Tag: 2012

To the contrary, George Jackson was never a prison gang member

by Kijani Tashiri Askari, August 20, 2012
In: http://sfbayview.com/2012/08/to-the-contrary-george-jackson-was-never-a-prison-gang-member/
No investigation, no right to speak. – Chairman Mao Tse Tung
As revolutionaries, it is our duty to come to the aid of all oppressed people – in particular, when the people are incapable of helping themselves. Hence, I am now compelled to come to the aid of our fellow New Afrikan Black sistas and brothas, who now find themselves in the cross-hairs of this fascist police state by virtue of its many apparatuses.
In the May 2012 issue of the SF Bay View newspaper, it was revealed in an article called “Federal Judge Sanctions Confiscation of Inmate’s Book” by David L. Hudson Jr., that U.S. District Court Judge Carolyn K. Delaney, for the Eastern District Court, arbitrarily concluded that George Jackson was a BGF (Black Guerilla Family) prison gang member, based upon the court’s deference to prison officials’ alleged judgment.
In reading this article, I was reminded of what V.I. Lenin once stated:
“A coercive force that secures the interests of the ruling class and Antonio Gramsci’s conception of the role of civil society together create, maintain and reinforce hegemonic notions of criminality. In defining and re-defining what constitutes a criminal, criminal activity and safety, the state gains both legitimacy and active support for its repression from the majority in the interest of a dominant minority. The state is able to exert dominance not only by coercion, but also by making its laws and definitions of criminality seem commonsensical.” – from “State and Revolution” by V.I. Lenin.
Contrary to Judge Delaney’s summary judgment motion ruling in Michael Hawkins v. Scott Russell, et al. (2012), U.S. Dist. Lexis 41158, dated March 26, 2012, I was able to prove that George Jackson was never a BGF prison gang member, as predicated upon Pelican Bay State Prison’s own prison gang specialist and expert Devan Hawkes. Hawkes gave sworn court testimony during an evidentiary hearing on June 15, 2005, in the Del Norte County Superior Court in a legal case of mine, Marcus L. Harrison v. Pelican Bay State Prison: These are excerpts from the court transcript:
Judge William H. Follett: “Mr. Kossick, I’m not cognizant of that. So I’d like to hear more. I mean from day one I’ve indicated I don’t see how the institution can simply say having a print of George Jackson is a link – is enough to invalidate or to ban all the material that’s included with that. And I think I indicated in my request for informal response that I’ve seen hundreds of pictures of George Jackson over the years in magazines and newspapers and television and everything else” (page 95).
“And are we going to ban all newspapers because they have a photograph of George Jackson? I think clearly the answer to that is no. I appreciated correctional counselor Hawkes’ testimony that frequently apparently pictures – inmates are allowed to have pictures of George Jackson (page 95). …
As revolutionaries, it is our duty to come to the aid of all oppressed people – in particular, when the people are incapable of helping themselves.
“Well, I’m not concerned about George Jackson. I’m taking the argument of the institution was that George Jackson, per se, ought to be banned. I heard today from Mr. Hawkes. He is not banned per se. And he certainly is not a member of BGF, although I understand he was the founder of the movement” (page 97).
It is to no fault of the young New Afrikan Black sistas and brothas of our communities who are unaware of our cultural history, as CDCR state operatives have intentionally devised and instituted a mechanism of social control that entails housing all revolutionaries in indefinite solitary confinement, so that we would be isolated from the masses, which has neutralized our ability to effectively teach our fellow New Afrikans our true history in relation to this corrupt empire, the U.$. government.
CDCR state operatives have enjoyed a free rein in contaminating and criminalizing the history of New Afrikan Black people. The practice of housing revolutionaries in indefinite solitary confinement became manifest in 1971, as a result of the San Quentin State Prison slave rebellion, which can be easily verified in Spain v. Procunior, 408 F.Supp. 534 (N.D.Cal. 1976).
The prison gang validation phenomenon didn’t come about until the early 1980s, as is evident in Toussaint v. McCarthy (597 F.Supp. 1388 (N.D.Cal. 1984), meaning it is absolutely impossible for George Jackson to have been validated as a BGF prison gang member, as CDCR state operatives murdered George Jackson on Aug. 21, 1971, at San Quentin State Prison, when the prison gang validation process was non-existent.
CDCR state operatives have intentionally devised and instituted a mechanism of social control that entails housing all revolutionaries in indefinite solitary confinement, so that we would be isolated from the masses, which has neutralized our ability to effectively teach our fellow New Afrikans our true history.
The May 2012 SF Bay View newspaper article fails to mention a crucial legal fact: The courts have ruled:
“We must distinguish between evidence of disputed facts and disputed matters of professional judgment. In respect to the latter, our inferences must accord deference to the views of prison authorities (Overton, supra). Unless a prisoner can point to sufficient evidence regarding such issues of judgment to allow him to prevail on the merits, he cannot prevail at the summary judgment stage” (see Beard v. Banks, 548 U.S. 521 (2006).
The court ruling in my legal case qualifies as substantive evidence to negate the court’s discretion in deferring to these fascist prison guards’ so-called professional judgment as to who George Jackson really is! U.S. District Court Judge Carolyn Delaney also referenced another legal case of mine, Harrison v. Milligan, Case No. C-09-4665-SI, 2011 U.S. Dist. Lexis 107073 (N.D. Cal., Sept. 21, 2011) per. In her ruling in Hawkins v. Russell, she incorrectly pointed out alleged undisputed facts about the history of the BGF, as those issues are still under review, per a motion for reconsideration of judgment that I filed on April 5, 2012, which can be viewed at http://www.cand.uscourts.gov.
Here are some additional legal cases that fundamentally speak to our freedom to associate with ideas and individuals:
Noto v. United States, 367 U.S. 290 (1961)
Baraldini v. Meese, 691 F.Supp. 432 (1988)
Baraldini v. Thornburgh, 884 F.2d 615 (D.C. Cir 1989)
I’m more than willing to make this entire legal court transcript of mine available to community. So if there are any committed human rights attorneys who are willing to help us publicize the truth, then please feel free to contact me.

