Join Albert Woodfox and Robert King for a Q & A and screening of the new documentary film about the Angola 3, entitled "Cruel and Unusual," premiering in New York City on May 26 and in Santa Monica, CA on June 2. See flyers for more information.
(PHOTO:Albert at the Innocence Project's Network Conference in San Diego this last month, alongside Valerie Jarret, a Chicago lawyer and former top adviser to President Barack Obama.)
A3 Newsletter, April 17, 2017: Taking on the Clarion Call - "Free 'em all!"
"Freedom is a state of mind" Albert said at the presentation that he and King gave at Harvard last month. That may be how Albert stayed sane for over four decades in solitary but now that he's out, he's beginning to see that freedom can be a lot of work and even more travel!!
Along with King, Albert has been on the road somewhere different every week; Thunder Bay, San Francisco, Montreal, Cambridge, New York, San Diego, in the last 4 weeks alone. All of this traveling and talking and giving interviews is in an effort that both men are committed to - to raising awareness of the unbelievable misery and injustice that goes on in jails, detention centers and prisons, nation wide. Albert is carrying on along the path of Robert and others exonerees, logging miles ever since his release advocating for the freedom of others.
Now that Albert and Robert are both free, they've become a powerful team, calling for and supporting efforts for the release of many fellow wrongfully convicted political prisoners; Leonard Peltier, Ruchell Magee, Chip Fitzgerald, Herman Bell, Mumia Abu Jamal and so many others that still suffer in the same oppressive, abusive conditions that they once endured.
With the rise of the new national regime, the struggle continues and Albert and Robert are committed to remaining at the forefront of every effort to correct the inequality in the USA's justice system. We hope you'll have a chance to view the Harvard presentation, listen to the audio interview from Thunder Bay and read the transcript of Amnesty International's new interview with Albert.
Albert and King head to Denmark and Sweden in a couple of weeks to speak at their Annual General Meetings and have every intention of continuing their work on behalf of the eradication of solitary and their support of freedom for so many other prisoners.
'Cruel and Unusual' – The Angola 3 story, US Cinema Release
Help get the Angola 3's story into cinemas to support their campaign against long-term solitary confinement & qualify for the Oscars
Cinema release in NY and LA to bring 'Cruel and Unusual' - the story of the Angola 3 - to the big screen and qualify for Academy Award consideration.
'Cruel and Unusual' is the story of three men who have spent longer in solitary confinement than any other prisoners in the US because of the murder of a prison guard in 1972 at Angola, the Louisiana state penitentiary.
A year ago on 19 February 2016 I walked out of a Louisiana prison a free man after serving 44 years in solitary confinement.
At that moment I became 'famous' as the longest serving person in solitary confinement in the world, as well as being the last member of the Angola 3 to be free.
For over 44 years - along with fellow Black Panthers Herman Wallace and Robert King - we turned our death chambers into classrooms and courts of law from which we educated fellow inmates and stood up against a violent, racist and brutal prison system which targeted us for our activism.
(ABOVE PHOTOS:Robert King and Albert Woodfox join filmmaker Ron Harpelle on CBC Radio-Canada)
March 2, Thunder Bay, Ontario: Albert Woodfox and Robert King of the Angola 3 in Ontario,
Canada for panel and screening of the film "Hard Time" about Robert
King, made by Ron Harpelle. Event at 7pm, Trinity Hall, 310 Park Ave. Read our 2014 interview with Ron Harpelle.
In the context of the Week Against Police Brutality (https://cobp.resist.ca/),
a discussion on incarceration and political repression with Albert
Woodfox et Robert H. King will take place Friday March 17th at 6:00 pm
at the Alumni Auditorium room H-110 of the Henry F. Hall Building (1455
de Maisonneuve West) of the Concordia University.
Dans le cadre de la semaine contre la Brutalité Policière (https://cobp.resist.ca/)
se tiendra une discussion sur l'incarcération et la répression
politique avec Albert Woodfox et Robert H. King le vendredi 17 mars, à
18h à l’auditorium H-110 du 1455, de Maisonneuve Ouest (édifice Henry F.
Hall de l’université Concordia) à Montréal.
At 5:30 pm on Wednesday, March 8, the Angola 3's Robert King and Albert Woodfox will be speaking together at Harvard University it Cambridge, MA. Please check back here and at the Facebook event page for more information.
The Harvard Crimson has released a new article in advance of next month's event, entitled "Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement in a Louisiana Prison." Featured below is an excerpt. Read the full article here.
Albert Woodfox and Robert King are coming to Harvard on March 8th. They have dedicated their post-incarceration lives to fighting for “the abolishment of solitary confinement and freedom for political prisoners.” “I choose to use my anger as a means for changing things,” Woodfox said after his release.
