by Comrade Malik, Chief Spokesperson, End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement From: SF Bayview
Revolutionary Greetings, Sisters and Brothers!
It’s that time again and I am sending out this call to action in order to encourage everyone who is passionate about abolishing all forms of slavery and involuntary servitude to come together in one united action of revolutionary solidarity on June 19, 2019, and protest against the enslavement, degradation and dehumanization of Amerikan prisoners and all human beings throughout the world who are subjected to any form of slavery or oppression!
As many of you know, June 19 is the day when Black people in Texas celebrate the freedom of their Ancestors, our Ancestors, who were held in SLAVERY for approximately two years after the entire nation acknowledged the Emancipation Proclamation. But the slave owners in Texas ignored this federal law.
This year’s call to action has special significance as the world’s eyes are trained on South Texas, where tens of thousands of asylum seekers from Central Amerika come to the United States seeking a safe haven but instead have found mistreatment, abuse, racism, and slavery. The legislative and criminal justice system in Texas continues to create the foundations for institutionalized racism and bigotry.
Do you realize that the U.S. Army had to ride into Galveston, Texas, in 1867 and announce that slavery had been abolished.
The state of Texas was so hell-bent on maintaining their slaves and profiting from slave labor that the U.S. Army had to show force to make Texas eliminate the practice of slavery. But it is still alive! Prison slavery is something that is being practiced and perpetuated in every state in the union and it has been codified by the most powerful legal document in the United States, the U.S. Constitution.
We must continue to call for the exception clause – or slavery – clause in the 13th Amendment to be struck down! We must finish the abolitionist work! Remember, sisters and brothers, that this is an international campaign which seeks to address the misogynistic practices of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the genocide waged against Palestinian people.
The bigots who operate Texas prisons wish to silence my voice. I refuse to remain silent! On June 19, 2019, stand with us!
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 at ComradeMalik.com. Or on this site: Endprisonlaveryintexas.wordpress.com!
Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S. Emily Dr., Beeville TX 78103.
Sent via Heinz (Vienna, Austria, Europe), 3-28-2019
It starts early on … Perhaps it’s fostered in the home. I’m no psychiatrist. What’s plain to see though is at an early age evidence of grouping big melanin content shows. As kids become just old enough to venture off to the pools o[r] parks, basketball courts etc. … it’s easy to see; black, brown, white … Often enough there will be some variations though not by much.
People could argue that this is dependent on location. Well I’m from the minority neighborhoods, Backstreets -“hoods.” And though I spent my whole life being one of the variations or another, that did not change – black, brown, white.
Then the factions start, which become division within seperation on top of segregation…. Why we as human tend to proceed through life as a competing athletic team does some tournament I’m not certain. What I’m sure of, however, is that as those habits form and solidify over time, breaking them will not be simple. How much could be achieved by a people undivided by race? What would society look like if classes didn’t keep it in their “economic equals”?
It starts at the root – color. Then there’s more division. As a youngster I witnessed it in many forms: people “representing” their apartment complexes, their street, their hood, or their side of town. Racial groups don colored clothes or bandanas representing some gang or another. And it goes on … When you pay attention, it’s systematic. Look at Hollywood. If you’re not on camera in some fashion it’s unlikely you’ll even at all exist to anyone in that scene.
Why is it such a big deal? Well aside from the fact that it builds implicit and also outright bias, many times going much further (Hitler wanted to wipe out Jewish people, Andile Mngxitama calls for killing in South Africa…). But most importantly divided people are never going to reach beyond the plateaus on which we’re stranded in our societies unless we break the color code. I cannot begin to tell you what potentially awaits a world where everyone stops creating individually and starts building collectively.
I’m not sure about other states, but here in Texas the prison system has it bad. In an already sad circumstance the prisoners break off into the “black, brown, white” like I’ve never seen before. Walk into a “chow hall,” day room, hallway – anywhere and each race claims their space. Seating benches and eating tables are claimed and fought over brutally. Color first, then faction. I’ve seen riots over someone breaking the “color code” by sitting on the wrong bench. It’s even here in solitary. People socializing via conversation largely by racial grouping and I’m struck dumb with the thought of it.
