AUGUST 21 – SEPTEMBER 9th NATIONAL SOLIDARITY EVENTS TO AMPLIFY PRISONERS HUMAN RIGHTS

2-13-2020

AUGUST 21 – SEPTEMBER 9th NATIONAL SOLIDARITY EVENTS TO AMPLIFY PRISONERS HUMAN RIGHTS

To all in solidarity with the Prisoners Human Rights Movement:

We are reaching out to those that have been amplifying our voices in these state, federal, or immigration jails and prisons, and to allies that uplifted the national prison strike demands in 2018. We call on you again to organize the communities from August 21st – September 9th, 2020, by hosting actions, events, and demonstrations that call for prisoner human rights and the end to prison slavery.

We must remind the people and legal powers in this nation that prisoners’ human rights are a priority. If we aren’t moving forward, we’re moving backward. For those of us in chains, backward is not an option. We have nothing to lose but our chains.

Some people claim that prisoners’ human rights have advanced since the last national prison strike in 2018. We strongly disagree. But due to prisoners organizing inside and allies organizing beyond the walls, solidarity with our movement has increased. The only reason we hear conversations referencing prison reforms in every political campaign today is because of the work of prison organizers and our allies! But as organizers in prisons, we understand this is not enough. Just as quickly as we’ve gained ground, others are already funding projects and talking points to set back those advances. Our only way to hold our ground while moving forward is to remind people where we are and where we are headed.

On August 21 – September 9, we call on everyone in solidarity with the prison class struggle to organize an action, a panel discussion, a rally, an art event, a film screening, or another kind of demonstration to promote prisoners’ human rights. Whatever is within your ability, we ask that you shake the nation out of any fog they may be in about prisoners’ human rights and the criminal legal system (legalized enslavement).

During these solidarity events, we request that organizers amplify immediate issues prisoners in your state face, the demands from the National Prison Strike of 2018, and uplift Jailhouse Lawyers Speak new International Law Project.

We’ve started the International Law Project to engage the international community with a formal complaint about human rights abuses in U.S. prisons. This project will seek prisoners’ testimonials from across the country to establish a case against the United States Prison Industrial Slave Complex on international human rights grounds.

Presently working on this legally is the National Lawyers Guild’s Attorneys of the Mass Incarceration Committee Working Group, and another attorney, Anne Labarbera. Members of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP), and I am We Prisoners Advocacy Network/Millions For Prisoners are also working to support these efforts. The Mass Incarceration Committee Working Group (Jenipher R. Jones, Esq. and Audrey Bomse) will be taking the lead on this project.

The National Prison Strike Demands of 2018 have not changed. As reflected publicly by the recent deaths of Mississippi prisoners, the crisis in this nation’s prisons persist. Mississippi prisons are on national display at the moment of this writing, and we know shortly afterward there will be another Parchman in another state with the same issues. The U.S. has demonstrated a reckless disregard for human lives in cages.

The prison strike demands were drafted as a path to alleviate the dehumanizing process and conditions people are subjected to while going through this nation’s judicial system. Following up on these demands communicates to the world that prisoners are heard and that prisoners’ human rights are a priority.

In the spirit of Attica, will you be in the fight to dismantle the prison industrial slave complex by pushing agendas that will shut down jails and prisons like Rikers Island or Attica? Read the Attica Rebellion demands and read the National Prison Strike 2018 demands. Ask yourself what can you do to see the 2018 National Prison Strike demands through.

SHARE THIS RELEASE FAR AND WIDE WITH ALL YOUR CONTACTS!

We rage with George Jackson’s “Blood in my eyes” and move in the spirit of the Attica Rebellion!

August 21st – September 9th, 2020

AGITATE, EDUCATE, ORGANIZE

Dare to struggle, Dare to win!

