Free Alabama Movement (FAM): Kinetik Justice under attack; protect him now!


Today Swift Justice received information that Kinetik Justice (Robert Earl Council), co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement, was assaulted by two correctional officers at Limestone Correctional Facility last week. Swift Justice asked us to pass these words along:

“I know it’s been a while since I have addressed the many issues that transpire throughout the prison systems. The problems we have are not isolated problems; they are nationwide, and they are issues of humanity.

“But today after I found out what happened to my brother Kinetik, it saddens me because I knew this would take place. I should have called on all the soldiers in Queens before now. I accept responsibility and I hold myself accountable for my lethargic ways.

“I ask that all who consider yourselves a friend, supporter or member of this movement here in Alabama and across the nation to prepare to go to war on the behalf of Kinetik at a time he needs us!

“We need you to contact the Department of Justice, media contacts that you have and any other person who can help us to protect our brother. If you are willing to stand up for a man who has selflessly put his life in danger to make a change, please stand up now!

Today Swift Justice received information that Kinetik Justice (Robert Earl Council), co-founder of the Free Alabama Movement, was assaulted by two correctional officers at Limestone Correctional Facility last week.

“We cannot go to battle expecting a lone hero. We’re going to battle as a company, and we attack our adversary with numbers. But if we continue to ignore the injustices our brother Kinetik and other brothers are subject to, this movement will be in vain!

“TODAY I ask EVERYONE, no matter what state or country, to unite and protect Kinetik Justice in a time he needs us most! If you don’t know what you can do to make a difference, contact Unheard Voices on Facebook or tag Dara Folden, and we can discuss how you can help!”

Robert Earl Council’s nightmare becomes reality

by Free Alabama Movement Queen Team

Last Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, Free Alabama Movement co-founder Robert Earl Council, aka Kinetik Justice, was brutally attacked while handcuffed by two officers, Dozier and Shoulders, at Limestone Correctional Facility while being escorted to the shower. He was pushed to the floor by one officer and was physically attacked while handcuffed on the floor.

Afterwards the second officer pulled the first officer off and sprayed Kinetik Justice with mace and returned him to his cell. It is not known as of this date if medical treatment was administered for his injuries.

These types of attacks are a violation of prisoner rights according to the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment.

A use of force is excessive and violates the Eighth Amendment when it is not applied in an effort to maintain or restore discipline but is used to maliciously and sadistically cause harm. Where a prison official is responsible for unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, the Eighth Amendment has been violated.

These types of attacks are a violation of prisoner rights according to the Eighth Amendment as cruel and unusual punishment.

Everyone is asked to contact the Alabama Department of Corrrections and the Alabama Governor’s Office demanding that Robert Earl Council, Kinetik Justice, be transferred from Limestone Correctional Facility immediately. Report this incident and protect Robert Earl from more episodes of retaliation:

  • Warden Christopher Gordy, Limestone Correctional Facility, 28779 Nick Davis Road, Harvest, AL 35749, 256-233-4600
  • Commissioner Jefferson Dunn and Associate Commissioner Grant Culliver, Alabama Department of Corrections, 301 South Ripley St., P.O. Box 301501, Montgomery, AL 36130-1501, 334-353-3883, webmaster@doc.alabama.gov
  • Governor Robert Bentley, 600 Dexter Ave., Montgomery, AL 36130, 334-242-7100
  • U.S. Department of Justice, 205-244-2001, ussaln.civilrights@usdoj.gov

Contact the Queen Team at Unheard Voices on Facebook.

‘Free Kinetik Friday’: More soldiers wanted!

by Swift Justice

Today is dedicated like every Friday as a day to uplift a great friend of mine. Robert Earl Council is a man like so many others caught inside of our justice system. Robert Earl has dedicated his time and efforts to exposing a monstrous system that has preyed upon not only young men and women of color, but also a class of individuals that are preyed upon due to poverty.

Sometimes in life we come across individuals who have a tendency to be able to move mountains with only words of knowledge, and who also have the ability to move mountains with labor. I personally have had the opportunity to watch and join the labor that Robert Earl has so tenaciously exerted over the years.

I have watched as he has taken on the task to confront a huge injustice not only in our justice system but our country’s way of thinking. He moved me!

This is a task, a war, a struggle that more than Robert Earl Council should carry on his shoulders alone, and I know many have taken on that burden as well. My thanks and love to Robert Earl Council and those who have joined him.

More soldiers wanted!

Contact Swift Justice at Unheard Voices on Facebook.

Are we to expect more riots and violence in the months to come in Alabama’s prisons?

by UnheardVoicesOTCJ

Today arises the question if we are to expect more violence in our prisons across the state of Alabama. This question arises due to the past violence we have seen across Alabama in the past few years. And not only that but also the governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, prophesied that more riots are to come.

