Brothers Behind Bars
Statement from a prisoner in San Francisco
My name is Jeff Walker Sr. of San Jose, a diverse city. However, my personal struggles and experience of racial prejudice, police brutality, and the judicial system by judges, prosecutors and even some defense counsels acting in concert and failing to uphold my rights resulted in me being (falsely) convicted and enslaved. Not once, but twice – 1991 and 2006. It is a constant reminder of the reason why Dr. King and others came together to make a change and stop such acts. I have not lost faith for Dr. King’s legacy and the reasons why he marched to empower the people around the world against racial injustice, hostilities, police brutality, and incarceration in the U.S. In hope and belief in solidarity, we must come together to stop this system from continuing to criminalize us. I have not lost faith in this fight, and I encourage all to continue it and keep Dr. King’s radical dream alive.
Continue the legacy of internationalism! Don’t forget that people are also fighting back behind the walls of prisons and jails.
Statement from Asar Imhotep Amen (Troy T. Thomas), imprisoned at California State Prison in Lancaster
- The prisoner struggle relates to Dr. King’s legacy, because at the end of Dr. King’s life, he realized like many prisoners in the struggle today, that the process of liberation is one wherein the oppressed begin to clearly distinguish their perception, logic, and thought processes from the oppressor’s and colonizer’s. As Steve Biko said, “The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” The oppressed then begin to respect and validate their perceptions, logic, and thought processes, realizing fully that they can never free themselves with the thought processes and perceptions that were part of the process of their oppression.
- I would ask the Third World people of America to clearly recognize what’s going on. All Third World people must abandon the illusion of integration and face the difficult reality that most people prefer to ignore. You do not win a chess game if you do not have knowledge of the exact objective and rules of the game. It is imperative that all Third World people understand that they are not in a benign environment of benevolence and support, and that the surrounding highly structured environment is deadly. A very specific warfare is being waged against Third World people, inclusive of “racism, militarism, and poverty.” Because it is now clear we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and whatever costs, there are no rules in such a game. Up to this time, acceptable longstanding American concepts of “fair play” must be reconsidered. We must develop effective methods to subvert, sabotage, and destroy this capitalist system by more clever, more sophisticated methods than those used against us.