We are–

“Jailhouse Lawyers Speak”

NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD ATTORNEYS OF THE MASS INCARCERATION COMMITTEE WORKING GROUP EMAIL CONTACT FOR LAWYERS AND LAW STUDENTS INTERESTED IN JOINING THE INTERNATIONAL LAW PROJECT: micjlsnlg@gmail.com

PRISON STRIKE DEMANDS: https://jailhouselawyerspeak.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/prisoners-national-demands-for-human-rights/

JAILHOUSE LAWYERS SPEAK EMAIL: Jailhouselawyersspeak@protonmail.com

Prisoners National Demands For Human Rights

“These are the National Prison Strike 10 Demands of 2018. We are fighting to have them implemented across the country. Since the last national prison strike, we have saw little changes as prisoners, and a great deal of it has to do with our voices being ignored in regards to the listed demands. We demand our human rights. We are not beasts. Change the conditions and you will change attitudes” — Jailhouse Lawyers Speak

1. Immediate improvements to the conditions of prisons and prison policies that recognize the humanity of imprisoned men and women

2. An immediate end to prison slavery. All persons imprisoned in any place of detention under United States jurisdiction must be paid the prevailing wage in their state or territory for their labor

3. The Prison Litigation Reform Act must be rescinded, allowing imprisoned humans a proper channel to address grievances and violations of their rights

4. The Truth in Sentencing Act and the Sentencing Reform Act must be rescinded so that imprisoned humans have a possibility of rehabilitation and parole. No human shall be sentenced to Death by Incarceration or serve any sentence without the possibility of parole

5. An immediate end to the racial overcharging, over-sentencing, and parole denials of Black and brown humans. Black humans shall no longer be denied parole because the victim of the crime was white, which is a particular problem in southern states

6. An immediate end to racist gang enhancement laws targeting Black and brown humans

7. No imprisoned human shall be denied access to rehabilitation programs at their place of detention because of their label as a violent offend

8. State prisons must be funded specifically to offer more rehabilitation services

9. Pell grants must be reinstated in all US states and territories

10. The voting rights of all confined citizens serving prison sentences, pretrial detainees, and so-called “ex-felons” must be counted. Representation is demanded. All voices count

2-13-2020

AUGUST 21 – SEPTEMBER 9th NATIONAL SOLIDARITY EVENTS TO AMPLIFY PRISONERS HUMAN RIGHTS

To all in solidarity with the Prisoners Human Rights Movement:

We are reaching out to those that have been amplifying our voices in these state, federal, or immigration jails and prisons, and to allies that uplifted the national prison strike demands in 2018. We call on you again to organize the communities from August 21st – September 9th, 2020, by hosting actions, events, and demonstrations that call for prisoner human rights and the end to prison slavery.

We must remind the people and legal powers in this nation that prisoners’ human rights are a priority. If we aren’t moving forward, we’re moving backward. For those of us in chains, backward is not an option. We have nothing to lose but our chains.

Some people claim that prisoners’ human rights have advanced since the last national prison strike in 2018. We strongly disagree. But due to prisoners organizing inside and allies organizing beyond the walls, solidarity with our movement has increased. The only reason we hear conversations referencing prison reforms in every political campaign today is because of the work of prison organizers and our allies! But as organizers in prisons, we understand this is not enough. Just as quickly as we’ve gained ground, others are already funding projects and talking points to set back those advances. Our only way to hold our ground while movw2ing forward is to remind people where we are and where we are headed.

On August 21 – September 9, we call on everyone in solidarity with us to organize an action, a panel discussion, a rally, an art event, a film screening, or another kind of demonstration to promote prisoners’ human rights. Whatever is within your ability, we ask that you shake the nation out of any fog they may be in about prisoners’ human rights and the criminal legal system (legalized enslavement).

During these solidarity events, we request that organizers amplify immediate issues prisoners in your state face, the demands from the National Prison Strike of 2018, and uplift Jailhouse Lawyers Speak new International Law Project.

We’ve started the International Law Project to engage the international community with a formal complaint about human rights abuses in U.S. prisons. This project will seek prisoners’ testimonials from across the country to establish a case against the United States Prison Industrial Slave Complex on international human rights grounds.

Presently working on this legally is the National Lawyers Guild’s Attorneys of the Mass Incarceration Committee Working Group, and another attorney, Anne Labarbera. Members of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), Fight Toxic Prisons (FTP), and I am We Prisoners Advocacy Network/Millions For Prisoners are also working to support these efforts. The Mass Incarceration Committee Working Group (Jenipher R. Jones, Esq. and Audrey Bomse) will be taking the lead on this project.

The National Prison Strike Demands of 2018 have not changed. As reflected publicly by the recent deaths of Mississippi prisoners, the crisis in this nation’s prisons persist. Mississippi prisons are on national display at the moment of this writing, and we know shortly afterward there will be another Parchman in another state with the same issues. The U.S. has demonstrated a reckless disregard for human lives in cages.

