Angola 3 Newsletter:  March 27, 2011   

International Coalition to Free the Angola 3

...Out like a lamb....In like a LION....


A3 roars into spring with congressional briefings, screenings, more interviews and a couple of darn good rulings under our belts.... 

April 6 Congressional Briefing on "The Abuses of Solitary Confinement in the Criminal Justice System"

After years of legislative advocacy that resulted in significant support of the plight of the Angola 3 in DC, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) have joined together to jointly sponsor a Congressional Briefing on "The Abuses of Solitary Confinement in the Criminal Justice System" scheduled for Wednesday, April 6th at 3:30pm in the Rayburn House Office Building Room 2226, followed by a screening of the A3 documentary "In the Land of the Free," which features both Rep. Conyers and Rep. Richmond (download the event flyer here).

The Briefing panel will include experts on solitary from all over the country, including A3's own Robert King, and a second panel discussion following the film will include Rep. Richmond, Robert King, and Carine Williams, a member of both the criminal and civil A3 Legal teams. The event will be moderated by Tory Pegram, Campaign Coordinator for the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3, and is open to the public.

We encourage you to both consider attending and contacting your Congressional Members and urging their official involvement in the event to help end abuses of solitary confinement in the US.

In addition to speaking out about the injustices in the case for years, Rep. John Conyers and then Chair of the Louisiana Judiciary Committee, now Congressional Rep. Cedric Richmond, led a Congressional delegation to visit Herman and Albert in Angola in 2008. Their visit resulted in an unprecedented 8 month move of both men from solitary to a dorm. Although both Herman and Albert were unceremoniously transferred back to solitary only 8 months later without explanation or reason, both officials have remained involved in efforts to expose the Constitutional abuses rampant in their cases.
"In the Land of the Free..." Showing at Human Rights Watch Film Festival in San Francisco on March 31  

"In the Land of the Free" continues to be prominently featured at the many Human Rights Watch film festivals around the world. In San Francisco, on March 31, the 4 PM screening is at the Presentation Theater, 2350 Turk Boulevard. The 7:30 PM screening is at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street (buy tickets here). Robert King, will be speaking at both events, and at the 4 PM event he will be joined by Richard Brown and William Crossman. Read more about the March 31 screenings here


The upcoming film festival was well-reviewed by The SF Chronicle, and the wide range of press coverage of the film also includes articles by The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Film Pilgrim, Indymedia, and The Telegraph.

Robert King with the late Anita Roddick, to whom the film is dedicated.

"In the Land of the Free" Debuts in New Orleans on April 14, Featuring Robert King

We'd like to invite you to be our special guest at the New Orleans debut of "In the Land of the Free", at Warren Easton High School Auditorium at 7pm on Thursday, April 14th as a part of Patois: The New Orleans International Human Rights Film Festival. Robert King and Emily Maw, the Director of the New Orleans Innocence Project will lead a Q&A following the event.


Get your free tickets now! Just send your name and email to  and we will be happy to put your name on the will call list at the door.  If you have any guests you'd like to bring, just send their names along too and we'll do our best to accommodate them.

A3 Events in New Orleans Will Mark 39 Years of Solitary Confinement

Join us at the RAE Building to mark the 39th year anniversary of Herman and Albert's unjust isolation in solitary confinement. 39 people will spend one hour each in a 6x9 ft replica cell. Our program of events over the weekend will also include:


-  Screenings of documentaries In the Land of the Free and The Farm, followed by panels of former Black Panthers, artists and legal experts.


-  A display of arts & crafts from Angola inmates, and The House That Herman Built by Jackie Sumell and Herman Wallace


- Undoing Racism workshop, round-table discussions, educational workshops with local high school students and a teach-in.


- Theatrical excerpts from Angola 3, The Play written by Parnell Herbert, and Voices performances by Louisiana exonerees.


- Press conference and vigil at dusk.


- A book-signing by Robert King.


- Musical entertainment by local performers.


For more info, download the flyer here, and visit:

Albert Woodfox's Birthday Celebrated at Southeastern Louisiana University

As detailed by the Why Am I Not Surprised? blog, on February 19, students and faculty in the Sociology Club at Southeastern Louisiana University organized a celebration of Albert Woodfox's birthday that included a screening of the new A3 documentary "In The Land of the Free."

The blog reports:
"We set the party for 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday after his birthday and, unlike previous events, somewhere in the vicinity of seventy people showed up -- Black, White, old, young, men, women, student and city-folk, some coming all the way from New Orleans. In a festive mood, they went through two large decorated cakes like marauding ants at a picnic, scooping up hundreds of items of informational material on their way back to their seats where they settled in to watch the film."

Read the full story here. 

Robert King Interviewed on Portuguese TV: "Entrevista a Black Panthers"

Robert King recently toured Portugal alongside Black Panther artist Emory Douglas and Billy X Jennings of It's About Time. As archived by It's About Time, this trio of Black Panthers appeared at several events (1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and were featured in an article entitled, "Quando os Panteras Negras pegaram em armas pela igualdade." 


