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How 20,000 Blacks died through starvation and overwork in the ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’ labour camp in Mississippi


In America’s chequered history, the South is regarded as the more villainous; on account of their treatment of enslaved blacks and great lengths it went to recapture slaves, who attempted running away to freedom.

But the North proved that on its own account, it was as vile thanks to the fate that befell supposed free Blacks in Natchez, Mississippi in the 1860s.

America, supposed land of the free and great opportunities, had its own concentration camp which some estimate claimed 20,000 Black lives

With Black males being convinced to fight on the North’s behalf against the South with a promise to gain freedom, there was hope that life will get better after the civil war (1861 to 1865) but any such hope soon floundered.

After the Civil War, Natchez Mississippi experienced an enormous influx of former slaves as new inhabitants trooped in but the unenthused locals constructed an ‘encampment’ forcing all former slaves to live there. The area was then walled off with the former enslaved refused the option to leave.

Former Director of the Natchez City Cemetery Don Estes revealed in a news report: “So they decided to build an encampment for ’em at Devil’s Punchbowl which they walled off and wouldn’t let ’em out.”

Estes further added: “Disease broke out among ’em, smallpox being the main one. And thousands and thousands died. They were begging to get out. ‘Turn me loose and I’ll go home back to the plantation! Anywhere but there’.”

Devil’s Punchbowl via

It will take some time for the atrocities meted out to these Blacks to be revealed. Regarding how the camp came by its curious name – ‘Devil’s Punchbowl’ – it was due to how the area is shaped with the camp located at the bottom of a cavernous pit with trees located on the bluffs above.

While a propaganda of the North was that the South’s attempt to secede will break up the union and make the U.S vulnerable, another was that the South’s long slave trading of Blacks was inhumane and had to be stopped. It was on the back of abolishing the war and freeing up the enslaved which gingered many Blacks to fight alongside Union soldiers against the Confederates soldiers of the south but soon after victory, the Union troops showed they didn’t care about the well being of blacks rather to contain the economic advantage of the South made possible by the hard work of enslaved blacks.

Union soldiers unhappy with arce swell in the population of Natchez from 10,000 to 120,000 by freed Blacks recaptured free males and forced them into the labour camps while the women and children were locked behind the concrete walls of the encampment and starved. Within a year, 20,000 freed slaves were killed in the concentration camp.

But what caused such rapid deaths?

The Union Army forbade the removal of dead bodies, instructing them to “bury their dead where they fell.”

Availability of Food and water is key for human survival but at the encampment alias ‘Devils Punchbowl’ lacked fresh food and water and soon enough disease and starvation will combine to claim loved ones rapidly and in astounding numbers.

For southern plantation workers who endured brutal conditions to be so overwhelmed with their Natchez experience to plead with their white guards to let them return to the plantations, underlined the atrocious living conditions.

Aside thousands of men, women, and children perishing because of exhaustion and starvation, there were also disease outbreaks chiefly smallpox.

A Brief History of u.s. (united snakes) Concentration Camps

A Brief History of US Concentration Camps
A Brief History of US Concentration Camps

There is no doubt that concentration camps are in operation on US soil once again.

The Union Army re-captured freed slaves throughout the South and pressed them into hard labor in disease-ridden ‘contraband camps.’”

concentration camp (noun): a place in which large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities, sometimes to provide forced labor or to await mass execution.

– Oxford English Dictionary

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has ignited a firestorm of criticism, from both the left and the right as well as the mainstream media, for calling US immigrant detention centers “concentration camps.” To her credit, Ocasio-Cortez has refused to back down, citing academic experts and blasting the Trump administration for forcibly holding undocumented migrants “where they are brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.” She also cited history. “The US ran concentration camps before, when we rounded up Japanese people during World War II,” she tweeted. “It is such a shameful history that we largely ignore it. These camps occur throughout history.” Indeed they do. What follows is an overview of US civilian concentration camps through the centuries. Prisoner-of-war camps, as horrific as they have been, have been excluded due to their legal status under the Geneva Conventions, and for brevity’s sake.

