[Ppnews] Angola Three Cheers Common Ground Relief Efforts

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Nov 14 15:30:59 EST 2005

Angola Three Cheers Common Ground Relief Efforts

We are not surprised that Malik Rahim is being 
hailed as one of the heroes of Hurricane 
Katrina.   In 1997, Malik rediscovered 
information on our case and made it his mission 
to bring attention to the plight that Albert, 
King, myself and so many other Louisiana 
prisoners have endured in being unfairly 
convicted and sentenced.   The Angola Three went 
from obscurity to international recognition thanks to Malik's efforts.

Malik has brought the same energy and vision to 
his groundbreaking work with Common Ground 
Collective.   His vision has expanded to meet the 
magnitude of response required to deal with the 
crisis at hand. A lifetime of service beginning 
with the Black Panther Party and continuing with 
programs for ex-offenders and housing advocacy 
are the strong background that Malik draws from. 
Joined by a remarkable array of young, skilled 
professionals and activists, together they are 
creating a model for cooperative community 
needs-based service programs and collective action.

The Angola Three are proud to be affiliated with 
Malik and Common Ground and join in their call 
for legal assistance in assessing the cases of 
numerous individuals arrested and imprisoned 
after the hurricane, many of whom have not yet 
been charged and sit in limbo while the state 
continues to keep its court system closed 
post-Katrina! Angola, a 5000-capacity facility, 
has had an increase of 3,000 prisoners, mostly 
men, but some women as well. This has caused 
severe overcrowding. Many prisoners are living in 
tents and all are being double bunked – even CCR is not exempt.

At the same time, Govenor Blanco is calling for a 
special session of the legislature to address the 
prison situation in Louisiana, which incarcerates 
more individuals per capita than any other state 
in the union.   Faced with a $4 billion deficit, 
Blanco is looking to the prison industrial 
complex as a place to start cutting dollars. 
Blanco is reportedly reviewing the elimination of 
the life sentence laws and wants to change life 
sentences to fixed sentences so that prisoners 
have a chance at parole.   She is soliciting 
proposals from groups doing prison work in Louisiana.

The Angola Three would like to see Common Ground 
Relief submit a proposal to this forum. We have 
long believed that the life-without-parole 
sentences presently being served by thousands of 
Louisiana prisoners are inhumane, not to mention 
financially senseless.   The Louisiana 
legislature should enact changes in the law that 
would allow lifers to rehabilitate themselves and 
earn release from prison. This would be a humane 
and realistic approach to sentencing reform in Louisiana.

Additionally, the current fiscal and structural 
crises in Louisiana appear to provide an 
appropriate time to raise the issue of 
eliminating the death penalty and substituting 
fixed sentences as an alternative cost-saving 
strategy. We look forward to working with Common 
Ground in their continued efforts to provide 
services and strategies in the rebuilding of New 
Orleans and the Gulf Coast. As Malik has stated, 
it is time to supplant the slave syndicate that 
has prevailed for so long in this state. Malik 
also talks about the spirit of Emmett Till saving 
New Orleans from total destruction.   We believe 
it is the spirit of Loubertha Johnson, Malik's 
mother who passed from this life in September of 
2004 that is blessing the efforts of Common Ground Relief!

Power to the People,

Herman Wallace,

Angola 3


New Orleans: covert operations underway? 

Back inside New Orleans by Jordan Flaherty (with 
a beautiful photo of Malik Rahim) 

Malik Rahim and medics from SF to DC set up 
health clinic in New Orleans 

New Orleans: Prisoners abandoned to floodwaters, 

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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