The prison strike demands were drafted as a path to alleviate the dehumanizing process and conditions people are subjected to while going through this nation’s judicial system. Following up on these demands communicates to the world that prisoners are heard and that prisoners’ human rights are a priority.

In the spirit of Attica, will you be in the fight to dismantle the prison industrial slave complex by pushing agendas that will shut down jails and prisons like Rikers Island or Attica? Read the Attica Rebellion demands and read the National Prison Strike 2018 demands. Ask yourself what can you do to see the 2018 National Prison Strike demands through.

SHARE THIS RELEASE FAR AND WIDE WITH ALL YOUR CONTACTS!

We rage with George Jackson’s “Blood in my eyes” and move in the spirit of the Attica Rebellion!

August 21st – September 9th, 2020

AGITATE, EDUCATE, ORGANIZE

Dare to struggle, Dare to win!

We are–

“Jailhouse Lawyers Speak”

MASS INCARCERATION COMMITTEE WORKING GROUP EMAIL CONTACT FOR LAWYERS AND LAW STUDENTS INTERESTED IN JOINING THE INTERNATIONAL LAW PROJECT:

micjlsnlg@gmail.com

JAILHOUSE LAWYERS SPEAK EMAIL:

Jailhouselawyersspeak@protonmail.com

PRISON STRIKE DEMANDS: https://jailhouselawyerspeak.wordpress.com/2020/02/11/prisoners-national-demands-for-human-rights/

PRISONERS OF WAR: NEW AFRIKAN PERSPECTIVE #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners

SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013

PRISONERS OF WAR: A NEW AFRIKAN PERSPECTIVE -Atiba Shanna (Owusu Yaki Yakubu)

ON CAPTURED CITIZENS, POLITICAL PRISONERS, AND PRISONERS OF WAR: A NEW AFRIKAN PERSPECTIVE Atiba Shanna The New Afrikan Independence Movement (NAIM) continues to have a need for a clear, commonly-held stand (i.e., shared consciousness; further development, dissemination, and grasp of the idealogical, theoretical, and political bases of our line) on New Afrikan citizens held in U.S. prisons and jails. This stand is particularly necessary, in some respects, relative to our captured nationals, i.e. conscious New Afrikan citizens who are held as political prisoners and prisoners of war.1 We need this stand not only so that it can serve as a guide to enhance our work around prisons and prisoners. The consciousness which inspires our work with and for New Afrikan prisoners is the same consciousness which guides all other work, with and for all New Afrikan people, around all other issues and institutions that affect our lives.

The components of our stand are: 1) the relationship between New Afrikan people on the one hand, and the U.S. and its prisons on the other: 2) the levels of consciousness which distinguish conscious citizens from unconscious citizens; 3) the character of the activity which distinguishes captured unconscious citizens from political prisoners and prisoners of war. The relationship between New Afrikan people and the U.S. settler-imperialist state, is one between oppressed and oppressor nations. This fundamental distinction was emphasized when We issued, in effect, a declaration of war (the New Afrikan DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE, wherein We proclaimed ourselves “free and independent of the jurisdiction of the United States of America and the obligations which that country’s unilateral decision to make our ancestors and ourselves paper-citizens placed on us”. We then went on to list the basic objectives of the New Afrikan national liberation revolution.

The New Afrikan Independence Movement is not a “prison movement”— it is a movement in the process of becoming a State. This process required the assumption of even greater responsibility for the welfare of all New Afrikan people, as We seek to become recognized for the welfare of all New Afrikan people, as We seek to become recognized by them as their legitimate representatives (i.e., as their government, and vis-avis the U.S. and the world community). The movement should, therefore, begin to manifest greater cooperation, centralization, and coordination, and it should become more adept at the proportional allocation and expenditure of resources, based on the strategic and/or tactical priority given the various fronts and projects undertaken within them.) Because New Afrikans are engaged in a struggle for national independence and socialism, our aim, relative to the U.S. prison system, is not to reform it, We plan to secure the release of all New Afrikan citizens from U.S. prisons — but We will do so only as a consequence of national liberation revolution. In the short term, We’ll continue to be concerned with such things as securing the release of certain prisoners, and with struggling to improve treatment and the living conditions of captured citizens and nationals. However, the success of these efforts will greatly depend upon our success in educating, organizing and mobilizing our people on all The term “national” is used throughout this article to distinguish unconscious citizens from conscious ones, i.e. those who owe an allegience to the defined objectives of New Afrikan people, and to the organs representing us in our struggle for national self-determination. other fronts. This will, in turn, be dependent upon the movement’s ability to effectively engage in struggle in all spheres of the lives of New Afrikan people.

