41 Years Locked Up Unjustly and in Solitary Confinement

From: Angola 3 News:

Today, April 17, 2013, marks 41 years that Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have been unjustly incarcerated in solitary confinement in Louisiana. This is 41 years of living in concrete and metal cages of 6 x 9 feet; 41 years of being separated from their families and loved ones; 41 years of being wrongly accused of a murder they did not commit.

Over 41 years ago, prison officials at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (aka ‘Angola’), an 18,000-acre former slave plantation, were first confronted by the Angola 3’s challenge to the obscene human rights atrocities that were a daily reality for prisoners there. They responded to these efforts by fabricating a case against Albert and Herman for the tragic murder of prison guard Brent Miller in 1972. Shortly thereafter, when Robert King entered Angola, he was ensnared in the aftermath of that murder and joined Herman and Albert in solitary.

Although the flame for justice for the Angola 3 continues to burn bright these many decades later, words cannot express the profound rage and frustration we feel commemorating one more year of Herman and Albert’s confinement. But we will not lose hope or forget how much we have already accomplished and just how close we are to winning both Herman and Albert’s release. Solitary confinement’s daily assault on Herman and Albert’s mind, body and spirit has not been able to deter them. Inspired by their heroic resilience on the frontlines of the struggle, we too, will never give up our fight for their release.

Continuing this fight for Albert, Herman and all prisoners, today we are launching an action to kick-start the call for a State Congressional Hearing to end the use of prolonged solitary confinement in Louisiana. Our friends at The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) have enabled this through their campaign calling “upon state legislators and departments of corrections to begin now to take steps to end prolonged solitary confinement” in all 50 states and the federal prison system.

We need only 500 people within a particular state to sign the statement and NRCAT will send these endorsements to that state’s governor, top corrections officials, and every member of that state’s legislature. When we hit 1,000 signatures they will do the same again. PLEASE spread the word to help us achieve our petition goal for Louisiana and in states across the country. Please sign this now.

The campaign for the Angola 3 grows in strength around the world, from local organizations to international NGO’s like Amnesty International (read their new statement marking 41 years) joining the call for justice. While Herman and Albert continue to live the hell that is solitary confinement, this cruel and unusual punishment is in the news more than ever before – with calls for its abolition from state congresses and increasing evidence of its violations to human rights.

Albert, Herman and Robert do not want anyone else to suffer the hellish torture they still endure today. Thank you all for your continued support. Without you the flame of justice would not burn so strongly.  Please mark this day by taking action to end the use of prolonged solitary confinement in Louisiana and the USA.

Events Mark 41 Years

This week you can also join us at one of the many events commemorating 41 years. 

The new Canadian film Hard Time is screening this week in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.



41-hour vigil on April 19-21, in New Orleans is being organized by the Angola 3 Movement, withHard Time shown alongside more films and presentations.


In New York City, Herman’s House, the film, will premiere on April 19.


In Europe, Amnesty France is hosting a screening of In the Land of the Free in Paris on April 30.


 A Defined Voice 
–By Herman Wallace, 2006

They removed my whisper from general population

To maximum security I gained a voice

They removed my voice from maximum security

To administrative segregation

My voice gave hope

They removed my voice from administrative segregation

To solitary confinement

My voice became vibration for unity

They removed my voice from solitary confinement

To the Supermax of Camp J

And now they wish to destroy me

The louder my voice the deeper they bury me

I SAID, THE LOUDER MY VOICE THE DEEPER THEY BURY ME!

Free all political prisoners, prisoners of war, prisoner of consciousness.

–Below are two new photos of Herman Wallace, taken this month:


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Louisiana Attorney General Says Angola 3 “Have Never Been Held in Solitary Confinement”

By James Ridgeway and Jean Casella on SOLITARYWATCH
March 21st 2013

Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace in the early 1970s, when they were placed in solitary confinement. (Photo from “In the Land of the Free.”)

James “Buddy” Caldwell, attorney general of the state of Louisiana, has released a statement saying unequivocally that Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, the two still-imprisoned members of the Angola 3, “have never been held in solitary confinement while in the Louisiana penal system.”

In fact, Wallace, now 71, and Woodfox, 66, have been in solitary for nearly 41 years, quite possibly longer than any other human beings on the planet. They were placed in solitary following the 1972 killing of a young corrections officer at Angola, and except for a few brief periods, they have remained in isolation ever since.

