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     Speeches by Cecil Williams and Angela Davis on Prisons and Oppression at
    Bay Area Rally
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We think we have. Every right and we want to point. Out for you. Don't really know whether they're. Relevant. I was not only. But became when I discovered that only 400 black males in the state of Alabama. And. That it was finally really important. Very important. In
fact an act of genocide. Somebody whether it was a question of morality is not only my question of survival then except. They are the only relevant no matter who they are. And the black brothers in black who find themselves kind of sent me. And finally very sunny very own words. About what happened in the state of Alabama. I think not only is the moment that we carry. And I know that
intersection as it relates specifically the percentage of the percentage that we in America and in relation to people of the world not those whom we have money. In return to America when they have become from them here because they know that and the drug market in America and in the civically in New York and Los
Angeles. Yet that genocide when have they continued to leave because they come back in America. Think about Brothers Chris and I just had an opportunity to work with my brother yesterday when we're told that he only get three months in jail and we know full well that he's going to have to go to prison and stay the rest of his life because that's the way the prison system operates a couple of reasons we're below that we're deal with the people who don't have money to deal with that kind of system which prevails upon their lives that will not let them come to understand that they can have well-being and justice in
America in other words that is an act of genocide. There is also one other act of genocide which we do not recognize. We call it the population explosion. That's what they call it. The writing. Children want to tell you they don't want to and I am convinced that many times the population explosion direction is directed toward people welfare recipients and who cannot and who cannot get the faith in the well-being of their existence and so I come to you saying you know all this talk about using all of the methods possible especially poor people not reproduceable not procreate. I want you to
know we have a right to many children if we want to if we can in fact. My final word. You know all this stuff about the U.S. and all of the methods possible especially poor people not reproduceable not appropriate I want you to know we have a right to have many children if we want to have if we can in fact. My final word is simply there that we and his particular time beginning for us for another act of genocide that's committed and it's a political prisoner like who shall make the ruling here to say that in fact he cannot represent himself because he is the most to. Say
thought no you know I have ever come up on. So many people because the law interprets the law to get emotional. You know like he has a right to me whatever the case might be. The struggle to protest genocide against Christians in Britain and we specifically given time because we feel very strongly and want to finally as a release of the struggle go on let us continue to protect the rights of those in the sand with adequate representation
and that representation that choice and not the choice of the court. Genocide is the apparent suicide. I don't want to sleep brothers and sisters wake up and continue to struggle in a struggle that will be the past and not the present and the future. Me. With an army
when we call an unorganized Reverend that we are never going to happen. When. We can. But now
the fourth. Round come up. And talk about. And I remember not long ago
and in the primary because I want to find out. That you went away from. Our. Love of life and I think one thing that was on the. Back of me was the everything and everything about them and what do you think. And the thank home when. We. Are going to hear them.
What about the fact that we might. Like to come in. It.
Going to happen. I don't think we can make them better than. That.
Will. You.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank. You. I'm speaking with Angela Davis could you just briefly tell me what you've been doing since you've been out of prison. Right after the acquittal.
There were rallies scheduled in a number of cities across the country where there had been big movements around nondefense one of the reasons I went to these rallies and Los Angeles Chicago Detroit and New York was to try to keep the momentum of the movement around political prisoners. At the same pace at which it was when my acquittal was secured because I think it would really be a shame if all of the sisters and brothers who worked for my freedom. Went back into the corners and no longer participated in the movement of free will in the sand when Styx and Billie Jean Smith an awful lot of the prisoners. After I did that I sort of took a short vacation and went to visit my family in Birmingham in Cleveland. And that's just about it I got in the other day. Did you find any differences in the attitudes or the momentum of people's activity from the time you came out as opposed to when you first went in and were people very aware of political prisoners.