Our stand on New Afrikan citizens held in U.S. prisons and jails also rests on our consideration of the different levels of consciousness among them, and upon recognition of the different kinds of activity that they are and/or were engaged in. The distinction between “conscious” and “unconscious” New Afrikan citizens was made — and the importance of the distinction was emphasized — in the first Article of the CODE OF UMOJA, our nation’s Constitution: Article I New Afrikan Citizenship Section 1 — Citizenship By Birth Each Afrikan person born in America is a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika. Section 2 — Citizenship By Parentage Any child born to a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika is a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika. Section 3 — Citizenship By Naturalization Any person not otherwise a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika may become a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika by completing the proceduresfor naturalization as proved by the People’s Center Council. Section 4 — Pre-Ratification Citizenship Retained Each person who is a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika at the time of the passage of this CODE OF UMOJA is hereafter a citizen of the Republic of New Afrika. Section 5 — Right To Choice of Citizenship Notwithstanding Sections 1,2,3, and 4 of Article 1, the right of any person to expressly deny or renounce his/her citizenship shall not be denied. Section 6 — Citizenship of Other Afrikans Persons of Afrikan descent, wherever their original place of birth or domicile in the world, have a right to New Afrikan citizenship, as provided by the People’s Center Council. Section 7 — Conscious Citizenship All citizens of the Republic of New Afrika who are aware of their citizenship are conscious New Afrikan citizens. As a result of an over 300 year old policy offeree and fraud used by the United States go government and thegovernment of various American states against the New Afrikan nation, many citizens of the Republic of New Afrika are not aware of their human rights to New Afrikan Citizenship and indeed are not aware of the existence of the New Afrikan nation in North America. The growth of conscious New Afrikan citizenship is related to the success of the liberation struggle.

The objective measurement of that growth shall be a consideration in the development and implementation of Provisional Government policy, programs and structure as determined by the People’s Center Council. (Emphasis added — A.S.)^ One cannot fight for national self-determination if one is unaware of the very existence of the nation. Unconscious citizens owe no permanent allegiance to the defined objectives of New Afrikan people, and they owe no permanent allegiance to any organ represent the people, e.g., the Provisional Government. Acts performed by unconscious citizens can rarely, if ever, be accorded the status of acts performed by New Afrikan political prisoners and prisoners of war: What We got to see more clearly is that exile all colonial subjects are “the same” vis-avis the oppressor, one of the requirements for genuine and successful national liberation revolution is the making of an analysis of the colony’s social structure {i.e., class analysis}. The conditions that all Afrikans in {the U.S.} experience are essentially and objectively colonial. But this doesn’t mean that all Afrikan people have the same revolutionary capacity of inclination. When We define all Afrikan prisoners as political prisoners and/or as prisoners of war, We aren’t defining “political prisoners”-We’re simply defining Afrikan prisoners as colonial subjects—captured colonial subjects3 Captured (unconscious) citizens “are the mass, general prison populations which Afrikans comprise. The simple status of a 20th century slave gives political character and significance to us all — but doesn’t determine whether that political character and significance will be good or bad for the nation and the struggle.

“The New Afrikan nation…was formed because of and during the battles with Europeans in which We lost our independence. During our enslavement the many nations…from the continent {of Afrika} shared one history, developed essentially one consciousness, acquired objectively one destiny — all as a result of the suffering We all experienced as a dominated people. ” “… But so far as the struggle is concerned it must be realized that it is not the degree of suffering and hardship involved as such that matters: even extreme suffering in itself does not necessarily produce the prise de conscience required for the national liberation struggle.’ (Amilcar Cabral, Revolution In Guinea, p. 63.) 2Code of Umoia (Code of Unity) of the Republic of New Afrika, Published by the Justice Minister of the Provisional Government, R.N.A., July, 1984 3Notes From A New Afrikan P.O.W. Journal Book Two, p. 25. “While the ‘criminal’ acts of all Afrikans are the results of our general economic, political and social relationships to the oppressive, imperialist state, there is no automatic unquestionable revolutionary nationalist capacity and consciousness. “If We say the ‘crime’ is a reflection of the present state of property relation,’ then We must also say that for us these relations are those between a dominated nation and its oppressor and exploiter. The method of economic organization which governs our lives is an imperialist, a colonialist method. Although this colonial system is structured so as to force many of us to take what We need {from the oppressor} in order to survive, and although there are conscious political decisions made by the oppressor once We find ourselves in the grips of his ‘criminal justice system’, it must also be seen that a conscious political decision must also be made on the part of the colonial subject before his {or her} acts can have a subjective, functional political meaning within the context of the national liberation struggle. “Put another way: If the ‘criminal’ acts of Afrikans are the results of a ‘grossly disproportionate distribution of wealth and privilege,’ which stems from our status as a dominated, colonized nation, then the only way to prevent crime among us is to make a conscious decision to liberate the nation and establish among ourselves a more equitable distribution of wealth and privilege.”4 The movement’s major responsibility toward imprisoned unconscious citizens is, at this time, to promote New Afrikan consciousness, and to involve them in structured activity which will promote the further development of the movement, and of the national liberation struggle.

New Afrikans held by the U.S. as political prisoners, and those held as prisoners of war, are conscious citizens of the nation. What distinguishes political prisoners from prisoners of war is the the latter (POW’s) are classified as armed forces of the nation. However, political prisoners and prisoners of war owe a permanent allegiance to the defined objectives of the New Afrikan Independence Movement, and an allegiance to an organized formation which represents New Afrikan people and fights in their interest. The Provisional Government of the nation is one such organ. In the Preamble to the CODE OF UMOJA, The Provisional Government specifically recognized “the importance and necessity of the campaigns of all the nation’s armed freedom fighting forces fighting in accordance with international low, including the Geneva Convention…” As We pursue our campaign for international recognition of the legitimacy of our struggle for national self-determination, and thus for the recognition of POW status for our captured nationals, We, too, must abide by international humanitarian laws. 5 Of primary concern to us is the law as codified in the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of 4Ibid., p. 26 5 A distinction is usually made between “international Law” which applies to the relations between nations and “international humanitarian law,” which regulates the conduct of warfare.

Prisoners of War of 12 August 1949, known as the Third Convention, and 6 and the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Convention of 12 August 1949, known as Protocol I.)7 The Third Convention, written shortly after what’s commonly referred to as “World War II,” was not originally designed or intended to apply to wars of national liberation and against colonialism, and in which guerrilla or irregular units operated or were the primary from of the liberation movement’s armed forces: Article 2. In addition to the provisions which shall be implemented in peace time, the present Convention shall apply to all cases of declared war or of any other armed conflict which may arise between two or more of the High Contracting Parties, even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them. The Convention shall also apply to all cases of partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party, even if the said occupation meets with no armed resistance. Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof. 8 Article 2 is significant not only for its reference to the applicability of the Convention “even if the state of war is not recognized by one of them.” In fact, Article 2 makes it clear that the Convention can be applied by a “party” that was not one of the original “High Contracting Parties.”

To begin with, in our situation, it is New Afrikan people that is the “party” in our conflict with the U.S. bodies, such as the Provisional Government, constitute an organ representing the people. It remains, therefore, for the Provisional Government to issue our “declaration of acceptance,” as required by Article 2 of the Third Convention, and by Article 96 of Protocol I: 2. When one of the parties to the conflict is not bound by this Protocol, the Parties to the Protocol shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by this Protocol in relation to Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War of August 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3316, 75 U.N.T.S. 135. 7Protocol I Additional to the Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949, and relation to the Protection of Victims of International Armed conflicts approved for signature Dec. 12, 1977, entered into force Dec. 7, 1978, U.N. Doc. No. A/32/144 (1977, 72 American Journal of International Law 457 (1978), 16 International Legal Materials 1391 (1977) 8 Third Geneva Convention, Article each of the Parties which are not bound by it, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof. 3. The authority representing a people engaged against a High Contracting Party in an armed conflict of the type referred to in Article 1, paragraph 4, may undertake to apply the Conventions and this Protocol in relation to that conflict by means of a unilateral declaration addressed to the depository.

