alabama, Attica Rebellion, california, Free Alabama Movement (FAM), Georgia, Guantanamo Bay, hunger strike, Illinois, Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC), Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Israeli Occupation, Lucasville Uprising, palestine, prison, San Quentin, slavery, solidarity, South Carolina, Uhuru B. Rowe
July 7, 2014
Feeling that my essay “From Unity to Collective Liberation” did not sufficiently (or specifically) express my solidarity with the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) and the California and Palestinian hunger strikers, this letter is to serve as my expression of solidarity with the above brave souls.
The recent demonstrations undertaken by these courageous brothers (and sisters) all across the Empire in an attempt to resist unbearable living conditions and unjust/illegal detentions – while in the process regaining their humanity – is nothing new. This resistance has its roots in the slave-era when Afrikan slaves rebelled against their slave masters in an effort to regain their freedom. These consistent revolts – sometimes well-planned but often chaotic – led to the eventual collapse of the plantation slavery system. In the modern-era there were revolts at the San Quentin State Prison in August of 1971 which inspired the Attica Rebellion almost three weeks later. There were courageous women who waged revolution at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York back in 1974, the revolt at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in 1993, in what is historically known as the Lucasville Uprising, where men attempted to wrest control of their lives out of the hands of a torturous oppressor. Most recently demonstrations have taken place at prisons in Georgia, California, Alabama, South Carolina, Illinois, and the notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay… where prisoners have began to throw off the yoke of oppression, exploitation, inhumane living conditions, and tyranny. suffering under similar conditions – though not as extreme – I pledge my solidarity with the F.A.M., the C.A. Hunger Strikers, as well as the Palestinian hunger strikers struggling against unlawful detention for waging resistance against genocidal Israeli occupation of their homeland.
“All people must obey just laws, but I must also have to say an unjust law is no law at all. And when we find an unjust law, the people should have a moral obligation to stand in opposition to it.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.
July 1, 2014
I am in receipt of your June 26, 2014 letter. Thanks for allowing my membership into the IWW. If you are allowed to, you can mail me my red membership card while maintaining a copy for your own file. I guess I am official WOBBLIE!
It is always a blessing to be in contact with brothers such as you and A struggling on behalf of us trapped behind enemy lines … Especially those of us who are incappable (for various reasons) of struggling on our own. Whether we are oppressed and exploited here in the Empire or some other Third World (developing) nation, the oppressed and exploited class (whether free or incarcerated) represents a distinct global class consisting of people of color and non-ruling class whites who have un-hinged themselves from the privilege that comes with being white in a white supremacist system. Until we learn to struggle & pull together – no matter the color, gender, sexuality, or other differences – we will remain oppressed and exploited together, and neglected by a government whose only concern or function is to appease the aims, desires and ambitions of a privileged few.
You asked me to write a five-page article in regards to prison struggles in Alabama, California, and Palestine. I’ve enclosed an Essay I finished typing recently titled, “From Unity to Collective Liberation.” Perhaps you can use it in your presentation for the IWOC. If it does not suffice, please let me know and I’ll write one that is more specific to struggles mentioned above.
Until I hear from you again…
Keep On Pushin,
Brian L. Rowe
Uhuru Baraka Rowe
P.S. Please send me some literature on the IWW. I have made a flyer advertising the free IWW for prisoners, which I will pass around the prison yard.