Join Albert Woodfox and Robert King for a Q & A and screening of the new documentary film about the Angola 3, entitled "Cruel and Unusual," premiering in New York City on May 26 and in Santa Monica, CA on June 2. See flyers for more information.
(PHOTO:Albert at the Innocence Project's Network Conference in San Diego this last month, alongside Valerie Jarret, a Chicago lawyer and former top adviser to President Barack Obama.)
A3 Newsletter, April 17, 2017: Taking on the Clarion Call - "Free 'em all!"
"Freedom is a state of mind" Albert said at the presentation that he and King gave at Harvard last month. That may be how Albert stayed sane for over four decades in solitary but now that he's out, he's beginning to see that freedom can be a lot of work and even more travel!!
Along with King, Albert has been on the road somewhere different every week; Thunder Bay, San Francisco, Montreal, Cambridge, New York, San Diego, in the last 4 weeks alone. All of this traveling and talking and giving interviews is in an effort that both men are committed to - to raising awareness of the unbelievable misery and injustice that goes on in jails, detention centers and prisons, nation wide. Albert is carrying on along the path of Robert and others exonerees, logging miles ever since his release advocating for the freedom of others.
Now that Albert and Robert are both free, they've become a powerful team, calling for and supporting efforts for the release of many fellow wrongfully convicted political prisoners; Leonard Peltier, Ruchell Magee, Chip Fitzgerald, Herman Bell, Mumia Abu Jamal and so many others that still suffer in the same oppressive, abusive conditions that they once endured.
With the rise of the new national regime, the struggle continues and Albert and Robert are committed to remaining at the forefront of every effort to correct the inequality in the USA's justice system. We hope you'll have a chance to view the Harvard presentation, listen to the audio interview from Thunder Bay and read the transcript of Amnesty International's new interview with Albert.
Albert and King head to Denmark and Sweden in a couple of weeks to speak at their Annual General Meetings and have every intention of continuing their work on behalf of the eradication of solitary and their support of freedom for so many other prisoners.
'Cruel and Unusual' – The Angola 3 story, US Cinema Release
Help get the Angola 3's story into cinemas to support their campaign against long-term solitary confinement & qualify for the Oscars
Cinema release in NY and LA to bring 'Cruel and Unusual' - the story of the Angola 3 - to the big screen and qualify for Academy Award consideration.
'Cruel and Unusual' is the story of three men who have spent longer in solitary confinement than any other prisoners in the US because of the murder of a prison guard in 1972 at Angola, the Louisiana state penitentiary.
A year ago on 19 February 2016 I walked out of a Louisiana prison a free man after serving 44 years in solitary confinement.
At that moment I became 'famous' as the longest serving person in solitary confinement in the world, as well as being the last member of the Angola 3 to be free.
For over 44 years - along with fellow Black Panthers Herman Wallace and Robert King - we turned our death chambers into classrooms and courts of law from which we educated fellow inmates and stood up against a violent, racist and brutal prison system which targeted us for our activism.
(ABOVE PHOTOS:Robert King and Albert Woodfox join filmmaker Ron Harpelle on CBC Radio-Canada)
March 2, Thunder Bay, Ontario: Albert Woodfox and Robert King of the Angola 3 in Ontario,
Canada for panel and screening of the film "Hard Time" about Robert
King, made by Ron Harpelle. Event at 7pm, Trinity Hall, 310 Park Ave. Read our 2014 interview with Ron Harpelle.
In the context of the Week Against Police Brutality (https://cobp.resist.ca/),
a discussion on incarceration and political repression with Albert
Woodfox et Robert H. King will take place Friday March 17th at 6:00 pm
at the Alumni Auditorium room H-110 of the Henry F. Hall Building (1455
de Maisonneuve West) of the Concordia University.
Dans le cadre de la semaine contre la Brutalité Policière (https://cobp.resist.ca/)
se tiendra une discussion sur l'incarcération et la répression
politique avec Albert Woodfox et Robert H. King le vendredi 17 mars, à
18h à l’auditorium H-110 du 1455, de Maisonneuve Ouest (édifice Henry F.
Hall de l’université Concordia) à Montréal.
At 5:30 pm on Wednesday, March 8, the Angola 3's Robert King and Albert Woodfox will be speaking together at Harvard University it Cambridge, MA. Please check back here and at the Facebook event page for more information.
