Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the July 12, 2001
issue of Workers World newspaper
SUPPORTERS DEMAND FREEDOM FOR WOODFOX, WALLACE
By Anne Pruden
Baton Rouge, La.
On June 28, less than a week after the news that the
Louisiana State Supreme Court had turned down Angola 3
prisoner Albert Woodfox's appeal, a hundred "A-3" supporters
traveled from far and near to continue demands for justice.
Gathering at East Baton Rouge Parish Commissioner Rachel
Morgan's court, the multinational crowd held signs
protesting the 29 years Woodfox has spent in solitary
confinement. They also protested against racism and the
incarceration of Herman Wallace, another member of the
Angola 3 who they believe is innocent.
Wallace and Woodfox founded a chapter of the Black Panther
Party in Louisiana's infamous Angola prison plantation in
1971. Joined by Robert "King" Wilkerson in 1972, they fought
the rampant brutality and discrimination as well as the
inhuman conditions for Black and white prisoners.
Angola officials, in retaliation for their political views,
charged Wallace and Woodfox with a guard's murder. Later,
they charged Wilkerson with a prisoner's murder. Prison
authorities placed the Angola 3 in solitary confinement.
Wallace and Woodfox still suffer this cruel and unusual
Wallace told Workers World that "the state has a mountain of
evidence--none of which points to Woodfox or me." This
includes "several bloody fingerprints that were found in the
dorm where the murdered guard was found."
On Feb. 8 of this year, Robert "King" Wilkerson was finally
released after proving the charges against him were false.
He promised to fight for Wallace and Woodfox, saying, "We're
still the Angola 3."
In Baton Rouge June 28 the press sought Wilkerson's views on
the hearing. Answering the Louisiana State's Attorney
contention that Herman Wallace's three-year time limit for
new evidence had passed, Wilkerson said, "Herman Wallace is
innocent. Innocence has no time limit."
Wallace can prove that the prison authorities provided
cigarettes and an early release to the prisoner who
testified against him.
But Wallace was denied the right to be at his own hearing in
Baton Rouge. Angola authorities claimed that it was an
expensive security risk for him to be in Baton Rouge. Had he
insisted on being present at the hearing, they would have
scheduled it inside the 18,000-acre farm plantation known as
the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, where no
supporters were allowed inside.
Wallace chose to have his comrades and supporters pack the
Baton Rouge courtroom, where all the seats were filled. As
Wallace later told this reporter, "I believe in the power of
Represented by progressive attorneys Scott Fleming and Robin
Shulberg, Herman Wallace now must wait for the
commissioner's recommendation on whether new evidence
exposing the frame-up will be allowed.
Pennsylvania death-row inmate and political prisoner Mumia
Abu-Jamal has written this about Wallace and Woodfox, who
face life in solitary without parole: "It is past time for
people to organize for their life in freedom. They are
political prisoners of the highest caliber who deserve your
Meanwhile Albert Woodfox plans an appeal. Supporters are
asked to join/contact the National Coalition to Free the
Angola 3, PO Box 15644, New Orleans, LA 70175 or email
email@example.com, or look up the web site at
www.prisonactivist.org/angola. In New York people can call
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