Cut off from our Family and Correspondents!

Dear Friends,
 We have to challenge the inhumanity of shutting down all the phones at San Quentin. 

We are grateful that a doctor called to tell us how Shaka Natambu was recovering from COVID and the two phones calls from San Quentin that he managed to make before the lockdown. 

Shaka was just one of many who have fallen ill with COVID-19 while incarcerated— one of an egregious 57,019 people as of July 14th, 2020. Once we got word that he was sick, we suddenly did not hear from him for a painstaking 10 days.

Here are excerpts from a phone conversation he had with our co-founder Jennifer Beach and Prison Radio staffer Miranda Hanrahan.

Shaka: I was inside of San Lorenzo. The worst part—I don’t even want to say this because I know how you are Miranda. They had me chained to the bed the whole time I was out. So I was being restrained for over fifteen days. But I lucked out, they put me in the right spot at the right time. A lot of people was getting sick around me. People here did they jobs. The doctors, they helped me out. So I’m on the road to recovery. 
[…]
Jennifer: We’ve all been in contact. Debra and Anne and I, we’ve been in constant communication. And your whole family has been praying for you, and we have been just sitting and thinking of you and sending you all of our love.  So we were standing with you the whole time.

Shaka: I want you to know that I felt the love. Even when I was hallucinating, not really in my right frame of mind, I refused to give up. Giving up was not an option.


Parts of his updates can be found audibly here. The carceral state has violently neglected those it has promised to ‘rehabilitate.’ Shaka would not be chained to bedpost recovering from a preventable disease had it not been for the calculated negligence and deliberate harm that the CDRC is enacting. There can be no rehabilitation in the very same place where the country is executing premeditated murder. Gross abandonment, lack of comprehensive health services, and overcrowded infrastructure do nothing but prove just how useless prisons are to our public safety in the age of COVID-19.Shaka’s updates and details of San Quentin prison eerily parallel the experiences of others. This redacted letter we received detailing the horrors of San Quentin in the age of COVID-19 highlights the pattern of calculated harm. 

Furthermore, the warden at San Quentin State Prison, Ron Broomfield, announced on Wednesday that the prison will be barring residents’ access to phones indefinitely. He says this will slow down transmission of the virus, but we know that this is a retaliatory attack designed to keep our people inside San Quentin from speaking out about the abuses of safety happening there. It’s a suppression of free speech—a violation of the 1st Amendment—and a form of psychological warfare. Getting our loved ones access to phones is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO THEIR SURVIVAL. Our loved ones inside need to hear information from us that they don’t have access to otherwise. And people outside need to hear what’s happening inside the prison. We cannot allow the prison to cut us off from our people.Help get Shaka and our other correspondents at San Quentin access to a phone. Call these numbers and demand that the warden reinstate prisoners’ access to phones, NOW.

Take Action Now:San Quentin Warden’s Office: (415) 455-5000 
San Quentin Main Phone: (415) 454-1460
SQ’s Chief Executive of Health Care: (415) 721-3500
When We Fight, We Win!  

 
Angeline Etienne

IS THE RACIAL SLUR “REDSKINS” THE NFL’s TRADITION TOO?

 The NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the nearly all-White male Billionaire team owners are one of the more blatantly racist & hypocritical privately owned businesses in America. Why is that one may ask?

 Despite the NFL’s awful history of not being in support of the anti-Racism struggle of African Americans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently gave the NFL’s most harsh anti-Racist message after being prompted by a group of the NFL’s most prominent players, responding to a global Black Rebellion against racism spurred by the police murder of George Floyd. But wait a minute, doesn’t the NFL have a franchise in Washington, DC using a racial slur and a racist identity as the name & logo of its football franchise called the Washington “Redskins”? Ah ha, the contradiction. Doesn’t that make Commissioner Goodell’s so-called harsh anti-Racist message patently hypocritical? Absolutely.

