Sunday, June 21, 2020

Watch the new short film: Heroes - A Conversation with Albert Woodfox and Robert King

Heroes - A Conversation with Albert Woodfox and Robert King from Shebafilms Kelly Saxberg on Vimeo.

Heroes: A Conversation with Albert Woodfox and Robert King is a short video being released at this time to highlight another dimension of the protests taking place around the world supporting Black Lives Matter and to draw attention to racism in criminal justice systems around the world.

In March, 2017, Kelly Saxberg and Ron Harpelle recorded a conversation with Albert Woodfox and Robert King during their visit to Thunder Bay, Ontario. Kelly Saxberg and Ron Harpelle are independent filmmakers who produced “Hard Time,” a documentary film about Robert King.

Albert Woodfox and Robert King are the surviving members of the Angola 3 and, along with Herman Wallace, they spent a combined total of 114 years in solitary confinement for crimes they did not commit. Their real “crime” was being black in the U.S. and organizing the only prison chapter of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Most of their time was spent in the Louisiana State Penitentiary, which is located on a former slave plantation known as Angola.

Robert King was released in 2001 after 29 years in solitary, Herman Wallace was released after 42 years on October 1, 2013 and he died of cancer three days later, and Albert Woodfox saw freedom in February 2016 after almost 44 years in a six-by-nine cell for 23 hours a day.

Since their release, both Albert Woodfox and Robert King have authored critically acclaimed autobiographies and they continue to fight for reforms in the criminal justice system.

In March 2017 they were invited by researchers at Lakehead University to participate in a panel discussion on solitary confinement in Canada. That discussion can be viewed on our Facebook page Robert King - Hard Time. The introduction is a re-edited section of “Hard Time,” a documentary about Robert King by Ron Harpelle and Kelly Saxberg.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Albert Woodfox and Leslie George nominated for a Pulitzer Prize

Albert Woodfox's 2019 memoir "Solitary," co-written with Leslie George, was nominated as a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in the category of "General Nonfiction."

Congratulations to the General Nonfiction winners Greg Grandin and Anne Boyer!

Read the New York Times article here.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

A3 Newsletter: DECARCERATE!!!!

A funny thing happened on the way to getting our Spring newsletter out...

The whole universe stopped and all of a sudden, there are now more people in lockdown then ever before- albeit, it's lockdown at home, which in almost every instance is far better than a 6x9 cell. However, it's a form of isolation that most of our supporters, friends and family never dreamt they'd be experiencing.

Albert and King are sanguine as always, using the skills they honed in decades of lockdown and appreciating the perks of locking down on the outside.

We'd hoped the March newsletter would have been filled with all the special events that Albert was attending and the awards and honors he is receiving, as well as an update on King and Kenyatta's building project. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond our control, just about everything has been postponed, cancelled, modified, televised or simply forgotten about. Albert should have been in Marin doing a special keynote for Marin College's Umoja program a few days ago. The New Orleans ACLU was then planning to honor him at their annual event on April 2nd.

At this point, things are looking pretty quiet, at least through June. As many of us are discovering, things like staying home, breaking our routines and not being able to visit and travel, has both it's upsides and it's downsides.

For Albert, it's an opportunity to spend some time at home, resting. He's been on the go since his release and this is a rare opportunity to rest. King and Kenyatta's plans to open their space soon have been upended, but the work on their project continues and they hope to be able to be open by Fall.

We asked Albert and King about how they managed to endure decades in a small box. They have some advice for those of us new to 'sheltering in place.'

First, develop a routine, something that provides some structure to the day and keeps you engaged in some activity.

, exercise as much as possible. Move your body!

Third, take the time you have to learn new things. Albert and King did this through reading, reading and more reading. Those of us at home with an internet connection can take online classes, watch you tube videos and more. This is a great opportunity to expand your skills and horizons.

Fourth, communicate with your loved ones by phone, letter, or online conferencing. With all the technology at most people's disposal, there's no reason to be totally isolated.