It seems that due to the recent presidential election and focus on Donald Trump, the prison crises and issues have been placed on the back burner. This in itself raises concerns with prison activists and inmates within the prison walls in the state of Alabama.

Recently we spoke with Swift Justice, the founder of Unheard Voices O.T.C.J. (of the Concrete Jungle), and asked him to give us his opinion on what things are like inside the walls of Alabama’s prisons today. He stated, “Things are quiet as far as here where I’m at and from what I’m getting around the state, other than the occasional fight which is going to happen. But you have to take into consideration the weather is cooler and the tempers are not as short with the inmates.”

We went on to ask Swift Justice about the U.S. Department of Justice investigation and if he has witnessed any evidence of this investigation. He stated, “I assume I’m not the only one who was optimistic in hearing that the DOJ was coming, and I’m sure I’m not the only one now that is getting pretty aggravated that we have seen nothing transpire. Mind you, I know they are slow, but why would they drag their feet here? I have my opinion on why they are, but it’s just that, my opinion.

Today arises the question if we are to expect more violence in our prisons across the state of Alabama. The governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, prophesied that more riots are to come.

“However, to answer your question, No, I’ve seen nothing on behalf of DOJ.”

Swift Justice went on to say, “I’ll tell you this, though, and I’m rarely wrong in calling this, but you can guarantee there will be more violence and even more serious riots here in Alabama soon if the Department of Justice doesn’t speed up, especially with the conditions of these prisons and shortage of officers.

“And I’m sad to say I almost welcome these things to come in order to get the public’s attention. But God knows I hope it don’t come to that, and I say that because I know that the ADOC and Bentley want that violence just because they want to scare the public with the ‘they are animals’ speech, and they want that money [to build more prisons].

“Make no mistake: This is not about helping the inmate or protecting the public. It’s about the almighty dollar.”

Swift Justice’s statement gives weight to Gov. Robert Bentley’s prophecy. But it also makes you think that Bentley and lawmakers are dragging their feet intentionally in hopes more violence occurs.

Bentley’s proposed changes would be financed by an $800 million bond issue, which in reality will cost the tax payers $1.5 billion in the end. The bond issue failed that last day of the 2016 legislative session, but Bentley says he’ll propose it again.

Sen. Cam Ward said he hopes the recent violence at Holman will illustrate for his statehouse colleagues just how dangerous Alabama’s prison system is, the Associated Press reported last March.

“’We’ve got to do better than this,’ he said.

“Even if the bond issue moves quickly through the statehouse, changes in the system will take time. Bentley’s office originally projected construction would begin in the fall of 2017 and could last three years.

“Bentley said leaders are being as ‘innovative’ as possible to mitigate current problems, but they can’t rule out future problems before progress is made.

“’Can we guarantee something like this will never happen again?’ Bentley said. ‘No, we cannot guarantee that. Not as long as facilities are like this.’”

If we pay attention to the words of Bentley, Ward and ADOC Commissioner Dunn, we hear the underlined threat that if you don’t give us what we want, we can guarantee the system will not change. This is not positive leadership. Not once have these men pushed for rehabilitation and a cut in recidivism as a solution.

Alabama prison officials retaliate against prison strike leader by cutting water to cell

by Brian Sonenstein

Nov. 4, 2016 – Advocates say prison officials at the Kilby Correctional Facility in Alabama turned off the water to Kinetik Justice Amun’s solitary cell after he initiated a hunger strike. Officials then transferred him to the Limestone Correctional Facility, which has a “behavioral modification program” known among prisoners as a “Hot Bay” dorm, in which prisoners are forced to live in pairs in hot and squalid solitary confinement cells.

Kinetik, also known as Robert Earl Council, is the second leader of the Free Alabama Movement (FAM) to be transferred to Limestone. FAM is a group of incarcerated people and their families struggling to end prison slavery and shed light on inhumane conditions in Alabama’s prison system.

James Plesant, also known as Dhati Khalid, was the first leader to be transferred. Melvin Ray, also known as Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, is the last remaining leader of FAM not to be transferred to Limestone.

According to a statement released by the Ordinary People Society, an Alabama-based human rights group for the incarcerated, Kinetik refused meals upon arrival at the Kilby Correctional Facility on October 21. Before the transfer, Kinetik spent three years housed in solitary confinement at the Holman Correctional Facility.

As previously reported by Shadowproof, Kilby is said to be a “bully camp.” When one Alabama prisoner learned of Kinetik’s transfer to Kilby, he explained the prison is where they send those that “they have to iron out with brutality.” He added, “When they send you to Kilby, that’s where they break your arms and break your legs.”