 The NFL can’t now claim to be anti-Racist, while still taking no forceful action against NFL franchise owner Dan Synder’s use of a racist slur & logo of Native Americans for its Washington football team. The NFL must become anti-Racist by first cleaning their own house. So what must be done?

 The NFL should request Washington’s franchise owner Dan Snyder to remove the racist slur & logo of “Redskins” from his football franchise. If Snyder refuses, the NFL should publicly condemn him as a racist team owner, and should then proceed to force him to sell the $3.4 billion Washington franchise like the NBA did to the owner of the L.A. Clippers basketball team for being a racist & ruining the NBA’s image.

 Protest groups should organize all Americans to publicly condemn Dan Snyder and BOYCOTT the NFL.

 Protest groups should organize all Americans to BOYCOTT the Washington football team’s most prominent corporate sponsors – FedEx, Bank of America, Bud Light, and Pepsi – for associating their brands with the racist name “Redskins”.

 Protest groups can urge Washington, DC lawmakers to refuse to allow the Washington franchise to build its new stadium & headquarters in the city and to prevent the Washington football team from entering back into the city under the current racially offensive name & logo.

 Prominent NFL Players can use their huge social platforms to condemn & urge a boycott of both the NFL and Washington franchise owner Dan Snyder.

 For decades, a defiant Dan Snyder has aggressively defended the racist name & resisted calls to change it, arguing that the name represents tradition and is a term of respect. In 2013, Snyder told the USA Today, “We’ll never change the name, It’s that simple. NEVER – you can use caps.” Isn’t that what some Caucasian Americans said about the Confederate flag – that the Confederate flag represents southern tradition and heritage?!

 Snyder is faced with a rather easy choice to make – he can either embrace the social moment by removing his football team’s racist name & logo, while making a lot of money by renaming the team, selling new merchandise and attracting new fans & sponsors AND WIN [or] he can stick to his racist views & position by not removing his football team’s racist name & logo, while losing a lot of money, possibly losing his team, and having his team’s racist name & logo eventually removed anyway AND LOSE.

 The one thing Dan Synder will perhaps come to learn from trying to cling to a racist name as his tradition, is that “Change” is the one constant in the Universe, you cannot resist Change, and that Change is gone come whether you like it or not.

 From the Belly of the Beast, at PrisonRadio.org, I am Shakaboona. 

 Thank you.

OPPORCOONISTS: HOW AL SHARPTON AND BLACK LIVES MATTER AIM TO CO-OPT THE MASS UPSURGE (2020)

By Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

THE PEOPLE RISE UP

The recorded lynching of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25, 2020, sparked hundreds of protests involving hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people across Amerika and the world. Uprisings that still continue weeks later.

These upsurges represent a qualitatively different form of struggle from the urban revolts that rocked the U.S. inner cities from 1963-1968. Although the ’60s revolts were also provoked by incidents of police violence, they were largely confined to poor Black communities, and much of the property damage was to structures in those communities.

The revolts of 2020, however, have involved people of every race and ethnicity, ranging from the poor and working-class to the middle class and intellectuals. Much of the property damage has been consciously directed at police and large corporate-owned structures. This struggle has definitely taken on the characteristics of class war: namely, the people versus the exploitative ruling class and its hired guns.

A PLANNED SEIGE ON WASHINGTON

Even before George Floyd’s death, the relatives of a number of people murdered by the cops were planning a massive siege on Washington, DC, to compel justice for their slain loves ones. They planned to bring hundreds of thousands of protesters to DC to shut the capital down. The planners of this event included Lisa Simpson, mother of Richard Risher (murdered by LA police during July 2016), Chantel Brooks, mother of 15-year-old Michael Wesley (murdered by Chicago police during June 2013), and others. 

