Wake Up, Massachusetts!

Wake Up, Massachusetts!

Donald Perry3

By Donald Perry, Uncensored, On The Record and On Film
In Washington Irving’s tale Rip Van Winkle slept for 20 years but even he finally woke up. Now, it is our turn to wake up and take immediate action to oppose Parole Chairman Josh Wall’s nomination for Judgeship in Massachusetts.

My name is Donald Perry. I’m a MA parolee and advocate for prison reform. Furthermore, I am one of many victims of Mr. Wall’s arrogance and over-all abuse of authority. Case in point, as most people know, August 3, 2011 while on parole I gave someone a ride…was pulled over after the person bailed out of my vehicle. In the process, stuff was left in my car that I assumed belonged to my passenger. Later, I was informed that there had been some break-ins in the area and the bag left in my car contained stolen merchandise. For my part though, I proved that I was home when the break-ins occurred and finger prints plus foot prints at the crime scene exonerated me further of committing a crime. The District Attorney assigned to the case ultimately charged me with receiving stolen property. Subsequently, there was a 4 day trial. The jury deliberated for about 2 hours or so and I was unanimously “acquitted” on “2” separate counts of Receiving Stolen Property.

I was on parole though and on the day of the acquittal I was returned to Walpole State Prison on a “Parole Warrant”, i.e. instead of being free to go home. This warrant was promptly lodged against me once I’d been taken into custody by MA State Police. To this day the Parole Officer that I had at the time has never spoke with me to find out what actually happened the morning of August 3, 2011. Once I returned to Walpole, I was subjected to a variety of assumptions and mistreatment by parole personnel under the supervision and leadership of Parole Chairman Josh Wall.

During my incarceration I was represented by Attorney Luke Ryan and his father, former First Justice of Northampton District Court, Judge Michael Ryan. Neither could believe the way they were treated by Parole Personnel. According to former Judge Ryan,“ You have to surrender your humanity. Your treatment is so degrading.” He goes on to say, “They don’t practice the common courtesy of the court system. There was no constitutional protections.”

Subsequently, after my earlier stated acquittal and exoneration of allegations of committing any crimes, it took about 8 months for me to go before a full parole panel to petition to be re-paroled. Based on the parole warrant and repetitive statements by parole personnel, publicly people were lead to believe and I was even prepared at my hearing to be thoroughly interrogated to determine whether or not I committed a crime or violated any of the conditions of my previous parole. Surprisingly though, my hearing lasted for approx. 2 hours and a half. The majority of this time was spent questioning me about several past romantic relationships, the fact that I had held several different jobs, etc. with about 5 minutes or so discussing the events of August 3rd. After the hearing it took another 7 months to get the panel’s decision. I was finally released 6 months later. That means I remained incarcerated for 1 year and 7 months after proving via the above-stated facts that I didn’t commit a crime or do anything to violate the conditions of my parole.

Chairman Josh Wall was not at my Revocation Hearing or Parole Release Hearing. We have never talked and he has never questioned me about any of the events of August 3rd. However, when interviewed by film-producer Joe Berlinger for his debut in the recently produced 8-part justice documentary called “The System” Mr. Wall states “ I’m not exactly sure what his role was but in some way he/Mr. Perry was connected to breaking into his neighbor’s house and the Parole Board can’t tolerate that.”

I resent Mr. Wall’s statement for “2” reasons:

#1. The truth supported by clear and actual facts of being alibied… forensic evidence and an acquittal by a jury proved on August 3rd I did not commit a crime or engage in any activity to violate the conditions of my parole.
#2. Since my incarceration in 1983 I’ve worked hard to turn my life around. In fact, as a Black man I’ve often had to work twice as harder as anyone else to accomplish the smallest goal. As a result, in the past 25 to 30 years I’ve diligently invested a lot of waking hours, energy and effort into achieving my accomplishments thus-far. Recently, Colorado Cure referenced my strife and accomplishments when stating “Donald Perry, paroled in 2001 after nearly 19 years of incarceration has become a poster-child for successful re-entry. He finished college and became an advocate for the homeless, a community servant in high regard.”