Trail of Tears 

Half a century before President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830, a young Virginia governor named Thomas Jefferson embraced genocide and ethnic cleansing as solutions to what would later be called the “Indian problem.” In 1780 Jefferson wrote that “if we are to wage a campaign against these Indians, the end proposed should be their extermination, or their removal beyond the lakes of the Illinois River.” However, it wasn’t until Jackson that “emigration depots” were introduced as an integral part of official US Indian removal policy. Tens of thousands of Cherokee, Muscogee, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Ponca, Winnebago and other indigenous peoples were forced from their homes at gunpoint and marched to prison camps in Alabama and Tennessee. Overcrowding and a lack of sanitation led to outbreaks of measles, cholera, whooping cough, dysentery and typhus, while insufficient food and water, along with exposure to the elements, caused tremendous death and suffering.

Thousands of men, women and children died of cold, hunger and illness in camps and during death marches, including the infamous Trail of Tears, of hundreds and sometimes even a thousand miles (1,600 km). This genocidal relocation was pursued, Jackson explained, as the “benevolent policy” of the US government, and because Native Americans “have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits nor the desire of improvement” required to live in peace and freedom. “Established in the midst of a… superior race, and without appreciating the causes of their inferiority… they must necessarily yield to the force of circumstances and long disappear,” the man who Donald Trump has called his favorite president said in his 1833 State of the Union address.

The Long Walk 

Decades later, when the Sioux and other indigenous people resisted white invasion and theft of their lands, Minnesota governor Alexander Ramsey responded with yet another call for genocide and ethnic cleansing. “The Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state,” he declared in 1862, offering a bounty of $200 — over $5,000 in today’s money — for the scalp of each fleeing or resisting Indian. Around 1,700 Dakota women, children and elderly were force-marched into a concentration camp built on a sacred spiritual site. Many didn’t make it there. According to Mendota Dakota Tribal Chair Jim Anderson, “during that march a lot of our relatives died. They were killed by settlers; when they went through the small towns, babies were taken out of mothers arms and killed and women… were shot or bayoneted.” Those who survived faced winter storms, diseases and hunger. Many did not make it through the winter.

Two years later, Civil War general and notorious Indian killer James Henry Carleton forced 10,000 Navajo people to march 300 miles (480 km) in the dead of winter from their homeland in the Four Corners region to a concentration camp at Fort Sumner, New Mexico. This followed a scorched earth campaign in which famed frontiersman Kit Carson tried to starve the life out of the Navajo, hundreds of whom died or were enslaved by white settlers and rival tribes during what became known as The Long Walk. Those who survived the death march to Fort Sumner faced starvation, lack of wood for heating and cooking during the bitterly cold winters and ravaging diseases. Daily depredations included a ban on prayers, spiritual ceremonies and songs. It is estimated that some 1,500 people died while interned at Fort Sumner, many of them infants and children.


At about the same time, the Union Army was re-capturing freed slaves throughout the South and pressing them into hard labor in disease-ridden “contraband camps,” as escaped and freed slaves were considered captured enemy property. “There is much sickness, suffering and destitution,” wrote James E. Yeatman of the Western Sanitary Commission after visiting one such camp near Natchez, Mississippi in 1863. “There was not one house that I visited where death had not entered… Seventy-five had died in a single day… some had returned to their masters on account of their suffering.” At one camp in Young’s Point, Louisiana, Yeatman reported “frightful sickness and death,” with 30-50 people dying each day from disease and starvation. One camp near Natchez, Mississippi held as many as 4,000 black refugees in the summer of 1863; by fall 2,000 had already perished, most of them children infected with smallpox and measles.

‘Benevolent Assimilation’ in the ‘Suburbs of Hell’ 

With indigenous peoples no longer standing in the way of its “manifest destiny,” the US set its sights on becoming a first-rate imperial power through overseas conquest and expansion. After overthrowing Hawaii’s monarchy and annexing its islands, war was waged against Spain, resulting in the capture of the first US colonies in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. When Filipinos resisted, US commanders responded with tremendous cruelty. Echoing Andrew Jackson, President William McKinley called this the “benevolent assimilation” of the Philippines into the burgeoning US empire.

