Deceptions, lies, & misappropriation of funds at the W.G. McConnell Unit

by Keith “Malik” Washington

Peace & blessings, sisters and brothers!

Today is September 4th, 2018, the heat and humidity inside my cell has reached a level which has caused me to feel dizzy, and I have been experiencing migraine headaches.

Senior U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle denied my request for an Emergency Preliminary Injunction. One of my main requests was that she order TDCJ to fix this inoperable and malfunctioning HVAC system here on the McConnell Ad-Seg Unit.

The specific area which has been affected the worst by the faulty HVAC system is F-Pod. F-Pod consists of 6 separate sections, A through F. Sections D, E & F have the worst living conditions on the unit, and sadly most of the inhabitants are Black and Latino males.

Invidious racism is a dark and dirty secret being covered up and masked down here on the McConnell Unit.

During the month of August 2018, while we were waiting on U.S. District Judge Tagle to answer my request for emergency intervention, Senior Warden Philip Sifuentes of McConnell Unit and TDCJ Region IV Director Miguel Martinez were formulating a plan to usurp and circumvent my request to have the agency fix this HVAC system, which has left prisoners to deal with inhumane conditions of confinement.

Here at the McConnell Unit, located in Beeville, Texas, the heat is a problem right now! McConnell Unit has cell-phone jammers, and possession of contraband cell phones has not been a major problem. However, Sifuentes and Martinez recently conspired to over-state the threat.

Instead of bringing contractors in to fix the inoperable HVAC system, Sifuentes decided to bring in contractors to install cell-phone blocker upgrades! So here we are in the midst of super humid and hot temperatures. Prisoners here in McConnell Ad-Seg are sealed in cement ovens, and these oppressors spend $87,000 (eighty-seven thousand dollars) on cell-phone blockers?

And then, to add insult to injury, they charge that balance to the TDCJ Maintenance Department, which is now over budget, and has no money to fix the HVAC system, which has us suffocating and laying on the floor just to seek relief!

What we need down here is a Public Information Request and the comtroller in Austin to start investigating these violators of the public’s trust!

This is not the first time that TDCJ resorted to deceptions and lies in order to withhold humane living conditions from Texas prisoners.

Just recently, Jolie McCullough from the Texas Tribune reported that the $20 million estimate the prison agencies’ expert claimed it would take to install air conditioning at the Pack Unit in Navasota, Texas, has now gone down to $4 million – imagine that!1

But you see, Sisters and Brothers, when these unethical liars were in the midst of the Federal Civil Lawsuit where prisoners were challenging the unconstitutional conditions of their confinement, the State of Texas said and did anything it could to mislead and misinform “the Trier of Fact”! Will Judge Hilda Tagle be fooled? We shall see!

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

All power to the people!

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Read Malik’s work also at ComradeMalik.com. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3001 South Emily Drive, Beeville, TX 78102.


1 Jolie McCullough, ‘Texas spent $7 million to fight against A/C in a prison. It may only cost $4 million to install.’, Texas Tribune, August 29, 2018

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Comrade Malik Speaks: Retaliation & Repression in a South Texas Prison

“Any kind of act that’s designed to delay or deprive you and me, right now, of getting full rights, that’s the government that’s responsible. And any time you find the government involved in a conspiracy to violate the citizenship or civil rights of a people in 1964 [or 2018!–Malik] then you are wasting your time going to that government expecting redress. Instead you have to take that government to the World Court and accuse it of genocide and all of the other crimes that it is guilty of today.” –Malcolm X, excerpt from “The Ballot or the Bullet,” King Solomon Baptist Church, Detroit Michigan, April 12, 1964

Revolutionary Greetings, Sisters and Brothers!

Well, it is Black August, and the white supremacists and fascists at the FBI have collaborated with all the white supremacists and fascists inside the Texas prisons, and have tried to bury my ass in a cement slab death-trap in Beeville, Texas. Don’t be fooled or tricked — this is a well-coordinated retaliation and repression campaign.

I don’t need to be long-winded to actually describe to you what is happening and what I would like some of y’all to do inorder to aid me to overcome this.

I should be headed to general population, but the Central Texas Fusion Center which works in concert with the FBI and the DHS decided to label me a National Security Threat!! So they got slick. Made it “look like” I was getting out of Ad-Seg. Even went as far as transferring me Ramsey I Unit in Rosharon, Texas. They took all the shackles and chains off, let me walk to chow, get some hugs and some ‘dap’ from brothers who know me and love me, and then the next morning at 4:30 AM, they came and got me!!

