Dan Berger on Political Prisoners in the United States
by Angola 3 News
Tuesday, 06 October 2009
This new interview with author/activist Dan Berger was conducted in
the Winter of 2009. The interview is mostly based on Berger's essay
"The Real Dragons: A Brief History of Political Militancy and
Incarceration: 1960s to 2000s," which is featured in the book Let
Freedom Ring: A Collection of Documents from the Movements to Free
U.S. Political Prisoners (PM Press, 2008).
In part one, Berger discusses his new research into US prison
movements of the 1970s, which Berger is researching and writing about
for his PhD dissertation at the Annenberg School for Communication at
the University of Pennsylvania.
[See URL for video]
In part two, Berger discusses prisoner movements today, particularly
in light of the recent ten-year anniversaries of both Critical
Resistance and The Jericho Movement.
[See URL for video]
Dan Berger is a writer and activist living in Philadelphia. He is the
author of Outlaws of America: The Weather Underground and the
Politics of Solidarity (AK Press, 2006) and co-editor of Letters From
Young Activists: Today's Rebels Speak Out (Nation Books, 2005).
Presently, along with his dissertation about 1970s prison movements,
he is editing a book about 1970s-era radicalism, titled Hidden
Histories of 1970s Radicalism (forthcoming from Rutgers University
Press in Fall, 2010). His writings have also been published in the
International Journal of Communication, The Nation, Punishment &
Society, WireTap, Z Magazine, and elsewhere.
The grandson of Holocaust survivors, Berger has long been involved in
struggles for social justice. From 2000 to 2003, he served as
founding co-editor of ONWARD, a now-defunct internationally
distributed quarterly anarchist newspaper based in Gainesville,
Florida, that emerged out of the global justice movement. Berger has
also been involved in an array of organizing efforts against war,
racism, and the prison industrial complex. A longtime activist in
support of U.S. political prisoners, Berger has published and
presented scholarly essays on news images and prison abuse,
alternative media and globalization, and race and social movements.
This new video-interview is made by Angola 3 News, which is an
official project of The International Coalition to Free the Angola 3.
Over 37 years ago in Louisiana, 3 young black men were silenced for
trying to expose continued segregation, systematic corruption, and
horrific abuse in the biggest prison in the US, an 18,000-acre former
slave plantation called Angola. In 1972 and 1973 prison officials
charged Herman Wallace, Albert Woodfox, and Robert King (who then
became known as the Angola 3) with murders they did not commit and
threw them into 6×9 ft. cells in solitary confinement, for over 36
years. Robert was freed in 2001 after 29 years of continuous solitary
confinement, but Herman and Albert remain behind bars.
Through our work supporting the Angola 3, we seeks to spotlight the
broader issues that are central to their story, like racism,
repression, prisons, human rights, solitary confinement as torture,
political prisoners, the legacy of the Black Panther Party, and more.