Thursday, July 03, 2008

Longest Held Black Panther Party Political Prisoner, Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald, Denied Parole in the State of California

Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald Denied Parole After 39 Years of Wrongful Incarceration

On July 2, 2008 Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald was denied parole from the California Department of corrections for one more year. He will be eligible again in July 2009. The Commissioners claim they want Chip to do more "programming" such as groups and counseling.

One Commissioner, a former prison guard Lieutenant, stated that the 2800+ signed petitions and numerous letters offering a UCLA education, housing, employment as a Youth Counselor and a book offer to write & publish his life story... meant nothing to her because "the people who sign them and write letters really don't know what goes on with these inmates."

Chip was in good spirits at the end of the hearing and did not seem to be surprised by the outcome.

Write to Chip! WE WILL KEEP FIGHTING FOR HIS FREEDOM! We are building a new strategy, seeking new legal representation and will execute the plan to FREE CHIP!

Romaine Fitzgerald
Centinela State Prison
PO Box 921
Imperial, California 92251-0731

Thank you to all of Chip's supporters. Keep spreading the word, sign the petition, and stay tuned for updates. 38 YEARS...YA BASTA!!!!


With Love For the People.

The Committee to Free Chip Fitzgerald

Committee to Free Chip Fitzgerald
629 Main Street No.195
Watsonville, CA 95076

(831) 254-2580


On behalf of the 170,000 imprisoned Sisters, Brothers and Comrades in California for whom I do not speak but with whom I speak, we embrace you in the spirit of love and solidarity!

In the current atmosphere where people are afraid to be labeled unpatriotic... or terrorist for their progressive and radical beliefs and political dissent- to paraphrase my comrade Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party, who was assassinated nearly 40 years ago... I REMAIN A REVOLUTIONARY!

The prison system has mutated into a complex, dysfunctional resource-wasting parasite of social control, political repression and revenge! Human beings are warehoused in these concrete and steel bunkers that destroy human sensibilities and the human spirit.

Then, following years of continuous antagonism and frustration at the hands of sadistic prison guards, tortured souls are released…. These human warehouses destroy human beings, like the Iraq war is mutilating young Americans. Prisoners are being de-sensitized... and they are frustrated, angry and bitter and unprepared to become productive members of society. These tortured souls, who are our families and loved ones, are paroled with little hope…. This is why California's recidivism rate is above 75%. The system is now designed to perpetuate itself.

We are again confronted with a parole setting body of individuals known as commissioners, who are racist and revenge-oriented and who operate as if they are exempt from the rule of law, as the CCPOA (Prison Guards Union) and crime victims, all driving the policy of the California Department of Corrections. The intent is to keep these prisons filled to capacity!

From a practical perspective of economic dollars and cents, there is no return on the dollars invested in the Prison Industrial Complex. It's an enormous drain on the state budget, denying social services to the people, health care insurance and funding for education and social programs for our youth and young adults to prevent them from joining gangs and engaging in criminal activity.

The enormity of the problem may seem overwhelming... and we as individuals, by comparison, may seem insignificant and powerless. But appearances can be very deceptive. In the words of Public Enemy, "Don't Believe the Hype."

What is to be done to solve the problem? Let us follow the example of the anti-war movement. Let the politically conscious people of Cali, the progressive and revolutionary people, rise up and seize the day! Organize to halt the perversion of justice and squandering of valuable resources by the Prison Guards Union (CCPOA) and the Prison Industrial Complex.

Demand to be active participants in the sentencing/ prison reform process. Demand public transparency as guaranteed by the law. Register and vote out the legislators who have rewarded the campaign contributions of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association with carte blanche to do as they please in the California Department of Corrections—which has resulted in corruption, criminal mismanagement, thievery, brutality and even death!

Romaine "Chip" Fitzgerald
Lancaster State Prison, California
March 2007

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