Finally, King recommends giving yourself time to sleep and dream :-)

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

A3 Newsletter: Zulu Whitmore, National Book Awards, Smithsonian Scholars, upcoming events and more

A3 IN THE NEWS:    New Orleans Public Radio interviews Robert King  II  Albert Woodfox at the University of Chicago  II  NPR Illinois interviews Albert and others at National Book Awards event  II Reading Albert Woodfox's Solitary While Being Detained at Guantanamo  

(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox and Robert King join other supporters of Kenny "Zulu" Whitmore at Zulu's court hearing in Baton Rouge on Nov. 25.  Many of the supporters are Zulu's family members, who traveled from outside of the state. Read more about this inspiring day below. Click on photo for a larger image.)

A3 Newsletter, December 3, 2019: Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020

Winding up a wild year of non-stop, back-to-back events, Albert will be heading to the Making and Unmaking Mass Incarceration Conference in Oxford, Mississippi on Wednesday (see flyer below) and then on to San Francisco where he will be a special guest at the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Conference on Saturday, December 7.

Above, we have compiled several new interviews with Albert and Robert and a great photo of them with a large group of supporters at Zulu's hearing on November 25th. 

Looks like the beat will go on in 2020. Albert and King are starting out the new year heading to San Francisco for the de Young Museum "Soul of the Nation" exhibit's free public panel discussion on January 11, in conversation with artist and longtime A3 supporter Rigo 23, discussing how art and artists helped create the visibility for the Angola 3 case.  

Wishing all Angola 3 supporters the very best over the holidays and we are all hoping for a much, much better New Year!!

(FLYER: Albert Woodfox will be a Keynote Speaker at the Making and Unmaking Mass Incarceration Conference, being held at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi on December 4-6, 2019. Other keynote speakers include Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Robin D.G. Kelley.)

Friday, October 11, 2019

A3 Newsletter: NOLA event with Robert King and Albert Woodfox this Saturday

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.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

A3 Newsletter: Zulu Whitmore Court Date and more

(PHOTO: Albert's book tour takes him to Wales for the Hay Festival, where he is shown onstage with Sarfraz Manzoor.)

A3 Newsletter, July 18, 2019:
Summer Update

With summer half over, we want to share with you some of the activity going on around Angola 3 and news in general of A3 supporters and comrades.

Robert has been laying low the last few months, working on his own projects but he's got quite a few things scheduled once September rolls around. We'll keep you posted.

Albert traveled to England for an Amnesty International event in London (shown in the photo above) and to Wales for the Hay Festival where he spoke alongside Sarfraz Manzoor. While in the UK, Albert was interviewed by the BBC's "Hard Talk" radio show and for the Channel 4 show "Ways to Change the World" (also watch the Channel 4 interview at Albert's home in New Orleans, which aired in May).

At the end of June, Albert traveled to the meet with the Board of Directors of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in Washington D.C.and two weeks later in July, he participated in the LDF's 40th Annual Capital Punishment Training Conference in Tarrytown, New York. 

Albert was also involved in the press conference held at Loyola University announcing the release of a study on the use of solitary confinement in Louisiana, a collaboration between VOTE, the ACLU of Louisiana, Solitary Watch, the Jesuit Social Research Institute / Loyola University New Orleans and the new Louisiana Stop Solitary Coalition. The wide range of news coverage included: The Advocate, The Advocate's Gambit, and the San Francisco Chronicle / Associated Press.

August is looking pretty quiet for both guys - time for them to spend with family and friends in between staying ever active in their efforts to spread the word about solitary confinement, prison conditions as a whole and the state of justice in America.

We hope you'll take a look at the awards and accolades that Angela A. Allen-Bell, an A3 supporter and Professor at Southern University Law Center has been receiving. We are thrilled to see that Prof. Bell's groundbreaking work is getting her the credit that she deserves.

We are sad to say that Kenny "Zulu" Whitmore's anticipated court date this month has been postponed. You can read the statement issued by Zulu's supporters in the section below.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Albert's Book Tour and Zulu Whitmore Update

(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox book event at the New Orleans Public Library. Photo by New Orleans Innocence Project.)