As General “Hell-Roaring” Jake Smith ordered his troops to “kill everyone over 10” in Samar, future president William Howard Taft, the US colonial administrator of the archipelago, instituted a “pacification” campaign that combined the counterinsurgency tactics of torture and summary execution with deportation and imprisonment in concentration camps, or reconcentrados, that one commandant referred to as the  “suburbs of hell.” General J. Franklin Bell, looking forward to his new post as warden of the notorious Batangas reconcentrado, declared that “all consideration and regard for the inhabitants of this place cease from the day I become commander.”

He meant it. In December 1901 Bell gave the people of Batangas two weeks to leave their homes and report to the camp; everything they left behind — their homes, farms, livestock, food stores and tools — was stolen or destroyed by US troops. People who refused to report to the camp were shot, as were random prisoners whenever insurgents killed an American. Conditions were beyond horrific in many reconcentrados. Hunger, disease and torture, which included waterboarding, were rampant. In some camps, as many as 20 percent of internees died. In order to save food, 1,300 Batangas prisoners were forced to dig mass graves before being gunned down 20 at a time and buried in them. “To keep them prisoners would necessitate the placing of [US] soldiers on short rations,” one soldier explained. “There was nothing to do but kill them.”

Concentration Camps for US Citizens

During both world wars, thousands of German nationals, German-Americans and Germans from Latin American nations were imprisoned in concentration camps across the United States. However, their race and relatively high level of assimilation saved most German-Americans from internment, and conditions were much better than they had been in previous US camps. Japanese-Americans weren’t so lucky. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, under which all people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast were rounded up and imprisoned in dozens of civilian assembly centers (where they were often forced to sleep in crowded, manure-covered horse stables), relocation centers, military bases, and “citizen isolation centers” — harsh desert prison camps where “problem inmates,” including those who refused to pledge allegiance to the United States, were jailed. Conditions varied by camp, but overcrowding, lack of indoor plumbing, fuel shortages and food rationing were common. Many of the camps were located in remote, scorpion- and snake-infested deserts.

Incredibly, thousands of Japanese-Americans volunteered to fight for the country that was imprisoning them for nothing more than their ethnicity. These were some of the most highly-decorated US troops in the war. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court sided with the government in three cases brought by Japanese-Americans challenging the constitutionality of their detention, and an American public caught in the grip of racist “yellow peril” hysteria acquiesced to the blatantly unconstitutional mass imprisonment. Internment would last the duration of the war, sometimes longer, with many detainees discovering their homes, businesses and property were stolen or destroyed when they were finally released. President Ronald Reagan would formally apologize and sign off on $20,000 reparation payments to former internees in 1988.

In addition to Japanese and some Germans, a smaller number of Italians and Italian-Americans were also imprisoned during World War II. So were the indigenous Aleuts of Alaska, who were forcibly evacuated before their villages were burned to the ground to prevent any invading Japanese forces from using them. Nearly 900 Aleuts were imprisoned in abandoned factories and other derelict facilities without plumbing, electricity or toilets; decent food, potable water and warm winter clothing were in short supply. Nearly 10 percent of the detainees died in the camps. Others were enslaved and forced to hunt fur seals.

During the early years of the Cold War, Congress passed the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 over President Harry Truman’s veto, which led to the construction of six concentration camps that were meant to hold communists, peace activists, civil rights leaders and others deemed a threat in the event the government declared a state of emergency. The act was upheld by the Supreme Court during the McCarthy/Red Scare years but in the 1960s the high court ruled  that provisions requiring communists to register with the government and banning them from obtaining passports or government employment were unconstitutional. The camps, which were never used, were closed by the end of the decade.

From Japan to Vietnam 

In a little-known atrocity, at least 3,000 Okinawans died from malaria and other diseases in camps set up by US troops after they conquered the Japanese islands during fierce fighting in 1945. During and after the war, Okinawans’ land and homes were seized at gunpoint and their houses and farms were bulldozed or burned to the ground to make way for dozens of US military bases. Some 300,000 civilians were forced into these camps; survivor Kenichiro Miyazato later recalled how “too many people died, so the bodies had to be buried in a single mass grave.”

For sheer scale, no US concentration camp regime could match the Strategic Hamlet Program. In 1961 President John F. Kennedy approved the forcible relocation, often at gunpoint, of 8.5 million South Vietnamese peasants into over 7,000 fortified camps surrounded by barbed wire, minefields and armed guards. This was done to starve the growing Viet Cong insurgency of food, shelter and new recruits. However, few hearts and minds were won and many were indeed lost as US and South Vietnamese troops burned people’s homes before their very eyes before marching them away from their land, and with it their deepest spiritual bonds with their revered ancestors.

