594 episodes

Prison Radio records and broadcasts the voices of prisoners, centering their analyses and experiences in the movements against mass incarceration and state repression.

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    • Politics

Prison Radio records and broadcasts the voices of prisoners, centering their analyses and experiences in the movements against mass incarceration and state repression.

    A Soldier (1:26) Bilal Bey (Charlie Hughes)

    A Soldier (1:26) Bilal Bey (Charlie Hughes)

    A Soldier (1:26) Bilal Bey (Charlie Hughes)

    • 1 min
    Constitution Of The Black Man (2:50) Bilal Bay (Charlie Hughes)

    Constitution Of The Black Man (2:50) Bilal Bay (Charlie Hughes)

    Constitution Of The Black Man (2:50) Bilal Bay (Charlie Hughes)

    • 2 min
    Dancing In The Streets (1:42) Mumia Abu-Jamal

    Dancing In The Streets (1:42) Mumia Abu-Jamal

    Dancing In The Streets (1:42) Mumia Abu-Jamal

    • 1 min
    Free Mumia (12:46) Angela Davis

    Free Mumia (12:46) Angela Davis

    I am so grateful for this opportunity to once again register my unwavering support for Mumia Abu-Jamal. He has played such a pivotal role in the processes of popular education that have led us to this critical juncture and what one might call the century-and-a-half-year-old effort to acknowledge the structural and systemic character of racism—and to take seriously demands for abolition, abolition of the death penalty, of prisons, of police. And so it is right and just that we should accelerate our efforts on this new terrain to finally free our brother comrade. Much attention has been focused on Philadelphia recently: from the elections, to the police killing of Walter Wallace because he was experiencing a mental health crisis, to the arrest by federal agents of the teacher and community activist Anthony Smith. And we know that, barely a week before his arrest, Philadelphia Magazine had applauded Anthony Smith's community service and his exceptional leadership. And all around the world, we have followed the work of Anthony Smith's organization, the Black Philadelphia Radical Collective, and- and many of us passionately support the 13 demands they have submitted. We know also that the city council in Philadelphia recently offered an apology, an official apology of- for the 1955 bombing which killed 11 MOVE members—including five children and- and completely destroyed 61 homes. So I've been asked to briefly discuss Mumia's case in the context of the long history of political repression in this country, and in the context of the utilization of the critical- of the criminal legal system to produce pretexts for incarcerating people who have chosen to develop radical resistance strategies in relation to racist state violence. Mumia is a relatively younger member of a generation of Black radical activists and intellectuals who have challenged the structural and systemic character of racism. Long before, this recognition helped to accelerate efforts to reimagine some of our society's fundamental institutions. Because of our radical stances, we were targeted by the state. In many instances, the state demonized and railroaded countless numbers of black radicals, some of us who were freed, but many of whom have been imprisoned for as many as five or six decades. Mumia was targeted by the Philadelphia police and COINTELPRO—beginning with his membership in the Black Panther Party. His declassified 500-page FBI files shows that the Philadelphia police in consultation with COINTELPRO- COINTELPRO for many years had tried to peg a crime on Mumia. We also know that at least one-third of the police involved in his case were jailed after it was discovered that they had systematically tampered with evidence and large numbers of cases across the city of Philadelphia. But I think that few people know that the investigation of the killing of Daniel Faulkner—the policeman whom Mumia is accused of killing—that this investigation was conducted not by the homicide unit of the Philadelphia Police Department but by its civil defense unit, which was the local police arm of J. Edgar Hoover's COINTELPRO. In 1981, Mumia was sentenced to death and, from death row, produced brilliant critiques of the prison industrial complex, mass incarceration, capital punishment, and other institutional consequences of racial capitalism. Many of us are aware of the fact that his widely circulated writings have helped to humanize people in prison and people on death row. Like many others of my age, I've been an active supporter of Mumia for many decades. And I've had the honor of speaking on his behalf at United Nations conferences and other international venues—when Mumia, for example, was declared an honorary citizen of Paris. The last person before him to receive that distinction was Pablo Picasso. I participated in that ceremony in Paris as his surr

