Knockin’ doors down

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington, Chief Spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement

Published originally on the SF Bayview, Jan. 28, 2019

“Collective Struggle” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 264847, Pendleton Correctional Facility, G-20-2C, 4490 W. Reformatory Road, Pendleton, IN 46064

“The prison industrial complex has created a kind of ‘third-world colony’ right here in the United States. Prison systems outsource prisoners for slave labor to major corporations for pennies per day. Prisoners perform data entry and work auto industry jobs that used to belong to free-world workers. The workers left unemployed become the desperate criminals of tomorrow, getting locked up and getting their old union job back … in the prison factory … for pennies a day.” – From “Why Should Free-World Workers Care About Prisoners?” in The Incarcerated Worker, Issue 2: Summer 2015, a publication of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Revolutionary greetings, comrades and fellow workers. Well, here we are four years later and the analysis of the IWOC (Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee) and the NABPP-PC should be starting to hit home and resonate in your heart, mind and soul.

It is our intention to transform “prison slaves” into respected and productive members of the international proletariat movement. As a proletarian, YOU, the sister or brother sitting on your bunk, or in your cubicle, or in the day room reading this essay – YOU are a WORKER and not a SLAVE. Your lives matter, and you have great potential to be an extremely productive and successful member of the new society we are struggling to create.

It is our intention to transform “prison slaves” into respected and productive members of the international proletariat movement.

As deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party, Prison Chapter, and as the chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, I wear many hats but without a doubt my most impor­tant task is to ensure that I adhere to our PARTY LINE and teach as well as uphold it.

Many may view me as the “hype man” of our movement; however, I have assumed the responsibility to awaken and then develop the class conscious worker. In order to provide you with a clear and concise explanation of the class conscious worker, allow me to quote our minister of defense, Comrade Kevin “Rashid” Johnson.

Comrade Rashid says: 1) “The class conscious worker can be of two sorts: the militant and the revolutionary. The militant worker takes sense of commitment beyond the family into the workplace and will stand up to the bosses for workers’ rights, even to the extent of jeopardizing one’s employment, freedom and safety by participating in strikes and job actions.”

Comrades, for the past couple of years we have seen thousands of prisoners all across the United States and some in Europe and Canada embrace class consciousness and join in our solidarity actions. Now we are engaged in a process of revolutionary development, so allow Comrade Rashid to explain the other aspect of the class conscious worker.

Rashid continues: 2) “The revolutionary worker takes the sense of commitment even further and challenges the oppressive social order to change the social relations for ALL and put an end to class exploitation and oppression once and for all. The revolutionary is inspired by a great LOVE for the people and sense of DUTY to the masses and to future generations.”

And this, my respected sisters and brothers, is our aspiration and hope for ALL OF US throughout the United States, Europe, Asia the Middle East to include Israel where my Palestinian home girls and home boys are trapped in Israeli slave kamps and gulags. We are seeking to revolutionize the way you think and act.

Knockin’ doors down

Comrades, the theme I have chosen for this year’s Prison Abolition Struggle is “Knockin’ Doors Down.” Chad Butler, better known as Pimp-C of the rap duo UGK, penned a smash rap hit entitled “Knockin Doorz Down” before his untimely and some say mysterious death.

The lyrics were directed to hip-hop and rap artists in the music industry who had allow­ed themselves to be manipulated, exploited and turned against one ano­ther by the corporate capitalist pigs who run the major record labels in Amerikkka. Some may liken them to the pigs who operate Texas prisons and numerous other departments of corrections throughout the U.S. Whether you want to admit it or not, we have allowed ourselves to be PLAYED. Oh – they ain’t gonna like this one, y’all.

For decades, approximately five major corporations have run the record industry, telling artists what type of lyrics they can write, what topics were taboo, and what CDs would be allowed to drop and when. They even control what songs get serious rotation on local radio stations.

In order to control independent or “renegade artists” like Tupac Shakur, the major record executives have actually created beefs and rivalries between artists who for all intents and purposes should have been allies and comrades in struggle against these pigs. So Pimp-C made a clarion call of solidarity and unity among all hip-hop artists and rappers, especially in my city of Houston, Texas.