A3 Newsletter, April 29, 2019:
Ending Solitary One Book Signing at a Time

Solitary is now in its second printing! Albert has hardly had a minute to rest and the tour continues!

Early May finds him heading west for a book signing at Eso Wan books in Los Angeles, then north to Berkeley for two events at the Bay Area Book Festival, then on to Sacramento to join Angola 3 supporters, BJ and Gail at Underground Books.

After a scant week at home, he'll be heading to Miami to participate in a federal defenders conference and will do a book signing at Books and Books in Coral Gables in advance.  

Returning from Florida, after a week at home, Albert will be heading to England to take part in the Hay Book Festival. Summer slows down a little but there will be a trip to Australia in August. Much more to come, but these are enough details for now. We hope that all of the many Angola 3 supporters across the country will be able to join Albert as he blows through their town.

We also hope you'll read through to the section on Kenny "Zulu" Whitmore--another case of total injustice.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Albert Woodfox's Book Released Today: "Solitary: Unbroken by four decades in solitary confinement. My story of transformation and hope."

MORE COVERAGE:  Africa Today  II  The Australian  II  Vox  II  Australia Broadcast Corporation  II  NY Times Sunday Book Review  II  Democracy Now! (parts one and two)  II  WHYY Radio Times  II  Atlanta Journal-Constitution  II  New Orleans Times-Picayune  II  Storm Lake Times (Iowa)  II  New Orleans Advocate  II  By Any Means Necessary Radio Show  II  89.9 WWNO New Orleans Public Radio  II  Washington Post / Associated Press 

(To learn more about Solitary, including the latest information about Albert's book tour, please visit the publisher's website. The top of the publisher's website features links to several different booksellers from whom you can purchase Albert's book, including Indie Bound, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.)

Today, Albert Woodfox's autobiography hit the news-stands and went on sale around the world. The release of Solitary: Unbroken by four decades in solitary confinement. My story of transformation and hope, has been marked by significant news coverage.

National Public Radio featured both an interview with Albert and a separate book review entitled "In 'Solitary,' Determination And Humanity Win Over Injustice." The Guardian reprinted a lengthy excerpt from Solitary, where "The former Black Panther and member of the Angola 3 reflects on how he turned his cell from a place of confinement to a space for personal growth."

The New York Times' review described it as an "uncommonly powerful memoir," concluding that "if the ending of this book does not leave you with tears pooling down in your clavicles, you are a stronger person than I am. More lasting is Woodfox’s conviction that the American justice system is in dire need of reform."

Solitary's release was also cited today by the Religion News Service in an article about a virtual reality tour against solitary confinement that was presented by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, an organization that supported the campaign for Albert's release.

The Book Tour Begins

On Saturday, March 2, Albert began his book tour in Arizona at the Tucson Festival of Books. His next appearance will be on March 20 at the New Orleans Public Library. Information for March 20 and other dates is featured directly below (find the latest book tour updates Solitary's website):

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A3 Newsletter: So Much to Celebrate

(PHOTO: Guests of King and Kenyatta's home-warming last month. From left to right, General Rico, Deidre, Donna, Robert, Angela, Albert, Gwendolyn and Malik.)

A3 Newsletter: So Much to Celebrate

Happy Anniversary!

At long, long, long last...

From 1998 to 2016, we sent a newsletter annually commemorating another year that King, Herman and Albert remained in prison. It is such a great joy to be able to commemorate their freedom.

Today is the anniversary of Albert's 2016 release (shown in the photo above as he drove away from the prison gates). This is Albert's third year out here in the so called free world...the third year he can see the sky, go where he wants to go and do what he wants to do. After 44 years it seems like a miracle every time we talk on the phone or we book another trip to Europe or elsewhere for him to give a presentation. We're so excited to share the news of Albert's long awaited book, Solitary, which will be released on March 5 by Grove Atlantic Press. The book tour schedule is featured below and you can visit the Grove Atlantic website for more information.

