George Jackson University            

Long Live The Dragon

The Roots of the George Jackson University

By: Eugene Jamaa Shakur

“Imprisonment is an aspect of class struggle from the outset. It is the creation of a closed society which attempts to isolate those individuals who disregard the structures of a hypocritical establishment, as well as those who attempt to challenge it on a mass basis. Throughout its history, the United States has used its prisons to suppress any organized efforts to challenge its legitimacy - from its attempts to break up the early Working Men’s Benevolent Association, to the banning of the Communist Party during what I regard as the fascist takeover of this country, to the attempts to destroy the Black Panther Party."  

{Blood in my Eye pg. 106 -107}. 

In the above quote, Comrad George Jackson enlightens us to the very function of prisons. He elucidates that prisons serve a twofold purpose. He state's: “its historical use has been to "Isolate and suppress" and he didn't stop there.  He defined what and who the "Isolation and Suppression" would be for. He gave a description of the people, he stated: ..." individuals who disregard the structures of a hypocritical establishment". He went on to state: “as well as those who attempt to challenge it on a mass basis".  Then Comrad George enlightened us to the fact that history has demonstrated to us that the United States has used its prisons to suppress any organized efforts to challenge its legitimacy"... Whether the challenge be revolutionary or reactionary (criminal).   So, in essence we have Comrad George stating that there are - for the most part - only two types of prisoners. You have the Revolutionary (I.e. to include Activists; Militants etc, etc). And then on the opposite end, the prison consists of your Non - Revolutionary (I.e. the Reactionary; Criminals etc, etc). One, who consciously challenged the system (revolutionary) and the other who unconsciously bucked the system (non - revolutionary).

For both prison loomed as an inevitable destination (minus death). So we see a prison system filled primarily with these two types of prisoners. From the state by state relation and connection of the prison system, on down to the smallest living unit of a prison (the CELL), these prison systems were fed these two types of people. Like any living system; the life force starts at the smallest level. The CELL. Life (and death) begins and ends at the CELLULAR level. And what is a cell? In any entity, a cell is the "smallest   living life force". Thus, in prison the cell is the “smallest living unit of life force". So it is, life and death begins/ ends right there in that CELL. Comrad George, being a student understood the nature of LIFE (political, social and economic).  In his last interview Comrad George stated to Karen Wald: "Well, we're all familiar with the function of the prison as an institution serving the needs of the totalitarian state. We've got to destroy that function. The function has to be no longer viable, in the end. It's one of the strongest institutions supporting the totalitarian state. We have to destroy its effectiveness, and that's what the prison movement is all about. What I'm saying is that they put us in concentration camps here the same as they put people in tiger cages or “strategic hamlets" in Vietnam. The idea is to isolate, eliminate, and liquidate the dynamic sections of the overall movement, the protagonist of the movement. What we've got to do is prove this won't work. We've got organize our resistance once were inside, give them no peace, turn the prison into just another front of the struggle, tear it down from the inside, understand"?  In this statement George pointed out how we must not let the prison system serve its creative function. He stated its function was/is to isolate. Which was one of the methods the state used against George himself. It's no wonder why he entitled his book: Soledad Brother.

Sole dad was/ is the name of the prison in which George was accused of murdering a prison guard. But there is a deeper significance to the title. Soledad is Spanish for SOLITARY. Solitary means alone. Solitary is the harshest form of punishment allowed by law. Solitary confinement is when the prison ISOLATES a prisoner from his/her fellow prisoners. And as we know, George was isolated much of his time in prison. George reported that out of the eleven years he spent in prison, seven and a half (7 and 1/2) were spent in Solitary confinement.  So when we read the book we recognize much of his time was spent in isolation - in a CELL. And it was in this isolated state that George developed himself.

He turned his tiny cell into a gym; a library; a laboratory, a headquarters for a budding army. George demonstrated how we must resist and rise above our condition. He showed us how not to let the function of prison work on us. Right from his tiny, filthy cell he developed himself from a criminal into a revolutionary. Indeed the state Pen' was turned into Penn State.  So we honor our fallen comrad and leader by naming this University after him; and we honor and ally ourselves with him by following up on his excellent example; by attempting to transform ourselves, and assist in transforming others from a Criminal frame of mind into an educational frame of mind and onwards into a Revolutionary Mindset. We say Long Live the Spirit of George Jackson!!! By saying this, we acknowledge that we will work this out by supporting the George Jackson University.