Basically Pimp-C was saying: “Let’s stop all the cappin’ and dissin’ and get this money together. Forget them corporate pigs. Let’s make our own record labels and distribute our own artistic product.”

The theme I have chosen for this year’s Prison Abolition Struggle is “Knockin’ Doors Down.”

“Knockin’ Doors Down” calls us to destroy all boundaries and walls which separate us and keep us from striving for the greater good of all humanity. As you can see, I’ve taken this concept and applied to our Prison Abolition Movement.

Comrades Swift Justice and Kinetik Justice of the Free Alabama Movement and I have come to the decision that it is wise for us to work more closely together and attempt to achieve some REAL GOALS like voting rights. But that isn’t all; we also want to open up a couple other “fronts” in order to confront and destroy the School to Prison Pipeline and join in solidarity with our immigrant sisters and brothers along with their children as they seek to either gain asylum or just be treated like human beings and not like cattle. All this falls under the auspices of ENDING PRISON SLAVERY.

The vanguard in Texas

Now the vanguard in Texas that is actually trying to change things in a positive way is made up of a loosely connected collective of Anarchists, New Afrikans, Mandingos, Muslims and others who have embraced the strategy and tactics of direct action. We are a small but very vocal minority who file lawsuits, write grievances, and engage in journalism, organizing and educating the people, our fellow prisoners. Our “watch words” are RESIST AND REBEL.

With the help of various Anarchist collectives across the nation and Europe – Canada too – we’ve been able to launch some successful political projects. Last year’s International Solidarity Action which took place on June 19, 2018, was one such project, and another project which has become extremely relevant this year in Texas is the Bamboozled Zine that Austin ABC and Central Texas ABC helped me and Norris “Fajr” Hicks create. Fajr is the other co-founder of this awesome movement which seeks to End Prison Slavery in Texas.

Bamboozled focuses on the fraudulent good time and work time credit system inside Texas prisons. If there is one thing that I have found that will get Blacks, Mexicans and whites to cooperate together in Texas, it is when we focus on a COMMON G0AL – and I can tell you WE ALL WANT TO BE FREE. Sooner rather than later. You feel me?

Our “watch words” are RESIST AND REBEL.

Texas has set-up a horribly corrupt and biased parole system, and it has been like this for DECADES.

One of our core demands during this year’s legislative session in Texas is to have legislators address this fraudulent credit system and create new laws which give us reasonable and realistic opportuni­ties toward gaining our FREEDOM. For the most part, legislators in Texas have continued to ignore our demands for a more equitable and fair parole system even as we have seen reported in the media that Texas prison officials often SET UP prisoners with bogus and fabri­cated disciplinary cases when they near PAROLE ELIGIBILITY.

This is not fantasy, y’all. This is a fact. All you had to do is read the Houston Chronicle or even the Prison Legal News last year and you can see for yourself what these unscrupulous violators of the public’s trust have been doing to hold us hostage down here so they can have them some well trained slaves to till they damn fields. We the prisoners in Texas are going to have to organize and act soon. BUT WE WON’T BE TELEGRAPHIN’ OUR MOVES.

Independent oversight

On a very positive note, we had one of our core demands recognized. The jury is still out on whether or not the bills will pass, but I can tell you that two Black Texas legislators from Houston have heard our pleas for independent oversight.

It is not exactly what we have been proposing, but Texas Rep. Jarvis Johnson, D-Houston, and Texas Sen. Borris Miles, also D-Houston, have drafted identical pieces of legislation that call for the creation of an Independent Ombudsman Office. If you are interested, you can have your family or friends research these current proposed pieces of legislation: SB-188 and HB-363.

The current Ombudsman Office is under the umbrella of TDCJ and is about as effective as the current Offender Grievance System. Prisoners and their family as well as friends all across Texas will tell you that the grievance and ombudsman systems are ineffective, corrupt, biased and an absolute waste of taxpayer dollars. These people down here are stealing money from taxpayers, giving our folks the impression that they have some kind of honorable vehicle for review of our complaints.

