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The People’s War – Episode 20: Black August and the struggle to free political prisoners

More than 1.5 million African people are locked up in prison or jail in the U.S.,  victims of a colonial system where they are the targets of profiling, discriminatory prosecutions and unfair sentencing.

A number of them are political prisoners who have spent most of their adult lives behind bars after serving as heroes in the Black Power movement of the 1960s.

Today, African prisoners face an additional threat – COVID-19. Demands are growing for the immediate release of prisoners across the U.S.

In this episode we talk with:

  • Ralph Poynter, founder of the Teachers Freedom Party Caucus of the United Federation of Teachers, New York City. He is a co-founder of the New Abolitionist Movement and served as chair of the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee in which he fought for the release of political prisoner and his late wife Lynne Stewart, a lawyer who defended African and Arab activists and was incarcerated during the last years of her life, as part of the U.S. counterinsurgency program.
  • Belinda Parker-Brown, founder of Louisiana United International, Inc., member of the Black is Back Coalition for Peace, Justice and Reparations, and through her affiliation with The Jericho Movement, works to free African political prisoners deemed to be prisoners of war.
  • Dr. Zena D. Crenshaw, Assistant Chief of Operations for Louisiana United International, Inc., legal scholar and human rights activist.