Do Prison Lives Matter?

In recent years we’ve seen the explosion of what is termed the Prison Movement.

We’ve seen unprecedented and massive rebellions in the form of workstrikes, hunger strikes, riots, sabotage, and other kinds of revolt. We saw unprecedented allies on the outside getting involved. We’ve seen the trajectory go from simply better conditions to abolition. Then came the calls for a national prison organization (centralization, hierarchy) to coordinate (control) these rebellions from the specialists in revolution. In spite of all of this, we are overlooking the contradictions in the prisons among the prisoners themselves and I think we will be fools to continue to look past these contradictions.

If the spontaneous self-organizing and actions have caused unprecedented chaos to the Prison Industrial Slave Complex (PISC) we see today (they are hurting), why would you try to gain control of it? These are just my thoughts and opinions, but if we do organize a national prison organization with a constitution, by-laws, etc. we will be setting up for failure and not abolition, but reform.

First, are we for abolition or reform? Most prisoners are not for the abolition of the PISC. They believe in the system. They just want better treatment/conditions. They instruct the system on how it can be better. Most prisoners are authoritarian and can’t see or imagine a world without police, authority, or prisons. Most prisoners who are fighting to change this current system do not question authority, only who wields that authority.

I can easily sit back, do what these pigs say (conform), not complain about anything, but that will do violence to my soul.

I can easily sit back, mind my own business, but most likely another prisoner will not allow me to do that.

There’s a real possibility that I can lose my life in this prison by the hands of these pigs, but most likely it will be lost by the hands of another prisoner.

Look at how we living in these prisons.

We constantly complain about how these pigs are mistreating us inside of these prisons, but let’s look at how we are treating each other in these prisons.

Here in Alabama the US Dept. of Justice released a two-part report on its investigation into Alabama’s men’s prisons. Their findings was just horrific. Rampant gang violence, prisoner on prisoner deaths, stabbings, assaults, extortion, rape, etc. This shit is crazy, because it’s all true. And we prisoners think this something to brag about just like guys be bragging about what city has the highest murder rate.

THE GANGSTA ERA

Do Prison Lives Matter? We treat each other worse than the pigs do. We beat, kill, extort, rape, etc. each other and call it gangsta (meaning cool). We have 60+ year old men sleeping on floors because someone bigger, younger, stronger, or connected want a bottom bunk or a bunk by the window. It’s true, some have sold their bunks for drugs. Then you have guys intentionally staying in prison, refusing work release and parole just to make money. It’s sad and crazy at the same time.

And we talking about building a national prisoner organization. We need to be building new relationships among each other. Simply being in prison does not make one a revolutionary.

Until we force new, healthy relationships based on respect – not fear; love – not hate; based not on where one is geographically from, what gang we claim, what ethnic group we belong to, what religion or sect, nothing is going to change for the better, and abolition is definitely not going to happen.

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Michael has been transferred

Please consider sending Michael a letter as he adjusts to being transferred to a new facility.

Michael Kimble
#138017
William E. Donaldson Correctional
100 Warrior Ln
Bessemer, AL 35023

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Call to Action for Michael Kimble

Michael Kimble is a political prisoner from Birmingham, AL. At the age of 21, he and a friend were holding hands in public one night, and were violently attacked by a known racist and homophobe. Michael defended himself and his friend, which resulted in the attacker being killed in self defense. Michael is serving a life sentence (with parole as an option) and has now been held in Alabama’s prison system for 35 years.

Michael was assaulted by Officer Thomas at Easterling Correctional on June 19th, 2021 and is now being held in solitary confinement. Please join us in demanding his release from solitary, as well as the reinstatement of his parole hearing, which was skipped over in February with no notice of rescheduling.

CALL AND LEAVE A MESSAGE FOR
WARDEN CROWE AT 334-397-4471

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Emergency Prison Phone Zap

Alabama prison rebels have reported brutal retaliation and beatings by guards at Easterling Correctional.

Please call Warden John Crow to request a welfare check for prisoners Brandon Oden and James Pratt, to let the administration know that people outside are paying attention, and the discourage further abuse.

(334) 397-4471

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Investigation of Alabama’s State Prisons

Two reports on the conditions of Alabama’s prison system. Commentary by Michael forthcoming.

Investigation of Alabama’s State Prisons for Men (April 2019)

Alabama Excessive Force Findings (July 2020)

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OUTTA HOLMAN!

I’m outta Holman! Back in December 2019 I was placed in lockup for assault on a guard. I had come to the aid of another prisoner who was being assaulted by a guard.

I was threatened with physical harm by this guard and I immediately alerted my supporters and comrades who started a phone zap demanding that I be transferred. In January I was released back into general population without any disciplinary infraction for the assault, and in early February I was transferred to my present location at Easterling. Easterling is a medium security prison. It’s the only no smoking prison in the state of Alabama. The prisoners here are a lot less rebellious than those prisoners at the maximum security prisons. Prisoners at Easterling tend to have less time to do than those at max. prisons.

Continue reading

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Hunger Strike in Alabama in response to COVID

On July 29th, anarchist prisoner Michael Kimble, fellow prisoner, Brandon Oden, and several others began a hunger strike from all foods other than water, in protest of the inept mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis at Easterling Correctional Facility.

Issues include the lack of outside exercise, despite an hour of such time being mandated by law, the lack of access to the law library, the lack of clean and fresh water, the lack of access to immune boosting healthy foods and fruit, the lack of proper testing and quarantining of prisoners, the lack of proper disinfection, and the administration’s refusal to release vulnerable prisoners being held at Easterling.

