Friday, September 25, 2009

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Dan Berger on Political Prisoners in the United States

This new interview with author/activist Dan Berger was conducted in the Winter of 2009. The interview is mostly based on Berger's essay "The Real Dragons: A Brief History of Political Militancy and Incarceration: 1960s to 2000s," which is featured in the book "Let Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free U.S. Political Prisoners" (PM Press, 2008).

In part one, Berger discusses his new research into US prison movements of the 1970s, which Berger is researching and writing about for his PhD dissertation at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

In part two, Berger discusses prisoner movements today, particularly in light of the recent ten-year anniversaries of both Critical Resistance and The Jericho Movement.

Dan Berger is a writer and activist living in Philadelphia. He is the author of "Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the Politics of Solidarity" (AK Press, 2006) and co-editor of "Letters From Young Activists: Today’s Rebels Speak Out" (Nation Books, 2005). Presently, along with his dissertation about 1970s prison movements, he is editing a book about 1970s-era radicalism, titled "Hidden Histories of 1970s Radicalism" (forthcoming from Rutgers University Press in Fall, 2010). His writings have also been published in The International Journal of Communication, The Nation, Punishment & Society, WireTap, Z Magazine, and elsewhere.

The grandson of Holocaust survivors, Berger has long been involved in struggles for social justice. From 2000 to 2003, he served as founding co-editor of ONWARD, a now-defunct internationally distributed quarterly anarchist newspaper based in Gainesville, Florida, that emerged out of the global justice movement. Berger has also been involved in an array of organizing efforts against war, racism, and the prison industrial complex. A longtime activist in support of U.S. political prisoners, Berger has published and presented scholarly essays on news images and prison abuse, alternative media and globalization, and race and social movements.

This new video-interview is made by Angola 3 News, which is an official project of The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Through our work supporting the Angola 3, we seeks to spotlight the broader issues that are central to their story, like racism, repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture, political prisoners, the legacy of the Black Panther Party, and more. Our first video focused on California death row prisoner Kevin Cooper. Please stay tuned for future videos and more original multi-media projects!


  1. I invite everyone reading this to join hands with us in solidarity. We intend to have twelve unaffiliated, non-politician citizens serving together as Governor of California -- for the first time in history -- as per Many high profile people (worldwide) such as Howard Zinn are already on board as per Get in touch with me, Dan Berger, or anyone else interested. One of our first acts will be to release MANY prisoners. That should have an impact on those incarcerated outside of California. In part, because we intend to speak out vigorously, creatively and repeatedly once in office... about the abomination of our Prison-Industrial System.
    In solidarity blessings, Richard Martin Oxman in Aptos, CA Write

    Even if one does not ask or pretends not to see the rope and the flashing red flag draped around the philosophical question standing solemnly at attention in the middle of the room, it remains apparent that the mere presence of a private “for profit” driven prison business in our country undermines the U.S Constitution and subsequently the credibility of the American criminal justice system. In fact, until all private prisons in America have been abolished and outlawed, “the promise” of fairness and justice at every level of this country’s judicial system will remain unattainable. We must restore the principles and the vacant promise of our judicial system. Our government cannot continue to "job-out" its obligation and neglect its duty to the individuals confined in the correctional and rehabilitation facilities throughout this nation, nor can it ignore the will of the people that it was designed to serve and protect. There is urgent need for the good people of this country to emerge from the shadows of indifference, apathy, cynicism, fear, and those other dark places that we migrate to when we are overwhelmed by frustration and the loss of hope.
    My hope is that you will support the National Public Service Council to Abolish Private Prisons (NPSCTAPP) with a show of solidarity by signing "The Single Voice Petition"

    Please visit our website for further information:

    –Ahma Daeus
    "Practicing Humanity Without A License"…

  3. I would like to draw attention to the seriously marginalized WOMEN held captive in Solitary Confinement....
    There are countless women being tortured on a daily basis in the most dehumanizing of conditions...
    My question is this,is it that people only care that men are in solitary,or is sheer ignorance to the fact that we (women) are subjected to the some abuses and some far worse than can be imagined?
    I was repeatedly tortured in CM (Solitary) over the 3 years I spent.
    I was released 2 1/2 months ago and I still am experiancing the effects of this heinous treatment.
    My heart goes out to all individuals in prison,especially those trapped in the belly of the beast.
    I am compiling letters,stories and artwork from women in Solitary. I feel it is vital to get their voices heard,so they can network with dedicated activists and gain a support system.
    Also, it is of importance to bring these womens ordeals to light so that change will occur.
    If you would like more infomation please contact me at: or through my "distro": Savage Independant Press (S.I.P)/
    Savage River ABC Zine Distro
    P.O.Box 5453
    Gainesville,Florida 32627-5453

    ---In Struggle, Lisa(Lee)Savage

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