Monday, February 13, 2017

Albert Woodfox and Robert King of the Angola 3 to speak at Harvard on March 8

RELATED:  Austin, Texas event on Feb. 23 with Robert King and Albert Woodfox


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.”

We hope you will join us.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A3 Newsletter: Reflections on Freedom (includes new Albert Woodfox video interview: A Voice for the Voiceless)



(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.

Both Albert and King remain committed to speaking out in support of political prisoners, against the use of solitary and the criminal injustice system in the USA. Next month King will travel to San Francisco to attend a symposium at The Exploratorium on February 16, entitled In My Solitude: The Detrimental Effects of Solitary Confinement on the Brain and to speak on a panel the very next day at an event jointly hosted by UCSF Medical School and UC Hastings Law School, entitled Solitary: On Law and Policy in California. King will then be returning to Austin, Texas for a screening of the film "Cruel and Unusual" and book-signing on February 23.

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?'

Watch the full video here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

The New Yorker's In-Depth Article on Albert Woodfox's Life After Release

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.

Read the full article here.

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.



Monday, October 24, 2016

UK Guardian interviews Albert Woodfox on eve of UK Tour: ‘I choose to use my anger as a means for changing things’

RELATED:  Albert Woodfox and Robert King's European Tour in November  II  View photos and updates from the Euro Tour at our Facebook page

(PHOTO:  Albert and Robert in conversation with Samantha Roddick at the Amnesty UK event on November 1)

OTHER MEDIA COVERAGE:  Albert Woodfox and Robert King interviewed by Democracy Now! about Black Panther political prisoners  II  Albert interviewed by ITV  II  Albert interviewed by BBC News Hour 


(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.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Albert Woodfox & Robert King's European Freedom Tour in November



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:

Monday, September 26, 2016

Victoria Law, The Nation: These Women Are Demanding a Voice in the Criminal Justice Conversation



(PHOTO:  The Council at Cucho's Justice Center in Los Angeles.)

Check out this new article about the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls written for The Nation by author and longtime prison activist Victoria Law, entitled:

These Women Are Demanding a Voice in the Criminal Justice Conversation

"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:

Torturing Women Prisoners (2009),  Resisting Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex (2010), VIDEO: Resisting Gender Violence Without Cops or Prisons (2011), and Will AB 2530 Unshackle Childbirth in California? (w/ Tina Reynolds, 2012)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

NOLA October 1: Solitary Gardens Unveiling with Albert Woodfox and others

RELATED:  Albert Woodfox at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, LA on October 3





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.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Albert Woodfox speaking in Chicago IL on Sept. 18 and 21

LISTEN:  Albert interviewed on Chicago's WBEZ Radio


(PHOTO:  Albert & the Chicago support crew that organized his Chicago tour- led by Melinda Power who also helped organize his August NLG talk.)


Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2pm at Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 West 95th Street, Chicago, Wright Chapel


Wednesday, Sept, 21 at 6pm, at Gallery 400, at 400 S. Peoria Street. For more information, see flyer above and visit the event's Facebook and Eventbrite pages.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Albert Woodfox in San Francisco on Sept. 7

MEDIA COVERAGE:  SFBV Newspaper  II  Liberation Newspaper



September 7:  Albert is speaking in San Francisco, California on Wed. Sept. 7, 7pm at 2969 Mission St. For more information, please visit the ANSWER Coalition website.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

VIDEO: Albert Woodfox recieves Arthur Kinoy Award from National Lawyers Guild

2016 #Law4thePeople Convention Keynote Address (8/4/16) from National Lawyers Guild on Vimeo.

On August 4, Albert Woodfox received the Arthur Kinoy Award from the National Lawyers Guild at the organization's convention in NYC.

In this video, Albert is introduced at 26:00 and then comes onto the stage to receive the award and begins to speak at approximately 33:00

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

October 3: Albert Woodfox to speak at Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, LA



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.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Albert Woodfox and Robert King in New York City, August 4-8; Albert to Receive NLG's Arthur Kinoy Award



This weekend, Albert Woodfox and Robert King will be at the Law For The People Convention in New York City, organized by the National Lawyers Guild.

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.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Just Stand: A Video Interview With Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3



(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.

This first release, entitled "Just Stand" is in three parts:  (1) A Message to Supporters, (2) Visiting Yosemite National Park and (3) Spending Quality Time With Family.


(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.

Freedom for our comrade, elder, and political prisoner Leonard Peltier is long overdue. Please sign Amnesty International USA's new online petition calling on President Obama to release him. Please also consider supporting the Leonard Peltier Statue Project. Free all political prisoners!



(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.)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Support the Leonard Peltier Statue Project / Take Action with Amnesty USA

Take Action by joining Amnesty International USA's call for President Obama to release Leonard Peltier!


Featured below is the full post from the Leonard Peltier Statue Project:

9" epoxy resin model, Alcatraz Prison Mess Hall, February 13, 2016 - First "Indians of All Tribes Day."

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 bars.

Friday, April 29, 2016

New UK Guardian interview with Albert Woodfox, two months after his release

In a UK Guardian article published today, Albert Woodfox reflects upon two months of life outside of prison walls and solitary confinement. The article concludes with the following excerpt:

The most disturbing part of freedom, Woodfox says, has been the dawning realisation since his release that in America in 2016 there is very little sense of political or social struggle. When he entered prison in the 1970s the country was on fire with political debate; now, as he puts it, “everybody seems to be ‘Me, me, me, me, me.’ It’s all about me, what I need and how I’m going to get it.”

