Posted by: prisonradioshow | January 13, 2017

January 12, 2017

This show featured news and a pre-recorded interview from Kingston’s Prison Radio with Sherri from Saskachewan about the December 14th riot in Saskachewan Pen in Prince Albert. We also had a live phone interview with Claude Marks, a former political prisoner and organizer with the Freedom Archives project. We talked to Claude about political prisoner and former Black Panther Jalil Muntaqim. Jalil is currently facing time in long term segregated housing for teaching his Black history class about the Black Panther Party. More info about Jalil is available at freejalil.com.

You can download the entire show here

A heads up that Positive Vibes ran late yesterday and they were talking about the death of long time CKUT DJ George “Fluxy” Barrett. Barrett was one of the originators of CKUT’s Roots Rock Reggae show. RIP Fluxy! You can check out Positive Vibes show from yesterday to hear folks calling in and talking about Fluxy. More info here

Posted by: prisonradioshow | January 12, 2017

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson maced by prison guards

We’re live on air sharing the news. If you’re looking for more info about Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, a political prisoner and organizer with the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter, here is it!

Rashid in his own words: here

Rashid’s writings about other prisoners: here

Info on how to help:

PLEASE FORWARD WIDELY

WHEN: Anytime, but esp. on January 5th
WHAT: Protect imprisoned activist-journalist Kevin “Rashid” Johnson
FACEBOOK EVENT: https://www.facebook.com/events/1794902884117144/

On December 21, 2016, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson was the victim of an assault by guards at the Clements Unit where he is currently being held, just outside Amarillo, Texas. Rashid was sprayed with OC pepper gas while handcuffed in his cell, and then left in the contaminated cell for hours with no possibility to shower and no access to fresh air. It was in fact days before he was supplied with new sheets or clothes (his bed was covered with the toxic OC residue), and to this day his cell has not been properly decontaminated.

This assault came on the heels of another serious move against Rashid, as guards followed up on threats to confiscate all of his property – not only files required for legal matters, but also art supplies, cups to drink water out of, and food he had recently purchased from the commissary. The guards in question were working under the direction of Captain Patricia Flowers, who had previously told Rashid that she intended to seize all of his personal belongings as retaliation for his writings about mistreatment of prisoners, up to and including assaults and purposeful medical negligence that have led to numerous deaths in custody. Specifically, Rashid’s writings have called attention to the deaths of Christopher Woolverton, Joseph Comeaux, and Alton Rodgers, and he has been contacted by lawyers litigating on behalf of the families of at least two of these men.

As a journalist and activist literally embedded within the bowels of the world’s largest prison system, Rashid relies on his files and notes for correspondence, legal matters, and his various news reports. Furthermore, Rashid is a self-taught artist of considerable talent (his work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and books); needless to say, the guards were also instructed to seize his art materials and the drawings he was working on.

(For a more complete description of Rashid’s ordeal on and following December 21, see his recent article “Bound and Gassed: My Reward for Exposing Abuses and Killings of Texas Prisoners” at http://rashidmod.com/?p=2321)

Particularly worrisome, is the fact that the abuse currently directed against Rashid is almost a carbon-copy of what was directed against Joseph Comeaux in 2013, who was eventually even denied urgently needed medical care. Comeaux died shortly thereafter.

This is the time to step up and take action to protect Rashid; and the only protection we can provide, from the outside, is to make sure prison authorities know that we are watching. Whether you have read his articles about prison conditions, his political or philosophical polemics (and whether you agreed with him or not!), or just appreciate his artwork – even if this is the first you are hearing about Rashid – we need you to step up and make a few phone calls and send some emails. When doing so, let officials know you are contacting them about Kevin Johnson, ID #1859887, and the incident in which he was gassed and his property confiscated on December 21, 2016. The officials to contact are:

Warden Kevin Foley
Clements Unit
telephone: (806) 381-7080 (you will reach the general switchboard; ask to speak to the warden’s office)

Tell Warden Foley that you have heard of the gas attack on Rashid. Specific demands you can make:

· That Kevin Johnson’s property be returned to him

· That Kevin Johnson’s cell be thoroughly decontaminated

· That Captain Patricia Flowers, Lieutenant Crystal Turner, Lieutenant Arleen Waak, and Corrections Officer Andrew Leonard be sanctioned for targeting Kevin Johnson for retaliation for his writings

· That measures be taken to ensure that whistleblowers amongst staff and the prisoner population not be targeted for any reprisals from guards or other authorities. (This is important because at least one guard and several prisoners have signed statements asserting that Rashid was left in his gassed cell for hours, and that his property should not have been seized.)