I mean, here we are subjected to removal from society, families and even general population but still there’s segregation? Wow … Are we not thoroughly oppressed people?!! It’s incomprehensible and I’m saddened at the realization that unless we become color blind then we will never shatter the caste, we will not do away with class and we cannot hope to end this cycle of segregation, subjugation & sabotage of our human potential… It’s a sadness which weighs heavily upon my head. This because though the answer is so simple. The roots run deep…
Take the initiative comrades – reach out deliberately & wherever a color code shows itself, step up & let’s start breaking it. Together we stand – divided we fail.
By Jason Renard Walker, Deputy Minister of Labor – NABPP
The legislative record on the 13th Amendment excludes any interpretative argument on the language concerning forced prison labor. Therefore it is illogical to run to the federal courts and legislators seeking recognition for fair wages.
The origins of the 13th Amendment can be dated back to Thomas Jefferson, who was the chief author of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. This document was put into effect eleven days before the start of the Constitutional Convention on July 24th, 1787, for the purpose of establishing and governing the newly-created territory north of the Ohio river, in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio.
The sixth and final article of the Charter states: “There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” Right from the start, Jefferson was a lobbyist for forced labor as a government-imposed form of legal slavery, to provide an alternative to capital punishment. Even he saw that one day, mass incarceration would affect the state’s economic progress, and that merely spending capital to capture and kill slaves, without generating any profits, made no sense. So within the U.S. Constitution he made sure a clause existed that would allow slavery to have a continuing effect on any slave who one day won some rights and freedom.
The shameless language of the 13th Amendment has created a virtually insurmountable legal battle. That is because neither the Federal government, or any individual state, can contravene the U.S. Constitution. In order to begin the legal battle, the 13th Amendment has to be amended. Article V allows the Constitution to be amended by the exact same text of a proposed change passing both the House and Senate with a two-thirds vote, and then adoption is contingent on ratification by three-fourths of all the states.
An example of this can be seen in the Equal Rights Act, which was written by the revolutionary feminist Alice Paul, and bars the prevention of civil rights based on one’s sex. The ERA passed both chambers with the requisite supermajority on March 22, 1972. But as far as the amendment is concerned, only thirty-five of the required thirty-eight states have allowed it to pass. Sadly, a constitutional amendment is the only way of attacking the legitimacy of the use of prison labor.
Being that we cannot dissolve any of the states, a tactical approach to extending the movement against prison slavery would be to conduct an analysis on those states that haven’t passed, initiate a game plan for those states, then apply maximum pressure on their economic interests. Thus forcing those states to join in and meet the thirty-eight state threshold. It still wouldn’t require them to end prison slavery, but it would give us our class action day in court. This is only one step of the many we have to take in order to end the Prison Industrial Complex (PIC) and abolish slave labor once and for all.
Being Conscious Is The Key To Liberation
Public support for the end prison slavery movement hasn’t always been as great as it is now. There was one point in time when exposed abuse in prisons created little more than a benign “shock and awe” buzz that was only picked up and circulated by off-beat media.
I can remember seeing a seven or eight second segment on an Oakland-based news channel back in the early 1990s. It spoke about a prison-initiated hunger strike for whatever reason. I sat there eating candy thinking: who’s stupid enough to starve themselves? I was only a child, I had no idea how inhumanely prisoners are treated and how such torture can instigate rebellions. Many people are still unaware, which makes their assistance non-existent. Let’s raise their consciousness.
After being incarcerated in the Texas prison system for over ten years, I have witnessed events that not only coax men and women into starving themselves, but to cut, hang, mutilate and kill themselves. Just so they could escape the madness of the inhumanity and torture of prison life in general and solitary confinement in particular.
As irrational as it sounds to refuse to eat and work at the hand of reprisals, it has given prisoners, both American and foreign, currency in manufacturing public opinion to assist us in having our problems exposed and addressed. In regards to this, we need to stick to the script, seize the time and avoid falling victim to government-sponsored reform trends, falsely held under the banner of movements and revolutions.