I was re-shackled and re-chained, and then I was sent to the worst Ad-Seg unit I have ever been to — McConnell Unit Administrative Segregation located in Beeville, Texas! Now the game done got dirty, y’all — I need some legal help, ’cause this ain’t right!

The oppressors have been treating me like I am Osama bin Laden! For some reason, I can only be pulled out of my cell with a video camera on me. So the officers here use that as a reason to deny me showers and recreation! The in-cell temperatures here reach 110˚F! But it’s just this specific section — allow me to elaborate.

I’ve been placed in an Ad-Seg cell on 2-Row on F-Pod, F-Section. My cell is F-82. It is covered with black soot from a previous fire. The ventilation (HVAC system) is “broken”, so they say. One officer however said, “They had it shut off when they brought you here, Malik.” Yeah, just about everybody here, even the pigs, know me as Malik or Comrade Malik.

This entire section is exposed to deadly heat extremes — right now! On 1 Row, we have seven cells F-71 through F-77; on 2-Row, it’s F-78 through F-84. There is absolutely no ventilation inside these cells. There are tiny holes in our cell doors; they are covered with Plexi-Glass! No oxygen, folks! Just a small crevice at the bottom of the door — it is a formula for disaster.

These cells are made of concrete slabs, which absorb extreme heat during the day and then release it at night!! The senior warden here is Philip Sifuentes and the Assistant Warden over Ad-Seg is G. Miller. They know all about the inhuman conditions inside these cells, but when I try to discuss the problem with them, they say something slick like, “Tell the taxpayers; I don’t give a damn, I work with what they give me!” Pretty professional, huh?

The Texas Dept. of Criminal Justice has a multi-billion dollar budget. They have over 110 prison facilities. They don’t have to force human beings to live like this, but they do it! What is very unsettling to me in this particular section F-Pod (F-Section), the living conditions are horrible.

I’ve noticed that a disproportionate number of the prisoners in this section are Black males!! There are appearances of a type of unwritten racial profiling program which targets Blacks specifically for placement in the Hot Box — the racist oppressors did this in South during slavery!

Something illegal, unethical, and unjust is happening right here in the McConnell Unit. And what is happening is being promoted, condoned, and sanctioned by the Federal government! That’s right, the Feds!!

You see, I have become a target because I say #BlackLivesMatter! Because I say, #EndPrisonSlavery! because I say, Let Our People Go! Because I say #AbolishICE! I have become a target because I say that we are not so much facing a RACE WAR but we are engaged in a CLASS WAR!

Listen to these names: Abe Martinez (US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas). Miguel Martinez (TDCJ Region IV Director). Phillip Sifuentes (Senior Warden, McConnell Unit). These ‘sound like’ names of individuals who should be comrades in the struggle! But like so many Brown and Black people, they have sold their soul for a jelly roll, and do the bidding of the fascist imperialist oppressors! In fact, sisters and brothers, they ARE the oppressor!!

For sure, racism in Amerika is alive and well, but there is something more sinister going on. Sean Swain is a white male prisoner in Ohio who has a big ol’ beard like me; he served in the US Army just like me; he is a member of the IWW like me and he is an abolitionist just like me! Even though he’s a white man and I am Black! And like me, the US government has conspired with the Ohio Department of Corrections to place Sean in a position where perhaps death seems to be the only option. I say to Sean Swain — Stay strong, comrade! Help is on the way! We will expose this Federal repression program together!

What I really need down here in Texas is media exposure, legal aid, and I really need y’all to contact state and federal legislators! Remember, the best antiseptic for injustice is sunlight!

Dare to Struggle — dare to win!

All Power to the People!

Keith “Comrade Malik” Washington

Malik is a leader of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter) and he has founded the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement.

This was published earlier on the IWOC-blog, August 15th, 2018.

All Hands on Deck: Get Malik Washington out of Ad-Seg!

Several weeks ago, friends and supporters of incarcerated freedom fighter Comrade Malik Washington were overjoyed to hear that he was getting released, finally, from Administrative Segregation (solitary confinement) at Eastham Unit in Texas–until TDCJ pulled a fast one, falsely claiming that he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition Program to get him released back to general population.

This is a complete lie:  Malik has been fighting to get out of Ad-Seg from the moment he was thrown in there two years ago on a bogus riot charge (which was, itself, retaliation for prison strike organizing and agitating against inhumane, discriminatory conditions).