After being misled and having their losses and grief exploited by so-called civil rights leaders and attorneys, the Black Lives Matter organization, and any number of politicians, these families elected to mobilize their demands for justice at the grassroots. But among these aggrieved families, are some who follow and trust the misleadership of these civil rights opportunists. As a result, the planned siege on DC was exposed to Al (the Rat) Sharpton, who had jumped on the bandwagon as a spokesman for George Floyd’s family. Sharpton, a career camera shark, opportunist shill of the Democratic Party, and known FBI informant, moved in favor of the system to subvert the planned DC siege, announcing on June 4 at George Floyd’s memorial service, that he was planning to lead a March on Washington on Aug 28, 2020, in commemoration of the August 28, 1963, Washington March that was led by Martin Luther King, jr.

SHARPTON’S MARCH TO SELL THE PEOPLE OUT JUST LIKE THE 1963 MARCH

Sharpton’s maneuver to take over the planned DC siege with a pig controlled march is an exact duplication of how MLK was unwittingly used by the government to subvert what was going to be a grassroots siege in DC in 1963.

The only difference is MLK didn’t realize he was being manipulated by the system, whereas Sharpton knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows the history. Sharpton’s a spineless, career opportunist who will work with the pigs and undermine others to promote himself and save his own neck. He did it when, in March 1983, he was busted in an FBI drug sting, and opted to wear a wire to set up Black sports promoters and even Mafia leaders for the feds, to get himself off. (1) Many people don’t know the real story behind the 1963 March on Washington where MLK gave his famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech. A story that reveals just how foul Sharpton’s move to subvert this newly planned siege, and rechannel the uprisings today, really are.

THE 1963 FARCE ON WASHINGTON

In his Nov 10, 1963 speech, “Message to the Grassroots,” Malcolm X gave a blistering description of how MLK was used to subvert the 1963 siege on DC and contain mass unrest with a one-day government-choreographed march—readers are strongly encouraged to listen to or read Malcolm’s speech. (2)

In that speech, Malcolm describes how MLK and several civil rights leaders who were struggling for funds were confronted by president John F. Kennedy,  who became aware of the planned siege on DC, where hundreds of thousands of Blacks were expected to descend on the capital and shut down all transportation and government operations, by lying down in the streets and on runways, tying up Congress, etc., and not leave until the government solved persistent problems of racism, pervasive poverty, police murders and brutality in Black communities, and so on. At the time Blacks were also active in the streets defending themselves against racial violence. Kennedy wanted a halt to the resistance in the streets and to head off the planned siege. So he and his financial backers offered MLK and the other civil rights leaders huge sums of money, a seat at the table with the previously anti-Black Democratic Party and coverage in the mass media if they agreed to take over the siege and convert it into a government-controlled one-day march. (3) MLK and his circle agreed to the sellout, and it went over without a hitch. This is exactly what Sharpton is doing with his planned Aug 28 march, aimed at subverting the siege planned by the surviving families of people murdered by police. Families who’ve already been sold out by him and his kind, with the media giving his planned march wide mainstream coverage and not a single mention of the grassroots action it aims to replace. The thing is, toward the end of his life MLK came to realize that he’d been used by the establishment to undermine the struggle of the people against its abuses. So he planned a Poor People’s Encampment to occur during the summer of 1968, to lay siege to the capital, much as the 1963 grassroots movement originally planned to do. But the pigs murdered him only months before the encampment was set to happen. 

BLACK LIES MATTER

On a par with Al Sharpton’s opportunism is the BLM organization, especially it’s national office. BLM reached national prominence on the back of the Ferguson, MO protests, after the 2014 police murder of Mike Brown Jr. BLM did nothing to end police murders, but instead co-opted the Ferguson protests and boosted the profitable careers of its national leaders. It also gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to police departments for body cameras and “unintended bias” training. Money that was used instead to expand the departments’ military arsenals and equipment. The organization, like MLK’s circle of civil rights leaders in 1963, was brought to heel with tens of millions of dollars donated by monied interests like George Soros and others. Worse still, is while BLM has received these huge sums, it has actively stolen money from and hustled the surviving loved ones of people slain by the pigs.

