Tag: New Afrikans

Long live the spirit of Comrade W.L. Nolen

by Chairman Kijana Tashiri Askari, W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program
Published in the SF Bayview, November 28, 2016

Photo of W.L. Nolen boxing
W.L. Nolen and his brother, Cornell, grew up street fighting in Oakland and were both prison boxing champions.

For those who are not familiar with W.L. Nolen, this beautiful New Afrikan brotha was one of the founders of the Black Liberation Movement in the California Prison System, along with Comrade George Jackson. Comrade W.L. Nolen was instrumental in shaping and molding the exemplary model of undaunting resistance that many of us New Afrikans now find ourselves emulating today.

W.L. Nolen grew up in the hard-knock streets of Oakland, California, and was the younger brother to Cornell Nolen, who, like his big brother, was a phenomenal prison boxing champion. Many considered W.L. the next Marvin Hagler in the making, as the comrade was that good with his hands.

In the era of the 1960s and 1970s, the California Prison System was and remains mired in a cesspool of injustice fomented by a culture of institutional racism. Adding to this contradiction, was and is the multitude of Amerikkkanized offshoots (prisoners) who aided racist prison guards with terrorizing and attacking New Afrikan Black Prisoners – often gaining extremely favorable advantages, such as three or more racist lackeys (prisoners), given access to store-bought knives by prison guards, being let out on the tier for their recreational exercise period, where they would be allowed to attack the sole New Afrikan, also out on the tier for his recreational exercise time.

Comrades W.L. Nolen, George Jackson, William Christmas, Howard Tole, Alvin “Sweet Jugs” Miller, Khatari Gaulden, Cleveland Edwards and countless others not only successfully resisted these attacks militarily, but W.L. Nolen had the foresight to politicize these contradictions by filing a petition in the court, where the comrade asserted:

“Prison guards are complicit in fomenting racial strife by aiding white inmate confederates in ways not actionable in court, i.e., leaving cell doors open to endanger the lives of New Afrikans; placing fecal matter or broken glass in the food served to New Afrikans etc., as these material factors would be difficult to prove.” See W.L. Nolen, et. al. v. Cletus Fitzharris, et. al.

W.L. Nolen was one of the founders of the Black Liberation Movement in the California Prison System, along with Comrade George Jackson.

Four months later, on Jan. 13, 1970, Comrade W.L. Nolen was assassinated, shot at point-blank range by white racist prison guard Opie G. Miller. This murder was ruled a justifiable homicide, in spite of concrete evidence that the comrade was defending himself and his fellow New Afrikans from a staged racist attack on their lives, while on Soledad’s O-Wing exercise yard.

I urge the people to read “The Melancholy History of Soledad Prison” by Min Sun Yee and “The Road To Hell” by Paul Libertore in order to grasp the true historical origins of our legacy of resistance under the leadership of Comrade W.L. Nolen. CAN’T STOP! WON’T STOP!

Comrade W.L. Nolen was instrumental in shaping and molding the exemplary model of undaunting resistance that many of us New Afrikans now find ourselves emulating today.

The W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program has been constructed as a dedication towards carrying forward the legacy of Comrade W.L. Nolen.


Like George Jackson and his comrades, the mentors in the W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program have much to teach. Intellectually and politically astute, they can provide, in addition to their copious knowledge of culture and history, including what they’ve lived, they have developed uncommon self-discipline in order to withstand and resist the daily torture of solitary confinement.
Like George Jackson and his comrades, the mentors in the W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program have much to teach. Intellectually and politically astute, they can provide, in addition to their copious knowledge of culture and history, including what they’ve lived, they have developed uncommon self-discipline in order to withstand and resist the daily torture of solitary confinement.
W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program

As some may recall, the W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program was announced to the public in 2013. We apologize for the delay. However, we’ve now become operational, thanks to the staunch, unrelenting and committed support of Comrade Twitch. A clenched fist salute goes out to the comrade!

Those seeking to enlist in the program as a student or mentor are to write W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program, c/o John S. Dolley, Jr., P.O. Box 7907, Austin, Texas 78713.

We provide mentorship on a full scope of issues, such as developing critical thinking skills, providing alternatives to joining gangs and gang violence etc. Our Mission Statement is posted at http://sfbayview.com/2013/03/the-w-l-nolen-mentorship-program/.