Here’s what actually happened:  when Malik arrived at Ramsey Unit on June 21, he was assigned to a top bunk, which is prohibited by his medical restrictions as a seizure patient.  TDCJ had failed to transfer his medical restrictions records, or had erased them, and are now claiming no record of these restrictions, which have been on file and in place for the past ten years.  Malik wrote a detailed statement requesting to be placed on a lower bunk in order to avoid injury; later that night, he was abruptly transferred back to Ad-Seg at a new Unit (McConnell).

Malik was told that Ramsey staff claimed he refused to participate in the Ad-Seg Transition program–this is NOT true, and he needs to be re-instated to the program immediately!  He also urgently needs his medical restrictions put back into his records!


We are extremely concerned for Malik’s safety, and urgently need the help of everyone reading this. Please take one or more of the following actions, and get a couple friends to do the same!

  1. Call Senior Warden Phillip Sifuentes at Malik’s current facility (McConnell) and tell them Keith Washington (#1487958) must be transferred out of McConnell and re-admitted to the Ad-Seg Transition Program!

Phone #: (361) 362-2300 (**048) 00 —  ask to be connected to the senior warden’s office/receptionist–try to talk to someone, but also can leave a message.

Sample Script: “Hello, I’m calling because I’m concerned about Keith H. Washington (#1487958) who was recently transferred to your facility.  I understand he was transferred there from Ramsey Unit, because he supposedly refused to participate in the Ad-Seg transition program there, but this is not true; Malik never refused to participate, and he needs to be re-admitted to the transition program immediately!  I am also concerned that his heat restrictions seem to have been removed from his records.  He is a seizure patient and has been on heat and work restriction for years, and these restrictions must be reinstated immediately.”

Please let us know how your call goes at blueridgeABC@riseup.net

  1. Flood TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier with calls/emails!You can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.
    exec.director@tdcj.texas.gov

(936) 437-2101 / (936) 437-2123

  1. Flood TDCJ with emails demanding that Malik’s health restrictions and work restrictions be restored: Health.services@tdcj.texas.gov

You can use the call script above as a guide; you don’t need to mention the Ad-Seg situation, but just focus on the need to restore his heat and work restrictions!

  1. File a complaint with the Ombudsman’s Office (the office in charge of investigating departmental misconduct); you can use the above phone script as a guide for emails.

Ombudsman@tdcj.texas.gov

  1. Write to Malik! Every letter he receives lifts his spirit and PROTECTS him, because prison officials know he has people around him, watching for what happens to him.

Keith H. Washington

#1487958
McConnell Unit
3100 South Emily Drive
Beeville, TX 78103

Or via Jpay.com!

For more information about Malik:

https://comrademalik.com/ and this site: Endprisonslaveryintexas.wordpress.com

Please Support Prison Lives Matter Event on July 18, 2018!

By Keith Malik Washington

Chief Spokesperson for End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement

“Those who sell out their people to the highest bidder do not have the same relationship with the power-broker that the 99% have.  Our response is not patient or conciliatory–it is about chopping off heads and taking no prisoners. I am speaking philosophically here, as warfare is more spiritual than physical.  We are so powerful, we can think the enemy into his grave.” — Wanda Sabir, “Black Panther:  Reflection on cultural solidarity and historic debt”

Peace and Blessings, Sisters and Brothers!

All of my life, I have wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself.  We have been taught to want for your brother what you want for yourself. In this moment in history, I want freedom for ALL political and politicized prisoners.  Power to the people!!

Kwame Shakur is the co-founder and chairman of the New Afrikan Liberation Collective, and he has begun a Prison Lives Matter movement which is holding a remarkable event in Indiana on July 18, 2018.  The theme will be “Prison Lives Matter: In the Spirit of Nelson Mandela.”

The intention of holding this event is to draw international attention to the freedom struggles of our long-held political prisoners here in the United Snakes of Amerika!!  The U.S. continues to strut across the world stage falsely portraying itself as a bastion for human and civil rights. We all are clearly seeing that these are lies being fed to a blind public. Well, the time has arrived to remove the blinders, remove the rose-colored glasses, and open people’s eyes.

Wake up Amerikkka!  The time for talk about New Afrikan unity is over!  Like the great rapper Keith Murray would say: “It’s time for some action!”

Imprisoned Comrades such as Jalil Muntaqim, Mutulu Shakur, and the venerable Sundiata Acoli have been locked up in Amerikan prisons for far too long.  We must not remain silent.

There has been an epidemic of prisoners murders by employees of the Florida Department of Corrections and legalized slavery is promoted, sanctioned, and condoned by the buffoon in the White House.  

Meanwhile, here in Texas, we are suffering from deadly heat on a daily basis, with summer temperatures inside these un-air-conditioned units sometimes reaching into the triple digits!

So you can see why it is necessary to say loudly and publicly that PRISON LIVES MATTER!  I am requesting that anti-racists, anti-fascists, anti-imperialists and freedom fighters of every stripe come to Indiana to support us on July 18!

On a personal note, I’d like to inform all of you that July 19, 2018 is my 50th birthday!  It would be a wonderful gift to me if you would consider traveling to Indiana to support Kwame Shakur and his comrades!  

I leave you as I came:  in the spirit of peace. And remember, prison lives matter!

Dare to struggle, dare to WIN.  All power to the people.

Keith Malik Washington

Comrade Malik in Texas stands in Solidarity with Prisoners in South Carolina!

Revolutionary greetings Comrades!

June is here!! I’m excited as hell!! I should be getting out of Ad-Seg any day now and T.D.C.J. has been placed under scrutiny because of a fabricated disciplinary write-up scandal at Ramsey Unit (Rosharon, Texas)! All I can say is: I told y’all so! This is a pervasive and systematic problem inside Texas prisons!

It’s hard enough to make parole down here – but now we have to contend with prison guards writing bogus cases and sabotaging our freedom! I am a witness. Now let’s get down to business, shall we?

Let us talk about South Carolina. I almost fell for the bogus media propaganda delivered to the public by the corporate-owned media in South Caroline when they reported about the prisoner deaths at Lee Correctional. It has been my experience that most, not all – but most mainstream media outlets are in lockstep with the bigots and racists who operate these slave kamps and gulags in the South!

Yeah! Texas, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi modern day bigots!

So the state throws out these false narratives that all this bloodshed in South Carolina was over cell phone, drugs, territory, gang violence, etc. No-one is talking about the gross lack of Education and Rehabilitation programs in South Carolina. Why is that??

No one is talking about the overcrowding and inhumane living conditions in South Carolina. Legislators there have virtually ignored the humyn beings in these prisons. They created the crisis with their inattentiveness and then when tragedy hits they blame the people with the least amount of power to change their condition. Now stop right there!

Who says we have no power? Oh, we have power, should we choose to use it collectively. August 21st through September 9th you can help us exercise our rights by supporting all of us as we withdraw our Free prison labor!!

Now I am going to leave y’all right now and ask that you ponder on the words of the late, great founder of Black Liberation Theology – the iconic reverend Dr James Cone. He said:

“There can be no reconciliation with masters as long as they are masters, no reconciliation as long as men [and wimmin] are in prison. There can be no communication between the masters and the slave, until masters no longer exist as masters, are no longer present as masters.

The Christian task is to rebel against all masters, destroying their pretensions to authority and ridiculing the symbols of power. However, it must be remembered that oppressors never take kindly to those who question their authority. They do not like thugs and bums, people who disregard their power. And they will try to silence them any way they can. But if we believe that our humanity transcends them, and is not dependent upon their goodwill, then we can fight against them, even though it may mean death.” (end of quote).

Swift Justice of the Free Alabama Movement has said he has heard of prisoners saying: “I will die for mines.” And you know what? Me, Kinetic Justice, Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, we been thinking a little and we want to know what is “mines?” Define that! Is it a cellphone you’d die for? Perhaps you’d die fo a K-2 square? Well what about your freedom? What about your dignity as a humyn being? Y’all better wake the hell up because this is not a game. Seems like we have misplaced our priorities! I’ll holler! P.E.A.C.E.

Dare to struggle, dare to win.

All power to the people!

Keith Malik Washington, June 2018

Staff and Inmates Both Endangered by Extreme Heat in Texas Prisons

From: Incarcerated Worker
June 4, 2018

Peace and blessings sisters and brothers! It is late May as I write this, and already the heat is reaching unbearable limits inside Texas prisons.

I personally am in the midst of my annual Ramadan fast, and the extreme heat places an extra bit of intensity to our obligatory fast.

A federal judge in Houston, Texas, has ruled in favor of prisoners housed at the Pack Unit, located in Navasota, Texas, on the issue of toxic water. However, the question that is being asked by prisoners and their families is “what is the State of Texas going to do with the rest of their facilities which place our loved ones at risk?”