Texas Rep. Jarvis Johnson, D-Houston, and Texas Sen. Borris Miles, also D-Houston, have drafted identical pieces of legislation that call for the creation of an Independent Ombudsman Office [see here also for more info and HB3303 -ed.].

What Rep. Johnson and Sen. Miles are proposing is placing the current TDCJ Ombudsman Office under the purview of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards. My main problem with this is that all we will be doing is changing offices but retaining the same corrupt and unethical individuals working the program. For meaningful change, we need to CLEAN HOUSE AND START OVER.

The current TDCJ Ombudsman Office serves as a liaison between the public and these un-ethical pigs who run these slave kamps and gulags. My experience and the experience of my close comrades and friends has shown us that many of the current ombudsperson’s staff used to be ranking TDCJ employees who worked inside these prison facilities. One I know of is Jane Cockerham who on more than one occasion responded to our complaints in such a manner as to cover up and conceal mistreatment, abuse or unconstitutional living conditions, and I do have proof.

In the past three years my support network has filed more ombudsman com­plaints on my behalf and for other prisoners than any other support network in Texas. Now all of our complaints and responses are supposed to be available to the public – so all you have to do is email the Ombudsman Office and request to see all the complaints filed on behalf of Keith H. Washington, TDC 1487958 within the past three years.

One thing I can say is that I admire both of these Black legislators from H-Town because they not just acknowledged the flawed office, they have taken active steps to fix it. I encourage everyone of you reading this article to have your family or friends who have ever utilized this corrupt Ombudsman Office to resolve complaints to con­tact Rep. Johnson or Sen. Miles and ask them when the committee hearing is scheduled for these bills and, if you choose, how you can testify on behalf of yourselves and your loved ones. We need to make our experiences public so the world can hear how Texas has violated our rights consistently.

The power is in the people

“Kill Yourself” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 264847, Pendleton Correctional Facility, G-20-2C, 4490 W. Reformatory Road, Pendleton, IN 46064

As I said previously here, Swift Justice, Kinetik Justice and myself have come to the realization that re-enfranchisement is a goal we would like to achieve for ALL PRISONERS and former prisoners. I believe the state of Texas already has a law on the books which grants former prisoners their right to vote after they have completed their sentences and finished parole.

Florida recently passed a law which restored the voting rights of over a million women and men. However, there was a major flaw in the Florida legislation. It excluded murderers and those with sex offenses.

My problem is this: The U.S. Constitution has an Equal Protection Clause under the 14th Amendment. Now, if you are going to restore voting rights to some and not ALL, that presents a serious constitutional question. I am hoping that the Human Rights Defense Center will address that anomaly in the law. And by the way, I send out a clenched fist salute to PAUL WRIGHT of PRISON LEGAL NEWS.

For decades – maybe even over a century – white supremacist politicians and lobbyists have come up with creative ways to stop prisoners and former prisoners from voting. We even saw a free world “agent” in North Carolina trying to sabotage the vote of free world folks during the mid-terms. However, when we consider that 85 percent of all prisoners will eventually someday be released to society, WE MUST FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHT TO VOTE SO OUR VOICES CAN BE HEARD.

I’m not going to keep quiet while Texas legislators like Sen. John Whitmire misrepresent our interests. When prisoners were down here dying of heat stroke, Sen. Whitmire was lobbying against air conditioning – FACT.

Swift Justice, Kinetik Justice and myself have come to the realization that re-enfranchisement is a goal we would like to achieve for ALL PRISONERS and former prisoners.

When Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner was a member of the Texas Legislature, he crafted a bill that called for zero tolerance of retaliation against those who file grievances or federal civil complaints. Sen. Whitmire stopped the bill – claiming that TDCJ already had policies prohibiting retaliation.

Sen. Whitmire knew good and well what was happening down here to litigators such as myself and Kevin “Rashid” Johnson. And Rashid’s case is exceptionally disturbing because there were deaths of Texas prisoners at the hands of TDCJ prison guards – and Sen. Whitmire pretty much was complicit in the retaliation against Rashid when TDCJ prison officials conspired with the Florida Department of Corrections to send Rashid away when he exposed circumstances that showed these deaths of prisoners at the Bill Clements High Security Unit were actually MURDERS.

