FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

99 Problems But a Ban on Frances Goldin Ain’t One

by

Every three months for over twenty years, legendary NYC literary agent and activist Frances Goldin would take a two-day trip to a maximum security prison in Pennsylvania to visit her client and friend on death row—black scholar, author, and freedom fighter, Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Over the decades, Goldin has not only served as Abu-Jamal’s literary agent, but as one of the most vocal and relentless advocates for his release based on both his innocence and the denial of a fair trial in his case, the facts of which are well documented in a report by Amnesty International.

According to Goldin, several years ago the prison system sent her a letter declaring that she was no longer permitted to visit SCI Greene, the super-max facility that incarcerated Abu-Jamal and three fellow inmates that Goldin had become friends with after decades of visiting the prison. The letter claimed that Goldin violated prison rules by using the U.S. Postal System to send one of the men contraband.

No, she didn’t try and mail her friends a joint, weapons, or tools with which to break out. According to Goldin, she had sent one of Mumia’s imprisoned friends a note that she had inadvertently written on the flip side of a recent, semi-nude photo of herself. She thought she was writing the note on a scrap of paper, one of many on her desk. In her late 80s when it was taken, the photo showed Goldin in bed, topless, reading a book.

Prison censors quickly used the photo to enact a ban that has prevented the outspoken literary figure from troubling them with further visits to their super-max prison.

According to Johanna Fernandez, Abu-Jamal, a renowned jailhouse lawyer, challenged the lawfulness of the ban against Goldin by submitting a grievance in the form of a brief that cited a Supreme Court precedent. Fernandez says that early this morning, Wednesday, June 11, 2014, “Mumia was called in by one of the white shirts and told that he was right and that, if she wishes, Frances can have a contact visit beginning tomorrow.”

Mumia beat the ban.

“With sharpness of pen and mind, behind bars, Mumia’s effectiveness as a Jailhouse Lawyer has once again furthered the interests of justice,” says Heidi Boghosian, executive director of the National Lawyers Guild and author of Spying on Democracy.

For the duration of his 28-plus years on death row, Mumia was denied visits where he came in physical contact with other people, including his wife and children. Instead, all visits were conducted through a thick plexi-glass barrier. Mumia began receiving contact visits in January 2012, after the death sentence against him was dropped.

Frances Goldin tells me that she plans to visit Mumia immediately, tomorrow. She learned that Abu-Jamal’s jailhouse lawyering beat the ban when he surprised her with an unexpected phone call from prison a few hours ago.

He broke the news to her by saying, “I can’t wait to give you the 23-years of hugs that I owe you. I love you.”

“Not more than I do you,” she responded.

Patience, a guerrilla virtue.

Frances Goldin will be 90 years old on June 22, 2014.

Greg Ruggiero is an editor for City Lights Books, publisher of two books by Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jailhouse Lawyers and Writing on The Wall, forthcoming in 2015.

More articles by:
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It.
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
Robert Fisk
The Hypocrisies of Terror Talk
Lee Hall
Purloined Platitudes and Bipartisan Bunk: An Adjunct’s View
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of Collective Punishment: Russia, Doping and WADA
Nozomi Hayase
Cryptography as Democratic Weapon Against Demagoguery
Cesar Chelala
The Real Donald Trump
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Propaganda Machinery and State Surveillance of Muslim Children
Denis Conroy
Australia: Election Time Blues for Clones
Marjorie Cohn
Killing With Robots Increases Militarization of Police
David Swanson
RNC War Party, DNC War Makers
Eugene Schulman
The US Role in the Israeli-Palestine Conflict
Nauman Sadiq
Imran Khan’s Faustian Bargain
Peter Breschard
Kaine the Weepy Executioner
Weekend Edition
July 22, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Good as Goldman: Hillary and Wall Street
Joseph E. Lowndes
From Silent Majority to White-Hot Rage: Observations from Cleveland
Paul Street
Political Correctness: Handle with Care
Richard Moser
Actions Express Priorities: 40 Years of Failed Lesser Evil Voting
Eric Draitser
Hillary and Tim Kaine: a Match Made on Wall Street
Conn Hallinan
The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
Ron Jacobs
Exacerbate the Split in the Ruling Class
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail