Escalation of political repression at Red Onion State Prison-(Virginia: United States)

Over the years long standing organizing efforts by class conscious prisoners in the Virgina state system’s two maximum security facilities (Red Onion and Wallens Ridge) have been met with systematic repression including beatings, assaults with electrical and chemical weapons, isolation in special segregation units, interdiction of communications and at least one shooting incident.

Most recently Kevin “Rashid” Johnson a founding organizer of the NABPP-PC (New African Black Panther Party-Prison Chapter) and author of the book “Defying the Tomb” has been subjected to an extremely restrictive communications regime including the suspension of all outgoing mail and deprivation of most telephone access.
This is being carried out within the context of a broader agenda on the part of the Virginia DOC to criminalize and smear prisoner organizing as “gang activity”.
According to a recent message from an outside supporter on Rashid’s current situation:
“Basically, they have stepped up their interference with his
communication  network and also their efforts to
stigmatize him as a  “gang-member.”
Under the direction of one M. Duke, a gang task-force
member who wears a  T-shirt with the inscription GANG  UNIT
(in very big letters), Rashid’s cell  was raided and all of
his stamps were  taken. While his cell was being  ransacked
, Rashid questioned Duke, pointing out  that the latter’s
insignia was  like a signal to incite violence on the part
of  the authorities. He  explained to Duke that the NABPP
opposes gang behavior and  asked why he was being
targeted. Duke’s only response was that he “just happened
to be there that  day.”

All Rashid’s phone connections have been blocked…
He thinks that all his outgoing mail has been blocked.
He asks that protest be made to state officials. He holds
Tony  Adams (an  “investigator”) responsible for the
cutting off of his lines of   communication.

Rashid wants “noise” to be made — to protest the
interference and also to  protest the labeling of the NABPP
as a gang.”

From Georgia to California and access the country the prison struggle is a key link in the broader class confrontation today and we need to support those organizing on the front lines under conditions of maximum repression and control.
Please call Red Onion State Prison at  (276) 796-7510 or mail a letter to ROSP, PO Box 1900, Pound, VA 24279 to politely express your concern about the ongoing political repression and forward and repost this information as widely as possible.

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