The Harvard Crimson has released a new article in advance of next month's event, entitled "Buried Alive: Solitary Confinement in a Louisiana Prison." Featured below is an excerpt. Read the full article here.
Albert Woodfox and Robert King are coming to Harvard on March 8th. They have dedicated their post-incarceration lives to fighting for “the abolishment of solitary confinement and freedom for political prisoners.” “I choose to use my anger as a means for changing things,” Woodfox said after his release.
“Everybody has fear,” Woodfox continued. “Fear is the soul telling the body that it’s in danger. Some people overcome that fear. I overcame it by having a cause.”
(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox and Robert King at an event hosted by The Guardian in London, England during the recent European Tour.)
A3 Newsletter, January 30, 2017: Reflections on Freedom
It's been a few months since we've sent out a newsletter - taking a bit of a break in December after the wild and wonderful year that unfolded after Albert's release in February, almost one year ago!
2016 was a busy year and 2017 looks like it will be eventful as Albert and Robert actively continue campaigning for the human rights of all prisoners. During the successful European tour last October, they visited some of the cities that had supported the campaign over the last decade. They met supporters, NGO activists and spoke throughout England, from London to Liverpool and then in Paris, France. Featured below is a round up of the tour.
In December, Robert took a trip to Washington D.C. to join in the effort to bring attention to Leonard Peltier's request for clemency, joining artist and Angola 3 supporter Rigo 23 at the installation of his 9-foot-tall statue of Leonard at American University. Sadly, not only was Leonard not granted clemency, but the FBI demanded that the sculpture be removed from the museum grounds, and astoundingly, the museum complied without any apparent concern for freedom of expression. A legal suit is being filed against this action. As to Leonard, this would be a good time to reach out to him and let him know that the struggle continues and that he has many supporters out here that will continue fighting on his behalf.
There was good international media coverage in the UK and France resulting from the European tour and in the US, the New Yorker released their extended piece on Albert, written by Rachel Aviv.
March is a busy month with trips to Toronto and Montreal in Canada and a speaking engagement at Harvard. Stay tuned for more information about those events.
2016 European Tour
Angola 3's UK and French supporters were excited to welcome Robert with Albert for the first time. Albert got the opportunity to meet many of the UK and French supporters who have been campaigning on his and Herman's case. The visit took place during the USA presidential election and there was much discussion about how little has changed with the issues of race and injustice, which are as urgent today as they were in the 1970's when Woodfox and King were campaigning from behind prison walls.
The visit started in London with Albert and Robert launching Amnesty UK's Write for Rights Campaign, followed by sold out events at John Moores University in Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University, Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge and an event with The Guardian newspaper. In Paris, Amnesty France hosted one of their largest attended events ever with over 800 people coming to hear Albert and Robert. This remarkable evening was made all the more poignant with a beautiful performance by Louisiana based supporter and artist Sarah Quintana who sang a song she wrote for and dedicated to Herman, entitled "Almost Free."
Albert and Robert thank everyone who made this visit possible and welcomed them with such warmth.
A Voice for the Voiceless: Watch the New Segment of Our Interview With Albert Woodfox
In this newly released excerpt from the A3 Coalition's interview with Albert in May 2016, Albert explains:
"Since we've been released, King and I have had many long nights of discussion asking 'How can we remain relevant to the struggle in this country and in the world?'
Be sure to read this long New Yorker article reporting on Albert's recent travels and life experiences, as well as examining the months leading up to his release, nearly one year ago. An excerpt is featured below.
By summer, Woodfox felt that he was getting his “street legs,” as he called them. A sly sense of humor surfaced. But he was also increasingly exhausted. He spoke at panels about prisoners’ rights in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Baton Rouge. “I feel an obligation, because when I was in the position of the guys in prison I used to wonder why nobody spoke for us,” he told me. His friend Kenny Whitmore, who is still at Angola, told me that when Woodfox was freed “he took a part of me with him.” Whitmore said, “That old man is going full speed ahead.”
In early August, Woodfox flew to New York City to receive an award from the National Lawyers Guild, an association of progressive lawyers and activists, at the organization’s annual conference. He wore a gray blazer over a T-shirt that said “I Am Herman Wallace.” At the podium, he announced that he wanted to honor “my comrade and good friend.” He extended his palm toward King, who was in the third row of the auditorium, but became too choked up to say his name. Woodfox pressed his lips together and paused, regaining his composure. “I hope that my being here tonight is a testament to the strength and determination of the human spirit,” he said.