The hooded sweater wearing in the wake of Trayvon Martin was a trend; hands up don’t shoot posing to commemorate Michael Brown’s death was a trend; Kaepernicking, or kneeling during the national anthem was a trend; the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was somewhat of a trend; hashtag whatever lives matter is a trend; Bernie Sanders as President is far from socialism.
But what sparked these trends? What caused them to spread like wildfire? What caused them to wither away? Was a goal reached that made the trend moot? Why do people jump from one trend to the next?
Police killing kids is still going-on unchecked. Kaepernick and Reed privately settling their lawsuit out of court didn’t resolve the NFL blackballing him, or future prospects, and the civil rights of colored folk are still being violated and covered up.
From a realistic viewpoint, should we believe that without some united mass-based practical resistance, just trending, condemning, and a funky-ass progressive legislative bill every twenty years is giving us maximum progress, growth, and development as fledgling underdogs?
As prisoners, isn’t it wise for us to lay out and set out our own wants and needs rather than leaving it to snake-oil salesmen and their pop-go-the-weasel limelight shucks, who show up, attempt to derail our movement, then vanish? The only voting right I’m interested in is the right to amend the U.S. Constitution, which furthers the exclusive interest of prisoners and the end prison slavery movement. Voting has done nothing and will do nothing.
Governmental prison profiteers and other opponents of prison abolition are well aware of our progressive activities, they will never sit back and let us do our thing without a little razzle-dazzle shenanigan of their own. I’m beginning to see a connection between our progress as activists and the sly reprisals being handed out. I’m speaking of those whose artwork, writings, poems, organizing and work put in are key factors in this thing. Those who aren’t deterred by prison-sanctioned setbacks. Those who aren’t motivated by commissary or pig friendship. Those who ain’t scared to check themselves and stay on course.
These are who the administration fears the most, because they don’t see the prison as their home, they see it as an animal’s cage they will spend their life (if they have to) clawing to get out of, destroying everything in their path that tries to keep them held hostage. They can’t be bought, they can’t be tamed, they can only be expected to do what they are doing, which is to help their body follow their mind to freedom.
Just because a brotha or sista is the most intelligent or knowledgeable of history among their peer group doesn’t make them conscious. Reading a book on Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, the Black Panther Party and agreeing with them doesn’t make you conscious. Educating others about the history of their race’s past and present oppression doesn’t make you conscious – it makes you a teacher. It might make you wanna do something, it might make them wanna do something.
Picking up a gun and shooting “the white man” because of racism won’t solve the problem. Wilding out and shooting the pigs won’t do nothing either, that’ll give them legal ground to further the killer cop epidemic.
But what we can do is figure out who’s the mastermind behind these ills, who’s allowing the protectors of the ruling class to do as they please without being punished and then come up with a strategy. A failure to grasp the contradictions between an organic grassroots movement, and government reform bills, and the politics of oppression, leaves one doomed, and easy pickings to further their own oppression.
The road to liberation ain’t a walk down the yellow brick road, there’s more than one person behind that curtain pulling strings and levers that twist, manipulate and shape the reality we live in. When you see for yourself, you’ll see men and women of all races, creeds, religions. There’s gays, lesbians, racists, reverse racists, evangelists and the like. There’s some who grew up impoverished and some who’ve never experienced a lack of any want or need.
Despite their personal disagreements, they have an unbreakable bond. It’s not driven by the will to survive or to make the world a better place. This bond stems from greed and their desire to build on the billions and millions they already have.
What prevents them from launching an economic attack on each other relates to the billions of citizens all over the world who provide them with the wealth they want through the exploitation of workers’ labor. As soon as the source depletes, they’ll feed on each other, ultimately destroying the earth or causing a third world war in their race to consolidate the wealth of one country, and then the next, into their coffers.
Jails, prisons, the police state and the military play as a buffer between the string pullers and those trying to remove them. The top-down authority is manipulated into manipulating each other into serving the interests of the ruling class. So each branch is acting for a different specific reason, with the result being a disguised form of max protection for the rulers.
