Monday, December 28, 2009

Join us in helping to send Sister Althea on her journey home

The Angola 3 Coalition suffered a tragic loss this Christmas. Althea Francois, one of Angola 3’s earliest supporters and a life-long activist for peace and social justice, crossed over to the ancestors on December 25th at the far too early age of 60.

Althea spent her life actively engaged in the struggle for justice, starting with her involvement in the Black Panther Party, where she began her efforts to help political, economic and racial prisoners. She embodied the finest and most basic ideals of empathy and generosity and inspired all of us that had the privilege of coming in contact with her.

As Angola 3 member Robert King struggled to find words to express the depth of his sorrow, he invoked the biblical reference…"I was hungry and you fed me, was thirsty and you gave me drink, was in prison and you visited me. Althea fed us with hope. She had an enormously giving spirit that we will all deeply miss."

In the late ‘90’s, Althea and Marion Brown, together with Malik and Mwalimu, Shana and Brice, Anita Yesheaux, Vicky Wallace, and Ed (Alton Edwards), solidly grounded the efforts to free the Angola 3 and create a base for political prisoner work in New Orleans. When King was released in February of 2001, he moved to the home that Althea and Marion were staying in on Bartholomew St. in the 9th Ward. For the first few years of visiting the prison and organizing the effort, Althea’s home was the base that all of us worked from. There was always food and room for another mat on the floor.

Althea was finally able to purchase a home-base for her daughters and grandchildren in the Gentilly area of New Orleans. Katrina ripped apart the security she had at long last established and the years since 2005 were a tense balancing act between work in Atlanta, work in New Orleans, her children and her grandchildren. Though Al rarely complained, she was beset with a number of crippling maladies- asthma, high-blood pressure and the incessant pressure of keeping a family together in these difficult times with never enough support.

She loved her daughters with the ferocity of a lioness and was so proud of their accomplishments. They were the center of her being and I know that what would worry her most now is the pain they will feel at her loss.

Sadly, Althea had no insurance and no savings, thus leaving her daughters not only with the grief of losing her, but with the challenge of raising funds for her funeral. If you can help with a donation to the family, please send what you can to defray the funeral costs one of three ways:

1. Call Rhodes: Jasmine Navarre, Director. 504-241-5556;

Please let them know you would like to give funds for the services of Althea Francois.

2. Donate Online directly:

You do not have to have a pay Pal account to use this option. Look for link on bottom after you enter your donation amount.

3. Mail funds to:

Olga Francois c/o Todd Taylor, 7704 Benjamin St. New Orleans, LA 70118

Please join the family for a celebration of her life and service:

Saturday, January 2, 2010 @ 1:00PM

Rhodes Funeral Home

3933 Washington Avenue

New Orleans, LA

(504) 822-7162

Additional information will be posted as received.

--View the photo presentation from Althea's January, 2009 birthday party here. Al loved her some Nina Simone. We've included two selections below for you to listen to.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Video Interview With Kiilu Nyasha: Counterrevolution in the United States

Video Interview With Kiilu Nyasha: Counterrevolution in the United States

By Angola 3 News

This new video focuses on the counterrevolution launched against the Black Panther Party, other 1960's revolutionary groups, and the poor and oppressed communities that these groups were organizing. To learn more about Kiilu's work with with the Panthers, read the recent interview with her, entitled "Media, Revolution, and the Legacy of the Black Panther Party." This is the second video released from the hour-long interview conducted by Angola 3 News with Kiilu Nyasha at her home in San Francisco, CA in November, 2009. The first video was released several weeks ago, and focused on Kiilu's recent article entitled "America's Supermax Prisons Do Torture."

Kiilu Nyasha is a San Francisco-based journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party. Kiilu hosts a weekly TV program, "Freedom Is A Constant Struggle," on SF Live (Comcast 76 and AT&T 99). She writes for several publications, including the SF Bay View Newspaper and Also an accomplished radio programmer, she has worked for KPFA (Berkeley), SF Liberation Radio, Free Radio Berkeley, and KPOO in SF.

Last week, Kiilu created a new website and has begun archiving the most recent episodes of her weekly TV program, "Freedom Is A Constant Struggle." The new website ( features these episodes that have been uploaded to the accompanying YouTube page ( Be sure to check out Kiilu's powerful TV show and please help to spread the word about her new website. Below are three of these new episodes: Bobby Seale: The Attica Uprising; Phavia Kujichagulia: Fast Food or Fresh Fruit?; and Dennis Cunningham: The 40th Anniversary of the Assassination of Fred Hampton.

--Angola 3 News is a new project of the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Our website is where we provide the latest news about the Angola 3. We are also creating our own media projects, which spotlight the issues central to the story of the Angola 3, like racism, repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture, and more.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Herman Wallace Files Habeas Corpus Petition

On Friday, December 4, Herman Wallace filed his Habeas Corpus petition with the federal courts. You can read/download the filed petition here.

The petition asserts: "...129. Mr. Wallace has been convicted of murder and sentenced to life in violation of the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution."

One excerpt states: “…93. The factual scenario presented to Mr. Wallace’s jury in 1974 was entirely different than it would have been if the State had honored its constitutional obligation to disclose materially favorable evidence to the defense. Post-conviction proceedings have revealed that—in a case where the prosecution relied exclusively on inmate testimony to secure a conviction—the State purposefully withheld evidence of deals, perjured testimony, and prior inconsistent statements. This evidence would have discredited each and every one of the State’s witnesses.”

One more excerpt states: “…123. In addition to the State’s suppression of deals, false testimony and prior inconsistent statements with respect to the inmate witnesses who testified against Mr. Wallace, the State also failed to disclose statements by other witnesses that would have undermined the State’s case.”


On September 19, 2006, State Judicial Commissioner Rachel Morgan recommended overturning Herman's conviction, on grounds that prison officials had withheld evidence from the jury that prison officials had bribed the prosecution's key eyewitness, Hezekiah Brown, in return for his testimony.

However, in May 2008, in a 2-1 vote, the State Appeals Court rejected Morgan's recommendation and refused to overturn the conviction. Herman appealed this to the State Supreme Court, but on October 9, 2009 the Court ruled against Herman and affirmed the conviction.

Robert King & Terry Kupers: The Psychological Impact of Imprisonment, part two

Also, be sure to watch part one:

Robert Hillary King, a member of the Angola 3, was released from prison in 2001 when his conviction was overturned after many years of legal battles. King spent over 29 years in continuous solitary confinement. The other two members of the Angola 3, Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, both remain imprisoned today, having spent the last 37 years in solitary confinement. In 2008, King released his autobiography, entitled From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Robert Hillary King. His autobiography won the 2008 PASS Award, and has been reviewed by SF Bay View, Black Commentator, Hour, Alternet, Political Media Review, La Presse, Albany Times Union, and The Times-Picayune

Dr. Terry Kupers, M.D., M.S.P. wrote the introduction to From the Bottom of the Heap and is Institute Professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. Dr. Kupers is a psychiatrist with a background in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, forensics and social and community psychiatry. His forensic psychiatry experience includes testimony in several large class action litigations concerning jail and prison conditions, sexual abuse, and the quality of mental health services inside correctional facilities. He is a consultant to Human Rights Watch, and author of the 1999 book entitled Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It.

King and Kupers were interviewed in Oakland, California in October, 2009, when King was in town for Black Panther History Month. This video is only part two, so please stay tuned for more!