The top of the publisher's website features links to several different booksellers from whom you can purchase Albert's book, including Indie Bound, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

This month also marked the 18th anniversary of Robert King's Feb. 8, 2001 release from Angola (shown in the photo above). True to his word when he was released, King has been free of Angola, but Angola and all prisons will never be free of his critical efforts. King and his partner Kenyatta presided over a rousing home-warming last month. See the photo at the top of the page!

To cap all this off, Malik Rahim's special awards evening occurred last month as well and we're happy to share some of the accolades and images from this memorable event that honored one of the founders of the Angola 3 effort.

--For more on the three year anniversary of Albert's release, visit the compilation of news articles from three years ago today, as well as the many interviews with Albert in the days that followed. If you have not yet done so, also be sure to watch our interview with Albert conducted in May, 2016, just a few months after his release.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

A3 Newsletter: An Invitation from King and Kenyatta

A3 Newsletter:
An Invitation from King and Kenyatta

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Robert King left New Orleans and settled in Austin, Texas. After more than a decade of living in Austin, King and his partner, Kenyatta have returned to Louisiana and they want to share their new home and their new life with the many Angola 3 supporters and comrades fighting for social justice, next weekend in their home in Westwego.

They'll be hosting a homecoming home warming on Sunday, January 27th from 2PM on. Contact Robert at if you need the address or directions and join them in their celebration.

Friday, November 30, 2018

A3 Newsletter: Going to Amsterdam, Widows, Non-Unanimous Juries and more

A3 Newsletter, November 30, 2018:
Another Years Draws to a Close

Albert and King are ending their year with a short trip to Holland to support the Dutch branch of Amnesty International's " Write for Rights Campaign" which kicks off on December 10, International Human Rights Day. The Dutch section of Amnesty has now existed for 50 years and is one of the world's largest Amnesty sections.

Amnesty featured Albert in their 2015 Write for Rights and the prison received bags of mail addressed to him from all over the world!  Albert and King are both happy to be able to support this highly successful effort at protecting prisoners by shining the world's light on them and helping them reach for freedom.

On Friday December 7th, they will appear in Amsterdam, and Den Hague and for the first time, Amnesty has a Write for Rights train ride across the country, where people can get on and write during their ride! Albert and King will ride the train with Amnesty from Den Hague back to Amsterdam before heading home. The featured prisoners this year are eight women who have dared to speak out about human rights abuses from eight different countries.

In one of many interesting interviews and events that occurred this year, Director Steve McQueen (Twelve Years A Slave) asked Albert to read a quote from one of his interviews to open his new film Widows. Several supporters have been stunned to hear Albert's voice at the start of the movie.

For those of you who have been fighting the good fight by illuminating the torture that is solitary confinement, there is a new project that you may find useful. Solitary Watch, in conjunction with Unlock the Box, has started the Solitary Confinement Resource Center, where information, statistics, resources, tools and articles about solitary have been compiled into a huge searchable database. Check it out when you can.

This has been a year full of travel and interviews for both Robert and Albert. Two years free and Albert has become a well-seasoned traveler, sharing how his experience of 44 years in solitary motivates him to stay involved and keep spreading the word about this dreadful penal practice. After fourteen years of advocating for Albert's release and the freedom of all political prisoners, King is happy to share the podium and the plane with his comrade of decades. March of next year brings the long-awaited release of Albert's book, Solitary, which will be released by Grove Press and, undoubtedly more travel. 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A3 Newsletter: Important Hearing This Week for Angola Prisoner Vincent Simmons

A3 Newsletter: Important Hearing This Week for Angola Prisoner Vincent Simmons

After a relatively quiet Summer, now Fall is starting out with a bang. Last week, King and Albert made their first presentation of the new season in Montgomery, Alabama for a group of Norwegian lawmakers on a fact-finding mission about the U.S. criminal justice system. 

As part of their trip to Montgomery, they visited the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, also known as the Lynching Memorial that Bryan Stevenson of Equal Justice Initiative conceived and spear-headed. They also visited the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where Martin Luther King began his ministry and met with several of MLK's comrades. 