Try to be polite, while expressing how concerned you are for Kevin Johnson’s safety. You will almost certainly be told that because other people have already called and there is an ongoing investigation – or else, because you are not a member of his family — that you cannot be given any information. Say that you understand, but that you still wish to have your concerns noted, and that you want the prison to know that you will be keeping track of what happens to Mr Johnson.

The following other authorities should also be contacted. These bodies may claim they are unable to directly intervene, however we know that by creating a situation where they are receiving complaints, they will eventually contact other authorities who can intervene to see what the fuss is all about. So it’s important to get on their cases too:

TDCJ Ombudsman: ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

The Inspector General: 512-671-2480

Let these “watchdogs” know you are concerned that Kevin Johnson #1859887 was the victim of a gas attack in Clements Unit on December 21, 2016. Numerous witnesses have signed statements confirming that he was handcuffed, in his cell, and not threatening anyone at the time he was gassed. Furthermore, he was not allowed to shower for hours, and his cell was never properly decontaminated, so that he was still suffering the effects of the gas days later. It is also essential to mention that his property was improperly confiscated, and that he had previously been threatened with having this happen as retaliation for his writing about prison conditions. Kevin Johnson’s property must be returned!

Finally, complaints should also be directed to the director of the VA DOC Harold Clarke and the VA DOC’s Interstate Compact Supervisor, Terry Glenn. This is because Rashid is in fact a Virginia prisoner, who has been exiled from Virginia under something called the Interstate Compact, which is used by some states as a way to be rid of activist prisoners, while at the same time separating them from their families and supporters. Please contact:

VADOC Director, Harold Clarke
804-887-8081
Director.Clarke@vadoc.virginia.gov

Interstate Compact director, Terry Glenn
804-887-7866

Let them know that you are phoning about Kevin Johnson, a Virginia prisoner who has been sent to Texas under the Interstate Compact. His Texas ID # is 1859887 however his Virginia ID # is 1007485. Inform them that Mr Johnson has been gassed by guards and has had his property seized as retaliation for his writing about prison conditions. These are serious legal and human rights violations, and even though they occurred in Texas, the Virginia Department of Corrections is responsible as Mr Johnson is a Virginia prisoner. Despite the fact that they may ask you who you are, and how you know about this, and for your contact information, they will likely simply conclude by saying that they will not be getting back to you. Nonetheless, it is worth urging them to contact Texas officials about this matter.

It is good to call whenever you are able. However, in order to maximize our impact, for those who can, we are suggesting that people make their phone calls on Thursday, January 5.

And at the same time, please take a moment to sign the online petition to support Rashid, up at the Roots Action website: https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/prison-activist-gassed-in-clements-unit-prison-texas-law-enforcement-is-violently-out-of-control

Rashid has taken considerable risks in reporting on the abuse he witnesses at the Clements Unit, just as he has at other prisons. Indeed, he has continued to report on the violence and medical neglect to which prisoners are subjected, despite threats from prison staff. If we, as a movement, are serious about working to resist and eventually abolish the U.S. prison system, we must do all we can to assist and protect those like Rashid who take it upon themselves to stand up and speak out. As Ojore Lutalo once put it, “Any movement that does not support their political internees … is a sham movement.”

**********************

To learn more about Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, the abuses in the Texas prison system, as well as his work in founding and leading the New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter, see his website athttp://www.rashidmod.com

Posted by: prisonradioshow | December 13, 2016

December 8, 2016

On this show we had two live phone interviews. One was with Mariame Kaba on the campaign to free Bresha Meadows. Bresha is a 15 year old Black girl who is facing serious charges for defending herself and her family against her abusive father. You can find out more at freebresha.com.

We also spoke to Sheena Hoszko about her recent article for MICE magazine about Peter Collins. Peter was a long time contributor to the Prison Radio Show before he died in August 2015. Sheena’s article talks about Peter’s art for MICE’s Healing Justice issue, which can be found online here: micemagazine.ca

We ended the show by re-airing an interview with CeCe MacDonald that was done by This Way Out. CeCe is a Black trans woman who was charged with manslaughter for defending herself against during a transphobic attack. She served 19 months in prison and was released in 2013.

You can download the entire show here

Posted by: prisonradioshow | December 13, 2016

November 25, 2016

We started the show with some news items. We aired an interview with Vanessa Gray that was originally done for Off The Hour at CKUT. Vanessa Gray is an Anishinaabe land defender and community scholar facing heavy charges related to a pipeline lock down that happened in 2015 (more info at line9shutdown.ca).