War on Terrorists and Migrants 

Although prisoner of war camps are not included in this survey of US concentration camps, the open-ended global war against terrorism started by the George W. Bush administration after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States has seen a blurring of lines between combatant and civilian detention. According to Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff for Bush-era secretary of state Colin Powell, most of the men and boys held at the Guantánamo Bay military prison were innocent but held for political reasons or in an attempt to glean a “mosaic” of intelligence. Innocent civilians were also held in military prisons, some of them secret, in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Many detainees were tortured and died in US custody. Some of these men have been held without charge or trial for as many as 17 years, while some deemed too innocent to charge remain imprisoned at GITMO despite being cleared for release for many years.

Now it’s the migrants’ turn. And despite the howling protestations of those who commit or justify the crime of tearing infants and children from their parents’ arms and imprisoning them in freezing cages that Trump officials have euphemistically compared to “summer camp,” there is no doubt that concentration camps are in operation on US soil once again. The Trump administration’s attempt to portray child imprisonment as something much happier instantly recalls World War II propaganda films showing content Japanese-Americans benefiting from life behind barbed wire. Actor George Takei, who was interned with his family for the duration of the war, was anything but content. “I know what concentration camps are,” he tweeted amid the current controversy. “I was inside two of them. In America. And yes, we are operating such camps again.”

Takei noted one big difference between then and now: “At least during the internment of Japanese-Americans, I and other children were not stripped from our parents,” he wrote, adding that “‘at least during the internment’ are words I thought I’d never utter.”

source: A Brief History of US Concentration Camps

Freedom Rider: U.S. Prisons are Concentration Camps

Freedom Rider: U.S. Prisons are Concentration Camps

by Margaret Kimberley

There were already thousands of concentration camps in the United States before Donald Trump began his reign of terror over asylum seekers. They are called prisons.

“All of the horrors meted out to Hondurans fleeing the government imposed upon them by the United States are already experienced by the two million people living behind bars.”

Most Americans are loathe to condemn their own country. Even when they do they refuse to acknowledge its vast history of criminality and prefer to behave as if the latest outrage is an outlier event.

The disgraceful treatment meted out to asylum seekers at the southern border must be condemned unequivocally. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other House members performed their due diligence when they witnessed the horrible conditions first hand.

But Ocasio-Cortez is also the source of confusion on the subject. Her assessment that these facilities can be called concentration camps created consternation and debate. That reaction isn’t surprising considering that Americans are in a permanent state of denial about their nation. Those very loaded words are commonly associated with Nazi Germany, the country we are told was the ultimate embodiment of evil. It is difficult for most people to connect the country they think of as being good and virtuous with Hitler’s atrocities.

“Americans are in a permanent state of denial about their nation.”

The discussion should not revolve around the question of whether or not the term concentration camp applies in this situation. There is a larger problem in assuming that an entirely new condition has suddenly been established when that is not the case.

There were already thousands of concentration camps in the United States before Donald Trump began his reign of terror over asylum seekers. These concentration camps are usually referred to as prisons.

More than two million people are locked up for serious crimes but more often for more minor cases that should be adjudicated otherwise. There are people serving life sentences for non-violent offenses under the notorious “three strikes” sentencing laws. A black woman in Alabama was recently indicted after she was the victim of a shooting which caused her to miscarry.

That kind of  draconian sentencing and punishment for its own sake is the hallmark of an authoritarian regime that is full of concentration camps. Juveniles are tried as adults, pregnant women given birth in shackles, and prisoners work for a pittance or are even charged for their incarceration. Private corporations run prisons and turn a profit. Other companies make money by selling products made by prisoners. Call centers are staffed by inmates and everything from clothing to furniture ought to be labeled Made in Prison.

“Juveniles are tried as adults, pregnant women given birth in shackles, and prisoners work for a pittance.”

There is nothing new going on at the border. All of the horrors meted out to Hondurans fleeing the government imposed upon them by the United States are already experienced by the two million people living behind bars.