They also had a chance to visit the offices of Equal Justice Initiative where Bryan Stevenson and his staff provide legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes, poor prisoners without effective representation, and others who may have been denied a fair trial in Alabama. It was a moving visit and an auspicious beginning to another season of sharing their experiences across the country and around the world.  

In November, Albert will be traveling to Philadelphia where Mural Arts Philadelphia will be hosting "Portraits of Justice Symposium."  Albert will be the keynote speaker for a day-long symposium that engages the public in reimagining the criminal justice system through the lens of art, advocacy, and policy reform. 

Also in November, King will head off to San Diego to participate in a panel at the annual Society for Neuroscience's conference. 

In December, they'll both be off to Amsterdam to help kick off Amnesty International's annual Write for Rights campaign that was so helpful in moving Albert's release forward in 2016.  

In March of 2019 Albert's book will be released and he will start a multi-city book tour. 

We'll keep everyone posted on these activities and more, but for this newsletter, we are hoping that supporters in Louisiana will make every effort to attend this new hearing for Vincent Simmons, an Angola prisoner who has struggled to have his case re-tried for decades.

More About Vincent Simmons' Court Date

Vincent Simmons' hearing is scheduled for October 2 at 1.15 pm in the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse in Marksville Louisiana. We are encouraging A3 supporters in the area to please attend the hearing and show support for Simmons. Providing further background on Simmons' upcoming court date, KALB in Louisiana reports: 

Friday, July 27, 2018

A3 Newsletter: Why Are We Not Surprised?

Why are we not surprised that children are ripped from their immigrant parents' arms?  Could it be because this has been happening for decades in U.S. jails and prisons -  not to mention, with increasing frequency as the population of women prisoners grows?  

Please read the article below from the July issue of the Coalition for Prisoners' Rights Newsletter, entitled "Cries of Children Echo Thru Years." The numbers cited by the newsletter, detailing the numbers of mothers and their children affected by mass incarceration, are truly staggering.

There are also cases like Veronza Bowers, Ed Poindexter of the Omaha 2 and Laverne Dejohnette, where it seems no amount of cruel and unusual treatment seems to satisfy our criminal injustice system's thirst for extreme punishment. We hope Angola 3 supporters will read these articles, sign petitions and re-commit to furthering their efforts to change the rotten systems that are in place. 

One bright spot in the midst of so much bad news is the release of  Debbie Africa of the Move 9. It was a joy to behold seeing Debbie with her son Mike Jr., who was torn from his mother following his birth in prison! We continue to push for the freedom for the remaining six of the Move 9, who have been repeatedly denied parole since they first became eligible in 2008. So much work left to be done!

For all of you who helped Malik Rahim raise funds for his taxes- here's a short video of the physical fundraiser in New Orleans.

Albert Woodfox Featured at Upcoming VOTE Workshops
--Events seeking participation from survivors of solitary confinement


Monday, June 11, 2018

A3 Newsletter June 11, 2018: Keep on Keeping On

Working for social justice frequently seems to be a glacially slow endeavor. This last week brought a summer thaw and more than a few things have changed. 

We celebrate and honor the work of Professor Angela A. Bell and the students in her Law and Minorities classes at Southern University for their remarkable efforts in seeing the long delayed parole of John Cluchette through to his release. Please read the article and comments below on this momentous event. 

Many Angola 3 supporters will remember the case of the Jena 6, yet another troubling chapter in Louisianaʻs racial history. One of Albertʻs lawyers, Rob McDuff, the amazing Emily Maw of the Innocence Project in New Orleans and Angola 3 supporter Tory Pegram, have continued to work with one of the members of the Jena 6, Theo Shaw, who rose above the massive obstacles and injustices he was faced with to graduate valedictorian of his law class this last week. Congratulations to Theo and best wishes for great success in the future. 

Less personal but also a great indicator of change a coming is the article on law suits being filed against Angola by prisoners objecting to the prisoner/slave connection.... long overdue!  We also want to honor the work of another one of Angola 3ʻs supporters, NRCAT and their excellent work organizing students to protest solitary confinement.

