One year later: solidarity against prisons in France

In the latter part of 2008 and the beginning of last year, a series of actions against prisons were carried out in France in solidarity with the June 2008 riot and burning of the Vincennes detention center and with the insurgents facing trial.  This outline was compiled one year ago as the trials approached.  Reposting for its usefulness in describing engagement in active solidarity with prison revolt.

On January 25th, 26th and 27th, ten former detainees of the Vincennes detention centre will be tried for a revolt.

During the first semester of 2008, revolts repeatedly occured in the Vincennes detention centre, a place where undocumented foreigners are locked up pending their deportation. On June 21st, a detainee died due to lack of care. The next day, the centre was burnt during a revolt. Later, a number of detainees were arrested and accused of arson and aggression against police officers. Most of them have been in preventive jail for eight to twelve months.

A solidarity week is set from January 16th to 24th.

In solidarity with the rebellious of the Vincennes retention center who will be in court on January 25th, 26th, 27th 2010, for burning their prison during a revolt in June 2008. Here is a very brief outline of the solidarity actions (far from complete for reasons linked to translation).

Outline follows the jump. Continue reading

Southern Injustice: Herman Wallace and the Angola 3

by James Ridgeway and Jean Casella

For the better part of four decades, Victory Wallace, 70, has made a monthly trip from New Orleans to the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola to visit her brother Herman, who just turned 68. The 140-mile journey has shades of Heart of Darkness, following the course of the Mississippi River to a remote prison colony from which most inmates never return. At the dark heart of this former slave plantation, Herman Wallace has lived most of the past 37 years in solitary confinement, imprisoned alone for 23 hours a day in a 6-by-9-foot cell.

When Herman was moved in the spring of 2009 from Angola to Hunt Correctional Center near Baton Rouge, Vickie’s trip got a bit shorter. But what she found when she arrived on her most recent visit was even worse than usual. Because of a disciplinary infraction, Herman had been placed in “extended administrative lock down.” That meant Vickie was denied a contact visit, and was permitted to see her brother only through a glass partition as they spoke over a telephone. His hands were shackled to the table. (Other recent visitors reported that the shackles made it hard for him to hold the phone to his ear, while his hearing loss made communication over the telephone difficult.) Herman complained to Vickie that he was cold, and she thought that he had lost weight. His spirits, she said, were not the best.

Read the full article here.