[Ppnews] You can support the Freedom Archives! Closer to our goal!
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Sat Dec 8 11:43:42 EST 2012
Your support has made this an international breakthrough year for the
Many of you have sent in contributions, thanks!
We are approaching our year-end goal, but need still your help.
Our film, Cointelpro 101, made its way to England, Hawaii, South Africa
and Puerto Rico as well as many communities and film festivals across
the US. We're also being viewed on LINK TV and Free Speech TV.
In January we will launch a major multifaceted project that highlights
the history of activism to close Control Unit prisons. At least 80,000
people are held under conditions of prolonged isolation in the US. Many
are in solitary confinement or in prisons like Pelican Bay in
California, ADX Florence federal prison, or in so-called Communication
Management Units (CMUs) where the federal government encages a majority
The origin of this type of torturous imprisonment began in 1985 when the
US Bureau of Prisons permanently locked down USP Marion in Illinois. The
Freedom Archives has teamed with Nancy Kurshan, one of the founders of
the Committee to End the Marion Lockdown (CEML) to publish a book Out of
Control: A Fifteen Year Battle Against Control Unit Prisons. At the same
time, we are launching a website with as complete documentation as
possible on the campaigns against Marion and Lexington prisons. This
history becomes even more important in light of the hunger strikes in
Georgia, Ohio, and California over the last many months.
You can order this new book by following the links at
The book will ship in January 2013.
The content on the website, which also launches in January, includes
audio and video materials and numerous scanned documents that can be
downloaded and are not available anywhere else; they are a result of
countless staff and volunteer hours, relentless work by Nancy Kurshan
and Steve Whitman, and the generosity of many others who scoured
basements and old files to unearth these crucial and illuminating
documents and tapes. We are confident this will amount to a significant
resource for the current---and growing---movement to end mass
imprisonment and prolonged isolation.
The Freedom Archives is taking a stand against the control unit
prison system, and it's important to me to be part of this protest.
We are creating a website that will contain crucial information and
videos from inside the control units, as well as rare interviews
with prisoners from Marion Prison. It's fulfilling to be able to
learn from the lessons of history by preserving the past and acting
upon immediate issues in our community. Michael Rozynski, USF Intern
-- November 2012
We also recently completed a short, 12-minute video about long-time
political prisoner, Herman Bell. Herman was a member of the Black
Panther Party who went underground for several years, until his arrest
in New Orleans in September, 1973. He and four others then stood trial
in New York for the murder of two New York policemen. Their first trial
ended in a hung jury and their second trial, based on the coerced
testimony of another former Black Panther Party member who had been
repeatedly tortured in New Orleans, resulted in the unjust conviction of
Herman, Nuh Washington, and Jalil Muntaqim.
Over nearly four decades in prison, Herman has maintained his commitment
to social transformation and demonstrated his care and compassion for
the Black community behind and outside of the walls. We've been working
on this video with Herman, his family, and one of his many
supporters---Danny Glover. We will have the video available on the web
in the near future and expect it will also be seen at meetings and
gatherings to build support, not only for Herman's return home, but as
one powerful example of the many aging political and other prisoners who
should be released to rejoin their communities.
On the video, Herman Bell's two granddaughters say it so much more
eloquently and beautifully than we ever could. They, and their
generation, as well as our interns from high school and college, and the
youth on our staff, are, in the deepest sense, exactly who the work of
the Freedom Archives is for.
/*Preserve the past -- illuminate the present -- shape the future*/
It is your encouragement and support that keep us moving forward. Please
contribute what you can.
*You can click here to give on line!
everyone gave $5 or $10, we'd be set for 2013)*
I have been able to listen to cassette recordings that date back to
the 1970s. I would NOT have heard this amazing history elsewhere.
This internship has given me the opportunity to access material
otherwise hidden from me as a history major at the University of San
Francisco. The Freedom Archives has given me access to previously
hidden social movement history, something that I greatly value as an
African American Studies minor. Ilima Peterson, USF Intern --
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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