A3 Newsletter, October 11, 2019:
Honoring Herman Wallace
Herman Wallace died a free man in October of 2013 in spite of all the best efforts of the state of Louisiana to keep him incarcerated till his death.
The efforts the state took to to re-incarcerate Herman were so extreme that they actually helped make it possible for Albert to be released three years later.
Herman was without a doubt, the one member of the Angola 3 who had the widest reach in his correspondence and in the projects he inspired, initiated and obsessed over. His letters were frequently the catalyst that added new supporters to his list.
His indestructible, energetic, good humor and ceaseless organizing for the Angola 3 are missed. Hermanʻs spirit and forceful nature moved mountains in the effort to eliminate solitary. As you will see from the rest of this newsletter, his spirit lives on through the efforts of others today.
Albert has been traveling the globe since his release, speaking on the state of the criminal injustice system in this country. His book Solitary is now a finalist for the National Book Award and a movie is in the works. Later this year, Albert will be delivering the opening keynote address for the "Making and Unmaking Mass Incarceration" conference, set for December 4-6 at the University of Mississippi. The media attention continues for Albert, who was recently interviewed by the PBS television station WTTW during his visit to Chicago.
King and his partner, Kenyatta are nearing completion of the community cultural center, eatery, bar and much more that they have been working on in Algiers, West Bank.
The site will be honored as the original home of the famous West Bank Steppers and will be the home of the Angola 3!
Tomorrow King is speaking at the Gillespie-Senter Memorial breakfast. A flyer for the event is shown below. Albert is not mentioned on the flyer, because he thought heʻd be out of town. But Albert will now be appearing alongside King after all. This is a great time for New Orleans supporters to catch up with the guys.
Thanks to the Why Am I Not Surprised? blog, a long time Angola 3 supporter for the new piece on anti-solitary organizing featured below.
Zuluʻs case continues to drag on, but it seems as though some progress is being made. An update from supporters is featured below.
We are thrilled to report the release of Ronald Ailsworth from Angola Prison after 40 years inside. Ronald was involved in so many events that surround the story of the Angola 3 and was a close friend of one of Angola 3ʻs initial supporters, Althea Francois, who sadly passed on before she had a chance to see the fruit of so much of her life long quest for justice.
Click on the flyer below for a larger, more reader-friendly version:
Longtime A3 Ally and Former Black Panther Ronald Ailsworth Has Been Released
On September 26, the Louisiana Parole Project reported on the release of Ronald Ailsworth from Angola Prison. The Project's statement reads:
Ronald Ailsworth spent 40 years in prison before being given his second chance. While incarcerated he earned a college degree and served as a leader in his faith community. His top priority now that he is home: "to be an asset to humanity."
South Carolina Prisoners, Stay Strong! We Got Your Back
On September 27, the SF Bay View Newspaper published a letter entitled "South Carolina prisoners, stay strong! We got your back."
The author of the letter is Keith "Malik" Washington, a co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee and an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. Malik writes:
(direct quote begins)
It seems like only yesterday when we all heard about the bloody riot that occurred at Lee County Correctional facility in South Carolina. Too many of our incarcerated comrades died. I remember the call that was made for a National Prison Work Stoppage in 2018...
...Today, the oppression has, if anything, intensified. Many prisons are still on and off of lockdown TWO YEARS after the riot at Lee that touched off the 2018 prison strike. Friends and family of loved ones in South Carolina are organizing - the current demand is for removal of the steel plates installed over all the cell windows in some institutions, denying all natural light for the duration of the lockdowns - but change is slow and folks lose hope.
The oppressors who operate these slave kamps in South Carolina need to know that the struggle for freedom, justice and equality for all is alive.
We demand dignity, respect, and humane treatment for our comrades in South Carolina now! Locking human beings in cages for months at a time is not rehabilitation - it is torture!
(end of direct quote)
--For more information, read the Fits News article about the recent protest in South Carolina, as well as the new Why Am I Not Surprised? blog essay inspired by the SFBV letter, that includes quotes from the late Herman Wallace and new commentary from Albert Woodfox.
Reportback from Kenny "Zulu" Whitmore's Oct. 2 Court Hearing: D.A. again does not produce test results and is threatened with contempt of court
An important update from Zulu Whitmore's supporters states:
We spoke with Zulu after the Court Hearing of October 2nd, and he said: "We did not get the ruling that we wanted yesterday, but the Judge was angry with the D.A's delay in the case."
The Judge gave the D.A. within 30 days to produce the test of the finger- prints that were taken from the crime-scene, or he will be held in Contempt of Court & fined.
So now we are waiting for the District Attorney to finish the work that should have been done so many years ago, which is: work with the court to make Justice happen.
Meanwhile: Please send Zulu a POSTCARD (not a greeting card, they are no longer allowed in) for his upcoming Birthday on October 14th!
"Judge Erwin in the 19th judicial district court granted the State another 60-day extension without Zulu's lawyers being present in court. A statement from his legal team says, this is not over by a long shot."
Kenny Zulu Whitmore
86468 - Cypress #3
LA State Prison
Angola, LA 70712