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

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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!!

Different Prison, Same Old Abuse (Part 1)

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
November 22, 2016
e-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

I couldn’t believe was I was seeing. I was bearing witness to the most horrible sight one could imagine. On 11/09/16 at approximately 6:20am, I was awakened by the sound of loud footsteps. When I made my way to my cell door (half asleep), I saw 15 to 20 correctional officers running up the stares into cell HU4B36. Moments later, I saw officers drag the stiff dead body of a prisoner out of the cell, carried it down the steps, placed it on a stretcher, covered it up with sheets, and wheeled it out of the pod and out of the building towards the infirmary. It is rumored he had been deceased since 9pm the previous night.

And then, it happened again.

Continue reading

#Not My President!! #Not Our President!!

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
November 10, 2016
e-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

This post is dedicated to all the people who felt offended, hurt, and disrespected by the racist, sexist, xenophobic and bigoted rhetoric of Donald Trump during his presidential campaign and feel justifiably upset, angry, scarred and alienated after his election to the White House on 11/8/16; and all the women, New Afrikans (aka African-Americans), Chicanos and Chicanas, Latinos and Latinas, poor people, disabled people, LGBTQI people, discontented and disaffected white youth, high school and college students who are out in the streets raging and protesting because of Trump’s election, risking your lives and your freedom.

Trump’s ascendancy and election as president in this 21st century is a prime example of why we cannot rely on the ballot alone for our liberation. This so-called democratic system is in truth an oligarchy– a government of, for, and by a minority elite group of corrupt millionaire/billionaire politicians and avaricious capitalists who grease each others palms, line each other’s pockets, and exchange favors behind closed doors unbeknownst to struggling working-class American citizens who ceremoniously gets fucked by this system. How many developed countries can you name where a presidential candidate wins the popular vote by millions of votes and still doesn’t get elected? The electoral college is a sham!!

We can never experience true peace and freedom within an oppressive and exploitative system which isn’t naturally all-inclusive and that we have to consistently struggle and fight to be recognized by and be a part of. So if we can’t succeed via the ballot, what is to be done? Dismantle and abolish the current failed system and rebuild a new egalitarian system on the rubble of the old!! “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men [and women] are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men [and Women], deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….” This is quoted from The Declaration of Independence of 1776, the instrument by which we can liberate ourselves from a corrupt and oppressive government and achieve true justice and equality for ALL.

“Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, and fulfill it or betray it.”–Frantz Fanon

To the younger generation who’ve been politicized and mobilized by high tuition rates and student debt which is detrimental to your current dreams and future aspirations, unjustified police killings of unarmed people of color and the rise of the Black Lives Matter Movements, mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex, and the “election” of this charlatan Donald Trump, you have a historical obligation and the power to radically change this system which has repeatedly failed you/us over and over again. I have seen you on the news. I have seen how organized you are in large numbers, chanting with one voice, in one spirit. I have witnessed your anger and discontent at being let down by a system that purports to work in your best interests and that is dependent on your obedience, consent and allegiance to it in order to maintain its legitimacy, power and control. I have witnessed you courageously stare down militarized police, defiantly march through the smoke of tear gas and flash bang grenades, and selflessly put your bodies and freedom on the line by walking onto highways and freeways and blocking traffic as if to say to the world, “Look at me! I am here! I will not be quiet! And I will not be ignored and denied any longer!”

Because of you young rebels and revolutionaries- marching, protesting, demonstrating, shouting, chanting, picketing, etc.- there’s a lot of electricity in the air, and your electricity is so strong and magnetic, those of us on the inside can feel it through the walls of our prison cells. There is no doubt in my mind that your courageous defiance and resistance struggles against American fascism is partly responsible for the recent wave of resistance taking place in prison plantations all across America. You have come from out of the shadows; from out of the ghettos, barrios, and privileged communities; from out of the classrooms, dorms, halls, sororities and fraternities; from out of the clubs and house parties; from out in front of PlayStations and Xboxes; and have stood up on your feet, raised your collective fists and your voices, in order to fulfill your mission, which is to wage the revolution.