The military is acting under patriotism; the police state is acting as protectors of the law and its citizens; the prisons act as a reformatory for the law-breakers and the jails being holding institutions until all due process of law rights have been satisfied. This is merely a front, even those exploited by and operating these institutions are mainly unaware of this.
When was the last time an active politician or presidential candidate was attacked or killed? When was the last time one has been a victim of violence? Why are those supposedly protected by the police and military state victims of society?
Actually these institutions aren’t protecting those they claim to protect, because the so-called protected are really the oppressed. You, me, and everyone else that are economic bottom feeders, dregs of society and so on are who I’m speaking of.
Making this small qualitative leap in thought allows us to come up with meaningful ideas, put our theories into practice and learn from any mistakes or errors made. This is when we begin to wake up our consciousness.
If it’s not on your mind and in your theories and practice that liberating an oppressed people will only come by overthrowing the ruling class through an armed revolution, you are merely a fraction of the way there, still half-asleep. But still a key component of support.
When you have come to the conclusion that you are ready to die for the people, die with the people or spend your life in the struggle, doing what you can to assist those that will, knowing no progress will be made if you let up. Not only are you a comrade of mine, you are a reason why the oppressed nation will prevail.
Prisoners being bound by any form of slavery serves no penological objective. It’s an obvious tactic drawn up by the oppressor, designed to villainize, ostracize and profit off of those who refuse to conform to its deeply ingrained developmental pattern upon their release into a manipulated society. These individuals are grouped with the standard criminals.
Every person has a different level of reach and assistance. Some can go no further than writing or doing lectures, while others can’t do the former or latter, but can organize the masses. To be conscious is to learn your reach, understand what you are fighting for, and who you are fighting, then meet or surpass the standard. There is always someone waiting for you to pass the baton so they can take it further. This is a step towards advancing the end of prison slavery!
Dare to struggle, dare to win! All power to the people!
Send our brother some love and light: Jason Renard Walker, 1532092, Allred Unit, 2101 FM 369 N, Iowa Park, TX 76367.
On 2/28/19, I attempted to buy blank envelopes from the commissary but they were out. I did manage to get pens, paper, stamps and hygiene items. Since I’m on commissary restriction until 3/28/2019, I can only purchase the above items once every thirty days. Consequently, even if they have envelopes when we go again, I’m not eligible to purchase any.
The commissary staff told me there is nothing they can do about it. This means I can’t send out any mail until some time next month. This obstructs my access to the courts and my ability to respond to incoming mail. Since I’m not indigent, I can’t request supplies from the law library. Staff provided no remedy.
In mid-January 2019, I received a letter from the court of appeals (enclosed as Doc #1, see below). It advised me that if I didn’t respond to its Dec 18, 2018 letter about a payment fee, it would dismiss my writ of mandamus, which I filed to have the district court compelled to process my pending social media etc suit.
The letter was initially sent to Clements in Amarillo, either by error or intention. At the time, I was at Ellis, and the courts knew. So when I did finally receive their notice, it had travelled to Clements, Robertson, Ellis, then here. The time to respond had long expired. I sent the courts a letter telling them a mistake had been made. And that I needed leave to file in forma pauperis to the court of appeals since I didn’t have the $500.00.
At the end of Feb 2019, I received another letter from the court of appeals (enclosed as Doc #2, see below), telling me they dismissed my writ (and the pending suit) because I didn’t comply with the Dec 18 letter. The second letter had been sent to Ellis Unit.
The courts are well aware that I’m at Allred. On Jan 15, 2019, I sent them a change of address notice. On Jan 18, 2019 I sent in an unanswered motion to file class action.
The court’s own failure to send my notice to the correct address clearly denied my access to courts. I believe the letter I sent to the courts from here was thrown away. I never got a response.
Most importantly, my mail here is being held up for a week before I receive it. I just received a very important letter from someone concerning me connecting with Yale law students (enclosed as Doc #3, see below). It’s dated Feb 22, 2019, but I didn’t received it until March 1, 2019. This particular kind of mail is supposed to be given to me within 24 hours of it being written by the sender. I missed the deadline.
