Oct 15 2019

UK: Letter from John Bowden, long-term radical prisoner

via: 325

There is a group of prisoners who although imprisoned for non-political offences subsequently become politicised or radicalised whilst in jail, and in both the USA and Britain this is a phenomenon that has become increasingly widespread.

In the USA during the 1960s and 70s the radicalisation of ordinary black prisoners, in particular, was fostered by the centrality of imprisonment in the experience of black activists and revolutionaries like Malcolm X (who described prisons as “universities of revolution”), Eldridge Cleaver, George Jackson, H Rap Brown, Angela Davis and others. George Jackson described his own politicisation succinctly: “I met Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Engels, and Mao when I entered prison and they redeemed me”.

Thus those whom W.E.B. Dubois described as an “army of the wronged” increasingly defined themselves as political prisoners who were the products of an oppressive political-economic order. This belief underpinned the praxis of radical groups such as the Black Panthers and Symbionese Liberation Army, and prisons were seen as the epicentre of a broader social and political revolution. The call for recognition of radicalised prisoners claim to political status underpinned prisoners’ demands in a series of protests that punctuated the 1970s in U.S. Prisons such as Folsom, Soledad, San Quentin and, later, Attica.

The radicalisation of ordinary prisoners in both the UK and the USA was channeled through both identity politics and the prisoner union movement. In the UK such groups during the 1970s were highly active in organised protests and uprisings against oppressive prison conditions, particularly for long-term prisoners. The politicisation of ordinary prisoners who link their imprisonment to broader social and political inequality and oppression, and prison as the epicentre of their struggle, transforming them into proto-revolutionaries striking out against the capitalist state, is a spectre that terrifies those responsible for managing and enforcing prison repression. Continue reading


Sep 9 2019

USA: Letter from imprisoned anarchist comrade Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

Comrade Malik Speaks! This Also Means That I Am an AntiFascist! Expect Us!

Revolutionary Greetings Comrades!

By now the word has gotten out that I’ve left the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-prison chapter and embraced Anarchism. This is a tough time but as J. Cole raps in his song “Middle Child,” he says: “Everything Grows, its destined to change!” I have changed!

I am still holding on to my belief in Eco-Socialism. Plain and simple, climate change is real and not a hoax. Think many of ya’ll who have felt these unusually hot temps recently can attest that something is most certainly going on and I can guarantee you that these imperialist multi-national corporations that deal in fossil fuels have no interest in saving our beautiful planet or ensuring that the humyn species is able to survive– they just don’t care so we have to make them care! But that is not why I am communicating with you today!

I am here to confront that fascist and white supremacist in the Oval Office in Washington, DC. The man who has unleashed these Neo-Nazi haters masquerading as so-called ‘patriots’ who are chanting “send her back” and attacking unsuspecting wimmin and children of color! Continue reading