Michael Kimble is a 49-year old Black, gay anarchist serving a life sentence for the murder of a homophobic, racist bigot. He has a blog and has been an active voice among prisoners at Holman correctional facility in Atmore, Alabama, where there have recently been several riots, as well as strikes in conjunction with the Free Alabama Movement. You can read more writings from him at anarchylive.noblogs.org
Reflections and Reminiscence
on the Murder of Mike Brown
While in segregation listening to the radio news report, it was reported that a young Black male by the name of Michael Brown had been shot and murdered by a Ferguson, Missouri kop. A blind rage came upon me, but being in segregation, in a single cell consisting of brick and steel, there wasn’t much I could do to express my outrage adequately. See, I’m an anarchist who has been locked down for a long time and have been the victim of brutality of kops my entire life. My first time seeing a kop as a child was when my mother got into a physical confrontation with them. All my life I’ve seen my family members, friends, and strangers suffer brutality from the kops, even murder. I’ve never had a positive encounter with the kops.
Anyhow, I waited another hour for the news to come back on the radio to make sure that I had the details correct. After hearing again that Michael Brown was shot, I hollered through the vent to the guys in the cells above me and told them to turn on their radio. After a few minutes of quietness to allow them to find a news report of Mike’s murder, like me they expressed their rage by stating that someone needed to start retaliating against the kops when they murder one of us. Throughout the night we chopped it up about our frustrations with the Black organizations and gangs out there not retaliating and only marching, and the family suing the police departments for monetary damages, when it’s evident that it’s no deterrence to the killing of Black, Brown, and poor whites.
When the riots popped off, the way it was being reported made me think that just maybe Black folks had had enough of this bullshit. That this was the beginning of the revolution. A couple of others here expressed the same sentiment. That finally some pigs were going to do some dying and not us alone. And the guys above me shared my thoughts, but then we began to talk about what it would take other than taking out some pigs. I won’t go into the plans for future actions we came up with.
Anyhow, as others got the news, they started beating on doors, screaming “Fuck 12!” and all kinds of shit. Eventually comrades on the outside started sending me reports in the mail on the riots, and as I shared them with others, guys started attacking the CO’s with feces and piss, a common tactic of warfare in the lockup. Fireballs of paper and clothing was being thrown off the top two tiers.
After receiving more literature of what was going on, like the Nation of Islam and New Black Panther Party telling the sistas to get off the streets and trying to quell the rioting, I became disheartened because we keep allowing these poverty pimps to turn potential insurrectionary moments into the same old bullshit reformist direction.
As a matter of fact, at this moment [May 2016] we are on workstrike here at Holman Prison here in Alabama, and just today we had a gang leader state that we need to leave the CO’s alone and keep things nonviolent. But he turned right around thirty minutes later and held a beatdown on another gangmember. No violence against the pigs, but its OK against each other. A pig sent him [to our unit] because since we’ve been on strike they’ve cut back on our food portions, and it was stated that if it keeps up, there was going to be some actions.
See, the same recuperative methods used in the streets is being used in the prisons. But I can say that the riots in Ferguson have inspired a lot of the actions in here, because whenever there’s a planned action Ferguson and Mike Brown’s murder is mentioned as examples of the oppression that Black folks suffer in the good old USA.