Such declaration shall upon receipt by the depository, have in relation to that conflict the following effects” (a) the Conventions and this Protocol are brought into force for the said authority of a Party to the conflict with immediate effect; (b) the said authority assumes the same rights and obligations as those which have been assumed by a High Contracting Party to the Conventions and this Protocol; and (c) the Conventions and this Protocol are equally binding upon all Parties to the conflict.9 Although the definition of prisoners of war in the Third Convention were rather restrictive, relative to guerrilla warfare and national liberation struggles, it would be in our interests to study it” Article 4. A. Prisoners of war, in the sense of the present Convention, are persons belonging to one of the following categories, who have fallen into the power of the enemy” (1) Members of the armed forces of a Party to the conflict, as well as members of militias or volunteer corps forming part of such armed forces (2) Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, proved that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movement, fulfill the following conditions: (a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance1 (c) that of carrying arms openly; (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. (3) Members of regular armed forces who profess allegiance to a government or authority not recognized by the Detaining Power. (4) Persons who accompany the armed forces without actually being members thereof, such as civilian members of military aircraft crews, war correspondents, supply contractors, member of labor unit or of services responsible for the welfare of the armed forces, provided that they have received authorization from the armed forces which they accompany, who shall provide them for that purpose with an identity card similar to the annexed mode (5) Members of crews, including masters, pilots and apprentices, of the merchant marine and the crews of civil aircraft of the Parties to the conflict, who do not benefit by more favorable treatment under any other provisions of international law.

(6)Inhabitants of a non-occupied territory, who on the approach of the enemy spontaneously take up arms to resist the invading forces, without having had time to form themselves into regular armed units, provided they carry arms openly and respect the laws and customs of war. **************************************** B. The following shall likewise be treated as prisoners of war under the present Convention: …(2) The persons belonging to one of the categories enumerated in the present Article, who have been received by neutral or non-belligerent Powers on their territory and when these Powers are required to intern under international law, without prejudice to any more favorable treatment which these Powers may choose to give and with the exceptions of Articles 8, 10, 15,30, fifth paragraph, 58-67, 92, 126 and, where diplomatic relations exist between the Parties to the conflict and the neutral or non-belligerent Power concerned, those Articles concerning the Protecting Power. When such diplomatic relations exist, the Parties to a conflict on whom these persons depend shall be allowed to perform towards them the functions of a Protecting Power as provided in the present Convention, without prejudice to the functions which these Parties normally exercise in conformity with diplomatic and consular usage and treaties. 10 The Third Convention continues to apply-in a less restrictive manner—to national liberation struggles, because it has been supplemented with Protocol I. Protocol I extended and broadens the rules regulating the conduct of international armed conflicts to cover changes which have taken place in the relations between nations and in the conduct of warfare. The imperialist powers are on the defensive; new nations have emerged, and others are struggling to liberate themselves. In view of such changes, Protocol I defines a new category of war — wars for national liberation” Article I… 3. This Protocol, which supplements the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 for the protection of war victims, shall apply in the situations referred to in Article 2 common to those Conventions. 4. The situations referred to in the preceding paragraph includes armed conflicts in which peoples are fighting against colonial domination and alien occupation and against racist regimes in the exercise of their right of self-determination, as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of United Nations. n Whereas the Third Convention made the status of guerrilla combatants largely dependent upon criteria difficult for liberation movement to meet, Protocol 1 defines combatants and POW’s in a more realistic manner:

Article 43 — Armed forces 1. The armed forces of a Party to a conflict consist of all organized armed forces, groups and units which are under a command responsible to that Party for the conduct of its subordinates, even it that Party is represented by a government or an authority not recognized by an adverse Party. Such armed forces shall be subject to an internal disciplinary system which, inter alia, shall enforce compliance with the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict. *********************************** Article 44 — Combatants and prisoners of war 1. Any combatant, as defined in Article 43, who falls into the power of an adverse Party shall be a prisoner of war. 12. The major task now before us is not that of haggling over the definition of a prisoner of war. At bottom, our words about POW’s weigh far less than our practice on their behalf. Seeking recognition of the legitimacy of our claims regarding the nation’s right to national self-determination, and/or regarding the status of our captured nationals as political prisoners and prisoners of war, is done in two ways. We must continue to pursue and exhaust all “legal” avenues (i.e., in U.S. courts, through international bodies, etc.). However, these approaches will mean little or nothing unless there is further development of the New Afrikan Independence Movement and our national liberation struggle, so that the objective existence of a people’s war will allow our practice to be the ultimate criteria of the truth of our claims. Re-Build! Free The Land! AtibaShanna (Owusu Yaki Yakubu)

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak updates on the International law project

The Jailhouse Lawyers Speak central committee is in discussions on making a call to action soon. We have noted outside organizers are ready to support a call to action for this year. Further discussions are needed amongst us but expect a response soon.