Oh yeah. I was really terribly impressed. I mean Detroit for instance we went to Detroit thinking that. A good sized rally was going to be say between 2000 and 4000 people when we got there we found that there were 17000 people there 5000 of whom had to remain on the outs because there wasn't enough room. And practically all of the sisters and brothers who came were black. And one of the other things that was obviously very obvious very apparent at the rally was that they were there were a lot of workers from the factory. Because the sections of my speech where I talked about what was happening in Detroit you know when Chrysler and all of the auto plants when we talk talked about the speed that was the thing that got the greatest response. And that's something which indicates that the potential for developing a revolutionary movement in this country you're developing a far more radical movement than we've seen in many many
years this is absolutely tremendous. The problem of course we're having right now is how do you keep this momentum going. Because we've seen in the movement that there are periods of peaks and then that then they're low. It's very important to capture the peak and to keep them going because when people when sisters and brothers instinctively. You know. Very deeply committed to the condo direction and are not presented with concrete things to do. We can't expect people to remain in the center of political activity. That's one of the things we we're talking about doing right now building. Trying to build a national. Structure around the defense of political prisoners and around the prison system itself. Are you a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Yeah I was elected at the last convention.
Have you all decided. Have you made sure you made some kind of decisions about it are you going to work and we have you as diligently and this was seen as a work in behalf of your freedom. There have been people who say I'm going to do every single thing I can as I said before I'm going to be spending full time working around the defense of political prisoners. I feel that I have a very strong obligation to do that. And also this is what this is what I was doing before I was arrested and this is what I'm going to continue to do. Are you aware that while you were in prison your defense committee steadfastly refused to support the show on the grounds that would tie the two of you together in court. Well I don't know where you got that information but that. Was a member of the Defense Committee too and I know what my disk. But I also had something to do with what was going on on the outside. And I know full well that no one on the committee ever said that
anything which would tie me to cook was going to be detrimental because we always maintained precisely the opposite position that our solidarity and our support of Russia was going to be just as great as the solidarity. I just don't know where you got that. People speak a lot about freeing political prisoners less people should work at the defense of political prisoners but people very seldom talk about political prisoners should be free people like sex other than being human beings who are incarcerated which is clear reason why they should be free what political reasons would you give for why these particular people should be free. Well there's so many reasons that it would really require a long time to eliminate all of them. One of the things that I think we realized over the last few years is that we really define. The political prison. Traditionally the political prisoner has been someone
who is charged with. A political openly political offense who is charged with having the wrong political ideas and moving in the wrong political direction by the government of that country. Of course in the United States simply isn't any kind of acknowledgement of the fact that political prisoners exist. But we know better now and the same question 6. 0 6 exemplify. Thousands and thousands of sisters and brothers particularly black and brown sisters and brothers who are in prison. First of all because of no press and repressive political and economic system that is the first reason. And if you look at Michelle's life history it is really it reveals all of the oppression that black people particularly black men when you look at the rape charge that he had when he was 13 years
old. So I mean that would be the first instance in which they would be political. Second of all sisters and brothers like Michelle and the second six months. They exhibit their political awareness. Inside the prison. I've been targets of the most brutal and barbarous conduct of oppression. Why do you think Michele has been in for so long why was George Jetson in prison for so long. It's because of the fact that they. Stand up. For certain political principles and they stand up for the rights of men and women to be human. And that is a profoundly political act. I know you have to go. Would you speak just briefly about women's prisons in California prisons that exist and some of the things that you know about that are happening in women's prisons and things that are going on around the difference of things one of the things I do know is that system
jails and prisons throughout California are getting themselves together attempting to. Corona right now you know there were a lot of systems really in attempting to build some kind of a structure inside the prison itself the problem is that there's been so little awareness of the fact that there are women in prison in the window. Women women in prison. But there hasn't been the kind of support that can allow them the flexibility to build something like this most of the support open support has gone to men's prisons. So I think we really have to talk about providing some channels. To. Women's prisons back. And forth and creating some way of openly demonstrating outside of the system. I feel that very very strongly not just politically but you know very personal sense too
