In October 2016, the Corrections Emergency Response Team (CERT) was assigned to Holman Prison in Atmore, Alabama. There are 3 teams of CERT that are assigned to Holman on a rotating schedule. Each team consists of about 12 CERT members. CERT is notorious for their sadism, brutality and their gung-ho swagger. Many of them are members of the military or former military.
Since CERT’s assignment at Holman, they have beaten many prisoners. But on July 19th, 2018 at approximately 7AM the entire CERT, about 60 in all entered Holman supposedly to do an institutional search for contraband. But in actuality it was an excuse for them to trash our property and to assault prisoners. They came in full gear (flak jackets, shot guns, gas guns, etc.) screaming “On your bunk face down, hands behind your head and legs crossed”. If one didn’t move fast enough they were hit with batons and/or fists.
There are two sides to each dorm with 114 beds in all. I was sleeping in bed B-1 and the search began from the back, so I was the last prisoner to be searched. As they were working their way to the front they were escorting each prisoner out the dorm’s back door. Eventually they made it to my bed, and ordered me to strip naked. I did so and was told to walk with my hands behind my head with my elbows in. As I was approaching the back door this big 6 foot 4 inch, 200 plus pound CERT member stepped in front of me, blocking the aisle and told me to say “excuse me”. I went around him and was immediately punched in the face by another CERT member, then hit in the back of the head. I turned around and defended myself against my assaulters. They eventually picked me up and threw me to the floor and started kicking and hitting me. Others joined in. I was then taken in handcuffs to a holding cell where there was 6 other prisoners from other dorms who also had been assaulted by CERT. We were placed in this holding cell without any mattresses, sheets, etc. Some of us didn’t even have shoes on, so were barefoot. We were made to sleep in this holding cell on the floor overnight and then taken to the lock up unit.
Whenever a prisoner is placed in lock up, according to administrative regulations they are to be
afforded “due process” rights. First, by a written notice notifying the prisoner of the charges and that within 72 hours the prisoner will receive a disciplinary write up or release back to general population. I have received none of this protection. I was denied my property, my mail has been delayed coming
in and going out.
Before being assaulted and placed in lock up I was organizing for the August 21st—September 9th
national prison strike. I had been talking to guys in industry (Tag Plant) and around the prison about the strike. I had also placed posters and articles on the bulletin board explaining details about the strike. I was released back into general population on September 4th. But before I was released I was taken to the warden Cynthia Stewart’s office and told not to be pushing, organizing any strikes or I would be placed back in lock up and never let out.
Thanks to all of you who have made calls to the warden and commissioner demanding my release from lock up. Without the calls I would no doubt still be in lock up.
And since the call-ins, they have started bringing cleaning supplies around to the cells so we can clean them out.
FIRE 2 THA PRISONS!
CERT OUTTA HOLMAN
Here is a quick auto-biographical statement by Michael Kimble written last year for those who are interested in his backstory.
Clenched fist salute,
My name is Michael Kimble and I’m being held captive by the state of Alabama at the Holman maximum security prison. I’ve been held hostage for 31 years. November 12th will make it 32 years. I was convicted of killing a homophobic racist who attempted to assault or kill myself and a friend while walking together. I was sentenced to life in prison and have been here ever since. I’ve been considered for parole numerous times, but denied each time. My last parole consideration was a year and a half ago. Obviously, I was denied and hit with another 5 year parole consideration date. The given reason for my denial was “the nature of the offense”. Meaning that I will not ever be granted parole since the nature of the offense will never change. In reality, my only crime was the defense of myself and my friend.
Two days from now on my birthday I will be 53 years old. Prisons and the whole entire criminal justice system is a farce and is erected by the rich and powerful to protect their property and social control through coercion and the instilling of fear in the populace. And let’s not forget slave labor that reaps huge profits for the powerful. All with the silent consent and complicity of society.
I am an anarchist and abhor the devastation of the land, the pollution of the air and water, and the killing off of our animal cousins for sport and profit. As an anarchist I believe that people can and are able to make decisions about their own lives without government and bosses. I do not accept that because things are the way they are that they have to be this way. Just a month and a half ago, a call was made for a national prison strike for August 21st to September 9th. Many prisoners answered the call and others ignored the call for many different reasons. Here at Holman prison I had been organizing for the national prison strike through conversations with my fellow captives, posting posters about the strike and the reasons for the strike. But then on July 19th I was singled out and assaulted by the riot squad and thrown in lock up without any regards to my so called “due process rights”. My mail was delayed coming in and out, or outright destroyed. Actually, I began writing this statement while in lock up. We can’t allow fear of repression to set in and stop us from fighting to make this a better world. We must build relationships based on non-coercion, mutual aid, solidarity, cooperation and love for each other, and the environment and a hatred for slavery, super exploitation and domination. We must fight oppression wherever we find it, even if it’s in our own heads. We must find new ways of attacking the state other than through reform. A beautiful victory in a world which remains intact is always just a new reform that solidifies it.
We have to model the world we envision internally in our affinity groups, collectives, organizations and relationships. This means that we should bring our values into our every day decision making. Each day should be lived on purpose. We should find joy in destroying this miserable world.
Just recently I’ve begun to set up a defense committee to attempt to gain my freedom by way of the courts through hiring an attorney to represent and petition for post-conviction relief, preferably, a sentence reduction. So I will be needing everyone’s support in hiring an attorney. And last, I want to give a big thanks to all who have shown solidarity and support to myself and those held captive by the state.