Kijana Tashiri Askari
s/n Marcus Harrison H54077
KVSP B2-101L
P.O. Box 5102
Delano, CA 93216

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The struggle continues: A message of love and appreciation

by Kijana Tashiri Askari

In: SF Bay View, March 12, 2012
“What you and I need to do is learn to forget our differences. … We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter and a common discriminator. But once we all realize that we have a common enemy, then we unite on the basis of what we have in common.” – Malcolm X, “Message to the Grassroots,” Oct. 10, 1963

Foremost I would like to extend my revolutionary love and give a revolutionary salute to all of the people of the free communities who stood in solidarity with the Pelican Bay human rights movement that became manifest through the course of the hunger strikes, as our ability to struggle and expose the contradictions of state-sanctioned torture that we have been subjected to for the past 10 to 40-plus years would have been impossible to do without the support of the people. So I would like to thank you all!

But for those who are not familiar with the historical materialism of our legacy of struggle that entails a continuum of resistance against the subjugation of U.$. colonial slavery that is perpetrated under the cloak of U.$. imperialism, the Pelican Bay human rights movement, and thus the hunger strike, is an outgrowth of this phenomenon as we collectively stand on the shoulders of those courageous New Afrikan Black sistas and brothas like Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Sojourner Truth, Denmark Vessey, Assata Shakur, Frederick Douglass, Betty Shabazz, Gabriel Prosser, Ida B. Wells, George Jackson, Angela Davis, W.L. Nolen, Dessie Woods, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, Elaine Brown and Marcus Garvey, just to name a few.

All of these New Afrikan Black sistas and brothas have paved the way for us via their fearless and committed struggle against our oppressors that constituted an unrelenting fight to protect our human rights, while ultimately pursuing the objective of total liberation of all oppressed people, meaning that the hunger strike and in addition to the Pelican Bay human rights movement were not mere aberrations that just appeared out of nowhere.

An example of this truth is echoed by the New Afrikan Black historian and author Herbert Aptheker. In the foreword to the 40th anniversary edition of Aptheker’s classic, “The American Negro Slave Revolts,” John Bracey writes: “From personal experience, I can testify that ‘American Negro Slave Revolts’ made a tremendous impact on those of us in the civil rights and Black liberation movements. It was the single most effective antidote to the poisonous ideas that Blacks had not a history of struggle or that such struggle took the forms of legal action or nonviolent protest.” Understanding people like Denmark Vessey, Nat Turner and William Lloyd Garrison provides us with a link to our past that few ever thought existed.