For more information about the program, contact me at W.L. Nolen Mentorship Program, c/o Chairman KTA, P.O. Box 7907, Austin, Texas 78713.

Send our brother some love and light: Kijana Tashiri Askari (Marcus Harrison), H-54077, SATF C3-117L, P.O. Box 5246, Corcoran CA 93212.

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.)

The Social Manifestations of Racism

When is racism, actually racism? The statement breathes forth the necessity to engage in a concrete analogy to facilitate a quantitative negation, into much needed qualitative synthesis, that will redefine the stereotypical generalizations of racism, as define by the general consensus, as oppose to the concrete circumstances that actually perpetuates the culture of racism.
Racism at it’s origin of existence, is an internal thought process. But once this internal thought process consistently nurtured by the individual, it then takes on the external manifestations of an institution. This institution of racism is then solidified into a material reality, by those individuals whom has embrace this internal transitory thought process, into their daily social practices, which complements this ideological transformation that they have consciously made. There is no better of an example of this, then the institutionalize racist practices, that we New Afrikan Prisoners in these concrete tombs is expose to on a day to day basis by our kaptors.
The administratives’ here at Pelican Bay State Prison, have instituted a social practice, which is discriminatory/racist within its ideological application. Our kaptors have for years on end now, stressed a need to maintain “Racial Balance”, as it relates to every racial nationality that is being held kaptive in Pelican Bay State Prison, in particular, in the Security Housing Unit (i.e. “individual pod’s, Housing Units and Administrative positions). But it has been consistently revealed over the years, that this social practice of marinating “Racial Balance” has been inconsistent, and contradictive to the equal protection clause of the (un) Untied States Constitution, 14th Amendment, that we prisoners of New Afrikan descent is supposedly protected by.
As the truth of the matter is, “Racial Balance” has become synonymous with, regulating the Housing Arrangements of New Afrikan Prisoners, via a bias number quota. As the same emphasis of “Racial Balance”, is not advocated to other racial nationalities, in the same extreme.
When it comes to our kaptors attempting to regulate racial distinctions that would presumably constitute a “Racial Balance”, we New Afrikan Prisoners are not afforded the same relief in racial distinctions, as applied to other Racial Nationalities. Example: When it comes to New Afrikan Prisoners, it is considered to be too many New Afrikan Prisoners housed in a particular housing arrangement, regardless of the tribal variants that formulate the nation of New Afrikan Prisoners as a whole. But when it comes to Mexican prisoners, our kaptors is emphatic, in making the necessary Racial distinctions, by basing their number quota on; “One group of Mexicans being “Southern Mexicans”, and the other group being “Northern Mexicans”. So how can an individual talk about “Racial Balance”, when a conscious decision is being made by our kaptors, to implement this racist interpretation through a clouded lens of dogmatic subjectivity? To our kaptors, they truly see nothing wrong with these racist practices and insist on maintaining a constant, of what can be deemed; “Business as Usual”, as they review this standard of life as a mirror image of what is suppose to be a standard for normalcy.
The lack of diplomacy applied to “Racial Balance” in housing individuals of New Afrikan descent, is beyond the preferred denotation of being totally absurd. The situation is constantly frowned upon, at the mere mention/suggestion of a fellow New Afrikan Prisoner, whom has decided to want to be housed in a section with people of his racial nationality. Negative/denigratory stereotype are immediately employed, in order to prevent such moves from gaining any kind of momentum, and to further harness the death grip of social injustice around our necks! This is done, by this fascist regime isolating us New Afrikan Prisoners into further isolation and forcing us to exist in a cesspool, where rhetoric/chaos is frontline topic of backward ideas, self hate and savagery. It becomes vestige of contradiction, because regardless of the so-called concerned efforts that out kaptors attempt to make, in rectifying this diabolical social practice, the overall result remains to be arbitrary, and persecutive, as it relates to New Afrikan Prisoners i.e. “Racially discriminatory”.
© Marcus Harrison 2007
Retrieved from: http://thestrugglewithin-marcus.blogspot.com/2007/11/social-manifestations-of-racism-when-is.html