On this same day, I also received mail from you and many others. The postal stamps said Feb 20, 2019. The pattern I noticed is that I get mail from overseas faster than I do from Austin, Houston, or anywhere in the US. And the letters pertain to the same subject or sending similar updates.
Today I just received your Dec 17 letter with the chron.com piece KB wrote attached. Strangely speaking, several other letters (including a Dec 5 letter) arrived too. They all spoke about the Nov 23 assault etc. I didn’t leave Ellis until Jan 8, 2019, so I should have received the letters there.
I received all my forwarded mail in January, so it’s strange those letters were sent so late. Also I still want an out-of-state transfer, which the Dec 17 letter asked. This is my only shot of being allowed to make parole and start my federal prison sentence.
The only thing they are doing here is moving me from one unit of punishment to the next. The courts are playing games too, since I’m not able to get paperwork filed, or have filed paperwork answered.
This is a reaction to my claims being extremely merciful, and their complicity to not let me expose TDCJ without obstruction.
Can you please have someone file a complaint with Ombudsman about me being denied envelopes to reply to mail and seek legal help?
Send our brother some love and light: Jason Renard Walker, 1532092, Allred Unit, 2101 FM 369 N, Iowa Park, TX 76367 (or via Jpay.com)
Revolutionary greetings comrades and fellow workers!
When we discuss the term “social death”, especially in the context of the Prison Abolition Movement, we are talking about the severance and cutting off of a human being from all ties to (free) society as we know it. I would like to share my experiences.
I was first incarcerated in Texas in October 2007, so I am now approaching 12 years of incarceration. As soon as I arrived at the Harris County Jail, I fell off into a deep depression. I know that my depression had a lot to do with my drug addiction. Right from the beginning, everyone I knew began severing ties and literally “throwing me away”!
I was being held on a charge of bank robbery (with a note). The first person I reached out to was my former Public Defender Peter J. Bray. Peter worked for the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Houston, TX, which was headed by Marjorie Meyers. Peter was not nasty, but he did tell me: “Mr. Washington, there is nothing I can do to help you. The U.S. Attorney said that they have no interest in picking up your case and that you will do your time in the custody of the State of Texas. Good luck, Mr. Washington.” And then he hung up!
My first court appearance, I was informed that I was looking at 25 to LIFE! I was shocked and began experiencing hallucinations and hearing voices. I had no free-world support at the time. My former fiancée and I had separated. She had become an employee with the federal government. In fact, she was at the Pentagon with the Defense Intelligence Security Agency (DISA). I had actually encouraged her to accept a scholarship from the Department of Defense, and while she was in graduate school, I supported her financially and morally. I was actually financially stable at one point in my life! My former drug habit ruined my life!
So, I am in the county jail for approximately 7 months before I sign a plea deal for a non-aggravated sentence of 20 years, I’d be eligible for parole in 2 years so I took the deal! There was a problem. I had an outstanding charge in Galveston, Texas, and I kept telling my court-appointed attorney, who was named Brett Podolosky, about it. Brett turned out to be my enemy and not a friend. He told me not to worry about it! I knew better, but there was nothing I could do. When you are an indigent prisoner in the state of Texas, you have to take what you get, and the system is not set up for you to retain quality legal representation. I’ll never forget “good ol’” Brett Podolosky!
I don’t like to admit this, but I sought psychological counselling and help while I was housed at the Harris County Jail. At the time, a new Sheriff named Adrian Garcia was in charge at the jail, and he had instituted a new mental health program which gave Sheriffs training and education in regard to mental health issues and how they impact the prison population. The Harris County Jail had also opened a new housing wing for prisoners at the jail should they experience a crisis. I actually believe that this new program instituted by Sheriff Adrian Garcia saved my life! I am not embarrassed to say that! I am now a serious and dedicated advocate for the mentally ill and physically disabled, and if anyone studies my work, they will clearly see I spend a lot of my time focusing on these issues.
