Eddie Conway has been locked up in Maryland prisons since 1970.
BALTIMORE, MD – On October 7, a candlelight vigil was held to mark the 36th year that Marshall “Eddie” Conway has been locked down in the Maryland prison system as a political prisoner.
Brother Eddie Conway — like Mumia Abu Jamal, Geronimo Pratt and countless others — was imprisoned for his role in the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. As a leader in the Panther Party’s Baltimore chapter he became a target of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) infamous counterintelligence program, known as COINTELPRO.
The FBI had in 1967 mandated COINTELPRO to neutralize “Black Nationalist Hate Groups” and potential “Black Messiahs” who would organize African people within the U.S. to take our freedom. It did so through murdering and imprisoning our leaders and destroying our organizations.
In 1969, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover identified the Black Panther Party as “the greatest threat to the internal security of the U.S.” and set out to destroy the organization.
Brother Eddie Conway was framed up for the killing of a policeman in April of 1970.
While being locked down, Eddie Conway has not allowed his containment to stop him from organizing. He has created several programs behind the prison walls to deal with drug addiction and to provide general scholastic and political education to African men caught up in the colonial prison system.
Despite the fact that he is called a “model” prisoner and has had no infractions in 26 years, Brother Conway has been repeatedly denied parole by the state of Maryland.
Brother Conway was recently moved from the Maryland correctional facility in Jessup, MD to a remote prison facility in Hagerstown, MD. The moving of Eddie Conway further away from family and supporters as well as denial of his requests for parole are continuations of the counterinsurgency being waged on the entire African community.
It is a blatant attempt to erase the legacy of the Black Revolution of the Sixties along with its leadership.
The newly formed Baltimore Chapter of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement participated in this vigil to express its unity with freeing Brother Conway. We recognize that freeing Eddie Conway is an important task that has been mandated in our 12-point working platform.
Point number seven of the InPDUM platform states, “We demand an end to the colonial court and prison systems which have the majority of African men incarcerated, on probation or parole, and the immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of war.”
In the past, there was tremendous work done around Eddie Conway’s case. In 2001, a coalition of organizations was able to force the Baltimore City Council to pass a unanimous resolution calling for a review of Brother Conway’s case. However, former Governor Parris Glendening and the Maryland Legislature would not act on this call.
It is clear that the only way to assure the release of Eddie Conway and the rest of the political prisoners being held U.S. prisons is to bring the masses of African people into political life!
The Baltimore chapter of InPDUM has pledged to work more closely with the Eddie Conway support committees to educate the residents of the city of Baltimore about his case and to politicize the need to free this brother and all other political prisoners held in U.S. prisons.
Free Eddie Conway!
Free Mumia Abu Jamal!
Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War!