I have never met Mr. Wall nor have I ever had a conversation with him. But, during his interview Mr. Wall callously and wantonly dismissed my life’s struggle with mere speculations and assumptions. This act was not fair nor remotely humane or even grounded in conviction. Mr. Wall tries to justify his action when stating “The important piece of evidence is that Mr. Perry had the Ipad and he’s being followed by the police.” He goes on to say, “”When you put these pieces of information together, if you’re experienced in these matters like parole board members would be who have assessed situations, it wasn’t a difficult call to make.”

For anyone capable of thinking for themselves and analyzing what Mr. Wall is saying this still doesn’t make commonsense. Case in point, how can he or the parole board possibly refute the factual evidence demonstrating that I didn’t do anything wrong? And, if he or the parole board could actually prove I committed a crime or violated the conditions of my parole, shouldn’t they have kept me in custody???

None of that makes sense and retired Judge Ryan adequately accessed the situation when he said, “It’s just so arbitrary. If you believe in American values and the rights of the constitution…these people don’t. As a matter of fact I said to Luke, I think it’s un-American. They have no respect for a jury system. The right to confront your accuser. The right to have impartial people decide your fate. There’s none of that in this parole system.”

This is just my story, but multiply it by the hundreds if not thousands of people who have been and are currently being ill-affected by the abusive procedures and practices of the MA Parole System, you will agree that Josh Wall should not be rewarded for his supervision and leadership of the MA Parole System. In years to come this debacle is going to cost the state of MA millions upon millions of dollars it can ill-afford.

So, wake up Massachusetts out of your slumber. It’s time to crawl out of your cocoons and take immediate action to oppose Josh Wall’s nomination for a judgeship.


Walk for Peace & Non-Violence


Walk for a New Spring 2013, Arise for Social Justice

for more information
visit newenglandpeacepagoda.org | facebook.com/LNEPP

The New England Peace Pagoda invites you to Walk for Peace and Non-Violence
July 30 thru August 6
To Remember and Heal From the Nuclear Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Plainfield MA – Boston MA
August 2nd Springfield
August 6th First Church Boston
August 9th Nuke Free Northampton
JFK if even one child…

On Wednesday July 30th the New England Peace Pagoda will begin a 10 day walk across Massachusetts. This walk will take place on the anniversaries of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This walk takes place in the midst of serious questions of war, in a turning point in our culture. In Palestine in the last month over 1000 people have died with thousands more injured. Thousands of children are stuck at the US – Mexico border seeking refuge. Fukushima, three years on is pouring out radiation.

There is a black person killed by the police every 23 hours in this country and we have more black and brown men in prison than we had slaves in 1850. The traditional owners of the Midwest and the South are being irradiated by the abandoned uranium mines whose poison has now spread to Fallujah Iraq.

Leonard Peltier, Oscar Lopez Rivera, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Ayyub Abdul Alim and countless others are waiting in cages because they dared to question the US government.

We walk and we carry with us the memory of the lives of those millions of people who were killed instantly when those bombs were dropped on the districts of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We carry with us their memories and the lessons from Hibakusha, from those who survived the bombing and lived on with cancer; the mutations from this radiation has forever altered our DNA. We remember the rice, the milk, the cows, the water and the fish who are forever altered too. We march to pray for peace and to send a call out to all who are ready to come together peacefully and work towards change. Toward a sustainable world that is not dependent on war or exploiting human labor for resources. One that is community based. We walk without guns, without alcohol, without drugs.

We carry with us this message of peace and the cautionary tales of where violence leads.

Break the cycle of colonization and of the exploitation of land, culture and people.
We walk with hands together, bow three times,
Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo.

Local Campaigns We Carry
-Gov. Deval Patrick has announced plans to temporarily house 1,000 of the children who are currently at the U.S. border. We commend Gov. Patrick for giving Massachusetts the opportunity to help our fellow brothers and sisters from the south and as we travel through the state we will speak on supporting this move.
-Uranium Exploration and Mining Accountability Act, this bill which we carried with Charmaine White Face, Sioux Nations Treaty Council, Defenders of the Black Hills, calls for a moratoritum on all uranium mining until all mines have been cleaned up. Senator Raul Grijalva (D-AR) has agreed to sponsor the bill, and our own congressman McGovern (D-MA) has agreed to support this bill.
-WMCP, Western MA Coalition for Palestine
-Injustice Liberation Front – freedom for Ayyub Abdul Alim, Massachusetts needs jobs not jails
We sleep in churches, mosques, community centers. Those wishing to walk with us should bring, aside from their clothes, a sleeping bag, good shoes, a water bottle, and a journal is helpful.
no drugs, no alcohol, no weapons.
we will adhere to the principles of non-violence

Those interested in joining the walk you will need
– a sleeping bag
-good shoes
-Water bottle

During the walk we will adhere to the principles of non-violence
-Be Honest
-State your needs
-Keep an open mind
-No discrimination of any kind
-Age, gender, race, religion, body type/ability/preference may be different from you. That’s okay!
-Leave each place cleaner than when you arrived
-If the group is faces with problems, we will come together as a group to resolve them
-No violence (see discrimination – this includes physical and emotional. Sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia – any form of discrimination is form of violence)

* Self Care Note: If you are taking any medication, need other accommodation, or are in recovery please tell one of the organizers. When we’re walking as community we need to be able to properly support each other, this helps!

“Even then, the number of children and grandchildren with cancer in their bones, with leukemia in their blood, or with poison in their lungs might seem statistically small to some, in comparison with natural health hazards. But this is not a natural health hazard and it is not a statistical issue. The loss of even one human life, or the malformation of even one baby who may be born long after we are gone, should be of concern to us all. Our children and grandchildren are not merely statistics toward which we can be indifferent.”

July 26, 1963 upon signing the ban on above ground nuclear tests


march for peace!
contact: 978 340 4389

Should Stop and Frisk Be Reinstituted in the South Bronx?

It’s Diaz vs. Diaz in South Bronx stop-and-frisk fight
Members of the politically-minded rap group Rebel Diaz have taken issue with comments made by state Senator Ruben Diaz regarding the controversial police tactic.
BY Denis Slattery
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS full article here
Monday, July 14, 2014, 2:00 AM

“While there are those who will argue against Stop and Frisk, statistics show that crime was better controlled and the loss of life was decreased,” Diaz (D-Longwood) wrote. “Bullets are flying, and children are dying.”
“He supposedly represents the Bronx, but I don’t think a lot of people would agree with it,” Rodrigo Venegas, 33, better known as RodStarz, told The News. “Sadly, the elder Diaz has once again proven the same nonsense.”
Hip hop duo Rebel Diaz blasted Senator Diaz for his remarks about stop-and-frisk. Knapp_Photography_2011 Hip hop duo Rebel Diaz blasted Senator Diaz for his remarks about stop-and-frisk.

Venegas and his brother, Gonzalo Venegas, 29, known as G1, argue that bringing back the tactic will only lead to a further deterioration of police-community relations.

“Instead of more stop-and-frisk, how about community centers and safe cultural centers,” Gonzalo Venegas asked, linking the policy to gentrification and calling New York a “police state.
“It’s worse to lose a life than to be searched,” Diaz said in response to his critics. “I will do anything before losing another life.”


What Senator Diaz and Mayor de Blasio are not taking into account is the root of the gun violence. It is not simply ‘being searched’ as Senator Diaz said, but the continued racial profiling. This country was founded on violence and capitalism and is a system which only allows validation, existence, and basic human rights to those with the money and power to afford it. When the police stop and search innocent black and brown men it is not making communities feel safer it is continuing to play into the racist mindset that these people are already criminals. It contributes to more violence because people do not feel safe to walk freely in their own communities.

In a report last year put out by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement the group finds that every 23 hours in the US a black man is shot by police officers.

Stop and Search is not happening on wall street, it’s happening in the south bronx, in springfield, and in poor black and brown communities across the nation. Re-instituting this racist policy will only bring more violence.

Yes, let’s look at the violence, and let’s do something real to change it.

When people’s basic human rights of food, shelter, education, healthcare, transportation and the right to move freely are being met let’s see how much the violence goes down. There are not readily available statistics of gun violence in this situation, because this has not happened, full scale, in this country. This country’s bottom line always has been money, not people. When people are not valued their attitude will reflect this.

Senator Diaz and the NYPD need to stop pointing their finger at the people who are carrying guns and instead work with community leaders, cultural figures and organizers to better meet these basic tenants of human rights. This will decrease violence – not more cops with a license to kill searching every non-caucasian they see.
Vanessa L.

July 18 Speak Out in Solidarity with the Palestinian Struggle for Justice


Altar, memorial to honor lives lost Altar to honor lives lost, memorial in Northampton MA

Join us again for a rally and march
in solidarity with the people of Palestine

on Friday June 18 at 7pm
Northampton Town Hall

Details on facebook

Stand out in solidarity with Palestine

Over 20 people came out today in answer to the call of standing in solidarity with the people of Palestine during the most recent attacks by the settler state of Israel.  Organizers from Code Pink, The International Socialist Organization, Western MA Peace Committee, Western Mass Coalition with Palestine and various other people came forward.

We made memorials and did a short march through downtown Northampton to honor the lives lost and those who are still resisting.

Since late June when three Israeli teens went missing, Israel has been massacring the people of Gaza and the West Bank in revenge, going so far as to declare that…

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Justice for Delano Walker Jr.

Monday morning at 11am  the Lawyers for the family of Delano Walker Jr. will be appearing  at Federal Court 330 State St. Springfield, In a Civil Case against the City of and the  Springfield Police Dept.
8:30AM  — 9:30AM    In Front of  Belise Car Lot..  East Columbia Ave, Springfield
10:00 to   11:00   Federal Court  330 State St.  Springfield, 
In 2009 Delano Walker Jr. at the age of 15 was stopped by Police while bicycling with friends  near the Belise Car Lot in Springfield..
   In the  questioning process Delano was pressured by the  Police into stepping backwards  in to traffic and was killed .

A Memorial for the Passing of Dr. Vincent Harding

A memorial for the passing of Dr. Vincent Harding
Sunday, July 6, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m
New England Peace Pagoda, 100 Cave Hill Road, Leverett MA 01054
Dr. Vincent Harding was a pioneering theologian, historian and civil rights activist who may have been best known as the writer of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous 1967 anti-war speech, Beyond Vietnam.
This gathering will observe and commemorate the passing of Dr. Harding and re-member his wisdom, humor, songs, and our role in continuing his work of building up a new world.

WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED | Eviction Blockade

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(video from Michelle William, MassLive)
Jeff Solivan Vs. Mel Watts
Springfield No One Leaves

“Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac are the two largest mortgage holders & forecloser’s in the country. But they are owned by US, the taxpayers, after they were bailed out in 2008! Rather than working to support local communities and provide affordable housing, they are refusing loan modifications with principal reduction, evicting families no-fault, preventing common sense buy backs for people after foreclosure (Mass AG Sues Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae over Foreclosure Policy), and have refused to contribute almost $1 Billion in congressionally mandated funding to the National Housing Trust Fund which would create & maintain affordable housing, stimulate the economy and create jobs!”
Springfield No One Leaves/Nade Se Mude

A Communal Reading of a Lecture by Frederick Douglass




“To work for ‘a more perfect union’ we need to start to understand complexities we’ve never really worked through.”








In his fiery July 5, 1852 speech, the great abolitionist orator Frederick Douglass took exception to being asked to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence …

Sponsors: AFSC, Amherst Human Rights Commission, Amherst NAACP, David Ruggles Center, Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, Leverett Peace Commission, Mass Humanities, Mass Slavery Apology Project, NE Peace Pagoda, Peacenet, Project Unspeakable, Sankofa Foundation of the Pioneer Valley, Sojourner Truth Memorial Committee and Traprock Peace Center.

Find out more about the “Reading Frederick Douglass” statewide collaboration at http://www.masshumanities.org

download the flyer –> RFD Flyer

Inventing Terrorists

Project SALAM

We’ve been working on our database of domestic “terrorism” prosecutions since about early 2009, and have been working on the Report over the past year and a half. It’s been slow, since it’s a completely volunteer effort. But I think it’s good quality work, combining legal experience with these cases, Steve Downs’ ability to see the big picture (I get lost in the details), lots of data analyzed , a great database written by Lynne Jackson, and superb editing and advice on how to make the report more professional from Jeanne Finley.

Please check out the Report, there is a link to it at this site. Basically what we did was to look at all the cases which DOJ termed “terrorism cases” and analyze them to see how many were what we call “preemptive prosecution” cases. As defined in our Report, “preemptive prosecution is a law enforcement strategy, developed…

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