And a lot of the folks in the media and the activist community forget that it is not just the prisoners who are suffering in this super heated environment. State employees who work as Correctional Officers are catching hell down here too! But unlike me, these prison guards can’t speak publicly about the deadly extreme heat, or they will be sacking up groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly Supermarket, or working as a greeter at Wal-Mart! I’ve been asked by many prison guards if I would please tell the world about the cruel and unusual working conditions that they are forced to work under.

Not every prison guard down here in Texas is an abuser or a bigot. I don’t particularly agree with their career choice, but at the end of the day, these are human beings, and the State of Texas has placed a gag order on them so they can’t talk to the media about the real conditions inside these brick ovens that Texas passes off as modern day rehabilition facilities.

So, today it is approximately 91° F outside, here in Lovelady, Texas. I’m currently housed on 3-row, it is 2p.m., and I only have on my boxers – nothing else! The officer working the wing has on a long-sleeve shirt buttoned all the way up, trousers, equipment belt, and a nylon protective vest with inserts. She is sweating profusely! And it isn’t even hot yet, folks! TDCJ has said that they intend on doing “new things” this year in order to mitigate the extreme heat. But I can tell you that anything short of lowering the inside temperatures to 88° F or below is really a waste of time, and they know that!

Officers are being promised new coolers which store ice! Here at Eastham there isn’t even enough ice for prisoners. So I am trying to figure out where all this “magic ice” is going to come from?

Sisters and brothers, it has not just been prisoners who have died in respect to this deadly extreme heat, prison guards have died also, and TDCJ’s spokesperson Jeremy Desel is not eager to discuss the officer death toll numbers. I am currently awaiting the statistics.

Hopefully, Keri Blakinger or Gabrielle Banks of the Houston Chronicle will aid me in this endeavour, as this is certainly in the public’s interest. However, the State of Texas does not want to acknowledge the evidence. The State employs their officers at an “at will” basis, and that means the State can fire them just about whenever they feel like.

Lance Lowry was the former president of the Correctional Officers Union, whose headquarters is located in Huntsville, Texas. Lowry continuously put TDCJ on “Front Street” in respect to the inhumane conditions his fellow union members were and still are forced to work in!

You see, Senator John Whitmire and Representative James White both know the conditions inside these prisons during the summer are torturous, but they work in air-conditioned offices. The same goes for high-ranking TDCJ employees like Bryan Collier. I’d love to see Collier write an op-ed for the New York Times, like Lance Lowry did, begging for funds so officers and prisoners alike can live and work in a humane and safe environment. Time and time again, we are seeing that the State of Texas fails to keep up with the evolving standards of decency a modern civilised society should be held to.

Even the folks at the University of Texas Medical Branch are culpable! Dr. David Callender could surely use some of his influence in regards to this topic, but just like the toxic water problem, Hepatitis-C issue, and numerous other relevant topics, Callender stays as quiet as a Church House Mouse!

Sisters and brothers, I suffer from seizures, I am a chronic seizure patient, and right at the point when the heat is coming, the UTMB Medical Staff have been surreptitiously attempting to discontinue my seizure medication! I’ll be 50 years old in July 2018. I’m not a young puppy anymore, but TDCJ and UTMB would love to shut this old dog up! I’m asking everyone to come together on this issue! Support your incarcerated loved ones who are filing law suits, support freedom fighters such as myself, and remember prison guards are people too!

Let’s get the Texas legislature to allocate more funds in order to create re-entry programs, so we can close these prisons, and we can work jobs to pay for air conditioning in our houses and apartments!

Abolish all prisons today!


Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Read Malik’s work at ComradeMalik.com and on End Prison Slavery in Texas. Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, Eastham Unit, 2665 Prison Rd 1, Lovelady TX 75851.

Call for a Juneteenth 2018 Mobilization Against Prison Slavery

The Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons

Call for a #Juneteenth2018 Mobilization Against Prison Slavery

from SPARC

This year we, supporters of #OperationPUSH, are calling on all opponents of mass incarceration and modern-day slavery internationally to honor the Juneteenth holiday (Tuesday, June 19, 2018) with community organizing and direct action.

This call to action is inspired by prisoners in Texas and Florida, two of the largest and most repressive prison systems in the U.S., who remain active in freedom struggle against all odds.

Background

Juneteenth is an abolitionist holiday originating in Texas, where many Confederate slave-holders fled to during the U.S. Civil War.

But that war was not merely a domestic civil conflict. It was a flare-up of the global movement to end slavery. It is a movement that continues to challenge the slave relations of today which occur under several names (examples include debt bondage, sex trafficking, prison labor) and generally impact the most…

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