The term concentration camp could have been used long before in describing the world’s worst prison state. Unfortunately even liberals succumb to the urge to defend their country. The use of nonsensical expressions such as, “This is not who we are,” are created by wishful thinking and are an effort to disappear a very ugly history.

The country that began with the attempt to exterminate the indigenous population and continued with the enslavement of millions of people was obviously the site of many concentration camps. Native Americans were held in them before being sent far from their homes. Slave markets and plantations were concentration camps as were the chain gangs which followed. The internment of Japanes Americans fits the same description.

That sordid history culminates in the mass incarceration state which disproportionately impacts black people. The group represented by a mere 13% of the total population comprises half of those caught behind bars. It is important to speak truthfully about this country, even if tender sensibilities are hurt in the process.

“Slave markets and plantations were concentration camps as were the chain gangs which followed.”

The days of pretending that evil deeds are anomalous must end. The rampant injustices in this country must be called out and there is no better place to start than with the prison state. It is commendable that workers at the Wayfair corporation protested the sale of furniture to detention centers. Yet there is no similar action directed towards the rest of the prison industrial complex.

Anti-black racism is so firmly entrenched in the system and in the national psyche that it continues to be unaddressed even by those who claim non-racist credentials. Every other group in need of redress may become the topic of national discourse while the elephant in the room is unnoticed.

If concerned people want to call the migrant detention centers concentration camps they should do so. They shouldn’t forget that this institution is not a new one. It is as they saying goes, as American as apple pie.


source: Freedom Rider: U.S. Prisons are Concentration Camps 

Amerikan Crime: #89 120,000 People of Japanese Descent Put in U.S. Concentration Camps During World War 2

Editors note: February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 signed by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, which led to the rounding up and imprisonment in concentration camps of 120,000 people of Japanese descent during World War 2. This is one of the major crimes of the U.S. rulers—and this history is very relevant today, when the fascist Trump-Pence regime is ramping up extreme repression against Muslims, Mexican immigrants, and other sections of the people. In this light, we are reposting this piece from the American Crime series.

People of Japnese descent lined up at a train that will take them to the concentration camp at Gila River, Ariz., 1942.
People of Japanese descent lined up to be taken to the concentration camp at Gila River, Ariz., 1942. (Photo: Clem Albers/National Archives)


THE CRIME: During World War 2, 120,000 people of Japanese descent, nearly the entire Japanese population living in the continental U.S., were rounded up and imprisoned in concentration camps throughout the western states within months of Japan’s December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. naval base in Hawai‘i. Sixty-two percent of those imprisoned were U.S. citizens; and more than half were children. They were never charged with a crime; never given a hearing; but summarily rounded up and held for more than two years in remote locations, solely on the basis of their nationality.

When people were rounded up, they could only take what they could carry and people were forced to quickly sell almost all of their possessions. Before the war, Japanese Americans farmed 40 percent of the total acreage in California. Their land—as well as $40 million of crops in the ground and over $100 million in investments—was virtually stolen from them when they were forced to sell very cheaply. And because of the evacuation, people lost more than $4 million in businesses—mostly small businesses.

Any resistance was quickly dealt with. When three men, Minoru Yasui in Oregon, Fred Korematsu in California, and Gordon Hirabayashi in Washington state—refused to report for evacuation and insisted the orders were unconstitutional, they were arrested, convicted, and sent to prison. This was later upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on the basis that the evacuation was based on military necessity.

Part of a contingent of 664 people of Japanese descent, the first to be removed from San Francisco, April 16, 1942.
Some of a group of 664 people of Japanese descent, the first to be removed from San Francisco, April 16, 1942. (Photo: Dorothea Lange/National Archives)


Families found themselves surrounded by soldiers with rifles with bayonets; packed into filthy “assembly centers” where animals had been kept, with no beds. They were put on trains, not knowing where they were going—taken to 10 internment camps in desolate, desert areas. The camps were surrounded by barbed wire with guard towers, and patrolled by soldiers armed with rifles and bayonets. Guards had orders to shoot anyone trying to leave without a pass or refusing orders to halt. After rebellions in some of the camps, “troublemakers” were rounded up and put in one maximum security camp at Tule Lake, where tear gas was used against continuing resistance.