As I began to seek treatment for mental illness, I began to embrace my Islamic Faith more seriously. I grew my beard out. In fact, I wore a huge beard while living in the city of Houston, Texas, and I attended a Mosque regularly in the 3rd Ward called al-Muhayman Masjid on Cleburn Street right around the corner from the SHAPE Center. This is significant, because here we are 12 years later and my comrade and friend L. just met death penalty abolitionist Gloria Rubac, of the SHAPE Center, and Comrade Gloria said that her daughter is a parole attorney who can help me! That is pretty amazing for a guy who was thrown away and forgotten about 12 years ago! But I digress.
The dedicated and compassionate employees with the Harris County Psychiatric Center helped me snap out of my depression, and I continued to embrace my Islamic Faith, and held on to that.
In March 2008, I was transferred to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and arrived at Garza West, which is located in the Kennedy and Beeville area. As soon as I got off the bus, a TDCJ employee said in a loud voice: “Does anyone have a problem with shaving their beard or cutting their hair?” I raised my hand. I was the only one to do so. The officer approached me, and mind you I’m not a little guy, I was about 6’4” and 260lb at the time, with a huge-ass beard! The officer asked “What’s your story?” I said, “I am a Muslim, we are instructed by our Prophet to grow our beards and trim our moustaches.” The TDCJ employee said “Well, I will tell you that if you don’t shave that beard, we are going to put you in a cell and about 4 or 5 of my buddies are going to beat your ass and force you to shave, so what do you want to do?” At the time I chose to shave!
It is important that I tell you this part of my story, because not only was my incarceration taking me literally out of society, it was attempting to destroy my identity! Destroying my Muslim identity! At that reception center at Garza West in South Texas, hundreds of us were stripped naked, showered, fingerprinted, photographed and shaved bald. Then we were given identical prison uniforms and a number! From that point up to right now, I have been treated like an animal and not a human being! Texas reminds you everyday that you are a subhuman. “Your lives mean nothing to us, we don’t care if you live or die, you are a slave and are treated as such!”
So here I was, 12 years ago. No family or community support. No clergy. No money. And very little hope.
Twenty years is not a life sentence, and I have always been an extremely optimistic person – I am not a quitter! So I began to fight in my own way! At first, I assimilated. I was a “happy slave” and a person who hustled to stay alive. I got a job in the kitchen and sold sandwiches. I was good at hustlin’. But, I was also a Muslim, and as I got more and more involved, some of my brothers told me that, during the Holy Month of Ramadan, they wanted me to suspend my thievery from the kitchen. I complied, because I love being a Muslim and I love Allah!
I began to become very interested in the law, because I received a letter from the City of Galveston, Texas. The letter was from the District Attorney, and it said that I had an outstanding charge for aggravated robbery! Remember Attorney Brett Podolosky? He said don’t worry! Brett Podolosky still practices law in Houston, and he gave me very bad advice! Boycott him!
The good news is that I went to the Unit Law Library, and filed a motion for a speedy trial. In 2010 I finally adjudicated those charges, and I did not receive a charge for aggravated robbery! I received the exact same sentence I received in Harris County, and the Prosecutor counted most of my back time and she ran my time concurrent and not consecutive. That means they did not stack the sentence! Judge David Garner in Galveston gave me a second chance. If it wasn’t for Judge Garner I’d be doing 40 years instead of 20! So I do have many things to be thankful for.
There are many people who know me now because of my activism and my journalism inside Texas prisons. You will notice that I wear a large beard now. I fought for this beard! I fought to regain my identity!
The State of Texas promotes social death no matter what they may lie about and say. In reality, the prison agency TDCJ does not want our families and friends looking too closely at what is happening inside these slave kamps and gulags, because the agency can’t really stand intense scrutiny. There are psychologists employed by the state that come up with strategies and plans to break down the resistance of their charges. That is what ad-seg is all about! That is why you hear many of us use the term Control Units. This is part of the program of mass incarceration! Anarchy and anarchists are completely and wholeheartedly opposed to this authoritarian strategy used to break humans! Prisons are not making big money on a grand scale! No, this is something else, this is about social control!
After I regained my Muslim identity, I had to fight to regain my social identity and my rightful place in society! Anyone can go back to society and fall back into the same old pattern of drug use and crime, but how many go back to their communities as human and civil rights activists, organizers, freedom fighters and, most importantly, servants of the people?