Additionally, prisoners are demanding adequate medical treatment for prisoners Daniel Wilson, who has a broken arm that has gone untreated, and for 86-year old prisoner Michael Mayola, who has back and other health issues that been neglected by prison staff.

We ask that everyone call and fax the warden of Easterling Correctional and the AL Commissioner of the AL DOC and demand that they address these serious problems immediately.

Alabama Commissioner of Prisons Jefferson Dunn – (334) 353-3883

Easterling Correctional Warden John Crow – (334) 397-4471

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Michael Kimble needs a lawyer

Please donate here.

Michael Kimble Poster HERE

Michael Kimble is a passionate freedom fighter who has been held captive by the Alabama Department of Corrections for nearly 33 years. After defending himself during a homophobic attack by a known white supremacist in 1987, Michael was arrested, charged with murder, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. His trial was typical of what could be expected from a racist criminal justice system in Jefferson County, Alabama.

Since his conviction, Michael has been fervently involved in efforts to free himself and others, assisting in legal defense for fellow inmates, organizing reading groups and Black History events, speaking up for queer folks behind bars, and helping to organize and agitate alongside the Free Alabama Movement for the historic national prison strike of September 2016.

The Alabama prison system has recently come under fire from the federal government for its abhorrent conditions, and Holman Prison, where Michael is incarcerated, is being decommissioned and largely shut down. In this context, many Alabama prisoners have been successfully challenging the length of their original sentences. A group of Michael’s supporters on the outside have recently joined forces to hire a new legal team to help him push for a sentence reduction. Given the amount of time already served, we are hoping this could result in his release.

All the money raised will go directly towards filing motions for sentence reduction, and anything left over will be used to support Michael’s day to day life inside with things like stamps, books, and commissary funds. Fingers crossed, we’ll also be raising money to support Michael once he joins on the outside.

For more information, check out this awesome interview with Michael from a few years back, as well as his blog.

Until Every Cage is Empty,

– Michael Kimble Support Crew

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Phone Zap 12/23: Michael Kimble Thrown in Lock-Up for Defending Fellow Prisoner

Supporters have learned that anarchist prisoner, writer, and organizer Michael Kimble was recently placed in segregation at Holman Correctional, in Alabama, for allegedly coming to the defense of a fellow prisoner who was being beaten by guards. He is urgently asking for support in attaining transfer to a new facility.

Michael has been politically active behind bars for many years, in particular helping agitate for the 2016 national prison strike, which made waves across the country and largely started as the brainchild of prison rebels at Holman. He is also the author of several zines, and his writing can be found at anarchylive.noblogs.org.

Due to his political activity he has frequently faced retaliation and punishment from guards and the DOC riot squad. Just this past week, after being placed in lock-up, a guard visited his cell to threaten him. Michael immediately wrote to one supporter, “I need you to spread the word that I desire an immediate transfer because I fear for my safety. They can have another prisoner do their dirty work. These are pigs on the CERT (riot squad) who have been assigned here since 2016…I know they plan to retaliate. That’s what they do.”

PHONE ZAP MONDAY DECEMBER 23RD:

Please take the time to call these numbers:

Alabama DOC Commissioner’s Office (Ask for Commissioner Jeff Dunn) 334.353.3883

Holman Correctional (Ask for Warden Cynthia Stewart) 251.368.8173

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Script:

“My name is ______, and I am calling out of urgent concern for Alabama inmate Michael Kimble, who is currently on lock-up at Holman Correctional. He was placed on lock-up without due process, and without the paperwork and notices that are required by law to notify him of whatever infraction is alleged. He has also been the subject of physical threats by Corrections Officers while in lock-up. His safety is at risk, and he needs to be transferred to a facility where he is safe from reprisal and physical retaliation.”

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The Final Straw Radio: Fire Ant Journal

From The Final Straw

Download This Episode

In this June 11th special, we’re releasing an interview with some anarchist prisoners in the so-called U.S. and some of the folks who support them. June 11th, for people who don’t know, is a day of solidarity with Marius Mason and other long term anarchist prisoners. You can find bits of the history of the importance of the date up at crimethinc.com and interviews with and about anarchist prisoners up at our website and at june11.org . The framing of this special is to focus on a publishing project currently being undertaken inside and outside of the prisons that many long-term anarchist prisoners in the so-called U.S. participate in called Fire Ant.

First up, Sean Swain shares his views on Fire Ant and prisoner support. [2min 20sec , followed by Surrounded by Matador from the album The Taking, Black Powder Records]

Then we hear Michael Kimble sharing his views on the publication and recent experiences in the Alabama prison in which he’s held, which was a part of the interview we aired with Michael a few weeks back. [10min 56sec, followed by The War On The Imagination by Sole from Let Them Eat Sand]

After Michael speaks, a supporter and partner of Eric King talks about their impressions of the impact of June 11 and Fire Ant on their partner’s life. We’ll be sharing more from Eric’s partner in coming weeks about his situation, changes coming in the BOP and about the types of support federal prisoners and their supporters need. [42min 52sec]

After the Eric section, we are happy to share a musical track by the project, Realicide, called “Decide Today = Free Marius Mason” about the long-standing Earth Liberation, anarchist, Animal Liberation prisoner. There’s a link to youtube for the audio in our show notes.

Finally Robcatt, one of the folks on the outside shares some of the history of Fire Ant zine, some of his past support experience and a provocation on how we as anarchists need to shift how we do support work. [52min 17sec]

You can find issues of Fire Ant, which are written and adorned by anarchist prisoners, at the website for Bloomington ABC and for a list of June 11 events around Turtle Island, check out https://itsgoingdown.org.

Other music in this episode:

Black Star Dub Collective, Dissident Dub

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