officials below and ask that Jaan:

1- Be released from segregation & placed back into general population immediately.

2- That he not be moved to a Communication Management Unit or punished further for exercising free speech.

 

3- Have his phone and email privileges be restored immediately.

Please remind them that Jaan is an elder prisoner, and you are concerned about his health in segregation and you would be concerned about his safety if he is moved to a Communication Management Unit.

 

Mary M. Mitchell, Regional Director
BOP Regional Office
7338 Shoreline Dr
Stockton, CA 95219
Regional email:   wxro/execassistant@bop.gov

Phone: 209-956-9700
Fax: 209-956-9793

 

BOP Central Office, DC

Phone: 202-307-3198

Warden
United States Penitentiary – Tucson
9300 South Wilmot Road
Tucson, AZ  85756
Email: TCP/ExecAssistant@bop.gov
Phone: 520-663-5000
Fax: 520-663-5024

Send a message through the Bureau of Prison (BOP) website here: https://www.bop.gov/inmates/concerns.jsp  

– Select ‘USP Tucson’
– Send a message that includes his name and number: ‘Jaan Laaman #10372-016’

Please be polite but firm in your letters and send the responses you get to jaanlaaman@gmail.com.

 

Write to Jaan and let him know he’s in our hearts and on our minds.

Jaan has no access to news and access to phone calls. It’s important we send him some letters right now. Send him articles, so that he gets some world news and messages of solidarity and support. Let the jailers see that Jaan has support from the community and cannot just be left in segregation or silenced.

Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734

 

Background Information

Jaan is imprisoned at United States Penitentiary (USP) Tucson in Arizona, and is one of the last two remaining Ohio-7 political prisoners still locked up, (the other is Tom Manning). The Ohio-7 were convicted in 1986 of direct actions to oppose U.S. support for the white-supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa, illegal U.S. attacks on Nicaragua, and repression against Puerto Rican freedom fighters.

Jaan was placed into solitary confinement because of two messages: “Day Without a Woman Strike,” and “Farewell Thoughts to My Friend, Lynne Stewart.” Lynne Stewart, revolutionary peoples’ lawyer passed away on March 8, 2017.

No one should be punished for exercising their First Amendment Rights. The United States District Court in Pennsylvania recently ruled in a case involving efforts to censure Mumia Abu-Jamal:  “A past criminal offense does not extinguish a person’s constitutional right to free expression. The First Amendment does not disappear at the prison gate.”

Pattern of Increasing Repression

This is the latest act of repression by the prison administration, following increasing actions against Jaan. Over a year ago, the prison shut down Jaan’s access to email, and they have been censoring him in various ways since then, including withholding his mail and limiting access to his lawyer.

Jaan previously wrote about the increasing censorship he has been facing, here. Jaan has been writing reflections about global events since he was first captured in 1984, so this level of censorship is new and different.

This update was written by friends of Jaan Laaman.
jaanlaaman@gmail.com.
Facebook: Free Jaan Laaman
Twitter: @4StruggleMag

TAKE ACTION for Anti-Imperialist Political Prisoner Jaan Laaman, Locked in Segregation and Facing Repression for Speaking Out for Human Rights

May 8, 2017

Jaan Laaman, Currently in Segregation

Jaan K. Laaman, long-time anti-imperialist political prisoner, is currently in segregation. Jaan has been in segregation since his birthday on March 21, 2017 simply for issuing two political statements, a clear violation of free speech and human rights. [More details below.]

How you can support Jaan:

Write to Jaan and let him know he’s in our hearts and on our minds.

Jaan has no access to news and almost no access to phone calls. It’s important we send him some letters right now. Send him articles, so that he gets some world news.

Jaan Karl Laaman #10372-016
USP Tucson
P.O. Box 24550
Tucson, AZ 85734

Write and call the Warden and ask him to end the repression against Jaan.

Please write and call the Warden at USP Tucson and ask that Jaan be released from segregation and that he not be punished for expressing his support for women’s rights and for writing a statement mourning the passing of his friend, Lynne Stewart. Remind the Warden that Jaan is an elder prisoner, and you’re concerned about his health in segregation and you would be concerned about his safety if he is moved to another prison.