    • 12 min
    Free Mumia (6:52) Colin Kaepernick

    Free Mumia (6:52) Colin Kaepernick

    When I was invited to speak on behalf of Mumia, one of the first things that came to mind was how long he's been in prison. How many years of his life had been stolen away from him, his community, and his loved ones. He's been incarcerated for 38 years. Mumia has been in prison longer than I've been alive.When I first spoke with Mumia on the phone, I did very little talking. I just listened. Hearing him speak was a reminder of why we must continue to fight. Earlier this year,  The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner issued a statement, noting that prolonged solitary confinement, the precise type often used in the United States, amounts to psychological torture.  Mumia Abu-Jamal has spent roughly 30 out of his 38 years in solitary confinement.In his book Live From Death Row, Mumia wrote that prison is a second by second assault on the soul, a day-to-day degradation of the self, an oppressive steel and brick umbrella that transforms seconds into hours, and hours into days. He has had to endure this second-by-second assault on his soul for 38 years.He had no record before he was arrested and framed for the death of a Philadelphia police officer. Since 1981, Mumia has maintained his innocence. His story has not changed. Mumia was shot, brutalized, arrested, and chained to a hospital bed. The first police officer assigned to him wrote in a report that the “Negro male made no comment” as cited in Philly Mag. Yet 64 days into the investigation, another officer testified that Mumia had confessed to the killing. Mumia’s story has not changed, but we're talking about the same Philadelphia Police Department whose behavior “shocks the conscience,” according to a 1979 DOJ report.  Behaviors like shooting nonviolent suspects, abusing handcuffed prisoners, and tampering with evidence.It should therefore come as little surprise that, according to Dr. Johanna Fernandez, over one third of the 35 officers involved in Mumia's case, were subsequently convicted of rank corruption, extortion, and tampering with evidence to obtain convictions in unrelated cases. This is the same Philadelphia Police Department where officers ran racial profiling sweeps, like Operation Cold Turkey in March, 1985, targeting Black and Brown folks; and bombed the MOVE house in May of that year, killing 11 people, including five children and destroying 61 homes. The same Philadelphia police department, whose officers eight days before the 2020 presidential election, shot Walter Wallace Jr. dead in the streets in front of his crying mother. The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police has unrelentingly campaigned for Mumia’s execution. During their August, 1999, national meeting, a spokesperson for the organization stated that they will not rest until Abu-Jamal burns in hell. The former Philadelphia president of the Fraternal Order of Police, Richard Castello, went as far as to say that if you disagree with their views of Mumia, you can join him in the electric chair and that they will make it an electric couch.The trial judge on Mumia's case in 1981, Albert Sabo was a former member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Court reporter Terry Maurer Carter even heard Judge Sabo telling a colleague “I'm going to help them fry the n****r.”Found in December, 2018, in an inaccessible storage room of the DA's office, six boxes of documents for Mumia's case reveal previously undisclosed and highly significant evidence showing that Mumia’s trial was tainted by a failure to disclose material evidence in violation of the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. In November, 2019, the Fraternal Order of Police filed a King's Bench Petition asking the court to allow the state attorney general, not the Philadelphia DA's office, to handle the upcoming appeals.As the FOP president John McNesby said just last year, “Mumia should remain in pris

    • 6 min
    90% Infected (1:50) Bilal Bay (Charlie Hughes)

    90% Infected (1:50) Bilal Bay (Charlie Hughes)

    My name is Charlie Hughes. About two weeks ago, I had got back from Lansing Correctional Facility in Lansing, Kansas. Due to testing positive for COVID-19. I was moved back to Hutchinson Correctional Facility and I was- got my job back as a cellhouse porter. Once I got back, 90% of the people in my cellhouse tested positive for COVID. So, being that the other- most of the other porters had tested positive, they wouldn't let none of them out to work. And for the past five days, I've been the only person coming out to clean the cell-ouse by myself. I've been doing the- I've been spraying the COVID-19 spray, which is called Rejuvenol. I've been cleaning the cellhouse, passing out trays, cleaning the showers, passing out laundry, and doing ice. And it's very stressful. I've been up pretty- really haven't had no sleep for the past five days. I've- in the past five days, I've literally got maybe 10 hours of sleep. If that. Once again, this is Bilal Abdul-Salaam Bey, known as Charlie Hughes. Number 96576. Hutchinson Correctional Facility, P.O. Box 1568. Hutchinson, Kansas 67504. Thank you for your time, effort, and energy. (Sound of a cell door closing.) These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio. 

    • 1 min

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