Socialist Worker

In The Land of the Free exposes the US’s racism and brutality

by Ruth Lorimer
Issue No. 2195

In the land of the free poster

This excellent documentary, narrated by Samuel L Jackson, reveals the injustice, racism and brutality at the heart of the US prison system.

It tells the story of the Angola 3—framed for murders they did not commit.

Two of them have been held in solitary confinement since 1972. They are still fighting to clear their names.

They fought to politicise their fellow inmates, gaining a well deserved reputation for militancy.

They led struggles for the decent treatment of prisoners, including a 45-day hunger strike for the right to eat in their cells instead of through the bars.

Robert King was released in 2001. Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace remain in solitary cofinement, despite Woodfox’s conviction being overturned in 2008.

The film puts their treatment in the context of the whole prison system, and the parallels with slavery are disturbing.

Most of the prisoners are black and made to do hard labour.

The horrendous conditions they are subjected to are designed to break their spirits, and have nothing to do with justice.

Robert King spoke at the film premiere.

He argued that all black prisoners in US jails are in a sense political prisoners, and their fight is the same as that still being fought by the Angola 3.

Perhaps most inspiring of all is the fact that the Angola 3 are not just still fighting—but that they are still revolutionaries.

In The Land of the Free
Out now www.inthelandofthefreefilm.co.uk

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.