A zine by True Leap Press, compiling articles by and about Lucasville prisoner Bomani Shakur, produced as part of the call for actions in support of Bomani during the anniversary of the Lucasville Uprising in April.
This zine compiles the following texts, all by Bomani Shakur unless stated otherwise:
Bomani Shakur’s Life Matters - By Comrade Malik and Nube Brown LIBCOM DISCLAIMER: In October 2021, the San Francisco Bay View published an article identifying Keith "Malik" Washington as an FBI informant.
Act in Solidarity with the Survivors of the Lucasville Uprising! - By Lucasville Amnesty, Central Ohio IWOC and the Free Ohio Movement
Introduction, by Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement:
This April, 2020, we invite you to participate in a month of actions and events for comrade Bomani Shakur. Bomani Shakur has been showering our world with beautiful gifts. His words and actions haven’t missed a beat in elevating those he knows and even those he has never met.
His voice and his words came to be widely recognized when he was unjustly persecuted after the 1993 Lucasville Uprising, a rebellion inside the walls of an Ohio prison against tyranny and harsh conditions. In the aftermath, Bomani was falsely accused of having murdered prisoners and having “led a death squad.” No physical evidence connects him to the murders that took place when the prison in Lucasville was in uprising. The verdict itself only came about due to forced testimony by a prisoner turned snitch. In 2004 Bomani wrote a book called “Condemned” to highlight his life and the truth about what happened.
Prisoners organizing, confronting their oppressor and the organizers being attacked by the state as retaliation is nothing new. In 1971 prisoners in San Quentin, California, revolted. George Jackson was killed and Hugo Pinell would spend the following 44 years in California’s harshest prisons only to be stabbed to death in 2015 by white supremacists. It’s important to recognize that prisoners stand up, organize and are attacked by the state for it. In response, the prisoner strikes back by persevering, surviving and continuing to build with fellow prisoners and those of us on this side of the wall.
As we see with letters, articles or the book Bomani wrote, the message carried by his words have touched people inside and out and spread far. How could a man sitting on death row, his execution date only three years away, be the source of so much kindness and inspiration? It is because, as he says, this situation is much bigger than him. This is about the entire movement.
The fact that the state has set Bomani Shakur’s date of execution is not a moment of tragedy or for despair, but a moment to build from, and to be moved to action. It is about how we come together, learn how to work together, and prepare to rescind the power of those who run the most efficient life destroying machine: the prison system. He is clear how this works on his end: He’s not interested in allowing others to characterize him as unsuccessful, as a victim. He doesn’t want activists crowding around, showing pity. It is not for them to decide who he is and if he is successful. Success has already begun the day you decide to get up and do something about the situation. He is looking for collaborators, people who understand and want to struggle together.
This is where we come in. The fact that the state has set Bomani Shakur’s date of execution is not a moment of tragedy or for despair, but a moment to build from, and to be moved to action. This is how we follow his excellent example and this is how we turn this situation against the state. Their system thrives off despair. We will build our bonds of solidarity, lines of communication, respectful dialogue and comradely exchange. He won the right to “contact visits,” replacing the glass wall that separates a prisoner from his visitors, a practice that is common for prisoners classified as high risk, whether that designation is warranted or not.
We will amplify the words of Bomani Shakur and become an impenetrable and intractable force – a force for life, a force for comradeship. We will be as kind and accepting to our comrades and those hunted by the state as we are dangerous to and unrelenting against the prisons. We begin with April, a month of solidarity actions with Bomani.
Please join in this initiative by: • holding a letter writing event, • screening the movie about the Lucasville uprising, • putting up posters, • posting about it on social media, • hanging banners, • inviting Bomani to do a call-in event with you and your comrades, or • any other action or event that raises his profile and builds the kind of movement that is a reflection of his steadfastness and generosity.
April is the anniversary month of the Lucasville prison uprising, a powerful decision to stand up and reclaim a life of dignity and an example of the power of unity among prisoners. This month is to raise awareness about Bomani and his contributions, and by doing so, to build stronger connections with one another, and with comrades inside.
Join together with us and carry forward Bomani’s strength and spirit!
From your comrades in
Blue Ridge ABC
NYC Anarchist Black Cross
Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement
Salish Sea Black Autonomists
Page One Collective
To sign on to this call, message [email protected].
Send our brother some love and light:
Keith LaMar, 317-117, OSP, 878 Coitsville-Hubbard Road, Youngstown, OH, 44505.