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A Day in the Life of Political Prisoner Jalil Muntaqim

February 26, 2010

Prisoner organizations at Auburn Correctional Facility in New York State had approval to hold an event in the auditorium for Black History Month. Two outside guests had been approved to attend, a professor from Syracuse and a professor from Cornel University. I was also approved to make a 20-minute presentation. This presentation was to be a capsule overview of the civil rights movement, its evolution into the black power movement, the power politics of the ballot and the ascent of Barack Obama to the presidency.

However, on February 26, I was called into the media center and brought to an office to speak with Superintendent Harold Graham. Superintendent Graham basically told me that, following his approval of me to make the presentation for Black History Month, the correctional officers’ union (New York State Correctional Officers & Police Benevolent Association—NYSCOPBA) waged a campaign by contacting local media and the central office in Albany to prevent me from making the presentation.

Supt. Graham stated that he had received a phone call from the Albany central office telling him that I could not make the presentation. Supt. Graham further stated he felt that they were wrong. He told the commissioner that I have been here nearly 10 years, except for my time in California, and that he has not ever had any problems with me.

However, central office in Albany stated that they could not take the heat from any media scrutiny as a result of the guards’ disapproval. So I have
now been denied the opportunity to address the population for Black History Month. I thanked Supt. Graham for personally letting me know that I would not be able to make the presentation.

We can see from this level of animosity towards me by the NYSCOPBA that we need to double and triple the support base for my upcoming parole hearing in

Please sign the petition to Governor Paterson for Clemency/Commutation of Sentence at the following url:

Dictated to Anne Lamb via telephone on 02/26/10

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