They were also interviewed by a local television station. While the introduction is in Portuguese, the interview itself is in English with Portuguese subtitles, so we encourage A3 supporters to check it out, even if they don't understand Portuguese.  Watch the video here

Livia Firth Shows Her Support For the Angola 3

Livia Firth, wife of the acclaimed British actor Colin Firth, has been publicly sporting her "I Am Herman Wallace" t-shirt, including this photo of her with Colin, taken at the recent birthday party event. (with more photos in this second article).

Not to worry, Livia was also been seen wearing her "I Am Albert Woodfox" t-shirt as well, during London Fashion Week, as was documented with several photos by OK Magazine.

Thanks for the support, Livia!

Jordan Flaherty Continues Exposing Lousiana's Criminal (In)Justice System 

Jordan Flaherty, author of the book, Floodlines, previously interviewed by Angola 3 News, has continued to use his journalistic work to shine a light on those stories of injustice in LA that the corporate media usually ignores or misrepresents.  


In his most recent article, entitled Race and Politics in a Rural Louisiana Town Attract National Attention, Flaherty writes about Waterproof, LA mayor Bobby Higginbotham, "who has been held without bail since May of 2010. Advocates say the town's mayor and police chief, both African American, were targeted by an entrenched white power structure, including a Parish Sheriff and District Attorney, who were threatened by newly empowered Black political power in the town and are seeking to use the court system to undo an election."


Flaherty's March 17 article, entitled US Justice Department Report Finds Pattern of Discrimination by New Orleans Police Department, focuses largely on Louisiana's outrageous "Crime Against Nature" law used to criminalize gay, lesbian, and transgendered residents of New Orleans. Citing this law and other evidence of police discrimination, the Justice Department concluded that there is "reasonable cause to believe that NOPD practices lead to discriminatory treatment of LGBT individuals."




Dancing With Dynamite

--An interview with author Ben Dangl  

Benjamin Dangl, author of the new book Dancing With Dynamite (AK Press), was video-interviewed by Angola 3 News this month while touring with his book in California.

US activists have a lot to learn from Latin America. In our interview Dangl argues that "because South American social movements have been so successful in the past decade, it is important to learn and understand what's been successful and to apply those strategies and tactics here, where we are facing very similar challenges." Since the political climate in the US today is different from Latin America in many ways, Dangl argues that "these strategies and tactics shouldn't just be taken and applied directly to our communities, but should instead be considered and made useful in our own context and realities."  


Watch the full interview here.

War, Prisons, and Torture in the US & UK 
--An interview with Richard Haley


Last December, on Human Rights Day, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC) initiated a "Stop Isolation" campaign with an online statement arguing that solitary confinement is a form of torture that must be abolished. The petition states that "We call upon the countries of the world to enact legislation that prohibits long-term prisoner isolation, and prohibits the transfer of prisoners to countries where they would be at risk of such treatment. Dungeons should not be tolerated in the 21st century."


Richard Haley, the current Chair of SACC, explained the context of the petition in his interview with Angola 3 News: "We launched 'Stop Isolation' because the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is considering the appeals of four British citizens--Babar Ahmad, Syed Tahla Ahsan, Haroon Rashid Aswat, and Abu Hamza--against extradition to the US to face terrorism charges. The court is considering whether the length of the sentences the men may face and the risk of long-term isolation at ADX Florence (for three of the men) would breach their right under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights not to 'be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.' The court's long-delayed judgment is expected in the next few months. It will be a landmark in the development of human rights law."


Read the full interview here. 


Dylcia and Cisco on Panthers and Independistas

Angola 3 News recently collaborated with our good friend, Kiilu Nyasha, who is the host of the Freedom is a Constant Struggle television show. We filmed the show, while Kiilu interviewed Dylcia Pagan and Cisco Torres (shown in the above photo with Kiilu).  You can watch the show here.


Dylcia Pagan is a Puerto Rican freedom fighter and Independista, who spent nearly 20 years in Federal prisons on charges of seditious conspiracy for her role in the underground wing of the Puerto Rican independence movement.One of 11 Puerto Rican political prisoners granted clemency in 1999 by President Clinton, she was paroled to Puerto Rico, where she has continued to struggle against U.S. colonialism nonviolently.


Francisco Torres (Cisco), 58, of New York City, was born in Puerto Rico and raised in New York City. He is a Vietnam Veteran who fought for the grievances of Black and Latino soldiers upon his return to the states. A former Black Panther, he has been a community activist since his discharge from the military in 1969. Cisco continues to work with troubled youth in his Queens community.


Cisco is the last of the San Francisco Eight to still be facing charges. As Cisco discusses in this interview, he had an evidentiary hearing scheduled for March 2, 2011. However, three days after the interview, on February 28, this hearing was canceled. For the latest developments in the case and what you can do to help, please go to

Albert & Herman


Herman Wallace
CCR - D - #11
EHCC Po Box 174
St Gabriel LA 70776

Albert Woodfox


David Wade Correctional Center
N1 A3

670 Bell Hill Rd.
Homer, LA 71040