As you resist, please know that you are acting on the right side of history. An oppressed and downtrodden class of people which does not endeavor to wage the revolutionary struggle deserves to be treated as slaves. Revolution is not only necessary because there is no other way of overthrowing the power of the corrupt ruling class, but also because only in the process of revolution is the oppressed class able to purge itself of the scum of the old society and become capable of building a new society. This is YOUR mission. This is OUR mission. Let us not betray it. THE OPPRESSED PEOPLE OF THE WORLD ARE WITH US!!

All Power to the People!

The Big Four-Zero

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
November 4, 2016
uhururowe76@yahoo.com

On the October 15, 1976, I was born at the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, VA to Claretha and Robert Rowe. I was the last of seven children. We represented the typical working-class Black family trying to survive and thrive under racist, capitalist system. My mother and father both worked long, hard hours to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. So, when we came home from school we were often home alone and had to take care of ourselves, and each other. Being the baby in the family, naturally I was the most spoiled and devious. I could do no wrong in my mother’s eyes. So, I used to get away with a lot which drove my siblings nuts. We were all raised to be Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we didn’t celebrate any holiday’s (including birthdays) which bothered me, especially during Christmas. I would sit in my window and watch all the neighborhood kids play with their new toys and wished to God that I was one of them.

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SOS: My Appeal to Citizens of Conscience

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
October 23, 2016
E-mail: uhururowe76@yahoo.com

This past October 15th marked my 40th Birthday. But rather than talk about how old I am getting and how I’m experiencing some sort of real or imagined mid-life crisis, I want to talk about something more important.

What I write, express, and relate to you via my blog posts concerning my experiences in prison aren’t just gripes or complaints about my situation. The corporate news is prohibited from having free access inside prisons here in Virginia. So I am attempting to use this platform to educate and enlighten members of the public about what is taking place behind the walls of prisons in the U.S., especially since it is tens of billions of your tax dollars being used to construct and operate these prisons.

“All you do is complain about your situation; just remember how you got in there,” is what one person expressed to me alluding to the crime I committed that landed me in prison. Is that how most of you feel about about what I share on this blog?

Listen, none of us “on the inside” are innocent by any stretch of the imagination, except those who are truly innocent of the crime(s) for which they have been unjustly convicted. But, does that mean the Dept. of Corrections has the right to subject us to dehumanization, mistreatment, torture and abuse? Even detainees labeled as terrorists and enemies of America and held indefinitely in deplorable conditions inside concentration-like prison camps in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, demand humane and just treatment and often go on longterm hunger strikes until these rights are afforded them. Some detainees have been hunger striking for years and are often subjected to torture via painful force-feeding techniques.

But, how many of you remain unwilling and unmotivated to speak up and advocate on our behalf?  Even after you’ve become aware that the dehumanization, mistreatment, torture and abuse of prisoners that is taking place right here in America’s prisons. Is your silence and non-action on these issues indicative of your tacit approval and acceptance of what is happening to us?

There are well-known, influential, million dollar mainstream organizations advocating on behalf of animals like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (P.E.T.A.) and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (A.S.P.C.A.). These organizations are right to exist because animals are incapable of speaking up for themselves and have a right to live peacefully without mistreatment, torture and abuse just like any human being. But where are organizations equal in size, scope, funding and mainstream appeal advocating on behalf of incarcerated people whose very lives are in the hands of those who wield ultimate power and authority with little oversight, transparency, and accountability? Do we not have a similar right to exist without mistreatment, torture and abuse just like animals do and the right to protest without fear of retribution and retaliation from those in authority over us who sadistically aggravate our suffering on a daily basis? Where are organizations like the People for the Ethical Treatment of Prisoners (P.E.T.P.) or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Prisoners (A.S.P.C.P.)?

There are numerous, much smaller grassroots organizations which advocate on behalf of, or work in solidarity with, incarcerated people that can potentially fulfill the role of an organization like P.E.T.P. or A.S.P.C.P., but these are either localized, unknown, under supported, underfunded, lack mainstream/national appeal, or have little to no influence or sway in the political arena.