The statement from Caldwell follows on the heels of a ruling by a federal District Court judge in New Orleans, overturning Albert Woodfox’s conviction for the third time–in this instance, on the grounds that there had been racial bias in the selection of grand jury forepersons in Louisiana at the time of his indictment. Subsequently, Amnesty International, along with other activists, mounted a campaign urging the state of Louisiana not to appeal the federal court’s ruling. In the absence of an appeal, Woodfox would have to be given a new trial or released.

Caldwell’s statement–which was rather mysteriously sent out to an email list that included numerous prisoners’ rights advocates who have supported the Angola 3–begins: “Thank you for your interest in the ambush, savage attack and brutal murder of Officer Brent Miller at Louisiana State Penitentiary (LSP) on April 17, 1972. Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace committed this murder, stabbing and slicing Miller over 35 times.”

Caldwell clearly states that he has every intention of appealing the District Court’s decision to the notoriously conservative Fifth Circuit: “We feel confident that we will again prevail at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, if we do not, we are fully prepared and willing to retry this murderer again.” Caldwell asserts that the evidence against Woodfox is ”overpowering”: “There are no flaws in our evidence and this case is very strong.” This statement belies the fact that much of the evidence that led to Wallace and Woodfox’s conviction has since been called into question.

In particular, the primary eyewitness was shown to have been bribed by prison officials into making statements against the two men. (For more details on the case, see our earlier reporting in Mother Jones, here, here, here, and here.) The two men believe that they were targeted for the murder, and have been held in solitary for four decades, because of their status as Black Panthers and their efforts to organize against prison conditions. (The third member of the Angola 3, Robert King, convicted of a separate prison murder, was released after 29 years in solitary when his conviction was overturned in 2001).

But Caldwell’s most controversial assertion is that Wallace and Woodfox’s conditions of confinement over the past 40 years do not qualify as solitary confinement:

Contrary to popular lore, Woodfox and Wallace have never been held in solitary confinement while in the Louisiana penal system. They have been held in protective cell units known as CCR. These units were designed to protect inmates as well as correctional officers. They have always been able to communicate freely with other inmates and prison staff as frequently as they want. They have televisions on the tiers which they watch through their cell doors. In their cells they can have radios and headsets, reading and writing materials, stamps, newspapers, magazines and books. They also can shop at the canteen store a couple of times per week where they can purchase grocery and personal hygiene items which they keep in their cells.
These convicted murderers have an hour outside of their cells each day where they can exercise in the hall, talk on the phone, shower, and visit with the other 10 to 14 inmates on the tier. At least three times per week they can go outside on the yard and exercise and enjoy the sun if they want. This is all in addition to the couple of days set aside for visitations each week.
These inmates are frequently visited by spiritual advisors, medical personnel and social workers. They have had frequent and extensive contact with numerous individuals from all over the world, by telephone, mail, and face-to-face personal visits. They even now have email capability. Contrary to numerous reports, this is not solitary confinement.
Caldwell’s description does not, in fact, refute the fact that the two men are held for 23 hours a day in closed cells that measure approximately 6 x 9 feet–smaller than the average parking space. CCR, or Closed Cell Restricted, is the Louisiana prison system’s euphemism of choice for solitary confinement.

[photo: Woodfox and Wallace in recent photos.]

In addition to challenging their convictions, Wallace and Woodfox have filed a civil suit in federal court, arguing that their 40 years in solitary confinement violate the U.S. Constitution. Their lawyers argue that both have endured physical injury and “severe mental anguish and other psychological damage” from living most of their adult lives in lockdown. According to medical reports submitted to the court, the men suffer from arthritis, hypertension, and kidney failure, as well as memory impairment, insomnia, claustrophobia, anxiety, and depression. Even the psychologist brought in by the state confirmed these findings.In his statement, Caldwell warns that if they win their civil suit, “these convicted murderers…could possibly receive money and a change in their housing assignments.” Any move out of solitary has been firmly opposed by the warden of Angola, Burl Cain. In a 2008 deposition, attorneys for Woodfox asked Cain, “Let’s just for the sake of argument assume, if you can, that he is not guilty of the murder of Brent Miller.” Cain responded, “Okay, I would still keep him in CCR…I still know that he is still trying to practice Black Pantherism, and I still would not want him walking around my prison because he would organize the young new inmates. I would have me all kind of problems, more than I could stand, and I would have the blacks chasing after them.”

Caldwell himself has even more vociferously opposed releasing the men from solitary. An ambitious Democrat-turned-Republican known for his Elvis impersonations, Caldwell took office in 2007 and was reelected in 2011. He has characterized the Angola 3 as political radicals and called Woodfox “the most dangerous person on the planet.”