The JLS international law project committee is up and on the roll. Currently we have lawyers from Yale, New York, the National Lawyers Guild, and we expect additions. Also on this committee is I am We Prisoners Advocacy Network and IWOC. A statement will be released to the public.

Amerika plantations are all one. There is no good or bad state or federal with good or bad prisons. They all share the same purpose with the same history.

The prison industrial slave complex is a national issue that must be recognized by the international community as slavery and intentionally structured to dehumanize its captives. It is our goal to reconnect the prisoners movement in the United States with the international struggle. One way we will be doing this is by formally making the international community more informed of ongoing resistance in the United States prisons and why. This includes a demand for international condemnation.

Every move we make is to place additional tools in the tool box to dismantle the prison industrial slave complex.

We thank all of our supporters for your continued support. Without you, even with cell phones in these prisons, we would not be able to reach certain areas.

Dare to struggle, dare to win
#BurnThePrisons

#MillionsForPrisoners

JAILHOUSE LAWYERS SPEAK — U.S PRISONERS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE

Excited to announce that the International law project for u.s prisoners is now officially on the move. Two lawyers have agreed to co lead the committee. Further details will be released soon.

We are still in need of lawyers and students of international law. Contact us:

Jailhouselawyersspeak@protonmail.com

Those that have already contacted us will be added.

We will need all the help we can get from supporters and journalists to lift up this part of the work.

In going through this process, the u.s prisoners human rights movement is reaching out for international solidarity while exposing the human rights violations of u.s prisons against its captives

** Prisoners voices/stories from around the nation will be needed on this project. In some cases families and friends of prisoners will have to be their bridge to this work. **

For starters to think on (this is not exclusive — this is only examples):

* Legalized slavery/forced work

*Long term lockdowns, minimum rec

*Mental health

*voting disenfranchisement

*blocking natural sunlight

*deaths in custody

*immigration/conditions of confinement

*retaliations by prison officials

Remember even the worst prisons is an effect of living conditions created and enforced based on policies by prisoncrats.

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

forward ever backward never!

Sincerly,

JLS Central Committee

#MillionsForPrisoners #HumanRights #13th #iamWe

Sister Makinya Sibeko-Kouate, Queen Mother of Kwanzaa

Sister Makinya Sibeko Kouate, Mother of Kwanzaa

Transitioned to the Realm of Sacred Ancestors, Feb. 4, 2017 (6257 AFK), she was 90 yrs old.

Compiled by Bro. Mxolisi Ozo-Sowande

(The invaluable work and inspiration of Sister Makinya Sibeko Kouate [July 1, 1926 to February 4, 2017] in giving life and power to our Kwanzaa/Nguzo Saba tradition – nationally and internationally — which earned her the title of “Mother of Kwanzaa” in so many of our hearts, was featured in an article by Keith Mayes, “A Holiday of Our Own: Black Nationalist Public Culture and Promotion of Kwanzaa”. That article was included in a 68-page magazine-like journal that the Richmond (VA) Kwanzaa Kollective assembled for their 2017 Kwanzaa gathering, celebrating the 50th anniversary of our beloved “first fruits” heritage celebration. The following are excerpts and paraphrases from that entry.)

***

Los Angeles was the birthplace of Kwanzaa. But due to Black Power’s growing cultural capital and resonance with African-Americans, the city could not keep the holiday to itself. . . . The more significant story is the holiday’s move to northern California and its promotion by other black activists outside of the US Organization.