Until people from every section of society come together and agitate, organize, and form organizations that have the potential to catapult prison issues to a national agenda, then the physical and mental abuse, neglect, mistreatment and dehumanization of incarcerated people will persist unabated, thereby putting your communities at risk. How so?

With the transition of the penal system away from an environment which prioritizes reform, treatment, education and rehabilitation towards a more punitive, exploitative, and dehumanizing form of imprisonment, most people are unaware that the torture, abuse, mistreatment, and dehumanization of incarcerated people exacerbates our antisocial personalities, attitudes, and behaviors, which increases the odds that we’ll commit new crimes against unsuspecting citizens and return through the ever revolving doors of incarceration.

“Man, when I go home, the first thing I’m going to do is buy me a package [drugs] and a gun so I can get money,” one young man says to another during a typical conversation in prison. This is the type of attitude and mentality which proliferates in an overly oppressive and harsh prison environment which cares little about education, treatment and the mental and moral development of those it incarcerates; but, rather, focuses on the exploitation of prisoner labor and the myriad of schemes designed to extort funds from prisoners and our loved-ones to offset the costs associated with operating prisons in the face of bloated corrections budgets.

So people in society should be concerned with and have a vested interest in how we are treated behind these prison walls. To do so is not to be considered “soft on crime” but “smart on crime,” considering that nationally, thousands of prisoners are released back into society every year to communities all across America. What type of formerly incarcerated person do you want living in your community? One who has been properly educated, humanely treated, and reformed while in prison and leaves with a renewed sense of purpose, or one who has been neglected, abused, mistreated, and dehumanized, and leaves in a defeated, broken, angry, bitter, agitated and parasitic state? Your answer will reflect if you truly care about reducing crime in your community.

Freedom Ain’t Free

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By Uhuru B. Rowe
October 6, 2016

Who said Freedom is free?

Freedom ain’t never been free for us.

Freedom requires constant struggle.

Constant sacrifice.

And constant death for those trying to gain it, those trying to keep it, and those trying to take it away.

Our People, Black People, have a glorious and magnificent history of struggling, demanding, sacrificing, and dying for Freedom.

Harriet Tubman took us Underground to Freedom.

Rosa Parks sat down for Freedom.

Ida B. Wells wrote about Freedom.

Assata Shakur escaped to Freedom.

Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey and other enslaved rebels fought and died for Freedom.

Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamed about Freedom.

El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (AKA Malcolm X) was trying to create a unified and Free Black nation.

Kwame Toure (AKA Stokely Carmichael) pumped his Black Power fist in the air and demanded Freedom.

The Deacons for Defense, the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, and the Black Liberation Army picked up the gun to defend Black life. And Black Freedom.

John Brown felt fundamentally unfree while the shackles of white supremacy and chattel slavery kept Black freedom in bondage.

White racists bombed a Black community in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921 because they believed we were too prosperous. And too Free.

Ferguson and Baltimore went up in flames as a result of racist police trying to kill our Freedom.

Lovelle Mixon, Chris Dorner, Micah Johnson, and Gavin Long felt they had no other alternative but to let Freedom ring!

Incarcerated freedom fighters across the country are risking their lives and their Freedom to dismantle the prison industrial slave complex.

So, after you’re done reading this poem, ponder for a moment, the following questions:

What price have you paid, what sacrifices have you made, and what struggles have you engaged in for your freedom, our freedom, and for the freedom of opposed people all over the world?

Or are you just a freeloader who enjoys living off of the Freedoms won by past freedom fighters?

Uhuru B. Rowe #1131545
Sussex 2 State Prison
24427 Musselwhite Drive
Waverly, VA 23891-2222
uhururowe76@yahoo.com

Abruptly Transferred from Buckingham Correctional Center to Sussex 2 State Prison

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Abruptly Transferred from Buckingham Correctional Center to Sussex 2 State Prison
By Uhuru B. Rowe
September 5, 2016
uhururowe76@yahoo.com

Greetings to all of you. I pray that all of you are well and that you remain full of love and hope as we struggle to survive and thrive in a system which seeks to spread fear, hate, distrust and division among the people of the earth. This post is somewhat of an extension of my August 27 post titled “Deja vu: Total Lockdown #2.” Continue reading