In the fall of 2008, after Woodfox’s conviction was overturned for the second time, a federal court judge ordered him released on bail pending the state’s appeal. Caldwell opposed the release “with every fiber of my being.” Woodfox planned to stay with his niece, but his lawyers uncovered evidence that the state had emailed the neighborhood association of the gated community where she lived to say that a murderer would be moving in next door. Caldwell soon convinced the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to revoke Woodfox’s bail. He also brought Woodfox’s habeas case to the full Fifth Circuit, which reversed the lower court ruling and reinstated his conviction.

Now that a federal judge has ruled, for the third time, that Woodfox did not receive a fair trial, Caldwell apparently feels the need to reiterate his position. “Let me be clear,” his statement concludes. ”Woodfox and Wallace are GUILTY and have NEVER been held in solitary confinement” (emphasis in the original).

Herman Wallace’s drawing of his cell.

Forty years in solitary confinement and counting

By Tim Franks Radio 4, Crossing Continents
April 4, 2012
From: BBC Radio 4

As two men in Louisiana complete 40 years in solitary confinement this month, the use of total isolation in US prisons is on the rise. What does this do to a prisoner’s state of mind?

Robert King paces the front room of his small, one-storey house in Austin, Texas.

“I imagine I could put my cell inside this room about six times,” he says. “Probably more.”

For 29 years Robert King occupied a cell nine feet by six – just under three metres by two – for at least 23 hours a day.

He spent most of his time incarcerated in one of the toughest prisons in the United States – Louisiana State Penitentiary.

The prison, the largest in the US, is nicknamed Angola after the plantation that once stood on its site, worked by slaves shipped in from Africa. King, who was released from prison in 2001, still calls himself one of the Angola Three – three men who have been the focus of a long-running international justice campaign.

“Start Quote

It’s impossible to get dipped in waste and not come up stinking”

Robert King Angola Three

Between them, they have served more than 100 years in solitary. All three say they were imprisoned for crimes they did not commit, and where convictions were only obtained after blatant mistrials.

King has the open face, lean physique and broad chest of a man in good shape, even on the cusp of his 70th birthday.

And he is reluctant to delve too deeply into what those years in solitary were like, beyond saying that “it’s impossible to get dipped in waste and not come up stinking”.

There is, he says, a physical toll to long-term isolation: “People become old and infirm before their time.”

But more, there is a psychological effect. He stayed strong, he says, but it was “scary” to see how others crumpled through lack of human contact.
Robert King Robert King spent nearly three decades in solitary confinement in the Louisiana State Penitentiary

Angola in the 1960s and 1970s was a place known for its brutal forced labour, its sexual slavery and its violence. Even so, Robert King is on record as saying that solitary was much, much worse.

His reticence is not matched by Nick Trenticosta, the lawyer for the other two members of the Angola Three – Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox.

“I have interviewed a number of of people who’ve spent 10-12 years in solitary confinement,” says Mr Trenticosta, in his basement legal offices in New Orleans.

“Almost all of the people are severely damaged. They’re potted plants. Their will to live really doesn’t exist any more.

“They become shells of their former selves. If I take them to the visitors’ area, it’ll be two hours before I can get an answer to my questions, and then I might just hear gobbledygook.”

Back in the early 1970s, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were already in Angola, serving time for armed robbery.

They became involved in the Black Panther Party – they say in order to try to improve the abysmal conditions for prisoners. Then in 1972, a prison guard called Brent Miller was murdered.

Wallace and Woodfox were convicted, and placed in solitary – where, apart from a short spell in 2008 in a high security dormitory, they have remained ever since.

Both men have always maintained their innocence – saying that grave questions were raised about an inmate being secretly rewarded for his incriminating testimony, and pointing to the lack of forensic evidence linking them to the murder.

Wallace’s sister Vicky lives on the poor side of New Orleans, in the lower ninth ward. Her health has, she says, suffered from the constant worry about her brother – and he is not in good shape either.

