February 26, 2010
Prisoner organizations at Auburn Correctional Facility in New York
State had approval to hold an event in the auditorium for Black
History Month. Two outside guests had been approved to attend, a
professor from Syracuse and a professor from Cornel University. I was
also approved to make a 20-minute presentation. This presentation was
to be a capsule overview of the civil rights movement, its evolution
into the black power movement, the power politics of the ballot and
the ascent of Barack Obama to the presidency.
However, on February 26, I was called into the media center and
brought to an office to speak with Superintendent Harold Graham.
Superintendent Graham basically told me that, following his approval
of me to make the presentation for Black History Month, the
correctional officers? union (New York State Correctional Officers &
Police Benevolent Association?NYSCOPBA) waged a campaign by
contacting local media and the central office in Albany to prevent me
from making the presentation.
Supt. Graham stated that he had received a phone call from the Albany
central office telling him that I could not make the presentation.
Supt. Graham further stated he felt that they were wrong. He told the
commissioner that I have been here nearly 10 years, except for my
time in California, and that he has not ever had any problems with me.
However, central office in Albany stated that they could not take the
heat from any media scrutiny as a result of the guards? disapproval.
So I have now been denied the opportunity to address the population
for Black History Month. I thanked Supt. Graham for personally
letting me know that I would not be able to make the presentation.
We can see from this level of animosity towards me by the NYSCOPBA
that we need to double and triple the support base for my upcoming
parole hearing in June.
Please sign the petition to Governor Paterson for Clemency/Commution
of Sentence at the following url:
Dictated to Anne Lamb via telephone on 02/26/10
Friday, February 26, 2010
February 26, 2010