Some of you may have heard about Kevin “Rashid” Johnson’s book, entitled Defying the Tomb. Defying the tomb isn’t just about surviving prison and solitary confinement, it is about thriving in this atmosphere, and completely changing the conditions inside and outside these prisons, with our final goal being abolition!
You see, I began talking about social death, but the end-game is social life! I am becoming successful because I chose social life over social death! Even though the deck continues to be stacked against me, it is my determination and the compassion and dedication of a growing number of free-world folks who are collectively saying with their actions: No! No, State of Texas, we will not let you take Malik! We are re-claiming him as one of our own!
You have to understand that once society wants you back, no-one and no entity can hold you! The people will eventually free you! And once you are free, you have responsibilities to fulfil. Your freedom comes with a price. Don’t betray the movement! Choose social life over death! Abolish prisons now!
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 at ComradeMalik.com and endprisonslaveryintexas.wordpress.com.
Send our brother some love and light:
Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958,
3100 S. Emily Dr.,
Beeville TX 78103
The 2019 Fight Toxic Prisons Convergence is taking place June 14-17 in Gainesville, Florida and will include speakers, panels, workshops, protests and cultural activities exploring the intersections of anti-prison and environmental struggles. We are currently confirming speakers for the conference and are excited to share updates with y’all in the coming months. We maintain a […]
By Jason Renard Walker, Deputy Minister of Labor – NABPP
As prison guards had the door of D-Pod Cell 203 opened, the body of a prisoner, who appeared to be Hispanic or white, fell over by the entrance; a large pool of blood ran out of the door, dripping down to the first tier.
It was like a scene directly out of a scary movie. Lying in his own blood bath while his cellmate slept, this prisoner, bound to the confines of isolation, tried to remove himself from this reality because of its overbearing torturous conditions and degeneration of the mind. He’d never openly contemplated committing suicide, even his own cellmate didn’t have a clue.
On the night of Feb 17, 2019, around 9:10 pm, this unknown prisoner waited for his cellmate to fall asleep before cutting the main vein in his arm, putting his green jacket on, then sitting by the door so he could bleed out uninterrupted. I actually saw him put his jacket on and sit down. I assumed the substance by the door was shower water. There was too much to suspect blood, plus the cell was pitch black. He seemed to be cleaning.
Prison guards can’t be credited for having the half-dead man removed from the cell. Rather the credit should be given to his cellie, who happened to wake up to use the restroom. Instead of calling for medical assistance, the two pod guards waited for another guard to bring a wheelchair. It never arrived so the other occupant in the cell grabbed a sock and tied it around the bleeding arm. This was nearly twenty minutes after I saw him sit down, and five minutes after the call was made.
He was eventually pulled from the cell and made to wobble to the infirmary, beyond medical staff’s knowledge.
During my previous seven years living in environments such as the Clements Unit, it felt like I had seen more suicide attempts (several successful) and prisoner death cover-ups than I’d seen my own reflection. This by far is the most bloody and gruesome, surpassing Clements Unit prisoner Todd Hines (who tried to cut his face off)1 by a long shot. And it is probably the most emotionally impacting, as I was reminded that I was sent here for a bogus staff assault case, and that this, and a lot more, is what awaits me.
During my first two weeks in two-man cell solitary (close custody) here at the Allred Unit, I was awoken to see an unconscious black prisoner, who’d tried hanging himself, being pushed on a gurney past my cell. The condition of these two prisoners is unknown.
The cause and effect of inaction
In environments where evil is being practiced, there are the evildoers, the victims, the survivors, and those witnessing everything. Very rarely are prison staff the victims, and in situations where they do obtain this role, it was because the entire event and written reports were fabricated by them, their subordinates, and high-ranking staff, like a major or warden. And you also have those prisoners and staff who pretend not to have seen or heard anything out of fear or reprisals or just to so-called “keep it real”, or because they dislike the abused.
It is not the evildoers in prison settings that make the environment a hazardous place to live, but those who are aware that these acts are taking place, but do nothing to stop them.
