I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Friday, August 21, 2009

Remembering The Struggle Inside

Saturday, August 21, 1971. George Jackson is murdered at San Quentin. It is Black August. The modern prisoner rights movement is born.

This radio show from the Freedom Archives, narrated by Jonathan Jackson, Jr. traces the history of that movement. Ruchell Magee, the sole survivor of the Marin County Rebellion (or Courthouse Slave Rebellion), is interviewed. There are numerous clips of both George Jackson and his brother Jonathan, as well as many current political prisoners. Angela Davis discusses George Jackson's emphasis on transforming criminal consciousness into political consciousness - one which would return the criminal to his community as a productive member - and how that concept related to liberation movements. James Baldwin speaks to the injustice; Mrs. Jackson is interviewed shortly after George is killed; Harry Belafonte reads from George's last letter to his mom - It's really a pretty powerful documentary, and today is the day to listen to it.

Towards the end, Mrs. Jackson remarks that a prison guard claimed they killed all her sons once they got George. Her reply to the guard was inspiring:

"I have sons throughout the world, wherever people are fighting for freedom."

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