Finally, please join us in commemorating the life of Tiyo Attalah El-Salah, a prisoner at Dallas Security Prison in Pennsylvania who passed away this last week. Tiyoʻs life and work came to us through the efforts of Lois Ahrens of Real Cost of Prisons - a special friend to Tiyo and a tireless advocate for so many others. Tiyoʻs passing, much like Hermanʻs back in 2013 reminds us why we can never stop organizing and fighting.

To our comrades and allies - we are so grateful for your continued efforts. We hope this newsletter will inspire all of us to keep on keeping on. The good news lifts our spirits and the sad news reminds us that we canʻt give up!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

BREAKING: 'Soledad Brother' John Clutchette has been released!

Watch a short video interview with John Clutchette following his release, here.

(PHOTO: John Clutchette in the 1980s.)

Today 'Soledad Brother' John Clutchette walked out of the prison gates a free man, following Governor Jerry Brown's final approval of a January 12, 2018 decision by the California Parole Board to grant parole to Clutchette.

On January 18, we published an interview with Southern University Law Professor Angela A. Allen-Bell detailing Clutchette's case, and which launched an action campaign initiated by Prof. Bell and her students. We extend our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to Prof. Bell, her students, and everyone who took action in support of Clutchette's release!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A3 Newsletter: Kiilu Nyasha Remembered, Eric Brown, and A3 in Santa Cruz

(PHOTO: King, Ida, Marina and Kiilu at Expressions Gallery in 2001, just months after King's release from Angola.)

A3 Newsletter, May 15, 2018:
Paying It Forward

Albert and Robert continue on their epic journey, sharing their stories of solitary and false imprisonment, bringing attention to yet unreleased prisoners as in Los Angeles where they met with members of the Committee to Free Leonard Peltier, forging bonds with Native groups working on prison issues. At Princeton the following week they met with students in African American studies and shared their experiences.  Next week they will be in Santa Cruz along with Angela Davis and others. They also wanted to share the story of Eric Brown, still in Angola, with their supporters, hoping that some will find the time to write and support Eric in his efforts towards freedom. 

They also want to join in the memorializing of long time supporter Kiilu Nyasha who passed away unexpectedly last month. Her support of the Angola 3 and so many other political prisoners was tireless and critical to so many. She will be deeply missed.

In 2008, Kiilu interviewed Robert King on her TV show following the release of his autobiography, and she spoke at an A3 event in 2012, (featured at 17 minutes and 50 seconds into this online video). Below is an announcement for Kiilu's memorial service, to be held in San Francisco on May 20.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

PHOTOS: Robert King and Albert Woodfox in Los Angeles at The Main with Rigo 23

Featured below are photos from the April 7, 2018 event with Robert King and Albert Woodfox in Los Angeles, California, entitled "Mightier than Metal, Sturdier than Concrete," hosted by The Main and moderated by artist & longtime A3 supporter Rigo 23.

The panel discussion was held inside the exhibition supporting Leonard Peltier, entitled 'Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves,' which takes its title from a quote by Robert King: "You throw pebbles into a pond, you get ripples; ripples become waves; the waves can become a tsunami."

All photos were taken by Frank Jackson.

(LEFT TO RIGHT: Albert Woodfox, Kathy Peltier, Chauncey Peltier, Robert King, and Rigo 23)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Watch the archived full length video: Robert King and Albert Woodfox in Los Angeles on April 9

The April 9 event with Robert King and Albert Woodfox in Los Angeles at the Mark Taper Auditorium - Central Library has now been archived for those who missed the livestream or we unable to attend.

Robert and Albert also be spoke in Los Angeles at an April 7 event hosted by The Main, which was moderated by artist and longtime A3 supporter Rigo 23.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A3 Newsletter: Angola 3 Spring Update

A3 Newsletter, March 28, 2018:
Where Common Ground Began
--Help Malik Save Lubertha's Home

Featured below is a fundraising appeal from longtime Angola 3 supporter and former Black Panther Malik Rahim, who is shown in the photo above, alongside Robert King and Albert Woodfox.