Warden

United States Penitentiary – Tucson
9300 South Wilmot Road
Tucson, AZ  85756
Email: TCP/ExecAssistant@bop.gov

Phone: 520-663-5000
Fax: 520-663-5024

You can also contact:
Mary M. Mitchell, Regional Director
BOP Regional Office
7338 Shoreline Dr
Stockton, CA 95219

Regional email:   wxro/execassistant@bop.gov

Thomas R. Kane,  Director
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Central Office HQ
320 First Street, NW
Washington, DC 20534

Background Information

Jaan is imprisoned at United States Penitentiary (USP) Tucson in Arizona, and is one of the last two remaining Ohio-7 political prisoners still locked up. The Ohio-7 were convicted in 1986 of direct actions to protest U.S. support for the white-supremacist apartheid regime in South Africa, illegal U.S. attacks on Nicaragua, and repression against advocates for Puerto Rican self-determination.

Jaan was placed into solitary confinement because of two short messages: one in support of the “Day Without a Woman Strike” (International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017) which was printed in the NYC Anarchist Black Cross (ABC) update, and his “Farewell Thoughts to My Friend, Lynne Stewart” which was broadcast on Prison Radio. Lynne Stewart, revolutionary peoples’ lawyer passed away on March 8, 2017. When the NYC ABC magazine arrived by mail to the prison, Jaan was promptly placed in solitary confinement. Prison officials charged Jaan with “threatening the security of the prison” because of these First Amendment protected statements.

No one should be punished for exercising their First Amendment Rights. The United States District Court in Pennsylvania recently ruled in a case involving efforts to censure Mumia Abu-Jamal:  “A past criminal offense does not extinguish a person’s constitutional right to free expression. The First Amendment does not disappear at the prison gate.”

Pattern of Increasing Repression

Being placed in segregation is the latest act of repression by the prison administration, following increasing actions against Jaan. Over a year ago, the prison shut down Jaan’s access to email, and they have been censoring him in various ways since then, including withholding his mail and limiting access to his lawyer.

Jaan was placed in segregation on his birthday and has been there ever since. There is a growing consensus as to the psychological harm caused by solitary confinement. In 2011 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture concluded that solitary confinement for more than 15 days constitutes torture and can cause irreversible harmful psychological effects.

Jaan previously wrote about the increasing censorship he has been facing, here. Jaan has been writing reflections about global events since he was first captured in 1984, so this level of censorship is certainly something new and different.

This update was written by friends of Jaan Laaman. Reach us at jaanlaaman@gmail.com. On Facebook: Free Jaan Laaman; Twitter: @4StruggleMag.

The Context for the Trump Phenomenon

March 18, 2017
BY David Gilbert 

The bizarre and dangerous rise of Donald Trump did not just pop up out of the thin air. The very foundation of the U.S. is white supremacy. This country is, at its core, imperialist, patriarchal and based in a range of ways human beings are delimited and demeaned. Nor are the specific and terribly virulent politics of racial scapegoating brand new. Always a part of U.S. culture, that approach became more central in mainstream politics, with various ups and downs in the rhetoric, since the end of the 1960s. A stable imperialism prefers to rule by keeping the population passive, with large sectors at home placated by relative prosperity. But when the system is in crisis, those running the economy often resort to diverting anger by scapegoating the racial “other.” The sectors of the population who buy into that get the “satisfaction” of stomping on their “inferiors,” which is a lot easier than confronting the mega-powerful ruling class.

The eruption of mass protest against Trump has been exciting, and so far it’s been sustained. People seem to have a feel for the critical need for ongoing education, organizing, and mobilization. The movement also has to be prepared, both psychologically and in terms of legal and support networks, for greater repression, both state and extralegal.

The Democrats in blaming “those damn Russkies” are deflecting attention away from the real reason they lost: they represented the prevailing global capitalism and all the associated frustrations of the decline of U.S. manufacturing and the erosion of job security. Trump spoke to those anxieties – in a totally demagogic and dishonest way. For example, during the campaign he railed against Goldman Sachs as the prime example of how Wall Street banks screw the working man; then, as president he selected seven of his top economic appointments from the ranks of Goldman Sachs. The Democrats could not provide a compelling alternative to this racist scam artist because they too are fully based in the long bipartisan history of white supremacy, capitalism, and wars of aggression.