Read the rest here

Listen to the full report on Crossing Continents on BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, 5 April at 11:00 BST and on Assignment on the BBC World Service

The Outer Limits of Solitary Confinement: A Public Forum to Support the Angola 3 and at the same time the California Prisoner Hunger Strike–April 6, 2012, in San Francisco

From: The Real Cost of Prisons Weblog:

Friday, April 6, 2012, 6pm – 8pm
UC Hastings College of the Law
Louis B. Mayer Lounge
198 McAllister Street
San Francisco

(San Francisco) –This free San Francisco event organized by the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3 will mark 40 years of solitary confinement for Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3, by exploring the expansion and overuse of solitary confinement, and mobilizing support for the Amnesty International Petition to remove them from solitary confinement and support for the California Hunger Strikers. Includes Keynote with Angola 3’s Robert H. King, 2 films and additional speakers.

The International Coalition to Free the Angola Three is presenting a free public forum and film screening entitled “The Outer Limits of Solitary Confinement,” at UC Hastings College of the Law, Louis B. Mayer Lounge, 198 McAllister Street, San Francisco, on Friday, April 6, 2012, from 6pm – 8pm, and co-hosted by the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal and the Hastings chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.

The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3 stands in solidarity with the courageous prisoners that recently initiated hunger strikes throughout California prisons. The event will examine how the torture and wrongful convictions of the Angola 3 are part of a much larger problem throughout US prisons. With presentations from several speakers involved with supporting the hunger strikers, the audience will be presented with many ways in which they too can lend their support in the fight against solitary confinement and other forms of torture in California prisons.

The keynote speaker will be Robert H. King, of the Angola 3, who was released in 2001 when his conviction was overturned, after 29 years of continuous solitary confinement. King says today that “being in prison, in solitary was terrible. It was a nightmare. My soul still cries from all that I witnessed and endured. It does more than cry- it mourns, continuously.”

Since his release, Robert H. King has worked tirelessly to support the other two members of the Angola 3, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who have been in solitary confinement since April 17, 1972. This coming April 17, which marks the 40th anniversary of their solitary confinement, King will be joined by Amnesty International and other supporters at the Louisiana State Capitol in Baton Rouge to present Amnesty International’s petition to Governor Bobby Jindal demanding that Wallace and Woodfox be immediately released from solitary confinement.

Read more about Amnesty International’s Angola 3 campaign, here.

At the UC Hastings event, King will talk about the Amnesty International petition demanding transfer from solitary and the broader struggle to release Wallace and Woodfox from prison altogether. Interviewed in a recent video by Amnesty International, King says about Wallace and Woodfox: “All evidence shows that they were targeted simply for being members of the Black Panther Party. There is really no evidence, forensic, physical, or otherwise, linking them to the crime. When I think about the ten years in which I’ve had time to be out here, that is ten more years that they are there.”

In their investigative report (http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/usa-100-years-in-solitary-the-angola-3-and-their-fight-for-justice), Amnesty International similarly concluded that “no physical evidence links Woodfox and Wallace to the murder.” Even further: “potentially favorable DNA evidence was lost. The convictions were based on questionable inmate testimony…it seems prison officials bribed the main eyewitness into giving statements against the men. Even the widow of the prison guard has expressed skepticism, saying in 2008, ‘If they did not do this – and I believe that they didn’t – they have been living a nightmare for 36 years!’”

Additional speakers will include:

• Hans Bennett, Independent journalist and co-founder of Journalists for Mumia
• Terry Kupers, Institute Professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California
• Manuel La Fontaine, Northern California Regional Organizer for All of Us or None
• Aaron Mirmalek, Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee Oakland
• Kiilu Nyasha, Independent journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party
• Tahtanerriah Sessoms-Howell, Youth Organizer for All of Us Or None
• Luis “Bato” Talamantez, California Prison Focus and one of the San Quentin 6
• Azadeh Zohrabi, Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal
• And more (Full speaker bios below).

In addition, two short films will be featured: The Gray Box: A Multimedia Investigation, by Susan Greene, The Dart Society, and Cruel and Unusual Punishment, by Claire Schoen, for the AFSC Stopmax Campaign.

Event notes: Hastings is on the corner of Hyde and McAllister, two blocks from the Civic Center BART station. The Hyde Street side entrance is wheelchair accessible. Refreshments will be served and signed books will be for sale. This event is free and open to the public. Donations for prisoner support will be gratefully accepted.

A FORTY YEAR HISTORY OF REPRESSION:

On April 17, 1972, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 were placed in solitary confinement at Angola Prison in Louisiana. Wallace and Woodfox were subsequently railroaded and convicted for the murder of a prison guard, and remain in solitary to this day. They were framed COINTELPRO-style, in retaliation for co-founding a Black Panther chapter at Angola that initiated multiracial work and hunger strikes.

