Posts tagged ‘Angola Prison’

October 23, 2013

Arts in the Valley, October 2013, 1480 KYOS AM, Merced, CA

by arthouseflower

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Kim McMillon, the host of Arts in the Valley, interviews Marina Drummer on Herman Wallace, and the Angola 3 and Herman Wallace.

http://takeaction.amnestyusa.org/siteapps/advocacy/ActionItem.aspx?c=6oJCLQPAJiJUG&b=6645049&aid=520358&msource=WPFWOOD1

To listen to the interview on Herman Wallace:
KPFA Evening News Anchor: A memorial service and funeral were held in New Orleans today (Oct. 12) for famed Angola 3 prisoner Herman Wallace. Wallace died of liver cancer last week, three days after his indictment was overturned and he was released in an ambulance from Louisiana’s Hunt Correctional Center.

His death also came one day after a Louisiana grand jury re-indicted him for the murder of a prison guard which he always maintained he did not commit, as have Robert King and Albert Woodfox, the other two members of the Angola 3. The three say they were framed and held in solitary confinement for founding a chapter of the Black Panther Party in the Angola State Prison.

KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to Marina Drummer, a longtime Northern California-based organizer for the Angola 3.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Marina, could you briefly review the major flaws in the evidence against Herman Wallace, Robert King and Albert Woodfox.

Marina Drummer: Well, the major flaw is that there was no evidence. There was absolutely no evidence whatsoever. All there was was conflicting eyewitness reports and a prison administration that was determined to stop Herman and Albert from organizing in the prison.

KPFA: In the film “Herman’s House,” Herman describes the moment in 2008 when he and Albert Woodfox were inexplicably returned to the general prison population.

HERMAN’S HOUSE:

TV Newscaster: After 36 years in solitary confinement, two of the men known as the Angola 3 have been moved into a dormitory with other inmates at Angola. Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were convicted of killing a prison guard but they claim they didn’t do it. They have sued the state claiming cruel and unusual punishment, because they’ve been kept in solitary confinement since the early ‘70s.

Herman Wallace: It happened … ummmm … after 35 years, 11 months and 7 days in a cell, that we were taken from the cell and put on a bus, and we were bused on the concrete all the way out here to Camp B. And, you know, and then they removed all the restraints off of us … off of us … and we walked into the dormitory and I tell you, it was spectacular. I’ve been in dormitory before, but, it has been, you know, 36 years. And, it’s just going to take time for me to drop a great deal of my defense mechanisms, you know, and blend in with some of the social activities that’s going on around me. It’s good, and it’s preparing me for the street.

KPFA: Eight months later, Herman and Albert were returned to solitary confinement, this time to different prisons, far from one another. Was there ever any official explanation besides “General Prohibited Behavior”?

Marina Drummer: No. The thing about the prisons is even the sentence that they had didn’t say anything about solitary confinement. They were sentenced to life in prison and yet they spent that in solitary.

The kinds of decisions that are made about moving prisoners or where they’re kept are made entirely internally. These are not court ordered decisions. They’re made by the correctional department, and frequently at the whim of a warden or a guard.

And in Herman and Albert’s case, and King, when he was there, they were reviewed every few months as to why they were in solitary, and every time they were reviewed, it came back “reason is stated as cause of original sentence,” which … who knows what that means?

There was never ever any kind of explanation for what was going on, neither when they were put in solitary, when they were taken out of solitary, nor when they were moved back into solitary, although I’m sure that the move to separate prisons was something the warden at Angola certainly wished he had thought of 20 or 30 years earlier because it took all of the heat off of him.

KPFA: Do you think the unprecedented media attention that Herman won in the last few months of his life, and now in death, has a good chance of leading to the freedom of Albert Woodfox?

Marina Drummer: We certainly hope so and we’re certainly going to do everything we can to push for that and utilize the critical mass that’s developed. And yet, I cannot stress enough that the state could care less what the U.N. says, what the Congress says, what Amnesty says, what anybody says. They’re determined to fight this to the end, as was shown by the fact that even on his dying day, or two days before he died, they went to the trouble of calling a special grand jury to re-indict him.

KPFA: PBS has made the film “Herman’s House” available online for free until Nov. 2 in honor of Herman Wallace. Other films that tell more of the history of Angola Prison and the Angola 3 include “In the Land of the Free,” “Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation” and “Hard Time,” all of which are available online.

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August 5, 2012

Arts in the Valley, Saturday, August 4 (8 PM), and Sunday, August 5 (2 PM), 1480 KYOS AM, Merced, CA

by arthouseflower

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On Saturday, August 4th, and Sunday, August 5th, Arts in the Valley hosts Kim McMillon inteviews Marina Drummer, the director of Community Futures Collective on the Angola 3; Heike Hambley, the founder of Merced Shakepearefest, on the upcoming production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream; and Dennis Phones and Dave Brown, members of Boots and Slippers Square Dancing Club of Merced.

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To listen to Marina Drummer’s interview, click onto the link:angola 3-1

Marina Drummer has worked at the LEF Foundation since its inception in 1985.  She runs her own non-profit, Community Futures Collective, that serves as a fiscal sponsor for grassroots organizations as well as providing infrastructure development. In addition, Marina serves as Administrator of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival.  On Arts in the Valley, Marina will discuss her involvement with the Angola 3.

Through the Community Futures Collective, The National Coalition to Free the Angola 3 has been working together since 1998 specifically to raise consciousness about the case of the Angola 3, prisoners who have been held in solitary confinement in Angola prison for 34 years, as well as general information about prison issues in Louisiana and nationally.

The Coalition raises funds for the legal defense of the Angola 3’s post-conviction and civil cases and to support the important communications efforts of Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace from their cells in Angola.Robert King Wilkerson, the freed member of the Angola 3 travels the world speaking about his comrades in Angola.  For more information about the Community Futures Collective, and the Angola 3, please visit, http://www.communityfuturescollective.org.

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Click onto the link to listen to Heike Hambley discuss the upcoming production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream:shakspear-1

Merced Shakespearefest founder and artistic director Heike Hambly discusses her latest production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Arts in the Valley Host Kim McMillon

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a play by William Shakespeare. Believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596, it portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus, and the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta.  These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors, who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set.

Merced Shakespearefest celebrates its 11th season with ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ on Aug. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at Applegate Park, 26th and N streets in Merced.

Shows on Saturdays are at 10 a.m. and

6 p.m.; Sunday’s show is at 6 p.m.

All performances are free.

Information: (209) 723-3265 or visit, mercedshakespearfest.org.

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Click onto the link to listen to Dave Brown and Dennis Phones discuss square dancing:square dancing

Merced’s Boots and Slippers Square Dance Classes start every September and are free to the public the first three square dance classes.  Classes start Monday, September 10th at 7 pm at the Stratford and Evans Community Hall, 1490 B. Street in Merced.

For info Call

Dennis Fones 209-383-5352

or, Dave Brown 209-777-1274

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