And there is no statute of limitation on murder or investigating cold cases, folks. Even now in the heated climate and atmosphere in which Texas citizens are screaming for independent oversight, we have legislators like Texas Rep. James White who claim everything is all right. NO need to change the system, Rep. White has been saying. Sisters and brothers, this system is BROKEN, period.

We must secure our voting rights and use them so we can vote Whit­mire and other Dixiecrats like him out of office. We the people have power if we tap into it.

Y’all reading this essay knew it wasn’t going to be no “Jeffin House Negro” and “Uncle Tom Trash.” I am a servant of the people and I’m gonna put the truth and the facts in they face. We must collectively encourage our loved ones and friends in the free world to get directly involved in the political process. Attend a committee hearing, send an email, make a phone call, organize a rally or a protest. MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.

We must secure our voting rights and use them so we can vote Whit­mire and other Dixiecrats like him out of office. We the people have power if we tap into it.

Why should prisoners join the IWW?

Sisters and brothers, I am going to end this provocative essay with an invitation to all prisoners in the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia, the Middle-East, Africa, as well as South and Central Amerika to join our ranks of fellow workers. I will quote a section right from our wonderful publication: The Incarcerated Worker:

“The majority of people in prison will get out and return to prison again. The prison system creates a class of people unable to suc­cessfully advocate for themselves, robbing them of necessary skills, catching them in a revolving door.”

“Prisons are used for economic purposes. Prisons are a way to lock up the unemployed and to create desperate people to work rotten jobs at low pay. This serves the interests of the rich and power­ful and it harms the workers and the poor.”

“Prisons are used for political purposes. Prisons lock away the poor, those who are in favor of more ‘radical’ solutions. Taking away votes and power from the poor communities, prisons ensure that politicians will be puppets of the war mongers and fear mongers.”

“Prisons are used for demographic purposes. Black men are the largest segment of the prison population. Black women are the fastest growing segment of the prison population. Prisons are used to maintain radical inequalities.”

“Children with at least one parent in prison are far more likely to go to prison also. Children of prisoners are the prison pop­ulation of tomorrow. The cycle continues for generations.”

“You cannot change this situation through a grievance process that doesn’t work or through courts that are clearly against you or through petitions to lawmakers who don’t care about you because you don’t vote or through hunger strikes against prison officials who want you to starve or through letters to newspapers who have ignored this situation for decades.”

“We know what will happen if you DON’T join the INDUSTRIAL WORKERS of the WORLD (IWW). Let’s see what happens when you DO. PRISONER MEMBERSHIP IS FREE. Join the Industrial Workers of the World TODAY. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS.”

Comrades, I’m leaving you with some addresses for the IWOC, the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, so you can get your application to both the IWW and IWOC. Basically we are one organization but the IWOC exclusively serves our incar­cerated fellow workers. THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES. Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People.

Contacts:

  • Kansas City IWW and IWOC, P.O. Box 414304, Kansas City, MO 64141-4304
  • Oakland IWOC, P.O. Box 6305, Oakland, CA 94603
  • Milwaukee IWOC, P.O. Box 342294, Milwaukee, WI 53234
  • UK IWOC, P.O. Box 7593, Glasgow, G42 2EX, UK

Postscript: A call to action

Sisters and brothers, I am sending out a national call and request for civil and human rights lawyers to take an interest in the struggles of my comrade and friend Jason Renard Walker as well as myself. Jason and I have been subjected to a coordinated campaign of harassment, retaliation and racial hatred by employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (sic.). White supremacist Klansmen jumped on my comrade Jason in November 2018 at the Ellis Unit located in Huntsville, Texas.

Even the federal courts have joined in the campaign against Jason and I. I have had a “mysterious” Fusion Center Report placed in my file and, without a board certified lawyer, we may never know exactly what is in that report and why this corrupt and unethical agency refuses to release me from Ad-Seg. We need help gaining the attention of Texas legislators now that the legislative session has begun.