because I met a lot of the sisters who eventually went to Corona or were coming from Corona and I heard about all of the things that they were doing first and all the problems they were having because of the fact that people on the outside were ignoring affectively what they were trying to do. Any parting words. Free all political prisoners. That's what we have to do. Thank you. Are you thinking about any kind of strategy for the defense of believing in it other than the kinds of strategies that you've always had little prisoners. Well one of the things I know is about to happen as a world peace conference which will be taking place and you're in the very near future I think possibly in the next few weeks and we are going to try to project really Smith within that conference so that the
bases can be laid for developing international support in the anti-war movement. You've traveled and spoke at rallies I found that very few people actually knew what was happening out here in California with believing Smith. Another thing that I might mention is that we were trying to bill to lay the basis for a national defense organization which will be capable of developing that kind of international national support for political prisoners and which will also be able to participate in the soft against the prison system. And the people find out about. It. Well you can contact the National United Committee Rob Baker who's working out of the office now has most of the details on that. And then
after I'm going to go to Europe probably for a few weeks the end of August and when I return I'm going to be doing a speaking tour to talk about building this organization throughout the country. If you were anybody and you were going to say she and I ever spoken with really ever talked with him. Well I've talked with Billy Beane Smith's family. He's in the stockade right now in photo and we've talked with members of his defense committee his family his sister spoke at the May 20th rally against war oppression in San Jose. And when I was in Los Angeles I talked to quite a few of the sisters and brothers who are working on this defense committee and I've been corresponding with Billy Smith I've gotten some letters from him and I've seen him also do you plan to tour Africa by any chance heard some plans that far in the future. Something about you had a teaching position offered in Tanzania.
Right. Well of course it's no really tempting but this too much to be done in this country and I don't feel that that would be politically responsible of me to go away and spend a long period of time in another country when there's so much to be done here. This program was produced by KPFA Pacifica Radio in Northern California
and distributed by Pacifica program service in Berkeley. All rights are reserved.
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Speeches by Cecil Williams and Angela Davis on Prisons and Oppression at Bay Area Rally
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KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
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Pacifica Radio Archives (North Hollywood, California)
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This is a recording made at an 1972 outdoor rally in the Bay Area featuring speeches by Reverend Cecil Williams and Angela Davis, after the latter's release from prison in June 1972. Angela Davis was known for her involvement in the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party. The recording starts with a woman speaking over a P.A. system, announcing that they have collected 1500 signatures for their petition and want to keep collecting signatures to turn into the Attorney General's office. She then introduces Reverend Cecil Williams, who describes a "genocide against black brothers and sisters" happening within the United States consisting of: wrongful medical testing on black individuals in Alabama, an unjust percentage of black deaths in Vietnam, discrimination against poor people in prison, population control, the ruling against Ruchell Magee, and the San Quentin Six. Angela Davis then speaks on freeing Ruchell Magee and the San Quentin Six, and expresses her opposition to the American prison system. This
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Social Issues
Race and Ethnicity
Politics and Government
Williams, Cecil, 1929-; Davis, Angela Y. (Angela Yvonne), 1944-; Protests, demonstrations, vigils, etc. -- California; African Americans--Civil rights--History
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Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Speaker: Williams, Cecil, 1929-
Speaker: Davis, Angela Y. (Angela Yvonne), 1944-
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: 12346_D01 (Pacifica Radio Archives)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: PRA_AAPP_BC0986_Cecil_Williams_and_Angela_Davis (Filename)
Format: audio/vnd.wave
Generation: Master
Duration: 0:30:20
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Chicago: “ Speeches by Cecil Williams and Angela Davis on Prisons and Oppression at Bay Area Rally ,” 1972-00-00, Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed July 21, 2024,
MLA: “ Speeches by Cecil Williams and Angela Davis on Prisons and Oppression at Bay Area Rally .” 1972-00-00. Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 21, 2024. <>.
APA: Speeches by Cecil Williams and Angela Davis on Prisons and Oppression at Bay Area Rally . Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from