At the same time, over 2,000 people of Japanese descent living in 13 Latin American countries, 80 percent of them from Peru, were taken to Panama, and eventually to the U.S. camps. Five hundred or more of these Latin American prisoners were traded by the U.S. in exchange for prisoners of war (POWs) being held by Japan.

There were an additional 150,000 people of Japanese ancestry living in Hawai‘i —nearly a third of the entire population of the islands. Fearful of the economic and political impact of imprisoning so many professionals, small businesspeople, religious leaders, and agricultural workers, the government imprisoned only 2,000 of them. But all of Hawai’i was placed under martial law for the duration of World War 2.

THE CRIMINALS: President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, allowing regional military commanders to designate “military areas” from which any or all persons were excluded. One month before Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt received a report saying Japanese in the U.S. did not pose any security danger. But this did not stop the U.S. from using Executive Order 9066 to “exclude all people of Japanese ancestry” from living anywhere on the West Coast—all of California, and large parts of Washington, Oregon, and Arizona.

The FBI was able to act quickly because the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) had already compiled lists identifying key community leaders. By 1939, lists of “dangerous” citizens and non-citizens were being compiled by the FBI, special intelligence agencies of the Justice Department, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and the army’s Military Intelligence Division. The U.S. Census Bureau was forced to admit decades later that it had provided information on people living in the U.S. of Japanese ancestry

This enabled the FBI to arrest more than 1,200 Japanese immigrant men within hours of the Pearl Harbor attack—targeted as “potential threats to national security.” These were in fact community leaders, Buddhist priests, Japanese language teachers, and others who might be able to mobilize an outcry and political resistance to these roundups.

Major U.S. newspapers played a crucial role in creating the conditions and setting the stage for targeting U.S. citizens and children as well as immigrants by whipping up ugly, racist attacks on anyone of Japanese descent. The Los Angeles Times ran the following:

A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched. So, a Japanese American born of Japanese parents, nurtured upon Japanese traditions, living in a transplanted Japanese atmosphere… grows up to be a Japanese, and not an American… Thus, while it might cause injustice to a few to treat them all as potential enemies, I cannot escape the conclusions… that such treatment… should be accorded to each and all of them while we are at war with their race.

THE ALIBI: The excuse for these crimes against humanity was the alleged “danger” to the country posed by these “enemy aliens.” The military’s reach included everyone who was at least one-sixteenth “Japanese”—the equivalent of having one Japanese great grandparent. And this was done despite the conclusion based on numerous military, FBI, and CIA investigations of the Japanese population in the U.S. conducted before and after Pearl Harbor—that the “Japanese problem” was non-existent.

THE ACTUAL MOTIVE: This massive crime against a whole people inside the U.S., with ominous implications, played an important role in cohering the country around the “necessity” to support a war of worldwide slaughter—including the massive U.S. war crimes committed against hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians when the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For those who rule this country, World War 2 was waged in the interests of U.S. capitalism-imperialism—to defend and expand its control and domination of whole areas of the world, including Asia, Southeast Asia, North Africa, and more against their imperialist rivals—Germany, Italy, and Japan.

REPEAT OFFENDERS: Long before the Japanese internment, the U.S. forced all the surviving Native American tribes into concentration camps—called “reservations.” This was the final stage in the genocidal destruction of the great majority of Native Americans, who had once numbered in the millions on the continent, and the theft of their lands across the country in the name of “Manifest Destiny.” The survivors were forced to find a way to survive and make a living in some of the most desolate parts of the country.

When it came time to find places to imprison over 100,000 Japanese descendants, the great majority were relocated to Native American reservations in the most remote, desolate areas of seven Western states.

Today the same racist justifications used against people of Japanese descent in the U.S. are being put out against immigrants from Mexico, Central and Latin America, and against any Muslims. And Donald Trump—one of two candidates to be president of the United States—is whipping up people with the same kind of arguments used to justify the American Crime of U.S. concentration camps during World War 2.

Comrade Malik in Texas forges strong solidarity with the POW Movement in North Carolina

A major goal of prison activists in North Carolina in recent years is to stop the funneling of youth under 18 into adult prisons, where they are more likely to be raped and to commit suicide.