I’d also like to echo the call of Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun of the Free Alabama Movement as he has called for the creation of an app whereby lawyers, activists and legal aid organizations can gain direct immediate access to the various abolition movements and groups throughout the United Snakes of Amerika as well as Europe and gain specific information about our various struggles – right now.

I am hoping that Queen Tahiyrah’s words proclaiming Justice in 2019 will prove to be prophetic as we head into unchartered territory in a tumultuous world. It most definitely is time to END PRISON SLAVERY and together we will achieve that goal. UHURU! Free Comrade Jason! Free Comrade Malik! FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!

Send our brother some love and light: Keith Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S. Emily Dr., Beeville TX 78103.

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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

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.

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

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.

Texas Prisons’ Corrupt & Unethical Practices Sabotage our Freedom!

May 14th, 2018

Peace & blessings, Sisters and Brothers!

As many of you are aware I was placed in Longterm Solitary Confinement over 20 months ago. I was given a fabricated riot-charge by employees of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) who work at the Coffield Unit, located in Tennessee Colony, Texas.

You know, at first no-one would listen to me except for my close friends and comrades in struggle who knew the charges were false, but now things are changing!

It was recently reported in the media here in Texas, that a TDCJ employee with the rank of Captain at the Ramsey Unit, which is located in Rosharon, Texas, had instructed his subordinates to meet a quota for disciplinary write-ups against inmates, or else…!!

As a result of this order, prison guards at the Ramsey Unit wrote numerous bogus cases. So you have prisoners doing all they can to meet the stringent requirements to make Parole so that they can go home to their families – only to have their dreams of Freedom crushed by corrupt & unethical prison employees!

A lot of people in the free world do not realize how serious this actually is. The Texas Board of Pardons and Parole looks hard at the disciplinary record of all parole candidates. One bogus write-up can ruin everything! I know! Lieutenant Gerald Richards did it to me!

There was no riot at the Coffield Unit on September 8th 2016 or September 9th 2016 – they lied! I never-ever threatened violence, there were no co-conspirators: the only persyn who was charged and who went to Ad-Seg was me! By TDCJ Policy 1 persyn does not constitute a riot! Do y’all realize I was in my cell reading a book when Captain John Vickery and C.O. V David Lee came and got me on September 8th, 2016?

The Parole Board said:

“Unsatisfactory Institutional Adjustment,” when they gave me a two-year set-off, my 6th Parole-denial in a row. Now I wait patiently for my day in Federal court! I wait patiently for my next Parole Review in July 2019 and I keep thinking: “Justice deferred is Justice denied!” And the sad thing is that this is the custom, policy, and pattern of practice inside Texas prisons!!

Sisters and Brothers, the State of Texas has been hurting a lot of people for a long time. Texas prisons are packed full with blacks, Mexicans, and poor white folks. Corporations get the gold star treatment in Texas while the poor get the boot! We get a cowboy-boot with spurs placed right on our necks!

On June 19th, 2018, I am asking that y’all help me push that ‘boot’ from up off our necks! Remember there is no Movement to Abolish Legalized Slavery in Amerika without you!

I want y’all to know that I have been contacted by an independent journalist who writes for Shadowproof and other media outlets. It’s time for Comrade Malik to emerge from the murky shadows. It’s time for us to expose the injustices and abuse that reglarly occur inside facilities operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice!

They tried to bury me! They didn’t know that I was a seed!

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 on Endprisonslaveryintexas.wordpress.com.

Send our brother some love and light:
Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958,
Eastham Unit,
2665 Prison Rd 1,
Lovelady TX 75851

#MeToo Stories from Inside Texas Prisons

By Comrade Keith Malik Washington

Peace and Blessings, Sisters and Brothers!

The state of Texas and prison officials who work for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) do not want you to read this essay. They want you to continues to accept the deceptions and lies they feed you about their so called criminal justice system.

A #MeToo project in Texas prisons is taking off; wimmin who are housed inside facilities operated by TDCJ are ready to begin telling their stories, and these will be coming out in the following weeks and months.  You may be surprised to know the pervasive and systemic problem of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and abuse of wimmin inside TDCJ prisons. Allow me to explain.

