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.