The Western Regional Black Youth Conference of 1967 was part of a growing Black Nationalist counter-public where Kwanzaa could be located but with great difficulty. On day two of that conference, a little known speaker named Harriet Smith from Merritt College stood at the podium to address the black student role in the Black Power movement. Harriett Smith of Berkeley, California and student body president at Merritt College in Oakland talked about organizing on campus and the need for black students, particularly at majority white campuses, to seize control of budgets and activity fees. Impressed by Smith’s presentation, Maulana Karenga, widely credited as being the founder of Kwanzaa, approached her to see if she would be willing to start what he described to her as the “community Kwanzaa” in the Bay Area. Karenga also referred to her as “Sister Makinya” – a black woman with strength and dignity as defined by him. “He just blurted it out,” Smith remembered, “Yeah, call that sister, Sister Makinya, she’s Sister Makinya.

Back in the Bay Area, after perusing the two mimeographed sheets Karenga gave her, she attempted a private Kwanzaa celebration among family and friends on December 26, 1967. The mimeographed outline Karenga had given her lacked instructions on where to place the holiday’s material items so Sister Makinya improvised, arranging the symbols and pre-prepared foods on a table according to her own personal taste. . . . As Sister Makinya perfected the art of Kwanzaa performance and the act of Kwanzaa display, she became the contact person for Kwanzaa celebrations on both sides of the Bay from 1968 to 1971. She created the Kwanzaa Organizers in 1968 – a Bay Area consulting organization that trained interested blacks how to perform Kwanzaa celebrations in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco.

John Hill and the Berkeley Youth Alternative invited Sister Makinya to Bethlehem Community Church in Oakland to explain to the young members of the congregation the particulars of this new Kwanzaa holiday. That relationship with the black Lutheran church led to a six-week summer project from mid- July to late August of 1971 where John Hill, Sister Makinya, and members of the Berkeley Youth Alternative put together a Kwanzaa pamphlet and distributed it in select cities such as Portland, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, and Houston. They packed up a station wagon and first headed north on highway 101. Kwanzaa was not an important year-end activity of Minister Kirstwood and the senior church officials at Bethlehem. As Sister Makinya recalled: “They just did things for us . . . like providing the car . . . they provided the facilities for us to do what we wanted to do.” . . . As one youth member remembered, “They didn’t take it serious . . . and they said, ‘oh this is something nice, let’s see what they are going to do.’” (Additionally, Sister Makinya is known to have personally taken the Kwanzaa tradition to a number of other cities, and a few African countries as well. >>>

JLS NOTES: When she graduated with honors from Merritt College she began taking Kwanza around the world. Sister Makinya traveled to 36 American states and 13 African nations to share her knowledge. She became widely recognized as an individual who was instrumental in spreading traditional community Kwanza celebrations throughout Northern California, the United States, Europe, Africa and Mexico).

Kwanzaa blossomed, becoming the featured annual event in other Bay Area organizations like Pan-African Peoples Organization (PAPO), the Postal Street Academy (a group of black postal employees), the Nairobi (East Palo Alto) Kwanzaa Committee, the Bay Area Kwanzaa Committee, the Pan-Afrikan Secretariat, the Kwanzaa Celebrants, and the Wo’se Community Church in Oakland. . . . As the Bay Area Kwanzaa representative with the longest history associated with the holiday, Sister Makinya’s facilitation of public Kwanzaa celebrations in the 1970’s and 80’s earned her the unofficial title of “Mother of Kwanzaa.” May her life and spirit warm our hearts and souls forevermore, empowering us to dare to struggle and dare to win, “as long as the sun shines and the waters flow” (to borrow an expression of Dr. Karenga’s).

Kwanzaa yenu iwe na heri ! ! !

(May the days of Kwanzaa for you and yours — and all the days of life —

be abundantly full of good fortune and blessings divine ! ! !)

Contact us by email:

JailhouseLawyersspeak@protonmail.com

James H. Holiday seeking relief under the First Step Act

— James H. Holiday aka “DOC” —

Anyone in the federal or state prisons, (even those that have been released from prison) who are willing to write a letter to the court on Doc behalf, expressing his positive impact on their life, or their overall social outlook is encouraged to do so. Doc recent letter expresses that he will be applying for a reduction of sentence under the “First Step Act, section 404”.

At 77 years old Doc has done 33 years for 2 counts of possession for sells (done by others. He was not charged with conspiracy).

Several prisoners have already submitted letters. Jailhouse Lawyers Speak encourages others to step up.

Write to:

United States District Court For California
Clerk of the Court for
Judge Stephen V. Wilson
312 N. Spring street
Los Angeles, Ca 90012

On the behalf of:

James H. Holiday

Thank you!