The Prison Abolitionist Imagination
This reminds me of the power of thought. Once the thought is processed it can be brought into existence. It manifests in the darkness of mind and is brought to light of reality. It can put you in a mental state of heaven or hell on earth. Within imagination or a dream state you’re in your subconscious which is a different realm of mind that can produce and provoke thought to extend on constant thinking within your conscious state that either brings worrying, stress, desires, illusions, joy, ego, and actions of thought. It is also where we take time to think of ideas, theories, tactics, and strategies to practice within organizing. Upon reading the different stories I see a piece of me in all through the struggles of prison rather being at a state of peace while the enemy is the one distraught and broken, or I’m organizing the people around me, my long term of years rather in population or disciplinary segregation alone and freedom soon to come physically.
Wilbert Johnson, #562071/#3100172
North Branch Correction Institution
14100 McMullen Highway, S.W.
Cumberland MD, 21502
Response to “How People on the Outside Can Support”
As an incarcerated person committed to the prison movement for human rights, it is essential that we activists create/establish and maintain progressive connections with outside humanity, such as CPF (whom I’ve been working with since its inception back in the early 90s (when you were PBIP and appreciates your support throughout that Life-over-Death (mind-spirit-breaking) struggle-ordeal, all them years/decades while I buried-alive in this state sanctioned long term solitary confinement torture chamber at Pelican Bay-SHU). In his book “Blood in My Eye” Comrade George discusses this essential connecting-progressive working (activism). In his book, he opens a chapter with the word: “entente”. Jackson had a functional understanding of how our in-/out-side mutually beneficial “activism” fules the prison human rights movement. This is what we take from the historic California Prisoners Hunger Strike Solidarity (PHSS) Coalition. Progressive work collectively in covering a lot of areas to expose, educate, resist, unite, contest, and effect changes in the DCDr and the state of California. The PHRM created a blue print to further our in-/out-side collective efforts. While we have made some forward steps both within the “Ashker v Brown” class civil rights efforts and the “Agreement to End Hostilities” we still have much work that needs to be done.
We struggle to educate the General Populations to raise their awareness to their oppressed, (neo-colonized) socio-economic state of existence which connects to our outside oppressed, disenfranchised, neo-colonized communities and how this impacts our collective human rights.
Baridi Williamson D34288
Salinas Valley State Prison
PO Box 1050
Soledad CA, 93960
Response to “How People on the Outside Can Support the political work of people on the inside”
I agree with all 10 points especially with 7 & 8. We on the inside throughout this prison nation receive slave wages from the jobs we get. On my yard, all the new Afrikans who have financial support from family and other sources, put a collection together monthly, where items purchased go into it for indigent comrades to draw from so they can take care of their basic needs. We need our friends out in society to create benevolent funds to help us on the inside when there’s a need. We can always teach you all what we go through in here, and what we might need at times is for you all to write letters to the warden, or call and complain at times about what we might be dealing with, because our 602s that we file (grievance forms to air our differences when a problem arises) will only go so far… This will build the solidarity we need in the struggle to end oppression.
Mwalimu Shakur AG8738
Corcoran State Prison
PO Box 3476
Corcoran CA, 93212
Response to “Organizing Across Prison Walls”
There’s a major disconnect between the leadership of inside/outside activism. The objectives, direction, strategy, commitment, and action is not coordinated or inclusive. Needless to say, this defeats our efforts and any real possibility to achieve our objective. How so? Here, I borrow from fellow comrade Rafiki X where he states:
… [W]e must bear in mind that these outside groups, activists, and organizational heads are not our inside leaders, but are only representatives of our collective plight, struggle, and body, and can only be as effective as is the body of which it represents. Therefore, if we are excluded and/or inactive in our inside/outside demonstrations and struggles for justice and liberation, then they in turn will be ineffective representatives of our plight and struggle…
Thusly, there must be a balance of mutual respect and dedication between both inside/outside leadership. Because if the outside cadre lacks the insight and commitment of the inside cadre, you get 800 people standing around holding picket signs, disrupting nothing. And if the inside cadre lacks the insight and respect of the outside cadre, we’ll be in prison fighting for the dumbest shit (e.g., sweat suits, cable TV, canteen, etc.).
To be clear, what we are saying here is, instead of simply being a group of prisoners who limit ourselves to starting or partaking in programs offered within prison walls, our objective as L.W.O.P. is to start programs in the communities from which we stem. It is for this reason, in part, that the UBF was created so that such prisoner initiated groups and programs could be extended beyond prison walls and have an outside coalition composed of a number of organizations working on behalf of all community members inside/out.
This, in effect, will: (I) address the point Clinton “Nkechi” Walker alluded to in the article where writing about his absence in the “Village.” Whereas, the UBF strategy will rebuild the bridge reconnecting us to our communities and, thus, amend the broken social, economic, and political structures fueling the P.I.C.; and (2) in doing so, the prisoner class not only will gain control of its image, but its members will also develop a sense of investment in the communities to which we return.
Ivan Kilgore V-31306
CSP – Solano FA3-232
PO Box 4000
Ivan’s writings can be found online at: https://ubfscholarshipfoundation576.wordpress.com/