Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art of Kevin "Rashid" Johnson featuring exchanges with an Outlaw

This is the latest book published by Kersplebedeb, and i am pleased to say copies have now arrived, and are ready to ship out!
Follow the author's odyssey from lumpen drug dealer to prisoner, to revolutionary New Afrikan, a teacher and mentor, one of a new generation rising of prison intellectuals. This book consists primarily of letters between Rashid and Outlaw, another revolutionary New Afrikan prisoner, smuggled between the segregation wing and general population over a period of months. These comrades educate themselves - and us as well - on Marxism and Maoism, the Five-Percenters, Dialectical Materialism, Dead Prez, Capitalism, Racism, Imperialism, Class Struggle, Revolutionary Nationalism, New Afrikan Independence, Psychology, and a host of other subjects, as they grapple with how to promote revolutionary consciousness in the most hostile of environments.

Rashid has been in prison for twenty years - the past eighteen of which in segregation (solitary confinement). Shortly after this correspondence between himself and Outlaw, he and his comrade Shaka Sankofa Zulu founded the New Afrikan Black Panther Party–Prison Chapter. The NABPP-PC has since developed branches in various prisons across the u$ empire and has its own newsletter, Right On!

A number of Rashid's essays written as Minister of Defense of the NABPP-PC are also included in this book.

For more about Rashid, including links to his writings available online, please visit the Kersplebedeb website.

What the Comrades Say

"Kevin 'Rashid' Johnson has put together an outstanding compendium of political essays and letters that addresses many of the critical issues of today. His intra-prison correspondences with his comrade, Outlaw, is a rewarding study in the determined and ingenious maneuvers that prisoners have to go through to politically educate and organize themselves – and others around them. As a result, just reading the book itself provides one with the basic foundation of a political education."
- from the Afterword by Sundiata Acoli, New Afrikan political prisoner of war

"Your mission (should you decide to accept it) is to buy multiple copies of this book, read it carefully, and then get it into the hands of as many prisoners as possible. I am aware of no prisoner-written book more important than this one, at least not since George Jackson’s Blood In My Eye. Revolutionaries and those considering the path of progress will find Kevin “Rashid” Johnson’s Defying The Tomb an important contribution to their political development."
- Ed Mead, former political prisoner, George Jackson Brigade

"The correspondence of Rashid and Outlaw, carried on within the tenuous cracks of a supermax prison, offers the reader a compelling blend of psychological insight, political analysis, and passion for learning. Their defiance in the face of oppression is matched by their broad human solidarity. As they grapple with ideas, they also think as organizers, probing the dispositions and motivations of their fellow prisoners. Their struggle for justice is informed by a commitment to reason."
- Victor Wallis, Professor, Liberal Arts Department, Berklee College of Music

Product Details
price: $20.00
386 pages
published by Kersplebedeb in 2010
ISBN 978-1-894946-39-1

To order, all you have to do is click right here!

News and Analyses from BASICS Community News Service

BASICS is newspaper put out by some revolutionaries in Toronto, with a popular and working class orientation.  Would definitely say it's worth checking out... material from the latest issue is going up online, here's a list of some of the pieces:

Also, be sure to listen to this important discussion on Radio Basics (November 22, 2010), about Fascism and Anti-Fascism in Canada Today, including a discussion with a victim of a recent Nazi home invasion. Anti-Racist Action member Jason Devine is interviewed about the home invasion he suffered at the hands of neo-Nazis on the night of Nov 7-8, while his four children and wife were in the house. The Nazi thugs beat him and another friend with bats, hammers, and other blunt weapons. Includes a discussion of fascist and anti-fascist politics across Canada and throughout history.

The hardcopy of Issue #24 is coming out in early December. To help with community distribution, please contact them at

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Abu Ghraib Comes to Amerika: Torture Unit Under Construction at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison" by Kevin "Rashid" Johnson

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, New Afrikan Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter Minister of Defense, and author of the recent book Defying the Tomb (available from, has written an important expose of a new torture unit being constructed in Virginia's Red Onion prison.

The entire article, with footnotes, has been posted to the Kersplebedeb website, and is also available as a PDF from here.

In it, Rashid details the plans for this sensory deprivation unit, where cells are to be constructed out of steel, and prisoners will be required to hand over their bedding first thing in the morning, leaving them to sit or stand of cold steel all day long. Cells will have no access to natural light, and exercise will be in a cage, only a few hours each week, with strip searches in front of other prisoners and staff enforced both before and after.

This new torture unit is to be justified by the invented problem of prisoner violence at Red Onion. As Rashid notes, quoting a prisoner whose observations were cited in a 1999 report from Human Rights Watch to the effect that, "Inmate on inmate violence virtually does not exist [at Red Onion]. Inmate on guard violence virtually does not exist here. Guard on inmate violence is high."

Indeed, Rashid reveals how the prison authorities have been instigating white-on-black racism and violence in order to create a pretext for this new unit.

