Herman Bell is back in General Population!
Thanks to a lot of work by a lot of us, Herman Bell has been transferred to general population in Shawangunk C.F.
Herman was also informed that the charges against him are being dropped.
Before Herman got the news he sent the following message to us:
September 27, 2017
My dear brothers and sisters,
Thank you for the outpouring of cards, letters, healing-love and energy that you sent me in response to the unprovoked brutal assault on me by NYS prison guards at Comstock, NY – a vicious slap aside the head from behind and shoved to the ground. I protected myself as best as I could. I sustained multiple kicks, punches to the face and eyes, repeated head slams into concrete, and 2 cracked ribs. They tried to bury me with raining blows, not knowing that I am a seed. But the burning pepper spray sprayed into my eyes and mouth is what did me in – and yet, here I am.
Now I know why visitors bring flowers and candy to the hospital. I was immediately sent, however, not to a hospital but to the Box for “assault on staff,” so the cards and letters and love you sent me were my flowers and candy. You did great! I was astonished, not by the outpouring of your support, but by the enormity of it.
People are coming together and are standing up. They are finding that they are not entitled to the rights and freedoms they think they have as americans. Instead of the consideration americans – many of them voters – deserve, they are ignored by authoritarian and elected officials. They lack healthcare, suffer from unrestrained police violence, mass incarceration, lack a living wage, experience poverty and homelessness, and suffer from a toxic environment. People are standing up against these injustices, insisting that their demands be respected and addressed. The social injustice, jackboot repression, racist attacks, discrimination, wealth disparities, unemployment, lack of affordable housing (the list doesn’t just end there), creates waves of fierce discontent which ls gaining steady momentum, becoming a full-blown cleansing tsunami, the force of which is irresistible.
And that force is you, the People, coming together and taking a stand. My flowers and candy is your outpouring of support for me, our political prisoners, the mass incarcerated and the voiceless.
To write each of you (I’ve literally received hundreds of letters) a personal “thank you” at this time would be impossible. So, I send this “thank you!” instead.
Thank you! I thank you deeply one and all for the empathy, outrage, love and support you’ve expressed in the face of the assault on me. May our resolve to produce social change remain unshakeable.
More than 2.4 million human beings are imprisoned in the US.
This massive incarceration-overwhelmingly aimed at people of color and criminalizing youth makes the US by far the greatest purveyor of punishment in the world.
Among these millions are a number of political prisoners, and among these courageous sisters and brothers is Herman Bell. Herman Bell has been a political prisoner in the US for nearly 40 years. When national liberation and revolution rocked the world in the 1960s and 70s, Herman was active in the social justice movements of those times, particularly the Black Liberation movement and the Black Panther Party.
Parole Campaign: Herman Bell
Herman Bell has been to the New York state parole board seven times and has been denied each time. His last parole board appearance was in 2016. Each time, the board - always made of up former law enforcement personnel and former prosecutors -- reviews his very impressive record, the Bachelor's and Master's college degrees he has attained since being locked up, his job offers, his numerous letters of support from family, friends, and community members from many walks of life. They have before them evidence of all the ways Herman has helped so many people throughout the course of his confinement and is still leading a positive and progressive life despite being locked up now over four decades.
Click here to see a petition in support of Herman's recent parole request.
Click here to hear Herman's message about his recent parole board appearance.
Click here to listen to Herman's attorney Bob Boyle speak March 3, 2016 on WCNY about Herman and parole reform.
Case Synopsis: Herman Bell
In the aftermath of the murders of Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Dr. King, Fred Hampton, and Mark Clark, to name a few, coupled with the Civil Rights Movement, the burgeoning Black consciousness movement, and the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the tone and spirit of those times can be described as highly charged and volatile. And in the wake of what had been perceived as an unambiguous racist policy of police malevolence, willful brutality, excessive use of deadly force and general disrespect of Black people=s rights, scores of policemen at that time were seriously injured or fatally shot in the Black community.
Certain Days: Freedom for Political Prisoners 2017 Calendar
The calendar is a joint fundraising and educational project between outside organizers in Montreal and Toronto, and three political prisoners being held in maximum-security prisons in New York State: David Gilbert, Robert Seth Hayes and Herman Bell. The initial project was suggested by Herman, and has been shaped throughout the process by all of our ideas, discussions, and analysis. All of the members of the outside collective are involved in day-to-day organizing work other than the calendar, on issues ranging from refugee and immigrant solidarity to community media to prisoner justice. We work from an anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist, feminist, queer and trans positive position.