The following is a letter to insidetime, from issue May 2012

34 years in solitary

From Kenny Zulu Whitmore – Louisiana State Prison - Angola

Hello my dear brothers and sisters who are being held there in England. I am serving a life sentence plus 99 years without parole at Louisiana State Penitentiary Angola. I grew up in a rural community in the northern section of Baton Rouge, in a town by the name of Zachary. At a young age I became a community activist and fought against racial oppression and racist attacks by the KKK, the terrorists of the 60s and 70s. In 1975 I was captured by the modern day slave catchers, the police, and arrested and falsely accused of robbing a store. Whilst being held over for arraignment I was charged with the 1973 murder of the mayor of the town. With fabricated evidence I was tried in 1976 & 1977, convicted and sentenced to life plus 99 years without parole. Shortly after I was transferred here to Angola. This is known as the bloodiest prison in the nation and racial tension is very high. I wasn’t here a good hot hour when I was jumped by the plantation overseers because I resisted one of them who threw my only photo of my recently deceased mother into the trash. I was bum-rushed, put in full restraints and hauled off to solitary confinement (CCR) after being taken before the Classification Board.

While in CCR I met some beautiful soldiers. Mostly because the unit was classified as a ‘militant’ unit by administration we had Black Panthers and black Muslims down here. I met and became friends with Robert King, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who had founded the Angola chapter of the Black Panther Party (BBP). Later I joined the Party and immediately had to go into the shadows because Panthers were being set up to be murdered, framed on false charges and their names being given to the FBI. So for my own protection I had to work in the shadows. My job was to take messages to other Panthers whilst on call-outs – doctors, visits, dentist, etc – and bring messages back. And to have comrade Woodfox’s back in all situations. I did my job so well that my comrades started calling me the ‘Minister of information’ The BBP organised to protest gang violence, rape and prison conditions.

My comrade, Robert King, was held in solitary confinement for 29 years before being exonerated in 2001 of a prison murder that he had been falsely accused of. On April 7th Albert and Herman will have been held for 40 years in solitary. I, myself, have been held in solitary for 34 years come this July. I have been told by my many friends there in England that nobody in your prison system has been held in solitary confinement for anywhere near the amount of time that I have. But in America we still have a master-slave mentality when it comes to punishing `people of colour. But families of prisoners have finally started to get involved and protest against the brutal way we are being treated in these modern-day plantation prisons. Occupy 4 Prisoners was held just outside the gate of San Quentin and more protests are planned throughout the country.

Thank you for this opportunity to reach out to my brothers and sisters who are being held behind enemy lines across the big pond. Peace. And never surrender hope.

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Comments about this letter

9/5/2012 Lee

Hi Kenny
Whilst its unusual for Britains convicted prisoners to spend many years in solitary confinement,its by no means not heard of,for instance,convicted killer Robert Maudsley had spent 28 constant years in solitary in Wakefield prison as of 28.7.2006,although admittedly,he probably did bring that on himself,when he killed a fellow prisoner and ate his brains.but on the whole,solitary is usually kept between 7 and 28 days as a punishment for breaking minor rules,of course,the worse you are,the longer you will be kept in solitary,we have an infamous prisoner called Charlse Bronson,who having taken prison officers,prison teachers amongst others hostage,has spent approx 33 years in solitary.
The latest annual report to come out of Stratsburg,France,the european committee for the prevention of torture and inhumane treatment,states that 14 days should be the maximim anyone shouls spend in solitary,although this is only an adisory statement,it is not an order,which,is not as good as we hoped for,it is definatly a start on the right road,hopefully,with our friends across the pond,we can unite,and finally put an end to this barbaric torture,I wish you all the luck in the world on your quest for freedom and justice,
best wishes

14/5/2012 tim - - www.jaillife

To Lee
I am just so glad i live in uk, I think the U.S justice and penal system is barbaric,racist,and the fact that in U.S can get life for something which in UK could get 5yrs or even a suspended sentence for shiows the absurd differences between countrys justice policies.(admitally eating human brains fresh from the kill, abit over the top)
waas on charlies site other day, but every time he gets out reoffends and he does has penchant for screws or used to-other than that I heard he is a very intelligent affable chap
hope you find a way to make life bearable
tim uk

22/10/2012 Miriam Orr

I can only hope in the Solitary imprisonment that you have been able to embrace meditation to help with the injustice being bestowed upon you. I have no words to express the utter distress inflicted upon Humans by a In human corrupt Judicial System in the USA They say slavery was abolished and yet we find it alive and kicking in American Prisons Surely one day there will be a end to such misery and enslavement of Beautiful and Brave Warriors of Freedom and Peacefulness We send much Metta to those suffering the harsh treatment of the Capitalist Slave State We endeavor to help you and others grasp the last years of your lives in Freedom and Peace and we thank you for your great sacrifice in standing up to the War Machine of Hate

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Summary of letters in the Mailbag for May 2012
Drug dealers as bad as child abusers
Drowning in debt
Sports Relief needed
Current page: 34 years in solitary
SCCRC and the Cadder ruling
SOTP making people worse
All this will not end well
Silly Rules
No parole on anti-depressants’
What happened to common sense
IPPs not the only ones over tariff
3 years over Tariff and stuck in limbo
Prisoners fighting back
Thanks to the library staff at HMP Manchester
Worried about leaving prison
Give us a chance
The Plot Thickens
Writing to Leveson
Why no handkerchiefs
Give us toilet roll and scrap psychology
Robbed blind by canteen prices
Cockroach city
Enhanced not worth a light
DHLs dirty tricks
Not human, just a statistic
Get a grip
You do not understand
Very cross


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