Who was Angela Davis?
Angela Davis is a very well-known black revolutionary. She was a member of the communist party. She was not a member of the Black Panther Party, but was an ally of the party.
Angela also taught philosophy at UCLA. She completed her doctorate through UC San Diego under professor, Herbert Marcuse.
What was the “Free Angela” movement?
“Free Angela” movement was led by black women and men but primarily women.
The movement was started in protest against the arrest of Angela Davis Marin County event.
The decision was made in favor of Angela because the jury was not convinced by the case put forward by the prosecution.
Events that took place:
1. January 13th, 1970
Three black prisoners were shot and killed by a prison guard at Soledad
The jury found that the white guard had committed justifiable homicide and so no charges were filed
Half an hour after the verdict a different prison guard was found dying in the maximum security section of the prison after being thrown from a third floor tier
George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo, and John Clutchette were accused of his murder
They claimed that they were innocent. They also claimed that the reason they were elected was because they had been involved in efforts of prison reforms inside the prison to try to improve the conditions.
Also, at that time in Los Angeles or Oakland young black people were being arrested and harassed at very young ages. Eg: Fleeta Drumgo was 14yrs ago while John Clutchette was 13yrs old
The reason they were in San Quentin was because each had been accused of second degree burglary, a minor offence, and since they had no were allotted public defenders and were sentenced to 6 months to fifteen years of imprisonment
George Jackson was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment as a juvenile on the charges that he was a passenger in a car in which the driver had committed a robbery in a gas station for $70
In Fleeta’s and Cluchette’s case both of them claimed that they had not committed any robbery but they never had a trial
2. February 25th, 1970:
In San Quentin a prisoner named Fred Billingsley, who was believed to be emotionally ill was killed by prison guards in his cell. He was tear gassed to death and beaten
James Mclain, Ruchell Magee, William Christmas and David Johnson (another prisoner) witnessed this murder.
David filed an affidavit swearing to the above account and the rest of the three wrote letters to their friends and family detailing the incident.
Five days after David filed the affidavit James Mclain was arrested and charged with attempted murder
During the first trial the jury hung the case, and during the second trial which was held on August 7th, 1970 the judge was Harold Haley and the prosecutor was Gary Thomas who was married to Haley’s niece.