After the speech, Woodfox and King headed to a lounge on the second floor of the law school, where people were selling buttons, T-shirts, and posters that said “Free All the Angola 3.” Woodfox signed a dozen posters, writing in steady, capital letters, “I AM FREE! ALBERT WOODFOX.” People kept approaching him to ask if they could take selfies. “It’s amazing to be in the room with you,” one person told him. “Talk about moving and inspiring!” another said. “O.K.,” Woodfox said in response to most compliments.
(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox and Robert King on Democracy Now, Oct, 26, 2016)
A new UK Guardian article written by Rowan Moore features an interview with Albert Woodfox, where he reflects upon life after release, among other things. An excerpt is featured below, but you can read the full article here.
It was, he says, “so disappointing when I got out to find that conditions when I left 45 years ago are still here. With the first black president, everyone thought we had reached a milestone, but it just looked different.” If, he continues “America has nothing else to thank Donald Trump for, it is to show that racism is very much alive. He didn’t come out of nowhere. I thought the battle would be economic, not sick-assed philosophy about racism 45 years later.”
And so he is travelling and speaking, jetting from one American city to another to speak of his experiences and to fight, along with Robert King, for “the abolishment of solitary confinement and freedom for political prisoners” – and political prisoners is what he believes many of those incarcerated in America to be – “who remain victims of the criminal injustice system in the USA.” Apart from his fugitive trip to New York, he had never been out of Louisiana until this year, but now he travels from coast to coast and north to south, and is coming to Britain next month for a multi-city tour. All this from a man who came out of jail with hepatitis C, diabetes, renal failure and hypertension. His health has improved dramatically in the months of his freedom, partly due to receiving treatments denied him inside.
Announcing Albert Woodfox & Robert King's European Freedom Tour Events - November 2016
The International Angola 3 Coalition is delighted to announce the first European visit from Albert Woodfox in November 2016. Albert Woodfox (the last remaining member of the Angola 3 to be freed from prison in Louisiana, USA in February this year after 43 years in solitary confinement) and Robert King (released 15 years ago after 29 years in solitary falsely accused of the same crime) will visit the UK and France to meet supporters and to continue their campaign to call for the abolition of solitary confinement and freedom for political prisoners who remain victims of the criminal (in)justice system in the USA.
The visit will take place during the USA presidential election and comes at a time when questions of race and injustice in the USA are as relevant today as they were in the 1970’s when Woodfox and King were members of the Black Panther Party whilst in prison campaigning for human and civil rights.
The visit will start in London with Albert and Robert launching Amnesty UK’s Write for Rights Campaign on Tuesday 1 November followed by the below UK public events:
"The movement to reform the criminal justice system is still dominated by men and politicians. This group of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women is changing that." (The two accompanying photos are from the new article.)
(PHOTO:A Council meeting in Washington, DC.)
--And, if you have not yet done so, be sure to read Angola 3 News' previous interviews with Law:
Solitary Gardens Unveiling Plant the future. Honor the past.
WHEN: Saturday, October 1st 5-6:30pm
WHAT: Please join Albert Woodfox, Malik Rahim, Nana Sula, Vaku and jackie sumell for the 3-year commemoration of Herman Wallace’s freedom after 41-years of unjust captivity.
Project unveiling, tree planting ceremony, special guest speakers and presentations.
On Monday, October 3, as part of Southern University Law Center's 2016-2017 Speakers Series, Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 will be speaking about: "Use of International Laws and Coalitions in Justice Movements / Prison Reform."
The event will be held from 12-1 pm in 129 A.A. Lenoir Hall at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is free and open to the public.
On the evening of Thursday, August 4, Albert will be honored by the National Lawyers Guild with the Arthur Kinoy award. The evening begins with a reception at 6pm. At 7pm the convention's keynote address will be given, to be followed by the award ceremony.
On Sunday, August 7, Albert and King will be speaking at the National Lawyers Guild conference's Solitary Confinement: How to Build a Movement to End the Torture of Solitary Confinement workshop from 1-2:30 pm.