One such case is Lisa Simpson. As can be seen in an Aug 2016 interview with her and Melina Abdullah, one of the original founders of BLM, BLM conducted a fundraiser in Simpson’s name under the guise of helping to pay her son’s funeral costs. (4) Simpson never received a dime of that money. Other surviving relatives have had the same experiences with BLM, including Veda Washington, aunt of Alton Sterling (murdered by Louisiana police during July 2016), Chantell Brooks, and others.

As uprisings spread in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, millions of dollars in donations poured into BLM giving this discredited organization new life. BLM in turn moved in to co-opt the mass upsurge. On June 8, BLM’s managing director Kailee Scales did an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. (5) Questions poured in asking where all the funds are going, which Scales evaded. The session was a disaster and led to further inquiries on whether BLM was involved in illegally funneling money to establishment political groups like the Democratic Party. (6) It was the Democrats that subverted the 1963 siege and has since acted to keep Blacks politically contained. (7)

COUNTERING THE PANTHER PROTEST MODEL

Before George Floyd’s murder, the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (NABPP) and United Panther Movement (UPM) were actively organizing mass protests against police murders, where the surviving families were given a voice and leadership over the protests, and the involved masses participated in people’s assemblies.

Following the police murders of Dreasjon Reed and McHale Rose in Indianapolis on May 6 and 7, the Panthers organized several rallies where the masses effectively took over the streets and left the cops unable to respond. 

The Panthers contrasted their mass-based leadership style with the local BLM’s attempts to dictate to the crowds and won over the people. Indy’s BLM also led a group of protesters into a police ambush that the Panthers became aware of and warned BLM about beforehand. Ignoring the Panther’s warnings, the Indy BLM caused numerous protesters who followed them to be shot with rubber bullets and tear gas, while the Panthers led protestors to rally in another area where they were unmolested by the cops. (8)

Across Amerika people took notice of the Panther’s work. So too, did the pigs. It was soon discovered that the pigs were maneuvering to infiltrate the Panther’s ranks in the wake of the Lynching of George Floyd and the Panther’s moving to give leadership to the mass upsurge, leading to the dissolution and reconstitution of the Indiana branch of the UPM, as BLM moved to co-opt the uprisings. 

CONCLUSION

It’s certainly true that when we fail to learn history’s lessons we will relive them. Today’s maneuverings by BLM and Sharpton, repeat past historical experiences almost exactly.

It’s decisive that we learn from those lessons and prevent a repeat of the same tactics today that subverted our struggles yesterday. Was cannot trust turncoats who’ve already proven their sellout characters for all to see. We must fight them just as we do the state forces that are destroying our families and communities because it is the interests of this racist oppressive state that they serve.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!

All Power to the People!

_______________

NOTES:

1.    https://ny post.com/2014/04/09/sharpton-at-annual-nan-meeting-amid-mob-rat-revelation/

2.    Malcolm X, “Message to the Grassroots” Nov,https://youtu.be/IY39tp3LEKI

3.    Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “The Democrats are not Your Party: Confronting Black Political Confusions in an Election Year” (2020) http://rashidmod.com/?p=2756

4.    Jill Stein Talks With Melina Abdullah and Lisa Simpson Outside LA Town Hall, Aug 29, 2016 https://youtu.be.com/6_3tzPj-JCk

5. http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/gyzs79/i_am_kailee_scales_managing…

6.     Diego Marquez, “Is the Black Lives Matter Organization A Money Laundering Scheme?” June 9, 2020. https//:medium.com/@11abba4547e

7.      Op cit., Note 7

8.       Tyler Fenwick, “The Birth of a Protest,” Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper, May 30, 2020 http://www.indianapolisrecorder.com/news/article/4f46b76c-a2a3-11ea-8614…