Regardless of these questionable charges, Russia can’t hold a candle to the U.S. when it comes to interfering in other countries’ elections, let alone more intrusive and violent means of regime change. The big push by the Democrats and allied sectors of the security apparatus for confronting Russia is not only unjustified bat also runs the risk of leading to a horribly destructive war. As much as we’re scandalized, and rightly so, by Trump‘s more blatant racism and misogyny, we need to look at the continuities as well as the departures.

President Obama, with his kinder and more inclusive rhetoric, provided trillions of dollars to bail out Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. He presided over seven wars (drone strikes have killed hundreds of civilians and are acts of war under international law). His administration deported a record number of immigrants. In his last year, Obama sought to burnish his legacy around climate change and mass incarceration. He issued a record number of clemencies, but earlier took legal action to keep far more in prison. After Congress passed a law somewhat reducing what had been draconian sentences for crack cocaine, the Justice Department went to court to prevent any retroactive application, and thus kept some 6,000 people behind bars. Similarly, Obama issued a number of executive orders, most of which can be readily reversed, to modestly rein in greenhouse gases. But earlier his administration played a key role in sabotaging the 2009 Copenhagen Conference of Parties, which was the best chance to get a binding international treaty with some teeth in it, at a time when Democrats held a majority in Congress.

Recalling these dire problems is a reminder of how much the most basic issue is the very nature of the system. Nonetheless, there is something new and particularly threatening about Trump’s election: the way he has enlarged, energized and emboldened an active and aggressive base for white supremacy. Immigrants, Muslims, Native American water protectors, Black Lives Matter activists, women who’ve faced sexual assault, LGBTQ folks, those who can’t afford health insurance, and more all feel under the gun. The prospect of an unbridled pouring of more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is terrifying.

We can’t forget that an imperialism in crisis will turn to racist mobilizations to supersede obstacles to continued domination and expansion. The U.S. hasn’t yet reached that dramatic turning point, but it has been teetering in and out of economic and political crises since 1971. And on top of that, we now are on the brink of environmental disasters that can’t be resolved under capitalism.

As of this writing (February 2017) major sectors of the ruling class are still wary of Trump as too much of a loose cannon. They are making an effort at least to rein him in if not bring him down, although leading with the very dangerous push toward greater confrontation with Russia. It remains to be seen if Trump’s amalgam of billionaire businessmen and ultra-Right white nationalists can provide a coherent program or even hold together. Whatever happens with his presidency, we likely are in for a burgeoning of white supremacist movements. If Trump’s economic policies appear to be successful (possible in the short run of a couple of years but, if so, with giant dislocations and problems in the longer run), he’s a hero to those embittered sectors of the white working and middle classes who voted for him. On the other hand, if his administration implodes, millions of his fervent supporters will see it as the “elites” bringing down their champion. In either case our job, our challenge, is to build a strong movement that can articulate the real issues and clearly present humane, international and sustainable alternatives.

There’s been an outpouring of Left analysis on who voted for Trump and why. Some of it is very helpful about race, class, and the economy. From what I’ve seen there’s been very little that puts all that in the global context, with the U.S. as the premier imperial power but in decline. Nor has there been enough that has rooted Trump’s rise in the developments of the past 45 years. This is the challenge for our ongoing project of analysis and activism.

David Gilbert #83-A-6158
Wende Correctional Facility
3040 Wende Road
Alden, New York 14004-1187

“Day Without a Woman Strike” Statement

March 8, 2017

by political prisoner Jaan K. Laaman

A salute of Solidarity and Support on International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017 from political prisoner Jaan Laaman

Allow me to send warm, positive, hopeful and militant solidarity and revolutionary support to all the women leading, pushing, planning and participating in the very necessary ongoing freedom and justice struggles all across the US and around the world.

From the dynamic and historic marches of January 21 to the “Day Without a Woman Strike” today, March 8, women have been leading and advancing the overall freedom struggle just when this has been most needed.

Even behind these prison walls, the insight, fighting spirit, and direction you sisters are providing is seen and felt. We need this, and all of you, more than ever.

Let me close with the words of a fierce revolutionary, Marilyn Buck: “I thank all of you who struggle for a day, for a year, for a lifetime.”

And I send this out in the spirit of Lynne Stewart, our fearless Peoples’ Attorney, and dear friend, who just yesterday passed away.