Time for all Amerika’s prisoners to rise up

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

“The essence of slavery was coercion of the most primitive kind. The relationships between master and slave were characterized by mutual distrust, fear, hatred and undisguised force. All slaves, whether the proverbial Uncle Toms or Nat Turners, recognized that production could not take place without the daily use of physical or psychological violence.” – Manning Marable, “How Capitalism Under-Developed Black America” (Haymarket Books)

Revolutionary greetings, Comrades! Now, y’all see I always be finding some of the livest quotes to share with y’all as we begin to embark on the next chapter of our struggle to throw off the yoke of modern day prison slavery from around our damn necks. As that brother said in the movie “Amistad” – “We want free!”

The 86th legislative session ended in the state of Texas, and these folks in the state Senate didn’t do a damn thing to address the conditions down here in these slave kamps and gulags run by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

We down here still dealing with this fraud ass “good time” and “work time credit” scam. We still workin’ for free and gettin’ treated like some modern day Kunta Kintes and Kizzee. At 1east Kunta had sense enough to fight back.

You know what, I think a lot of sisters and brothers down here with me are finally tired. I think we may be ready, y’all, and what better time to stand up than on Oct. 1, 2019, when prisoners from all over the United States will be joining our comrades in North Carolina who are with the Prisoners of the World Movement?

Today I am making an official call to all prisoners in all states across the U.S. to get it on they mind! Y’all already know that for us who are trapped in the numerous prison systems across the U.S. that First Chance Act didn’t do a damn thang for us.

In fact, there really ain’t a lot of people who are going to really benefit. All of them are in federal custody, and if you really analyze the financial backing of the law, it comes up lacking horribly. I guess Donald Trump and his son-in-law don’t think we can read! They talked all that big talk and didn’t get enough funds to support all that rappin’.

In my opinion, it was a propaganda move to pacify the growing number of citizens who are sick and tired of the love affair America has had with targeting and locking up the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations.

I ain’t going to rap y’all to death. Let’s look at the platform of our comrades in North Cackalacky. I know some of y’all have seen this already, but let’s look at their 10 demands – I think you’ll agree they are worth standing up for.

Prisoners of the World Movem ent Demands

1) Offer parole opportunities to all prisoners, even lifers who demonstrate rehabilitation

2) End long term solitary confinement and administrative fees for rule violations

3) End 85 percent mandatory minimum laws

4) End JPay practices that only allow persons on the prisoner’s visitors list to send the prisoner money

5) Provide better food, health care and dental care

6) Pay fair wages for prisoner slave labor

7) End unreasonable mail censorship (hell yeah to that!)

8) Amend the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as Article 1, Section 17, of the North Carolina Constitution, to remove the slavery clause

9) End SRG (Security Risk Group) rules that prohibit gang members from visiting with their wives, fiancés and children

10) Provide more meaningful job opportunities, rehabilitation and education

Well, last year it was the comrades in South Carolina who made the call. This year, North Carolina and Petey Pablo are making the call.

Y’all know what it is – North Carolina! Rise up! From the Bay Area to Texas! From Georgia to VA! From New York to Washington State and all those in between!

It s time, y’all! Every year this thang keep getting’ bigger and bigger. Last year we had prisoners from 17 different states stand up. All I can say is, “Come on, Texas! It’s time to represent!”

I’m going to end this with a shout out to Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Van Jones with Reform Alliance! And of course I must send out mad respect to the big homey J. Prince, and all the go-getters and change-makers at #MOBTIES.

But I would be wrong as hell not to pay my mad respects to Brooklyn, the Bronx, Harlem, Strong Island. Yeah, y’all! I got to give it up to the homey Hocus45, French Montana, Cardi-B. Unity and solidarity – we up in here inside the belly of the beast. We need y’all, all of y’all to come check on us. Support our movement!

Dare to struggle, dare to win, all power to the people!

RIP Nipsey Hussle! Your legacy and spirit will be kept alive.

Keith “Malik” Washington is co-founder and chief spokesperson for the End Prison Slavery in Texas Movement, a proud member of the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee, an activist in the Fight Toxic Prisons campaign and deputy chairman of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party Prison Chapter. Read Malik’s work at Send our brother some love and light: Keith “Malik” Washington, 1487958, McConnell Unit, 3100 S. Emily Dr., Beeville TX 78103