That public indifference has in turn, he believes, allowed solitary confinement to flourish, to the extent that 100,000 Americans are subjected to it each year.

“The people and the government and the courts have turned their back on prisons, and that lets the wardens and officers act as judge, jury and executioner,” he says. “People don’t seem to be socially aware, that’s why solitary confinement exists and why it’s so brutal. Because nobody cares.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A3 Newsletter: Broadening the Platform to Correct Past Injustices



A3 Newsletter, February 12, 2016: This is What Freedom Looks Like... Two Months of Liberation

WATCH: Albert Speaks at Southeastern Louisiana University



What a joy it is to have Albert out of prison, after all these years of struggle, it is a rare and special treat to hear his voice on the phone each morning as we review the days schedule and events. In Albert's first month of freedom he stayed busy every day, obtaining identification papers, scheduling doctor and dentist appointments, visiting with family and supporters - every moment was occupied. Since the end of March Albert has been in Texas, visiting with his brother Michael and his family and getting some much needed rest.

This weekend, Albert and King head to Pittsburgh to participate in the International Conference on Solitary Confinement, where they're sure to run into many of the activists and supporters that have been involved in the effort to end solitary confinement. After Pittsburgh, Albert will be headed back to New Orleans to attend his first family reunion! Early May finds him headed to Los Angeles for the Death Penalty Focus Conference and then on to a long- anticipated trip to Yosemite with Sacramento supporters, Gail Shaw and Billy X Jennings. Every day is an adventure; shopping, banking, post office- all the things we have grown accustomed to are new to Albert.

Below you'll find the latest statement from the legal team. As Albert stated in one of his early interviews after his release, "There's a movement in the country about solitary confinement...we think that we were the spark...for that." We couldn't agree more! Although both the civil and criminal cases have been settled, significant changes to the Department of Corrections policies in Louisiana regarding solitary are in the works and we hope to be able to share more detail in the coming months. Meanwhile, around the country and around the world, there has been greatly heightened awareness around the issues of solitary confinement and like Albert and King, we feel that the case of the Angola 3 has been instrumental in this raised consciousness and are thrilled to see articles such as the one from Ottawa that use the Angola 3 case to leverage the abolition of solitary.

Albert looks forward to joining the fray in carrying on the movement to abolish solitary and to expose the inequalities of the criminal justice system. We are proud to stand behind Albert and King and assist them in any way that we can as they carry on with their advocacy work.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

London, April 21: Amnesty UK Preview Screening of 'Cruel and Unusual' by Vadim Jean

(Event info from Amnesty UK)

When:  Thursday, 21 April 2016 from 18:30 to 21:30 (BST)
Where:  Amnesty International UK - 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA, United Kingdom

Amnesty International UK is delighted to announce a special UK preview screening of ‘Cruel and Unusual’, a new documentary feature film telling the story of the Angola 3's struggle for justice, fighting their unjust convictions and the cruel and unusual punishment of long term solitary confinement in Louisiana prisons. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Monday, March 7, 2016

Poem by Tina Otito Tamsho-Thomas: Tribute to Albert Woodfox

Tribute to Albert Woodfox
Angola 3 Political Prisoner


Each and all are waiting
Heart,
Spirit,
Mind.
Waiting for
the justice day,
Liberating Humankind.

Years forty three imprisoned,
conscious voice unarrested.
Waiting for
the justice day,
Liberty attested.

We will bring our warrior home,
gifted to the world,
Honouring
his justice day,
freedom flags unfurled.


Copyright©Tina Otito Tamsho-Thomas

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A3 Newsletter: Albert Is Free - Support Albert's Fund

A3 Newsletter, February 25, 2016: 
Oh Happy Day - Albert Woodfox is Free At Last



 (PHOTO: Left to Right, Robert King, Albert Woodfox, and Malik Rahim. This photo and two further below of Albert spending quality time with friends and family are courtesy of Palomita Firecracker's Facebook page.)


Giving Thanks

We dedicate this newsletter to the spirit of Anita Roddick for her dedication to the Angola 3 struggle for freedom and to her family who stayed the course through the darkest hours.

To the many Angola 3 supporters that have stood by us in the past several decades as we fought for the freedom of Robert King, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, and against the torture that is solitary confinement, we are more grateful than words can express.

It has been a long journey and there have been many milestones along the way. Movies have been made, books have been written, institutions and non-profit organizations have joined the struggle, legal assistance has ebbed and waned, but throughout, the coalition and its supporters have never stopped taking action to change the state of solitary confinement and freedom for Albert.

Last Friday, on February 19th 2016 those actions culminated in Albert's freedom. Albert is absolutely, 100% free!  Below is just some of the remarkable media coverage that is circulating the globe.


Please Give To Albert's Fund

As we celebrate that ALL THE ANGOLA 3 ARE FREE please join us in laying the foundation for Albert's new life. We'll never be able to make up for over four decades in solitary but those of us in minimum security know how costly life out here is. 100% of all donations will be given directly to Albert.

You can donate online through the A3 Coalition's fiscal sponsor, Community Futures Collective, designating "Albert" in the memo. If you prefer to send a check, please make it out to "Community Futures Collective" and write "Albert" in the check's memo section. Mail it to:

Community Futures Collective
221 Idora Ave
Vallejo, CA 94591

From the entire Angola 3 community- thank you.