“Maroon Fights Two Battles.”
Russell Maroon Shoatz, the black liberation fighter and self-taught historian is presently engaged in at least two battles for his life. One is colon cancer, stage four, which he has been fighting for about a year. Two is COVID-19, which has been fighting him for about a month and a half.
Given his resilience, resourcefulness, and fighting spirit, it’s difficult to say if either of those challenges or both of them will prevail. The 77-year-old has been held by the DOC since 1972, and the DOC isn’t helping his chances. They continue to deny him access to surgery for his cancer diagnosis. For several weeks, Maroon was held in a makeshift infirmary in a gym with 29 other men because of the surge of COVID cases in DOC facilities.
His daughter Theresa reports he has since been returned to his cell, but the cell was extremely cold and guards refused him sufficient blankets. The struggle continues. Human rights groups, like the Pennsylvania Poor People’s Campaign, the Human Rights Coalition and the Coalition to Abolish Death by Incarcerationb known as CADBI
Have been protesting in Harrisburg, calling for release of COVID prisoners like Maroon. Maroon has, over these long decades, taught scores of younger men how to read, how to think, and how to study. His supporters demand his immediate release.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.