The Angola 3 have long been involved with and supported Malik in his efforts with Common Ground and multiple other projects. We hope that our supporters will do what they can to assist Malik in saving his motherʻs home, the very home that was the initial base for Common Ground. Please take a moment to watch the video Malik has put together and help if you can.

We also want to remind you that Albert and Robert will be speaking in Los Angeles, California on April 7 at The Main and on April 9 at the Mark Taper Auditorium - Central Library. The April 7 event, moderated by artist and longtime A3 supporter Rigo 23, will occur inside the exhibition 'Rigo 23: Ripples Become Waves,' which takes its title from a quote by Robert King: "You throw pebbles into a pond, you get ripples; ripples become waves; the waves can become a tsunami." A fitting metaphor for the decades-long A3 struggle.


A Message from Malik Rahim

(Watch Malik's video and donate here.)

Almost 13 years ago, days after Hurricane Katrina, Mary Ratcliff of the Bay View News Paper called me for an interview which later was entitled  "This is Criminal." First, this article exposed the fact that over 150,000 people (the vast majority being Black) in the City of New Orleans were abandoned and offered no relief. Second, it launched the founding of one of this nation's greatest relief efforts, the Common Ground Collective. Through this collective, Common Ground Relief and Common Ground Health Clinic were organized. Together, we served over a 1/2 Million people in 19 affected parishes in Louisiana as well as counties in both Mississippi and Alabama. We provided outreach assistance to displaced residents in over 20 states.

All three organizations were founded at the home of my late Mother (Lubertha and step Father Irwin Johnson). I also housed over 200 of the early volunteers while serving as their first distribution center. Over 4,000 people received aid at my late mother's home. And it was from that home on Atlantic Ave, just weeks after Hurricane Katrina when we were hit by another hurricane, Rita. These early volunteers, working from my family home, cleaned hundreds of storm drains, preventing Algiers (which later became the community that the City of New Orleans was able to use to begin it's recovery efforts) from flooding. Never has the City of New Orleans, State of Louisiana nor this nation acknowledged the role and sacrifice those who volunteered with these organizations played in the aftermath of both hurricanes.

Now, in this New Orleans' 300th year anniversary, the city is attempting to sell my family home for back taxes. Taxes I will pay, for I truly believe there are enough grateful people in New Orleans to help me raise $ 31,000, to save a home if renovated would be valued over $200,000. But as these taxes are paid, I will be filing a civil right's law suit against the City of New Orleans, State of Louisiana and U.S. Federal Government, declaring our civil rights were violated, that I was targeted for being a member of the Black Panther Party and for the work I did to free the Angola 3 (three men who spent a combine total of 114 years in solitary confinement). But most of all, for exposing the injustice infected in my community in the aftermath of these hurricanes.

Please support my effort by not only making a contribution to save my home but calling for city, state, and congressional hearing on this civil action. Remember this can happen again if we fail to act.

Thanking you in advance for your support.
In the struggle for environmental Peace & Justice

Malik Rahim

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Please Support Herman Bell - Four Things to do Right Now!

We are reposting this call to action released by supporters of Herman Bell. Please do what you can!

Dear friends,

Last week the New York State Board of Parole granted Herman Bell release. Since the Board’s decision, there has been significant backlash from the Police Benevolent Association, other unions, Mayor De Blasio and Governor Cuomo. They are demanding that Herman be held indefinitely, the Parole Commissioners who voted for his release be fired, and that people convicted of killing police be left to die in prison.

We want the Governor, policymakers, and public to know that we strongly support the Parole Board’s lawful, just and merciful decision. We also want to show support for the recent changes to the Board, including the appointment of new Commissioners and the direction of the new parole regulations, which base release decisions more on who a person is today and their accomplishments while in prison than on the nature of their crime.

Herman has a community of friends, family and loved ones eagerly awaiting his return. At 70 years old and after 45 years inside, it is time for Herman to come home.

Here are four things you can do RIGHT NOW to support Herman Bell: