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Herman Wallace, Revolutionary

The long and tortured life of Herman Wallace, of the famed Angola 3, was meant to terrorize us to stifle the resistance that flamed throughout the Black nation and many others across the country during the '60s and '70s.
If so, it failed utterly. For Herman Wallace, former Black Panther, despite the monstrous torture he sustained of 41 years in the hole of Angola (I will not dignify it with the name prison) slave plantation, was one who was caged precisely because in mind, if not in body, he was free.
He was one of three men of his fellow ex-Panthers, Robert Hillary King and Albert Woodfox, the rest of the Angola 3 who exampled strength, determination and will during their hellish times in Louisiana's wretched dungeons.
I have used the word torture and I do not use it lightly.
Juan Mendez, Special Rapporteur for the United Nations, has found that solitary confinement for any period past 14 days constitutes real psychological torture that destroys human beings. 14 days!
Herman Wallace, convicted on trumped-up charges under poisonous Louisiana justice, spent 41 years in solitary in Angola; in Louisiana; in the United States of America.
41 years! Let's put it another way: Herman Wallace spent 14,965 days in solitary. Herman Wallace spent 359,160 hours in solitary.
When a federal judge tossed out his illegal and unconstitutional conviction, ordering his release, Herman Wallace, bedridden, spent three days in freedom, until returning to his ancestors.
His flesh is returned to the Earth, our mother. But his spirit burns with strength and rock-solid commitment to freedom for us all.
According to published reports, Herman's last words were "I am free!", but he always was.
Herman's contribution to freedom, even while in the vilest dungeons in America, while in shackles and chains in Angola, was immense.
If he were still present, he would urge us all not to forget his brother in chains, Albert Woodfox.
For as the saying goes, "Freedom is a constant struggle." In the Black Panther Party, there was the saying, "When an oppressor dies, it is lighter than a feather, but when a revolutionary dies, it is heavier than a mountain.”
Herman's death is heavier than a mountain for he deserved far more than three days of freedom away from the stench of Angola and Louisiana justice.
Yet, his death, his suffering, his torture, his loneliness reminds all of us of the true nature of this system and the dark, monstrous features of the prison industrial complex; A complex of matchless cruelty and unbridled savagery.
Herman, Albert and Robert were subjected to such treatment because they courageously resisted and opposed such repression.
They organized a chapter of the Black Panther Party while prisoners in Angola. They were targeted and tortured for engaging in, I kid you not, what the officials called "Black Pantherism."
So remember Herman's sacrifice: 41 years, 14,965 days, 359,160 hours and his last words, "I am free!"
May we all live to find such freedom. I thank you all, and in the memory of Herman. This is Mumia Abu Jamal.
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