“Everybody has fear,” Woodfox continued. “Fear is the soul telling the body that it’s in danger. Some people overcome that fear. I overcame it by having a cause.”
(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox and Robert King at an event hosted by The Guardian in London, England during the recent European Tour.)
A3 Newsletter, January 30, 2017: Reflections on Freedom
It's been a few months since we've sent out a newsletter - taking a bit of a break in December after the wild and wonderful year that unfolded after Albert's release in February, almost one year ago!
2016 was a busy year and 2017 looks like it will be eventful as Albert and Robert actively continue campaigning for the human rights of all prisoners. During the successful European tour last October, they visited some of the cities that had supported the campaign over the last decade. They met supporters, NGO activists and spoke throughout England, from London to Liverpool and then in Paris, France. Featured below is a round up of the tour.
In December, Robert took a trip to Washington D.C. to join in the effort to bring attention to Leonard Peltier's request for clemency, joining artist and Angola 3 supporter Rigo 23 at the installation of his 9-foot-tall statue of Leonard at American University. Sadly, not only was Leonard not granted clemency, but the FBI demanded that the sculpture be removed from the museum grounds, and astoundingly, the museum complied without any apparent concern for freedom of expression. A legal suit is being filed against this action. As to Leonard, this would be a good time to reach out to him and let him know that the struggle continues and that he has many supporters out here that will continue fighting on his behalf.
There was good international media coverage in the UK and France resulting from the European tour and in the US, the New Yorker released their extended piece on Albert, written by Rachel Aviv.
March is a busy month with trips to Toronto and Montreal in Canada and a speaking engagement at Harvard. Stay tuned for more information about those events.
2016 European Tour
Angola 3's UK and French supporters were excited to welcome Robert with Albert for the first time. Albert got the opportunity to meet many of the UK and French supporters who have been campaigning on his and Herman's case. The visit took place during the USA presidential election and there was much discussion about how little has changed with the issues of race and injustice, which are as urgent today as they were in the 1970's when Woodfox and King were campaigning from behind prison walls.
The visit started in London with Albert and Robert launching Amnesty UK's Write for Rights Campaign, followed by sold out events at John Moores University in Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University, Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and an event with The Guardian newspaper. In Paris, Amnesty France hosted one of their largest attended events ever with over 800 people coming to hear Albert and Robert. This remarkable evening was made all the more poignant with a beautiful performance by Louisiana based supporter and artist Sarah Quintana who sang a song she wrote for and dedicated to Herman, entitled "Almost Free."
Albert and Robert thank everyone who made this visit possible and welcomed them with such warmth.
A Voice for the Voiceless: Watch the New Segment of Our Interview With Albert Woodfox
In this newly released excerpt from the A3 Coalition's interview with Albert in May 2016, Albert explains:
"Since we've been released, King and I have had many long nights of discussion asking 'How can we remain relevant to the struggle in this country and in the world?'
Be sure to read this long New Yorker article reporting on Albert's recent travels and life experiences, as well as examining the months leading up to his release, nearly one year ago. An excerpt is featured below.
By summer, Woodfox felt that he was getting his “street legs,” as he called them. A sly sense of humor surfaced. But he was also increasingly exhausted. He spoke at panels about prisoners’ rights in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Baton Rouge. “I feel an obligation, because when I was in the position of the guys in prison I used to wonder why nobody spoke for us,” he told me. His friend Kenny Whitmore, who is still at Angola, told me that when Woodfox was freed “he took a part of me with him.” Whitmore said, “That old man is going full speed ahead.”
In early August, Woodfox flew to New York City to receive an award from the National Lawyers Guild, an association of progressive lawyers and activists, at the organization’s annual conference. He wore a gray blazer over a T-shirt that said “I Am Herman Wallace.” At the podium, he announced that he wanted to honor “my comrade and good friend.” He extended his palm toward King, who was in the third row of the auditorium, but became too choked up to say his name. Woodfox pressed his lips together and paused, regaining his composure. “I hope that my being here tonight is a testament to the strength and determination of the human spirit,” he said.
After the speech, Woodfox and King headed to a lounge on the second floor of the law school, where people were selling buttons, T-shirts, and posters that said “Free All the Angola 3.” Woodfox signed a dozen posters, writing in steady, capital letters, “I AM FREE! ALBERT WOODFOX.” People kept approaching him to ask if they could take selfies. “It’s amazing to be in the room with you,” one person told him. “Talk about moving and inspiring!” another said. “O.K.,” Woodfox said in response to most compliments.