[Ppnews] Summer Greetings from Eddie Conway

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jul 8 15:52:14 EDT 2010

Greetings to everyone,

I wish you all well and hope that this letter 
finds you in good spirits. The past few months 
have been full of good and exciting news as well 
as some that was saddening. I honestly don't know where to begin.

Jack Johnson, the other BPP member who was held 
on the same charges as me was released from 
prison in May of this year. This was news that I 
found both good and bad. I was pleased to see the 
brother gain his freedom after forty years of 
fighting this corrupt and racist criminal justice 
system. However, I am still being held illegally 
after four decades and nothing can make right the 
destructive actions of the COINTELPRO operations. 
This does however push me to work even harder for my release.

The saddest and hardest time of this whole prison 
ordeal just recently hit me. My mother, Eleanor 
Conway passed away in early June. Though she died 
peacefully in her sleep, her transition has left 
the family sad and in pain. This was due in part 
to my inability to start the grieving process by 
viewing mother as she made her final rest, or 
attending her funeral. While I recognize that my 
mother has made her transition to join the 
ancestors, the loss is still too profound for 
words because my mother was so dear to me. During 
this time, I fasted and reflected upon her life, 
and eventually found some degree of spiritual 
comfort. I thank all of you who faxed letters, 
sent email messages and made calls to the 
secretary of public safety on my behalf.

In the midst of this period of grief, another 
issue came up that caused confusion and concern 
among family, friends and supporters. This is the 
issue of my relationship to Sister Nzinga. For 
clarity, we have been divorced for over seven 
years. I am married only to gaining my freedom 
and living with a little sunshine in my life.

The fundraising effort has received much support 
we are now less than $10,000 short of our tar­ 
get. This money goes to pay the legal team that 
is being headed up by Phil Dantes.  For some, it 
may seem discomforting to speak of freedom and 
money together. I find it surreal, something 
reminiscent of a time when the terms were clear 
and people of African descent had to buy their 
freedom or steal it, but this is the reality of 
the present day criminal justice system. Freedom 
ain't free. That said, thank you to all of you 
who have purchased the book, The Greatest Threat 
and helped to organize events. The next letter 
will provide a legal update, and information 
about what people can do to help with the legal effort.

My supporters are planning several events for the 
summer and fall. The main happening is an August 
20th program featuring the artist Emory Douglas 
who has donated a print that we will be using to 
raise funds. He will be on hand to sign prints 
there is a flyer for this event enclosed in this 
letter or attached to this email. September 23rd 
, AFSC, AK Press and the Creative Alliance in 
Baltimore will host a pre­release event for my 
memoir Marshall Law: The Life and Times of a 
Baltimore Black Panther.  Local activists and 
artists will be reading selections from the book. 
We are also interested in planning programs in other cities.

On the prison front, the Friend of a Friend (FOF) 
mentoring program here in this institution 
continues to grow. The program successfully 
graduated our first class of men who received 
mentoring. Of this group, we have several who 
will become mentors  we have other activities 
scheduled for the summer ranging from mediation 
training to theater activities. FOF keeps many 
men in the prison connected to the outside 
community, and helps them to thrive despite 
incarceration. Through this program, we have 
created a community service/outreach project. 
Collectively, mentors and mentees have adopted 
the United African Alliance Community Center run 
by Bro. Pete and Sister Charlotte O'Neal in 
Tanzania. The members of FOF had the opportunity 
to meet Sister Charlotte when she came to the 
prison back in April. The men felt so moved by 
the O'Neal's work that we pulled together a 
fundraising effort for UAACC, and we plan to 
continue our support of the work of our brother and sister.

At present, I am in good health, but I still have 
high blood pressure, and often I am in a battle 
with the medical department each month to get the 
necessary medication. At the time, I am 
contemplating legal action if the issue 
continues. Finally, as the economic situation 
continues to worsen for oppressed communities, we 
must focus some of our efforts on building solid 
networks. It is critical that we learn to set 
aside differences that are petty and squash some 
of our real disputes so that we can work together 
across communities. Basic survival should be a 
part of the dialogue anytime groups come together 
because many of our people are scrounging for 
bread and land. There is a need now for the same 
social programs that the Black Panther Party 
implemented 44 years ago. The need never went away.

In Struggle


M. Eddie Conway
Jessup Correctional Institution
P. 0. Boy 534
Jessup, MD  20794

The Greatest Threat: The Black Panther Party and 
COINTELPRO by Marshall Edward Conway

The Greatest Threat puts the government’s war on 
the Panthers into historical context. Marshall 
“Eddie” Con- way, a veteran of the Black Panther 
Party who has been held as a political prisoner 
for four decades, has compiled the available 
documentation and research on COINTELPRO, and 
traced its dirty history, from the active 
repression of the black revolutionary movement of 
the 1960’s and 1970’s, to the conditions of Black 
America today and the dozens of political 
prisoners who remain in U.S. prisons on charges 
stemming from their involvement in the Black liberation movement.

$20 donation Checks should be made out to: 
Marshall E. Conway Defense Committee Fund and 
mailed to  IAMWE Publications, PO Box 4628 Baltimore 21212

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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