[Pnews] Albert Woodfox - This is What Freedom Looks Like - Two Months of Liberation

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Apr 13 10:12:07 EDT 2016


A3 Newsletter, February 12, 2016:
This is What Freedom Looks Like...
Two Months of Liberation
*WATCH: *Albert Speaks at Southeastern Louisiana University 

What a joy it is to have Albert out of prison, after all these years of 
struggle, it is a rare and special treat to hear his voice on the phone 
each morning as we review the days schedule and events. In Albert's 
first month of freedom he stayed busy every day, obtaining 
identification papers, scheduling doctor and dentist appointments, 
visiting with family and supporters - every moment was occupied. Since 
the end of March Albert has been in Texas, visiting with his brother 
Michael and his family and getting some much needed rest.

This weekend, Albert and King head to Pittsburgh to participate in the 
International Conference on Solitary Confinement, where they're sure to 
run into many of the activists and supporters that have been involved in 
the effort to end solitary confinement. After Pittsburgh, Albert will be 
headed back to New Orleans to attend his first family reunion! Early May 
finds him headed to Los Angeles for the Death Penalty Focus Conference 
and then on to a long- anticipated trip to Yosemite with Sacramento 
supporters, Gail Shaw and Billy X Jennings. Every day is an adventure; 
shopping, banking, post office- all the things we have grown accustomed 
to are new to Albert.

Below you'll find the latest statement from the legal team. As Albert 
stated in one of his early interviews after his release, "There's a 
movement in the country about solitary confinement...we think that we 
were the spark...for that." We couldn't agree more! Although both the 
civil and criminal cases have been settled, significant changes to the 
Department of Corrections policies in Louisiana regarding solitary are 
in the works and we hope to be able to share more detail in the coming 
months. Meanwhile, around the country and around the world, there has 
been greatly heightened awareness around the issues of solitary 
confinement and like Albert and King, we feel that the case of the 
Angola 3 has been instrumental in this raised consciousness and are 
thrilled to see articles such as the one from Ottawa that use the Angola 
3 case to leverage the abolition of solitary.

Albert looks forward to joining the fray in carrying on the movement to 
abolish solitary and to expose the inequalities of the criminal justice 
system. We are proud to stand behind Albert and King and assist them in 
any way that we can as they carry on with their advocacy work.

*Statement from the A3 Legal Team*

"On April 5, 2016, the United States District Court for the Middle 
District of Louisiana dismissed the long-pending civil rights action 
brought by Robert King, Albert Woodfox, and Herman Wallace against 
Louisiana Department of Corrections officials upon the joint motion of 
the parties. The case has been settled, and the agreement is 
confidential.  Plaintiffs King and Woodfox are confident the Louisiana 
Department of Corrections will significantly overhaul its policies 
concerning solitary confinement in the coming months so that no one in 
the future will experience what they had to endure."

*Albert in the News*

CNN's Christine Amanpour conducted an excellent interview with both 
Albert Woodfox and Robert King. The television interview can be watched 
Featured below are excerpts from some of the other new reports published 
since our previous newsletter.

In their article entitled, Solitary Confinement and Justice: Why Albert 
Woodfox's Release is Not Enough 
Yvette Tiya of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and Defending 
Dissent Foundation writes:

/Unfortunately, Woodfox's story is not the only one. According to The 
Guardian, approximately 80,000 Americans are being held in isolation. A 
report from Yale University puts the estimate even higher, deeming that 
of the 1.5 million incarcerated individuals in the US, nearly 100,000 
are being held in solitary confinement facilities. The fact there is a 
lack of consensus over how many American citizens are so imprisoned is a 
grave concern. At prisons in Colorado, of the thousands being held 
there, only 75 prisoners have been documented as developing debilitating 
mental illnesses due to solitary confinement, even though it's widely 
known that almost every individual incarcerated for prolonged periods of 
time develops psychological complications by the time they are released. 
Without a doubt, there are many more prisoners whose physiological and 
mental disorders have gone undocumented. That this sort of inhumanity 
still exists is alarming and disheartening/.

The article entitled Albert Woodfox speaks to the people after 44 years 
in solitary 
by Jarett Aucoin of Liberation News, concludes:

/The actions of the Angola Three have emboldened the solidarity amongst 
prison abolitionists and human rights activists the world over. Woodfox 
said in closing, "I am now a free man. I can go home,right now, be with 
my family, and none of that would have been possible if it wasn't for 
all the people who stood up beside me and did what was right."/

The National Public Radio story, After Decades In Solitary, Last Of The 
'Angola 3' Carry On Their Struggle 
features an interview with Albert alongside Robert King (Albert was also 
interviewed by a Swedish radio station 

/"There's a different rhythm to living in society as to living in 
prison," Woodfox says, "and I'm trying to adjust. Hopefully, I will get 
there." For him, there was never a moment's thought to giving up his 
fight to prove his innocence and gain his freedom. "There were times 
when I was frustrated and angry," he says. "I've been through panic 
attacks, claustrophobia attacks, but I never gave up and lost 
hope."Woodfox says it was something special that kept him going. "The 
qualities as a human being that I inherited from my mother - such as 
strength, determination," he says. "And I think having Robert King and 
Herman Wallace as only my comrades, but best friends, made it possible 
for me to endure a great deal."/

/Kings says that he found similar strength in his friendships. "I was 
motivated also by Herman and Albert and other people who I came in to 
contact with, despite the fact that we were in solitary confinement," he 

In her article entitled Toward an Intellectual History of the Angola 3 
Holly Genovese of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History, reflects:

/I have spent the better part of three years writing about Woodfox, 
Wallace, and King.  My interests began in the Black Power origins of the 
Angola 3 and their connections to the New Orleans Black Panther Party. 
But as I continued to write about the Angola 3, I started to argue for 
an intellectual history of the Angola 3. Knowledge creators and 
producers don't have to be in positions of power and in fact the Angola 
3 follow in a long line of incarcerated writers and artists using art 
and intellectual pursuits to gain power. The Angola 3 have done just this.

/In a recent /Ottawa Citizen/ article, entitled Canada cannot continue 
using solitary confinement 
author Kristina Seefeldt writes:/

On Feb. 19, Albert Woodfox of Louisiana was released after spending 43 
years and 10 months almost exclusively in solitary confinement. The 
United States is known for its extreme tough-on-crime approaches; but is 
it possible for an offender to spend 43 years in solitary confinement in 
a Canadian prison?


Last month, the Ontario Human Rights Commission called for an end to 
solitary confinement provincially. Although it would entail a new prison 
policy overall, the end result would be a more humane approach to 
imprisonment in Ontario./
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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