Friday, January 20, 2012

From Sundiata Acoli - Birthday, Transfer and OWS

Via Kiilu Nyasha

I'm in email contact with Sundiata, and he sent me this email to share:

Birthday, Transfer and OWS
by Sundiata Acoli- 1/14/2012

Thank each of you for such warm Birthday (Jan. 14th) greetings,
they brightened my day immensely but frankly it's hard for me to
fully comprehend that i'm actually 3/4 of a Century old. That is old
by any standard!

i was transferred from FCI Otisville, NY because they're
supposedly converting it into a "Sex-Offenders and
Debriefed-Gang-Members" prison. Otisville population stands at around
1200 prisoners. Staff said they planned to transfer out 500
prisoners, mostly gang members and replace them with sex offenders
and debriefed gang members, i.e., prisoners who have gotten out of
the gang and off the prison's gang list as a result of them
debriefing by telling what they know of their gang's operations and
pointing out other unknown gang members to the staff.

Otisville had transferred out approximately 20 gang members (1
bus load) each week for a month or more when they added "convicted
murderers" to the transfer list. i departed Otisville on the 2nd
busload of prisoners convicted of murder. At each stop along the way,
MDC Brooklyn, NY and FDC Philly, PA the prisoners there were very
welcoming and helpful altho federal men's prison are so overcrowded
that there's a widespread chronic shortage of the most basic
supplies, prisoners are literally stacked atop each other and as soon
as any prisoner transfers out, another moves into his bed space that
same day or the next.

At MDC Brooklyn i received a much welcomed visit from each of
my long time attorneys: Florence, Soffiyah, Marisa and Joan.
Attorneys can simply show up at the Detention Center and visit. Not
so for family or friends, they must be on a new visit list created at
the Center. None of my family or friends were able to get on my list
before the week or so lapsed by which time i was long gone to the
next detention center.

The same visit rules were in effect at FDC Philly, PA. After a
week or so there our bus departed on a round-about trip to FCI
Schuykill, PA, our final destination. The first stop was Harrisburg
International Airport, PA which looked every bit like a modern day
slave market. 40 to 50 bus and van loads of prisoners, mostly Black
and Brown with a splash of White and smaller splashes of Red and
Yellow, chained hand and foot, sat along the runway of a "Con Air"
transport jet disgorging hordes of cuffed hobbling prisoners from
it's entrails. Empty, and refilling its belly with just as many new
prisoners from the buses/vans until finally sated, it turned, waddled
down the runway , belched, and lurched into the horizon.

Other buses and vans mixed and matched, switched and
swapped prisoners till each bus was loaded only with prisoners going
to the same destinations across the Northeast: NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD,
VA, WV; the whole operation was surrounded by a cordon of federal
marshals, prison guards, state troopers and county sheriffs.

It was here that all the prisoners on my bus were switched to a
bus bound for FCI Schuykill...except me. Shortly, a guard i vaguely
recognized from long ago came, took me off the bus and escorted me to
another filled with different prisoners. Once seated i asked where
they were headed. They said "Cumberland." My property and traveling
papers continued on to Schuykill. We arrived at FCI Cumberland and i
was immediately put in SHU (the Hole) because they had no papers for
me. I did 10 days semi-incommunicado in "the hole" until my papers
arrived and was then let out into general population. i thank all
those who expressed concern about my welfare during the transfer,
particularly Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pam Africa, the Jericho Movement and
numerous others. i've since learned that at least 5 convicted
murderers who left Otisville on the bus with me were rerouted back to
FCI Otisville before reaching their transfer destination. They were all White.

i and SAFC support the OWS/OCCUPY MOVEMENT and i thank them for
the evolving mutual support they've shown at various times and places
for the Jericho Movement, the Black Movement and other Movements of
People of Color and the Oppressed.

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