Prison officials turned off the water to Kinetik’s cell in response to his hunger strike, advocates say. “They are trying to kill him,” argued Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, founder of the Ordinary People Society and an “outside” spokesperson for FAM. The Alabama Department of Corrections did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

When one Alabama prisoner learned of Kinetik’s transfer to Kilby, he explained the prison is where they send those that “they have to iron out with brutality.” He added, “When they send you to Kilby, that’s where they break your arms and break your legs.”

The Alabama Department of Corrections is currently facing a federal investigation into the rampant violence, overcrowding and structural decay in its prison system. Kinetik believes his transfer was an act of retaliation by prison officials for his political activity, and that they timed the transfer to prevent him from meeting with a lawyer.

Kinetik is an outspoken advocate for the human rights of the incarcerated. Along with Dhati Khalid and Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, Kinetik and the Free Alabama Movement were some of the people behind the call-to-action for the national prison strike against prison slave labor, which began on Sept. 9.

Prominent human rights lawyer and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Bryan Stevenson, announced he will work with Pastor Glasgow and look into Kinetik’s case.

Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun told Shadowproof the “behavioral modification” dorm or Hot Bay like the one at Limestone is “supposed to be a volunteer program where you volunteer to go into it, but there’s no volunteer aspect. They’re just putting people in it.”

“You don’t have to have anything specific that you’ve done. They’re not serving you any paperwork, there’s not any kind of due process, and they’re getting funding from it,” he said. “So to justify funding, they have to have bodies.”

“Really, what they’re doing is they’re targeting individuals,” Bennu said. He noted there is a Hot Bay program at Donaldson, where he is incarcerated. “That’s where James Plesant was originally. They framed him. They’re constantly framing and jumping on people in that Hot Bay.”

Kinetik is an outspoken advocate for the human rights of the incarcerated. Along with Dhati Khalid and Bennu Hannibal Ra-Sun, Kinetik and the Free Alabama Movement were some of the people behind the call-to-action for the national prison strike against prison slave labor, which began on Sept. 9.

In the Hot Bay, prisoners are denied visitation, religious services, recreation and social services, according to the Free Alabama Movement.

“[The Hot Bay] is worse than solitary confinement because they take all of your property and you have a cell mate,” Bennu said. “So the one here at Donaldson is two men to a cell. You’re in the cell with another person for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Y’all defecating with each other. Y’all urinating with each other, passing gas, burping, sleeping, waking up. Constantly, you’re in the cell with the door locked 24/7 with someone else.”

“They’re sending you up there; they’re torturing people up there. People first got exposed to the Hot Bay program from Bibb County,” Bennu recalled.

“There was a bunch of young guys in there. They tore the Hot Bay up,” he said, referring to a July 2015 riot. “They made it where you couldn’t stay in it. They had to get everyone out of there. That’s how bad they are. That’s how bad it was.”

“A lot of people think that when they say they put us in solitary confinement that it’s solitary confinement. In and of itself, that constitutes the torture. It’s not just putting me in the cell. It’s the conditions that they put me in inside of these cells,” Bennu argued.

He continued, “They put us in contaminated cells. What they do is, they have people in solitary and they be complaining about the plumbing or complaining about the lights or the ventilation or something. And they will put us in those cells.”

“They already know there are issues – there’s plumbing issues, there’s maintenance issues, and they’ll put us in these, what they call ‘black out cells’ or contaminated cells. The lights won’t work; we’ll be in the cells in the dark trying to read, ruining our eyesight. The mattress will be torn up; (we’re) sleeping on top of these concrete slabs. The water will be leaking, running all over the cell. The vents and stuff are filthy. “

“It’s all of these elements that are added on, but that doesn’t show up in the paperwork, and that’s what they’ve done to people like myself. They put me in an isolated cell. I’m on what they call, ‘Walk Along Status.’ That means I cannot interact with anyone. I can’t be around another person. Same thing with Kinetik and James Plesant,” Bennu concluded.

Upon learning Kinetik was transferred to Kilby, a fellow prisoner previously told Shadowproof he hoped the move was not a “layover” that would eventually land Kinetik at Limestone. Limestone, he said, is “where they send everybody and you have to spend one year in isolation.”

“If he doesn’t reach Limestone, he’ll be okay,” the prisoner said at the time. According to the website for the Alabama Department of Corrections, Kinetik is now incarcerated at Limestone.

Brian Sonenstein, publishing editor at Shadowproof and columnist at Prison Protest, can be reached at brian@shadowproof.com or, on Twitter, @bsonenstein. This story first appeared on Shadowproof.

Send our brother Kinetik Justice some love and light: Robert Earl Council, 181814, Limestone CF D69, 28779 Nick Davis Rd., Harvest AL 35749.

Interview with Swift Justice recorded Nov. 11, 2016

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