In an encouraging development, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox (known as the Angola 2) were recently moved from solitary confinement to a dorm environment. This came in the wake of a dramatic visit to Angola prison by John Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee and longtime civil rights advocate. Listen to today’s story from National Public Radio’s Morning Edition.
Friends of Justice is part of an impressive coalition of organizations and individuals who have rallied to the defense of the Angola 2. We are proud of the work that our board member, Tory Pegram, is doing in defense of these two brave men (she is responsible for getting us involved in the Angola 2 fight). Tory was one of the unsung heroes of the Jena struggle–the first person I called when I started building a coalition around the plight of the Jena 6. Now she’s working fulltime (and then some) on behalf of Wallace and Woodfox (or Herman and Albert, as they are known by veteran advocates).
When the media latches onto a story this egregious it sometimes appears that the stark facts drew the journalistic world naturally and inevitably. This is almost never the case. Friends of Justice is new to the Angola 2 struggle, but some folks have been working for Herman and Albert for decades. These folks are never mentioned in the press, but recent breakthroughs would have been impossible without them.
Attorneys for Albert and Herman have issued this response: “Herman and Albert need to be released from prison because they are innocent: they were framed for a murder they did not commit.
“After thirty-six years of solitary confinement, recent media scrutiny, a press conference
by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Cedric Richmond, and a visit by
U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman have caused the Angola prison
authorities to panic and move the two men into new quarters without informing them or
their lawyers about the terms of their new situation at the prison.
“We will redouble our efforts to gain justice and therefore freedom for Wallace and
Woodfox. Changing their cells is not enough.”