The Free Virginia Movement

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The Free Virginia Movement
By Uhuru B. Rowe, Founder

REVISED May 12, 2017

E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

WHO WE ARE

The Free Virginia Movement is an Inside-Out/Outside-In all-inclusive, coalition-based statewide movment and organizing effort founded by incarcerated people in the Virginia Department of Corrections in solidarity with the class struggles of Black, Brown, poor, low-income, disenfranchised, and working class people, to redress inhumane and harsh prison conditions; racial, class, and gender bias in the criminal legal system; the effects of mass incarceration and felony disenfranchisement laws on Black, Brown, poor, low-income and working-class communities; and the miriad of other laws, policies, and practices and procedures which discriminates against people because of their race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, age, or disability. We recognize that incarcerated, Black, Brown, poor, low-income, oppressed, disenfranchised, and working-class people, are all victims of capitalist oppression and exploitation, Inside and Outside of prisons.

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Neutralize Their Activities. Part II

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​The Footprints of COINTELPRO from The Black Panther Party, the MOVE Organization, and Beyond
By Uhuru B. Rowe

The residue of COINTELPRO can be seen on the frame-up conviction of former Black Panther, Journalist, and MOVE supporter, Mumia Abu-Jamal, for the December 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer.

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Neutralize Their Activites:  The Footprints of COINTELPRO from The Black Panther Party, the MOVE Organization, and Beyond

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
March 28, 2017

E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

I will like to expound on the U.S. government-sanctioned attacks on the MOVE Organization within the larger context of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) campaign of harassment, murder, and imprisonment during the revolutionary 60s and 70s, and even today, in an effort to thwart the realization and actualization of Black Power and Black Liberation .
The MOVE Organization, founded by John Africa, a former Black Panther, was/is a militant Black Liberation “back-to-nature” communal organization, which, like the Black Panthers, advocated armed self-defense. This stance of armed self-defense put the MOVE Organization–like the Black Panther Party– unwittingly in the cross-hairs of the federal government.

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The Decline of Vocational Programs in the Virginia Prison System

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
April 6, 2017
E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

According to the Virginia Dept. of Corrections’ Operating Procedure (OP) 606.6 which governs Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs for incarperated people, “It is the policy of the Division of Education to provide offenders committed to the Department of Corrections (VADOC) with the opportunity to participate in career and technical education or apprenticeship training programs that increase the opportunity for students to secure and maintain gainful employment in a chosen career field upon release.”

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Announcing the Free Virginia Movement!

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
March 1, 2017
E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

WHY THE FREE VIRGINIA MOVEMENT?

A Federal law known as the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (VCCLEA) includes a provision called the Violent Offender Incarceration and Truth in Sentencing Incentive Grants (VOITIS) which provides grants to state and local correctional systems to expand their capacity to incarcerate violent offenders and impose larger and more determinate sentences.
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Exploiting and Extorting Prisoners in Virginia for Profit

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
February 1, 2017
Email: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

Imagine this: You have slaved hard on your lousy job where you are overworked, underpaid and under appreciated. But, somehow, you’ve manage to maintain your sense self-respect, self-worth, and dignity. You eagerly anticipate receiving your paycheck at the end of the week, and rightly so! Your mortgage or rent is past due. Your refrigerator is almost empty. Your children need school supplies. Your car needs fixing. And when it’s all said and done, you’ll barely have enough money to pay off your student loan and credit card debt. You make your way to your boss’s office to receive your paycheck. As you examine it to see how much of YOUR money the government (and even your boss) stiffed you out of this time, something catches your eye: Your employer– under instructions from the government, he/she explains–has deducted 10 percent from your earnings to be stored in a government-controlled personal trust account until it has a balance of $1,000 and which will be payable to you at an unattainable age (e.g. 100-years-old). Even worst, your employer invests this deductible in stocks and bonds and any increments or profits derived therefrom will be used for their own personal pleasure or benefit. Wouldn’t this obvious extortion and exploitation make you mad as hell and ready to strike?

Well, this is how incarcerated people feel in the Virginia Department of Corrections (VADOC) when this “10 percent” is deducted from the funds sent to us by our loved-ones (many of whom are poor or working-class people) and from the slave wages we make from prison jobs which pays as little as .35 an hour.

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Do Incarcerated Black Lives Matter?