We had a live interview with Maggie from NYC Free Peltier. Maggie talked to us about Leonard Peltier’s case and his current push for clemency before Obama leaves office.

You can download the entire show here

Posted by: prisonradioshow | November 11, 2016

November 10, 2016

On this show we had a live interview with Howie, one of the people supporting Zolo Azania. Zolo is set to be released from prison in February 2017 and his supporters are raising money to help his reentry. You can donate by visiting gofundme.com/helpzolorebuild and you can find out more about Zolo at zoloazania.org.

We also aired an interview from CFRC’s Prison Radio in Kingston. The interview is with Ann and Fran, two women and ex-prisoners who are campaigning for the creation of a memorial to women who died in prison.

You can download the entire show here

Posted by: prisonradioshow | November 8, 2016

October 28, 2016

This was our funding drive episode! To donate to the radio station that keeps us on air — check out funding.ckut.ca

We spoke to Diana Block, whose novel “Clandestine Occupations” is one of our funding drive prizes. Diana has been a radical activist since the 1970s. She was a founding member of San Francisco Women Against Rape, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, and the Jericho Movement for Political Prisoners. She was featured on our show in August and September of this year talking about her experiences underground in the 1980s and 1990s as well as the focus of her organizing since she resurfaced in the mid 1990s. On this show, she spoke to us about her writing process, specifically focusing on her novel Clandestine Occupations (she has also written a memoir called Arm the Spirit).

We also interviewed Helen from the Certain Days Calendar Collective (because we are also giving away copies of the calendar if you donate to the prison radio show!). The Certain Days Calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal and Toronto, and three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell. You can find out more about the project at certaindays.org.

You can download the entire episode here

Posted by: prisonradioshow | October 18, 2016

October 13, 2016

This show featured Krystal Rountree and Mallah-Divine Mallah from Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March. They are a part of the I am We Prison Advocacy Network. They are organizing a march on Washington DC in August of 2017 to demand the abolition of the 13th Amendment.

The show also featured a news item from inside correspondent Chas. Chas asked us to share the following message concerning parole hearings for prisoners in New York State.

“For all those who have a relative in prison, please support your loved one by writing, calling, or emailing your New York State Senator to demand fair and impartial parole hearings. Please let your representative know that by supporting fair parole hearings you will support them for re-election. The practice of bias and politicized parole hearings is a drain on the tax payers that must stop! Show your support for our incarcerated loves ones! Thank you! For more information: Please call the governor’s office at: (five one eight) four seven four eight three nine zero or visit www.ny.gov. Register your complaint! Stop this abuse of discretion! Please make sure the New York State Governor knows your position. Let him know that if he continues to allow parole commissioners to abuse their “discretion” he will lose your support!”

You can download the entire episode here

Posted by: prisonradioshow | October 7, 2016

September 23, 2016

On this episode, we aired an interview with Melissa Munn, a professor at Okanagan college and an activist who has been supporting prisoners for over two decades. We spoke to Melissa about the Penal Press Project, a digitization project of newspapers produced in prisons in Canada since the 1950s.

We also aired an interview from It’s Going Down.org’s podcast with Victoria from Live Free Merced. Victoria was on a hunger strike at the time supporting prisoners in Merced County Jails who were also on hunger strikes against the conditions in the jails. For more information about this struggle, you can check out https://www.facebook.com/LiveFreeMerced/

You can download the entire episode here

Posted by: prisonradioshow | September 10, 2016

September 8, 2016

This episode included the final two parts of an interview with Diana Block that has been airing in pieces over the last three shows. We also interviewed Azzurra from the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee in the US about the Sept 9 prisoner work stoppage.

Diana Block has been a radical activist since the 1970s. She was a founding member of San Francisco Women Against Rape, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, and the Jericho Movement for Political Prisoners. She is author of the memoir Arm the Spirit: A Woman’s Journey Underground and Back and the novel Clandestine Occupations – An Imaginary History. She lives in San Francisco with her life partner, former political prisoner Claude Marks.

You can download the entire episode here

Posted by: prisonradioshow | September 10, 2016

August 26, 2016

This show featured a re-broadcast of a Stimulator interview with Melvin Ray of the Free Alabama Movement as well as parts 1 and 2 of an interview we did with Diana Block.

Diana Block has been a radical activist since the 1970s. She was a founding member of San Francisco Women Against Rape, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee, the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, and the Jericho Movement for Political Prisoners. She is author of the memoir Arm the Spirit: A Woman’s Journey Underground and Back and the novel Clandestine Occupations – An Imaginary History. She lives in San Francisco with her life partner, former political prisoner Claude Marks.

You can listen to the entire episode here

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