I am a New Afrikan Black political prisoner and a class representative of the Pelican Bay Human Rights Movement by way of the recent hunger strikes that just took place throughout the prison industrial slave kamps in the state of California and abroad. In August 1994, I was placed in the cross-hairs of the state, as a brotha was commemorating the cultural and historical legacy of my New Afrikan Black ancestors, which entails the redemption and the liberation of all oppressed people from the subjugation of U.$. colonial slavery.

I was abducted from the general population mainline under the false premise that I was organizing prisoners for purposes of carrying forth a physical assault in the spirit of Black August. I was never charged or convicted on this bogus charge! But, nonetheless, 18 years later, I remain confined in their “mad-scientist”-like torture chambers as an alleged prison gang member solely because I refuse to become an informant for the state!

The manner in which these fascist prison guards targeted and labeled me as a prison gang member speaks to the systemic phenomenon as to how the entire class of New Afrikan Black prisoners within the system of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is being targeted and labeled as prison gang members via the criminalization of our cultural history for the sole purpose of being relegated to indefinite solitary confinement status in the SHU.

The motivation behind this is simple, as it literally amounts to corporate greed for profit, as it costs taxpayers approximately $80,000 for the housing of each prisoner in the SHU, whereas it costs taxpayers approximately $50,000 to house us prisoners on a general population mainline. Therefore it is within the socio-economic interests of these fascist prison guards of CDCR as operatives of the state to sensationalize crime from the perspective of labeling us as prison gang members, which as a consequence also constitutes the economic exploitation of the people in the free communities, via this “bogey-man” theory of crime. So should you, the people, continue to allow this contradiction to be manifest, when already confronted with the worst economic recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s?

The courts have even ruled that “Black August does not promote violence and that PBSP-CDCR officials have been utilizing a race-based approach to say that our cultural history is gang related.” See Harrison v. I.G.I., Case No. C-07-3824-SI, dated Feb. 22, 2010, by logging onto www.cand.uscourts.gov. Note that although this case was settled on Jan. 13, 2011, the particulars of forthcoming changes are still being worked out.

You may also obtain a copy of the Feb. 22, 2010, court ruling and the original complaint that was filed in this case by contacting Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Attn: Ms. Carol Strickman, 1540 Market St., Suite 490, San Francisco, CA 94102, www.prisonerswithchildren.org, (415) 255-7036.

The fact that racism is instrumental in validating New Afrikan Black prisoners as prison gang members is critical as it speaks to the materialism of McCarthyism, in which the Communists were labeled and persecuted as criminals in a similar witch hunt. But more importantly, this practice violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states:
“Article 2. Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political, or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”

“Article 7. All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.”

So now that the elephant in the room has finally been exposed, it is imperative to understand that our struggle to ultimately uproot the practice of state-sanctioned torture is just beginning! And therefore the support of the people is still needed by way of applying pressure upon your local legislators and politicians by becoming vocal and demanding that they change the laws that legalize the current practices of state-sanctioned torture upon your fellow domestic citizens.

This task can be accomplished by organizing a community-based phone tree and letter writing campaign in which round-the-clock phone calls and letters are made and sent to your local legislators and politicians. Here is a brief listing of individuals who need to hear from you:

• Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, State Capitol Building, Room 4005, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2013

• CDCR Secretary Matthew Cate, 1515 S St., Suite 330, Sacramento, CA 95811, (916) 323-6001

• Gov. Edmund G. Brown, State Capitol Building, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 446-2841

• Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, State Capitol Building, Suite 4126, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2013

• Assemblyman Warren Furutani, State Capitol Building, Suite 3126, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2013

Freedom is a constant struggle.

For more information, contact me at Kijana Tashiri Askari, s/n Marcus Harrison, H-54077, D3-133 SHU, P.O. Box 7500, Crescent City, CA 95531, http://www.myspace.com/dare2struggle or email Tashiri@gmail.com. (Editor’s note: California prisoners have no access to email or the internet, but a supporter of Tashiri will print out messages to his email address and mail them to him.)