Currently held inside California’s notorious Pelican Bay State Prison, Hugo “Yogi Bear” Pinell, of the San Quentin Six, has now been in continuous solitary for at least 42 years. A participant in the recent statewide prisoner hunger strike, Pinell was a close comrade of Black Panther and prison author, George Jackson. Having been continually denied parole despite a clean record for the last 27 years, Pinell is, in the words of the Angola 3’s own Robert H. King, “a clear example of a political prisoner.” His next parole hearing is scheduled for this May.

The stories of the Angola 3 and Hugo Pinell are the most extreme examples of a widespread human rights crisis in US prisons, where prolonged solitary confinement has become routine. According to http://www.solitarywatch.com, there are “at least 75,000 and perhaps more than 100,000 prisoners in solitary confinement on any given day” in the US.

On March 20, several human rights organizations jointly filed a petition to the United Nations Group on Arbitrary Detention, the United Nations Human Rights Council, and United Nations General Assembly on behalf of prisoners throughout California’s Security Housing Units (SHU) and Administrative Segregation Units (ASU). The petition calls for UN action against California’s prison administration and deplores the conditions of thousands of California prisoners, “being detained in isolated segregated units for indefinite periods or determinate periods of many years solely because they have been identified as members of gangs or found to have associated with a gang.”

The petition states further that “as a result of the policies and practices that leave California with the largest population of prisoners in isolated segregation anywhere in the world, these prisoners suffer extreme mental and physical harm, including mental breakdowns, extreme depression, suicidal ideation, and breaks with reality, such that their treatment may be considered torture or degrading treatment illegal under well-established international norms and obligations of the United States and the State of California under, inter alia, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (‘CAT’) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (‘ICCPR’).”

Fueled by the racist “War On Drugs,” and the broader criminalization of poverty, the US prison population has exploded from less than 300,000 prisoners in 1970 to over 2.4 million today. This 40-year policy of mass incarceration has turned the US into literally the world’s #1 jailer—with the world’s highest incarceration rate and total number of prisoners (http://www.prisonstudies.org/info/worldbrief/wpb_stats.php).

POSITION STATEMENT:

We declare that this human rights atrocity known as the “criminal justice system” has now reached its outer limits. This cannot continue! It is becoming increasingly clear to the public that prolonged solitary confinement is nothing other than state torture.

The recent collaboration of prison activists and Occupy Wall Street (www.occupy4prisoners.org) marks a renewed linking of economic justice activism to a critique of mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty. As Robert H. King said in his message to Occupy 4 Prisoners, “the same people who make the laws that favor the bankers, make the laws that fill our prisons and detention centers. We have to continue to make the connection between Wall St. and the prison industrial complex.” The upcoming “Occupy the Justice Department” action in Washington DC on April 24 is calling for the release of Mumia Abu-Jamal and all political prisoners.

The strength of the 99% is in our numbers. Our only hope is to unite against the 1%. A newly-formed multiracial coalition of hunger strikers throughout California’s prisons (most recently at Corcoran State) has demanded an end to prolonged solitary confinement and many other inhumane policies. These freedom fighters are on the frontlines of the struggle and they badly need our support. Our event is being held to give voice to their struggle and to present the audience with opportunities to show their support.

FEATURED SPEAKERS BIOS:

ROBERT H. KING (Keynote Speaker)– A member of the Angola 3, released in 2001 after 29 years of continuous solitary confinement. Since his release, he has worked tirelessly in support of Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. In 2008, King released his award-winning autobiography, entitled From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Robert Hillary King(PM Press). His website is www.kingsfreelines.com.

HANS BENNETT– A prison abolitionist, independent multi-media journalist and co-founder of Journalists for Mumia Abu-Jamal (www.abu-jamal-news.com), Bennett has written for several publications including Alternet, Truthout, Z Magazine, Black Commentator, ColorLines, Poor Magazine, SF Bay View Newspaper, Slingshot and Indymedia.

TERRY KUPERS– An Institute Professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. Dr. Kupers’ forensic psychiatry experience includes testimony in several large class action litigations concerning jail and prison conditions, sexual abuse, and the quality of mental health services inside correctional facilities. He is a consultant to Human Rights Watch, and author of the 1999 book entitled Prison Madness: The Mental Health Crisis Behind Bars and What We Must Do About It.

MANUEL LA FONTAINE– The Northern California Regional Organizer, All of Us or None (http://www.prisonerswithchildren.org/projects/all-of-us-or-none/). As a former street organizer (also known as a gang member), a formerly-incarcerated person, and a college graduate, Manuel brings street savvy, along with scholastic aptitude, and incorporates them into his work life to better assist those without voices.