During the 1990s, the Corcoran prison in California became infamous for its “gladiator fights” that took place in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) section of the prison. There, guards would set up fights between prisoners, bet on the outcome, and in some cases gun down the fighters as if they were restoring order from a riot, much like how the losing dog or cock in a fight is killed after its owner loses the bet.
Corcoran isn’t the only prison where such events have taken place; here in Texas at the Allred Unit, gladiator fights are the norm and ironically no bets are being made, the only requirement is that the duelers be non-white prisoners and blood is shed. Other than that, the fighters are forced to stay in the cell and fight until the observing guard is satisified. In the three gladiator fights I’ve seen in this SHU-equivalent environment, the victims were instigated and forced to fight, even when they didn’t want to.
On Feb 24 2019, around 11:15am, prisoners David Morales #1588442 [see affidavit below] and Brandon Miner #1749081 had an altercation and decided it would be best if one or the other moved to another cell. Miner contacted the D-Pod officer and explained that if he or Morales wasn’t moved he’d “beat his ass”. Sgt Bright, a fat racist slob, came to their cell and said he wanted to see them fight. If a move was to be made, he wouldn’t do it until he saw lots of blood.
Miner stated that he wanted to fight but Morales was unwilling. Bright instructed Morales to get off his bunk and fight. When Morales refused, Bright told Miner to attack Morales, and that he would then take care of their problem.
Miner refused to attack Morales, so Bright stood by their door, coaxing Miner into fighting. “I was on my bunk, the Sgt made me come down to fight or he wasn’t going to do anything about our situation. I had one foot on the stool and one on the toilet when my cellie took off on me [attacked]” Morales explained in a note he sent me.
I watched Bright and a slim white guard who came with him, look in the cell staring as bangs and rumbles slammed against my wall. No effort was made to stop the fight, Bright even had a big smile on his face that vanished when the fight stopped. Bright became irritated that they wouldn’t continue, and even commented so.
He turned to the other guard, then imitated what he saw, mockingly. He declared both to be “pussies” for not mauling or stabbing each other, and patiently waited for an encore. Miner was removed from the cell and taken to another pod. Neither were evaluated by a medical staff member.
Morales did mention that Miner had just come out of a coma after an incident where he had been stabbed by a Hispanic prisoner at the Ferguson Unit, and the Miner was having nightmares and flashbacks, and wasn’t supposed to be housed with Hispanic cellmates.
More gladiator fight attempts
On Feb 14, 2019, several white guards made an effort to get me in the gladiator octagon, but I didn’t bite. An extremely mentally ill prisoner named Raheem Drummond was abruptly moved from D-202 cell to my cell, D-208. He was half my size, I was almost twice his age of 22 years. We weren’t supposed to be together.
He immediately began hearing voices and chattering violent slogans of wanting to kill women and children and commit rape. Guards kept walking by, looking in, and telling others that no conflict seemed to be brewing. He even mentioned having a lust to sexually assault me.
Despite his condition, we posed no threat to one another, and after an hour or so he relaxed and settled down. I heard one guard tell another that we were getting along, and to move Raheem back to D-202 but put “the Hispanic” in the cell with me.
Raheem was given another cellmate, and less than 24 hours later guards were able to stage the fight. They pranced around D-202 cell, falsely stating that Raheem had been parading naked in the cell with an erect penis while his cellie slept. Witnesses say this wasn’t true.
Raheem’s cellie eventually had heard enough, then a fight broke out. It was during dinner time, so the pod guards stopped feeding to watch the fight. Several other guards came to watch. No effort was made to break it up. Once both were too tired to go on, they were removed from the cell and separated.
This evil is just a drop in the bucket of things going on at the Allred Unit. It has an anonymous way it operates, and isn’t bound to the same rules of conduct like the other TDCJ prisons. The wardens are aware these things are going on, and are complicit with its many secrets.
Prisoners such as me pose a threat to their torture program, so I’m asking that readers keep an eye on the day-to-day practices of this prison, and demand that an oversight committee investigate the suicide attempts and gladiator fights teeming in the high-security buildings.
Dare to struggle, dare to win! All power to the people!
Jason Renard Walker #1532092
2101 FM 369 N.
Iowa Park, TX 76367