Then on Monday, August 8, Albert and King will appear at a book signing, from 6-9 PM at the Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center, 310 West 43rd Street, in NYC.
(PHOTO: Albert enjoys a canoe ride in Austin, TX.)
Since Albert’s release on his birthday, February 19th, a few short months ago, he’s been really busy… After nearly a month of visiting with family and friends in New Orleans sharing more birthday cake than he’s been able to consume in over forty years, Albert has been catching up with his dreams. This trio of video-interviews with Albert recorded recently, during a visit to Sacramento, will give you a glimpse of just how well Albert is doing.
(PHOTO: Albert Woodfox stands strong during a recent visit to Sacramento, California)
A MESSAGE TO SUPPORTERS - After
thanking the many supporters around the world that never gave up in
fighting for his release, Albert sent them this message: "What they
should take from my freedom is that you stand. You don't back away. You
don't make unnecessary compromises. You stand, and no matter how
painful, you stand." Watch the full interview here.
VISITING YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK - Just
a few days before this interview was conducted, Albert visited Yosemite
National Park, where he endured a challenging uphill climb. Albert
reflects: "As you get older, you always wonder what you lose, and I
think it felt very, very great to know that my will and determination
have not changed, even though I've grown older. I know I have changed
somewhat physically, [but] mentally, emotionally, and spiritually I'm as
strong as I ever was." Watch the full interview here.
SPENDING QUALITY TIME WITH FAMILY - In
this segment, Albert discusses his relationship with his family, with
whom he tries to spend as much time as he can: "I'm a Dad, a Grandpa,
and a Great Grandpa. I'm so grateful that my family accepted me back." Watch the full interview here.
Albert has been spending time in Houston with his brother Michael and his family as well as time in New Orleans with his daughter, grandson and grandchildren. His first speaking engagement was a trip to Pittsburgh for the International Conference on Solitary Confinement at University of Pittsburgh with King. When that was over, he spent a week in Austin with King and Austin supporters before heading off to California to fulfill one of his long held dreams, a trip to Yosemite. On the way he stopped in Los Angeles to attend the Death Penalty Focus Gala, where he was joined by an old friend from Angola, recently released Gary Tyler and about twenty exonerees attending on behalf of the Innocence Project. He also had a chance to drop in on long-time supporter and artist, Rigo 23 and family before heading north. After Yosemite, Albert attended the Malcolm X Festival in Oakland. On his return to New Orleans, Albert and King’s cousin, Noonie, cooked up a “surprise” birthday party for King and celebrated with many local supporters.
The next few months are equally as busy. In August King and Albert will be in New York at the National Lawyers Guild Convention where Albert will accept the Arthur Kinoy award. After the NLG conference, Albert and King will spend time with BPP comrades in New York. In September they will be in Oakland for the Political Prisoner’s Conference and later in the month they will be speaking at a number of venues in Chicago. They’ll return to Oakland in October for the 50th Anniversary gathering of the Black Panther Party. Then in late October, they visit the UK and France to meet with Amnesty supporters, along with special events in the UK including London, Liverpool and Cambridge As you’ll be able to see from the short interviews and attached photos, Albert deals with all the activity like a champ – it’s hard to believe that he’s spent four decades in a box, as he handles himself with grace and humor regardless of the situation presented.
(Albert and Rigo 23, with the latest artwork from Rigo 23 illustrating that all of the Angola 3 are Free.)
(King and Albert in Austin- reunited in freedom!)
(Comrades from Houston and Austin join King and Albert for a welcome home party for Albert.)
(Albert with Louisiana exonerees John Thompson and Gary Tyler at Death Penalty Focus event.)
(Albert and King’s cousin, Elnora put together a sizzling surprise
birthday party for King at the Craig Center in Algiers on June 11th.
The theme was “white linen.” This photo of Albert dancing with longtime supporter Shana Griffin, was taken by the esteemed Ted
Quant to memorialize the evening. View more photos from the party here.)
9″ epoxy resin model, Alcatraz Prison Mess Hall, February 13, 2016 – First “Indians of All Tribes Day.”
As you might already know, Leonard Peltier has now spent four entire
decades behind bars for a crime he has not committed. Even though, by
most countries’ standards, he has now fulfilled both of the consecutive
life-sentences to which he was wrongly sentenced, he remains behind