AARON MIRMALEK– The founder of the Leonard Peltier Defense Offense Committee Oakland, started in honor of his cousin Leonard Peltier (www.whoisleonardpeltier.info). Born in Oakland, he is a longtime community organizer. In 2010, Aaron was the Executive Producer of “Free Leonard Peltier: Hip Hop’s Contribution to the Freedom Campaign.” In 2011, he was the Executive Producer and Co-Host of “Free Peltier Free Em All!” DVD with Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. For more information please visit www.FreeLeonardAlbum.com.

KIILU NYASHA– A San Francisco-based journalist and former member of the Black Panther Party. Through the end of 2009, Kiilu hosted a weekly TV program, “Freedom Is A Constant Struggle,” on SF Live. She writes for many publications, including the SF Bay View Newspaper and Black Commentator. Also an accomplished radio programmer, she has worked for KPFA (Berkeley), SF Liberation Radio, Free Radio Berkeley, and KPOO in SF. Her website is www.kiilunyasha.blogspot.com.

TAHTANERRIAH SESSOMS-HOWELL– Youth Organizer, All of Us Or None. Sessoms-Howell is a native of Berkeley, California. When she was arrested at the age of 15 she got her first glimpse into the cruel world of “rehabilitation.” While in jail and on probation, Sessoms-Howell found out very fast that there is no such thing as a fair justice system. She now works to inform the youth of their rights and keep connections between youth and their elders strong. As Youth Organizer for AOUON, her job is to help, by any means, ensure the safety and rights of future generations to come.

LUIS “BATO” TALAMANTEZ—One of the San Quentin 6, Talamantez also works with California Prison Focus, and is a long time Bay Area activist and organizer.

AZADEH ZOHRABI– Co-Editor-in-Chief of the UC Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, Zohrabi is a third year law student at UC Hastings. Her family’s experience with incarceration is what motivated her to become an attorney and an advocate for people in prison. Most recently, she has worked to advocate on behalf of prisoners in the Security Housing Units as a member of the Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity Coalition and the mediation team for the prisoners.

MORE SF BAY AREA EVENTS WITH ROBERT H. KING:

Let Us Not Forget: Honor Fallen Comrades and Political Prisoners, Saturday, April 7, 1:00pm, West Oakland Library, 1801 Adeline Street (www.itsabouttimebpp.com). For more information: (916) 455-0908.

Oakland International Film Festival, Sunday, April 8, 3:00pm, Oakland Museum, 1000 Oak Street, at 10th Street (http://www.oiff.org/). King will be speaking in conjunction with a screening of the new British documentary about the Angola 3, entitled “In The Land of the Free…”

Herman’s House: The Film about Herman Wallace: 40 years in a box….

Please follow and support this unique and very much needed film about solitary confinenemt in Louisiana and the life and struggle of Herman Wallace, one of the Angola 3, and one of the many prisoners in Louisiana State Prison, Angola.

www.hermanshousethefilm.com

facebook.com/HermansHouseTheFilm

twitter.com/HermansFilm

Amnesty International Calls for Angola 3′s Release from 40 Years of Solitary Confinement

By: SolitaryWatch
June 7, 2011
by James Ridgeway and Jean Casella

Amnesty International has issued a press release, action alert, and detailed report on the case of the Angola 3, which has been extensively documented in Mother Jones (here, here, and here). The press release, issued yesterday, concerns the two members of the Angola 3 who remain in prison and have now entered their 40th year in solitary confinement.

The US state of Louisiana must immediately remove two inmates from the solitary confinement they were placed in almost 40 years ago, Amnesty International said today.

Albert Woodfox, 64, and Herman Wallace, 69, were placed in “Closed Cell Restriction (CCR)” in Louisiana State Penitentiary – known as Angola Prison – since they were convicted of the murder of a prison guard in 1972. Apart from very brief periods, they have been held in isolation ever since.

“The treatment to which Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace have been subjected for the past four decades is cruel and inhumane and a violation of the US’s obligations under international law,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Americas Deputy Director at Amnesty International.

The action alert urges readers to sign a petition to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. The twelve-page report describes the apparent miscarriages of justice involved in Woodfox and Wallace’s original murder conviction, and then asks, “Why are they still in isolation?” It goes on to explain:

Read the rest here.

Please sign the Amnesty International Action Alert here!