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DO INCARCERATED BLACK LIVES MATTER?
IF SO, SUPPORT UHURU’S CLEMENCY REQUEST

Uhuru Rowe is a self-educated, socially conscious, politically active brother, who has been incarcerated for 22 consecutive years in the Virginia (VA) prison system where he has often experienced retaliation from prison authorities because of his political beliefs, organizing activities, and for speaking out against inhuman prison conditions.

Uhuru was involved in a robbery back in 1995 that resulted in the shooting deaths of two people. Though Uhuru was not the trigger-man, he accepted responsibility for his actions and entered a non-cooperating guilty plea which sealed his fate. The sentencing guidelines recommended a maximum sentence of only 13 years, but former Richmond circuit court judge, James B. Wilkinson, who was known to be a racist, ignored the recommendation and sentenced Uhuru to an aggregate sentence totaling 93 years. This sentence is an unprecedented 80 years over the guidelines recommendations! Continue reading

Get Organized: Help Make 2017 My Last Year of Incarceration.

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
January 10, 2017

E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com
Happy New Year to all of you! I wish you-all the best on your personal and professional endeavors.

I am calling on ALL concerned citizens who believe in justice, fairness and second chances to please GET ORGANIZED around my struggle to regain my freedom and help make 2017 my last year in prison. Continue reading

Life At Sussex 2 State Prison

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
December 12, 2016
e-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

Its been 95 days since I was transferred to Sussex 2 State Prison, which opened in 1998 to house what the state deemed “the worst of the worst.” Prisoners here are anything but! Its main purpose, as with most prison construction, was to create jobs and to control the population of the Black communities.

Inside this prison are numerous electronically operated razor wire topped fences which are designed for optimal controlled-movement. There are barking K9 dogs which snap and drool at us when we leave our housing units. There are armed guards positioned above on the catwalk poised to shoot down at us at a moments notice. Continue reading

Different prison, same old abuse (Part 2)

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Part #2

Behavior modification- made famous by psychologists like B.F. Skinner and John B. Watson- is defined as a form of psychotherapy that is concerned with the treatment of observable behaviors rather than underlying psychological processes, and that applies principles or learning to substitute desirable responses for undesirable ones. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition.) In other words, behavior modification broadly refers to the systematic manipulation of ones environment for the purpose of creating change in an individual’s behavior.

There are three basic types of behavior modification techniques that have been used in prisons–operant conditioning, classical conditioning, and aversion therapy. Aversion therapy was/is the most widely accepted method used on unsuspecting prisoners in order to suppress or associate an undesirable habit or behavior (as rebelliousness) by associating it with an unpleasant or punishing stimulus (as longterm solitary confinement and other forms of abuse and torture). The goal is to create a connection between the undesirable habit/behavior and the unpleasant stimulus so that a complete cessation or decrease in the undesirable habit/behavior will occur. (See Aversion Therapy and Behavior Disorders, S. Rachman and J. Teasdale)

One reason prisoners are subjected to group punishment/ behavior modification programs is so the government can document their effectiveness and then use those findings to formulate a much broader strategy to be used against people in society who are resisting oppression and fighting for liberation. These group punishment/behavior modification tactics were used during chattel slavery when rebellious slaves were lynched and hung from trees for other slaves to see in an effort to snuff out any revolutionary tendencies among the slaves fighting for liberation. It was also used during the radical 1960s and 1970s via J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI Counter-intelligence Program (COINTELPRO), and most recently during the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter and other anti-police brutality movements where protesters were/are aggressively opposed by and confronted with militarized Gestapo police and were/are unlawfully detained and subjected to police brutality in order to force compliance, obedience and acceptance of the status quo and to erase any idea and motivation for resistance among the broader populace.

“When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions…He will find his proper place and stand in it.”–Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Thought control is the sole purpose of group punishment/behavior modification–removing the ability of a person or group of persons subjected to it to think, reason, and act on their own. In other words, destroy the mind, keep the body which is then exploited by the capitalist-class for its endless source of cheap labor.

We must liberate our minds through a process of decolonization and reeducation. It takes a group commitment, group conviction, group solidarity, and most importantly, group struggle rooted in class-consciousness with the knowledge that we are a people of all races, colors, creeds, and sexuality suffering from a shared-oppression from a common enemy in order to seize power from the bourgeoisie.

To exist, collectively, we must resist!!
All Power to the People!!