Finally, this is an important piece as it places torture at Red Onion, and at Abu Ghraib before it, in the context of post-war amerika's investment in and development of "clean torture." As readers of this blog may be aware, such techniques were not only developed within the united states, but in other countries too, for instance in West Germany, where they were used to devastating effect against political prisoners. (See: Staying Alive: Sensory Deprivation, Torture, and the Struggle Behind Bars on the germanguerilla website.)

In March of 2009 Dr. Atul Gawande wrote an extensive piece on isolation, clearly detailing the psychological and physical harm that it can inflict on people (reposted here). But despite the grave harm is inflicts, isolation is the perfect punishment for a self-styled "democracy", for in leaving no physical trace it allows people to doubt that anything really horrible is going on. As such, isolation constitutes a particularly pernicious form of torture, one which is spreading throughout the prison system as inexorably as an oil slick.

To read "Abu Ghraib Comes to Amerika: Torture Unit Under Construction at Virginia’s Red Onion State Prison" in html click here, as a PDF click here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Roger Clement Pleads Guilty in RBC Firebombing, Refuses to Rat Out

Roger Clement, one of the individuals charged with the attack on the RBC branch in Ottawa in April, has plead guilty. He remains steadfast in his refusal to provide information incriminating anyone else. Charges have been stayed against Matthew Morgan-Brown, who was initially also charged in this case.

Read more from Ottawa Movement Defense:
Tuesday November 9th, Ottawa Movement Defense

Update from Court Proceedings

In solidarity with our friends who are not free!

Today, Roger, one of the three June 18 arrestees, pled guilty to charges related to the arson of the RBC branch in the Glebe in May. Charges against Matt have been stayed. Charges against Claude related to a February 1st incident of mischief have also been stayed. However, Claude is still fighting other charges for which he was arrested on June 18th. [Please Note: Claude was never charged in relation to the arson, but was arrested at the same time as Matt and Roger and faced unrelated charges.]

This is heavy news for all of us, and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all who are standing by the three arrestees. By no means is this over. Roger returns to court for sentencing in early December. Ottawa Movement Defense would like to reiterate its full support for all three of the J18 defendants. This is a difficult process for all three arrestees, as well as their families, friends and coworkers who have been missing them.

Support for Roger is very important in the coming weeks while he awaits sentencing on December 6th. You can write to him at:

Joseph Roger Clement
Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre
2244 Innes Road
Gloucester, ON
K1B 4C4

We are also still taking donations to help with the legal costs.

Ottawa Movement Defense now has a bank account with the Ottawa Women's Credit Union. Cheques can be made out to 'Ottawa Movement Defense' and mailed to the mailing address below.

furthermore we would like to express our solidarity to all political prisoners, and wish the best to the G20 arrestees across Ontario who are currently going through the court system and fighting for their freedom.


Ottawa Movement Defense is a legal and political support committee for the June 18th Defendants. We take direction from the June 18th defendants. Our support activities include: coordinating visits, fundraising towards legal and support costs, informing friends and supporters of the court proceedings, etc. We do not provide legal advice to the defendants.


Mailing Address:
Ottawa Movement Defense
207 Bank Street
Suite 453
Ottawa, ON
K2P 2N2


What follows is a mainstream news story from the Ottawa Sun:

OTTAWA — The man who pleaded guilty to arson in the May firebombing of a bank refuses to rat out his accomplice.

Joseph Roger Clement admitted to being the first of two men to enter the RBC branch in the Glebe neighbourhood late on May 18. According to video evidence, the first man doused the bank with a liquid believed to be gasoline and the second man threw a Molotov cocktail, starting the blaze.

But Clement's lawyer, Lawrence Greenspon, said Clement taking responsibility doesn't extend to naming his accomplice.

Clement also pleaded guilty to mischief over $5,000 for vandalizing another RBC branch at 745 Bank St. on Feb. 1.

Charges against co-accused Matthew Morgan-Brown, 32, were stayed due to insufficient evidence.

Claude Haridge, a co-accused in the Feb. 1 vandalism case, was never directly implicated in the May firebombing. Charges against him from the vandalism case were stayed Tuesday but ammunition storage charges laid during the firebombing investigation will be dealt with Dec. 14.

Clement will be held in custody until his sentencing hearing Dec. 6.

Clement, 58, was brought into court in a rumpled tan blazer and blue shirt with no tie. The retired civil servant smiled, nodded and winked at some of those in court, including former co-accused Morgan-Brown in the front row.

"It's been a long time coming for him," said Greenspon. "He took responsibility for his actions at the time and he's now formally taken responsibility in court and will be facing sentencing."

Crown prosecutor Mark Holmes said there simply wasn't enough evidence to prosecute Morgan-Brown but said charges could be reinstated within a year.

"If more evidence comes to light, the Crown will proceed," he said.

Video evidence from the bank fire will be played at Clement's sentencing hearing next month.

Morgan-Brown's lawyer, Ian Carter, said the only evidence against his client was that two years ago he had a similar jacket to one worn by one of the firebombers.

He said Morgan-Brown was known to have been part of political protests and investigators perceived him as being among "the usual suspects."

"They simply didn't have enough evidence to place my guy as one of the individuals," said Carter, adding he's been told the investigation is no longer active.

Carter said Morgan-Brown hopes to get his old job back, but wouldn't say what that was.