Political PrisonersIn the aftermath of the murders of Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Dr. King, Fred Hampton, and Mark Clark, to name a few, coupled with the Civil Rights Movement, the burgeoning Black consciousness movement, and the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the tone and spirit of those times can be described as highly charged and volatile. And in the wake of what had been perceived as an unambiguous racist policy of police malevolence, willful brutality, excessive use of deadly force and general disrespect of Black people=s rights, scores of policemen at that time were seriously injured or fatally shot in the Black community.

Political Prisoners

There are about 100 political prisoners in various prisons across the United States. These women and men are listed and recognized as political prisoners by numerous human rights, legal defense and progressive/socialist organizations. These people all come from the Civil Rights/Black Power/New African Liberation struggles, the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, Indigenous Peoples survival struggles, Chicano/Mexicano Movements, anti-imperialist/anti-war movements, anti-racist/anti-fascist struggles, the Women's Movement, social and economic justice struggles, and especially in the past several years, from the Environmental/Animal Rights movement. They are Black, white, Latino and Native American. Most of these political prisoners have been in captivity since the 1970s and 80s. Some were convicted on totally fabricated charges, others for nebulous political conspiracies or for acts of resistance. All received huge sentences for their political beliefs or actions in support of these beliefs.

Additionally, there are many thousands of revolutionary minded, politically conscious prisoners in U.S. jails. These are people who became more politically aware and active once they landed in prison. A lot of these prisoners also get singled out for extra harsh and restrictive treatment like the political prisoners. Since 9/11, the U.S. has also imprisoned thousands of Arab and Muslim visitors to this country, as well as some Islamic citizens and residents.

The U.S. government likes to deny that it holds political prisoners. The harsh punitive conditions of confinement, often in special "control unit type" prisons, that political prisoners face day in, day out, decade after decade, exposes and refutes this government myth. Not only does America hold political prisoners, but they are being held under longer sentences than any kind of prisoners, anywhere in the world! Despite this, these women and men remain committed to their communities, movements, and principles. As best they can, through their voices and very lives, they continue to uphold the politics of justice, equality and liberation, especially for the poor and working class people throughout the world. Political prisoners in the United States want and need your awareness and support.

Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org

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