In early 2014 I was housed at Wynn Farm’s medium custody unit, after spending the prior year at the same facility but in the Ad-Seg unit. The warden there, Kevin Mayfield, was known to hate prisoners and created an atmosphere in which TDCJ officers felt comfortable mistreating and abusing them.  He also demonstrated erratic behavior, and there were whispers of alcohol addiction circulating widely (though these could be unconfirmed rumors).

But Mayfield’s abuse wasn’t restricted to prisoners; he also made inappropriate sexual overtures and advances to a commissary employee named Ms. Duke.  This was only the beginning, and he was about to get a dose of karma. The state of Texas ordered an audit of state-issued Blackberry phones. Warden Mayfield was one of the employees chosen to have his Blackberry searched, and was found to have sexually explicit images on his state-issued device.

Some say he had photos of his secretary on the phone.  Some say he had photos of children on his phone. But apparently he had something inappropriate because Mayfield was fired in 2014!  Not long after this, he attempted to take his own life.

For those of you who doubt the validity of or the voracity of my allegations, I encourage you to question Senator John Whitmire.  Better yet, ask TDCJ”s new public information officer Jeremy Desel! Or better yet, do your own online research concerning the corrupt and unscrupulous agency.

But the problem goes way beyond Mayfield.  TDCJ has a serious problem with ignoring sexual harassment in the workplace. It is time to expose these issues and rectify the problem now.  Wimmin are not sex objects; they are human beings deserving of dignity and respect!

In 2015, Sergeant Eddie Collins was working as a shift supervisor at the Pack Unit located in Navosta.  I was only there for approximately 120 days in 2015 but in that short time I observed Collins be charged with sexual harassment and sexual misconduct and not a damn thing happened!  How do you think his victims felt? I remember the female TDCJ employees who were victims to Collins’ unwanted advances but I will preserve their anonymity out of respect.

Here at Eastham Unit, there have been numerous allegations of gender-based discrimination and misconduct, and one Lieutenant was recently fired for sexual harassment.  But how many more have not been held accountable and gotten away with their bad behavior?

And if this is how female staff are treated, how do you think our incarcerated sisters are treated??  You see sisters and brothers there is an uneven power dynamic which exits within these prison walls. Ranking officers are given a lot of responsibility and authority.  Many abuse that authority and enforce their will upon subordinate employees and prisoners alike. The office of the Inspector General is supposed to thoroughly investigate claims of sexual abuse or harassment in the workplace and of the prisoners housed in TDCJ facilities.  However, I have observed that the IG performs half-hearted and lackluster investigations and many times the sexual predators in GREY continue on when there is more than enough evidence to have them convicted in a court of law!

There are many different shades and colors to changing the culture inside TDCJ.  However, let it be known to all that the ultimate culture change for me and other abolitionists in Texas and beyond is to CLOSE ALL PRISONS!!!

But until then, we will fight for the humyn and civil rights of all prisoners.  This is why I will be helping to amplify the voices of the wimmin in Texas prisons.  With free world #MeToo exposures many times the victims were harassed, threatened, ostracized or punished!  Look at what is happening with President Trump and Stormy Daniels! If that’s what happens out in the free world, just imagine the retaliation our incarcerated sisters are risking by speaking up.  So it is our responsibility to support them and have their backs when they do!!

If the stories I just told got your attention, just wait until our incarcerated sisters in Texas start to tell you their stories!  Y’all gon learn today!

Dare to struggle, dare to win!  All power to the people!


Keith ‘Malik’ Washington is a humyn rights activist currently incarcerated in Texas. He is a co-founder and chief spokespersyn for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement. Malik is a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) and he is the Deputy Chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party (Prison Chapter). Malik is part of the movement to abolish legalized slavery in Amerika and is active in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign. You can view his work at comrademalik.com and on Endprisonslaveryintexas.wordpress.com or write him directly at:

Keith ‘Comrade Malik’ Washington
TDC #1487958
Eastham Unit
2665 Prison Rd. #1
Lovelady, Texas 75851

 

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